Why does our mindset around food matter?
As a social worker and health and wellness coach, I can easily geek out over how our brain works and how it impacts our mindset and food choices. When my worlds collide, magic happens for both myself and my clients. To make a mindset shift we must first have a basic understanding of how our current mindset was formed so that we can make a change. This takes work, and our mindset is a constant work in progress. I started learning about mindset years ago when I was doing research at the University of California, Irvine, and doing non-profit work with Dr. Philp Zimbardo and Carol Dweck. This is when I was exposed to the concept of growth vs. fixed mindset. I am pleased that this concept is now more widely understood and a common language used in the schools like the one I work in.
I wish I had learned about mindset at a younger age as our kiddos do now, but it is never too late to correct the course. Maria Popova of brainpickings.org explains Carol’s work behind growth vs. fixed mindset. A “fixed mindset” assumes that our character, intelligence, and creative ability are ‘static givens’ which we can’t change in any meaningful way, and success is the affirmation of that inherent intelligence. Striving for success and avoiding failure at all costs becomes a way of maintaining the sense of being smart or skilled.
A “growth mindset,” on the other hand, thrives on challenge and sees failure not as evidence of unintelligence but as a heartening springboard for growth and for stretching our existing abilities. Out of these two mindsets, which we manifest from a very early age, springs a great deal of our behavior, our relationship with success and failure in both professional and personal contexts, and ultimately our capacity for happiness. If you would like to read more about CArol’s work please read her book “Mindset“.
Bringing the focus back to food, if our mindset around food is not healthy or is fixed in an unhealthy pattern, is it fair to say that this could greatly impact our health, well-being, and ability to feel joy? If you have read any of my other blogs you know that when I talk about nutrition it is within the context that it fuels our life and greatly impacts how we feel, how we act, and how we interact. THIS is why our mindset around food matters.
Scarcity Mindset and Food
What is a scarcity mindset? A scarcity mindset is a mindset that there is not enough. This can be applied in so many areas of our lives. To keep it simple we’ll use the example of money. With money when your mindset says “there is not enough” your life begins to match this and you constantly feel like you do not have enough money like you’re living paycheck to paycheck, and when we have this scarcity mindset we lack gratitude, we miss opportunities because we cannot see them, we get stuck, and there is no room for magic and abundance to happen.
This may sound “woo woo” and perhaps it is, but when we use this example with money, scarcity mindset = there is not enough = lack of abundance. When people feel a lack they may pinch pennies and save and hoard their money and resources out of fear there is not enough. They may stay in a job that doesn’t serve them for fear of the in-between or not having a constant stream of money coming in when in fact they could be missing out on a much better opportunity to flourish both emotionally and financially.
I work with my own coach who can speak to this particular manifestation of mindset and has worked wonders in my life. If you check her out, let her know Sarah Roberts sent you!
Back to food! You may imagine what scarcity mindset and mindset towards food looks like. If folks with a scarcity mindset think there is not enough money and they hoard their money, then folks with scarcity mindset around food have the potential to hoard their food, to overeat, and to hold their weight. Mindset occurs at the subconscious level, so it doesn’t always look like or feel like you are thinking “there is not enough I must eat as much as I can”, or, “there is not enough I must stay in this job I hate”. The scarcity mindset is just one example of how our mindset can impact what we eat, how we eat, and ultimately the rest of our life.
Nutrition Program Designed Around Mindset
Our mindset about food is something that:
- Is often overlooked by us (the consumer) and
- Is often exploited by the companies who want you to buy their food!!
Additives, portion sizes, color, marketing, culture, it all impacts our attraction or aversion to food and we don’t even realize! I have been coaching for five years this August. About three years into my coaching journey, the extent of my ability to help my clients vastly changed when Ilana Muhlstein M.S R.D.N. joined the TBB family and launched her mindset based nutrition program called 2B Mindset. She shares about her personal journey and the development of her program in her book “You can drop it“. Her mindset approach to nutrition is so refreshing because it gets down to the source of why we make the decisions we do around food and gives simple tools to gain control over what we put on our plate.
My clients and I have achieved results by following her water first, veggies most philosophy. She also teaches balance and how the scale doesn’t have to be an enemy but rather a tool and a compass. She talks about how to not obsess over your weight and the number on the scale and how to give yourself grace. She talks about tracking food and provides easy tools to do so. Again, simply using this as guiding information and not a “gotchya” this tool allows you to see your relationship to food, your triggers, etc. For example, if you start to notice that every day when you get home from work you’re craving a bag of chips or a glass of wine, perhaps that is the information it is time to look at your relationship between your job + stress + food. Below I will share some of my favorite recipes from the program.
Featured in this blog is one of my favorite 2B mindset recipes, a total sneak attack, a crowd-pleaser of a meal, that is so deliciously healthy.
Cheesy Egg White, Kale and Mushroom Pizza by 2B Mindset
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 4 large egg whites (½ cup)
- ¼ cup all-natural marinara sauce
- 2 Tbsp. shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- ¼ cup cooked chopped kale (optional)
- ¼ cup cooked sliced mushrooms (optional)
- Heat small skillet, lightly coated with spray, over medium-high heat.
- Add egg whites; do not stir. As eggs set, lift edges, letting uncooked portion flow underneath; cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until set.
- Spread marinara sauce evenly on top of egg whites. Then top with cheese, kale (if desired), and mushrooms (if desired); cook, covered, for 1 to 2 minutes, or until cheese melts.
- Cut into four slices; serve immediately
- Substitute 1 large egg, plus 2 large egg whites (¼ cup) for 4 large egg whites. Lightly beat before adding to the skillet.
- Top with dried oregano, garlic powder, or chili powder, if desired.
Please follow this link for more amazing 2B mindset recipes. If you are interested in doing the entire 2B mindset program and figuring out how to perfectly plate your own food without the stress and anxiety that can come with eating what we enjoy, can afford, and nourishes our bodies, check out full program details and now to sign up here.
If you feel like you are wanting more recipes, tips, and tricks to living your healthiest life, I have lots more tips where those came from. All of my meal plans include access to hundreds of recipes and short, easy, all levels workouts. If you have any specific recipes you would like or fitness program questions, always feel free to reach out to me. Thanks for reading I hope this information was useful and finds you in a space of the heart. I’m just me Sarah Roberts (Savino), MSW, RYT200, TBB Coach founder of team Indie Sols, figuring out what works for me and sharing it with you in hopes that it will make some positive changes for you as well! As always if you have any direct questions or want personal consultation for anything you can reach me at my email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact me through any of my social media: Facebook.com/sarah.savino IG- the_fit_philanthropist
Love and Light Always,
*If you have a diagnosed eating disorder, or you know you have an issue with food that is impacting your life, consult a mental health professional or your physician before subscribing to any plan or program involving your relationship with food and weight loss. 2B Mindset is not designed to heal a mindset related to complex trauma without professional guidance.