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Welcome to Empowered Wellness for Leaders, a podcast that teaches CEOs, entrepreneurs and sales leaders how to deal with the unique challenges of balancing a high-stress career, family, AND their own health. Here’s your host, Certified Executive Wellness Coach, Diana Murphy.
Thanks so much for being here. I hope you know how much I appreciate the time you take to check in on my episodes. And because of that, I want to just always be giving you and serving you in a way that really up levels your life. If these – there are challenges for you around food or even you’re noticing changes in how you eat when you have a really stressful season, this is all beautiful information and I love pulling it all together to help you grow in the way that you’re wanting to grow.
All the April podcasts work together beautifully and they work really in whatever order you’d like to take them in, and there’s a full guide every time you opt in on one of the April episodes you’ll get the full complete guide that I’m developing as I create this month’s work. So sit down, take a listen, know that there’s always support materials if you are not able to take notes.
So today’s episode that I want to bring you is all about what to eat. Moving from confusion to confidence. Why are we so confused? I know it’s April but I want you to just think back to January and what it’s like in the social media, on television, realizing that by mid-January you probably – even if you don’t watch a lot of television, you’ve probably experienced at least 50 weight loss program commercials.
Probably more if you watch a little more television. Or you’ve heard 20 different ideas from the talk shows as well as articles and radio shows, 20 different ideas on what the best diet is. And guess what? Most of their information conflicts with each other.
And not only that but exposed to the 10 new perfect workouts to lose weight. What’s wrong with this is that much of it is conflicting information and a belief that I am almost offended by right now after living kind of – being a victim of the diet industry for so much of my life. But it’s a belief that even media believes that they still need to search for the right answers and that the industry or experts know better than our own body wisdom.
And that’s where we’re being failed. You know, in the way that communications are being brought to us. And not even that, the medical community is failing us. I was put on a liquid diet, people, when I was nine. That wasn’t my mom’s fault, that was what they thought they should do. Restriction was always the solution to losing weight.
Well, I want to tell you there’s so many other ways, and obviously I’ve showed you really deciphering and taking some time to practice the difference between physical and emotional hunger, and how slowing down, that was the most recent episode, can really, really help your metabolism, and savoring food, really enjoying it can actually help it as well.
Isn?t that just fascinating? Our bodies were wired to take care of ourselves, so if we really tap more into our body’s wisdom, we really can get better results.
And the reason we are so confused is this: every thought that we think creates an emotion, and every emotion, if it’s stressful, it slows us down, it stops us, we start procrastinating. If we’re really feeling positive and energized about something we take a lot of action. You see how that’s related?
Your emotions are caused from a thought. But those emotions create the reactions and action in our lives. And that’s what’s creating these results of confusion. We’re being taught one thing on Monday, Wednesday we’ve heard something different, and if you have a goal of eating healthier, living healthier, your brain is confused. But you don’t need to be confused, and that’s why I’m here with you today.
Food choices, we make them all day long, we probably make a lot of them. So our food choices and that circumstance that we have so many choices to make during the day creates some thinking for many of us that we don’t know what to do.
So can you see how when you think the thought, “I don’t know what to do,” that causes frustration, it causes confusion. For me, it makes me just go, “Ugh.” If I don’t know what to do, if I’m confused about taking action in my business or if I’m confused, if you’re driving down the street and you have three different options and the Google Maps is not working, you don’t know where to go. How does that feel, right?
I don’t know what to do. And how do we react in those situations? We really stop taking action and we just kind of go to default and do things like more eating habits or other things. And the results are we’re all over the map on how we’re eating, so this is the day where you move from thinking, “I don’t know what to do,” or you know, “If I don’t follow a certain plan I’m only going to lose weight in a certain way.”
I want you to just take a deep breath, let your brain calm down and realize that your body gives you a lot of information. And what has happened for me, I don’t know if this has happened for you, I kind of start rebelling against good advice because there’s so many messages, and so many of the things I’ve been taught during my life were wrong. Absolutely the opposite.
