Featured

How to Spot and Eliminate Stressors in Your Diet.

What Information is Ahead:

  • The Duration of the Elimination Diet
  • What Phase 1 and Phase 2 are About
  • Side Effects to be Aware of
  • How to Reduce Side Effects
  • How to Reintroduce Suspect Food
  • What to Eliminate
  • What to Eat

Don’t forget to write about it!

All this work will be for nothing if you can’t remember which foods did what.

Remember, there is no good or bad food. What doesn’t work for you may be great for someone else. You are allowed to eat whatever you want, whenever you want. This is about finding out how to fuel your body so that you feel your best.

If you have any questions, I encourage you to email me.

When you help yourself, the rest of the universe follows.

By eliminating foods that stress your body out you will find yourself more able to move freely throughout life. No more worrying about feeling bloated, frumpy, sluggish, tired in the morning and so much more.

If you are interested in 1-on-1 coaching you are invited to a free discovery session to find out if we would make a good team.

All my best,

Jessica Ray, CTNC

Featured

How to Start Your Health Journey, the Right Way

“Increasing evidence suggests that obesity is not simply a problem of will power or self-control but a complex disorder involving appetite regulation and energy metabolism that is associated with a variety of comorbid conditions. Effective strategies of [better health or] weight loss require management strategies in a combined approach of dietary therapy and physical activity by using behavioral interventions.”[1]


What’s Ahead?

  • How to start out your health journey the right way, with self acceptance.
  • How to avoid making poor decisions about your health and wellbeing by using an abundance mindset.
  • How to get all the nutrients you need to have your body freely releasing fat without having to worry about counting calories or following some fad diet.
  • How to choose the perfect food when shopping.
  • What to expect when you are losing weight the right way.

Study after study shows that behavioral, psychological and cognitive changes are the most beneficial changes needed for weight loss and weight loss sustainability [2]. It all starts in the mind. People who want to maintain weight loss would benefit from focusing on self-monitoring, planning and managing interpersonal relationships.

Self Acceptance is 1st

Self acceptance is defined as an individual’s acceptance of all her or his attributes, positive or negative. This encompases body acceptance, protection from others criticism, and believing in one’s capabilities.

According to Harvard Medical School, “Without self-acceptance, your psychological well-being can suffer, and often, beneficial interventions [i.e. weight loss programs] are less helpful for you than for others with higher self-acceptance”.

Weight loss is a journey from one point to another. The fastest way to get from one point to another is a straight line.

Self acceptance is point #1 and your goal is point #2.

You can’t get out of a prison that you don’t know you are in.

Ram dass

Accepting your starting point means that you will get to your goal faster and easier than ever before. If you don’t know where you are, you will be wandering aimlessly hoping that something or someone will be the magic pill.

You are the magic pill. You are all the wonderful things in this world. You are perfect and you can get what you want.

The truth is that you are a perfect being. You are living out your life exactly the way it was intended. You continue to do the best you know how with the information that you are given. You are a radiant being of love and light surrounded by flesh.

People who have higher self acceptance and self love make healthier choices for themselves, and not the other way around.

You were born into this life and your were taught how to act and behave, what to think, how to eat, how to handle pain, loss, joy, fear and so on. The only problem is, that if you are anything like me, you were taught all of this by people and a society that were sick and in a lot of pain themselves. So, it is no wonder that you have developed certain coping mechanisms. Your flesh wants to stay alive, your brain wants to be accepted, and your heart wants to give fully to others.

Your brain is very protective of you and it is working perfectly to keep you safe. It will create all sorts of beliefs to keep you doing the same thing that worked for you when you were a little scared kid or a bullied teenager… but chances are these things are no longer working in your benefit. Chances are you would benefit from trying on a few new beliefs.

When you learn about who you are and what your inner monolog is saying, it can be pretty messed up. We all have some creepy negative thoughts that are trying to keep me away from bullies and safe from criticism. We can learn to forgive bullies for being messed up and forgive ourselves for not being better and we can even recreate an old experience and train ourselves to have more joy in every moment and compassion for all beings.

New beliefs that are very powerful for transformation:

“I am worthy of love, just the way I am”

“Everything has happened for me, not to me”

“I am enough”

How to Work on Self Acceptance

Choose not to fight yourself. If you feel sad, allow yourself to feel sad. If you feel depressed, allow yourself to feel depressed, if you feel joyful and happy, feel joyful and happy. Emotions are energy in motion and they are trying to tell you something about yourself. If you push away your emotions, you are pushing away yourself. The emotions are still winning, because now instead of feeling fear you are actively not feeling fear… Instead of just being… Does that make sense? Instead of letting the fear move through you (emotions last on average 90 seconds), you are saying I don’t feel fear, I don’t feel fear, I don’t feel fear… You will do this until you finally surrender to the emotion (the part of you that wants to be heard) and let it move through you. “Oh yes, I am feeling fear, that is interesting, I wonder why?”

The longer that you suppress your emotions, the further you delay self acceptance. The further you delay self acceptance the harder it will be for you to lose weight. It seems backwards, like, “I will accept myself when I lose xx amount of ponds”… But the truth is, you will lose xx amount of pounds once you accept the fact that you are a perfect being made of love with all your eccentricities and unique quirks.

Actual things that increase self acceptance, self awareness and self-love:

  • Look in the mirror. Really look. Get naked and just look at yourself for 5-10 minutes. Breathe, when it seems like it is too much, just breathe. Nice, what thoughts come up. You don’t have to react to them, you can just let them go, but notice. Are they nice thoughts, are they mean thoughts, do you hear anything over and over again? Most importantly, remember, you are here and you are perfect. Because you are here, you are perfect. As long as you are here, you are perfect.
  • Make a list of your strengths.
  • Write down any recurring negative thoughts in a “creepy negative thoughts” journal.
  • Write down what makes you sad? Why?
  • What makes you happy? Why?
  • What can you not live without? Why?
  • How are your relationships? How do you behave in your relationships?
  • Where in your body do you feel your emotions?
  • What does it feel like to be in your body?
  • FFF meditation. Feel your Fucking Feelings meditation. Emotional healer and conscious comedian JP Sears created this and I love it. You meditate and let whatever feelings you feel come up. Give each feeling about 2 minutes and let it go. Make sure you are in a comfortable place where you won’t be interrupted and remember that you don’t have to react to your feelings or get attached to them. By simply observing them and letting them go, you are doing the work.

The point of these exercises is to let whatever needs to come up, come up without being suppressed. You will, over time begin to see that emotions come and go. It is a part of being human. You will realize it is all a big game and you may even look forward to the feelings and different intensities.

We all have a right to exist just the way that we are. We don’t need to change we don’t need to hide our emotions and we don’t need to please anyone but our higher selves.

Start to get a sense of who you are and accept that. It is extremely empowering and helps a lot when others question or criticize you.

Once you accept the good the bad and the ugly; figure out what you want to change, and why.

Now you have a starting point (you today), an end goal (your ideal self), a list of obstacles to avoid (your negative self talk), and a list of resources to rely on (your strengths).

This deep inner work is crucial for transformation[4]. You can do it, and you deserve the best.

Eat With an Abundance Mindset

Lakshmi, She is the Hindu goddess of wealth, fortune, love, beauty, joy and prosperity in the material and spiritual world. She signifies the importance of economic activity in maintenance of life, with her ability to move, work and prevail in confusing darkness.

Scarcity Vs. Abundance Mindset

When you have weight loss resistance, obesity, or if you have been yo-yo dieting in the past, your body has most likely decided that it is in danger of a famine and it needs to hold onto fat cells like its life depends on it.

Because of this, it is important to remember that nature is abundant and you will never go without anything you need. Your body has to feel like it is safe to release fat.

