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Special Wednesday Episode: Nutrition Q&A Part 2

Updated: Nov 18, 2022

Three Things We Dive Into In This Episode:

  1. Why you don't need a "detox" or "cleanse" to feel good in your body

  2. How to “mute, unfollow, or block” people or pieces of content that encourage you to go on restrictive diets or shame your body

  3. Why rigid diets are dangerous and ineffective


  • Check out the Whole, Full, and Alive’s official trailer to know more about me and the podcast.

  • Release restrictive dieting, break free from body shame, & create habits that help you live fully! Sign up for my nutrition coaching program and community, Whole, Full, and Alive, and get a FREE 20 Minute Discovery Call!

  • Connect with me: Website | Instagram

  • Connect with Christina: Website | Instagram | LinkedIn

📌Episode Highlights

[05:46] “Cleansing” Your System

  • ‘Doing a detox’ is unnecessary because our bodies have their own cleansing systems.

  • To feel more centered after a period of eating unbalanced meals, ask yourself: what was missing?

  • Learn to nourish your body regularly.

  • Devise a system that allows you to eat what you want while still getting balanced meals.

Christina: “And so the detox isn't going to do anything for you, other than drain your bank account.” - Click Here To Tweet This

[12:45] Learn not to Feel Ashamed

  • There’s no shame in indulging in a more spontaneous and flexible diet once in a while.

  • Honor the needs of your body.

  • Shame is a complex emotion that must be processed to achieve balance.

[15:54] Mute, Block, and Unfollow

  • If someone continues to make comments about their diet, body, or food — or worse, your diet/food choices or body — you can implement my mute, unfollow, or block framework.

  • Muting the person looks like completely changing the subject.

  • Unfollowing them would be walking away from the conversation and physically distancing yourself from the person.

  • The block is the toughest one. This looks like straight-up setting a boundary and what this entails exactly depends on you and your relationship with the person.

  • Whatever you choose to do at the moment is right for you.

  • Don't pretend to agree with someone if you don't.

  • Engage with positive content, conversations, and people.

Catie: “If you're trying to heal your relationship with food, your relationship with yourself, your relationship with your body, get the F out of there! Prioritize yourself. You deserve better–especially if you're doing the hard work of healing right now” - Click Here To Tweet This

[21:36] On Weddings and Diet Culture

  • It’s not shameful to show up as your authentic self during weddings.

Catie: “It's really important to note that going on extreme and restrictive diets and shaming yourself into losing weight really does change your mood.” - Click Here To Tweet This
  • Restrictive diets can only bring superficial and fragile confidence.

  • Dispel the myth that one must diet before attending a wedding.

  • Body shaming is a problem that spans generations.

[27:15] What's a Body Image Coach?

  • Body image coaches have the skills necessary to assist their clients in healing their relationship with their bodies so they can make long-term nutritional changes.

  • Consider how you arrived at your assumptions about your body image.

  • It's essential to work with a professional who understands you.

  • Spend some time experiencing and being in your body.

[34:21] Energizing Routines

  • To brighten your mornings, spend some time in the sun.

  • Always make time to do what you love.

  • Learn how Christina prepares simple and nutritious meals in the upcoming Whole, Full, and Alive online course!

[37:59] This Week’s Action Experiment

  • Step 1: Recognize why a detox seems appealing to you.

  • Step 2: Determine which habits can support you in regaining your center and feeling grounded.

  • Step 3: Use the mute, unfollow, and block framework to set boundaries.

About Christina

Christina Constantinou is an Associate Dietitian at Full Soul Nutrition and a clinical dietitian. She's a registered and licensed dietitian, a certified Intuitive Eating Counselor in Training, and has a Master's degree in Health Communication and a Bachelor's degree in Nutrition Science. Her individualized approach to nutrition helps her educate and empower people's relationships with food.

Connect with Christina and learn more about her on Full Soul Nutrition’s website.

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Have any questions or want to leave a suggestion? Come say hi on the 'gram @full.soul.nutrition. You can also sign up for my nutrition coaching program and community, Whole, Full, and Alive, and get a FREE 20 Minute Discovery Call!

