Real Food Whole Life

Season 3

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

3 More Feel Good Effect Episodes You’ll Love

A Plant Based Diet and Endometriosis, with Jessica Murnane

Grand Openings Don’t Work for Wellness: Here’s What to Do Instead

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

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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


You’re Doing Wellness Wrong

Simplified Wellness Starter Guide

Wellness Personality Quiz

Connect on Instagram

Join the Facebook group

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

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

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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

    84 How to Breathe for Body Love with Ashley Neese

    Feel Good Effect PodcastPaige ReohrComment

    This is an honest and vulnerable conversation with tons of tactical takeaways on the basics of breathwork and how to adopt simple practices using breathwork to fundamentally change your life.

    Breathwork 101: simple and effective breathwork strategies that you can start using today, and how to use breathwork to fundamentally change the relationship with your body. #feelgoodeffect #podcast #realfoodwholelife #wellnesspodcast #bodylove #selflove # seflcare #gentlewellness #gentleisthenewperfect #breathwork

    How to Breathe for Body Love with Ashley Neese

    We’re talking breathwork 101 with renowned author and teacher Ashley Neese. Ashley provides a fresh take on this topic and some simple and effective breathwork strategies that you can start using today.

    Listen now!

    Today we are diving deep into breathwork with renowned author and teacher, Ashley Neese.

    Ashley has studied with some of the world’s leading masters in yoga, meditation, medical intuition, and somatic therapy.

    She draws from a deep well of resources to guide people back into their bodies where they learn how to cultivate resilience, develop relational intelligence, and trust the wisdom held within.

    Her passion lies in the belief that our deepest and most profound healing occurs when we listen to the unique language of our bodies.

    Today we’re talking breathwork 101: simple and effective breathwork strategies that you can start using today, and how to use breathwork to fundamentally change the relationship with your body.

    This is Ashley’s second time on the podcast.

    In our first conversation, she shares her story, how she came to breathwork, and really some of the fundamentals about breathwork.

    In this interview, we’re talking everything from breathwork 101 to adopting simple breathwork practices that will fundamentally change your life and using your relationship with your body.

    Ashley provides a fresh take on this topic, and I think you’ll love the honesty, vulnerability, and the tactical takeaways from this episode.

    This episode is brought to you by our brand new Simplified Wellness Starter Guide, which I made just for you, the Feel Good Effect and Real Food Whole Life community.

    It’s completely free, packed with simple strategies, habits, and mindset shifts that will guide you to start simplifying and find a new way to well.

    It’s science-based, life-tested, and totally life changing-- you can grab it here.

    On Ashley’s new book:

    Ashley found breathwork in her own life and started to work with other people before coming to a place where she needed to share it more broadly, in her new book.

    So many of her clients were asking for take-home practices, so she found herself taking notes during her sessions and sending them home with practices in PDF form.

    They were always asking her for practical tools, and as things grew with Ashley’s blog and Instagram, she just kept getting so many requests for practices from people who couldn’t necessarily come in for a session or attend a workshop.

    It became clear that people were wanting practices and wanting tools.

    She has been a writer her whole life and it was just the perfect time to set out and write her book.

    She spent quite a long time on the proposal and on finding an agent and going through that process.

    The ultimate goal was to have a set of really practical and accessible tools to help people use the breath to get back into their bodies and have a set of tools that they can use in a myriad of everyday situations.

    And Ashley absolutely did that; she was able to combine her storytelling and her eye for beautiful design and practicality in her jam-packed book that allows you to pick it up and just start now.

    Breathwork 101: what it is and why it matters.

    “Breathwork is really a form of active meditation and ultimately it is an invitation to inhabit your body, it’s an invitation to pay attention, it’s an invitation to slow down, and it’s an invitation to explore what’s inside your body.

    What you store in your body emotionally, what’s happening for you physically, and for some people what their bigger purpose is spiritually”.

    But it seems like there are some misconceptions for people about what it means to “be in your body” or “get into your body”.

    In fact, both Robyn and Ashley have worked with people who talk about wanting to get out of their body, whether that’s through watching TV or exercising.

    What Ashley means when she says “breathwork is an invitation to get inside of your body” is going inward, looking internally instead of externally, really slowing down (a slow pace is actually key here) to reflect on what’s going on internally.

    She usually starts just by having people put their feet on the floor, feeling the earth beneath their feet, feeling the floor, making some contact, and then starting to explore what’s there.

    These days, Ashely sees a lot of people who don’t want to be inside of their bodies for different reasons, and if your impulse is to not be in your body she urges you to explore why that is.

    Why don’t you want to be in your body? Is it because you have tension? Is it because there’s grief? Is it because it doesn’t feel safe to you?

    But if you don’t know, the best way to explore that might be to start a breathwork practice.

    It’s a great place to start, and you don’t always know and that’s okay.

    Ahsley’s practice is always about being gentle, being tender, really giving yourself a lot of space to explore that unknown.

    “It’s okay to start with not knowing and just to start with a simple inhale and a simple exhale”.

    As you inhale and exhale, see if you notice one sensation in your body.

    Can you feel one thing in your body as you’re inhaling and exhaling? What is that?

    From there you can start to build, maybe the next time you can notice two different sensations in your.

    Before you know it, you’ll really feel things in a different way.

    As our bodies are constantly changing and we go through transitions, trauma, grief, aging, and changes in our relationships, that immediate, tactal, reciprocal loop where we’re constantly checking is a magical thing.

    Ashley has a whole section in her book around trauma in the body and the thing is, our bodies cannot tell the difference between physical and emotional danger.

    If something is happening to us physically or emotionally, our bodies register it the same.

    The reason for that is the fight or flight response to stimuli, whether that’s emotional or physical.

    And the very primal part of the brain, the amygdala, which is involved here, always thinks that we’re in physical danger, which is why we have the physical symptoms.

    The amazing thing about the breath, is that we have the power, no matter what the situation, to change what’s happening in our brain by changing the rate of respiration, by slowing down the breath.

    A lot of times you’ll hear in wellness, let’s talk about affirmations and if you say “I am calm and peaceful”, you will be calm and peaceful.

    But that’s never been the case for Ashley.

    If her anxiety is through the roof, her chest is contracted, and her mind is in that fight or flight space, an affirmation is not going to help her get out of that.

    What is going to help her get out of that is to slow down her breathing.

    The nice thing about this is that it’s really accessible and it has absolutely nothing to do with the content of what you’re experiencing, all it has to do with is you taking a longer exhale.

    “By slowing that process down, even just by a little bit… that can really start to change what’s happening in the brain and start to kick on the parasympathetic nervous system, which will then tell the body that everything is safe”.

    Even though you might still be in an argument, you’re safe, you have agency, and in that moment you can make a different choice.

    But when we’re stuck in that fight or flight response, we have very limited access to choice, we’re just on autopilot.

    If through the work being done through the Feel Good Effect and Real Food Whole Life, the one message Robyn would want to share with women is that “you can take back that agency of your own body regardless of what’s happened to it, you have the power to slow things down and to take those pauses and to let your body experience rest and digest because we cannot live in that state of fight or flight forever, things break”.

    It’s initially a mindset shift that by taking this pause and slowing things down, it’s not only self-care it’s rewiring the brain and physiology.

    When we’re struggling with trauma, when we’re struggling with healing from our trauma, it’s really important that we remind ourselves that our bodies are doing exactly what they’re supposed to do.

    Ashley will often hear from clients, “I’m so frustrated with my body right now, I’m trying to get through this thing and it’s just tensing up” or “my fight or flight is on, it just keeps turning on, what’s wrong with my body?”

    But that’s what your body is supposed to do, it’s supposed to protect you.

    What your body needs in that moment is just a little space, a little pause, so that you can start to recalibrate your internal alarm system.

    And that’s why breathwork is so great, it helps you recalibrate and then you’re creating a new neural pathway.

    Overtime you have the experience of being in an argument and remembering you have this tool to pause and take five breaths; that pathway will get created through practice and it will become more automatic.

    Coming at negative inner-dialogue through Ashley’s work:

    Robyn relates to and frequently hears from people that, “my body has failed me” in some way.

    For her, that internal conversation has been around fertility, miscarriages, endometriosis, and autoimmune disease.

    At a certain point in your life as you age, everybody has a list of things that your body does that you would choose it not to do, perhaps.

    There are so many ways that we have this complicated relationship.

    To work with that, Ashley always has people start with the breath because the breath is the foundation and an invitation to go inside and start to explore.

    “We have this cultural layer that tells us our bodies are our projects, our bodies need work”.

    One of the things Ashley works on a lot in her practice is this mindset shift, which starts with the breath.

    It’s not an affirmation, that doesn’t really work when we’re angry at our bodies, there’s a need for deeper work around that.

    Start with the breath, and use it to explore the places in the body where that tension is being held, where you’re feeling contracted, pain, or grief.

    Those are all parts of the body that need to be explored with the breath and in that process, a mindset shift will start to come online.

    Breathwork 101: simple and effective breathwork strategies that you can start using today, and how to use breathwork to fundamentally change the relationship with your body. #feelgoodeffect #podcast #realfoodwholelife #wellnesspodcast #bodylove #selflove # seflcare #gentlewellness #gentleisthenewperfect #breathwork

    “My body does need care and support. It’s not a project that needs work”.

    There’s this other issue for women, who are taught from a young age to constantly monitor themselves through their bodies, everything down to the clothes they wear to the food they eat and even just being told to smile.

    For Ashley, most of the anger around her body are around her boundaries.

    Because she’s had such a lack of boundary around her body, she’s ended up with adrenal fatigue among other disorders that come from a lack of being able to say “no” and protect her energy and physical body.

    Note: there are multiple ways to heal, especially around serious trauma.

    But with Robyn’s experience around breathwork, with Ashley’s work especially, she’s found that allowing that relationship to repair, allowing space, allowing pause, and actively calming her system and allowing that conversation to take place and to ask that question, “Is my body really failing me? Is this really the relationship I want to have with the body that I live in?”.

    And she admits that she’s still working on some of that, she’d never say it’s over and things change over time, but it’s been a very healing practice for her in terms of that conversation and feeling safe in her own body.

    It’s hard to feel safe if you’re mad at your body and feel like it’s failing you.

    The biggest thing Ashley is working through right now is treating her body as her home, treating her body as a form of deep, sacred space.

    If we can’t feel at home and safe in our own skin, it’s really hard to navigate the world, not only for yourself but in order to take care of the things and people that you care about.

    Ashley is finding with motherhood, all the exploration, health and development, and the real sleep deprivation that leaves her questioning if she’s cut out for this.

