November 21, 2023

#10: Finding Success with Intuitive Eating with Brooklyn Bezzant

Navigating diet culture and all the mixed opinions about what nutrition practices are best for you is so difficult, especially when anyone can say anything online. That’s why I brought on Brooklyn, a registered dietitian in training that specializes in intuitive eating. She shares her story with disordered eating and how she found food freedom from retraining her brain to listen to her body’s natural cues around food. In this episode, we also bust some common myths about intuitive eating and talk through some simple tips you can implement today to start eating intuitively.

About this episode

What you'll learn

  • How intuitive eating is actually a lifestyle and not a diet
  • One key aspect that will help you find joy in nourishing your body 
  • Four reasons why Brooklyn recommends intuitive eating for almost all women
  • Three myths about intuitive eating and why they’re incorrect
  • Six tips to help any beginner start intuitive eating successfully

About Brooklyn

With a Bachelor's degree in Dietetics from BYU and currently pursuing a Masters in Dietetics Administration through USU, Brooklyn is on her way to graduating in August and pursuing her career goals of becoming a registered dietitian! Her dedication to this path was deeply influenced by her personal experience of overcoming an eating disorder while serving on a mission for her church. Now being fully recovered, she's very passionate about guiding others toward embracing intuitive eating and improving their body image. Just two months ago, she launched her private practice, where she has started taking on clients. Beyond her work, Brooklyn is also a group fitness instructor, finding joy in helping others stay active, and enjoys strength training on her own.


Connect with Brooklyn on Instagram: @nutrition.with.brookie


Hey, Mama, welcome back to another episode of the Well -Nourished Mama podcast. My name is Brooke, I'm your host, and today's episode could not have timed out more perfectly. Since our Nourished to the End Challenge is starting this week and we are headed straight into the holidays, I wanted to bring on a guest that was really going to motivate us and give us the tools that we need to feel our best for the rest of the year and as we navigate food and nutrition and all the things during the holiday season.

So today we're chatting with my friend Brooklyn, who I've actually known since I was about 16 years old. She's currently in her master's program about to be a registered dietitian and she is going to teach us all about intuitive eating.

We learn about what intuitive eating is, what it's not. We bust a bunch of really, really common myths about intuitive eating and then she gives us some really practical, applicable tips that we can use today.

to help us start practicing intuitive eating and really feel our best no matter what comes our way. Another thing you'll hear in the episode is both me and Brooklyn's personal experience with disordered eating and how that has not only shaped our mentality around food today but how we both show up to serve you and help you on your health and wellness journey.

Now if you would get triggered by conversations about disordered eating I want you to know that this episode might be a little bit hard for you to listen to because we do reference it a couple times throughout the episode but what I do want you to know is that Brooklyn and I always bring it back to how we overcame those habits and how we found freedom not just with our diet but with our lifestyle and how we have truly healed from our disordered eating and come out on the other side.

So I hope that whether you struggle with disordered eating or not, whether you struggle with your relationship with food or not, I hope you walk away from this episode feeling so empowered and inspired that it always gets better and that there are tools and resources out there to help you feel better and truly find freedom around food.

And Brooklyn is so knowledgeable and gives us so many great things that we can apply today to help us with this journey, especially as we head into the holidays. So without further ado, let's jump into today's episode with Brooklyn all about intuitive eating.

With a bachelor's degree in dietetics and currently pursuing a master's in dietetics administration, Brooklyn is on her way to graduating in August and pursuing her career goals of becoming a registered dietitian.

Her dedication to this path was deeply influenced by her personal experience of overcoming an eating disorder while serving a mission for her church. Now being fully recovered, she's very passionate about guiding others towards embracing intuitive eating and improving their body image.

Just two months ago, she launched her private practice where she has started taking on clients. Beyond her work, Brooklyn is also a group fitness instructor, finding joy in helping others stay active and enjoys strength training on her own.

Hey Brooklyn, thanks so much for coming on today. Super excited to have you here. Hello, so happy to be here. And for those listening, this is actually take two. We previously recorded this episode and then the audio didn't save.

So we're actually doing this again. So big thumbs up to Brooklyn for coming back to re -record this episode. Okay, so there's gonna be a lot of moms on here that aren't familiar with you, haven't seen you on social media.

Brooklyn, can you just tell us a little bit about yourself and your career, how you got to where you are today and why you're so passionate about what you do? Yeah, of course, I'd love to. So I was born and raised in Spokane, Washington.

Love it over there. That's where I met Brooke. So we've been friends since high school. So it's kind of fun to be here full circle. And after graduating high school, I served a mission for my church.

And while I was serving a mission, I developed an eating disorder. Started mainly from wanting to simply lose weight and then getting misinformation from other people. Really just, yeah, messy situation, disordered eating came home.

It was still not super great. And so through that experience and recovering, I've become obviously very passionate about healing from disordered eating and finding food freedom through like intuitive eating, right?

And so I just graduated with my bachelor's in dietetics and I'm currently getting my master's degree. And next summer, the end of next summer, I'll be able to take the exam to become a dietitian. So that's my goal.

