📲 Instagram: @real.life.nutritionist
🖥 Website: reallifenutritionist.com
Hello everybody. I am so excited for today’s episode. I have Miranda here, otherwise known as Real Life Nutritionist on Instagram and she is dropping the tea on all things diet, happy weight, nutrition information, myth-busting stuff, like all the good stuff that we get from her amazing Instagram, but we get to talk to her real life today. So, Miranda, thank you so much for coming on the Coffee Talks Therapy podcast. I am just so grateful to have you here today.
Thank you so much for having me. I am so excited to chat with you.
Yay, so before we dive into all the good stuff, for anybody that doesn’t know you, tell us a little bit about who you are, what your story is, and what kind of got you started on creating your real life nutritionist account.
Okay, so my name is Miranda. I call myself a nutritionist, but I’m actually on the road to becoming a registered dietitian. I am in my last year of that process right now, but I actually began my career in marketing. So I guess I’ll just kind of tell my story about like what got me interested in nutrition and I’ll try to keep it succinct. So a little bit about my upbringing, I was, I’ll just use this word, kind of overweight. Like I was a little bit on the chubby side and, you know, the most prominent thing for me growing up is that I thought I had just like the worst body ever. I had huge body image issues more than anything, you know, more than objectively being, you know, larger, I had really major body image issues that stuck with me from childhood into my teenage years into university. So that was kind of always something that guided my food decisions that guided my exercise decisions. So that’s just a little bit of background.
So going into university, you know, I was studying pretty much nothing. I didn’t have a major in university because I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to do. That’s kind of besides the point, but so I was studying, doing my thing, and I decided to do Weight Watchers, which was kind of like the main catalyst getting me into this world. And I’ll just preface this by saying it’s not a program I would recommend, but it was a huge part of my story. So when I got to university, like a lot of people, which is completely normal, I gained some weight. You know, you’re like out of your house, you’re not used to like cooking for yourself and taking care of yourself. So I gained some weight and my kind of solution to that problem at the time was doing Weight Watchers.
So I did Weight Watchers. I lost a kind of significant amount of weight in a very short period of time. And at the time, I thought like my food and body image issues were fixed. Like I thought I’d like hit the jackpot, I figured it out. I like finally got to this weight that I’d always wanted. Little did I know that it actually would cause me a lot of problems. So fast forward a little bit. So I am university, I start my career in marketing, and I’m still eating the way that Weight Watchers had taught me to eat. So I wasn’t on the program anymore. But those guidelines were still in my head, because I was truly terrified of gaining weight back. And so I don’t know if anyone listening or you Ryann are familiar with Weight Watchers, but a big part of like what they teach is like this point system. And this point system, at least for me, like instilled a lot of fear in like any food with like calories and like including healthy foods too. S
o like any types of fat sources, especially like I just had this point system drilled into my head and I was kind of eating this way, feeling kind of scared of food, scared of gaining weight. It wasn’t a great time. And while this was happening, I was starting my career in marketing and I was also developing a incredibly severe case of irritable bowel syndrome. So it was just kind of not a great time all around. I would later find out that the irritable bowel syndrome, like surprise, surprise was connected to me not eating enough. But again, you just don’t know at the time, kind of what’s happening and how these things are connected. So long story short, I went and I saw a registered dietitian, the amazing Stephanie Claremont, for my IBS. And through doing that, she helped me kind of figure out my symptoms. I always say she like cured me because she basically brought me back to normal digestive wise.
And after that, not only did I start to kind of realize how odd my relationship with food had become, and how like that was connected to my digestive issues, but I also realized like, hey, this registered dietician changed my life and I want to do this too. And so I left my kind of short lived career in marketing to kind of go back to school and start this process, all the while starting to like heal my relationship with food. So that’s kind of my very long story in a nutshell. I hope it makes sense.
Yes. And I mean, thank you so much for sharing that. I think that there’s so many good points in there that you made. I mean, all food issues are connected to body image. I mean, we diet because we don’t like our body, we binge because we’re unhappy with our body, we overeat because we say, F it, I don’t care about my body kind of thing. It always comes back to the body. And so I think it’s so important to recognize that is the root of it. And like, if we cannot get to this place of like body acceptance, then the food stuff is never ever going to go away. And like, they’re so interconnected. So I think it’s like very important to recognize like what your relationship is like with your body, because sometimes we focus so much on the food and don’t necessarily draw attention to that.
