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Today’s guest is really a spokesperson for our insides. A publicist for what our unique bodies really want to thrive. A walking billboard for the magic that is meditation. Cassandra Bodzak, the author of Eat With Intention, a health coach, and a global meditation teacher is just bursting with passion for helping peeps create their “next level” lives utilizing the ‘FOOD, MEDITATION AND SELF CARE trifecta’…or triangle, as you’ll soon hear about. I’d seen Cassandra on the interwebs for a long time but it wasn’t until I met her at The Good Fest where she led an epic meditation (during which I snuck on stage when everyone’s eyes were closed to snag some killer pics for her!), that I got to witness first hand just how happy, confident and truly grounded she is. This is all to say that this chica thoroughly practices what she preaches, so listen to all she preaches in this jam-packed chat and then start practicing and I can guarantee you’ll feel more happy, confident and grounded, too!
Major thank you to Sunwarrior for sponsoring this episode! If you don’t already know, I’m a die-hard fanatic of Sunwarrior’s plant-protein powder (their ‘vanilla classic’ is my favorite and what I use to make my daily protein waffles!). To hear about how adding Sunwarrior protein into my diet has radically changed my health and physique, read this! <<
What IS eating with intention? → eating with intention is about communicating with your body, asking your body what it wants and then being really careful about the energy that you’re putting anything into your body with — what your intention with the food you’re putting into your body? What’s your motivation? What’s your WHY?
“Eating with intention is about communicating with your body, asking your body what it wants and then being really careful about the energy that you’re putting anything into your body with.”
“So many people just live on autopilot – it’s so easy to get into a routine and to have habits that we pick up that we don’t even realize sometimes that the breakfast we’re grabbing every single day is the reason we can’t focus after 10 AM.”
Cassandra’s a big fan of people becoming ‘food detectives’ — taking 2 weeks to take a little journal to start noticing what you’re eating and how that makes you feel. (Without judgement or trying to CHANGE what you’re eating.)
As I always say → FOOD MAKES YOU FEEL STUFF! You can choose how you feel based on the food you choose to eat!
FOOD, MEDITATION, SELF CARE is the triangle of what heals you and gives you your highest life. It’s all three that we need and if you’re missing any point of that triangle, it doesn’t stand.
BTW, even though Cassandra’s book includes a meditation with each recipe, that doesn’t mean you have to literally do the meditation while you eat the recipe you made! Eat when you eat and meditate when you meditate.
“I really believe that in order for us to be able to create our biggest, juiciest lives, we need to be able to take care of ourselves.”
“I don’t think I’d have any of the beautiful things I have in my life if I hadn’t discovered meditation.”
MEDITATION TIPS FOR NEWBIES:
- There are so many kinds of mediation, and you’re not going to resonate with all of them!!
- So, try the whole buffet of meditations!
“Just like food, where it’s not like one size fits all, I think you really have to try on different meditations and see what feels good in your body.”
IDEA: Plan a month-long meditation exploration month! Try them all…mantras, kundalini, guided visualizations on YouTube, recordings on iTunes (these are my fav!), apps, etc.
“It makes me feel sad when someone tries one kind of meditation and decides: oh I don’t like meditation. That’s the same thing as trying Brussels sprouts and not liking them and saying ‘oh I don’t like vegetables.’
Cassandra loves doing a daily 5-7 minute visualization of the life she wants to live…
- She writes out how she wants her life to be
- Records herself saying it
- Listens to it after her kundalini meditation (or yoga class) plus other times (she listens to it a lot!)
- Her life today is very much what she described in those audio recordings.
I also <3 her “body gratitude meditation” which you can do in the shower:
Essentially, you take a nice mindful moment while you’re washing your body and give thanks for all of your body parts! “Thanks feet, you allow me to walk today! Wow my legs support me, thanks!” BUTTTTT…she’s a big believe in HONEST body gratitude….most of us have areas of our bodies that we don’t fully luuuuuveee so Cassandra says…skip those parts for this meditation practice! Focus on the parts you love loads!
“There’s so much about your body that’s amazing and miraculous so tune into that. And take a moment in the shower, 5 minutes, close your eyes with the water on you and just say ‘wow I’m so grateful I get to live another day and go around the world because I have this gorgeous body.’”
“With our body, we often don’t appreciate it until something goes wrong.”
MINDFUL EATING 101 – just like be mindful…when you’re eating. Try not to eat distracted-ly, like while watching TV, driving, scrolling on Instagram. You don’t get to enjoy your food that way and your body doesn’t digest it as well AND you won’t be as connected to when you’re feeling full or how that food is feeling going in.
–> It’s important to ask yourself about the intention of the food you’re putting into your body.
“Are you eating that kale salad from a place of self-hate or from a place of self-love? So many women pretend to eat the kale from a place of self-love but are really eating the kale because they hate their body.”
It all boils down to → eating from a place of self-love.
I’d rather have you eat the bagel from a place of love and taking care of yourself than drink that smoothie because you don’t think you’re good enough.
Or, as I always say:
“You’re better off eating french fries with a smile than Brussels sprouts with a bitch face.”
Cassandra’s all about saying to your body “I love you still. I love you no matter what.” So if her pants feel a bit tight and her inclination is to drink smoothies all week, she deliberately DOESN’T eat smoothies all week so she shows her body self-love rather than self-hate.
Part of loving your body is wanting to take care of it and wanting what’s best for your body. So can body love and wanting to ‘improve’ aspects of your body go hand in hand? ABSOLUTELY. They’ve gotta!! You gotta love your body to be able to lovingly tone up or whatever.
“When you have deep, genuine body love, which comes from making loving your body a priority…
Gary Vaynerchuk refers to the clouds and the dirt. The clouds = your big picture. The dirt = the day to day grind. You always know that the clouds are there but you gotta put your hands in the dirt to get there. < LOVE THIS!!!
How to truly listen to your body: really just create a space to tune into your body and with one hand on your heart and one on your belly, ask it “hey, how am I treating you? Is there anything I can do to nourish you? Is there anything I’m doing to hurt you?” And you’ll start to notice things.
Most of the times it our heads that make us crave ice cream, not our body.
Naughty food cravings (like ice cream or cookies) → mostly what you’re really craving is emotional comfort, being sweeter to yourself…
Salty food cravings → craving fun and adventure! Zip lining! (haha)
Her favorite plant to eat: Brussels sprouts! She makes them good by making up a dijon glaze with onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, dijon, olive oil, balsamic all whipped together and then she sautes them on a pan with coconut oil or roasted in the oven.
Her most-used kitchen tools: her knife and cutting board, next is her food processor