Ep. 108- Modeling Positive Relationships with Food As A Parent with Mayuko Okai, MS, RD

by | December 15, 2021

Ep. 108- Modeling Positive Relationships with Food As A Parent with Mayuko Okai, MS, RD

by | December 15, 2021

The Fresh Start Family Show
The Fresh Start Family Show
Ep. 108- Modeling Positive Relationships with Food As A Parent with Mayuko Okai, MS, RD
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Today on the Fresh Start Family Show, Wendy has a conversation surrounding intuitive eating & developing healthy food relationships in our homes with Mayuko Okai, MS, RD the founder of Food Liberation, Intuitive Eating Coach, Registered Dietitian and yoga teacher.

Mayuko left behind her career in the hospital after finding her true passion for a holistic approach to wellness and helping women heal their relationship with food and today she gives us a look inside her intuitive eating approach and food philosophy.

Today you will learn to: 

1. Assess your relationship with food as a parent 

2. Learn to start paying attention to language around food and body, which have profound influence on children 

3. Begin your healing in order to nurture a healthy relationship with food/body for your children


Mama, are you are sick and tired of relying on hand-me-down parenting tactics like spanking, threatening, intimidating, and using harsh punishments that create a total relationship strain (and aren’t effective at all!!)
Join me for a free one hour live workshop where you’ll learn three steps to building up a firm and kind compassionate toolkit that works with kids of all ages.

I cannot wait to support you at class!


Episode Highlights:

  • Myoko’s healthcare journey
  • Food relationship barrier
  • Definition of intuitive eating
  • Taking a deeper look into the emotional triggers behind eating
  • Eliminating unhealthy “rules” surrounding food
  • Where to start with positive eating habits

Resources Mentioned:


CONTEST TIME!

We want to give back to you guys for all of your support this year. We appreciate you so much, and our podcast would NOT be possible without you, so here’s our way of saying thank you! For your chance to win $250 CASH, here’s what you have to do:

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1.) Listen & share! Screen shot any episode (we suggest your favorite one) Share it on instagram + tag us @freshstartwendy (if your account is private, DM / message us to let us know you posted because we cant see your story even if you tag us.)

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2.) 15 extra entries when you leave us a comment review on itunes & share on social, tagging me. Instagram – @freshstartwendy — (**important – before you push submit, make sure you screenshot FIRST). If you are NOT on social, you can email us at [email protected] to let us know you left a review.

>>> Plus, we will choose one winner each week to win a $20 amazon gift card – from those who leave a review … during the month of December. Winners will be chosen each Friday at noon PT.

**** (Reviews must be new – use a pal’s itunes account if you need to! : )

3.)Tag as many friends as you want in the comments on this post … to let them know we are giving away $250 CASH. Enter each friend as a separate comment. Each friend you tag is an extra entry.

You can use this money for yourself, a family member, groceries, to bless someone in need, or whatever way is helpful to you this season!

This giveaway is going on all December, and the winner (chosen by random) will be announced on New Years Day! Good luck!!


Not able to listen or want to read along with us?

Here is the episode transcript!

Wendy:
Well, Hey there families before we get started with today’s new episode, I wanted to tell you about a very special contest. We are hosting this month. It’s the holiday season, and we are feeling extra generous here at fresh start family. So we are giving away $250 cash to one lucky winning family. Plus an Amazon gift card each week during the month of December, all the details on how to enter our on the show notes page for today’s episode. Good luck, happy holidays, and Merry Christmas. I can’t wait to see who wins. Just head to freshstartfamilyonline.com/108 to learn more.

Wendy:
Well, Hey there families, I’m so excited that you are here for a new episode of the fresh start family show. I am your host, Wendy Snyder, positive parenting educator and family life coach. And on the show today, we have Mayuko Okai, who is a Registered Dietitian and an Intuitive Eating specialist and coach she’s the founder of a program called food liberation. And she supports individuals with so much good stuff when it comes to mindful and intuitive eating. So today we’re actually talking about how we can make sure that we are modeling and passing on healthy habits for our kids when it comes to eating and food and drink and all the things.

Wendy:
And I really loved this conversation because for me, Intuitive Eating is a new concept that I’m learning about. I’m learning to work with my body. I’ve been learning for a long time, but you’ve probably heard this term come up more and more lately Intuitive Eating. And so I have been enjoying learning about this in regards to my own journey, with my own health and my own things that I struggle with when it comes to eating and drinking and all the things. And you’ll hear in this episode that I do get pretty vulnerable. I share some things that I struggle with and I share some things that I’m working on and because we’re all, we’re all a work in progress, right? We’re all aiming to have healthy relationships in our life, whether it’s with kids, our spouse, or with food and drink.

Wendy:
And so I just love the energy that Mayuko brings to the table. And I think you’re really going to benefit from this conversation. So I think especially because when we look at what we’re doing in our homes, when it comes to food, you guys know if you hang out with me at all, that I am always going to help us remember that what we model really will affect our children. So if we have an unhealthy relationship or if we have tons of emotional eating and drinking going on, or if we have tons of restriction and harsh thoughts around food or body image or whatever it may be, that is definitely most likely, definitely most likely I will say this.

Wendy:
It is most likely going to be something that rubs off on our children, and it’s not like we’re to have them pick up our habits or have them pick up our mindsets. And often I will tell you that is what happens. So this is just an invitation to take part in this conversation to look at what is your relationship with food? And of course, as we go into the holidays, this is something that I think is great to talk about right now because Christmas and the new year can, can definitely bring up some sticky feelings around food and our body image. And there’s always the new year, like redo your body, lose all the weight, all the things, right?

Wendy:
Like 10,000 reasons why you need to reset or whatever it may be. So it’s just a good time to look at this. So I know you’re going to enjoy this episode and I especially love Mayuko’s work because she also, in addition to helping her clients and doing all the work that she does, she also has a scholarship program for teens with disordered eating. So I’ll make sure I put that link in the show notes page. So if you happen to have a son or daughter who struggles with healthy eating, or I should say, you know, disordered eating, that is something that Mayuko would love to support with. Or if you have friends who might have teens that struggle with this, make sure that you send them Mayuko’s way.

