top of page

Practical Tips That Will Help You Finally Stick with Home Cooking Micole Rondinone

3 Things We Dive Into In This Episode:

  1. Leaning on self-trust in the kitchen to listen to our bodies, honor our cravings and preferences, become more intuitive home cooks

  2. Flavor as the North Star of home cooking and condiments as the easiest way to make restaurant quality food at home

  3. How individualized services can help create structure in the kitchen for those with neurodivergent brains

  4. Preventing burnout in the kitchen and in life


⭐️About Micole

Micole is a trained chef & kitchen cheerleader on a mission to transform culinary education. Her Platform, The Kitchen by Micole, teaches super simple diet-culture free cooking for all brains & all bodies. She helps women implement simple systems & solutions that transform their unrealistic cooking into no-brainer solutions for the everyday BS they face at mealtime -- all while having a little delicious fun along the way.

You can learn more about Micole and her work on her website and instagram.

📌Episode Highlights

How to Cultivate Self-Trust as a Home Cook:

  1. It’s important to first identify what about meal prepping, grocery shopping, and cooking is causing nervous system dysregulation.

    1. Take the parts of the process that are stressful and come up with a system that works for you

      1. Might look like snacking while you cook, stocking with foods that you have a specific plan on how to prep, viewing food as life-giving nourishment, etc.

  2. Notice when ordering food or going to a restaurant might serve you better than meal prepping. There can be room for both in a way that doesn’t feel rigid or restrictive.

  3. Rely on condiments (or as Micole calls the Flavor Library) to make your meals taste like restaurant quality food.

    1. Flavor instantly enhances any dish, so have a few on hand at all times that you love

    2. Having condiments, oils, sauces, and toppings on hand also help prevent burnout in the kitchen by providing simple ways to change the flavor profile of the base foods you eat the most

  4. Make grocery shopping as easy as possible.

    1. Have a general list, but more importantly make sure each item you buy has a specific intention. Don’t buy anything without having a plan of how to prep/cook it

  5. You absolutely can have restaurant quality food at home, but the presentation doesn’t have to be restaurant quality. It doesn’t matter what it looks like, it only matters what it tastes like!

  6. If you want to eat healthier, get clear on what health really means to you.

    1. You can prioritize health and have delicious food simultaneously

    2. If you aren’t sure what your health goals are you can work with an RD like Caitie and chef like Micole to help guide you

  7. How to prevent burnout in the kitchen:

    1. Take breaks! You don’t have to meal prep and cook every day of the week. Do what works best for your schedule, lifestyle, and mental health

    2. Take as many shortcuts as possible by buying high quality, pre-made items where it makes sense

    3. Be realistic about how much time you have to prep/cook and plan meals accordingly

    4. Maintain a sense of novelty by relying on condiments/sauces to make dishes diverse without the effort

  8. Allow life to happen. If you don’t stick 100% to a meal prep schedule, grocery list, etc. it isn’t the end of the world. There is no need to shame yourself for not cooking sometimes.

Thanks for listening! 💖 Stay tuned to my website for more episode updates and other exciting programs and resources.


0:00:00 Micole And then I think it's also just about letting go and being a little less strict. There's so many rules about food that I don't even know who made them up. It's so bizarre to me. I'm like, who said you can't have a snack while you're cooking or eating? But I think a lot of it is based in diet culture, and my ethos with clients is I never push people to eat anything they don't like. I never push them to do anything they feel uncomfortable with. But I think you can attest to this. Like, if I sense that something's coming from, like, an old story or an old belief, I'm really going to try to uncover that and be like, what's really going on here? Why is it that you think you can't have a snack when you're eating?

0:00:35 Caitie Welcome to Whole, Full, and Alive, a podcast helping you feed yourself, feel yourself, and be yourself. I'm Katie cordino. I'm a registered-dietitian nutritionist, a body image coach, and the founder of Full Soul Nutrition, a method that combines nutrition counseling with a powerful toolkit of somatic healing modalities. I have guided hundreds of clients to freedom with food, their bodies, and every aspect of their. I've also been through this healing myself, and on this podcast, I want to help you eat with confidence, embrace your body, form aligned relationships, and create a life that you're in love with. I'll share actionable tools, no bullshit stories and interviews that will remind you why you have everything you need within you to feel whole, full, and alive. Are you ready? Let's get into it.

All right. Micole, thank you so much for being here today.

