How to Have a Healthy Relationship with Food with John Pisani [Episode #579]
I am so excited to have my very special guest, John Pisani, who is my business partner at Solluna and best friend for over 10 years. Listen in as John and I discuss our individual journeys with our relationship with food and why implementing the Four Cornerstones is the anchor to attaining overall health and wellness.
John and I share our relationship journeys with food…
Consciousness and the way we view food…
The Four Cornerstones and your mindset surrounding food…
How to soothe through breath work rather than mindless eating…
Food in relationship to your emotions…
About John Pisani
John Pisani is founding partner, co-owner and COO of Solluna, a lifestyle brand empowering you to live your best life with offerings in each of its 4 Cornerstones: Food, Body, Emotional Well-being, and Spiritual Growth. He also currently produces the top-rated podcast on iTunes entitled Feel Good Podcast with Kimberly Snyder.
He also produced the marketing and publicity release campaigns for the New York Times best-selling books The Beauty Detox Power (2015) The Beauty Detox Foods (2013) and The Beauty Detox Solution (2011) as well as the best sellers Radical Beauty (2016) and Recipes for Your Perfectly Imperfect Life (2019)
With personal access to celebrities and key influencers Pisani exposes brands and projects to Hollywood’s top celebrities, executives, and tastemakers. For years he has been one of Hollywood’s top film publicists and field producers, with over 55 film credits, including the physical production publicity, marketing and field producing on 18 Marvel Studios blockbuster films.
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Note: The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate. This is due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
Kimberly : 00:05 Hey Beauties. Welcome back to our Monday interview podcast. I am so excited for our podcast guest today. He is back by popular demand. John Pisani, my best friend and business partner at Solluna. We have been on this health and wellness journey for a long time together, and it felt fitting to talk about our topic today, which is how to have a really healthy relationship with food. I am so excited to dive into this topic today, and I just want to hint that it’s not what you think it’s going to be about. So a little bit of a page turner there, but we have some real insight on this whole topic. It’s been something … I’ve been talking about food for years, but I feel that now I have an even deeper insight on how to really create that relationship with food that we all want, which is healthy and balanced and just, it’s about nourishment and doesn’t make us feel like we’re out of control, but just feels good. It feels connected to us.
Fan of the Week
Kimberly : 01:16 So we’re going to dive into that topic today, but before we get into it, I want to give a quick shout out to our Fan of the Week. And her name is LizB313. She writes, “Thank you. I wanted to thank Kimberly and her team for putting together such inspiring and insightful episodes. I always enjoy hearing questions from your listeners on the Thursday, Q&A. It makes me feel connected and that I’m not alone in things I’m curious or unsure about. All your special guests offer a wealth of knowledge and I especially appreciate the diversity of their specialties and fields. Thank you for being real in your opinions, personal life and advice. Look forward to more episodes to come.”
Kimberly : 02:03 Well, LizB313. Thank you so much, my love, for taking the time to write this review. It means so much to me. And I really just took your words in, as someone that’s sitting here on the other side of the mic, and sometimes it can feel like I’m talking to myself, it’s really nice to hear these reviews and to really feel our connection. And so it really means a lot to me. So I’m sending a big virtual hug wherever you are, LizB313, and so much gratitude, so much love for you.
Leave a Review on iTunes
Kimberly : 02:42 And Beauties, for your chance to also be shouted out as the fan of the week for me to read your beautiful words, please just take a moment out of your day and leave us a review on iTunes, which is free and easy. And it can be more elaborate like Liz’s here or could literally be one sentence and either way, it’s just such an amazing way to energetically support the show. So I thank you so much in advance and while you’re over there, please be sure to subscribe to our show and that way in the busy flow of life, you don’t forget to listen to our Monday interview shows or our Thursday Q&A podcasts. And you keep that constant flow of motivation and positivity in your life, which is really the intention of our show, to support you on your personal journey, to feeling your best in your daily life.
Kimberly : 03:36 So all that being said, I’m so excited to get into our topic today, which is really about how to have a truly healthy relationship with food. And I’m not talking about, “Oh, I did this diet and I lost a couple of pounds, but then I was miserable the whole time,” but to have a sustainable, good relationship with food. And I wanted to do this topic specifically with John Pisani, who has been so close to me now for well over a decade. And we have been through many ups and downs with our own personal relationships with food. I have talked to John about this topic and many others, but specifically about food. I think, John, you’ve seen me beat myself up. You’ve seen me come into greater balance. So first of all, thank you for coming back on the show and thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule. John is my partner at Solluna. He’s busy running it day in and day out. So thank you, thank you for being back with us today, first of all.
Interview with John Pisani
John : 04:41 No, it’s always great to be back on the podcast. It’s a nice break from the day to day behind the scenes of the company to get the voice out there a little bit. So it’s fun for me. So thank you.
