2020 is the year for home cooks – everyone’s doing it! Well maybe not everyone, and maybe cook is a strong word. With all the sourdough and banana bread pics on social media, perhaps home bakers is a better word, (just saying).

Regardless of whether you plan to use your apron as a cape or a festive accessory, this is the time of the year we tend to overdo it in the eating department. It’s almost impossible to avoid. The best thing to do is have a few strategies in place.

Have a look through some of these ideas and give one or two or all of them a try.

1. Hara Hachi Bu

Hara Hachi Bu is a Japanese adage used by some of the oldest healthiest people in the world. They say this just before starting a meal as a reminder. So what is it?

Loosely translated it means – Stop Eating When You Are 80% full.

2. Space Your Meals

This ties in with Hara Hachi Bu. Our bodies take a bit of time to sort through what we have eaten. It can take a while for you to actually begin to feel full.
Try to space meals about 20 minutes apart.

3. Eat A Veggie Heavy Starter

You’re thinking – “I thought we were supposed to eat less not more?”

Well here’s the thing, eating a small veggie heavy starter will not only get the healthy stuff in first, it will get you feeling satiated a lot sooner.

4. Don’t starve yourself

Starvation and a spread of delicious food are not a good combo. It lowers your resistance and increases your chances of binging. So unless you were recently given Sainthood for your denial of temptation abilities, best to have a small snack before the festivities begin. Maybe that means eating a decent breakfast, a snack before you leave home, or a starter before the main course.

5. Defer, defer, defer

No, I haven’t confused this list with a courtroom drama. I’m talking about ‘that’ person who’s always insisting you have more. Everyone is eating, drinking, talking, laughing and the host is loving it. They insist you have that extra helping and you feel bad saying no – so don’t. Don’t say no, just say later. By the time later comes everyone has moved on and forgotten about it, hopefully. If not, then ask if you can take it home.

6. Make water great again!

Let’s face it, not only are cocktails and drinks fun they can look pretty appetizing. So asking for a glass of water when your friend is sipping on a Mojito can make you look like a bit of a buzz kill. Well, water doesn’t have to be boring. Make some flavored water, use sparkling water with fresh fruit and herbs for a snazzy and attractive drink.

7. Slow Down

You have most likely spent the whole year guzzling your meals in front of a computer, the TV or under stress. Meeting up with friends, family or those closest to you is about enjoying their company, the environment and cherishing the moment. So no need to rush. Take time to notice the food, chew properly and pause between bites. Savor not only the food but the moment.

8. Get Active

Take your yoga mat with you to lunch – Just kidding!

You will need to do 1 of 2 things here, or maybe both. Let go of your inhibitions a little or get creative. If there’s music then get your groove on and bust a few moves on the dance floor. Maybe it’s time to revive that sprinkler move you had in high school. If there’s a swimming pool and everyone’s in it, don’t be a wallflower – get in and have fun.

If there’s a nature walk or beach near by, go for a post meal stroll to ‘make space’ for dessert. Look around, get creative.

9. Avoid the dinner plate

Dishing up a small serving on a big plate is soul destroying. It looks terrible and you get the distinct feeling of missing out. Why not get a side plate and fill it up. You might even want a refill, but it’s highly unlikely you will go for a 3rd round.

10. Let go of the guilt

Here’s the thing, meals connect people. Great meals make memories.

If your mom made a 12 course meal and spent 2 days making it – enjoy it! You don’t eat like this everyday and breaking out from your norm isn’t going to destroy you.

The purpose here isn’t about not eating the triple chocolate trifle. It’s about enjoying the moment and avoiding, (or minimizing), the extreme excess we often fall prey to. Whether you’re attending year end functions or spending time with family, it can become a stressor. Using one or all of these strategies can help relieve some of the stress.

Don’t forget to take a little time out for yourself. Balance all the hype with a bit of quiet time and recharge.

Take care friends and don’t just give presents, be present.

You may have noticed a logo in the footer of my webpage saying ‘The Ethical Move” and wondered what it’s all about. Well, instead of you guessing, I thought I should take some time and tell you a little about it, as it is very important to me.

In their own words The Ethical Move believe that:

“how we sell matters.”

The Ethical Move is a group of people taking the first step in moving away from the manipulative selling techniques being used on us in the digital world. As members we pledge to not use certain selling and marketing techniques or to use them responsibly. The pledge focuses on 7 primary elements. The folks at The Ethical Move have a pledge page where they explain each element really well: The Pledge.

But here is a summary in my own words…

1. Charm Pricing

This is when a seller is trying to make an item seem cheaper by going a single/few digits under the higher amount. A great example is instead of saying something costs $100 they say $97.

As an a member we pledge to not use the number 9 in our pricing.

