Today I’ve got a very special guest. My guest today is Carly Paige. She is a culinary nutrition expert. She’s a chef. She’s founder and president of FitLiving Eats of Winter Park, a private concierge chef company.
She’s the author of a great best selling cookbook, Simply Swapped Every Day. It’s a lifestyle guide and includes over 75 Simple plant powered recipes that can be customized to any dietary preference. And the book is literally on the counter in my kitchen. And my daughters, Carly, they reference it all the time. So I’ve seen it out a few times as they’re whipping up some concoction in the kitchen, usually involving chia seeds or something similar.
Through FitLiving Eats, Carly hosts corporate cooking workshops hosting regular cooking classes for companies like Four Seasons, NASA, and Southwest Airlines. She’s been seen on Fox 35 and other news and lifestyle programs. And one of these days, we’ll have to have our widowers group in for a great and healthy cooking event. Carly, we’re hoping to do that with you.
Today, we’re going to leverage her nutritional and cooking expertise to discuss the importance of food and diet in the healing process.
Carly Paige 2:02
Thank you, Tom, thank you so much for having me. And I am super excited to dive into that topic with you and talk more about the healing powers of food on your holistic health, no matter where we’re you are at, in our different stages of life.
Absolutely. So our diets can definitely and dramatically affect our healing. As widowers, we’re already stressed. We’ve likely been dealing with that stress for some time, whether it’s through the disease process leading up to, or after the loss. There’s increased anxiety and many of us have a depression state that we go through, talk about the impact of diet and what that can have on your mood, and your body as a result.
Absolutely. And, you know, while I have not gone through the same grief process, I do have a history. As a student, I can remember dealing with pretty debilitating anxiety. So I can relate to some of the symptoms that we all may find ourselves dealing with from time to time, depending on where our circumstances are.
I found that for me, when I started to shift my diet, it really increased mindfulness around other areas of my life as well. Food is the one thing that we’re always thinking about, we can control what we’re putting into our body, and it feels kind of safe, meaning we’re comfortable around the topic of food and eating throughout our day.
So it’s just kind of natural, for creating more mindfulness and awareness around what you’re putting in your body. As it relates to healing and anxiety and reducing stress, food really does have the power to heal. And I don’t know if I recognized that until I really started looking at food in a different way and reframing the way that I perceived food and paid attention to how it made my body feel.
Specifically, when talking about some different dietary focuses, one thing that we’re always hearing is stabilizing our blood sugar levels. And we can do that with food. And the point of that is to avoid that big energy high and then crash and burn, which can really feed into those feelings of anxiety and stress.
Another big one is focusing on gut health, which I know we’re going to talk more about later on, but there’s so much research now around the connection between our gut and our brain and our mental health.
The connection between the two, the mind and the gut, is important towards one’s health, one setting the other up for optimal health. So, in our gut, we’re producing a lot of hormones, specifically serotonin, which is that feel good hormone. So focusing on gut health can really have a direct impact on your feelings and your mood throughout the day.
The food that we eat is fueling our system. And it really is medicine for the body. And I think that there’s a lot of doctors now that are really waking up to this.
Unfortunately, out of the 1000s of hours of training that doctors receive, I think the traditional track that many of the experienced doctors have gone through is maybe four hours of nutrition.
But when you think about it, food has such an amazing influence on our health, like consuming sugar, where you get these spikes and crashes, like you said. If you’re already in a stressed or depressed mood, the sugar can give you a temporary boost, put put you into that depressive state soon after.
For me as well, Carly, if I eat gluten, even though I don’t think I’ve got an allergy to gluten, but I just I don’t feel good after eating it. I get inflamed by it. And not a severe inflammation, like someone with maybe Celiac disease, but it makes me feel lethargic. And if there’s one thing you don’t need, while you’re already feeling sad, while you’re already perhaps in a depressed mood is having your body inflamed, and your joints hurt, and your fingers swollen. When it’s already hard sometimes to just get out of bed when you’re in a grief process, much less being inflamed. And that just makes it that much worse.
Exactly, And to your a couple of points that you brought up, which were really great about sugar.
