Body Balance welcomes Certified Transformational Nutrition Coach Cristina Moidel to the team. She’s excited to share her personal story about how changing her diet restored her back to health and how her nutrition coaching services can help those interested in self-healing through the powerful tool of what they consume. She also shares five tips about how to shift your holiday eating in a healthier direction.
Cristina’s Journey to Health Through Nutrition
Christina became interested in nutrition while searching for a way to cure several health issues she was facing. She had been diagnosed with an autoimmune thyroid condition called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, and had a lifetime of suffering digestive problems, severe anxiety, panic attacks, swollen joints, and sinus infections.
Within two months of changing her diet, she no longer needed the thyroid medication she’d been taking for over a dozen years. Her other ailments dissipated quickly as well. Cristina now works with clients to find the nutritional approach that works for them because, she notes, “everyone is different.”
What works for one person won’t necessarily work for someone else. But, she points out, “the body knows what to do. It knows how to heal itself.” We just need to remove what’s causing it to be ill, she says, or add what will help it regain health.
Will This Help Me?
Nutrition coaching is beneficial for anyone looking to improve their health or feel and perform better. And who doesn’t want that? Cristina points out that mood and behavioral disorders like ADHD, anxiety, and depression are particularly receptive to improved nutrition. Digestive problems and hormone imbalances respond well, too, and skin becomes more vibrant, with a noticeable reduction in redness. Proper nutrition leads to weight stabilization, better eating helps with many other health issues as well.
Recently, Cristina has been working with a young client diagnosed with M.S. who said goodbye to several symptoms associated with the disease—headaches, digestive problems, and lethargy—within roughly four weeks of changing her nutrition regimen.
Want to know if Cristina’s approach will work for you? Please inquire.
How It Works
Cristina’s approach puts the client in the driver’s seat: she helps people learn what foods do and don’t work for them. The goal is to help people understand how to make choices that keep their system running optimally. She wants them to conscientiously experience the connection between the quality of their health and what they put into their system.
To start with any client, Cristina asks that they fill out a comprehensive intake form. She also works with the client to learn what their goals are and what, realistically, they are willing to do. Cristina is clear that working with a nutrition coach requires commitment, but you determine what you’re ready for. If someone is ready to make big changes, big changes it is. For someone who cannot fathom, say, giving up their morning coffee, she’ll use a different tact. She mixes ideal with real.
Overall, her goal is to empower people to take control of their own well-being, not just to follow her mandates or a quick-fix scheme. So she works with her clients to pave a path that will work for them, over the long haul.
To start the process, Cristina asks that clients track what they eat and drink, and their mood and digestion. This provides her with important data and helps the client key in on those important connections between diet and how they feel and function. Cristina also provides reading materials to give clients more information and tools around diet and health.
Depending on the circumstances, she may recommend that a client eliminate or add certain foods, and then track their progress.
Of course, nutrition is one of several factors that contribute to overall health. Moderating stress, getting adequate sleep, and participating in regular movement and exercise are major players, too. But, Cristina points out, nutrition is what she refers to as a Tier 1 component: it’s one of the major levers in well-being. Improvements here can result in major health shifts.
Cristina’s Holiday Nutrition Tips
The holidays are often a time of tasty temptations and diet derailment. Cristina offers five tips for you to try this season to help deviate from the eating chaos trend.
- Go gluten free: gluten causes problem for many people, so Cristina suggests avoiding it as much as possible. There are more and more gluten-free options available these days, so seek them out. Is your office having a holiday party? Find a local bakery that offers gluten-free treats and suggest co-workers shop there. Use gluten-free flour to bake your holiday favorites.
- Substitute in healthier sugar: Refined sugar isn’t good for anyone, but it’s in just about every holiday recipe. The good news is that less refined coconut sugar provides the sweetness without as much of a sugar jolt because it’s lower on the glycemic index (read: less extreme sugar rush). It’s a great alternative to brown sugar, and Cristina also uses it instead of white sugar.
- Portion control: This isn’t a new suggestion, but it’s one that’s so important, it’s good to repeat. We have a tendency to overeat during the holidays, because it’s that special time of year with our once-a-year favorites. Give yourself the gift of not stuffing yourself or gaining weight holiday by keeping servings to a reasonable size.
- Make it count: Let’s be realistic, holidays are a time for special treats, and there’s no need to punish yourself. So choose one treat you really love, and enjoy it. Cut out the bland office cookies, and those mystery filled chocolates that you don’t really like anyway, and focus on really savoring Aunt Susan’s peanut butter fudge. Consider, too, if you know there’s a certain holiday goodies that triggers you to have “just one more” until the whole tray is gone, maybe avoid it altogether. Sometimes having none is easier than having one.
- Focus on whole, real ingredients: Whole, unprocessed foods are better than processed foods. It’s that simple. If you do need to get a packaged food, choose options that have the least ingredients on the label, and make sure those ingredients are foods that you recognize. Does the beloved recipe from your grandma call for Fritos or lard? There are substitutions you can make. A quick internet search for ingredient swaps or alternative recipes will give you lots of options.
The old saying “You are what you eat” could also be said as “You feel what you eat.” Learning about and mindfully experiencing how the food you consume affects you will illuminate what a powerful tool diet is. Finding the right nutrition for your body gives you the ability to better control your own health.
“It’s about choices,” says Cristina. “And every moment is a new opportunity to make a different choice. After all, we are today the accumulation of the choices we made yesterday.”