2. Countdowns

The “Get It Now Before This Deal Expires” Deal. You get so worried you are going to miss out that you rearrange your entire, (sometimes limited), budget to get the deal in time – only to find that it’s still running a week/month later. This in itself is not an unfair practice, but it can be abused by unscrupulous parties to create that ‘knot in the stomach’ feeling of missing out.

Yes there absolutely are instances where an offer is limited. As I prepare my online courses I will also be running them for a limited time each year. Which means, there will be a cut off.

The difference – the cut off is genuine and you will know when and how often the course is run upfront. If you cannot afford it or don’t have time for it now, you can always sign up when it runs again.

3. False Scarcity

This often ties in with No.2 (countdowns) and can get you really anxious. As a solopreneur I honestly can only accommodate so many seats at a live venue or for the online course. I prefer to interact directly with my class and there are limits.

If a course is fully automated, or the offer is electronic, then there is often no need to create this sense of pressure.

4. Lead Magnets

This is a difficult one. The deal is this: I give you something free in exchange for your email address. Without it many businesses would be dead in the water. Email lists are how we grow our client base and keep them informed. So really it isn’t ‘free’ in the true sense of the word.

The problem is when you make  this trade and then get inundated with emails, sales and promotions that may or may not include content you even signed up for.

Not all of us are marketing guru’s and it can be difficult for someone like myself to know how much is enough and to know if we are still adding value – which is our primary intention.

The responsible thing to do is make sure your subscribers knows they can unsubscribe at any point – no hard feelings. Their information is not sold or farmed out for profit and that you stick to what you said you would.

5. Bait and Switch

This one drives me crazy. You get told to take a quiz and you will receive something personalized – or something like that.

But, all you get is sales pitches and buy this to get that nonsense! I would like to think I cannot be caught out with this sort of thing, but (sigh) it still happens.

All I can say to marketers that use this – enough already!!

6. Woke Washing

This one is a particularly nasty element to marketing nowadays. I battled to write this paragraph without ranting. So I decided to just quote directly from The Ethical Move:

Woke washing is the appropriation of ethical and progressive values with the intent to leverage image and increase sales, when behind closed doors, the actions and words don’t match the reality (when a brand donates to BLM while exploiting BIPOC in their supply chain).

– The Ethical Move

As members we pledge to being transparent and honest about our actions and words.

7. Secret Recipe

This is something I often refer to as the Silver Bullet Solution. It happens a lot in the health and wellness industry and can be very frustrating. If you eat this and do that you will get these miraculous results.

I’m not saying some of these ‘secret recipes’ don’t work, what I am saying is that they will not work for everyone. If it did not work for you then it isn’t your fault and there isn’t something wrong with you. Even if a million people had success, they do not live your life, have your DNA or deal with what you deal with. You are unique and not a statistic.

There is also more than one solution to anything and more often than not there is no hack or shortcut.

What do we do about it?

So there you have it. Honestly, there isn’t much you can do other than be aware and educating yourself and your family around these tactics. As a blogger, business owner, entrepreneur or anyone with influence you can perhaps do what I am…

I promise to uphold these values and apply them responsibly. I am grateful to have guidelines like these to work with and truly hope that others will do the same.

Bruce Lipton is a Stem Cell Biologist with a focus on Epigenetics. With a bio like that you would be forgiven for thinking you needed a science or biology degree to read any of his books. At least that’s what I had thought prior to reading this book. You know the type. Where you dare not read unless you have access to Google to help you decipher the words let alone the concepts.

Pleasant surprise

This was, surprisingly, not the case – it ended up being a fascinating read with a ton of “oh, so that’s what that means” moments in it. It was fascinating and the author is quite comical in his portrayal of scientific information. His approach went a long way in helping the subject matter be less intimidating.

Bridging the gap

I would say that the author bridged scientific esoterica and every day application very well. I found the book inspired me to actually stop reading and do a little independent research as I went along. Some of the information was a bit contrary to my own personal beliefs. But, the author does state that his views aren’t the most popular (from the very beginning).

Re-readable (I know that’s not a proper word, but it works)

This is the kind of book you may need to read more than once. The author introduces a number of alternate theories and points of views which may be applicable at different stages of an individual’s journey. The author, being a researcher himself, readily refers to established research as well as his own as he covers various topics and presents the information in a logical manner.

Belief systems

The title is a very concise summary of what the book is about which is how our belief systems affect our physical body. We experience this on a more acute level with things like stress or dislike for a situation or person. The tell tale knot in the stomach, tension headache or something to that effect. These are all very real and physically prevalent manifestations that we are all too familiar with.