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Caitie Corradino: Let's not pretend that we don't get really moody when we don't have enough carbohydrates. Let's not pretend that our personality doesn't change when we're calorie restricting or hyper focusing on the serving size of rice.

It's really important to note that going on extreme and restrictive diets and shaming yourself into losing weight really does change your mood. It really does change your personality. It really does take a toll on you.

Welcome to Whole, Full and Alive, a podcast exploring the art and science of falling in love with your life, with your story, and with who you truly are underneath your titles, your resume, your relationship status, and your bank account. I'm Caitie Corradino, a registered dietician nutritionist, certified fitness and yoga instructor, eating disorder recovery coach, Reiki healer, and founder of Full Soul Nutrition.

But underneath my titles and resume, a big fan of kitchen dance breaks, early mornings, all things chocolate truffles, world traveling, and serendipity. I'm here to share no bullshit stories and actionable tools to help you feel unshakably worthy. You have everything you need within you to feel whole, full and alive, right here, right now. Let's get into it.

Hi, welcome back to another episode of Whole, Full, and Alive. Today is a special Wednesday edition of Whole, Full, and Alive because Christina and I got cut off on Monday's episode. We ended up talking for way longer than we anticipated. So we decided to include a little Q&A episode.

This is going to be based off of the rest of the questions that we got on Instagram when I post to my Instagram followers, “What questions do you have about nutrition?” So we're gonna dive into that Q&A pretty quick.

But before we do, I just want to say that next week, we are launching an online course called Whole, Full, and Alive. This course is all about trading restriction, obsession, and Yo-Yo dieting for energizing delicious and nourishing routines that support your most aligned life.

Basically, how do you trade restrictive dieting, obsessive dieting, or Yo-Yo dieting for wellness practices that are sustainable and authentic to you and make you feel really, really good?

There are three units of this course wholeness, fullness, and aliveness. Wholeness is going to be all about tools for cultivating self worth and a regulated nervous system to create the foundation to become an intuitive eater, which is what fullness is all about; tangible tools for actually becoming an intuitive eater and also practicing gentle nutrition, and implementing really gentle, practical things that will help you feel good in your body through food.

Aliveness is all about intentional energy output. So once you have this foundation of self worth, and a regulated nervous system, and enough food in your body, how can you then practice different things that are going to make you feel more energized and alive?

Take you from zero to plus one is going to be all about movement and energy healing and a bunch of different things that I want to tell you about the whole course in the beginning of this podcast episode. But I am so excited about it. It's really affordable, and especially for next Friday, Black Friday.

We are going to be doing a special sale on it. So please keep your eyes peeled. If you're at all interested in this online course, there's a lot of practical nuggets in there.

A lot of journal prompts, a lot of actionable experiments, a ton of resources, guest lectures from amazing people, all of it. I'm really, really excited about it all. And it's super digestible and tangible. The modules are not very long, like 15 minutes each maximum. And you're going to really be able to take away a lot of really golden nuggets from all of them that you can start implementing in your life today.

Throughout your first nine weeks in the course– the first nine weeks after you purchase it, you have access to office hours with me. So you can check in with me for about 15, 20 minutes at a time to ask any and all questions you might have as you're moving through the course. I cannot wait for you to see it. That's Hopeful and Alive, The Online Course launching next week. So let's get into my conversation, my Q&A with Christina Constantinou.

Okay, we're back for part two with Christina. Thanks so much for coming back for the Q&A session.

Christina: Thanks for asking me. 2.0.

Caitie: Two for, now– so this is the first time two episodes are dropping in one week. I'm super freakin excited about it. Christina just had so much wisdom to share about her story and becoming an RD and we needed a little bit more time to answer the questions that we got on Instagram. So here we are rapid fire answering some nutrition questions. We won't be here for too, too long. But we did get some interesting questions.

All right, so where to begin with these awesome questions that we got on Instagram? Thank you so much if you wrote one of these questions. Let's start here. Someone asked, what should you eat if you're trying to clean your system out from eating junk food, or from caffeine intake? Most folks try to get you to drink a powder drink or take pills or something like that.

