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#068: Getting to the Root Cause of Healthy Eating with Amanda Heisman

Amanda Heisman knows there is more than just what to eat when it comes to optimal nutrition. Getting to the root cause of healthy eating and why you are eating the way you do is what will sustain long-term healthy habits.

Disclaimer: This is a podcast transcript and grammar will not be ideal, but the info is valuable!

Intro: We all have to earn a living, but sometimes we don’t think of the effects sitting for an extended period of time has on our physical well-being. Welcome to the modern desk jockey, providing you with healthy solutions for the desk worker, our conversations with industry professionals and topic-based podcasts are guaranteed to keep you active for a healthy, more effective workweek. Now here’s your host Dr. Kevin Christie.

Interviewer:    Hey desk jockeys, welcome to another episode of the modern desk jockey, where I attempt each week to provide you with valuable information to maintain health and wellness at the desk. Today is no different than that, I had an interview with Amanda Heisman, and she is a nutritional coach, we had a great interview, one of the things that a lot of people don’t realize is there’s really two sides of the story when it comes to eating healthy, obviously one is what we all know and it’s like what should I eat and the different types of foods and nutrients and all that, and we’ve had different topics through this last year and a half on this podcast regarding that, but what a lot of people aren’t thinking about or realizing, is the underlying and some of the subconscious level and the thoughts we have around food and why we do things, I know we’ve heard of some of the certain things like emotional eating and eating because of depression and things like that, but sometimes it can be even more subtle than that, we’re not in a state of depression, we’re happy with our lives in a lot of ways but there are still other pitfalls that can occur, kind of the analogy I use is it’s like the iceberg, the tip of the iceberg is what we know we need to be eating, like okay I need to stay away from sugars, I need to eat my greens, things like that. But the underlying underneath the surface of the water, the bottom of that iceberg is really that subconscious and why we’re eating the way we are, and Amanda brings us a ton of good information regarding that, how to do kind of a self-inquiry, how to make some changes and how to make them habit, and so we dive into that, it was a great episode, I know you will enjoy that.

Before I get into that episode, I wanted to just bring up a couple of different things, as many of you know our company health fit corporate wellness, we’re doing a lot of things in the corporate setting, the two main things that we do work with companies on is on-site chiropractic care and stretching and muscle work things like that, and we’re growing that if you are a company that’s interested in that or an opportunity to discuss that, please reach out to me and the second thing we’re doing a lot and I’ve got another call today with a company that reached out to us is the ergonomics, and we’re doing a lot of different variations of ergonomics, whether it’s going on-site locally into different areas to do that, whether it’s office versus physical laborers or if it’s our digital based office ergonomics program, so we have a lot of companies trying to get ahead of the game as far as the health and wellness for their employees. So again you can reach out to me if that’s something of interests and that is, so without further ado, here is the interview I had with Amanda Heisman.

Interviewer:    Welcome to the show Amanda Heisman, I really appreciate your time, and so I gave a little bit of an introduction, but I want to hear it from you, our audience is excited to hear about this topic and hear about what you have going on, so tell us a little bit about yourself, professionally and personally.

Respondent: Sure, thanks for having me first Kevin, I really appreciate it. Yeah I’m Amanda Heisman, I’m CHHC certified holistic health coach, I call myself the intuitive nutrition and energy coach and I help teach folks how to prioritize themselves, enhance their quality of life and achieve maximum energy through nourishment, so tering into a dialogue with it.

putting in my body, that eventually snowballed into me leaving the corporate world and going back to nutrition school, doing an organic gardening program, an internship along with my nutrition school education and then, now I’m on this journey to help people through their transition of getting healthier.

Interviewer: That’s great, not only are you focusing on what to eat and the different nutrition principles, but it sounds like you’re really trying to get to the root cause of why we potentially eat the way we do, is that correct?

Respondent: Yeah, that would be a totally accurate statement.

Interviewer: Yeah, because a lot of times that part of it is missing, to give an analogy I’m reading a book called the abundance code right now, have you read that or heard of that?

Respondent: I’ve heard of it, I’ve not read it yet

Interviewer: Yeah, it’s about finances, but it’s really about the subconscious and the story we kind of live by or tell ourselves about money and about finances and how it really drives us into this negative financial state many times, and so you can obviously have a financial planner and coach that will give you the nuts and bolts of finances, like the Lindt numbers and all that, but sometimes if you don’t change the software there, it’s going to be a problem subconsciously and it sounds like it’s a very similar thing from the nutrition standpoint.