Like, think about how we’ve gone to low fat foods and now we’re learning about healthy fats, and you know, there’s always some trend that we’re learning about. So there is some great advice out there, I’m not talking about not leaning in and learning what you can, but I’m talking about integrating that, using the lens of your body’s messages to understand what is great for you around food.
The truth is this: our body does not lie. We just stop trusting it and we stop listening. This is even true for those that are maintaining their weight. Alright, so I want to lay a foundation for you of how I’d love for you to be thinking about this.
This exercise and this way of eating is not listening to what they say. You know, think about the big they. We have a lot of messages. So none of those messages are important. Now, if you’re really into sound nutrition and you’re really digging in and it’s not the just media variety that picks up the latest study and doesn’t really give you the full breadth of what’s being found there, this is all about sound nutritional info filtered through your body’s feedback.
And remember, there’s no good or bad food. When we take the judgment out of our food choices, it is amazing. And this is where I just ask you to be curious around all your food choices because do you notice what happens when you name a food bad? Yup, we eat more of it, most of the time, especially when we’re stressed because we feel like we deserve something.
You know, we’ve created our own rebellious mindset around food instead of using food for our purposes and our goals. We are truly victims of our own making and that’s why we rebel by just having the dang French fries, right?
What is your body’s feedback? This is time to tune back into your feedback after you eat particular foods, and layer this with this appetite work of the hunger scale, you can layer this work of tuning into not only the feedback are you hungry, are you full, but now we layer in how did my body react to that food.
Alright, so there are three key physical responses and the positive ones to this are the ones that let you know, this is a fuel for me. So what I’m helping you to develop is a list for you, a personalized list of what fuel is for you. Okay, let’s get into the meat of this.
After you eat, how do you feel? This is your first question. How do you feel? Are you energetic, light, and ready to go? That is fuel. When we eat foods that make us feel that way, and it’s that light buzzy energy. You’re not overly full, it’s not like caffeine high, it is a satisfied amazing energy.
Now, the best way to tell when a food is not a fuel is also looking to some negative reactions that are pretty dang classic. If you are bloated after eating something, it might not be because you ate too much. I even had a client that we had to dig in a little bit. She was really shaming herself for overeating so we were talking about that, and when she got to it, we dug down to some of the foods and she goes, “I remember having this reaction before when I ate that particular” – I think it was a biscuit.
And so she realized that she was just having a food reaction to something that she ate. So if you’re bloated after – for me it’s like after drinking beer I get really – I get very uncomfortable. So like, beer is not for me. And so many times you might feel like you’ve eaten too much, but really watch. Like, just note your reactions if you feel bloated after particular foods.
That is not our fuel. Another is being tired. I had this reaction after brunch meals that – and I’ve used this story a lot, but I apologize. It was confusing to me, I made a lot of assumptions that not the eggs in this brunch meal were the problem, but of course it would have to be the grits or the white bread or the cheese, and those items did not trigger me as badly as the egg yolk.
And again, it was hollandaise sauce, and I do think that there’s a butter issue for me there. Too much butter, but it was the egg yolk. And so now I eat a lot of egg whites and that just works really great. So it may take some testing to go back and forth, but the question is this: after you eat, do you feel energetic, light, and ready to go? Like, you could move, you could go take a healthy, strenuous walk.
Alright, so that’s your first question. The next is does this meal sustain you for two to three hours. You know, eating to the scale will tandem with this, but when you eat food that is fuel for you, it should satisfy you and afterwards you’re just totally neutral for a long period of time. When I eat a good fuel meal, I really am not hungry for sometimes, three hours and for this sometimes it’s the clean proteins of egg whites and some crispy bacon and avocados.
Like, that meal I just won’t have to think about food for hours. So it’s one of those that is fuel for me. So on that sustaining, the certainly eating to the hunger scale is important here because we can overeat healthy food. But when you eat a food to satisfaction, to plus two, then that food sustains you for two to three hours. That is fuel.
So when you find yourself wanting to eat again in an hour, you’ve done nothing wrong. You may not have eaten fuel, that’s all. Alright, then are you totally sated after this food? Are you craving all morning?
