Food Geek Friday: How to Turn Food Confusion into Food Confidence

Today I'm super-excited to bring you my very first guest blog post! I don't remember exactly how I came upon Lara Dalch and her fab blog (Twitter probably) but it was at the exact time I needed it. Don't you love it when that happens?

I was on the fence about ending my event company. I'd been doing it for over 15 years. It was comfortable. I could kick ass and take names with anything thrown at me. However, I was burnt out and procrastinated on EVERYTHING possible. Whereas at the beginning of that year I'd started the professional organizing company. It was still just starting but the response was warm and it was the most personally fulfilling thing I'd ever done. I hated events, but it paid the rent and it's what everyone knew me as. What was a girl to do? Then I came upon this blog post. 

We know what happened next. I shuttered the event company, went full-force forward with the organizing company and never looked back. One of the best decisions I've ever made. I've followed Lara since and because I love her full-circle approach to health and nutrition, I was SO delighted when I got an email from her asking if I'd be interested in collaborating on something with her. There is so much conflicting dietary information out there that when she mentioned her new program and teaching people how to cultivate food confidence, I jumped at the chance to share her expertise with all of you. Look for more with the two of us in the future!

Take it away, Lara!

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I'm so excited and honored to be a guest blogger for Food Geek Friday! I may be the biggest food geek of all - next to Melinda, of course - so it seemed only a matter of time before she and I collaborated on something.

As a health and nutrition coach with a more holistic than "dietetic" approach, I work with clients on everything from meal plans to fitness plans to stress management to home organization…anything that affects their ability to practice what I call "extreme self care."

One of the biggest challenges I see across the board is serious confusion about what to eat. And a complete disconnect between the food we eat and how it affects our ability to live the life we want to live. It's rarely a simple matter of "should I eat this instead of that?".

If you find yourself perplexed by the massive amounts of conflicting nutrition information in the media and from well-meaning friends and family, I encourage you to go back to basics with a few simple experiments.

  • Begin with breakfast. Yeah, yeah…breakfast is the most important meal of the day - it stabilizes your blood sugar and gives your body a jumpstart after what can sometimes be 8+ hours of fasting. But more than that, breakfast can be a clue to your highly individual ideal diet. Try eating something different for breakfast for five days in a row. You could have eggs on Monday, oatmeal on Tuesday, a bowl of cereal on Wednesday, yogurt and fruit on Thursday, and a muffin and coffee on Friday. Take note of how you feel just after you eat and again two hours later. Notice which foods energize you and keep you going for the longest amount of time. Then, use those clues to inform your other meal choices.
  • Deconstruct your cravings. Do you crave sweets or salty snacks? In the afternoon or at night? When you're working or when you're just hanging out? Make a habit of noticing what you crave, when you crave it, and what's happening around you when you have a craving. Sometimes our cravings are legitimate signals from our body that it needs a particular nutrient. Other times, they're clues that other parts of our lives may be off balance - that we're tired, lonely, or bored, for example. Make sure you tune into the root causes of your cravings and address them rather than going straight to food.
  • Listen to your body. The bottom line is listen to your body. The more you get in touch with how food affects YOU - not how it affects your best friend or your mom or your co-worker - the closer you'll be to finding your own food confidence.

Finally, because it’s Food Geek Friday and we must geek out about something, here’s my newest favorite on-the-go snack. (I collect snacks like other people collect art.)

Happy Food Geek Friday!

About Lara Dalch:

Lara Dalch is a Certified Health & Nutrition Coach in Seattle and founder of Dalch Wellness. With clients nationwide, Dalch Wellness helps busy people balance health, fitness, and lifestyle goals with hectic lives through a practical, "whole life" approach to health and nutrition.

 Learn more about Lara's fall online coaching program, 6 Weeks To Effortless Eating And Ultimate Self Care, here. Program begins September 24.