    Having an infant is a whole new level of really showing up and doing another deep layer of work to really inhabit her body because it is her job now to regulate his nervous system.

    We’re willing to do things for our children that often we aren’t willing to do for ourselves first, and in Robyn’s case, it is very much her own emotional regulation and her own relationship with her body which is directly affecting her daughter not only through what she teaches her but through their physical relationship.

    It’s something she is constantly working on herself so she can help her daughter learn that as well.

    Ashley, too, experienced this through her pregnancy and now with a month old son, but he’s teaching her everyday to take that long exhale and pause.

    She notes that she’s doing him a much bigger service when she’s at that edge feeling tired and frustrated, to just take that pause.

    He’s not verbal yet, but it’s something she’s teaching his system that “this person is pausing, they are taking care of themselves, they are self-regulating”.

    The power of the exhale:

    The parasympathetic nervous system is our rest and digest mode, it’s the system that we tap into when we’re really doing deep restoration when we’re sleeping, when we’re digesting food.

    It’s also giving us more of a global perspective, the ability to pull back and really see what’s happening.

    And the exhale is associated with the parasympathetic nervous system.

    So just by bringing a gentle awareness to the exhale, you’re already starting to communicate with that system that things are okay.

    “We don’t have to have it all figured out right now”.

    A really simple way to work with exhale is to start to practice extending it: maybe you inhale for two counts and then exhale for three or four.

    You can keep it so, so simple, which Ashley suggests especially in the beginning and if creating a breathing practice is new.

    Most of her clients actually have more trouble with the exhale than the inhale.

    The inhale is what’s associated with the sympathetic nervous system, the fight or flight, super active, and most people she sees have that down and the exhale is where they tend to struggle the most, which is also the case for Ashley.

    And it’s an undershared message.

    Robyn has noticed in fitness classes with any type of breathwork at the end, several people get up and leave.

    To her, the message is “I don’t value this. I value the burn, I value the push, but I don’t value this other part”.

    There’s such an emphasis on calorie burn, getting our metabolism up, getting your heart rate up, which all can be important parts of wellness, but we haven’t acknowledged how much this other part counts.

    Trying to reframe the conversation around what counts is important.

    One of the markers of health and vitality in our bodies is how much oxygen we have in our bloodstream.

    In that way, breathwork is a really good way to increase our lung capacity, which will in turn increase the amount of oxygen in our bloodstream, which will lead to greater health and vitality.

    Our lungs mature by the time we hit 23-25, and by the time we hit 35 our lung function declines, and at 50 it declines again and continues.

    We cannot change the physical size of our lungs, but decreasing capacity with aging is something to pay attention to.

    And one way we can increase our lung capacity is through breathing.

    Ashley’s book:

    The book has three parts.

    The first part is kind of the nuts and bolts: talking about what breathwork is, the nervous system, and about emotions and the breath.

    The second part of the book is how-to: it’s super practical talking about how to incorporate a breathwork practice, what that means, and how to set yourself up for success.

    And the last part is categorical: everything is listed by category, from anger to forgiveness to energy to boundaries.

    And then the way each practice is organized is a brief introduction to the specific practice, the actual practice, and then notes.

    It’s light reading and gets right into the actual practices.

    There is an audio version of her book as well.

    And if you’re not sure where to start, Ashley suggests to always start with grounding, which is a great way to start slowing down and open up.

    Forgiveness for body love:

    This practice is really good to do on days when you feel like you made more mistakes than you would have preferred.

    This is a nourishing practice all about being really gentle with yourself.

    Forgiving ourselves is a huge part of self-care and body-love.

    Going through life constantly bullying yourself doesn’t work and it’s exhausting.

    Self-forgiveness is what gentle is the new perfect is all about.

    On what’s coming up for Ashley:

    Ashley has some digital classes coming up in May, which have been in the works for almost two years.

    This will be a great way to access these tools and practice with a community.

    There will be new practices, new insights, and it’ll be a way to take this work to another level.

    On what it really means to be healthy:

    “Being able to take a pause when you need it, and to ask for help”.

    Breathwork 101: simple and effective breathwork strategies that you can start using today, and how to use breathwork to fundamentally change the relationship with your body. #feelgoodeffect #podcast #realfoodwholelife #wellnesspodcast #bodylove #selflove # seflcare #gentlewellness #gentleisthenewperfect #breathwork

    Guest Bio

    Ashley Neese is a renowned breathwork teacher and author. She has studied with some of the world’s leading masters in yoga, meditation, medical intuition and somatic therapy.

    Ashley draws from .this deep well of resources to guide people back into their bodies where they learn beyond the cognitive mind how to cultivate resilience, develop relational intelligence and trust the wisdom held within. Her passion lies in the belief that our deepest and most profound healing occurs when we learn to listen to the unique language of our bodies. She is in private practice in California.


    The Simplified Wellness Starter Guide

    How to Breathe for Health, with Ashley Neese


    Instagram: @ashleyneese

    How to Breathe

    Digital Workshops

    3 More Feel Good Effect Episodes You’ll Love

    How to go on a Decision Diet for More Mental Energy & Willpower

    Meditation for the Rest of Us, with Kait Hurley

    How to Move Beyond Burnout + Build a Life You Love, with jenny Blake

    Show the Feel Good Effect Love

    1. Share it via FacebookInstagramPinterest, or Twitter

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

    3. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts.

    83 How to Declutter Everything with Allie Casazza

    Feel Good Effect PodcastPaige ReohrComment

    Are you ready to declutter everything? Today’s guest is going to help you do just that.

    Are you ready to declutter everything? Allie Casazza is going to help you do just that and make it work in real life. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #podcast #wellnesspodcast #declutter #cleanliving #gentle #gentleisthenewperfect #purposeshow #organizedhome #clean

    How to Declutter Everything with Allie Casazza

    Allie Casazza is the host of The Purpose Show and the creator of Your Uncluttered Home, an online decluttering course that earned national attention for her philosophy of simple motherhood.

    In today’s episode we’re talking all things decluttering, and how to make it work in real life.

    This episode is the third in a three part mini-series all about decluttering for a calm mind and an organized home.

    Listen now!


    Are you ready to declutter everything?

    Today’s guest is going to help you do just that.

    Allie Casazza is from Southern California; she married her junior high-school sweetheart and is a mom of four young children.

    She inspires and encourages her audience at, and is the host of The Purpose Show.

    She is also the creator of Your Uncluttered Home, an online decluttering course that earned her national attention for her philosophy of simple motherhood.

    Her business is built on minimalism and how we can all live a more purposeful life if we cut out all the unnecessary stuff to create space for enjoying the life that we’re living.

    This is the third in a three part mini-series all about decluttering; we have a great one with Gretchen Rubin and one all about decluttering your fridge and pantry so you can eat well and feel really good.

    Today’s episode is brought to you by our free guide to decluttering your fridge and pantry.

    In that guide we walk you step by step through decluttering those problem areas in the kitchen so you can eat well and feel good.

    Grab the guide here!

    Allie is the mama of four little ones, and her perspective on decluttering from a mother and wife’s point of view is so valuable.

    It’s one thing to try to simplify and declutter on your own, and it’s another if you’re trying to navigate it while living with other people.

    Even though she uses examples specific to moms, it’s still tactical if you have roommates or a partner or just live with people who are not on the same page as you when it comes to decluttering.

    She will give you some nuggets of knowledge and a great philosophy to follow.

    Allie is all about simplifying, decluttering, and getting down to the heart of what matters in order to live your life in a way that is true to yourself and true to your values.

    On Allie’s story + getting to where she is today:

    It all really started with Allie’s mom-journey.

    She kind of just got thrown into motherhood-- she was told it would be incredibly difficult and maybe not even possible for her to conceive.

    She met her husband in junior high and they got married pretty much right out of high school, not really weren’t worried about starting a family at that point in their lives.

    She struggled to find a birth control that didn't make her violently ill.

    Being allergic to latex, and unable to take pills, they were thinking if they can’t get pregnant, forget it.

    So Allie stopped everything and eight months into their marriage she found out that she was pregnant.

    She felt guilty, but she got a little depressed because they just were not ready for that.

    They were told that basically this was an anomaly, but it seemed to be working right then so if they wanted kids of their own they should have them quickly.

    Soon enough, they had four children.

    However, Allie was in this weird place feeling lucky with how the struggle of fertility, which is so many people’s story, was not her story, but that she was struggling so hard with her kids.

    She was very young, and at this point in her story they had three under three, which she assumed she was overwhelmed because of.

    Her husband worked very long hours, she was at home with the kids, and they were just kind of doing the American house that’s too big and way too expensive for what they could afford, but that’s what people do-- they get into debt, they go way overboard.

    They had these kids and just tried to make ends meet.

    She was in a very thick overwhelm and in that time she really just started to question herself: Is this motherhood? Is this it?

    She was hearing it from everyone, “Good moms have sticky floors and happy kids”, “You’re supposed to self-serve and let everything else go, just to just be there”, but it just didn’t sit right for Allie.

    She felt like this was such a huge joy and a huge blessing, but here she was hating it.

    So she began to seek out the source of the stress and the source of the depression that she kept coming in and out of.

    Everyone told her it was because she was insane and had three young kids, but she really refused to believe that their circumstances needed to define them like that and that you “just get through it”, that it is what it is.

    She ended up having a moment when she got the kids busy, went upstairs, locked herself in the bathroom, and sat on the floor in tears; she was just kind of crying out to God.

    “This is the worst. What am I missing? I believe I am here for a reason, I believe I am supposed to live well and full and abundantly and to have joy and I’m trying so hard and nothing is working. I get organized and it comes undone in a second, what am I missing?”

    She had an epiphany, and she’s never had anything else like that since.

    In a moment, she felt a surge of energy in her body and a knowing.

    She realized that all the stuff she was spending time cleaning up isn’t even stuff she needed.

    That night Allie started letting things go, and started asking herself “what is worthy of this really sweet season of my life, that is currently not so sweet because I’m burdened and I’m giving too much time to my stuff?”

    Are you ready to declutter everything? Allie Casazza is going to help you do just that and make it work in real life. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #podcast #wellnesspodcast #declutter #cleanliving #gentle #gentleisthenewperfect #purposeshow #organizedhome #clean

    As she filled trash bags with things to donate, she realized how many moments were spent dusting, picking up and putting back, the kids ripping things off the shelves and putting them back, cleaning up for guests, and reorganizing an overstuffed toy room that wasn’t even serving its purpose because the kids were overstimulated.

    Over the course of the following few months she went through the entirety of her home and immediately, even within a day, there was a difference.