So for example, I eat oatmeal and unless I’m about to go do a lot of high physical activity and burn it off, I crave sugar all day. I crave carbs, I cannot get enough sandwiches, I want pasta for dinner, so this is a trigger, like I’m realizing that oatmeal is not a fuel for me.
Do you see? So listen – if you’ve craving other foods or more of that food, it is not a fuel. So that is your second question. Does this meal sustain you for two to three hours?
Last but not least, can you easily stop at plus two? This is where the rubber meets the road. This is where even healthy foods for some of us get our attention because it’s really hard to stop eating them. And it can make us almost frustrated and angry, but this is literally where the rubber meets the road for this practice. Being really gentle but noticing foods that you cannot stop eating.
An obvious one for me is potato chips. Seriously, I cannot stop eating them. I will eat them, think I’m satisfied, and want to go back to the bag. Do you see that some of my overeating during my entire life – think about that – was because I wasn’t eating fuel? And of course, I was eating something bad, a potato chip, and I had all this energy around it so I was ignoring my body wisdom.
Alright, now tortilla chips are great for me, so do you see how sneaky and tricky it might be? Don’t make these broad food lists and deprive yourself because they don’t work for you. Watch how your body responds. There are some obvious foods that make sense in this work, but some are tricky.
I had a client that was really concerned about sugars, even from fruit, and for some of you, if you are insulin resistant, you do need to be careful about some of these sugary fruits, but for her, she was not that sensitive and she loved having mango. She’d cut it up fresh and had mango after she worked out. So we did the work together, I asked her very clearly how she felt after that food and lo and behold, it’s fuel for her.
Now, I had this – again I share with you some of my shame food stories are really around not recognizing that my body was giving me some information. I was in high school, and I’ll probably date myself here, but the Big Mac was a pretty cool thing. And having even a McDonalds in my neighborhood was a very new and cool thing.
So I remember celebrating with a girlfriend after I took the SAT, we went and had a Big Mac together. I was hungry immediately after, and I’m serious, this caused some of my thinking and belief that something was wrong with me. A Big Mac does not have fuel for me.
That burger is probably so small compared to all the sugar and unhealthy fats in it that my body was craving after it. It triggered a craving. This is true for pizza for me, and how I eat pizza with meat on it. I’m a meat eater, and when I do better is with thin crust pizza and I load it with meat, especially – it might not be my first meal of choice, but when I’m with a group I know that I will be sated if I eat a fuller piece. Not the thin piece with veggies all over it.
And this is no judgment. Pizza with veggies all over it might be your fuel food. It’s so personal. So start developing your list, make it your baseline shopping list. Make it your baseline what you order at restaurants. You know, this is the way that I navigate buffets.
I know what my fuel is, and I check out – you know when everybody’s checking out the buffet line before they go through it? I think that’s one of the wisest things to do, and I will scan it and notice – I’ll notice those joy foods in there like I talked about last episode, but I will also take note of the things that are going on in terms of my fuel.
I’ll be, “Oh my god, they have sushi and that looks good here,” or fresh shrimp, or artichoke hearts and you know, if buffets make you feel – remember, this is a belief or thought, but I’ve seen this a lot with my clients. If buffets are hard to really control yourself and eat to plus two, to eat to satisfaction, you find yourself overeating at buffets because you’re trying to save money, guess what my friends, go for the expensive shrimp.
It’s a fuel food for me and artichoke hearts, sometimes they’ll do green beans almondine that I just love. So go for the things that you don’t normally make at home but you rip them off because shrimp and artichoke hearts and there’s many other things you could think of like sushi that you can eat on a buffet that really work for you.
Alright, I hope this has really helped you. I will repeat the questions just so this helps but start developing your list. After you eat, look for that energetic light feeling. That is your indication that that is fuel and look for negative reactions and even make a not fuel list for you. It’s just good to remember, you’ll remind yourself next time you’re cooking.