What you can learn from a single cell

Dr Lipton took those ‘feelings’ one step further and looked at single cells and their reaction to various influences both real and perceived.

He puts forward some compelling results from studies and tests and from there it isn’t a big leap to realize how the reaction of the single cell is remarkable. Multiply it by the approximate 30 trillion cells (that’s 30 with 12 zeros behind it!) and its downright hard to ignore.

There were many, and I mean many, light bulb moments for me during this book. I have read a few ‘science-y’ books, but this one was an absolute pleasure. No dozing off and maybe 2 Google searches the first time I read it.

Dr. Lipton’s work

Dr. Lipton has a number of YouTube videos and talks available on the internet. I’ll be honest, I find his written work better than the spoken. Partly because in his videos and talks he delves into very deep and intellectual content. I prefer to read and metabolize at my own pace. This is a personal choice and you may find his visual work engaging, so I would still encourage you to check it out.

Hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

When we talk about health we tend to think diet, exercise and your friends latest proclamation of some amazing new supplement that is life changing. We are all bombarded with the latest and greatest all the time and it always seems to come down to being told that you must be doing things very differently from the way you are currently doing things. While there isn’t anything overtly wrong with that, we often overlook the small stuff. The simple things that can have an enormous and impactful long term benefit on our health. They almost seem trivial and easily forgotten while we sweat our way through grueling workouts and count our calories and carb intake.

Perhaps if we brought a little math to these little things it might help illustrate the efficacy of simple acts. Think of each act as the numeral 1. Doing one of these simple acts once doesn’t seem like much, but do it every day for a year and suddenly it becomes 365 acts of nourishment and kindness to you and your health journey.

So whether you choose to only do one or many of these suggestions, and you choose to give it a try consistently, take a moment to consider the cumulative effect on your health. The best part of all of these boosters are that they are free, don’t need any special equipment and nobody needs to know. It’s like going into stealth health optimization mode.

‘Knowledge is a process of piling up facts; wisdom lies in their simplification” Martin H Fischer


1) Breathe before and during a meal

Effective and optimal digestion takes place when we activate our Parasympathetic Nervous System or Rest and Digest state. A quick and effective way to do this is through a breathing technique known as diaphragmatic breathing. By activating our vegus nerve (aka: *pneumogastric nerve) we are helping our body get into a state of relaxation which means our blood flow, heart, lungs and digestive organs can work on our food in the best possible way. When we are stressed we activate our Sympathetic Nervous System which moves resources away from our digestive system to our extremities and places our brains on high alert. We effectively go into an emergency state and are ready for action. Digesting a meal is not essential and more of a hindrance, as the objective is to get food out of the system as quickly as possible and shortcut the nutritional absorption.
*(pneumo = lungs & gastric = stomach)

2) Chew your food

Following on from breathing, chewing is a key factor that influences digestion. As a general rule of thumb we should chew each bite for around 30 seconds before swallowing. For those of you who have reached out to that biscuit next to your tea and are now chewing for 30 seconds – you are probably thinking ‘that’s insane!’. If you are eating highly processed foods there will most likely not be much left in your mouth after 30 seconds. Highly processed foods very seldom have fiber and we need fiber! Also, there are enzymes that help digest and break down food (especially carbs) in our saliva, these then react with other enzymes in our stomach which further help digestion. By skipping or skimping on the chewing part we put undue strain on our stomachs which can lead to indigestion, gas, bloating and even leaky gut syndrome.

3) Move more

I feel like this point has been flogged to death already and you may have rolled your eyes when you saw this. Unfortunately it is a goody and as prolific as this tip may be, it cannot be overlooked or ignored. If all you can do is stand up and stretch at your desk every 30 min then do that, but try as much as you can to MOVE MORE!

4) Eat at least one green vegetable every day

Green vegetables are like that small gun Will Smith gets in MIB. It seems ineffective and boring, but boy does it pack a punch. Dark leafy greens in particular help purify our blood, improve circulation, strengthen the immune system, improve liver, gall bladder and kidney function and so much more. (Dynamite truly does come in small packages when it comes to green veggies)

5) Get a plant

There is so much to say about this, but let’s keep it simple. Not only does it help freshen the air around you, but if you manage to keep it alive and flourishing you will (and I speak from personal experience) feel like a champion (cue Chariots of Fire background music). It looks good and connects you with nature. If you are stuck in an office all day, that little glimpse of beautiful nature you are caring for can be the highlight of your day.

6) Make your bed

I am not talking Marie Kondo tidy here, and if you are a messy person by nature then start with just making your bed every day. Moms across the planet are nodding their heads at this. There is even a navy big gun who says it’s one of the secrets to success. (A gazillion moms and the navy seals can’t all be wrong). It’s not just about making the bed, the act of tidying and organizing follows through to your thoughts and has a similar effect on your brain waves. (If you are interested what the navy guy had to say – he wrote a book: Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life… And Maybe the World by William McRaven. I haven’t read it yet, but I make my bed everyday and personally think there is merit to the title alone).

