We were intrigued when nutritionist Michelle Yandle reached out to us wanting to try our chocolate cake and brownie mixes. Seeing the picture of Michelle eating cake on her website, we realised she was a women after our own hearts and that we had similar food philosophies. While we don't recommend eating cake everyday, we too are believers in eating what you love in balance and that the best way to indulge is mindfully with quality treats.
As it is a New Year and many of us are thinking about our long term health goals, we thought it would be a good time to do a little Q&A with Michelle and to hear her thoughts on the subject of diet, health and long term success.
SKK: Do you believe in making New Year's resolutions?
Great question! Firstly, I believe in people doing whatever they want. However,I am not a fan of the word resolution as people put a lot of pressure on themselves when things don’t go to plan. They often start the year with such great intentions but there are so many compounding factors that often allow those intentions to go astray. This leaves people feeling like they ‘failed’ which can be really hard! Also a lot of resolutions involve following some sort of diet plan which again, while might have good intentions, does not often lead to success and that’s not fault to the dieter but to the diet. Gosh, 97% of them fail. I personally, like to think of a New Year as a clean slate and a fresh start and will often set some goals for myself and my business but these merely give me focus and don’t bring with them the weight of guilt should my goals change.
SKK: What are the key steps one can take to achieve long term success with weight goals?
Honestly I try to encourage the people I work with to shift their focus away from weight goals. Health and weight are not synonymous and often, when we focus our success on the number on the scale this can become frustrating if those numbers don’t show the success we’re after. Instead, I encourage people to focus on improving their health and looking for ways to increase health affirming habits such as getting more vegetables and fruit, moving our bodies more and learning to listen to our body’s needs. These have been shown to have a much bigger effect on our health than weight loss ever will and is much gentler and dare I
say… way more fun than dieting! After all, health is a feeling – not a look.
SKK: Tell us about your general food philosophy?
My business motto is “Feel great AND eat cake!” As a nutrition and health coach it’s my job and my passion to help people to be their healthiest and happiest selves. The fun part, is that this doesn’t involve depriving yourself of your favourite foods. Actually, it’s quite the opposite. When we deprive ourselves of foods we love we begin what I call the ‘eat-repent- repeat’ cycle. Essentially we can only be ‘good’ for so long before the cravings intensify and we give in. For many of us, this leads to binging, guilt, shame and essentially restarting the cycle with another diet. Instead, I teach people how to have a balanced approach to help so
that we can increase our energy, improve our moods, sleep better, move more etc. Without giving up cake (or brownies!)
SKK: Why do sweet treats and sugar fit into a healthy lifestyle?
Because going without them leads to SO many problems down the road. If anyone reading this has been on more than one diet in their lives – they should be able to relate. The eat-repent-repeat cycle runs rampant when we deprive ourselves of our favourite foods, whatever that may be. For many it’s sweets, for others it’s salty – regardless, somewhere down the road these have been labelled as ‘bad’ and it’s this label that leads us down the. road of cravings, weight cycling, yo-yo dieting ,over eating and binging. The number one way I was able to completely rid myself of intense sugar cravings was to allow myself to have it. Boom! Mind blown!
SKK: What’s your favourite treat food?
Chocolate chocolate chocolate. Honestly, anything with chocolate in it. Chocolate chip cookies, chocolate brownies, dark chocolate… you name it. I’m fussy with my chocolate though and love quality over quantity.
Michelle's SKK Chocolate Cupcakes with Dried Edible Flowers
SKK: Advice for eating mindfully
The number one piece of advice for anyone interested in Empowered Eating and/or eating more mindfully is to practice pressing pause before eating and asking yourself one powerful question: “Am I hungry?”
Often we eat for so many reasons other than hunger and there’s nothing morally wrong with that but if we can stop and check in to see if we’re actually hungry before eating we can learn a lot about ourselves and our needs. For example, if you’re not hungry, what do. you actually need? Comfort? Distraction? Something to do? Are you bored, sad or angry? Maybe you’re stressed? All of these things can sway our decision making when it comes to eating and so by asking yourself “Am I hungry?” You can begin to feed the actual need. You always have the right to eat if you’re not hungry but asking yourself this question can be an eye opening experience for many.
To learn more about Michelle Yandle check out her website Here
Please note Secret Kiwi Kitchen does not endorse any specific diet or nutritional program. Those with medical conditions should consult with their doctors and chose a dietary plan best suited to their individual needs.