Truce with Food: Tapas Style

 *A 6-week introduction into my acclaimed TRUCE WITH FOOD methodology

We start October 2!

 For many of us, our relationship with food can best be explained as an inner battle:

“I want that treat.” 

“But I shouldn’t. I can’t.”

“But I want it. I’ve had a hard day. I deserve that treat.”

Therefore, at any given moment, we’re either winning or losing against food.

The battle in our brain tells us:

Skinny is winning. Making perfectly healthy food choices is winning. Controlled eating is winning.

Gaining weight is losing. Junk food is losing. Out-of-control eating is losing.

But what if instead of a battle you could feel safe with ALL types of food?

Here’s the liberating truth:

 

Food is not your enemy. Your body is not a competition.

 

Our battle is not with food.

Yet we turn to food when we feel powerless against overwhelm and stress. And we turn to food that is designed to light up our brain’s reward center, temporarily soothing us from the overwhelm.

The focus in Truce with Food: Tapas Style is to liberate yourself from overwhelm and stress, not food.

The question isn’t “How do I resist tempting foods?”

The life-changing question is “How do I become the person who isn’t tempted by food?”

 

This is why more food rules like “Don’t go to the party hungry” or “Check-in with yourself if you really want the chips and queso” (um, yes!!!), don’t work.

These approaches actually fuel an illusionary competition, and in turn, increase our sense we’re failing.

More focus on being perfect with our diets also fails to address the root cause of our fixation on food, which is a lack of fulfillment we can’t (yet) name beyond, “something” is missing. 

Truce with Food: Tapas Style is a safe space for curious skeptics to explore and transform the overwhelm that leads to frustrating eating, which perpetuates their battle with food.

If the me who’d been struggling desperately with food for 18 years had heard this, my first thought would be,

“I have a unique love of junk food no one else can possibly understand.”

Hold your healthy skepticism and stay with me for a little bit longer.

Here’s what used to stump me. Can you relate? I’d:

  • Pass a candy dish and dip into it because it was there, not because I was hungry.
  • Eat poorly, get mad at myself and eat more into a downward spiral of chocolate chip cookies and Netflix.
  • When I’m finally alone, crash on the couch and think, “Today was hard. I am having this Kettle Corn.”
  • Fall off healthy eating when my schedule got out of whack.
  • Eat whatever everyone was sharing at brunch because it’s more fun and how often do we all get together?
  • Be “good” all day while thinking of how I’d get to cheat with the coconut ice cream by myself when I got home from work.
  • Feel like I could have just one brownie once I started losing weight, only to sabotage my success.

Instead of perpetuating the win/lose battle with food, this program is about eliminating the black and white thinking around food and laying the foundation for a Truce with Food.

 

Here’s what often happens when we’re battling food:

 

Your brain turns to food when it is triggered by overwhelm. Including overwhelm that is invisible to you because there’s been so much stress on you for so long, it’s now just your normal.

Just like the stress-eat is a well-worn path in your mind…

At some point in your life, food was an easy and accessible tool to soothe an experience when life went off the rails. Nothing masks overwhelm and rewards your brain more than delicious junk food.

Over time, an automatic reaction to food developed. Cultivating personal agency, or the ability to choose how life happens to you, didn’t fully develop.

One main reason is diet culture sold you the idea that weight loss is the solution to overwhelm. Or the wellness industry said “this healing diet and supplements” is the overly simplified solution to the complexity of healing.  Meaning that if you focus on weight loss and the perfect healing diet, you’ll start winning at life, making the emotional challenges of life easier.

You’ve heard the messages:

Career too much? It will be easier to be the real you in 20 pounds.

Dating? Won’t be as awkward when you’re thin.

Parenting? You won’t compare yourself to the other Moms once you lose weight.

Ugh. If this cycle has happened long enough, you’ve probably internalized the messages and decided that YOU are the problem. That there must be something wrong with YOU if you’re not winning at food.

This is simply NOT true.

Overwhelm and stress are universally difficult without the right mindset.

I created Truce with Food: Tapas Style so you can bet on yourself to rise to life’s challenges and be rewarded with more food and life freedom.

Meet Ali, Your Guide on the Side

While I have the street-cred of graduating from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and the Institute for Psychology of Eating, completing a graduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and 10 years working with clients, what set me on my career path was why I couldn’t personally figure this food thing out despite knowing I was smart.

Turns out, I have some analytical chops. But my emotional savvy? I didn’t even know that was a thing! I knew I was sensitive and that I was a good daughter, friend and easy to get along with. Isn’t that being emotional?

I also rested in the familiar comfort of discomfort that I was different. When it came to my body, I had proof! Cancer at 13? Check.

Depression and IBS? My body was more broken than everyone else’s.

Yet my own eat-overwhelm pattern is as universal as body shaming itself. When I was eight years old, a boy marched up to me on the bus to inform me I was fat.

