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Starting a new diet? Learn the facts first.

Last month my son’s football coach said, “There is no problem that education can’t solve.”  That statement really hit home for me.  That is why Intentional Eating works long term for people, it is an education.  Once you know it, you can’t go back to not knowing it.  Once your levels of awareness and self-knowledge have been raised, change naturally occurs.

I’m often asked about different fad diets.  The most recent is the Paleo Diet.  My answer is always the same.  Any diet (restrictive way of eating) will have pros and cons, but diets with specific food types attached will affect each individual very differently.  For example, if I have a protein metabolic type (which I do) and I become a vegetarian (which I did for years), I may struggle more than a carb metabolic type (I had regular dizzy spells).  And vice versa.  No one diet approach works for everyone bottom line.

The conclusion is therefor to not try to find the latest diet fad (only to be disappointed when the quick fix runs out), but to learn more about what your unique needs are and go from there.  Your body will thank you!

Here is an excellent, research based presentation on the true education behind the latest diet fad, the Paleo Diet.  Enjoy!

A Twist on Holiday Eating!

That day I recall being stuffed.  It was Easter brunch.  I was 16 years old (yes, I’ve struggled with food most of my life).  I was on my third plate of food.  It’s brunch, why not?!  My sister was on her second plate when I noticed she took hers, moved it into the center of the table and said, “I’m done.”  I looked at her with astonishment as I thought, ‘It is Easter brunch, how can you not keep eating?!’

Yet, she was the thin one and I was the chunky one that struggled to keep my weight in check.  With envy and frustration, I still couldn’t turn down the desert table, even though I was already stuffed.  After all, it was special.  It was Easter.  Easter only comes around once a year.  Brunch was special too.  How often did I have permission to eat two meals plus desert in one sitting?

What kept me going back?  What keeps us going back?  Specializing.  We all do this.  We specialize certain foods as if we will never have or see them again.  Yet, in reality, any of us can literally go out, at any moment of the day, and get almost any food we wanted. We have access to food 24 hours per day, 365 days per year.  Yet, we often eat like food, or certain foods, are going to be gone tomorrow.  Or, we eat as if we will never see a pumpkin pie again.

In truth we live in a state of abundance where we can have pumpkin pie any day of the year!  If we really want it, it is there.  There is no lack.  So, why do we sometimes eat as if there is lack?

When food is special we eat it even after it has lost its flavor.  When foods are special we eat them NOW versus saving it for later.  When special foods replace the heart of celebrating with a desperate attempt to satisfy our hearts with more food, we’ve lost the true meaning of celebrating life.

Taking the emphasis off of specializing food helps us enjoy every meal as if it were a celebration.  When we do that, there is no longer a pull for those “special” foods that are “so rare” (because they aren’t).  When we celebrate every bite, we are present and aware.  When we celebrate life, we expand from obsessing about food, to truly living an enriched life.

This season, try shifting your perspective.  Instead of only celebrating with food on the holidays, celebrate every bite taken every day.  Instead of only believing this is the only moment you can have pumpkin pie, remind yourself, “I can have this whenever I want it, not just now!”


What is true hunger vs false hunger?

Q:  What is the difference between true hunger and false hunger?

A:  How often are you in your car and the gaslight comes on telling you its time to fill up the tank?  For me it’s typically once a week.  For people with larger SUVs and soccer games to attend across town it may be two or three times per week.  The truth is each of our bodies have unique needs.  This is the reason dieting fails up to 90% of the time.  There is no one set external approach that will work for everyone.

Yet, while all of our bodies are all unique, all of our bodies share very accurate common denominators.  Our bodies are programed with a gas-light, if you will.  That gas-light is the exact signal that tells us when we need more food (calories) and is the number one determining factor in establishing what is true physical hunger and what are false, or emotional hungers.

What exactly is the body’s “gas-light” signal?  It is a signal that we very often overlook.  It a signal that we have become adept at ignoring and even overriding.  It is the signal that we experience as the growling stomach.  Once our stomachs’ are growling (not digesting, not feeling just empty, but growling for more), it is time to eat.

So, what then is false hunger?  Well, unlike your car that you can fill up with gas at any time without a problem, we can’t eat at anytime without gaining weight or having health repercussions.  Whenever we eat when the body is not needing food we: 1) gain weight from the excess calories, 2) put additional strain on the body to process extra and/or 3) have health repercussions from unusable food sources (like excess cholesterol).

Identifying false hunger is key to eliminating future weight gain, holidays or not.  Once false hunger is identified, we can find healthy strategies to address them.  This is because if we aren’t hungry for food, then we are hungry for something else!

