213: Mindful Eating & Health | Nicole Christina | Syracuse, NY


​Nicole Christina is a psychotherapist with more than 25 years of clinical experience. She specializes in Positive Aging, eating and food related issues, burnout, and stress reduction. Her comfortable office is located close to the Syracuse University campus.

​She also authors the newsletter BreatheTasteSavor as well as contributes to other popular publications, and has been on the following podcasts: Love, Food; Strong Body,Whole Heart; Planet Boomerville; and Experience 50.

Mindful eating and positive aging. There’s a kriss cross.

I thought I must have met you in the Business Wellness Podcast Facebook Group.

Her name is Mary  is Experience 50

I just turned 50 like last month. I found the Business Wellness Podcast Group, I thought I found another Podcasting group this summer that have both been huge for me. I thought it must have been one of those. I also, talked with Mark Ritz from Ritzfit who has some experts. Oh my gosh you have to check out this Wellness Business Podcast Hub. I didn’t really think of myself as health and wellness. I did put myself in the fitness category. Originally garden podcasts were in games and hobbies. 

Business Wellness people do they have more specific name?

They changed their name. Take your health practice online is their group. But these two women their episodes are so value packed. People who have a yoga business, or coaching personal health and wellness business. They teach you about building your email list or creating your website or creating courses.

OK one of them has a group called Email List Building for Coaches with Kathleen Pattlock   and the other is the Health Coach Peer Support Group with Kathleen LeGrys


Their podcast is the Business Wellness Podcast

IDK, I still haven’t figured out what to say to my list if you sign up for my email list. They tell you what your first 6 emails should be. I’m sure somewhere on Podcaster’s Paradise’s website it tells you or on Kate’s Take but IDK there’s so much and these ladies make it super easy and applicable.

tell her you and I talked

we had a a really, after we recorded the podcast we talked for half an hour….

exactly what we’re talking about

my husband is the organic gardener

garden for flowers

he is hard core

grass clippings, hay

we try all kinds of interesting stuff. We actually live in the city of Syracuse but we are overrun with deer.

He has a piece of property up in the hinterlands…the way I come to this

what are you eating, why are you eating it

Eating Disorders

I really come at it, it’s a slightly different take because my specialty is actually in eating disorders. People can get a little financial about it has to be clean, and it has to be kale. I’m all about kale but my take is it has to be balanced and there has to be pleasure associated with it! 

If you don’t like greek yogurt don’t eat it, there’s plenty of really great things to eat. 

A roasted tomato from the garden is sublime and that’s why your eating it not because you’re saying this is giving me flavonoids and my immune system. I think people also take the joy out process. That’s where I come from.

Flathead Cherries

I love that. Food is like that. I was giving out these Flathead cherries that someone gave me to my students the other day and they were like can we have more. If there’s 3 you can have 3 each, but if there’s only 2 each you only get 2.

There were 2 each and like 6 left and they were like can I have another and I was like no, I’m gonna eat those I need some anti-oxidents too! Then I was trying to explain what those were. I actually have to force myself to eat fruit! Because to me fruit is so messy! It’s always dripping down my chin and making my hands sticky!

Dr. Phil has the book about Mindful Eating right? When I first started listening to podcasts I listened to Michael Hyat’s podcast This is Your life which was all aobut intentional Life.

You have a newsletter called Breathe Taste Savor? 

Mindfulness in life

almost as a survival tools

you may know this from your experience

most anxious adults to walk the earth

If people watch tv there are a lot of advertisements for

if your antidepressant this boosts your anti-depressant

People are not doing well in general there’s a lot of fear and uncertainty. We can get into a whole conversation about a lack of community. IDK if you’ve noticed this in your own life, but I’ve just noticed there’s a lack of basic good manners just in my life time I’m 55. 

I talk about these experiences I have. I love playing tennis and there are some courts not far from my house and that’s where I meet a lot of other middle aged women. Just the language people are using, not the college kids, the language, people seem to be on the verge of snapping at any moment. 

