Creative Status: Episode 25: Emily Zorn: The Realness of Food

It’s true that you ARE what you eat 👇

If you choose REAL food then you’ll have energy to keep moving and flowing with life and getting where you want to be.

If yoou choose UNREAL food then you’ll generally have less energy, feel sluggish, and be less likely to get where you want to be.

Ultimately, this all comes down to an AWARENESS of the difference between whole and processed foods and the ability to make real CHOICES given our environment and what’s possible for us.

These choices aren’t just impacted by external factors (as the ego often tells us) but by our EMOTIONAL relationship with ourselves and our levels of self-acceptance.

In this episode of Creative Status, I have a conversation with Emily Zorn (@emily_rd_ ), a registered dietitian and health coach who has worked with athletes from the Chicago Cubs, Ohio State University, and the University of Illinois.

Emily shares her passion for helping individuals achieve their health and nutrition goals through personalised coaching that takes into account the physical, emotional, and environmental aspects of eating.

We delve into the topic of REAL and unreal food and how the food choices we make are a reflection of our relationship with ourselves.

Emily explains how real food is nutrient-dense and supports our overall health and well-being, while unreal food provides little to no nutritional value and often leaves us feeling unfulfilled. Ultimately, it comes down to the difference between WHOLENESS or FRAGMENTATION (as per everything else).

Throughout the episode, Emily provides practical tips and strategies for making healthier food choices and developing a positive, real relationship with food.

She emphasises the importance of personalised nutrition and accountability, and how a real relationship with food can make all the difference in achieving your health goals.

Join us for an insightful conversation on how to become the healthiest and happiest version of yourself through focused choices about the food we eat and where it comes from!

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Episode Links:

Learn more about Emily: emilyzorn.com

Emily’s Instagram: ⁠⁠⁠⁠instagram.com/emily_rd_

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Show Transcript

Intro

Oli Anderson: Oh, hi there! Oli Anderson here, you’re listening to Creative Status, this podcast about using your creativity to improve your life. Today, we are talking about how you can apply all of the things we talk about on this podcast, i.e. growing real, moving towards wholeness, making choices for authenticity and blah blah blah. We’re applying all of that stuff to nutrition and food.

This is an interview with Emily Zorn, who is a life coach and nutritionist, and ultimately, we just decided to pick apart food from the point of view of real nurse and creativity and all these different things. It’s a really interesting conversation, especially if you like food. I’m Emily, thank you so much for coming on here and letting me interview you and everybody else.

I really hope you enjoy this interview and get some insight. Here we go.

Interview

Oli Anderson: Oh, hi there, Emily! Thank you so much for joining me today on this episode of Creative Status. We’re going to talk about, I’m assuming, food, because that’s your thing. Before we get into it, do you feel like introducing yourself and also letting everyone know what you hope to get out of this conversation today?

Emily Zorn: Absolutely. Well, thank you so much for having me. I’m super excited to have this conversation with you today.

Hello, everyone. My name is Emily Zorn, and I’m a registered dietitian and owner of Emily RD Nutrition Coaching. I’m living out in California in the US, and I own a nutrition coaching business. So I started my career off in sports nutrition.

I worked with collegiate and professional athletes for five years, and then I transitioned over into working with a wider variety of people because I’ve really found the need to help people not just with the food, with the nutrition piece, but also how to implement it into their lives and look at people and nutrition holistically. So it’s not just about what you eat, when you eat it, and how much it’s taking into account how you feel about yourself and why you make decisions in your environment, and all of this other stuff.

So what I’m hoping to get out of our conversation today is really just that, just digging deeper into the relationship between a person and themselves and food and how it’s all interconnected, because it really is what I’ve found throughout my six years as a dietitian. It’s super powerful when you’re able to tap into that side of nutrition beyond just this is how many calories you need and what kind of food you need to eat.

