Real Food Whole Life

96 Want to Create a Natural Skincare Routine? Here's How with Bethany McDaniel

Feel Good Effect PodcastPaige ReohrComment

Do you want to create a simple, beautiful, natural skincare routine?

Or just find some simple swaps to replace those toxic ingredients on your shelf with safer alternatives?

Create a natural, nontoxic, clean skincare routine, with Bethany McDaniel of Primally Pure. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffectpodcast #podcast #nontoxic #cleanbeauty #naturalbeauty

Want to Create a Natural Skincare Routine? Here's How with Bethany McDaniel

Are you ready to create a natural skincare routine?

That’s exactly what we’re talking about in this conversation with Bethany McDaniel, founder of Primally Pure.

We’ll walk you through some simple swaps and troubleshooting for when you first switch to all natural skincare products as well as Bethany’s beauty routine and favorite products

Listen now!

My Favorite Primally Pure Products

I pulled together my favorite Primally Pure products, including the deodorant and Everything Spray we talked about in this episode. Check them out here, and enter ROBYN for 10% off your first purchase.


Bethany grew up dealing with a lot of skin sensitivities in a not-so-naturally-minded home.

When she met her husband and his family, she was introduced to eating real food.

It was appealing to her; she had always been interested in health but never really knew where to start.

She tried a variety of diets, wanting something to cling to, but she never thought it could be something as simple as eating real food, getting enough sleep, or moving her body.

She was intrigued, so she cleared up her diet and started taking baby steps.

Around the same time, her husband’s family started a farm and she had begun formulating skincare products for herself and family.

After getting encouraging feedback on her products, she started listing them on the farm website.

It started picking up steam, and eventually it got to the point where she had to move her business to a website of her own.

About 6 months into the business, she found out she was pregnant with her first daughter, which gave her the push to hire somebody on and move the business out of her kitchen and into a separate space.

Now, Primally Pure is a team of 28 employees in a new, larger space.

Bethany’s business was sparked by her interest in natural skincare.

She dealt with different skin issues, constantly in and out of the dermatologist, on antibiotics too frequently, trying different creams and ointments, and having bad reactions to what she tried.

She always wondered, though, if there was something she could be changing in her diet or something else other than medicine, but her dermatologist always told her no.

The first natural product Bethany tried and loved was jojoba oil; she noticed a big difference just by swapping out whatever moisturizer she was using at the time for jojoba oil.

And then when she met her husband and learned about the whole other side of things, which really started her journey into wellness and natural skincare.

On flipping the script on mindset:

Bethany tried so many things, really searching for the right diet, always wanting to be a healthy person and feel her best.

When she was turned onto this simplified way of doing things, she started making one little switch at a time.

Every shift encouraged her more, making it easier to keep going and wanting to learn.

Instead of feeling overwhelmed by having done everything “wrong” her whole life, instead, she took it one step at a time and focused on making small swaps and really developing new habits slowly.

There was just starting to be so much information out there when Bethany started this journey.

She knew, that health and wellness were so much more simple than the world makes it out to be, but everyone has their own journey and you can’t force anyone else to change, which was the hardest part.

There are still areas Bethany looks to improve, but it’s better to go at a pace you’re comfortable with, keep the stress down, and make it a fun transformation.

Infuse joy and flip the script to process over goal; enjoy the learning instead of creating a sense that you need to fix everything at once.

Quote from Robyn Conley Downs on finding joy in wellness, from the Feel Good Effect Podcast. #feelgoodeffectpodcast #podcast #quotes #joyful #wellness #gentle
Quote from Bethany McDaniel on slowing down with wellness, from the Feel Good Effect Podcast. #feelgoodeffectpodcast #podcast #quotes #wellness #gentle

“Take it one step at a time”.

On the challenges of creating natural products:

There are a lot of challenges that come with working with natural ingredients, but it's not even something Bethany thinks about replacing with synthetic alternatives.

A big reason why she's able to work with natural ingredients and sell natural products is because Primally Pure is a direct to consumer brand-- they aren't available in any stores so they don't sit on a shelf waiting for someone to buy it.

Because they are selling directly to their customers, they're able to control the amount of time between making a product and getting it into the customer's hands.

Another factor that comes with natural ingredients is the consistency of the products.

They're more sensitive to heat or cold compared to less natural products, so Bethany likes to make sure customers know what to expect and how to take care of their products.

It just takes a simple mindset shift to understand what it means to have these kinds of products that come with great benefits.

Even just since Primally Pure got started, there have been some big growth in the natural beauty industry.

"People are just so much more warm to the idea of using natural products".

And even though they still work to educate people about why it's important, it's not as foreign.

On the benefits of switching to natural products:

  • In one study, 99.9% of breast cancer tumors were found to have parabens in them.

  • Deodorant is something we use every single day in such a sensitive, absorbent area.

  • Synthetic ingredients have the potential to disrupt hormones and cause toxic build up in the body.

  • It's the combination of all the toxic products used that starts to build up in the body and overtime cause problems.

It's not about tossing all your products with chemicals in them or something terrible will happen, but it's just not good to do it with every product every day.

Quote from Bethany McDaniel on natural, nontoxic beauty, from the Feel Good Effect Podcast. #feelgoodeffectpodcast #podcast #quotes #naturalbeauty #cleanbeauty

"The more natural swaps you can make, the better"

When you think about it as a lifetime of using toxic products, for years and years, that's when the problems can happen.

Bethany's #1 recommended switch: deodorant.

  • Fragrance is also huge, both in what we spray onto our bodies as well as fragrance in our products, like heavily scented lotions or candles.

  • One thing to note if you switch to a natural deodorant: if you switch from an antiperspirant, you're going to sweat a lot more (for a little bit) with the natural, aluminum-free deodorant.

Concerned about reacting to the product?

  • A lot of people are sensitive to baking soda, so there may be an initial reaction to the baking soda in natural deodorants.

  • Baking soda works really well at preventing odor, though, so Bethany has worked to find a balance in her products to eliminate odor and not cause reactions for majority of people.

Concerned about getting it on your clothes?

  • Bethany applies deodorant before getting dressed to give it some time to absorb so it doesn't transfer to clothes.

  • She only recommends using one to three swipes; it's not necessary to use more and it's more likely to get on your clothes.

Tip: how you eat can affect how much you sweat and how much your sweat smells or doesn't smell.

Tip: exercising frequently can allow your body to sweat out toxins so you're not getting rid of it over the course of the day.

View it as an experiment and figure out what works for you and affects you.

"Getting to the root of the problem as opposed to masking the symptoms"

On Bethany's evening beauty routine:

1 | Whenever she can, Bethany takes a bath.

2 | She loves using Primally Pure cleaning oil: it works really well as a cleanser, but it's also just a really soothing experience that helps you wind down.

3 | She follows up with Primally Pure Everything Spray: to use it as a toner, you can either spray it on or apply it with a cotton round.

4 | Primally Pure is coming out with new face serums this month!

There are three options:

  • A plumping serum for aging skin

  • A clarifying serum for acne and blemishes

  • A soothing serum for sensitive skin.

5 | Coming soon: face masks that cater to the same skin concerns.

As a mama, these little moments are a whole ritual and experience.

"Motherhood allows us to appreciate those little moments of joy"

Remind yourself that you're a priority and infuse joy into wellness.

On being a working mama and taking care of yourself:

Bethany is trying to be more intentional about the things she has to be a part of and the things that she doesn't.

As an entrepreneur, it's difficult to not be involved in everything.

But she empowers her team to make certain decisions and go about things without needing as much of her approval or guidance.

She's thinking more about the things that she needs to be a part of and the things that she doesn't, trying to let go of the things she doesn't need to be as closely involved with.

It gives her more mental freedom to really focus on her kinds when she's with them, instead of all the lingering tasks.

On what it really means to be healthy:

"I think true health is not just about physical health, it's so multifaceted, so mind body spirit, a culmination of those three things and really trying to grow in knowledge and in applying what you learn every day... always growing and keeping things well rounded".

Create a natural, nontoxic, clean skincare routine, with Bethany McDaniel of Primally Pure. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffectpodcast #podcast #nontoxic #cleanbeauty #naturalbeauty

Guest Bio

Bethany McDaniel founded Primally Pure in 2015 out of her passion to share the natural skincare solutions she had discovered with others.

As a teenager and young adult, Bethany struggled with acne, rosacea and various skin sensitivities. She tried a variety of creams and prescription medications, but nothing gave her lasting results. Somewhere in the midst of her skin struggles, Bethany’s family spontaneously started a beyond organic livestock farm called Primal Pastures. Her family’s journey with the farm opened her eyes to an entirely new way of living and caring for the body naturally.

This new lifestyle inspired Bethany to switch to all-natural personal care products.  After purging her bathroom cabinets of toxic conventional skincare products, Bethany began formulating her own replacements with real, recognizable ingredients.  Much to her surprise, the products she made actually worked better than the dozens she had tried in the past.

Bethany began selling her formulations on the Primal Pastures website and was completely surprised and overwhelmed by the positive response from customers in her Southern California community. Her home was quickly overrun with coconut oil, glass jars/bottles and shipping boxes, causing her to move the business into an office/warehouse space just a year later.

Today, Primally Pure continues to grow at a rapid pace and Bethany remains passionate about providing customers with all-natural and non-toxic skincare products that support radiant skin, a healthy body and a happy self.


  • Use code ROBYN for a 10% discount on your first Primally Pure order.

Connect on Instagram @primallypure

Robyn’s Primally Pure products

3 More Feel Good Effect Episodes You’ll Love

Rethinking Healthy Skin: How to Restore the Skin Biome + Glow From the Inside Out, with Jasmina Aganovic

Why Retouching isn’t Health: Real Beauty, Redefined, with Sarah Dubbeldam

How to Naturally Balance Your Hunger Hormones with Kelly Leveque


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95 Want to Stop Stressing About Food? Here's How with Elise Museles

Feel Good Effect PodcastPaige ReohrComment

It’s time to stop stressing about food, and we’re going to tell you exactly how to do that.

It’s time to stop stressing about food, and we’re going to tell you exactly how to do that with Elise Museles on the Feel Good Effect Podcast. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #podcast #gentle #wellness #healthy

Want to Stop Stressing About Food? Here's How with Elise Museles

We’re going to talk about how to tell your food story, something that’s more important and impactful than any diet or meal plan you’ve ever tried.

Our guest today is Elise Museles, a certified eating psychology a nutrition expert, creator of the food story platform, and the wildly popular blog, Kale and Chocolate.

This episode is jam-packed with mindset shifts, habits, and strategies so you can take action, rewrite your food story, and unlock a world where you listen to your body and choose foods that feel good to you.

Listen now!


Our guest today is Elise Museles, a certified eating psychology a nutrition expert, creator of the food story platform, and the wildly popular blog, Kale and Chocolate.

As an author, speaker, health coach, and podcast host, Elise’s mission is to empower women to create a healthier relationship with food and their bodies by changing what’s on their plate and what’s in their minds.

This episode is jam-packed with mindset shifts, habits, strategies, and a game plan so there are so many ways to take action.

On what led Elise to her interest in Food Story:

For a while, Elise was obsessed with finding the perfect diet.

In doing so, she read everything she could find and asked people about what kinds of diets they were following.

The idea of food story stemmed from way back then.

Then, when she went to the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in 2009, there was a lot of talk about the concept of bioindividuality, that we're all so different.

Now that idea is a little more common, but back then, there were certain diets and rules that were supposed to work for everyone.

And that really planted the seed for how we all have different food stories, which so much plays into, from the way you were brought up and the messages you received as a child to your thought patterns and your culture.

Bioindividuality is the idea that we are all so unique, that we all have unique stories and unique metabolism.

When Elise learned more about this idea, it really helped her release that search for the perfect diet, because there is no perfect diet.

What works is what works for you.

There was a relief when the search was over, but at that time Elise didn't know how to trust her intuition.

She had no idea how to listen to her body after she had questioned everything and really silenced it.

To find out what works for you, you have to be really connected to how you feel and how you think.

In doing so, it set her on a path of self-discovery.

On Food Story:

Your food story is everything from what's on your plate to what's in your mind.

So often we're caught up on the "whats", like what to eat and how much.

But when you think about it as a story, there are lots of different themes and characters and it's always evolving.

Your food story is the way that your mother talked about her body and what your father said about vegetables.

It's the food that you eat what you're celebrating and then the food that you eat when you're heartbroken.

It's knowing that you should be eating X and then eating Y instead.

It's all of those things and the memories and the way that you were raised and the messages that you hear, it all comes together and it forms your unique story.

The beauty of a food story is that it is always changing and evolving.

Quote from Elise Museles. You are the author of your own story, from the Feel Good Effect Podcast. #feelgoodeffectpodcast #podcast #quotes #story

"You can always change and write a new chapter; you are the author of your story".

It gives you permission to let all of those things that have happened, just be.

Obviously, your relationship with food is a part of your food story, but so often we think about our relationship with food and we become defensive and it's a dead end.

But a story has more flow, and that's why Elise uses the term "food story" instead of talking about a "relationship with food".

When Robyn was in her doctoral program, she was right at the stage of writing her dissertation before she dropped out.

The topic of her dissertation would have been something along the lines of, "Eating Behavior, Decision Making, and Identity".

It was about how we make decisions around food, how those decisions affect our identity, and how our identity affect our choices.

And that's a lot like what Elise has done.

By telling that story and interpreting the information, it’s a cycle in which your decisions impact who you are and who you are impacts what you do.

Another part of our food stories is that they're not only our own, which allows people to feel more open.

You set the foundation for your children's food story just like we have inherited a story.

It's not just about what's on your plate; this impacts your entire life.

On how to write a food story:

Every single person has a food story.

The first part is thinking about what your food story is and pulling out common themes.

This is when you can think about what is or isn't working for you and what you'd like to rewrite or change.

Then, you can go back and figure out where that came from, you can figure out what happened.

And from there, when you can release it, you can start to feel more connected to who you are today.

The next step is being really honest with yourself about what you want to change and how you want to feel and start to do things.

"You can't create a new story until you know what you want it to be".

On how to listen to your body:

Being in your body physically, like yoga, is a great way to get in touch with yourself.

Another way to practice listening is to notice all of the messages your body is sending you throughout the day.

When you start to slow down and pay attention, you'll notice them.

For example, think about the last time you said yes to something you didn't want to do, and later wished you'd listened to your body.

But it's also not about beating yourself up, it's just a learning opportunity to reflect on decisions.

It's not about guilt and shame, it's about whether you can say no when you mean no.

Quote from Robyn Conley Downs. Replace judgement with curiosity, from the Feel Good Effect Podcast. #feelgoodeffectpodcast #podcast #quotes judgement #curiousity

"Replace judgement with curiosity"

And the slowing down piece is so important.

It's about connecting to your body and you can't hear anything or have those honest conversations with yourself when you're stressed and moving rapidly.

For anyone feeling frantic around food because they feel rushed in life:

The thing for parents, is that we want to set good examples.

You don't have to put out a tablecloth and create a whole experience when it comes to meals, but maybe you can just sit down and take a few deep breaths and a few moments to yourself; it's invaluable.

Not only is it important for you, but you're showing your children that you prioritize your health.

"You owe it to yourself to take a few deep breaths and nourish your body".

Chocolate meditation:

You can use any type of chocolate for this, it's just about paying attention to it.

It's about bringing all of your senses to the table.

Go really slowly, close your eyes, sit down.

Smell this chocolate, think about your first memory with chocolate.

Finally, bite in really slowly.

And then stay in your space with that piece of chocolate; don't think about the next one.

You'll notice how much more satisfying it is when you bring all your senses to the table.

It's about seeing the difference when you're present, chocolate being an example of that.

Quote from Elise Museles. Become present in your life, from the Feel Good Effect Podcast. #feelgoodeffectpodcast #podcast #quotes #presence #mindfulness

"When you're present in one area of your life it also teaches you to become more present in other areas of your life".

Another way to practice "micro-mindfulness" is Robyn’s 5-Minute Morning.

Turning a routine into a present experience is so grounding.

Health and wellness are about so much more than the individual food we put in our mouths, so much more than going to spin or yoga.

It's about this full picture of wellness.

On the Environmental Working Group:

Elise is passionate about the environment and the EWG is a bigger platform that supports the mission, which Elise is a board member for.

They started more as a lobbying organization, but it's not more consumer-based.

EWG does a great job of breaking down big ideas so they are more accessible.

Dirty Dozen & the Clean Fifteen: this annual guide talks about which produce tends to have more pesticides and which ones are generally more safe to eat.

EWG Verified: in this initiative, the EWG verifies beauty brands who are disclosing all of the ingredients.

Skin Deep: this is an app (and website) that allows you to scan the barcode of beauty products and find out about the toxicity or safeness of them.

On what Elise is excited for right now:

She loves how the conversation is turning to health and feeling good and away from how you look and talk about diets.

The shift feels gentler and more attainable.

In her life, Elise is also excited about her podcast, Once Upon a Food Story.

She's just getting started and she just loves hearing people's stories; stories connect us to one another.

On what it really means to be healthy:

"To feel really harmonious in your mind and body and not fight yourself. To have pure acceptance… to be really comfortable with who you are and to come from a loving place when you want to change".

It’s time to stop stressing about food, and we’re going to tell you exactly how to do that with Elise Museles on the Feel Good Effect Podcast. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #podcast #gentle #wellness #healthy

Guest Bio

Elise Museles is a Certified Eating Psychology and Nutrition Expert, creator of the Food Story platform and the wildly popular blog Kale & Chocolate. As an author, speaker, health coach, and podcast host, Elise’s mission is to empower women to create a healthier relationship with food and their bodies by changing what’s on their plate – and what’s in their minds.

Elise recently launched her podcast, Once Upon A Food Story, where she shares the “Food Stories” of leading health experts such as Kimberly Snyder, Dr. Frank Lipman, Robyn Youkilis and more. She’s also the best-selling author of Whole Food Energy: 200 All Natural Recipes to Help You Prepare, Refuel, and Recover.

Elise’s concept of Food Story was born from her personal struggles with food and body image throughout her life. Going on her first diet at age nine, Elise grew to become obsessed with dieting and calorie counting for many years to follow.

She worked as a successful attorney with the Department of Justice, but still found herself immersed in dieting and nutrition knowledge. Eventually, Elise realized that the problem wasn’t the food itself; it was her thoughts, feelings, and relationship with her self. After her second son was born, Elise decided to leave her position as an attorney to go to nutrition school and pursue her passion for health and wellness as a career.

Elise’s background in eating psychology differentiates her from other health experts (see below), as she not only creates beautiful recipes, but gets to the root of unwanted health and eating challenges. Through her unique Food Story Method, she helps clients understand where these thoughts and habits come from, so they can rewrite their personal Food Story, and reconnect back to the wisdom of their own bodies to lead them to make the best (and most delicious!) choices.

In her down time, Elise enjoys spending time in nature with her two golden retrievers, practicing Vinyasa yoga, or cooking colorful meals for her husband and two sons—all amazing cooks as well! She’s also passionate about getting behind the lens as a food photographer and shares daily inspiration (and mouthwatering photos!) on Facebook and Instagram.  You can connect with Elise on Instagram @kaleandchocolate and on her website


Whole Food Energy: 200 All Natural Recipes to Help You Prepare, Refuel, and Recover

Energy Snack

Robyn’s 5-Minute Morning

EWG’s 2019 Dirty Dozen

EWG’s 2019 Clean Fifteen

EWG Verified

Once Upon a Food Story

Connect with Elise on Instagram @kaleandchocolate

3 More Feel Good Effect Episodes You’ll Love!

The Key to Feeding Your Family Healthy Food, with Taesha Butler

How to Naturally Balance Your Hunger Hormones, with Kelly LeVeque

How to Thrive with Real Food, with Sarah Adler

Show the Feel Good Effect Love

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94 Want to Break Up with Your Phone? Here's How with Catherine Price

Feel Good Effect PodcastPaige ReohrComment

If you’re ready to break up with your phone, this episode is for you!

Ready to break up with your phone? Award-winning science journalist, Catherine Price, breaks down the science of what’s really going on in our brains when it comes to phones, addictions, and habits. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #gentle #wellness #habits #routines #addictions #phones #technology #purpose

Want to Break Up with Your Phone? Here's How with Catherine Price

In this conversation with award-winning science journalist, Catherine Price, you’ll get a practical and hands-on plan to break up and then make up with your phone.

Catherine breaks down the science of what’s really going on in our brains when it comes to phones, addictions, and habits. Then, we’ll talk about a plan and a mindset that will enable you to take a break and take control of your life.

Listen now!


Okay, be honest.

Is your phone the first thing you reach for in the morning and the last thing you touch before bed?

In this episode, we’re going to give you a practical and hands-on plan to break up and then make up with your phone.

The goal isn’t to get rid of your phone, it’s to create a long-term relationship that feels good.

You’re going to discover how phones and apps are designed to be addictive, and how the time we spend on them damages our ability to focus, think deeply, and form new memories.

And then we’ll talk about a plan for your settings, apps, and environment, and mindset that will enable you to take a break and take control of your life.

If you’re ready to break up with your phone, this episode is for you!

We are talking with award-winning journalist, Catherine Price, a science journalist, author, and speaker.

She helps individuals and organizations establish best practices to support their creativity, productivity, and mental health.

I invited Catherine on the show so she could break down the science of what’s really going on in our brains when it comes to phones, and addictions, and habits because I believe knowledge is power.

This is not about guilting you or shaming you or saying something is wrong with you if you’re looking at your phone all the time.

It’s about helping you understand why it’s happening so you can shift your mindset and create new habits.

Be sure to stay tuned until the end of this episode so you can (finally!) hear about my huge announcement!

I’m so excited for this episode and I invite you to take action, even if it’s just one thing, and then share it with me on social media (tag me @realfoodwholelife).

I know it might be counter to the message to jump on social media and share how you’re not being on social media, but I think when you share what’s working, it will inspire other people to listen to this episode and to take some action.

It’s not about getting rid of the phone or ditching social media, it’s just about finding healthy habits and mindset that helps us do it in a way that feels good.

On what led Catherine to Write How to Break Up With Your Phone:

A few things led Catherine to write How to Break Up With Your Phone.

One, she's a science journalist by training so she likes to try to understand things from a deep level and then write about them.

And then another thing is that she has a background in mindfulness; she's done training in Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction and written a bunch about it.

So she tries to be pretty aware of what she's doing and how it's making her feel.

The thing that really catalyzed this, though, is that she had this moment when she realized her new baby was looking up at her as she was looking down at her phone, and once she actually noticed that, it made her feel sick to her stomach.

She really didn't want her daughter to think what she was seeing was a human relationship and it was also not the way she wanted to experience motherhood or her own life

In other words, she didn't want to just be staring down at her phone while life passed her by.

All those things together led her to want to write a book that would both look into the science of what our phones are doing to us but also provide concrete solutions and ideally solutions that came at the problem from a non-judgemental way, that gave people the ability to adapt the plan based on their own needs and wants.