I talk about how you can have a peaceful happy existence a lot of that comes from 


gratitude practice

Not because it’s trendy but the science behind it is very convincing because it changes your brain.

mindfulness gratitude practice

Saying grace at the table is actually coming back into fashion. It doesn’t have to be religious and you can say “Look at the colors on this plate!”

A lot of stuff on the grill basket from the garden

you can see the whole universe just looking at an apple. Carl Sagan Says. 

That’s the kind of the way I think about eating, just slowing down

These things are really interwind.

Golf Courses

I am so blessed because of my podcast. I call my audience green future growers. One of my listeners in the Facebook group, she’s gonna connect me with a golf course I think it’s in Australia, and it’s owned by the Audubon Society. I’m so excited to talk to this person. Because Jon Moore was talking about golf courses.

Glacier National Park

I live in Montana on the west side of the mountains and I teach on the east side and I actually drive under and through Glacier National Park, and Idk what’s going on, I have seen so many accidents, IDK if it’s cause of the smoke, September 2 and Texas is flooded. There’s like 40 new lightning strikes this summer, and 14 new fires. There’s been a fire in the backyard for over a month. IDK if people are watching the smoke or coming to see the Park cause the Glaciers are melting.

So Kate Erickson who just went to Guatamala to support Pencils of Promise. Gratitude is the first seed of abundance.

certainly an educator and all


Rich Emmons

UC Davis


papa of gratitude research

books are assessible

I’m teaching 4th grade this year. I taught 2nd grade last year.

He has these practices based in science. What I tell people is, to do a sort of vague thank you for my family roof over my head and meal get’s boring. 

What packs much more of a punch is things are

  • quirky
  • fun
  • personal
  • little bit weird

thxthxthx: Thank Goodness for Everything by Leah Dieterich

I just fell upon this, it’s written by Leah Dieterick she wrote a book called

thxthxthx: Thank Goodness for Everything

Here’s an example, she had sticky notes on her desk.

she would write these quirky things

culmination of all these little post-its. Let me give you an example.

  • dear pancakes
  • thank you for being such an efficient maple syrup carrier, you’re also a great canvas to write with copious amounts of butter
  • bravo
  • love leah

dear curse words

thank you for being so fun to say few words as good coming out of my mouth.

She just has these little

  • personally
  • quirky
  • lovely
  • little things

to say

that are

lead us to think

what would I say?

My things

  • thank you to my dogs for rolling in some kind of carcass
  • that we can get home without a bath

They really rewire your brain because your brain is titled towards the negative for survival. We’re being brainwashed anyway so we might as well be in charge of our own brainwashing. 

So the cherries are delicious!

Feel how they squirt in your mouth!

That’s another aspect of mindfulness is being aware in the present moment!

Sometimes I look at theses tomatoes are hanging on my plants I can’t believe how they all came from these tiny tiny plants.

I love that. Mike grew these little black cherry tomatoes that are just packed with flavor.

We can’t reproduce this! Sometimes I’ll teach this, sometimes I’ll do classes at Syracuse

We think we’re really great because we have the latest iPhones

Try to see if you can make a cherry tomato

it’s a realm that humans can’t do

appreciated in an

I don’t know the first thing about how I would make a fern that grows!

spiritual aspects but there doesn’t have to be. But taking the time to notice what’s going on there.

My husband’s an environmentalist so we come at it from a different angle. He’s thinking about the bacterium and photosynthesis, and I’m like look at it’s shape and pattern.

It’s about enjoying all the nature and being present in the moment.

It’s a funny thing. Boy life goes so fast, partly because we’re not in it. We’re projecting out

  • what am I gonna do next week
  • what’s on my list of errands
  • I want to finish painting the kitchen
  • we’re not here

When you’re here in the moment something the mindfulness people say.  It is one way to add time and quality to your life

total control

  • takes practice because our brains love the shiny stuff
  • We are not designed to be still and aware
  • We are designed to be sure we are not getting eaten

Old software system

not evolved to the same extent that our society has

There was a study of students in libraries, studying, and when a stranger walked behind them with no threat at all. Students blood pressure rises they don’t know if they were safe. You don’t want to have your back to something that could eat you.

Did we ever talk about your courses?