So I think a lot of times people think about sugar as just being a dessert. But anything that is higher in carbohydrate: you’ve got simple carbs, and you have complex carbs. Complex carbs come with fiber attached to those carbohydrates, which means that your body does not process those carbohydrates, as it would a simple or more processed carb. So you want to focus on whole nutrient dense fiber rich carbohydrates, the “good” carbs versus the simple carbs.
Because what happens is, when you eat a simple, processed, high carb food, like say, a bagel, you don’t necessarily think of that as eating sugar. But you are, because there’s no fiber in that and you’re maybe getting, let’s say 30 grams of carbs that your body is just processing, as it would sugar. So you’re still going to experience that high, and then the crash and burn and ebb and flow of energy throughout the day.
Yeah, I totally agree with that. And as you said, some of the simple carbohydrates, the ones that you want to avoid, would be white breads, bagels … potatoes have that same impact on me.
What are some examples of the complex carbs, which are the good carbs, right, and then the simple carbs, which are the ones that we probably want to eat less of?
Right? So complex carbs are going to be your fruit, your vegetables, whole grains, beans, legumes. Everyone’s a little bit different, and how food affects their body. Some people thrive on a higher carb diet that’s done the right way, while other people do better on a lower carbohydrate diet with higher protein and higher fat.
So that’s why you really need to pay attention to your own body and how it feels as you’re eating these foods. But generally speaking, those are the kinds of complex carbs that you want to incorporate into your diet, which will weed out those more simple carbs.
And when we talk about simple carbs, think about processed foods. So anything made with white flour, white flour is extremely processed, all of the nutrients are stripped from that grain. So anything that that it goes into… it can be cookies, it could be bagels, it could be cupcakes, it could be pizza dough, I mean, there’s a lot of different ways that white flour can manifest in our food. And then of course, you know, sugar. So anything with cane sugar, even the more natural sugars like maple syrup, honey, agave, they’re better for you, but there’s still sugar and we want to be mindful of those as well.
So one of the things that I know a lot of widower brothers fall into, and I definitely fell into this through the disease process was, we use alcohol binging sometimes as an escape, as medication. Talk about the impacts of this and what you recommend to break the cycle? How do you wind up eating better and drinking better?
I think that when we are going through a really tough time in our lives, we can rely too much on our own willpower to keep us straight. And when we are in a vulnerable state, like going through grief, or going through an intense battle with anxiety, trying to rely on just ourselves is going to set us up for failure. Not just physically and how our bodies look and feel, but emotionally as well, because it just reinforces that idea that we’re not doing enough for ourselves, or we can’t do enough for ourselves.
Relying on other people in your life, to hold you accountable, become that accountability system for you. I think it is really key in making those changes. And just speaking to them about your desires and your goals so that they can check in on you and see how you’re doing. Not from a place of “you’re not meeting your goals, then you’re failing”, but just someone who really cares and can go through that process with you.
So I think, aside from practical changes that we can make. Implementing a diet relying on that relational power that we can lean on when we’re going through such a challenging time can lead to better change success.
I also think that giving yourself some grace is so important. You’re already beating yourself up. A lot of t regrets with things that you wish you would have done differently through the process as just one example.
So, give yourself some grace on the food, give yourself some grace on the drinking.
But do think consciously about making some of these recommended shifts, because it’s really hard to heal if you’re binging on the wrong foods. They’re just not making your body feel well. And we’ll talk about the gut biome in a second and some of the direct impacts it can have on your mind and on your moods.
And then, if you’re indulging in alcohol, which I had an issue with Carly, it can really mess up your metabolism. On alcohol you’re not mindful, you’re not lucid, and you’re not going to heal because it just keeps you in this loop of basically numbing your mind and poisoning your body.
So for me, through the disease process, my house was filled with Hospice folks. It’s my sanctuary, but it wasn’t with all the folks around. I felt like I really needed to get away from it all in the bottle, so I was drinking margaritas, amaretto, slushies, you name it, whatever sugary kind of drink I could imbibe. Okay,I was using agave nectar and making Skinny Margaritas, right? I’d have two or three at night, and big slushies. And then the next night, it would be two or three that night, and on and on and on for every night just to medicate. And it wasn’t healthy.
I was lucky that right after my wife passed, I really had an epiphany of willpower and said I needed to be lucid for my kids, I needed to be lucid and really feel this to effect change. And I had to stop medicating. And I did that. I had the support in some of the people around me to help effect that change. And just cold turkey stopped alcohol and haven’t had a drop in five years.