Then, does this meal sustain you for two to three hours? Nothing’s gone wrong is you’re craving afterwards, that’s just information. Then can you easily stop at plus two? This can be so tricky and subtle, and remember, your husbands, your girlfriends, your friends, your colleagues at work, gentlemen, what they eat has nothing to do with what you eat.
Our food lists are very, very individual. Like, if you’ve done certain diets and know that you felt really good on them, there was a reason. There was a lot of fuel on them. And yet, this does not to be perfect if you want to lose weight, eat about 70 – I would say 80% fuel in your diet and you can help your body to drop weight that way.
Alright, develop your list, make it a baseline, and focus on those foods as your predominant choices when you go out, when you are shopping, and I’ll tell you, you’ll start feeling better. I’d love to get your feedback.
So I want to transition here and give you some insight, what is the deal around sugar and flour. First, be honest with your physical reactions. Use this fuel testing when you eat items that have a lot of sugar or flour in them, or both. Most of the items that are the best are like, sugar and flour, right? And chocolate, maybe.
So first use those questions when you’ve eaten those foods and be honest with your physical reaction. After I eat dessert, I usually have a huge sinking, like, I don’t really feel good, and a lot of times it’s very interesting when I bake and eat some of the dough, I will want salt afterwards.
And I’m kind of watching my whole body like, doing these weird reactions. So obviously I have a strong reaction, and it doesn’t sit well with me. And so I am always looking at ways of being kind of aware of when I’m saying yes to too many sugary treats because I just don’t feel good.
Remember that in the beginning, our bodies were not designed for this food. We’ve created it in our food industry. We are more designed to eat whole foods, and so just be aware when you’re eating something that’s more processed and broke down for you.
And I’m not talking about prepared foods, you know like going to the Trader Joe’s cabinet and finding some things that are cooked ahead of time when you don’t have time to cook. I’m talking much more about processed food that is crackers, cookies, chips, things like that, cakes, that have grinded every part of it up and it’s not a whole food.
So what happens when we eat sugar and flour and processed foods, it gives our body a pleasure hit. And so there is a reaction in our bodies but it’s the brain that remembers. This is why we crave things, and it is really an honest thing of going through a little withdrawal. If you’ve been eating a lot of sugar and flour, and you are trying to stop them, just give yourself a lot of space and as you’re saying no to these items, know that your body is trying to get you to eat them again.
It is not a figment of your imagination. But what’s really interesting is your brain gets in on it, and I want you to watch this that hits such a pleasure center that it will make you crave it again and want that experience.
Alright, so the good news is this: as you increase even small tweaks of the percentage of fuel in your body, as you really learn what is fuel for you, your body will desire more of the fuel and less of the processed stuff. I promise you.
And even having one treat here now and then, especially if you really honor those treats in a savoring, amazing way and eat to plus two, no harm has been done. But really learning about power foods for you, I know that when I learned about power foods at Weight Watchers, I even had friends giving me books about really what power foods were.
And there was this one author that had pictures of them and told you what physically nutritionally, why those foods were so amazing. And most of those foods are fuel foods for me, but some of them aren’t. So that list is good to start from and then titrate for you.
So how do we get back to eating in a way that is great for us after all this dieting and fasting and juice fast? If you’ve been really working hard at losing weight, this may feel like a struggle. Like, how do I honor my body’s signals and dishonor the diet, right? This is where you play around with this.
This is where you ask some really good questions. This is where you get really curious and compassionate, okay? That’s what provides such great space for change. I don’t care what you’re trying to change. you’re trying to grow your business, if you are really compassionate and curious about what goes on as you do it because your brain gets involved and you have stress triggers, you absolutely can grow and change and do more.
The same is true when you’re trying really hard to lose weight. Give yourself some compassionate curious space around it. So I’m going to seal up this episode by giving you some solidifying – what this should look like.
First of all, practice. This takes practice. Just listen to the body’s feedback, maybe make some notes, start making lists on foods that really give you strong positive reactions and strong negative. Just listen to the feedback.
Continue to ask really good questions. This puts our brain in a very different space and ask good ones. Don’t ask, “Did I eat the wrong thing?” The body goes, “Yeah, probably, and you’re an idiot for doing so.” I’m serious, that’s how our brain works in the background. It’s not helpful.
