MGU 106 | Intuitive Eating

 

The halt in the dine out experience during this COVID-19 pandemic has led to many heartbreaks, especially for restaurants who are now forced to close. In this episode, Jason Wrobel and Whitney Lauritsen dive deep into the situation that has been affecting not only the restaurant owners but also their staff and patrons alike. They share their own insights and feelings about the great effects of the pandemic and what it has done for those who used to frequent restaurants and are now cooking inside their homes. Speaking of food, Jason and Whitney then celebrate National S’mores Day, sharing their love for vegan s’mores, vegan frozen yogurt, and soft serve. Plus, they also tackle what Intuitive Eating is and what it says about diet culture and further tap into food willpower, supplements, ghost protein, and more.

Listen to the podcast here:


 

On National S’mores Day: Restaurants During The Pandemic, Intuitive Eating, And Food Willpower

Jason, it’s National S’mores Day. I want to start off by acknowledging, A) How funny it is that we have all these odd national days. B) What is your feeling about s’mores?

Coincidentally enough, do you want to know what Laura brought over?

Let me guess. S’mores?

She brought over a package of Trader Joe’s vegan marshmallows. A subtle hint. I have no graham crackers. I have no chocolate, but those are easy things to obtain. In fact, the last time I had s’mores was hanging out the last time I came in to visit your family when we were going to Expo East, Whitney. It was when we all made s’mores around the fire pit in the backyard of your parents’ house. I think that’s the last time that I had a s’more.

Now, you have a good excuse to have this more for National S’mores Day. Thinking about it makes me drool. Jason, a suggestion for you and the reader, something cool that I saw in TikTok where I got a lot of my great ideas. Somebody took an ice cream cone and used that instead of a graham cracker, which allows you to stuff the chocolate and the s’mores inside the ice cream cone. They wrapped it up in tinfoil and put that tinfoil over the fire. The whole thing got perfectly melted. You didn’t have to deal with that frustrating thing when you bite into the graham cracker and the chocolate and marshmallows go everywhere and they’re dripping down your face. Now you can treat it like it’s ice cream, but it’s s’mores in a cone. You can get vegan and gluten-free ice cream cones as you can get vegan marshmallows and vegan chocolate.

This is leading me to a whole next level infusion where why not leave a little room in the ice cream cone and put fricking ice cream on top?

It’s like marshmallow flavored ice cream.

Rocky road. Imagine s’mores in a cone with a fresh scoop of the rocky road on top. Even if a meteor was going to hit the Earth, you don’t care. You’re happy. That sounds amazing.

This makes me want to abandon the recording. What if this was a two-minute-long recording and we went off and had s’mores? It would be fun to do an episode where we were out and about. There’s a term for that. On the road, we brought people along with us and experience a good deal like an ASMR mukbang. It’s interesting. I had soft-serve frozen yogurt. I was craving it. There aren’t that many places that have vegan soft-serve in LA, which is surprising. The places are a little too far away to be convenient or they have weird hours or they’re not reliable. I have found that frustration. We do love Yoga-urt, which is the top in terms of not only plant-based but also high-quality ingredients.

The problem for me though is that most of their soft-serve is made from almond milk, which I’m super sensitive to, so I cannot have. They usually have one almond-free flavor the last time I checked. I have to say, I don’t love the flavor, so it doesn’t excite me. I want that pure vanilla soft-serve. That’s what I was craving. Unfortunately, I went to this place nearby that did not hit the spot. It had a weird taste. It was cool. It was like an average frozen yogurt place, but they had 2 or 3 vegan flavors. Maybe there was a sorbet, but they had two vanilla soft-serves. One made with almond milk and one made with coconut milk. It sounded promising. It was a letdown. Now I need to go find one that satisfies me. There’s also a place in Los Angeles called Magpies, which is sugary, but it hits the spot. I’ll probably be going there soon.

I know Locali had that great soft-serve for a while. I don’t know if they still do. I feel some of the Locali shops went out of business, sadly. Maybe one in West Hollywood. I’m not sure if they’re still open. The other place which I haven’t checked in on is Press Brothers. They had that fantastic, high-quality fro-yo too. Also, by the way, what is the difference between soft-serve and frozen yogurt, Jason? Are they the same thing or are they technically different?

They’re technically different because soft-serve ice cream, the mix does not inherently have any probiotics or living organisms in it. Whereas fro-yo, frozen yogurt, vegan or non-vegan, does have living probiotics that are infused in the mixture. Soft-serve, no probiotics, frozen yogurt has probiotics.

I’m putting it out there that I am on the hunt to be satisfied. It’s one of those things where I’ll have at once and I’ll feel fulfilled. I don’t need it all the time, but I’ve been wanting that. It’s interesting when it comes to vegan ice creams, which we talked in length about.

On National Ice Cream Day, we got another national fucking holiday for food.

Talking about it is making me crave Rocky road or Oreo. Oreo ice cream is something that I’ve been having a lot of cravings for. NadaMoo! at least has a vegan and gluten-free Oreo ice cream. I’m salivating almost as much as I was about the s’more conversation.

Can I bring up something that makes me a bit sad to talk about? Like many of the places and brands as you brought up, there’s still one place from the annals of culinary history, and spoiler alert for the reader who may not know us personally or maybe it’s your first time digging in or you’re getting to know us here on the show. Whitney and I, one of our great joys is food. It’s the central experience, the tactile experience of the flavor, the texture, the dining experience, which the dining experience we’re not getting much of at the time of this recording. We are passionate about food for all the reasons. In terms of nourishing the body, healing the body, bringing joy, bringing excitement. That all being said, one of my favorite places of all time, RIP. Are you ready for this, Whitney? Lula’s Apothecary in New York City. My heart breaks thinking about it.

This was a place in New York City that when I lived in New York, it wasn’t yet open. It opened after I left New York and moved to California. Earlier in 2020, I went to New York. Every year since I’ve moved out of New York City, which was late 2006, I’ve gone back at least one to two times a year to New York City for work, visiting friends and whatnot. Lula’s Apothecary was an incredible dairy-free vegan ice cream shop in the East Village. It’s one of my favorite neighborhoods. I love the lower East Side Village. The flavors were outrageously good. The mouthfeel, the toppings, and also it was the experience. We talk about the dining experience. It was modeled. The interior was designed like an old school, cream soda shop. It’s like the ice cream shop maybe our parents or grandparents went to. A lot of dark woods, a lot of turn of the century type of light fixtures and things like that.

I wanted to bring that up because I’ve been hearing reports from friends in other cities that some of their favorite restaurants and ice cream shops are closing down because of the financial hardship of COVID. It breaks my heart not only on the level to hear that because of the joy and the pleasure we get from the experience of going to these places that we want to support. It’s also that as an artist and a chef, and for both of us lovers of food, knowing that someone’s creativity, and in many cases, pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars and years sometimes into savings to put into a restaurant, ice cream shop, bar or whatever it is. It hurts my heart to see these people going under. For anyone who’s never opened a restaurant or worked in a restaurant, it’s not something that you pop out. It’s something that requires a lot of financial capital. It requires a lot of blood, sweat and tears, not in a cliché way. It’s a hard business. I bring up Lula’s because I’m seeing a lot of it where I DM with friends in Portland and New York and other places. They’re like, “That place closed.” It hurts my heart to know that we’re not going to be able to enjoy the incredible creativity of some of these artists.

