In Tri Delta’s new series, “3 For You,” we’re covering the best tips from experts as we navigate our current situation during COVID-19. Tri Delta alumna and wellness coach Sloane Elizabeth, Vanderbilt, shares her advice for finding food freedom during quarantine by breaking up with your diet. Read her three tips below, or listen to the podcast.
In the current situation, we’ve all had to make adjustments to our daily lives, our regimens and our routines. Many of these involve beauty standards, acceptance, exercise and, in some cases, our diet. Sloane Elizabeth is an online holistic wellness coach specializing in helping women let go of restrictions and diet culture in order to find lasting food freedom. She’s also the author of “Kale & Kravings: Nourishing Dorm Room Recipes and Wellness Practices for Student.” She shares her three tips for finding food freedom during quarantine.
Tip #1 Protect your energy with clear boundaries
At the end of the day you and only you are responsibility for the content you’re consuming and the energy you’re allowing in your life—that also relates to food and diet culture. There are a ton of memes and posts on social media about the “COVID 19”—a play off of the Freshman 15—weight gain that everyone is going to experience.
It’s up to you to decide to block or hide those accounts and fill your social media with accounts that are uplifting and positive. This also goes beyond social media and applies to your friends and family as well. Become aware of the triggers and negative influences that make you feel like you should diet or look a certain way. Prioritize your energy and your well-being! Set those clear boundaries, both physically and energetically. Remember, you have the power to say what is allowed in your energy sphere.
Tip #2 Find productive ways to deal with negative emotions
Everybody is an emotional eater in that we all have emotions around food. We have foods that we really love that bring us happiness, and we have foods that we just don’t like the taste of. We’re emotional eaters, but we don’t want to cope with our emotions via food. We want food to either be a positive or neutral experience.
Find coping strategies to deal with stress, anxiety and fears that come up. These strategies could include journaling, meditation, getting out in nature, cuddling your dog or venting on the phone. Having some tools ready when you do feel the stress and anxiety come on is going to help you when in the past you would have headed straight for the fridge or pantry. If you can deal with and process the emotions before you reach the kitchen, you’ll have a better head space and be able to deal with your emotions properly.
Tip #3 Re-label what it means to be healthy
A lot of times we come up with diet rules, rituals and restrictions either out of thin air or because somebody else recommended them. For instance, in order to be healthy, you shouldn’t eat carbs past noon. Or, you should only eat one banana maximum a day. Where is this coming from? When you’re trying to grasp onto control, you’ll believe anything.
Having food freedom, eating with love and intuition, is such a unique and personal thing. Define health for yourself and try to let go of the conventional labels of good, bad, clean and balanced. Look at what YOU prioritize in health and how you want to feel. What does your highest version of yourself love, and what does she want you to do? That way you can redefine what health means to you and make sure it’s a personal experience instead of letting those external factors or influencers come into play.