Robyn hears from listeners about wanting to change, but feeling guilty every time they do, which isn't what we're looking for either.

Catherine comes at it from a perspective of not doubling down, when you start to feel bad because you're feeling bad.

"I understand I'm feeling bad, I'm irritated at myself because I'm not sticking to what I said I wanted to do, but there's no point in dwelling on that, that's already happened. The question is what am I going to do now?"

Ready to break up with your phone? Award-winning science journalist, Catherine Price, breaks down the science of what’s really going on in our brains when it comes to phones, addictions, and habits. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #gentle #wellness #habits #routines #addictions #phones #technology #purpose

On the process on getting into the science:

When Catherine started this whole process, there wasn't a lot out there directly about phones, there was a lot more about the internet and how it could be changing us and our brains.

She started by reading everything she could that seemed applicable.

She searched for “smartphone addictions” in PubMed, she looked into books on habit change and technology, casting a wide net, reading everything she could and calling upon all these interviews she had done in the past around topics like positive psychology and habit change.

Catherine's book is broken into two parts: the first half is looking at the science about what we know about how our phones are affecting us and how they're designed to get us hooked, and the second half is a plan for what to do about it.

What Catherine was finding in all of her reading was that many of these books were interesting, but they didn't tell you what you do, so you'd end up feeling depressed and anxious.

She also wanted to test her hypotheses and plan on other people, so she recruited a bunch of friends and strangers to go through different versions of the breakup so she could see what was working and what people were struggling with.

What really surprised Catherine was how deeply our phones are really affecting us.

Part of us knows that there's something serious going on, but we don't give it as much weight as we should.

The more she's learned, the more she's realized that this is a really big deal, and phones really are affecting us in more ways than many of us imagine.

Most surprising, is that the time we spend on our phones is literally changing our brains.

We're spending an average of four hours a day on them, and if you do anything for four hours a day, you're going to get pretty good at it.

On phone design and addiction:

Our phones are designed to actually get us to stay on them.

And in general, willpower is never a good way to change your habits, because you only have so much.

You really want to figure out a way for the new habit to be something you want to adopt.

A lot of apps, particularly social media apps, the news, email, dating games, etc. are all making money off of advertising.

Basically, any time an app is free, you should have warning bells going off in your mind.

If an app is free, and it's profitable, then we can't possibly be the customers for that app.

So we're actually the product, and advertisers are the customers and our attention is what is being sold.

The more time we spend on an app, the more time it has to gather data on us, which it uses to show us targeted ads.

The way we get hooked is apps manipulate our brains' biochemistry by getting us to release a chemical called dopamine.

Dopamine is our brains' way of recording when something is worth doing again.

It helps us do things like remember to eat and reproduce, but it's very easy to create a product that will hijack out dopamine systems by triggering the release of dopamine.

The dopamine triggers on your phones are very similar to slot machines, something that we know to be very addictive.

For example, your phone has bright colors, sounds, things that happen in response to something you do, novelty, anticipation (our brains actually release twice as much dopamine in anticipation for a reward than we do when we get the reward), and unpredictability.

Unpredictability is a big one because we're more likely to keep doing something compulsively if we only sometimes get a positive reward.

We're training ourselves to associate checking our phone with getting a reward, creating a dopamine loop.

Our apps and phones are also designed to trigger anxiety if we step away from them.

We tend to call that FOMO (the fear of missing out), but it's actually a real thing where we're so conditioned to think that checking our phone again and again is important to do and when we can't, we get anxious and start to release stress hormones, including cortisol.

"These devices are designed and engineered to get us to stay on them for the maximum amount of time".

When you know how things are working, you have the power to make choices for you, which is the whole point of this conversation.

This isn't necessarily a bad thing, it's just an awareness thing.

The way data is collected about us can create ads tailored for us, but it can also lead to social media and news apps only showing information they believe to pertain to us, narrowing what we're exposed to and choosing what our worldview will become.

On the breakup and habit change:

First up, breaking up with your phone does not mean dumping your phone.

The goal is to create a personalized relationship with your phone that feels good to you.

The first thing you have to do is change how you think about the problem.

The breakup starts with a technology triage to figure out where you are now and where you want to go.

The 4-week breakup:

1 | Figure out how much time you're spending on your phone right now.

Catherine recommends trying Moment.

2 | Define what a healthy relationship would look like.

Keep the useful stuff, and decide what stuff makes you feel bad.

The goal is to change how you use those apps that make you feel bad.

This is when you might try to leave your phone out of the bedroom, but you need to have an alternative activity, like reading.

This habit loop is very well established, and if you have a replacement there, ready for your automatic reach, you don't have to rely on willpower.

Treat it like an ongoing experiment with yourself, and if you slip-up it's fine.

3 | Change your brain with attention building exercises.

Our phone in impacting our ability to concentrate, and it takes time and practice to get that back.

4 | Trial separation: take a full 24-hour break from your phone.

This just gives you some perspective about what it's like to be without your phone.

For many people, it starts off anxious, but by the second day they feel like time has slowed down and a strange sense of calm, which seems to be pretty universal.

5 | Solidify these habits that you've experimented with.

Identify what worked for you, what you want to keep, what didn't work for you.

This is your life, your relationship.

This is a chance to reflect and create tools to support these habits moving forward.

This 30-day break up is a huge accomplishment, but it's really an ongoing challenge because you're trying to sustain a healthy relationship with a device that's designed to not have a healthy relationship.

Ready to break up with your phone? Award-winning science journalist, Catherine Price, breaks down the science of what’s really going on in our brains when it comes to phones, addictions, and habits. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #gentle #wellness #habits #routines #addictions #phones #technology #purpose

You need to be forgiving of yourself and recognize that if you're aiming for perfection you're guaranteed to fail.

Gentle is the new perfect.

Every Friday, Catherine does a "tech check" to assess where she has slipped, where she is right now, and how she can reset.

She likes having her phone in black and white and she liked having Safari off of her phone, but sometimes she'll have to put those things back in order to check email, and she may forget to undo it.

So she likes to use Friday mornings to reset, to get back to her baseline of where she wants it to be, and look at the days ahead to get a proactive sense of what she would like to do or accomplish.

On how this applies to all of us:

A lot of people in a traditional job may not feel like they have the flexibility to do this, or, if they're an entrepreneur they feel like they need to be on Instagram because that's how they promote their business.

But it's not all or nothing.

You have to figure out where the line in between what you truly have to do and what you're telling yourself you have to do, and then when you run into work-related "excuses" for what's actually a deep-seated habit, it's like looking for a coverup.

For Catherine, this is her email.

She tells herself that checking email is productivity.

Certainly, to a degree she needs to check her email, but the times when she's not, when she steps away, are far more productive.

We need to think more critically: what is the actual purpose that you need to do this thing?

Does the frequency with which you do that activity actually match up to your requirements?

Maybe you are more limited in what you can do, but in most cases, we haven't pushed up against that limit yet.

We all could be experimenting with trying to change those habits and see if you can still fulfill those obligations (or even do a better job of fulfilling those obligations by taking a step back and creating some better boundaries).

When you're on particular apps that trigger these distractions, what are you doing while you're on that app, and what are you telling yourself?

Ask yourself if that's really true.

If you're telling yourself you're on social media to connect with family, is that what's actually happening.

What reward are you actually after?

Is that feeling productive, not feeling lonely, not feeling so anxious?

What would potentially would be another, possibly more fulfilling way to achieve that result?

On tips for parents creating healthy relationships with devices?

This isn't to make any parent feel guilty!

But it's so important to figure out our own relationship with our phones.

What behaviors are we modeling?

Something Catherine suggests is letting your children get involved with your relationship.

Ask them about the way you use your phone and the way grown-ups use their phones in general, how does it make them feel when they see you on it?

Catherine has a friend who wrote The Art of Screen Time, who compares phones and kids to cars.

Eventually, your kid if going to drive, but you wouldn't have your keys to your 7-year-old and send them out to the highway.

Tip: one idea for modeling a healthy device relationship is to have a charging station where all of the phones have to "sleep" for the night.

You can check your phone after it "goes to sleep", but you have to go to it, it can't come with you.

Make it a fun competition with a family-centered penalty.

On what Catherine is working on right now:

Catherine's book has been out for a year now and she's so excited about how much interest there has been.

Secondly, she just started something called Screen/Life Balance.

It's going to morph into a whole collection of resources and online courses that people can use to work on specific aspects of their screen-life balance.

The book also has a website, at with lock screens and resources to support this habit and a phone breakup challenge.

She's excited to have these online solutions that go beyond the book.

On what it really means to be healthy:

“To be kind to yourself and to have the goal of making sure when you spend your attention on something, it's because you actually want to be doing so… Remember real life, put down your phone, put away your screens once in a while if not most of the while. And actually try to engage with real things and people that bring you joy".

Ready to break up with your phone? Award-winning science journalist, Catherine Price, breaks down the science of what’s really going on in our brains when it comes to phones, addictions, and habits. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #gentle #wellness #habits #routines #addictions #phones #technology #purpose

On my big announcement:

I’m so excited to finally share this with you!

I am bursting at the seams excited to tell you that I have signed a book deal with Penguin Random House, 10 Speed Press .

We’ve had some amazing 10 Speed Press authors on the show, including Catherine, and they make beautifully designed, information-packed books and I could not be more humbled and honored to have this opportunity.

I want to talk more about the process, how it came to be, what it’s like to write a book, and all the other things with you, and I’d love to do some special podcast episodes along the way and also invite you to be part of the launch team as that becomes a possibility and other really fun things related to this book.

The first place to go if you want to know anything going on with the book, opportunities to be involved with the launch, all of those things are right here, where you can be one of the first people to now what’s happening next.

I can’t spill too many details yet, but it is going to be a cook that goes so beautifully with this podcast, so if you love the podcast you’re going to love the book.

The basic bottom line of what the book is about is: mindset and habits for health and happiness.

I could go on about what this means to me and what I think it means about this movement and this community and how we’re changing the conversation about what it really means to be healthy.

Most of all, I want to thank you for being part of this, because without you there’s no book, no mission, and no message.

Ready to break up with your phone? Award-winning science journalist, Catherine Price, breaks down the science of what’s really going on in our brains when it comes to phones, addictions, and habits. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #gentle #wellness #habits #routines #addictions #phones #technology #purpose

Guest Bio

Catherine Price is an award-winning journalist, speaker and consultant whose work has appeared in publications including The Best American Science WritingThe New York Times, Popular Science, O, The Oprah Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Washington Post Magazine, Parade, Salon, Slate, Men’s Journal, Self, Medium, Health Magazine, and Outside, among others. 

Her latest book, How to Break Up With Your Phone (Ten Speed Press, 2018) is devoted to helping people create healthier relationships with their digital devices. It's being published in 26 countries and translated into 18 languages and has received attention from major media outlets around the world. Before that, she wrote VITAMANIA: How Vitamins Revolutionized the Way We Think About Food (Penguin Press, 2015).

Catherine leads frequent talks and workshops to help people improve their relationships with their devices, and is also the founder of Screen/Life Balance, a movement dedicated to helping people scroll less and live more.

She's occasionally on Twitter at @catherine_price and on Instagram at @_CatherinePrice and @ScreenLifeBalance. #phonebreakup #screenlifebalance


How to Break Up With Your Phone

Screen/Life Balance

Moment app

The Art of Screen Time

Social Media (used sparingly!): 

Twitter: @catherine_price 

Instagram: @_CatherinePrice and @ScreenLifeBalance

#phonebreakup #screenlifebalance

3 More Feel Good Effect Episodes You’ll Love!

The Secret to Consistency with Wellness

5 Things to Do So You Can Actually Take a Break

How to Create a Morning Routine in Less Time with More Impact

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  2. Leave an honest review on Apple Podcasts. Your ratings and reviews help more people find the show!

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93 Transforming How You Eat & Simplifying Grocery Shopping with Jessica Jones

Feel Good Effect PodcastPaige ReohrComment

Today we’re getting back to basics on healthy eating and breaking down how to simplify healthy grocery shopping with, Jessica Jones, from Food Heaven Made Easy.

Get back to basics on healthy eating and breaking down how to simplify healthy grocery shopping with, Jessica Jones, from Food Heaven Made Easy. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #gentlewellness #simplify #simpled #living #grocerylist #healthyeating #balance #wellness

Transforming How You Eat & Simplifying Grocery Shopping with Jessica Jones

Jessica is a nationally recognized dietician and diabetes educator with a passion for helping people transform the way they eat and make peace with food. She is the coauthor of The 28-Day Plant-Powered Health Reboot and a Diabetes Guide to Enjoying Foods of the World and co-hosts to food heaven podcast.

Listen now!


We’re going back to basics on healthy eating and the secret to simplifying healthy grocery shopping with today’s guest, Jessica Jones, from Food Heaven Made Easy.

Jessica is a nationally recognized dietician and diabetes educator with a passion for helping people transform the way they eat and make peace with food.

She is the coauthor of The 28-Day Plant-Powered Health Reboot and a Diabetes Guide to Enjoying Foods of the World.

She is the cofounder of the healthy living website, Food Heaven Made Easy, where she and provides evidence-based nutrition tips and tricks for living a nutritious life.

She also cohosts the Food Heaven podcast and she has a grounded approach that you’ll love.

Today we’re getting back to basics on healthy eating and breaking down how to simplify healthy grocery shopping

Jessica is her own individual person, but often times there's a second person who joins her for these interviews.

She co-runs Food Heaven Made Easy with her BFF Wendy Lopez.

Both Jess and Wendy are registered dietitians who try to help people eat healthier in a way that is sustainable, practical, evidence based, exciting, culturally relevant, and all the things.

Together, they run the podcast, do a bunch of recipe development, and work with a bunch of brands that they believe in.

Really, they just want to help people live their best life.

On how Jess and Wendy ended up in business together:

Jess tries to find business owners in the wellness space made up of two people and it's rare to see.

But it's so cool to have that other person to lean on.

It's helpful to have someone else there to pick up the slack, have your back as a friend and in a business sense.

When they first started in 2011, they were just messing around with a creative outlet, it didn't become an official business until around 2015.

At that time, both Jess and Wendy were both dietetic students looking for that creative outlet where they could talk about nutrition in a way they felt was fun and exciting, trying to show people how to eat healthier versus just giving people boring statements about what to do.

And they do an amazing job with that.

It's one thing to say "eat more veggies", but if it were that simple everyone would do it.

It's really important to take that next step and say how, which Jess and Wendy do such a nice job of.

On what brought Jess to the field of dietetics:

Jess was originally a journalist, which has worked out really well.

Journalism was her first passion and she still loves writing and having a voice that is reflected on paper (or online).

So she was a journalist working at a magazine, and it was around 2007 when blogs were just starting.

She remembers working her job full-time being really hard for her because she felt like she was so passionate about writing, but she wasn't always able to write in her voice or write the stories she wanted to.

She would get anxiety walking into the building itself because you can't get anything wrong, it has to be exactly a certain way; it didn't seem like something she could do forever.

The other thing was that working as a journalist was pretty low pay.

It just wasn't a livable wage.

She wanted to find a job that paid a little more and where she felt like she was directly helping people, kind of on a one on one basis.

And even though in the past she didn't feel like science was necessarily her thing, she realized later that it really was.

As a woman of color, she didn't have any confidence in that and nutrition is so science-based so once she started to learn more about what it was all about, it was really exciting for her.

On one hand it's the nerdy side, and on the other hand there's space to be creative, and also help people in a more sustainable career path.

On the tension within the dietitian community:

As a field, it's not like everyone agrees on the same thing.

And if you are a Registered Dietitian, or someone interested in going into the field, there are a number of ways you could be employed-- you could work for hospitals, for the county, with individual clients.

There are a lot of opportunities, and yet, there's a lot of tension among the RD community about what they're teaching or what they recommend to their clients.

The way Jess thinks about it is like recipes.

Let's say that there are a million different people out there who are making recipes, whether it be chefs, recipe developers, or bloggers, but Jess has her own unique taste buds and style, and she knows what she likes.

So when she's looking for somebody who is making recipes, she finds people who she's established that they're on the same page in terms of what their flavor profile is.

Everything is so subjective and then she can trust that if that person comes out with something she'll probably like it.

It's the same thing for healthcare and dietitians.

Yes, there are different dietitians who have different messages.

So, find someone where you feel like your core values match their delivery and approach to health, wellness, and nutrition.

This is a place that people find themselves in a lot in wellness, searching for the right answer, the right diet, the right exercise plan.

And as we're searching a seeking, there's conflicting information.

And it can start to feel like nothing you're doing is right, but if you keep searching, you'll eventually find the right answer, the right person.

Getting stuck in this spiral of anxiety and seeking can have the opposite effect in wellness.

There definitely are people who are talking about food, nutrition, and wellness in more of a science base, but even within that, there's always going to be conflict, which is okay.

Jess doesn't think that there is one right thing, she thinks everything is so individualized.

"I don't think there's one right diet, I think there's a right diet for you".

Get back to basics on healthy eating and breaking down how to simplify healthy grocery shopping with, Jessica Jones, from Food Heaven Made Easy. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #gentlewellness #simplify #simpled #living #grocerylist #healthyeating #balance #wellness

It takes some time to figure out what it is that does work best for you.

But in general, a good dietitian is going to be focused on the science as well as the practicality of all of those different things.

It’s important to make recommendations that take into account that people are busy or that there's more to food than nutrition, there's a cultural aspect.

For example, Jess is currently working with a patient who talked about his relationship with boba tea and how in his community, that is something that friends socialize over.

But then it might become something that starts happening every day of the week and, of course, boba tea can be a little high in sugar.

So a good dietitian isn't going to tell him that he shouldn't drink boba tea, they will ask him what's important to him and how do we work around maintaining a culture and keeping memories as well as prioritizing health and make them work together.

Jess really uses the USDA MyPlate guide as a base for most people, and that basically says to make 1/2 of your plates non-starchy vegetables, 1/4 proteins, 1/4 whole grains, and she always mentions to add healthy fats.

It's a good baseline, but it's not everything.

She always tells people that we want to balance out nourishing foods with fun foods, because at the end of the day, we aren't just eating for nutrition.

Keri Glassman, from Nutritious Life, was recently a guest on Jess’s podcast.

During their conversation, Keri said something wonderful:

"You don't have to jump on every bandwagon to be healthy". -Keri Glassman

Get back to basics on healthy eating and breaking down how to simplify healthy grocery shopping with, Jessica Jones, from Food Heaven Made Easy. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #gentlewellness #simplify #simpled #living #grocerylist #healthyeating #balance #wellness

Ultimately, there's an idea of what a healthy plate looks like, but it can be customized to someone's preferences.

The beauty of having all these options out there is that you can find people who speak your language, address your values, and lift you up.

Tip: try Jess's social media scrub.

Look at your social media accounts, and unfollow everyone that's ever made you feel bad about yourself.

Follow people who are inclusive in wellness, offering different perspectives.

Check out Jess’s list of who to follow!

It's not exhaustive, but it's a great place to start.

On grocery shopping:

Jess and Wendy have an amazing resource, a Healthy Eating Starter Kit, which you can grab for free by signing up for their email list at

It goes through how to set goals and find your motivation.

It's evidence-based, so it's not just stuff they're making up, it's research-backed.

It's also packaged with a grocery list and a supermarket survival guide, which they give out for free to anyone who signs up for their list.

More on the grocery list:

If we're cooking at all, we're spending time in the grocery store.

And a major habit of most people is just to wander around, grab stuff, put it in their cart, and then come home and put it in the pantry and fridge, and then they wonder why it's so hard to cook.

But there's a way to simplify this and make grocery shopping easier.

Jess's recommendations to simplify:

1 | Be consistent with grocery shopping + figure out the frequency that works for you.

Sometimes Jess goes grocery shopping once a week, but recently she's been doing once a month.

With once a month, she'll do a Costco run, where she gets everything for the month (even perishables that can last a month in the fridge).

And then on a weekly basis, Jess has a farm-share box that gets delivered to her house, which she gets to customize for $33 a week with a ton of fruits and vegetables that are delivered every Thursday evening.

She also is a fan of going out once a week to Trader Joe's or a local grocery store, and just figuring out how much you need to buy to last you for one week.

So number one, is figuring out the frequency that you have in your schedule to go and building from there.

And then when you know a good day and time, put that in your calendar.

The thing that makes it overwhelming is not having a system at all, and it feels more challenging than it has to be.

2 | Bring a list + map out the store.

It's really hard to stay on a budget without a list.

Jess uses a spreadsheet that she puts loose meal plans, staples that she knows she needs into and she tries to categorize it by where those foods will be in the supermarket.

It helps you not forget anything.

Tip for a budget: keep your calculator out on your phone and add the price every time something goes in your cart-- once you hit your budget, something has to go or it's a good place to stop.

If you're not a spreadsheet person, use a pen and paper.

Organizing your list by type of food and place in the store streamlines your life.

Robyn likes to do this with her daughter, too, teaching her about budgeting and having those conversations about "do I really need this or can I swap it for this?".

And after doing this for a few months, you really won't need a calculator anymore, you kind of just know how it goes.

If this sounds totally overwhelming, just think about what the least you could do now is, and even if it's just going to the grocery store or signing up for the CSA box that's going to make your life easier, just take that one step.

(for more on CSA’s and eating fresh, check out this conversation with Andrea Bemis)

If a spreadsheet is going to stop you from doing anything at all, just write the list out, just do something to get your momentum going.

The nice thing about a spreadsheet, though, is that next month, you're probably not going to change your list a whole lot.

It is a little more work up front, but then it gets so much easier.

3 | Color your cart + check out the nutrition facts.

We don't want to get stuck in a rut of always having the same things, especially with fruits and vegetables.

We can think of getting a variety of fruits and vegetables in terms of colors, because all of the colors represent different vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals.

Think about making things practical, though.

There's the recommendation and then there's real life.

For real life, a goal could be adding in three different colors of fruits and vegetables in a week.

If you eat seasonally, it's really easy to do this because it's always changing.

(Eating seasonally also means better tasting, more nutritious, and cheaper!)

An easy way to do that is to look up what's in season in your area, and that will help you naturally color your cart.

Once you have a variety in that way, look at the nutrition facts label.

A lot of times, we might see a change in packaging that looks more natural and it's a tan color or white and simple or rustic, but reading the label can reveal that it's the same as it was before.

"Natural, fresh, and healthy. Those aren't regulated terms, they don't mean anything in the world of nutrition. Reading the nutrition facts label can be really helpful”.

An easy way to do this is to think about what's going on for you, health-wise.

For example, if you're a vegetarian or a vegan and you know that you're having a hard time getting enough protein, the label can be really helpful for seeking out higher proteins by comparing products.

Some soy milks might have 11 grams of protein while others might have 8 grams.

Or with other plant-based milks, some might be sweetened, some might not be.

It's about what's going on for you-- Are you trying to watch your added sugar? Does it taste any different for you either way?