I also have recently started my own business to help women ditch dieting and find food freedom through intuitive eating. eating. And yeah other little things about me. I'm a huge swifty. Love Taylor Swift.

I'm all over that. I've been married for about two years and even though I love food and everything I'm doing is related to food and nutrition, I'm not a great cook. So I like love seeing Brooke do all of her recipes and cooking but I can't yeah it's hard for me to like make that happen in my life.

I'm more of a throw things together person. But yeah that's a little bit about me. Happy to be here. Yeah well I love that you bring up just like your personal experience of how it brought you to where you are today because I feel like that's where a lot of us find our purpose right and that's where a lot of us find clarity.

And so I hope to all the moms listening that as you listen to Brooke's story and a little bit of my background as well that you'll be able to really feel like you have something to relate to. Cause I feel like a lot of times you see people like you and I on social media and it's like, oh, well they have it all figured out or of course they're the experts cause whatever, but like we have stories too.

So I really appreciate you sharing that story. And I feel like we're going to be able to hear a little bit more of that today. Also I forgot to mention this at the beginning for anybody listening, if you hear weird sounds in the background that is my newborn baby.

She's a week old today. And my husband is gone at work. And so I'm of course on mom duty and she's sleeping. So those little sounds are my baby. They're so cute. I love the sounds. Okay. So you mentioned intuitive eating.

That's what you specialize in. I know a lot of registered dieticians on Instagram. I follow a bunch of them and I feel like everyone kind of finds their own niche, right? But I haven't seen a lot of people talk about or focus on eating.

Just cause I feel like it's kind of like the gray area of nutrition. Like you kind of can figure out what it means by the name, but like you also don't know what it means. So let's just really quick talk about like what intuitive eating is.

Is it a diet like keto and paleo? Is it a lifestyle? Is it a mindset? Like just kind of explain what intuitive eating is for us. Yeah. Happy to. And I think that is something that is the biggest question.

Like, okay, what is intuitive eating? And usually you can look at the end goal of it to know. So no, it's not a diet because usually when you think of a diet, you think of the end goal being weight loss.

Whereas that intentional weight loss, right? Whereas with intuitive eating, it's, they're a big part of it is learning to expect and respect your body in its current state right now, which is obviously really hard for, I think most women who have been on this track of dining for so long in their lives, to come to a place where they're like, oh, I don't have to change my body anymore.

Like I just need to learn to accept that it is serving me in so many ways. And then intuitive eating is taking that and utilizing mindful eating to really pay attention to how you're feeling while you're eating food.

And over time it's amazing because as you're, I call it your brain and your body become friends. As you all of a sudden allow your brain to slow down and let your body speak up a little bit more, you find that your body has a lot to tell you about what it's needing and what it's craving and what, if it's needing rest versus if it's needing more carbs, I mean, it's ready to tell you if you're ready to listen.

And so that's what intuitive eating is. And it's just putting in that work to get to that point. So yeah. Yeah, for sure. I like that you brought up, like, just trying to understand what your body's trying to tell you.

You mentioned like, does my body need more carbs? I really want my body to always tell me that it wants more carbs. I know, don't we all? But yeah, that idea that we are not trying to eat based on like what the nutrition label says or like what a certain program says, it's just like, what does my body need?

And I feel like that's a muscle that has to be trained, right? Totally. So how do we navigate like learning to train that muscle in a way and like do that? Because at least for me, you know, I grew up with my mom's generation who was like diet culture 101, right?

And it was always, you have to finish everything on your plate before you get down from the table or you know, you can only eat at certain times of the day or you have to wait to eat dinner because you know, you just had a snack 30 minutes ago and you know, kind of a thing.

So it's like, how do we unlearn that and train this muscle without feeling like we're out of control? Yeah, totally. And that's I think one of the hardest parts when you're starting out and one of the scariest parts because in order for you to get to a spot with intuitive eating where it works, you have to start out by getting rid of those food rules.

Those external rules, we need to forget them. And that's where having some accountability can really be helpful because it is terrifying and you feel out of control. But in reality, like once you get rid of those rules, whether it be eating everything on your plate or waiting until certain time to eat lunch or only eating a certain type of food in the morning, I don't know, everyone has different things that they've kind of learned and have stuck to thanks to diet culture or just our society.

Once we get rid of those food rules, it's kind of like our brain needs a chance to slow down and stop telling our body what it needs. Because we're not robots and we can't say, oh, it's not 12pm yet.

Sorry. Even though you're hungry, like you can't eat. We need to bypass that food rule and say, okay, my body is obviously telling me something like I need to honor that. And the cool part about that is that a lot of times after dieting or being very strict with food rules, your hunger and fullness cues are going to be a little wonky.

They're going to be out of tune with your body because if you're in a habit of not honoring them, right, your body sort of wants to hold on to its energy and use it for other things rather than give you those hunger cues, if that makes sense.

So it's, by starting to consistently feed yourself, whatever food it is that you have not allowed yourself to have, your body then realizes, okay, like she's consistently feeding me, I'm eating foods that I haven't been given before, I can start to give her hunger cues and trust that she'll follow them, you know?

And it's sort of this trust the process thing. Um, I hope I answered your question. I just kind of was going off about it, but I think it's a scary beginning because you've got to work past those food rules that have always kept you feeling safe.

