Darya Rose: How I Gave Up Chronic Dieting & Changed My Relationship With Food | 180 Nutrition

Blog

Darya Rose: How I Gave Up Chronic Dieting & Changed My Relationship With Food

Watch the full interview below or listen to the full episode on your iPhone HERE.

Guy:  This week we welcome to the show Darya Rose of  Summer Tomato. She has a PhD in neuroscience and she is also the author of her book called ‘Foodist’. We get Darya on the show today to share a little bit about her journey and her relationship with chronic dieting in her teens and early twenties.

We also discuss the lessons learned from this and how she changed her relationship with dieting and food, why she eats more food than ever and exercises less than when she used to ‘diet’. We also dive into the topic of Vipassana, where you are silent for 10 days! Enjoy…

Use Snapchat? Follow me at: GuyL180 or Click Here. 

 

Audio Version

Free Health Pack

 

Itunes logoListen to StitcherQuestions we ask in this episode:

  • You said, when you stopped dieting you lost weight… please explain
  • How can we cultivate healthy habits into a lifestyle?
  • What’s your take on stress and how do you deal with it? Any tips?
  • You’ve done a vipassana. What is it, and what did you learn from it?
  • What are your non-negotiable practices?
  • How much do you think our thoughts and the way we think about ourselves affect our overall health?

Get More Of Darya Rose

  • http://summertomato.com/about/darya
  • Facebook

180 – Fuelled By Nature

Full range of products HERE.

Leave a Comment

Full Transcript

Guy:

This is Guy Lawrence on 180 nutrition and welcome to this week’s episode of the health sessions. Where of course we cut through the confusion by connecting with leading global health and wellness expert to share the best or the latest science and thinking, empowering people to turn their health and lives around. This week we are doing it with the lovely Darya Rose of the Summer Tomato. She has a PhD in neuroscience and she is also the author of a book called Foodist. We get Darya on the show today to share a little bit about her journey and she talks about how she had this relationship with chronic dieting in her teens and early twenties and how she was always on some sort of diet. Then she’ll discuss these steps she took to then turn it around and now she’s on inspiring others to do the same thing. Especially those people that have similar relationships with food and dieting as well.

[00:01:00] It makes for a fascinating conversation, and I really enjoyed chatting to Darya today. We’ll also get onto the topic of Vipassana, which is something I’m very curious about as well. I haven’t done it yet but if you are unsure what that is, we are going to a great depth but essentially it’s where you become silent for ten days. Which in this day and age is no easy feat I can assure you. I’m very much looking forward to get on with the show.

[00:02:00] Just to give you a heads up as well. By the time this goes live, I’m going to be very close to going to the Wim Hof iceman retreat in Melbourne. I’m very excited, I’ve been prepping myself for the last few months if you you’ve been following me on social media. That’s explains why I’ve been getting nice bags and doing some crazy breath work as well. I will be covering it all on Snapchat for the five days I’m down there with Wim. If you want to see it behind the scenes and what it looks like and what I’m up to with Wim Hof and I think about forty nine other people, just hit me up on Snapchat. My username is GuyL180.

If you have any questions, please throw them at me because I’m sure it’s going to be a lot of fun and very interesting as well. The last thing, if you are enjoying our show on iTunes, all we ask you is that you subscribe to it, five star it and leave a review if you are enjoying it. Of course an honest review is always welcome. This just helps us make these episodes help reach other people so they can get the same information, as you are right now listening to these shows. Let’s go over to Darya Rose, enjoy. Hi, this is Guy Lawrence, I’m joined by Stuart Cook as always, hi Stu.

Stu:

Hello mate, how are you?

Guy:

Our lovely guest today is Darya Rose. Darya, welcome to the show.

Darya:

Thanks guys.

Guy:

We appreciate you coming on Darya. I know the first question I’ve been asking everyone lately is if a complete stranger stopped you in the street and asked you what you did for a living, what would you say?

Darya:

I practice this one all the time because I never know what to say because there is a like dumb answer and then there is a different dumb answer. Lately I’ve been telling I’m a health Jedi.

Guy:

I like it. Perfect. I know there is a story and a reason behind that as well. That you are such a passionate health advocate. I first listened to you on Rhonda Patrick show and that’s what made me reach out to you. Can you sort of fill us in a little bit on your journey from the start and sort of, I guess some of the lessons you’ve learned along the way and why you are so passionate about health today?

Darya:

[00:04:00] Yes. It started a really long time ago actually when I was about eleven years old. I was growing up in southern California during like the bay watch era on the beach. Pretty much every woman I knew, especially my mother dieted all the time, it was like what we did. I just thought that was normal. At eleven years old I was drinking slim fast which are these really disgusting shakes that are supposed to be low calorie. I didn’t even know what I was doing. I got into this habit and proceeded to be basically a lifelong chronic dieter for the next fifteen years. That’s all I did.

