Improving lives and inspiring others is at the heart of everything we do. Our new podcast is here to encourage mindful, vibrant living, with plenty of tips, interviews, and information to keep you healthy along the way.

iTunes Google Play SoundCloud

Ep 4: Our Relationship with Food

Hosted by: MegaFood | Podcast



Ep 4: Our Relationship with Food

runtime: 33:29


Ep 4: Our Relationship with Food

Relationships can be complex. Our relationship with FOOD is no exception!

In episode 4, Abigail and Killeen are back to share their food stories, and uncover how the way we feel about food is deeply personal and shaped through life experiences over the long term. Exploring guilt, mindfulness, judgement, joy, choice, and cravings... this is an episode not to be missed! Guests include Naturopathic Doctor Erin Stokes, Blogger Jenné Claiborne of Sweet Potato Soul, and Blogger Maryea Flaherty of Happy Healthy Mama.


This link showcases all of our MegaBloggers!

Featured in this episode are Jenné Claiborne of Sweet Potato Soul, and Maryea Flaherty of Happy Healthy Mama. We wholeheartedly enjoy their blogs... and think you will, too.


Announcer: [00:01] The statements in this podcast have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
[00:09] Welcome to another episode of "That Supplement Show." Today, Abigail and Killeen are here to talk about food, more specifically, our relationship with food.
[00:17] They're sharing a few food stories, talking about guilt and other factors that affect how we feel about food.
[00:22] Speaking of that, they've got a lot to talk about. Then, I've got a date with this doughnut right here in my hand. Let's get started.
Abigail: [00:28] Hey Killeen.
Killeen: [00:29] Hey Abigail. How was it going?
Abigail: [00:30] I'm doing great. How are you?
Killeen: [00:31] Pretty good.
Abigail: [00:32] I'm really excited to talk today, because last time we chatted we were talking about energy. We got unexpectedly deep on mindfulness, and the role that it plays in our eating habits.
[00:41] I'm actually fascinated by this. We had some recent conversations with our MegaBloggers that really drove it home for me.
Announcer: [00:47] Mega what? Don't worry. We're going to explain that in one bit.
Abigail: [00:51] I'm looking forward to getting into our relationship with food today, and talk about all the complexities that come with that.
Killeen: [00:57] Now before we get started though, what are you eating? Is that chicken? I thought you were vegan, Abigail!
Abigail: [01:02] It is. You caught me. It's kind of a long story, but I'm happy to share it. Do we have time today?
Killeen: [01:08] Let's launch right into it. I will completely make time for this story because I want to know.
Abigail: [01:12] I've been a vegetarian and then a vegan for pretty much a decade. Like many of us, unexpected health challenges come up and I've had to adapt my diet around that, some food allergies, including one to dairy which is what kind of caused me to become vegan in the first place.
[01:28] I was like, "Well, I'm a vegetarian who can't have dairy. [laughs] Might as well just go for it."
Killeen: [01:33] Might as well just launch into it.
Abigail: [01:36] Then, I had some additional health complications come up that resulted in me having to cut out soy. I don't think you've ever imagined a vegan diet without soy, and I have to be kind of low carb because I'm pre diabetic.
[01:44] Not to go too deep on what I've got going on, but a low carb vegan with no soy. That question that drives every vegetarian crazy, where do you get your protein? That became my reality.
[01:54] It had to come down to what was most important to me. Was it my health? I was vegetarian and vegan for activism reasons, animal reasons, for my love of animals.
[02:07] It came down to the fact that my quality of life was really suffering. I was unhealthy, I was miserable, and I was starving [laughs] all the time.
Killeen: [02:14] I can imagine.
Abigail: [02:16] I had to really look at my life and my values and put myself first. It was a really gut wrenching decision for me, as you can imagine.
[02:22] My husband is still a vegan, but it was the right choice for me. I had to reincorporate some animal products back into my diet, so I'm eating chicken and turkey now.