It is interesting for a lot of different reasons. I enjoy using Yelp and I have the app on my phone and it started notifying me and reminding me to support restaurants and that’s something I do frequently. It is fascinating because food in general, it’s such a complicated subject matter. We’ve touched upon this a lot in our episodes. It was in our episode with Toni. A little teaser for those of you reading, we talked about food being a privilege and how each of us has different relationships to it. There are many factors. It’s the money, it’s the access. There’s also this level of guilt and shame around food, which we talked about in that episode.

Food is such a complicated, personal thing. Click To Tweet

To get into that a little, for me, it does become a bit overwhelming to make food decisions. When it comes back to this restaurant thing, I’ll get in my head thinking, “Am I eating out too much?” I’ve been noticing my judgments around that. It’s like, “Am I spending too much money eating out at restaurants? Am I wasting too much?” When you go to a restaurant, there’s packaging sometimes. Although I would look into the data because a lot of food, unless you’re growing it yourself or you’re buying strictly from farmer’s markets, the produce sections and getting everything in bulk, there’s a lot of food on the shelves that is packaged. I’m curious how much of an environmental impact it has when you get something in a to-go container versus getting a microwaveable dish.

To me that seems equivalent or it doesn’t have to be the microwave. It could be put in the oven or even a box of pasta and a jar of pasta sauce. Unless you’re making this stuff from scratch, there’s packaging involved. The environmental toll of restaurants seems a little complex and there’s more than meets the eye. I want to research that more. The financial side of it, usually it’s more expensive to eat at a restaurant, but then you have to factor in the time it takes to make a meal and to go grocery shopping or order food online. With COVID, some people are concerned about eating out because it puts them in contact with the staff. I saw a post that I haven’t crossed referenced. I don’t know how accurate this is, but how COVID can last on a plastic container for a good amount of time.

That’s why a lot of people wipe their anything down once they get it from the grocery store. A, it depends on the material, and then B, it’s recommended to transfer things into a different bowl or a plate when you get home. I’ve been practicing that. The frustrating thing from getting food from a restaurant is that they usually wrap it in plastic. They give you a plastic bag or they’ll give you utensils even sometimes if you don’t ask for them or they’ll give you napkins and packets of condiments and all of this stuff that weighs on me a lot when it comes to environmental waste. Long story short, it feels complicated to go to a restaurant these days. When I was dining in more often, there’s another level of sitting down and paying the wait staff a tip, and you feel good about it sometimes, but then if you’re worried about money, there’s that factor. Supporting those businesses can be tough, especially if you’re already strapped for time, for money. You’re concerned about COVID and you’re concerned about the environment. I can see why it’s a tricky time to decide if you’re going to support these businesses or not. Do you feel that way too, Jason?

I share some of the sentiments you expressed. For me, consistently, if I look at the expenditures say on my tax returns, not to get too deep into that subject, but spending money either on ingredients or food is a large line item anytime I look at my tax deductions every year. I’ve been aware especially since being in the food business. As I suppose, my project load or the things I’ve been working on or going out to lunches and dinners and business meetings and all of those things, that my food expenses are typically high year after year. I’ve noticed that my spending on food has gone drastically down simply because I haven’t been going out to eat as much. I find that on average I’ll probably get takeout once a week.

I prefer that. It’s usually a day of the week when you and I in one day recorded a solo episode and then two guests. It was one day where it was a big recording day where you and I spent almost four hours recording episodes. I thought, “I do not have the energy to make dinner tonight. I’m going to get a pizza or whatever.” I’ve noticed that it’s impacted my bottom line as I have been being a lot more conservative with my spending during COVID for necessity’s sake, but also I feel I’ve been enjoying cooking a lot more. It’s probably because I’m still in a new relationship. My girlfriend, Laura, loves food. We cook together. I find that’s always a lovely bonding experience to have someone to cook with. By virtue of doing my best to save money, cut expenses, I haven’t been dining out as much. I haven’t been getting takeout, but maybe twice a week at the most, I’ll be like, “I don’t feel like doing this. I’m going to get something from a restaurant.”

To your point, Whitney, it is a bit of a conundrum. I want to be fiscally responsible and I do want to reduce my expenses and save as much money as possible. I don’t want these places we love to go under. It’s heartbreaking to me that these places where I feel their family or I know where the chefs, I know the owners or I love the quality of their food. When they get shut down for whatever reason, it feels like something is lost. First of all, is this person even going to have the gumption or the fortitude to get back up and reinvent themselves in the food industry? We know how much money and time and effort that takes. Also selfishly, I’m never going to have that pizza again, that sushi, that pasta or whatever it is. I’m trying to say that I’m a little bit conflicted. I would like to spend more money at these restaurants to ensure that they stay open, but I’m also trying my best to keep myself afloat financially right now. It’s a bit of a mental struggle sometimes.

This is an important conversation to have because there’s sometimes a feeling of loneliness around these struggles when it comes to food and food is such a complicated, personal thing. There are many factors that go into it. Sometimes I feel incredibly overwhelmed or stressed about it. Almost every single day I experience some stress around food. There are a lot of different reasons for it. One is I have a tendency to not stock up for long periods of time. I enjoy going to the grocery store a lot and it’s different during COVID because going to the grocery store is a different experience now. Whereas it used to feel easier and more freedom, you pop in and it’s challenging getting used to all the changes of the grocery stores.

In that episode with Toni, I felt stressed out about grocery shopping when COVID was first developing and they were super careful. You had to wait in lines every time. I could not stand that. I got anxiety when I would go grocery shopping because I felt so much stress from COVID in general. Things weren’t well-stocked and luckily, that’s changed a lot, at least in Los Angeles, but it still feels different. It’s not quite that same experience that I got used to after many years of grocery shopping. There are times when I’m struggling financially or things are tighter financially, even going grocery shopping feels tough. Stocking up on a lot of food sometimes feels daunting because you could spend a lot of money and all of these moments where I’m weighing out the pros and cons of every single food I put in the basket.

Part of the reason that I don’t to stock up too much is I struggle with not eating everything at once. There is this joke going around, so I felt less alone in this. There was a funny joke about how when everybody was stocking up for COVID, they would eat everything they had. There was this panic like, “We got to stock up. We don’t know how long we’re going to be in quarantine. It could be weeks or months. Who knows?” You would go buy all this stuff and you’d eat it all in a few days. There’s the stress of COVID at first where I remember allowing myself to indulge a little bit more in foods that were more processed than I would normally eat.

I was like, “It’s okay. I’m stressed out because of COVID, so I’ll buy all this junk food.” That continued for weeks, if not months, then I started to feel weird about all the processed food. That was another level of it. It’s restraining myself a little. Even discussing it, I’m acknowledging there are all sorts of little stress points. Going back, the stress of either trying to pace myself when it comes to food, which by the way, a little plug, we love to shout out brands and products we love. We usually do this at the end of our episodes, but one brand I want to shout out now is called kSafe. I can’t remember if I mentioned them before on the show, but they have helped me a lot because they make these safes specifically for the kitchen.

You can use them for whatever you want, but they’re designed for food and they come in three different sizes and they have timers on them. The idea is that if you are like me where you might buy a lot of food and you have trouble not eating it all at once, you can put the food in there and set a timer on it so that you only consume it every ten hours or once a day, whatever it is for you. This is also great for kids because if your kids have trouble restraining themselves with candy or something, you can put it in the kSafe and nobody can unlock it. It’s got a timer on it. Once it’s set, it’s locked and it’s great. I recommended it to a friend of mine who’s a journalist. He says it’s been a game-changer for him.