[00:05:00] Another part of my life. I went to college, I got into science. I got into neuroscience and I ended up doing a PhD. I have a lot of background in biology. I have a lot of background in physiology, the brain, biochemistry and all that. At a certain point I’m like, “I’m twenty five years old, I’m running marathons on the side. I’ve been dieting forever. I’m miserable. I still don’t look the way I want. I never eat.” I was just like, “This is the worst.” I decided to stop reading magazines and diet books and just go into the science and ask the science what was true. What I found was shocking to me. The biggest one was that the dieting that I’d been doing for the last fifteen years is a better predictor of gaining weight than losing weight.

Free Health Pack

Guy:

Which is so contradictory, right?

Darya:

[00:06:00] I mean, what the heck are we doing it for? I’m like, “That makes me angry and also frustrated because now I don’t feel like I have an answer.” My next question was, “What do people who are naturally thin do?” Because I was just trying to find the best diet. It turns out the naturally think people just have a bunch of little habits that keep them on the healthier side and they don’t think about it very much. They eat dessert when they want it and they don’t do low carb, they gravitate towards healthier choices but they don’t restrict themselves in the same way that I was doing and that I was told was the right way to do it. This sent me down this like rabbit hole. I totally changed the way I was eating. I discovered farmers’ market, I discovered cooking. Eating more that I’d ever eaten in my entire life at this point, I lost ten pounds.

Guy:

That’s fantastic. Was it a particular tipping point, aha moment that really set you on the trail? Because I’ve found from interviewing other people. There is normally something that’s, is either the sheer pain of I’ve had enough or there might have been a book or there might have been something somebody said or a lecturer. Was there any kind of tipping point for you to go, “I’m really going to change the way I approach it?”

Darya:

Yes. I definitely started reading different people. Instead of reading diet books I started reading Michael Palin and he was saying, “You just eat unprocessed food.” I’m like, “That just sounds so crazy to me.” It did at the time but I gave it a try. My theory was that if I tried this and I gained,” because I’m like, I’m going to eat breakfast, I’m going to eat carbs. I’m going to eat all these things that never work …

Stu:

Don’t say the c word around.

Darya:

[00:07:00] I know, and so I started doing these things. When I didn’t gain weight, that was kind of an aha. Then it was like, “I’ll take out this thing and I’ll start adding fat back.” I started, I stopped drinking diet coke and start drinking normal things like water and wine and things I actually enjoy. Then I really got enfocused on things I liked. Then it just kept going. I was like, even if I’d stopped, even though I didn’t gain weight, I would have been happier, but I have lost weight. Then I hit my goal weight and then I kept losing weight. I wasn’t even trying to lose weight anymore and I just kept losing weight. This was mind blowing to me and so I started a blog. I started writing.

Stu:

[00:08:00] It’s very interesting as well and because we are so uniquely different. We talk about this all the time. I’m at the end of the spectrum where I can’t put on weight. I’m just naturally lean, my family is lean. I can eat whatever I want, go against [inaudible 00:07:57] watermelons, I cannot put on weight. That has to plant a seed somewhere in somebody’s head that might say, “Perhaps there is a genetic thing going on as well, perhaps it’s a biology and chemistry.” I’m very excited to be speaking to a neuroscientist, because I love the dietary and all the facts on this. What have been your greatest discoveries when it comes to perhaps, not necessarily thinking about weight loss but achieving long lasting health? I’m thinking about how food plays a part in that as well.

Darya:

[00:09:00] The biggest one, what you said is one of the big ones which is that, when you look at the dieting industry. It’s like, “Here, do this everyone on earth.” Not everyone on the earth is the same. Not just in terms of genetics but that’s a big one but also lifestyle and preferences and geography and a lot of things. You have to, if you have the best theoretical diet in the world and you can’t do it, it’s completely pointless. That was a big one.

Another big one was just that like, I didn’t realize how much, I didn’t realize that just because something met some scientific studies definition of healthy that it actually was healthy. It actually needed to be a real food, and not a processed food with added omega-3s and fiber and extra protein and whatever. That was a big one because when I started cutting those out and replacing them with very boring things like bell peppers, a lot of good things happened for me. Then probably the biggest insight and surprise that I’ve had over the years is the role of psychology in health. Because kind of what I was saying before like, “If you can’t make yourself do the thing you think you are supposed to be doing, it’s worse than not doing it.

[00:10:00] It actually sends you in like a shame spiral and makes you hate yourself, and makes you do more destructive behaviors. I’ve really been focused, the last couple of years on helping people just do the things they want to do for themselves and really take care of themselves from a place of I want to, instead of I should.

Stu:

Yes. Healthy habits, healthy routines. Things like that. Am I on the right track?