[02:32] It's taken me a while to get to a place where I'm OK with that because for 10 years, this huge portion of my life, that was my identity.
[02:40] Now, trying to come to grips with this new way of eating that puts myself first has been a challenge, but I'm trying to improve that relationship that I have with the food on my plate.
Killeen: [02:51] When you think about it, we're so fortunate to be able to just have a myriad of options... that we can actually walk through this store that's just loaded with different food options.
[03:02] We're not living somewhere where accessibility is an issue. We're both fortunate enough to be able to afford to go into the grocery store and purchase what we want.
[03:13] When you step back and say, "Gee, what do I want and is that working for me?" It sounds like the answers were not the same.
Abigail: [03:22] It was challenging, but I'm in a much better place now and feel a lot better and have had to come to terms with that.
[03:28] The first time I had chicken, I had to lower the lights and played music and made it this whole experience because I wanted to be mindful, which kind of aligned to that we were talking about the last episode.
[03:39] That mindfulness was really important for me. I never really put emphasis on having gratitude for the food that I have in front of me. This really caused me to reconsider that. Now, when I sit down and I have a meal that has...
[03:51] I'm fortunate enough to live across the street from my city's co op. I can go there and get really good chicken. I've been able to meet the farmers and I feel good about it. I'm really grateful for that animal that is sustaining me.
[04:03] Actually, what was really challenging for me has improved my relationship with food because it's caused me to be mindful and grateful for what I'm able to eat.
Killeen: [04:12] That's really cool. Do you feel like just as your mindfulness has increased because you had to do something that was initially really hard, and sit down and eat something that you, at one point, chose not to eat?
[04:26] What about your mindfulness and your gratitude and appreciation for, like a stalk of broccoli? Do you feel like that's enhanced your mindfulness as well and made you stop and say, "Holy cow! Somebody's had to grow this and think of all the processes that it had to go through to get on to my plate.
Abigail: [04:44] Actually, it's changed my whole relationship with food because I had to kind of slow down and mentally process what I was eating in a way that I never had to before.
[04:52] I have friends with farmers at the farmers market, and it's gotten to the point where I thank them when I buy food from them. They're thanking me for the purchase.
[04:59] I will thank them for growing it for me because they put all their time and energy and love into creating some amazing food from literally the ground up.
[05:08] I didn't do that before. I've been going to farmers markets for years, but this year, I make it a point to thank them for growing this amazing food.
[05:14] Even though it was a challenge for me, I'm really appreciative of what this journey's led me on, the things that I've learned as a result.
Killeen: [05:20] That's so great that you can embrace it instead of just being angry about it.
Abigail: [05:24] I was angry for a while. It was actually my mother who said, "You did everything you can."
[05:29] For me, again, love about the animals, and this isn't one diet's better than the other, that was just what I believed in. She said, "You can't punish yourself. You did everything you could, and now you have to live, too."
[05:39] I needed to hear that, but enough about me.
[05:43] [laughter]
Abigail: [05:43] What about your food story, Killeen?
Killeen: [05:46] I should make the distinction, right off the bat, that I don't think we were aiming for this episode to be about vegetarianism or veganism or eating plant based.
[05:56] It really is a coincidence, but I then feel that maybe many of our listeners are in this same camp.
[06:04] Like you, I became a vegetarian for ethical reasons. I was only 11 years old, and I got exposed to a little brochure that somebody had left in some store or another.
[06:16] It really went into the yucky side of the food industry, and as an 11 year old, that freaked me out.
[06:23] I looked at that, and I said, "I absolutely cannot eat things that are going through this process." Now, at 11 I didn't realize that there were better choices.
[06:35] I didn't know that there were unhappy cows and happy cows. I didn't understand that that's the way things worked. I don't think I grasped the concept of organic, either.
Killeen: [06:49] I was like, "Organic? I'm organic. We're all organic. That's what a living thing is." I didn't get it, but I knew that, from what I had seen, I wanted no part in it.