Oli Anderson: Wow. One of the main reasons I wanted to talk to you is exactly because all you just said, which is that food is ultimately so interconnected to so many different areas of our lives. For me, living a good life is about living a real life, which just means that you’re not blocking your own expansion and progress towards more wholeness and more connection to yourself and others and you keep growing and flowing and blah blah blah, but food plays a massively important role in that because if we make bad food choices or the wrong food choices, then it can affect our health, it can affect our energy levels, and by extension, that affects everything else that we do. And so I really wanted to just dig into that and to pick it to pieces, because food is one of those things that is connected more than anything else to the natural processes of life itself.

If that makes sense, food obviously comes from the ground, it comes from nature, and so if you get food stuff right, probably you get a lot of other things right as well in your life and the way that it goes.

I don’t know if that sounds too dramatic or over the top, but does that kind of resonate with the kind of way that you see it?

Emily Zorn: Oh, definitely. I mean, definitely not too dramatic as a dietitian food is my life, right? And I’m thinking about it all the time. We all have to, right? What you said about how your connection to food really shows how we’re doing in other areas of our lives.

Well, food is something that all of us need to think about every single day, and it’s just something that fuels us. So if we’re able to get that right, it really is quite a good mirror into the rest of our lives. So I definitely agree with what you’re saying. there.

Oli Anderson: Awesome. So one very simple way that I’ve looked at the food stuff in my own life is in a way that I also look at everything else. So there’s two ways of saying it. You can either say that it’s real versus unreal or slightly more philosophically, you can say that it’s about wholeness or it’s about fragmentation. For me, what we need to do as human beings to live a good life, like I said, is to keep moving towards wholeness.

Wholeness means that we’re connected to ourselves, we’re connected to the world, and we’re connected to reality and nature itself at the deepest possible level for ourselves. And when it comes to food, I think we can basically make a choice between whole foods, which are foods where you look at them and you know what it is, and fragmented foods or processed foods, where you look at it and it’s got all kinds of different chemicals, all kinds of different bullshit in it, and you don’t actually know exactly what you’re eating. And it seems to me that if you’re eating the whole food, then that generally leads to health.

And if you’re eating the fragmented food or the processed food, that leads to low energy and bad health and all that kind of stuff. Maybe that’s too simple, but would you say that it does work on those kind of general principle?

Emily Zorn: No, I love that. I love your discussion around wholeness versus fragmentation, especially as it comes to food. I mean, as you’re saying that the first thing that comes to mind is the difference between grabbing some frozen meal out of the fridge, putting it in the microwave, eating it, and on the other side, to make it very extreme on the other side, going to a farmer’s market, seeing the farmers who grew your food, picking it up, bringing it home, cooking it, it’s just a totally different experience.

And I do want to say we live in this modern society where many people don’t have access to a farmer’s market.

It’s expensive. Maybe we don’t have time to cook like that every day, but it is just good to notice that, hey, there is a difference between having those whole foods, putting your soul and your time into creating a meal, that experience, it goes beyond the food, even if you’re having potatoes, chicken, and carrots, right?

Whether it’s in the frozen microwave, dinner form, or making it yourself, it’s the same macronutrients, it’s the same protein, carbs, fat, calories even, but it’s a different experience. And that’s where food becomes more than just the tangible what it is and can really pull in emotion, mental status, all of that.

So yes, I think that that’s a great way to put it. Also, my personal view on this is if we could eat the whole foods 100 % of the time, that would be amazing, but a lot of us can’t, like I said before, for money reasons, time reasons, whatever it is.

So it’s okay if you aren’t 100%. I often tell people, if we can eat those whole foods and eat healthy 80 % of the time, you’re winning. There’s gonna be times where we’re not perfect and not beating ourselves up and making us feel bad and guilty about ourselves and oh, I’m such a failure, that’s not doing anyone any good. So it’s all about setting the standard for yourself, right? The more whole foods, the better, but some of the not so healthy stuff is okay.

You can still be healthy overall and not be at that 100 % whole food all the time.

Oli: Wow. So this is bringing us onto this idea of the choices that people make. So I agree with you completely. In an ideal world, we’d just be eating whole foods. It would have been fairly freshly killed if it was meat and we were meat eaters.

It wouldn’t have been sat in a freezer or on a shelf for days and days, and that would be the choice that we would make. But obviously, because of all the pressures on our lifestyles or because of our emotional stuff or whatever it is we’ve got going on individually, we can always choose that.