He wrote an article on it. I have not read it myself, but he used it in a COVID piece because he’s been working from home so much. He was telling me how it was tough when he would go and buy all this food and then eat them all. He was telling me that he struggled with food bars. I struggled with that too. If I could, I probably would eat 90% of the food bars. I love food bars so much, Jason.

What do you mean? Do you mean like protein bars, nut bars, snack bars?

Yes. I honestly would love to live off of those. It’s like that product Soylent, how technically you could live off the Soylent drink. We could probably live off most protein shakes. Maybe I’ll do this sometime as an experiment, even if it might not be the healthiest, most nutritious way of living. I’d be curious to see how I would feel if all I ate was food bars for a few days. I’m not talking about your junk food processed candy food bars. I’m talking about the kinds that are well-formulated and simple ingredients. Some that come top of my mind, number one for me is BHU Foods. That was my inspiration for getting the kSafe because I would get these BHU Bars, which are vegan and keto, low carb. Most of them are cookie dough flavored and thinking about them, my brain gets fired up. I literally feel addicted to these bars. I can’t believe you didn’t know this about me.

No, that’s a word. You don’t whip out that word and reference to yourself that often, Whitney.

My brain reacts to those bars in a unique way. It’s not they have some addictive ingredient in them that I know of like MSG or whatever. They are satisfying. When I was strict vegan keto, these bars were my favorite treat on the planet because they’re made of pea protein. I used to know the ingredients by heart because I’ve tried to make them and I was never able to make them at home and taste the way that I wanted to. They do have sustainable palm oil in them. Palm oil is a sensitive subject, but they use red palm oil and I’ve done a lot of research. There are red palm oils that seem to be eco and vegan-friendly, cruelty-free. Palm oil, pea protein, cashews are a big staple that they have. Sugar-free chocolate chips in most of them. Anyways, basic ingredients. I don’t mean to go on a whole tangent about BHU Bars. They’re a little hard to find and there are two different versions.

You can go to their website. They have a refrigerated version and the shelf-stable. In Los Angeles, there are a few stores that have the refrigerated version and a few that have the shelf-stable. I’m not a big fan of the latter. The refrigerated BHU Bars are my favorite. It is a big shout out. I used to do it be in an ambassador program for them, but I’m currently not, unfortunately. They used to send me their bars every month and it was my favorite time of the month. It’s no longer the case, but I’m still shouting them out anyways because I adore them. Outside of the BHU Foods tangent, that is what led me to get the kSafe because I would buy these bars and I would eat three in a sitting because they’re that good. Every time I would open one, I’d immediately want another one as soon as I finished it. I got the kSafe to help me rein myself in. I was struggling to control myself. Each of us has foods like this, unless you’re regimented. What is it for you, Jason? If there’s one food that you have the least amount of willpower with, what would that be?

It’s an interesting thing. As you were talking about your experience with this, Whitney, I was examining if I have any food addictions or have had any of those. I’ve talked about this in a previous episode. I can’t recall which one off the top of my head. Maybe you’ll know as I’m discussing this. When I was talking about how I noticed that when I would get depressed, lonely, heartbroken, in a breakup situation or any of that type of emotional processing, I noticed that for most of my life, I’ve had a tendency to reach for sugary or sweet things. In general, the category that I’ve had the most trouble with has been sweets, probably specifically cookies and chocolate. I’m pretty good with ice cream in the sense that I’m not the dude who’s going to sit down and polish off a whole pint in one sitting. I tend to be judicious with frozen treats.

Here in LA, close to my house, there’s a bakery called Cake Girl that is a dedicated gluten-free, soy-free bakery in the back of a pharmacy. It’s the most bizarre indie weird thing. The couple that runs it, they have cupcakes, they have cheesy bread, they have cookies, they have cakes. It’s good and clean. It’s not the stuff that you’re going to going to feel gacked out on sugar afterward. This stuff, if I go there, Whitney, it’s hard for me to leave with one thing. I don’t think I’ve ever gone in there and been like, “I’ll have a cupcake, thank you. I’ll leave with 3, 4 or 5 things. They’re sitting in my cabinet. I have a special cat-proof food cabinet in my house because of my cat Lynx, who is a Tabby cat. If any of the readers are Tabby cat caretakers, I don’t want to say owners, you know they can be extremely devious creatures. I have a Tabby-proof food cabinet and it’s hard. I think cupcakes, cookies, muffins, those kinds of things, in general, are probably the toughest thing for me. Going back to it, I noticed that there’s a consistent emotional component for me. It’s boredom, sadness, depression, loneliness. It’s feeling heartbroken. That mélange of emotions, whatever umbrella you want to put those under, is generally when I tend to overeat on those specific kinds of sweets.

MGU 106 | Intuitive Eating

Intuitive Eating: It’s an awful feeling where you’ve enjoyed a certain meal, but you’ve overindulged to the point where you’re not even enjoying it anymore.

 

I’m a little offended that you’ve never told me about this Cake Girl bakery. When did you discover this? Why have I never tried it?

I thought we discussed it. We didn’t?

I have no idea what you’re talking about.

I’m a bad best friend. Our good friend, Melissa Glazewski, who runs a wonderful food brand called Forkin’ Plants, she does online cooking classes. She has a bunch of great content on social media. Earlier, one of our favorite drinks, Whitney, that you were kind to introduce me to, MAD TASTY, run by our friend Trey, and one of our favorite musicians, Ryan Tedder from One Republic, started this sparkling CBD beverage. If you, dear reader, want to get your hands on something and it’s in your area. It’s a delicious, amazing, super awesomely-branded CBD drink. Shout out to MAD TASTY and Trey and Ryan, the whole team.

They gave us some cases of their new flavor at that time, which was Unicorn Tears. They gave us so much that Trey was like, “Give it to your friends, your influencer buddies. Spread the word.” It was more MAD TASTY than I could drink, Whitney. It was so many cases of it. Melissa responded to a DM of mine and said, “I want to come by and get some MAD TASTY.” I got a little care package together with a MAD TASTY for Melissa. She brought me a sack of a cookie and a cupcake. I’m like, “What the hell is this?” She’s like, “It’s from Cake Girl.” I was like, “What the hell is Cake Girl?” She’s like, “You don’t know what Cake Girl is?” I said, “No.” She said, “It’s a gluten-free, vegan, soy-free bakery that’s five minutes from your house.” I was like, “I’ve been living here for over two years. How long have they been open?” She’s like, “They’ve been open 1.5 years.” I’m like, “What fucking rock am I living under?” I apologize, Whitney. I’m a bad best friend, bad business partner for not telling you about this. I thought I had mentioned it, but Melissa was the first person who introduced me. Now it is way too close to the house. It’s too damn close. I can go there any time of day, get me cookies and cream cookie cupcake, a matcha donut, a slice of lemon cake, a cheesy biscuit. I’ve got to take you. It’s crazy good.

You could blame it on COVID because we don’t see each other or share food as often as we used to, so that’s fine.

I still feel I’m slacking on my pimping, the fact that I did not share it with you.

I also like that MAD TASTY was part of the story for discovering it because we love them so much. It’s funny how you can get introduced to things through all these interesting means. This is the thing, going back to the kSafe. You could get that stuff from the bakery and lock it up and then allow yourself to have a little bit more willpower for however long you want to save it for.