So ask good questions and simply asking, “Is this working for me? How do I want to feel at the end of the day? Is this particular food working? When I eat Taco Mac every Friday night with my friends and I always have the blank,” whatever it is. But I don’t feel good afterwards. Maybe you can find something else fun that is your fuel to eat during those meals, right?
Honor the answers. This is where it takes so much courage. It might be the toughest challenge. It is for me. Being honest about how wine affects me has taken some very big courage. It sounds so dramatic, right? But my body has an immediately puffy, icky response. I literally feel it below the belt. My clothes fit differently, and I really don’t like how I feel physically. I’m tired and groggy and I get a lot of head fog lately.
And so I’m not processing that food very well. So being honest and honoring those answers is your gold in this. And what I mean by being honest, I really want to share this with you. Be honest about what you really want. Do you want to just feel better because your brain is going on deprivation mode and screaming at you?
Do you want to just help it to calm down by creating an environment around food that is really calm? This is one of the places to start. And just being honest about what you really want. It’s so funny that as I’ve moved off of diet mode, which it really has been a journey but it’s really a sealed practice for me.
But I have to be honest about what I really want. The way that wine affects me is not just the way it affects my body. That would be really kind of vain. It really affects the cycle. I dehydrate myself because I want coffee first thing in the morning, then I’m not drinking a lot of water. It’s interesting, it creates just another unhealthy cycle.
Also, I love getting a lot of brilliant creative work done in the morning. Well guess what? That won’t happen after wine the night before. And I mean more than sipping some wine at a meal, so I’m just giving you this example. This, my friends, is one of the most beautiful journeys towards feeling better and being empowered.
Again, if we are listening to our body’s feedback, we might notice the brain drama around it and the thoughts, but as you continue to honor your body’s feedback, guess what? The body will win. I literally will go to a restaurant, sit down, open a menu, and know that I – I will literally crave what my body needs that day.
And it’s fascinating that if I look at it in a rational way, if I’ve been weight lifting a lot, yes, I start craving the steak two or three days later. Yeah, I want more protein. That’s what works for me. But because I’ve done this practice and I’ve let it really lay down for me, taken some time to look, and there’s always times I dig in deeper. It really has changed the whole food experience for me.
I think this is probably my biggest tool because what’s fascinating when you eat your fuel, it’s really easy to follow the hunger scale as well. So watch that when it’s hard to follow the hunger scale, it might be because you’re just not eating fuel. Wow, but everybody says this is a really healthy food. Do you see what I’m saying?
So honor your answers and I just can’t wait to hear from you. So I’m starting something new. Watch for me on my Facebook page, Diana Murphy Coaching, where I’m going to start creating quick videos. I’d love for you to be on live if I get to a very regular recording time I’ll let you know, but this, even if you’re not live, if you look at the video, they’ll be short, they’ll give you kind of another way to dive deep in this subject. You can leave me a question and I’ll get a notice and I will go back there and answer that question.
So if you want to dig deeper, not only opt in and get the resources from this episode but go ahead and meet me there on Facebook live. Intersect with me on my Facebook live videos, get the guide in the show notes, this is episode 12 so dianamurphycoaching.com/12 will have everything you need.
And if you want my videos that go very deep in this and get a chance to really be in class with me, that’s really a teaching, my videos are at the first page of my website. Actually, every page of my website. I love the video series. And I’m making tweaks in there and will always give you the updates if I change it.
So meet me there. Until next time, my friends, I cannot wait. I’m going to pull this together a little bit talking about how moving – kind of sneak on some exercise thoughts and work that I really think can benefit you, and how that relates to our appetite awareness. So this will pull a lot of the things that we’ve been talking about together, but again, it’s a standalone episode, so enjoy it and I can’t wait to see you next week.
Thank you for listening to this episode of Empowered Wellness for Leaders! If you enjoyed this episode and want to learn more, download our Free Video Series: Empowered Wellness Now. Visit?dianamurphycoaching.com?to sign up today!