Respondent: Absolutely, I mean your underlying beliefs about money will make up how it comes to you, how you spend it, how you save it, same thing with eating and nutrition, when your underlying beliefs are kind of what matters, we take a close look at that because if even if you’re eating all the right things but your mindset, or you don’t believe you’re worth it, for example like a self-worth issue, or you’re unhappy like you’re completely miserable in your career, or you’re in an abusive relationship, you’re not going to be a healthy person no matter how many greens you eat. So I’m not a certified psychotherapist here, but we do take a look at the underlying beliefs around what we believe to be nourishment and why do we hold on to beliefs that eating healthy has to be hard or difficult, and especially as women with our bodies being so, women can have a lot of, I mean and men of course, but a lot of self-worth issues and body issues kind of tied up in their beliefs around food and eating.

Interviewer: So if you could, could you dive into a few things, a few pitfalls that people are dealing with that are affecting the way they eat or how they eat?

Respondent:Sure there’s several out there, but to be probably a little different than maybe some folks you’ve had on before, I would say the first thing would be to really start

Interviewer: Yeah, well I kind of did it to myself just to give it a little personal experience with eating, I’m 37 almost 38 now and I would say I’m in better shape now than I was in my early 30s, and one of the things that I realized was, I always grew up very active in good shape, I was the kid in the early 20s as well when I was in college and out of college where I could eat literally whatever I or at least I thought I could eat whatever wanted and had the ABS and was lean and all that, but that started to change in my early 30s, and I had still held on to that belief like I can eat whatever I want, there’s really not many issues with my weight and stuff like that, but obviously what you look like externally is different than internally, but then I started packing on some of the weight in my early 30s, and I really had to get over that, I can’t just eat whatever I want, I addressed that, one of the biggest things that I changed was the sugar consumption that’s been a huge reduction in my life, and not only has it helped with the way I look per say, but also the way I feel and I would definitely say my productivity levels throughout the day is just staggeringly improved. So that was one, the next one I wanted to touch on it’s kind of, I’m always self-auditing, obviously I have a background in nutrition, I’m not a nutritionist I don’t talk a lot about it with patients except for surface level stuff, but for me I moved to an area called Delray Beach, Florida, which is kind of a little beachy walking town, it’s very touristy you know.

Respondent: I lived in Delray, I love Delray.

Respondent: I moved to South Florida from the Midwest, we literally used to call our weekend staycation Saturday.

Interviewer: Yeah, it’s a real thing down here, it’s tough, and obviously everybody thinks we’re drinking pina coladas on Tuesday afternoons here on the beach.

Respondent: Not quite accurate.

Interviewer: Exactly, like we’re working hard but yeah there’s a lot of stuff to do and I found myself falling back into bad habits with eating and so I had to address that, so I think you touched on, really having that inquiry of where some of your pitfalls and try to make a habit to get rid of that, seems like a good start.

Respondent: Your tummy felt and how your BM’s were that day. So if those three things, you can really start to notice what types of foods might be making you feel what way, and you can also keep track of your moods, you can also keep track of, I have a couple of videos on this because I think prior to ever doing this, the only adjectives I had to describe myself were kind of like I’m happier, I’m sad, I’m fuller, I’m hungry, I didn’t have much but if you can get one step deeper than that, are you satiated and not hungry anymore, are you like full but still hungry, do you feel crickety, do you feel tired, like just do you feel like alive, do you feel energetic, if you can start to get really specific with how you feel with your mood, with your tummy, with your energy, you’ll start to see trends even if you miss a day or two or five, you’ll still start to see trends after a few weeks, after about three weeks, you’ll start to notice what’s going on for you.

Interviewer: Well that’s great, you had mentioned when you have people write down, there was a third thing, I think you said it was BM, could you elaborate on that a little bit?

Respondent: Sure, I’m talking about poo, I’m talking about a bowel movement right, I’m not shy about talking about these things because I’m a health coach, so this is what we talk about, I talk about women’s cycles and poo and everything else, but yeah it’s really important to have regular BM’s once to twice a day, people don’t realize how important that is to health, they don’t realize how constipated they may be, you don’t think you’re constipated but you feel bloated and if you’re not having some good solid BM’s throughout the day, you’re backed up basically and what this does not only doesn’t make you feel great but you can recirculate toxins, because this is what you’re meant to release right, you’ve gotten all the good stuff, you’ve gotten all the nutrients absorbed from what you’ve eaten and this is what’s meant to be released, so not only can you recirculate toxins but if you’re backed up enough, you are not going to be able to absorb new nutrients because that’ll be kind of blocking the villi and the intestines that do the job of absorbing the new nutrients and vitamins and minerals and all that great stuff that it gets to our bloodstream, that allows us to do what we do.