Wendy:
Cause she really is just wonderful and so full of wisdom in this area. And she has that hundred percent scholarship program. So without further ado, enjoy this episode. Families. Thanks for listening. Thank you so much to each and every one of you. I see you. I admire you and it’s just such an honor to support and encourage you all.

Stella:
Well, Hey there, I’m Stella. Welcome to my mom and dad’s podcast. The fresh start family show. We’re so happy you’re here. We’re inspired by the ocean Jesus and rock and roll and believe deeply in the true power of loving kindness together. We hope to inspire you to expand your heart, learn new tools and strengthen your family. Enjoy the show.

Wendy:
Well, Hey there, families and welcome to a new episode of the fresh start family show. I am excited to be here today with Mayuko Okai, who is a Intuitive Eating Coach and Registered Dietitian and yoga teacher. Welcome Mayuko. Thank you so much for having me, Wendy. It’s such a pleasure to be here today. Yes. And you’re coming to us all the way from Japan. What time is it in Japan right now? It is 6:00 AM. Well thank you for getting up so early. We are so grateful that you’re here. So today my echo is going to be talking to us about what we can do as parents to make sure we’re preventing our kids from getting any type of disordered eating.

Wendy:
So I think this is such an incredible conversation to have right now, because at the time of this recording, we are still knee deep in that, you know, the world pandemic and also just lots of civil unrest here in the United States around politics and government. And I know whenever I experienced kind of something that I know everybody else’s too, and oh my goodness, the whole like food and drink as a way to like calm your nerves, stress eating stress, drinking. It definitely, probably is pretty flared up for people right now. So we’re just excited to soak up your wisdom today.

Wendy:
And specifically Mayuko was gonna give us three points of wisdom around how number one, we can start with assessing our own relationship with food as a parent and drink. I’m sure we’ll talk about number two, how we can start to learn, to pay attention to the language we use around food drink in our body. And number three, how we can begin our own healing in order to have a healthy relationship with food and drink and how much that actually affects our kiddos. So this is going to be good. I have a lot of stuff to share with you too, but I think it’ll make help to make this kind of real life as far as examples go for my own life.

Wendy:
But Mayuko, you just start us off by telling us a little bit about your journey, why you’re so passionate about helping people in this area and how you got to where you are and what you do in your practice.

Mayuko:
Sure, absolutely. So I became a Registered Dietitian back in 2009 and back then I started off as a clinical dietician. So I was working in the hospital setting, seeing dozens of patients every day. And, you know, although I came into this field because I truly wanted to help people in the health and I really cared about people’s happiness and health. And when I entered it, it was just very different from what I imagined, because these people were sick and they couldn’t eat, you know, the things that they wanted and they were on restrictive diets. And, you know, the care that I provided was so limited, so restricted, and it was very prescriptive.

Mayuko:
Like you’re on this diet, you can’t eat all of these foods on top of, you know, you’re on bed rest. And it was just not expansive at all. I wasn’t providing any healing. I feel like I was taking away from them. And so, you know, I struggled with that for a really long time on, and I stayed in health care for eight years, not really knowing what to do. And I, yeah, and I went on my own personal journey through yoga and that was really transformative for me. It was a yoga philosophy, the way of thinking and just the spiritual aspects of it, emotional care.

Mayuko:
And that really clicked for me. And I realized, well, I am not dissing my truth. I’m not following truth. And so I decided to shift and on, I made a big leap and I left my career behind and I started to teach yoga. But at the same time, you know, I did have a very in-depth background in nutrition. So I decided that I wanted to marry the two nutrition and yoga, but in a way that really made sense for me, because I really knew that somewhere deep inside that I can help people again in health and becoming happier, right?

Mayuko:
So I found Intuitive Eating and that just really resonated with me. And I was like, yes, this is exactly what I want to teach because so many people have issues with their relationship with food. And I just saw so many people struggling, but it’s not something that becomes diagnosed very often. It’s not what people go to the doctor for. Right? Oftentimes they go to the doctor and they’re just told that they need to lose weight because of their BMI. And that is really not the solution. It’s really about your emotional health and that relationship with food, how you take care of your body because we have become so disconnected from the body.

Mayuko:
And so I really wanted to bring back that mind and body connection that we’ve lost along the way from years of dieting as a culture, as a society. And so right now I have a program called food liberation, where I coach mostly women who are struggling with disordered eating, eating disorder, or just want to really heal their relationship with food. And for me, ultimately I want people to be able to live their authentic life, to be able to do the things that they love and that food relationship can be a huge barrier to that.

Mayuko:
If you’re constantly thinking about food, if you’re constantly thinking about weight gain and your body, you know, that takes up so much space in these women’s lives. That if we, if we can really clear that they can really flourish, thrive and be their, you know, amazing selves for their family, for themselves, for their friends show up for work and everything. So that is my passion. And I am so grateful to have found this work. And yeah, that’s, that’s the gist of my work.

Wendy:
Oh my goodness. Well, I have a few questions for you. So I, this, this word Intuitive Eating, I think is kind of like, I don’t know, for me, it just came on to my, like into my world. I never had heard this word before, like a year or two ago. And so I want to hear from you, what, what do you define Intuitive Eating as, and then I want to share just a little bit about my experience of what I’ve seen in my own lifetime and, and what I, what I’ve kind of struggled with that I’m with, you know, can’t wait to hear your guidance on. So, but what is the kind of the definition of Intuitive Eating?

Mayuko:
Sure. So I want to say a few things first. I just listened to your, the replay of your live from this morning. And I wanted to share this because first of all, I loved your energy, but second of all, you talked about authority. I think you said authoritarian leadership versus democratic leadership. And, and then also democratic way of parenting. And I was like, oh my gosh, yes. Democratic way of parenting, but democratic way of taking care of your body. Right.