    She was lighter, the kids played better, she had more time, more energy, more mental space, she became a better wife, a better mother, she was able to become a better woman and actually pursue what she wanted, aside from being a mom.

    Allie loves to write so she started her blog, which now employs like twelve families, and her husband was able to leave his job and now they work together.

    It changed her life, just by letting go of excess.

    She’s found that people are really resonating with her story right now.

    Moms are told to basically do it all, even in the curated imperfection that’s trending on social media right now, it’s still fake it’s still kind of perfectly imperfect, even in the messages of “it’s okay momma, you don’t have to do it all”, we’re still being told in a lot of other ways that yeah, we do, or we’re told the opposite, that we can’t, that it’s all downhill from here and it’s so overwhelming and “don’t worry you’ll get through it”.

    She thinks both of those messages are lies.

    And Allie’s message isn’t that you can have it all, it’s that,

    “you can have less for the sake of having more of what matters to you and creating that life that you want that’s actually joyful”.

    Are you ready to declutter everything? Allie Casazza is going to help you do just that and make it work in real life. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #podcast #wellnesspodcast #declutter #cleanliving #gentle #gentleisthenewperfect #purposeshow #organizedhome #clean

    Allie has done an amazing job of creating a step by step for people while also talking about all of the mental baggage that goes along with decluttering.

    Because it’s one thing to do a sweep of your house, put a bunch of stuff in bags, and get rid of it, but it’s another thing to maintain that loop.

    The challenges are making sure excess does not come back in and getting people in the loop of being careful about what comes in and also making sure that these leave that are weighing you down.

    Perfectionism and all or nothing syndrome.

    For those who are totally on board with this decluttering message: when it comes down to getting it done, people still run into barriers.

    You hear an episode of something like this or you read something inspiring, get really gung-ho and ready to dive in.

    But then life happens, and your toddler spills cereal all over the floor, or you have to go to work and you kind of forget, and feel like you don’t have time for this.

    The shame about that is that this is one of the only things you can really do with this level of impact that will take more time from you initially but literally add minutes to your day, and hours to your week.

    You don’t realize how much time is being taken up by your stuff until it’s gone.

    You have to see the shift from version A with all the things to version B when you got rid of things that aren’t worthy of your precious time.

    Decide: Is this something that’s resonating with you?

    Then decide what you’re going to do: Write out your schedule.

    If this is worth it to you, if this return on investment with your time is worth it to you, then how can you make this happen and fit it in?

    Maybe decide on two separate hours a week that you can do this for.

    When Allie used to lose momentum, she would do Monday mornings and Saturday mornings for an hour, and she’d finish and make progress.

    Even if it’s 15 minutes, do something.

    Don’t let yourself get trapped in that all or nothing syndrome, because it’s totally a version of perfectionism.

    These mindset blocks are validated through the research, we have these great intentions but it’s not about a lack of motivation or a lack of discipline, it’s often these mindset blocks: “if I can’t do it perfectly then I’m not going to do it”, or “if I can’t spend the entire weekend on it then I’m not going to do it”, or “my version doesn’t look exactly like Allie’s, so I must be doing it wrong”.

    A 15 minute way to get the ball rolling:

    Let’s say you’re listening to this in the morning and you’re about to go have your coffee.

    While your coffee is brewing, open up your junk drawer-- you don’t even have to finish it, just get rid of some stuff you see in there, like old rubber bands, a broken tape dispenser, things you won’t use, pens that don’t work, just do something.

    Or open up your pots and pans cupboard and go through there.

    There are always things that are big that we feel like “this was money and it equals a lot of value”, even though it’s destroyed and you never use it; it feels weird to make a decision like that.

    Just while you’re doing stuff, while your water is boiling for pasta, go through your cups, get rid of the mugs you always avoid giving people when they come over for coffee, when you’re getting ready in the morning and you’re waiting for your curling iron to heat up, go through a drawer and get rid of old makeup.

    A lot of “while I do this, I do that” type of stuff is really effective, and what’s cool about it is that you’re going to feel a difference right away.

    Allie usually says if you’re going all in, you need to start in the bathroom.

    If you’re going to do a full room, start in the bathroom first because it’s an easy yes or no area, there aren’t a lot of sentimental items kept in the bathroom.

    What will happen almost every single time, people will declutter their bathroom and it feels so good.

    You feel that difference immediately.

    There aren’t a lot of other things like that, if you’re changing your eating, it takes months for you to really see something from that.

    It’s a little discouraging, you want to feel that progress, and with decluttering, it’s immediate.

    Be encouraged by that and start somewhere.

    We might be drawn to the closet of baby clothes first or the thing that feels the biggest, but it can be so incredible to gain momentum with the stuff that doesn’t have as much personal value to begin with.

    We might be drawn to some of those things because we know they’re bothering us.

    Getting rid of little things like outfits that used to fit but don’t anymore just make you feel lighter-- you create that white space, and you remove those things that were just weighing you down; it’s so powerful.

    You have to face it a little bit, but it feels so much better, you’re not being held captive by your old jeans (or whatever it is).

    But this idea of starting in the bathroom is wonderful-- don’t make it harder than it has to be.

    And when it comes to items of emotional significance, it can be really hard to get rid of and it means more than a purge.

    After dealing with secondary infertility, for Robyn, getting rid of her daughter’s baby stuff meant the end of something.

    While it doesn’t seem like having a baby is going to happen in the future, she knows how expensive all of that stuff would be to buy again.

    She had all of the stuff in her garage and after getting rid of it she noticed that she also got rid of the constant reminder of being in the middle of not knowing what’s going to happen.

    It made some space for what she does have.

    And although she felt lighter, it didn’t mean she wasn’t sad; it just didn’t have stuff on top of it.

    It’s getting rid of that constant reminder of something very difficult that you’re going through, or have gone through, or that you’re unhappy with, whether those are jeans or baby stuff.

    And Allie works a lot with widows, and that is also so heavy.

    Whatever it is, it can be big or small but it really does weight you down and it can feel wasteful to let those things go when you may need them.

    The emotional attachment is probably 50% of the struggle, but the other 50% of it is just feeling like you’re going to need it later.

    “I’m going to shrink back down, this baby is going to happen, I’m going to need this later”.

    Even just saying that, you can feel the weight that you’re holding onto.

    It kind of makes you live life with your breath held and then you’re unable to relax and enjoy what you do have and create space for what matters to you right now.

    Even if you’re on a budget, you can always get more stuff if you need it: is it really worth the mental weight that you’re carrying around?

    But there’s another side to this: you use something, for example with your child, and you hold onto it for the future.

    But it has already served its purpose, and now it’s not, it’s actually hurting you, bothering you, making it harder for you to enjoy.

    It has served its purpose, and you let it go.

    Ask yourself: Did something already serve its purpose for me? Is it overused and I need to replace it with a new one? Did it work for me for a time but now it doesn’t?

    That’s not waste.

    You purchase things so that they can serve a purpose for you, and it did.

    It’s okay to let it go, you’re not wasting, you spent money on something and it served the purpose you purchased it for.

    Especially if you can donate it to someone else who needs it, they might be getting an amazing discount and they might really need that, how is that waste?

    Side note: if you have the time and space to think outside of the Goodwill or Salvation Army box, it is so much better and more fulfilling if you were to give those items to a women and children’s shelter or even churches.

    Think about that, you purchased it, it served its purpose, and now you’re giving it to somebody else who is actually going to be able to use it and is going to be hugely blessed by that because they may not have the resources to get.

    But if going and finding the perfect donation spot gets in the way, just get it out.

    Bringing your unwilling family on board:

    It’s one thing for us to change our own behavior and start to declutter in our own homes, but it is another thing when you constantly have children bringing things into the house, your partner bringing stuff in, and your family members aren’t on board with decluttering.

    It can feel like you’re just in an uphill battle, you have to deal with the incoming flow of stuff, and that is a big topic.

    Part of dealing with that incoming flow is related to family, like gifts from grandparents, or paperwork from school.

    One problem that Allie really has with some of the popular minimalist teachers is that there’s this rule that if you have to declutter again after the first time, you’re doing it wrong.

    First of all, you’re not doing it wrong.

    But also, kids change everything.

    Especially for all the moms listening, it is normal and okay to have a constant wave of incoming stuff.

    How can you even control that?

    The thing that we need to do is figure out a solution.

    One practical thing that Allie likes to do for paper-clutter is ask: where does that paper clutter collect in your home?

    For her, it’s a ledge by her front door and the stairs.

    Paperwork would constantly collect there, mail, schoolwork, stuff just collects.

    Wherever clutter collects, that is a place to put storage.

    She noticed that everyone was throwing their stuff there, their shoes, backpacks, and toys because they didn’t want to carry it all the way upstairs.

    So she put a cute, rectangle basket with a lid at the bottom of the stairs and they clean it out every night as part of their evening pick-up routine.

    And then for paper and mail, she put a cute little wooden tier from Target with a slot for mail, a slot for school papers, and then a slot for anything outgoing.

    In the minimalist world, it feels like storage is a no-no, but that’s kind of ridiculous for moms; we have stuff to store and we need to make it work.

    So notice where you’re feeling that incoming stuff that really puts clutter-pressure on you, even if it’s stuff that you already own that’s coming out to your car and then back in again and gets put down somewhere.

    Find out where that pressure is and put storage there that works for you.

    We don’t want to enable junk, though, and start to go back to our old ways of organizing things we needed to let go of.

    But the fact is, life is life and there’s stuff that comes in and you still need to be happy to come home.

    Even if you’re busy and you come home to a bunch of people and papers, it can still feel neat and make you happy to be there instead of super overwhelmed.

    And then circling back to the other side of incoming things, talking to your family and dealing with that side of incoming flow:

    People tend to, again, get into the all or nothing syndrome and they’ll tell Allie that their husband isn’t on board or that their kids are really pushing back.

    How are you communicating what decluttering looks like?

    You’re probably telling your kids “we need to get rid of these toys, this is ridiculous”, and they come at it almost like it’s an undeserved punishment.

    And a husband is probably like, “whoa, we paid money for this why are you getting rid of everything”, and it’s just a miscommunication.

    Allie always tells people that it’s okay, because you don’t need your husband to be on board for you to clean some of your own things and make the house flow better.

    “You don’t need everyone on board for you to simplify”.

    Do what you can, practice what you preach, lead by example, and let everyone come around.

    Especially for little ones.

    Around ages 4-6 kids go through this regular development where inanimate objects come to life and become really special for them; it’s hard to let go.

    It’s important to take a deep breath and step back.

    Realize that there are so many other areas that you can work on that are going to give you a lot of your time and mental space back.

    Those other parts and other people, if you’re living this way, they will come around and catch on eventually.

