Do you ever feel like the world is bombarding you with the ‘latest and greatest’ diet or nutrition idea? Look in any magazine, newspaper, TV commercial, or listen to any given conversation between two people (especially women!) talking about eating – what feelings and words are you left with?

Guilt. Control. Out of Control. Portion Control. Eliminate. Bad Foods. Carbs. Calories. Fat. Restrictions….the negativity and obsession goes on. No wonder we give up.

Jill Tanis, Certified Holistic Health Counselor is out to change that! I got a chance to attend (along with some of you!) her Nutrition Class on Tuesday night, held at Harbor Health and Massage. Her talk was filled with fresh, revolutionary ideas for the way we thinkand therefore, the way we eat. Below are her take-home points, sure to leave you changed. Thanks for the wisdom and inspiration, Jill!

1. Pay attention – be aware! Stop looking outside yourself for answers. As Jill says, “Your body is brilliant!” Aches, pains, cravings – these are all your body’s signals to get your attention. Listen! Ask yourself good questions – When do you eat? Where do you eat? How do you eat? Be open to the signals your body is giving you. You will gain confidence and be more in touch with yourself. This begins the process of trusting yourself around food, no longer living in fear of getting out of control.

2. Get to Know Yourself – we are all individuals. Respect where you are and where you have come from – and know what works for others may not work for you! Everything from our gender, our jobs, which climate we live in – all affect the nutrition you need and what is considered “good” for you.

3. Crowd It Out – this is my favorite point. Instead of restriction, think ABUNDANCE! Don’t focus on what you can’t have – think of all you can have! Instead of taking things out of your diet, add stuff in – and have fun with it! Keep adding one or two new things at a time and your body will naturally crowd out the foods it does not need. Start with more water…maybe add a veggie to lunch, then a protein to breakfast…This works!

4. Primary vs. Secondary Food – no, she’s not talking about Carbs or Protein or Fat or Macro vs. Micro Nutrients.

Secondary Foods = food that comes on your plate.
Primary Foods = non-food things that feed you on a deeper level. How are your relationships with significant others, family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, yourself – feeding you? Are you being nourished with the things that fill you up from the inside-out – a hug, hot bath, walk in nature, an enjoyable bout of exercise, time spent with others or in solitude…what sustains you and gives you the feeling of more? It is the void or unbalance of these Primary Foods that leads us to fill ourselves with Secondary Foods.

Bottom line? Fill yourself up on Primary Foods – let this be your focus – and you may just find yourself naturally choosing more whole-food, healthy nutrition to nourish your body. Don’t beat yourself up! As Jill reminds us, a defeatist attitude will get you nowhere! Those who succeed in getting where they want to be are those who celebrate themselves and the positive steps they are taking towards health.

**For more information or to set up an Initial Consult to further discuss how to nourish yourself healthfully, check out:

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