Not having the mindset to deal with a misogynist, which my feminist soul would have preferred, I was overwhelmed with shame. I didn’t tell anyone. Instead, I bee-lined to the Cinnamon Raisin bagels in the fridge, before my parents would come home from work. I was temporarily relieved and physiologically rewarded for escaping.

This food-overwhelm protection pattern would repeat the next year when I was bullied by the cool girls, and cement after a teenage cancer diagnosis. By the time I got to college and my early 20s, I was a full blown emotional eater and binger.

I was emotionally dead by a 1,001 paper cuts.

The emptiness I felt inside was from living in my head and not feeling my emotions, not because I loved food too much.

Unfortunately, there’s nothing unique about my inability to use my emotions powerfully. You do not learn this in school.

So, I spent 18 years tracking points, calories and macros, never developing the necessary mindset to transform overwhelm and stress into more rewarding outcomes than any bread basket.

  • Ali has the rare gift of clarity. She asks questions that help me think more clearly. She has the gift of putting her finger right on the essence of whatever the issue is—especially where nutrition meets a jumble of old feelings and beliefs and information—so I can make something useful out of it. And she has the gift of fearless empathy, of honoring my choices but always helping me make space for new possibilities

    Krasna Svoboda

In Truce with Food: Tapas Style, we’ll explore:

  • The important and protective role battling food and losing plays
  • How to clearly identify your emotional triggers that generate your “shouldn’t, but I want to, I must eat” food thoughts
  • Your current patterns of handling stress, which make life feel flat and harder than necessary, making junk food a substitute source of energy and dopamine, a neurotransmitter that makes you feel rewarded
  • How to be with your emotions so the discomfort empowers you instead of overeating
  • Subtle yet profound mental shifts to prevent stress and be in control of your overwhelm when it does happen
  • A new anchor, unique to you, to generate powerful outcomes that richly reward you and simplify your life

From taking Truce with Food: Tapas Style you’ll:

  1. Find increasing freedom and relief as you dissolve the win/lose battle mentality
  2. Be more consistent with your eating as you feel increasing safety around all foods, including former trigger foods
  3. Be kinder and more compassionate with yourself
  4. Learn how to effectively do research about yourself and your needs when you do eat junk food
  5. Prevent and simplify the overwhelm in your life
  6. Awaken courage and confidence you didn’t know was dormant in you and is always accessible and completely independent of what you weigh.

You’ve probably tried every diet and program like I had.

Or attempted to deal with your food and weight battle with therapy, a mindfulness eating course where you eat one raisin for 10 minutes* or read intuitive eating books.

(*That exercise frustrated me out so much, I went to a farm-to-table eatery right afterwards for a burger and fries. And then stopped for fro-yo afterwards).

Or you’ve tried to manage stress with journaling or yoga, only to “fail” at self-care too!

If you haven’t been successful, it’s not you.

Each of our scientific fields is influenced by cultural narratives that don’t fully embrace emotions at best, and dismiss and detach from them at worst.

This means we also don’t excel at managing stress beyond breathing or bitching, which only teaches us to tolerate the stress, not transform it.

  • “I’ve made more progress in three weeks with your approach than 25 years of therapy.” 

    AT

The upside of escalating rates of weight gain and illness is we have a lot of data about what doesn’t work and isn’t true.

In tandem with scientific breakthroughs about the emotional effect in healing the body, it’s a freeing time where old beliefs systems like calories in, calories out or thinking it’s enough to only address the food component of your depression or irregular periods are falling under a holistic microscope.

Truce with Food: Tapas Style incorporates the best of Western science with Eastern wisdom. You’ll create dramatic breakthroughs of ease, freedom and fulfillment around food and life.

Here’s what we’ll be fully digesting:

 

How it works:

Beginning Monday, October 2, each Monday, you’ll receive a new lesson in audio and transcript format. You’ll receive one coaching exercise to practice with that week. You’ll practice the work in your life because your life is your classroom. Then we’ll have “office hours” to get you further clarity, integrate the lesson and learn from others. Adults learn best once they’ve practiced and then have space to reflect on what worked, what didn’t and what are their next steps as a result of their experience.

Our Truce with Food: Tapas Style calls are:

Event Date Time
Group Welcome + intro Tuesday, October 3 8 pm EST
Office Hours Tuesday, October 17 12 pm EST
Office Hours Tuesday October 24 8 pm EST
Integration Week October 31 n/a
Office Hours Thursday, November 9 12 pm EST
Office Hours Thursday, November 16 8 pm EST

If time zones are an issue, we can explore an accommodation if need be.

All office hours are recorded. There will also be an online community and support in between office hours.

While this is the first time I’m running Truce with Food: Tapas Style, I’ve been facilitating my work for 10 years. A decent portion of the Truce with Food intellectual property is contained with the DNA of Truce with Food Tapas Style.