Wendy:
Beautiful.

Mayuko:
It just clicked.

Wendy:
That’s perfect.

Mayuko:
Yes. So what, what I mean by that is well, Intuitive. Eating is something that I Registered Dietitian. Well, two registered dieticians came up with to help people become free from food, from diet culture. It’s an anti diet movement. And it’s really the way we used to eat back before diets, but also how babies eat, how toddlers eat when we knew what to put in our bodies, Hey, I’m hungry. I feel like eating this in this amount. Oh, I’m full. I’m done eating not, I need to finish my food.

Mayuko:
I need to clean my plate. Not, this is what diet culture tells me. I need to not eat these foods. These foods are bad for me. These foods are good for me. I need to be this weight because I want to be accepted. I want to be attractive. I need to be healthy in quotes. I need to, you know, there’s so many shirts around the way we need to eat and the way we need to look. And so it’s really about moving away from that and coming back to our true way of eating. And that means our body actually knows how we need to eat what foods we need, how we need to nourish both the mind and body.

Mayuko:
And also the emotional aspect of eating is completely ignored in diet culture. I want to eat this. Nope. You can’t have that. I feel like, Nope, no feelings, no thoughts. You need to be eating. So we’re bringing back the emotions as part of eating. And I think democratic eating is a really great way to explain Intuitive Eating. So if that made any sense as to what this is.

Wendy:
Oh my goodness. That makes perfect sense. And you know, what Mayuko is talking about is this idea. You know, what I teach in the parenting world is that to find that middle ground between two firm and two kinds, which I recently started to say that there is no two kind in the world, like kindness is unlimited, but permissive. So that middle ground between two from which is that usually the authoritarian kind of autocratic my way or the highway. Like there is, there is stuff going on there that is not so healthy and then the permissive side, but right in the middle, is that from and kind, and I can see how that totally applies to how we take care of our body, how we listen to our bodies, how we honor our bodies.

Wendy:
And that’s just a beautiful way of putting it. I, as I was preparing for this interview today, I was just reflecting back on. And I think I shared this with you earlier when we talked to, but I know, I know that there are so many people who struggle with food just because of the, the incredible friends I’ve made later in life. But it’s interesting. I grew up in a home where there was a few things I would hear my mom say about her body and it was always around her tummy, but everything else was pretty rock solid. Like I was a super kind of chunky kid when I was in like third and fourth grade.

Wendy:
I was like, I, I was HUD durable, but I was a big girl. And I just remember, my parents never said anything. They never worried, well, maybe they did worry, but they didn’t. They never said anything. They just, they just honored me and kept me active. And they did not stress at all. And it never became an issue. It never was an issue in the sixth grade. I think I caught a flu or something and you know, lost a few pounds. My body normal doubt. It just, it became healthy. But as, as I grew up, I realized, and I also watched my dad take care of himself really well, but there just, it wasn’t, it wasn’t an issue.

Wendy:
And I grew, as I grew up, I realized how thankful I am for that, because I have seen so many friends who are now moms who really struggled with eating disorders, especially once they got to high school and college. And, and then because I’m a parenting educator, I started to see things that would be said by moms, especially to their daughters or even like things, friends, parents will say to my daughter, just because she’s like super tall and, and kind of lengthy and, and fan is the word they were used, they’ll use. And so I see it out in the world everywhere. Right. And I can just imagine how much it affects the kids and how much the generational cycles get repeated.

Wendy:
Like if I’m a mother, especially, I would have to imagine with daughters, like if they’re hard on themselves, if they are constantly obsessing, if they are constantly that there is an unhealthy relationship with food, then I can see how that’ll get passed on. And I can’t wait to hear you speak about the points of how we prevent that from happening. But the other thing is, is that I thought was so interesting preparing for this and you know, can’t wait to apply all your wisdom is it’s what I have struggled with over the years personally has been the drink side. And I imagine that that goes hand in hand with the food, right? So when it comes to like wine and spirits and stuff like that, as teenagers being a positive parenting educator, I look back my husband and I have been together for 25 years.

Wendy:
And by the time we were 13, we were burying our feelings of not feeling like we belonged, not, you know, whatever it was not feeling powerful, just the stress that we experienced within our own homes. We’ve just buried it right into the party scene. So from the age of literally, probably even younger than 13, between 11 and 13, we were partying and it was like so accepted. Right. And it was, and then through high school, I mean, that was what you did when you lived in Maryland. I shouldn’t say all kids, but that was what our circle did. You know, it was like Friday night, like where, what backyard barn are we gonna have a keg in?

Wendy:
And they just, when I look back, I’m like, I know was a great way to vary our feelings. Like we were not like going through any emotional healing back then when it came to like relationships with our parents or just stress of being a team. So, but when I look back, it’s no wonder that once, you know, I had a kid or two that I never really learned how to regulate that, so to speak. So it came up, it came to a point where this last year I was like, you know what? I think I need to take a break from my wine habit. And, you know, I stopped drinking for awhile thinking like, maybe this is an addiction thing. And then it was pretty cool to watch what God did in my heart and my mind, because what he actually healed me from was shame.

Wendy:
And it was a shame element that was causing me to have like excessiveness every once in a while. It wasn’t like, I never felt like I was a full alcoholic, but there was something within this shame element that showed up in other areas of my life. And as a life coach, I know how detrimental that is. And, but it was so fascinating. Cause once I felt like I was healed from that, then I was able to have more of a healthy relationship. I say more of, because I feel like I’ve been healed. However, there’s still maintenance to be done. Like at the time of this recording last night in the U S we had one of the worst days we’ve ever experienced in this country with Capitol hill being stormed.

Wendy:
And just our, I think all of our hearts, and I know you two might go, I mean, you lived in the U S for a long time, our hearts were shattered. I mean, we, like, we were all feeling scared or angry or hurt. And I noticed that I was like, oh yeah, I’m reaching for that drink. So it’s at least the awareness is there. Now that it’s like, I’m on a journey, like so many other people to just keep building up the healthy relationship. And what’s cool is that I didn’t feel like when I woke up this morning that the shame was there, but I did have the awareness around like, oh, that’s so fascinating. Like I still go there when I’m stressed, when I’m like overwhelmed, when I’m scared, when I’m hurt.