[07:01] For me, before that, I was the person cherry picking all the steak out of the stir fry. I loved meat. It was delicious to me, but seeing that, it really flipped a switch in my head.
[07:15] My parents said, oh, that's a phase. You'll be back to eating everything before too long. In the beginning, my mom would cook chicken soup and tell me to eat around the chicken, but at a certain point, I was like, "No, Mom. I'm not doing this anymore."
[07:32] At a certain point, she had to respect that and realize that if I was going to eat anything, she needed to provide it for me.
[07:37] My mom's super healthy and was smart about it. I feel like we all managed, but it wasn't a phase. It lasted forever.
[07:45] I'm still vegetarian, and I'm in my late 30s. I had this ethical reason at first, because I didn't understand that there were options as far as where food was sourced from.
[07:59] When I was around 20, I became vegan because I felt like I was ready to take it a step further.
[08:05] I had some friends who were vegan. I felt like, wow, this isn't just a diet. This is a lifestyle, and I felt like I gravitated towards that lifestyle. What happened is it became my identity.
[08:17] I felt like, when I look back at who I was at 20, I identified as, "I am Killeen. I am vegan."
[08:26] I have to say, there was a trend aspect to it. There was this piece of me that felt like it was cool. Still totally agree that it's cool, but I don't think we should be shaping our decisions completely on image.
Abigail: [08:38] There's a community around that, too. You became part of a community, and it can be all consuming.
Killeen: [08:45] Absolutely.
Abigail: [08:45] That's really relevant to what we wanted to talk about today, too, because reshaping the way we look at food...You went very all or nothing in your 20s, and I did the same thing and had to reevaluate that.
Killeen: [08:56] The only reason that I strayed away from being vegan was because I was going on a long distance hike with my husband, who was then my boyfriend.
[09:05] It started in the Deep South, and I knew that when I was stumbling out of the woods 10 days after a hike and finally hitting a town and being able to go and eat at a restaurant, that asking for pizza with no cheese on it wasn't going to satisfy me.
[09:21] I was worried that I was going to resent being vegan, so I slowly started incorporating dairy back into my diet. Once I was out on that trail and stumbling into town, I was all about the cheese pizza.
[09:36] There was a lot of guilt there. At the same time I thought, I need to enjoy the path that I'm on, and, right now, what I'm doing, I'm not in my vegan community. [laughs]
[09:48] I was away from the co ops. I was somewhere else. I had to think about putting myself first, like you, and realizing that I was out to have a huge adventure.
[10:00] If I was going to limit myself and my food, I was probably going to feel disappointed in that adventure.
Abigail: [10:05] You would have limited the whole adventure.
Killeen: [10:09] Exactly. Now, I still think back and being vegan is something I would like to do again. At this point, it would be almost a little selfish of me to change our entire family dynamic at dinnertime. I've got little kids who are picky as it is.
[10:24] If I started eliminating things where we're barely getting everybody to be open to different foods, that right now is also not the time. The interest is there, but I'm OK with where I'm at.
Abigail: [10:37] You should be.
Killeen: [10:39] Hopefully so. We were talking before about the MegaBloggers.
Announcer: [10:43] MegaBloggers refer to a group of professional food and nutrition focused bloggers who are aligned in our wellness values. For more information about the MegaBloggers, visit and check the show notes in Episode 4.
Killeen: [10:56] I'd love to cut to a clip where we talked to Jenné Claiborne of "Sweet Potato Soul." She's a YouTuber and a blogger, and she is vegan. She had some cool things to say about her relationship with food. Let's listen.
Abigail: [11:09] Awesome.
[11:10] [recording begins]
Jenné Claiborne: [11:10] I'm vegan. I've been vegan for about six and a half years now. My journey to being vegan started when I was in college.
[11:19] I wanted to eat healthier, and my motivation behind that was so that I wouldn't feel guilty after I ate my junk food.