Darya:

[00:11:00] That’s part of it but part of it is sort of unraveling the limiting beliefs we have about ourselves and about the world and about what needs to be done. For instance, if somebody tells you, “You just need to eat low carb. You need to cut out sugar. You need to eat more protein if you are trying to gain weight.” You are just like, “That sounds great but I have two kids and I have a full time job.” You are like, you give yourself this ambitious program or you hire a coach or you start a gym membership or something. It’s too had. You pick something that’s too hard because you are not ready yet. You are not ready for the level, or you should start smaller.

What happens is you get discouraged, you start to fail and then you are like, “I’m just lazy. I just don’t have the genetics. I’m just not one of those people.” Those are things that really hold you back. Then getting into your own psychology and examining who you think you are and what you think you are capable of and what needs, what qualifies a success. That’s a big one. Some people they are like, “I’m so lazy. I should be running four days a week.” It’s like, how many days do you run now? Zero. Maybe you should be running one day a week, jogging two days a week, slowly or walking. Maybe you should start with walking. That doesn’t count, do you feel like it doesn’t count?

Free Health Pack

Stu:

No, I get it.

Darya:

Those are the sorts of like psychological problems that a lot of people struggle with.

Stu:

We kind of liken that to Mount Everest. I’m guessing the guys that have scaled Mount Everest, didn’t start out with scaling Mount Everest. They probably started …

Darya:

They probably just put a back on and walked to the gym.

Guy:

Walked on the street yes, exactly. With all that in mind Darya. If somebody came to you overweight and just said, “Look, i’m tired, I’m trying everything, what do I do?” What would be the first thing you would address for them? I’m assuming it’s obviously the mindset and the psychology. Is there a couple of things that you get them to do straight off the bat or?

Darya:

[00:13:00] Yes. The first thing I ask people to just tell me what they’ve tried because almost always, when you get somebody talking and they start to tell you like, “I tried Atkins and I couldn’t,” they start giving you all the reasons it doesn’t work for them. Then you can start to see where they’ve put pressure on themselves that wasn’t deserved. You can be like, “Clearly that doesn’t work for your schedule, maybe you should try something else. Just getting people talking and finding out where they are stuck and unraveling the, that’s where the limiting beliefs are is usually where people have failed in the past.

Guy:

[00:14:00] It’s interesting because I’ve worked in the fitness industry for a long time and I’ve dealt with thousands of people literally. The first thing when they come in, they are just having the mindset that I need to exercise more, I need to be weight training, I need to be dieting. This is how I’m going to get results. After learning everything I did, I’m not a psychologist and I’ll be like, “My God, that’s great but we need to address the way you are actually looking at this whole thing in the first place and make it enjoyable even.” It was just, it’s really hard. It’s almost like there needs to be a complete holistic approach on how different practitioners come on in, with different areas.

Stu:

You do think as well, from a scientific perspective. A lot of these guys are in fight or flight a lot of the time, for most of the day. Those chemicals that are being switched on are going to have a direct relationship on I guess how our body processes stuff as well. What are your thoughts on stress impacting health?

Darya:

[00:15:00] It’s a huge thing in health. There is a couple of reasons. What you mentioned about fight or flight, that’s actually critical. At the end of the day what you were saying earlier, you have to create habits. If you are using willpower to force yourself to eat vegetables, not eat sugar, go to the gym. You are going to fail eventually. Because willpower is great for short term projects like studying for a test or losing ten pounds for your wedding or something like that. If you are talking about your long term health, what you should be, then you rely, willpower is weak. It breaks down and especially with stress.

Stress is one of the things that break it down. Low blood sugar is another thing that breaks it down. When you are dieting it’s broken down even more. Then it breaks and then you feel like a failure. The way around that is to create habits because habits are automatic once you set them. They become rituals and you don’t really have to think about them after a while. It’s like you go on Facebook and the next thing you know, twenty minutes is gone. You can have good habits that do the same thing. That’s the goal is to make your habits tilt towards healthier than unhealthy for the most part.
[00:16:00] The problem with, if you want to form new habits, when you are in stress and when you are in fight or flight, it feels impossible. Because your brain shuts down, all the rational parts of your brain that could possibly think of how to do something new today just shut down like, “I can’t, I just need to order pizza. Get these kids in the bathtub, get their homework done and get them to bed.” When that’s your day all the time, it’s really tough to make changes, you can but you need to understand the psychology there.

Stu:

What strategies do you have to help us form new habits successfully?

Guy:

I was going to even say before that, how would you get someone to distress, to then form the habit as well?

Darya:

[00:17:00] The magic of being healthy is when you eat better you have more energy, you can withstand more stress. You sleep better. When you exercise you have more energy and you sleep better and your general mood is lifted in general. You have more energy for all these things. Then that’s the feedback loop that’s positive but when you are in the negative loop, it’s really tough. Part of it, I think probably the first step that a lot of people struggle with and that it needs to be taken is you need to, in your mind prioritize taking care of yourself. Most people are like, “I don’t have time to go to the gym. I don’t have time to cook,” because other things are important is what they don’t say.