    They just don’t really understand what you mean and it can seem really alarming and overwhelming to say, “let’s change everything we’ve been doing so far and go the opposite way and get rid of stuff”.

    It can just feel alarming.

    Building in a rhythm:

    Truthfully, Allie just has it on her checklist to just go through the mail and papers everyday, but that never happens.

    She knows that for her household, it’s really important to have set times to do things, otherwise it just gets jumbled.

    She has one day a week that is set aside for home love, when she goes through the mail, pays the bills, sends back whatever she needs to send back, and goes through the kids’ schoolwork-- a home/personal-life day when there’s no work and she can go through those things.

    And she has it on her calendar, even though it’s every week.

    Doing things like that, for Allie and her lifestyle, that’s what she needed to do.

    When she was a stay at home mom without her business, she didn’t really need to have that set in.

    It was just different, and now it needs scheduling.

    Ask yourself: What do I need? What is my lifestyle? What kinds of rhythms do I need?

    Taking the next step:

    It’s one thing to listen to a podcast, it’s another to take action.

    On her website, Allie always makes the landing page the best, newest step-one.

    There’s a webinar (an online video class), which is really the best place to start.

    In it, Allie walks listeners through the three main areas of your home that are the most cluttered.

    Whether you’re single or you have seven kids, these are the three main areas of your home that are overstuffed and taking up most of your time.

    If you’re not a webinar person, Allie has other resources available like her Clean the Clutter Starter Kit, which helps you get started and walks you through the same steps.

    On what’s next for Allie:

    Allie just put the finishing touch on her book proposal, so now that it’s done she can focus on her messaging.

    She also runs the Declutter Like a Mother challenge every year, and they’re currently working with a production company to turn that idea into a television series.

    How Allie feels about the Marie Kondo series:

    Allie loves what Marie Kondo does and what she’s trying to do, because anyone spreading the message of simpler, even the ones that are a little legalistic and kind of out of touch with women and mothers who are struggling, she thinks anybody spreading that message is doing a great job.

    It’s a little different for Allie though, you’ll never find her ranking everything before she lets it go.

    She more feels in her gut whether it’s worth her time.

    And Allie says she’s trying to create a life that allows her to roll with the punches and have a crazy, full life, not really thinking about lining up her produce and cleaning out her purse every day.

    There are so many ways to approach simplification right now, so people have options.

    To hear more from Allie, connect with her on Instagram @allie_thatsme and stay tuned for her vlog-style insta-stories.

    On what it really means to be healthy:

    “I think it means when you wake up in the morning that you feel good and excited… am I living healthfully, and that’s physically, spiritually, emotionally, how’s my mental health”.

    Are you ready to declutter everything? Allie Casazza is going to help you do just that and make it work in real life. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #podcast #wellnesspodcast #declutter #cleanliving #gentle #gentleisthenewperfect #purposeshow #organizedhome #clean

    Guest Bio

    Allie Casazza is from Southern California, married her junior high sweetheart, and is a mom to 4 young children. She inspires and encourages her audience at, is the host of The Purpose Show and is the creator of Your Uncluttered Home - an online decluttering course that earned her national attention for her philosophy of simple motherhood. Her business is built on minimalism and how we can all live a more purposeful life if we cut out all of the stuff to create space for enjoying the life we’re living! She has been featured on The Today Show, Good Morning America, The Huffington Post and even ABC News. Everyone has really taken to her realistic, doable mom-friendly, philosophy of minimalism and simplified living!


    The Purpose Show

    Your Uncluttered Home

    Inner Order, Outer Calm & Decluttering, with Gretchen Rubin

    The Secret to Decluttering Your Fridge & Pantry

    3 Steps to an Uncluttered Home

    Clear the Clutter Starter Kit

    Declutter Like a Mother challenge

    Connect with Allie on Instagram @allie_thatsme

    3 More Feel Good Effect Episodes You’ll Love

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    82 The Secret to Decluttering Your Fridge & Pantry

    Feel Good Effect PodcastPaige ReohrComment

    This episode of the Feel Good Effect podcast will walk you through the step-by-step of decluttering your fridge and pantry you you can live well, feel really good, and find the healthy life that you want to live.

    Declutter your pantry and fridge for streamlined meal planning and easy, healthy, real food cooking. An episode of the Feel Good Effect podcast. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #podcast #wellnesspodcast #declutter #minimalism #mealprep #mealplanning #wellness #gentle #gentleisthenewperfect #cleanliving #organize

    How To Declutter the Fridge & Pantry

    We’re walking through the secret to decluttering your fridge and pantry, no matter how small or how big. In this episode, I’ll give you the exact steps you need to streamline meal prep, meal planning, and cooking real food.

    Listen now!

    Download the Free Guide!

    Download Your Free Guide!

    Grab the free guide and declutter with ease.

      no spam, just love headed your way


      Today I’m going to give you the secret to decluttering your fridge and pantry, no matter how small or how big, and the exact steps for you to do it.

      Right now, we’re in the middle of a three-part mini-series on decluttering.

      Last week we had Gretchen Rubin on the show talking about her new book, how to declutter practically, and how to walk through the process with other people in your lives.

      Today, I want to get really specific and talk about decluttering when it comes to your kitchen, and even more specifically, your fridge and pantry.

      I know, I know, decluttering and minimalism are all the rage right now and everybody is Kondo-ing their closet.

      But this show isn’t about decluttering or organizing for the sake of decluttering or organizing.

      This is about living well, feeling really good, and finding the healthy life that you want to live.

      Part of that is eating well, and part of eating well is having a system that works for you in your life.

      What I find when I work with people on changing their lives and shifting toward gentle-wellness, doing the things that make them feel good, eating real food, and feeding their bodies, there are a lot of barriers that come up.

      So it’s not just about knowing what to eat, it’s knowing how to grocery shop, and when you get home knowing what to do with the food.

      And in all of my work, I find over and over that the fridge and pantry are major pain-points.

      Be honest and think about it: are your fridge and pantry crammed full of random items, half-used, some expired, shoved in the back, and just overall a chaotic mess?

      If you’re answer is yes, it’s so common and it’s nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed about.

      We’re busy, we get home, we have groceries, we throw them in, and we move on.

      But today, I want to share the secret to decluttering and the step by step to create a better process for yourself so that you have more ease when it comes to real food.

      So that preparing meals or cooking at home becomes simple, even effortless, and when you open the fridge or the panty you feel a sense of calm and a sense of purpose, you know what you’re going to do, you know what you’re going to grab, and the whole thing becomes easier.

      I’m not here to tell you to declutter because I think you should have a perfect pantry for Pinterest; this is really about having a system that works so that you can find health in your daily life and make it simple.

      And to make it even easier, I made a free guide for you all.

      It’s one of the many free resources that I provide for you, because I want you to do this, I want you to take action, I want you to make it work in your life.

      The guide is designed to go along with this podcast, step by step so that you can listen and then make it happen.

      Don’t worry if it’s not “instagram-worthy” or that everything isn’t in perfectly matching glass containers.

      This is less about how it looks, and more about that you’ve done it and have a process and system that works for you.

      I have this process broken into three simple steps.

      Before we walk through each one, I just want to remind you that it doesn’t matter if you have a giant walk-in pantry or just one little shelf of one cabinet; we’re all working with a different set of circumstances and different kinds of spaces.

      I don’t want you to think that if you don’t have a giant pantry or a giant fridge that you can’t go through this same process, in fact, I think the smaller the space the more important it is to declutter and maximize what you actually have.

      Step 1 | Know your why.

      I know you’re probably super pumped and Kondo-ing your way to the perfectly tidy and organized pantry, but let’s just press pause for a second.

      Before we dive into all the decluttering, it’s really important to be clear on why you’re actually doing this in the first place.

      Starting with your why makes a big difference and will help you keep it up in the long-term.

      If you’re familiar with Simon Sinek’s work, his first book, Start With Why, or his popular TED talk, this may be ringing a bell.

      The concept is that if you start anything by really reflecting on the reasons why you’re doing it, you’re more likely to actually take action and to stick with it long term.

      And you know we’re all about consistency and sustainability around here, because I don’t want you to spend a bunch of time and effort getting your kitchen cleared out and cleaned up just to fall back and find it’s a big old mess again in a few weeks down the road.

      I’m guessing your why behind decluttering is not just to have a pantry that looks perfect or to organize for the sake of organizing.

      I’m guessing your why has something more to do with helping you streamline the daily process of eating well, of meal planning or meal prepping (if those are things you do), and even if you do none of those things, just to clearly see what you have so it’s easier to pull together healthy, real food effortlessly.

      Or maybe your why has something to do with simplifying grocery shopping, so you’re not wasting so much time wandering around the store, or buying things and throwing them away after they go bad because you didn’t know what to do with them or because they were buried under everything else and you couldn’t see them.

      Maybe your why has to do with making fewer decisions on a daily basis and therefore have more time and energy for the things in your life that really matter.

      That’s some inspiration if you’re feeling a little stuck coming up with your why; I gave you some prompts in that free guide, too, which you can grab here.

      But don’t overthink it, this doesn’t have to be the end-all be-all, it’s just a place to ground down and center yourself on why you’re going to take the time and effort, because you may find halfway through, in the midst of the mess that comes before the streamline, you get overwhelmed, and that’s the point when you come back to the why. Why am I doing this? Why am I spending time on this? Why does this even matter to me?

      I even have some really specific prompts to help you out in that guide.

      Step 2 | Fresh start.

      So you’re crystal clear on why you’re even doing this in the first place, now it’s time to take action-- let’s make it happen.

      The first action step in decluttering is to take everything out.

      Yup, everything.

      Don’t overthink it, just take it out, put it on the counter or the floor.

      A quick note as you get started with this clear out phase, don’t let perfection, comparison, or all or nothing thinking be the enemy of action.

      Declutter your pantry and fridge for streamlined meal planning and easy, healthy, real food cooking. An episode of the Feel Good Effect podcast. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #podcast #wellnesspodcast #declutter #minimalism #mealprep #mealplanning #wellness #gentle #gentleisthenewperfect #cleanliving #organize

      I get it though, it’s so easy to get sucked into the all or nothing, perfectionism, comparison trap in this first step, I actually think it’s the number one thing that keeps us from moving forward in all things.

      It’s normal and I totally get it, but I encourage you to resist the urge.

      Take this step at your own pace and in your on way, just don’t put it off all together.

      And if taking everything out all at once seems overwhelming, try breaking it down.

      The incremental approach can totally work here, and there’s no one right or wrong way.