And then I also love how you kind of like talked about the fact that like, you got off of Weight Watchers, but like, and even though you weren’t using that point system anymore, like those things were still drilled in your head. I think that like one of the biggest misconceptions that people have when they’re struggling with food is like, they don’t know enough about food. But I think that the problem is, is that we know too much. Like we know too much about, you know, points or nutrition information or about what these foods do to our body or don’t do to our body. It’s not that we don’t know enough. And I think that like unlearning those things that we’ve already learned or like put into our brains of these systems that are created on, I mean, who knows what, you know what I mean? It’s so hard to do, but also so important to recognize. And then also recognizing like all the other effects of doing this kind of stuff that it’s not just like weight related. I mean, other things happen, whether it is IBS or losing your period, or, you know, I talked to a girl earlier about predetermined for osteoporosis and like all these other kinds of things that like are so scary.
So going off of that, so now you are becoming a registered dietitian, which is absolutely incredible. And so your mission is to help women find their happy weight without dieting. So can you define like what happy weight means for anyone who has never heard that term before?
Yeah, absolutely. So I mean, it’s not a clinical term, so I’m sure we all have our definitions of it. But to me, happy weight is the weight that you can reach where you’re balancing your life with nutrition, right? So I think like, at least for me, the way I see social media nowadays, I think there’s a lot of extreme messages, right? There’s the people who are kind of like pro dieting, who are kind of weight loss at all costs rhetoric. And then there’s the people who seem to be, you know, very vocally anti diet. And for me, I try to sit somewhere in the middle, because I know what it’s like to not feel amazing in your body. And I know what it’s like, more importantly, to not have the best habits that get you there, right?
Like the fact that I grew up a little bit on the larger side, wasn’t, that was a symptom of me kind of being an emotional eater. Me not like having these habits that really supported my health. And so for me, I want to help people get to a place where they can build healthy habits into their life and reach a weight that is healthy for them, but in a way that is really kind of effortless. And I know you talk a lot about this on your platform too, which is really cool. But really, I think again, yeah, it’s balancing that relationship with food, with enjoying your life, with developing these healthy, sustainable habits for ourselves. And I think that’s where we can kind of reach this happy weight where yes, it’s healthy for our bodies, but it’s also healthy for our minds. And it’s not going to be something that we kind of have to give up on one day because it’s just too hard to sustain.
Totally. And I definitely sit in that middle ground as well. I mean, as just like working with mental health and all that kind of stuff, you know, I’m very like anti-black and white. So sitting in the middle is what I try to do best.
Yeah, I love it.
But I think you bring up a very good point that it’s like, it’s okay to like get to this place where you’re happy with where your body is, but like recognizing that that doesn’t need to be the main focus at all. And like, that we can focus on the balance of movement that makes us feel good and the balance of eating more nutritious foods and fun foods and like having those in our lives at just like a normal basis, our weight just kind of like stabilizes to the point where it is effortless, where we can go on vacation and like totally enjoy ourselves. But because this is a lifestyle, it’s like, I don’t need to come back and get on a diet because I didn’t just go crazy while I was on vacation. You know what I mean?
Yeah, that’s exactly right. And something I like to say a lot too is I think a huge part of the process is accepting that your happiest way may not be the same as your goal weight, right? Like I got to my goal weight and the result was having horrible IBS and not feeling much better in my body and having a lot of anxiety around food. And I’m a little bit heavier right now. And the number wasn’t what I had, the number on the scale isn’t what I had kind of envisioned my whole life, but literally everything about my health is better for that. And I think accepting that we can’t just arbitrarily pick this pretty number for ourselves, and maybe that’s not where we’re gonna be happiest or healthiest anyways, is like such an important part of the process.
So as people are beginning this journey, where they’re like, okay, I’m ready to ditch the diet, I’m ready to begin listening to my body, but I’m so afraid of gaining weight. Where do you recommend people start on learning maybe these like diet culture, food messages, or food rules that are so ingrained in our minds such as let’s say the Weight Watchers Point System?
Oh, that’s such a good question. You know what, the first thing that comes to mind, which I know, we talk about this all the time, but I don’t know if we all do it, is to really clean up your social media feed. Like I think we all underestimate the impact that these people that we follow and we see every day in our feeds can have on our mindset around food and our bodies. So my first recommendation would probably be pay attention to who you’re following.
Follow people who advocate for more balance and who not only advocate for it, but exemplify that in the way that they live their lives too. I know for me, unfollowing a lot of these, it just sounds horrible to say, but you follow these kind of goal kind of people who like prioritize fitness over everything and have these like dream bodies and like I had to kind of take a hard look at my feed and be like why am I following them? They’re not, not only are they not helping me be healthier but they’re kind of making me sorta horrible of myself. Yeah and over time just kind of shifting what your feed looks like I think can have a huge impact just on that mindset piece learning that balance is possible and there are people out there doing it.
And I definitely think that that is huge. You know, as you scroll through your feed where, you know, social media has just become such a huge part of our lives now, where we do it so mindlessly and recognizing that our subconscious is always working and recognizing these things. So like, maybe not right off the bat, we say, oh wow, this girl is like, making me feel really bad about myself, but in the back of our mind, that’s happening without us even realizing it. And so like recognizing, is this person adding more information to my life? Is this person making me feel good?