0:01:35 Micole Yeah. I'm so thrilled that I get to talk to you because there's so much overlap in what we do and our perspective on food and eating, and that's what I bring to cooking. So I'm really excited to dive in.

0:01:49 Caitie I am so excited that you exist. I feel like there are not many people, if anyone, doing what you're doing right now, providing the type of support and guidance that you provide from the perspective that you provide it from. I am just so grateful for your content every time I see it. So this conversation is long anticipated. I've really wanted to have it for, like, months now. So I would love to just start, though, asking you about how you got to where you are today.

So tell us about who you are outside of your professional life a little bit, maybe where you thought you were going to go at one point. Where did you want to go when you were a kid? Feel free to share that kind of stuff and then how you got to where you are now as a culinary educator and chef and diet culture slayer and helping people cook with diverse bodies and diverse brains and yeah, nourish themselves. How'd you get here?

0:02:48 Micole I think the funniest thing is that literally, when I was like between ten and twelve, I wrote a fake restaurant menu and I found it in one of those little old diaries that had a little lock and key. So I've loved food really my whole life, and I think I've loved cooking my whole life. My mom loves cooking. She's a very intuitive cook, and so I kind of learned from her this approach to cooking that was sort of fun and really about flavor and tasting as you go.

But my career took me in a totally different direction. I picked up a camera when I was 15 and I started shooting fashion photography, and I thought that's what I wanted my career to be in. So I went down that path and I graduated from college and worked for a fairly established, successful and famous celebrity fashion photographer. And pretty quickly I realized that it wasn't the industry for me. I really didn't feel safe and comfortable there.

Obviously, I had already had my own years of experience with disordered eating and body dysmorphia and orthorexia. And so at that point, working in an industry where that is not only common but talked about like it's nothing was really challenging for me. That being said, I ended up staying in the industry for ten years. About five years into that, I knew I wanted to do something else. And I just started posting on my Instagram about meal prep and how I cooked at home and my sort of ethos about bringing food into your life in a way that had to do with intuition and flavor and all these other things.

In 2020, I was one of those people that lost my full time job. However, at that point, I'd already gone to culinary school. I'd had gotten a degree in food writing, I had a food blog, and I had already started this sort of new chapter. So that was really the starting point of building The Kitchen by McColl, which is the platform I have now, and it's morphed along with me, right. Like, as I've gone on my own journey of becoming safe and comfortable in my body and my nervous system fully free around food, the way I teach cooking has changed. So in the last sort of two years, I went through some extreme burnout. I realized that I'm heavily neurodivergent and realized that that was affecting the way I showed up in my kitchen. The other thing I realized is that I was teaching sort of standard cooking classes to women, but they often were coming back with sort of the same struggles, which is like, but is this healthy enough? I still feel so stressed when it's time to cook. I feel so anxious in my kitchen. I don't have enough motivation. I need more discipline. They were coming back to me with these things that were more about how they felt, their history with food, their history with their body, than how to make a great chicken or, like, a great steak. It wasn't about culinary technique. It was about what was happening inside.

So I decided to really create a space that fuses what you might learn in a traditional cooking class with a little bit more of, like, heart centered support. That's about your personal history with food, eating, cooking, and as well as your brain and the way that you learn and think and, of course, your lifestyle and how much time you have in a day. So that's the shortest version I can give you because it's been a long journey.

0:06:11 Caitie Yeah. We're not asking for short stories here on a podcast, but I love it. I really love it. And as a dietitian nutritionist, I just see such a need for the service that you provide, and I'm grateful to have experienced it myself as someone who is a dietitian nutritionist. And I'm good at helping people create balanced meals and practice self care and heal their relationship with food and their body. But I'm not always the most creative in the kitchen, and cooking itself is not my passion. I'm really passionate about helping people heal their relationship with food and understand the nutrition content on their plate and intuitive eating and nervous system regulation and lots of stuff. I don't need to say what I'm passionate about. This is my podcast. But I am not a chef. I'm fully not a chef. And so I feel like you fill in this vital gap for me.

And as I am saying this, I just am curious. Where do you think people should start if they're feeling a sense of complete overwhelm after healing from disordered eating in the kitchen? How can you start to meal plan and meal prep intentionally without sliding into a disordered mindset? We'll start there. Start with that part of your business.

