It’s time to stop stressing about food, and we’re going to tell you exactly how to do that.

Want to Stop Stressing About Food? Here’s How

We’re going to talk about how to tell your food story, something that’s more important and impactful than any diet or meal plan you’ve ever tried.

Our guest today is Elise Museles, a certified eating psychology a nutrition expert, creator of the food story platform, and the wildly popular blog, Kale and Chocolate.

This episode is jam-packed with mindset shifts, habits, and strategies so you can take action, rewrite your food story, and unlock a world where you listen to your body and choose foods that feel good to you.

Our guest today is Elise Museles, a certified eating psychology a nutrition expert, creator of the food story platform, and the wildly popular blog, Kale and Chocolate.

As an author, speaker, health coach, and podcast host, Elise’s mission is to empower women to create a healthier relationship with food and their bodies by changing what’s on their plate and what’s in their minds.

This episode is jam-packed with mindset shifts, habits, strategies, and a game plan so there are so many ways to take action.

On what led Elise to her interest in Food Story:

For a while, Elise was obsessed with finding the perfect diet.

In doing so, she read everything she could find and asked people about what kinds of diets they were following.

The idea of food story stemmed from way back then.

Then, when she went to the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in 2009, there was a lot of talk about the concept of bioindividuality, that we’re all so different.

Now that idea is a little more common, but back then, there were certain diets and rules that were supposed to work for everyone.

And that really planted the seed for how we all have different food stories, which so much plays into, from the way you were brought up and the messages you received as a child to your thought patterns and your culture.

Bioindividuality is the idea that we are all so unique, that we all have unique stories and unique metabolism.

When Elise learned more about this idea, it really helped her release that search for the perfect diet, because there is no perfect diet.

What works is what works for you.

There was a relief when the search was over, but at that time Elise didn’t know how to trust her intuition.

She had no idea how to listen to her body after she had questioned everything and really silenced it.

To find out what works for you, you have to be really connected to how you feel and how you think.

In doing so, it set her on a path of self-discovery.

On Food Story:

Your food story is everything from what’s on your plate to what’s in your mind.

So often we’re caught up on the “whats”, like what to eat and how much.

But when you think about it as a story, there are lots of different themes and characters and it’s always evolving.

Your food story is the way that your mother talked about her body and what your father said about vegetables.

It’s the food that you eat what you’re celebrating and then the food that you eat when you’re heartbroken.

It’s knowing that you should be eating X and then eating Y instead.

It’s all of those things and the memories and the way that you were raised and the messages that you hear, it all comes together and it forms your unique story.

The beauty of a food story is that it is always changing and evolving.

“You can always change and write a new chapter; you are the author of your story”.

It gives you permission to let all of those things that have happened, just be.

Obviously, your relationship with food is a part of your food story, but so often we think about our relationship with food and we become defensive and it’s a dead end.

But a story has more flow, and that’s why Elise uses the term “food story” instead of talking about a “relationship with food”.

When Robyn was in her doctoral program, she was right at the stage of writing her dissertation before she dropped out.

The topic of her dissertation would have been something along the lines of, “Eating Behavior, Decision Making, and Identity”.

It was about how we make decisions around food, how those decisions affect our identity, and how our identity affect our choices.

And that’s a lot like what Elise has done.

By telling that story and interpreting the information, it’s a cycle in which your decisions impact who you are and who you are impacts what you do.

Another part of our food stories is that they’re not only our own, which allows people to feel more open.

You set the foundation for your children’s food story just like we have inherited a story.

It’s not just about what’s on your plate; this impacts your entire life.

On how to write a food story:

Every single person has a food story.

The first part is thinking about what your food story is and pulling out common themes.

This is when you can think about what is or isn’t working for you and what you’d like to rewrite or change.

Then, you can go back and figure out where that came from, you can figure out what happened.

And from there, when you can release it, you can start to feel more connected to who you are today.

The next step is being really honest with yourself about what you want to change and how you want to feel and start to do things.

“You can’t create a new story until you know what you want it to be”.

On how to listen to your body:

Being in your body physically, like yoga, is a great way to get in touch with yourself.

Another way to practice listening is to notice all of the messages your body is sending you throughout the day.

When you start to slow down and pay attention, you’ll notice them.

For example, think about the last time you said yes to something you didn’t want to do, and later wished you’d listened to your body.

But it’s also not about beating yourself up, it’s just a learning opportunity to reflect on decisions.

It’s not about guilt and shame, it’s about whether you can say no when you mean no.

“Replace judgement with curiosity”

And the slowing down piece is so important.

It’s about connecting to your body and you can’t hear anything or have those honest conversations with yourself when you’re stressed and moving rapidly.