What I noticed were some significant changes n the beginning. I wasn’t the whole hangover highs and lows that you experienced, because ou might be medicating that night, but in the morning, you’re waking up feeling like trash. We’ve all been there, right.
So I started to be a little bit more even keel, which was great through this healing process. The other thing I noticed though, was that my metabolism was changing. I wasn’t drinking and then grabbing a bag of chips and salsa to finish the mood off, to go along with the margarita. So now, I’m not eating those simple carbs, and I’m not eating them late, and I’m not drinking and eating all that sugar late.
And all of a sudden my gut biome started to heal. And my metabolism boosted. And as part of this journey, I wound up losing a good 60 pounds. It was a dramatic change.
I was working out during that time of the disease and passing. But between the stress and the cortisol, and the alcohol, it wasn’t making a difference. Getting off of the alcohol was the big change that I made, and just going off of that made all the difference.
I think for anyone who’s going through this, try a couple of weeks, try a month without alcohol. See if you can feel the changes. For me, what happened was I committed to do that. I didn’t say okay, that’s it. I’m never gonna have another drink for the rest of my life. But I committed for sobriety for a little while initially. And it had a huge impact so quickly, and the results were so good. I’m like, Oh, let me continue this. This is working. And then another month, And it’s working so well, it did become a complete lifestyle change for me, and now a full sobriety commitment.
So let’s pivot to the gut biome. We’ve mentioned it a few times. So what the heck is the gut biome, for those who don’t know, because I didn’t know when I first started this journey. In fact, it wasn’t until a couple of podcasts that I began to learn this from Dr. Gundry, and some others. I then got my gut biome tested, which was a big help. And so I know what to eat and when not to eat, but what is the gut biome? And why do we need to be mindful of it?
So the gut biome really is what we’re now calling our second brain. An amazing 80% of our immune system lies in our gut, which is pretty crazy when you think about it. And it is the regulator for so many important physiological functions.
So I feel like when people first hear the word, gut, they think digestive system, like bowel movement, right. And, again, it is so much more than that.
It’s really the microflora, the balance of good and bad bacteria in your intestinal tract that has the power to really control and change how you feel and function throughout your day. And, like I mentioned earlier, there’s so much research coming out now about the connection between the gut and the brain: mental health and wellness, and just how many hormones are produced in our gut. And all of this is tied back to, again, that balance of good and bad bacteria.
And it’s important to have both, but it’s also important to feed that good bacteria with the right kind of foods, so that it can really can help you feel like you’re thriving and not just surviving throughout your day.
Indeed, eating poorly and fueling the bad bacteria can put you in a sad mood and can even put you into depression. It affects your sleeping and so much more.
Because that gut is tied through the venal vagus nerve back to your reptilian and middle brain, and your middle brain is where many of your hormones are produced and controlled. There are some that are definitely produced in the gut and other parts of the of the body. But it is really that central system that controls that trigger, that then causes the production, the feeling. The term “gut feeling” comes from that right, you have a feeling about a person or situation. It’s actually your gut, responding through your venal vagus nerve up to your hormonal system and the middle brain, the limbic system, and it’s driving key hormone production, whether that be your amygdala, your fight or flight system, your serotonin, and melatonin production and your pituitary gland, all of those things are related.
So it is a governor in your system. And if you put bad fuel into that system, it’s going to cause the bad bacteria to be sparked up, and it’s going to cause you discomfort, it’s going to cause you mood changes, and it’s going to just put you deeper into that sadness and that depression.
You should change your diet so that you’re fueling the good bacteria. For me, that was first getting rid of the alcohol, which was promoting really bad things in my gut. And immediately my mood changed and shifted.
For other people that may be the simple carbs they get rid of, as I know those affect my mood dramatically, not just my inflammation.
And so there are ways to just experiment with this. If you eat food, and all of a sudden, you’re bloated, likely your gut is having a reaction to it. And it’s not a good reaction. My daughter suffers from that dramatically. She had viruses and other things in her gut, because she had a parasite and had to take a lot of antibiotics that basically killed a lot of her good gut flora. And so she had undeformed or bad gut flora taking the good bacterias place. She’s got some viruses that are in there, and they react to food that she loves, like broccoli and cauliflower to where she’s got a big food baby after she eats that. And it’s uncomfortable and it really does dramatically affect her moods.
