Over the next few weeks, I’ll be interviewing women who are all about balance. Striving for perfection in any area of our lives is insanity, because we’re human, designed with flaws, so it’s setting ourselves up for failure and then guilt. That’s why I pursue balance. I don’t get there all the time, but I do my best. I believe, especially when it comes to nutrition, health is all about Balance.
Nutritionist Pip Reed is a balanced kinda gal. She believes (and this is why I love her…) that as long as we eat whole clean foods most of the time, a glass of red and some dark chocolate is absolutely healthy!
Pip has been through her own battles with food and body image which helps her to deeply understand her clients and their complex struggles. I asked her about her personal path to health and balance and she shares a few tips for you too…
You are a picture of health and a nurturing positive person, but was there a time you struggled with food yourself?
Thank you honey! I really try to maintain my health, especially as I am aware than I am an advertisement for my own work. I have definitely had my struggles though, and it took me a lot of self learning and self nurturing to get where I am today. As a young dancer I was constantly aware of my body shape and size and not always kind to myself, and then in my early twenties I certainly let my insecurities and miseducation take over, becoming obsessed with calorie counting and scared of ‘fats’. I have completely changed this now; I never calorie count, nor do I encourage any of my clients to. I focus on providing my body with all the necessary vitamins and minerals, including loads of beautiful healthy fats, so I can cope with every day stressors, exercise to my liking, maintain clear skin and maintain my health realistically (that means chocolate and red wine are staples in my diet!).
In your experience with clients, do you believe diet issues link back to bigger emotional blocks?
Absolutely. Especially for women, there is so much pressure to look and act a certain way and not only does society inflict this on us, but we inflict it on ourselves! We can be our own worst enemies, be so critical of ourselves, and I’ve seen first hand when dealing with eating disorders – whether it be anorexia or obesity – it usually stems from an insecure female figure, like a mother putting her own insecurities on her daughter. And so the cycle continues. If I ask a client if they are emotional eaters, 9 times out of 10 they’ll say yes and there will always be some sort of self-destructive trigger linked to it – a bad relationship, stress at work, family issues and plain old body insecurities. Once we work out this trigger, we work to clear the emotional blockage and we can move forward.
There are so many experts with different beliefs about food, which can be conflicting and confusing. How do we know what’s right for us?
It is unfortunate how many health coaches are out there at the moment claiming they know all the answers after only completing a 3 month part time course. Personal Trainers can be the same and shouldn’t, by code of conduct, be giving any advice on diet. I suggest doing your research, and I don’t mean Dr Google! Find out where your information is coming from and talk to different health practitioners – if you feel a connection with them and that you can trust them and their views then they are probably right for you. Also remember that what’s right for you may not be right for someone else – there is no one size fits all remedy! Think about your lifestyle and what is realistic for you, then find an expert who will work within these guidelines.
What are 3 things we can change in our diet today to improve our health?
Eat more fibre! Processed foods have little to no fibre, which is imperative for gut health and weight maintenance and loss. Increase your fruit and veggie consumption with smoothies and salads.
Increase the fermented foods in your diet with foods like kefir, kombucha and sauerkraut to feed the good bacteria in your stomach. A healthy gut equals healthy skin, healthy weight and mood stabilization.
Eat more fish! Fish is the perfect food for weight loss, beautiful skin, healthy brain and healthy heart function to name a few. Fish is my number one super-food!
“The thing is – I get it. I get that we want to have it all – health, happiness, a great body, amazing skin, success, the perfect job, the perfect partner, the perfect life. And, as we get older, to age gracefully. I’m a realist when it comes to reaching your weight loss goals, anti-aging, health and promoting longevity and believe that it can all be achieved with a balanced lifestyle.
And lastly Pip, what does a food angel actually eat?! Can you share your average day on a plate?
I’m very conscious of eating for beauty, and by that I mean a diet with loads of antioxidants, healthy fats and protein for anti-aging, skin health and weight maintenance. I start my day with a quick shot of raw apple cider vinegar to get my digestive system going. Then I have a Breakfast Glow Smoothie usually consisting of blueberries, almond milk, kefir yoghurt, baby spinach, cinnamon, turmeric, flaxseed, chia seed, ice and my favourite Clean Lean Protein by Nuzest. I’ll also have a Qi Green Detox Tea.
For morning tea I’ll usually have a coconut milk cappuccino or a Green Tea and lunch will usually be a big homemade salad of cabbage, kale, heirloom tomatoes, avocado, capsicum, baby spinach, walnuts, pomegranate and goats cheese with 2 boiled organic eggs and a dressing of olive oil and apple cider vinegar or lemon juice.
Afternoon tea for me is a few brown rice cakes with ABC butter, a lemon protein ball or vegetable sticks and homemade hummus (or all of the above if I’m really hungry!).
And then dinner is almost always fish based – miso salmon, chilli sardines, barramundi fish tacos – with loads of veggies like broccoli, asparagus, sweet potato, beetroot and cauliflower. I also love herbs and add them at every occasion. And I’ll always finish off my day with a few pieces of Pana Chocolate (any flavor – I’m not fussy!) or a glass of shiraz.
So there you go, permission to eat chocolate;)
Remember it’s simply not possible and it’s even quite destructive to pressure ourselves to achieve perfection in any area of our lives: our health, career, relationships, appearance etc. Eating clean whole foods 80% of the time means we’re not trying to deprive ourselves only to crack and have a blow-out, eating a whole cake or something gross like that!
Good news is, a state of equilibrium can be achieved most of the time and let’s face it, balance is much more fun than boring ol’ perfection!
What is life without a champagne with your love, a smooth glass of red, a piece of dark chocolate, mmm.. you get the idea! I look forward to bringing you more on my series interviewing balanced babes.
By the way, I’ve written about my personal experience as a client of Pip here.