I think the best word to use for this is cleanse. I'm going to attach a link to a powder that they suggested at my women's program. This is an interesting question. And it's a very interesting link that Christina and I just had a look at. This idea of cleansing– cleaning your system out from eating air quotes, “junk”, Christina, what's your initial take on this?

Christina: My initial take on this is I hate the word “detox”, and I hate the word “cleanse”. And hate is a strong word that I really dislike using, but it's so bad. It just– it makes me– I think my initial reaction is that it makes me upset that people still feel the need to cleanse, and still feel the need to detox. And it's truly upsetting to me. That's the first thing that comes to mind.

Caitie: Yeah, upsetting would definitely describe how I feel about this kind of stuff too. I mean, your body is so smart. You have a liver and kidneys, and all these really intelligent systems in your body that do actual detoxing. So if there is actual air quotes, “toxins” in your system, which like there can be right? We've got like waste buildup in our body, uric acid buildup in the body, we have systems in place that will flush out those toxins.

That's why we use the bathroom every couple of hours. Like we have systems in our body that will naturally detox for us, if there is ever anything that needs to be detoxed. And when we're thinking about this kind of detox, this interpretation of the word “detox”, I think people are often thinking, “Okay, well, I had a week where I had lots of fast food, or I was at a family events, and I had lots of cookies, and sugary foods, and brownies and things like that.”

Or people sometimes are thinking like, “I had a lot of alcohol this past weekend. And I need to make sure that I get my body back to feeling good again.” And I think it's really important to take the shame out of that desire.

There's no shame in feeling like you haven't been fueling your body in a balanced way or you've been drinking too much alcohol and you're not feeling good. And you want to get back to a place where you're feeling centered again. But the answer to this question is not to buy $100 powder thing. We don't– first of all, we don't know what's in those $100 powder things that claim to be detoxing your system, right?

Those things are unregulated. The supplement industry is not regulated, I think a lot of people don't know that. It's only retro actively regulated.

If enough people have a problem, a serious problem from having a certain supplement, then the FDA will go in and regulate it. But initially, when things are on the market, we don't really know what's in them because it doesn't have to pass any sort of regulatory thing to be able to be sold. So you don't really know what's in there. You're paying a lot of money for it. It's not going to do anything for you.

What will actually help you feel centered after it's been a long weekend of whatever, just not eating balanced meals, right? Objectively not having enough protein or enough fiber or enough veggies to have good digestion. Well, just ask yourself, what was missing this weekend? Did I not eat enough vegetables and it's kind of backed up my digestion? Did I not drink enough water and I'm feeling a little bit groggy and dehydrated?

Did I not have protein with my breakfast that I have just a croissant every morning? Which happens sometimes when you're on vacation or your favorite bakeries nearby. You're like, “Alright, I'm gonna have some breakfast with proteins now.” Ask yourself what's been missing lately and trust that your body is going to utilize the foods that you give it to get back on center. What do you think?

Christina: Yeah, I couldn't agree more. And I think what's coming up for me is and what comes up a lot in my conversations with a lot of my clients is black and white thinking and I think that really resonates with this topic too right? It’s like exactly what you said like, “I just went through a week of like eating a lot of quote unquote junk.”

Or maybe, “I was on vacation and I was drinking too much.” Or just the the one end of the extreme of where we're not eating the way that we're typically eating when we're feeling our best. And then the other end of the extreme or like the other side of the black and white spectrum is this need to detox that until– completely erase that and counteract the bad eating or the junky eating. And not one or the other is right? There is an in between.

It's exactly what you just described is “What was missing?” “How can I start adding some things that were missing? And how can I start incorporating some of those grounding routines for myself that are gonna make me feel better than I did when I was quote, unquote, eating junk?” You're not eating the best, right? It's not a detox. Your body doesn't need to negate all of that.

I think that goes along with the shame and the stress and the guilt too with that, right? We don't need to erase it, we need to process it and figure out how to take steps from there. And so the detox isn't going to do anything for you, other than drain your bank account.