So it's a scary step. Yeah. Yeah. So this, I'm sure, sounds scary to a lot of people because of how we grew up or because of the messages that we get from lots of other people. Um, so to, to the moms and the women that are listening that are like, um, that sounds terrifying or I don't trust myself, just really quickly tell us why you recommend intuitive eating for women because, you know, I feel like women and men need to be separate because our bodies are so different, right?

So we're going to focus on women, of course. So just give us a little bit of hope and help us understand why intuitive eating is your recommendation for women and why we should, um, like have enough faith to trust the process and to get to that point.

Yes. Oh, I love it. Um, because really the end goal of intuitive eating is finding that self -acceptance internally and that's the beautiful part of it. Like through intuitive eating, you break free from that diet culture that is so toxic and leaves you feeling burnt out and self -conscious.

Even if you reach a certain weight goal, I think it'll never be enough. And that is the thing with diet culture, especially as women, I feel like we, most of us have a tendency to want to be our best selves and look like our best selves and appear as our best selves, which totally makes sense.

But through intuitive eating, it's sort of like a process of finding that self -acceptance through food and loving our bodies. And so that's a big one, is breaking free from diet culture. Now if we're talking like logistical things, when it comes to women we obviously have a lot of hormonal changes happening throughout our lives.

Brooke you just gave birth like that. I don't even, I've never, like I've never been pregnant or anything but I can't, there's a lot going on, right? And so through listening to what our body is telling us, obviously there is a beautiful part of intuitive eating called gentle nutrition where we add nutrition into our lives as it seems fit.

So Brooke does great education on that throughout pregnancy and when you're breastfeeding. But throughout your life your your body's always going to be on a different hormonal happening. And so being able to listen to those hunger cues that can tell you, okay we're needing a little bit more food today or we're needing a little bit less today.

Like it's awesome that you can trust that your body's working for you. for you and that you can listen to it. Similar is mental health, which kind of ties back to the diet culture part, because you're able to address like if there is emotional eating, why is it happening, what is the trigger for it?

Or if there's body image issues, what is the trigger for the body image issues? And so that's a really beautiful part. And then lastly is self -care. I think it's so important for women to be able to prioritize themselves and put their selves first and be able to say, okay, I've fed my kids and now what is my body wanting and how can I prioritize food like a put together lunch?

Because if you are truly listening to your body through intuitive eating, also you're gonna find you feel your best when you have full complete meals throughout the day. And that's a way of self -care is making sure that you get those meals and making sure you're feeding yourself.

So yeah, those are some of the main things that come to mind as to why intuitive eating is so important and what it can benefit you. Yeah, I would say for me, in my experience, the biggest one has been hormones just because I remember growing up, we hear the term cycle, like our menstrual cycle, but growing up, I equated that with just the menstrual phase, like just the week of bleeding.

I literally, I kid you not, I did not realize that it was truly a cycle, like a pattern that there were different phases of cycle until this last year on social media. And I was like, why are we not taught this?

But when I learned that it's a menstrual cycle and there's different phases and what are hormones do in each phase. And I learned how it all happens. I was like, my gosh, this totally changes my perspective about how my body functions as a whole and how nutrition plays such a role in that.

And then all of a sudden, like, wait a second. So that means that when I have cravings, like the week before my period or the week on my period, that's not because I'm crazy or because I don't have some control.

It's because my body is about to go through something catalyzed. And it needs extra fuel to manage that bleeding process and to manage that drop in hormones and all the things. And I was just like, oh my gosh, like why did no one ever teach me that?

So yeah, I think intuitive eating for me has been understanding that hormones are chemical messengers and they tell our body to do certain things. And when we let our body actually like communicate what it's trying to say, then we're like helping our body do its thing.

Yeah, the way it's supposed to do it. And so it's brought me a lot of peace of mind. But that being said, there's still like a lot of misconceptions and myths about intuitive eating. And I would love for you to bust some of those because I feel like the women listening are gonna be like, okay, that sounds great, but like, I don't know what to do.

So let's bust some common myths about intuitive eating. The first one that I hear a lot is that intuitive eating means that there's no food rules. You can do whatever you want. You can eat all the pizza and you can have pizza as much as you want, whatever.

There's just no structure or form. Is that true? Is that what intuitive eating is? I love it. And that's definitely, that's the way it's marketed as, I think, especially so often on social media, you'll see, I mean, even I do this, I'm showing myself eating pizza and it's like, look, I'm not on a diet, intuitive eating.

And so of course it makes sense that you think, oh, this is just eating whatever you want and being healthy. And while in a way, yes, you do have to start out by getting rid of those food rules and allowing every type of food and whatnot, long -term that is not how it's gonna be.

Cause here's the reality, your body will not feel good if you're only eating pizza all the time or if you eat the whole box of pizza or whatever it is. Like the cool part is you get rid of that resistance, any of that restriction that's going on and the excitement that this food has held over you for so long, it will go away.

It won't be as exciting. Food isn't no more like this morally, this moral thing where you're better if you're eating fruits and vegetables. It's just food. And you learn to find what foods help you feel your best.