So, instead of saying to yourself “I can’t have that”, you have to know that you can have whatever it is that you want… “I want to have a beautiful juicy peach”, “I want to have that big bowl of vegan chili, it is delicious, it is making my mouth water”, “I don’t want to have that McDonalds burger because it does not help me get to where I want to go”.

A scarcity mindset alters neural processing that underlies decision making. Not having enough of what you need has long been shown to have detrimental consequences for decision making[3]. When an item is scarce (in calorie restriction it would be food) we have a hyper focus on that item and it is hard to focus on anything else.

On top of the mindest, there is the physical aspect of scarcity. Processed foods, fast foods, even a lot of restaurant foods have low nutritional value. If that is the kind of food that you were raised on, like I was, there is a high likelihood that you may have a few nutritional deficiencies. It is very common and very easy to be overweight and undernourished [9]. Again, when your body does not have something (scarcity of nutrients) it will hyper focus on that thing (obsessed with food, binge eating, always hungry, etc.).

A few tricks and tips to help you have an abundance mindset:

  • Surround yourself with healthy options, purge your cabinets and fridge of everything you don’t want to be tempted by when you’re hungry and tired. Prepare some nutritionally dense dishes that taste amazing and have them ready to eat whenever or wherever you are. Check out my post on “The Ultimate Guide to Meal Prepping & Planning”, for how to set yourself up for fool proof success.
  • A mantra for Abundance. Before you put your feet on the ground in the morning lay for a minute or two in bed and repeat this mantra to yourself. “Every day I grow in love, success and abundance as I inspire those around me to do the same.” Take 2 breaths and then say it again. It may feel silly and you’ll probably hear your mind whispering things like “Liar”, every now and then, but just keep doing it. Soon your mind will start to look for ways that that is true instead of false.
  • Practice gratitude. If you are reading this then you have access to the internet and truthfully you can eat whatever you want whenever you want. You really do live in an abundant time and place. Be grateful for the things that you have. There are so many others that have way less.
  • Detox from the word “Can’t”, you can. Don’t allow yourself to utter that word. Remember that you can do anything you want and you can eat anything you want.

Taste the Rainbow, Eat the Rainbow, You are the Rainbow

There are a million and one diets out there that all claim they will bust belly fat and blah blah blah. Low fat, high fat, low carb, high carb, vegan, vegetarian, pescitarian, porkatarian, librarian. The science is in. There is no significant difference in their efficacy for weight loss[6].

They all work, they will all do what they claim to do… up to a certain point. What is your end goal? Do you want to lose weight and then gain it all back, plus more? Or would you like to fully transform into someone that you have never been before?

The truth is that if you want lasting results, you will have to get in tune with your intuition. You will have to remember that you are a wild and unique creature of the earth with billions of years of evolution inside of your body that will help you determine what you need to thrive. You will have to become acquainted with whole, unadulterated foods.

Mother nature made the best diet for us. She provides us with everything we need to thrive. The problem started when we decided to farm the land, and industrialize our food. We have become very disconnected from our food.

If mother nature wrote a diet book she would say go into nature and see what there is to eat. That is exactly what you need right now. I made all the seasons, I made fruit for the summer to fatten you up for the winter, I made pumpkins for the fall that will last all winter, I made greens so hardy and nutrient dense that you can have them all year long. If you take the time and learn, you can have animals, beans and grains as well. It is all here in perfect harmony ready for you to be in perfect harmony with me.

We are made of a delicate balance of elements that form into nutrients. There are macronutrients, which need to be consumed in relatively high amounts (Carbs, fats, protein, air & water). And there are micronutrients, that are just as important but are consumed in smaller amounts (vitamins and minerals). All of these nutrients are found in plants, animals, air and water.

A fruit or vegetable color signals to you what nutrients and phytochemicals are available in the food. The color can vary based on ripeness, density of nutrients and processing methods[5].

The easiest way to ensure that you are getting all the nutrients that your body requires to feel safe, nourished and encourage it to release fat is to eat a rainbow of food. Eating every different color of the rainbow means that you are getting every different nutrient that the earth has to offer.

Our ancestors didn’t have tools for deciphering the exact nutrient density of the banana vs the mango, how many calories in a buffalo or if this cacao was going to take her out of ketosis. They were in harmony with the earth and they thrived for millions of years. And within 500 years (a relatively short period) we castrated ourselves from nature. We may have all of these beautiful objects and drugs, but quality of life, I think has declined, and according to American Medical Association, life expectancy in the US has been declining since 2014… This is very troublesome and I believe reversible.

It starts with you and it starts with me. We must each do what we can to feel our best so that we can support one another and mother nature.

To boil it all down, we are beings of light that eat condensed, frozen light in the form of plants and animals in order to shine bright.

Eat Organic, Humanely raised, and Sustainable Foods

Nutrient density is the game and organic, locally sourced is the name.

There is evidence that most vitamins are deficient in obese individuals, especially fat soluble vitamins, B12 and vitamin C [9].

There is something that has not changed since the dawn of man. It’s the fact that mother nature provides us with everything we need to thrive. The more we mess with her the more it impacts our health. In order for us to be healthy, we must have a healthy environment.

This means doing your best to make a healthy environment for yourself.

In order for our fleshy little bodies to be here on earth we need to be consuming air, water and food. The quality of all of these things makes a difference in how your fleshy body works [8]. If the food is treated with toxic metals, pesticides, herbicides, radiation, antibiotics, exogenous hormones, unrecognizable additives and preservatives (i.e. fast food and processed foods), then the food is not food, it is poison. Even small amounts of this stuff can set you back for days, weeks or months.

Obesogens! These are man made chemical compounds that change the way your body processes and stores fat in a way that will make you gain weight. They are in plastic food bags and leach into your food (BPA) [12]. High fructose corn syrup changes your leptin (hunger hormone) levels so that you are both more hungry and producing more fat [11]. Arsenic found in insecticides, herbicides, pesticides, electronic devices and unfiltered drinking water is linked to obesity and diabetes [13]. The list goes on, Antidepressants [14], perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which is used as a surfactant and in non-stick cookware [15], nicotine, if your mother smoked you may be at a higher risk for obesity. There are many more and these chemicals can make you gain more weight even if you are eating less calories. It is really quite unfortunate but a lot of these things can be avoided.

The moral of the story is, you want food in your body, not poisonous chemicals. So, how do you right this wrong? You vote with your dollar. People are waking up to the fact that our food system is working against our health and the health of the planet. Organic food sales continue to grow in number, giving farmers incentive to change their operating systems. Conventional grocery stores are beginning to carry more and more organic foods. Walmart is now one of the biggest distributors of organic food in the nation. But we still have a long way to go. Organic food sales make up only 4% of total food sales in the US [16]. I see a world where organic sales make up 96% of the food sales, reducing the toxic load that we are exposed to every day and giving a better quality of life to farm workers and farm animals and everyone on the planet.

When you buy food, the most nutrient dense, chemical free food is going to be something that is organic and recently harvested. This makes local farmers markets the best place to shop. The longer the food sits on the shelf the less nutrient dense it becomes.

If you are lucky enough to have a farmers market near you, do your produce shopping there and then head over to your local grocer for whatever else you need.

If buying all organic is way out of you budget right now, work off of the Environmental Working Group’s’ Clean 15 for what foods are safe to buy not organic, and the Dirty 12 for which foods you should definitely avoid due to the high amount of toxins they are exposed to.

Again, if you haven’t already, check out my blog on the Ultimate Guide to Meal Planning & Prepping for ways to maximize your shopping experience and minimize splurging on toxic foods and destructive distractions.

Go Slower Than You Think

Lastly, true, lasting transformation happens over time, not over night.

