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EpisodesGuest InterviewSeason 2

Rethinking Food and the Mind/Body Connection

Episode 4 | April 26, 2022

Rethinking Food and the Mind/Body Connection

Alicia (Alie) Basen on the connection between mental health and your gut.


Welcome to “That’s a Hard No” – the podcast about saying no and setting boundaries so you can become the authentic and empowered you that this world needs.

Reminder: While Sarah is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, this podcast is in no way replacement for one-on-one therapy with a mental health professionalIf you are struggling with mental health issues, we welcome you on this journey, but also invite you to seek out professional help.

Looking for a therapist? Here’s a good place to start:

Key Takeaways
  • Alie discusses the importance of the connection between brain and gut health.
  • Interesting fact: The brain and gut start as one cell in utero and split as you continue to grow, their communication (back and forth) is constant.
  • Food is medicine. Certain foods can be healing us while others contribute to disease. This is personalized. We have to take the time to dive in an review what is good for our bodies.
  • Paying attention to the foods you eat and incorporating many ‘feel good’ foods is extremely valuable but it doesn’t end there. The way you ingest your food has an impact on your mental health as well. Here are some additional things to pay attention to.
    • Distracted eating: This can affect the amount of nutrients you are absorbing from any food you may be eating (including all the healthy ones) and of course cause you to overeat. Make sure you are sitting comfortably and don’t have anything on or anything else to do. Take the time to sit, watch what you’re eating and digest.
    • Feel good foods: Leafy greens, legumes, nuts and seeds. Bone broth! Wild caught salmon – herring and other fish.
    • Intuitive eating: The best ‘diet’ is listening to your body’s needs. All kinds of foods are okay to eat but start listening to your body afterwards as well. Is this something that triggers my anxiety? What are our hunger cues? Are we hungry or just stressed? Level these out accordingly.
    • Alternatives: Cravings can be honored, but we can always have a more nutritious option. Example: pizza with veggies, avocado mousse dessert.
    • Mindful eating: Be mindful about cravings and foods you are planning to eat. Just take the time to really understand why you might be craving something and if you actually need something else. Restricting foods can also cause harm to our mental health.
    • 80/20 Rule: Eating healthy 80% of the time 20% of the time we can allow ourselves grace in some ‘guilty pleasure’ food.
    • Mood Foods: Sugar feeds the bad bacteria tract, so this can play a role in anxiety and depression as well as weaking our immune systems. Enjoy food with company, play music while you make your meal.
  • Therapeutic diets – short term diets with strict rules to really help with symptoms or a diagnosis.
  • Trusting ourselves – Creating a healthy narrative about food and allowing yourself healthy conversations and thoughts about the foods you’re eating is equally important and impactful. Allowing yourself moments to eat the Halloween candy bar and following up with a nutritious dinner is better than having something small and beating yourself up afterwards. It can cause a vicious cycle, reframe our thoughts for a long term health.
  • Changing the mindset rather than fad diets, which do not work in the long run.
Where to Find Alie
Read Full Transcript Here
Credits and Thanks