Caitie: Yeah, and draining the bank account’s a really important point. These things tend to be really, really expensive. And that's because they've got really gimmicky marketing, and they know that they can be expensive, and people are going to buy it because they make these absurd promises about what it's going to do for your body. There isn't anything that these detox teas, things like– well, detox tea is a whole another thing.

But there isn't any deatox teas, powders, and supplements are going to do for your body that you can't do through consistent, nourishing, balanced self-care. Asking yourself, “What's been missing lately?” “What foods had been missing lately?” “How can I get myself back to center?” The all or nothing thinking– I'm glad that Christina pointed that out, is only going to get you back to a place where you are in the restricting binge sort of cycle.

It's I'm either eating clean, or I'm going all in on all the sugary foods and all the alcohol and all the things. Why can't you create a lifestyle where you give yourself access to balanced meals with proteins, fats, and carbs, and some veggies in there? And also allow yourself to have drinks, when that feels fun and aligned for you. And allow yourself to have dessert in the middle of the day.

I just went into my refrigerator right before this and had two bites of cookie dough because I have a bunch of cookie dough in there. I'm really excited about it and just like felt good to have in the middle of the workday. And these little things can kind of fit into your life in a more balanced way. And your body is designed to be able to handle them. I promise.

Christina: Yeah, I think that kind of wraps it up in a nutshell. And I– this is one of those things that is so upsetting. And we could talk about it forever. But the bottom line is really finding that in between and finding that balance and not feeling the shame and the guilt from whatever ensued the week before. And taking a step back from that like detox mindset and sitting somewhere in the middle with it.

Caitie: I'm glad that you brought up the shame concept again, because I feel that when we're talking about this shame, sometimes enters on both ends of the spectrum. People feel shame about having a really fun weekend, where they just don't really pay that much attention to what kind of food they're eating. They just have fun.

Then people feel shame for sometimes wanting to air quotes “get back on track”, because they're like, “Am I going into the dieting mentality if I want to get air quotes back on track?” No, you should not feel shame, first of all, for living a life that looks fun and different and spontaneous sometimes. Your vacation out of office time should be more flexible and fun and spontaneous than your every day workweek.

At the same time, you should not be feeling shame. If you're like, “Well, I want to– I don't really feel great after that week. I don't feel like– I kind of neglected my body's needs a little bit. I didn't really eat super balanced. My digestion feels a little messed up.” And that's okay. That's a normal thing.

That's the thing that I really want to normalize. I think people get a little bit too caught up in this idea that you should just be eating whatever you want when you want all the time. That's not what intuitive eating is. Intuitive eating is honoring the needs of your body. So that doesn't mean eat whatever the heck you want all the time. Your body's eventually going to tell you that donuts for breakfast doesn't feel good every single day.

Instead of then being like “Okay, well now I've got a detox. Now I've got to eat only celery juice for the next week.” It's just like, “No have a different breakfast that has a little bit of veggies and protein and carbs in it.”

Christina: Yeah, I totally agree. And I think shame is one of those emotions that is really difficult to understand on an individual basis. And everyone deals with it differently. And I think that's also part of the process too. It’s processing the shame and processing all those feelings you're feeling and getting to a place of balance, right? Because sometimes the first thought is, “Okay, how do I detox?”

I think the first stepxz to all of this is really processing all of the emotions you're feeling and going through kind of like the stages of grief, and processing everything.

Caitie: Ah, wow, that's a really good point too. It’s like, “Why do you feel like you need to detox? What are you feeling shame about? What are you feeling guilty about? What are you thinking is wrong with you? Why do you need to detox? Why is your body toxic? Why– who told you that there was toxins living in your body? Where is that coming from?” And that's such a beautiful point that everyone experiences shame differently.

A lot of people don't recognize when they're experiencing shame. So taking the time to pull over and be like, “Wait, I'm actually being really hard on myself right now.” Processing it with a trusted person or just with yourself in a journal, “What am I feeling shame about right now? Why do I feel like I need to make this rigid change to my diet right now?” And see what comes from there? Wow, we could do a whole episode on this question.

Christina: Clearly, yeah.