0:07:40 Micole I think the biggest thing is to remember that, like, the work that you do, it really is about nervous system regulation, and it's about looking at where in the process of either grocery shopping or cooking, you start to feel that overwhelm, that anxiety. Is it the moment you open the fridge and you have to decide what to eat? Is it when you're in the grocery store aisles and you're like, what is healthy here? What is the feeling and the thought that kind of starts that anxiety spiral? Because I think frequently that's where we can say, okay, what's actually going on here? And how can I destress this situation? Like, how can I bring down the pressure around this? So a lot of what I do with clients is looking at that process start to finish and saying, okay, it sounds like here's where you're getting really overwhelmed. How can we make this easier? So I've had clients where the grocery store is just really overwhelming because they, maybe from disordered eating, feel a pressure to make choices on the spot about what's healthy.

But I think that if that's the issue. You can kind of start by saying, okay, what's a little bit of planning and prep work I can do in advance to pick out safe foods, but also to pick out those foods that maybe are still a little bit of fear foods, but are, like, things that are going to bring me joy. Like, for example, for years, I was like, oh, I never eat sweets, so I didn't keep them in my house. But there's something so joyous about being like, I'm going to have a little piece of banana bread or, like, a cookie after dinner. And I had to get in the practice of saying, this might be a fear food. I'm just going to start keeping it in my house and see what happens. Then I enjoyed a cookie, and then I was like, oh, wait, I can actually trust myself because I'm not going out of control here. Right. So it's building self trust, kind of making a plan, having a system in place that's going to help de-escalate whatever about the process is feeling stressful. So, yeah, I think it's always, like, going inwards a little bit.

0:09:42 Caitie Yeah, I love the focus on the process and seeing that cooking is so much more than the moment that you're putting the pot of water on the stove. It starts when you're grocery shopping or when you're thinking about going grocery shopping or trying to write your grocery list. And there are many moments in which it is important to kind of process your relationship with what's happening. And I think that this is a distinctly different thing that you do from what other meal prep coaches and chefs do is you think more about how might this person be feeling while they're doing this thing? And I remember one of your pieces of content that really resonated with me is from a while ago, so you'll see how much of a fan I am.

0:10:28 Micole I know, what's it going to be.

0:10:30 Caitie When you're talking about snacking while eating. Sorry? Snacking while eating. Snacking while cooking. It's important to give yourself permission to snack while you cook. I think the approach that a lot of other meal prep chefs would take is an approach of if you're snacking while you're cooking, you should be ashamed. You're going to end up eating a whole meal by the time the meal is done. Blah, blah, blah. Can you explain more about your perspective on that and why you choose to incorporate elements like that into not only your content, but also your coaching and meal prep culinary education? And yeah, how do you see a need for that?

0:11:05 Micole And maybe this is something you can speak to. I think we've just gotten so far away from seeing food as, like, this really life giving thing. It's literally a core essential need to have energy as a living being. So if you have had a really long day and you haven't eaten in like 6 hours. Because the last time you ate lunch was when you were sitting down to work and it was lunch. It was one or two or whenever you and it's six or seven. You're trying to use executive function to not only make decisions about what you're going to eat, but how you're going to prep food. Right? There's numerous steps. What order do I cook? Everything. When do I get everything out? You're trying to follow a recipe. How are you expecting yourself to do that when you're already lethargic, tired, you've got brain fog, you're hangry. Maybe there's a kid screaming in the background. So if you can just say, okay, I'm going to resource myself for this task that I'm doing, then you realize I'm allowed to care for myself and have energy. It's not like I eat at meals. It's just like I need to fuel my body and be energized to do things. And cooking is one thing I have to do.

So I think that's the first level. And then I think it's also just about letting go and being a little less strict. There's so many rules about food that I don't even know who made them up. It's so bizarre to me. I'm like, who said you can't have a snack while you're cooking or eating? But I think a lot of it is based in diet culture. And my ethos with clients is I never push people to eat anything they don't like. I never push them to do anything they feel uncomfortable with. But I think you can attest to this. If I sense that something's coming from an old story or an old belief, I'm really going to try to uncover that and be like, what's really going on here? Why is it that you think you can't have a snack when you're eating? So, yeah, that's my thoughts on that.

0:12:54 Caitie Yeah. So good and so true. I was just speaking with a client yesterday about how we do forget that food is energy. Food is essential. Food is an essential source of life. And people treat it like, oh, it's this treat that I have after I have deserved it. Or I'm being so naughty because I'm eating. And it's like, excuse me, this is something you have to do to breathe air through your lungs. This is something that you need to keep your heart beating.