So what can you do? Well, you can experiment. Cut out some foods that you think are bothering you and see how your mood changes and it’s amazing. If you run these tests, you can really determine a lot of what you should and shouldn’t be eating.
And next, there are rather inexpensive tests now gut biome tests that you can get, I did one with this company called VIOME. Have you done a gut biome test for yourself?
I haven’t. I just started kind of diving more into testing it, to just get a good overview of where my health is at, in general. But that is definitely one that’s been on my list for a long while.
And I think that it’s so intriguing that we can, you know, really dive into our health that specifically. And I think it’s important to note too, that our gut microbiome is always changing, right. So when you do these kinds of testing, I think it’s important to continue to do them over time, because the flora is always changing, that balance is always changing.
And so what worked for you two years ago, might need to be adapted a little bit, now two years later, tof stay on top of your health. And if you are someone that really likes to dive into the testing and really increase your knowledge in that way, just kind of keeping up with it, too, is a really great way to just keep fine tuning your health from the inside out.
When it comes to feeding our gut, there’s a couple of just kind of blanket food groups that are really good for optimal gut health. First, fermented foods. So yogurt, things with probiotics, or taking a probiotic, sauerkraut. Miso soup and prebiotic foods like artichokes, things that are foods that are full of fiber.
And then I always encourage people to just get back to the basics, make sure you’re getting a variety of food eating the rainbow. And like you said, you can have reactions to foods that are even “good for you”. You mentioned your daughter having a reaction to cruciferous foods, that the broccoli, cauliflower kale family, that’s actually a really healthy group of foods that helps fight cancer. But some people don’t tolerate those well. And that’s okay.
Don’t feel like you have to eat something just because you know what’s good for you really, you know, get in tune with your body and how it’s reacting to foods so that you can find what works for you.
And Carly, that gets to the next question I have for you. So, you know, I’m talking about my goodness in my eating and my drinking and things like that. But one of the things that I suffer from: I’m really diligent about what I eat, but I’m kind of pressed for time sometimes. So as a result, I lack any diversity in my diet.
Literally, I eat the same things every day. And I know those things, I don’t react badly, right. So they’re good for my gut and I feel good after I eat them. But literally, unless I go out to eat, what I’m eating at my home has zero diversity, zero variety.
I think it can be really easy to get stuck in a rut with what we’re eating at home. Especially if it’s just you at home.
Maybe you’re an empty nester, or maybe it was your loved one that passed away, your partner in life that used to do the cooking. Maybe your kids are out of the house, or you never had kids. So it’s just you at home. That’s how it is for me right now. And it’s really easy to get stuck in the same pattern of eating the same thing over and over.
Also feeling this level of pressure to make all these different kinds of food and then you’re only one person so you can only eat so much. And then a bunch goes to waste at the end of the week.
So I think that just keeping in mind again, eating different colors. When you’re at the grocery store stocking up on fruits and vegetables. Picking foods that are on a different color spectrum of the rainbow is a good way to get variety.
Or maybe you’re switching up what you get week to week you know instead of focusing on getting variety in your day, maybe just focus on getting variety, over weeks moving forward. So if you got a handful of fruit this week, maybe you get a different kind of fruit the next week and kind of switch it up that way too. If you are going out to eat, the “build your own bowl” places are becoming really popular, and a great way to find healthier options out there and get a good variety in your diet.
But I think most importantly, just getting back to the basics and getting unprocessed foods, focusing on those whole nutrients, is really going to make the biggest game changer.
I myself love to switch it up with smoothies. So I typically have one smoothie in my day. It’s a great way to get a complete healthy meal on the go, that’s easy to digest, because the Blender has kind of already done some of the work for you. So, in my smoothie, always go to handful of greens, and then I can switch up the fruits, whatever I have on hand for using, fruit that’s going to go bad, and keeping it in the freezer for when I make my smoothies. And then some protein, whether with yogurt, or a clean protein powder. And then healthy fats. I like to switch that up too. So I always have a couple of different nut butters on hand, like almond butter or cashew butter. You could put a little bit of avocado in there, some cinnamon. So that’s a really great way to switch up your nutrients as well and an insurance policy to make sure that you’re getting a balanced complete meal.