Examples of false hunger:

  1. Thinking about food
  2. Wanting food
  3. Yearning for food
  4. Emotions like:  sadness, anxiety or panic

These are just a few examples of emotional cues often confused with wanting to eat.  This week notice all the times you are eating.  Are you truly hungry or do you just want food?  If you are eating when you aren’t physically hungry, what is it you are really wanting?  Something to do? Relaxation? Excitement?  Stress relief?

Reaching this level of awareness and partnership with your body is what begins to turn a love/hate relationship with food, to one of joy, commitment to health and love!

Understanding Emotional Eating – Interview with Sharon Michaels

I’m pleased to announce my first interview is up and running!  Sharon Michaels, founder of Women Enjoying Success, featured Eating With Heart on her Blog Talk Radio series.
Laurel Inman, BCC, CTACC
Life Coach & Founder of Eating With Heart

Emotional Eaters: Healing & The Common Denominator

For years I felt so much shame and guilt around being an emotional eater.  Yet, that is just it.  Emotional eaters tend to take on the weight of the world and feel more responsible than not.  Did you get that?  Taking on the weight of the world internally, lead to extra weight externally when we respond to stress with food.

The problem with emotional eating is when we gain extra weight and the impact that weight, or eating “junk” foods, can have on our health, self-esteem and emotional worlds.

First, a bit about emotional eaters.  We typically put others way before ourselves.  We can tend to overextend ourselves, over-worry and/or overdo.  While I’m not sure which came first, the over-doing or the overeating, I am sure that we are very dedicated, highly empathic and deeply caring individuals.  Sometimes, even to our own detriment.

When I was a teen, my mom gave me a quote on a card that stayed with me for years.  It read, “Do not grow a wishbone daughter, where a backbone aught to be.”  Meaning, do not continue to seek for the answers outside of yourself.  We can wish we would stop overdoing it, we can wish our lives not to be stressful, but until we grow the backbone and stop giving our power away, we may get trampled on.

Emotional eaters are actually very strong deep down.  For this reason, most emotional eaters overcome emotional eating and come out on the other end even better!

Emotional eating is like a trumpet call that it is time to put on the brakes and get real with ourselves.  We are so caring, yet we beat ourselves up.  We are so deeply moved by things that it is sometimes scary.  This applies equally to worry and fears of success.

Some emotional eaters will turn more inward, while others will push forward into the world with “oomph”.  Yet, both are equally experiencing an inner yearning.  This inner yearning, somewhere along the way, we began to cover with food.

While these are generalizations about what the majority of emotional eaters experience, there is a common denominator that actually allows us to turn obstacles around food into opportunities of ravishing self-care!

The good news is that because all emotional eaters carry the common denominator of being so deeply caring, we can turn this around on ourselves and use self-care to gain major advantages in our own empowerment.  You know the Golden Rule?  Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  Here is the Golden Rule for the healing of emotional eating:

“I will do unto myself, as I would do unto another.”


Care to explore how amazing it feels to trust your mind-body and Spirit in new ways around food and health?  Join me!

5 Day Sugar Addiction Cleanse is here!

The sugar cleanse has finally arrived.  🙂  Here are the details:

A fun, delicious, nutritious and easy way to kick-start your results!

  • Does sugar trigger you into overeating?
  • Do you crave sugar daily?
  • Do you drink soda or have to have a sugar fix daily?
  • Are you concerned about diabetes?
  • Are you aware of insulin resistance leading to weight gain?

Sugar acts like a drug in the body.  Sugar addictions can lead to a myriad of problems including weight gain and type II diabetes.

The 5 Day Sugar Cleanse I offer is excellent for anyone who wants to:

  • stop sugar cravings, so you can crave real foods again (your body is designed to tell you what it needs – its not sugar!)
  • reset your body
  • help ease healing with emotional eating by ensuring sugar isn’t sabotaging you
  • help ease healing with emotional eating by giving you a clear blood sugar reset
  • balance your blood sugar naturally and eliminate addiction to soda, caffeine or other harmful daily habits
  • kick-start weight loss and naturally increase metabolism

The cleanse is non-deprivation (caloric intake is normalized) and all natural.  The cleanse kit contains five days of delicious and fulfilling meal shakes, AM & PM vitamin and nutrient packs, delicious morning and evening snack bars.  Additionally, during the five days, you receive my guidance and support.

This cleanse is fun, delicious, nutritious and easy!  The hardest part is waiting for your kit to arrive!  For more information about the 5 Day Sugar Cleanse, give me a call so I can answer any questions you have and we can determine if this program is right for you.