7) Make a decision

I am sure you make decisions all day long, but we are talking about you and your health. So for today, make a decision about you and stick with it. Today you can decide:
– I am beautiful
– I am where I am meant to be
– I am worthy
– I have a great smile
– I am strong
Make it about you, make it positive and believe it.
This may take some practice as we are often not as direct about what we think or believe about ourselves, unless it’s negative. We feel guilty or think it makes us conceited, which is not the goal here. As humans we react on a molecular level to positive and negative feedback and our internal feedback is even more acute. You are literally destroying cells in your body every time you engage those negative thoughts.
(If you want to understand this on a deeper level, I highly recommend you read Biology of Belief by Bruce Lipton).

8) Do a Swop Out

Identify one food item or activity that may be contributing to your health issues and swop it out for something that helps optimize your health. Let’s say you eat a choc chip muffin with your morning coffee, every day from the local garage, on your way to work (and breathe – that’s a very long sentence). What can you swop that out with that is a healthier option? The idea is not to deny you your morning snack, just to optimize the opportunity. If you aren’t ready to give up on baked yumminess then consider making your own over the weekend and use a more fibrous flour, dark chocolate and less sugar or healthier sugar and less salt. Same thing, just you did the quality control and know that you put the best ingredients in – (your blood pressure and gut will thank you!).

9) Cook extra

Cooking a little extra for dinner and then taking it for lunch the next day is another powerful secret weapon. Being that prepared with so little extra effort needs to have an award or some kind of formal recognition. It saves you time in the morning, avoids you having to starve yourself because you didn’t have time to organize lunch and avoids that oh so alluring temptation of buying junk food, so there is the money being saved as well.

10) Take the scenic route

Whenever and where ever the opportunity presents itself – take it. If you don’t have to rush home and there is a route that is less congested, more calming and beautiful choose that one. If you are walking to your appointment from the parking lot and there is a route through the garden – take that one.

These actions can seem so arbitrary that we would hardly mention them. They aren’t the kinds of things we sit down at a coffee date with our friends and gush about how we drove the ‘long way’ home from work on Thursday and saw the most amazing garden with flowers in full bloom. You are more likely to hear a confused ‘okay, that’s a bit weird’ than an “OMG! I also did that and it was awesome”, but, it does not take away from the fact that as trivial as they may seem, we don’t do it, and we most certainly don’t appreciate the impact they have on our health. These small things add up and build toward a happier and healthier you.

I challenge you to try just one for a while. No you wont suddenly loose 10kg, you wont suddenly be healed of anything, but maybe, just maybe you may have a moment of happiness, a moment of less gas or a moment of calm and that my friends is priceless and everlasting.

Just like ‘creeping obesity’ these stealth health tips have a more positive connotation ‘creeping healthiness’. Try them out and enjoy the rewards.

If you are thinking this is going to be anything like SALT FAT ACID HEAT by Samin Nosrat, then you are in for a bit of a shock. As amazing and excited Chef Samin makes us about food, so Michael Moss will flip that on its head and make you seriously rethink your mainstream food choices.  Michael Moss is a multi award winning investigative journalist, who through a series of events, decided to take a deep dive into what’s in our food. The reporting and subsequent book has since become a staple read in the Health and Wellness community and for good reason.

Like a movie

The book was exceptionally well researched and reads like a punch-in-your-face Hollywood movie script. Having said that I would not classify this as an ‘enjoyable’ read. The information left me feeling very uncomfortable. Similar to the feeling you have after watching a really good thriller, there may have even been a few audible gasps while I was reading.

Who are they?

The one thing I really appreciated though was that he put names and actions to those we often refer to as ‘they’. By ‘they’ I mean the people we refer to when we say things like: They are just in it for the money or they are a ruthless bunch. We know they definitely exist. From our side of the table though, we get the distinct feeling that our best interests are not involved in their decision making.

Pulling back the curtain

Getting the curtain pulled back and giving us a glimpse is a rare occasion. If, like me, you have been on a journey around food and health, you know that what he speaks about illustrates a very real and current problem in the world today. There are very few people on the planet that are not being affected by these companies and people. This may make you feel intensely resentful toward these companies and those that work there.

