Welcome to Thursdays Exchange with Evelyn Gerber

Your Amazing Life
Your Amazing Life
Welcome to Thursdays Exchange with Evelyn Gerber
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She is the smartest and most beautiful woman in my life. Now, in this blog we discuss tools and tricks to create an Amazing Life. There are a few powerful ways you can support us. Please subscribe and leave a rating/ review, in it leave your top takeaways, from what we talked about. Also interact with the community on the Facebook page. Next, be a hero to your friends and family and share it with them… Lastly, go to anchor.fm/ken-gerber/support and sponsor it. Your support makes a massive difference. Check out the show notes for links to the subjects we discuss and if you have any topics, you would like me to address just put it in the private Facebook group. I want to give a shout out to my Florida Listeners. Thanks for growing the community and for sharing with your friends and family. Let’s get into Your Amazing Life.

Ken: 

Evelyn has a degree in biology with a chemistry minor. She has studied healthy eating for years. Thanks for being here today, welcome Evelyn. So glad to have you here.

Evelyn:

I hope this goes as well as it usually goes.  I know how much you prepare for your blog.

Ken:

 So, tell me about your history and why you started getting into health?

Evelyn:

My mother has been on every single diet on the planet, except possibly I don’t think she was ever injected with HCG. But everything from Weight Watchers to Fen-Fen and I watched her go through this journey of always battling her weight and never wanted to be on it. But found myself learning things from her that she probably didn’t want me to learn. The biggest one was to use this food as my drug of choice. So, in high school I actually started going to Overeaters Anonymous. I learned some interesting things there. I also try to do a lot of exercising and that sort of thing, I actually found myself, it didn’t have a name yet, but I had an eating disorder. The disorder they call orthorexia which is like bulimia but instead of throwing up you exercise all the time. So, when I was about 14 or 15 somewhere in there, I didn’t have a driver’s license yet. I would finish school and hop on my bike and ride 10 miles to a 2-hour dance class and then ride my bike 10 miles home. I would ride the same after going to a class where we rode bikes and that sort of thing and hiked. Then there were times I would get home from school and I would finish off all of the breakfast leftovers, then my siblings would get home, they made themselves an after-school snack and I would think that looked good and I’d have whatever they were having. Then mom would make dinner and I would have dinner. So, I was either eating or I was exercising most of the time that I was awake. I was in the throes of that before Overeaters Anonymous and didn’t know what to call it or that it had any other name. I would introduce myself, it’s kind of like AA where you only give your first name and what you were struggling with, So I would say “hi and Evelyn I’m a compulsive overeater and bulimic.”  I wasn’t bulimic cuz I didn’t throw up but I knew it was disordered eating, because of all the exercise.  Also, there’s a long history of diabetes, gallbladder disease and all that other good stuff in my family. I really didn’t want to have to deal with any of that. So, I kept learning more and more, I went into the medical profession. I actually was a medical assistant before, now I work in a medical reference lab. Trying to learn through Physiology and biology. So how is this supposed to work, because it shouldn’t be that hard. I’ve never met a three-month-old with an eating disorder. So why is it that we give them to ourselves? Is it the food or is it our brains? What is it? The answer is “yes” it is both.

Ken:

What is the most important thing that you have learned?

Evelyn:

Those extremes are never the answer, whether you decide to become a vegan evangelist or a…. any kind of eating or exercising or whatever, extreme, is going to take a toll on your mental health and your body. I read something once that talked about eating in season. We’re not meant to eat the same things, every day, all day. We’re not meant to eat the same five ingredients all day, every day. I remember hearing when I was in high school that the average American only ate 10 different foods 90% of the time. I started thinking about it, you have wheat, things like bread and pasta. Then you got potatoes, cuz; french fries, tater tots and hash browns. Next is tomatoes because of ketchup and tomatoes on your hamburger.

Ken:

You have to have meat in there.

Evelyn:

Yeah, you got beef and chicken and tuna. So, we are up to six ingredients so far, and at the time it was probably mostly iceberg lettuce. Other than that, you have condiments and that’s only seven things. I’m really grateful that there’s so much more available in the grocery store. Because food is meant to be a pleasure and not a punishment 

Ken:

So, Evelyn what is the second biggest thing that you learned about nutrition?

Evelyn:

The second biggest thing that I’ve learned is probably that; the closer it is to the way God made it, is probably the best way for me. If it has something that someone came up with in chemistry class it might not be so healthy. I grew up on margarine; my parents are teachers and money was tight and my mom managed to feed 7 people on $100 a month at one point in time. Granted this was during the ‘70s but still. She could buy a pound of margarine for $0.25 a pound and real butter was over a buck. So, she would get the margarine. I remember in organic chemistry class they were talking about hydrogenated oils and the instructor asked if anyone had any idea how that applied in real life. I was the only one who knew that hydrogenated vegetable oil is what margarine is. So, I could draw you a picture of how that works chemically but you don’t want to know.  There are things that are kind of hard on us raw, so you want to be careful of certain things. Because they can be inflammatory and that’s another path to go down. But the more natural it is the less likely you are to have issues with it and the more likely your body is to recognize it as food.