Nothing is more important than how much energy you have for those things you care about. If you care about your kids and you care about your jobs and if you are exhausted all the time and stressed out all the time, you are not being the best parent. You are not being the best employee. You sort of have to wrap your mind around taking care of myself isn’t a selfish act, it’s a requirement for being the best me so that I can kick butt in the world. That’s hard for people.

Free Health Pack

Guy:

Very.

Darya:

Especially people who are very selfless. Those are lovely morals to have and it’s a great approach to life but it can sabotage your best efforts. That’s a huge first step for a lot of people.

Guy:
Then once they get that step like Stu said, how would you cultivate a good habit?

Darya:

I usually start at really small things. First of all, most people aren’t getting enough sleep. You are not going to exercise if you are exhausted.

Stu:

That’s actually number one for me. We had a podcast guest just last week and they said, “From everything that you’ve learned on your journey, what do you think the number one pillar is to health?” That’s the bullet, it all starts with sleep because if your sleep is broken, all of the other veins that run into there are going to be in trouble in terms of glucose, recovery and detoxification and all this crazy stuff.

Darya:

[00:19:00] I think it’s so common in the people I coach. That is the number undermine and usually if they can fix that, everything else just gets so much easier. Sleep is a big one. If people are just eating a lot of junk food, I just start at the meals that they do mindlessly all week. Usually, Monday through Friday, we do the same thing all the time. Most of us we have a job, it’s pretty predictable. I try to get, I start with one meal at a time and I just go through. What do you do for breakfast, what do you for lunch at work?

A lot of people will splurge lunch at work because they are tired and stressed but that really, you want them raining lunch at work, save your sponges for the weekend but you are feeling. It’s actually special. If you can nail in Monday through Friday, 80%, you’ll eat like 80-20 diet. Then on the weekends you don’t [crosstalk 00:19:36] have to freak about stuff. You can go to brunch and have the French toast, it’s fine.

Guy:

[00:20:00] It’s true and I think about the habits because for me it was almost like, I use meditation as an example. That was my difficulty for like, that was my weight loss if you like. I wanted to do it, I wanted to actually bring it into my life but every time I sat down to do it I got frustrated, I hated it. I had it in my head that I need to sit there for thirty minutes and be like a temple’s monk or whatever. Somebody really passionate about meditation sat me down and said, “Guy, just do two minutes every morning. Just don’t even think about anything. Just do it. Cultivate the habit,” I did. The next thing I know, after a few months I was doing five minutes, ten minutes and then I would sit and free fall for a while as well. It was amazing. That was a really big moment for me to go.

Stu:

I think as well Guy that it’s all about making habits easy as well because, you do the meditation thing, I can’t meditate Darya. I’ve tried, I can’t do it, it doesn’t work for me. I get that mindset through ocean swimming. We live by the ocean and every day I go for an ocean swim. It used to be an issue because I got three young girls and I’ve got loads of stuff to do in the morning. Now what I do is I pack my swimming bag. That’s always there, it’s got a tail, it’s got goggles. It’s got everything I need. All I need to do is just put it on my shoulder and walk out the door. It’s so easy to do.

[00:21:00] I think it’s that mindset and again, you can bring that into the kitchen with making healthy habits really easy if you’ve got a blender for a healthy smoothie for breakfast or you are getting rid of all the crap in the cupboards. It’s making sure that your environment is set up to access these healthy habits without too many interruptions.

Darya:

Your first step has to be very easy and that’s another thing that I definitely encourage people to do. If somebody is really stuck in their morning routine. For example, they have trouble getting out of bed. I’m like, “Can you, what is it, are you cold? It’s too cold to get out there?” Put a cozy robe next to your bed. Make it so that it’s so easy that you can’t say no to the first step. Once you are out of bed, how hard obviously you are going to make coffee and make breakfast? Just walk down the stairs and put on the coffee pot. Suddenly the whole Mount Everest feels like.

Guy:

Accessible.

Darya:

A stroll through the park and you are like, “Why haven’t I be doing this this whole time? It’s so silly.

Guy:

Fantastic. Another question hopefully you want to talk about stress and thoughts or believes. It’s like, how much do you think our overall thoughts and the way we see ourselves affect our health as well? Have you looked to any of that?

Darya:

[00:23:00] Yes, it’s actually incredibly powerful. The science, we are getting in a very dubious science at this point. There is nothing strong that I’ve seen that describes it but there is a lot of anecdotal evidence and just my, I think all of our personal life experiences. When you feel crappy like everything kind of goes that direction. When you just are in a good mood, even when bad things happen it can kind of kind of roll off you. Cultivating that positivity and it is something you can do with mindful awareness. I meditate as well and it was the hardest, the absolute hardest hub that I ever did, ever established. I do it now regularly.