Here’s the thing though. Let me ask you this on a practical level. I imagine myself getting a kSafe. I picture myself putting the cookies and the donuts and the cupcakes and all that in there. Once the timer goes off, say 24 hours later, and the safe is open, what is to stop me from scarfing all of them at once, once the safe is back open? There’s nothing to stop me from doing that.

Certainly not, but I found a method that works well. By the way, this episode is not sponsored by kSafe. I have an affiliate link for them. We’ll link to them. If you click on it, we may get a little kickback from your purchase at no additional cost to you, which is the lovely thing about affiliate programs. In full transparency, we’re not sponsored by them or anybody in this episode, we love talking about brands that we like. The kSafe, I found that if you take out what you want right now and put it back and lock it up right away, that works. This is the thing a lot of us have felt with willpower. It’s like if it’s not locked up, what’s stopping you from going back to get 2nds, 3rds, etc.? It does require a little bit of willpower. The other thing that you could do if you’re struggling with willpower, and in all seriousness because food is challenging for a lot of people, which is why I want to talk about this. You can get multiple kSafes and divvy out portions and lock them up for different periods of time.

It’s cool because kSafe comes in different sizes and I have one of each size. The big one I use for chips or bags of snacks, and then there’s one medium size, which will be for different size items. There’s a small size that’s good for little things cookies or candies. It’s great. They deserve a lot of acknowledgment of what they’ve created. The one downside, though, I will say, if you’re getting excited about this, it does not work in the refrigerator. This was an issue for me with the BHU Bars because they’re meant to be refrigerated unless you’re going to eat them quickly. They can last for at least 24 hours outside of the refrigerator, but they’re perishable. For perishable items, I went one step further, which might sound crazy.

If you are into this, and again, you need some help with your willpower, it’s worth going the extra mile for this and my friends that got into the kSafe did the same thing eventually. You can get any type of safe for money or whatever that has a little lock on it. If it’s made of a metal material, you can put that in the refrigerator and I’ll link to the one that I have. I have a cute little pink safe that’s meant for petty cash or whatever. It has your average little lock with a key. You put that in the refrigerator and then you lock it and you put the key in the kSafe. You need both unless your willpower is strong enough not to go get the key.

You could get a safe and lock it and put it somewhere else or give it to somebody to hold for you. There’s a lot of different scenarios. I technically have four food safes. One in the fridge for my BHU Bars or anything else perishable, and it does help. It’s interesting. You might think that this is a little extreme, but everybody has a different relationship to food and there’s nothing wrong with indulging. Going back to the conversation about food bars, I would often struggle. When I would sit around and want to eat bars all day and I would judge myself or shame myself. We talked about this in the episode with Toni.

We touched upon how there’s a lot of shame around food. For someone like me, I grew up with food shame and that was related to my body shame. It’s hard to talk about this because I don’t even know how to express it. Both my parents had their own versions of food shame with me. I love my parents. I know they’re well-intentioned. They gave me such a great life and I have a good relationship with them for the most part. Most of us struggle with our parental figures and we are impacted by them in one way or another.

For me, one of the big ways that I was impacted was around food. I also am careful not to blame them for that. It’s important to take personal responsibility, but it’s challenging when it comes to our parental figures because a lot of our lives are shaped when we’re young. A lot of them inadvertently or unknowingly project their own behavior or mindset onto us as kids without realizing the impact. In my parents’ case, both of them have some food issues. My dad came from a family that had a tendency to be overweight and struggle. There’s diabetes that runs in my dad’s side of the family. There’s a lot of food challenges with them and there was a lot of judgment around body size. My dad was trying to figure out how he could keep himself healthy, but also not gain too much weight.

He has figured that out in a balanced way for himself. In fact, in the past few years, he had a drastic weight loss simply through diet and exercise. From what I know, it was done in a healthy way, but who knows exactly what happened. I haven’t asked him and I certainly could. I remember growing up, my dad having a lot of concerns about food. His intentions were to teach me about food, but I received it as a kid and a teenager as shame or restrictive. That partially contributed to my disordered eating. For instance, I remember distinctly, I was getting orange juice from the fridge one time. I perceived orange juice is a nutritious thing.

It came from fruit, so how bad could it be? I loved orange juice growing up. My dad one time pointed out like, “That has a lot of sugar.” That memory is burned in my mind because suddenly, I was perceiving orange juice, which I thought was pure and simple and good for you, to be bad for you. There were a lot of instances like that with our family. We would go through phases where we would eat more processed foods and then phases where we would eat less processed foods. We ate a lot of home-cooked meals. My dad made most of the meals in our family and they were nutritious. I remember learning about avocado from him for the first time. He put so much passion. There were a lot of positive experiences with food, but I grew up feeling very conflicted about food.

Not everybody has that experience. With my mom, there were also several layers. She has a lot of fears around weight. She was fearful that my sister and I would be susceptible to gaining weight or being overweight because of my dad’s side of the family. Unfortunately, there was a lot of judgment around my dad’s side of the family because her side of the family doesn’t struggle with our weight as far as I know. Most of my family members of my mom’s side were either skinny naturally. No matter what they ate, they were skinny or it didn’t seem like they were struggling with it. It was this idea of, “Be careful because you don’t want to end up like your dad’s side of the family.” It makes me sad to say because the more I learned about body shaming and diet culture, the more I feel awful that I had that perception growing up. My mom’s family members and my dad’s family and how they look and all that.

My mom, like my dad, had good intentions. From her perspective and a lot of people’s perspectives, they equate health with being skinny. There’s like, “If you’re overweight, you’re not healthy or you’re not trying hard enough.” Diet culture and body shaming are rampant in the US and in many parts of the world. It’s a huge issue that I have dug into. I still feel like I have more to explore. My big point being, that’s part of why food is complicated and why I think a lot about food and weigh out what I’m eating a lot. One thing I’ve been trying to practice is more Intuitive Eating, which is interesting for anybody who has struggled with body shame, disordered eating or judgment around diet. Read about Intuitive Eating.

Reject the diet mentality, that false hope of losing weight quickly, easily, and permanently. Click To Tweet

Looking into the anti-diet culture and Intuitive Eating, body shaming and all of these works has been enlightening for me and therapeutic. What I realized through reading about Intuitive Eating is it is about eating whatever you want to eat. That concept is so hard for me. Giving yourself permission to literally eat something because you want it. I feel that mentality has been in our society, especially in the American culture, we have been discouraged to do that. There is so much, “Be careful what you eat. I know you want a burger, but you should get a salad. You want some ice cream but limit it.” Restrictive eating and conditional eating.

We talked about with Toni, I keep teasing that episode, but we dug into that with her. The infighting with vegans and the judgments and all of that. I know I’ve been talking for a while, Jason. I’m curious about your experience, but I wanted to give some context for mine and what I’ve been learning and how the case with things like kSafe are great, but I also want to caution people not to use it as a tool to restrict yourself too much. If you’re struggling with disordered eating, you have to be mindful of all these types of decisions and balance it out. That’s something that I’ve been working on a lot in my life.

I’m curious about the Intuitive Eating, Whitney, because one of the things that I have a challenge with when I’ve listened to what I thought my body was asking for, it was this conundrum of if I sit with my hunger and I’m noticing that hunger is present, my stomach’s growling or I can feel hungry. What my mind is telling me out of maybe a craving or maybe an emotional trans-fixation on the food of are you depressed? Are you sad? Are you heartbroken? Let’s do a mental evaluation versus maybe a deeper sense of body intuition that is saying, “Go get cauliflower right now.”