And that's really what all comes down to is how you feel. So yes, you do have to really work hard to accept all foods at the beginning especially, but as time goes by, goes on you learn more about implementing gentle nutrition and you find oh like okay eating more fiber actually feels awesome or getting protein at every meal helps me feel full for longer because you experiment at the beginning like I have clients who like are so scared of eating certain foods like for example eating keeping ice cream in the house I have a client who's so scared of just keeping ice cream in our house and so we challenged her to keep it in our house and just eat it when it sounds good and usually whenever she had it she would just binge it because she would be scared of eating it later but she's slowly like this week was the first week she was able to like forget about it and be like oh yeah I have ice cream like I can eat some if I want but for her it wasn't as much as like well maybe that doesn't sound as good now like now that I can have it whenever I want it's not as exciting um it's not on a pedestal anymore yes exactly it's not on a pedestal so that's why the first step is so important of breaking those food rules and allowing those foods so that then you can feel and truly Understand how different foods make you feel.

It's not as much other people telling you what to do It's your body saying. Oh, yeah, I actually don't need these foods or I want these ones So yeah so basically what you're saying is that Yes, intuitive eating is more flexible and relaxed than like what we've been taught But that doesn't mean that nutrition isn't important or that certain Certain principles of how you nurse your body aren't important.

It's trying to strike that balance of okay right now To feel my best. I really want a good balanced meal And then later you have the freedom to say, you know what I've had a really long day I feel like sitting down to ice cream exactly not feeling guilty about that.

Yes, right? Yes, because especially if ice cream is on that pedestal like you said earlier like people if they've been restricting it have the tendency to binge it as soon as it's allowed and so if you think about it It makes sense To allow it fully.

It's so much easier on your mind and body because then you can actually just enjoy it in the moment But then also yes Wanting and honoring those balanced meals like it really it's crazy when you first like crave a salad I never thought I would actually crave a salad or like carrots and now I do and it's like what?

Yeah, I go through some nights where I'm like like I remember a couple weeks ago at the end of my pregnancy Mm -hmm. I still wanted like something to eat after dinner But I was like I don't think I want something sweet like I just kind of sat there I was trying to figure it out my husband was making dessert and I was like, you know what I just want an apple and peanut butter and like normally I'm having ice cream with him or like we're having something something yummy and something sweet.

But like I said back, I was like, actually I don't want ice cream. What do I want? And I just kind of like went through the pantry and I was like, wow, that's really weird. I'm literally craving an apple and peanut butter at nine o 'clock at night.

But like that's what my body wanted. And it was cool to see that, yes, the ice cream was available and anybody who knows me knows that I love my ice cream. But like, because it's always available and I have that freedom to choose what I want when I want, I didn't feel like, no, but I always have ice cream for dessert, so I have to have ice cream for dessert.

It was actually, I don't want that tonight. What do I want? It ended up being an apple and peanut butter. It could have been cookie. It could have been, you know, a bag of Sour Patch Kids, whatever. But just the idea that actually I recognized that I didn't want ice cream and that was okay.

It didn't bother me and I didn't like, you know, force myself to eat it because that's what you're supposed to eat for dessert. Or cause it's like in your macros or something. It's like, oh, like I have room for ice cream.

So I have. It's like, yeah, I love that. Yeah. So cool. Okay, so this leads me into the second myth. Yes. The second myth is that intuitive eating is easy because there's quote, no food rules and you can kind of just do what you want, when you want.

But I feel like after listening to our conversation so far, people are like, yeah, that doesn't sound easy. So is intuitive eating easy? Yeah, great. This is why I am starting to build a career off of helping people with intuitive eating because it is not easy.

In fact, I think it can be at the beginning, right? I've said multiple times, you have to work through getting out of those food rules. And it's so important that you understand that you are not being unhealthy by doing that.

Like I have clients freaking out because they're eating ice cream more or eating refined carbs instead of whole grain and they're like, I'm just doing all of my progress but you need someone to remind you and you have to remind yourself, like self compassion is so important to say, no, like you are putting in the work for a sustainable lifestyle that will last the rest of your life.

Like this isn't a diet anymore. Diets haven't worked for you. And reminding yourself that diets haven't worked for you throughout the whole process is so important. And then as you're continuing to break down those food rules as time goes on, it really does get easier because like I mentioned earlier, your body starts to tell you what it's wanting, right?

Now I think a few months in what can be the hardest part as you start to get eating down is your body image might be a trigger. And so really working on your body image from the beginning, working to love and accept your body and that you're really not trying to change it through intuitive eating.

Intuitive eating can change your body but that's not the point of it. Like the point is to find out. your set point weight and we talk about that a lot. Like for example, I can say like I was extremely underweight when I started and then I ended up, what I feel is overweight for me, but years later I've kind of stabilized like in between without trying to, it just happened.

Because I have trusted my body and so the body image part can free people out if there is initial weight gain or if you're staying the same way and you wanted to lose weight, like really working through the underlying issues of body and weight is so important because that emotional, I mean, it just causes emotional spiraling at times.