I thought I was finished. I would be good for a month and then I would binge and purge again. Then I thought I was finished when I would be good for 4 months and then I would binge and purge again. Then I went 8 months! 8 months without binging or purging, I was for sure done then, so I binged and purged again… This went on until I learned the lesson that I needed to learn. No more eating disorder! Finally, I am done… Then other things crept in. Marijuana helped me calm down while I was eating… then it helped me not have any passion or motivation… I learned my lesson and I no longer use marijuana habitually… Nicotine creeped in, 1 milligram of nicotine is a cognitive enhancer, I used it for writing… 12 milligrams is terrible and made me take naps and be mean to my mom. I learned what I had to learn and now I don’t touch the stuff… Working out! Working out is a safe a cognitive enhancer. Then working out became my whole identity and I was bored and empty… Lesson learned, and so on.

This process, if you are doing it right, will be slow. There will be many times where you feel like you will never get to your goal, you will feel defeated, your friends and family dynamics will change, it will be painful and that is how you know that you are doing it right.

Don’t give up on yourself. Your spiritual awakening begins the moment you decide to never give up. The choice to not give up on yourself will take you to places in yourself that you have never been. You will grow, you will become reborn again and again. Growth and birth are both chaotic and painful, but out of it comes something new and beautiful.

When you feel like giving up, relax and take it even slower than you did before. Remember to treat yourself with love and compassion. You are doing the hard work for you and your loved ones. Think of why you are really doing this. Ask yourself often “Why am I really doing this?”, and allow your answer to change over time. Use your answers to motivate you to make small changes. Keep in your minds eye, your why.

Of course there will be days when you feel amazing and everything seems to flow perfectly. You can see all the beauty in life and you seem to just float around without a care in the world. I love those days and I know you will have them if you surrender to the process and have faith that things will work out for you just as they were intended to.

Remember to take it slow. If One extra vegetable today is all that you can do, you are still doing it.

If you Liked this and Found it Useful

Feel free to like, share and/ or subscribe. It really helps me out and lets me know that I am on the right path.

If You are Ready to Take Life by the Ovaries and Get One-on-One Coaching

Head over to my 1-on-1 page and email me. We will set up a time and date for your free discovery call and see if we are a great fit.


References:

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16406709/
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30324651/
  3. https://www.pnas.org/content/116/24/11699
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32767708/
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21336241/
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26027199/
  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20338279/
  8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31881711/
  9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26745150/
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3385443/
  11. https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/10.1146/annurev-med-042010-113026
  12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3306519/
  13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3169452/
  14. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/files/docs/guidelines/ob_gdlns.pdf
  15. https://zenodo.org/record/1259213
  16. https://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/natural-resources-environment/organic-agriculture/organic-market-overview

Featured

How to Tell if You Have PTSD

According to Rachel Yehuda, PhD (Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, is the Director of the Center for Psychedelic Psychotherapy and Trauma Research), two thirds of people will experience something that could give them PTSD. Not only that, but trauma travels through generations and changes your genes.

She has studied the epigenetic changes in children of holocaust survivors. She noticed that they have the same hormonal stress response as their parents. This is very interesting information.


What’s Ahead:

  • How PTSD affects your weight
  • What PTSD is and What are some of the causes
  • Who is most susceptible
  • What Symptoms to look out for
  • What you can do about it

Think about it, this child of the holocaust survivor has never experienced that trauma, but they react to the stress in their lives, with the same fear, as their parents during the holocaust.

In terms of weight loss and better health, insulin is a hormone. The way your body releases and digests insulin can determine, many things, including how you store fat and whether or not you will develop diabetes. And the way you produce and use insulin can be a by product of your mother’s or father’s choices. Pregnant women who experienced famine or have a baby of very low birth weight, or who smoked have a much higher chance of their child developing diabetes[1].

If you are

Yo-yo dieting, weight loss resistance, and obesity can all be linked to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. When you have PTSD your body is experiencing a constant low level and sometimes extreme level of stress, not to mention guilt, shame, blame and negative self talk. When you add all of these things up it is easy to see how one would use food to feel grounded. On top of that, your hormones may be telling your body to store more fat, slow your metabolism, and eat more food even if you are full[3].

Many people say, oh well, my childhood was fine. I don’t know why I would be experiencing these negative effects of trauma. Trauma can be anything to anyone. Emotional abuse like bullying or neglect can change you on a deep level. It eats away at your self esteem and sense of self, leaving you with a distorted view of yourself and the world around you.

Even antibiotics can be a trauma that could leave you more likely to store fat or develope diabetes [2]. When you continue to wipe out your gut bacteria with antibiotics it sends shock waves through your whole body. Your intestine (where most of the bacteria from antibiotics is killed) potent effects on glucose-mediated insulin secretion and body weight neuroendocrine controls. Meaning, the way you metabolize sugar and store fat.

I am writing all of this to highlight the fact that sustaining weight loss and better health has a lot to do with how we handle stress, our personal history, our emotions, and even our ancestors.

I tried all the diets, I did all the fasts, I did eating disorder therapy, Overeaters anonymous, I rode my bicycle across the country, I tried running 6-8 miles a day, I did meditation… all of this helped me learn more about myself and how to manipulate my body, but I would still binge eat and throw it all up and do it over and over again. I was still filled with shame, guilt, sadness and so much anger.

It was learning to let go of that guilt, shame, anger and sadness that has benefitted me the most in my life. It is what ended my bulimia for good, it is the reason I got into this work. I saw the magic in the invisible and I needed to share it with others.

What is PTSD?

PTSD is an anxiety disorder and it is normally brought on by a shocking, traumatic, scary or dangerous event.

Some causes of PTSD:

  • Low estrogen
  • Low testosterone
  • Insomnia
  • Low levels of serotonin
  • Low levels of cortisol
  • Imbalance nervous system
  • Childhood trauma (especially sexual abuse)
  • Genetic predisposition

Who is most susceptible?

Women are twice as likely to develop PTSD than men. Specifically women who have experienced sexual assault. It’s a real shame, and it is changing, but many scientific trials have excluded women because their monthly hormonal fluctuation adds another layer to an already complicated process.

So What are the Symptoms to Look for?

Everyone can have a stress response to a traumatic event. The difference between a normal stress response (Acute stress disorder) and PTSD is the longevity and the severity of the stress symptoms.

  • Re-experiencing (or re-living) symptoms more than a month after the event. This includes flashbacks, nightmares, or scary thoughts.
  • Avoiding places, events, objects, thoughts, or feelings related to the event.
  • Arousal and reactivity, like being jumpy, feeling tense, having insomnia and having emotional outbursts
  • Cognition and mood symptoms, like amnesia, brain fog, guilt, blame, loss of interest, detachment from friends and family, negative self talk, and distorted lens for viewing the world.

These symptoms can begin during, immediately after or years after the event. If the traumatic event is something that is on-going, like an abusive relationship, symptoms will likely begin during the event and get worse the further you get from the event.

What to do About it?

  • Find a mental health practitioner that you trust for diagnosis and treatment. Mental health practitioners commonly use cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), exposure therapy, and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) to treat PTSD.
  • Because people with PTSD tend to be deficient in serotonin, the most widely prescribed and most effective pharmacological treatment is SSRIs. They inhibit the uptake of serotonin so that the body increases serotonin levels.
  • Eat an anti inflammatory diet. Inflammation of the body can cause you to be even more stressed than normal. Eliminating foods that cause you stress will help with your resilience and energy to handle life.
  • Get rid of things that add more stress to your life.
  • Take time to be present and notice what triggers you. Just notice it. And know that you don’t have to react to the trigger. You can simple observe.
  • Forgiveness. Practice forgiveness. Start with the small things. How did it make you feel? sit in that feeling for a while. Then, look for the gift, how did that event shape you, what did you learn, who have you become because of it? Then forgive through love. Don’t forget to forgive yourself. Eventually, you will be able to forgive the big things, you will be filled with compassion for all beings. This is a journey. Take it slow and learn to trust yourself again.

Example: I was cut off in traffic, I feel angry! Who does he think he is? where is he going that is so important? How inconsiderate of human life… The gift is, I love life, I am able to not react to getting cut off. I have confidence that everything will be ok. And then I forgive the man through love and sit in that feeling for a while. Feeling love and forgiveness.