Food is essential. And so I think if we put this sort of like food is a sin label on all of our snacks, then of course it can seem highly illogical to be snacking while you're cooking. But that said, we've just gone to such an all or nothing approach with food that it's like, oh, if you're snacking while you're cooking, that must mean that you're eating all of the cheese in the pack. That must mean that you're eating all of the crackers in the sleeves. When really it doesn't have to be that way. If we can take this charge off of food and look at it for what it is, which is fuel energy and a celebration of life and experience of pleasure.

0:14:09 Micole Yeah, I think so much of it comes down to self trust. I had a conversation, I'm actually going to be on another podcast about the idea of how do you come back to movement or health supportive eating after you've gone through recovery for disordered eating. So much of it is about rebuilding trust and understanding that all the messaging that says you can't trust yourself, it's out there. It's out there and it's very prevalent. The word isn't coming to my mind anyway. It's prevalent. So you have to really do the work. One really has to do the work to say, I trust myself, not to eat all the cheese, whatever. And if you want to go for it.

0:14:52 Caitie Right? I mean, so much of it is these diet companies that are like, you can't trust yourself, so you need to trust us instead. You need to trust our rulebook and pay for our rulebook. And yeah, so much of it is also the pursuit of a particular body weight or shape. And so it becomes more about what is going to help you have this particular body weight or shape versus what is going to fuel you in this moment. And that certainly dysregulates our sense of self trust.

And also, I know that another thing you do for clients is help people who are neurodivergent cook as well. And I feel like that must be a really sticky area when it comes to self trust. Can't speak from lived experience with that, but I can speak from someone who works with a lot of clients who are challenged by ADHD when it comes to cooking and meal prep. And so where do you start when someone's experiencing those challenges?

0:15:52 Micole A lot of the challenges, and I never put anyone in a bucket. My entire ethos is like, this is cooking for all brains and all bodies. Every person is unique. And that's why most of the work I do is one on one. However, many of the women that I work with who are neurodivergent run into similar challenges, like time blindness, hyper focus, not realizing it's time to eat, waiting until they're absolutely ravenous to eat.

So it's similar to the process I described earlier, where I want them to walk me through a week of eating and cooking and grocery shopping and identify what's stressful. And in doing that, we can literally come up with tools and systems that are neurodivergent friendly, that are going to in the midst of their busy life and everything that's going on and the way that their brain is working, remind them, hey, it's time to eat, it's time to cook.

And also when we're thinking about meal planning, meal prepping, some of these more traditional tools that people use to support cooking, we have to tweak those. So it's really about saying, let's take the idea of meal prep, but make it work for you. And for some people, that goes in a direction they don't expect. Where I say, I want you to actually meal prep less, or I want you to for example, I had a client who is neurodivergent. One of the things she struggles with is food textures. So she would pack lunch, bring it to her job, and by the time it was time to eat, the food texture was something that just did not appeal. So she would just not eat it and it would go in the trash. And I said, you're wasting your time prepping all that food. You're wasting the food and you're wasting the money. So what if we just take all those resources and say, on those days I go to work, I will buy myself lunch. That's a way better use of your time, your energy, your money, everything. So it's really about tweaking processes to the person, their lifestyle, the way they think, and the way that they go about their day and interact with food.

0:18:00 Caitie I think it is so important to not put people in buckets and to recognize that one on one work is always going to be the most valuable with this stuff, primarily because that's the opposite of what the unhelpful nutrition programs do. What the toxic nutrition programs do is they do create this one size fits all approach. And they do tell you, you have to follow this rule. You cannot break this rule. There are absolutely no exceptions to this rule.

And that's where people end up just dysregulating their sense of self trust and really impairing and harming their relationship with food. And so that individualization is so important. And at the same time, I am curious, what are the tools that you find are most helpful for people? And I think I want to ask you this question because when I worked with you, you really did share things with me that I had never heard before, that I had never expected someone to share with me before.

For example, one of them was having sort of just like a closet of condiments that you love, like just letting yourself kind of ball out on condiments. Because I was like, you know what? My meals are just boring. I'm like, they're fine, they're good, but I sort of make the same things every week. And you were like, what if sometimes you put this on the salmon and what if sometimes you just turned this into an enchilada? And just like really creative things like that were so helpful for me because my meals went from being basic and boring to being just as easy to make, but ten times more satisfying. So I'm curious, in terms of ease and in terms of satisfaction, in terms of just feeling a little bit more balanced and regulated, what are the top things you share with people?