And so do you think there’s something around the way that we make choices and how that reflects on, I guess, what’s going on inside of us emotionally, but also how we might see ourselves and how we might see our lives and the power that we have over it, if that’s not opening up too much?

Emily: No, no, I think that is so important and truly a side of nutrition that as a dietitian, we’re not taught about this stuff in school, at least not here in the US, right? We’re not really encouraged to dive deeper into how do our food choices reflect our lives and why do we make food choices in all of this? And so I’m also a certified life coach and I did that because I saw that this was such an important piece of health and nutrition.

So I definitely have thoughts. Yeah, when we value ourselves and look at ourselves as an asset and something worth taking care of, we do everything we can to make those choices in the environment that we’re in as much as possible that serve us, right? And also there’s another piece to that where when we have that deep connection with ourselves and truly value ourselves and and are able to turn in.

That’s also when we have a better read on what our body is trying to tell us. And that is such a huge part of eating and nutrition. Something I share with people a lot is the scale. It’s called the hunger and fullness scale. And it gives numbers to feelings of hunger and fullness and satisfaction.

And it’s really eye-opening for a lot of people to look at this and realize, oh, I shouldn’t just eat because something is there. What I can do instead is check in and say, am I hungry? How hungry am I? Trying not to get too hungry because that’s when biology just takes over and you wanna eat whatever’s around. Like really playing around with that and learning when our body tells us that it’s hungry, when it tells us that it’s full and what that looks like. Cause it’s very different for each person. So yeah, really having that ability to have that connection with ourselves, love ourselves, trust ourselves.

That’s probably one of the biggest things I see with people is trusting that your body is going to tell you what to do and then you know how to respond and putting yourself in an environment where you’re able to make those healthy choices based on what your body is telling you. So there’s a lot there.

Oli: Yeah, so one thing I was thinking there is, at the start of the conversation, we were talking about the wholeness slash fragmentation thing. So again, to sound like a broker record for me, like everything is about moving towards wholeness.

This podcast is about creativity but it opens up so many other areas of exploration because when you start moving towards wholeness, well, that just brings everything that human beings do into the equation. And so here with food, there’s almost an element of, if you are moving towards wholeness, then you’re kind of in the flow of life and that means that you do trust yourself and that you accept yourself and that you can handle obstacles that pop up along the way and all these kinds of things.

If you can do that and you’re struggling because you’ve got too many emotional and mental blocks that you’re putting in your path, well, that is because you become fragmented within yourself to some extent.

And so if we’ve said that this applies to food as well, there’s whole food, there’s fragmented food and there’s choices that we can make around that, it’s almost like if you can be present with yourself, if you can be present with life, you’re more likely to make choices for the whole foods and if you’re not, you’re fragmented and you’re distracted and you’re constantly trying to hide from yourself or run away from your experience of whatever’s going on inside of you because of shame and guilt and trauma and blah, blah, blah.

That’s when you’re gonna use food as an extension of the fragmentation, which means food becomes a distraction and so you’re not listening to your body, you’re just eating for kind of mind-driven reasons. I don’t know if that was a very long-winded way of saying that but do you see what I’m saying?

Like the choices basically come down to the way that we identify and how present we can allow ourselves to be and there’s almost a presence-based way of approaching food and a distracted way of approaching food.

Emily: Absolutely, 100 % and that’s another big topic that I feel very strongly about is the whole idea of mindful eating, present eating. Just like my example earlier where, you know, the frozen meal versus farmer’s market meal, there’s a big difference between making yourself a plate, sitting down, focusing on it, not listening to anything, not watching TV, not reading anything, just eating your food and paying attention how it feels in your body compared to that same amount of food thrown into a bowl, grab a spoon, sit down on the couch and eat it, right? And that’s just like the, you know, frozen meal versus the farmer’s market meal.

It’s okay to do that. I’m a dietitian, I do this for a living and sometimes that second scenario where I’m sitting in front of the TV eating out of a bowl, that happens. But the ability to recognize that there is a difference between these two experiences even if it’s the exact same food.