I started small like you. I actually started with three deep breaths because two minutes was two long. It took years to develop the habit. Now it’s rewarding. Once it becomes rewarding you don’t stop doing it because you miss it. Until it becomes rewarding you have to make it super small. Our beliefs shape our reality 100%. There is an amazing book called Man Search for Meaning.

Guy:

Victor Franklin.

Darya:

[00:24:00] Basically he was a psychologist and neurologist, he was a holocaust survivor. He was in four different concentration camps. Just something horrific like that but he was trying to document who survives and who doesn’t survive in these camps. It wasn’t if they were more big and robust, even though they were all starving, you would think that the bigger people would survive. Actually it was the people that could make, they believed that their suffering there had meaning. That is how powerful. Beliefs are life and death. You have to be really careful with what you believe about yourself and about your situation and about the world. Focus on the positive. Focus what you can control which is actually your thoughts. Everything you do stems from there. I can’t stress that enough. It was actually a really insightful question.

Guy:

That was great. First in this week, we had a gentleman on the other week, Dr. Mario Martinez and he traveled the world interviewing people over a hundred but were actually healthy as well. He said …

Free Health Pack

Darya:

Was he part of the Blue Zones team?

Guy:

I don’t know if he’s part of, was he? I’m not sure.

Stu:

[00:25:00] He wasn’t part of the Blue Zones team but I think he was independently intrigued in studying and researching the blue zones around the world. What he told us just blew us away and it was, it seemed to be less about the diet and more about the community and lifestyle side of things as well, so very …

Guy:

And the way they thought about themselves. They didn’t buy into other people’s opinions too much. They had a strong belief of, this is how I’m going to live my life. The community was huge, fan, laughter. Some were even still smoking, not that I encourage that but it was very interesting what he had to stay.

Darya:

I actually visited the Centenarians in Okinawa. They don’t have a word for retirement. One of my cab drivers was seventy five years old and he was like, “I just enjoy doing this. This is fun for me. I get to meet people like you.” He was so happy and like, can you believe Guy? He looked like was barely sixty. I know 100% that mindset is the key to this one.

Stu:

It is.

Guy:

I’m going to raise something now that we are on this topic. I know you did a Vipassana and I already talked about it because I spoke to a friend yesterday who is actually going to go and do it in a couple of weeks’ time. Can you explain what it is, how it went and if you felt benefits from it absolutely?

Darya:

Yes. A Vipassana, I did it’s a silent meditation retreat. I went to the Spirit Rock Place. It’s in California at Marin County. Ten days of silence. I had, this was before, I’d had a week … I’d had a medium meditation happen at this point but wow, thirteen hours a day for ten days in a row with no talking. That’s hard work. That’s basically like running a marathon with like after running a five K.

Guy:

Was there like no eye contact as well during the ten days of camping?

Darya:

[00:27:00] He discouraged eye contact, especially with strangers you don’t know because a lot of people are there doing healing work. They’ve been through something traumatic and they just want to be alone. You are encouraged to just let everybody have their space. That said, you are allowed if you want to meet with a teacher, after like the second or third day you are allowed to meet with somebody once a day. If you have questions, it’s not completely silent. Then there is Dharma talks once a night. There is instruction. It wasn’t like just dead silence the whole time but very isolating but gosh was it magical? It was such a magical experience.

Stu:

From somebody who doesn’t meditate. I’m at the other end of the scale, how did you, thinking about internal chatter, I’d imagine when you get in there like you are thinking about all this stuff, how does your mindset change and the internal chatter change from start to finish?

Darya:

[00:29:00] Exactly. This is why to do it. This is why you do it. It took three and half to four days of me, my brain freaking out and like, “Why am I here? This is dumb. I already meditated nine hours, why do I have to meditate for three more hours?” I realized by the fourth day, the reason my brain was freaking out is because, I was just used to constant stimulation. Just constant stimulation, email, phone, traffic lights. The whole business of life in a big city. It takes that long for your brain to stop expecting that. Once you get to that level of just calm where you can look out at a hill and see the hill and not be like, “That’s nice,” and back to your phone. You couldn’t even take pictures. If there was a pretty sunset. You just had to watch it. It was glorious. You get to this place and then once you are in that space, then you start having like really amazing insights about how your own mind works.

For instance, a lot of people are really very, they personally identify with their emotions. I am not one of those people I learnt but I identified very strongly with my thoughts. These things are equally tenuous versions of yourself. They are part of you but they shouldn’t define you. You learn to create some space there between your emotions, your thoughts and your physical body. Another thing I learned was if I was having a thought that was not pleasant or if I was having an emotion that was unpleasant, I can feel it in different parts of my body. My temples would get weird, my jaw would clench or my shoulders would tense up. You learn to pay attention to your body and you are like, “That’s a choice.” Then as soon as you relaxed, the thought goes away or it doesn’t bother you as much.

Guy:

Are you generally an analytical person Darya in your day to day stuff?

Darya:

No, I’m pretty …

Guy:

Because this is from people more left brain than right brain.