Yeah, and protein, as well. So one of the things that you provide is a great service where you’ve got pre-prepped meals, that are readily available.Ttalk about that a little bit, about services like yours, and this doesn’t have to be a pitch pitch for FitLiving Eats, but talk about how people leverage that kind of premade service to help fill in the blanks and the gaps to get that diversity.
We’re all busy, right? We’re always on the go. There’s always something we could be doing. Or we find ourselves short on time and energy at the end of the day when we should be going to the grocery store or making our dinner. So there’s prepared meal options out there, and are really a great way to fill in the gaps of those times where you’re feeling like you’re behind.
So whether it’s my company, where we offer really customized meal prep for clients catered specifically to individual needs. like a private chef matching our healthy food options to set you up for success, o a lot of offerings and different options out there. Depending on where you live, there’s local places go to, and places that ship nationwide, or others who are partnering with staff here in Orlando, and in Tampa, where you can order one individual meal or you can order 20
I don’t know that I would necessarily recommend relying on all prepared food as your storage of energy in your day and your week. But definitely keeping a handful of options on hand from a store that I know is going to be nutritious and fresh is a great way to alleviate some of that pressure throughout the week and the feeling like you have to make everything from scratch at home in order to be healthy.
Well, Carly, one of the things I want you to do is keep me honest on the diversity piece in my diet, because that is what I really need to work on. I’ve done so well in so many other areas. And I’m not going to beat myself up over it because I think I’m doing well, but I definitely have to get those fruits, the vegetables, the variety and weekly changes.
So that brings me to another point. Many of us have children. Some of them are home while others are away for some of the year, and then they come back with a whirlwind from school. And then we’ve got to not only worry about our own meals, but now I’ve got these two other “little ones” here in the house.
How do we make sure that our families are served well by what we’re doing in the food area, and then also talk about the therapy of cooking and the therapy of eating together and how important that is that we’ve kind of gotten away from right?
So I talked earlier about how changing my diet really shifted mindfulness and other areas of my life. I’ll never forget, I read an article probably five years ago that talked about the practice of cooking as being an active form of meditation.
And I love that, because I am not going to lie, I struggle with traditional forms of meditation, sitting somewhere for 10, 15, 20 minutes with no stimulation. So sometimes I’m not able to fit that into my day, but I do know that when I create space for cooking. I can get a delicious meal that does not have to be complicated, it can be really simple. But just having something to focus on with your hands and get yourself out of your mind a little bit, is a really great form of meditation.
So I love that connection back to cooking. And something that a lot of us kind of perceive as stressful can actually be very meditative as well. And I think that when you have kids at home, you may not feel like making something just for yourself. But I, I think it’s really important to pass on that habit and way of connecting with others around the table, within your own family. Many of my memories are the times growing up with my Mom, spent cooking in the kitchen, and most nights when we were sitting around the table.
It didn’t have to be something really complicated. It could be simple and kind of semi-homemade. But that connection with each other, and that space outside of the busyness of the day is such a good way to connect and spend time with those that you love, whether that be friend or family.
One of our widower brothers, David, his wife was an IBM sales woman and then packed it all in one day and said, “You know what? I love to cook, I’m gonna go and do this for a living”. And so she cooked and started a catering company, and then David did lose her too soon.
But one of the things that he does is he breaks out her recipes. And he’ll invite a couple of friends over, he doesn’t have kids, and he’ll cook the meal. And he’ll do it as a mode of therapy and a mode of remembrance. And I love that. And I think there’s definitely something there, you know, if you had that special meal that your wife would prepare, or she’s got those recipes, you know, grab the kids and take a run at it, even if it doesn’t come out exactly the same.
Well, I think there’s an honor and respect and remembrance that you’ll be able to create and that they’ll treasure. So, I absolutely love that.
All right. So currently, I’ve got you here, I’m gonna go through some of the things that I’ve done. And I want to get your opinion on these. And please don’t pull any punches on me.
All right, so I talked about the No Alcohol, is that the check, is that a good one giving up the alcohol?
That’s a great one. In fact, it’s one of the immediate benefits my clients see, along with incorporating the healthy food that they’re getting from during their week, when they limit their alcohol consumption.It’s like the two con-tango together, and it makes sense. You can really get a lot of positive benefit from that. So there’s a huge benefit to reducing or eliminating alcohol from your diet. Definitely.