Caitie: We're like rapid fire 20 minutes later on the first question. Okay, setting boundaries at weddings. This is– I'm just reading the question word for word. Someone wrote setting boundaries at weddings. Lots of diet talk, body talk, pressure to lose weight beforehand, question mark.

I think what they mean is, how do I set boundaries at weddings, because at weddings there are a lot of people are talking about their diets, talking about their bodies. And there's also this pressure to lose weight before a wedding, especially before your wedding. But I think this person is just talking about weddings in general. So let's answer this by going through each of these things.

Number one, diet talk. Number two, body talk. Number three, pressure to lose weight beforehand. So I can speak to diet, talk and body talk real quick. So I just created this framework that I put in a newsletter a few weeks ago, where I said, “If someone is making a comment about their food, or their diet, or their body, or worse, your diet, your food, your body, what can you do?”

What I talked about is that you can mute them, you can unfollow them, or you can block them. Muting them looks like completely changing the subject, and asking them a completely different question. Preferably about themselves, because people love talking about themselves.

If you ask someone, “Oh, by the way, how's your cat doing? How's your new job?” Or, “Oh, do you like go into a fitness class?” Or whatever it is, people will almost always be receptive to that. And they're going to take the hard left with you. And worst case scenario, they notice that you're trying to change the subject. And they're like, “Oh, I guess I probably shouldn't have talked about that.” But sometimes they're really not even going to notice.

They're just going to answer the question about themselves. So that’s muting them. Unfollowing them would be walking away from the conversation, actually distancing yourself from the conversation, especially if it's a group of people, it can be really easy to walk away from a conversation. And that is not extreme.

That's not an extreme measure to take. If you're trying to heal your relationship with food, your relationship with yourself, your relationship with your body, get the eff out of there. Prioritize yourself, you deserve better, especially if you're doing the hard work of healing right now. Don't allow yourself to be in environments that are only going to drain you of the hard work that you've done.

Then number three would be block, which is the toughest one. But straight up setting a boundary. Definitely depends on your relationship with the person that you're talking to, but what could you say to express what you've learned about intuitive eating, about dieting, and why it doesn't work. And why it is that you maybe don't want someone to be talking about their diet anymore, their weight loss protocol anymore, or bashing their body anymore?

That can just look like, “Hey, when you talk about wanting to lose weight, I feel kind of anxious. Because I've been doing a lot of work lately on letting go of weight loss and just focusing on health and trying to eat well and just feel better in my body. And when people make comments like that, it just makes me feel a little tense sometimes. Can we maybe just not talk about that? Thanks.”

That's the responding to the talk. Any word on that, Christina?

Christina: I think you literally said everything perfectly. And I couldn't agree more. And I think I just want to touch on one thing you said because I think it's so important to recognize that it's not extreme, right? Whether you choose mute block– I'm sorry, mute, unfollow, or block, none of the above are extreme. Each one can fit whatever category you want it to be. And I think it's so important to note that whatever you feel is right in that moment is right for you.

It can be different for everybody like maybe muting in a certain scenario isn't the best choice for whatever person, but for you if that feels right, that's the right choice. And I think it's it's sometimes difficult to set aside the standard of like, “Oh, this is too harsh.” Or “Oh, this is too extreme.” And I think that also kind of goes with some societal standards, and it's all part ofdiet culture at the end of the day.

I think it's, it's so important to note that none of those things are extreme, and whatever you choose to do is right for you.

Caitie: Yeah. And what you shouldn't do is pretend you agree with the person. I think that's important. I think a lot of people are like, “Well, don't I have the option of just kind of being like, Haha, yeah, great.” And, yes, you do you have full autonomy, right? You don't have to listen to me. But also, I wouldn't recommend that, as your provider, as your friend, as your podcast host.

I would not recommend just passively agreeing with someone who's talking about, “Oh, yeah, you really should lose weight.” Or like, “Oh, yeah, you really should go on the diet.” Or like, “Yeah, that's great.” Because what that does for your brain is really disorienting. It reinforces a negative thought pattern in your brain.