Even if it doesn’t make sense why my body is asking for cauliflower, I have the experience of listening to my body and then eating that food, even though it didn’t necessarily make sense. It was like, “Why is my body asking for asparagus or cauliflower?” or whatever it is, but then eating it and feeling almost a deeper sense of nourishment, if that makes sense. I’m curious for you in your practice and your study of Intuitive Eating, how you’re seeing how we can more skillfully listen to what our body is asking for versus maybe what our cravings or our desires are or the attachments of the mind are asking for. Does that make sense?

For sure. That’s why this is such a complicated thing and there’s so much to learn. I pulled up an article called the 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating. This is a website specifically about Intuitive Eating. Here’s the framework that they use. Number one is to reject the diet mentality. It’s that false hope of losing weight quickly, easily and permanently. This is super fascinating. This is what I mean by anti-diet culture. When you dig into that diet mentality, it shows you a lot of false hope and lies that we’ve been fed. I look back over my life and I am blown away by it when I take the time to reflect.

Part of this is that you need to let go of what the media has been telling us, what influencers often tell us. “Do these things and you’ll look like me and I’ll help you lose weight quickly.” I’ve become incredibly sensitive to anybody talking about weight loss and I’ve done this too. I had to examine my own false promises that I’ve shared with people. When I wrote my book, The Vegan Ketogenic Diet Cookbook, I was intentional to mention weight loss as infrequently as possible. The publisher wanted me to mention it as a benefit, which is a lot of people do the keto diet to lose weight, but I wanted to emphasize the other benefits that I experienced in research from it. That was tough. Weight loss culture is all over the place from well-meaning people.

I am at a point where if I see someone talking about weight loss, from my personal reasons but also professionally, I don’t want to associate myself too much with people that are promoting weight loss. It’s a slippery slope. That’s number one. Number two is to honor your hunger. This comes back to what you’re saying, Jason. This article position that as, “Keeping your body fed with adequate energy and carbohydrates.” I love how they mentioned carbohydrates because maybe a lot of people have mixed feelings about them. This are the pros and cons of the keto diet. I would say keeping your body biologically fed with adequate nutrition. I see the pros and cons of carbs honestly from my research and experience. Finding a balance is key. I don’t think either extreme of high carb or low carb work for everybody. You have to figure out what works for you.

There’s a lot of great research about the benefits of switching to using fat for your fuel versus a lot of us are using up an excessive amount of carbohydrates. That’s a whole other conversation. I would change this as saying like how do you keep your body feeling nourished with nutritious food? Each of us has to figure out what works for us. You might need to work with a professional to figure that out or a nutritionist or a medical professional of some sort. Number three is to make peace with food. This is about giving yourself unconditional permission to eat. It’s not about what you should or shouldn’t eat because that can lead to feelings of deprivation. Those feelings can build into uncontrollable cravings and sometimes bingeing. Sometimes the process of allowing yourself to eat what you consider as forbidden foods can help you reduce those cravings and the guilt. That to me is incredibly therapeutic.

Number four is to challenge the food police. That is not only your internal critic but the other people around you. In my case, my parents were food police. I’ve seen people on social media being food police. Jason and I have talked about the vegan community being food police. If you’re experiencing that, minimize it or delete it entirely if you can or you need to. That will make it easier for you to be less critical about food for yourself. Number five is to discover the satisfaction factor. You’re going to this one, Jason, because it starts with the Japanese, which I know you have respect for Japanese culture. They have the wisdom to keep pleasure as one of their goals of healthy living.

Is this where they talk about stop when you’re 80% full?

I don’t think this one says that but share what that means for you. I’m curious.

One of the principles that I’ve learned through Japanese culture, I’m semi-obsessed with different aspects of art and design and philosophy and food. In terms of the centenarians, The Blue Zones research that Dan Buettner pioneered many years ago that I’ve integrated a lot of that information research into my work on longevity and eating, is that the Okinawan specifically have the highest percentage of centenarians. That’s people who are living to the age of 100 and beyond the healthfully. They have an 80% rule, which is that they stop eating a meal when they perceive that they’re about 80% full. They don’t eat to fullness and they never over-eat. If we look into a little bit of the deeper research on longevity and the lengthening of the telomeres, the telomeres are the little antenna on the ends of the chromosomes of our DNA.

There’s been some interesting epigenetic research that as those telomeres shorten as we age, also then our lifespan decreases. One of the ways that I’ve seen in some interesting research studies is that caloric restriction can help to maintain the length of the telomeres and therefore potentially increase our lifespan or at least maintain it. With the 80% rule, it goes back to the research of the caloric restriction that we’re not taking in too many calories. We’re not taking in too much mass that the body then has to over-process to get rid of. I’ve been practicing that a lot in the past few years. I remember when I started on my vegan lifestyle journey.

When I first did it, I would over-eat a mofo. I remember going out to restaurants going on road trips, hanging out with other vegan friends. We would literally eat until we were so full, we felt we needed to pass out. I do not miss that. I remember eating so much, Whitney. I specifically remember a meal I went to with Gary Yourofsky. He was on a speaking tour and we went to a place in Philadelphia called Gianna’s Grille. We ordered three giant vegan Philly cheesesteaks. We ordered five cannolis, a slice of lasagna, a slice of pizza. We ate everything. It was one of those meals where I felt sick. I literally felt sick to my stomach. I ate so much food. This 80% rule that the Okinawans talk about in The Blue Zones, for me, if I stop myself when I’m 70% to 80% full, I feel great. I feel satisfied, but I don’t feel like I need to collapse after a meal. I don’t want to feel that way anymore. It’s an awful feeling where you’ve enjoyed this meal, but you’ve overindulged to the point where you’re not even enjoying it anymore.

This is where it gets complicated and I’ve tried many different ways of eating literally in the sense of what my diet is. Even within the vegan way of living, I’ve done keto, I’ve done high carb, I’ve done raw, I’ve done all these different iterations of it. It’s an ongoing thing. I have not found the way. I don’t know if anybody has found the way. I question it whenever somebody says that they do. There are all these different advice and perspectives and doctors and research and on and on. I enjoy it for the most part, but I do find that Intuitive Eating feels like a lovely thing. Even if it’s a therapeutic, temporary thing that you do for yourself, this idea of paying attention to pleasure and fullness is key.

That’s the next point in these ten principles. Feel your fullness. To honor your fullness, trust yourself that you’re giving yourself the foods that you desire and listening for body signals. A lot of us struggle with that. Some part of it is we’re not taught these things. Part of it is that processed foods can be incredibly confusing. I was mentioning with BHU Foods and joking like what is it that makes me feel addicted to them? Is it some secret ingredient that keeps you hooked? Some foods literally have ingredients. MSG is one of them. It’s designed to keep you wanting more and it’s triggering your brain to not stop eating it.

I want to give a super quick old school throwback. At the very beginning of my health journey in 1995, when my grandfather had passed away from cancer, one of the first books I got into and one of the first doctors I got into, and this was before I got into Dean Ornish or Neal Bernard or a lot of the plant-based doctors that were doing things in the ‘90s. I read a book called Excitotoxins by Dr. Russell Blaylock. He talked about a class of manufactured food substances. Whereas monosodium glutamate, MSG, was in that list of excitotoxins that have a deleterious neurological effect on the brain. They trick your brain into craving more of this thing and start to wreak havoc and damage the neurons. They damage your neurochemistry, these excitotoxins.