[11:29] I'm from the South, so I grew up eating typical Southern food, a lot of sugar, processed ingredients, and things like that.
[11:37] But I had this idea that, maybe, if I made healthy food taste good, then I could still eat as much food as I wanted to, but I wouldn't have to feel guilty every time I ate.
[11:49] I went from there. Instead of quickly, within maybe six months, I went from wanting to eat health so I couldn't feel guilty and I could trick my mind and my body to totally forgetting about that part, and it became a passion really quickly.
[12:08] Immediately after that, I became vegetarian. Then three years after that, I became vegan, which was the best decision ever, and that's where I am now.
[12:15] [recording ends]
Killeen: [12:15] I love Jenné, but I have to say, again, that this is not an episode about being vegan. Think of it as a way for us to explore the different components of the relationship.
[12:30] Jenné hit upon guilt. She said that she was actually crafting her diet to not feel guilty about what she was eating.
[12:40] She was finding that through veganism, she was able to enjoy all of this delectable, decadent food, but that the guilt went away because she knew it was being created with better sourced ingredients or things that were more natural and more suited to what her idea of healthy was.
[13:01] That's really interesting, because guilt doesn't come in that form for everyone.
Abigail: [13:07] Guilt's such a part of our relationship with food, for everybody. This reminds me of a conversation we had with Ashley Koff in our first episode about nutritional poverty, where we talked about better, not perfect, nutrition and breaking up with the idea of perfect.
[13:19] When it comes to the food that we eat, it's about making better, not perfect, choices. We need to break up with that idea of guilt, but it's spread throughout our culture.
[13:30] How often do you hear someone say, "I can have this brownie for dessert, because I was so good today." Good and bad.
[13:37] You hear someone say, "Oh, that food's evil." We have these polarizing ways to talk about food. Oftentimes, we're demonizing it or rewarding ourselves with food. We fall into a trap, and that's why we have these complicated relationships with it.
[13:51] Someone, like Jenné, is such a great, important part of the conversation, as are all our MegaBloggers. They're helping reframe that relationship with food.
Killeen: [13:59] It's so personal, too. You talk about some of the token phrases like, what are your guilty pleasure foods. I even asked the MegaBloggers that.
[14:11] We think about things in terms of guilty pleasure, what you don't want people to know that you get pleasure out of. It's really interesting.
Abigail: [14:18] Like those fried Oreos that I tried a couple of weeks ago. [laughs]
Killeen: [14:21] I always think about those fried Oreos, and I've never even had one.
[14:25] But something like that, where you said you didn't really feel guilty because you sat down and relished every single bite, whereas if you were having them every day, maybe, you'd start to associate some form of guilt with the fact that you knew they weren't an excellent choice when it came to your caloric intake.
[14:44] Cheat day is another one. People say that they can have a cheat day, and especially I've seen this a lot with runners. Even my husband, training for a marathon, he would do it just so he could eat whatever he wanted.
[14:58] He wasn't really doing it to achieve something. He'd already done it. He had checked it off the list, but he said, "I'm going to keep running so I can keep eating."
[15:06] We get into these patterns and these cycles. Maybe, they work for some people. If that was something that could sustain him and he was still eating healthy foods, which, generally, when you're training for a marathon you're pretty focused on your diet.
Abigail: [15:17] Exactly.
Killeen: [15:18] Maybe, there was some extra beer in there, too, that he probably didn't need but felt like he was entitled to.
Abigail: [15:25] We do that all the time. We make excuses. Excuses isn't even the right word, but we make these judgments about I can do this because I did this. There's good and bad, right and wrong, decisions. That can be so toxic.
Killeen: [15:38] Judgment is another pillar there. I know that I'm completely guilty of this, being in the grocery line especially if I'm at a more, a co op or somewhere I'm looking in the other person's cart and then looking at my cart.