Wendy:
And so it’s just, it’s such a fascinating subject to me. So there’s all that.

Mayuko:
Yeah. I mean, food is some, it’s one thing we go to when we’re stressed, when we’re anxious, when we’re sad, lonely, all of these things. When we have feelings, we turn to food, right. But there’s so many other things that we turn to, we turn to alcohol, we turn to our phones, TV, gambling, shopping, there’s all of these things that we turn to. It’s just really, what, what are you turning to? You know, but it’s not the restriction, but it’s really about how you’re handling the situation, how you’re handling the emotions, but also giving yourself permission to indulge too. Right? If you’re having a bad day, like last night, it was completely appropriate to binge eat, to go all out, you know, and you know, that’s totally fine because that’s how we learn to cope as a kid.

Mayuko:
When we cry, we ha we got milk. You know, that’s what we, how we grew up. But of course, if that’s a daily thing, if you’re not able to manage your emotions on a regular basis on a daily basis, then it’s time to take a look at it and say, Hey, what’s going on? How can I break the cycle? Not how can I stop eating bad food? Right. It’s really about taking a step back, looking at the big picture and saying, oh, what am I doing? That’s causing me to binge eat. What is my, what is the reason I’m reaching for alcohol?

Mayuko:
And you said, I’m observing. So you, you clearly have this perspective of, oh, okay, I’m doing this because of this. And that is really the approach we want to take observation. And that is a very, a yoga perspective of observing the mind. So I believe that’s a really great place to be in to, to have that view and to heal from that space.

Wendy:
It’s contest time, $250 cash is up for grabs. Do I have your intention as a way to celebrate Christmas? I want to give back to you guys for all your support this year. We appreciate you so much. And this podcast, the start family show would not be possible without you. So here’s our way of saying thank you. As I mentioned, at the beginning of this episode, this is a contest for a chance to win $250 cash. Here’s what you have to do. Listen and share. All you have to do is screenshot this episode that you’re listening to right now, or you can go screenshot your favorite episode. I know you have many and then share it on social.

Wendy:
Making sure you tag me. I’m Fresh. Start Family on Facebook and Fresh Start Wendy on Instagram. Now, if you have a private account, make sure that you DM or message us to let us know you posted because we can’t see your story. Even if you tag us, when you have a private account, we’ll compile all the families who enter throughout the month of December. And we’ll choose a winner by random on January 1st. And we’ll announce the winner on January 3rd. You’ll get 15 extra entries when you leave us a comment review on iTunes and share on social. Again, being sure to tag me important before you push, submit on your review, make sure you screenshot first so you can easily easily capture your review and then share.

Wendy:
If you are not on social, you can email us at admin at Fresh Start Family, online.com to let us know you left a review. We will choose one winning family each week by random, during the month of December to win a $20 Amazon gift card from families who post a review winners of this weekly contest will be chosen and announced each Friday at noon Pacific. Just remember reviews need to be new. So use a hubby or pals iTunes account. If you need to. Now, if you want even more entries, head on over to Instagram and find my posts that says give away tag as many friends as you want in the comments on that post to let them know why you love our show and that we are giving away $250 Pash and four gift cards.

Wendy:
This month enter each friend as a separate comment. Each friend you tag is an extra entry. You can use this money for yourself, a family member groceries to bless someone in need or whatever way is helpful to you this holiday season. And don’t worry, I’ve documented all of these contest rolls over on the show notes page for today’s episode. Good luck, happy holidays, and Merry, Merry Christmas. I cannot wait to see who wins. Yes. Yeah. What was so interesting as I went through, I feel like 2020 was just a crazy weird year for all of us. I’ve actually taken crazy out of my language.

Wendy:
It was a journey for all of us. Right. But yeah, what I, what I realized was the restriction actually did create. So I remember I was working with this beautiful mentor of mine who really helped me through this healing process, like with God. And she, and I said to her, I mentioned something about like stop drinking. I’m never going to drink again. And at the time I was feeling so proud of myself, cause I was like, that’s it. I’m just going to live alcohol for, for the rest of my life. And, and I know so many people as you’re listening, like if it’s food for you, it’s food for you. Right? Like we all, like my said, we all just have different things. Maybe it’s shopping, but today we’re talking about food, mostly I’m talking a little about drank, but I, her ears perked up perked up and she was like, what did you say?

Wendy:
And I was like, I’m never like never. And she was like, oh, I don’t say that. Like, and I was kind of surprising. Cause like, I’m thinking like in the Christian space, like someone’s going to be like, yes, stop drinking. It’s not for you. And she was like, no, don’t make those type of agreements. She’s like, you do what you do. What’s in line with you. What’s in line with, you know, God and all that stuff. And I was like, oh, and it just was so awesome because as I came out of that season, I realized that there was still shaming associated it with it. And there were striction was actually not healthy. Like for me, from my own personal experience, now that’s not the same for everybody, but I found that really fascinating.

Wendy:
So you’re for your first point that I think we just beautifully covered was assessing our relationship with food as a parent. But tell us just a little bit more now we’re adding as a parent to it. So tell us a little bit more about the assessing our relationship part.

Mayuko:
Sure. Yeah. So a lot of women come to me. A lot of moms come to me because they want to heal their relationship with the food because they have daughters and they want to be a good role model for them. And they’re scared that they’re going to pass on some of their toxic habits to them. And what I find is most of these women have had a childhoods where their parents or teachers, you know, authority, figures tell them, have co have commented on their bodies. And that’s where the dieting starts at a very, very young age. And it’s very unfortunate and we do want to break that cycle.