It reinforces anxious thoughts about food and bodies, and you want to do whatever you can to give more points to the health basket, less points to the dieting disordered eating basket in your brain. Because eventually, if you stop engaging with disordered content, disordered conversations, disordered behaviors, those thoughts come up less and less.

But if you're actively engaging in a conversation, and someone's like, “Yeah, I really want to lose weight.” And you're like, “Oh, yeah, great, cool.” That's giving points to the deity side. What about the pressure to lose weight before a wedding? Or the pressure to go on a diet before a wedding? How do we make peace with that? How do we remind ourselves of the importance of not doing that?

Christina: Yeah, I think it's– I think that's also one of those things, many of the other things we've talked about, where there's so many layers to the onion that we could peel away and probably sit here and talk about for an hour. But at the end of the day, what it really boils down to is wedding culture and how rooted it is in diet culture, and really just stripping away all of that.

Especially specific to weddings, I think something you and I talked about recently, Caitie was– that really stuck with me is you were invited to that wedding, that wedding invitation was addressed to you, in the body that you're currently in, in the attitude that you're currently in, your emotional, spiritual, everything you were invited to that wedding, not your dream body, not you 20 pounds lighter.

Not you in one dress size down from what you currently are at, like as you are now. And I think it's so important to recognize that and to show up as your true authentic self versus some other version of yourself that is on a diet.

Caitie: Yeah, let's not pretend that we don't get really moody when we don't have enough carbohydrates. Let's not pretend that our personality doesn't change when we're calorie restricting, or hyper focusing on the serving size of rice. It's really important to note that going on extreme and restrictive diets and shaming yourself into losing weight really does change your mood, it really does change your personality.

It really does take a toll on you. Even when there's this pseudo confidence that comes from the initial weight loss that happens with some diets. It's not true, sustainable, authentic confidence. It's very superficial and very fragile confidence. And very often, you're just not in a good mood when you're restricting.

I think that's one thing to really keep in mind if you're having a hard time grappling with, “Well, I know I don't want to go on a diet in preparation for this wedding. But how do I remind myself why I shouldn't do that?” Just think about the fact that you won't be able to enjoy the day fully if you're on a diet.

I've heard really, really scary horror stories from a lot of my clients about people fainting at weddings, because they've been on diets and people just not feeling their best and not feeling fully present because they're restricting. We don't want that. These things are supposed to be fun. They're supposed to be so much fun. And I know diet culture, as Christina said, has gotten so enmeshed with wedding culture, but let's be the change.

Let's be part of reclaiming weddings. Make them less extreme, less diety, less about what your body looks like, and more about celebrating life and love and having fun with your friends.

Christina: Yeah, I love that and I think it also goes along with something else I wanted to say of like, “Challenge it, challenge all of it.” Who said that you need to go on a diet for your wedding? Who said that you need to lose X amount of pounds? Who said that you're We're looking your best self at your wedding is being in a thinner body?

Challenge all of those ideals and all of those thoughts that are rooted in wedding culture because where did they come from? Who created these standards? What like– where did these notions come from? Challenge all of it. And if they're not aligning with you and your, personal thoughts and emotions, as a human being, thrown out the window.

Caitie: Yeah, we always talk about this in counseling with clients and in our groups. Notice what– when someone else put their shit in your backpack? Whose shit are you carrying on your back? And can you take a look in your backpack and make sure that mom's shit and dad's shit and grandma’s shit, and their beliefs– I’m saying “shit” way too much now– is not in your backpack weighing you down and you didn't even notice that they put it in there.

It's crazy to think about this, but body shame and stuff goes back generations and generations, right? And so, you might be sitting there fretting over something, because of what your mom's mom's mom said? Really? Do you really want to live what your mom's mom's mom said three decades ago, influenced the way you feel at your friend's wedding right now?

No, you get to decide to heal, you get to decide to change the way you want to show up, and you get to heal for the generations beneath you that aren't going to be fretting about body shape and size at a wedding because of what you've said. I always think about that.

I've talked about on episodes before. It's like, “We're doing what we're doing when we heal from diet, culture and body image shit not only for ourselves, but for our kids who won't have to deal with this anymore.”