Is this person someone that is bringing positivity into my life or not? And that doesn’t mean that like, this is a bad person or that you don’t want to like start any beef by unfollowing. You can also mute people, which I think is amazing. You can just like mute them and have them off. So like if you want to connect, they’re there. But like it’s not something that you’re constantly consuming all the time.
Yeah, exactly. I’m a huge fan of that mute function. Exactly. As you said, you can kind of quietly unfollow them without unfollowing them and reach out when you want to and nobody suspects a thing.
Totally. And I think too, you know, and you do such a good job of this, it’s just recognizing like what information out there is actually true and then what is total BS. I mean, there is so much information out there that people claim works or that is the answer or that this happened. And like, unless you have the full story or the research, like really checking, is this true? And like, I love that you always bring attention to those kinds of things and just being so real about like, this is the reality of what actually happens when you put these foods in your body and like, what isn’t necessarily true?
Yeah, honestly, it scares me sometimes, like being on social media and doing more of the myth busting really opened my eyes to just how much misinformation is out there in terms of nutrition and fitness info. Yeah, it scares me a lot. And I’m so glad that there’s so many of us advocating against that stuff. But I don’t think we’ve totally drowned them out yet. And it does freak me out because there are a lot of people who, you know, you just don’t know. And I was one of them before I started nutrition. I was one of them that was constantly falling for these new things that sounded too good to be true. And sadly, like most of those things that sound too good to be true really are.
A thousand percent. So bringing things back to our happy weight and recognizing that our happy weight isn’t necessarily our smallest weight, but the weight where we feel best. Why is it that diets can never help us get there?
Oh, that’s a good question. You know, the way I really like to think about this is that a temporary solution can really only create temporary results. So, let’s use my Weight Watchers experience as an example. I went through Weight Watchers, I learned this point system, I ate this way, and then I got to this dream body, I guess. But then the diet stops, and then where are we left? I didn’t have this point system anymore, so I didn’t know how to eat. And so for me, that manifested in food anxiety and fear around that type of stuff, but for the vast majority of people, the way that is going to manifest is going back to old habits or changing your habits slightly and more than likely gaining that weight back. So, you know, approaching nutrition and fitness as I kind of, this word has been kind of like it more like a lifestyle. You know, like what can I do to support my health the best way I can every day?
That’s the only way that we’re gonna get these lasting quote unquote results because there’s no end game to it. Every day, we’re just trying to do our best and you know, that’s where our weight can reflect that and that’s where we can kind of, you know, maintain this happy weight with ease.
With what you know from either personal experience and then as a dietician, do you support intuitive eating or take that kind of approach or what approach to finding balance in food do you feel like is the best?
Oh, well, you know, this is maybe not going to be a popular answer, but I do support intuitive eating, but I also think different people will need different things. And I think the really great, but sometimes difficult thing about intuitive eating is that it’s a very specific framework and you kind of go through things in one particular order. And for people with a disordered eating history, I think it’s the best option out there. But for people like me, and for a lot of other people like me who just had a history of dieting and body image issues and maybe tended towards more of that emotional eating side, I do think just a little bit more structure in the beginning can be really beneficial.
I really love the intuitive eating framework and I really use a lot of those principles with myself and with anyone that I’m working with, but I don’t call myself an intuitive eating practitioner because I don’t use it the way that it’s been laid out in the research. So to answer your question kind of succinctly, I guess, is I really, really love combining mindful eating strategies with a little bit of gentle nutrition, because I do find, kind of to your point that you mentioned earlier, a lot of people can enter this process having a lot of fear around like weight gain and around completely letting go of their food rules right away. So I think starting people with a little bit of gentle nutrition and just a little bit of structure alongside the mindful eating piece can kind of ease those anxieties a bit and make the transition over to intuitive eating a little bit easier.
And I will also say, I think for most people, I think intuitive eating should be the end goal. You know, because again, we all want to just, I think, know how to eat intrinsically and not have to jump on and off diet, but maybe the avenue to get there might differ a little bit between people.
Yeah, and I mean, first of all, I just want to say that the reason why we love you is because you never take the back of the popular opinion. You’re always just stating the facts and I love it. Okay, so what do you mean by gentle nutrition?
Oh, okay. So I’ll give you a very specific example. So one of the first things that I like to teach people is this balance plate method. So I, what do I call it? I think I call it the Fab Five. Well, basically, it’s just a guideline. And that is it. It’s not a rule book. It’s not a diet, general guideline of what a nutritionally balanced and emotionally satisfying plate can look like, right? So the way I kind of lay out that recommendation for most people would be about a quarter of your plate of protein, a quarter-ish of your plate of starchy carbs, which I know a lot of us are scared of, but they’re very important. Lots and lots of color filling up the rest of your plate, a sprinkle of fat, and making sure there’s some fun, aka like sauces, herbs, things that make it taste good there as well.