Also, as many of us know, fiber is really healthy and important, it helps to keep us regular, lower cholesterol, it helps shrink our GI tract, so having foods with fiber are great.

And a lot of the healthiest foods don't have labels, but if you're looking at two cereals, for example, you might choose the one that's lower in sugar and higher in fiber and protein.

And then with vitamins, we want to make sure that we're getting in vitamin D, which a lot of people have trouble with.

Same thing with calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E-- check out the labels to see what you're getting from your food.

It's not to drive yourself crazy, but just to get in the habit of checking to see what's going on and maybe compare two things to see what you might want more of versus what you might want in moderation.

Reading labels can take a little time at the beginning, but you're actually learning from it and eventually you just know what's in the food you're buying.

Grocery shopping is something that we do all the time, but with a little thought, a little intentionality, you can level-up the whole thing and make it easier, simpler, and have a better quality basket when you leave the store.

On what's lighting up Jess right now:

Jessica got married last summer and she and her husband are getting ready for their official honeymoon, a three and a half week trip to Europe that she's really excited about.

And then professionally, she's excited about honing in on just a couple of different things.

For now, they're really focusing on their podcast, partnerships, and just having one program.

They just came out with a “Best-Of” Program, which has all of their different programs packaged together.

She's excited and grateful for being able to be in the nutrition space and feel like she can be creative with some of the work she does.

She also loves conversations like this, hopefully giving people ideas for how to make healthy and wellness easier for them.

On what it really means to be healthy:

Rebecca Schritchfield wrote a book called Body Kindness that Jess loves and always recommends.

Rebecca recommends that people create a body kindness blueprint.

"Taking the time to really truly think about what does health mean for you... I think if everyone took the time to decide what that really looked like for them, not what they think they should do, but truly when do you feel your happiest, when do you feel your mot energetic, when do you feel like you're living your best life, and write that down and just try to remind yourself why you're doing it and that it really does make you feel better and make a difference".

Get back to basics on healthy eating and breaking down how to simplify healthy grocery shopping with, Jessica Jones, from Food Heaven Made Easy. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #gentlewellness #simplify #simpled #living #grocerylist #healthyeating #balance #wellness

Guest Bio

Jessica is a nationally recognized Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator with a passion for helping people transform the way they eat and make peace with food. She is the co-author the 28-Day Plant-Powered Health Reboot and A Diabetes Guide to Enjoying the Foods of the World. As the co-founder of the healthy living website, Food Heaven Made Easy, Jessica provides evidenced-based nutrition tips and tricks for living a nutritious life. When she is not counseling patients on nutrition therapy for wellness, disordered eating, GI issues and chronic disease management, Jessica co-hosts the Food Heaven Podcast, which was named New & Noteworthy by iTunes. Through Food Heaven Made Easy, Jessica regularly partners with national brands like Quaker Oats, Sunsweet, The Almond Board of California, Mighties Kiwi and the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council to create delicious recipes and curated multimedia content. In additional to being a go-to nutrition expert for many national media outlets, Jessica has penned countless articles about food, health and nutrition for publications like, Buzzfeed, and Today's Dietitian.


The 28-Day Plant-Powered Health Reboot

Food Heaven podcast

USDA’s MyPlate

The Nutrition Entrepreneur w/ Keri Glassman

Eating Local, CSA’s and Farm to Table, with Andrea Bemis

“Best Of” Food Heaven Program

Body Kindness

Connect with Jess + Wendy on Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

3 More Feel Good Effect Episodes You’ll Love

No Fail Meal Planning Tips (For People Who Hate Meal Planning)

How to Get Unstuck & Simplify, with Ashley Gartland

How to Stop Overthinking Meals

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  2. Leave an honest review on Apple Podcasts. Your ratings and reviews help more people find the show!

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92 Simplifying Mindful Wellness with Jules Hunt

Feel Good Effect PodcastPaige ReohrComment

This is all about how to simplify mindful wellness with Jules Hunt from mindful lifestyle brand, Om & the City, and the first truly conscious food finder app, Trubelly.

This is all about how to simplify mindful wellness with Jules Hunt from mindful lifestyle brand, Om & the City. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #podcast #wellness #gentlewellness #ominthecity #simplify #mindful #purpose #productivity #goals #success

Simplifying Mindful Wellness with Jules Hunt

Jules uses her platform to bring holistic wellness down to earth and empower women to simplify their life to really thrive. She shares actionable insight on everyday wellness, sustainability, and nontoxic living with some purposeful productivity hacks.

Listen now!


Today we’re going to talk about how to simplify mindful wellness with Jules Hunt from Om and the City.

Jules is the creator of the mindful lifestyle brand, Om and the City, and the founder and CEO of Trubelly, the first truly conscious food finder app.

Jules uses her platform to bring holistic wellness down to earth and empower women to simplify their life to really thrive.

She shares actionable insight on everyday wellness, sustainability, and nontoxic living and purposeful productivity hacks, which is exactly what we’re talking about today.

Before we get to the interview, I want to let you know about our free Simplified Wellness Starter Guide that you’ll definitely want to grab.

It’s free, downloadable, printable, and it really gives you a step by step to get started with gentle wellness, incremental, intentional steps to take to simplify movement, meals, and mind and really feel good.

Jules has been a long time listener to the Feel Good effect podcast, so it's really awesome to have her on the show.

On how Jules's childhood affected where she is today:

Jules was very free spirited and sensitive as a kid.

Being empathetic was a big part of who she was a child, very aware of the feelings of the people around her, which is how she was able to connect with people early on.

But there are some cons to being a sensitive child, too.

Moving to New York definitely helped Jules thicken her skin and start to cultivate stronger business, work, and personal skills that she needed.

Jules' family was always pretty healthy, her mom was always very conscious about ingredients and they always tried to eat really fresh foods and cook everything at home.

And even though she was even drinking matcha from a young age, they still would eat out or have McDonald's and indulge sometimes.

But overall, Jules' mom prioritized wellness in their family growing up, which really impacted Jules as an adult.

On moving to NY and starting a wellness blog:

Jules majored in fashion design and merchandising so moving to New York was always the plan.

She's originally from Kentucky, so she was looking for a drastic difference with more energy and excitement.

She was able to secure a job after college with the same company she did an internship with a few summers prior, so it all worked out.

And since she was ready for this move for some time, there wasn't a lot of shock from the city life.

You might feel like there are so many people when you move to a big city, but it can actually be very isolating and even though she was there living with some of her best friends, Jules still felt lonely at times.

She was also in a toxic work environment, and when she got out of it she couldn't believe some of the things that had happened.

But it all led her to where she's at now: if she hadn't worked there she wouldn't have been seeking an outlet, which was her blog.

Jules started her wellness blog while working in fashion and she's so grateful for it.

In retrospect, it's an obvious thing to think "I want an outlet, so I'll start a blog", but it wasn't as common when Jules started hers.

She had a few different blogs over her lifetime, since writing was always a way to express herself.

But when she decided to start her wellness blog, it just felt different.

It felt like something that she really needed at that point in her life and she knew she was onto something.

It was something she decided to start to express how she was feeling and to document her clean beauty journey after healing her cystic acne with coconut oil among other things she was learning and exploring.

She was working through some mental health struggles that she had in college, too, and she realized that yoga and nontoxic living was something that she was really passionate about and she wanted to have a place to document and share it.

For the first couple of years with her blog, Jules wasn't active on social media, terrified of promoting herself and not wanting anyone to judge her.

It took some time, and she was purely writing on the blog building up web content.

Then, she ended up quitting her job in fashion and going to Nicaragua for a month for her yoga teacher training and it was at that point she realized how much her blog meant to her.

There was a time when she wanted to delete it, feeling like no one was listening or reading besides her friends and family, and it was discouraging not getting that feedback.

But while she was in Nicaragua, she had this chance to disconnect and tap into what she was passionate about.

When she returned to New York, she decided she needed to first get a job, because at that point she wasn't making money from her blog and didn't even realize that was a possibility.

And she kept on blogging, kept sharing what she was passionate about.

She started becoming more active on social media and her fiance also gave her the confidence to take photos that had her face in them and to start to share more of her life online.

As she was consistent with her posting, her platform started to grow, she started to get feedback from people she didn't know, and she was hearing about how her writing was positively impacting people.

It gave her the fuel to keep going.

On pressures for wellness perfection:

Jules was doing an instagram story about making a matcha with oat milk not too long ago.

It was a short, harmless video, during which Jules disclosed that, while she usually makes her own oat milk, she had bought it this time.

Shortly after, she received a message from somebody commenting on the canola oil in the oat milk that she was using.

She didn't feel the need to have a disclaimer on her own story, since it was a very innocent video, but low and behold someone wrote her message that was not positive, judging her for using oat milk that contains canola oil.

It was one of the few messages she received that week, just nitpicking at her.

"The more your audience grows, the more you feel like someone's waiting for you to mess up".

Jules has never claimed to be perfect or immaculate with her wellness, and she does a great job of telling people that.

So when she gets these nitpicky messages about what she's eating, it really bothers her.

And this is a bigger issue that as a wellness community, we should be more aware of and start talking about more.

It's not about the canola oil in the oat milk (you might not even see a problem with that example at all).

But this is what happens on a daily basis for those who have wellness platforms who are showing up and sharing content.

On a daily basis, no matter what she does, somebody (or many people) send Robyn messages about why what she's doing isn't right.

And not about moral or ethical issues, it’s about nitpicky, little, tiny things like Jules' oat milk.

No matter what she posts, there's a message about how she's not doing it right.

This is all about how to simplify mindful wellness with Jules Hunt from mindful lifestyle brand, Om & the City. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #podcast #wellness #gentlewellness #ominthecity #simplify #mindful #purpose #productivity #goals #success

"Wellness is not about getting it right all the time".

By indulging in that little nitpicking, we are creating this sense that there is a perfect version, and that if you just try hard enough you can get it all right.

When people are waiting for you to fail, rather than celebrating actually trying to make positive change, you're setting up a society where people aren't going to want to share anymore.

We want to celebrate and lift people up who are trying to share bits of their life.

On perfection chasing:

Jules has a history of an eating disorder, and if she was to start thinking of food as "good" or "bad" or "off limits" or all these negative words, it will send her down a negative spiral.

So, to her, it's about celebrating when she's doing things that fuel her body as well as celebrating when she wants to celebrate.

"It's not just about the ingredients. Being healthy is also about your mental well-being and are you allowing yourself to live, are you allowing yourself to explore, have fun, eat birthday cake?"

If you're constantly telling yourself "you can't have this", it's unsustainable.

It's not the path to healthiness.

Robyn hears from listeners, too, who are feeling paralyzed by wellness.

People reach out to her saying that no matter what they do, they feel like they aren't getting wellness right.

There's still a "good-food-bad-food" mentality.

And all this pressure to get it right makes them not start at all, or start and then stop.

This is all about how to simplify mindful wellness with Jules Hunt from mindful lifestyle brand, Om & the City. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #podcast #wellness #gentlewellness #ominthecity #simplify #mindful #purpose #productivity #goals #success

"Start somewhere, start simply, and really break it down to how you feel".

If the best thing you can do is wake up in the morning and ask yourself what you need, that's a step in the direction of living a more mindful lifestyle; there's no rulebook, no checklist.

There's no perfect path to wellness. It's completely personal.

We just need to give ourselves permission to do it our own way.

Permission to do wellness your own way. Permission to make mistakes. Permission to eat things that sometimes aren't the best for you. Permission to skip some workouts.

There's no gold star for doing it perfectly.

Everything counts and the little missteps or splurges are totally part of being human.

On simplifying:

It all started with a simple closet clean out over a year and a half ago that transformed into something so much more impactful than physical decluttering.

Since she started becoming more aware of what she was mentally, physically, and emotionally bringing into her life, Jules has started to transform her mindset and it's helped her become more purposefully productive with her time.

She stopped being a slave to day to day time-sucking tasks, she started to learn how to better manage her business, and it became less wasteful and more thoughtful.

This is all about how to simplify mindful wellness with Jules Hunt from mindful lifestyle brand, Om & the City. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #podcast #wellness #gentlewellness #ominthecity #simplify #mindful #purpose #productivity #goals #success

"The deeper I go into simplifying, the more I realize that less truly, truly is more and the less stuff I have, the more space I have to breathe, think, move, create".

Jules calls herself an "aspiring minimalist", not wanting to live in a home without art or things that make her happy.

She likes the values of minimalism, though.

Applying those values to her life in her own way is her version of being a minimalist.

Minimalism itself has really expanded to include more people and more approaches.

We did a decluttering series on the Feel Good Effect with Gretchen Rubin talking about how to do it from the perspective of your personality with no one right way, and Allie Casazza who talked about minimalism and simplifying motherhood when there's only so much you can do with other people bringing things into your house.

And just like wellness, everyone has their own definition of how much stuff we can handle, whether it's material items or calendar events.

On simplifying your workflow:

Jules is someone who is balancing a lot of things: she's running her business, constantly making brand deals, posting on social media, running her website, planning a wedding, and closing on a house.

When it comes to managing her workflow, Jules talks a lot about simplifying as a constant practice; it's consistently choosing to declutter her calendar and not take on certain work, constantly choosing how to prioritize her day.

Not every day is perfect, but because of her strong values and habits around prioritizing her time, she's able to react in an effective way.

She leaves her personal life open, but when it comes to work she likes to run her business like a CEO, rather than reacting to things all day.

Notifications are a big time sucker by taking you out of your focus.

By simply turning off your notifications, you're able to reclaim your time and choose how to spend that time.

Task-batching and categorizing

These have been game changing for Jules.

For example, she may make Mondays and Wednesdays her administrative days, checking emails or taking meetings, really where she does all of her left brain things.

And then on Tuesdays and Thursdays it's writing, content creation, photography, all the creative things.

Categorizing her work days really helps her stay focused and avoid letting notifications getting her off track.

Even for people who have to be present on their email every day, and maybe can't only answer messages twice a week, blocking out 30 minutes to an hour during the day will really help with productivity.

"Once I overcame the self-imposed idea that everyone needed a same-day response from me I was liberated. I was liberated from the chains of my inbox".

It's an incremental approach, it's not all or nothing.

If only checking your email a couple times a week seems completely unrealistic, you can ease into it.

And it's also about getting through that discomfort and realizing that it is, for the most part, self-imposed, that most of the time (depending on the work that you're in) most people don't need an immediate response.

Managing social media

Showing up online is part of Jules' business.

She wrote an article on how she mindfully approaches social media, and the first thing is that she takes her business very seriously so she knows that it doesn't solely rely on Instagram.

Yes, it can be important to maintain that presence, but it's not a crutch to be on your phone all day because there are better, more productive things you can be doing for long term success.

1 | Don't treat social media like an all you can eat buffet.

When you constantly have notifications that you're checking, the next thing you know you're sucked in and 30-minutes have passed.

To be more productive with social media Jules typically posts in the morning, stays on for about 20-minutes to answer as many messages as she can and respond to comments, but then once that period has passed she puts her phone on do not disturb, puts it in her drawer, and she gets to work.

It's helped her to have that time in the morning to check in and then not touch it again until her lunch break.

When you're working from home, people might find it hard to stick to that structure, but Jules has learned that structure is her best friend, helping her stay grounded and stay on task.

2 | Capture it, save it, and post it later.

If Jules is going to capture a moment, she captures it, saves it, and posts it later.

Sharing on Instagram stories is a fun way to connect with her community, but Jules also wants to live her life and enjoy whatever she's experiencing.

And again, it's not all or nothing.

She's still present on social media, but it's not taking over every second of her life, nor is it taking her out of the moments that she really wants to be present in.

And Jules used to be an all or nothing person, but it's about taking baby steps and being consistent with your boundaries and actively trying to pursue them rather than cutting yourself off completely.

It's catching yourself, checking yourself, and then recognizing it and trying to do better tomorrow.

And the other thing: she engages with people on social media.

When people tell Robyn that they hate being on social media, she asks them if they've actually typed words into the app recently, or if they're just scrolling.

If you're just scrolling, it's really passive and it's easy to forget that there are other people who want to connect, too.

It changes the experience of being of the app when you're actively engaging while you're there, versus passively scrolling.

Social media isn't inherently bad, it's just how you choose to use the app.

And unfollow people who don't make you feel good.

It's up to you to unfollow them, you can't dictate what other people are doing.

On what's going on with Jules right now:

Jules has a guidebook called Simplify and Thrive-- 40 pages of tips and tricks to declutter your life.

It's a compilation of everything she's learned through her own decluttering process.

She covers the mental, physical, and emotional aspects, while also talking about simplifying your time, your relationships, and where you're spending your energy (not just about decluttering and organizing your closet).

It's one of her favorite things that she's created and it's really her in a nutshell.

Jules has also gotten into business coaching, starting The Mindful Entrepreneur mentorship program after getting so many questions from other aspiring entrepreneurs who wanted to learn how to build their businesses mindfully.

She created this program as a way to share knowledge and guide her community about strategic band growth.

It's meant for people who are visionaries, great at coming up with ideas, but need help getting unstuck and getting started.

There's a waitlist that you can apply for here.

Right now, Jules is excited to, one, close on her house and move in, two, eventually have brain space to plan her wedding and, three, for her and her fiance Andrew's app.

Andrew is a mobile app designer and one of their best friends is a developer so the three of them teamed up and created a start up, called Trubelly, the first truly conscious food finder.

Trubelly is basically all about helping mindful eaters discover high quality, conscious, and transparent restaurants in town, even accounting for food allergies and special diets.

Find out more and get on the waitlist here!

On what it really means to be healthy:

"To be healthy is completely personal, it's intuitive, it's something that you innately feel within you and there's no rule book, no right or wrong way to do it, it's just about how are you feeling in your body".

This is all about how to simplify mindful wellness with Jules Hunt from mindful lifestyle brand, Om & the City. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #podcast #wellness #gentlewellness #ominthecity #simplify #mindful #purpose #productivity #goals #success

Guest Bio

Jules Hunt is the creator of the mindful lifestyle brand Om & The City and Founder/CEO of Trubelly, the first truly conscious food finder app. Jules uses her platform to bring holistic wellness down-to-earth and empower women to simplify their life to really thrive. She shares actionable insight on everyday wellness, sustainability + non-toxic living tips, and purposeful productivity habits for your most vibrant life. Jules was recently named Wanderlust's '35 Under 35 in Wellness' and has been featured on Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global, The Daily Mail, Well+Good, PopSugar and more. Beyond the blog, Jules is a certified yoga & mindfulness teacher, crazy plant lady, and proud dog mama.


Inner Order, Outer Calm, & Decluttering, with Gretchen Rubin

How to Declutter Everything, with Allie Casazza

How I Mindfully Approach Social Media


Instagram: @omandthecity


Guidebook: Simplify & Thrive

Mentorship Program: The Mindful Entrepreneur

3 More Feel Good Effect Episodes You’ll Love!

How to Get Unstuck & Simplify, with Ashley Gartland

How to Stop Overthinking Mindfulness

Meditation for the Rest of Us, with Kait Hurley

Show the Feel Good Effect Love

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  2. Leave an honest review on Apple Podcasts. Your ratings and reviews help more people find the show!

  3. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts.

91 Being Healthy & Happy Don’t Have to be Mutually Exclusive: Here's Proof with Talia Pollock

Feel Good Effect PodcastPaige ReohrComment

Talia Pollock from Party in My Plants is out to prove that healthy and happy do not have to be mutually exclusive. She’s here to show you how healthy can be fun, funny, and totally delicious.

Talia Pollock from Party in My Plants is out to prove that healthy and happy do not have to be mutually exclusive. She’s here to show you how healthy can be fun, funny, and totally delicious. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #podcast #wellnesspodcast #healthyliving #gentlewellness #partyinmyplants #happiness #plantbased #vegan #healthyeating #nourish

Being Healthy & Happy Don’t Have to be Mutually Exclusive: Here's Proof with Talia Pollock

Talia is all about helping you never having to choose between feeling good and feeling happy, and to help you do the healthy things that make you feel, look, and live your best without it totally sucking.

We’ll talk about her balanced approach and how she brings the fun and joy to everything she does in this funny and lighthearted conversation.

Listen now!


Today’s guest is out to prove that healthy and happy do not have to be mutually exclusive.

She’s here to show you how healthy can be fun, funny, and totally delicious.

Today we’re talking with Talia from Party in my Plants, (yup, Party in my Plants).

Talia has a website, an upcoming cookbook, and a podcast all about helping you never again having to choose between feeling good and feeling happy, and to help you do the healthy things that make you feel, look, and live your best without it totally sucking.

She’s also hilarious and has a background in stand-up comedy, which is completely fascinating and totally refreshing to talk to someone who’s in the wellness space about food in a really funny, lighthearted way.

I was a guest on her podcast recently, and it was one of the funniest interviews I’ve ever done. (check it out here!)

We’ll talk about her balanced approach and how she brings the fun and joy to everything she does.

On how Talia got to where she is:

Talia has been on all sorts of major platforms spreading her message.

One of Robyn’s favorite things about Talia’s past experience is her background as a stand-up comedian.

And Talia loves comedy, she loves making people laugh, she loves connecting with people through laughter-- it’s the number one way she bonds with people.

Talia started college aspiring toward magazine journalism, she loved writing and was planning on pursuing that.

And then, her sophomore year, she discovered the humor column in her school’s newspaper, just spread out on the ground of the cafeteria.

She saw this newspaper that headlined, “Everybody Becomes a Doctor When I Get Sick”, and she loved it.

She read the article laughing out loud, feeling like the author was in her head, and that’s when she decided she wanted to do this.

She then pivoted her entire life to be focused on humor and comedy versus writing journalistic facts and interviews.

Talia realized there’s an industry around writing thoughts that other people can relate to and then laughing about it because you’re both going through the same experience, and that’s what she took on.

She switched her major to television and film and hit the ground running.

She interned for College Humor and Happy Madison, which is Adam Sandler’s production company, she worked for David Letterman, she did stand-up throughout New York City, and she was just so in it.

But then at the same time, she was struggling with her health and wellness.

She was trying to find a way to get better after struggling all through high school and college, just feeling like crap and having terrible immune issues.

But she was on a journey to heal herself.

The two worlds collided when she was in LA interning for Happy Madison.

After her internship one day, she discovered a place called Planet Raw, which was the first raw, vegan meal she had ever had, and was the first thing she had eaten in eight years that didn’t make her feel completely terrible.

She jumped head first into green juice, it was long before almond milk and coconut milk were sold in grocery stores, so Talia was at home cracking open coconuts with machetes.

But she was living a dual life, because comedy is not a notoriously healthy profession.

Instead, she’d go into these nightclubs and perform for people who were all drinking beer, smoking, eating chicken wings and whatever white creamy sauce you dip chicken wings into, and there she was on stage making jokes about getting to the front of the veggie burger line.

She needed her lives to stop being so separate; she couldn’t live this dual-identity, so she combined them, which led her to where she is now.

Then, Talia discovered health and wellness and she learned the entire way of plant-based eating and it healed her.

It completely transformed her body.