      If you find you want the do it all at once approach but then you're putting it off because that becomes very overwhelming, or you do part of it but then you lose steam and you’re unable to finish it, then take a step back and think about making it a little more incremental, a little more step by step.

      If you want to go big you can try setting aside an afternoon and tackle the whole thing: fridge, freezer, pantry, bang it out, get it done.

      Or you can take that incremental approach and try one area at a time.

      First the pantry, then the fridge, the the freezer.

      And if you prefer even smaller steps, which I think is a great approach, just do one area at a time: one shelve, one drawer, one bin.

      I get that it’s not as satisfying as the big before and after reveal, but if it means that you did it, it is the right approach for you.

      There’s no one right way when it comes to this clear out step, there’s just the way that works for you, which p.s., is the way you’ll actually do it.

      If you find yourself getting overwhelmed or putting it off, back up and start with a smaller step.

      Decide what to keep and what to let go: the rule of five.

      This step is so important because, remember, we’re not just looking to organize here, we’re looking to actually declutter, which means letting some things go.

      This is the ideal time to take stock of your fridge and pantry staples, and to get rid of anything that’s not serving you and your health goals.

      I know, if you’ve read Marie Kondo’s book or seen her Netflix series, this is the step where she asks you to hold everything in your hand and ask if it sparks joy.

      I’m going to go a different route.

      If you want to have a joy conversation with your food, I do think that’s a great idea, but I also have some more pragmatic suggestions for you in terms of really making some decisions about the items that you keep on hand and whether they might really be working for you in terms of health.

      In terms of deciding what to keep and what to let go, I like to give the rule of five.

      The rule of five is a simple decision rule to help you decide what stays and what goes, here’s how:

      Take every pre packaged item and do a quick scan of the ingredient list.

      Depending on who you are and what you have, you might have a lot of things in packages with ingredient lists, or you might only have a few, either way is fine.

      You’ll just scan the ingredient list, next to the nutrition information where there is a list of every single item that is included in that food or package.

      Anything with more than five ingredients or with unpronounceable ingredients can go.

      Toss it, donate it, whatever works for you.

      The main thing is to get rid of pantry and fridge staples that are super processed or filled with less-than healthy ingredients.

      But again, we’re not looking for perfection here, just awareness.

      If you’re not ready to toss that processed salad dressing or frozen pizza, go ahead and keep it, but consider replacing it with an upgraded option next time you’re at the store.

      I also think that for some people, there are just some staples that they’re not ready to let go of that make their life easier from a convenience perspective, or something that they really like to have on hand.

      You don’t have to throw everything away and have nothing left, but it is a great time to take stock of how much of the total percentage of the food in your pantry and fridge are super processed or not real food.

      And this might be eye-opening, you might find that there’s a lot in there that’s make with synthetic chemicals, that’s not real fool, that’s probably not going to serve your body, and maybe this is an opportunity to let go.

      Start small and build, allowing wiggle room for your own tastes and preferences.

      And you definitely don’t have to get overly rigid about the rule of five, maybe you have some bread that you love with seven ingredients, this is your call, it’s not about everything making the rule every single time.

      There are definitely things in my fridge and pantry that don’t make the rule of five, I have a gluten-free bread that I love that doesn’t meet this criteria.

      But for the most part, this is how I decide what to keep and what to bring back in.

      And obviously toss anything that’s expired or bad.

      And honestly, if you can to this point and you want to stop, I think you’re golden.

      You found your why, you did a clear out, you decided what to keep and what to let go, and if that’s good for you that is totally fine, because you’ve already done a lot of work.

      But if you do want to level up, I’m going to give you some more things that you can do to really streamline.

      Clearly see what you have.

      As you’re thinking about putting things back, it’s really helpful to be able to see clearly, I’m talking about putting loose items like cereals, grains, nuts, and seeds in clear containers.

      And yes, putting items in clear glass containers does look pretty, but the point is to be able to see what you have so you can make better decisions about what you need.

      If you don’t have perfect containers at the moment, don’t let that stop you from using what you do have on hand.

      Glass mason jars are one of my favorite ways to organize a pantry, fridge, and freezer-- they’re easy to find, reusable, and inexpensive.

      I like to use glass jars and baskets to keep items together; totally not necessary though, so if that’s not in your budget do not let that stop you.

      Look around and see what you have and once you have a set of designated containers, transfer loose snacks, cereals, nuts, and grains to them.

      Now you’ll be able to easily see what you have and what you need, which will streamline grocery shopping and meal prep.

      As a bonus, storing food in tightly sealed jars keeps it fresher longer, which is also a great way to reduce food waste.

      But I think you have to think practically, if there’s something that your family just blows through really quickly, it might not be worth transferring to a different container.

      This doesn’t have to be all or nothing.

      We definitely have some things we just keep in the bag because we know we’re going to get through it really fast, but there are plenty of other items that I will take a moment to just put into a jar or container and that way it’s fresher longer, I can see it, and it stays a lot tidier in there overall.

      Step 3 | Only the essentials.

      The final step in this whole decluttering process is to put everything back in a simplified, systematic way.

      So first, we’re going to think about putting things back by type; the idea is to gather ingredients, food items, anything that’s in a jar or container in the fridge and pantry kind by type.

      For example, put proteins together in the freezer and put the grains all together in the pantry, snacks and cereals can go together on another shelf, and baking items can be grouped in their own area as well.

      No need to overthink this part, just do the best you can putting items together in a way that makes sense to you.

      I think you’ll find that having items together makes meal prep and planning so much easier, plus it gives you a better sense of what you have and what you need.

      In my kitchen, I have all of our frozen proteins all in one spot so when I go to the grocery store, I can take a quick look and see what we’re low on.

      Same thing when I look in the pantry at grains and bases, like pasta, rice, quinoa, I can see whether we are running low on anything.

      An extra bonus here: when things go on sale you can stock up if you know that you’re low, that way I keep that supply replenished and I save money, which is always a bonus.

      Do an audit.

      Okay, everything is back in place, you’re in the home stretch.

      This is gold-star territory, some advanced steps so you may not want to take this on right now, or maybe it does sound like something you want to add to your overall system.

      Because now it’s time to do an audit of your fridge, pantry, and freezer.

      The purpose of the audit is simple, to create a list of grocery items necessary to fill in any gaps.

      Because you’ve already organized, it should be pretty easy to see what’s missing and what needs to be replaced.

      When you declutter, sometimes you’ll find that you’re actually missing some things that you really do need or that would make cooking and meal prep much easier.

      So check the pantry and fridge, create the list, and then work on adding these items back over the coming weeks.

      This doesn’t have to happen all at once, just a few items at a time will get you where you want to go.

      As a extra tip, stock up on essentials, such as shelf staple items and protein when they go on sale, and freeze what you can’t use in a few days in individual serving sizes.

      The magic list.

      Okay you amazing human, you’ve made it to the last step.

      The magic list is the last step in decluttering your fridge and pantry and will help you maintain the work that you’ve done to declutter, plus drastically cut down on the amount of time you spend figuring out what you need to buy at the grocery store.

      Here’s how it works: using a piece of paper or the notes function on your phone (I’m a pen and paper girl at heart, but in this case I prefer a phone because then I always have it with me), write out a list of the fridge and pantry staples, these are the items you use often and you want to make sure you have on hand all the time.

      And this list is going to look different depending on what kind of diet you follow, as well as the individual taste preferences of yourself and the people you live with.

      We are a mostly dairy-free and gluten-free household; it’s going to be different from person to person.

      And that’s the cool thing, you get to individualize this based on what you know works for you.

      My magic list allows me to not have that moment when I come home from the store and realize that I forgot a bunch of really essential items.

      I actually organize my magic list by the essential six.

      Basically, the essential proteins that I want to have on hand, the essential grains and bases, sauces, veggies, and this list helps me be focused when I’m grocery shopping, making sure I don’t miss anything or impulse buy random ingredients that I probably won’t use all of.

      It just reminds me about what my essentials are and helps me prioritize those things.

      Again, these are the items you use often and keep on hand all the time.

      And then each week as you make your grocery list, or even on the fly as you’re wandering around the store, you can take a look at that magic list to see what you might need to grab or stock up on.

      It’s also a great thing to keep in mind when you find sale items at the store, if it matches your list that’s a great time to stock up.

      There you go, you did it!

      Good job for doing the work and taking the time to work these steps.

      I truly hope that once you have that decluttered fridge and pantry, you’ll find meal prep, meal planning, and cooking really healthy food easy, simple, and streamlined, and that it makes your life a little bit easier.

      Grab the free guide here!

      By downloading it, make a commitment to yourself to actually walk through these steps.

      It could be tomorrow, it could be next week, but put a time limit on it for yourself.

      We know from the research that if you keep it open-ended and don’t give yourself a deadline, it won’t happen.

      You know your schedule and when this will work for you.

      Pick a time, make it happen.

      Share your results with me on Instagram or on the Real Food Whole Life Community page on Facebook.

      Declutter your pantry and fridge for streamlined meal planning and easy, healthy, real food cooking. An episode of the Feel Good Effect podcast. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #podcast #wellnesspodcast #declutter #minimalism #mealprep #mealplanning #wellness #gentle #gentleisthenewperfect #cleanliving #organize


      Inner Order, Outer Calm and Decluttering, with Gretchen Rubin

      Simplified Guide to Decluttering Your Pantry & Fridge in 3 Simple Steps

      Free Guide: Declutter Your Pantry & Fridge

      Start With Why, by Simon Sinek

      How Great Leaders Inspire Action, Simon Sinek TED Talk

      Wide 8-oz mason jars

      More on the essential six, from The Simplified Guide to Meal Prep & Planning

      3 More Feel Good Effect Episodes You’ll Love

      The 5 Biggest Wellness Mistakes You’re Making (and how to fix them)

      No Fail Meal Planning Tips (for people who hate meal planning)

      How to Stop Overthinking Meals


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      81 Inner Order, Outer Calm & Decluttering with Gretchen Rubin

      Feel Good Effect PodcastPaige ReohrComment

      We’re talking decluttering to find outer order and inner calm with the master, Gretchen Rubin.

      We’re talking decluttering to find outer order and inner calm with the master, Gretchen Rubin. An episode from the Feel Good Effect podcast on how to make decluttering work for you. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #podcast #wellnesspodcast #declutter #minimalism #gentleisthenewperfect #innerorderoutercalm #gretchenrubin #fourtendencies

      Inner Order, Outer Calm & Decluttering with Gretchen Rubin

      Known for her ability to distill and convey complex ideas with humor and clarity, Gretchen Rubin breaks down how to better understand yourself and make change in the context of decluttering and simplifying.

      This is the first episode in a three part mini series to help you simplify decluttering in real life, take it off of your to-do list, and help you take action.