Alright, so one of the things I do, let’s start with my morning, absolutely the first thing I do is a glass of water, squeezing a whole lemon in it. I do a big glass of lemon water first thing, before anything else goes in my body. Good?
I love that. I love that I aspire to that. You’re doing better than I am. We get so dehydrated overnight. And having that glass of water. If you have lemon in it, if it’s warm, even better, it kind of helps get our system waking up. And detoxing naturally from the get go is a great way to start the day.
Awesome. It does give me a boost of energy. I have noticed that and that was, again, one of those first or second day things I did after Judy passed. I was looking to make a pivot of “I gotta get my act together”and that was a big one that kind of helped me to do something positive. One little positive change and step forward sometimes can be that catalyst to taking more steps. And that lemon water and being consistent with it for now five years has been a huge improvement.
I gotta say to you before you move on, which kind of goes along with your next point I think you’re gonna mak,e starting to notice changes and in the morning specifically is a really great way to set your day up for success. Once we get going into our activities throughout the day, it’s really hard to divert the other way and try and make positive change. So if we can make that positive change from the get go, it’s just going to help make everything else throughout your day feel that much more smooth and fluid.
Yeah, love it. Then I was following the water up with a lot of coffee… like we’re talking eight, nine. I mean, maybe even more cups Carly, it was really bad.
I don’t so anything halfway, and admit that’s a lot So I realized that was bad. So I did give it up and I now follow it up with tea, which is probably a lot better for me, right? Especially like one cup of coffee probably isn’t bad, but eight or nine… that had to change.
That gets to be a lot, especially when you are going through such a trying time that is filled with grief and or anxiety and or stress. It really does a number on our body as a whole and our adrenals. So when you reinforce that stress with a significant amount of caffeine, it’s just that your body’s never able to settle. So definitely, it’s not good for you permanently, just kind of short term to get yourself back on a healthier track. Reducing or cutting out caffeine can be a really great way to realign and reset your baseline in moving forward.
Michael Pollan’s book, Caffeine changed me, that was the one that made me realize for me that caffeine is like a drug, just like the alcohol was for me, and I needed to get off of it, or at least reduce it.
And for me, it’s either all or nothing. So I’m like, That’s it, no more.
I also made the tea really palatable and what kind of replace for me some of the energy boost was, I don’t just have tea, but I put a few drops and I don’t do a whole tablespoon or even a teaspoon, but a few drops of MCT oil in each tea that I make for myself. And I know it’s promoted some additional weight loss for me. In a very positive way, it has helped lead me up to that next level. I think it puts me into Keto sooner and without having to monitor everything to the Nth level. And I’ve heard some studies about where it boosts the amount of mitochondria I have per cell. So I can eel like my body heats from the inside out.
Are you a fan of MCT oil? Do you do it yourself? I literally call it my secret elixir.
Yeah. So it’s really funny, you bring this up, because this is a great example of how our health and wellness is. so individualistic,
I tried really hard to get into the Bulletproof movement, where they’re putting healthy fat into coffee and blending it up. And it’s creamy and frothy and delicious. And every time I did that, I would get a really bad headache. I don’t know if that would happen to me if I were just putting just a couple of drops of MCT into some tea. But that’s where again, you know, what works for one person might not work for the next person.
But that aside, MCT oil is essentially a saturated fat. When we think of saturated fat, we often-times think of unhealthy fat. But MCT is a medium chain triglyceride, which is different from short chain triglycerides, which is typically the kind of saturated fat we’re getting from animal choices, that we want to kind of reduce in our diet.
A lot of times people think that, you know, with weight loss, they need to cut out fat from their diet. And that’s not the case, that helps you burn fat. So getting a little bit of fat throughout your day is really critical for overall health and well being. So it’s not surprising that you’ve experienced these positive benefits from putting some MCT in your multiple cups of tea through the day!
And Carly, I find too, that when I put the bigger dose in, like they want you to do the tablespoon and do it once. That gave me a headache. And so it was that big dosing to that level all at once that I can’t take, and so it’s literally just a couple of drops in each one, and overall I’m probably still getting a tablespoon, which is 70% of the fat that I need for the day. So you have to be careful in terms of how much fat that you’re putting in your diet
And the other thing it’s helped me to do is: I like to intermittent fasting, and it did help me to fast better because it satiates you, because it’s fat, right?
