Event Recap - Mind, Body & Fuel
In an evening dedicated to the intersection of mental and physical health, our panel shed light on challenges we all face when it comes to diet and exercise. By discussing the psychology behind mindset and the brain-gut connection behind nutrition, we walked away with a more deep and realistic understanding of how to eat well.
So, how do we achieve mental and physical well-being?
Why We Struggle: The Disconnect of Doctrine
The rise of diet culture has made it easy to pick up a program without considering if it’s right for us. We lack understanding of how our self-image beliefs first form, and how those drive our lifelong coping eating and exercise habits – from comfort eating to deprivation dieting. This has created a disconnect between mind and body – and is the core reason many wellness programs fail. We find ourselves gritting our teeth, “white-knuckling” through change, and ignoring critical signs our body sends us.
Remember: exercise is not a substitute for self-reflection. Without self-understanding, we will struggle to create lasting self-change.
How We Succeed: Slow Down, Embrace Need
Mindfulness creates a safe haven to explore our emotions, behaviors and attitudes – without the preconceived judgments that form blind spots in our self-awareness. Mindfulness helps us slow down and listen to both our bodies and minds. We discover what we need to heal and nourish, move forward and develop a more compassionate/nurturing relationship with ourselves.
Remember: The road to mental and physical well-being is a marathon, not a sprint.
Putting it Into Practice: Tangible Tips
Take three deep breaths before and after any meals. This will help snap your nervous system out of the stress response, increasing digestion quality and balanced self-awareness.
Mindful Eating. Throughout every eating choice, take time to:
Notice the Now: practice awareness of how you feel physically and emotionally
Find the Why: assess your emotions to uncover underlying motivators
Cultivate goodness: let your why inform the most nourishing decision for you
Why Before What. Practice compassionate curiosity around where eating habits might have been patterned. Did prior experiences correlate food to comfort? Diet to control? Self-criticism to strength?
Remember: Ask yourself what would be nourishing mentally and physically?
Gratitude & Resources:
This experience would not have been the same without our powerhouse panel. With gratitude and deepest appreciation, we’d again like to thank:
Ali Miller, RD, LD, CDE: Registered Functional Medicine Dietitian and Author. Find more info about Ali and her functional medicine and food-as-medicine resources here. You can also pre-order The Anti-Anxiety Cookbook now!
Peter Craig, LPC-I: Psychotherapist at Austin Professional Counseling, eating psychology coach, and Juiceland-sponsored triathlete
Dr. Charlotte Howard: Psychologist and co-owner of Deep Eddy Psychotherapy