Darya:

I think I’m a vulcan, I’m like so not emotional, unlike Dr. Spock. For me the challenge was tapping into my emotions, letting myself feel them and noticing the connection between my thoughts, my body and my emotions and how they all worked together to shape how I reacted to the world essentially. Developing that awareness then you can get some control over it and then you don’t feel like such a robot.

Stu:

How did your sleep change over that duration?

Darya:

I slept like a baby.

Stu:

Really?

Darya:

Yes.

Free Health Pack

Stu:

Have you found that that’s impacted the way that you now address the world coming out of there in terms of the way that you think?

Darya:

100%. I should qualify this by saying, the sleep question. I actually spent most of my life not being able to sleep well since like five years old. I used to fake naps in preschool. Who does that?

Stu:

No one does that.

Darya:

I hated sleeping. I can’t get by on very little sleep. It was never something that I felt I needed but sometimes I’d be tired and my mind would keep me awake at night and that’s frustrating. I sleep. Actually if I stop meditating for more than like two or three days, my sleep gets disrupted again. I’ve noticed that. Like a very strong correlation. Just in general I have just …

Guy:

Improved.

Darya:

Yes, an amazingly better sleep from meditation.

Guy:

Then after the ten days, what’s it like coming back into society?

Darya:

That was the second part of your question.

Guy:

I’m just curious.

Darya:

[00:32:00] You are used to this calm now. You’ve been there and everybody starts panicking after, on like day eight, day nine they are like, “What are we going to do when we go back? This sounds super scary.” They transition you back actually, you are allowed to start talking the evening before you leave. There is like a three hour window they give you to talk to the other people in the retreat. You say the dumbest things you’ve ever said in your life because you revert, like you forget then you are kind of learn to talking it over. They transition you out and the biggest takeaway for me was that I don’t want to go back to that feeling of constant anxiety. I wouldn’t have called myself an anxious person. In retrospect, I lived with chronic anxiety. I don’t like that feeling anymore. I have not given up my meditation habit. That’s why. That’s the reward because what you were saying it earlier, you don’t do it because it’s not rewarding for you. It’s hard. It just sucks.

Stu:

Can’t do it.

Darya:

Once you have experienced the reward, then it’s hard to go back.

Stu:

No, I get it. You said that you were living with chronic anxiety and I wonder how many of us are actually living that day to day without even knowing.

Darya:

If you have one of these.

Stu:

No, I would never have one of those, forget it.

Darya:

You definitely have it. Unless it’s off for eight hours of the day where you are just working clear-headedly you have it. Obviously some people can handle it better naturally. It’s real, the struggle is real.

Guy:

Would you do it again Darya?

Darya:

I would love to. I would go every year. The hardest part was I just, I missed my family. I loved getting away from my business, I loved getting away from my phone and email. It’s hard to be away from your family for that long, ten days.

Guy:

It’s a big commitment.

Darya:

I think if they had like five to seven, I would love to work that into my life like once a year, five to seven days or three retreat.

Stu:

Just to touch it once more on stress, having learnt what you have learnt now with the retreat and your meditation practices and also the book and your studies. If you could give anybody advice to distress themselves so they are in the rat race, most of us are, if you got maybe three top tips to say for instance, breathe, stop, do something. What would they be?

Darya:

[00:35:00] It’s funny. A lot of people would say breathe. Breathe is important. Everyone knows how going back to your breath is important. I feel like it’s a little wishy-washy sounding for somebody who doesn’t do this at all. If that’s you, if you are hearing me and then going, “Yes, I don’t care about my breathe.” I would say that probably the most important thing you could do is find a physical activity, possibly outdoors that you actually like. Don’t do it for exercise. Even if it’s a ten minute walk around your office building. Even if it’s a stroll with your dog after dinner. That is, like you said with your ocean swimming. Before I meditated, my best source of distress was working out. I used to run distance and even after that, I love being in the gym.

I just put on music or put on an audio book or something and then I close my eyes and I just work out. It just gets rid of stress and it’s a you time. It’s that self care. It has to be an exercise you like. It can’t be something you are doing to burn calories or something like that. I think doing that three or four times a week is a game changer.

Stu:

[00:36:00] It’s interesting as well because we spoke to a chef called Abel James earlier on the year and he is a podcast deliverer in your part of the world. He raised a good point in that if you think about any of your memories that you really hold dear. He said, 99% of them will be connected in some way shape or form to nature. I was on that beach, I was in the forest, I was walking through this beautiful area.

Free Health Pack

Darya:

I was sitting at my computer, wait now.

Stu:

That’s right. You do wonder as well whether there are other environmental factors with air and just nature.

Darya:

There are are.

Stu:

Again, sunlight.

Darya:

There is data on the benefits, the stress relief, the people who are heart disease risk from just being more, even if yours, the control for working out. If you are working out in the city versus working out in the forest, all your numbers improve more in a more natural setting. I think it’s more complicated than just air quality or something like that.