[15:57] I'm like, "Oh, whose cart's better?" Now, I don't realize I'm doing this, but I'm totally doing it.
Abigail: [16:02] It's human nature.
Killeen: [16:03] At the same time then, I could be in a conventional grocery store and see a shopping cart and be like, "Oh, that just does not look like a smart shopper there."
[16:14] Then I'll be looking in my cart, and there might be one of those things in there that's not the perfect item, like, "Hey, I've got to cut myself a break. It's OK."
[16:23] We have this guilt, even of, "Oh no, what is somebody going to think of me if they see that I have this MSG filled crunchy snack in my cart?"
Abigail: [16:34] That brings me back to the Oreo. As you said, I joked that I had no guilt around it. I don't think anyone should have guilt around food, but it comes back to that principle of mindfulness. We eat food to nourish our bodies.
[16:46] It's the building blocks for our bodies, provides us with energy, all the functions our bodies perform, but it's also nourishing to the soul.
[16:53] I feel like you should ask yourself a question each time you eat is this nourishing me? It doesn't have to be nourishing your body, but in that moment I was celebrating outside, this amazing festival downtown where I live and spending time with my family.
[17:06] It was joyful, and they were all getting fried dough and trying these things. I wanted to take part of that. It was a really joyful experience for me. There was no guilt associated with it, because it nourished my soul in that regard.
Killeen: [17:19] Enjoyment is an incredibly important component of having a successful relationship with food. We need to make sure that the joy stays front and center, because if we take the joy out of it, what are we left with?
[17:34] We're not really a species that has to survive by...We don't have to go out and hunt to be able to survive.
Abigail: [17:42] Thank goodness.
Killeen: [17:43] I know. I don't know how well I would do if we did.
Abigail: [17:46] You'd be a gatherer.
Killeen: [17:47] I might be a gatherer, or I would figure it out, we don't have to do that. For that very reason, even people that eat whatever they want might feel regret as soon as they're done, if not sooner, so that takes the joy out of it, too.
[18:06] While being mindful, we've got to just ask, "Is this going to make me happy?" And, "Am I happy eating this?" And, "How do I feel?"
Abigail: [18:13] That reminds me of another conversation we had with one of our MegaBloggers, Maryea from "Happy Healthy Mama."
[18:19] She talked a lot about her children and their relationship with food and that aspect of enjoyment, so maybe we should take a listen to what she said.
Killeen: [18:26] I'd like that.
[18:27] [recording begins]
Maryea Flaherty: [18:28] I think for me, I don't like to demonize any kinds of food. I love food.
[18:35] The main question that I ask myself when I'm eating things is how is this going to make me feel, because I might really love pizza, for example I do, I love it and I eat it sometimes because I like it, but it doesn't really make me feel good.
[18:50] Afterwards, I don't feel so great, so I just don't have it very often because I know that. I'm sacrificing how I'm going to feel afterwards, [laughs] but I don't necessarily feel guilty for eating it.
[19:01] I don't really like to associate what I'm eating with guilt, and I don't want my children to feel that way.
[19:08] I talk to them a lot about foods and, yes, we don't eat dessert every single day. Let's be honest, sweet foods taste good and we like to eat chocolate, so it's fine to eat it.
[19:21] I don't want my kids to ever feel so restricted that we can't eat sugar, sugar's the demon. I want them to be able to feel that it's OK to eat these foods that we enjoy, we just don't eat them all the time.
[19:34] We just are conscious of how foods make us feel. We want to fill our bodies with as many fresh, whole foods as we can. Then our sometimes foods that we enjoy, we enjoy them. We don't feel bad about eating them.
[19:47] [recording ends]
Abigail: [19:48] I'm really glad we had that conversation with Maryea, and I totally agree about guilt. I love that she's teaching her children not to include guilt in the conversation around food. That's really impactful.
[19:58] Raising that generation to not associate their food choices with guilt is really powerful.