0:19:40 Micole Yeah. Wow. That also makes me really excited to hear that that was impactful for you. So, yeah, I would say there are a number of pillars and core tools I talk about. One of them is, as you mentioned, what I call a flavor library. And this is the idea that you want to add flavor fast to your food. You're short on time and you want to add restaurant quality flavor because you want to be eating delicious food. No one wants to be eating boring meals at home.

And I did a poll where I asked people, do you think that restaurant quality food is only for restaurants? And they said, yes. And I was shook by that. So we are throwing that in the garbage. That idea is gone. So there are a million brands out there that are making high quality premade sauces, condiments, marinades, spiced rubs, simmer sauces, things of that nature where they are literally packaging up all the flavor for everything from Greek food, Indian food, Thai food, Mexican food, Caribbean food, anything that you can imagine it exists. So the idea is you create kind of a top three, the three cuisines you love most, and make a little accessory closet in your fridge, as you mentioned, of some of those sauces. So maybe you have two condiments, two simmer sauces that you could throw in some protein or veg and just set it to cook.

And then some infused vinegars, some infused oils, things that are going to bring that big flavor fast. I like to think of it as when you go to a Chipotle or sweet green or dig in or any of these places where you go down an assembly line. You want your greens and your grains and your protein, but then you need toppings and sauce because that's what brings the flavor. So having that stuff at home is going to really charge your meals, supercharge your meals with tons of flavor in very short amount of time.

And then the second core thing that I talk about probably the most is grocery shopping. This came up at the beginning of the podcast. Grocery shopping is the foundation of your cooking. So when we're thinking about, okay, I work with people who have diverse brains, not everyone is going to be able to sit down in the same way and make a list. Not everyone's going to remember the list. For my neurodivergence, you're like, forgot the list at home again.

So how do we create a way for you to do meal planning and grocery shopping planning? That's going to work for you? So if there are people listening to the podcast and you're kind of wondering where to start, I would say, really look at the way you grocery shop. Make it as easy as possible. And essentially you want to go to the store and you want to make sure everything you put in your cart, you know what you're doing with it.

That's my rule of thumb, you can buy anything you want, but I want you to know what your plan is. So I'm going to buy bell pepper and turkey and lentils and brown rice, and I know what each of those are going with on different days, and that might seem really overwhelming. It doesn't have to be a perfect plan. Even a vague plan is better than no plan. So I think those would be the two biggest sort of core things that I talk about and teach.

0:22:47 Caitie Yeah, I think that those two things are also really unique. I don't hear a lot of people talking about that and acknowledging how important it is to give yourself restaurant quality food at home, because people feel that restaurant quality is reserved for these special occasions, for the weekends, for what have you. And that really does create that charged relationship with food that we were speaking about earlier, where food becomes the special treat, food becomes this coveted thing, and you get in sort of like that cheat day mentality, too, where meals are just like, boring, boring, boring, exciting, exciting, boring, boring, boring. And I feel like that is such a roller coaster of a relationship to have with food. And when you have that roller coaster relationship with food, it just simmers into every area of your life. Roller coaster relationship becomes normal with exercise. Roller coaster relationship becomes normal with self care. And so I do feel that maybe as extreme as it sounds to people, I do know that some of my young professional in New York City clients especially, would look at me if I said, you need restaurant quality meals at home. They'd be like, all right, well, I'm not going to do that. It might sound extreme, but that is really what we want to aim for, because it can be simple, like Micole was saying, it can be accessible to you.

0:24:06 Micole Yeah. And I think it's understanding that it doesn't have to be restaurant quality presentation. I don't care what your food looks like. It has to taste good, though. So I like to say flavor is really the North Star for home cooking. That's the thing you should care about most, because you can go to a restaurant and they can perfectly sear a steak and have perfectly gorgeous brown fries. And you taste it, they're under salted, the steak seasoned, and you're like, Why did I just pay $70 for this?

So it really just comes down to seasoning and flavoring your food in a way that it's going to be delicious. And like I said, there are a lot of hacks and shortcuts you can take to add big flavor really fast.

0:24:42 Caitie And how do you navigate the conversation around health and creating balanced meals? And when someone says to you, well, if flavor is your priority, I guess health is not your priority, how do you respond to that?

0:24:58 Micole I think it would be what about the word health is important to you, to the person, right. What is your intention? What is your goal? I don't really like the idea of goal, but what about the word health is important to you? So we can look at that and address that, because if it's about, I want to get more vegetables on my plate. Okay, well, I can teach you how to make vegetables that taste bomb AF. I don't know if I’m allowed to curse.