The real problem

By now you can guess that the book may not be telling us what we ‘want’ to hear. That in the land of food supply everything isn’t sunshine and roses and may leave you enraged. But having said this, I would urge you to consider it on a more personal level. I have had family members and friends who have worked for some of the companies mentioned in the book. On a person to person level I know they aren’t bad people. Neither did working for the company suddenly make them bad people. They do not wake up in the morning and head to work with malicious intent. The author points this out about many of the executives he met with as well. He is reasonable and measured when assessing where the real problem lies. It’s the system as a whole that needs to be overhauled.

Everything in that system needs to be shaken up. All the way from the soil our food comes from to what we choose to put on our plates. Upsetting as the information may be – as enormous as the task ahead is – there is still hope. The fact that Michael Moss is able to get this information to us is a huge step in making changes to that broken system.

You cannot fix what you don’t know about.
You cannot make changes if you don’t know where to start.

My biggest take away is that the change starts with you and me. The small things like where and who we choose to buy our food from has a collective impact. Knowing more and actually using information like this empowers us.

This is a really well researched and written book and worthwhile getting your hands on. And, to circle back to Chef Samin, no, it will not put you off her food; rather it will encourage you to learn more about what she shares. Getting back to wholesome, straight from nature, home cooked food.

Personal Philosophy Workbook

Navigating your way through life can be difficult. None of us are spared from going through trying times. Heartache or mishaps and while we are in the middle of these experiences it may seem that we don’t have control or that there isn’t anything we can do to lessen or ease the experience. To some extent this is true. Big events like how your boss reacts to bad news, the passing of a loved one or changes in the economic climate are all external factors that can and will have a profound effect on our life’s trajectory, but we underestimate the effects of the smaller every day experiences.

Small things like choosing the kind of diet you follow; how you choose to spend your off time; TV shows you watch and social media you follow all have an impact on how you live your life. At this point you might be thinking “Wait a minute! What does my weekend G.o.T binge sessions have to do with my life trajectory – that’s a bit extreme?’ and while you might be right, you should consider this…

What Informs Us Influences Us

We live in a world where almost everything that we see, hear, eat or consume comes through the filter of marketing and sales. Now this is not a post about anti-corporate or anti-anything, it is simply a fact of life that every facet of our decision making has been studied and capitalized on. Everything, (colors, text, images, placement etc.), is carefully thought out to ensure we’re influenced into buying, watching or changing our habits. Social media has only intensified the effects of this. We would be very naïve if we thought all of this targeted influence and manipulation did not affect us or that we are immune to it

If you want to know more about marketing methods and how they are developed see my book review on The Culture Code by Coltaire Rapaille

The irony is, much of what gets marketed to us is really just a one size fits all solution. There is very little profit in individuality. Whether it is a new diet, range of clothing or way of working, just about every aspect of our lives has been reduced to an average. Averages are a great benchmark for many things, and you cannot fault this logic from a business perspective.

Averages Keep Us Average

The problem we’re faced with is so many mixed messages that mostly center on conformity. It becomes difficult to step outside of the norm, even when the norm is detrimental to us.  Take single use plastic for example. This is not a new issue; plastic has been on the table as a global issue for many years, yet industry are very slow to change – why? Industry makes changes when the masses demand it. The average consumer remains either unaware, uninterested or there simply aren’t enough consumers demanding change. But, it is an ethical issue so why don’t they just make the change without being pressured into it? This is where the crux of the matter lies. Their philosophy is about making profit.

PHILOSOPHY – a theory or attitude that acts as a guiding principle for behaviour.

We Need a Compass

Stepping outside of average or at least the perceived average can be a difficult process. For example when you decide you want to eat healthier. Suddenly your friends and family start offering you all the food you said you weren’t going to eat. Or, when you start going to gym and you get mocked by your buddy that doesn’t want to do gym. It makes people uncomfortable and their reactions can sometimes be less than supportive.

This can either make us more determined or wear us out and we eventually go back to the way things were. But, there is a way to make things a little easier and that is by creating your own philosophy. Having a philosophy that becomes your ‘guiding principle for behaviour’ is like having a compass and always knowing where North is. To carry on with that analogy, even when we lose our way a bit, we can always realign with ourselves and get back on course.

When we allow ourselves to exist truly and fully, we sting the world with our vision and challenge it with our own ways of being. – Thomas Moore

Creating a Personal Philosophy

Creating your own personal philosophy can seem intimidating. There is nothing like a blank page to shut down inspiration, so don’t try to do it all in one day. This is something that takes time to put together. You might want to build up to this, but there are some guiding principles that you can follow:

1. What are your core beliefs

Most of us have a similar belief system like being kind to others, living with integrity, but as life goes by there are things that begin to stand out. In my case it is helping others on their healing journey, living a plastic & waste free life and leaving the world a better place. For someone else it could be the welfare of animals, the list is endless and the beauty is that there is no right or wrong here, it is a personal and core belief that belongs to you.

Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom. – Aristotle

2. Do you feel a calling

Another way of saying this is – If you don’t feel as though you are being pulled toward something is there perhaps something that is troubling you. Things that make us uncomfortable are often inspiration for change or action.

3. Break it down

Writing an all-encompassing philosophy straight off the bat may seem like a bit much. To ease into it, try selecting areas in your life that you are very determined or passionate about at present.

Be decisive about your intentions and consider using words like “I am” or “I will” and avoid “I could’s” and “should’s”.

Remember this is just the first draft, you can revise and fine tune as you become more certain of yourself.

4. Make it happen

Unlike a goal that we set for the future our philosophies are more like intentions. Intentions are about how we get to the goal. A life philosophy is all about how it influences what we do on a day to day basis.

As you embark on this process keep in mind that your philosophy is like walking a trail, one step at a time. Remember to look ahead every now and then, stop and assess where you are currently, (enjoy the scenery if you can) and then get back to putting one step in front of the other. You will notice I chose the tortoise as my logo and this was on purpose. It is a constant reminder to me that life is not a race and we will inevitably reach our destinations, the true value comes in how we get there.


One of my favourite books I have read over the last few years is:

The Culture Code, An Ingenious Way To Understand Why People Around The World Live And Buy As They Do – Coltaire Rapaille.

Coltaire Rapaille has spent decades studying cultures and consumer behavior as a cultural anthropologist and marketing expert. The author shares some phenomenal insights about familiar products and how they got to be so familiar. Coltaire’s insights have been massively beneficial to companies around the world. But, this glimpse into what happens behind the marketing and sales scenes, has had a profound effect on me as an individual.

You may get angry

In the first chapter I highlighted something significant on just about every other page. By the second chapter I realized that I should either read the book or color in all the pages. I found myself vacillating between shock, outrage and some profound “aha” moments. We all know that companies invest a great deal in understanding the human psyche. They leverage this knowledge for profit and gain. When you begin to comprehend the intensity behind these studies, you cannot help at first feeling a little manipulated and outraged. Which is exactly how I felt at the beginning of the book.

Look past the words

Once I moved past my anger and applied a more pragmatic mindset, I was able to appreciate the life lessons. What makes Coltaire Rapaille so successful is his ability to move past the façade of words and hear what we really mean. He calls this the code or more specifically The Culture Code. He defines this code as: “the unconscious meaning we apply to any given thing” (pg. 5). An example of this is his study into the American culture around toilet paper, which he sums up to be: INDEPENDANCE.

Awareness is key

Coltaire Rapaille very adeptly takes you through his process to come to these conclusions. Especially for some of our favorite products (and imprints) like cars, makeup, cheese, love, alcohol, being overweight or pretty and many more. Some of the codes are astonishing at first and in some instances seem too primal to be real. However, once you have that awareness, you begin looking at yourself and those around you objectively. You see he is scarily accurate in his assessments.

Knowledge is power

How this translates into personal revelations and understandings I think will differ from person to person. It will be very difficult to read this book and not have a new perspective on the world around you. I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone. My only advice would be to set aside your emotive reactions and focus on the reality of the information. Commerce is commerce and people are people. As groups we tend to follow the crowd and often don’t see the need to disrupt the status quo. However, as an individual you have the choice to empower yourself with knowledge and awareness. Armed with newfound information you then have a choice as to how much and how you are influenced by the world and people around you.

Personal belief system

This book also speaks to our personal belief systems which we use to filter our daily experiences. In my blog – Why You Should Have a Personal Philosophy, I speak about these in more depth.

If you are as crazy about books as I am and like to keep track of what you have read and learnt head on over to the Nutrimentals Page and download a free Reading Tracker!

It’s that time of year again, (December), where we start taking stock of the year and planning for the coming year. If you didn’t achieve your goals there will inevitably be feelings of failure, followed by a quick justification. That’s IF you are being nice to yourself.

For many, it can turn into a mini internal tirade about being undisciplined, weak, or much worse. (We tend to be harsher on ourselves than we are with others). Another reaction, one I got really good at, is numbing out. Basically you just stop – stop caring, stop trying, stop planning and just exist.

Yes, maybe you do need to give yourself a little nudge every now and then, but maybe you need to reconsider your goal setting ways and look at things a bit differently. There are a ton of articles you can read online about setting realistic expectations, reassessing, creating dream boards etc. but have you ever considered focusing on setting intentions instead?

