My Nutrition Story: Learning about Food, Diet, and Body Acceptance.

Hello Everyone,

You asked and I’ll answer!

I’ve had many requests to write a blog on my past experiences with nutrition and diet. I get asked often. How do you eat so healthy? What keeps you motivated? How can you know what your body needs? What is the ultimate diet?

Usually the answers are the same, I don’t eat completely healthy, I still like cheese, biscuits and the occasional sweet. Some days I’m not motivated and I feel bloated, fatigued and unable to concentrate. I don’t always know what my body needs, some days my head is going so fast i can barely hear myself think. And the ultimate diet is one that’s makes you feel amazing, keeps you healthy and able to enjoy life.

I’ve recently qualified as a Clinical Nutritionist and the knowledge I’ve gained over the past 3 years at uni has helped me to understand my body a little more. However, I still have so much to learn, and there are some moments I have questioned my abilities to help myself and others. I am human. Let me give you an overview of my past experience to begin..

Trying to fit in.

I’ve struggled in the past with my own body image throughout most of my teenage years and early 20s. Like many girls, I tortured myself to the point where food was the enemy and my body was a burden. My relationship with my body was turbulent: I was a carbrestricting, fad-dieting, anxiety-ridden, scale-fearing, self-loathing, and self-doubting mess.

I took extreme measures to to get my body to look a certain way including calorie-restricting, throwing up, diet pills, laxatives and starving. Whenever I felt I had over-indulged, I would punish my body by beating myself up, and over-excercising (until i fainted).

I thought I was doing everything right, and I couldn’t understand my body at all and why I always felt unwell. I was experiencing constant migraines, body aches, bruises that would pop up out of nowhere, my nails were brittle and my hair was falling out in clumps. My diet and lifestyle was so extreme, in fact, it was downright dangerous. My obsession with dieting and food clouded my ability to listen to what my body really needed.

Then something clicked. I realised hating on my body was not only affecting everything in my life, it had become my life. I committed myself to understanding what nutrition was all about, and how the body utilises the food I consumed. That’s when I enrolled into The Australasian College of Natural Therapies to learn more about nutrition. Once I started to learn and understand how the body actually works, my mentality shifted. I viewed food as a source of nourishment, not the enemy. I realised it didn’t matter what the number on the scales read, that would never make me happy. I needed to work on myself and find true happiness outside of my own self-obsession. I began to eat in a way that healed my body. Listening to what foods worked for me and what foods didn’t. This become how I tuned into my body’s needs and help support my system to work at it’s full potential.

Even now, I’m constantly changing the way I eat, to fit into my lifestyle, and how my body feels at the time. But I believe that is all par of being a nutritionist. (We are constantly trialling new diets to better understand their affect on the body).

Let’s go back a bit. 

Four years ago, I decided to cut red meat back to 2 nights a week. I was feeling bloated, uncomfortable and experiencing flatulence on a daily basis. I felt it took my body fare too long to digest and my body wasn’t accepting it. This was my first experience in listening to my body. In my first week I ate red meat once, then never ate it again. I consumed fish and poultry, along with wholegrains, vegetables and fruits.

After around 18 months I began to become sick of chicken and fish so I decided to cut out all meat and go vegetarian. (i love cheese and wasnt ready to part with it). I began to feel more energised, lighter and was passing stools more easily. In the past 2 years, while studying I have tried removing gluten, dairy, sugar, and trialling new food products. While I have found some that have become staples in my house ( ie kombucha, legumes, quinoa and buckwheat grains), I learnt more about what foods work and what foods don’t.  Every body is different and responds uniquely to food products.

A difficult time.

Six months ago, I went through a very difficult personal time. My life had become all about work, study and I became selfish to find an outlet. it was a healthy way to deal with my stress, and I acknowledge that now. I made mistakes and my body suffered greatly. I was run-down. My body was in a state of constant sickness, I was fatigued, pale and struggle to cope. Somehow I manage to get through the year, finish my uni degree, tafe course and work duties until my body decided since I wasn’t listening to the earlier warning signs, It was time to be a little more abrupt.

I became sick around end of November when I was diagnosed with Glandular Fever. It is a mono-nucleus virus that can lay dormant in your system, and flare up in times of immune stress. I had been fighting this virus for the past 6 months but wasnt listening to my body. I was diagnosed in Hospital via blood test, where I visited twice within the week, dehydrated, confused and yellow. My liver wasn’t coping, I wasn’t keeping any food/fluids down and I was miserable. I spent my birthday in hospital, and was unable to finish my last two weeks of uni.

This time I listened to my body. I wasn’t coping, and I needed to step back to rest. I put myself up for bed rest for 2 months. Even now I get fatigued easily, and out of breathe. I have had a check with the doc and iron deficient (which I suspected).

I am NOT perfect.

I may not ever get it completely right and I am still learning. Learning to say no, learning to cope with stress and learning to find balance. With both my life and diet. I have become more relaxed with my diet recently, as I can only tolerate certain foods still. I realise I stopped enjoying food when I became stressed and strict with my diet. i thought I was eating a healthy diet, but I was actually forcing my body into a state of burn-out without the necessary nutrients to sustain every day metabolic functions.

