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I’ve spent half of my life studying holistic and functional nutrition. I’ve finally stopped restricting/dieting, but I feel torn between two worlds. I still believe that eating “clean” or eating in a certain way is the best way toward health; however, I’m eating as if the pendulum is stuck on the far opposite side (eating all the foods that I’ve labelled “bad” for so long). I don’t know how to end this divide.

I’m also struggling because I’m wondering if my yrs of time and money learning about nutrition will ever be of any use to me. One minute I believe everything about holistic nutrition and therapeutic diets, and the next minute I’m devouring a bag of potato chips.

I need help, please! I don’t know how to let go of everything I’ve worked hard for (certifications, costs, beliefs). I feel like I’ve wasted so much time and energy, and I don’t know if or how to move forward.


Hello! This is so good… and I have a lot to say.

First, to answer your question: “Where does nutrition fit in intuitive eating?” It does fit in but at the end of the process. Gentle Nutrition is the last of the 10 principles of Intuitive eating.

If a healthy relationship with food is not in place, it’s difficult to truly pursue “healthy eating”. If you’ve been a chronic dieter or, in your case, “restrictor for “health “reason,” the best nutrition guidelines can still be embraced like a diet if you haven’t first heal how you engage with food. This is why we avoid any conversation about health or Nutrition from principles 1-9.

The process of becoming an intuitive eater will allow you to engage with Nutrition as an ally for your health instead of a dieting weapon. It takes time to get there. In a therapeutic setting, we usually avoid the topic for 6-12 months.

Inside Conquer and Thrive, we have a specific course on Gentle Nutrition and Family Nutrition in Month 6.

Regarding your Pendulum swinging… you will continue to swing until your release food rules and, in your case, food labelling. You clearly admit to maintaining “good and bad” food beliefs (diet mindset), and those are feeling your restriction and response in rebellious eating behaviours.

I’d like you to explore why you are holding to these beliefs. Here are two questions to ask yourself: What am I gaining from upholding this belief system of “good and bad” food? What are you afraid will happen when you let go of these beliefs? Likely there’s a big fear leading you to hold on to your belief system that served you all these years of studying Nutrition.

Once you journal all of your thoughts… organize them into a self-coaching model.

C: “Good and Bad food.”

Explore how your current thoughts create the swinging of your pendulum. Then you can create an intentional model to change the belief of good and bad food.

The other angle specific to health professionals is what you described in the last part of your question: the anger and resentment towards the industry. It’s totally normal you feel this way… it’s essential that you feel the anger and be with it. Process it. When you feel ready, you can decide what you will create out of it. What we know is that on the other side, there’s a brilliant non-diet practitioner waiting to bloom. Stephanie likes to say, “Everything happens for a reason,” which is true for this situation.

Although we do not address the professional aspect in Conquer and Thrive, perhaps listen to podcast #219 and learn the stage of grieving (Stephanie speaks to it in the context of body image ). Still, it’s the same stage for grieving anything.

Hope this helps. If not, submit a follow-up question!