Setting Goals vs. Setting Intentions

There is a difference. Many of us have a tendency to overreach with goals. If this wasn’t the case there wouldn’t be books, articles and a gazillion posts on pinterest about how to set realistic and attainable goals. Goals are great and necessary, but it is a skill and something you need to learn to do. When we set goals we tend to channel our inner Rick Astley and think we are ‘never gonna’, (those of you born pre 2000 will know what I’m talking about), and the lyrics go a bit like this this –
Never gonna give you up
Never gonna let you down
Never gonna run around and desert you …
Thing is… you are gonna! You are gonna have challenges, you are gonna have ups and downs and, sometimes, you are gonna have to abort your goals and desert them. The trick is to not look at the direct issue like: the dog getting ill and draining your savings so you couldn’t go on that holiday, or the unexpected crisis at work that required longer hours and totally messed up your exercise routine.

Fact of life is that there will always be something, but how do you deal with that ‘something’ if it’s what knocks you off course or creates massive detours? Having goals are great and I’m not saying you should do away with them, but, it isn’t as simple as making a list. The building blocks of a goal are intentions. Intentions are the secret sauce.

How Does This Work in Real Life You Ask?

Since health and wellness is my focus, let’s use meals at work as an example. You want to stop buying lunch everyday because you want to eat healthier meals, save money, eat less junk food and as a bonus, reduce your environmental footprint by using less plastic. One could argue that these are both goals and intentions, you intend to do all of this and technically yes you do, but goals are results based, whereas intentions are action based.

make your own lunch every day
eat healthier
save money
use less plastic

So you know what you want to achieve, the question is how do you intend on achieving them – What are your intentions? Simple you say, I’m going to get up 30 minutes earlier and make my lunch. Or, I’ll make a bigger dinner and dish up the extra for lunch the next day. Or, I will meal prep on Sundays and make my lunches for the week. One and all great strategies – BUT… What are you going to do when you only got to bed at midnight and you cannot get yourself up at 5:30am to make lunch. Or, what if you ate out with clients the night before and there is nothing to set aside for lunch the next day. Or, you spent your Sunday sorting out the burst geyser.

This is where the beauty of intentions lie. In moments where things are going wrong, goals can seem or feel like they are a world away and unattainable. The more challenges we face the more distant the goal can seem, until we eventually give up. Intentions are about the journey, they focus on the spirit of your goal. Not making your own lunches due to an unavoidable circumstance in no way undermines your intentions.

Your intentions remain and can be attained in other ways. So today you managed to take an apple and topped it up with something small from the local health store. You also managed to eat at the health store. You honored your intentions of eating healthier, using less plastic by not doing take away and saved some money by taking an apple to supplement your meal.


Another benefit of intentions is progression. When we focus less on a single goal and more on our intentions we can’t help ourselves, we progress. Each day, we reaffirm our intentions and commit to them and before we know it, we are getting through an entire week of keeping to the spirit of our intentions. Then suddenly it’s been 2 weeks, a month and dare I say; a year!

Long term consistency trumps short term intensity

– Bruce Lee

We generally set goals because something has to change. Whether that means moving to a new home or eating a healthier diet, it will inevitably boil down to giving up or doing more of something. Change is challenging and for most of us very uncomfortable, which is another reason why setting intentions can be so effective. It is a consistent effort toward a bigger cause, it is not all or nothing and torturous lists. While I love lists, I just don’t see this as helping, which is why a few years ago I changed strategy. I still have lists, but they are far more thought out, and nothing like that time I was clearing out a cupboard and found a list I made in 2005 only to realize it was the same as that years list. Talk about soul destroying.

Going Forward

Whether you are facing the year ahead or trying to make some positive changes, consider expanding on that list of goals. Take a moment to think not only what your intentions are, but how they will serve you and those around you. Change has a ripple effect and can inspire others.

If you are feeling a little stuck, join the Nutrichologist community for access to our free downloadable Setting Intentions Workbook and many other great resources.

PS: Just in case eating better lunches at work is on your list, check out the Meals@Work recipe book!

There is no real short answer to this, so if you just want to see the punchline head on to the bottom of this post and check out:

What does a Nutrichologist do then?

If you want the full history – here goes…

So you want to eat better, live in a more conscious way and adopt a healthier approach to life in general. You buy books, you listen to your friends, you try different programs, but you find it difficult to figure what you actually need to do on a day to day basis. This is where I was a few years ago. It was a classic case of ‘so much knowledge, so little wisdom’ and it did not empower me to eat and live intuitively. I was a slave to the latest book or trend I was following. At the time I knew there were business and life coaches, but the thought never occurred to me that there were also health coaches. To be perfectly honest when I first found out about it, I was a bit skeptical and battled to understand what the difference between a dietician, a nutritionist and a health coach was, but as I trained and studied the differences became more distinct and I began to see the value that each brought to the table.