So I love how you simplified it there about the presence versus distraction. When we’re able to give ourselves that gift of being present with ourselves, focusing on the meal, and we don’t always have to be by yourself, you know, you’re with a partner, you’re with a friend, you’re with a group of friends, family, whatever it is, but not purposely distracting yourself from what you’re eating or from your environment. And that’s where emotional eating comes in, stress eating comes in. It really is, you know, grabbing a handful of chocolate chips or the whole bag of chocolate chips and just eating that. Like it does give you that initial sense of this is calming.

It’s different for different people, right?

This is very personalized, but it’s either calming or it’s a treat at the end of the day or it makes me feel happier, whatever it is. For a lot of people, that is way easier than sitting with yourself and figuring out, okay, I’m craving chocolate chips, something soothing right now, what could that be that isn’t food? Food is so quick and easy. Even if it makes us feel bad an hour after you eat the whole bag of chocolate chips, in the moment, our body just craves that. Our body and our brain and our emotions, we’re just craving something soothing and that’s easy.

Takes a lot more deep diving into yourself and coaching and all of those sort of things to not only break that habit, but go even deeper and figure out why am I doing this? What am I searching for? What feeling am I searching for from the distracted overeating? And how can I get that in a way that doesn’t involve food?

And how can I use food in the opposite way to be more present and maybe even get those comforting, soothing feelings while being present with myself and eating the whole meal? So it’s a lot going on here. But yeah, I think it’s all very interconnected.

Oli: Wow. Can you talk a little bit more about the emotional eating stuff? So for me, I think in general, people are either shame driven, which means that they end up being one of these kind of mind driven people that I was kind of talking about who end up trying to distract themselves. Or they either kind of shame free or they’re shame dissolving, which means that they may have some underlying shame, but they’re aware of it, they’re accepting it.

They’re not trying to hide from it, basically. But I find that the shame driven people, they’re the ones who end up just doing everything mechanically. It just becomes, you know, like a distraction, like I said, or purely instinctual, purely habitual. And do you think that applies to the emotional eating stuff and the way that people are driven to either eat in a mechanical way or maybe in a more creative way?

Emily: Oh, yeah, really good question. So yeah, when it comes to shame, I think a lot of this has to do with just what people have been fed, pun intended, their whole life about food and what it means. So if we grow up in a household where every time you eat a cookie or a piece of cake, you have someone commenting on like, Oh, you’re so bad, or are you sure you want that?

And comments like that, they get very ingrained in our brain. So if that is, and it doesn’t even have to be in the home, it can simply be from diet culture, or on Instagram, and you’re being fed all these different detox teas, and, you know, do this diet and lose all this weight and quick fixes this and that.

It’s just all around us that eating bad foods makes you a bad person that it’s just bad, bad, bad all around. So then it makes sense when people start eating, you know, they have the shame, but they want the cookies. So they start eating the cookie, and nothing wrong with eating one or two cookies every now and then I’m all for it. But then the whole shame cycle starts as well.

I’m now a bad person because I ate the bad food. So I’ll just keep going. And that’s where it becomes an issue, right? Then it’s I instead of two cookies, I had 12 and then I just grab the bag of chips instead. And then it’s just the shame cycle. And it becomes a habit, right? And if that’s your habit of, you know, I eat clean all day long, and then I have the one cookie and it turns into a whole thing. Then it’s a habit.

So yeah, very, it can be hard to break. But I really think for a lot of people, it’s just the first recognition of, Hey, in all honesty, there’s no good food and bad food. There’s food that makes us feel better.

That’s whole. And then there’s food that’s there, but it doesn’t make us a bad person by eating it. So by allowing us to allowing ourselves to say, Hey, I can have whatever I want, whenever I want, but I check in and recognize that when I eat the healthier foods, I feel way better emotionally and mentally, physically.

This goes back to the trust to that we start trusting ourselves that we will make the right decisions. And then it helps get rid of the shame of bad food I eat it. I am then a bad person.