      Listen now!


      Today’s episode is all about how to find outer order and inner calm.

      We’re talking decluttering with the master, Gretchen Rubin.

      Gretchen is one of today’s most influential thought provokers and observers of happiness and human nature.

      She’s known for her ability to distill and convey complex ideas with humor and clarity in a way that’s accessible to a wide audience.

      Basically, she’s no nonsense, knows what she’s talking about, does a ton of research, really digs into the concept and then is able to explain it in a way that helps you better understand yourself and ways to really make change.

      Today we are talking about how she does that in relation to decluttering and simplifying.

      She's the author of many books including the New York Times best sellers, The Four Tendencies, Better Than Before, and The Happiness Project.

      She also has a top-ranked, award-winning podcast, Happier with Gretchen Rubin, where she discusses happiness and good habits with her sister, Elizabeth.

      This is Gretchen’s second time on the Feel Good Effect, we are so excited to welcome her back!

      Last time, we talked a lot about her study of happiness, understanding how happiness shows up, how we can have more of it, and also her book, The Four Tendencies, including a quiz that you can take to better understand your own tendency and how to leverage that to make habit change easier.

      I encourage you to go back and listen, take the quiz, figure out your tendency, and then dive into this conversation on outer order, inner calm with Gretchen Rubin.

      This conversation is actually the first episode in a three part mini series all about decluttering.

      Who better to kick it off than the queen, Gretchen Rubin?

      This mini series has a unified theme to help you simplify decluttering in real life, take it off of your to-do list, and help you take action.

      On how she went from the Four Tendencies to her newest book, Outer Order, Inner Calm:

      Gretchen started working on this book while she was working on the Four Tendencies, it was kind of like her “hookey book” when she needed to take a break.

      Like many people, Gretchen finds it incredibly energizing to clear away things that she doesn’t need, doesn’t use, or doesn’t love, and she was always interested in why that is, why the joy seems disproportionate.

      She felt like the buzz she got from cleaning her coat closet was bigger than it ought to be.

      She also had always been enchanted by a book called, Food Rules, by Michael Pollan, which is a little book about how to eat healthfully well.

      She always thought it would be fun to write a book like that, loving that you just get in, get out, and get all psyched up; it communicated the ideas in a very clear and concise way.

      But of course, when she started adapting it to her own ideas it changed a lot.

      So while Gretchen’s book didn’t turn out totally like Food Rules, it challenged her to still tackle it in a way that was very streamlined and clear.

      It’s meant to be a book you can flip through and suck it in without a lot of time or energy, which is pretty consistent with the whole message of decluttering.

      On why outer order really matters:

      There are so many aspects to outer order.

      Part of it is the convenience factor, it’s easier to find things, it’s easier to put things away, and it’s easier to clean when we achieve outer order.

      But another part of it is more complex and emotional.

      A lot of times when people are clearing clutter, they’re trying to let go of things that maybe make them feel guilty or fill them with regret.

      In that context there’s guilt coming from all sorts of place:

      • The fantasy self: I got this because I really wanted to learn how to play the guitar but I still don’t.

      • The previous self: I used to fit into this, but now I don’t.

      • Spending too much money on something.

      • An emotional attachment: how could let this go?

      There’s a lot going on when you’re clearing clutter, it’s not just sorting through whether or not you need like five hammers.

      There are things that are harder to make judgments on.

      So, Gretchen tries to have a lot of fun questions to ask that make it easier to recognize when it’s time to let something go.

      “The deep irony is that many people, in search of clearing clutter, they run to a store in search for more stuff”.

      One thing to do: always start by getting rid of things.

      Whether you’re throwing them away, recycling, or donating, get rid of everything that you don’t want, because maybe you don’t have to organize it.

      Starting by elimination is the best thing.

      On finding the way that works for you:

      Gretchen really emphasizes finding the way that works for you, which is part of what makes her work so powerful.

      We’re talking decluttering to find outer order and inner calm with the master, Gretchen Rubin. An episode from the Feel Good Effect podcast on how to make decluttering work for you. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #podcast #wellnesspodcast #declutter #minimalism #gentleisthenewperfect #innerorderoutercalm #gretchenrubin #fourtendencies

      “Face clutter in a way that’s right for you”.

      But is this something everyone should do?

      According to Gretchen, not necessarily.

      For example, her sister is what she calls “clutter-blind”, someone who just doesn’t see it and just don’t care.

      At some point, there needs to be a level of order so you can go about your day and find what you need to find, but clutter doesn’t need to be cleared for the sake of it.

      There’s no reason to make your bed other than it makes you happier, or more in control, or you enjoy your room more.

      And some people are abundance lovers, they love collections, they love things going on, they love creative juxtaposition.

      But even for abundance lovers, Gretchen believes will still feel better after getting rid of things they don’t need, don’t use, don’t love.

      In the end, do it if it’s right for you.

      It’s this tension between self-acceptance and self-improvement; accept yourself and expect more from yourself.

      But if clutter isn’t bothering you and it’s not getting in your way, that’s okay.

      Because sometimes we go through seasons of stuff, too, things that we need or want now but don’t need later.

      Having children creates seasons, even older children are messy in their own way, but seasons pass.

      There is also this idea that even people who don’t mind clutter should mind it, like there’s an unspoken social norm; then you hear from people who don’t mind the clutter, “I don’t care, but I care that you care”.

      But this is interesting because it’s about preferences, “what I prefer is right, and what you prefer is wrong”.

      Maybe for some people, a cluttered desk means a cluttered mind, but if you are making people adopt your habits, you may be interfering with what may work best for them.

      For some people, clutter really does have a purpose.

      As a writer, one of the things Gretchen does is take a bunch of notes and compile them into a document without particular order.

      And what she’s found is that sometimes she gets ideas from unexpected juxtapositions.

      And some people might use documents that way, there might be ten piles but they know exactly where things are.

      So if that works, then why use a filing cabinet?

      On navigating wanting structure but needing to self-discover:

      We’re talking decluttering to find outer order and inner calm with the master, Gretchen Rubin. An episode from the Feel Good Effect podcast on how to make decluttering work for you. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #podcast #wellnesspodcast #declutter #minimalism #gentleisthenewperfect #innerorderoutercalm #gretchenrubin #fourtendencies

      “It’s a fact about human nature, when getting advice, we love to receive a precise, standard template for success. And when giving advice, we love to insist that the strategy that works for us will surely work for others, but each of us must find our own way”

      People love Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and the thing is, that she has one right way: you do things in a certain order, and you take out everything and put it in a pile.

      Some people find that exciting, that she’s giving you one right way to fold, one right approach.

      But still, Gretchen hasn’t met very many person who have truly followed her system; people naturally pick and choose based on what works for them.

      There’s no need to beat yourself up for not following the full method, not everyone has the time or energy to spend a weekend purging.

      But you could do just one shelf today, and tomorrow another.

      “It’s amazing. If you do a little bit of work consistently, what you can do over the course of a couple months is astounding”.

      People often underestimate what they can do in the long run, and they often overestimate what they can do in the short run.

      A really good question to ask yourself to help know if something is going to work for you: when have I succeeded in the past?

      One thing that Marie Kondo says, that Gretchen does think is true and is in part why her system is effective, is that if you’re going through ten or so items in your closet at a time, it’s very easy to fall into the trap of making an argument for every item.

      You really do have to say to yourself, “do I really use it, need it, or love it?

      You have to ask yourself the hard questions.

      On carefully curating:

      Have things because you actually want it, or use it, or need it, or love it; don’t have things that are just hanging around by default.

      One place this comes up is with mementos.

      If you have a lot of something that takes up a lot of space, maybe you can keep one little component of it, one figure from your children’s Fisher Price collection.

      And that one piece can stand for all of the other pieces, and you can even photograph it all before decluttering so you won’t forget what the pieces were.

      We don’t need all the things, we just need to remember all the things.

      And when you carefully curate things, they are infused with more meaning, because there’s one thing that is standing in for everything.

      It’s a mindset shift; it’s not about organizing for organizing sake, it’s about curating the things that mean something to you to make space for what you need in life.

      On power hour:

      Part of power hour is all the stuff that needs to get done to create outer order.

      And part of it is the clutter in your mind, the things that need to get done that just don’t get done, things that can be done at any time but also at no time.

      Power hour is a way to pull all those tasks together.

      Just write down anything that you think you would want to do (“adulting things”), and then for just an hour on the weekend try to go through as many of those as you can.

      And the thing that’s crazy, is that you kind of underestimate what you can get done if you just do things consistently.

      If you do keep a list and then every week you do power hour, you start getting a lot done, because in the end, the stewing is worse than the doing.

      Power hour is a way to make time for the tasks that just seem to linger.

      Some couples like to divide and conquer with power hours, which is a great way to run a house.

      It’s not about assigning a task, it’s just about a task that needs to get done, and dedicating some time to do it in an efficient way.

      And when you do it, you’ll feel amazing!

      It’s the same way Robyn talks about exercise: if you don’t want to do it now, just focus on the afterglow.

      On the 10-minute closer:

      Gretchen also has another strategy, her 10-minute closer.

      10-minute closer is a transition; it doesn’t matter what the transition is, it’s just a way to mark it.

      Before you’re going to move to the next part of your day, take 10-minutes and just get everything organized.

      This is one of those things that might sound too simple, but try it.

      It’s so much nicer to come back to your desk when you’ve already taken the time to put everything away.

      We’re so focused on helping children with transitions, we give them warnings and we sing songs, because we know they need to prepare themselves.

      But adults need that too.

      The 10-minute closer is a way to shut down one area, which helps you move to the next, and when you return, it’s ready for you.

      It can help with healthy eating too; research is supporting that it’s healthier for our bodies to go through a period of not eating.

      For example, you might want to have dinner and then not eat again until breakfast, which allows your body to shift into another mode.

      Snacking doesn’t allow for that shift.

      So, if you’re trying to eat healthier, this idea of transitioning into “closing the kitchen” can help encourage healthy eating.

      Robyn likes to take this idea of a 10-minute closer and use it to get ready for the next day by making lunches, packing a gym bag, having her daughter pick out her outfit, all the things that seem to cause a lot of drama in the mornings.

      She likes to set aside 10-minutes the night before to take care of and set up for success the following morning.

      And it doesn’t always go that way, but it makes a difference.

      The morning is especially important because it sets the stage for the rest of the day.

      If you start off always feeling 10-minutes behind, it’s not a great way to start off.

      Doing things the night before is a really great practice.

      On how to work within a household of different preferences for clutter:

      This is really hard, and it comes up all the time in houses, with roommates, and in offices.