Ken:

Yeah, cuz that’s a big thing in our diet, if our body doesn’t recognize it as food when it breaks down the only thing your body can do is store it right?

Evelyn:

It either sticks it somewhere to deal with later or it goes through and your microbiome has to deal with it as it’s trying to flush it out. That margarine that I was raised on does not agree with me anymore if I eat cookies or something along those lines that were made with margarine instead of butter. Ken doesn’t want to sleep in the same room because my gas so bad.

Ken:

Okay so how does food affect life?

Evelyn:

Well like I said before it should be a pleasure, it should be a celebration. It should be something that is satisfying emotionally, spiritually as well as physically. Food that doesn’t taste good doesn’t do that. Food that doesn’t feel good after I eat it doesn’t do that. But feasting, breaking bread or whatever, is something that is culturally unanimous or ubiquitous. You can’t go anywhere were eating together isn’t significant, no matter what your culture is. It is also a way of connecting with your past, it’s a way of connecting with your family and its way of connecting with your own body. There is so much to be said for being even a little bit mindful while you eat. Stopping to smell what it smells like and does it smell good?

Ken:

That is something I have to work on because I’m still trained by the Marine Corps to eat in five minutes flat. That’s something I still struggle with, changing that behavior that was built into me, what 30 years ago.

Evelyn:

Yes, I know and luckily nobody cares if I’m still sitting at the table by myself.  I found that if I slowed down enough, okay I’ll still emotionally eat sometimes. But if, as I’m opening the chocolate truffle, I stop and smell it first and take a couple of really deep breaths, I try to calm down and get myself a little aromatherapy. Then I take smallish bites, so eat it in two bites instead of one. Then one is usually enough and when one is not enough often it’s cuz I’m actually hungry and I need real food. I might be emotional and want to eat, but that’s not the only thing. I really am hungry. Again, it’s much more satisfying because I’ve slowed down and I’ve enjoyed it.

Ken:

If there were three things that you leave people that could lead people to have an amazing life what 3 ideas would you leave them?

Evelyn:

#1 is to find a way to have a little more grace with yourself. Instead, we have a tendency to condemn ourselves. Oh, I can’t believe I just ate that, or I can’t believe I ate all that. Maybe we say that’s not on my eating list, whatever you’re eating list is. You know, you wouldn’t have beaten up your best friend over it, don’t beat yourself. You got to live with yourself more. It’s really a good idea to be kind. Okay so that was one.

#2 Learn to cook. It can be a little bit hard but at the same time there are recipes out there with 3 to 5 ingredients.

Ken:

Maybe even learn to love to cook because if you do it with love it will be a whole different experience won’t it? 

Evelyn:

It will, changing the attitude or changing what you call something makes a big difference. I guess the last thing is share it with everybody. You know, I said before you may not want to be evangelistic about it, but at the same time sit down with others and share it with them. Make it social, it makes a difference. We’ve got a friend that used to take one or the other of us out to lunch regularly just cuz he didn’t want to eat alone. So, try to do it with somebody, and in the days of covid maybe that means you’re eating over Zoom. I’m not sure if that works as well, but find some way, find someone to share with others either share what you’ve made your share while you eat. Something along those lines.

Ken:

All right great if people wanted to reach out to you, where can they find you?

Evelyn:

I don’t know I’m not very social, I am on Facebook. I even look at that at least once a week. Otherwise, anyone that gets in touch with you, you can forward to me. 

Ken:

I want to acknowledge you because you are the most amazing person. I love you; I enjoy every moment we’re together. There is nobody that I’d rather be with and I love what you bring to food, I mean, we do not eat like average Americans. We don’t even come close. You also will put together dinners for family and friends and I really appreciate that about you. I really appreciate you and love having you as part of my life.

“Next time you’ll hear about How Challenges Power-up Growth   …

I want each of you to know I appreciate each and every one of you. I’m grateful that you are spending your time with me today so we can develop this friendship. You mean a lot to me and I am glad you are here. I know you have overcome some really tough things to get here. Like I said at the beginning there are a few things you can do to help, if this message has been helpful today, please share it with a friend or family member who may need to hear it. Or sponsor it. If you haven’t yet, please subscribe to this blog and leave a rating and review. Also join the Facebook group. Here is the spot to click and set up a time so we can discuss how you can use these tools and others to get your amazing life!

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