So I think that’s a first step into this. And, you know, I’m, I’m not a therapist. So I a lot of times when I do meet with clients, it gets to the point where, you know, I make sure that they are seeing a therapist as well, because your life coaching is not therapy. But we can touch into some of these topics as well and recognize that, yeah, the shame and the distractiveness the instinctual just grabbing for something, we can try to loosen that up and break it down and figure out, okay, where’s this coming from and how do we rebuild new habits and new neural pathways into what we want, which is, you know, a more wholesome approach to nutrition and less shame around food.

Oli: Wow. Do you think, like, in general, so obviously, everyone’s different, but do you think you can look at the food habits or the food relationship that somebody has and you can almost reverse engineer those choices that they’re making to basically get a better understanding of what’s going on inside them. I don’t know if that makes sense. Do you know what I mean? Does that even make sense?

Emily: Yeah. Yeah, it does make sense. It’s whether taking a look at how people make choices around nutrition, whether that has a connection to how they are emotionally, mentally at that time.

Yeah, definitely. And again, I don’t want to step outside my scope too much, but I do, I do see that because nutrition has, like I said earlier, it has an effect on all of us. We all need to eat. It’s something we have to do multiple times a day.

So it’s kind of a microcosm of our entire lives, right? If the food is something that we’re fueling our bodies while we’re making the good decisions, we’re taking a step back and saying, how will this meal impact me for the rest of today, the rest of the week?

Having that comfortable and confident feeling around food would definitely translate to, for the most part, a comfortable, confident feeling in other parts of a person’s life, you know, just emotionally, mentally, all of that. So, and then on the other end, if someone, like we talked about earlier, if someone’s using food to distract themselves or to self soothe, there’s a reason for that, right? We’re not just distracting ourselves from nothing. We’re soothing ourselves from nothing.

So this is where food gets very emotional and taking a step back from, this is what you’re eating now and this is what you’re supposed to eat. Like, that’s not the issue. The issue is further below. It’s more of the why and helping a person, not, you know, it’s not my job to talk to someone and say, oh, this is your why.

This is why you’re shamefully and distractedly eating. Like, no, it’s, it’s my job to ask the questions to help them realize for themselves because they, you know, I always tell people I’m an expert in nutrition, but you’re an expert in yourself and your life and your body. So you tell me, I’m just here to ask the questions like you tell me what it is in that situation, like what feelings are coming up for you. And then, like you said, we reverse engineer it and try to get to the real true heart of the matter, like, what, what is off? And how can we correct that to then cascade into not only nutrition, but every other piece of our lives so we can make sure that we’re feeling like we’re on a good place emotionally and mentally, which then can spill over into the physical side as well.

Oli: Wow. Normally when I’m working with people in my coaching practice or when I’m talking about this stuff with people, it almost always boils down to the way that they think and the underlying emotional stuff that is influencing those thoughts.

And I found that the underlying emotional stuff is almost always a combination of shame, guilt, and in the extreme cases trauma. And so maybe this is throwing out a massive curveball, but if you were going to reverse engineer food habits back to those emotions, what might it look like? So we’ve already talked about the shame thing. So if somebody is very shame driven, for example, then they’re going to probably be eating in a distracted way.

They’re going to be very mechanical about the food choices that they make. They might sometimes deny themselves certain things because they’re ashamed of how people might see them, blah, blah, blah. But is there anything around the guilt and the trauma stuff? Maybe. And I know it’s outside of maybe you’re not a therapist and all that stuff like you said, but are there any things that you might have noticed?

Emily: Sure. Yes. And everyone listening, take this with a grain of salt, but with the guilt piece, how I could imagine that playing out is if someone is living constantly feeling guilty about different things in their life, whatever that is, if that’s their their core feeling, then yeah, that would definitely spill over into food.

And you know, maybe a similar way as the shame in that you feel guilty for eating that slice of pizza when you told yourself you were going to not eat carbs all week, whatever it is. So you feel guilty and then that spirals. And when it comes to nutrition, a lot of times it is just. what I see a lot is this spiral where logically people know, you know, honestly, if I have one slice of pizza, I know that’s not gonna throw me off, but it’s something about, yeah, with the guilt, if you have a piece of pizza and then this, the floodgates just open and then it’s like, well, I feel guilty already. This is what I was trying to avoid by not eating carbs. So I’ll just continue to make myself feel worse, guiltier and guiltier by eating more and more.