We haven’t talked about them

they might be in your wheelhouse

as a practicing human being

I’m against dieting

  • Dieting  doesn’t work
  • ultimately people gain weight
  • our obesity epidemic is complicated
  • dieting doesn’t help
  • it slows down our metabolism our bodies freak out
  • when you start eating again the weight comes back on
  • that has been established in tons and tons of research

I subscribe to something to something called HATES

Health AT Every Size

  • exercise
  • meditate
  • get outside
  • eat good stuff

then your body does what it does

I just want to put that disclaimer out that most people in my field and body. People have been doing this for a while, do not promote dieting it is a total dead end. That being said, I have a course on mindful eating. 

  • basics of mindful eating
  • tuning into your appetitie
  • very sophisticated barometer
  • people who have been dieting for year sometimes don’t know when their hungry

everything’s whacked out, if you’ve been denying yourself of food people don’t know if your hungry or not. 

Start with a hunger scale to learn when their hungry



what does it feel like when your hungry?

  • if 5 is neutral
  • 10 is Thanksgiving full

where am I now?

What do I need

Do you deal with cravings at all?

Sure, that’s what I do with a lot the whole emotional aspect of eating.

mindful eating

wonderful tool


  • comes fast
  • specific food
  • usually something highly processed

Most people don’t walk around saying I’m dying for a cucumber.  I’m dying for a cucumber. They might say I’d like a fresh salad?

If you do some breathing and get to the other side, you can get past that and say what is it what I really need. 

emotional eating

course on line for teaching mindful eating

bring the students to the dining hall at the end of the course. 

We do some breathing. We look at the offerings. 

We do not have your phone on, if you eat in front of  screen you’re gonna eat 40% more on average. 

Just think if you don’t do that could you lose that fast?

when was the last time and sat quietly and just ate and tasted your food. You were in the moment with your meal. Not saying after we’re gonna do this.

It’s so challenging which is why I made the course

people really like it

it’s a skill that challenges the best of us

It’s like brushing your teeth with your left hand, what I can’t look at Facebook while I’m eating?

Sometimes I pick my son up and we have to eat in the car and maybe the radio’s on, texts going off,  the radios on and at one point I thought I had dropped it, thought it was gone. 

Without much awareness it’s kind of confusing for the whole system. 


if you’re not aware that

you’re brain can’t register or full

you’re not there

lights on

no one’s home

with very little awareness

am I full or am I hungry

these are just things

kind of a geeky girl

I have a lot of books

there’s a kind of a book that is not very well known

It’s fascinating


The Slow Down Diet: Eating for Pleasure, Energy, and Weight Loss

The Slow Down Diet: Eating for Pleasure, Energy, and Weight Loss

by a guy

he calls himself an eating psychologist

Marc David

he talks about research that is just fascinating

people who are eating the exact same food

one stressed and one calm

how it’s metabolized

how it’s used

you can be eating the most beautiful cal


if you are stressed

digestion falls away when you are ramped up, your body cares about survival

stress in

get very dramatic

if you’re eating a kale beautiful thing

might as well just go to McDonalds

in this study they talked about

took the blood panels

ate the exact same lunch

one went to the park

one was given stressful task

analyzed the metabolites

I’ve been doing this work for a long time and I had never heard those kind of effect.

That sounds like a money maker for you cause if you can help people lose weight by just unstressing them.

I have a confession to make, when I eat a lot, I have to force myself to count to 40 when I’m eating or I won’t realize I ate.

I have to put some brakes here

isn’t heatlhy doesn’t feel good to be over full

eating for energy

to feel better before you started. you eat a big ol platter of something and you overeat and getting close to the thanksgiving full

I think I’m gonna walk the dogs, I’m gonna go hit some tennis balls. 


You’re like I’m gonna go sit on the couch and watch Netflix.

It doesn’t make you or happier or more fulfilled

tricks you into


I don’t want to be there where am I on the hunger scale

How can I slow down?