So again, you’re kind of incorporating nutrition principles, but in a way where there’s really no right or wrong way to do it. You’re just kind of giving yourself a guideline and trying to stick to it as much as you can. And if you can’t, we also know it’s really no big deal and we can start again at the next meal. So that’s kind of one example of a gentle nutrition strategy, but the overarching message would just be nutrition without rules, right? Just some gentle guidelines for us to follow.
Definitely. And I think it’s such a good point to kind of address the rule situation and knowing that in order to get to this place of just balance and food freedom, like we have to let go of the rules that we’ve created in our mind based on, again, the information that we learn. It’s not that we don’t know enough, it’s that we know too much.
I know, I know. True.
We have these rules and we have to break them. Food isn’t supposed to have rules. And so I love that you say this is a guideline, but this isn’t an end all be all kind of thing. So with gentle nutrition and mindful eating, now what does mindful eating mean?
Well, I guess mindful eating just defined would be bringing awareness to your meal times and to your eating decisions. I think a lot of us, I think most of us actually, probably go through our days not really paying attention while we’re eating, right? So it starts with how we make our food decisions. We’re probably just making them on the fly because we’re all stressed and we’re all busy. Maybe our food rules are guiding those food decisions or maybe just what’s around is guiding those food decisions. And then also when we sit down to eat, we’re barely paying attention.
We’re probably working at the same time. I know that’s something I’m super guilty of, or, right? It’s so, oh, it’s so bad and I still do it, but, or maybe we’re on our phones, scrolling through social media while we’re eating, or it can be anything, but all of these ways that we can divert our attention from eating and food decisions, I would say, are more on the mindless side. So mindful eating is just tons of different tactics that we can use to just bring more awareness to our eating experience so that really we can better connect to our bodies and learn how to feed it again in that effortless way.
Because when we pay attention, it becomes much more obvious like what foods make us feel good and which ones don’t, and how much we should be eating because we can actually notice our fullness signals and all that great stuff.
Yeah, and I think too, like, if you actually like the food. Like, I remember after having so many rules and, like, eating this certain way for so long and then taking this more gentle nutrition approach and, like, taking the time to, like, actually sit down and taste my food, I was like, wow, I actually don’t really like this at all. Why am I eating this?
Yeah, it is so true. Like, you know, something I’ve noticed over the years, the more intuitively I eat is that foods excite me a lot less than I thought they did. Like desserts and stuff like used to have this just like overwhelming power over me. Like I literally couldn’t be around fudge without like inhaling the entire brick as an example. And now like, it’s so true. Like you notice what you do and don’t like. And also like, you’re like, well, even with good stuff, it’s just food. Like, I don’t know, it’s kind of sad in a way cause like it’s a little less exciting, but also it’s kind of amazing. Like how much of power it holds over you over time.
Totally. And I think that that’s the point that we’re all trying to get to, right? Where your life is the best part of your day, not the brownie that you get to eat today. You know what I mean?
I remember throughout my days when I was really struggling with dieting and being so amassed in diet culture, it was like every quote unquote fun food that I got to eat was literally the best part of my… Every time I got to eat, that was the best part of my day. And recognizing food should obviously be enjoyed. Like it should be an experience. You should get pleasure from it. You should enjoy it, but it doesn’t have to be the best part of your day. And when it’s no longer the best part of your day, that excitement, like you said, kind of just drops away where it’s like, cool, I get to eat a cookie, but it’s not like, oh my gosh, this is so exciting, or, you know, open the floodgates, here we go, because this is the time that I get to eat and like, actually enjoy it. And so I think that that’s such a point that you bring up.
Yeah, it’s so powerful. It’s really cool, like how our relationship with food can change as we work on these things. Like, I think a lot of what we do, working on our relationship with food and working on our habits is obviously intentional, but then it has all these like miraculous side effects and you’re like, it’s just honestly kind of life changing.
Definitely. So there is definitely and I think going back to that kind of like extreme of there are accounts of weight loss at all costs, and then there are very anti diet accounts. Like, I feel like there’s a lot of controversy on the idea of no bad foods and kind of this idea that all foods fit I know that I’ve gotten quite a few comments in regards to well if all foods fit Then like what does health matter and I just eat all this sugar then like how is that? Healthy kind of thing and like again, that’s going back to the rules but this kind of like mixed idea that people have on either there are bad foods or there are no bad foods or just like calling them bad foods in general. So I would love to know your thoughts on this and what you believe.
