Posted on Wed, March 28, 2012 at 5:00PM
Changing a habit is hard work, especially when it comes to eating well. That’s why we enlisted nutrition expert Keri Glassman — founder and president of New York-based Nutritious Life and author of Slim Calm Sexy Diet, The O2 Diet, and The Snack Factor Diet — to give our 14-day Makeover Challenge participant, Kirsten, all the ingredients she needs to reach her goals. (Click here, to learn more about Kirsten.)
We sat down with Glassman to talk about jump-starting our own nutrition makeovers. Here’s what we learned.
Q: You talk a lot about reaching a “calm place” with food, what does that mean?
A. Calming down in regards to your relationship with food will ultimately cause you to decrease overall stress and eliminate excess weight. It’s what I call ‘eating empowered,’ and it’s all about knowing ‘I can have that’ and getting away from ‘I can’t have that.’
Q: You describe your method as a “whole person” approach. Since “whole” is a word that’s thrown around a lot in the world of nutrition, how do you define it?
A. I always say: ‘whole with a [capital] W!’ This is because I approach nutrition by looking at a person’s WHOLE life. If someone is crazy stressed, not sleeping, or has no order in her kitchen, it can be nearly impossible to implement even the best nutrition plan.
Q: A big part of your program is adhering to what you call “the 8 pillars of nutrition” — what are they?
A. It’s not just about diet; it’s about getting adequate hydration, exercise, managing stress, getting sufficient sleep, pampering yourself, being aware of ‘your’ world, and even having a healthy sex life. You don't have to be conquering all of these pillars all of the time, but you should be focusing on as many as you can. It will not only make you feel better, but it will also help you stay consistent with your overall healthy lifestyle and lose weight for the long haul.
Q: How should people prepare before they change their eating habits?
A. For many people, I start with switching up the way they hydrate (taking out soda, upping water intake, adding in green tea). Then we set up an exercise routine and figure out one thing daily that they can do for themselves to help decrease stress and provide happiness.
Q: If a person can only make one change, what’s the best place to start?
A. The biggest initial change I like to see is the elimination of added sugars and artificial sweeteners and upping the intake of veggies (especially greens at lunch and dinner). These sweeteners alter your perception of food, making it very difficult to decrease sweet cravings.