Most importantly, be kind to yourself, remind yourself that you will always be there for yourself. You are not alone, this is a very common thing for men and women to go through and you can get through this too.

If you are reading this article, you are already way ahead of the game. Reading helpful information is proof that you love yourself and that you are on the right path.

If you liked this,

Feel free to like it and share it with someone that would benefit from it.

Transformational Trauma Technique

The Transformational Trauma Technique is a guided meditation that I walk my clients through, it is about forgiveness and resetting the nervous system. My clients and I have benefited from this process immensely and I highly recommend it to anyone who is ready to live a life of true freedom.

If you are interested, check out my services on my 1-on-1 page. Email me for any special requests and we will get something set up.

I am honored that you have given me your attention and I hope I have brought value into your life.

I wish you love and healing,

Jessica Ray


References:

  1. https://academic.oup.com/jcem/article/99/6/2233/2537976?searchresult=1
  2. https://academic.oup.com/jcem/article/101/5/L62/2804725?searchresult=1
  3. https://academic.oup.com/jcem/article/85/7/2499/2852559?searchresult=1
Featured

The Ultimate Guide to Meal Planning and Prepping

of our tn programs, and start your bl

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Do you find yourself so hungry and so tired that you don’t care what you eat you just need food and you need it right now!?

Are you eating your lunch and thinking about what you are going to have for dinner?Are you at work knowing you don’t have food at home and rationalizing to yourself that you should hit up 2 different drive throughs on your way home so that you can have the best burger and the best fires? And then you’ll be “good” tomorrow… So, you need to get dessert too.

Well, don’t worry, that is completely normal. We are wired to be this way. Many of our ancestors died of famine and we evolved to eliminate that possibility.

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We are creatures that are controlled (unless we are aware of it, and do something about it) by our ancient biology, AKA, our bacteria. Billions of bacteria live on and in us and control most of what we do. They are in charge of the fear we feel, the fact that we want to eat everything that we see, fornicate with whatever is left and make friends all along the way.


What’s Ahead:

  • Why meal prepping and planning is so important for sticking to health goals
  • How meal prepping and planning can save you time
  • How to plan your meals
  • How to shop for your meals
  • How to prepare your food and meals
  • Being creative and making it your own
  • Leftovers, go-to meals, batch cooking and appliances

Changing your fear response, your nervous system, your emotional reactions to things, your relationships and your body are things that take up a lot of energy. In order to have the energy to do this, it is vital that you feed your body what it needs. And, when you are tired and hungry it is very likely that you will let those ancient bacteria run their program of eating whatever they see.

Don’t let decision fatigue or hunger be the reason you lose all the great progress you have made, or hold you back from eating the way that you really want to.

Pumping your body with high quality food will change the way you operate in the world. It will increase your energy levels, it will lower inflammation, it will decreases stress, boost your immune response, increases creativity and if you have fat to lose, you will lose fat!

But, what about all the time that it takes to cook healthy meals? I don’t have that kind of luxury or the money for a personal chef.

To that, I ask, what are your priorities? Do you want more energy? Do you want to feel better? Do you want to be more loving to your family and friends? Do you want to lose weight and keep it off? If the answer is yes, then it is time to prioritize your self care and your health. When you really want something, you will move mountains to get it. Nothing will stand in your way. So, do you really want this? I know you can do it. It is a matter of choice.

You can instantly increase your energy by feeding your body what it needs. And you can create time by freeing up your mental bandwidth.

So, if you choose your health, congratulations! You are a part of a small percentage of people that are choosing to take control of their health, and you will be rewarded handsomely for it.

Let’s Begin

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Efficient and effective meal planning is a must if you are going to expect to stick to it.

Efficient and effective meal planning can be a life changer! Ultimately, if you want to sustainably lose weight, gain more energy and get healthier, cooking at home is extremely effective because you have complete control over what is going into your meal and body.

Efficient means it does not take too much time and you are not throwing away food that has gone rotten, because let’s face it, eating healthy organic foods can be costly.

Effective means that it leaves you feeling satiated, it’s tasty, you’re accessing higher energy frequencies and reaching your health goals.

If Time Your Biggest Factor, Let’s Do the Math…

Meal Planning & PreppingNot Meal Planning or Prepping
Planning the menu = 30 minutesThinking/ talking/ arguing about what you are going to eat for 3 meals a day 7 days a week= 5-10 minutes = 1 hour 45 – 3.5 hours
Creating a shopping list = 20 minutesGoing to a restaurant= 1 hour per visit and that doesn’t include deciding on which restaurant, or driving to and from the restaurant. 3 x’s per week = 3 hours
Going shopping= 2 hoursCalling a delivery service = 10min 2 x’s per week = 20 minutes
Preparing the food = 4 hoursGoing to a drive through = 30 minutes (at least) round trip. 2 x’s per week = 1 hour
Re-heating & Plating your Food = 5 minutes x 3meals x 7days = 1 hour 45 minutesMaking food from scratch= 15-45 minutes (if you know what you are doing). 14 meals a week = 3.5 hours – 10.5 hours
Total Time Spent = 8 hours and 35 minutesTotal Time Spent = 8 – 36 hours
Health Goals Achieved = YESHealth Goals Achieved = NO

Of course these numbers vary depending on whether or not you have help, if you are cooking for one vs. cooking for others and your experience level.

The more comfortable you get with a system of preparing foods the easier and faster it becomes.

Make a Menu

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This helps in 2 ways

  • 1 You will create a shopping list based on the menu and when you go shopping you can more easily avoid unhealthy impulse buys. Make sure you eat before you go shopping and stick to your list.
  • 2 It will decrease the likelihood of you overeating. When you are hungry and tired it is less likely that you will choose food wisely. If you know exactly what you are going to eat, you are less likely to act impulsively.
DayTipsExample
BreakfastRotate between a few simple and nutrient dense foodsSmoothie, Bulletproof coffee, Soft boiled eggs & berries, Avocado & smoked fish
LunchRotate between a few simple and nutrient dense foodsSalad, Turkey Wrap, Smoothie, Leftovers
DinnerFollow a pattern so that you can get in a nice rhythm. Make choices based on your scheduleMonday- New Recipe
Tuesday- Leftovers
Wednesday- Theme Night (keep it simple)
Thursday- Recipe
Friday- Leftovers
Saturday- Recipe
Sunday- Eat Out / Order In

Sample meal planning Template

BreakfastLunchDinnerSnack
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday

Menu Template

Have a Weekly Shopping Day

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Having a shopping list makes it way easier to get in and out of the store and avoid falling victim to advertisers’ mind games.

  • Avoid aisles as much as possible. Most fresh produce and meats are on the perimeter of the store. Aisle shopping is for condiments, spices and frozen fruits, veggies and meats.
  • Go shopping alone to decrease your chances of being distracted or influenced into veering from your plan.
  • Be wary of anything placed at eye level. This is done on purpose by marketers to get your attention.

Have a Weekly or Bi-Weekly Prep Day

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Have a few bulk meals on your menu and set aside 1 or 2 afternoons or evenings to prepare big healthy batch meals for the week. Divide them into portions and refrigerate or freeze them.

When you’re in a hurry later that week or just don’t have any time, you can reach for an already cooked healthy meal.

Slice and Dice, is so Nice… and Time Consuming

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Cleaning, cutting and chopping vegetables is surprisingly time consuming.

Doing it all at once, once a week and then storing them in their own little containers is so helpful and makes cooking a breeze!

If you are in a pinch you grab a little bit of this and a little bit of that and boom, you have a gourmet salad!

If you are cooking for others this works great for make your own pizza, wrap or salad themed nights.

Have Some Go-To Fall Back Meals

Having a lovely Instagram ready meal is wonderful and all but life happens and sometimes you don’t get the right ingredients, you run out of something. Or you are just busy. Save the fancy cooking for when you have a little more time to relax.