Mayuko:
And so first and foremost, it’s really important just to notice what your relationship with food is, right? It’s not something that we think about on a regular basis. What is our relationship with food? Do you have rules around food? Do you diet? Do you go on, do you yo-yo diet, maybe you don’t even call it a diet, but you might say, oh, these are bad foods. I don’t eat these foods. I have only a little bit of these foods or these are treats only when I deserve it. Right? So these are all different types of relationships with food that have rules and that can contribute to dieting and disordered eating patterns.

Mayuko:
And so we really want to take a look at what we’re doing, our actions around food and also our thoughts around food. And so just really taking a step back and saying, oh, what do I not allow myself? Maybe it’s time restriction, maybe it’s types of food. Maybe you’re saying I only, I don’t eat processed foods at all. Right. And that’s fine. As long as you have a healthy eating habit that doesn’t affect you emotionally and people can go on diets and it’s fine, they’re happy and they’re free.

Mayuko:
And that’s great. But most people cannot handle rules and restrictions when it comes to food and discipline is not where we want to go to with food because we need to nourish the body. And the body is a very complex mechanism, as we all know. And if we’re restricting from the place of the mind, it’s not really going to take us far right now might be a couple months before we start falling off the dieting wagon and we feel guilty and we have this unhealthy cycle. So it’s just really about what is my relationship with food?

Mayuko:
Do I have any rules? How do I speak of my body? How do I view my body? Okay. What is my relationship with my body? It’s just really about starting there and everyone has their own story, but just starting there, I think is a great way to assess as a parent.

Wendy:
Yes. Because I always say to that, what, what I find with working with parents is, so the initial thing, when I hear you say that it’s like, look at your relationship. What are your rules? What are everything? And I was going to say, your kids see all that. Right. But here’s my opinion around that too, which happens with a lot of the families I work with, not so much in this area, but in anything else, even the unspoken things that you live out and that you think in your head, they somehow magically know about lists. Whether it’s thoughts, it’s the tone. It’s like, they know what’s going on.

Wendy:
So I think that beautiful awareness piece, just starting out, just knowing like, let’s bring it to the surface. So then we can, you know, kind of figure out what we’re going to do with it. So that’s awesome. And then number two, learn to start paying attention to language around food and body. So is there anything more you want to say about that and, or

Mayuko:
Sure. Yes. So it’s really the, you know, same thing, but what are you saying about your body? Are you saying, oh my tummy or, oh, I’m gaining weight, right. We really don’t want to be saying these things because these are very, a diet culture language that kids are really tuning into. So I would say first, don’t talk about your body. Okay. And shift your perspective on your body if you can. But first be careful about what you’re saying about your own body. Okay. Or even dieting or food. Oh, I shouldn’t be eating that.

Mayuko:
I can’t eat that. Right. And also stop talking about other people’s bodies as a society. We just need to stop talking about other people’s bodies. There’s this whole fatphobia that we need to release, but that’s a whole different conversation, but yes. You know, stop talking about other people’s bodies. Stop talking about your kids’ bodies, if you already are. And if your kids are talking about their bodies, you know, come to a more neutral place, we don’t necessarily need to be on the complete positive side. We don’t need to be on the negative side, but maybe being neutral. It doesn’t really matter what size you are. Right. And we need to stop equating a higher weight or fat to health risks, you know, unhealthy, can we need to detach that.

Mayuko:
So we need to let our children thrive and grow, right? They’re adjusting in their bodies. They don’t need to know about what dieting is. They need don’t need to know about restricting their food because that can really lead to very disordered eating patterns. So, so again, I don’t talk about your body. Don’t talk about dieting or are restricting foods. And one thing I also want to mention, again, bring back is food as a treat. So I did a good job today. So I’m going to reward myself by having a piece of cake or a piece of candy or a piece of chocolate, whatever it is that sends the message to you and your children, that these processed foods or these sugary foods, these quote unquote bad foods are only available.

Mayuko:
If we behave well and, or are stressed. Right. All right. Yes. Okay. So if it’s a stress thing, then it’s a guilty, right? You, you feel guilty after you have it, but then you can also deserve it. Right. And then comes punishment, right? What is punishment for, oh, I didn’t have a good day. Right? Or I didn’t do the things I needed to do. I wasn’t a good today. Then what happens? You don’t deserve the foods that you enjoy. Right? So it just can create, it just can create an unhealthy unbalanced relationship with certain types of food.

Mayuko:
So we just really need to be careful with that. And I don’t mean go out and eat all the sugar. You want to give all those sugar to your kids. That’s not what I mean. That’s not what Intuitive Eating means, but if you need to heal your relationship with food as an, if you do have a toxic relationship with food, we need to start giving yourself permission and start looking at food as neutral, all food as neutral, treating them as neutral so that we don’t have that energetic charge around food. So that’s why it’s really important to pay attention to what we’re saying around food. And one last thing I want to add in this piece is cleaning your plate.

Mayuko:
You know, a lot of us have grown up with parents saying, Hey, you need to finish your food. Someone is starving on the other side of the world. Right? Yep. And I understand that we need to be very grateful for the food. Right? We understand that concept, but what does that send? What message does that send to our bodies that says, Hey, I know you’re full. I know my body is full, but I need to finish this food. I’m going to ignore my fullness and eat. Right? And then the body becomes confused, right?

Mayuko:
It’s accepting food, even if it’s not wanting it anymore. So then the mind can no longer detect that fullness, that satiety. And that’s really important. Our hunger cues, our fullness cues are really important to pay attention to in order for us to eat the right amount for our body’s not right amount as in calories, not what has been calculated out or what you see as a portion size, but what your body is needing as nourishment. So

Wendy:
I love it so much. So it, it ring, it just breaks my heart because obviously here in America, we have such a culture that basically relies on rewards a lot of times, right. Rewards and punishment. That’s kind of the classic parenting model, but like almost, you know, gosh, I would imagine the majority of families across the world, like you have to finish your plate before you get up. If you don’t, you get punished and there’s power struggles all over the place. Like I hear members often before they learn a different way. Like they have that going on where they’re just like, you have to finish your plate, you have to eat your vegetables. And then also the rewards, right? Like it’s one of my favorite things is actually helping parents get off the reward, train whether it’s potty training or eating your vegetables or staying in your bed all night.