Okay, yeah, big, yeah, you’re right. I get a lot of comments about this too, and it can be definitely misunderstood and kind of hard to wrap your head around, but I’ll do my best to try to explain it. So to me, the idea of all foods fit doesn’t mean all foods are nutritionally equal, right? So I think, as you said, all of us know, like many of us probably know too much about nutrition. And I think we all intrinsically know which foods are the more nutrient dense ones and which ones are the more fun ones, right? But to me, the importance of an all-foods-fit approach is, one, to make sure it’s a lifestyle habit we can sustain, because never having cookies again is simply not realistic. But also, it’s really important for taking guilt out of the equation.
I think most of us, when we’re viewing foods as good and bad, when we have one of those quote unquote bad foods, instead of enjoying it, we’re just left feeling guilty and regretful and maybe it leads us into a binge situation because we feel like we can never have it again, right? And so if we can just view all foods as having a purpose, we can more easily get rid of the guilt and actually just tune into our bodies to figure out which foods actually feel good for us to eat and which foods don’t and maybe in what quantities. So to me, that’s really the number one reason why I advocate for an all foods fit approach is because guilt, not only does it make us feel miserable, it really hinders our progress and it really prevents us from being able to connect with our bodies and move forward eating in a more intuitive way.
Totally. And I learned that like how much guilt can kind of play into you actually being able to enjoy the food as well. And when we are, let’s say we do say, okay, I’m gonna allow all foods to fit. And I’m going to have a cookie today because all foods fit. But as you’re eating that cookie, you’re like, I shouldn’t be eating this. I’m going to gain weight. This is so bad. Why am I doing this? You kind of take yourself away from actually being able to enjoy it. And then it’s like, you didn’t even experience that cookie. And so it’s like that never happened. And so I know, and I’m sure that you’ve had clients come to you and, and explain this, but saying, I am allowing all foods to fit. I’m eating the cookies now, I’m eating the pasta, I’m eating the whatever, and I’m still binging what’s going on. Do you have any other thoughts on that?
Yeah, kind of exactly what you said. I think allowing us to… you can be physically allowing all foods to fit, but mentally you’re still not there, as you kind of mentioned.
I would love to touch a little bit on control in regards to controlling food, I feel like this is something that you definitely touch on. And this idea that we think that if we just have more willpower, if we just have more control, if we just were able to say no, or if we were just able to stop, that would be the answer. that the less we control, the more control we actually have in the sense that it just, I think, comes back to becoming irrelevant. So as people are beginning to ditch the diet, or for those that say willpower is just what I need, why is that not necessarily the answer?
You know, I think the main reason to me why control isn’t helpful is because so much in life is really out of control, right? Like we can want to control our food perfectly and we can maybe have the strongest desire to control our food in the world, but there’s still going to be days where we, I don’t know, don’t have vegetables on hand or we’re on a road trip and we’re starving and we have to get fast food somewhere. There are always going to be situations that hinder our ability to control our food a hundred percent and so I think instead of trying to control our food, I think really learning the skill of being flexible while still making food decisions that make you feel pretty good is just so, so much more helpful for the vast majority of people.
And also the thing that I don’t love about this idea of like control and willpower is that it’s really zeroing in on the less nutrient foods, which again, I just don’t see as particularly productive, right? I don’t want someone spending all of their brain space and energy trying to prevent themselves from ever eating pizza. I would way rather they spend their days focusing on how they can get more vegetables in, you know, how to pair fruits with protein so that they can maintain their energy better, how to get more nuts and seeds and beans. Like I just think it’s such a more productive mindset to be looking at what we can include and what tweaks we can easily make to our days instead of, I don’t know, just pretending like one day it’s going to be perfect if we can just get our minds set in check.
Totally. So to kind of just touch on some of your knowledge and doing some myth-busting at the end of this episode, I would love to kind of just go through some maybe food rules and have you share kind of the truth on that.
Sure, that’s fine.
Okay, so let’s talk about first fat burning foods. So that is something that is all over the internet. So what is the deal with fat burning foods?
Okay, so to put it plainly, there’s no such thing. There are zero foods, I would say, that can actively burn fat. I think remembering that all foods bring us energy in some, aka calories, in some capacity. And when we know and understand that, I think it’s easier to realize there is no single food or drink that we can consume that can burn fat away. I’ll give a little disclaimer. Like, there are things we can do to support a healthy metabolism like eating enough and eating a lot of proteins, but again, nothing we’re gonna eat is just gonna melt the fat away, unfortunately.
Yes, oh my gosh, such a good point. I mean, it’s like one of those pills and stuff that we just need to draw attention to and you have a better understanding of how the like anatomy and logistics of your body works than I do, but I think that is something that if you don’t understand, that’s one of those things that like, if you read that, that’s so easy to get sucked into. I mean, I was there.
Yeah, it is, it’s so easy to get sucked into. A little like motto I love to share a lot is like, if it sounds too good to be true, I can almost guarantee it is too good to be true, so let’s like not even waste our time on it.
