There is one particular question that I seem to get over and over again, especially over a glass of wine with people I have just met.
“So, what does a health coach eat? Tell me ALL your secrets. What should people REALLY be eating?”
Well, the truth is, and those who have worked with me can attest, my coaching tends to go a whole lot deeper than the food we put in our mouths. For most people, knowledge isn’t the main problem. Because of this realization, my coaching has evolved into some pretty extensive soul-centered life coaching (dare I say!) over the last five years BUT I started and honed my craft as a health coach. Nourishing your body and becoming the physical version of yourself that FEELS the best to you is a very important pillar of what it is I do and SO much of that has to do with how we feed ourselves.
So, I thought today, I would give you a peek behind the curtain and let you in on just what it is this health coach typically feeds herself. Spoiler alert….I ain’t perfect!!! But I do really try to anchor myself in habits that keep me in my best body and make me feel proud of how I am taking care of myself. It’s important to walk the walk, and the better I feel in my body, the more liberated and unapologetic I feel in my life, the more I create the life I most want to inhabit.
Also, before I tell you how I eat, I feel it’s important to give a little disclaimer here…there is NO one right way to eat. So much of what I work on with clients, especially in the beginning is finding a way of eating that is empowering to THEM. There are so many different ways to nourish ourselves, just like there are so many different ways to express ourselves. Yes, there are some widely accepted truths in the world of nutrition, and its important to understand what those are, but there is also a lot that is up in the air, that you need to investigate for yourself.
Once you understand the ins-and-outs of nutrition and healthy lifestyle (which you can get a better feel for in my other blog posts), you can combine that with experimenting with what foods work best for YOUR body and performance. Then, you can improvise in a way that feels pleasurable and fun for YOU. I have tweaked many times to find what works well for my personal weight loss, weight maintenance, high energy, awesome sleep, clear skin and a happy Beth. Now, that last part is important. I enjoy the way I eat, and in order for it to be sustainable for anyone, you have to find a negotiation with what works for your body and what you can embrace for the long term while continuing to sculpt and tweak as you go and grow. Most people also need to combine this knowledge with overcoming self-sabotage, getting underneath emotional eating, and exploring the many layers of their learned mindset and limiting belief systems. A coach can help guide you through the deeper gaps in follow through (besides just knowledge and awareness) so you can achieve your body vision.
That being said….here is a typical day in the life of this coach when I’m feeling really awesome both emotionally and physically with my choices.
Coffee with organic cream (yup, cream, not half and half)
Three eggs (yolks intact..they are awesome!)
Green Smoothie (2 cups of greens, ¼ of a banana, 2 strawberries and lemon juice)
Seltzer with lemon and stevia
½ cup whole fat Greek yogurt
¼ cup raw almonds or walnuts
A couple drops liquid Stevia and dash of cinnamon
More seltzer with lemon and stevia
8 oz of protein (like Applegate turkey, organic chicken, tempeh or tuna fish)
4 cups spinach or kale
Onions, carrots and cucumber
2 tbsp Annie’s Gooddess Dressing
An apple and small handful of raw nuts
More seltzer with lemon and stevia
A Kind Bar (Nut & Spice variety) or a Quest Protein Bar (Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough is my fave)
You guessed it….more seltzer with lemon and stevia! (I hate water so I had to get creative)
8 oz of protein (salmon, organic beef, turkey burgers or organic chicken thighs)
2-3 cups roasted Brussel sprouts (cooked with olive oil or organic butter) and turkey bacon bits
Spaghetti squash, a small sweet potato or more green veggies
A glass of red wine (or two some nights)
An ounce of dark chocolate (over 85% cacoa)
Now, you will see from this that I actually eat quite a lot! If you added up the calories and fat for this day, you will see that it is actually pretty high, as is my protein. You will also see that my carbs and sugar are pretty low, still there for sure, but on the low side, and there aren’t really any refined carbohydrates. Now this is a super simplified version of how I eat for today’s purposes but the long and short is that I have found that a diet high in protein and fat, and lower in carbohydrates works super well for my bod, but discovering this was a process of experimentation. Eating this way keeps me in my personal best shape (especially when I pair it with consistent exercise). My metabolism is an inferno when I eat this way, and I can eat until I’m actually satiated instead of trying to eat less.
Am I perfect? Absolutely not. Does my weight sometimes go up a few pounds? Of course, especially after a weekend of wine with friends! Do I eat like this every day? Nope! But I do try to eat like this MOST of the time. It is what you do MOST of the time that counts and this way of eating provides an ANCHOR for me. I’m also a firm believer that we MUST pro-actively build pleasure into our diets (whatever form indulgence takes for us is unique) because when we deprive ourselves of it, we are making indulgence more precious, more appealing and we are more likely to feel deprived and binge on it when we are low on will-power, then feel defeated, and “fall off the wagon.” Everyone is deserving of food-based pleasure, as long as your life is filled with sources of non-food pleasure as well. When you deprive yourself of food based pleasure completely, its almost like saying “You don’t deserve pleasure” and that can be an insidious message.
My personal treats tend to be a second or third glass of wine, Thai take-out, crusty warm bread with hunks of artisanal cheese and pasta. I let myself have them sometimes and enjoy the hell out of them when I do. I try to be a total snob about my indulgences so they are like a food orgasm instead of a big ole womp womp.
I don’t have a cheat day (which works beautifully for some people). I trust myself and my body, and when things start to feel like they are stepping out of alignment, I step gently back into alignment with what feels good. This took practice, practice, practice but allows me incredible freedom and keeps my body in its happy place. A great place to start is the 80/20 rule, and see what feels good from there. Eighty percent of the time, you eat in a clean and green way and 20 percent of the time you allow yourself indulgence and pleasure. If you are ready to really go for the gold, 90/10. Again, following this agreement with ourselves oftentimes takes working through the underlying relationship with food (what we are using it to escape) and getting to the root of self-sabotage and why we are partaking in it.
I am firm believer that for anything to be sustainable, it has to come from YOU, not someone else’s dogma. It comes from LEARNING, EXPERIMENTING and LISTENING to your own empowerment and creating agreements with yourself that feel liberating and exciting and STILL get you the body you want. It is a negotiation between your mind, body and desire but when it works effortlessly underneath you, there is nothing quite like it. It’s not a THING anymore and that can feel so damn good. Your food works FOR you instead of against you, and you can step into an awesome partnership with your body and your sense of empowerment. When you feel good about your choices, they are likely to positively effect your other choices, and create a ripple effect in your life.
Hope this was helpful! Would love to hear your thoughts and any feedback you can give on the blog to help others in their own journey! What way of eating has worked for your body and your sense of empowerment?
Rock On & Be Well,