Wendy:
But I can see how that jacks us up so much. And yeah, it’s just awesome to help families find a different way because there is such other beautiful, different ways to motivate your children, to help them develop that intrinsic self control. It’s awesome. And then the other thing that made me think of when you were just talking, that was so cool. Was the, I guess I had shared this with my daughter and she probably had heard me say this, but it was, it was cool to hear her, her status. So she’s, she’s 13 now. And even though I never like struggled in this area, as far as food goes, growing up, I’ve had, like I said, I’ve had enough friends when I got older that I definitely look at her now.

Wendy:
And I’m like, I have an I right. I’m like just making sure I’m just like this stuff doesn’t go south at all. Cause you never know what friends could come into the picture influences going to be had. But S like one of my staff members actually pointed out cause she had, she actually fainted once down at target a few months ago. And my, one of my staff members had pointed out just, oh my gosh, goodness. Like, you know, make sure you look at that, make sure you do this. But she kind of brought up what seemed like an Intuitive Eating thing, long story short. She said, you might just want to check in and make sure that it’s not part of this perfectionist element because my daughter and I are like perfectionist, where you will work our tail off.

Wendy:
We, she will. She like, she is a straight a student. She is the strongest wheeled person on the planet. She’s a perfectionist. And my, my staff member Christie had said, yeah, when I was in high school and in college, I used to, like, I actually got into a season where it became unhealthy because food was like, not even on my radar, I was too busy to consider even nourishing my body. And so she said she had some fainting spells. And so it just started to become on my radar of like, okay, I gotta make sure I support her. And just remembering that this feels like an important element, that food is here to just nurture us and provide, provide such beautiful things. And, and it is important.

Wendy:
It’s an important part of our day. And then I looked at probably some of the things I’ve modeled of, of, you know, eating at my desk or grabbing a bar and a banana for lunch or something. And I’m like, okay, I got something, some things to clean up there. But last thing I was going to say that I did like what she had said to me probably just last week. I think we were talking about new year’s and what our hopes and dreams were from the, for the new year. And she said, you know, I’m really just want to be healthy. And I can’t wait to get your thoughts on this might go. But she said, I’m really looking to, like, I forget her exact words, but she said something about honor my body take care of my body and, and just really focus on health.

Wendy:
And I was like, huh, what’s wrong thing. And then she also had said that when she’s eating lately, she’s trying to just eat till she’s full and not overstuffed herself. And again, I’m watching what this very watchable, I just making sure it doesn’t go weird at all. But I thought back to, I had just read cook is kind of a cookbook and a book about the blue zones in the world. And one of them was actually in Japan. I forget what part of Japan, but there’s six, six blue zones. And these are the top places where people live the longest. Was it Angela? Probably, probably. I wish I had the book with me.

Wendy:
I thought it was so cool. And tell me if this is just all Japanese culture, but every time they said every time before they eat, they’re like version of their little prayer is to say, okay, we’re going to eat till we’re 80% full.

Mayuko:
Yes.

Wendy:
And so I thought that, I think that example of Intuitive Eating where you’re like, okay, I know that it’s going to take my body time to process. And so like, you just set that intention of, I’m not going to overstep myself, I’m going to give myself just what it needs and I’m going to be thankful for it. And I just was like, really cool. And then to hear her say that, I think if I wouldn’t have read that I would have worried a little bit, but I was like, oh, that sounds practice. It seems like,

Mayuko:
Wow. I can’t believe that at such a young age, she is already speaking of honoring her body. And that’s really amazing. Sounds like she is very intuitive and she’s on her, on her intuitive path, Intuitive Eating journey. Yeah.

Wendy:
I hope so. Because you know, there’s a lot of influence elsewhere that is going to like pull her in different directions as

Mayuko:
Very it’s powerful.

Wendy:
Yeah. And got all right. So, okay. Well, our last point here, a point of wisdom is that we need to begin our healing in, in to nurture a healthy relationship with food and body for our kids. So when it comes to the healing component, what do you recommend for that?

Mayuko:
Sure. So if you are feeling the need to heal your relationship with food, or you just want to explore your relationship with food, the first thing I recommend is mindful eating and mindful. Eating is different from intuitive. Eating, mindful, eating is, is a technique is a process of eating slowly, paying attention to your food, noticing your hunger and your fullness, Intuitive Eating is the big picture. It’s the journey of healing. Your relationship with food mindful eating is just a piece of Intuitive Eating. So there there’s some overlap, but not necessarily the same thing.

Mayuko:
And so mindful eating of, you know, it’s just one piece of Intuitive Eating, but it’s a really great place to start because it begins with the communication between the mind and body. And we want to understand what our body is doing because we’re so disconnected from it for most of us. So very simple things you can do. It’s things like eating without distractions, eating without TV on or the phone. I know it can be really difficult as parents to not be distracted while eating. And I don’t mean eat a whole meal without any distraction, just do what’s possible. You know, maybe it’s just once in a while that you sit down with a nice meal and really pay attention to the food in front of you, you look at it with your eyes, you know, take one bite, put your hands down, put your fork down and really chew and notice the experience of eating.

Mayuko:
How is that making you feel? How does the flavor, what is the texture of the food we know already what the food is going to taste like. We just have, this are not pre knowledge, right? Pre existing knowledge, but experience it because it might be different, right? Maybe you don’t even like that food. Maybe you don’t like your grilled chicken salad, right. Maybe you’re eating it because you, you feel like you should be eating it. So start noticing your body’s responses in, in reaction to what you’re eating. That’s where mindful eating starts.

Mayuko:
And if you can do longer periods include your family. As part of this experience, you know, have your, if your kids are old enough to sit patiently and eat with you, try this out and say, Hey, let’s try this thing called mindful eating what looks really good on your plate? What do you feel like eating first? Okay. So let’s all take one bite of that food and put our hands down, close our eyes and notice what’s going on. Okay. Maybe share. Hey, w w how was your first bite? What did it taste like? What did it feel like? Did you like it? You know? Oh, you didn’t like it.