      One thing that Gretchen suggests, is to really get in control of your own clutter.

      And here’s the thing that really happens, often when one person clears their clutter, other people want that.

      Not necessarily the clutter-blind, but most people do find that desirable.

      Even in cases when there’s “a neat one”, the neat one may tend to move stuff around on the surface but may not be getting rid of deep clutter.

      If you are a neat one who maybe lives with someone a little less bothered by clutter (and maybe a Rebel type from the Four Tendencies), getting control over your own clutter just may make a huge difference.

      Tip: it can help if things have a specific place that they go, rather than just on an open shelf.

      If you’re a neat one, it’s important to know that not everyone is good at this, and you can help facilitate it by creating systems and getting rid of stuff that’s in the way.

      A reminder for those of you who know about the Four Tendencies: you do not tell a Rebel, “you have to do this”, that only makes them want to resist.

      What you can do, is remind them why they want it or why it’s important to you.

      Lead by example and focus on the things that you can control, first.

      For Obligers who feel stuck in decluttering:

      For Obligers who just feel stuck in this process or who are overwhelmed with getting started, there are some specific strategies to help facilitate decluttering.

      • Have people over and that will get you to clear your clutter, and you can really embrace it and go for a deep declutter.

      • Hire a professional organizer.

      • Have a friend who can hold you accountable to taking time to clear clutter.

      • Hold yourself accountable to a future self, and make it a goal to try and deal with the clutter by the end of the year.

      • Think about how it might benefit other people in your household to create an environment where they can thrive.

      • Another idea, is to say, “I need to do this for myself if I’m going to be there for other people”.

      There are a lot of ways to build outer accountability, but that’s exactly what Obligers need.

      On where to start in this process:

      There are just dozens and dozens of these little gems in Gretchen’s book.

      But Gretchen’s number one tip for getting this process started: don’t get organized.

      Don’t run out a buy a bunch of containers, just start by asking yourself, “Do I need it? Do I use it? Do I love it?”.

      Sometimes we use things that we don’t really love, sometimes we love things that we don’t really use.

      And even in this decluttering process, Gretchen believes that there is still room in our lives for the things that we just love, even if they aren’t serving any practical purpose.

      But if you don’t need it, use it, or love it, that’s when you can release it.

      And when we get down to the things that we really want, it doesn’t need to be organized.

      “You don’t have to get too complicated when you’re down to what you actually use”.

      On what Gretchen’s excited for now:

      For Gretchen, outer order is just delicious; she loves hearing about people’s relationships with their possessions.

      She’s excited to have her book out there into the world and talk about it.

      Additionally, Gretchen and her sister are planning to do a series of live shows on their podcast, The Happier Podcast.

      They’re excited to take this on the road and meet people face to face.

      Where you can connect with Gretchen:

      You can grab Gretchen’s newest book, Outer Order, Inner Calm: Declutter and Organize to Make Room for More Happiness, here!

      You can check out The Happier Podcast, hosted Gretchen and her sister Elizabeth for more on happiness and good habits.

      Gretchen’s website is a great resource.

      She posts observations on happiness and good habits for human nature, information about all her books which all have tons of resources attached to them, like one-pagers, nutshell guides, and discussion guides.

      You can take the Four Tendency quiz here.

      2 million people have taken this free quiz now and it will tell you if you’re an Upholder, a Questioner, an Obliger, or a Rebel and what that means for you.

      She’s also on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter @gretchenrubin.

      On what it means to be healthy:

      “For me, being healthy means having energy, being pain free, and having a body that will do the things that I want it to do… eating healthy, getting my sleep, being pain free, being strong”.

      We’re talking decluttering to find outer order and inner calm with the master, Gretchen Rubin. An episode from the Feel Good Effect podcast on how to make decluttering work for you. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #podcast #wellnesspodcast #declutter #minimalism #gentleisthenewperfect #innerorderoutercalm #gretchenrubin #fourtendencies

      Guest Bio

      Gretchen Rubin is the author of several books, including the block- buster New York Times bestsellers, Better Than Before, The Happiness Project and Happier at Home. She has an enormous readership, both in print and online, and her books have sold more than three million copies worldwide, in more than thirty languages. She makes frequent TV appearances and is in much demand as a speaker. On her weekly podcast Happier with Gretchen Rubin, she discusses good habits and happiness with her sister Elizabeth Craft. Rubin started her career in law and was clerking for Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor when she realized she wanted to be a writer. She lives in New York City with her husband and two daughters.


      The Secret to a Happy, Healthy Life, with Gretchen Rubin

      Take the Four Tendency quiz!

      Gretchen’s books:

      • Outer Order, Inner Calm: Declutter and Organize to Make More Room for Happiness

      • The Four Tendencies: The Indispensable Personality Profiles That Reveal How to Make Your Life Better (and Other People's Lives Better, Too)

      • Better Than Before: What I Learned About Making and Breaking Habits--to Sleep More, Quit Sugar, Procrastinate Less, and Generally Build a Happier Life

      • The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun

      The Happier Podcast with Gretchen Rubin

      Gretchen’s 2019 tour dates

      The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo

      Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual, by Michael Pollan

      3 More Feel Good Effect Episodes You’ll Love

      Paring Down to Create More, with Melissa Coleman

      How to Get Unstuck and Simplify, with Ashley Gartland

      One Little Word, with Ali Edwards


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      80 Be More Productive in 15-Minutes a Day

      Feel Good Effect PodcastPaige ReohrComment

      Want to be more productive? We’ve got you covered! In this episode, we are going to dive into this whole idea of productivity in just 15-minutes a day.

      Be more productive in 15-minutes a day, an episode from the Feel Good Effect #feelgoodeffect #realfoodwholelife #wellnesspodcast #poductivity #gentleisthenewperfect

      Be More Productive in 15-Minutes a Day

      In today’s episode of the Feel Good Effect podcast, we’re talking about what’s going on in your brain when you try to be productive, how multitasking isn’t helping you succeed, and some tactical tips to get you more productive in only 15-minutes a day.

      Listen now!


      Want to be more productive in just 15-minutes a day? I’ve got you covered!

      We are so excited to dive into this whole idea of productivity in just 15-minutes a day.

      If you’ve been here a while, you know that I’m not about quick fixes or gimmicks, and I know that 15-minutes a day might sound a little gimmicky, but here’s the thing: my approach to productivity is the exact same as my approach to wellness, which is all about intentionality and being incremental.

      When you can apply intentionality and incrementality, to areas like productivity and wellness, you can really move the needle without so much effort, so much discipline, or so much willpower.

      When you apply these techniques, you’re harnessing the power of your brain, the power of science-based habit, and mindfulness.

      When you use those practices and teachings, you can do more with less, no gimmicks required.

      I’m here to help you find time and create space for what matters most, and that it what productivity is all about.

      If you look at the business space and the entire productivity category, a lot of it is very much about being productive so you can do more.

      It’s about finding ways to do as much work in as little time as possible so you can do more work, be more successful, build a business, make more money, all those things.

      And there’s nothing wrong with building businesses and making more money, but I think it’s time to talk about productivity in the context of not doing more so you can just do more, but doing the right things so you can do less, so that you can create space and time for wellness, family, and friends.

      That is why I’m coming at this from a 15-minute a day perspective.

      Before we dive in, I want to invite you to be an insider by jumping on our free newsletter list, here.

      As part of our insider group, you get weekly emails with what I like to call “the simplified three”: I take three of my best ideas, whether it’s for productivity, meals, movement, or mind, and I send them to you.

      No fluff, just lots of goodness, plus behind the scenes and inside peaks into what’s coming up or going on with the business

      Your brain on productivity:

      If we’re going to get you to be more productive in just 15-minutes a day, I want to tell you the secret behind what’s happening in your brain when you try to be more productive.

      We’re living in a time and a culture that is just plain full of distractions, from technology to the way that we travel and the way that we work, life is full of all kinds of things pulling our attention away from doing focused work.

      And when I say work I’m not just talking about the things you do in your day job, but also your passions, your hobbies, or things you do for self-care, for self-love, or for fun.

      As we are distracted and pulled in a million directions, we lose the ability to focus on just one thing at a time.

      And when we’re distracted, we miss what’s really going on.

      Here’s the biggest myth I want to bust right now: multitasking.

      The idea that multitasking is helpful or something that we should strive for, or something that is at all contributing to productivity is flat out false.

      And I’m as guilty of it as anyone; I like to think that I’m a master-multitasker but the thing is, we know that the brain can’t actually multitask.

      So what you are calling multitasking, is really task-switching, switching from thing to thing.

      Let’s take an average work day in an office setting: task-switching might look like working on an important report, switching quickly to check your email, checking your phone, popping over to twitter to see what that looks like, doing a quick scan of your favorite insta stories, going back to your report, stopping quickly to talk to someone who’s walking by your desk, and then back to that report.

      And this can happen at home too: maybe you’re trying to have a conversation with your partner, quick check of the phone, back to the conversation, quick distraction from a pet or a child, back to the conversation, look at what’s going on on TV, back to the phone, back to the conversation.

      None of this is bad, you shouldn’t start feeling guilty or ashamed-- we are not about that here.

      We’re just about trying to help you see inside that beautiful brain so you can make better decisions in the way that you want to.

      Each time your brain task-switches, it drains a little more energy.

      Think about your overall energy for the day as a full tank of gas when you get up in the morning, and every time you switch, it drains a little more.

      It’s no wonder by the end of the day we’re exhausted and overwhelmed because our brain is just struggling to keep up with all the switching.

      I talked about this back in the decision diet episode, which you can listen to here.

      This idea of task-switching is totally normal, our entire society and culture is set up for it.

      “Part of productivity is training your solo-tasking muscle. Training your ability to do one thing at a time with as little distracting and task-switching as possible”.

      I really believe that the ability to solo-task is going to be more important than ever as we move forward, as technology become more pervasive, as we have more expectations piled on our plate.

      Our ability to create habits, strategies, and mindsets to focus on one thing at a time is going to be so important for not only productivity at work, but for our overall well being.

      On how to build your solo-tasking muscle:

      Maybe when you try solo-tasking, your brain gets distracted or your schedule just doesn’t support that kind of focused work.

      First, start reframing productivity as getting something done that actually matters, rather than just trying to get more done.

      We can go through days and even weeks when we get a lot done, but when we look back on that time, we might still wonder, what did we even do?

      That happens to me too, but when I do this reframe about, “how can I get more of the things that actually matter done, that are going to move the needle at work, in wellness, and in life”, it really helps me reevaluate what I’m working on.