Have a few staple items like oatmeal, trail mix or smoothies to fall back on when you are in a pinch or really don’t feel like doing anything.

And don’t be afraid to throw everything in a pot and call it soup. Make it a salad or a wrap. There are no rules.

Pack Your Lunch a Night in Advance

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Pack your lunch, dinner or breakfast for work or school the night before. Put it all together in a bag and grab it on your way out the door. If you are working from home grab it on your lunch break. That way, you don’t have to take time out of your busy day to prepare something, or figure out what to eat.

Take Full Advantage of Leftovers

Yum, yum, yum, eat it ’till it’s done (That’s what she said)!

Use leftovers as lunch for the next day. Make a big lunch or big dinner and save the rest for your next meal. Throw everything in some eggs and call it an omelet. Go crazy.

When I think about my entire lifetime and all the meals that I have eaten, I am pretty boring. I have like 3-5 different things that I love for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We think we are so interesting, and that we would get bored of the same few meals over and over again but if you examine your eating patterns, chances are you can be pretty predictable and content with eating a few staples and adding in whatever is in season.

Of course it is always encouraged to try new recipes, and add in what you love, but you don’t have to be doing something new every week.

Use Appliances

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The slow cooker is amazing for throwing in a bunch of stuff and having a delicious meal later. Set it and forget it… until you eat it.

Air fryers are amazing for getting that crunchy feel of fried foods without all the oxidized fats. Especially setting it at a lower temperature for a longer time.

The Instant Pot is cool if you are going to be canning food, and you like things that break. For me it was just too many moving parts and it ended up breaking. I like the simplicity of a slow cooker.

If you found this helpful

Feel free to like, share and/ or subscribe!

I am honored that you have chose to be here with me. I only create things that I feel will, in the end, save you time, money and mental energy when reaching your health goals.

If you Want Personalized Coaching

If you would like to work with me and co-create a menu based on your individual needs, health goals, life history, and environment, I offer these services as part of my coaching program.

head over to my 1-on-1 Transformational Nutrition Coaching page for more details and to schedule your free discovery call.

If you don’t lose weight, you don’t pay me a penny!

Thank you and I love you,

Jessica Ray

Certified Transformational Nutrition Coach

Featured

1 Essential Change for Sustaining Weight Loss and Better Health (according to science).

Only 45% of Americans believe that diet programs work[4]. This could have something to do with the fact that most people who lose weight, regain more than 80% of the lost weight back within 5 years [5]. This is very discouraging and could have people feeling like attempts at losing weight and getting healthier are futile.

But, there is hope! You just need the right information. For centuries science has been focusing on a dualistic way of treating humans. They were convinced that the mind and the body were separate and they did not need to take the human soul and spirit into consideration. This part of you is very hard to measure because it is not of the material world. It is unquantifiable. It is your beliefs, your values, your passion, your purpose, your personality, your spirit. However, in recent times we, the West have been more open to the influence of the East, where they never castrated the human soul from the equation. These intangible things are very real parts of you that need to be addressed if you want to make quantum shifts in your life (i.e. weight loss & better health).

What’s Ahead

  • Implanting your dream-self consciousness into your current self consciousness for quantum change now.
  • How and why building self-regulatory skills will help you with your health goals
  • How to increase your self-efficacy so that you can have more self confidence, change your behaviors, have lasting weight loss and better health every day.

Forcing a diet and then feeling like you have “made it”, and releasing yourself back to your old habits is how the yo-yo diet stays alive. Yo-yo dieting is a symptom of disordered eating and the longer you do it, the easier it is for you to gain more and more weight, develop worse eating patterns and worsen your health[14][15][16]. You are just going from one extreme to another and your extremes get greater and greater in difference. It is like you are training your body to do this.

This doesn’t work.

So, What Works for Sustained Weight Loss?

Transformation. No more pendulum and sheer force, you must transform from a swinging pendulum to a homeostatic being.

Instead of constantly trying to change your body by sheer force and determination, you must sit with your body, be in your body, accept your body and re-learn how to live, eat, breath and move in your body.

The good news is you can do it! Because, if I can do it, so can you!

I used to want to be anywhere other than in my body. I was constantly wishing that I was different. My weight would go up and down by 15-30lbs on a monthly basis. At my highest weight, I hated myself, at my lowest weight, I hated myself even more! I realized that I could do any diet and it would work, so if all the diets work then what was broken? Me! I dedicated myself to constant growth, and then, boom, 8 years later I am transformed into someone who loves and accepts her body. And I am confident that you can do it much faster if you have the right information.

So, what do scientists say about sustained weight loss? They are basically saying you need to take a holistic and personalized approach[11][12][13]… Finally! Science has caught up with reality.

1.) Your Behaviors Must Change

Imagine I have a magical crystal ball, and in that ball you see the version of you that has the body and the health that you have always dreamed of. Do it right now. It only takes a minute. Imagine it.

What do you see? How does that version of yourself behave? What are you wearing? How are you standing? What kind of activities are you doing? What kind of energy do you have? What do you stand for? What do you not tolerate anymore? How do you feel about yourself?

You can’t solve the problem with the same consciousness that created it.

Einstein

That version of you exists right now. That version of you is becoming more and more real the more you focus on it.

Imagine if all of a sudden your mental state could not go back to the current version of yourself. Something in the ionosphere, or whatever, shifted and that consciousness of your higher self, your dream self got implanted into your current self. How would things be different? What kind of things would you do differently today? How would you behave?

What you focus on increases.

People who have directed their focus to increasing their self-regulatory skills and increasing their self-efficacy are more likely to experience sustained weight loss[6][7][8][9][10].

Self-regulatory skill and self-efficacy play major roles in our behavior. Our energy, our thoughts, our emotions can all determine how we will behave. They don’t have to, however. We can control how we respond to all of these things and ultimately change our behavior.

Self-regulatory skills are the ability to monitor and manage your energy states, behaviors, thoughts, and emotions.

How many times have you attempted to lose weight and been derailed by your own personality? I would guess every time. Yes, it may be hard to eat a certain meal because you feel fear of missing out on something better… that is your personality, not anyone else. It is unlikely that others are physically forcing you to eat stuff that doesn’t get you to your goals. If they are that is abuse and seek help. But the most likely scenario is that you have reasoned yourself out of going for a walk and not that someone has chained you to the radiator.

How to build self-regulatory skills:

If you were going to build your dream house on raw land, you would need to survey the land first. You need to take a real hard look at what you have. The type of soil, clay, sand, where is the water, where will the energy come from, how does the sun track over the land, are there trees, boulders, slopes, etc.

So, if you want to build the dream body on this body that you have now, be the surveyor of yourself. See what your working with. What is the hard wiring of this body of yours? Do you cry at the drop of a hat, do you make rash decisions when your hungry, what things in your life that stress you out? What overwhelms you with joy? What are your greatest strengths?

  • Journal
  • Do body scans often. Set your timer for 5 minutes and feel what feelings are going on in your body, think about where they are and what emotions they might be.
  • Track your sleep
  • Track your mood
  • For 3-5 days write down everything you eat and where you eat it, are you alone, in a hurry, what is your emotional state when you are eating?
  • Meditate
  • When do you have the most energy?
  • What things make you angry?

Over time you will see patterns and you will become less and less attached to your emotions, your energy, your thoughts, and even your behaviors.

I was shocked at how predictable I could be. Eat crapy toxic food one night, the next day I’d crie, the day after that the rings on my fingers fit really tight, the day after that I’d have pimples, and the 4th day I would need a nap. After watching myself go through that time and time again, I decided, NOT worth it! Maybe once a year, but one cheat day a week was destroying me.

Now that you have taken all the time you need to survey yourself, you are ready for more. But really, this stuff does take time. Don’t expect to read this and have it all stick. I recommend you bookmark this page while you are working on this and visit it as much as you need.