Stu:

I think so too. That’s a good point.

Guy:

[00:37:00] We are quite fortunate here, because we are right by the ocean. I’m still because I’m actually doing Wim Hof’s retreat in three weeks. We’ll catch in with Wim but I’ve been training for it. Every morning I [inaudible 00:37:07] to here now and it drops about six, eight degree celsius in the morning. I’m just getting that cold exposure at 6:30 in the morning but it’s just amazing. It’s like flicking a switch to my day.

Stu:

My husband did that Wim Hof method, the online program. Last winter he was just obsessed with it. I saw such a huge change in him. He actually meditates regularly now after doing it.

Guy:

Has he done the retreat?

Darya:

He hasn’t gone to the retreat but he just did the ten week online.

Guy:

The ten week online course. We have one on in December and after chatting to him I’ve been doing the ice bars, working my way up in the breath because i can move …

Darya:

Some hard work.

Guy:

[00:38:00] Yes, I’ve gone hardcore, only because I committed though. Kind of I’m doing the retreat, if I’m going to go for it then I’m going to scale myself into actually trying it. I can feel the changes already like just a better person in general. I’ve gone right off tangent. I tried to get Stu with that but he wasn’t above it.

Stu:

One day Guy, I’ll stick with the ocean. I wanted just to bring it a little bit back to the diet lifestyle, health habits and all of the above. Your book called Foodist. I wondered if you could just explain what we would expect if we were to delve into that place.

Darya:

[00:39:00] Foodist is the title of my book. Foodest is a person. A foodist is a person who uses food to make their life better. That includes being healthy because being unhealthy sucks. It feels bad. That includes enjoying food because food tastes amazing. Even some healthy foods taste amazing. Generally just, they work in harmony with food not against it. The book is a journey, sort of basically what I did, backed up with some science and some other things of how to go from somebody who is a chronic dieter to a foodist.

Foodist is the journey of somebody who basically would want to do what I did which is go from being a chronic dieter to a foodist. It is a weight loss book but it doesn’t have to be about weight loss but for a lot of people it is. It just goes through the habits that you would want to form, how to do it, how to think about nutrition, how to create the mindsets to have a healthy relationship with food and be a healthy person and be happy. My motto is that life should be awesome, food should make it better and not worse.

Stu:

[00:40:00] There is another train of thoughts as well that when you are deeply connected with really nourishing and wholesome and health giving foods, then that’s going to impact your long lasting health, not just your shape. Not just how much weight. That’s kind of where we are coming from. Because everybody seems to be very focused on the now, what do I look like now? A lot of chronic disease, the seed is planted twenty years from when something happens. It’s all about nourishment and giving the cells the fuel we need.

Darya:

[00:41:00] Yes, but even in the immediate, one of the things that most people don’t realize if they haven’t started on a journey like this is that you think you want to eat mac and cheese and chocolate bars all the time. You actually don’t because it actually is the reason you feel like crap all the time. It’s the reason you are tired, it’s the reason you have no energy. It’s the reason why you don’t want to exercise. It’s the reason why you sleep bad. Most people that I’ve coached through this or that I’ve talked to who’ve gone through this process. They will tell you, “I don’t eat bad anymore. Not because I don’t like the taste of French fries but because I know if I each more than a few french fries, I will feel like hell today and maybe tomorrow. Not just like I feel fat, I’m tired. My head is foggy. I don’t have any energy. It feels horrible. If you can really connect, nourish yourself and understand that it actually impacts today.

Guy:

The now …

Darya:

That’s a big insight that it doesn’t happen as they do it.

Guy:

I was interested as well, because you mentioned earlier about, you used to run marathons. Part of your dieting as well I’m assuming. How did your exercise routine change from back then to now and how do you view it? I know people’s relationship with exercise can be the similar to the way there is with food. They hate it but they do it because they …

Darya:

I actually loved running. I used to run in Golden gate Park in San Francisco and it is absolutely beautiful and I’ve run down the beach. I enjoyed the long runs but they just took up so much time and they are hard on your body. After a few years your knees start to hurt and I just … I think the truth is that I was doing it largely to stay thin. Now I just, because of the way I changed my diet and I started just doing exercises that I have time for and that I like. I lift weights, five days a week, I do cardio. I try to mix it up, I sometimes do some intervals, I walk a lot. I work and live in New York. I just love it. I spend, depending on the season. I just feel like it’s sort of bear minimum by walks for me now at this point in my life.

Guy:

That’s fantastic.

Stu:

Mindful of time as well so we are kind of running to the end of our window here. Knowing again what you know, what you’ve learned, the journeys through your Vipassana and obviously your scientific background. What are your nonnegotiable practices, the things that you do every day without fail that sets up you up to feel and look like you do?