So here are a few testimonials from Truce with Food but are results you can expect in Truce with Food: Tapas Style:

  • With the new emotional awareness from Ali’s work, I feel empowered to choose to do things differently instead of life just happening to me. It’s not easy work but very, very useful. So important that I’ll continue this work so I can have even more choices in how life unfolds. 

    JR
  • The relentless cycle of dieting and self loathing had consumed me for over twenty years. Truce with Food was an internal journey challenging my patterns and behaviors. Ali gave me tools to concede perfection doesn’t exist and I discovered you have to be a little rebellious to shift those stubborn pounds for good! 

    LM
  • From Ali’s work, I’ve gained incredible clarity and insight into how I am blocking myself from the health, relationships and life experiences I most deeply yearn for. I am learning to trust my inner knowing and to believe in my power to change and, maybe even more importantly, to create. This program is a culmination of all of the tools I’ve tried and refined through years of self-exploration through yoga, meditation, Reiki, etc. I’m willing to love and nurture myself more deeply than ever and want to work with, not against, mySelf. Ali’s support, encouragement and wisdom are a true gift along my path of self-discovery and healing. 

    Breanne

FAQs

I really think I have a food addiction. Can this help?

I don’t believe people are addicted to food. I think people don’t have the right mindset to feel emotionally safe in their lives and so they turn to food. And telling people they’re addicted to food only makes them feel less safe!

Think about it: There have been times when you weren’t triggered by certain foods where you can’t just eat one or a little. Haven’t there been times when you’ve said no to the fries or you were able to “resist” getting dessert?

Maybe it was at the beginning of a diet. Or when you isolated yourself from social situations where food would tempt you. Or when you were in a really good place in your life. What changed wasn’t the food. It was your environment or life circumstances. This shift in focus away from food and into your environmental triggers is life changing liberating.

Having said this, this course isn’t for people with active eating disorders. The physiology of being desensitized to highly-palatable foods does take time to heal and might require more one on one attention and in conjunction with healing your blood sugar.

I love your work Ali, I just don’t know if Truce with Food: Tapas Style will work for me.

I totally get this. So many programs promise to be different and yet underneath, they’re all different ways to cut calories or give you a formula (often not based on research) to manage your emotions.

This is a process you can’t fail. It doesn’t require willpower in the traditional sense. In fact, the imperfection is actually built into the material and expected so we can research what’s happening. Most science and life breakthroughs happen when we learn from what isn’t working.

Having said that, this process is challenging. But the challenge is being willing to be a beginner and continue to show up when you’re new (i.e. not the best at) at building a new skill set. This can be uncomfortable for perfectionists and those with an all-or-nothing mindset.

Yet as one of my clients shared, this process requires being “uncomfortable in the most freeing way”. We laughed because that might seem paradoxical. But paradox is truth. Once you can be with your emotions, you feel powerful and free. Our emotions control us whether we understand them or not. So to finally have choices other than eat in discomfort, is life-changing liberation.

If you can commit to showing up when you feel imperfect, this process will work for you. There’s not a formula for success or failure here. There is a methodical process that meets everyone exactly where they are in their self-awareness. It’s the opposite of having a bunch of rules to follow that only fuel the battle and a sense of failure.

This is the most common question and fear that prevents people from working with me and part of why I created the Tapas Style of Truce with Food. It’s a much lower risk and still provides a complete paradigm shift around battling food and what else is possible. Part of the process starts when you question that frozen or fear feeling as truth and take the risk to challenge yourself.

I don’t know if I should do Truce with Food: Tapas Style or wait till Truce with Food in February 2018.

This work meets you where you are in terms of self-awareness so it’s never repeated. It changes you so that anytime you revisit the material; you’re a different person who understands yourself and your needs more deeply.

It’s like when I read the Great Gatsby in high school. I thought it was a love story. In my 20s, I looked at the book as a commentary on class and power dynamics. And now, I’m looking at this book through the filter of race and the construct of whiteness. As you change the filter you bring to the world, which the Truce with Food material does on a radical level, you continue to see yourself and your life in deeper layers.

Most of my clients are highly critical of themselves yet not as self-aware of the filter they bring to their life. They’re great at managing their image externally, less adept at knowing what’s internally driving them. They’re often shocked at how liberating it is to see the patterns and connections they discover because seeing and then changing these patterns guarantee lasting change.

It takes about a year of working with the material to feel masterful with it. I created Truce with Food: Tapas Style to create profound shifts in your self-awareness and build a skill-set that will only strengthen and deepen if you decide to take Truce with Food in February. If you want to take both, you’ll be well prepared for Truce with Food and will get even more value out of it.

And, you might not need Truce with Food after the Tapas version. The Fall program is a hearty version of my methodology that is designed to be empowering and life changing on its own

Can I get reimbursed through my insurance?