Self-efficacy is the belief that you can do something.

Once you start to observe your thoughts and emotions, your beliefs will start to come to the light. Beliefs must change in order for your behavior to change. You can change your behavior first, but why would you continue to do something long term if you don’t believe in it. You would eventually rationalize that it was a pointless behavior or maybe even become resentful.

Imagine again you are building your dream house. You interview 2 contractors, the first contractor believes that she can have the project complete in 12 months and under budget, the second contractor believes that this job will take 2 years and be double your budget. Which contractor is right? They both are.

Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.

hitler ‘aka’ henry ford

You have permission to examine your beliefs and question whether or not they are serving you and your dream self.

Hint: any voice in your head that is rationalizing why you shouldn’t follow your dreams is not serving you. You can make it work, you can find a way to make your dreams work.

How to build self-efficacy:

  • Write down some recurring limiting self beliefs on one side of a paper and next to them, write the opposite of that belief. When you start to hear that limiting belief coming in, replace it with the opposite, true and loving belief. Do this over and over and see how your behaviors change.

Example of a limiting belief: I keep failing at diets. I don’t think I’ll ever be happy.

Example of a true and loving belief: Every day I work to make my life happier and healthier.

Note, it may feel silly and you may hear that voice in your head whispering “Liarrrr”, but if you are reading this, today you are working to make your life happier and healthier, so chew on that for a minute.

Lastly, imagine how much nicer you would treat yourself if you believed that you were enough, just the way you are.

In Conclusion…

Holistic, behavior based weight-loss interventions, contribute to “clinically important” sustaining of weight loss and better quality of life.

If you want to lose the weight and increase your health, it would pay you good mind to work on behavior changing rather than simple blunt force starvation and physical exertion.

Remember you have a unique personality and soul that must be examined

If you found this helpful

Feel free to like, share and/ or subscribe for more.

If you would like personalized, holistic weight loss coaching…

I offer One-on-One personalized coaching. head over to my 1-on-1 page and follow the instructions there. We will set up a time and date for your free discovery session and see if we are a great fit.

Thank you for your attention. I am honored that you are here.

I love you very much and I’ll see you soon,

Jessica Ray


recourses:

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30354042/
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29686382/
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29265772/
  4. https://www.statista.com/topics/4392/diets-and-weight-loss-in-the-us/
  5. https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/74/5/579/4737391
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30462574/
  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28870208/
  8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22709701/
  9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15655039/
  10. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28486342/
  11. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31724424/
  12. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30544179/
  13. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28641912/
  14. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25614198/
  15. https://www.bodymatters.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/DSM_V_Diagnostic_Critera_for_Eating_Disorders.pdf
  16. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25614199/

Featured

A Woman Who Fears that a Burrito is Bad… Is Bad for Eating a Burrito.

Two women share a burrito. The first woman fears the burrito is bad. The second woman knows the burrito is love. Which woman suffers with digestive issues?

You have never known an empathetic salad and you have never met a self-centered burrito.

It is time to stop thinking that food is “good” or “bad”.

We homosapiens made up these words with our wise minds and somewhere along the way, wiring got crossed and we started using words and food as a way to hurt ourselves.

This type of thinking is detrimental to your mental and physical well being and if you want to free yourself from the internal battle with food, you must see food for what it is. Love.

During my 4 years of growing food I encountered hundreds, if not, thousands of food items. I learned that growing food is one of the most demanding and under paid careers that a human can choose. And this is not because the food is offensive, vulgar or manipulative. It is because farmers are a slaves to nature and our society has forgotten how valuable nature is.

The fertile the soil, the clean the air, mineral dense spring water and the sound and light that flow from our sun and universe, all determine the nutritional density of the end product… Its DNA determines whether its a banana or a human being.

As a farmer, ideally, what you are doing is tending to the earth. You are creating a fertile garden for the seeds to grow. If the soil is dry, you must water it, if the wind is too strong, you must build wind blocks, if the sun is too bright, you must create shade, and if the crops are being attacked by mice, you must invest in 1,000’s of cats. You are creating the perfect environment to enable the food grow to its fullest potential. Maybe this is why it is called Kindergarten. We are creating a loving garden for our kinders to grow to their fullest potential.

The food itself is pure love, pure God, pure nature, whatever you want to call it. It has, within it, all that it needs to grow and become whatever its DNA and environment tell it to become.

DNA holds the blueprint and the environment holds the building materials.

This is exactly the same for human beings.

Left: Color-enhanced plant roots in soil
Right: Color-enhanced Scanning Electron Micrograph (SEM) of human cortical neurons (brain cells)

When you realize that you are pure energy, pure love, pure God, pure nature, you begin to see the beauty in a burrito. A burrito is not bad. A burrito is a miracle millions of years in the making.

It is how we make our burritos that matters.

Be the change that you want to see in your burrito.

How BCAAs Can Have you Building Lean Muscle Mass when You’re NOT Resistance Training.

Why is this cool? Well, in order to understand why a BCAAs are cool, you have to know a little about protein. We are made up of about 16% protein. That is a large percentage. We need protein in large amounts to stay alive. That is why protein is called a macronutrient.

Proteins activate most of the chemical reactions in your cells. They provide structure to your bodily workings and they help bind cells together into tissues (i.e. growing a new body and brain). A lot of our body is made of tissues.

Protein is made up of Amino Acids.

Amino acids (AAs) are the building blocks of proteins. There are 20 total. 9 of them are essential (we must eat them in our diet) the rest are non-essential (we can make them with our bodies) ((so long as we are not nutrient deficient)).

BCAAs are made of 3 essential amino acids:

  • L-Leucine
  • L-Isoleucine
  • L-Valine

These 3 are especially special because, unlike the other essential AAs, they skip breakdown in the liver and go straight to work in your skeletal muscles, fat tissue and brain.

BCAAs make up about 35-40% of all of the essential amino acids in your body and 14-18% of the amino acids found in your muscles.

BCAAs are the key signal molecules that regulate pancreatic insulin[1] (a fat storage hormone) and protein synthesis.

BCAAs play a key role in protein synthesis, production of neurotransmitters and food intake regulation!!! 🙂

BCAAs are essential building blocks of protein. Proteins have many different faces and jobs. Some are responsible for movement, some proteins transport information from the outside of your cells, to the inside of your cells. Some proteins (called antibodies) protect you from disease, and some proteins actively fight viruses that have made it past your immune system and antibodies. Many of your hormones are proteins, and last but not least, proteins control your gene expression!

Who doesn’t want better gene expression?

4 Benefits of BCAAs

From left to right: Blood Cells, Fat Cells, Brain Cells. They all use BCAAs to form tissue and help the brain & body communicate
  1. They enhance muscle building and recovery
  2. They help with Sarcopenia (a loss of muscle tissue due to aging) by facilitating muscle maintenance
  3. The reduce muscle catabolism (eating itself), which helps a lot if you have just had a surgery, or if you are recovering from major trauma (mental/ emotional trauma included).[7][4]
  4. It can help with Cachexia (a weakening of the muscles do to chronic illness) by reducing the amount of muscle that is wasting away.

What Exactly Do BCAAs Do?

From left to right: Bone tissue, organ protecting tissue, fat storage tissue, skeletal muscle tissue, Outer skin tissue
  • BCAAs go straight to work in your body. They bypass the liver and head straight to where they are needed.
  • Leucine can go to work straight away in the brain. We know that leucine can signal to the body to not eat as much [5]. And this could be because the brain perceives that there is adequate protein in your system.
  • Both leucine and isoleucine supplementation improves the quality of life related to physical functioning, most likely by restoring energy generation and strength [6].
  • Isoleucine is shown to increase blood flow to the brain, which is very necessary for a happy healthy life [6].
  • Valine can help with insulin regulation and bringing more oxygen to the brain [8].
  • BCAAs stimulate lean muscle synthesis even in the absence of resistance training, making them an effective raw material for lean tissue maintenance in athletes as well as populations who are unable to exercise, but are at risk for muscle loss.
  • They can Increase energy, strength and power.
  • If you break it down, 1/3 of muscle tissue is comprised of BCAAs. Branch chain amino acids, so if you supply your body with what it needs to operate optimally, you will be feeling a lot better.