So it takes some self -awareness, it takes having someone to keep you accountable. People can do it on their own, I'm not saying it's impossible. It, a lot of times it depends on how deeply ingrained your mind is in diet culture.

because we really want to undo that mindset. And so, yeah, I think it's not easy, but it is 100% possible to undo a mindset that you've lived for so long, if that makes sense. Yeah, and I love that you brought up weight and like the concept of a set weight point for the listeners who don't know what a set weight point is.

It's basically this idea that your body has a happy place of how much it wants to weigh. And if you aren't focused on restricting or like doing a certain kind of diet, your body is going to naturally gravitate towards that through your hunger cues and your fullness cues.

And that's like where your body wants to be. And anything outside of that is you trying to intentionally manipulate, whether it's for good or bad reasons, right? If you're trying to build muscle, that's awesome.

You're probably gonna weigh a little bit more than your set point. If you're trying to do a cut or if you're like a bodybuilder and you're doing a bikini competition, you're going to drop weight so that you can like hit that goal, right?

But the idea is that your body has a certain happy place where it wants to be. And I remember talking to one of my clients about this concept and helping her see one, you don't have to do anything to earn your food.

She told herself that the only way that she could eat is that she was active all day long and if she had exercised. And so she would like eat less than 1500 calories a day if she hadn't done those things.

And so it was this concept of I can't eat until I earn it or I have to exercise to burn off what I ate. So first I told her the only thing that you need to do to earn your food is to breathe, to exist as a human being and be alive.

And then second, the idea that If you're trying to work through this mentality of diet culture and like overcoming all of that and you end up gaining weight, then that must be what your body wants. Like it's not a bad thing to gain weight if that's trying to help your body get to its happy place.

And that's really scary for us as women because we're taught to do it this way. And to have a certain physique or whatever. But like if you end up gaining weight through this journey, that's a good thing because that means you are getting closer to that happy place and your body is just going to be so much better because of it.

Oh yes, I love it and you'll feel it. Like if you're feeling your best and weight gain comes with that, that it means you're supposed to gain weight. And definitely the scariest part for people and it's completely understandable.

It's not our fault that diet culture or society has told us to be thin. It's not our fault, but it's something we can unlearn no matter where we are, and like, except where we are in our bodies. So I love that Brooke, that's good.

Yeah, and I don't know about you, Brooklyn, but when I was working through my disordered eating, I look back at pictures and I'm like, frick, I looked good. Like I was really lean, you could see all my muscle.

Like you could see my six pack, it was great, but and when I came out of that, I ended up gaining weight and my set point is about like 10 or 12 pounds heavier than that, and it took me a really long time to be okay with that, but I realized I was like, I actually care more about how I feel.

Yeah. Like looks come with it, right? I can exercise and do all the things to still be lean. Have that muscle. And still feel attractive and all those things, but yeah, it was just kind of this thing of like, wow, I look at who I was and that I had to gain weight to come out of that and that was really scary, but like now I'm like, it's just how much my body weighs.

And the doctors, when I was pregnant, they're like, do you know how much you weigh? And I'm like, no, I don't, I actually don't. And I had to get weighted every appointment and I just told the nurse, you don't need to tell me how much I weigh.

Oh, I love that. Yeah. Because I don't care. And they kind of looked at me like, that's a little weird. And I was like, no, but like genuinely, I don't want to know. Yeah. Because that's just gonna get me all wrapped up in all these things that I've tried to overcome.

There's always a million. Yeah, so I actually don't know how much I weighed when a week ago, when I was 40 weeks pregnant. Like I don't know. Good for you. But it's such a free journey to get to that point.

I'm so glad you brought up the weighing yourself because that's another huge thing we start with. It's like, get rid of the scale. Like if you can't bear to get rid of it, just put it on a high shelf.

So you have to think about what you're doing before you step on it. Because no matter what that number is, whether it's smaller than lower than you thought or higher than you thought, there's always gonna be an emotion you feel if you've ever tried losing weight and if weight has ever been tied to your self -worth, you're gonna feel an emotion no matter what and that will usually cause mostly bad outcomes.

So we work on that a lot with just accepting, you don't need to know. It's not a proper indicator of health, how you feel, and if you get any labs done or whatever, such a better indicator of how you're doing.

And so just ignore the number, it's triggering. Ignore the number and freaking ignore the pant size. Oh goodness. I just had a conversation with a client about this actually because she's not fitting in her pants and of course it's squeezing your tummy when you can't fit in your pants and that causes body image issues right then and there but for a lot of people buying a bigger pant size feels like they're officially...

failing right when in reality you're just stepping into this new phase of life once and for all and saying you know what I Can I can like pants sizes don't matter also. They're different in every single store like I don't even know the pants size I'm supposed to be because it's always different Oh Yeah Yeah, like the idea that we we weren't meant to fit pants pants were meant to fit us and so like You know, let's say you got pregnant with your first baby had your baby It's a year postpartum.

You've been exercising eating doing all the things and You don't fit into the pants that you wore before you had your first baby Okay, so go buy a new pair of pants that fit you like that doesn't mean anything about how healthy you are or how attractive you are Just go buy a pair of pants that fit because you're gonna feel so much better and you're gonna look so much better too If you're wearing clothes that fit you No, totally having clothes that fit you and like then you can go out and feel confident, you know But when they are too small you're trying to squeeze into them every day.

