Guest Blog: Nutrition (Part 2)

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Welcome back to our ongoing interview with Nutritional Therapist, Danielle Marquis. Make sure to pop over to Part 1 if you haven’t had a chance to read yet, because there is a wealth of information over there! I hope you enjoy.

5. Something I often see is people being very concerned with scales and calories, aka numbers. Can you enlighten us to your view on these things!! 

I’m so glad you asked! My whole philosophy is really not being a number cruncher or a calorie counter. It simply is not realistic to think you’re going to track these numbers every day for the rest of your life. I have observed so many people stress about calories and they live and die by the numbers (a younger version of myself included!) yet they still often do not reach their goals. Now, that being said, I view these numbers and stats as a great short term tool. They can, at times, offer us great insight into our habits/behaviors and give us some direction on where we may have some wiggle room to improve. The same goes for the scale. The scale is simply a tool. I encourage everyone to use it in that way and to not use it frequently--once a week at the most. The number (*as a tool) can sometimes, but not always, tell us if what we are doing is working (if so, great, keep on keepin’ on) or if we need to take more action. Since weight loss is most commonly on all of our minds I like to express to people that there is no mathematician sitting in your head saying “ok we took in 238 calories and we output 707”. The body simply does NOT work like that and the message we have been told of “eat less and move more” really is inaccurate and does not work. The scale is a terrible tool in terms of determining whether or not you gained OR lost fat tissue, as well as if you gained OR lost muscle tissue. So many people are starting their mornings off creating a state of negative energy because they’re beating themselves up over the 0.5-1.0lb fluctuations each day. This. Is. Normal. Have you had enough water? Did you poop that day? These small fluctuations are incredibly normal for the body and they do not equate to a direct gain or loss of straight fat tissue. 

Furthermore, I see so many people identify their worth with the number they see on the scale and let me tell you--whoever you are reading this, you are not the number. You are likely a wife, a great employee, a mother, a father, a member of the community, a sister, a friend, a husband, a son, etc. You are all of those things and your worth goes FAR beyond a number. I’d also like to point out that a cardio machine at the gym and your fitbit are highly inaccurate at measuring how many calories you have burned. That is a HIGHLY individual thing and is also significantly more difficult to calculate. This is another reason those numbers that may be stressing you out are actually not serving you well, because they are not accurate. 

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Follow me with this thought process to a little something abstract. The people I see who weigh themselves daily, they stress about the small gains and losses, they track their weight, they’re tracking their steps, their calories, they’re using MyFitnessPal, etc. etc. These are the people whose weight often doesn’t change. Energy flows where attention goes. Read that again: energy flows where attention goes. When we are so focused and stressed out about the numbers, we are actually inviting more of the same into our lives. When we let go of the pressure the numbers bring to us and focus more on the energy we are putting out there to take care of ourselves (I exercised today and that was good for my body. I drank enough water today and I feel good doing that. I’m making time to cook my own food and I know that’s promoting my wellness) we often start to see the number on the scale shift. It’s much more about the energy and intention behind your behaviors than the actual behaviors. Another key point you can takeaway is to focus on how it will FEEL when you reach your health goals. How will you FEEL when you lose the weight, get to a manageable place with your autoimmune condition, learn to cope with your anxiety, etc? Find a way to feel that feeling right now. That is what invites that future state into your current reality.

6. I LOVE that, D! Okay, I know this is a favorite topic of yours: Tell us how much water we should be drinking!  

Ahhhh water. The fountain of youth is what I call it! This is the number one deficiency in America. The majority of people I work with when I ask them how much water they are drinking respond with “not enough!”. It’s one thing we all know we should be doing yet often don’t follow through with. Water is crucial to so many functions in our body. Our bodies are about 60% water so it makes sense to give it what it is mostly composed of. Water helps transport nutrients to the cells of our body, take away toxins from cells, and the cartilage in our joints is about 80% water. Most of my clients and patients express that they are feeling better energy within a week of drinking more water and also that their digestion is happening more smoothly. Digestion is very much a process of hydrolysis, meaning it is highly water dependent. The equation for your daily water intake is ½ your body weight in oz + 1.5x oz of diuretics. Diuretics are: coffee, herbal teas, alcohol, fruit juice, and soda. Yup, sorry, the water in your coffee does not count. This is because it requires more water from your body to process the caffeine than the water that’s in the coffee. For diuretics you want to add in 1.5 x the oz of the diuretic in addition to your daily minimum. For example, if you have an 8oz cup of coffee you want at least 12oz of water to replace it. 

A common barrier/complaint is not wanting to go to the bathroom constantly --  I hear you! This signals that you need some electrolytes in your water and my favorite is a pinch of sea salt or Himalayan pink salt. And we are talking a pinch, not to the point where it would taste like ocean water. If you are a person who craves salt you will likely love this. The pinch varies from person to person as well as day to day. Your gauge is if you are still going to the bathroom frequently you may need to try just a pinch more. If this is sending an alert off inside your body about blood pressure--don’t fear. There are many other things that cause high blood pressure but if you are not eating a highly processed/refined/boxed food diet you do not need to worry about salt. Sea salt and Himalayan pink salt are also fantastic sources of minerals. Those minerals are your electrolytes and they help your body pull the water you are drinking into the cells and tissues of the body so you are actually absorbing and utilizing it. This is why you end up in the bathroom less. Those minerals are also key to muscle cramps (in addition to hydration) if those are something you struggle with.

½ body weight in oz + 1.5x oz diuretics = daily minimum water intake

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7. Okay, last one…coconut oil… yay or nay?

Oh, coconut oil. It has come on to the scene full force! People are using it for all sorts of things: skin care, hair care, cooking etc. Coconut oil mostly gets argued against due to its high saturated fat content. Think back a little to our brief discussion of fats in this post and let me reiterate that saturated fat is not an enemy. What saturated fat is, is very stable to heat and great for cooking. Coconut oil is a fantastic oil to bake, sautee, and stir fry with compared to vegetable oils that go rancid under heat. It has some other added health benefits too: medium chain triglycerides that get easily uptaken into the liver for energy (great fuel for athletes) and lauric acid which is an antibacterial for the gut. Be sure to look for unrefined coconut oil, preferably organic and extra virgin.

Danielle, it has been wonderful having you on Holistically Inspired, please tell our readers where they can learn more about you and the best way for them to contact you! 

The pleasure has been all mine, truly! I am so excited to connect with you and look forward to sharing in your health journey! For any additional questions, the best way to contact me is: email dmarquis.gagnon@gmail.com online www.bewelldanielle.com facebook www.facebook.com/bewelldanielle instagram @be_well_danielle

If you liked this interview with Danielle, you may want to check out our online course! It is easily accessible, and will guide you gently toward a more holistic lifestyle focusing on Chinese medicine and nutrition. Click here to take $100 off the total price throughout the month of September — enter code SEPTEMBER at checkout.

All the love and health to you,

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