Darya:

[00:44:00] Probably the biggest one is I eat so many vegetables. I try to eat them, two meals a day. A big chunk of vegetables at lunch and dinner, sometimes more than that. I go absolutely bonkers when I travel to a country where it’s hard to get fresh vegetables. I’m not a happy camper. My body just craves it. I get off my butt and I work out. Almost, at least walk, at least take my dog for a walk or something like that, almost every day. I don’t go more than two or three days in a row without meditating anymore which is a big one and I drink a lot of water. I sleep enough.

Guy:

It’s so clear.

Stu:

Really the basics, you like to move, you like to eat well and you like to hydrate your body.

Darya:

Yes, another big one that I think is a little bit unusual is that I turn of screens at night. After like nine, I don’t watch TV at all. I don’t go on my computer on after 9:00. I don’t sleep well if I do.

Stu:

What do you do when all those screens and all that chatter stops?

Free Health Pack

Darya:

I usually read or my husband and I will actually talk. We’ll have a cocktail or a glass of wine and have a conversation till we are ready to go bed.

Stu:

I fancy that.

Darya:

Sometimes I take my dog for an evening stroll around where you kind of [inaudible 00:44:45] by the water, or I just climb in bed. I love books. I read a ton of books.

Stu:

It’s so much your career and that sleep routine on you and getting ready to sleep?

Darya:

Yes, I think I credit that for a big part of it.

Guy:

We’ve looked into it, a few guests on here with the EMF, WIFI, blue light. It all comes in and disrupts the pattern of sleep [crosstalk 00:45:10].

Stu:

It’s all an environmental stress era, I think at the end of the day. Like you said, just connecting, turning down the lights, getting into a good book. Getting into that comfy environment, the warm bed, bedroom, we are ready.

Darya:

I used to dread it, I used to avoid it. I was like one of those night people that would just stay up and work. Now I’m just like, I get so excited, I read fiction at night. During the day I’ll listen to audio books and I’ll listen to like self help books and science and stuff. At night I like to read science fiction or a good novel by Hemingway or something. I feel like it’s a treat, it’s more self care.

Guy:

Do you meditate first thing in the morning or at night or it’s both?

Darya:

[00:46:00] I prefer to but I’d be lying if I said that that was normal. I probably do it 50% of the time. I always have coffee first. I got to take that coffee.

Stu:

Sounds good.

Guy:

I love my coffee too. The last question that we ask everyone on the show Darya and that’s, what’s the piece of advice have you ever been given?

Darya:

Probably not to get married before I was thirty.

Stu:

I fell into that camp too.

Darya:

In fact it’s so much. Also I think Michael Palin just sort of in real foods, that was such a game changer for me.

Guy:

Amazing what happens when we do actually fuel our bodies.

Stu:

As opposed to [crosstalk 00:46:45]

Darya:

I thought I was doing it.

Stu:

We all did, absolutely.

Darya:

It’s so crazy.

Stu:

[00:47:00] It is nuts, whole food approach. Unbelievable what nature has put together for us that we think that we can perhaps just steal a vitamin from, when you’ve got beautifully complex matrix of biology and life, and think that we can get same thing and drop it in a glass of water and drink [crosstalk 00:47:09].

Darya:

The ridiculous thing is the food is delicious. It doesn’t need to be better, it’s perfect.

Stu:

It doesn’t need to be fortified. I think it’s already so. What’s next for Darya Rose? You’ve got lots going on. You are clearly a doer, what have you got in the pipeline?

Darya:

[00:48:00] I’m really deep in the psychology right now. Like I said, I’m really working to Jedi people into doing what they actually want to do which is be healthy and feel good and be active and enjoying all of it. I’m really getting deep into, I know how to do it for myself but I’ve learnt that I can’t just tell you how to do it. There is a wall game there. I’m working on that. I’ve actually been coaching a lot lately which I always swore I would never do in my life and it’s really good, I love it.

Guy:

For everyone listening to this Darya that would want to connect to find out more about you and you work, where is the best place to send them?

Darya:

Go to Summer Tomaoto and also since you are a podcast listener, search for my podcast, it’s called Foodist and it’s pretty new. I’m loving it, and you can hear my coaching and you can hear the success stories. It’s all me interviewing, not experts but real people like my readers and helping them on their own journeys, get to where they want to be. It’s really rewarding, it’s really cool.

Stu:

We’ll put all that information on the show notes so everybody can access the good stuff. We’ve really enjoyed our chat today, really appreciate it.

Darya:

Me too, thank you.

Stu:

Sorry about the interruption of your evening but …

 

Darya:

Not problem.

Stu:

I flipped that one.

Darya:

Great talking to you guys.

Guy:

Thanks Darya.

Darya:

Thanks, bye, bye.

Stu:

Thanks so much, bye, bye.

Guy:

Bye.

Darya:

Bye.

 

Free Health Pack

  • free_samples_blog

  • Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

    Post a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields marked *

    You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>