Mayuko:
Okay. That’s okay. What do you want next? What’s the next bite, right? So have your family involved if that’s possible. And I think this is a really great experience, experiment, and experience for adults and children, to really understand their body’s responses. That is a really important beginning to healing your relationship with food, or just understanding your relationship with food so that you do become an intuitive eater. And so you don’t end up having disordered eating habits, right? Because you want to, to, and, and, and really give your body what it means and honor your emotional health at the same time.

Wendy:
Well, Hey there, families, I want to take a moment to tell you about Troomi wireless and why I’m so excited to be teaming up with them to support you and your family. When you use the code FreshStart, you’ll get $50 off any Troomi device. Now I cannot tell you how excited I am to officially be partnering with Troomi because I’m just so dang about keeping iPhones out of kids’ hands for as long as possible, because I’ve seen firsthand just how fruitful this strong limit is for kids and families. Both of my kids are now rocking Troomi phones instead of iPhones out in the world. And it gives me the ability to call them when they are at a friend’s house, maybe a sleepover. And I want to say good night, and I love you.

Wendy:
Or if I’m late to pick them up from volleyball or skateboarding, and it helps me to feel like they’re safe. If they’re riding their bike to school and were to need me at any time. For example, the day my son broke his wrist a few months ago, he was able to call me from the skate park immediately to come get him. And that felt really good. But with Troomi phones, kids are kept safe from the dangers of untethered access to the internet, social apps and online gaming, plus all the other stuff that comes along with regular smartphones. And trust me, parents, there are the addiction. So many kids have to iPhones and the awful stuff. So many get exposed to from such a young age is something we can all help prevent.

Wendy:
If you can just find the courage to be different and go the Troomi route. Plus the coolest things my kids have loved about Troomi phones is that they have advanced capabilities that a lot of the more simpler devices we tried in the past did it. For example, my daughter is super into her music. So from the parent parent portal, which was super easy to navigate, by the way, I know sometimes I get a little freaked out by technology. And when my kids got their phones in the mail, it couldn’t have been more simple to set up the behind the scenes apps and permissions that I wanted to give the kids with their Troomi devices. But I was able to add apple music for her to listen to whenever she wants, which was a big deal for my daughter.

Wendy:
Plus we also were able to add Google classroom, which he uses a lot at school. So just head to Troomi.com and enter the special code, FreshStart at checkout to get this incredible deal. Trust me, families. This will be one of those stocking stuffers or Christmas gifts that you’ll be so happy you invested in okay. Back to the show. So I would really begin there. I love it. Yeah. And I’m just like taking your wisdom and applying it to, like, if I do to ha have, decide to have a gospel, like my favorite Sauvignon blog or something on a Wednesday night to actually like enjoy it, to look at the ingredients.

Wendy:
Yes. Think about the region that those grapes were grown in to just kind of slow down and savor each sip. Because I imagine that that leads to, like, I can imagine for me shame reduction and just that joy. And that’s what I do think. I feel like I have this year after I kind of went through that heel, not kind of, I went through that healing around this is I, I am able to experience the joy of it more. And instead of just thinking about what I’m doing is wrong.

Mayuko:
Right, right. Yes. Yes. You want to feel empowered to make choices for yourself and discuss with your body. Right. What’s feeling good.

Wendy:
Yeah. And as far as healing goes, like, I know you probably work a lot with clients as far as going underneath with the emotional component. Right. Cause I’m sure there’s so much to unpack there that you have to find somebody. Right. So is the message just in somebody invest in somebody and pour your guts out,

Mayuko:
Basically. Yes, but I guess I do have this method through food liberation, where we begin with mindful eating well, there’s pre Intuitive Eating stuff that we go into perspectives and mindset shift, and really understanding your relationship with food. But once we get into, into Intuitive Eating portion, we do mindful eating. And then we go into emotional eating. So managing your emotions so that you’re not overeating, you’re not binge eating or maybe turning to alcohol. Right. It’s breaking that cycle and giving yourself that grace and finding other options, healthier alternatives to manage the stresses so that you’re not turning to food.

Mayuko:
And then we go into giving yourself permission, right? Like you said, oh, I’m going to give myself permission to have this glass of wine. And that is very powerful. And then once you do all of that work we go into, okay, so we’ve allowed yourself, all of the foods that you want to eat. All the foods that you love, even the ones that you were scary for you, okay. Now we can say we can fine tune and say, Hey, which foods work for my body, which foods don’t. And that’s not coming from a restrictive place of, I shouldn’t. And I should based off of diet culture, but Hey, I need to honor my body.

Mayuko:
For example, I don’t drink caffeine because I can’t sleep at night and I want to honor my sleep. You know, sleep is more important than the flavor of coffee and that awakeness, you know, during, in that short period in the afternoon. So just making sure to know what your body needs and to become your own dietician. You know, I don’t tell anyone what to eat, what not to eat. You will be able to know what’s best for you. So love any place through that journey.

Wendy:
Yes. Okay. Awesome. I have one last question before you, before we wrap it up. So I’m in this interesting process with my son when it comes to food. So my little guy he’s 10 now. And he has had like really bad breathing. So like not asthma, but definitely allergies. And we like have all these animals, my husband and my dad they’re exactly the same. My husband and my little boy, they have all these allergies, but they love animals. And they are like, say yes to the dog and the two cats and the fish. And, oh my gosh, my kids are always asking me for more animals. But so I’m pretty sure that he’s, he’s living with allergies.

Wendy:
And then he also has a tendency to get asthma. Sometimes if he gets a cold or something, but we’ve tried so much over the years and this last fall, we decided because somebody else had done it. And I’ve actually played around with this in the past as far as elimination. And I hate the word diet, but it’s in there because I’ve had a lot of inflammation in my body. So I’ve had six surgeries, you know, just tons as an athlete, just tons. And I’ve I know, like I know that my body loves an anti-inflammatory diet. There’s that word again? It’s like everywhere. I wish there was a different word for it. So, but in the past, what’s been hard is I go off and on and I haven’t ever stayed.