But, she was then stuck between this place of an obsession and admiration of healthy living and healthy eating and this industry that isn’t notoriously healthy, whatsoever.

She couldn’t just keep having one foot in each door, so she opened her own door and that’s how she created Party in My Plants and inspires people to take care of themselves through humor.

On Talia’s evolution of eating:

When Talia learned about Planet Raw, a raw, vegan restaurant, she had no idea what vegan even was.

She bypassed vegetarian, she bypassed vegan, and because it was her first experience with food that didn’t make her sick, she became a raw vegan.

She did fine with that in sunny LA, but when she went back to snowy Syracuse to finish her senior year, it was very hard to do the whole green juice, dehydrated crackers kind of life.

But it was all she knew so she forced it on herself and in the process, had to completely turn her back on a social life.

And this is when she became was she calls a “health nut hermit”, because as she was drinking her green juice, she didn’t realize that she could also drink sangria or boxed wine at parties.

So instead of even trying, she quarantined herself and completely turned her back on her social life.

She ended up graduating healthier than ever, but more unhappy than ever.

So, Talia went into the world in search of a better way.

Slowly, she evolved out of the raw veganism into just veganism.

But then she started to notice when she would go out to dinner with her now husband, she would start to crave the fish he had on his plate.

And then in the morning, she would want his eggs, but she would talk herself out of it.

“You’re a vegan! That’s your identity!”

She fought herself for over sixth months before finally asking herself, “what’s the worst that could happen if I have egg whites?”

The world didn’t come to an end and she ended up feeling better.

So she started incorporating a hard boiled egg or some fish into her diet, and she started feeling stronger.

And now, her diet has evolved to what you would usually classify as pescatarian, but what she calls a “plant party diet”.

On testing the boundaries:

Talia really needed that vegan diet at that point in time to save her health.

Before then, she had no idea what she was doing, but once she infused her body with all of those plants, she felt and looked her best; she morphed into the ideal version of herself.

The label itself wasn’t a necessary part of that, which was something she had to learn.

In fact, Talia encourages everyone to not put on any label at all.

Her philosophy is to just eat more plants: just eat more of that life-giving food than you eat of life-sucking food (processed foods, chemical foods).

It removes any emotional layer, stigma, decisions, labels, identities, or pressure from it.

But we still see that all-or-nothing approach to wellness, which partly is because it sells, from a marketing perspective it’s easier to sell something when it’s in a box and it’s all or nothing, you’re in or out.

However, over time, research shows that that kind of thinking is really detrimental psychologically and it’s difficult to maintain long-term.

And then when you step into this grey area, it can be really uncomfortable.

So Talia just likes to focus on eating more plants, which is a really great place to start.

Everyday, every meal, every snack-- are there more plants than crap?

That’s really all that Talia lives her life by and encourages other people to as well.

The vegan diet was very healing for her, but she also thinks it was, in part, because she was in a particular health crisis.

It might not be needed for every person who isn’t trying to heal themselves of health issues.

It’s important to distinguish between these: am I approaching food because I’m trying to heal a deep seated illness, or because I want to feel really good in my body?

They’re two different perspectives and even if you start from that first place of healing, eventually, as you heal, you might need to step out and be more flexible in your approach.

On pushback from the plant-based community:

When Talia realized the world wouldn’t fall apart when she started eating egg whites, for the first time after being vegan for four years, she went ahead and had gnocchi that was made with egg whites.

And it was a big enough thing for her that she pitched mindbodygreen an article about not being vegan anymore and how the world didn’t fall apart.

So she published this article called, I Stopped Being Vegan and the World Kept Spinning and she was excited, it was her first article on mindbodygreen, but she was not prepared for the backlash that she got.

For Talia, this “vegan” diet was more of a plant-based diet and it was really just for health reasons, she wasn’t changing her clothing and doing the other parts of being a vegan, she was just eating only plants.

So when she announced that she wasn’t vegan anymore in this article about the mindset and the experience, she got so. much. backlash.

Talia’s article got so many negative comments, which opened her eyes to the fact that there’s just a lot more attached to these labels than she had ever thought.

And that’s true for a lot of ways of eating, although veganism tends to be especially so.

There are chances to build a lifestyle or a group of friends around the way that you eat, so if you change, what does that do to your relationships and who you thought you were?

It might seem like it’s not that big of a deal, but it turns out that it really is.

On what eating more plants might look like:

“More plants than crap”: those are just words to live by, no box, common sense, no diet, just feeling better if you do it.

But it’s still really difficult, especially if you eat out a little more often, get takeout, or travel, our food system just isn’t set up for that.

Talia is lucky, because so it’s easy for her where she’s at in New York City.

But when she goes elsewhere, she has to deal with the same struggles that many of us do or would, it’s challenging.

But that’s the thing, keeping our phones charged is challenging, so we plan ahead if we’re going on a trip and bring a backup charger or situate ourselves by an outlet in a waiting area.

If we want something, we’ll think ahead.

And because eating plants does require some thinking ahead, Talia encourages people to do it with a happy face rather than feeling like it’s a burden or a stressor.

Ways to plan ahead:

  • If you’re going out for pizza, order every single vegetable on your pizza.

  • If you’re traveling, go on Yelp and look for smoothie places to help seek out some other plant-based options.

  • Identify the closest Whole Foods to wherever you’re staying and stock up.

  • Travel with apples and make snacks in advance.

  • If you’re stuck at a convenience store, look for the closest thing to a plant like roasted chickpeas, popcorn, or sometimes there are even apples.

Tips to avoid the all-or-nothing cycle:

The whole philosophy of eating more plants than crap still allows space for crap.

It’s all about just making the best choice that you can in that moment.

There’s no falling off the wagon, there’s no wagon, there’s no off track, no back on track, it’s just eating more plants in any given opportunity.

Talia thinks it’s incredibly important to not beat ourselves up with this on-track-off-track mentality.

“The thoughts with which we eat food affects our ability to digest and assimilate that food”.

So even if we’re eating the plants, but we’re doing it with resentment, stress, guilt, embarrassment, anger, or any negative emotion, that negative emotion is going to impair our body’s ability to make the best use of the healthy foods anyway, making it almost pointless.

You have to find a way to eat more plants with a smile and with ease and that comes from letting go of this white knuckling, wagon lifestyle.

Talia Pollock from Party in My Plants is out to prove that healthy and happy do not have to be mutually exclusive. She’s here to show you how healthy can be fun, funny, and totally delicious. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #podcast #wellnesspodcast #healthyliving #gentlewellness #partyinmyplants #happiness #plantbased #vegan #healthyeating #nourish

The cool thing is, your brain does rewire and it becomes easier.

On adding plants to your breakfast:

Breakfast is where Talia usually gets her fruits in, and she’s actually not the biggest smoothie person.

Really she only starts her day with a smoothie if she worked out first and needs to replenish, otherwise they aren’t as filling without pumping them full of plant protein.

And you don’t have to drink smoothies to consider yourself a healthy eater!

Here is what Talia has for breakfast:

1 | Her protein waffles.

She makes these waffles just about every single day.

She mashes half a banana, mixes it with a third cup of egg whites or flax egg alternative, one scoop of Sunwarrior plant protein powder, some stevia to sweeten, a little it of pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon or ginger.

Then she puts it in a waffle maker (or in pancake form) and she has the most filling breakfast.

She puts all the fruit on top of it, too, adding all sorts of berries or she’ll cut up an apple, or if it’s in the fall when it’s pumpkin spice everything she’ll smear some pumpkin puree on top of it with some nut butter.

2 | Coconut milk or almond milk yogurt (or goat yogurt if you do that).

If she’s in a rush, she’ll have some yogurt with all the fruits in that.

She’ll add some protein powder to it, which will really help fill you up, maybe a sprinkle of nut butter or granola (make your own granola or buy clean ones) and sprinkle with chia seeds.

3 | Chia pudding.

This is another great one to do in the summer.

Just make chia pudding and add in the same things as the yogurt, lots of fruit on top to get those plants.

4 | Toasted Ezekiel english muffin + smashed banana + sprinkled nut butter + cinnamon

On what’s coming up next for Talia:

Basically, Talia was just living her life and a woman at Harper Collins reached out to her to see if she was interested in writing a book.

After connecting and getting excited, the woman basically left Talia hanging for about a year.

After reconnecting, there was another lag in moving forward.

After reconnecting a second time, the woman told Talia that her audience was too small.

To be rejected because of something entirely out of her control was incredibly painful, but had already she decided that if they weren’t going to get back to her, she was going to self-publish.

She already had a proposal, she’d written the first chapter, so when she got that “no”, she pursued her own agent through some friends that had come on her podcast.

So she got an agent and then she shopped it around without any idea what to expect.

The whole process was incredibly slow, scary, and emotional and she really wasn’t sure where it would lead her.

But eventually, she got her book deal.

There’s a lot more to it (you can listen to it here if you want to hear more about the behind the scenes).

One of her coaches told her, “rejection is protection”, and it was something she learned during this process.

Getting rejected from certain publishers was the right thing to happen to lead her to an even better thing down the road.

And she just submitted her manuscript!

There’s such a lag between when the book is finished and when it’s actually in people’s hands.

She’s so excited to get this really chill philosophy in the physical hands of people, and she really hopes that her work inspires people to chill out while they’re eating just more plants than they do crap.

“I really don’t believe one should choose between their happiness and their health, so I believe you just want to eat more plants that allow you to do the other things in your life that you want to do”.

If you want to tailgate or hike or go play soccer, whatever you want to do, Talia believes eating healthier can allow you to do that and it doesn’t have to be a thing that you do instead.

Talia ended up finding a publisher who loves her for her numbers and appreciates her for her numbers.

Her publisher loves stories, narratives, voices, and unique perspectives.

It’s fantastic to learn in business that there’s always an avenue for you, no matter your numbers, but also in life.

“As long as you value yourself you’re going to find somebody else who values you too”

Talia Pollock from Party in My Plants is out to prove that healthy and happy do not have to be mutually exclusive. She’s here to show you how healthy can be fun, funny, and totally delicious. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #podcast #wellnesspodcast #healthyliving #gentlewellness #partyinmyplants #happiness #plantbased #vegan #healthyeating #nourish

On what it really means to be healthy:

“It means doing stuff, such as eating more plants, or exercising, or taking care of yourself, with a smile on your face so that that stuff is actually worthwhile, positively affects your body, and so you can go out and do the things in your life that you want to do. It’s not doing healthy things in place of the things in your life that you want to do, it’s doing them to enhance the things in your life you want to do”.

Talia Pollock from Party in My Plants is out to prove that healthy and happy do not have to be mutually exclusive. She’s here to show you how healthy can be fun, funny, and totally delicious. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #podcast #wellnesspodcast #healthyliving #gentlewellness #partyinmyplants #happiness #plantbased #vegan #healthyeating #nourish

Guest Bio

Talia believes that it’s possible to drink green juice AND drink cocktails, that it’s do-able to eat quinoa AND online date and that it’s really OK to not eat dairy AND still go to an all-inclusive resort in Mexico. Being healthy and being happy don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

She’s spent years studying health and happiness. Talia is a professional plant-based chef and a certified health coach as well as a comedian, performing stand-up all throughout NYC and working for David Letterman, Adam Sandler and Collegehumor. She combined her two passions and talents (making someone LOL + making someone like kale) to help others transform their lives from pretty crappy to holy-moly happy!


Party in My Plants podcast #132 with Robyn Downs: What if gentle was cooler than perfect? And meal planning was sexy?!

I Stopped Being Vegan and the World Kept Spinning

Party in My Plants Protein Waffle Recipe

Perfect Chia Pudding

Talia’s book deal story (Party in My Plants podcast #85)


Podcast: Party in My Plants with Talia Pollock

Connect on Instagram

Connect with Talia on youtube

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How to Stop Overthinking Meals

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90 The 2 Decisions that Move Your Biggest Goals From Possible to Inevitable with Hal Elrod

Feel Good Effect PodcastPaige ReohrComment

We’re talking about the two decisions that move your biggest goals from possible to probable to inevitable, with bestselling author, Hal Elrod.

Hal Elrod breaks down the  two decisions that move your biggest goals from possible to probable to inevitable. He talks about how to develop unwavering faith and maintain extraordinary effort to make miracles happen. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #wellness #podcast #healthy #living #gentleisthenewperfect #gentlewellness #goals #productivity #achievement #passion #purpose #routine #miraclemorning #miracleequation

The 2 Decisions that Move Your Biggest Goals From Possible to Inevitable with Hal Elrod

Hal Elrod wrote The Miracle Morning, which it’s sold over a million copies and really started the whole idea of a morning routine. Today, Hal is talking about his newest book, The Miracle Equation, the two decisions to move your goals from possible to probable to inevitable, and this equation of unwavering faith + extraordinary effort = miracles.

Listen now!


Today we’re going to get right into it and talk about the two decisions that move your biggest goals from possible to probable to inevitable, with bestselling author, Hal Elrod.

Hal Elrod wrote The Miracle Morning, which you may have heard of.

It sold over a million copies, changed millions of people’s lives, and the whole idea of a morning routine really got started with that book.

Today, Hal is talking about his newest book, The Miracle Equation, the two decisions to move your goals from possible to probable to inevitable, and this equation that unwavering faith plus extraordinary effort equals miracles.

And as always, I’m going to be completely transparent with you.

I get pitches from people who want to be on the show all the time, and many times it’s just not a good fit.

And when Hal’s team reached out about his new book, I was really skeptical.

I read the title and it just seemed like it was a little too good to be true.

This idea of a miracle equation and this whole part about unwavering faith and extraordinary effort-- while I could see where he was going, it just didn’t seem actionable.

So initially, I said no.

But his team sent me a copy of his book so I could check it out.

But, after I looked at it, I stuck with my original decision and put it on my shelf.

I’m not one to totally judge a book by its cover, so eventually I picked it up and as I flipped through it, not only is Hal’s story incredible, the action steps he’s laid out really started to resonate with me.

In particular, how he talks about unwavering faith and this idea of how we look for evidence to support the idea that we will succeed.

My biggest takeaway from this conversation was thinking about what kind of evidence we are looking for.

Are you only collecting evidence that supports the idea that you won’t succeed?

And that extraordinary effort piece is really about consistency over time, which is what I’m all about, and it gets missed all the time.

We’re so focused on overnight success and 30-day diets that we forget that it’s really about showing up more days than not, and that’s what equals this amazing success.

So, Hal and his book have won me over and I think you’re going to love this conversation.

If you want to take this stuff next level, I have a Gentle Wellness Starter Guide that you can download, print out, totally free, and start taking action on some of this stuff.

Grab the guide and let’s get to it!

On what led Hal to write The Miracle Equation:

In his life, Hal has had what he calls a few rock bottoms, which he thinks everyone can relate to his definition of:

Rock bottom is any moment in time or in our life where we face a challenge or adversity that is beyond anything that we’ve faced before, which causes us to question a lot.

We question ourselves, our faith, the fairness of life, on and on.

His first rock bottom happened when he was 20 years old.

He had been selling Cutco Cutlery, kitchen knives, which required in home presentations and was not necessarily the easiest gig.

He had become one of the company’s top sales reps, breaking lots of company records, so he was asked to speak at a lot of events.

One night, he gave a speech at a divisional meeting to about 60 of his peers.

After his speech, he got into his brand new Mustang that he bought with his sales commissions only 3 weeks prior, and that night he was hit head on by a drunk driver.

He spun sideways at the car behind him, who crashed directly into him, into the driver’s side door.

He broke 11 bones in just a moment.

It took the responders almost an hour to cut him out of the car, and by that time he had bled to death.

He had stopped breathing, his heart stopped beating, and the medics performed CPR as they rushed him onto a helicopter to take him to the hospital.

Hal was clinically dead for approximately 6 minutes and then he was in a coma for 6 days.

He had permanent brain damage among other serious injuries; he was told he would never walk again.

Nevertheless, he had faith in the possibility that he would walk again.

His doctors called in his parents to update them on Hal’s condition.

They said physically, he was recovering and healing.

However, mentally and emotionally, they believed he was in denial and/or delusional.

They reported that every time they interacted with Hal, he was smiling, laughing, and joking, and that simply it was not normal in this context of a 20-year-old man who was just told he would never walk again.

Hal’s dad sat down with him that night to talk about how he might really be feeling.

And Hal took a moment to think about what he was feeling, but then he smiled, and responded that lives his life by the “5 minute rule”, something he had actually learned in his sales training.

The 5-Minute Rule: it's okay to be negative when something goes wrong, but not for more than 5 minutes.

Hal Elrod breaks down the  two decisions that move your biggest goals from possible to probable to inevitable. He talks about how to develop unwavering faith and maintain extraordinary effort to make miracles happen. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #wellness #podcast #healthy #living #gentleisthenewperfect #gentlewellness #goals #productivity #achievement #passion #purpose #routine #miraclemorning #miracleequation

“There’s no value, no point in dwelling on something that’s now in the past that you can’t go back in time and change. The only intelligent choice we have is to accept it fully and unconditionally”.

It doesn’t mean we’re happy about it, but it means we’re at peace with it.

Nearly every time something happens that we’re upset about, it’s already happened.

We think that it’s this thing in the past that’s causing us to be upset, but the reality is that it’s never the thing, it’s our resistance to the thing.

And in Hal’s situation at that moment in his life, there were only one of two possibilities:

One, the doctors are right and he’s in a wheelchair for the rest of his life-- but he wasn’t about to let that define his quality of life.

Or, two, he will walk again, and no one could really know what would happen, but he was maintaining the faith that he may walk again until proven otherwise.

He had already accepted being in a wheelchair for the rest of his life as a possibility, so it had no power over his emotions.

All of his energy was going into what he wanted.

He went into therapy every day, staying for longer, putting in extraordinary effort, pushing to learn to walk again.

Hal was thinking that is a year, maybe in six months, he would walk again.

However, one week after that conversation with his dad, three weeks after his crash, the doctors came in with routine x-rays unable to explain the quickness of his healing.

In fact, they were ready to let him take his first step in therapy the following day.

So he did, he took his first step, three weeks later he went home, and only a week later he was back on stage winning sales competitions.

That’s the power of unwavering faith and extraordinary effort.

That was the first time he used the miracle equation, even though he didn’t think about it that way until a year post-crash.

And then two years ago, Hal was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of cancer, given a 10-30% chance of surviving.

The first thing that came to his mind when he was trying to figure out how to beat it was the miracle equation.

And that’s how he’s defied the odds every single time throughout his life.

Both in overcoming rock bottom, but also in accomplishing things he never thought he could.

On The Miracle Morning:

The Miracle Morning has really infiltrated society and culture and this whole idea of a morning routine has become its own entity, even apart from Hal.

He had no idea that it would reach all the places it has and that he would sell millions of copies.

More often than not, he would have these thoughts of self-doubt, but then there were moments when he would get emails from people telling him that The Miracle Morning radically changed their lives.

And every time he got one of those emails, it was a glimpse that this idea could change the world.

If every person on the planet started their day with meditations, affirmations, visualizations, reading, and journaling, the world would be a different place.

On what makes The Miracle Equation different from positive thinking:

When The Miracle Equation came to Robyn, she was a little skeptical.

She’s not a huge fan of positive thinking trends, but when she got into the book she realized that there was a lot more to it.

While Robyn’s background is in science, Hal’s is in sales, so since the age of 19 he’s been tracking his progress and getting big into statistics and results.

The word “miracle” is a very loaded word with many different meanings and contexts.

Often, it has this bad rap because miracles are either thought of as these passive, random acts that we have no control over, or in a religious context where it's pray and wait.

But for Hal, it’s all about taking responsibility for your life.

He may not be responsible for the drunk driver causing his accident, but he is responsible for how he emotionally responds to the situation and what he actually does logistically from this moment on for the rest of his life.

The Miracle Equation is very practical, very step by step, very results-oriented; it’s not about manifesting your goals or making a vision board and sitting back waiting for change to happen.

Hal Elrod breaks down the  two decisions that move your biggest goals from possible to probable to inevitable. He talks about how to develop unwavering faith and maintain extraordinary effort to make miracles happen. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #wellness #podcast #healthy #living #gentleisthenewperfect #gentlewellness #goals #productivity #achievement #passion #purpose #routine #miraclemorning #miracleequation

“A miracle is any outcome outside the realm of what you believe is probable for you”.

Therefore, when you accomplish those outcomes, each one feels like a miracle because you didn’t really think you could do it.

The word “probable” is used very intentionally, because if you are an optimist, “anything is possible!”

But possible isn’t enough to get us out of bed in the morning to pursue our biggest goals and dreams.

If everything is possible, possible means has no power.

And we don’t pursue goals that are possible.

What we need to do is take some specific steps and make some specific decisions to move it from possible to probable, because we pursue certainty.

And what makes something appear outside of the realm of what we believe is probable for us is typically anything we’ve never done before.

We have rearview mirror syndrome, where we’re constantly checking our past to determine our future.

On pursuing certainty:

From a neurological perspective, certainty is just neural pathways that we’ve already created.

The brain will pursue the path of least resistance based on what it knows how to do, and we start to believe pursuing certainty is the reality of what’s possible.

We make a decision about what’s possible and then we look for evidence that supports that.

Then, we automatically have a bias and we’re only going to find things to support what we already decided is or is not possible.

On the two decisions needed to make the Miracle Equation:

You don’t actually have to believe that you’re going to reach your goal in order to reach your goal.

The two decisions to move your goals from possible, to probable, to inevitable make up the miracle equation.

These decisions are deceptively simple in their explanation, but extraordinarily rare in their execution.

Hal offers a challenge to think of someone who is extraordinarily successful (in whatever way you define “successful”).

And what you’ll find is that if you study the world’s most innovative, successful individuals, they live by these two decisions; they are fundamental.

“What we need to improve our lives and improve ourselves, we don’t need more information… what we need are methods for implementation”.

Rather than tell me I need to exercise and that the world’s greatest people exercise, tell me how to make exercise simple.

The two decisions of the Miracle Equation:

Decision 1 | Develop unwavering faith.

Decision 2 | Maintain extraordinary effort.

And these are not one time decisions.

Instead, you’ve got to make these decisions over and over and over again, until they’ve become a part of who you are and the way you live.

Hal calls someone who is living their life to the fullest, who has unwavering faith and gives extraordinary effort, “a Miracle Maven”.

On unwavering faith:

First, you have to establish the faith that you can do something you’ve never done before.

And by default as a human being, as we grow and evolve, we’ve had to step out on faith that we could do something we’ve never done before.

And because we’ve never done it before, there’s no evidence from the past that we can do it.

Many of us will step out on faith thinking that anything is possible.

But for the majority who do that, as soon as we hit an obstacle, things get difficult, and don’t go the way that we planned, the faith wavers very quickly.

And that’s applicable to anyone who’s started a wellness routine-- we get fired up and we start a new routine, but something comes up and we get set back.

That’s where evidence comes in-- we see our set-back as evidence that this isn’t going to work.