I skip breakfast almost every day and sometimes lunches too, and I just eat when I’m hungry and some days if I worked out hard, if I did a two-a-day workout the day before and really hit it. I find I need lunch, but sometimes I can skip all the way to dinner
What are your thoughts on intermittent fasting?
I think out of all of the different dietary theories out there, intermittent fasting is one of the better ones. Because it’s not necessarily controlling what you’re eating, it’s more controlling when you’re eating and giving yourself boundaries around that.
So with my clients, when they have focused on weight loss, and they incorporate intermittent fasting, they’re really successful. And I find that it’s a more sustainable change that you can make, versus trying to follow a specific dietary way. So I think that it works really well for a lot of people, and to your point of just eating when you’re hungry, I think that’s awesome.
Only eating when hungry is a way to be very intuitive with your body and understanding it and nourishing it, when it needs that nourishment. I do think that sometimes when we are going through a lot of stressors, it depresses our appetite. So there may be times where you don’t feel like eating, but you probably shouldn’t be eating because you need some energy to keep you going throughout the day. Or other times, we stress eat – the opposite.
Generally speaking, being in tune with your body and listening to it, and eating when you’re hungry, and stopping when you’re full and eating more slowly, chewing your food, putting your fork down in between bites … all of the things can lead to mindfulness around food and your diet and your habits throughout the day.
Yeah, and don’t torture yourself. I think that’s what you’re saying too. These diets can get obsessive, right, and you swing from one way to another. I
know there was a long period of time in my life where I swung from diet to diet, and it didn’t work, or it had a temporary impact and it wasn’t sustainable. And what I’ve fallen into here for me, is sustainable.
So hopefully, through experimentation, those listening can find that out what works for them.
So there’s a lot of people that say, okay, it doesn’t matter that intermittent fasting thing and that it doesn’t matter what you eat, It’s about the calories and counting the calories.
But this is not my experience. If you’re into Keto, and even if you’re eating more calories, but it’s a more keto oriented diet, that’s a good thing.
Where do you fall on the whole carb, no carb, kind of keto thing first, and then how important are calorie counts?
Great question. So first, with regards to Keto, which is essentially a very high fat, very low carb diet, with moderate protein. The goal is to get into ketosis. And what that means is your body shifts from getting energy from carbohydrates to burning stored fat.
People who have done the keto diet, and done it well, see a lot of benefit from it. I think that the keto diet was kind of originally created for epilepsy patients. So for epilepsy patients it will help reduce the amount of seizures that they’re experiencing throughout the day, which I find so interesting.
I do think that it is very challenging for just the average person to stay in ketosis. And if you’re not into ketosis, then you’re essentially just eating high fat food. So you’re not getting the benefit of burning fat as fuel, you’re still burning carbohydrates. And then on top of that, you are also getting a lot of fat into your diet. So if you’re going to do it, just make sure you’re setting yourself up for success. I know there’s different testing strips and things like that, that you can use to kind of gauge if you’re in ketosis, and also kind of focusing on sliding into the second point of not just eating high fat food.
I had a friend one time, and he was telling me about his diet when he did the Keto method. And for almost every meal, it would be ground beef, spaghetti sauce and cheese. And I’m like, Wait, where are the vitamins and minerals and where are the nutrients. It worked because they got him into that ketosis state, but that’s not necessarily going to be healthy for you long term… or really short term either.
So focusing on not just the numbers, but the quality of the food. So I think with the whole calorie thing, it’s a balance between paying attention to overall calorie count. But then also being very mindful of what those calories are made of, You’re going to feel significantly different if you eat a bagel than if you eat an egg scramble. They both have the same amount of calories but different nutrients, obviously.
Really paying attention to the quality of those calories. Leaning into the more whole, unprocessed, variety of colors, variety of foods, is really going to help your body start to feel like it’s thriving and not just surviving to get from one thing to the next.
Totally agree. Then there are supplements, right? So I do a multivitamin, a probiotic. I take Nutrigenetics, apple cider vinegar after most meals, I’ll try to pop a couple of gummies. With that. Any thoughts on the whole supplements area, and any specific recommendations for kind of 40, 50, 60 year old men?
