Where to Start When You Struggle to Eat Healthy

Being a mom can sometimes feel overwhelming. How to handle all that stress? Is there a way to feel better - to have more energy and to feel less anxious? Yes! In the next three blog posts, integrative nutritionist Andrea Archambault is going to share with us specific tips for how to reduce the feelings of "mommy overwhelm". We've loved having Andrea speak in our Nest classes and are now excited to welcome her to our blog!

By: Andrea Archambault

What if I told you it's not about the food.  I mean, it's about the food, but it isn't at the same time. 

Many of my clients come to see me because they want to get their nutrition on track.  

As you know, I believe the food we eat can either bog us down or help us thrive.  A healthy gut leads to a calm mind and an overall healthy body. And, what you put in your body makes a huge difference. So it is about the food. 

While we focus on figuring out what food works best for you in my programs, it ALWAYS goes deeper than the food.

So when it comes down to it, it isn't about the food.  What?!

I think we all intuitively know this.  Many of us say we are a "stress eater" or an "emotional eater".  We know that when we reach for food when we aren't hungry or we reach for food that we know doesn't serve us, it goes deeper.  You are absolutely right about that.

Last week I had a session with one of my amazing clients.  She is a busy mom that works full time and commutes every day with her little one.  She works hard at work and gives her son her all.  She is exhausted by the end of each work week because almost every minute of her work week is planned out. There is no time for rest.

She has been trying new foods, finding time to exercise, and focusing on getting better sleep.  All in all, she has implemented some great new habits.

BUT, she keeps going to the fried foods, sugary Starbucks drinks, and unhealthy snacks.  On top of it, when she indulges in that stuff, she beats herself up and says that she will do better next time.   

We started digging into this a bit, and we landed on the topic of self-care. 

She literally never makes time for herself.  For self-care.  (sound familiar)

On the weekend, she takes it slower, but she is always hanging with the family,  working or doing something to keep moving forward. She was ALWAYS with her son.

We started talking about taking two hours on the weekend when her husband could watch her son so she could get some self-care time. We instantly started brainstorming ideas of what she could do.  

She LIT UP! 

I could literally feel her excitement through the phone as she talked about some of the ways she was going to "indulge" and make time to take care of herself. 

As we were talking, brainstorming and talking more about the food she said, "Oh my gosh!  Wait a second!  I just realized that because I don't make time for self-care, I use food!  Instead of taking care of myself, I eat."

GAHHHHH!  You have no idea how happy I was when she said this.  I started jumping up and down inside thinking SHE GETS IT! SHE GETS IT!  

She gives herself "treats" instead of treating herself.  

So many of us do this.  We don't make time to treat ourselves.  To give our body, our mind, and our spirit what it needs to thrive.  We push through life instead, tending to our never ending to-do lists and taking care of everyone else around us.

We forget about how to take care of ourselves, and so we grab a bag of cookies or a pint of ice cream or something that will give us that bit of sweetness we are looking for.  And then we beat ourselves up for it.

The problem is, the only thing that will actually satisfy that craving is a good dose of self-care.

Something indulgent.  Something delicious to our soul.  

Now for me, that looks like a warm Epsom salt bath with a book, or a great massage, or a kundalini yoga class.

It's different for everyone, but it's important to figure out what it is for you and do it, OFTEN.

So, like I said, when you have a craving for foods that you would rather not eat, it's your body telling you that it needs something.  The hard part sometimes is listening.  

A great way to start listening to your body is to feed your soul with self-care. 

Just pick one small thing and DO THAT!