And here’s the thing: you can still have unwavering faith even if you doubt yourself sometimes.

To Hal, the epitome of a Miracle Maven is a champion athlete, so for example, take Michael Jordan (or any other champion athlete).

At some point in every champion’s career and journey, they make a conscious or unconscious decision to approach every shot that they take and every game that they play in with unwavering faith.

The way that it looks in real time, is that Michael Jordan believes that he’ll make every shot that he takes, and you’ll hear a lot of athletes approach the game that way.

And even though the average for the best players in the world is right around 50%, meaning he has just as good of a chance of missing the shot as he does making it, it doesn’t change the way he approaches his shots each time.

And often, when a shot is missed, the seed of self-doubt and fear is planted in our head and we start to water it with our thoughts.

Am I having an off night? Should I have not tried this? Am I not qualified?

And as we water that seed, it grows larger and larger.

Now in this basketball example, after a typical player misses their first shot and the ball is back in their hands a second time, they have a little more doubt in their mind, which affects their physical body and the way that shot leaves their hands.

And if they miss a second shot, their self-doubt only grows.

Then when the ball hits their hands a third time, they pass it back.

And that’s what we do with our opportunities, we deflect them, we give up on them.

But Michael Jordan, like any champion athlete, would say “give me the ball, I’m going to make it” and even if they miss it, there’s no self-doubt.

They keep shooting, and they keep shooting until they find their stride.

Unwavering faith doesn’t guarantee anything in the short run.

But it radically, significantly increases your probability of success every single day that you approach everything you do with unwavering faith.

Hal Elrod breaks down the  two decisions that move your biggest goals from possible to probable to inevitable. He talks about how to develop unwavering faith and maintain extraordinary effort to make miracles happen. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #wellness #podcast #healthy #living #gentleisthenewperfect #gentlewellness #goals #productivity #achievement #passion #purpose #routine #miraclemorning #miracleequation

“You don’t have to believe it, you just keep doing it”.

There is evidence across the board that if you keep showing up, if you’re consistent, that’s the magic.

On extraordinary effort:

Extraordinary effort isn’t about working hard, it’s about consistency.

“What makes effort extraordinary is consistency”.

Of all the things that can derail us and cause us to lose our faith, one of the top things is when the initial excitement wears off.

We have ideas about things that we want to try, but once we hit a roadblock, that initial excitement wears off.

Extraordinary effort is about consistency, it’s about doing something everyday that moves you closer to your most important goal.

Success is not complicated, it’s super simple, but it’s not easy, because human nature is to give up when it’s not exciting anymore.

You do one thing everyday that moves you in the direction of your biggest dream, your mission.

You can’t fail, you eventually get there, it’s just a matter of time.

Most of us want things to happen right now, but things take time and instead of taking it as evidence that it won’t work, just keep showing up.

We’re almost always wrong on the timeline.

Any goal, or dream, or outcome we have, it’s always preceded by a process, and the process is what produces the dream or outcome.

“The secret to success is to figure out how to stay committed to your process without being emotionally attached to your short term result”.

You’ve got to develop unwavering faith and maintain it and put forth extraordinary effort.

To sum up in one word: until.

“Until” is a powerful word that most of us don’t give much mind to.

Successful people commit to maintaining unwavering faith that they can do something they’ve never done.

They put forth extraordinary effort, which is nothing more than a consistent, daily process that you define based on your outcome, your mission.

And then if you apply both of those decisions each and every day until your mission, your miracle becomes a reality, you cannot fail; it’s only a matter of time.

When you finally achieve the very thing that you’ve been working so hard on for so long, you almost never wish it would have happened any sooner.

Instead, you finally achieve your mission and you look back and realize that it was supposed to take that long, you had to overcome all of those things because they shaped you into the person you needed to be to create the life that you ultimately wanted.

And it happened in perfect time.

Rather than suffer, be at peace where you are, even if you’re in a difficult place.

“You can be the happiest, most grateful you’ve ever been, even when you’re going through the most difficult time”.

On the 30-day challenge:

In the Miracle Morning, Hal’s previous book, he included a 30-day challenge.

It’s something that he’s done for a long time in his own life, is live in 30-day challenges.

Every month he identifies an area in his life that he wants to take action in that he doesn’t normally take, and he does a 30-day challenge.

And once you get to the end of the 30 days, it’s kind of running on autopilot.

It’s something Hal includes in all of his books to get people involved in the process, rather than reading the book and then moving onto the next book.

So, at the end of The Miracle Equation he offers a 30-day challenge to integrate a mindset of unwavering faith.

The objective is to follow the 30-day challenge with unwavering faith as your default mindset, so you then have more faith in yourself and your abilities and you can take on and accomplish anything that you’ve thought about trying but never did.

Hal Elrod breaks down the  two decisions that move your biggest goals from possible to probable to inevitable. He talks about how to develop unwavering faith and maintain extraordinary effort to make miracles happen. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #wellness #podcast #healthy #living #gentleisthenewperfect #gentlewellness #goals #productivity #achievement #passion #purpose #routine #miraclemorning #miracleequation

“The real purpose of a goal is not to hit the goal; it’s to develop yourself into the type of person who can achieve any goal you set”.

You can’t fail, you can only learn, grow, and become better than you’ve ever been before.

The 30-day challenge is about integrating unwavering faith and extraordinary effort by clarifying your mission, defining your process, committing to it everyday.

It’s only an extra 30-60 minutes a day to have the most extraordinary life that you can imagine.

On what it really means to be healthy:

“To me, health is living, pursuing your full potential in every area… it’s clarifying what level 10 would look like in each area of your life and then consistently doing things that move you closer to level 10 in every single area”.

Hal Elrod breaks down the  two decisions that move your biggest goals from possible to probable to inevitable. He talks about how to develop unwavering faith and maintain extraordinary effort to make miracles happen. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #wellness #podcast #healthy #living #gentleisthenewperfect #gentlewellness #goals #productivity #achievement #passion #purpose #routine #miraclemorning #miracleequation

Guest Bio

Hal Elrod is on a mission to elevate the consciousness of humanity, one reader at a time. As the author of the international bestseller The Miracle Morning, as well as his newest book, The Miracle Equation, he is doing exactly that. After overcoming multiple near-death experiences and impacting millions of lives, he has dedicated his own life to showing others how to overcome their challenges so that they can fulfill the unlimited potential that is within each of us.


The Miracle Equation, by Hal Elrod

The Miracle Morning, by Hal Elrod

Gentle Wellness Starter Guide

Join the Miracle Morning community

3 More Feel Good Effect Episodes You’ll Love

How to Quit Your Day Job & Find More Purpose + Fulfillment, with Cathy Heller

How to Flip Your Goals to Be Happier + Healthier Right Now

How to Discover Your Superpower, with Karen Walrond

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89 The Secret to Avoiding Wellness Guilt: How to Handle Conflicting Wellness Advice

Feel Good Effect PodcastPaige ReohrComment

From nutrition to exercise to everything in between, do you ever feel overwhelmed, burned out, and even guilty, about all the conflicting information in the wellness field?

From nutrition to exercise to everything in between, it’s so easy to feel overwhelmed and guilty about all the conflicting information in the wellness field. In this episode about the secret to avoiding wellness guilt., we’ll talk about how to sift through all that information to find a way to wellness that will work for you. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #wellness #podcast #gentlewellness #gentle #gentleisthenewperfect #diet #realfood #livewell #healthyeating

The Secret to Avoiding Wellness Guilt: How to Handle Conflicting Wellness Advice

This episode is all about the secret to avoiding wellness guilt. We’ll talk about exactly how to sift through all that information to find a way to wellness that will work for you.

Listen now!


Do you ever feel a little bit overwhelmed, burned out, even guilty, about all the conflicting information in the wellness field right now?

From nutrition, to exercise, to everything in between.

Today’s episode is the secret to avoiding wellness guilt and figuring out exactly how to sift through all that information to find a way that will work for you.

This episode is brought to you by our free Simplified Wellness Starter Guide, which you can grab for free here.

It’s downloadable, printable, and walks you through all kinds of goodness related to simplifying and taking the overwhelming guilt out of wellness.

This guide will help you flip the script on mindset and offers a really incremental and intentional approach to simplifying meals, movement, and mind.

It really is an amazing place to start-- grab the guide here!

How you’re doing wellness “wrong”:

Okay, let’s talk about wellness guilt, and really, all the ways that you’re doing wellness “wrong”.

Coconut oil-- coconut oil will kill you.

Yep, that innocent plant-based oil from the tropics is definitely going to kill you.

But hold up, coconut oil is actually full of healthy fats and you should put it in everything, put it in your coffee, chug it by the gallon.

But definitely work out to get your heart rate up every day.

Scratch that, working out too hard will spike your cortisol levels and send you into adrenal fatigue, so skip it.

On second thought, it’s actually eggs that are the killers.

No that’s not right, eggs are amazing!

Eat them all the time. But only if they’re pastured. And organic.

For sure though, never leave the house without sunscreen.

Actually, no, sunscreen is laden with harmful chemicals and you should skip it in favor of getting vitamin D.

If anything, for sure, intermittent fasting-- this is the way to go, it’s going to cure everything that ails you.

Wait. Wrong again, intermittent fasting is super dangerous and it should be avoided at all costs!

Of course, definitely 100%, eat more vegetables.

But make sure they’re not canned because if they’re canned they might contain harmful BPA, and definitely only organic and local and from the farmer’s market.

Absolutely eat only grass-fed beef.

Wrong. Plant-based is the way to go, any other option will kill you and the planet, too.

Who knew wellness was so impossible?

And this is just a tiny sampling of the steady stream of conflicting wellness advice that is sprayed across the internet on a daily basis.

By now, it should be plainly obvious, you’re getting it wrong, daily (just like I am).

But that, my friends, that is the point.

There is simply no way to do this perfectly.

Seriously, let that sink in.

The idea that if you try harder, get more discipline, find more motivation, do more research, then finally you’ll win at wellness is a lie.

No matter how many vitamins you swallow, the wellness gurus you follow, the fitness trends you adopt, or fad diets you try, there will always be mistakes in this process.

There will always be people out there who disagree with your approach.

So, if all of this is keeping you up at night with anxiety sweats, if you’re feeling guilty or overwhelmed from just listening to that list, you are not alone.

Just know that all of this is totally fine, making mistakes is totally fine-- you’re human.

Being human means making mistakes, regardless of what we see on the internet from perfect wellness gurus who do everything right, because that’s not reality.

From nutrition to exercise to everything in between, it’s so easy to feel overwhelmed and guilty about all the conflicting information in the wellness field. In this episode about the secret to avoiding wellness guilt., we’ll talk about how to sift through all that information to find a way to wellness that will work for you. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #wellness #podcast #gentlewellness #gentle #gentleisthenewperfect #diet #realfood #livewell #healthyeating

“Being human means making mistakes, trying something, failing, switching things up, and then trying again”.

Making mistakes is part of life for all of us; we’re all here trying to do the best we can, making mistakes and figuring it out as we go.

So when we put striving for impossible ideals in front of true health, when we forsake progress and process in favor of perfection chasing, that’s when we have a real problem of our hands.

When we get caught up in perfect ideal, all or nothing thinking, and comparison, we just can’t win, and we end up feeling completely miserable in the process.

When the search for wellness is making us feel worse, we know something has got to change.

There’s far too much at stake here, your own health, well being, and happiness, to let guilt, perfection, or all or nothing get in the way.

Perfect is simply not an option, and it never was.

I’m not saying to stop trying, to stop researching and being informed, or to stop making the best decisions possible, I’m just saying to stop trying to get it perfect.

It’s time to stop feeling guilty for the impossible situation that you’re in (when I say impossible, I mean it).

You’re trying to balance all the things: you’re taking care of everyone else, you’re trying to take care of yourself, and then on top of everything else, you’re supposed to make the perfect decision about how you eat and every product you bring into your home, about how you exercise, how you take care of your mental health.

And then when you finally commit and you feel like you’re on the right path, you hear the latest headline telling you that you’re doing it wrong.

It’s not just you, this is an impossible situation.

Like I said, it’s time to stop feeling guilty about the impossible situation that you’re in, to stop trying to get it exactly right, and instead, to figure out how to make wellness work your way.

So let’s get it wrong together, make a million tiny mistakes, experiment, and let’s take a few risks.

Together, we can let go of the guilt, the perfection-chasing, and the striving.

From nutrition to exercise to everything in between, it’s so easy to feel overwhelmed and guilty about all the conflicting information in the wellness field. In this episode about the secret to avoiding wellness guilt., we’ll talk about how to sift through all that information to find a way to wellness that will work for you. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #wellness #podcast #gentlewellness #gentle #gentleisthenewperfect #diet #realfood #livewell #healthyeating

“You can get wellness right in your way, on your terms, embracing gentle, simple, incremental, filling your life with imperfect wellness and then watching how everything begins to change.''

3 tactical strategies:

Before I jump into some strategies for you, I really want to make sure you know that you’re not alone.

Every day I get messages that you’re feeling guilty and overwhelmed trying to find the exact right toothpaste for your kids or choosing the right skin care, or deciding what diet to follow.

There are literally a million choices and it is so hard to know which way is right.

But wellness was never about finding the perfect diet or making the perfect choice.

“Wellness has always been about true health, well being, and that includes mental health, that includes peace and calm, and very much includes finding what works for you.

So much of wellness marketing is based on guilt and telling you that you’re doing it wrong, so it’s no wonder we feel like this.

To be really clear, I’m not saying to give up or stop trying, and I’m not saying that there aren’t some choices that are better than others.

I’m just saying that we can’t let the pursuit of wellness make us unwell.

This gentle movement, this gentle mindset, is a way out of this impossible place.

As I was preparing for this piece on why you’re doing wellness wrong, I crowdsourced our community from our Real Food Whole Life Community facebook group and on Instagram.

I asked, “what is conflicting information that you hear all the time about nutrition or exercise or wellness in general”, and hundreds and hundreds of messages came in from you guys about all the ways you feel overwhelmed, conflicted, and guilty about the advice you’re hearing.

I got messages from coconut oil, to carbs, to keto, to how hard to exercise, to what vitamins to take.

But then, I got this one message:

“Hey Robyn,

I read this and thought to myself, nothing makes me feel this way anymore. I wanted to stop and thank you for the part you played in radically changing my lifestyle. The message that you share on this platform and on the Feel Good Effect has helped me to be gentle with myself and learn about wellness from many perspectives. I was once a fad dieter, all or nothing thinker, and a point-counter. I did those things to shrink my body, not to feel good, not to be happy, and not to feel healthy. I ate terrible food loaded with artificial sweeteners, preservatives, and all sorts of ingredients I couldn’t even pronounce. Now, I regularly eat whole, real foods, I drink plenty of water, I get plenty of sleep, and all those changes have given me the fuel to finally exercise, and love it because I finally feel good. Thank you so much for your own unique voice in this wellness community. My journey would not have been the same without you”.

First up, that message made my year!

But it’s not about me, this is about you guys doing the work and making the change.

Shifting your mindset from striving to gentle, focusing on feeling good and what works for you, allowing that grip on guilt and overwhelm to slightly loosen until you feel set and steady in the way that works for you.

Many of you really did want to know about how to handle the tension between something like keto diet, low-carb, intermittent fasting, veganism, and vegetarianism, and I do think I’ll do a show breaking down some of the pros and cons of these different ways of eating.

But in the end, it won’t be me telling you that this one way is the right way, instead, it’ll be me saying here are the pros and here are the cons of each of these styles.

And ultimately you’re going to have to make a choice, it’s not going to be the perfect choice, but it will be maybe the one that makes the most sense for you.

But for now, here are three of my favorite strategies to help you navigate wellness overwhelm and guilt.

1 | Let go of the idea that there is a perfect option.

You might be saying, “I don’t think there’s a perfect option, I just want to know the right answer the best way to go.''

But of course, all of those are perfection in disguise.

We get it ingrained that there is one best way and we must find it.

I really believe that in wellness, there are some best practices, there are some choices that are better than others for sure, but at the end of the day, there really isn’t a perfect solution or a perfect option.

There are pros and cons, there are ways that it will work for you and ways that it won’t.

So let’s talk about the traps that go along with this idea that there is a perfect option, whether you’re a Seeker, a Dynamo, or a Cultivator (find your wellness personality here).

Trap #1: Analysis paralysis.

There’s always more information to find.

You may recognize analysis paralysis when you’re doing endless googling about the perfect diet, listening to every single podcast ever made about a particular way of eating, reading every book, every article, following every wellness person on Instagram.

And there’s nothing wrong with any of that, in fact, I’m right there with you.

But at a certain point, it’s enough information to make a good decision.

And you can get stuck in that loop of constantly trying to find what the best information is, it can make a decision really difficult, and even when you make a decision, you’ll never feel like it’s the right one.

The simple strategy: cut yourself off.

Give yourself a time limit, do what you need to do to find the information, and then make a decision and stick with it.

Stop going back and jumping from thing to thing.

Instead, give yourself some time to do it and some space to kind of own it for yourself without looking around at what everyone else is doing.

Trap #2: Thinking that there’s a perfect solution.

There are so many times when that’s just not the case.

One of the examples that I got from the Facebook community was about fish, and fish is a great example of why there’s no perfect solution.

There’s a lot of research supporting that eating fish is really good for you-- the omegas, a lot of the places where people live the longest are fish eating communities.

But then there’s the whole thing about overfishing and mercury and other toxins being evident in many fishes.

Of course, there is the farmed fish debate, the farmed shrimp debate, the net versus line-caught discussion, and at the end of the day there really is no perfect solution.

So what do we do?

The solution: satisfice.

That’s a combination of satisfy + suffice.

I actually learned about satisfice while I was in my public affairs and policy doctoral program taking an administrative behavior and economics class.

In 1956, a guy named Herbert Simon came up with this concept of satisficing to describe decision making when there’s no perfect solution.

He actually won a Nobel prize for economics and his acceptance speech he said this about satisficing:

From nutrition to exercise to everything in between, it’s so easy to feel overwhelmed and guilty about all the conflicting information in the wellness field. In this episode about the secret to avoiding wellness guilt., we’ll talk about how to sift through all that information to find a way to wellness that will work for you. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #wellness #podcast #gentlewellness #gentle #gentleisthenewperfect #diet #realfood #livewell #healthyeating

“Decision makers can satisfice either by finding optimum solutions for a simplified world, or by finding satisfactory solutions for a more realistic world”.

And in the end, we’re not living in a simplified world when it comes to making decisions, we’ve got to satisfice, which simply means, be informed and then make the best possible choice.

This will allow you to make a decision, enjoy the process, and make wellness work for you.

2 | Make a million tiny mistakes.

Another trap that we get into is that we have to know how to do it right from the start, that we can’t make any mistakes, it doesn't count if it’s not all or nothing, and it doesn’t count if it’s not perfect.

And the solution here is two parts:

The solution part 1: more days than not.

If you miss one day, then you come back for two.

But if you start spiraling into all or nothing, give yourself a chance to make mistakes, to take a day off, take a week off, as long as you keep coming back and trying.

Every day is a new day, every chance is a new chance.

The solution part 2: experiment.

When you shift to a more experimental way of thinking, you shift away from thinking of these as tiny little mistakes, and more as learnings.

In the end, this is how I found a way of eating that works for me.

I committed to a real food way of eating, which is very basic, no nonsense (check out the episode with Sarah Adler on thriving with real food)

But there have been times in the last few years when I’ve wanted to lose weight, so I’ve experimented with a number of different things to see what my body responds to and how sustainable it is, how joyful it is when I cut certain things out, how it affects my family life or my ability to socialize.

I take all of those factors into account.

Many of you know as well that I have two autoimmune diseases, and for many people with autoimmune diseases, gluten is suggested to be removed from their diet, so that’s another thing I’ve experimented with.

At the end of the day, you don’t know what works until you try something.

Ask, “How does this make me feel in my body? How does this make me feel in my life? How sustainable is this?” And then continue to tweak it.

You could take a pre-made diet out there, use it for maybe 30 days, see how it feels, and then use it as a template and continue asking those questions about what is and isn’t working for you.

3 | The feel factor.

How does it feel before, during, and after?

I think this “feel” question really gets to the heart of this whole discussion, because it’s all about how it feels physically and mentally.

Maybe you’re trying to follow a certain diet but you’re working full time, you’re taking care of a sick parent, you have a couple of kids and one has a disability, or you’re struggling with your own health issues, and taking on cooking for every single meal and being really restrictive with your food creates another impossible situation or another way that you just aren’t keeping up.

Paying attention to how you feel, before, during, and after in your physical body and mental health is so important.

It’s a process and it’s a practice, so it doesn’t happen overnight.

Changing the brain, changing the way we think takes a while.

We can get stuck in these thought patterns around perfectionism, all or nothing thinking, and comparison, so it’s not going to undo itself in one day.

But change is possible.

Let go of the idea that there’s a perfect option, get out of analysis paralysis, satisfice all day every day, make a million mistakes, and treat this like one big experiment focusing on how you feel before, during, and after from a physical and mental health perspective.

Let’s get this wrong together!

From nutrition to exercise to everything in between, it’s so easy to feel overwhelmed and guilty about all the conflicting information in the wellness field. In this episode about the secret to avoiding wellness guilt., we’ll talk about how to sift through all that information to find a way to wellness that will work for you. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #wellness #podcast #gentlewellness #gentle #gentleisthenewperfect #diet #realfood #livewell #healthyeating


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How to Thrive with Real Food (& ditch the calorie struggle for good), with Sarah Adler

3 More Feel Good Effect Episodes You’ll Love

How to be Healthier Together, with Liz Moody

How to Tune Into Your Intuitive Food Voice and Stop Serial Dieting, with Robyn Youkillis

How to Stop the Weight Struggle & Create a Lifestyle of Wellness, with Danika Brysha


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88 How to Be Healthier Together with Liz Moody

Feel Good Effect PodcastPaige ReohrComment

With so much wellness information out there, it’s hard to know what’s right for you.

What's the best diet for you? This conversation with Liz Moody breaks down all the conflicting wellness information. She talks about how to choose the best diet for you and how to get into the kitchen and be healthier together. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #podcast #wellnesspodcast #gentle #wellness #healthy #community #healthiertogether #healthyeating #cooking #diet

How to Be Healthier Together with Liz Moody

In this conversation with the author of the bestselling cookbook, Healthier Together, Liz Moody helps us navigate all the conflicting information around what to eat.

She talks about how to choose the best diet for you and how to get into the kitchen and be healthier together.

Listen now!


Today we are talking about how to be healthier together with Liz Moody

Liz is the author of the number one bestselling cookbook, Healthier Together.

She’s a longtime writer, journalist, editor, and healthy recipe developer, and she served as the food director of leading wellness website, mindbodygreen.

In this conversation, we get into how to navigate all the conflicting information around what to eat, the best diet for you, and how to get into the kitchen and be healthier together.

This episode is sponsored by our simplified wellness starter guide which you can grab for free here!

The guide is packed with simple strategies, habits, and mindset shifts that will help you start simplifying and find a new way to well.