I love that, I love that. I know that this is something that I struggled with a lot. This is a major food rule that I hear. Let’s talk about nighttime snacking. The idea that eating after dinner is a problem. I’m not allowed to eat after dinner or I’m not allowed to eat after 7pm. What are your thoughts on that?
Another really good one and actually a question I get a lot. So the great news is that our bodies can digest food at pretty much any time of the day. Our digestive system doesn’t really turn off and definitely, certainly there’s no time of day where we eat where we’re more likely to gain fat from that meal, which I know is like a huge concern for a lot of people. Now, I will say, I think sometimes people kind of equate nighttime snacking with mindless snacking. And so I think it’s fair to just check in with yourself and be mindful and ask why you’re reaching for a certain food. And it could just be because you feel like ice cream and that is totally valid, or it could be because you’re genuinely hungry.
But I think if you can just approach nighttime eating just mindfully and just knowing why you’re doing it, then by all means, go ahead and proceed because there are a lot of valid reasons to eat in the evening. And additionally, eating when you’re hungry, we didn’t really touch on this earlier, but eating when you’re hungry is like a super healthy habit because it helps stabilize our blood sugars and helps prevent major overindulgences later. And so if you’re hungry in the evenings, the last thing you want is to wake up in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning, absolutely starving. So please like go ahead and eat that is actually very health promoting
Yes And I know that I’m this type of person that if I allow myself to get to this like famished hunger state I mean it is like almost like inevitable that I’ll overeat like it’s just
And I know that when I get to that level, it’s just like let’s go. I want to not feel this way anymore and then also like I Know that I sleep absolutely terribly when I go to bed hungry. Like, if I even, like, feel like, hmm, I’m, like, kind of hungry, but I don’t know if I need a snack, I don’t know if I’m just, like, thirsty or whatever, and I kind of do ignore that, I- I nine out of ten times will wake up at 2 a.m. starving and have to get a snack then. And then it’s like, oh, I might as well have just eaten, you know, at eight o’clock and then slept through the night, I’m so annoyed.
Yeah, I know. And it’s so funny and it’s so common. Like, I think a lot of us can relate to that experience of like questioning their hunger so much. And then more often than not, I think we were right. I think if we’re questioning our hunger so much, we were just hungry, but we were denying it. And it always ends up with discomfort and probably overeating later. So learning to like trust those instincts and respond to them when they’re there, you know, it’s a skill that needs to be developed for sure, but it’s so important.
Totally, okay. So this is a big one. What about detoxes in the sense of maybe not necessarily a detox juice, but let’s say like a warm lemon water in the morning or an apple cider vinegar shot. Does that actually do anything? Does that actually detox? What is the deal with that?
Oh, these ones, unfortunately, again, it’s one of these things that just sounds a little too good to be true, and it is just a little too good to be true. So there’s really no evidence whatsoever to say that either lemon juice or lemon water or apple cider vinegar can help either detoxify us or like, you know, clear out our digestion. And a side note, we have, you know, built in organs. We have detoxification systems to help us detox our liver and our kidneys and our lungs. Those are the only things that can genuinely get rid of toxins. So if you’re ever feeling like a drink or a food is selling you on being detoxifying, know that it’s just unfortunately not based in science. And it’s really not going to do anything for you. And even because I know sometimes people say detox, but what they mean is kind of like clear out their digestion. So even from a digestive point of view, like let’s say you’re a little backed up because you’ve overindulged, these things aren’t going to help either. You know, there are strategies that are going to be much more helpful than turning to lemon juice and apple cider vinegar.
So going off of that, what are some things that you recommend to do after maybe you’ve overindulged or maybe had a binge?
That’s a good question. So first of all, and I know this goes against what people want to do, but try to eat normally the next day. What happens if we try to skip meals and restrict the day after we overindulge, it kind of gets us stuck in this cycle where we’re more likely to overeat again. Again, it’s kind of going back to that denying our hunger signals, letting our blood sugar get too low. Those are things that are kind of a recipe for getting overly hungry, eating too fast, and going past the point of fullness. So eating normally is like number one, the first thing I would recommend.
And then also there’s things you can do to help kind of move your digestive system along. So I always say, try to start your next morning with a nice high fiber breakfast, sometimes followed by a hot drink like a coffee or even just a hot water can help just kind of stimulate our digestive system and hopefully push a little bit of it out. And then continuing to just do some of the simple stuff, like continue to prioritize fiber throughout your day, make sure you’re well hydrated, and try not to overdo it on the caffeine. Because sometimes that can have the opposite effect as intended.