So that’s what comes to mind with the guilt. And then, you know, trauma, I think that would play more into trying to soothe our feelings that come up from that trauma, whether, you know, it’s seeking safety, comfort, happiness, whatever it is that is missing because of that trauma, food is a quick and easy way to get that in the short term. So for those types of clients, it’s, and if anyone is dealing with trauma, definitely a time where I would refer out to a therapist as well, but with those types of clients, it’s just getting them to see, really dig deep, figure out what the feelings are, and then coming up with new go-to habits that can give them just the same feelings that they get from, you know, a big bag of chips or whatever and also getting to look in the long term, where it could be really tempting and simple and easy to just say, I’m unhappy, I know eating a bag of chips is gonna make me happy, so I’ll do it.

Instead, helping them take a step back and say, how is this, I’m not talking like a one ounce bag, I’m talking like the big bag of chips, how is eating this whole bag going to make me feel in three hours, in a day, in a week, like looking at the big picture? And finding ways to replace that, because we can’t just go from, well, this was my go-to for comfort, now I have nothing, right, so talking about other ways to seek that comfort.

Oli: Wow. What you’re just saying there as well about, you know, kind of thinking about the future, that’s made me think about something I never thought about food choices, but actually it’s kind of obvious, if you value yourself, then probably you’re gonna have some kind of a vision for the future and where you’re going and the kind of person you’re becoming and all that kind of stuff, and that means you are more likely to choose the healthier whole foods, because you’re growing and into wholeness and expanding and all that stuff.

If you don’t have a vision or something for yourself, then you’re just gonna make choices in the short term, and again, that’s gonna be reflected in the food choices, I would assume, where you’re just gonna eat that big bag of chips and you don’t really, you know, you just don’t care what happens, because it doesn’t really matter in your view of yourself. Is that…

Emily: That’s big, yeah. I love that.

Oli: Wow. So if somebody is in that situation then, where, you know, they’re just making these short term choices, it’s all very distraction, and they’re not really that bothered about the health consequences and all that kind of stuff, but maybe deep down, they do wanna make some changes, how can they make a shift from that kind of short term way of seeing things to a kind of longer term relationship with themselves and food by extension?

And just to open that up even more, is there something there around creativity maybe, because obviously, the theme of this podcast, but also ritualizing the food and the relationship with the food?

So the reason I’m bringing rituals into it is because that example you gave earlier about, you know, getting the food from the farmer’s market versus the, you know, microwave dinner, whatever it was, the, it’s the same food, but in a way, the whole approach, the farmer’s market approach, is almost more of a ritual that is bringing us into the present and all of the things that come with that, even if we do have this long term vision.

So that was a very, you know, rambling way of answering, asking that question, but what do you think about all that?

Emily: For sure. So yeah, so from what I understand from the question, it’s how can a person go from the short term, just eating to, you know, feel good in the moment, how can they go from that to having this long term vision and plan and ritualizing the food?

Yeah, no, I love that, with the umbrella of creativity as well. So what I would suggest for a person, and you know, this can be hard to do by yourself. So try it by yourself, but also know there’s lots of coaches out there who specialize in this specific thing as well. So it’s all about, like you said earlier, in the short term, it’s when people have that short term, whatever, I’m just gonna eat this, it doesn’t matter.

You’re lacking the vision, you’re lacking the long term goals. So this is what I do with anyone who’s interested in making nutrition changes. We don’t start by saying, what do you eat? What did you eat today?

You know, tell me everything. No, that’s the last thing we do. The first thing is we talk about that vision.

We say, what is it you want to achieve? What, and it doesn’t have to be, I wanna lose 20 pounds. I wanna gain all this muscle. I wanna do this, I wanna do that.

For some people, it’s just, I wanna live a healthy lifestyle and I wanna feel confident in myself and my choices. Love that. Whatever your vision is, it’s personal. So we talk about what is this vision?