Wendy:
Right. But when I do, when I’m like eating super clean, I call it. So let’s say, you know, gluten dairy, those are kind of the big two and sugar. Let’s just call it those three that I feel less achy. I have less headaches, all this kind of stuff. So this last fall, we said, let’s try it with Terran. He had a buddy his age, who his family was doing some stuff and he he’s my easy going one. And he was like, sure, mama let’s try it. So we went, I think it was, we were, we’re doing a month. And the first two weeks he was breathing, it was crazy. So we did gluten, dairy and sugar, and he was breathing.

Wendy:
We were snuggling on the couch. And I just remember being like Terran, you’re breathing like you are breathing out of your nose. I mean, we’ve had surgeries to release his tongue tie. We’ve had like Mio functional therapy to help him close his mouth to breathe out of his nose. All these things. We’ve had his adenoids checked. So I’m sitting there and I’m going, wow, this is powerful. This might be it. Like, this might be what heals him. And then Halloween came, COVID got worse Christmas. Got, you know, and so we kind of went back and now is our second day of going back. And I want to make sure that I’m honoring her at him in this process because I don’t like, I already see it’s restrictive and it’s hard.

Wendy:
But at the same time, it’s powerful, right? Like food can heal. And if they’re, if we’re putting something in our body, then that is causing him this hardship, right. I mean, he gets sick easier. It’s hard for him to eat because he can’t breathe out of his nose. He has to breathe out of his mouth and he’s gotten used to it. But, but I just want to make sure that I’m honoring this process and I think I have a handle on it. But do you have any words of advice around this? Because on one hand, I think it’s super powerful to experiment with this, especially with kids. Because I think if, if there’s anything that’s contributing to kids, not feeling well, not sleeping well, not breathing well.

Wendy:
And you release that from them. Oh my gosh. I feel like behavior could get better. Their joy and life can get better. And I do not want to train my kids to go on this yo-yo and I’ve kind of, I have kind of experienced now that I think about it, but with my own journey, with the anti-inflammatory inflammatory stuff.

Mayuko:
Yeah, of course. And I think your approach is so beautiful that you are really honoring his needs on a level of, okay. His asthma is causing him to feel this way. Okay. Let’s try this approach. Okay. It’s working. Right. But you’re also, you know, making sure that that doesn’t turn into anything into a toxic eating pattern. And you know, it, it is hard to say, but at the same time, I think if you are including him into the decision-making process and asking him, Hey, how are you feeling? How is this food making you feel? What is it like to restrict these foods and to be able to breathe better?

Mayuko:
Which, which option do you like? You know, what, what do you want to do? This is your body. This is your health. And how do you feel about this? All I think really engaging him into this care is really important. And I hope you are already doing just that. So I think at this really beautiful,

Wendy:
Cool. And I think it’ll, it’ll be as long as we, as soon as we make it to week three and four, it’s going to be easy to do that. It’s just that beginning stages. That is a little uncomfortable and I feel scared about, but I will be brave and courageous. And it’s like, you know, those moments when, you know, he reaches for like the sugar bar, the kind bar, which is like totally sugar. And I’m like, honey, you like, remember we’re all together. We’re doing this together for my 13 year old. She’s like, I’m not doing it, but, but those feel like this feel unaligned. But at the same time, my goal is to support him so he can make the decision at week four. So that really helps. Thank you, Mayuko. So how my goodness. Well, you have given us so much wisdom today.

Wendy:
Thank you for sharing with us. Thank you for the work that you’re doing to help women and to help pend painful generational cycles. That’s one of the biggest things that we love to do here at fresh start family is end painful generational cycles. And often this, the disordered eating stuff definitely gets handed down. Right? And so to know that you’re coming in to support women to end that and to help give them a new path is so beautiful. So tell listeners where they can find you way they can learn more about your programs and all that good stuff.

Mayuko:
Sure. And thank you so much for having me, Wendy. This was so much fun. I love talking about the work I do and it was, and you’re just a ball of energy and fun. So I really love this. So I have a program called food liberation. You can find me at foodliberation.com. And I have this 90 day private program. We really dive deep into your relationship with food and your body, and look at the overall picture of your life, your support system. And we might be even looking at your relationships and work and are you aligned with your purpose and all of that stuff, but we will really dive deep into your needs and customize the program so that you can really heal from whatever you are experienced and whatever you picked up from childhood, all of that in a three-month span and that journey that I’ve witnessed is truly transformational.

Mayuko:
So I’m really excited to bring on more women who are also open spiritually minded to, to want to be in a space of healing and open up their channels to be able to create more space and thrive. So if anyone is interested in even just having a conversation with me, we can have a call and chat and see if this works for you. So thank you for loving.

Wendy:
Oh my goodness. Okay. Listeners, go find Mayuko and we’ll make sure that we put your website in the show notes pages again. Thank you Mayuko for being here.

Mayuko:
Thank you so much, Wendy,

Wendy:
For links and more info about everything we talked about in today’s episode had to freshstartfamilyonline.com/108. And if you haven’t yet, make sure you grab our free guide to raising strong-willed kids with integrity at freshstartfamilyonline.com/strongwilledkids.

Stella:
For more information, go to FreshStartFamilyonline.com. Thanks for listening. Families. Have a great day.

Wendy:
Hey families, before we say goodbye for the day. Quick question, do you follow me yet on Instagram? If you don’t, will you come find me? I am at FreshStartWendy and I like to hang out there a lot and it’s a great place to interact with me. Send me a DM after you push follow, say hello. I do lots of lives. I post lots of IGTVs and I would love to connect with you over there. So come find me.

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at [email protected] or connect with me over on Facebook @freshstartfamily & Instagram @freshstartwendy.

 

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