It's just That's not that's not what healthy is you said it perfectly Brooke. That was great.

The last myth that I want to bust is that intuitive eating is the best choice for everyone. How do we know if this really is the way we want to approach nutrition and our health? And how do we know if this mindset around food is actually what's going to be best for us in our journey?

Yeah, I'm so glad you brought that up because obviously it's not my place to say, okay, intuitive eating is the only way for every single person, like, no, of course not. Everyone has that autonomy and they can choose for themselves, right?

I will say that parts of intuitive eating can be extremely beneficial wherever you are at, but most importantly, I think anyone who has struggled with yo -yo dieting, being in the restrict binge cycle, struggling with disordered eating, or even just struggling with trying to control their weight in any way or feeling extreme body image, like, I think intuitive eating can really provide a path of healing for that person in regards to their relationship with food and their body.

Now, if it's someone who really hasn't struggled with their relationship with food, it depends, but my guess would be maybe they already eat intuitively in a way. Yeah. But I wanted to mention something else.

I have a, there are times if you are put on a strict diet by your doctor or you have allergies or celiac disease or something and you do have to cut back on certain foods, intuitive eating is still possible for you.

I have a client who is on a very strict diet right now for some inflammatory issues she is going on. She has PCOS and other things. They're just trying to get to the root of her gut issues. And so she is, it's like extremely limited and she's adding a few things every week, but while she's, we've been working on intuitive eating at the same time and like focusing, okay, focus on how you feel.

Like, yes, you're being put on this diet, but like if you ate outside of this diet right now, like would that really help you feel your best? Like the reason you're on this diet is because you're on a diet, diet is to feel your best long -term to find the foods that help you feel amazing.

So we don't want to hinder that right now because you won't be feeling your best. It's sort of like that mindset like if you have celiac disease and you eat gluten you won't feel great. So you're choosing that's your own choice to limit those foods from your diet to help you feel and be your best self.

So kind of a long -winded answer to that myth but it's best intuitive eating is best for those who have an unhealthy relationship with food and want to build a healthy relationship with it. Yeah and something I do want to add is that how do I say this you can use other methods to help you heal and still have the goal of eventually getting too intuitive eating.

So for example when I was working through my disordered eating The main problem with my lifestyle is that I was always restricting calories. I got a good balance of like carbs, fats and proteins, but it was always just like how little can I eat and like still be alive kind of a thing.

And so for me, what helped me come out of that cycle was counting calories because it held me accountable and it said, Hey, you've only eaten 1500 calories today. You just need to eat more. And as I worked through that and kind of saw, okay, this is how big my plate was.

This is how many calories it was. This is how I felt at the end of my day. The actual numbers and the tracking helped me learn what I wasn't doing intuitively and what I wasn't letting my body tell me.

And then once I got through that phase, I didn't need to count calories anymore. And, you know, when I am breastfeeding, I'm really on top of my protein. So I'm always tracking my protein to make sure that I'm getting enough, but like I'm still focusing on eating when I'm hungry and, you know, paying attention to how balanced my plate is.

And so I think there's a way to like blend lots of other different approaches and still come out with the final goal of focusing on how you feel, focusing on not restricting, focusing on really letting your body establish those hunger and fullness cues.

So I think that's another thing to remember is it's not like an, an all or nothing where it's either you only do intuitive eating and nothing else, or you're just like, um, that's not for me. Yeah. There's a way to like a blend other things and figure out what works best for you.

And I, you did a really good job of pointing that out. Yeah. I love that. The individualized approach is so important because like in your case, you just needed to eat more and for you to see the numbers and physically see like this is what I need to do to like fuel my body.

Then yeah, Yes, seeing the calories, seeing the macros broken out can also be beneficial to know what's in your food. Yeah, it's all, there's all powerful approaches. And I think focusing on taking the weight out of it and just fuel like whatever method that is that works for you, perfect.

Yeah, okay. So now let's talk about really simple ways that we can start practicing intuitive eating now. Maybe some of us can't afford an awesome coach like you or we don't have the time or the energy to follow a specific protocol or really work on it like we would want to.

So for the moms listening who like the idea of trying to put their body back in control and letting go of some of those diet culture mentalities, what are some really simple tips that you have to start practicing intuitive eating that we can apply today?

I love it. Okay, yes, so first step I've kind of addressed a little bit already, but I'm just gonna say it one more time nice and clear I'm just rejecting the diet mentality So doesn't have a ton to do with food, but the first step really is to like if Everyone's different, but if you feel like you are stuck in this restrictive or dieting Restrict binge mindset, whatever it is Take a real honest look at your life Look at whatever diets you've been on or whatever you've tried to do to shrink your body in the past And ask yourself like has this really worked for me?

and most like Honestly, the reason that you're probably here or seeking something else for your life is because the diets haven't worked and also research shows that 95 percent of diets fail and long -term people gain the weight back and so Really looking at your life and asking yourself why you have a desire to diet when it hasn't worked before second thing is Really making sure to work on your body image more than anything as in like from the beginning Remind yourself that your body is okay right where it is We do an exercise with my clients we write down three things a day that your body does for you things that you appreciate You don't even have to love your body right now Just write down three things that it does for you and that so that when those negative thoughts come You have some positive thoughts that you can like combat those negative thoughts with and then the third thing is when we finally get to food mindful eating and so choosing to You know if you've been dieting or tracking macros or calories it may have felt very forced or Just maybe there's some disconnect between you and your food But the coolest part about eating now with intuitive eating is really paying attention to your body and how it feels.

