This week we welcome Tessa Hollyn Taub to the blog! She is the founder of It's Your Body, It's Your Life, has helped motivate and empower thousands of people over the past 12 years to reach health and fitness goals they never thought possible. In this post she shares how she ditched chemical-filled foods by embracing whole foods and a healthy lifestyle.
Food is Fuel.
Food helps us function.
Food gives us energy.
Food is medicine.
There was a time food did not help me function, depleted my energy and made my stomach and head hurt. I was eating low calorie, sugar free and fat free foods all the time and over exercising. I was an athlete most of my life and a key component missing was my relationship to food.
My relationship to food was beyond twisted. Most days started with a diet coke and I tried to consume as little calories as possible. Which meant most of the foods I consumed were filled with fake ingredients. I only paid attention to the calories, sugar and fat. Overlooking the most important part of the label, the ingredients. I look back and can’t believe what I thought I knew about nutrition since attending The Institute of Integrative Nutrition back in 2009.
Thanks to mass marketing, I believed all the ads about diet beverages curbing your hunger and low calorie foods could help you lose weight.
Boy, was it quite the opposite. These low-calorie, fat-free, sugar-free foods left me with cravings through the roof, constantly feeling “hangry”, horrible headaches and massive stomach issues.
How could these companies sell products that actually did nothing but harm our bodies?
My personal story with food is a very messy and beautiful journey. I had to re-learn what worked for my body. Experimenting with what was going to work for me and my body. While also overcoming an addiction to chemical-filled foods.
My personal journey consisted of taking baby steps which ultimately lead to freedom from a lot of toxic and chemically filled foods that I was consuming.
There are days when foods I know don’t work for me sneak back into my life, but I am quickly able to be in tune with my body, recognize what’s going on and get back on track with foods that make me feel good.
I think it is imperative to go above and beyond to feed your body nutrient dense food. For the last 12 years working as a health and fitness coach I have seen so many lives change by using food and movement as medicine.
I would recommend taking a look at how you want to feel around your body and food. I believe your life can change simply by deciding what goes into your body. Dont strive for a “perfect” looking food plan, food journal or diet. Shift your mindset to how you feel after meals and snacks. Get in touch with the foods that work for you and notice the ones that don’t. Make note of changes you are looking to create. For example, adding in more healthy fats, spicing up the veggies in your life, adding more protein.
Sometimes the smallest steps in the right direction lead to massive shifts. I know for me, a lot of changes happened when I started to fuel my body with real foods that had ingredients I could pronounce.
My biggest advice for anyone consuming fake, chemical-filled foods is to start replacing the exact food or beverage with the real stuff. For example, Splenda (or any fake low-cal sweetener): you have so many great options. Maple syrup, honey, coconut sugar, raw sugar, or stevia. Instead of drinking sugary juice made with additives and artificial flavors, try a smoothie with fresh vegetables that's sweetened naturally.
Look for local brands first at your farmers market, or find companies with great values. Food Babe is one of the best resources on the internet to find the best labels out there. Every brand she recommends, Sunburst Superfoods supplies!
I would love to know, what foods you are replacing? I am here cheering you on and I know you can do this!!! Your body is going to thank you!
About the Author
Tessa Hollyn Taub, Founder of It's Your Body, It's Your Life
A lifelong competitive athlete and Division 1 collegiate tennis player, Tessa’s philosophy is that community is the key to lasting transformation. After graduating with a BA in Communications with a focus on sports marketing, she continued her training to build her fitness and wellness coaching practice, receiving certifications from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition and the National Academy of Sports Medicine, among others.
Tessa’s extensive knowledge, paired with her personal struggle with addiction to exercise and a poor relationship with food and her body, have been the driving forces behind It’s Your Body, It’s Your Life. Tessa’s program comes from an understanding that fitness is not one-size-fits-all; rather, she helps clients of all ages and abilities see their full potential and develop life-changing strategies that work for THEM. Tessa was named Best Wellness Coach in the Mercury Love Awards in Newport, Rhode Island and was nominated as one of the 2016 Entrepreneurial Women To Watch in Rhode Island 2016.