Killeen: [20:03] I'm sure, if we could all trace our food relationships back to where it all began, I bet all of us are influenced by our childhood, and our upbringing, and our family's thoughts around food. Those are passed on from generation to generation, if you think about it.
Abigail: [20:20] Absolutely. I think of the phrase, "When you know better, you do better." We eat a certain way growing up, and then we learn more and make our own choices.
Killeen: [20:30] It's funny how many times I'll hear people that are older than me, asking me for advice about food, like, "Oh, you're so healthy. Am I doing this right? Am I eating well?"
[20:41] It's almost like, a lot of people are just waking up about this thought of, "Hmm, just because it says low fat on the box, doesn't mean it's healthy, doesn't mean it's going to nourish me." [laughs]
Abigail: [20:51] Absolutely. It reminds me of just a little story. When I first worked in the health food store before I came to MegaFood, my husband he was my boyfriend at the time but brand new to all of this, and I don't think he'd ever eaten a kiwi before. He grew up that way.
[21:05] We were in the health food store, and he picked up a bunch of cookies. I'm like, "Why do you need so many cookies?" He's like, "They're organic. They're healthy for me."
[21:12] [laughter]
Abigail: [21:12] I think a lot of people, they're waking up to that, the organic movement. The natural health movement is growing, and knowledge is power.
Killeen: [21:21] But then, just like with your husband, it goes beyond the label. Some of those buzzwords don't really mean anything if they're out of context.
[21:30] If I could interrupt you just one minute, we have a quick word from our sponsor.
[21:35] [background music]
Announcer: [21:36] Today's episode is sponsored by our newest line of doctor formulated, age and gender specific multis. With all the time and care you put into maintaining a healthy lifestyle, it seems unfair that your nutrition may still be coming up short.
[21:47] That's why we've partnered with Dr. Tieraona Low Dog to develop a line of multis designed to get you exactly what you've been missing out on.
[21:53] Formulated to support the health of men and women during various phases of life, these new multis offer 70 percent or more of the suggested daily value intake of key nutrients in just two tablets.
[22:04] Each formulation now also includes vitamin K and choline, key nutrients often missing from the diet, and methylated B vitamins, forms of folic acid, and B12, suitable for those unable to methylate.
[22:14] Kick your nutritional gap to the curb, visit, and learn which multi is right for you.
Killeen: [22:20] Hey, you know what we haven't done yet?
Abigail: [22:21] What's that?
Killeen: [22:22] We have yet to call the doctor.
Abigail: [22:23] Oh man, we have to.
Killeen: [22:25] I feel like Dr. Stokes will just love this topic.
Abigail: [22:27] She's going to love it.
Killeen: [22:28] I guarantee she's going to be really excited.
Abigail: [22:30] Let's give her a call.
Killeen: [22:31] Let's call her up.
[22:32] [dial tone]
Dr. Erin Stokes: [22:35] Hello?
Killeen: [22:36] Hi, Dr. Stokes. It's Killeen and Abigail calling. How are you?
Dr. Stokes: [22:39] Hi, Killeen and Abbie, I'm doing great, thanks. How are you?
Killeen: [22:42] We're awesome. Today, we're talking about our relationship with food, and the many different factors that can influence that relationship. We were just thinking, it would be a great time to call the doctor.
[22:55] As a naturopath, I'm sure you've worked with many patients over the years that have had different dietary limitations. As a result, have a complicated relationship with food.
[23:05] We thought, maybe, you could talk to us about your experiences, any tools, or skills you recommend, just to help someone overcome their obstacles and regain a healthy relationship with food, overall. What do you think?
Dr. Stokes: [23:16] This is a good topic, and it's a pretty juicy one. We've got a lot of good things we can cover here.
[23:23] Killeen, I think that at its core, food is really nourishment for us. It's also intertwined with so many memories we have, as children and possible family traditions. Food can take on a lot of different aspects.