To be clear we’re not all gonna have bodies to look like models. There’s a controversy in the field to we want to use mindfulness to lose weight. 

if you are overeating and eating mindlessly

not about dieting

  • right eating
  • fueling your body

feeling pleasure

I wanna fit into my size 6 jeans, which btw I don’t have!

not about manipulating your body it’s about feeding it and treating it with respect…

I do think a lot of my listeners are millennials and they probably are eating mindfully, I think they might be interested in this thing they want to tell their customers or put in their newsletters about enjoying the flavors of their food their producing.

Adds a whole new dimension to

I’m making

  • using a lot of effort to grow this food
  • it’s hard work
  • sometimes backbreaking work

let their customer’s know

it’s not just that organic kale tends to have more nutrients. The whole process of purchasing it and of caring is mindful.

Im gonna go to the local farmer’s market after we end today. Just the experience of like this person put a lot of care into this mindful eating starts at the purchase. This person put love into this and care and thought is a very different experience from when I go to the supermarket. 

The research grows

grattitude and awareness

putting your heart into this

is health producing

makes us feel better

makes us feel fortunate and positive


Hi George

thatnks for the spinach

want to get a growler for my husband and don’t want to wait in the long line

you touched this food

cared for this food

emotional aspects of eating can be much ore beneficial

putting in your pan and garlic and olive oil

well we have a thing

idk what your listeners

we roast vegetables like crazy

put it over pasta

olive oil



cut up some fresh mozzarella

goats cheese


one pot wonder

depending what you have

that’s a beautiful thing


tang of the goat cheese

can’t go wrong

got your basics

beautiful elephant garlic

got these honking big cloves

love garlic scapes

beet greens

we just like


eggplant we don’t grow

how can you go wrong

put it in a grill basket how can you go wrong

whole picture

what we eat

what we are

litterally what we

our cells are growing on

dont want to get into it has to be 100% clean

black or white

chocolate covered oreos

let me put that out there

I love my local

upstate NY

people think we live like across the street for the Empire State Building

lots of great cheeses

dairy farms

lots of gorgeousness around

these are my farmers

touching my food


positive attitude love of organic gardening

into my food

has an affect

I’m gonna eat this salad while I’m scrolling on Facebook

graying and grateful

my after 50 health and wellness

gonna be do it live here in November

based on research


harveard study of adult development

what keeps you healthy and living longest

simple kind of fun

takes into consideration crossroads that can be new and exciting

navigate the losses

being older

2 so we think about our attitude is important

having a positive attitude about aging is so important that the research finds that it can make the difference of 7 and 1/2 years

does my knee hurt after I play tennis, we’re not gonna be polyanaish


has a tremendous effect on our bodies

our brain and our bodies

people with positive attitudes

live up to 7 1/2 years longer

My office is in our basement, it only has a small window, I’m very sensitive to lack of light

found on pinterest

my husbands making this for me

make a frame

it looks like a window

put a piece of plexiglass

put full spectrum lights

looks like a beautiful window

people put curtains over it

getting the effects of the full spectrum light

tons of cloud cover because of the great lakes

gray for 6 months

curl up in a ball and eat peanut butter

go on my

trying to do it on the DIY thrift

do it for their basements

fun for the

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Now Let’s Get to the Root of Things!



Final question-

if there was one change you would like to see to create a greener world what would it be? For example is there a charity or organization your passionate about or a project you would like to see put into action. What do you feel is the most crucial issue facing our planet in regards to the environment either in your local area or on a national or global scale?

this may not be that impressive

this whole gluten intolerance is really round-up intolerance

grains are soaked in roundup

off label are

people most likely are having an allergic reaction

people completely obliterated

a lot of people you see

2 doors down

one of my neighbors has one of those super big

I have my personal struggle with that

more profound

this is the recommendation

eat pasta from italy

send you my article

It’s embracing aging essentially

I saw this women in the grocery store behind

college uniform

yoga pants

north face fleecy

face of a 60 year old

why are you trying to look like a college kid


don’t fight it

mostly about how we can feel comfortable

we don’t have to pretend we’re someone else

doesn’t come off that well

Do u have an inspiration tip or quote to help motivate our listeners to reach into that dirt and start their own garden?


How do we connect with you?



sign up for my wellness newsletter


tv local spots


articles that I have written

love to write as well

all kinds of stuff there

way to contact me

some of the other podcasts I have been

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