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The Missing Piece of The Nutrition Puzzle

by Elise Museles

If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get the results you’ve always gotten. If you want to get out of the eternal spin cycle when it comes to your challenges with eating, if you want to feel a sense of freedom and victory, then it’s time for a new strategy. ~Marc David, The Institute for The Psychology of Eating

nutritionAre you on a constant hunt for the “perfect” plan as you try to figure out how to eat, drink, sweat and stay slender & healthy?  Do you read all the new books or try the hot new “superfoods”, and have hope that this is it– the magic formula?  And then, when it doesn’t work out exactly like the experts say it will or life gets in the way, you move on to the next thing…and try all over again.

Truth be told: There’s a lot of advice out there, and it can be downright confusing to sort through it all and make sense of it.

I’m certainly not discounting the value of information on nutrients, numbers and the healing properties of particular foods. It’s an essential part of the nutrition equation. But I realized pretty early in my health coaching career that helping people enhance their diet by adding in lots of deeply pigmented fruits & veggies and other nutrient-rich foods was only one part of achieving results. Just knowing whether to “eat this” or “don’t eat that” doesn’t always create enough impetus for lasting change.

Think about it: do you eat when you have had a stressful day?  Or skip your meals when you’re distraught over that huge blowout you had with your boss?  Or do certain smells and aromas remind you of your grandmother’s homemade meals you ate as a child?  Do you beat yourself up if you end up eating a piece (or even a bite) of chocolate cake when you vowed not to have any sugar?  Do you look in the mirror and then does that influence your choices you make about what to put on your plate that day?

When we consider questions like these, it becomes obvious that what we eat (hopefully whole, real foods) is only half the story of good nutrition.  The other half is who we are as eaters. And what I mean by that is no matter how much you know about kale, quinoa and superfood smoothies, it just isn’t enough.  The nutrition equation has to include YOU.

Your choices that you make every time you eat are profoundly influenced by your thoughts, your feelings, your associations, your experiences and more…And when you start to tune into those messages and really listen, it can be life-changing.

Once I understood that this deeper dimension is the key to creating a happy and healthier relationship with food & body, I knew that the only way to work with clients and really make an impact meant I had to expand beyond the science and data of food and nutrients. In order to empower people and achieve long-term results, I needed to understand the heart & soul of the eater.

Today, I am excited to share with you that it’s official:  After many hours consumed with classes, lectures, papers, projects and a whole lot of dedication, I am a Certified Eating Psychology Coach through the Institute for Psychology of Eating.

This cutting-edge approach is what I call the “missing piece of the nutrition puzzle”.  It can transform and heal your relationship with food & body in a profound and sustainable way.  It goes far beyond classical nutrition by focusing on the fascinating connections between brain, body and behavior, which also can have an impact on how food is metabolized in the body.

Eating Psychology gets to the core of the most commonly seen eating challenges and health issues of our times, and it does so in a kind and nourishing way.  It brings pleasure back to food and your body through practical and results-oriented strategies.

Now, I invite you to end the eternal spin cycle when it comes to your relationship with food and look further than just what you eat. Begin by exploring who you are as an eater. Over the next few posts, I’ll dive deeper into some of the day-to-day, practical strategies that will help you gain insight on how to include yourself as a central part in the equation. You may even discover the missing piece of the nutrition puzzle.

Question of the day: Do you feel like you’re following nutritional advice by the books and forgetting about yourself and your unique body in the nutrition equation? Share your experiences & insights below.

 

12 Responses to The Missing Piece of The Nutrition Puzzle

  1. Betsy F June 6, 2013 at 8:24 pm #

    Congratulations on your official certification Elise! To answer your question, after years of struggling with this exact issue, I have finally started to listen to my body. It’s amazing how much better I feel and clearer my mind has become. Great topic, thanks for opening up the discussion.

    • Elise June 7, 2013 at 4:19 am #

      Betsy,
      It’s really true that when we start to listen to our bodies, we notice how everything begins to shift. Thanks for sharing and being a part of the discussion:).

  2. Jenny June 6, 2013 at 8:37 pm #

    Congratulations Elise! It is so true what you are saying. You can get so caught up in the rules and then breaking them that it becomes a never ending cycle. Looking forward to learning more!

    • Elise June 7, 2013 at 4:16 am #

      Jenny, thanks so much for your insights. So glad that you will continue reading, learning & contributing.

  3. Iwona June 7, 2013 at 12:16 pm #

    Congratulations on your achievement, Elise! You are really an example for all of us. Love your page! Back to the question…. Society makes us to be obsessed about the image of skinny=beautiful. It’s such a lie! Companies who selling “diet” food, pills, etc., want people to think that so they can benefit from it. Beautiful body is a well nourished body. And exercise. Exercise to relieve stress, to feel better, sexier, stronger, healthier …. And, of course, don’t forget about positive attitude. That’s what makes us beautiful…..

    • Elise June 8, 2013 at 12:13 pm #

      Hi Iwona, You make some great points that are easily forgotten. I agree with you that a beautiful body is a well-nourished body…and that nourishment comes from many different sources, not just food. As you point out, exercise and attitude can make a big difference. Thanks for sharing your insights!

  4. Beth June 8, 2013 at 12:25 am #

    Congrats! I’ve never heard of Eating Psychology and now I’m intrigued. I’m really excited to read more about this. To answer your question, I used to be a pretty strict vegan and raw, vegan. When I transitioned to the raw diet, I gained weight and started getting really depressed and frustrated because I just couldn’t understand how a diet that was supposed to help me maintain my healthy weight actually caused me to gain it. What’s worse is that I have a history of having self-image issues so you can imagine how much emotional damage the whole thing was causing. Thankfully, my transition to a raw foods diet did help me gain a sense of peace and clarity which brought me to realize that it was time to listen to my body and rekindle my relationship with food. Now I just follow a lifestyle based on how I feel, not based on rules. I workout when I want to, not everyday. I eat when and what I want, still plant based and mostly raw but I never feel guilty. I’m not sure if I lost weight because I do not own a scale for good reasons, but I feel better, healthier, more alive and free! I think your article is point on and really touches deep on the subject of diets and rules. I look forward to the next post!

    • Elise June 8, 2013 at 12:10 pm #

      Hi Beth~ You must feel so liberated to ditch the “should’s” and tune into how you feel. Of course, we can get nuggets of wisdom from the experts, but at the end of the day, you are your own expert! Thank you for sharing your experiences with us about rekindling your relationship with food and tuning into the messages your body sends you!

  5. Mary B June 11, 2013 at 12:26 pm #

    Wow, great piece. Congrats by the way. I have thought of this as a fashion in my head on and off. After thyroid cancer and subsequent treatment, I didn’t recognize myself and often still don’t. You have given new food fr thought. (Good food I might add). I look forward to learning more in future blogs. Thanks fr all you do to help us out.

  6. Gena June 11, 2013 at 8:59 pm #

    Congratulations on your new certification, Elise! It’s so true that emotion and experience interact with diet; it’s never so simple as “what I ate.”

  7. Saman June 12, 2013 at 3:03 am #

    Elise – this is a beautiful article. It is resonating with me very much… I realize when I am happy I eat one way or when I am stressed I eat another way. It is a spectrum for me, and unbelievable how true this idea is. I recall being super happy about my professional life and suddenly feeling light and thin, and literally losing a few pounds (same thing happens if I fall in love). So, I love that you have gained this new knowledge and I can only hope to spend some time investigating this with you. Thank you for your insights, as always.

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