Hands up if you had an indulgent weekend! 🙌 Good, now remove any feelings you may have of guilt or stress around what you’ve eaten. It’s time to feel confident and empowered about the choices we make. How do we do that? First step, learn more about FOOD FREEDOM from our resident board certified nutritionist and chef @mia_rigden , MS, CNS.
What is food freedom?
Food freedom is feeling confident in and excited about your food choices. It means feeling empowered, nourished, and delighted by food, and never feeling stressed, guilty, or shameful about what you’ve eaten. We achieve this by understanding nutrition science and how it specifically pertains to our body and health goals, and by having realistic expectations and solutions for how we can eat.
What are a few things that you think hold people back from achieving their health and wellness goals?
I often see people getting stuck in the trap of setting unattainable goals. They’re either overly ambitious or fall into the category of perfectionist thinking. Perfect should never be the goal. When it comes to health and wellness in particular, it’s critical to have flexibility and to not make your goals too rigid. Perfectionist thinking leads to an on the wagon off the wagon, all-or-nothing mentality, that frankly just doesn't work. For example, instead of saying I’m going to stop eating all sugar, you can say, I’m going to decrease my sugar intake by being more mindful of reading nutrition labels and work to manage my blood sugar levels by incorporating more protein, fiber, and fat in my meals. This is a much more actionable goal, and leaves room for flexibility. So, if you have some ice cream with friends on a glorious summer day, it doesn’t have to lead to feelings of guilt, shame, failure, or a cascade of sugar. You can enjoy the moment and move on, because you haven’t broken any unrealistic promises you made to yourself.
How do factors outside of what we eat affect our food choices?
Our food choices are often just a byproduct of something else that has happened. If you want to eat more nutritious foods, set yourself up for success by prioritizing your sleep, managing your stress levels, and planning ahead. When you’re tired or stressed, you will biologically gravitate more towards energy-rich foods (read: carbs and sugar). Instead of getting down on yourself for your choices, empower yourself by getting adequate rest and practicing stress management techniques. You might be surprised that you effortless begin to make healthier choices without having to try. That is food freedom!
When you plan ahead you won’t be stuck without a nourishing food option. This doesn't need to include elaborate meal prep. It can be as simple as hard-boiling some eggs or putting a protein bar in your bag for the day.
What’s the key to success?
No matter what your health and wellness goals are, the key to success is consistency. In order to be consistent you have to a) like the foods and routines you’re incorporating and b) they have to be accessible. I always operate off of a good, better, best mentality. This way you have options not just for beautiful home-cooked meals, but also for takeout, dining out, and frozen or prepared foods, so you can be consistent with the routines you put in place. When it’s easy and it tastes good, you will feel more motivated to continue.
Mia’s new course will provide you with attainable tools to achieve true wellbeing, and she’s offering 20% off to LINNÉ community members with the code LINNEBOTANICALS !