I remember reading that when I was like nineteen years old and be like, “Holy shit, I’m never going to have MSG again.” There are places you go out to eat and you wonder. Sometimes I wonder, even if it says no MSG on the menu, I’m like, “This tastes a little too good.” There is a class of foods that are called excitotoxins. For the readers, if you want to dig into Dr. Russell Blaylock’s work, he’s one of the pioneers in how food additives affect our neurochemistry in our biology. It’s interesting stuff.

Also, there’s that great book, The Pleasure Trap. We’ve mentioned this before and one of our guests, Natasha, when we did our episode with her and her husband, and I kept talking about The Pleasure Trap, which is also another interesting episode, but she was talking about a different type of pleasure trap. The Pleasure Trap is a great book mainly about food, but it can also pertain to other elements of your life. There’s going to be a lot of resources. The next principle of Intuitive Eating is to cope with your emotions, with kindness and recognizing that food restriction, both physically and mentally, can in and of itself trigger loss of control, which can feel like emotional eating.

MGU 106 | Intuitive Eating

Intuitive Eating: Weight loss culture is all over the place from well-meaning people.

 

This to me feels like it’s important. I was making light of the COVID response, how a lot of people were indulging in food and maybe still are. I found more balance with myself and I went through all different phases. Thinking back over what I’ve done since quarantine happened in March 2020, I’ve gone through a lot of different places and ups and downs with food. It is important to understanding when you’re emotionally eating and finding kind ways to comfort, nurture yourself, and resolve issues. Emotions anxiety, loneliness, boredom, and anger come up for us in many different stages of our lives, especially now, and they can trigger us. Knowing that food is not going to fix these feelings is important. It can give you short-term comfort and distraction and numbness, but it’s not solving anything.

I love this point of tapping into your relationship with why you’re eating. Number eight is to respect your body, accepting your genetic blueprint. I love this point, “Just as a person with a shoe size of eight would not expect to realistically squeeze into a size six. It is equally futile and uncomfortable to have a similar expectation about body size.” It’s a beautiful way of phrasing it because a lot of us, myself included, have tried to shape our bodies in a way that we thought was pleasing to others of what we thought we should look like. This is why food can get complicated because, in my head, I have often equated food with gaining weight. A lot of people do. That restriction comes up as like, “I don’t want to gain weight, so I shouldn’t eat these foods.” It causes this whole trigger here. You should listen to yourself intuitively like all these principles, but also recognizing that being critical about your body shape is not helpful. All bodies deserve dignity.

Number nine is movement. I love that this has brought up too, is the importance of moving your body, shifting your focus to how it feels to move your body rather than the calorie-burning effect of exercise. We could probably do a whole separate episode on this one, but I’m glad that that’s brought up. The last principle here is to honor your health with gentle nutrition. Making food choices that honor your taste buds while making you feel good, remember that you don’t have to eat perfectly to be healthy. Having one snack or meal or day of eating is not going to throw you off, make you deficient.

It’s what you eat over time consistently that matters. That’s key too, but also not simple. With all of the said, it’s a journey. Jason and I serve as a reminder that we’re on that too, even though this is a huge part of our lives. We’re not nutritionists or doctors, medical professionals. Jason’s a chef or has worked as a chef a lot. I’ve studied a lot of these things too and practice them. It’s a complex thing. I don’t know anyone who feels they have it all figured out. There’s a promise. There’s this myth that if you figure out the perfect way to eat, your life will be great, you’ll never feel bad about yourself again, you’ll look perfect and feel perfect, and you’ll live a long life.

There’s a lot of that false hope. I don’t feel that served me. I feel what serves me as the Intuitive Eating and thinking about these principles with every meal that I eat versus trying to stick to some regiment. Certainly, Jason and I are committed to the vegan way of life. We have that as a bit of a boundary, but within that, we are fluid with how we’re eating. I should say, I am. I’m not going to speak for you, Jason, but I perceive you as having that fluidity. I know we’ve talked about gluten and both of us are mostly gluten-free. On that note, I had some glutenous pizza and I was a little concerned. Am I going to feel awful? I didn’t feel that bad. Part of it is I am not allergic to gluten. I’m not celiac. I’m sensitive like I’m sensitive to almonds, but I can have gluten and almonds in moderation and on occasion and feel okay. Sometimes my symptoms are a little bit more severe than others and I’m not going to go into it, but a variety of different reactions to those foods. My point being is that I still eat them from time to time. Jason, you said once, if you wanted a bagel, you would eat it and it might be worth feeling crap. That to me is Intuitive Eating. You’re choosing to eat something because it brings you that joy and it’s okay if you don’t feel perfect all the time.

I’ve noticed something interesting about how the mind and the body interface with one another. If I’m going to go out and get said proverbial bagel when we’re in New York or whatever it is, or I’m going to go to a Pura Vita, which is one of our favorite pizzerias here in LA. Whatever city we go to, there’s a treat, let’s call it that. Rather than broadcasting to my body that I’m going to beat myself up over this choice, I’ve noticed that when I practice fully indulging and owning my choice, being empowered in that choice, that my body reacts differently. If I go into an experience like, “I know I’m going to feel awful. I’m already starting to beat myself up a little bit. I know this isn’t the best thing, but I want to try it, but fuck me. Why can’t I have better self-control?”

My experience of the food is drastically different if I go in with a preconceived notion that I’m going to feel bad, that I’m going to beat myself up and all those things. I’ve noticed that the mental management and how I am talking about the food, how I am energetically feeling about the experience. I’m not saying it’s a guarantee, but I have noticed that when I go into it with positive, joyful excitement and not that talk about beating myself or being punitive with my choice, not only do I enjoy it more, but I noticed that my body reacts digestively differently to the experience. The mind-body connection is to me a real thing. We can go into meditation and how our emotional reactions affect our hormones.

This is not a new concept that the mind and the body have this intimate relationship but in terms of guilt and shame and “making bad choices,” to put that in an umbrella category. If we take the badness and we practice removing the shame and the guilt, we can indulge from time to time in things that might be a “less than ideal,” but still enjoy them and honor them. Therefore, not feel shit afterward. As I practice that, I’ve noticed there’s a huge difference when I go into it with joy, excitement, curiosity, versus trying to beat myself up over it.

It’s that ongoing tuning in. We do ourselves a disservice if we beat ourselves up too much. It’s been a good reminder as my stomach starts to growl. I’m ready for my next meal, but this certainly has made me want some food. This is a good time to do a little brand shout-out as we do at the end of our episodes. We’ve talked about a few brands. One brand that feels a great fit for this is biOptimizers. Jason hasn’t tried it out yet, but the brand sent us a package of their products. The one that I’ve been using is their digestive enzymes, which are called Masszymes. They’re digestive enzymes for men and women.

Enzymes have a lot of great benefits, digestion being one of the more prominent benefits. They can help you absorb vitamins. They can repair damaged intestines. They can help you absorb amino acids and things like that. They’ve worked well. We’ve experimented with a lot of brands. I’m super curious for you to experiment with them, but I’ve been taking them a lot. They’re great. They are vegan. Their capsules are plant-based and their enzymes are fermented using plants. Not all of their products are vegan. If you do check out their website, make sure to double-check. Some of them have eggs or some of their products might have bone broth. Those are the enzymes I’ve been experimenting with. We’ve also taken the enzymes from Sunwarrior. We’ve tried a lot of different enzymes. We could probably do a whole show, but to give you the one that I’m experimenting with and enjoying and finding them helpful as biOptimizers.

