New Year’s Resolvalution

Instead of a New Year’s resolution consider a New Year’s “Resolvalution.” Instead of trying to commit to doing something, why not explore and find a solution to why you haven’t been doing it in the first place.

For example, if your resolution is to cut out coffee, have you even asked yourself why you are drinking coffee in the first place. Do you drink it because you love it? Do you drink it because you are so exhausted in the morning you need it to wake up and get going? Do you drink it because you need an escape and break from work that is mundane or meaningless? If you love it, why would you decide to take it out? If you drink it for energy, then what in your life is draining you and fatiguing you? What would you need to resolve and change in order to find the energy that already resides within? If you drink it because you need a pick-me-up from uninspiring work, then how can you make your job more meaningful and fulfilling?

If your resolution is to start exercising, have you even asked yourself why you haven’t been doing it in the first place. Is it because you hate to exercise? Is it because you don’t have the time? Is it because your exercise goals are too lofty? If you hate the gym, then don’t resolve to buy a gym membership and workout 5 times a week. Find a form of movement you love to do and do it because you love it, do it for the pleasure and joy it brings you and for putting a smile on your face. Don’t do it for weight loss, do it because you sincerely enjoy it. If you don’t have the time, have you reevaluated how you are planning your day and when you can realistically create time for a workout? If you don’t change your day and schedule it in, your resolution will fall short. If you stopped exercising because you can’t reach your intended goals, then have you asked yourself what is a reasonable and doable goal?

These are the questions that are necessary to explore in order to make lasting changes. Most people when making New Year’s resolutions fail to succeed because they are not making the significant lifestyle changes that are necessary. It is essential to look at the underlying reasons to why we do or don’t do the things we are seeking to change and then do the hard work to change them.

It’s time to do this Resolution thing differently. It’s time to go through the back door. It’s time to make the long lasting changes that only come from deep exploration, and an honest change to a lifestyle that isn’t serving you.  It’s not the easy door to open, but it is the one that will offer great insights, aha moments, growth, healing, and lasting resolve that will make a New Year’s resolution last for years to come.

So my friends, what are you ready to resolve this year? If you would like to explore and find the answers to these questions and more, then I welcome you to a new journey that will forever change your relationship with food, your body and yourself. Don’t wait for your New Years’ Resolution to be a fleeting thought, book a consult today to make 2015 about lasting, valuable and meaningful change.

Self-Image and Body Image

How you feel about your body is directly related to how you feel about yourself. Have you ever noticed that when you are feeling really good about yourself and your life, you see your body differently than when you are beating yourself up and down on your life? In fact when you are feeling good about yourself, you likely feel really good about your body. You likely use your food as a source of fuel so you have energy to do what you love and you may even exercise out of joy – because you simply love it. You take care of your body and with a much different intention than when your self-image is poor. When you are feeling bad about yourself, filling your mind with negative self-talk and not feeling fulfilled with your life, food and exercise look much different. Exercise often becomes non-existent or used as punishment. Food is often used to soothe, medicate and make you feel better or for some it can even sever the joy and pleasure of eating.

The image we have of ourselves is reflected in our bodies, but we often see it the other way around. We try hard to change the body thinking if we do that we would just be happier. The truth is, that never works. The root of the problem is not how your body looks it is how your inner world looks.  If we work to change our self- image it is only then that we can change our body image. When we struggle with body image issues we often force ourselves to workout, diet and do whatever we can to change our body. Oftentimes our efforts are futile and short-lived. That is because the extra weight on our bodies is not why we are really upset – it doesn’t help, but that is not the root of the problem. The weight is a by-product of something else that’s going on. Losing weight never fills a deeper void and the weight has likely only shown up because food has been used to fill that void. 

If we do the harder work of transforming ourselves - our inner world, the change is permanent. As Marc David so beautifully writes in Nourishing Wisdom, “physical appearance has little to do with body image. Who we are inside and how content we are determine the degree to which we accept our body.”

So if you have been struggling with body image and have dieted, restricted and punished to try to lose weight so you'll feel happier about yourself,  I encourage you to come in and do a Soulful Nourishment session with me. Let’s change the way in which you feel about yourself so you can bring lasting change to how you feel about your body.

Chocolate - The Love Drug

For many, especially women, chocolate is truly a soulful pleasure. Researchers have even reported that the number-one craving for women is chocolate. According to Doreen Virtue PhD.D and author of Constant Craving, “love and emotional attachments are so important to women, and chocolate creates the feeling of being loved, cherished and understood.” Phenylethylamine (PEA) is a compound that naturally occurs in chocolate. When consumed, it releases endorphins in your brain that produce a mild feeling of euphoria, mimicking the sensation of being in love. So chocolate really is a love drug! 

In my practice, I differentiate between physical, emotional and soulful cravings. On the physical level we may crave chocolate because we are not receiving enough essential fats in our diet or because magnesium or certain amino acids and neurotransmitters are low (the feel-good hormones). Chocolate contains  serotonin, theobromine and anandamide which all help to elevate mood and feelings of calmness. Our physical cravings are often about releasing our “hormones of happiness.” Often correcting our macro and micro-nutrients within our diet can help alleviate our physical cravings for chocolate.

Emotionally we may crave chocolate because we are unfulfilled in our love life. Feelings of disappointment, boredom or anger with your relationship can trigger the need for chocolate. These feelings can overtime lead to sadness and depression, so the chocolate offers the temporary feeling of happiness that one is not receiving in their relationship. Dr. Virtue believes, “ chocoholism is a cry for love, intimacy and romance. It is the perfect antidepressant for the love sick.” Chocolate fills the void and then becomes a constant craving. In this case, if you want to overcome your chocolate cravings the work would be to resolve the issues in your relationship. I can assist you with this by using The Demartini Method® - a series of scientifically proven questions that  help shift your mental perceptions and remove your emotional blocks which bring you to a state of love and gratitude. When you are fulfilled, grateful and feel in love, phenylethylamine is naturally released and the need for chocolate subsides.  It is often never about the food we are craving, it is about what the food represents and offers us that we need to explore. The chocolate opens the door to a deeper exploration of what is happening in your inner world.

If it is not a physical or emotional craving, then the desire for chocolate can simply be a soulful one - a pure love and joy for chocolate. Being present and in the experience of eating that square of high quality, dark organic chocolate. The smell, the taste, the texture, the antioxidants, the joy and the pleasure. These cravings are much more controlled than the physical and emotional cravings. They occur occasionally and truly come from a place of “I would love to have some chocolate” vs “I need to have some chocolate.”

Chocolate is a perfect example of how powerful a food can be. It truly has the power to alter your mood and help you feel love. For some the relationship to chocolate is simple and for others it is more complex and may need to be explored so that it does not sabotage your good nutritional intentions. Whether your desire for chocolate is for the antioxidants, the pick-me-up, the hit of love, to curb a sweet tooth or for the mere joy and pleasure, always choose a high quality certified organic dark chocolate (70% minimum – I prefer 85%). The greater the content of cacao found in chocolate, the less sugar is used. Read ingredients to ensure you are receiving pure cacao and there an no binders or fillers added. A lot of chocolate brands contain an emulsifier called soy lecithin. Soy is the number one genetically modified crop, so you don’t want that to taint your chocolate. Vivani is a brand I recommend which is available at Market 17, Vitamins First or Community Natural Foods, or you can order it on-line.

So this Valentine's Day (and every other day), enjoy some delicious high quality dark chocolate and consider is this a physical, emotional or soulful craving?