I can teach you to make amazing vegetables. Or maybe they say, I want to cut down on red meat and eat more lean meats. What can I do with chicken or turkey? Okay, I can give you a million ideas. So I think it's really about, like we were saying, taking an individualized approach that really targets and breaks down diet culture ideas that have trickled into the language that we use around food and cooking and bringing a magnifying glass to it and pushing people to say, what does that really mean to you? What is it that you want me to help with?

And sometimes I have clients who come to me and they really do have health related goals, in which case I might pass them along to someone like you or one of my colleagues. And going back to something you shared at the beginning, I really see a vital connection here between working with RDs and their clients to bridge that gap between, you know what, food is going to make your body feel really good, and now let's make it taste really good too.

0:26:29 Caitie Yeah, awesome. And let's make it work for your schedule and for your brain and your lifestyle. And that's a great answer, I think when people are thinking, oh, well, what about health? They are often, sometimes really without realizing it, thinking about health in that very black and white, all or nothing way. And they're thinking of calories, and they're thinking of the things that the pop nutrition media teaches us are healthy or unhealthy. And so getting really serious about what does health mean to you, I think is such a beautiful answer and an important way to look at it. What aspects of health are important to you?

And yes, we can prioritize those and simultaneously make the meal plan delicious. Another question, just because I'm anticipating all the curveballs from my clients who listen to this podcast, how do you prevent burnout when it comes to this stuff? I think a lot of my clients, especially with neurodivergent brains as well, will be like, well, I'll probably stick to this for like a week or two, and then I'm just going to stop because I know myself. So what are your top tips for preventing burnout when it comes to home cooking and grocery shopping and meal prepping?

0:27:42 Micole Yeah, this is huge. I have a two part answer. The first part is take breaks. If you are not planning to get takeout. And I don't just mean what you're describing before. Fun only on the weekends. Takeout only on the weekends. No, I want you to say on this day I'm going to go and buy myself lunch so that I get a break on that Tuesday when I'm really busy. I know on Thursday I'm going to be out and about picking up my kids in between meetings. I'm going to get lunch that day. I'm not even going to think about it. Bring down the mental load for yourself.

The other way you can bring down the mental load and prevent burnout is make cooking easier by taking more shortcuts. A lot of people think of cooking as I have to get out all these pots and pans and all the raw ingredients. And there has to be different ingredients for every meal. No, let's simplify. Let's use as many high quality premade ingredients as possible. Combine them with a few fresh ingredients, some premade sauces, and have meals that come together really fast.

This is where the individualization is key. Because if someone says, I have 15 minutes on this day, 30 minutes on that day, 30 minutes, great. I can tell you exactly what kind of meals are going to fit into your schedule. And not to say that someone has to work with me to get that, but really be realistic about how much time you have and plan accordingly. Don't try to cook aspirationally that is going to lead to burnout real quick.

As far as the second piece about neurodivergence, novelty is so real. I'm a neurodivergent, and I can tell you that recently I joined a new gym, which is like a big piece of sort of my journey right now is like going back to a quote unquote gym after disordered eating and that whole journey. But there was a novelty in the first week. I was like, oh my God, this is the most fun thing I've ever done.

And then like a week and a half went by and I was like, I have to walk over there. I can't just do this in my house. So I think when it comes to novelty, it's about bringing that novelty into the foods you're buying. So it can be easy to just say, I'm going to buy the same thing every single week. But that can really lead to, oh, I don't really want to make that. I'm so sick of that. Which is why when you have some sauces and things that can kind of bring new flavor and excitement, you're like, oh, wait, I actually have that really yummy miso sauce. I just have to throw that on the salmon. And I haven't had that in like two weeks. That's going to be really delicious. You know what, I'm just going to make that. I'm not going to deal with the takeout. That's going to be really fast. It's going to be really delicious.

As far as novelty, the last thing I'll say is I'm working on an idea for a club where all of us neurodivergents can come together and cook together. When that novelty fun wears off after. A few weeks, I think we have. Times in the year, September being one of them, where we're like fun back to school, I'm going to cook all the time, and then we're like three weeks go by and it kind of winds down. So having a place where people can come together and get inspired and have.