Why am I taking them?

I am taking BCAAs because I want to be a woke ass lady.

In order to become woke and stay woke, I have been doing a lot of brain exercises. I have been creating new beliefs, which create new neural pathways and I want those pathways to be built faster than normal and stronger than normal.

When your brain cells are communicating effectively and rapidly, your thoughts will be clearer, you will have more mental energy and you will be in a better mood.

So, the brain has to communicate properly with itself in order to build, it needs to be able to transmit information from nerve cells to glial cells. It does this via a neurotransmitter called Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP).

BCAAs play an essential role in the production of ATP. ATP is the basic fuel for our cells. If our bodies are not constantly making ATP, then we are dead.

One of the reasons the brain slows down as we age is because of insufficient ATP.

After going to 40 Years of Zen, a neurofeedback center that helped me to rewire and literally grow a new brain, they recommend taking 20 different supplements for the month following.

BCAAs were on that list and I’m sure it has something to do with needing extra cell energy after such an intense brain workout.

How and When to Take Them:

In the middle of your workout hold them way above your face and pour them all over yourself.

When to take BCAAs:

  • BCAA Powder can be taken before, during or after a workout for muscle building and repair.
  • If you are going to be working out for more than an hour sip on some BCAAs to keep your energy up.
  • If you are recovering from an physical injury take BCAAs to help heal your body.
  • If you are recovering from mental trauma take BCAAs to give you the mental clarity and better mood to help you get through this hard time.
  • When you are creating new habits, and belief systems take BCAAs to more quickly build neural pathways. [2]
  • If you can’t exercise and want to limit muscle loss, take BCAAs
  • if you are working on increasing muscle mass, take BCAAs

How to Take BCAAs:

  • Consider adding BCAA Powder to a protein drink or smoothie. This will help with even more protein synthesis.
  • I like to mix it into my water and take it to the gym or sauna and sip on it while I sweat.
  • Make sure to get BCAAs with No artificial ingredients, and no dyes. There are a lot of companies out there that add that crap to your BCAAs and you don’t want that.
  • Look for these 3 essential branched-chain amino acids:
    • L-Leucine
    • L-Isoleucine
    • L-Valine
  • found in dairy products and red meat, can be found in the protein of plant foods as well. Make sure you are getting high quality Dairy and meats.
  • Make sure the supplement that you are taking has third party testing. This ensures you are getting what you pay for and not ingesting ground up house plants. I look for the “GMP” (good manufacturing procedures), seal of approval.

My Intention for You:

I want you to know how your body works and how you can feel better. I want you to grown into old age with a functioning body and mind.

I want you to be empowered.

Co-create a supplement regimen with me…

All this information can be daunting and overwhelming. If you would like to meet with me and create a supplement regimen together that is designed to get you to where you want to go, Go here —> https://freetolovefood.com/single-sessions-and-workshops/, and schedule a “One Time Menu Creation, Meal Prep and Coaching” session. These include a personalized supplement regimen.

As always…

I love you and I am honored that you are here,

Jessica Ray


References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7059578/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4378292/
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28417264/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5985239/
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4121631/
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6044187/
  7. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-4939-1914-7_23
  8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/39973/

How to Stop Killing Yourself with Food. The 4 Most Courageous Things That You Can Do, Today!

We are humans. We have been given the gift of all 5 senses to enjoy food thoroughly. The smell of a slow roasted pork shoulder, the look of perfectly dressed sushi, the feel of a soft, warm cookie, the taste of fat and salt together, the sound of crunching anything. Every sense is activated when eating. And every sense can be soothed by food. It is no wonder we use food to comfort ourselves, make us feel safe, grounded or even loved.

On top of that, we are emotional creatures. Emotions are energy in motion. We are energy in motion. Constantly, sensing the world around us and making meaning of it. That takes energy. Breathing, digesting, thinking, and sleeping all take energy. If the energy leaves us, we are dead. To simplify this down, we are energy(e) in motion (e-motion). Therefore, everything we do is done during an emotion.

When we eat we are experiencing emotions. Sometimes we eat because of our emotions, sometimes we eat in spite of our emotions. No matter what, we are emotionally eating.

We are all emotional eaters. There is no way around it.


What’s Ahead:

  • How to know if your emotional eating has become destructive
  • What the destructive eating cycle looks like
  • How to disrupt the destructive eating cycle
  • The 4 most courageous things you can do
  • How to open your heart with foods, movements, thoughts and spiritual practices
  • A story of how I recently got through rejection by using emotional eating and compassion

It is Perfectly Normal to Soothe Yourself with Food.

The problem arises when you continue to use food as a way of not dealing with your emotions. When you use food as a way to bypass your emotions or suppress them, you are keeping yourself suppressed and you are ignoring your desires. You are not accepting yourself. There is real danger in using food as a way to avoid the world, avoid yourself and avoid relationships.

Always using food to avoid dealing with emotions is not a sustainable coping mechanism. It is very destructive, painful and isolating. Essentially, it is a slow murder of your soul, your desires, your relationships and eventually, your body and mind.

If you think that is dark, think about this; Eating disorders are the deadliest mental disorders known to man [1]. They kill more people than depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, by a long shot. Anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, pica, rumination and Eating Disorders Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS), like yo-yo dieting, and being extremely picky eaters are all behaviors that are important to correct.

So, how do you break free from this destructive cycle?

Seeing it helps. Know that you can stop yourself at any point and walk out of this cycle. Print this photo and keep it with you or write these things down and know that when you are feeling these things, it is an opportunity for growth and self-compassion.

2 things that are important about breaking this cycle are:

  1. Why do you want to break the cycle?
  2. What are you going to replace this cycle with?

What is your motivation to break the cycle? It can be anything. It doesn’t matter how vain or small it may seem. Whatever motivates to save your life, is perfect.

Choose higher end coping mechanisms to replace your old ones with.

Here are the 4 most courageous things that you can choose when breaking your of destructive eating cycle.

1.) Decide to Live and Ride the Waves of Your Life.

Why would you want to break the cycle in the first place?

This destructive cycle is no longer helping you to survive. It was helpful at one point, and served a purpose in the past. It helped you cope to with very strong feelings and emotions. Eating disorders don’t develop for no reason reason. They are a product of trauma and not having the tools, support, genetics, guidance, or environment to process the trauma that you have experienced.

So, come with me if you want to live…

This cycle is expediting your death. You have to choose to live your life. You have to grab your life by the horns and tell it who’s boss. You have to experience life and be open to all that life brings with it.

To start living and experiencing life, you must want to. No one else can want this for you. No matter how much I want my client to do the work and get the results, I can not do the work for them. No one else can do this for you. You have to take full responsibility for your life.

Choosing to live life on purpose takes courage, stamina and faith.

And I have great news for you. You have access to all three of those right now.

You have stamina! If you have had any disordered eating in the past or present, you have more stamina than most people. Eating disorders aren’t for the weak. Only an extremely resilient and strong people could continue an eating disorder.

It is time to take that strength and stamina and have it work for you. Not against you.

Once you decide to live, you are faced with the reality of life. You must recognize that life brings with it pain and suffering, and your decision to live life on purpose means that you are going to have to face and embrace your pain and suffering.

Nothing in this life is permanent. We get attached to people, ideas, and things, and then we lose these people, ideas, and things, and this is why we suffer.