Ugh! – So Many Choices

As with all things in life, there is no black and white, there is always – always – a spectrum. The type of person we might go to for help will greatly depend on where we are at in life, health and of course our personal belief system. When you catch a cold, some choose to go to a General Practitioner (GP), Homeopath or just drink their grandmothers secret family recipe. The people that choose these different forms of treatment will most likely have strong feelings for or against the others choice, but at the end of the day, it’s a personal choice.
Debating which option is the best is a futile exercise and not productive. I have met people who have had great success working through their health issues with each of these strategies either on their own or collectively. There are even times where a number of strategies have been used concurrently and worked really well, so let’s all just agree that it is an individuals prerogative. Having said that, most people are familiar with how and what each of those avenues have to offer, Granny’s secret recipe may have a bit more mystique to it, but if it works, so be it.

Again with the choices!

The field of health and nutrition is a difficult place to navigate. Again with the spectrum, there are hundreds of different theories that often contradict each other. (I have my own thoughts about the very many choices, read my blog about Dietary Omnism – read it and let me know what your thoughts). Deciding whether you want to go Paleo, Vegan, Keto, D.A.S.H, Intermittent Fasting, Whole30, Clean Eating… I think you get the idea, is confusing and it’s just insane how much is out there. Each and every diet you find will have a ton of science behind it so which one of them do you choose.

At this point you may decide you want to go to someone to help you and then the choices start again. Dietician, nutritionist, health coach, personal trainer, the internet, apps, books, clinics, salons, spa’s, retreats, friends, family, the lady from accounting… need I say more?

I’ve never heard of a Nutrichologist?

While I can’t speak for all the other people I can speak for Nutrichologist and that’s because I made it up. Wait! Before you roll your eyes and think ‘what is this quackery?’ hear me out. Telling people that you are an Eating Psychology Coach, Culinary Nutritionist and Health Coach is quite a mouthful. To shorten that mouthful, and because I can, Nutrichologist was born.

Question: What do I need a Nutrichologist for?
Short Answer: Bio Individuality

There is a commonality to Eating Psychology Coaching, Culinary Nutrition and Health Coaching in that they are all based on the individual. The world would like us all to think that we fit into averages and that there is a general one size fits all solution to most problems (read my blog about Personal Philosophy where I talk about overcoming these averages). The founder of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition® (IIN®), Joshua Rosenthal coined a term called ‘bio individuality’ and it is simply genius!

We are all different, there are no two people on the planet that are exactly the same, which is why we have soooo many different dietary principles and plans. The trick is not only finding what works for you, but understanding why and how it works for you.

Why is that important you ask, why cant someone just tell me what to eat and if it works I’ll just do that for the rest of my life. Problem with that is there are many things that influence what, why, how and when we eat. In addition to this our lives change all the time, which means we need to adapt our routines and diets accordingly. No single diet or food or exercise for that matter, is going to be the silver bullet.

What does a Nutrichologist do then?

At Nutrichologist we will:

  • Guide
    Your journey is deeply personal and as mentioned above influenced by many factors. As a Nutrichologist we help you navigate through these many influences by way of exploration, discussion and experimentation. Using our training, experience and access to a vast amount of information we bring a balanced approach to the experience
  • Nutrimentals (Practical Nutrition)
    Information does not always translate into doing. Sharing nutritional information is a part of the Nutrichologist experience, however applying the knowledge is a fundamental part. This may include a cooking class, pantry clean out, shopping experience and many other activities. Your bio individuality will greatly influence the activities.
  • Accountability
    Accountability is an important component to change, but we are not talking boot camp style accountability here. Having someone who is keeping your accountable for your plans and goals in a way that takes your life circumstances into consideration can help make lasting and permanent changes
  • Collaboration
    Because Nutrichologist is all about finding what works for you this means working with your team. If your doctor, dietician or treatment team says you need to be following a certain diet or lifestyle regime then a Nutrichologist is there to help you find the best way to make that work. This can include helping you do meal planning that accommodates specific restrictions all the way to identifying key factors that may inhibit you making progress.

At Nutrichologist we do not:

  • Diagnose
    If anything of concern comes up during coaching sessions, you will be referred to a medical professional/s.
  • Prescribe
    Besides the obvious of not prescribing medications, at Nutrichologist there is no prescribing of supplements, diets, exercise regimes remedies etc.. (You will be referred to a registered/licensed/accredited medical professional)
  • Treat
    While health coaches or nutritionist may work with or in conjunction with medical professionals, treatment of illness is outside the scope of any coach or nutritionist

The ultimate goal is for you to

  • find your way to being confident and comfortable with your food and lifestyle choices,
  • create your unique user manual and know how to adapt without getting overwhelmed.
  • find your inner guru and learn to trust the one true specialist that knows you inside and out – YOU!