      Second, start reframing productivity in terms of intentionality and incrementality: make a decision and have a reason behind it, starting small, and building momentum from there.

      On mindset and resistance:

      Before we talk about some tactical habits, we’re going to talk a little more about mindset.

      Often, mindset is standing in the way of productivity.

      We focus so much on habits like a productivity planner or the perfect app, but we wonder why it’s not working, and that’s mindset.

      So here’s what happens when you actually sit down and try to be more productive and be more focused.

      All of a sudden you’re met with this resistance, it seems so hard, you feel like you’re overthinking it, you’d rather do anything but solo-task and all of a sudden your phone or Netflix start to look really appealing and all of your motivation fades away, then you’re left back in that multi-tasking cycle.

      So what’s really happening in the brain, what is this resistance all about?

      It’s the exact same mindset that I talk about in wellness, the striving mindset: perfectionism, all or nothing thinking, and comparison.

      Think about it for a second, when I say make a decision and have a reason behind it, is your first thing to have resistance about that?

      I guarantee you, especially some of you Dynamos, that’s the case.

      If you haven’t taken our Wellness Personality Quiz yet, you can do that here.

      For a lot of Dynamos out there, this feeling of perfectionism comes up when I say “make a decision, have a reason” or when I say “just pick one thing to work on”, all of a sudden you might feel paralyzed because you don’t know which one it should be.

      And I am right there with you, this is where my anxiety really comes up, too: when someone says to “pick something, it doesn’t have to be the perfect thing”, I just need to find the exact right thing and if I can’t find it I can’t get started.

      If you recognize this in yourself, this feeling around perfectionism, around picking the right thing, or just getting started when you don’t know the perfect steps, that’s totally fine it’s a normal part of the brain, a normal part of the human experience.

      But recognizing that’s what’s actually standing in the way, not that you don’t have enough time but that your brain is keeping you from moving forward, is so powerful.

      When it comes to the all or nothing thinking, we very much often think 5-minutes doesn’t count.

      There’s a book that I love called, Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, by Cal Newport.

      Deep work is exactly what we’re talking about here: focusing, not being distracted, solo tasking, and spending more time doing work that actually matters.

      One of the places I differ in my approach from Cal is that he recommends working up to four hours of deep work a day.

      And while I think that’s an amazing goal, I think that for so many of us who don’t have control over our schedules at work, or who are working mamas juggling all the things, stay at home mamas, retirees, working up to four hours a day is often unrealistic and because it’s such an all or nothing proposition, you don’t end up getting there.

      But I don’t think you have to do four hours a day.

      If you can, more power to you, I think that would be incredibly powerful and effective.

      But I don’t do four hours of focused work a day and I’m able to create this business, do the podcast, create the website, and be a mama, be a wife, and work out, do all the things without four hours of deep work.

      So when it comes to all or nothing thinking, I think for the moment we can let go of thinking it has to be a certain amount of time and really start an incremental approach, doing it in really small baby steps to build up the muscle, to build momentum, and really to just start doing it.

      The last place resistance comes up is in comparison.

      Those of you who are Seekers, we think it has to look like someone else’s version, maybe a book that you read, maybe someone who you follow on Instagram, or a version of yourself in the past that was incredibly productive.

      And that comparison conversation can be really really loud and can keep you stuck.

      Your brain on task-switching and solo tasking:

      The last little tidbit I want to throw your way is when we talk about the brain, when we talk about task-switching, and when we talk about solo-tasking.

      This is huge, I really want you to know what’s going on because it will allow you to sit in that uncomfortable place and ride the wave out until you get more comfortable and more confident with solo-tasking.

      So what happens in your brain when you task-switch is you get a tiny little hit of dopamine, the same thing that shows up when you eat sugar or do something really pleasurable, even drug-use can trigger dopamine (I am NOT comparing the two, this is just what our brains do).

      Our brain craves stimulation and little rewards and there are little rewards and stimulation built into all these distractions, especially when we’re talking about phones and technology.

      The whole platform of email and of every single social media app, or really many of the apps you love to check, all give us a little hit of dopamine in our brains.

      And when you deprive your brain of that little hit by focusing on one thing at a time, your brain starts behaving like a toddler and throwing a temper tantrum-- it wants that little hit!

      And that’s why when you try to put your phone away and just focus, the first thing you do is crave picking it back up and looking at what’s going on.

      Yes, part of it is FOMO (fear of missing out), but part of it is just the actual way our brain is hardwired and the way that all of these apps are developed to get us coming back.

      But here’s the good news about all of this, about the striving mindset, perfectionism, all or nothing thinking, and comparison, and about our brains’ craving dopamine: with a little intentional attention, we can rewire.

      When you start to a incorporate a little more focused productivity and you start to feel that pull to check your phone, know that just by resisting it for a small amount of time, your brain will actually learn to focus.

      I think this is the coolest thing about our brains, that they can learn something different.

      But you have to give it a little space, a little time, a little self-compassion to say “yes, of course I’m craving that”, and just sit with that.

      And in actually not that much time, your brain will start to realize that it’s just doing one thing at a time, and everything is fine.

      The reason I talk about the way the brain works in habit change and mindset is because this is often the biggest barrier.

      If you go jump right to the latest productivity book and try to implement those strategies but you haven’t dealt with the stuff going on behind the scenes, it is so much harder and often that cycle of trying and failing just continues.

      So, here’s the takeaway so far:

      • Reframe productivity from getting more done to getting something done that matters

      • Think about it in terms of being intentional, so make a decision and have a reason behind it

      • Be incremental, so start small and build momentum

      • When you actually dive into being productive, sit with the resistance, and know that by working through it and giving your brain a little space and compassion, you’ll be able to come out the other side and it will be amazing.

      Tactical habits for productivity:

      Here are three action items; I want you to pick one to start with and let me know how it goes on our Facebook group or on Instagram.

      I love seeing you guys not only listening to the podcast, but putting this stuff into action.

      1 | Commit to doing 15-minutes of focused work.

      Depending on where you’re coming at this from, maybe you already have a habit of focused work, maybe start with an hour or with two hours.

      But if you feel like someone who is literally multitasking every single day all day, starting with 15-minutes can actually make a huge impact.

      When I say focused work, I mean solo-tasking, so no checking emails, no looking at your phone, no distractions.

      And if you have a lot of family and pets around, it can be tricky carving out the time, so it might be early morning, it might be late at night, it might be a break at work, but that’s why I’m saying 15-minutes, so you can actually do this and actually carve out that time.

      And I want you to pick one thing to do.

      While I can’t tell you what that one thing is, it’s probably something in the back of your mind that you’ve been avoiding, that you know you want more of in your life, or that you know you want to tackle but it just seems like too much and you’re never going to have the time.

      So here are some things to think about and get you started:

      • Writing: for many people, writing is focused work that they put off. Not writing an email, but writing something meaningful.

      • Reading: another one I hear from people all the time is that they want to read more but they don’t have time. So I’m asking you right now to spend 15-minutes of focused reading time instead of scrolling through your phone and instead of watching Netflix.

      • Decluttering: another idea might be decluttering. We have a decluttering miniseries coming up in a few weeks that I’m so excited for. Spending 15-minutes of focused time on the junk drawer in your kitchen, and then 15-minutes of the linen cabinet, and then 15-minutes in the closet.

      I know it’s not nearly as satisfying, but the fact is that you’ll probably do it a lot more consistently because it’s a small amount of time that’s very focused.

      One more little hint here: pick something with an endpoint.

      Decluttering a drawer has an actual end when you can get the reward of finishing the job, a book has an ending so you get that reward and that feeling of accomplishment when you finish it, even if it takes a little longer.

      Even in the writing process ,maybe you pick something where you can finish a chapter or finish a page.

      I want you to build in the closed loop where by spending intentional attention, focused time, solo-tasking, at the end you actually get that reward of finishing something and that feeling of momentum.

      2 | Create a productivity routine with “when and then”.

      You can use the powerful behavior change concept of “when and then”, which is pairing two things so that when you do one thing you’re more likely to do another thing.

      A sneak peek into my personal productivity routine is when I sit down at my desk, I plug my phone into a charger in the other room, which is actually in a cabinet.

      Having the phone out of sight and more difficult to get to makes it way less tempting for me to stand up from my desk and go check something.

      So, when I sit down at my desk, I plug my phone in in another room, that’s my when and then, and that’s part of the routine that I built.

      Maybe your when and then is picking up a book when you’re sitting in your car in the pick-up line, instead of looking at your phone.

      Maybe your when and then is when you get to work, you sit down and work on something meaningful for 15-minutes before checking anything else.

      You can create a whole series of these when and thens, you can build a routine that really works for you, but start with one thing, one when and then.

      And then focus on that first step, so when you sit down, write for 15-minutes, or when you pick up your book, read a page, or when you open the closet door, declutter for 15-minutes.

      By creating these when and then routines, you give your brain less time to act up, throw a toddler tantrum, be perfectionistic, all or nothing, or comparison.

      You just create a rule that you follow every time, which starts to become automatic and effortless.

      3 | Two out of three.

      Last up, I want you to think about that two out of three rule that we talk about here all the time.

      Be more productive in 15-minutes a day, an episode from the Feel Good Effect #feelgoodeffect #realfoodwholelife #wellnesspodcast #poductivity #gentleisthenewperfect

      “Consistency over perfection”.

      I want you to focus on building this habit muscle, and building this productivity routine on more days than you don’t.

      Sure, it would be great to do this every single day, but if that version of success seems impossible, come back to the two out of three and just remind yourself that you’re working on doing more days than you don’t.

      More days with focused, solo-tasking than not.

      And in a lot of ways, it matters less about what you actually do, and more that you do something.

      Because over time you’ll get better at this and you can build that 15-minutes into something longer, or continue with those 15-minutes throughout the day because amazingly, those small amounts of time build up to so much in the long-term.

      It’s about giving yourself space and time, and knowing when you’re actually focused and doing the things that matter.

      Be more productive in 15-minutes a day, an episode from the Feel Good Effect #feelgoodeffect #realfoodwholelife #wellnesspodcast #poductivity #gentleisthenewperfect

      “You can do far less and create so much more”.

      To summarize:

      1 | Aim to do 15-minutes of solo-tasking: no distractions, no checking, no task-switching, just one thing. Pick something with an endpoint. Be intentional.

      2 | Create a productivity routine: include when and then pairing.

      3 | Two out of three rule: consistency over perfection, doing something more than you don’t across your day, across your week, across your life.


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      Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, by Cal Newport

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      Be more productive in 15-minutes a day, an episode from the Feel Good Effect #feelgoodeffect #realfoodwholelife #wellnesspodcast #poductivity #gentleisthenewperfect