Rest assure, even nutritionist struggle. We cannot treat ourselves, and I’m thankful to have such a wonderful mentor who has been a blessing. She has been trying to tell me for months, what my body was telling me, but I was too arrogant.

I look forward to 2018 being a year of pacing myself, and continuing to learn how to balance my diet and life. I will no longer restrict myself with food, but allow myself to enjoy and accept my body the way it is.

I wish you all a successful 2018, and I hope you’re able to take something from this blog too.

Healthiest Regards

Tegan, Nutrition Nourishment

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The Buddhist Philosophy: The Ultimate Mindset to Achieving Your Goals.

Hello everyone.

How often have you set new goals to actually end up not achieving them? If you’re like most people, it’s not even worth thinking about.

What usually happens is that we create our grand plans, get excited about them and make a few of the changes in our lives. And then sometime later we realize we’ve slipped back into old habits and routines.

Luckily, we can turn to the teachings of Buddhism to learn more about setting goals and achieving them.

Buddhism has become more popular in the West in recent decades as it helps take a focus away from goals to live more mindfully in the present. You would think Buddhism doesn’t have much to say about achieving goals.

That’s why we’ve written this article, to share a different perspective. When you consider the teachings of Buddhism, it’s possible to bring together a focus on living the moment with making progress in achieving your goals.

With the new year having arrived, now’s the time to embrace this perspective so you can achieve your goals while living mindfully in the present.
The Problem with Goals

What usually happens is that we set clearly defined goals with deadlines, defining the actions we need to take to achieve them. We end up focusing on the goals, shifting our focus to the future.

This is what brings forth anxiety, as we constantly are reminded of how far away we are from reaching our goals. We end up losing motivation and the whole process of moving towards our goals invariably falls apart.

We end up coming up with new goals and new action plans, and the whole thing just repeats itself over and over.

It’s crazy – and as Albert Einstein once said, “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
Be Clear on Your Core Values

Before setting goals, you need to understand what your core values are. What do you stand for? What are the most important things in your life?

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Values are things like love, security, adventure, passion and success. Once you’re clear on your values, you’re able to make decisions about what to do with your life.

It’s important to understand that other people can’t decide your values for you. We’re all different, and that’s why it’s difficult to just read online about what to do. It’s about self-inquiry and figuring this out on your own.

As Mahatma Ghandhi once said: “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
Shift From a Goal Mindset to a Value Mindset

One you have your values established, think about the goals you’ve had and ask yourself why you want to achieve them. What is the result of the goals that is aligned with your values?

How do you want to feel when you’ve achieved your goals?

What this does is help you focus on the feeling that comes in the future, rather than the specific goals themselves.

Then you are able to visualize yourself having already achieved that goal. It brings the outcome into the present, and you start aligning your current mental state with the reality of having already achieved the goal.

You can visualize in more areas of your life. What would your average day look like? What kinds of decisions are you making?

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See and Feel Your Vision Every Day

Go really deep and even incorporate this into your meditation practice. Every day make sure you’re spending time to visualize the future you’re creating, and then incorporate this into your daily practices.

When you’re in the show, imagine yourself in a state of living our your values. Think about what your day would look like.

Be mindful in the present moment about which parts of your day are matched with the value based future that you’re creating.

Over time, you’ll start to see that the difference between the future you want to create and the present is getting smaller. Before you know it, they will be one and the same.

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How This Relates to Mindfulness

Mindfulness is about slowing down to notice what is happening in the present moment without judgement.

When we set goals, we end up being aggressive with ourselves, getting frustrated with the gap between the achieving of the goal and we’re we are today.

A Goal focus on what we don’t have, whereas visualizing the future puts us in a state of already being there.

Mindfulness helps us to be in the present moment, notice what’s right in our lives and be grateful for those things and feel good.

Using an approach based on mindfulness, you feel and visualize your inner self each day and make choices based on “who you are” instead of the actions that should be taken to achieve a result.

Four Steps to Make Your Dreams Happen

With all of this in mind, I’ve put together four steps to follow to free yourself from the destructive nature of goals and actually make your dreams happen.

  1. Determine what your core values are.
  2. Write a vividly detailed description of your new average day.
  3. Each day, set an intention for how you want to feel and who you want to be.
  4. Continue to monitor and review

Using this approach, you’ll continue to make progress in achieving your goals, while feeling a whole lot better and making your dreams a reality.

Healthiest Regards,

Tegan, Nutrition Nourishment.

 

Further Reading…

https://thebuddhistcentre.com/buddhism

https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newHTE_90.htm

https://www.artofliving.org/au-en/meditation

https://www.mindful.org/meditation/mindfulness-getting-started/

 

New Year’s Resolutions: The Process Of Goal Setting

Hello Everyone,

We’re Back! Hope you have all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year holiday, spending time with your loved ones, enjoying delicious food and spending time doing activities that makes you happy. Nutrition nourishment would like to welcome you to the very first blog of the new year. Our goal is to ensure you, the reader, have all the knowledge and tools available to you to help you achieve your goals and make 2017 a year full of gratitude, happiness, peace and success.