So that includes before you eat, like ask yourself how hungry am I? Or what am I craving? And then while you're eating, ask yourself what it feels like, what the texture is like, the temperature of your food, how is your stomach feeling as you're eating and digesting it.

And then afterwards, really checking in with yourself. There's no rush ever to eat. That's the cool part. Like you have as much time as you need to finish your breakfast or your lunch. And I feel like when we're dieting or restricting our food, it's so exciting.

Once we finally get food, we just like scarf it down. But understanding like you have as much time as you want to eat, it's not going anywhere. Just take your time and enjoy it. And it'll feel so much more satisfying at the end of a meal as well.

So just to review the three things. So reject diet mentality, accept your body, where it's at and really work on that body image from the first, just from the get go. And then third, start to really practice mindful eating.

And I think those are the three most important things I work on with clients for the first few weeks. So there you go. Yeah. And a note to all of my busy moms who are listening and they're like, okay, I literally can't eat slowly because I have a toddler and a newborn and my toddler takes two seconds to eat and then my newborn needs to have a diaper change of all these things.

It can feel overwhelming to like even want to slow down and eat your food. And I've noticed this where sometimes I am scarfing it down because I'm trying to beat my toddler. True. Because I know that if I don't beat my toddler, he's gonna need to go somewhere else and then I'm gonna have to get up from the table and I'm not gonna get to finish eating and I care about eating my food.

So something that I've tried really hard to do with my toddler and that I'll continue to do with the rest of my kids is show my kids that I am important and it's okay for me to say you need to wait, I have to take care of myself and I will actually look at my two year old and say, I have to be a good mom and in order for me to be a good mom, I need to have food in my tummy.

So if you finish before mom, you can go bring your toys and play by the kitchen table, but it's really important that mommy finishes her food too. And it was really hard at first, right? He would get upset, he would feel like I don't care about him, all those things, he's two, but like over time, he's learned to just be okay if he finishes first and I'm still eating.

And it's actually been like really, really good because now I don't have to feel like I'm rushing. I can sit down and enjoy my food and it makes my toddler practice being patient too. Yeah. Which is always a really good thing.

So that's something I would say to my moms who are listening and feel like slowing down isn't an option for them. I want you to know that you have to fill your cup first before you can serve your family.

And in order for you to do that, you have to be a little bit selfish sometimes and say, actually, I need you to wait so I can eat my food. Or, hey, I'm gonna bring my food into my toddler's room while they play with their toys so I can finish my food.

Like finding ways to show your kids that it's important for you to be selfish sometimes and take care of yourself because that means that you are going to be a better mom to them. Oh, I love that so much.

I love the fact that you're teaching your toddler from the beginning, like, okay, like I have needs and when it comes to food, I need to eat to feel my best. And it's also teaching him like, oh, then maybe I need to eat to feel my best too.

Little things like that, that's really great. That's awesome. And I think to wrap this all up. I think what we've really touched on today is that intuitive eating is a mental game, right? Whether we're starting or we're learning how to do it or You know something we have to constantly work on I feel like the mentality portion is like the biggest thing about intuitive eating and I would love for you to just touch on that Yeah, how important is our mentality and how can we really?

Like fine tune it so that it doesn't feel like a chore and it doesn't feel like a battle that we have to fight every single day Yes, oh, I love that making sure it doesn't feel like a battle Because it's true I think it can feel really intimidating when you start because you want to be perfect at it But I think that's the beautiful part remind yourself that there is a no perfect way to eat and Everyone's journey Health is meant to be like kind of messy like help you're never gonna be perfect at living a healthy life We all do our best and that's the beautiful part and so have that self -compassion throughout remind yourself talk to yourself like you are a best friend you're doing great and Pay attention to your thoughts like really pay attention to what you're thinking about Why you're doing what you're doing, you know journal your thoughts out Work on those anxious thoughts, you know reconstruct them We seriously every week with my clients were like, okay, how can we reframe that thought?

How can we reframe it like I feel like I'm a therapist because it's like We're working on so many thoughts about food and body that it's like okay reframe that for me so even though diet culture or Dieting or whatever lifestyle we're living it has been learned And so it can be unlearned like intuitive eating Is how we started out as toddlers like if you watch them which broke has more experience than I do She has her own toddler, but they're very intuitive eaters they will just eat what sounds good.

And because we have been like that as well, we can get back to that point. We just need to unlearn that diet culture and relearn to get in touch with our body. That is such a good way of putting it. And I love that you brought up toddlers because, yeah, they're just like, hey, I'm hungry mom.