Yeah, so I think, first of all, it’s important to not look at supplements as being your golden ticket to a healthy diet, it’s really meant to do just that, to backstop your diet. So you can’t have a green superfood, drink one today, and then eat fast food, for the rest of your meals and think that you’re going to be healthy and experience these positive benefits.
So I think first and foremost, focusing on a healthy diet, and then pulling in these supplements as reinforcement can be a really great way to elevate your health. Unfortunately, you know, no matter how healthy our diet is, these days, the quality of our soil, and just the way that produce is grown, is not the same as it once was.
So we’re probably not getting all of the nutrients we need in our day anyways. So it is definitely a good thing to reinforce with a multivitamin. I do that. I take a multivitamin. I take fish oil, and a probiotic. And I have a superfood green powder. It’s Athletic Greens that I absolutely love and take that more days than not.
I noticed a big difference in my energy when I take it compared to when I don’t take it. So I’m a big advocate for supplements, I think you can definitely go overboard with them, but incorporating some of those fundamentals into your day to support the healthy habits that you’re adopting can be a really great thing.
Yeah, I think Carly, what you’re saying is … Like my reply to my daughters is, “Well I take a multivitamin. I’m okay with not having diversity in my diet”. That’s not good, right.
Yeah. Not good. It’s insurance only.
So I’m disciplined, but I’m not a saint. If there’s Talenti Pistachio Gelato in the house, pretty much it’s all mine. So is that the end of the world?
I don’t think so. I think it’s a good thing. Can you indulge in it from time to time. If our goal is perfection, it is unachievable, and we’re going to be disappointing ourselves, and setting ourselves up for failure.
So I think allowing yourself those moments of indulgence, and those moments of enjoyment around food is really important. Just for our overall mental state as well. And kind of shifting away from thinking of food as being good or bad. But what food is going to help me feel my best What food is going to nourish me,
I want to focus on that food more consistently. And then the food that I know, really isn’t going to make me feel my best but sometimes I just want you know, that little indulgence of Talenti pistachio ice cream, and not looking at that as being you know, a really bad thing. This kind of helps break that cycle of “we’re doing really good” and then we take a step backwards or kind of always waiting for the Monday like “Oh, Monday we’re gonna start we’re gonna make all these changes and cut out all these foods”.
And so I think that kind of shifting your mindset allows for a little bit more freedom and sustainability in the changes you’re looking to make down the road.
Indeed, when you are already going through a lot in the grief and the sadness, and trying to get the growth back in your life, do not beat yourself up over it. I try not to feel guilty over it, but still feel like now I’m just gonna have to work out that much harder make up for it.
But you can give yourself some grace, don’t have it feed a cycle of negative thoughts. If you have that cup of coffee, or when you have that drink, or you have that ice cream, Ut is okay. As long as overall you’re making progress,I think that’s what counts, to try to get yourself to heal through this.
So, Carly, what’s the one piece of advice you’d like to leave our widowers, our growth warriors with today?
I think it’s just reminding yourself that taking control of your health is an ongoing process. There’s really no finish line, there’s no end goal. And it’s going to change over time as well.
There is no such thing as perfection, and there’s really just room for improvement. We all have ways that we can improve no matter where we’re at, on our journey.
So I always like to remind people and kind of keep this quote in mind for myself, too, of “doing one thing for yourself today, that’s better than yesterday, that’s going to get you closer to where you want to be tomorrow”. Just one thing, one thing that’s a little bit better than yesterday, that’s going to get you a little bit closer to where you want to be tomorrow and set yourself up for success moving into that new day.
And keeping that in mind, it just reinforces the idea that change at a gradual pace. While it’s not always desirable, because we want that quick fix. We want that overnight success, that usually is not going to be sustainable for the long term. So kind of going at it more slowly and more patiently and just doing what you can with where you’re at is the most important thing that you can do for sustainable, healthy success.
Carly Paige FitLiving Eats thank you so much. We’ll include your contact information in the transcript. So keep an eye for that in case you want to reach out to get more advice and check-out her cookbook and meal options. And thank you, thank you so much.
You’re welcome. This was so much fun. Thank you for having me.
Carly’s LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/carlypaige/
FitLiving Eats website – https://www.fitlivingeats.com/