Totally, and I think it’s so important. And I definitely agree, like, it is so easy after overindulging or maybe a binge to be like, okay, I want to restrict or I’m still so full or maybe I’m telling myself I’m still so full that I’m gonna skip breakfast or I’m not gonna eat this next meal. And like, the best thing we can do is just like really trying to get back on that normal eating pattern of what you would have you would have done if you hadn’t binged because then you’re just like Automatically going back into that cycle and I was so guilty of that but it is amazing like how even though it’s uncomfortable if you’re able to Just kind of be kind to yourself and like bring it back to getting back on normal meals again, like instead of restricting how we don’t have to have it go into this snowball effect.
Totally. And I think something that can be really helpful is taking a second to reflect, like, okay, what happened that led to this binge yesterday, right? Like did I skip carbs in a meal? Did I skip breakfast? Was I eating just like rice and broccoli and chicken all day? day. More often than not, there’s some type of like physical or mental restriction involved leading up to a binge. And so we don’t want to repeat that, right? So trying to reflect and learn some lessons about what led to that overindulgence or binge. And instead of repeating that again the next day, because you feel guilty, try to do the opposite. Try to like fuel yourself a little bit more. Try to choose more satisfying foods so that you can break the cycle and you don’t have to suffer again or you don’t have to suffer as frequently.
I love that so much. Okay, so the last one I have for you, and this was one that I held onto for so long. I feel like bread gets so demonized. It gets such a bad rap. And I know that, okay, first and foremost, there’s a thing of just not having bread at all. But I feel like there’s another rule that you absolutely cannot have bread more than one time a day. I don’t know if that’s just me or I felt like, I don’t know, I feel like I hear that all the time, that it’s like I either need to just have one piece of bread on my sandwich or if I ate bread for breakfast, let’s say if I had avocado toast for breakfast, I can’t So can you please break that rule?
Yes, absolutely. And you definitely aren’t alone with that. I hear that a lot, and that’s something that I didn’t even realize I used to think of, but I definitely did. So there’s a few different reasons why I would say we really don’t have to fear bread. I think, number one, people tend to fear gluten. And I’ll preface this by saying there are legitimate reasons why some people don’t want to consume gluten. For example, people with celiac disease, please do not consume gluten. That is essential for you to eliminate it from your diet. And there are some people with legitimate intolerances. But I think for the most part, a lot of our fears around gluten are just that. They’re fears and they’re not necessarily based in legitimate science.
Gluten is just simply a type of protein that’s common in wheat and some other grains and for the vast, vast majority of people, it can be tolerated just fine. So that’s number one. I think number two, people kind of fear starchy carbs in general. I know there are some bigger accounts that push low carb eating or reducing the number of starches in your day. But starches are super important for a lot of reasons. First of all, they deliver a lot of fiber for us. Yes, our fruits and veggies can bring fiber too, but starchy carbohydrates often bring a little bit more and they bring different types. And starchy foods are super important for fueling our workouts that we can stay, you know, ourselves and, and our activities that we can stay feeling energized.
And they’re also super important for feeling mentally satisfied and preventing those kind of binge-like episodes again. And then I would say the third reason people seem to fear bread is processing. And this idea that we can only consume foods that are straight from the ground or exactly as nature intended them. But our bodies just don’t see food that way. Yes, we want to choose things with more fiber and more protein when we can, but our bodies don’t get like a like a rap sheet saying like how much processing of food has gone through. And there are lots of like super healthy, dense, high fiber breads that can actually be really, really health-promoting.
So I know that’s kind of just talking about fears about bread in general, but really this idea that we can only have one slice, it’s really not based on anything at all. Yes, I want people to get variety, and yes, I would love for people to focus on high-fiber carbs, but bread, even a couple slices a day, like two or three slices a day, can totally be part of a healthy diet.
I love it. I love it. And I, I think it is important to talk about the fear part because that’s where it’s rooted in and like, yeah, we can have all the information, but if we don’t kind of break through those fears, then I mean, only go so far. So if you could leave everybody listening with just like one piece of either nutrition advice, one thought, one thing that you wish that they knew in regards to finding their happy weight without dieting, what would that be?
Ooh, I think my number one piece of advice, which I don’t, it’s gonna sound like a bummer at first, but it’s not a bummer, is perfection is not gonna happen. I know that’s what we all want and I know that it is so much easier to say we’re never gonna have processed foods, but it’s just never gonna be the reality for the vast, vast majority of us. All or nothing mentality really stands in our way of being healthy and reaching a happy way and feeling confident in our bodies. So my best advice to you is stop looking for perfection, stop aiming for perfection, and stop beating yourself up when perfection doesn’t happen because that is life, it is inevitable, it’s how we continue on and move forward while acknowledging the imperfections that matters. You can absolutely be healthy and still eat pizza and still enjoy ice cream, and still have one too many cookies, it can happen. It is not all or nothing.
Yes. Oh, my gosh. I love that. Okay, so to wrap this up, what I would love to do is to go into a speed round of random questions so people can get to know you on just a totally different level.
Amazing. Okay. Yes.