And you're like, but you ate 45 minutes ago. And they're like, so I'm hungry. And sometimes all they need is like a little tiny snack from the pantry, right? But like we sit there and we're like, you're not supposed to meet to eat for another two hours.

And they're like, no, but I'm hungry. And so, yeah, the concept that we did start out that way. And it is possible to get back to that. It just takes a little bit of work and lots of self love, right?

Being like, okay, this is hard, but it's worth it. I'm worth it. I can do this. Like a lot of self affirmation, right? Who is self affirmation? a really big thing. And it's something that I've had to remind myself in my journey.

You know, I'm one week postpartum right now. I literally cried last night when I looked in the mirror because I was like, I feel like all of the hard work that I did before getting pregnant and going to the gym while I was pregnant, I feel like it just disappeared and now I'm like a walking flat pancake.

Like that's what I told myself when I looked in the mirror last night. And then I had to sit down and be like, wait a second. First of all, it's not possible for your body to flip like that in one week.

That's absolutely ridiculous. Second of all, this is a phase of life. I'm not gonna be stuck one week postpartum forever, you know, with limited activity and eating everything in sight because I'm just hungry for breastfeeding.

And there's my baby. But yeah, just like having the courage to tell yourself you are worthy, you are important, and it's hard. And it can be all of that at the same time. You can be worthy and capable and worth loving and still have a hard time at the same time.

I don't want any moms listening to think that if it's hard, that means you're failing. It's possible for it to be hard and for you to still like be progressing. So I'm working on it. I'm trying to practice what I preach, right?

I'm trying to reframe my mentality and remember that it really does come down to what you want for yourself in the future and then having the courage to work through the heart right now so that you can get to that place of compassion and, you know, that happy spot that your body wants to be at.

Totally. Oh, that was put so well, Brooke, yes. I feel like you're, yeah, your experience and like what you share and educate moms about. and it's like you have such great experience and knowledge to like help them apply it.

It's great. Like that's so cool to hear you share that. I'd like to think that some of the things I've been through are helpful. Right, same. Well, Brooklyn, I feel like our conversation has been so helpful today and I think what I was most excited about was for you to bust all the myths of intuitive meeting because I feel like it's a bad rap and you really helped us set it straight and like really get a better picture of what's possible for us and now I'm really curious.

So this is a question that I ask all of my guests and I'm really curious what your answer is based on like our conversation today and just like what's important to you. What is a non -negotiable for you to living a well -nourished life?

Hmm, yeah, and I'm gonna be honest, I feel like it changes with this reason of life that I'm in. But as of right now, I'm a busy grad student and there's a lot, it feels like there's just a lot on my plate at all times and so really prioritizing my mental well being is a huge non -negotiable for me right now.

So that includes, because I love to exercise, right? I feel like, and this is, I don't want to feel like I'm like bragging, but I don't really have to set a goal to exercise because I just love it. I'll go do it.

But I need to set a goal to make sure I'm getting enough rest. So that's a non -negotiable like resting, journaling, making time for a social life, making time for my husband and getting off of social media.

So like prioritizing my mental health is a huge non -negotiable for me in this phase of life. Amen. I feel like a lot of times when we think about our health, it's always, what am I eating? Yeah. How much am I moving?

All those things and those are great. Those are obviously very important because we all talk about it. You and I literally teach this for a living. But yeah, just remembering that we are people, we're not robots, and we have feelings and we have needs.

And when we take time to remember that our mental health is just as important as what we eat or how much we move, then I think that's a really good step towards just feeling like your best self. So I really love that you brought that up.

Kay Brooklyn, how can we connect with you and learn more? How can we work with you? How can we stay in touch? Give us all the details about you so that we can stay in touch. I love it. So right now I'm really on one main platform, Instagram.

And so my handle is nutrition .with .brookie. And so you can find me on Instagram, everything you would need to apply to work with me or to learn more about what I have going on is linked on there. Go ahead and give me a follow if you're interested and as time goes on I'm working on slowly building things like I kind of just got things going in like two months maybe three months ago now.

So it's it's a work in progress. Follow along feel free. We're building a solid community over there but yeah, that's where you can connect with me. I'd love to see any of you over there. Perfect. And are you currently accepting clients for anyone who's interested in working with you one on one?

That's a great question. So right now I'm full but very soon I'll be taking more. I'm working on like revamping my 12 week program. So in about I think about a month. I don't have a specific date yet but in about a month maybe a week or two longer than a month a month and a half.

I will be taking new clients just in time for the holiday craziness of the season or I guess whenever this podcast is released will be even closer to it. So check check up on my Instagram and I'll be announcing.

when that's happening, but very soon I will be. Okay, perfect. Cause I know that what you teach is very valuable and I wanna make sure that that's an option for our moms. Thank you so much for coming on to The Brooklyn.

It was a treat to have you twice. I know. We had to record this twice. It was good. And mama's just remember as we approach the holiday season cause we're gonna be listening to this episode right as the holidays come around.

Remember that your worth is not tied to what you eat during the holidays and you can eat whatever you want during the holidays because you're just a human being. So take what you learned today from Brooklyn and apply it to the holiday season and going into the new year and just really give yourself that self love.

Thanks so much Brooklyn for coming on today. And we will see you in the next episode.