For anyone feeling frantic around food because they feel rushed in life:

The thing for parents, is that we want to set good examples.

You don’t have to put out a tablecloth and create a whole experience when it comes to meals, but maybe you can just sit down and take a few deep breaths and a few moments to yourself; it’s invaluable.

Not only is it important for you, but you’re showing your children that you prioritize your health.

“You owe it to yourself to take a few deep breaths and nourish your body”.

Chocolate meditation:

You can use any type of chocolate for this, it’s just about paying attention to it.

It’s about bringing all of your senses to the table.

Go really slowly, close your eyes, sit down.

Smell this chocolate, think about your first memory with chocolate.

Finally, bite in really slowly.

And then stay in your space with that piece of chocolate; don’t think about the next one.

You’ll notice how much more satisfying it is when you bring all your senses to the table.

It’s about seeing the difference when you’re present, chocolate being an example of that.

“When you’re present in one area of your life it also teaches you to become more present in other areas of your life”.

Another way to practice “micro-mindfulness” is Robyn’s 5-Minute Morning.

Turning a routine into a present experience is so grounding.

Health and wellness are about so much more than the individual food we put in our mouths, so much more than going to spin or yoga.

It’s about this full picture of wellness.

On the Environmental Working Group:

Elise is passionate about the environment and the EWG is a bigger platform that supports the mission, which Elise is a board member for.

They started more as a lobbying organization, but it’s not more consumer-based.

EWG does a great job of breaking down big ideas so they are more accessible.

Dirty Dozen & the Clean Fifteen: this annual guide talks about which produce tends to have more pesticides and which ones are generally more safe to eat.

EWG Verified: in this initiative, the EWG verifies beauty brands who are disclosing all of the ingredients.

Skin Deep: this is an app (and website) that allows you to scan the barcode of beauty products and find out about the toxicity or safeness of them.

On what Elise is excited for right now:

She loves how the conversation is turning to health and feeling good and away from how you look and talk about diets.

The shift feels gentler and more attainable.

In her life, Elise is also excited about her podcast, Once Upon a Food Story.

She’s just getting started and she just loves hearing people’s stories; stories connect us to one another.

On what it really means to be healthy:

“To feel really harmonious in your mind and body and not fight yourself. To have pure acceptance… to be really comfortable with who you are and to come from a loving place when you want to change”.

Guest Bio

Elise Museles is a Certified Eating Psychology and Nutrition Expert, creator of the Food Story platform and the wildly popular blog Kale & Chocolate. As an author, speaker, health coach, and podcast host, Elise’s mission is to empower women to create a healthier relationship with food and their bodies by changing what’s on their plate – and what’s in their minds.

Elise recently launched her podcast, Once Upon A Food Story, where she shares the “Food Stories” of leading health experts such as Kimberly Snyder, Dr. Frank Lipman, Robyn Youkilis and more. She’s also the best-selling author of Whole Food Energy: 200 All Natural Recipes to Help You Prepare, Refuel, and Recover.

Elise’s concept of Food Story was born from her personal struggles with food and body image throughout her life. Going on her first diet at age nine, Elise grew to become obsessed with dieting and calorie counting for many years to follow.

She worked as a successful attorney with the Department of Justice, but still found herself immersed in dieting and nutrition knowledge. Eventually, Elise realized that the problem wasn’t the food itself; it was her thoughts, feelings, and relationship with her self. After her second son was born, Elise decided to leave her position as an attorney to go to nutrition school and pursue her passion for health and wellness as a career.

Elise’s background in eating psychology differentiates her from other health experts (see below), as she not only creates beautiful recipes, but gets to the root of unwanted health and eating challenges. Through her unique Food Story Method, she helps clients understand where these thoughts and habits come from, so they can rewrite their personal Food Story, and reconnect back to the wisdom of their own bodies to lead them to make the best (and most delicious!) choices.

In her down time, Elise enjoys spending time in nature with her two golden retrievers, practicing Vinyasa yoga, or cooking colorful meals for her husband and two sons—all amazing cooks as well! She’s also passionate about getting behind the lens as a food photographer and shares daily inspiration (and mouthwatering photos!) on Facebook and Instagram.  You can connect with Elise on Instagram @kaleandchocolate and on her website


Whole Food Energy: 200 All Natural Recipes to Help You Prepare, Refuel, and Recover

Energy Snack

Robyn’s 5-Minute Morning

EWG’s 2019 Dirty Dozen

EWG’s 2019 Clean Fifteen

EWG Verified

Once Upon a Food Story

Connect with Elise on Instagram @kaleandchocolate

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