Nearly every week, some updated food alert is issued by the news media. Never before have we been bombarded with so much information about what is bad/good for us. And yet, just as individuals vary tremendously, so do our nutritional needs – depending on your age, emotional state, the season and your physical environment. Linda Prout is the author of Live in the Balance, the Ground-Breaking East-West Nutrition Program. Unlike many other health counselors, Linda does not believe in a quick fix or a single regimen for all people. Rather, she guides people to the best nutritional choices for who and where they are- right now. I asked Linda (LP) to share some tips in terms of how she personally lives in the balance and tunes out the noise…
AM: Would you consider certain foods to be “noisy”?
LP: Well, perhaps the busy sight of a Las Vegas-style buffet could be “noisy.” I would be more inclined to say there are noisy states of mind. And, we reach for certain foods for a sense of relief from internal noise. Anxiety, worry, and mental chatter are types of inner noise and I notice people reaching for things like chips, crackers, nuts, bread and often anything in front of them, for relief. Noise itself, such as a crying child, someone yelling or complaining, or construction work, can trigger anxiety-based compulsive eating in many people. My research on appetite and emotions indicates anxiety and stress create a desire for crunchy and greasy foods, including potato chips and other fried foods.
AM: How do you quiet your internal or external environment in order to stay focused?
LP: Quieting my internal environment has been a life-long process. Most Americans are not given tools to quiet themselves while growing up, so many turn to food, drink, cigarettes, drugs, shopping, sex…. for relief. The tools that have most helped me quiet my internal environment include energy medicine practices; breath work; walks in nature; and inspirational reading. Living in quiet places and keeping my home quiet is important. Energy medicine is one of the most effective tools for inner peace, and for change, that I have experienced.
AM: What is the greatest drain on your energy?
LP: Negative interactions with people, angry people, crowded places, traffic, mega stores with a lot of synthetic products, long plane flights, a project I do not want to do.
AM: In what ways have you been able to simplify your life to greater effect?
LP: Saying “no” more often keeps things simple. Reducing expectations keeps life simpler. Reminding myself there is perfection in whatever is happening.
AM: Suppose you could meet and talk to your 20-year old self. What are the things you would like to tell her?
LP: For the tough times: This too shall pass. You will grow to love yourself more as you work through the painful times.
On success: You can succeed at whatever you commit to when you see it and believe it happening.
On people: The people you surround yourself with will determine your quality of life. Surround yourself with loving, kind and generous people.
Linda Prout, MS, Nutrition Therapist, is a recovered overweight binge eater turned passionate healing-gourmet. She developed the nutrition program at the Claremont Resort and Spa in Berkeley as well as the detox program for the Six Senses Spa in Turkey, working with spa chefs to incorporate local traditional ingredients into gourmet meals. Linda designs personalized nutrition and lifestyle programs for clients worldwide. Visit her at www.lindaprout.com