If you have an FSA or HSA account, most likely. Many clients pay directly with their HSA credit cards and successfully submitted their receipts to their FSA accounts. However, check with your plan as each of them do vary.

I have gastritis, depression or trouble sticking with the food protocol I know I should. Will this program help me?

The Tapas Style of Truce with Food can definitely support you. You cannot heal to the fullest extent or stick with the food changes necessary if you don’t address the emotional patterns that contributed to your physical symptoms.

By the time we are officially diagnosed with a chronic issue, there’s been unaddressed overwhelm or stress on us for years. What my clients come to realize is what I experienced when I wanted to fully get rid of my depression and IBS: being able to transform emotional overwhelm into rewarding outcomes is the missing piece in fully healing and feeling full agency in your body and healing path. In other words, the emotional component is as important as the food.

We won’t be addressing the food (i.e. no food experiments) in the Tapas Style version of Truce with Food. However, the emotional transformation is as critical to your healing and, it will make implementing the food changes easier.

What is your completion rate?

Great question. I’ll break this into two parts. First off, do people show up and do the work? Last round of Truce with Food, which Tapas Style pulls from but doesn’t go as deep, 90% of people showed up and did the work. This is far above average than most programs. Clients who’ve never finished any program before have finished my programs because they’ve learned their stress response makes them not have time or avoid the work. Once they see this pattern and are given the tools to correct this pattern, they continue to show up, surprising themselves.

This question also implies how many people have sustainability after the program. Both of these are important questions. If you’re asking: can I do this, can I show up, can I do the work? Can I continue to make the changes in my life?  Yes. I assure you you can do this. This isn’t a diet. This isn’t a plan. This doesn’t require willpower like you imagine.

This is for anyone who wants to stop the insanity of fighting food and get off the merry-go-round. Truce with Food: Tapas Style is a completely new orientation to how you think, act and respond to overwhelm in your life. The change is self-evident and creates a desire to continue to do the work because you’re finally getting results from the effort you put in.

I’m really busy. Can I fit this in?

Life today is one constant busy season. Especially for those who tend to gravitate towards my work. However, your life is your classroom. In other words, you’ll be experimenting with new ways of being in your life. It’s not “separate” from your life.

And this program is designed for the on-the-go lifestyle. It does require about two hours per week for maximum benefit. One hour for the content and exercises (all recorded so you can listen at your leisure), and then the office hours. Many participants have said this work actually creates time for you by freeing up energy and giving more energy as they are energized from more results with less on their literal and metaphorical plates.

However, if life takes a wild turn, all instructional materials are yours for life—so even if your schedule happens to change, you can still get the full value of the program when you’re ready.

I’m not really a group person. Can I benefit from this group?

I call myself a bad joiner so I understand your hesitation. Most of my clients are “bad joiners” because they’re non-dogmatic people. They’ve been in groups either where they felt like they’ve carried the group instead of being supported by it or couldn’t challenge what was being said. This doesn’t happen with the community I’ve cultivated here. We bring our whole selves to this work and you will be supported, often in ways you’ve never been supported before.

Having said that, I’ve had some people stick to themselves and get incredible benefits. However most participants are impressed by the caliber of heart the women in the group and want to participate and get incredible value from the support and ideas of these other open-minded and compassionate women.

Also, many clients realize their hesitation to participate in a group is not their true personality but part of their own stress response to being in groups with women and the perceived judgment and threat of being vulnerable. So participating in the group actually becomes new ways of being that are quite rewarding.

Also, we take everyone as is and I encourage deep inquiry and debate.

Because this is new territory, we all learn from each other.

I want to believe this is truly different but I don’t want to waste anymore money on food and weight loss.

A healthy skeptic. I totally get it. This isn’t a traditional program in that your reading and assimilating material. Aside from my approach being like nothing you’ve ever tried, this course is about genuine change, making it a completely new experience. There’s a radical difference between learning more and changing, which makes you feel different. You will have to get out of your comfort zone but not in the way you’re thinking about finding more willpower or discipline for food. It’s about challenging yourself to show up differently in your life.

I do offer a money-back guarantee. If you do all the work, including listening to the lessons and completing the coaching exercises, attend the office hours with your questions and find the program isn’t working for you, I’ll refund your tuition. You must complete the entire program, all six lessons and six coaching exercises to get the refund if you don’t feel the program gave you clarity, skills and tools for a new mindset.

Work in social justice and Truce with Food: Tapas Style is financially out of reach? We offer a limited number of 50% scholarships for those working to make our world more fair and just.

Recipients will be notified Monday, September 25th.

10% of proceeds from Truce with Food: Tapas Style will be split between Black Lives Matter and the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Our community is inclusive and committed to the values of equality and justice for all. Inclusivity is more fun and rewarding, also our values!

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