So with this, just answer first thing that comes to your mind. Always got to start off with this one because I feel like this could say so much about who you are and just like one answer. What is your nut butter of choice?
Oh, peanut butter.
And crunchy or smooth?
What is one obscure thing that you’re talented at?
Oh my gosh. I’m gonna say Mario Kart because I just kicked my boyfriend’s butt last night. I’m really good.
I love that. Okay, would you rather have a rewind button or a pause button on your life?
Oh, a pause. Oh, that’s a good question.
What is the weirdest snack that you like to eat?
Oh, okay, this is really weird. So I really like doing, like making my own potato wedges, like an oven or the air fryer, whatever, and then dipping them in plain Greek yogurt. It’s so satisfying.
So do you mix anything in the Greek yogurt or just like
no, plain Greek yogurt.
I can’t say I’ve ever tried that.
It’s good, it’s good.
What is a pet peeve that you would make illegal if you could?
This is going to make me sound so mean, but chewing with your mouth open, it drives me crazy.
Me too, me too. Oh my god, yes. What is a word that you always mispronounce?
Me too. I don’t know if anybody can actually, I mean, without thinking about it, say that correct.
Yeah, I have, I don’t, I’m pretty sure I said it wrong there too.
Would you rather make a phone call or send a text?
What is your favorite smell and why?
Oh, I really like the smell of lavender. I really, my dad’s side of the family is Italian and we went to Italy once when we were kids and I got this like tiny little lavender pillow which I’ve since lost but it just like smelled so strongly of lavender and I don’t know that smell just always brings me good memories now.
Now let me ask you this, can you eat lavender flavored things?
No, actually no I don’t really like the flavor, isn’t that funny?
Me either, there’s this pastry shop where I live and they have this like lemon lavender bread and it sounds like so like decadent and just like it’s it only comes out in the summertime but I I just can’t do it like I feel like I’m eating soap and it’s not that it tastes you know it’s it’s bad bread I don’t know why I just relate that.
I know I feel the same it’s so perfumey.
Yes yes okay um what is something new you want to learn this year?
I was just talking to my mom about this. I want to learn how to sew. I don’t know if it’s going to happen this year, but I do want to learn how to sew before I die.
Anything in particular, like sew clothes?
I do have something in particular and it’s ridiculous. So I don’t know if anyone’s seen on TikTok, there’s this thing called like, you know, the bathrobe trend of curling your hair?
Well, someone has created a product that does it better without frizz, and it’s like this like foam rod that you wrap around your head that’s like covered in satin and it comes with the scrunchies and everything, but it’s like a million dollars to get it shipped to Canada and so I’m going to try to make it myself, but I don’t know how to sew.
Is that the one where it kind of like, when you put it in your hair, it kind of looks like George Washington in the sense that you like wrap,
I just got my hair done. I was like, what is this?
It looks amazing. And I just grew my hair long recently and I don’t know why I just have in my head that I need that product. So now I’m like, okay, I guess I gotta learn how to sew.
Oh my gosh, I love it. Okay, and then just in honor of the Coffee Talks therapy vibe, if you were a coffee drink, what would you be and why?
Oh, what would I be and why? I think I would be… Oh, let me think about this, that’s such a funny question. I feel like I’d be like a… Sometimes I like classic, like a flat white, but with a pump or two of hazelnut syrup. And the reason I say that is because, you know, I feel like I’m, you know, like pretty normal palatable, something people enjoy, but there’s like a little bit of hidden surprise in me, like a little bit of syrup. So that’s what I’m thinking.
I love that. Oh my gosh, Miranda. Thank you so much for sharing all of that knowledge with us and just coming on and chatting with me today, where can everybody find you if they want to learn more, connect with you, all that good stuff?
Well, thank you so much for having me. It was truly a pleasure. We have such similar philosophies, so it’s really fun to chat. Where can people find me? Probably the best place to find me would be on Instagram. I’m at real.life.nutritionist. You can also go to my website, reallifenutritionist.com.
One last question that I’ve always wanted to ask you. Any reasoning behind your Instagram handle or is it totally random?
Yeah. Oh, so I don’t know if you were around. I used to have a different name and it took me like months to decide, but I ended up with Real Life Nutritionist because I felt like what I really stand for is adapting nutrition to real life so that you can enjoy your life and not go crazy about it. So that’s where it kind of came from and I’m super happy with it now.
Licensed Therapist, Certified Nutritionist, and Virtual Wellness Coach
Ryann is a licensed therapist and virtual wellness coach who has assisted individuals worldwide in establishing a healthier relationship with food and their bodies.
I understand—it can be overwhelming to figure out where to begin. Let's simplify things and have you start right here:
Why Am I Overeating?
First Steps To Stop Binge Eating
The Food Freedom Lab Podcast
the food freedom lab podcast