They say you are what you eat, but what exactly are you eating these days? Sometimes, it takes a lot of pep talk to convince ourselves to change bad habits. The question is, what happens when it’s your eating habits that need to go? In this MomViews segment, Katie Nowikow, a holistic health coach who tells you like it is, shares her thoughts on what it means to change your eating habits.
MomViews: Dieting and giving up certain foods might sound like the ideal way to change your eating habits, but not for you. You like to literally have your cake and eat it too. What’s your secret?
Katie Nowikow: I just love food – and I don’t think you have to give it up. It’s all about finding healthier versions of what you love, which are definitely available and still amazingly good. I also am a big believer in quality – so when do I really enjoy my “treats”? When I’m stressed, angry or sad and likely it’s not going to cheer me up much? Or when I’m celebrating, with loved ones, laughing, and having a good time? Also, you have to let go of the notion “I’m bad, because I ate…..” You’re human, it’s near impossible these days to not give in to some kind of something with all the food everywhere, not too mention all the subliminal queues. Just start by reading ingredients, look for more natural ingredients in your favorite foods. Check out the natural food stores, farmers markets and niche bakeries. I love Paleo baked goods cause they don’t have refined sugars, they’re full of healthy fats, and they usually taste amazing!
MV: Do you have a favorite go-to snack?
KW: For brand names, I really like “Enjoy Life” cookies and desserts. I also love Flax 4 Life brownie muffins. I love Larry & Luna’s coconut milk based ice cream. Full of good fat and only uses Agave Nectar to sweeten. Lately, I’ve been enjoying SO Delicious Mocha Almond Fudge ice cream bars.
MV: Family gatherings are sometimes tough. We don’t keep soda in our home, but when we visit family members, there’s soda everywhere. How do you avoid feeding into your weaknesses?
KW: Distress and be ready for a happy day. Seriously, willpower is great, but it’s often already exhausted by the time we get through our own to do items that when it comes to eating we don’t have any left to use. Also, you have to have something to look forward to as a treat on these days – it’s how most of us have come to celebrate is with food, so NOT having it when everyone else is, well that just stinks. If soda is your vice, get some Stevia soda and have that on hand. Have carbonated fruity water, or get plain carbonated water and use flavored Stevia drops to give it some taste. Also, I don’t think you have to avoid it all together – unless you know it’ll spark a binge fest for you. Rather, I think before these events you eat lots of healthy foods, so you’re not starving, don’t “save your calories” but wrack em up with the good stuff. Then, when you get there, eat slowly, drink plenty of water. And pick the treats that are not your “everyday” treats. Share it with someone else so your portion stays in check. Take leftovers home and freeze it for another day. The idea is not to feel like you can’t have things you want. When my family is going to have sweet desserts I no longer eat, I always bring something I can have that I love – it’s about new traditions and ways to include yourself by exploring your options.
MV: How have the changes in your eating habits impacted your life?
KW: Oh wow, well it’s always a topic of conversation! haha, seriously it really makes me laugh sometimes the things people want to bring up or discuss about what I eat or don’t eat and why. But it’s really helped me to feel much much better. I’m more clear minded, I have more energy, I don’t fret about “bad” days with food, sure I still have times when I over do too much of my treat items, but it’s never anything like before and I don’t worry much about it and I can stop it easily. I’ve become more calm and patient with myself and my relationship with food. I have also embraced my inner foodie – my husband and I plan to do many road trips and one of the ways we pick our destinations is by the foodie joints I want to visit. BUT they are now usually the healthy spots that are not your dime a dozen restaurants. Vegan, Paleo, farm to table, all gluten free, etc.
MV: What tips can you offer other moms who are looking to change their eating habits without giving up their favorite desserts?
KW: Again it’s all about healthy swaps – there’s SO many options out there these days. Don’t buy low fat or sugar free. Low-fat usually has more sugar in it to replace the lost flavor from removing fat. Sugar free often as has other sweeteners in it that only makes sugar cravings worse. Go for natural, organic, or just regular choices. Look in the “natural” section of your grocery store, or go to a Whole Foods or Sprouts. Read your ingredients, find the treats that have ingredients you’d likely have at home. Also, look for easy recipes. There’s one blender muffin recipe I love from http://www.averiecooks.com/2013/10/flourless-peanut-butter-chocolate-chip-mini-blender-muffins.html. Now I’ve made these with both peanut butter OR cashew butter. They are amazing…be warned, you’ll want to eat all the batter.
Join me next week for another installment of MomViews, insights from moms like you.