Kimberly : 04:55 So, as I was saying, John, you’ve seen me … Let’s talk about this. You’ve seen me, from the beginning now it’s been 10 years since the Beauty Detox Solution came out. And that book for me was really sharing the principles that really worked for me. I was breaking free of numbers. It’s when I got rid of my scale. It’s when I stopped counting calories, but I will say I certainly didn’t have yet a fully, I would say, completely healthy relationship with food. I still would get stressed if I didn’t have access to certain foods or if I was traveling or something and I had to eat really unhealthy. It still created a lot of stress for me. So there was still, looking back, from where I am now to where I was then, I still had quite a bit of rigidity around food that I can say now being in the position I am now versus then.
Our relationship journeys with food
John : 05:55 Oh yeah. I mean, I think we were both in drastically different places then, including myself. I mean, I think I was eating my way into oblivion, kind of eating my emotions away and eating for protection at the time. I think when we first met and you were on the complete opposite end of the spectrum, I think of having a very, like you described, kind of a very strict kind of relationship with food in that, not a lot of flexibility.
Kimberly : 06:30 Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I felt like, “Okay, I got it figured out. These are the foods that are really good for me and I’m going to be fully plant-based and I’m going to eat a lot of raw food,” and it is true. Those foods are good for us, but that rigidity isn’t always healthy because you start to have to plan and create your life around those foods. And I remember sometimes going out to dinner, I’d get stressed. So I would eat before and then I wouldn’t eat at certain restaurants and it just wasn’t relaxed. It was healthy, but there was a lot of rigidity and there was still a lot of work for me to do. So it’s nice to reflect back sometimes and to see how far we’ve come.
John : 07:24 Oh absolutely. I remember those first times first meeting we had dinner and it was, I can remember you not hardly eating anything.
Kimberly : 07:31 Because I ate first.
John : 07:31 Or if there was one thing wrong, there’s a little oil or spot, the rigidity comes in to where, if there was one little slip up, it can affect the whole meal. And now it’s, you’re so different now to where your mindset is just completely different. And mine at that time was more of like, I was eating a stress eater where I [inaudible 00:08:01] And it was my salvation. It was my one thing for me. I can remember, it was the only thing that kind of would make me feel good about … good in the moment of eating, it would give me pleasure. Like, “Ah,” but then afterwards I couldn’t stand myself.
Kimberly : 08:21 Yeah, exactly. So it’s sort of that indulge and then the guilt and this cycling that I remember experiencing, going back, back, back for me into high school when I was 16, a junior in high school and for about a year and a half, maybe two years, I had bulimia. And I remember that feeling of, “Oh,” and just like, “Oh, indulge, indulge, indulge.” And kind of feeling full from the emptiness I was emotionally and the loneliness and the disconnection, and then the immediate guilt and then the immediate purging out. And of course that was the height of my unhealthy relationship with food, but it didn’t stop there. I stopped the bulimia, but then this, there’s just been so many different iterations and waves. And so, as we reflect back, it’s interesting to see where you said mindset was at the time, where we were with our self-connection, where we were with our consciousness.
Consciousness and mindset around the way we view food
Kimberly : 09:28 And that is really what I want to delve into in this podcast is for me, 10 years later from writing the Beauty Detox Solution, I can honestly say, and you can attest to this, John, that food for me is not a tense subject. I don’t eat that differently from the Beauty Detox Solution. I mean, I eat more raw food in the spring and summer. I eat a lot of cooked food in the winter. One of the bigger differences that I pointed out in my last book, Recipes For Your Perfectly Imperfect Life is after evaluating more data, more information, more studies, I do eat more soy now, organic, non GMO soy than I did 10 years ago, because I think a lot of the myths, a lot of the information that was put out from places like the Weston Price Institute and places that are, have vested interest in animal products was just you shift and you evaluate. So that’s a difference. I don’t have a ton of soy, but I have more than I did 10 years ago.
Kimberly : 10:32 So my actual diet hasn’t changed, but what really has changed for me is consciousness and mindset. And so what I want to get into today, John is, what does that mean? What am I talking about? I’m talking about the four cornerstones, right. And what I’m talking about is I see a lot of people struggling with food. I see a lot of people that we were, me and you, like the same questions coming up of, “Maybe I’m not doing it right. And maybe I should be … Maybe I’m still eating too many carbs or am I food combining completely perfectly?” And for me, it really isn’t about going deeper into food, to heal food. It’s about going wider.
Kimberly : 11:22 So instead of fixating on food, what happened for me that’s created that flexibility that you see, John, now and that like, okay, if it’s not perfect, I’m okay with it is because I focused on the other cornerstones. I focused more on connecting with my body. The cornerstones I’ve worked the most on though are the emotional one and the spiritual one. Spiritually, I have dived so deep into my meditation practice. And that really started when my mom passed away four years ago, there was a real shift in my life. It was a real shift in my practice. And I started really taking it seriously, not just, oh, here and there, but really going in. And then I started really processing feelings and emotions and patterns. And when we start to work with the unseen parts of us, because we have form and then we have the formless. We have the form and then we have the essence of us.
