You all have seen my website and hopefully looked around and read a few things. Maybe you have even caught my tag line that I mention a few times--feeding mind, body & spirit. I haven't yet blogged about it and I'm thinking it's about time since I've rolled out the Lifestyle Transformation program/structure and it all ties together.
If you know me personally, you know that I have been practicing yoga for about 8 years and will complete my 200hr teacher training in October. What started out as a practice to supplement my running has turned into a way of life has really changed how I view the world. Mostly, it has given me the gift to stop, breathe and think before I react. How you ask has yoga done that...well, jeez, that would take entirely too long to explain and when I get going on a topic I really get going. So for the sake of keeping your attention, I'll simply say that yoga has allowed me to dive into the mind, body & spirit connection and has really enhanced my relationship with food (just one of the many ways the mind, body & spirit connection has helped in my life).
See, I always wanted to go into private practice. But in school we really focused on the food portion of nutrition(obviously), anatomy and physiology and a lot of clinical work/Medical Nutrition Therapy. My experiences with nutritionists/dietitians were all the same-they provided mainly the education component and nothing further. Every RD I worked with or went to said what to eat, how much to eat, why and how certain foods work in the body. To me this is the physical part of nutrition. It's the physical part of the mind, body & spirit equation. But I didn't want to be like other RDs. I didn't want to tell people what to do or talk AT people. When speaking about changing a lifestyle there's much more to it than speaking to the physical side of the equation. And this is where yoga has come in to play...
I'd say after the 6th year of practicing yoga, I figured it out. I realized I was making changes in my life and it was because I was learning the root causes of my actions and feelings. I had practiced an intuitive eating lifestyle (listening to my body and its needs) for many years at this point and I was starting to see many parallels between intuitive eating and yoga philosophy. I found I wanted to talk to people about WHY they eat the way they eat. And so my friends, here is the second part of the equation; the mind. And this is my most favorite part of nutrition counseling. Figuring out the why and what type of eater you are and what your triggers are--just a few examples. This is also why it is important to have a safe, nonjudgmental and compassionate environment because it can be difficult to talk about the why. I believe, change in the physical is linked with change in the mental, therefore, my approach with nutrition is strongly rooted in understanding why we do the things we do when it comes to food.
Now don't run away from me just yet! The last part of the equation is spirit; feeding your spirit. And no I'm not putting religion into this or imparting my beliefs. It's simply thinking beyond ourselves and thinking about where our food comes from; giving thanks to this land for the goodness it brings. It's also about exploring a mindful connection to our food to enhance our health. It's really all about changing how we see our food and therefore it changes our perspective. It's about time we bring this connection into our nutrition journey. When you start thinking about food differently, you start making different choices and soon enough you start seeing changes in your self! A positive change!
So there you have it folks. This is the philosophy of my practice in a nutshell. This is why I went into private practice because so many people want a change but I feel like in order to change we need to learn about the mind, body and spirit connection. And if you come to me for counseling you will find these conversations take place over many many months. I will be there asking the questions and it's up to you to explore the answers in your own life.
OH and a side note---this is my experience with food and yoga. I welcome you to share any of your experiences and in no way require you to walk the same path as I have walked :)