2016 has ended and many of us are gathering up our willpower for a brand new set of New Year’s resolutions. But have we learned from past experience? A large number, if not the majority, of previous resolutions were probably broken in weeks, days, or even hours. Well don’t feel bad because research shows only 8% of people actually achieve them.

How do those elite few actually achieve what they set out to do? Do they have a special system? More motivation? More time? What are their secrets? 

Nutrition nourishment is revealing the top 10 research-proven strategies to help you make 2017 your year of success; And it may not be as hard as you might think- there are some really easy ways to set yourself on the path to success.

1. Keep your Resolutions Simple

Sometimes people find themselves aiming for an overhaul of their entire lifestyle, and this is simply a recipe for disappointment and guilt. It may be understandable at this time of year, when self-improvement is on your mind, but experience shows these things can’t all be achieved at once. The best approach is to focus clearly on one or two of your most important goals.

2. Choose Carefully

But which to choose? Well, you might like to concentrate on those that will have the greatest impact on your happiness, health and fulfilment. For example, giving up smoking will obviously improve your health, but it will also give you a sense of pride and will make you happy (but perhaps not immediately!)

3. Be Realistic

Don’t aim too high and ignore reality – consider your previous experience with resolutions. What led to failure then? It may be that you resolved to lose too much weight or save an unrealistic amount of money. Remember, there will always be more opportunities to start on the next phase, so set realistic goals. Or if you don’t want to hold back, set clear short-term goals on your way to a big achievement. Which leads to tip number four.

4. Create Bite-sized portions

Break goals down to manageable chunks. This is perhaps the most essential ingredient for success, as the more planning you do now, the more likely you are to get there in the end. The planning process is when you build up that all-important willpower which you will undoubtedly need to fall back on along the way. Set clear, realistic goals such as saving $30 a month, or going for a run once a week. Decide exactly how you will make this happen.

5. Plan a time-Frame

In fact, the time-frame is vital for motivation. It is your barometer for success, the way you assess your short-term progress towards the ultimate long-term goal. Buy a calendar or diary so you can plan your actions for the coming weeks or months, and decide when and how often to evaluate.

6. Make Notes

Having made a note of your time-frame, you will have a physical reminder of what you’re aiming for. Now go further and write down the details of your resolutions in a notebook, remembering to add your motivations. You could keep a scrapbook for this purpose, and fill it with photos of your slimmer self, pictures of sporting or hobby equipment you are saving for, or even a shocking credit card statement to spur you into action! If your resolution will directly benefit your partner, children, colleagues or friends then add their photos too – anything to remind you of your initial motivation.

7. Don’t forget to treat yourself

When making your plan, a vital feature should be the rewards and treats you will give yourself at those all-important milestones. But be warned, don’t fall into the trap of putting your goal in danger – it’s too easy for a dieter to say “I’ve been so good, I deserve a few candy bars”, or a saver to throw caution to the wind with a new purchase. One slip, and it could all be over.

8. Seek Support

It is at such times, when you’ve temporarily fallen off the wagon, that your support network is crucial. Carefully choose those people around you who have shown themselves to be trustworthy, supportive friends and explain your plans. Let them know of ways they can help when the going gets tough, and if they’re truly caring they’ll know the right things to say during the hard times.

9. Don’t give up!!

Do bear in mind that a slip-up is almost inevitable at some point, and you must not let this become an excuse to give up. When it happens, you will need to draw on your reserves of self-belief and strength, so build these qualities as often as you can. Really feel proud of your past achievements and don’t become critical of yourself. People with higher self-esteem and confidence are in a much better position to succeed, so immediately forgive yourself and say “I’m starting again now!”

10. Put yourself in charge

These achievements are under your control – other people can advise and support you but it’s your actions which need to change to see the results you want. Having a strong sense of control over your life is necessary to stick with your plans. Those who blame everyone and everything apart from themselves will not have the resources needed to change. Yes, it’s scary to take responsibility for your future, but surely it’s better than the alternative?

Now you’ve read these tips, you are in a great position to consider the best ways to improve your life this New Year. Your happiness is worth the time and effort, so get started, and good luck! If you would like more information on goal setting please click on the links below. Wishing you all the best for the new year, and a happy and safe year ahead.

https://www.projectsmart.co.uk/smart-goals.php

https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newHTE_90.htm

http://au.reachout.com/How-to-set-goals?gclid=CjwKEAiAkajDBRCRq8Czmdj-yFgSJADikZggmmey4YGrQqVgv_6PJnOBRmNf10Qe9CxzSD-W1d5DzhoCHlLw_wcB

http://www.yourcoach.be/en/coaching-tools/smart-goal-setting.php

Healthiest Regards

Nutritionnourishment