As the holiday season comes to a close, New Year resolutions begin in full swing, the most common being a pledge to a healthier lifestyle. Yet, so many of these resolutions fall through after the first few months. Both health practitioner, Erin Thole, CNHP, and SlimLogix founder, Andy James, NTP, agree that while keeping a healthy lifestyle requires work and mindfulness, it doesn’t have to be as hard or as stressful as we make it. It was my pleasure to interview both on how we can change our mindsets when it comes to food and lifestyle.
So, where do we start in this life-changing journey? Diet is a giant factor when striving for a healthier lifestyle says Erin. She mentions that changing your diet is a progression and learning curve that deserves grace. Start by cutting out junk food and getting rid of processed foods and sugars as well as food that contains zero nutrients. Shop the perimeter of the grocery store as that is where you find your whole foods. Erin stresses the need to eat food in its most primitive and basic forms and to prep your meals in advance. There are also ways to make healthy meals without cooking a giant gourmet meal that takes hours. For days you know that you will be busy, find a few crockpot meals that you can throw together at the beginning of the day and have ready in time for dinner. Buying rotisserie chickens and keeping veggies on hand to roast also helps. Erin shared her Pinterest board with me and the variety of delicious, anti-inflammatory meals she had linked had my mouth watering! She stresses that healthy food does not need to be boring! Implement a treat a few times a week and try new recipes to avoid falling into a rut.“Perfection is an allusion. It is not all or nothing. You fine-tune as you learn and grow.”
While Erin doesn’t encourage following a strict diet like keto or paleo, she does tell clients to combine a few dietary plans to support the body as it is healing from inflammatory foods and diet changes. She described that each of these diets has a time and a place, but allowing yourself room to change and tweak your meals leaves a perfectly customizable diet that supports your body and its individual needs. For some, the idea of changing their entire lifestyle is overwhelming, but that is where Erin comes in! Her main goal for clients is to teach them how to trust their intuition and their body. Erin supports tapping into emotions when navigating food and asking questions. Why is this a craving? Why do I want this food? Am I actually hungry or am I just stressed or looking to cure boredom? Try taking a walk or a nap to relieve stress or talking to a friend to negate those feelings instead of masking them with snacks. Discovering ways to transition those feelings into an action plan can make a giant impact when changing your lifestyle! Erin strongly encourages clients to make a game plan and to hold themselves accountable. If you only have ten minutes, then do a ten-minute workout! Everyone has to start somewhere and taking care of your body is extremely important! “Our bodies are the only thing that we absolutely have without a doubt,” says Erin. She encourages those who are starting their wellness journey that not everything will be changed at the beginning. Take small steps and slowly build from there.
Another truly incredible and passionate individual is Andy James who is the founder of SlimLogix System, a 12-week weight loss program that focuses predominately on educating members. Andy’s journey to creating this program is truly inspirational! After watching poor health and lifestyle choices assist in the rapid decline of his father’s health, who passed away from cancer in 2011, Andy made it his mission to create a space full of knowledge where others could better their health both mentally and physically.
So, how is Andy’s program, SlimLogix, different from other weight loss programs? How does it work? The main concept of this program that Andy could not stress enough is the drive for education. “Knowledge is power,” says Andy. The more knowledge you have about how your body works the more likely you are to fuel yourself with healthier options. By the end of the program, Andy’s goal is to empower you with knowledge and understanding of how food heals the body while supporting a healthy and safe weight loss journey. Not only does the program heavily focus on educating members on how weight can be effectively managed, but Andy also requires each person to wear a Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) which helps further members’ education. With these monitors, Andy is able to help members navigate their food choices and how these choices impact the body. Even more impressive are the customized meal plans that are crafted around each person’s needs and lifestyles. Each member receives a consultation with a professional chef who personalizes recipes for each person. Aside from the personalized recipes, members will receive the SlimLogix Food Guide which will aid in the purchase of foods. These recipes, food preferences, and lifestyle choices are discussed thoroughly with each client through a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner.
Andy opts for a natural, simple weight loss experience that works with life's busy schedule. Most weight loss programs always have you buying supplements, shakes, pills, or using a number system based on what you are allowed to eat. Others put you on crazy exercise plans or make you fill out intense food journals which take time out of your busy schedule. Again, Andy emphasizes that everything falls back to educating members. Through education modules, Andy helps members view their bodies from the inside and open windows into the metabolism. He believes that a willingness to learn paired with eating whole, nutrient-dense foods is all you need to keep the weight off for good, successfully! "Food is medicine and should be enjoyed!” says Andy. There is no need for diet pills, shakes, or refraining yourself from eating if you are hungry. Avoid overly processed foods to receive the best possible results for losing weight. Andy recommends avoiding items that contain a barcode as well as foods that are overly processed. While this might sound challenging, he encourages members to shop at local farmer’s markets for nutritious, whole foods. Go back to the basics of meeting with the people who grow your food. When talking with Andy, I was surprised that exercise was very rarely mentioned. Andy mentions that high-intensity workouts are not necessary for losing weight. In fact, he mentions that anything too rigorous on the body could add unnecessary stress to the body. When our bodies feel stressed, they retain everything and turn toward a survival mode instinct. This results in the inability to lose weight. Truly, the more we educate ourselves about the body and how it works, the more we can take care of it. After talking with Erin and Andy, I was definitely encouraged to take a step back and look at my own plate and lifestyle habits!
Andy's knowledge of nutrition and weight loss helped him not only lose 40 pounds but also get better sleep, eliminate anxiety, and feel energized!
Perfection is an allusion. It is not all or nothing. You fine-tune as you learn and grow.
Food is medicine and should be enjoyed!