0:30:35 Caitie Some accountability, that's great. I've been thinking a lot about seasons and cyclical living and things like that lately because it's been hard, as a woman who didn't grow up learning about her cycles to now, in my 20s, recognize how much my cycle impacts me and how much being even in different times of the month impacts me. Right. Even not dealing with being neurodivergent and that novelty thing, I also find that my energy and my preferences and my cravings and my whole being just is cyclical and it evolves. And it can be really difficult to expect yourself to stick to certain routines and regimens when we're constantly evolving.

And so that acknowledgment of, okay, yeah, let's create a plan, let's create a structure. And also let's plan to want something different. Let's plan to be in the mood for something different. Let's have some little ways that we can make each meal slightly different or just reroute if we're totally not feeling that thing or we're hungrier or we're in the mood for meat or whatever it is. I think planning to need novelty is an awesome way to look at it. Just like planning to need a reroute, whether it's for novelty or for any other thing.

0:31:54 Micole I think that's a perfect way to put it. Yeah. Planning for life to happen, planning for what you said to be different on different days and not need the same things. And I think people understandably get into routines, and routines are helpful, but it's also important to remember that we do need excitement and joy and we need to enjoy the food that we're eating. And eating the same thing constantly for most people at a certain point, is not that exciting anymore.

0:32:26 Caitie Yeah. Your answers have just been so fire. I am so excited for people to hear a lot of this stuff. And before we're getting into our wrap up question, I just want to ask about you as a human being. How have you been evolving over the last couple of years? Because I first met you at a networking event in 2015, I want to say was like a decade ago. And I just want to ask you you can swear on this podcast, by the way. I just want to ask you, what have you been healing from? What's on your heart? What have been some in your life since we met?

0:33:11 Micole My God. So many. I think what's feeling the most relevant right now is two things. I'm neurodivergent. I run two businesses. I'm a human. I have hormone imbalance. What's going on here is like a jungle juice. Every week it's different, right? Like, some weeks it's fun and spicy. Some weeks it's like, I don't want to talk to anyone. I don't want to see anybody. I have a lot going on internally, externally. I run two businesses, right? I live in New York. It's a very intense city.

Burnout is so real, and I am at a point where I want peak ease in everything I do. And that is so much about being speaking to what you were saying about cycles, being ruthlessly tuned in to myself and becoming attuned to the slight changes in my behavior or my mood when I start to trickle towards burnout, because I think most of us don't know we're burnt out until we feel like absolute poop. So for me, I've really been honing the way that I support my body and my mind through some difficult personal times so that I don't hit my bottom burnout that I really hit back in 2021, running two businesses.

And I think the kind of women I work with frequently have experienced burnout because we are high achievers. We like success and not because it's based in ego. We are passionate about what we do. But I spoke on my Instagram stories about this recently where if we think of ourselves as really successful women and we want to reach the peak of success, whether that's helping other people, giving back to a specific cause.

The top of the mountain is a really extreme environment, and we can't survive or thrive there forever. So it's like, how do we come back down to base camp and say, I did this amazing thing and now there's a cycle where I come back down here, I rest, I recuperate, I take care of me, and then I go for the next thing. So really creating a new pattern in my life of striving, thriving, pushing, and then like, okay, let's take a little moment to rest and recuperate and not need to be at the top of my game. That's okay too.

And then I think the second thing, like I mentioned briefly, is going back to thinking about how movement is incorporated into my life after disordered eating has been a long journey. I'm not just starting it now, but I've gotten a lot more comfortable with taking long hiatuses from movement. And the funny thing is that since being completely recovered from disordered eating, my weight has stayed exactly the same year over year.

And so it just shows me that it almost doesn't matter if I have a month where I eat Taco Bell and whatever, right? And then I have a month where I don't work out because I'm stressed and life is happening. The point is that my intuition and my body just guides me back towards, okay. And then now here's what you need, and now here's what you need. And I can trust that evolution of giving myself what I need in the time I need it. And sometimes that's Taco Bell and sometimes that's really nourishing hormone balancing food.

So it looks like both with movement, it's really been that I'm coming off of a hiatus of, like, just not moving my body because life was happening, and then my body was like, wait, I really need that. And it feels so good to be tuned in and be able to listen to that and incorporate the needs as my body tells me what she needs.

0:36:49 Caitie That's so inspiring. Thanks for sharing that. I feel so many people are so scared to get to that place where they don't move or they disengage from exercise for a little bit. I personally have had the experience of just needing to go completely dormant on exercise, despite being a fitness instructor at the time. I didn't do my own workouts. I was like, I can't my body's not feeling this. And then the feeling of craving movement again was really beautiful, of getting back to a place where I was like, wait, my body actually wants this increased flow of oxygen now. My body wants to stretch, my body wants to move. And I feel it is so important to give yourself those seasons with movement in particular and certain self care practices. I think in general, sometimes I don't do breath work for a little bit and then I come back to it to give yourself the opportunity to crave it. Just coming back to self trust like you're talking about earlier, gives you an opportunity to build trust with your body, yeah, yeah. Thank you for sharing that stuff.