It’s science based, it’s life tested, and totally life changing.

Grab it now to take the next step in wellness!

On what led Liz to write Healthier Together:

Liz just came out a beautiful new book, Healthier Together.

And there are so many parts of her story that culminated in this book; it’s her life’s work in a number of ways.

A number of things in Liz’s life have led her to believe that community is one of the biggest missing elements of the wellness conversation.

During her time as the food director at mindbodygreen, a wellness website, Liz was able to connect with some of the nation’s best doctors and she was also front row for every major wellness trend that was coming out.

She could really dive into what the benefits of these trends were and whether or not they were legit.

Through that, she found that everyone was arguing about what diet was the best and what supplements you should take, while the importance of community in wellness and stress were getting lost.

“I think that no matter what you’re eating, and no matter what supplements you’re taking, and how you’re working out, if you’re stressed, none of that really matters.”

You could eat a greasy, gross burger and if you’re feeling good and having a good conversation while you’re eating it, you’ll digest it better.

And the community piece is so easy to get, but you can’t commercialize it.

It’s not exciting, it’s not clicky, it’s not a product that you can buy, and that’s why it’s not covered on social media sites.

It doesn’t come up in the conversation, but community is so important for lowering stress.

We are in an epidemic of loneliness right now.

We view independence as a sign of success, but at some point it leads to isolation, which almost directly correlates with a rise in anxiety and depression.

Another thing is that led Liz to her book is that she had a bad bought of anxiety when she was living in London, and she believes that was a direct result of her isolating herself.

She was bed-ridden for a month and struggled with severe anxiety for over a year, and it’s something she still struggles with to a lesser extent, but it came from a time where she wasn’t seeing or interacting with people for a really long time.

That cemented in her personal life how important community was to the wellness conversation.

Her goal with Healthier Together is that you can nourish your relationships by cooking together in the kitchen, but also that your health choices will be solidified by having strong relationships.

There are a number of studies that show people tend to do what others around them do, so if you surround yourself with people who are eating well and excited about eating vegetable-rich dishes, then you will likely also eat really well and be excited about vegetables.

It works both ways: nourish your body and nourish your relationships.

On wellness trends:

Wellness trends don’t just appear out of thin air, they are curated and strategized and then they are put out into the world by major players.

mindbodygreen is an editorial website based in New York that has 14 million readers across the country and world.

They’re a lot more science-backed compared to other websites.

They really pride themselves on working with the best doctors and really utilizing information from double-blind and repeatable studies and spreading that information to the world.

But like every media site, you live and die by clicks.

You need to hit certain traffic numbers so that advertisers are happy and that results in changing the content that you would naturally write.

So we write about stuff that’s important to us and that we think is vital for the world to know, but we will also write about stuff that we think will be exciting to people and that’s where trends come out.

Most of the wellness trends of the world are driven by people who need to sell products and people who need to get clicks.

It’s really important for all of us to understand that, and it’s not a critique of these sources, but it’s really important to understand where our information is coming from and what’s driving it.

It comes from a very organic, well-meaning place to spread really good information, but at the end of the day, it’s a commercial venture and you have to make it a business, which is going to affect editorial decisions and the information we get.

It’s just about awareness that what we are getting is highly filtered, highly curated, and based on things that aren’t always necessarily related to true wellness.

mindbodygreen really is focused on giving consumers the best information possible, but it’s still about splitting the difference.

As an editor, Liz would often put a very clicky headline that described what was in the article, and then would fill the article with really serviceable stuff that spoke to the messages she believed in.

So with community being important to Liz, she would put a headline that was maybe about gut health and she would write a gut health article, but then she would add something about how one thing that’s important for gut health is lowering your stress levels, which you can do by building relationships and eating without your phone.

What’s important here is recognizing that the whole message will need to give the people what they want as well as what you think they need.

On the right “diet” for you:

Liz still has access to the best minds and the most cutting edge doctors and their research, and one of the things from Liz’s book that really resonated with Robyn is that even these top doctors, who are all research-backed, do not agree on everything.

And that is such a tension for many of our listeners, here.

When we’re looking to the experts for the one right way, it can seem overwhelming and frustrating when they’re all conflicting.

But Liz has some good news and some bad news about that.

The good news: 80% of your diet is generally agreed on by most experts.

Most experts believe that 80% of your diet should essentially be vegetables, and what they’re really arguing about is that last 20%.

And Liz thinks that much of the tension in that last 20% comes from a need to get clicks, to sell books, and keep people searching for that one answer.

The bad news: there isn’t one answer.

Everyone’s body is different and everyone is going to react differently to different foods.

Some people will do really well with chickpeas, but for other people it will make them feel really bloated and unwell.

What's the best diet for you? This conversation with Liz Moody breaks down all the conflicting wellness information. She talks about how to choose the best diet for you and how to get into the kitchen and be healthier together. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #podcast #wellnesspodcast #gentle #wellness #healthy #community #healthiertogether #healthyeating #cooking #diet

“The best way to know what diet is best for you is to really pay attention to how different food is making you feel”.

Unfortunately it’s a longer process and we’re out of touch with how our bodies actually feel at any given moment.

All of Liz’s recipes follow that 80% / 20% rule.

All of the recipes are about 80% vegetable-based and then 20% grains, legumes, and pasteurized meat, which is used more as a condiment to the recipe.

So no matter what your dietary preferences are, what you believe is the healthiest, or what reacts best with your body, you can enjoy everything.

This aligns with the “feel factor” that Robyn talks about, too: how do you feel before, during, and after?

You have to be able to ask those questions.

If we all started with 80% veggies, cooking at home, and connecting with community, we could really simplify this whole health thing.

On Liz’s “homemade challenge”:

When Liz is feeling meh, she does what she likes to call “the homemade challenge”.

For the homemade challenge, Liz just makes all of her food homemade.

So if she wants cookies, she has to make cookies.

If she wants bread, she has to make bread.

She eats whatever she wants as long as it’s homemade.

The homemade challenge makes her instantly feel better because it’s almost impossible to make everything 100% homemade and feel bad.

On health vs. wellness:

Something Liz wrote on her website is, “I believe in wellness to enhance and not limit”.

One of her life mottos is that “wellness is a tool, not an end to itself”.

If wellness is making you less content, satisfied, and happy, it’s no longer wellness.

If wellness is making you feel limited and stressed, it’s no longer wellness.

Health has more to do with serious autoimmune conditions or actual health disorders that need to be treated with conventional or natural medicine.

Wellness is this notion that we all could be feeling a little bit better, a little more energetic, a little happier, and a little less stressed.

We do so much in pursuit of this notion of wellness, but we forget that we’re losing it if we’re stressing too much.

“The goal is to feel better, and we let wellness make us feel worse, and then it’s no longer wellness”.

And that’s hugely important to Liz’s food philosophy.

When people think of healthy food, they think of salads and things that they’re not going to be excited about.

So with the Healthier Together cookbook, Liz was so keen on making these recipes things you would crave and be really excited about.

Liz describes herself as a “trashy eater”- she did not grow up on healthy food and she ate her first vegetables when she was 21.

So she really wanted to make the things that she loves, like taquitos, enchilada lasagna, and dessert, those types of dishes that were also healthy.

There are only like three salads in the book because Liz doesn’t love salad, it doesn’t make her feel good.

Instead, she wanted it to be stuff that people would genuinely be excited about eating.

If you approaching dinner time everyday like it’s a chore just so you can get in your vegetables and feel like you’ve checked off a box, that’s not wellness.

On the role of food in wellness:

Food can have a really big role in both health and wellness and it can be something that’s incredibly healing,

For example, every recipe is Liz’s book is designed to keep your blood sugar balanced.

If your blood sugar is balanced, you’re not going to have these highs or crashes that leave you hangry and you’re also going to stop the cascade of hormones that have negative impacts on your body.

Another thing Liz says in her book is that food is the one thing that every person on the planet has in common.

All people, all political persuasions, all cultures-- we all eat.

Food has an incredible power to connect us and Liz wants to connect us while eating things that make us feel really good, too.

At the end of the day, you can’t separate it.

Liz’s message of Healthier Together is very people-focused.

And it’s not just for couples, it’s healthier with your family members and with your friends.

It can bring you together with all sorts of people in your life.

But you can also be healthier together with your food, with your choices, and with yourself.

Healthier together for Liz:

Food has played a huge role in Liz and her husband’s relationship.

When she met her husband, Liz was very much into the diet food, she ate a ton of splenda, Fiber One cereal, and poached chicken breast.

The first night he slept over her made him oatmeal with blueberries and a TON of splenda, because she has a huge sweet tooth.

But her husband was raised in Berkeley with an edible garden at his elementary school, he grew up eating kale in a very hippie town, and he was appalled at what she was eating.

The next day, he took her to her first farmer’s market and introduced her to vegetables.

It was really nice, because instead of associating vegetables with “eat your veggies, you’re not going to like it,'' she was cooking these wonderful meals with a new person who she was really in love with.

They’ve traveled and lived in a lot of different places, and food has really played a role in enhancing their relationship.

They really are healthier together.

They cook together and support each other's healthy choices, but they’re also healthier together in other elements of wellness.

He encourages her to have a stable workout routine and just makes her laugh everyday.

He’s been fundamental in her entire Healthier Together journey.

In Liz’s book, all of the recipes are two servings and she also offers suggestions for ways to split the tasks and actually to cook together.

But interestingly, she’s gotten a lot of amazing feedback from people who are using the cookbook for solo cooking, because you have exactly the right amount for leftovers.

And a Healthier Together partner doesn’t have to be a spouse, or even somebody who lives with you.

There are sisters doing it together and best friends who are at college in different states who choose a recipe in the book and then they cook it together and share photos of it and talk about whether they liked it or not.

There are moms who use it with their kids, even when their kids live in different places, and also moms with little kids at home.

Creating Healthier Together:

As a food editor, Liz gets a number of cookbooks sent to her daily, but she notices that, often times, chef-written cookbooks are hard to translate into home cooking.

So Liz sees her role as somebody who takes all of the health information from the world’s best doctors, and takes all of the cooking information and flavor profiles from the world’s best chefs and synthesizes them into really easy, accessible recipes that home cooks can actually make on a Tuesday night.

And because of the ease of her recipes, Liz gets a lot of pictures of kids helping their parents make the food.

“Teaching kids about the power of food, and where their food comes from, and getting their hands dirty, and the correlation between what they eat and how they feel from a young age is such a powerful gift that we can give the next generation”.

This is actually Liz’s second cookbook, her first one was what she likes to call a “freezebook” as it is all popsicle recipes.

Getting sent so many cookbooks while she was trying to write her own was daunting for Liz because she didn’t want to create a copy of anything else she was seeing, but she also didn’t want to create something so unique that it was inaccessible.

She wanted every ingredient to be easily found at any grocery store.

A lot of recipe developers have the gift of ignorance, where they don’t see a lot of the recipes out there, so they don’t feel like they have to compete with them.

But as she started brainstorming and thinking about what was missing, she thought about how she can create simple tricks to make recipes easier and healthier with that trashy food element.

Once she narrowed in on what her food perspective was and what a healthy diet meant to her, it got way easier and way more fun.

On navigating tensions between partners when it comes to food:

A lot of people who write to Robyn are saying that they’re struggling to get their partners on board with healthy eating.

And even though Liz’s husband loves healthy food, there have been wellness things that she’s tried that he is not into.

For example, she’s been trying to get him to meditate for ten years, but he‘ll try it for a week and then will decide that he doesn’t like it.

She’s had to come to terms with the fact that even though this thing has an amazing effect on her life, it’s not for him.

At the base level, recognizing the individuality of all of us and the fact the you make your choices and your partner is going to make their choices and that’s completely okay, is great.

But also, it’s about making really delicious food.

You don’t want your partner to feel like they have to deprive themselves and can’t eat the stuff that they love to get “healthy”

Teach your partner that it’s not about deprivation, it’s about adding something to your life.

Liz would recommend some of the more cravable recipes that she shares in her book which allow you to sneak in the vegetables that still feel hearty.

You can teach your partner that it’s going to add joy and pleasure to their life rather than making them feel sad that they’re not eating the food that they want to eat.

Also, there is the option to do Healthier Together with someone outside of your immediate relationship.

There are people so focused on changing someone else that they forget about themselves.

You can do Healthier Together with a best friend, a parent, or anyone in your life and cook for yourself for those meals.

But don’t lose yourself and give up your own needs over it.

Healthier together for Liz and her dad:

Liz’s dad is a psychologist and he’s been really amazing in terms of mental health for her.

She does a series on Instagram called “ask a psychologist”, where people send in their therapy questions and she has her dad answer.

He’s been lovely for her own mental health journey when she’s struggled with anxiety, there with both advice and breathing exercises.

He also encouraging her to exercise because in double-blind studies, exercise has been found to be the most effective antidepressant in the world, more effective than any pill you can take.

And with food, they’ve had a really fun Healthier Together journey because she’s helped him with his diet.

The one change she suggested for him was to start his day with a green smoothie.

Liz has a green smoothie guide in the book so you don’t even need a recipe, just follow her rules and you’ll have a perfect, healthy, satiating green smoothie every time.

If someone does nothing else but replace their breakfast with a green smoothie, Liz believes that will help them feel so much better. It almost gives you permission to eat whatever you want for the rest of the day because you’ve already eaten more vegetables before noon than most people eat in an entire week.

It also tastes really good-- Liz like to do a chocolate covered strawberry one, or a mint chocolate chip with cocoa nibs so it’s something she craves and wants to wake up to.

And then also by having that many vegetables, you’re sort of training your brain to crave that a little more

So Liz got her dad on the green smoothie kick and now he sends her pictures of his green smoothies every morning, he feels so much better, he’s lost a ton of weight, and his cholesterol went down.

And that’s all he did, he still drinks his wine and eats what he wants.

And this is lovely because one, it’s something she gets to connect with him though and two, it’s this additive piece, with incremental baby steps.

You don’t have to give up everything, just switch one thing and see a ripple effect.

Robyn has seen these changes in her parents, too, who have watched her over the years.

Sometimes leading by example, connecting, and encouraging is the best way to see those ripple effects in others.

What's the best diet for you? This conversation with Liz Moody breaks down all the conflicting wellness information. She talks about how to choose the best diet for you and how to get into the kitchen and be healthier together. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #podcast #wellnesspodcast #gentle #wellness #healthy #community #healthiertogether #healthyeating #cooking #diet

“Being your best self and feeling great yourself is the best thing you can do to change the habits of the people around you”.

On what’s lighting Liz up right now:

This book launch has absolutely blown Liz’s mind because she didn’t know what to expect.

You work on a book for two years before it actually comes out into the world, so it’s such a strange process.

She’s mind blown by people’s reactions, after hitting number one on Amazon, who are sharing their thoughts on her recipes and sharing how the recipes are connecting them.

Seeing people’s lives changing because of something she’s produced, even in tiny ways, is what’s lighting Liz up right now.

On what goes on behind the scenes:

Something that doesn’t get talked about a lot is how much work goes on behind the scenes for book launches.

There’s self-doubt, anxiety, and imposter-y, which is so normal which being human, but we don’t show that part when we get to the finish line.

Liz also notes that it’s not always being seen because during the process of writing, your day is pretty boring-- you’re not going to Instagram yourself sitting in front of the computer for 10 hours.

But in her job, Liz has also had access to the whole influencer world, which has been fascinating.

And she wants people to know how much of it is fake.

People make food that they don’t eat, they stage photos that aren’t reflective of what they’re actually doing that day, they talk about things that aren’t really happening in their lives.

Liz suggests taking it all with a grain of salt and finding people to follow on social media who authentically resonate with you and make you feel good when you’re reading their posts, who don’t stoke those feelings of jealousy or negativity toward yourself.

The more she uses social media as media, where she’s just consuming content, rather than social, where she’s engaging with people and treating them like human beings, the worse she feels.

And the more she leans into the social part and tries to ask people questions about their lives, lets them ask her questions, and authentically says how she’s feeling, the better she feels about social media.

Lean into the social and away from the media.

The content creators are, in fact, often the people who are most riddled with self-doubt and self-loathing.

It’s not a coincidence that people who have a lot of followers on Instagram tend to need outside validation, because that’s what they’re looking to get from those followers.

And they often struggle with self-esteem issues, Liz included.

This is often true of the very people we put on pedestals as public figures.

Enter to win a copy of Healthier Together:

Head over to Robyn’s Instagram @realfoodwholelife for a Healthier Together giveaway!

What’s the number one way a relationship has made your life better?

Comment your answer on Robyn’s instagram post for a chance to win one of two copies of Healthier Together that we’re giving away!

On what it really means to be healthy:

“To feel like you’re enhancing your life rather than detracting from it. I think somebody who’s healthy is leaning into their relationships, they're leaning into food they love, they’re leaning into food that makes their body feel good, and they’re leaning away from stress and overthinking… I think listening to your gut and leaning into your best life is healthy”.

What's the best diet for you? This conversation with Liz Moody breaks down all the conflicting wellness information. She talks about how to choose the best diet for you and how to get into the kitchen and be healthier together. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #podcast #wellnesspodcast #gentle #wellness #healthy #community #healthiertogether #healthyeating #cooking #diet

Guest Bio

Liz Moody is the author of two healthy cookbooks: the number one best-seller Healthier Together and Glow Pops. A longtime writer, editor, and healthy recipe developer, she served as the food director of leading wellness website mindbodygreen, and her work has been featured in goop, Vogue, Women's Health, and many more. She hosts the acclaimed podcast Healthier Together, where she explores the secrets of living extraordinary lives with some of the country's most notable women. You can follow her daily musings on Instagram @lizmoody and on


Healthier Together cookbook

Simplified Wellness Starter Guide

The True Meaning of Wellness (from the biggest brand in the game), with Colleen Wachob

How to Restore, Repair, & Thrive, with Mark Sisson

Connect with Liz on Instagram @lizmoody

Healthier Together Podcast

3 More Feel Good Effect Episodes You’ll Love

How to Tune Into Your Intuitive Food Voice and Stop Serial Dieting, with Robyn Youkilis

How to Stop the Weight Struggle & Create a Lifestyle of Wellness with Danika Brysha

Kelly Leveque on Breaking the Starvation-Binge Cycle + Finding Body Love

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87 Body Acceptance After Miscarriage & Infertility

Feel Good Effect PodcastPaige ReohrComment

We are getting super vulnerable and a little bit raw talking about body acceptance after miscarriage and infertility.

Miscarriage and infertility can complicate the relationship we have with our bodies. This episode of the Feel Good Effect is all about how to love your body after experiencing miscarriage or infertility with some tactical things you can do to accept your body. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #gentlewellness #healthy #wellness #podcast #gentle #gentleisthenewperfect #bodylove #bodyacceptance #infertility #miscarriage

Body Acceptance After Miscarriage & Infertility

This is all about how I learned to accept my body after those really hard times, some of the specific strategies that have really helped, and also how I learned to accept and embrace our little family of three.

Listen now!


We are getting super vulnerable and a little bit raw in this week’s episode talking about body acceptance after miscarriage and infertility.

This one is deeply personal as both miscarriage and infertility are part of my story.

I wanted to share more about how I learned to accept my body after those really hard times, some of the specific strategies that have really helped, and also how I learned to accept and embrace our little family of three.

If this episode isn’t for you, I totally understand-- just come back next week.

If it is, though, I made you something: I put together a guide to simplified body love.

In this free guide, I pulled together some of my favorite body love practices that have really helped me move through these difficult seasons, be more at peace, be calmer, and it’s something that I just so strongly wanted to share with you, so I made it free.

It really applies to anyone who is struggling from body image, who is healing from an illness, or the kinds of things we’re talking about today, it kind of covers all your bases.

My story of infertility and miscarriage:

Like many women my age, I grew up in my teens and early-twenties not thinking much about babies.

In fact, my goal was to avoid getting pregnant.

In my early twenties I got married and my husband and I were both on the same page-- we wanted to spend time together, go to school, and we really just wanted to enjoy our marriage, so we were not thinking about babies.

My mom is someone who was able to get pregnant pretty easily and who had fairly straightforward, easy pregnancies, and I think I internalized her story about how childbearing is a wonderful thing that happens, so of course it would be the same for me.

As women, we probably all internalize certain stories about children and childbearing depending on how we were raised, the stories we hear, or influences of older women.

So much so that it becomes an ingrained part of our consciousness.

I think we assume certain things will go a certain way.

For me, my assumption was very strongly held that at a certain point, when my husband Andrew and I decided to have kids, we would just have them.

We would just decide, it would happen, and then we would go onto the next stage.

That’s one part of the body acceptance story that becomes difficult.

If you have these assumptions about what your body will do and about how your story will go, and then the reality doesn’t match, that can be really difficult to handle.

Fast forward to 27, my husband and I had been married for several years, I finished school, we had a house, and we decided it would be a wonderful time to start trying for a family.

This story will be relatable for any of you who have dealt with infertility, that crushing blow that happens when you actively decide to get pregnant and it doesn’t work.

And you feel cheated, because all this time you’ve been avoiding pregnancy and then once you actually try, it’s not happening.

After about six months we went to the doctor to check in, and they tell you, especially if you’re in your twenties, that there’s nothing to worry about, six months is nothing to be alarmed about.

Another year of trying went by, and at that point, I felt like every person I knew was starting to get pregnant.

But we kept trying, and I didn’t consider infertility at all; we had time and I wasn’t worried.

And then we did get pregnant, and I was so happy.

I remember the blissful ignorance I had of being pregnant, thinking that meant we were going to have a baby.

We started making plans and arranging our schedules around the pregnancy and we were just really excited and happy planning for the future.

And then around 11 and a half weeks I started to have a miscarriage.

At first, I didn’t know what was happening, but pretty quickly I understood and was just absolutely devastated.

I remember the hardest part was telling the few people who I had told that we weren’t pregnant anymore.

Not only was I personally devastated, but I felt like a failure.

Why has this happened? What was my body doing wrong?

Around me, I saw friends and family having babies and they weren’t having miscarriages, so why was I?

And of course now I know that wasn’t totally true.

I’s interesting, when you do experience a miscarriage, everyone comes out of the woodwork to tell you about the miscarriages they’ve had.

I think we tend not to tell other women because it’s too painful to talk about ourselves, but also we don’t want to scare people.

Just because this has happened to me doesn’t mean it’s going to happen to you.

So I decided to play the “let’s pretend like this never happened” game, which was very much about shoving my feelings down, pretending like nothing happened, and moving on.

And I know now that this is pretty common.

When you experience a pregnancy loss, even an early miscarriage, it’s really hard to know how to process your feelings.

There aren’t a lot of resources or support, it’s very isolating, and the temptation is to not feel your feelings, to just be stoic and move on.

And that might work for some people, but I will say I wish I could go back and talk to that version of myself and allow her a little more space to process those emotions, to talk to somebody about it, to do a little healing.

But instead, I pushed through.