Interviewer: A lot of people don’t realize the value of the bowel movement; you can tell a lot by it, you really can.

Respondent: You can, and if you have like dull hair and nails, that might be an indication that you’re not getting nutrients because those aren’t our most vital organs right, so the body will start to redistribute the vital nutrients to the vital organs, so if your hair, nails, skin, eyes start to look a little dull, that might be happening for you obviously you know how often you, well hopefully again with the noticing and keeping track, but a great tip for this is, warm lemon water in the morning, so I’m sure I’m not the first person to say that but that’s a great one to have a nice mug of warm lemon water, will get you going and it’ll also get a shot of vitamin C right away in the morning and help your immune system.

Interviewer: Perfect, do you have any other little tips or tactics like that, that could help throughout the day? Should they drink that more in the morning or do it in the morning?

Respondent: You can certainly sip on lemon water throughout the day, I sometimes suggest a straw because it can be a little tough on the tooth enamel, like kind of get it right to the back of your mouth, you can also do any infused water like cucumber is another great one, generally if you think about optimizing digestion because digestion takes a lot of energy right, the more you can optimize that the more energy you’ll have to do what you’re doing and this goes along with sugar release actually, it might not sound like it but breaking the sugar addiction along with doing this sort of constant detox, we think of detox as a cleanse right like a three-day cleanse or something, but our body is always detoxing and the more we support digestion, the more we support that process, sugar is something that really disrupts it, all that to say, if you kind of think about eating your meals light to heavy, like salad first and then the grains or and protein, that will kind of optimize digestion, first thing in the morning a lot of people do like a green smoothie or a green juice on an empty stomach that will help certainly with BM’s, that’ll help get a lot of nutrients in and then again it’ll help optimize detox and digestion.

Interviewer: Perfect, transition a little bit, could you give us a little like a thirty thousand foot overview of say when you are meeting with someone or if they’re doing your online platform about the audit for someone, what are a few of the things that you are trying to gather from that person as far as to get a game plan going for them?

Respondent: When I’m working with someone, I’m looking for kind of where they’re at physically, what sort of things and I have an intake form of course but where they’re at physically, what are their goals, what are their intentions and goals, what did they want to happen, we talked about their history, as far as health is concerned, and we talk about the kind of a day in the life as far as eating is concerned, and when I do something like that, when I have a clarity consult with someone, we’re narrowing this down we’re looking at where they’re at with their beliefs, we’re narrowing it down to maybe one, two or three things that are going to have kind of an instant impact, I’m not one to change someone’s entire lifestyle overnight, what we do is baby steps like baby steps always win the race right?

Interviewer: Absolutely, I get that and I think that’s one of the biggest mistakes people make is they try to change everything at once.

Interviewer: Yeah, I use the analogy of my golf swing, it’s like I’ve got ten things wrong with it but if I can pick a couple that will fix maybe a handful of them, that’s the way to go.

Respondent: Absolutely.

Interviewer: Perfect, and you touched on a little bit and I’ve always tried to read a lot about this and that is habit formation, do you have a couple of ideas for people to help form the habit, obviously that’s one of them is don’t try to change everything at once, try to take baby steps, but anything else you implement to try to make it a habit for these individuals?

Interviewer: That came full circle.

Respondent: I just mean whatever celebration means to you, some chance to recognize, go out with your friends, and go to the beach or whatever thing is your thing to celebrate.

Interviewer: Perfect and I also assume the journalism is a huge part of habit formation as well?

Respondent: Yeah, you can reach me at my website is and I’m on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn as Heismanhealth and I run a free Facebook group called intuitive eating for energy, folks can certainly join, there’s just a lot of free content and different challenges and series, and it’s a really supportive place and safe place to start a health journey really.

Interviewer: That sounds great; I’ll make sure I put all of that in the show notes so they have easy access to that, so again thank you for all the information and I really appreciate what you brought to our audience today.

Respondent: You’re so welcome.

Outro: Now that you have a better idea of how to improve your physical health while at work, let’s take it a few steps further by subscribing to our show and visiting our website you can find immediate tips, preventative measures and the resources we mentioned earlier to continue to improve your well-being while at work. Tune in next time for more healthy solutions for the desk worker, here on the modern desk jockey.