So, last question. My favorite quote from Brene Brown is one day you will tell the story of what you went through and it will become someone else's survival guide. So I always ask my guests at the end of the show, what would be in your survival bag if you were going to recommend just some self care tools? Maybe some books, maybe some songs, maybe some movies? Whatever it is, what has helped you come to where you are today, which is a beautiful and impressive place?

0:38:18 Micole What a question. Oh my God. I think a few things come to mind right away. Number one, community. If you don't have a community that will go to bat for you at your darkest moment and say, hey, I want to help you carry this, go search out new community. Literally. Because I think that so often, again, as like, high achieving women, maybe it's a millennial thing, I don't know. Maybe you have Gen Z listening to this and they can get in the comments and say if they feel this relates to them too, we feel like we have to do it alone. It's like, oh, I have to be so fiercely independent and so strong and do it all and we can be afraid of calling someone up. I really need help right now with this thing, whether it's like, emotionally or can you read over my new sales page? Can you read over my pitch? Of course. Right. Getting people that are going to say unequivocally, yes, I'm here to support you. That's number one.

Number two, a really impactful book that I read in the last year, the Untethered Soul by Michael Singer. It's really changed a lot of the way that I think about my life, just both for a personal but also business perspective, because he really talks about my interpretation is you want to stay at the center, the eye of the storm at all times, and life is going to be around you, like, right. And you just want to try to stay in the center and not react to all of the things that are happening and just trust it's going to be okay.

The more I stay grounded and calm, the more everything else will fall where it's going to fall. And I'm not in control. As someone who comes from a history of disordered eating, perfectionism, workaholism, control is my game. Like, I love being in control. So the journey of letting go of control is in some way, like, the sweetest kind of control, because it's like a freedom. And then you see how everything works out, and you can be so much more at peace. You don't have to live up here all the time.

So that's been something that I would definitely pack in my survival bag. And good food. And good food, of course. Some sauce. Some hot sauce. I don't go anywhere without hot sauce. I have, like, 20 hot sauces. I feel so bad because I don't feel bad. I live with roommates, and the entire fridge door is my collection. But I'm like, feel free to use anything you want, but it's stacked. We got nuts, seeds, toppings, sauces, hot sauces, like, everything you can dream up there.

0:40:57 Caitie Good shit. I love that I need that in my nomadic lifestyle. I'm so short on that kind of stuff right now. Love it. So where can people find you? What are you offering right now? What are you excited to tell people about? If someone wants to work with you, where do they go?

0:41:15 Micole Yeah,, @thekitchenbymicole on Instagram. And that's Micole with an M. There are three ways to work with me right now, but I think the most potent are my kitchen audit sessions. That's really where we get started. And I help you unpack your kitchen. I'm going to go through your processes and figure out what's not working and fix it so that you can have easy wins quickly, because that's what I want for you. I want you to start eating regularly and be nourished and love your food.

And then I just rolled out a new program called Confidently Nourished, which is a really sort of high potency, one on one program where women can get support with their health, supportive eating in a non diet, culture way. So women that have worked with Katie or other RDS, or you're self led in changing the way that you eat to support your body, let's do that. But make your meals delicious, because we do not want diets. We don't want bland chicken and broccoli and brown rice every day. That is not the vibe so Confidently Nourished is a program you can apply for through my website or send me a DM. I also just love talking to people, so I always say my DMs are an open door. I love giving away free information and supporting. So just feel free to message me.

0:42:40 Caitie Amazing. Thank you so much for being here, for sharing your wisdom, your story, your honesty. I love it all. I'm a big fan. Can't stress this enough. We'll reference you for months and years and decades to come. And also, you're a very cute pink top, love it. And I'm sure you'll be back, and you'll be back in the full Phony in some way, shape or form soon. If you enjoyed this episode today, please leave a five star rating on Spotify or Apple or more importantly, share the show with someone. You never know whose perspective you may be changing, whose life you may be changing. If there was something on the show that inspired you today, pass it along and I'll be back here in two weeks with a solo episode. Thank you so much for tuning in.


bottom of page