I want to give a little bit of background too, Whitney, as to maybe the reader has never used digestive enzymes before of what the benefit is. From my understanding, there are different digestive enzymes like amylase, protease, lipase that one can use in the body to help break down food more efficiently. If we’re eating glutenous foods or things that maybe our bodies can’t necessarily process too well, digestive enzymes are a boost that adds more of those enzymes into your body to help food break down.

Is there another brand that you want to shout out for the segment?

I want to shout out something new that I got. I’m going to bring you some to try, Whitney.

We both get different products and that’s a good reason for us to see each other next. You can bring me some of those baked goods and I can give you some enzymes in exchange. What else are you going to bring me?

There’s a brand that we worked with. We did a panel for Startup CPG, which stands for Consumer Packaged Goods. We had this great talk with this panel and emerging brands and whatnot. One of the brands that they work with is called 12 Tides Ocean Snacks, and they make a line of puffed seaweed chips. The cool thing about this brand is that they get all of their seaweed from regenerative ocean farms. I didn’t even know this was a thing. The snacks use organic kelp from these regenerative ocean farms that are exclusive to North America. These farms in the ocean remove carbon, reverse acidification, support marine life and produce seaweed, which is one of the most nutrient-dense foods that it has no pesticides or fertilizers or anything like that. The other cool thing about 12 Tides is they are USDA organic and they have a 100% compostable bio-based packaging. The flavors I received, they have sea salt, they have chili and then they have everything, which is an everything bagel. I am excited to do a taste test on them. One thing that I want to do is to start doing taste test videos again, because the last time I did a taste test, people were like, “We love your facial expressions. You’re so animated.”

Don’t forget, we have one in our Pinterest, which we’re starting to put some more emphasis on. We did a taste test of the Kefla chocolate, the CBD chocolates. We have that. It’s also on our TikTok. Did I turn that into a TikTok?

Yes, you did.

I agree, Jason. We should be doing more taste tests. They do tend to be you tasting, then me recording. We’ll be intentional about it. It was easy for me to record you versus myself, but I’ll try to get on camera too because I like to taste test as well.

I’ll bring you a sample of these 12 Tides chips. Shout out to 12 Tides, shout out to Startup CPG, our friend, Daniel, who runs that organization. I’m excited because there seem to be a lot more products coming out that are dedicated to regenerative agriculture. We talked about this in our episode with our friend, Max Goldberg, about organic living and how there are new certifications about regenerative farming that are starting to come out in the food industry. It’s cool to see 12 Tides doing regenerative ocean farming. I’m super excited about that. I love the fact that they’re mission-driven too.

Remember that you don’t have to eat perfectly to be healthy. Click To Tweet

I can’t wait to try them. We’re going to do a quick round of Frequently Asked Queries, which is a segment we do at the end of each of our episodes lately to share some of the things that we’ve been coming across through Google Analytics. These are key phrases that people have been typing in that may or may not lead them to our website. We usually do a round of funny, serious and interesting. I’m going to try to find some that relate to this subject matter.

Food or Intuitive Eating? What do you mean?

Sure, if I can find them. What would you like to start with, Jason? Funny, serious or interesting?

Let’s go serious.

Did we mention this one already? In case we haven’t, the query was about EPA, DHA, Omega-3 supplement.

Is it a question or it’s a sentence?

Somebody is typing it in because they’re curious about this subject.

They’re asking what’s a good supplement.

Not necessarily. This is the challenge with the queries. We never know exactly why somebody is typing something into Google, but this is the phrase that we have.

The two things that come to mind are the two supplements that I have used in the past and recommend for EPA and DHA. A little bit of background quickly. I’ve talked about this in a previous episode, but it bears repeating. When people talk about Omega-3 fatty acids and plant-based diets, it’s typically only restricted to high levels of ALA, Alpha Linoleic Acid, which is Omega-6s and Omega-9s. The Omega-3s that are more beneficial for brain health, brain function, cognition, allaying depression, and all those things are EPA and DHA, which are hard to get on a vegan diet. Why? They’re mostly an ocean fish, shrimp, krill and things like that. However, there are brands that synthesize EPA and DHA from micro-algae. Since we’re not swimming in the water and eating metric tons of algae like blue whales are, if you are plant-based or vegan, you can get high levels of assimilable EPA, and DHA from this micro-algae. The brand I take right now, Whitney, is Cymbiotika. They have an EPA, DHA blend. It’s super delicious. The person who turned me on to this brand is our mutual friend who’s a clinical vegan nutritionist and previous guest, Paige Snyder. She said, “I have this new supplement line that I love. They’re awesome and super legit. You should check it out.” I’ve been taking Cymbiotika. That’s my go-to EPA, DHA supplement.

I knew that you would have a good answer for that one. Next up. Interesting or funny?

Let’s do interesting and then land on funny.

Let me see here. This was fascinating. This wasn’t a Google query. This was something that was coming up in some popular topics. I have to look this up, but maybe this is the name brand. Maybe it’s not as cool as I thought. I’m teasing you now. I have to check and see if this is even vegan. I like the name of this, but I have zero experience with it. Somebody typed in the phrase Ghost Protein.

I know Ghost Protein. Their branding is amazing.

Have you tried it before?

I have tried it, yes. I’ll tell you where I tried it. I tried it at the LA Fit Expo. I went the last time the LA fit expo was here at the convention center and Ghost Protein had a big booth. Their branding is adorable. They have a great logo, great color scheme. I did try their vegan protein and it was okay. It did not knock my socks off, rip my thong in half, throw me on the floor. It wasn’t like, “I need to bathe in this.” It was good, but it’s also one of those things too where I feel we’ve been in the game so long. We’ve tried so many products that I feel like something as ubiquitous as protein, where I’ve eaten much of it over the years, it’s got to be outstanding to blow me away.

We love Sunwarrior. They’ve sponsored our show before. We’ll shout them out too. Certainly, we don’t mean to overwhelm you, the reader. We try to limit the number of brands within a category that we recommend. I’m about to do a campaign with protein powder. I’ll share the results. I’m going to try protein powders from another brand, which I won’t mention until I try them out. I’ll keep you posted on it, but they have some cool ingredients and excited about it. What makes me interested in trying different brands is when they do something unique versus everybody doing the same thing, but slight variants and cool branding. Sunwarrior, to this day, I still have not found anything that tastes as good as their salted caramel protein powder. That is so incredibly good. It’s making my mouth water.

You’ll ride or die for that flavor, wouldn’t you?

It’s good. If I had to shout out a favorite protein powder at this very moment, it would be them, but this is also the time we record and hopefully, I’ll have a new experience with this other that I can recommend. One last query before we go and eat a meal after this lovely conversation. We get a funny category. What do I have?

MGU 106 | Intuitive Eating

Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills

Do you have something bizarre, dirty, strange in the ETF category?

There are many dirty queries that we get and I screenshot and share them, but I’m not going to talk about them. They’re too uncomfortable for me. Probably not you, Jason. I’m sure you would love to.

