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What Does Rock Eat? (Part 2)

One thing that's really important to me when it comes to nutrition is finding a way to make healthier choices without feeling like I'm depriving myself of the foods that I love. I truly believe that healthy eating is all about finding a balance between nourishing your body and satisfying your taste buds.

For instance, if I'm craving a big bowl of creamy pasta, I might try swapping out the regular white pasta for a healthier option like whole-grain or gluten-free pasta, and then adding in plenty of colorful veggies like spinach, cherry tomatoes, and roasted bell peppers. And instead of using a heavy cream sauce, I might experiment with a lighter, plant-based sauce made from cashews, nutritional yeast, and herbs.

The same goes for satisfying my sweet tooth - I know I don't have to give up dessert completely to eat healthy! Instead, I might make a batch of homemade granola bars with whole oats, almond butter, and dark chocolate chips, or blend up a smoothie bowl with frozen berries, Greek yogurt, and a sprinkle of chia seeds.

But the real secret to making healthier choices that stick is focusing on quality over quantity. Instead of eating large quantities of low-nutrient, high-calorie foods, I try to incorporate smaller portions of high-quality, nutrient-dense foods into my diet. This might mean swapping out a bag of chips for a handful of roasted nuts, or adding a side salad to my lunch instead of a side of fries.

Ultimately, improving my nutrition habits is all about finding a balance that works for me - one that allows me to nourish my body with the nutrients it needs while still enjoying all the foods that make me happy. By making small, sustainable changes to my diet and focusing on nourishing my body with whole, nutrient-dense foods, I feel confident that I'm taking care of myself in the best way possible.

It's also important to address the relationship.

As someone who has struggled with overeating and using food to cope with stress and boredom, I understand firsthand how challenging it can be to create a healthy relationship with food. But through deep reflection and the guidance of a coach, I have been able to take control of my eating habits and learn to nourish my body in a way that feels loving and sustainable.

One of the most important steps in this journey has been acknowledging my struggles and learning to approach food with mindfulness and self-compassion. Rather than beating myself up for overeating or using food to cope with difficult emotions, I now try to approach each eating experience with curiosity and a sense of gentle inquiry. This means asking myself questions like, "Am I truly hungry right now, or am I eating out of boredom or habit?" or "What emotions am I feeling in this moment, and how can I honor them without turning to food for comfort?"

In addition to this mindful approach, I have also found it helpful to prepare healthy, nourishing foods in advance and make sure they are easily accessible throughout the day. This means bulk prepping freezable recipes, like soups and stews, and always having fresh fruits and vegetables on hand. I also try to limit the amount of unhealthy foods I bring into my home, as I know that they can be a trigger for overeating and unwanted cravings.

Drinking plenty of water throughout the day is also essential for me, both for hydration and for creating a feeling of fullness and satisfaction. And when it comes to meals, I focus on creating balanced, nutrient-dense plates that include a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, and high-quality sources of protein.

Of course, changing our relationship with food is never a one-size-fits-all journey, and what works for me may not work for everyone. That's why I am passionate about helping others develop a healthy relationship with food, too. As a nutrition coach, I work with my clients to create personalized plans that take into account their unique preferences, goals, and challenges. I believe that by approaching food with mindfulness, self-compassion, and a sense of curiosity, we can learn to nourish our bodies in a way that feels joyful, sustainable, and truly life-affirming.

One of the core principles of my nutrition coaching practice is the idea that healthy habits are built over time, through consistent, incremental changes. I believe that for most people, a complete overhaul of their diet and lifestyle is simply not sustainable in the long run. Instead, I encourage my clients to focus on making small, manageable changes to their current habits, one at a time.

For example, if someone is used to skipping breakfast or grabbing a sugary pastry on their way to work, I might suggest that they start by adding a piece of fruit or a hard-boiled egg to their morning routine. This simple change can help stabilize blood sugar levels and provide sustained energy throughout the morning, making it easier to resist the temptation of unhealthy snacks later in the day.

From there, we might work on adding more colorful fruits and vegetables to their meals, or swapping out refined carbohydrates for whole grains. Over time, these small changes can add up to significant improvements in overall health and well-being.

Another important aspect of this approach is the idea of self-compassion and forgiveness. As we work to make these changes, it's inevitable that there will be slip-ups and setbacks along the way. Instead of beating ourselves up for these slip-ups, I encourage my clients to approach them with a sense of curiosity and self-compassion. What triggered the slip-up? What can we learn from it, and how can we move forward in a way that feels supportive and sustainable?

Ultimately, my goal as a nutrition coach is to help my clients develop a healthy, sustainable relationship with food that feels joyful and life-affirming. By focusing on creating healthy habits over time, rather than striving for perfection or quick fixes, we can create lasting changes that support our health and well-being for years to come.

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