Health and happiness,

(520) 309-1777

12 Indications You Have Healed Your Food Addiction

This afternoon, I decided to have some vanilla bean ice-cream after my lunch.  To start, I had yummy stir-fry with curry and sea salt rice. After, I decided to top it off with two scoops of delicious and refreshing ice-cream. I had eaten my entire lunch, yum! For my dessert I began taking small and very mindful bites. I wanted to enjoy every morsel and not miss out on the creamy, cool flavor on this hot summer day.

Then it struck me… about half way through I stopped and thought, “Ok, I’m done.” No struggle. No sense of deprivation. Quite the opposite! If I had kept eating, I would have felt utterly stuffed and yucky. There was still half a bowl of ice-cream left, yet I cared more about feeling great and having the ice-cream. When we are stuck in food addiction, we only care about the finish line and less about how we feel when we get there.

I have been healed from my food issues for over 12 years now, yet it still amazes me when I turn down food just because I feel like it! I catch myself thinking, ‘wow, that was fun!’

It wasn’t always like this for me. I used to eat every last drop of the ice-cream, finish everything on my plate and confuse being stuffed with feeling satisfied. I couldn’t turn away food without feeling deprived. Diets just made me want junk foods even more.

Turning away sugar and/or excess food is one sign of healing. When we are on a diet, we turn down food because we are supposed to. When we are healed, we turn down excess food because we want to. We get to a point where we know our bodies, minds and spirits so well that we are completely aligned with what we really want. Not a reaction, but a true, heart-felt desire for what nourishes us most.

The top 12 indications that you have healed your food addiction:

  1. When you are upset, you prefer to look at what your heart is asking for, instead of turning to food.
  2. You eat slowly and peacefully no longer gulping down your meal, or feeling panicky.
  3.   You are aware when you have had just enough to eat.
  4.   You stop eating when you feel the tipping point.
  5.   You feel energized after eating.
  6.   You are present while you eat and you regularly enjoy every bite.
  7.   You no longer have to fret over a forbidden food list.
  8. You have food standards.  There are some foods you refuse to put in your body because they are harmful.
  9.   You only crave foods that leave you feeling good during and after you eat.
  10. You eat with delight not guilt.
  11. You do not obsess over food and it doesn’t rule your choices.
  12. You enjoy being satisfied over being stuffed.

This is a snapshot of what it is like to live a life healed from food addiction. It is what it means to have a natural and healthy relationship to food. We are all taught crazy ways to relate to food, all are very unnatural and have led to all the myriad of struggles we deal with and are left to overcome.

If your relationship to foods feel obsessive, beyond your choice or control, and leaves you feeling frustrated and caught, then this is an indicator that food addiction is the problem. Food addiction is a stronger type of emotional eating, and yet it is healed just as effectively with the same process.


What is food to you?

Yesterday, a client had a major breakdown which led to an even bigger breakthrough.

I asked her what she would like to focus on in her coaching session today and she replied, “I realized what food is to me.”  She paused and then continued.  “It is everything.”

She went on to tell me that she realized food is her love, her fun, her escape, her friend, her poetry, her gift to herself after a hard day, her grounding.  It had become her everything.  The bigger problem is that food had actually even taken precedence over her spiritual connection to God, which left her heart spiritually starved.

Can you relate?  I could!  I had been there most of my life.  Food had been my everything for so long.  Yet it was also my biggest dichotomy, leaving me feeling as if I lived my life in pieces.  It was my savior, yet my worse enemy.  It was my escape, yet kept me trapt.  It was friend in times of loneliness, yet I hated how I felt after eating.  It wasn’t until I self-healed my relationship to food that I found my wholeness again.

Before I began to embrace all aspects of my life, food was my everything.  This is what Geneen Roth means when she says, “We don’t only want the hot fudge sundae, we also want our lives to BE the hot fudge sundae.”  I can honestly say that now my life is the hot fudge sundae and food is an awesome addition (no longer an affliction).  That is what it means to completely transform your relationship to food!

Hopefully, my story isn’t as extreme as yours.  Yet, even if it is, that is ok because there are answers!

Now is a good time to answer, what is food to you?

Eating With Heart introductory offer!

Hi all,

In celebration of our launch, the Eating With Heart E-Book Package is being offered for only $12.00 for a limited time!  Check out the E-Book Package HERE.

We are also now offering a hard-copy of the e-book for those that like to keep notes in your books, or have a real book in your hands.  It is $24.00 plus $7.50 shipping.  To purchase the spiral bound hard-copy, scroll down to the bottom of the E-Book Package page HERE.

Enjoy and please contact me with your feedback, experiences and questions!