If you want to end suffering, you can choose to be like the Buddha and not be attached to anything… He is a great example of how man released himself from suffering in one lifetime. I am grateful for his teachings and I have learned a lot about myself by doing some of his practices. However, that is not a human life, in my opinion, that is a purely spiritual life in a human body.

If sitting under a tree for 40 years sounds like the stuff that life is made of; you may find fulfillment in being a monk… Or, you may be so scorned by life, that you have resolved to not participate in it. Only you know the truth.

If you want to live your life on purpose, you accept the fact, that life has ups and downs, and you have faith that you can learn to ride the waves.

Make the choice for yourself; to live your life fully! If you are anything like me, you have already experienced what it is like to be dead inside. You know where that gets you and what it gives you. The worst that can happen, when you choose to live life on purpose, is that you give up, and you’re right here again, back where you started.

So, why not trying living for a change?

2.) Embrace Connection

Choosing to live life means that you will be choosing how you live your life. When you say “yes”, to life, you are saying no to numbing yourself out. When you spend less time avoiding your feelings, you actually have a lot more time on your hands… Now what are you going to do with all this time?

It is important to create connections. These connections will help you in times of suffering. These connections will also lead to suffering, and that’s ok. It is all part of riding the waves.

You are a spiritual being living a human existence. Humans are hardwired to want to connect.

Connection helps us to belong, and it gives us purpose and meaning. It is impossible to be spiritually healthy without connections with others (communal spirituality), a connection with yourself (personal spirituality), and a connection with nature or a higher power (environmental spirituality).

The type of connections you make are important. Surround yourself with people who are upbeat, happy, and like to do things that you like to do. Choose to connect with people that bring out the best in you.

3.) Choose Love and Happiness

Love and happiness come from within. Happiness and love are a state of being. They are are not dependant on or conditions of outside sources.

Example: You may say you love that person, or that your car makes you happy. The truth is… That person, opens you up to the place in you where you are love… That car, opens you up to the place in you where you are happy. Does that make sense. Love and happiness are states of being. These states are within you, at all times.

In any moment you can choose love or happiness.

Choosing love and happiness are the most courageous things you can do. Why? Because, life is going to continue, and in order to be in love and be happy, you have to keep your heart open. You have open yourself up, face the pain and still choose love or happiness.

Jesus, one of the most courageous men in history, always chose love and look where it got him (super influencer status).

4.) Embrace Love and Happiness

Although love can bring pain, love is the stuff that life is made of. It is relationships that give our life meaning. Embracing love means that you will own your worst fears and allow yourself to be vulnerable. You will love yourself, accept yourself, and take care of yourself.

Over time, your beliefs about yourself will change, your perception of the world will change, your habits will change, your behavior will change, your personality will change, and your friends and family will change.

Once you’ve opened yourself up, faced pain, chosen happiness, you can only be present.

You are now convinced that no matter what, you are pure and perfect and nothing can break you.

THIS is overwhelming bliss. And you will be forever changed.

How to Open Your Heart:

Being happy means that your heart is open. Closing your heart off means no more happiness.

Open Heart foods: the chakras of the body all correlate to a color of the rainbow. The food grown from earth also correlate to a color of the rainbow. Your heart chakra is green, so eat green foods to help open up your heart chakra and keep it open.

Open Heart Movements: Our mind and our bodies are connected and you can help to increase energy flow, movement or power in your body by moving your body intentionally. Open Heart movements are exactly what they sound like. Open your arms wide and make your chest as big and open as possible.

Yin Yoga flows for an open heart chakra” [2],[3] are great ways to relax into the space in your heart and physically open up that space. Yin yoga is designed to be slow and restorative. Perfect place to explore your bodily sensations, and emotions.

Open Heart Thoughts: “What would it look like if I chose love right now?”

“What lesson can I learn from this?”

“what would it look, and feel like if I loved and accepted myself in this moment, just the way I am?”

“If I loved myself, what would I do?”

“What can I be grateful for, in this moment?”

“I forgive you”

Open Heart Spiritual Practices: Daily spiritual practices help to keep your heart open.

Open your heart through gratitude and service. Love others, appreciate them, and serve them, and they will naturally love you.

As you do this work, own your worst fears, and allow yourself to be vulnerable.

Story Time!

Make a conscious choice to remain open. When you slip up, simply let it go and open up again.

I recently was stood up on a date. I was really looking forward to it and this guy and I, had flirted back and forth for the 4 days leading up to our date, then date night comes around and I get a total brush off, no response to my text, no answering the phone. He later said “sorry, I just got back from San Diego, I had to take a bunch of people to the airport”… blah, blah, blah. I said something to the effect of, “thank you for telling me, I forgive you. Your behavior will not be tolerated. Goodbye, F*** Boy (I used his actual name), It was nice while it lasted”. To which he replied, “ohhhhh wow okay you as well”. I said “thank you”, and then took myself on a self da

I was bummed out. I was super looking forward to this date. I recently decided that I am going to embrace love and bring loving relationships into my life. Which means, going on dates and being vulnerable.

So, I went to the beach, I sat on the sand, I did a breathing exercise, I walked the pier, I took myself to eat dinner and then, I sat on a lifeguard stand and watched the water for a while longer.

When I got home I ate cookies. Christmas has just passed and our house is filled with sweets and treats. I ate until I was full, a little uncomfortably full and then I stopped.

The next night (last night), I had more treats, I painted for a little. I felt sad, lonely and an overwhelming desire to have deep connection with someone, and I ate some more treats and sweets. Again, I ate until I was slightly uncomfortably full and then I stopped.

I woke up today, wrote down my dreams and did my forgiveness meditation.

Here is some of what happened in the meditation: I was feeling guilt and shame for eating sweets and treats. I was worried that I would slip back into my old ways and develop an eating disorder again. I felt disappointment in myself for eating so many cookies, for eating until I was uncomfortable, I felt shame, guilt, scared, lonely and sad. I sat in those feelings for a while. Then, I asked myself what is the gift from eating the cookies, what is the gift from feeling uncomfortable? I waited until I felt compassion for myself. I am a human, I want love, I am not getting something that I want and I am soothing myself with cookies. I am human and I want love, I have compassion for my humanity. I am grateful that I am able to understand what my clients go through, because I have gone through it. I am improving every year, I have compassion for my humanity. After I felt the compassion for a while, I worked on forgiving myself through love. Feeling love for myself. Saying, “I forgive myself”. I did this until I felt forgiveness. I felt myself morph into a cookie that became the sun, a cookie shaped sunshine with my face on it. I am the cookie. I am love.

This may sound weird, and it is, and… it works. It is shining a light on the darkness inside you and taking its power away.

Years ago, I would have let the sadness and loneliness trigger me into self harm, so that I could have a slight breeze of relief. Then, I would have let the guilt and shame of eating “too many”, cookies trigger me into taking a detox, working out nerotically, or starving myself, until it was too much and I would have binged and purged, felt relief, followed by guilt and shame, and so on.

Compassion allows you to break that cycle. It allows you to accept yourself, accept your humanity, your desires, your dreams, your fears, your attachments and simply be. Be lonely, be sad, be angry, be happy. Be able to move forward. The biggest thing is that you become free.

I took myself on a date and I met 4 different very nice men, one of whom I will be going on a date with. I let my sadness and loneliness be felt. I didn’t say, “men suck, dating is too hard, I resolve to be alone, ‘F’ the world”! I didn’t close myself off to the world. I didn’t say “No”, to life, I didn’t sabotage myself or suppress my desires. And hey, I’m still here to talk about it. What do you know.

I am so glad you are here to share this with me. I promise you, things can get better and you can feel great in your body and trust yourself around food. I can show you a way to do that.

If you would like to go deeper with me…

Head over to my 1-on-1 page and schedule a discovery session with me. We will talk about your goals, your dreams, your desires and co-create an action plan for you. If we are a perfect fit, we will go from there.

References:

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22644309/
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8k1Yp2APXqI
  3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5ZPoXWdmMg