I’ll note too that during that first pregnancy I didn’t gain a whole lot of weight because I felt so sick for those weeks.

So there weren’t a lot of physical changes to deal with in terms of my body, really just that relationship between my brain and body.

For the most part, I move on.

Our doctor encouraged us to wait six months to a year before trying again, which is what we did.

We moved, I started a new job, I started a doctoral program, and I was avoiding trying again because I was scared.

But we did, we tried, again and again.

It took about a year and a half to two years, and again, I had a positive pregnancy test.

This time we were a little more guarded about planning and getting excited, but I really felt so sick that I was convinced that this time it was a go.

But at about ten and a half weeks I could tell I was experiencing signs of early miscarriage, and I was just beyond devastated.

So I went to the doctor, I had to go by myself this time, and I wasn’t quite sure what was happening.

When I got there, my doctor wasn’t sure what was going on either, so I kind of found myself in a spiral of highly invasive, very traumatizing tests and in the end, she determined that I had an ectopic pregnancy, which means the egg implants outside of the uterus and it’s not viable.

And it’s life-threatening to the mother, so it’s taken very seriously.

And I suppose I’m lucky, I know some women who have had this happen and have had to have emergency surgery to remove the ovary and Fallopian tube, but mine was caught before anything went seriously wrong.

However, the treatment that they offered me was a chemotherapy drug with a lot of side effects, including weight gain.

So I took the drug and really really struggled with that aftermath of slowly losing the pregnancy, being on this drug, gaining weight from the pregnancy and from the drug, and again I had to face telling people that I wasn’t pregnant again.

And that part just sucks.

At this point, the relationship with my body got really complicated, because I was mad, I was disappointed, I couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t do what I thought it was supposed to do, and really what I was made to do, “If I’m a woman, aren’t I supposed to be able to have babies?”.

I was also really, really frustrated by the fact that I gained all this weight, and I didn’t even have a baby to show for it.

On top of that, no one really knows what to say, a lot of people say things that are well-intended but really not at all helpful.

I felt alone, I felt isolated, I felt frustrated, and I was really angry at my body.

Another year or two went by and I didn’t want to try anymore, I felt like I’d gone through enough and I felt like I couldn’t do it again.

I told Andrew that I wasn’t strong enough to try anymore, that I wasn’t brave enough to go through another loss.

But eventually, somehow, he convinced me and I kind of just closed my eyes, took a breath, and we tried again.

I want to interject here that through all this time, through infertility and miscarriages, I was doing everything “right”.

The thing is, when you’re experiencing infertility or miscarriage, people have a lot of advice and a lot of suggestions about what you should be doing.

And I was doing it all.

I was eating really healthy, eating very low sugar, not drinking any alcohol, moving my body but not working out too hard, getting acupuncture, taking all the herbs, and I was also thinking positive thoughts.

This is something that I think perpetuates a lot of the complication around body acceptance when it comes to this kind of stuff.

It’s this pervasive myth that if you just do everything right, you’ll get pregnant and have a healthy baby, that if you just “manifest it”, you’ll have a baby.

And I think it’s been made even worse in recent years, especially in the wellness community on Instagram, I can’t tell you how many high-level influencers I’ve had to unfollow because they say that they’re “manifesting” their pregnancies.

And if you’re out there and you’re working on positive thinking and manifesting and that’s helping you, that’s great and there’s no harm in trying.

But for those of you who see that kind of stuff and it makes you feel like you’re not doing it right, that you’re not trying hard enough, and that basically, you’re the problem, I’m here to tell you that’s simply not true.

Miscarriage and infertility can complicate the relationship we have with our bodies. This episode of the Feel Good Effect is all about how to love your body after experiencing miscarriage or infertility with some tactical things you can do to accept your body. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #gentlewellness #healthy #wellness #podcast #gentle #gentleisthenewperfect #bodylove #bodyacceptance #infertility #miscarriage

“You can do everything right, but sometimes things don't go the way you want, and it’s not your fault”.

That’s been key for me around this body acceptance issue, is to know that there’s no amount of acupuncture, no amount of healthy eating, and no amount of manifesting that really would have changed the story.

It’s not that I didn’t try hard enough, it’s just that sometimes, things don’t go the way that you planned or wanted, and it’s nothing that you can control, and it’s not your fault.

And like I said, Andrew convinced me to try again and we tried and tried and eventually, I was pregnant.

And if you’ve experienced pregnancy loss, miscarriage, infertility, it sucks all the joy out of the early stages of pregnancy because you’re just waiting for the other shoe to drop.

You can’t celebrate with other people, you probably don’t want to say anything to anyone anyway, and you’re basically just waiting every day to see if things are going to go wrong this time.

I think I held my breath the entire time I was pregnant with Elle.

But eventually, as we got toward the end, I started being able to relax.

And we’re so lucky that Elle was born happy and healthy and weighing an enormous 10 pounds.

Of course that 10 pounds and that pregnancy was a little difficult; it had an enormous impact on my body, changing it in a number of ways.

I gained a lot of weight in that pregnancy, but in the end, I had my healthy baby so I accepted all of the things that happened to my body as part of the process.

After I recovered and I had this infant, I looked down at myself and I didn’t recognize the body I was in.

I was still kind of reeling from all the infertility, miscarriage, and treatments and I found that I kind of hated my body.

Yes, it had produced this miracle baby, but there had been all these things along the way that it let me down, then the weight gain, the whole thing-- I just felt very disconnected from myself.

I couldn’t look in the mirror without crying, I was disgusted by what I saw.

It breaks my heart to say that because if I could have shown myself a little more compassion for what I’ve walked through and what I’ve been brave enough to survive, maybe I could have shown myself a little more grace, but that’s not the way it went.

It was really a situation of beating myself up, being incredibly hard on myself, and being a body bully.

And that bullying takes a toll, it’s exhausting.

At this point, many of you are familiar with the story, so I’ll fast forward a little bit.

I was at this all-time low, I was exhausted, I was burned out, and burning the candle at both ends, working 60 hours a week, in a full-time doctoral program, and I realized that things had to change.

I couldn’t put myself at the bottom of the list.

I needed to change how I ate, how I moved, and how I took care of myself.

So I changed everything.

But spoiler alert: I approached wellness just like I had approached everything else in my life, with a striving mindset of all or nothing, perfectionism, and comparison.

I went super extreme working out every single day, I was hyper-focused about everything I ate, which was effective but sucked the joy right out of food.

And by hyper-focusing on all or nothing, perfectionism, and comparison in exercise and food, I really forgot about self-care, mental health, and I found myself super burned out once again.

Part of this was that I hadn’t learned to accept my body, I hadn’t learned body love.

I was just trying to force it into a box, to get it all right, and focusing more on weight loss rather than overall well being.

This is the place where Real Food Whole Life was born.

I realized I needed to find a better way.

I needed to find a way to fit movement, mind, and meals into my every day, in a way that wasn’t striving, in a way that was sustainable, and a way that was gentle.

I started learning about ancient mindfulness teachings, yoga, self-compassion, and realized that this was what I was missing.

When I first started all of this, Elle was two.

It took me about two years to recover myself, to go super extreme, to come back to the middle, and to start sharing my story.

For those of you who have young children, maybe around the age of two, you know how quickly the questions start about siblings.

When are you going to have another baby? Are you going to give that cute daughter of yours a sibling?

Again, maybe well-meaning but not super helpful.

Honestly, I wasn’t even sure that we wanted to have another baby.

The whole experience of getting Elle was so difficult, so long, and I was really just starting to recover my mental health, my body was starting to feel good again.

I really couldn’t imagine going through any of that again.

But there’s tremendous pressure to have more than one child.

It comes from everywhere, from family members, from random people you meet on the street, from your kid’s friends’ parents, maybe even from your spouse, or yourself.

You think, “am I letting my child down by not giving them a sibling?”

I have several friends who have one child and totally embraced that, standing firm in their decision, knowing that it was the very best choice for them.

I love that.

“Anytime you can make your own decision and stand behind it… I think that’s a beautiful thing”.

Nobody knows what’s best for your family or yourself, than you.

I really was on the fence.

But eventually, we decided if we’re going to do it, we better try.

And we went for it, we tried to have a second baby.

For three years.

By this point, the infertility story was boring to me, like “this is happening again? Great”.

Secondary infertility is not talked about a lot.

It’s really really tricky, especially if you didn’t go through it the first time, you pretty much go into it thinking this is going to be great.

But again, I’m telling you, the pressure to have a second kid is tremendous and the guilt pile on moms who aren’t having second children is overwhelming.

Whether that guilt is coming from others, or from yourself, it can be really really hard.

And here’s the thing, I did all the things.

I went to a specialty acupuncturist who has really high success rates around infertility, I did the diet, I did the herbs, I did the positive thinking, and I’m also very well aware of other options for growing a family, and I think they’re all beautiful.

I think if you’re seeking infertility treatments, I’m so happy for you.

If you’ve gone through adoption, I think that’s a beautiful, amazing way to grow a family.

We’ve had Sonja Overhiser from A Couple Cooks on here sharing her adoption story, and we’ve had Jessica Murname from One Part Plant sharing her adoption story.

There’s fostering, there’s surrogacy, there are so many ways to grow a family, but I really know those aren’t a good fit for our family.

I knew that we would give it a good, try but eventually we would have to call it.

I wanted to share this part of the story too, because I think a lot of people publicly share their infertility story and it ends with some kind of happy ending.

And ours is a happy ending too, but not in the way you would think.

Because eventually, after several years, Andrew and I talked and said if this isn’t happening, maybe it’s not meant to happen.

That can be so hard, especially when there are options, like with infertility there’s always something else to try.

And if we didn’t already have Elle, I’m sure we would have gone down one of those paths.

But we have this beautiful healthy child, who’s thriving, we have this incredible family of three, we’re out of the infant stage and into the elementary school years and we are having a blast.

And when I got really quiet, when I got into some of my body love practices, the gratitude and forgiveness in that stillness and quiet, it became very clear to me that we’re meant to be a family of three.

That doesn’t mean that my body failed me, that doesn’t mean I’m a failure as a mom, and it certainly doesn’t mean that we are robbing Elle of some kind of opportunity to have siblings.

It just means this is how our story was supposed to go.

I probably wouldn’t have written it this way, but that’s how life is.

And sometimes Andrew and I still talk about how weird it is to have a life that doesn’t match your expectations.

Both of us grew up assuming that we’d get married and have two kids, but how often does that fictional life we grew up imagining ever match reality?

We had to actively let go of that assumption of what we thought it was going to look like, and embrace what it actually does look like.

And I certainly can’t tell you what to do if you’re experiencing secondary infertility.

But first of all, my heart it with you, I’m so sorry that you have to go through this.

That goes for all of you, whatever you’re struggling with, I wish it didn’t have to be this way, I see you and you’re not alone.

But if you’re feeling that sense of guilt, or if you’re unsure if you can be satisfied and happy with a family of three, I do want to tell you that we really have gotten to a place where I feel nothing but joy and happiness when I think about it.

And Elle has a pretty rad life.

I’m not letting her down as a mom by not giving her siblings.

She has this amazing life, two parents who are super into hanging out with her and give her amazing experiences.

And I’m so lucky that my sister has two little girls so she has cousins, she’s constantly around other children, and we just feel really happy and complete as a family of three.

Part of that process has really been embracing those body love practices, I did a whole episode to walk you through those five practices.

They’re also outlined in that simplified body love guide.

Two of those practices that have been instrumental are gratitude and forgiveness.

Forgiving my body for the things I thought it wasn’t doing right, or the ways I felt it had let me down.

And then unbelievable, overwhelming, incredible gratitude for all that my body does.

Gratitude for all that I have, instead of focusing on the things I don’t.

Gratitude for getting back up and keeping on going.

Gratitude for healing.

And so much self-compassion for my own humanness, for knowing that being human means you don’t get to control everything and that things don’t always go the way that you want.

Miscarriage and infertility can complicate the relationship we have with our bodies. This episode of the Feel Good Effect is all about how to love your body after experiencing miscarriage or infertility with some tactical things you can do to accept your body. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #gentlewellness #healthy #wellness #podcast #gentle #gentleisthenewperfect #bodylove #bodyacceptance #infertility #miscarriage

“You can work hard and you can try hard, and some things happen the way you want them to, and sometimes they don’t. That doesn’t make you a failure, it just makes you a human”.

And showing myself the same kind of compassion that I want Elle to show herself and that I hope you can show to yourself.

For anyone who’s in that dark, isolating place: I see you, you’re not alone.

I hope you can find some healing and just know that your story won’t be mine, but I hope that you find a sense of ease, a sense of peace, as you walk through this season.

For all of you navigating this stuff, whether you’re trying for a family, whether you don’t want children at all, or anywhere in between, I salute you.

Miscarriage and infertility can complicate the relationship we have with our bodies. This episode of the Feel Good Effect is all about how to love your body after experiencing miscarriage or infertility with some tactical things you can do to accept your body. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #gentlewellness #healthy #wellness #podcast #gentle #gentleisthenewperfect #bodylove #bodyacceptance #infertility #miscarriage


Simplified Guide to Body Love

Healthy Lifestyle, Real Food, Cancer, and Adoption, with Sonja Overhiser

A Plant-Based Diet and Endometriosis, with Jessica Murnane

5 Practices to Love Your Body: The Psychology of Body Acceptance

3 More Feel Good Effect Episodes You’ll Love

5 Practices to Love Your Body: The Psychology of Body Acceptance

How to Breathe for Body Love, with Ashley Neese

How to Cultivate Self-Compassion, with Dr. Kristin Neff

Show the Feel Good Effect Love

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  2. Leave an honest review on Apple Podcasts. Your ratings and reviews help more people find the show!

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86 How to Step into Your Power with Lalah Delia

Feel Good Effect PodcastPaige ReohrComment

This is a unique discussion with a beautiful soul about self-empowerment, stepping into your power, and so much more.

Lalah Delia talks all about how to empower yourself, how to step into your own power, and how to change the relationship with your body using daily, intentional choices. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #wellnesspodcast #healthyliving #podcast #surrender #vibratehigherdaily #empower #selflove

How to Step into Your Power with Lalah Delia

Lalah Delia, spiritual writer, wellness educator, and founder of Vibrate Higher Daily, walks us through how to empower yourself, how to step into your own power, and how to change the relationship with your body using daily, intentional choices.

Listen now!


Today we’re speaking with a beautiful soul, Lalah Delia.

Lalah is a spiritual writer, wellness educator, and founder of Vibrate Higher Daily.

This is a discussion about self-empowerment, about stepping into your power, and so much more-- you’re going to love this episode.

In this episode Lalah is sharing exactly what she means by vibrate higher, how to empower yourself and step into your own power, regardless of your life story, circumstances, or things that may have held you back.

We talk about making daily, intentional choices, aging with grace, and using all of this to change the relationship with your body, which is one of my favorite conversations that we’ve had about this.

And then a really interesting discussion about surrender-- what that means and how you can actually use that to let go of the things that are no longer serving you.

This episode is brought to you by our brand new Simplified Wellness Starter Guide.

Whether you’re a long-time listener or brand new to the podcast, I made this just for you.

It’s packed with simple strategies, habits, and mindset shifts to guide you toward that simplifying perspective in finding a new way to well, and you can grab it for free here.

Science-based, life-tested, and totally game changing.

It’s one thing to just listen to a podcast episode and then go back to your daily life, it’s another one to take action.

We get to talk to so many different experts, innovators, and thought leaders on the show, but we actually haven’t ever had someone in Lalah’s genre, talking about spirituality.

This is going to be such a different conversation, and the way Lalah got to where she’s at is so unique, so let’s dive in.

A little on how Lalah got to Vibrate Higher Daily:

Lalah is so passionate about vibrating higher daily because it has transformed the way she sees the world and the way she feels on a mind, body, spirit level.

It got her out of a life that was rock bottom and a time that seemed like the lows were out-shadowing the highs.

She was looking for a way to exit that cycle and have more balance in her life.

She shared her story publicly because she’s so passionate about people knowing and realizing that they can live a better life, no matter where they are or what they are looking to heal from.

All of these things are heavy and they’re sometimes hard to figure out on our own, but once we have the tools and a path, a whole other world opens to us and we have a new lease on life.

Lalah grew up with a heavy spiritual background, her father a practicing Buddhist, her mother a Christian involved with the church, her grandmothers church elders, and she was in the choir from as young as she can remember through adulthood.

But throughout that, Lalah had her own dark journeys and tests and trials where she questioned her faith and got lost.

She really had to meet the divine, the most high, on a personal level, and not a religious level.

She had to for herself, and not her family, which played a huge role in her personal relationship with the divine and her healing.

When you grow up in a religious family and culture, it can just become so robotic and automatic; you do things because that’s the culture that was set in place for you.

And it wasn’t until Lalah rebelled against it, a lot of that rebellion coming from pain and not knowing what to do with it.

She was holding in and hiding her traumas that she knew might upset her father, knowing that he might retaliate, being that it was the culture she lived in; when something happens to someone you love, you retaliate.

As a young girl that was the conversation she had with her peers, that she could keep this from her father and figure it out on her own, and she did just that for as long as she could

“There’s only so far we can carry our wounds on our own”.

When the path opened up for her, it was through more and more crises.

The ultimate two being physical abuse that got really bad and then she was diagnosed with an illness that required emergency surgery without a sure outcome.

So she trusted and she took it as a sign that something has to change, she couldn’t go back to the life that she had before she entered the emergency room, before that crisis.

From there, se decided not to have that surgery and entered the world of holistic medicine, which her sister had been trying to get her on the path of.

She took herbs and plant medicine and it healed her and her mind.

Having to be on a whole different nutritional path, which was completely plant-based, for 90 days completely restructured the way she thought, the way she felt, and her emotional state.

She was in awe, because up until that point she was in such a fight or flight mode all the time, her nervous system was always overactive.

Granted, there were beautiful times throughout that, but they were balanced with the pain, and finally she was able to feel fully balanced.

No matter what she was feeling inside, the whole mountain that she was going to have the climb to change her life didn’t look so big or foriegn anymore-- it was doable.

Her strength continued to grow, and she changed as a young woman, which led her to a whole different life and path.

Coming out of that was interesting for Lalah.

Her mother has always been about prayer, about keeping the most high in the situation, and she was the one that was making sure that Lalah was praying and was still keeping her faith with her.

She would send Lalah scriptures, prayers, or conversations to lead her back to the center, which was spirituality.

And when Lalah’s health crisis happened, it was almost as if everything they had planted in her was showing up in this time of crisis.

She was able to pull on that to the point of going further into the work, which for her, looked like taking classes, taking counseling, and doing the things that used to be very foreign to her, even though there was that stigma around it.

Coming from an inner-city, it’s not so popular to go to counseling-- there’s a whole thing about having to be strong and having the game face on all the time, which in actuality is so unhealthy and an unbalanced way to live.

But, if you’re living from a place of centered power, that’s healthy.

When you’re running from the pain and hiding the pain, masking it with a game face, that’s so unhealthy, and that’s where Lalah was.

Lalah’s spirituality allowed her to soften where she always felt hardened; it truly brought her to a place of surrender.

And after the surrender happened, that’s when so much started changing: the type of work she did, the type of friends she connected with, the types of relationships she was able to let go of-- this healing journey came for everything.

Through patience, diligence, and really trusting in a divine force guiding her, Lalah was trusting the process that everything would be okay throughout.

And it was scary to feel that at first, but the more she stuck to it, the stronger she got in it.

It allowed her to really stay faithful and at that moment, really live the faith she grew up learning about.

She was able to live from a higher perspective and a more centered place within.

On surrender:

Back in the day, surrendering wasn’t an easy option for Lalah.

Even now, it’s not something all of her family understands.

She has family members who are in gangs, others who are in the penitentiary-- the reality of some people is so completely different, and the word “surrender” can be a trigger instead of a word of healing.

It’s a matter of what vibration are you coming to the word with.

We all get our invitation to vibrate higher at different times and we just have to hold space and love for those whose invitation hasn't come yet, knowing that it can happen for them.

Surrendering is about not trying to manipulate the divine timing that’s set for us.

When we’re able to understand that “this is going to happen for me at the specific set time”, we can get into alignment with it, because all the best energies and working tools are in place to serve us better there, instead of trying to force it now.

“Surrendering is all about allowing what’s supposed to appear, appear, and knowing that you’re ready for it”.

On surrender and self-power:

When you’re trying to force everything, it’s just not going to be right, you’re going to end up harming yourself and hurting yourself more than if you just let go.

We give our power away in so many different ways when we choose not to surrender, whether it’s a nutritional path that we know we need to take on and give up a way that’s harming our body, or a relationship that we need to surrender in order to grow fuller a live a more fulfilled life, or a hope and a dream that we need to surrender to now in order for all the working parts to come into place.

Lalah Delia talks all about how to empower yourself, how to step into your own power, and how to change the relationship with your body using daily, intentional choices. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #wellnesspodcast #healthyliving #podcast #surrender #vibratehigherdaily #empower #selflove

“Surrender is never about giving up”.

Sometimes it can feel like surrendering is giving up, because the word gets used in such a negative connotation.

In movies and media, it’s all about surrendering as a victim and that’s the message around it.

But there’s a whole other reality and meaning for it, and that is surrendering to actually come into your power and your rightful place.

On what it means to vibrate higher and how to do it:

Vibrating higher daily is the mindset.

It’s the foundation of living a life that’s able to serve you in a way that’s healthier and more conducive to who you are here to be in the world.

We are these vibrational, energetic beings, and when we can understand that just as a computer needs charge so we can access so much of the world, the human body was the first electrical device; mind, body, spirit, we are electrical, meaning we do have to charge.

And there’s only so much energy that we have each day to give out.

As you give it out, it’s so important to vibrate higher in that way, meaning we are resting, rejuvenating, eating things that are nourishing and restoring to us.

And sometimes someone or something is giving energy back to us, but other times not so much.

Then, if it or they are giving energy back to us, we have to see if it’s serving us or not, if it’s draining us or fueling us.

How is this food fueling me back?

How is this person fueling me back?

How is the energy exchange between us?

Is this a draining energy? A helpful energy? An affirming energy? A disagreeable energy?

Lalah specifically includes the word “daily” in Vibrate Higher Daily because it’s all about starting where you are everyday.

Monday you may have been on top of the world but by Wednesday, maybe your energy reserves have depleted.

“Each day we have a choice to vibrate higher daily from where we find ourselves”.

It’s not vibrate higher daily where we’re going to reach some ultimate state of never being affected by the negative things in the world, but it’s daily knowing that we have the power, grace, and the ability to start where we are and choose to go higher, to choose not to let any of the negativity stick to us.

And again to surrender to a higher path.

Sometimes it’s more comfortable to stay in the hurt, in pain, in anger, in the lower vibration, in the deplicion.

When you’re depleted, it is harder to get up and go take the tonic, or go to the yoga studio, or go get in the bath, or to have the conversation and do the things that are necessary to put you back in a place of your power.

Vibrate higher daily is to truly know that to vibrate, you have to actually do something, there has to be some type of force there that helps you go higher.