We covered that in the episode with Natalie Rivera about sexuality is that, for lack of a better term, freaky deeky. It’s hard to surprise me with things like that.

This isn’t food-related, but it is about being uncomfortable. It’s making me laugh. Songs that make you uncomfortable, Jason.

What in the hell? Songs that make me uncomfortable? This is a fascinating question.

I’ll tell you what. I’m trying to remember what song, but I remember being pre-teen and hearing songs about sex made me uncomfortable.

Songs like I Want Your Sex by George Michael?

How does that one go? First of all, the song Let’s Talk About Sex used to make me uncomfortable. I heard it when my parents were in the car. There’s the other one, I Wanna Sex You Up.

You brought up Color Me Badd. Reader, this is officially the first Color Me Badd reference on the show. You’re welcome. If you are perhaps a Millennial or Gen Z, please google. The hell with it, we’re going to put the Wiki profile. If Color Me Badd still as a website, we’re putting that shit in there.

I’ll find the website. You sing the song.

It goes, “I wanna sex you up. Tik tok, you don’t stop, stop, to the, stop, stop. You don’t stop. Hey, beautiful lady. I need you tonight.” It’s good. The one guy who didn’t have eyebrows and he looked like George Michael’s younger brother. He was like, “We’re going to make this one guy look George Michael-ish.”

They do have a website, ColorMeBaddMusic.com.

Maybe we can have one of the Color me Badd members on. That used to make you feel uncomfortable.

Talking about sex, those songs I would hear on the radio, but there was one other that I swear. If I’m thinking of the right one, I heard it when I was getting frozen yogurt, which brings this full circle. I heard a song that I hadn’t heard since my childhood, or maybe not often. I feel it was one of those sex songs that made me uncomfortable.

May I fling a guess?

Yes, there were a few.

Was it Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover?

That’s a great song.

Who was that, by the way?

Intuitive Eating is about choosing to eat something because it brings you joy. Click To Tweet

That was a great song. That did not make me uncomfortable.

Sophie B. Hawkins sang that song. That’s such a good song.

Why would that make me uncomfortable?

I don’t know.

It was a Color Me Badd type of vibe. It’s on the tip of my tongue. I have to go look this up, like the year and any songs about sex.

I want to know what the hell. Now I’m curious.

Are there any songs that made you uncomfortable or make you uncomfortable?

The song that I remember feeling uncomfortable, I must’ve been five years old maybe. That’s a ballpark guess. I remember my cousin, Jenny, who was closest to me in age. We were more like brothers and sisters growing up. She would play vinyl records for me. Between the vinyl that my mom and dad had and the stuff that my cousin, Jenny, would play, I got a good musical education. I remember the one song that scared the shit out of me was I Am The Walrus by the Beatles.

It was that part where the voices start changing near the end. There was this thing of like it’s this weird, voice changing thing that John Lennon does in one part of the song. I got scared as hell from I Am The Walrus. I remember years ago going back and listening to it and being like, “It wasn’t that bad.” Somehow my five-year-old brain was terrified of the walrus. Who is the walrus? What is cuckoo? What are they even talking about? I was like, “There were lots of drugs, LSD and mushrooms happening in the Beatles.” That explained a lot, which is not a bad thing. As George Carlin once said, the greatest comedian ever, in my opinion, you listen to all that music, he’s like, “Hell of a lot of drugs there.” I’d have to agree. A lot of drugs make great music. Nothing to take away from the Beatles, but if you take four great musicians, you put them on psychedelic drugs. You get I Am The Walrus.

I haven’t quite narrowed down the song, but maybe I’ll surprise you one day, Jason, with it. I did, however, find a phenomenal list of ‘90s songs about sex. I’m hungry, so I’m not going to go through all of them.

Pull out one for me please like a throwback.

A song that I love but I didn’t get into until a few years ago, Pony by Ginuwine. It’s a great song.

Magic Mike brought that song back from the annals of history. I had forgotten about that song for fifteen years and then Magic Mike comes out. I’m like, “I forgot about that song.”

I’m Too Sexy by Right Said Fred was a great song. I enjoyed that song. This one was weird, Sex and Candy by Marcy Playground. I wouldn’t say it made me uncomfortable, but it’s a weird song.

It made no sense, “Hanging around downtown by myself and there she was like disco lemonade.” What the fuck is disco lemonade? It’s like, “Okay, we’re getting more drugs.” You know what song I loved from that era, though, that is still a showstopper to this point? “I get so weak in the knees. I can hardly speak. I lose all control.” SWV, Sisters With Voices, it’s such a good jam.

Another song I liked but felt I didn’t want to tell anybody I liked it. It made me uncomfortable, but not in a bad way. It was probably part of my coming of age or whatever was Closer by Nine Inch Nails, which was a phenomenal song. I liked it but I felt bad for liking it like I shouldn’t like it.

You’re twelve and you’re like, “I want to fuck you like an animal.” It’s like, “What kind of animal?”

I remember listening to that song in my room and be like, “This is intense, but I like it.”

When that shit would come on the rock station, we had WRIF in Detroit and I’d be driving around with my mom in the car and would be like, “Change.” Solo, I would rock the fuck out to Nine Inch Nails. When my mom was in the car, I’m like, “I can’t.” “I want to fuck you an animal. I want to feel you from the inside.” I’m not listening to that with my mother.

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It’s a great song. Also, I’ll Make Love To You by Boyz II Men. I also loved it, but it made me uncomfortable as a kid. It’s a great song. We would sing it. I remember singing it on the bus as kids. Singing on the bus with my friends. They would play it on the radio. We were on the bus ride home from school and we’d sing it out loud. Looking back, I’m like, “We were kids.”

Especially the part where he goes, “Throw your clothes on the floor, I’m going to take my clothes off too.” Your little twelve-year-old ass was screaming that in the bus. What the fuck?

What’s funny is kids do that these days too on TikTok. I’ll see videos of kids six years old singing. There was one I saw that was funny. Along with that, that one that we started the episode with about how to make s’mores with the ice cream cone. There’s one TikTok I found, which is funny because that’s how that song starts. The one with Salt-N-Pepa. I Wanna Sex You Up starts with the words tik tok. It’s like, “Tik tok, you don’t stop.” There was one video I saw of this little kid and belting out the lyrics to a song. There’s also the classic Louis CK video. It’s a clip from one of his TV shows and it’s his daughter singing.

“My legs, my back, my pussy and my back.”

That’s a great clip because have you seen those, Jason. The little girl makes up a dance routine to it and the parents know that she doesn’t realize what she’s saying and they’re uncomfortable, but they’re proud of her. We could go down a whole rabbit hole, but we’re going to stop there because I’ve got to go eat. I had plans that are being pushed back.

In closing, #90sR&BForever. Dear reader, thank you for getting uncomfortable with us. Thank you for riding the waves of the tangents as Whitney and I improvise these conversations and come from the heart and come from the gut and come from what God knows where. We don’t even know where most of this stuff comes from. We are exploring life as you are. In your exploration of life, if you want to access all of the resources that we mentioned, they will all be in Wellevatr.com. You can find us at @Wellevatr on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, Twitter. Until next time, Whitney, enjoy your lunch. I’m going to go listen to I Am The Walrus and see if it scares me at all. I’m going to see if it still makes me uncomfortable. I’m going to feel into it and enjoy it over some cold leftover pizza. Until next time, dear reader, thanks for getting uncomfortable. We love you. We appreciate you. We will connect with you next time.

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