What do you want to achieve? And even then, we don’t start planning. We take another step back and say, okay, how would your life change if you were to achieve this goal?

What would be different? Why is this important to you? Getting down to the why? Because without the why and without the motivation, it’s just, here’s the goal, here’s the plan. And if it were that simple to reach the goal, oh, I’m just gonna dive in and follow the plan, then people, it as a whole would be in a lot better place than we are right now with nutrition and emotions and all of this. So really important that you take a step back and say, why do I want this? How will my life be different?

Get really jazzed, really excited about this future. Visualize it. And this is where the creativity comes in.

Wow. I know we’re not talking about visualization and manifestation, all of that stuff, but there’s really something to be said for. Close your eyes and picture yourself when you’re at this peak of where you want to go. Like what is life gonna be like?

Write all the things down that come to your mind. So then you’re super excited. And that’s when we start talking about the plan.

How are we gonna get you from where you are now to this amazing version of yourself that you have visualized? Yeah, and that’s where dietitian work comes in. But when it comes to like you said, ritualizing food, I think that’s such an important piece of it as well. So that with this plan, we make it something that someone is able to do. We can’t go from I don’t cook at all to now I’m cooking three gourmet meals a day.

Like that’s not gonna work for someone, but making a plan and coming up with a ritual that’s going to work for them and that they’re going to be able to stick with is so important. And this is where again, creativity can come in. It doesn’t have to be boiled chicken and rice and broccoli. I know that’s like the go to and I’m like the ultimate helping meal. Let’s get fun with it.

Like what food do you love and what food do you hate? And let’s make sure that we come up with a plan that’s fun and easy to follow that can get you where you want to go. And then after that, it’s all just a matter of following it. Nutrition doesn’t work even as fast as exercise. Like you could start seeing gains a lot faster with the exercise piece like, oh, I’m able to lift more, I’m able to run farther, all of that. Nutrition takes time. So it’s really just about being patient and ignoring what everyone else is trying to sell you, which is lose 10 pounds in a week, take this pill, whatever. That’s not what it’s about. It’s about coming up with this plan that you can follow forever that suits you, that is getting you to your vision. And then you follow it and you look back a year later and say, oh my gosh, I’m a totally different person. I feel so much better. I’m more confident, all of the things.

So a long-winded answer to your question, but to summarize it, it’s all about coming up with your vision, getting to the why and then creating a plan that is gonna be sustainable and get you to that vision.

Oli: Wow. Do you think we could say that food is kind of the fuel for the vision?

Because obviously- Oh, I love that. If you make- the right choices or the whole choices as we keep saying, then obviously you’re going to have more energy, you’re going to be involved in different journeys or different rituals on the way to wherever your vision is taking you.

So to go back to your example again, there are rituals always involved in the food eating process or the food consumption process, but they’re so different depending on which path you’re putting yourself on. So if you’re in this short term way of seeing yourself and living, the journey you’re going to find yourself on is going to a really kind of antiseptic, empty, horrible kind of vapid environment like a supermarket and there’s all the bright lights and everything and then you go home, you put it in the microwave, you press the buttons and then that’s it.

You stuff your face, you watch TV, you roll over, you go to sleep or there’s the other rituals on the other path where you have to wake up and then you go down to the farmer’s market or wherever it is and you’re selecting specific veg based on how it looks and how it feels in your hand and all that kind of thing and then you go home and you have to be present as you cook it and obviously it’s whole food so it’s going to energise you more and blah, blah, blah.

Maybe I’m romanticising a bit, but those two ways of being, they put you on totally different paths and totally different human experiences and if you choose the second path, which is the path of wholeness as I’m going to call it, then ultimately that becomes fuel for you expanding and growing and becoming this person that you want to become versus just staying the same, which is what you don’t even want to be anyway. If you go back to what you were saying about reverse engineering, the emotional stuff that would lead to you living that kind of a life anyway in the first case.

Emily: I love that. I love that. And what you said about good food being the fuel for you to expand and grow. What that brings me to is changing our view about food and recognising, like I said in the beginning of this episode, whole food from the farmers market, it can tend to be more expensive than the frozen processed stuff, but are you willing to invest in yourself presently and in your future?

