Love and Real Food
by Stephanie Michelle Scott, RDN

Finding Balance

 

Reaching your health and weight goals is about so much more than food.

 

Many women spend 90% of their time and energy focused on food and dieting while neglecting other critical aspects of balanced wellness.  Oftentimes, health responds most profoundly when we go on a temporary "diet" detox and turn our attention toward some of these other areas.  

 

My Balanced Wheel of Wellness

 
 
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Let's Break it Down


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Nutrition, Eating, & Nourishment

We can't deny that sourcing high quality whole foods is important for our health, but most of us are overcomplicating things.  When you work with me we spend time focusing on a handful of topics on nutrition, eating, and nourishment.  These topics include holistic "whole-food" nutrition education to fuel your vibrant life, essential elements of a well balanced diet, eating rhythm, food quality, and nutrient density.    

 

 

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Movement, Laughter, & Play

Moving the body is pleasurable.  We were born to move.  Many of us have lost touch with the natural joy that comes from moving the body because we've been using exercise as a form of self-punishment for too long.  Are you exercising from a place of authentic self-love, or are you doing it to punish yourself for eating too much, for the shape of your thighs, or for the size of your pants?  Reawaken to the joy of physical movement by exploring your world and the options available to you.  Sometimes this means getting out of the gym and harnessing your inner child. Run... dance... laugh... play...  Experiment with different ways of moving your body until you find something truly enjoyable and energizing. 

 

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Personal Development & Self-Expression

It's so important to always be challenging yourself.  Our brain continues to change, grow and adapt throughout the lifespan and it's important to keep this vital organ challenged for optimal health.  How much time are you devoting to your own personal process?  Are you in touch with your creative side?  How do you express yourself?  Seek out new hobbies, classes, or skills.  Educate yourself, read, study, and challenge what you know.  Look at your work life and what it offers you.  Is there anything you can change if your work is unfulfilling?  Embrace this life as an endless opportunity for learning and growth and your physical and mental health with reward you.

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Mindfulness & Stress Management

Most people don't realize that stress keeps the body from burning fat.  We spend a lot of time and energy manipulating our diets, but any level of chronic stress can actually be counter-intuitive to all your efforts.  When I say "stress" I'm talking about anxiety, depression, worrying, over-thinking, over-working, lack of sleep, relationship challenges, work challenges, money challenges, and more.  Mindfulness practices are not optional in this work but are actually the most important aspect of sustainable weight loss and healing your relationship with food.  

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Relationships & Communication

I have yet to work with someone who's food challenges are not connected to their relationship challenges in some way.  Look at the nature of your relationships with friends, family, and co-workers.  Quality is more important than quantity, but surrounding yourself with a solid support system is absolutely essential for optimal health.  If life is calling you here, start by engaging more with your community.  Join a yoga studio or meditation group.  Find an inspiring spiritual gathering or church.  Seek out a local book club, walking group, or cooking class. Volunteer.  Expand the dimensions of your every day existence by getting out of your house and into the world.

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Physical Environment & Detoxification

Many people are still unaware of how many toxins are coming into their body through their homes, air, food, water, household products, and beauty products.  And many people are also unaware of how much those toxins can affect their health.  Go natural, local, and organic whenever possible.  Become interested in reading labels and educating yourself on the thousands of chemicals industry allows in the food we eat and the products we use.  Additionally, look around your living space and ask yourself if your environment is clean, organized, and peaceful.  It's impossible to cultivate a quiet mind when we're living in a chaotic space.  Devote time to the organizational process and declutter where you can.  Your external environment can have a powerful influence on your internal environment and state of mind.

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Emotional Well-Being & Self-Acceptance

Self-love and acceptance is a life-long journey, but once the process begins there's no escaping.  Learning how to love ourselves is really a process of remembering.  Remembering that we were born whole and that we have never been broken.  Remembering who we are without our past experiences.  Once you engage in the process of cultivating love and compassion for yourself and your journey, the process of personal transformation becomes liberating rather than overwhelming.

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Spirituality

No matter what you believe, it's important to be in a healthy relationship with uncertainty.  Our health and well-being depend on it because so much of our suffering stems from our discomfort with what we can't control. Plug in the name that works for you whether it's God, a Higher Power, a Greater Wisdom, The Unknown, The Greater Architecture of the Universe, Nature, Science, or any other.  I label them all under the umbrella of "spirituality."  Finding comfort in your belief system can be done in a thousand different ways, but what's important is that you engage in the process no matter what spirituality means to you.  

 

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Rest & Relaxation

Relaxation and quality sleep could very well be the most neglected section of my wheel of health.  Most people today sacrifice sleep for achievement or productivity without realizing the short and long-term health consequences this can have.  Everything we work for when it comes to improving our health can only happen while we're sleeping or relaxed.  The relaxation response is where the body digests food, burns fat, and metabolizes nutrients and emotions.  The bodies recovery process happens when we sleep, and without it we suffer from nagging symptoms like mood challenges, brain fog, memory problems, fatigue, low energy, and muscle weakness.  Lack of sleep also affects brain function and our ability to concentrate.  Sleep deprivation is linked to a host of chronic diseases, appetite disregulation, weight gain, and more.  Do your brain and body a favor by prioritizing restful sleep and relaxation.