And as you do it daily, it’s building you more and putting you in the direction of where you want to see energy in your life manifest.

We’ve talked about the feedback loop on the Feel Good Effect before.

We have a certain amount of energy every day, but we don’t have a cognizant way of paying attention to where that energy is going, which is exactly what Lalah is shining a light on.

By bringing that awareness and attention, there are a lot of ways that we can see what things are draining our energy and what is restoring it.

Paying attention to the loop and making those tweaks and changes allows that upward spiral to vibrate higher daily.

Being centered in your power:

As energetic beings, the energy gives power to us, to the things we’re putting into the world, to our relationships.

The word “power” can be as inclusive as you want it to be, from power through the way you eat, to power through the way you show up in relationships, to power how you’re manifesting the world.

It’s so important to show up wherever we are, daily, in our power, because when we’re not in our power, that means something else is in control.

Energy exchange is a beautiful dance all day long.

And like two people dancing, it can be out of harmony, but when two people know what they’re doing in the same instance, it’s a beautiful exchange.

It’s about keeping your power when you’re around people, keeping your power in relationships, and keeping your power within your inner life, which can be replacing negative thoughts with positive ones.

Something as simple as scrolling through social media can take our power away, if we are unintentionally seeing something that just drains us or a news headline that just shakes us to our core.

This vibrating higher daily path allows us to not be taken aback.

Lalah Delia talks all about how to empower yourself, how to step into your own power, and how to change the relationship with your body using daily, intentional choices. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #wellnesspodcast #healthyliving #podcast #surrender #vibratehigherdaily #empower #selflove

“We can show up in our power and know that we can offer the world a higher vibrational path”.

Whether it’s an answer, or to listen, or show up in service.

On “growing in grace”:

Lalah never says she’s growing older, she says that she’s growing in grace.

She absolutely honors women who have come before us and lived a well-versed life, whether it’s a life of pain or of triumph, they can teach us.

Lalah is from that indigenous mindset, the ancestral sacred mindset that elders know the way.

Understanding that a lot of people need to feel youthful in order to feel powerful, Lalah truly looks to women who are well-versed enough to teach the younger generation.

It’s important for everyone to honor each other in that way of learning and growing from each other.

On a changing power structure:

The whole power structure is shifting and changing now.

It’s crumbling and a new system is birthing, and Lalah is sitting in the front seat with her popcorn excited, knowing that this is what we’ve all been doing the work for.

We each have the power to send divine energy and intentions out into the world.

And there’s so many ways that the power structure is changing-- it’s calling for each of us to stand in our own power in order to change the world, because it’s going to take all of us to do it.

On taking back the power with our relationship with our bodies:

Awareness is the first place to center in on.

There are three things going on with body consciousness:

1 | on one hand there’s a field where women are becoming surgically enhanced.

2 | there’s a middle-field where women, acknowledging the field of enhancement, weigh whether or not they want to reach those types of goals.

3 | then there’s the other side of the spectrum with women who are completely body-positive.

It’s all about asking yourself where you want to be in order to feel high vibrational.

It’s about looking to see what the original intention was.

Is it comparison? If so, you’ll know it’s not the highest vibrational place you can have.

“If you come from a place that’s not the most genuine… it’ll always lead you to chasing more and more outside approval and gratification. And if you are from a place of loving yourself, of self-love, that’s where you’ll always have the most beautiful energy and the most healing”.

The body will not recognize itself, as far as vibrational, if you continue bringing in outside energies and comparisons; it will be at work with itself.

Lalah Delia talks all about how to empower yourself, how to step into your own power, and how to change the relationship with your body using daily, intentional choices. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #wellnesspodcast #healthyliving #podcast #surrender #vibratehigherdaily #empower #selflove

“We have our own unique power, we have our own unique body, and we don’t have to treat our body like it’s not enough”.

As we continue to vibrate higher and live in awareness of all of our gifts, of self-love, of healing the wounds within, our bodies start looking more beautiful to us.

Know that you’re not alone in this struggle, it’s about what types of women you’re looking at and what types of conversations you’re leaning into

We have to understand that we’re continually growing into the women that we are and that’s a process that takes patience and love.

Send yourself love, love, love.

On what’s lighting up Lalah right now:

Absolutely, 100% writing her book.

She and her editor are getting very close to turning in their manuscript and it has been a life-changing journey for her.

Lalah absolutely loves this process, so turning in the manuscript will be bitter-sweet, but she’s looking forward to the next steps in this ongoing process.

She wants this to be a source of motivation, inspiration, encouragement, and application.

Stay tuned for her publish date in Fall of 2019!

Visit Vibrate Higher Daily to subscribe to her newsletter and stay in the know.

On what it really means to be healthy:

“True healthiness, to me, is wellness… And I think healthy is a holistic way of living, when the way you treat people, the way you live, the work you do in the word, it’s all from the same vibration, your higher vibrational self, and it’s in a place of service, of love, of wellness… It’s all connected. When you can live in that place… that is healthy living”.

Lalah Delia talks all about how to empower yourself, how to step into your own power, and how to change the relationship with your body using daily, intentional choices. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #wellnesspodcast #healthyliving #podcast #surrender #vibratehigherdaily #empower #selflove

Guest Bio

Lalah Delia, is a spiritual writer, wellness educator, and the founder of She is engaged daily in pushing wholeness, harmony, transformation, self-empowerment, and healthy lifestyle, forward, through the message and practice of vibrating higher daily.

Lalah’s core message is that vibration plays a contributing, and very interconnected, role throughout our everyday lives, our experiences, manifestations, doings, being, and becomings. And, that our vibration governs how we show up in the world and how we perceive it.

Lalah’s work is a response to the current world we live, maneuver, and journey in and through daily.

Lalah can be found featured in Glamour Magazine, Thoughtfully Magazine, and by ESSENCE, LA YOGA, GIRLBOSS, Prestige Magazine, Black Girl In OM, and more.

Her book Vibrate Higher Daily, Live Your Power, with HarperOne publishing, will soon be available everywhere books are sold, this fall.


Simplified Wellness Starter Guide

Vibrate Higher Daily

How to Make Time for Wellness

Connect with Lalah on Instagram @lalahdelia and Twitter @lalahdelia

3 More Feel Good Effect Episodes You’ll Love

The True Meaning of Wellness, with Colleen Wachob

How to Stop Overthinking Mindfulness

How to Know What to Do With Your Life, with Jonathan Fields

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85 5 Practices to Love Your Body: The Psychology of Body Acceptance

Feel Good Effect PodcastPaige ReohrComment

We’re all about finding more body love and really getting into some tactical practices that you can do to move the needle in how you feel in your own skin.

This is all about finding more body love and really getting into some tactical practices that you can do to move the needle in how you feel in your own skin. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #podcast #wellnesspodcast #bodylove #gentle #wellness #gentleisthenewperfect #livewell #bodyacceptance

5 Practices to Love Your Body: The Psychology of Body Acceptance

Drawing on the science of cutting edge psychology and ancient teachings of mindfulness, we dive into 5 practices for body love. These are tactical practices that you can do right now to find more body love, more body acceptance, and to just feel better in the skin that you’re in.

Listen now!


Today we are going to dive into 5 practices for body love.

These are tactical things that you can do right now to find more body love, more body acceptance, and to just feel better in the skin that you’re in.

We’re drawing on the science, cutting edge psychology, and ancient teachings.

I’m so glad you’re here for this episode about finding more body love and really getting into some practices, some tactical things that you can do to move the needle in how you feel in your own skin.

I put together a printable, downloadable PDF guide to go along with this episode.

Simplified Guide to Body Love

Download the free guide for 5 practices to love your body.

    no spam, just love headed your way

    This guide is another totally free resource from me to you and it really outlines each practice for you.

    I love providing these resources for you because you can listen and really soak it in, but then take the next step and take some action.

    Grab the guide here, there’s a beautiful place to take notes, to reflect, and you can pick one practice.

    I’ll give you 5 options, but you don’t need to do all of them.

    You can pick one and really focus on it, practice it, put it into your life and see how you start to feel different.

    As practicing begins to change the way your brain is wired, and you start to feel different, you may want to adopt another one or you might just stick with one.

    Let’s put this stuff into action.

    On body love and body acceptance:

    I did an episode a few months back called, How I Learned to Accept My Body.

    It was a discussion into my own personal journey around body acceptance and I received so much feedback from that episode that I wanted to continue the conversation.

    This month we’ve talked with Ashley Neese about using breath work for body love, and we have a couple more episodes coming up with the same theme.

    I want to continue having this conversation because I hear from you all the time in my Instagram messages, email, and Facebook group that this conversation is important to you and this is something you really struggle with.

    That fully loving and accepting the body that you’re in is difficult.

    According to the stats, that’s very typical.

    I was diving into the research on body acceptance and body image and I found that up to 88% of women are dissatisfied with or so far as hate their bodies.

    What in the world?!

    I understand that, though, and I think I see that when I look at my peers and friends and just the ways that women talk about themselves and their bodies.

    We’ve normalized it so much that we think it’s the only way and there’s an isolation around it, because this is a conversation that’s happening in your own head on a daily basis to the point where you might not even notice that it’s happening.

    So, as always with all the work here at the Feel Good Effect and Real Food Whole Life, my point is never to shame you; it’s about bringing some of this stuff out into the light so we can talk about it and move toward solutions.

    Depending on your history, if you’ve struggled with and eating disorder or you were picked on for your body growing up or if you just struggle with your body it's changed over time, it can be challenging.

    I know that for myself, body acceptance has been challenging, particularly in my 20’s as I gained weight, lost weight, and then after I had Elle (which I’ve talked about a lot) I gained a lot of weight.

    Note: this is not just about weight.

    Weight is an important piece to talk about with this, but body acceptance and body image have to do with more than size, it’s the changes in my physical body, the weight, and just how I felt about myself that I really struggled with after having her.

    Even today, as someone who is visible in the wellness industry, I can find myself getting caught up in the comparison game, especially in fitness and wellness particularly, where most women are very, very small.

    That’s part of what they’re selling, and I am not quite that size so if I start comparing myself to them and thinking that’s what wellness has to look like, but I don’t look like that, it can send me into a spiral.

    I try to be honest with you guys that this is not about perfection, that I’m not perfect, that body love is not a perfect thing, that I don’t expect myself never to have a bad day, or never think a negative thought— that’s not the expectation.

    But overtime, I have found a lightness and an acceptance, and even a love for this physical body that I’m in.

    And really, it’s through these practices that these changes happen, so I want to be able to share that with you.

    Practices for body love:

    These practices that I’ll share with you are based on cutting-edge psychology, science, and also mindfulness and ancient teachings around acceptance and compassion.

    This is the conversation I want to have around bodies and I think that in the general population, media, and social media that there’s the body-positive movement that I’ve talked about before.

    I love the body-positive movement, but this is a slight detour from that group, because I’m talking about body love.

    To me, body love is simply about finding body acceptance, quieting that inner-body bully, and feeling truly comfortable in your own skin.

    It’s not about making excuses, giving up, or taking the easy road, and it’s not even about leaving behind all self-improvement.

    We talk a lot about finding that middle ground between self-acceptance and self-improvement.

    The amazing thing is when we’re able to squelch that inner bully and find a kinder, gentler way to be, it’s actually linked with more health, happiness, and overall well-being.

    We feel better, but also we’re able to reach our health goals when we come at it from this loving place.

    There is often this assumption that if we bully and negative self-talk ourselves enough, it will motivate ourselves to change.

    I know many of you are afraid that if you give up the negative self-talk and the bullying, that you won’t be motivated anymore, and when you hear “self acceptance”, that’s what you think I’m talking about.

    But it’s not.

    Acceptance just means, “this is what’s happening right now. It is what it is at this moment”, and you spend a little less energy on fighting and beating yourself up.

    And you take that energy from your spiraling and you put it toward these practices and/or toward other things that have nothing to do with your body, like reading, spending time with your family, participating in hobbies.

    If we could harness all of the energy that goes into the inner-body bashing toward other things, we would be so much better off.

    So again, you don’t have to sit here and feel guilty if you know this is an issue for you, let it go and we’ll talk about the 5 practices.

    Before we get there, I have to say as I always do: we have to let go of the striving mindset as we approach these practices, which are perfectionism, all or nothing thinking, and comparison.

    And that’s the risk of talking about body love, body acceptance, or even body positive is that we  into it with a striving mindset and it kind of backfires.

    We think we have to be perfect at it, that we can’t have a negative thought or a bad feeling about the way we look.

    Or we think that we have to practice this every day so we go all or nothing, we’re going to do all 5 of these practices and never miss a day.

    Or we get stuck in the comparison game where we’re looking at other people and how they’re implementing these kinds of things and we think someone else’s way looks different than ours, so we must be doing it wrong.

    Hit pause on this driving mindset, hit pause on perfectionism, all or nothing thinking, and comparison, and just find a different way to be as we navigate these practices.

    Remember, you can grab the Simplified Guide to Body Love to go along with this episode.

    It has all 5 practices written out and a place for notes so you can just listen and have it there for you.

    5 Practices for Body Love:

    1 | Gratitude.

    We talk about gratitude on the show all the time, but this is gratitude specifically related to your beautiful body.

    Practicing gratitude is an amplifier, meaning that it allows you to enjoy all the good and amazing things, in this case, about your body.

    Intentionally practicing gratitude also increases mindfulness, which over time will actually allow you to appreciate all the good things about your body without working so hard to do it.

    The interesting thing about our brain is that we tend to see threats, danger, and bad over good and positive.

    This is a protective aspect of our brain, but then knowing this is true we kind of have to work hard to balance it out.

    Think about when you look in the mirror in a dressing room or at a photograph of yourself, does your brain immediately pick out all the flaws, all the ways that you don’t like what you see?

    Part of that is just how your brain is wired, but part of it is how you practiced responding to looking at yourself.

    The amazing thing about gratitude is that it will help you rewire your brain to see the whole picture.

    It doesn’t mean that you’ll never see a flaw, it just means that you’ll be able to acknowledge, see, and feel the good parts that you’re ignoring in those moments.

    What it is: practicing the good, in this case, as related to your body.

    What it’s not: it doesn’t mean you don’t have painful or negative thoughts or emotions or that you never have a bad day.

    It’s helping expand your reality to include the good things that are actually there.

    How to do it: get really specific.

    I think one of the challenges people have when creating a gratitude practice is that they’re so general.

    “I’m grateful for my body” is a great place to start, but if you can get more specific, you’ll find that it has a more powerful and faster effect.

    I would also encourage you to find gratitude for things that aren’t so focused on the way your body physically looks.

    For example, you might find gratitude for the way that your heart is beating, the way that your breath feels going in and out, the way that your legs carry you from place to place.

    It’s fine if this seems a little inauthentic or forced to you at first, because if you’re not used to doing this, it’s going to feel awkward— just embrace the awkwardness, because it’s a practice and over time your brain will change.

    Not only will you change your brain start to look for the specific things, you’ll be amazed at the number of ways you’ll find gratitude all the time, and it also won’t feel so awkward or forced, it will feel more natural and authentic to you.

    Tip: another science-based part of this practice is to write it down.

    Start a body gratitude journal and at the end of the day or in the morning, just write down three things about your body.

    If three is too many, start with one.

    And if you miss a day, come back the next day.

    I encourage you to make this a practice that you do more days than you don’t because when you write it down, you’re forced to notice it, and as you’re forced to notice it your brain expands in its ability to see the big picture.

    If you get stuck and you can’t think of anything, that’s great information too because if you can’t think of anything to be grateful for, it’s probably time to really hone in on this practice.

    It might help to deemphasize how your body looks and focus more on what it does for you or how it feels, expanding the definition of what body love means can be so powerful.

    Just start doing it, don’t overthink it, 1-3 things a day about your body that you’re grateful for.

    2 | Forgiveness.

    If you haven’t listened to last week’s episode with Ashley Neese, we talked about how to breathe for body love, about forgiveness, and using breath to actively practice self-forgiveness.

    This is not one that’s talked about a lot out there in general popular media, although I hope it starts to take hold.

    This has been pretty game-changing for me and one that I didn’t realize was even an issue until I started really thinking about it.

    For me, this really stems from my own relationship with my body through my struggle with infertility, miscarriage, and illness; it’s taken me a long time to realize that I was angry at my body.

    Why is it failing me, why is it broken, why won’t it do what I want it to do?

    And this anger and lack of forgiveness was causing me a lot of pain and suffering.

    Maybe for you it’s not related to childbearing, maybe it’s aging, or the way that you’ve eaten or exercised or not in the past; we all have stuff around bodies, and some of us are carrying around a lot.

    Note: if big stuff comes up here, I would highly recommend working with a trained professional, this isn’t medical mental health advice, it’s just science-based practice.

    If this is something that you feel like you’re really struggling with, I would highly recommend that you find a mental health professional to work with you on it, because that can make such a big difference.

    For the purposes of our practices, a forgiveness practice is really the act of consciously forgiving yourself for past actions or behaviors.

    Allowing the past to be in the past.

    “Forgiveness means taking healthy responsibility for what’s happened”.

    It’s about creating space for new beginnings in the present moment.

    What it is: it’s a practice of forgiving yourself for past behaviors, actions, or experiences related to your body.

    What it’s not: it’s not releasing personal responsibility, you can own your past without allowing your past to determine your future.

    How to do it: find a quiet space, focus on your breath, breathing in and out, and actively forgive yourself for what behavior or action you’ve been holding onto related to your body.

    This has been really powerful for me and something I’ve had to work through.

    It doesn’t happen overnight, none of these do, but it’s been pretty amazing and I’m excited to be able to share it with you.

    There’s more on this in the free guide and I’d recommend this episode with Ashley Neese and her book, How to Breathe, for more on breathing for forgiveness.

    3 | The Feel Factor.

    The Feel Factor means reframing the relationship you have with your body, from how it looks to how it feels.

    Obviously we’re always going to notice how our body looks, but can we at least add in this other part of how it feels?

    What it is: it’s tuning into how your body feels and then engaging in activities to allow your body to feel good.

    What it’s not: this is not about obsessing, chasing perfection, or all or nothing, feeling like we have to feel good all the time now and everything we do has to make us feel good.

    This is about adjusting our perspective to add this emphasis on feeling into the picture.

    How to do it: ask yourself this simple question, “How does my body feel?

    You can just start with that question, but I’ve found that getting specific really helps this hit home.

    To get more specific, ask, “How does my body feel before, during, and after?

    For example, how does my body feel before, during, and after a third cup of coffee?

    This is one of the ways I’ve adjusted how much caffeine I drink.

    It’s not about restrictive rules or doing something because somebody else told me caffeine is good or bad, it’s really about this loop, “how do I feel before, during, and after?” and not having shame but just having feedback.

    It’s a constant experiment, dialogue, and loop, there’s no right or wrong, it’s just what actually works for me.

    It’s just about creating this loop within yourself where you’re looking and asking: “How can I feel really good in my own skin?

    It can be a little tricky, especially if you’re used to following other plans or those of you who are Seekers (find your Wellness Personality here) and want to jump on the next big thing, this one requires a little more self-study.

    “Keep asking, listening, and making adjustments. Allow this process to be iterative, creative, and experimental. The more you ask and listen, the more you’ll learn exactly what you need”.

    4 | Embrace your humanness.

    This is all about finding more body love and really getting into some tactical practices that you can do to move the needle in how you feel in your own skin. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #podcast #wellnesspodcast #bodylove #gentle #wellness #gentleisthenewperfect #livewell #bodyacceptance

    “Having compassion for yourself and your body comes from embracing your humanness”.

    Knowing and embracing that you’re human is a fundamental part of self-compassion.

    (I highly recommend my conversation with Dr. Kristin Neff on cultivating self-compassion)

    I think when people hear self-compassion they don’t really know what it means, and part of it is just knowing that you’re human and knowing what that means.

    This is all about finding more body love and really getting into some tactical practices that you can do to move the needle in how you feel in your own skin. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #podcast #wellnesspodcast #bodylove #gentle #wellness #gentleisthenewperfect #livewell #bodyacceptance

    It means knowing that “the human body is perfectly imperfect, ever changing, and never was meant to fit an impossible standard of perfection”.

    What it is: it’s practicing self-compassion by embracing the idea that human bodies are perfectly imperfect.

    How to do it: in moments of body bullying, embrace your humanness.

    Know that human bodies are perfectly imperfect and try to talk to yourself in the way that you would talk to a loved one.

    Flip the script and reframe the narrative to the way you would talk to a loved one.

    Be kind. Be on your own side.

    Tip: for some people, scripting this out actually helps.

    It might feel a little bit forced at first and that’s totally fine-- it’ll feel forced because you’ve not done it and you don’t have this dialogue yet.

    But if you constantly find that you are beating yourself up because of your belly or your hips or you think you’re not toned enough or cellulite or wrinkles (I could go on and on, right?), literally write out a different script.

    It might help if you think about a daughter, a son, a best friend, a parent, or a partner and that they’re struggling with this, what would you want them to say to themselves?

    Take that guide and write out the script.

    How would you want someone you love to talk to themselves and acknowledge their humanness?

    5 | Triggers and inputs.

    This is really about starting to pay attention to body bullying triggers, and then working to change the inputs.

    What it is: it’s awareness of the inputs that set off body bullying.

    What it isn’t: it’s not blaming others (the media, influencers, social media) for the way you feel about your own body.

    It’s easy to blame everyone else, and to a certain extent I’m right there with you, but we also have a lot of choices.

    This is about owning your own power and making different choices.

    How to do it: start paying attention to moments of body bullying and ask, “what set this off?”.

    It’s a beautiful moment to notice that you’re in a cycle, so what happened that triggered that moment?

    Was it putting on a piece of clothing that no longer fit?

    Was it scrolling through social media?

    Was it watching TV?

    Was it going to an event?

    And then work on changing the inputs.

    Work on changing things you can control.

    For example, donate the clothing item that no longer fits, stop torturing yourself with a pair of jeans you wore before you had a kid.

    Follow people on social media who inspire you in ways other than their bodies.

    I love all the body positivity people on the internet and I follow some of them, but I also follow people who aren’t just talking about their bodies all the time.

    Consider curating what you’re looking at and diversify with people who have other things to share.

    Watch different shows; you have a lot of choice when it comes to what you consume, so use it.

    These practices definitely aren’t about saying mantras about how you love yourself.

    This idea is really about taking what we know from the research, science, psychology, and ancient teachings, and giving you some really tactical tools.

    I would pick one and put it into practice, start doing it more days than not.

    See how it shifts.

    The goal is never perfection, it’s not full body acceptance and body love and you never think about it again, it's just about finding a different way to be and embracing a little more gentleness and a little more kindness.

    Grab the guide and let us know how it goes.

    This is all about finding more body love and really getting into some tactical practices that you can do to move the needle in how you feel in your own skin. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #podcast #wellnesspodcast #bodylove #gentle #wellness #gentleisthenewperfect #livewell #bodyacceptance