If you have this vision for yourself, you want to expand, you want to grow. Why not invest in something that you do multiple times per day? Invest your money, invest your time, invest your focus. I mean, I’m biased, but I can’t think of a better thing to invest your time, money and focus in than the fuel that’s going to help you reach your utmost potential.

Oli: So I’ve never thought of it like that before, but you bang on. Like food ultimately is an investment. It’s like working out. Like I work out like a lot.

I do loads of yoga and push-ups and pull-ups, whatever it is. Like every workout that I’ve done, like if I look back over time, it’s been an investment because those push-ups that I did, you know, 10 years ago, whatever, like I’m still benefiting from them now.

Like if I go hiking or if I’m hanging out with my mates or whatever and I’ve got loads of energy, it’s because those workouts and the investment of my time basically led to that. And actually, it’s exactly the same with food. Like if you are consistently eating healthy food, good food, then you’re going to have more energy and that’s going to allow you to get better results overall in all the other things that you’re doing. It’s going to allow you to keep moving. And so, yeah, food is an investment.

That’s ultimately what I have learned from this conversation.

Emily: I love it. Yeah.

Oli: We’ve said a lot and we’ve actually run out of time, but have you got any final thoughts? Like obviously, we’ve covered quite a lot in a very short amount of time.

We’ve gone all over the place, but it makes a lot of sense. I think everything that you’ve shared and the amazing things that you’re saying. But have you got any final words?

And can you also tell people where they can find you as well? If they want to work with you or talk to you about this stuff?

Emily: Yes, of course. So final words would just be wherever you are, wherever… If these things were saying about, oh gosh, when I eat the one cookie, it then turns into 12.

Or just that loss of control. Wherever you are on your path, know that it’s your own personal path. And don’t look to anyone else for the answers.

Because you have the answers in yourself. And saying that, like coaches can help, dietitians can help. What I mean is don’t look on Instagram and see an influencer who said that they, you know, did keto for four months. And that’s why they look the way they do. Maybe that worked for them.

Figure out what works for you. Right? Everything is very personalized. And the more we can take the shame and guilt out of food, the better off you’re going to be. That’s the shame and guilt is not helping anyone in the long term.

So that’s what I would say. Everyone’s unique. Every body is unique and everyone needs a different approach. And then places where you can find me. So I am on Instagram and my handle is Emily underscore R.D. underscore.

I also have a podcast. It’s called RDS versus BS. So registered dietitians versus BS. And we talk about everything intermittent fasting, keto, paleo, supplements, all sorts of stuff.

And break it down into what’s legit and what’s BS. So that’s on Apple podcast, Spotify, all the platforms. And then lastly, I also have my website. So Emily Zorn.com. It’s Z O R N. And I have all of, you know, bunch of information on there about working with me free intro sessions. I have a course that I just published a couple of months ago.

So definitely check that out. But Oli, I want to thank you so much for having me on this podcast. It’s really been a pleasure speaking with you.

Oli: Well, Emily, it’s been a pleasure hearing all this stuff.

I’ll put all your links and everything in the show notes so people can find them easily. But yeah, I think this idea that, you know, we’ve basically led everything towards of this food, been the fuel for our vision or our creativity and all that kind of stuff is so important.

So hopefully you’ve inspired people to make some better choices. But yeah, thank you once again, I’m going to go to McDonald’s now and I’m sure you are too.

Emily: Yeah, I’m glad I inspired you. Thanks again.

Oli: Thank you so much.


Creative Status Podcast

If you're interested in growing REAL, creativity, and living a life that you really want to be living then check out the latest episode of Creative Status - a podcast about deconstructing ego, integrating the shadow, and learning to trust life.


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Hi, I'm Oli Anderson - a Transformational Coach for REALNESS and author who helps people to tap into their REALNESS by increasing Awareness of their real values and intentions, to Accept themselves and reality, and to take inspired ACTION that will change their lives forever and help them find purpose. Click here to read my story about how I died, lost it all, and then found reality.

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