[23:46] Definitely, at its core, those of us that are fortunate enough to have enough to eat and have the opportunity to make choices about what we eat, really have this great potential to sustain and nourish ourselves.
[24:05] You're right, though, for many people food can be tricky. It can be a little complicated because you mentioned, for example, food allergies earlier.
[24:17] When people start taking more of that clinical approach to food which can certainly be healthy because it can help us uncover foods that are working for us for one reason or another, or are true allergies.
[24:34] But when you start looking at that clinical nature, sometimes people can start seeing the food that they're eating more as foe rather than friend.
Killeen: [24:47] Even when I think about it, that brings it back to choice, because we have so many different choices that we do have to assess, who are our friends and who are our foes, when it comes to food.
Dr. Stokes: [25:00] That's true, and sometimes the amount of choices that many of us in the modern world have and you'll note that I really frame this in a global perspective because always keep in mind the fact that we're incredibly fortunate to have choices, those of us that do we can be completely overwhelmed by choice.
[25:20] This starts at a very young age. I was at our local neighborhood bakery earlier this morning, and this dad said to his two year old daughter a very innocuous question, "Choose something out of this case."
[25:35] I saw her eyes open as she looked at the myriad of choices. Killeen, there were probably 15 different choices, and she was paralyzed by choice.
[25:45] I actually see this happen often, but with children and adults, that sometimes when there's too many choices, our default is to go into this freeze mode because we're not sure what to choose.
Killeen: [25:57] That's so true. I think if my daughter was faced with that case, we'd still be there right now. [laughs] I don't blame her either.
[26:06] I can sometimes relate to that, too. How does one choose? Until you taste it, you can't really know exactly what it is that you're buying into.
Dr. Stokes: [26:15] It's true, and what we do, a place to start, is to ask ourselves this simple question when you are about to eat something, "Is this going to nourish me?"
[26:31] That might sound a little complicated, "Do I really want to do that every time before I have something to eat?" but the point is to try to get to some of those experiences.
[26:42] For example, I was fortunate enough to have some farm fresh cherry tomatoes yesterday, and they were incredible.
[26:51] Yes, I know they're full of vitamin C and lycopene, and that's the intellectual side. On a much more visceral side, I could taste how fresh these were, in July, at the peak of ripeness, and how it was really nourishing me.
[27:09] When we start having that positive feedback loop of making some healthy choices that nourish us, then that's an upward spiral.
[27:20] What I encourage people to do is, if, say, you're going to make a choice, "I'm going to have an ice cream cone because it's fun. I'm here with my family. I'm going to make this choice."
[27:33] If you're going to go ahead and make that choice, and that's something that works for you, enjoy it.
[27:39] That's one thing I see about this sometimes complicated relationship with food, is that sometimes, people make a choice and then they'll share with me because I'm privileged enough to get to have a lot of these conversations with people.
[27:53] They then spend the next 15 minutes while they were eating their ice cream cones, beating themselves up for making, what they thought, was an unhealthy choice.
[28:02] The thing is that we make lots of choices for different reasons. None of us, definitely myself included, are going to make these perfect, correct food choices that are rich in nutrients, all the time.
[28:18] Sometimes, we may make a choice because, like I said earlier, it's a family celebration, it's a childhood memory. Those choices can actually be a really good thing, too. [laughs]
[28:30] Again, as long as you're not completely allergic to dairy or something like that. In that case, we need to expand our perspective on food.
[28:41] Sometimes, people are surprised to hear me say this, but I'm not a purist when it comes to food, because I truly mean that food is meant to be enjoyed.
[28:51] Oftentimes, in the middle of the afternoon, I crave a piece of dark chocolate I love dark chocolate and that's OK. Sometimes, I just have a piece of dark chocolate.
[29:02] However, sometimes I like to ask myself the question, "What am I really craving right now? Am I craving a pick me up? If that's what I need right now, could I maybe take a 10 minute walk around the block?
"[29:20] Am I craving sweetness, and if I'm needing sweetness and I'm craving sweets, is there a way to bring a little more sweetness into my life? Can I do something that might be a little bit healthier for myself?"
[29:36] Again, a little bit of dark chocolate, not so bad, but if you find yourself, say, repetitively craving sweets...First of all, we as humans, as animals, we crave sweet.
[29:49] We had a bear, broke into a local beehive recently and just completely tore it apart [laughs] because we have a biological drive to crave sweets.
[29:59] That's actually not out of the realm of normal, but if you're going for sweets over and over and over, there might be something bigger there. I think it's worth asking yourself these questions.
[30:11] Are there other ways to sometimes get a pick me up, get a little sweetness in your life, get some nourishment that doesn't always have to be reaching for that piece of chocolate?
Killeen: [30:25] As always, it's insightful to give you a call. We appreciate you taking some time to chat with us about your insights to the relationship with food. We'll talk to you soon, Erin. Thanks a lot.
Dr. Stokes: [30:36] Sounds good. Bye.
Killeen: [30:37] Bye.
Abigail: [30:37] A lot of great information from Dr. Stokes. I'm so glad we gave her a call. I think there's a few key pieces of information that we should make sure everyone takes away from that.
[30:47] Maybe, we see how many people were paying attention, and do a little quiz.
Killeen: [30:51] Good idea.
[30:56] [music]
Abigail: [30:56] I'll start. What's the big question Dr. Stokes recommends asking yourself when you make a food choice?
[31:02] [ticking music]
Killeen: [31:02] Answer is, "Is this food going to nourish me?"
[31:11] That's something you and I talked about, too. We're all in the same wavelength there. I always love when we get validation from the doctor that we're thinking right.
Abigail: [31:21] It's such a powerful question to ask yourself. If we all incorporated that into our life when we sit down to have a meal, we'd probably be surprised at the changes.
Killeen: [31:30] I bet you're right. Question two, when you make one of those choices that might not be the most nourishing, what do you do?
[31:39] [ticking music]
Abigail: [31:39] I know the answer to this because this is me with the fried Oreos all over again. You enjoy it.
Killeen: [31:48] Yes, don't beat yourself up over it. We might make the choice because we're celebrating or a childhood memory. Those foods are really meant to be enjoyed.
Abigail: [31:57] Because they're still nourishing, right? They're nourishing our soul.
[32:01] Last question then, when Dr. Stokes wants something sweet in the afternoon, does she reach immediately for her favorite dark chocolate?
[32:08] [ticking music]
Killeen: [32:08] It's no. What she said to do was to first assess, "Is it the chocolate I'm craving or is just the sweetness?" I thought that was really cool. How else might we bring sweetness into our life besides through what we put into our mouth?
Abigail: [32:25] It could be as simple as a sweet tea, an herbal tea that's, maybe, had some licorice in it, and it's sweet. Or it could be, like she said, going for a walk or, maybe, even playing with your dog.
Killeen: [32:34] I was going to say that. [laughs] Those are great takeaways. Hopefully, by reiterating them, they'll stick.
Abigail: [32:42] Absolutely. That's probably a good stopping point because I don't know about you, but all this food talk, I'm actually pretty hungry.
Killeen: [32:47] Totally.
Abigail: [32:47] I want to go home and nourish myself.
Killeen: [32:51] Let's go nourish ourselves. Talk to you soon.
[32:54] [background music]
Abigail: [32:54] Bye bye.
Killeen: [32:54] Bye.
Announcer: [32:55] This podcast is brought to you by MegaFood. Keeping it real, making vitamin and mineral supplements in New Hampshire since 1973.
[33:02] Committed to making products that use real food from family owned farms to make a real difference, they've produced some of the most effective and far out supplements available today.
[33:10] Fresh from farm to tablet, there's no psych about it. MegaFood is at real as it gets. Do yourself a salad, and catch them on the flip side at
[33:18] The statements in this podcast have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

More episodes You'll Love