Kimberly : 12:19 And I think when we’re in this mindset of food is the end all be all and I’m not there yet. I need to learn more. I need to be better in my diet, we tend to ignore the formless part of us. And so we don’t spend as much time meditating and journaling and processing and all the things that help so much with food because we’re going deep down one rabbit hole. So I’ll pause there for a moment, John, because I’d love to hear your take on that. What is your experience with, as I like to say now, going wider instead of deeper into just one cornerstone.
The mindset on food and the Four Cornerstones
John : 12:57 So true. Yeah. My thing is, as you were talking was thinking is, I think back then I was just eating for an emotional reason, but I didn’t even know at the time, you don’t know, you only know what you know at the time. And to me, it just seemed like normal. I didn’t think anything of it. I just didn’t even, wasn’t even conscious that there was a reason of why I could just eat a whole bag of corn chips and salsa and pound and just eat in excess. I just thought I was hungry. And that’s what I’m saying. And at that point, as you start to figure it out more and I think as you get into the other cornerstones as you talked about, you start creating a backstop so that when you start to be triggered and the things that would trigger me to eat and the emotional aspect of what was triggering me to, “Oh gosh, I need to eat for comfort.”
John : 13:53 I’m not consciously thinking that; it’s subconsciously happening. But what happens is, as you begin to delve into those and start to expand beyond that, you start to recognize, and then you also are putting up basically a support system for yourself to stop it. It lets you recognize it and say, “Wait, wait, this is nothing about, I’m not really hungry. I’m just feeling really vulnerable. And it’s making me think that I want to go and grab that bag of chips and eat because that’s going to make me feel better.” As opposed to going, “Okay, no, let me just sit with my thoughts and to really come at it from a different way of emotional wellbeing and spirituality and to really say, what’s really bothering me, what is this? What am I being triggered and what’s this about?” And when you do that, then suddenly you have a whole different reaction and hence a whole different relationship with food.
Kimberly : 14:46 Yeah. I think having real, tangible tools and practices for me was the shift, right? Because like you said, we don’t really know what we don’t know. So at the time I remember it would be like, “Okay, once in a while, I might let myself have this treat meal.” I don’t like, I don’t like the word cheat meal. I think that’s kind of a negative word, but treat meal, I like to say. So I would have my French fries and I remember sometimes we go to some of those restaurants in New York and I would have like a big veggie burger with a gluteny bun and French fries. And I would like, “I love this meal,” whereas now, if I feel like eating those foods, I’m like, “Okay, I’ll just eat them.” It doesn’t feel like I have to save up and make it this big thing. It just sort of flows along because I don’t have as much attachment to food.
Kimberly : 15:40 And one of the practices that’s really connected me. And we talk about this so much, and the reason I talk about it is because to me, it is the most powerful practice. It is the most powerful way that we as humans can use our time on earth is meditation and meditation in a really aligned, thoughtful technique following a lineage or someone inspired by a lineage. You and I are both, we are both devotees of [inaudible 00:16:14] he’s our guru. So we are, we practice Kriya yoga. And when I teach our meditations at Solluna, it’s all inspired by that practice. So for me, I started really dialing in my meditation. And when I started meditating, I think now 12 years ago, kind of went up and down and sometimes I feel good and I always believed in the benefits of meditation and I would never have correlated meditation back then with my food relationship.
Kimberly : 16:45 So it just started happening. And again, a big turning point for me was my, when my mom passed and I felt like my world was turned upside down, it felt like, “Oh my God, anything can happen at any time.” It felt very destabilizing because she wasn’t sick for a long time and there were no warning signs. So then I started going in and what I felt was I just started to actually know myself for the first real time. And I started to understand that I had patterns and I had wounds and I started using these words like triggers and wounds because before, like you said, I just thought, “Oh, this is how it is. And this is how everybody … This is what happens. You have to achieve things,” and all this stuff, like I realized, oh, I had these belief systems about having to earn love and it was extreme perfectionism and all this stuff that started to actually be revealed when I would meditate because we’re diving into this deeper, deeper place. We’re diving to different parts of us, the subconscious.
Kimberly : 17:51 And so it was that practice that started to allow me to dissect and to understand and to see myself. And once I could see myself, it’s like how Carl Jung talks about bringing the shadow into the light. I realized, like you, John, realized, “Oh, I don’t have to just eat a bunch of pretzels or something to feel better. I can actually breathe through this one. I can see the pattern here. I can let it go. I can soothe myself and I can do that without anything external. And that includes food.”
How to sooth through breath work rather than mindless eating
John : 18:37 That’s so true. I know it’s interesting. You’re talking, what came up, I remembered in the midst of pandemic last summer, I was super isolated. I was by myself in Florida, didn’t really see a soul. And what was interesting is I spent a lot of time, not because I planned it this way, but just because I was very, it made me, I was scared. I mean, I was very like, “Oh gosh, this is like … I don’t want to be out and about.” And I just kind of isolated myself. And at first I kind of lost my mind. But then as I started working more into meditation, spending time with myself and really getting into everyday practice, which I think for the first time in my life, I really adhere to it. I was doing yoga. I was meditating every day.
John : 19:26 And the interesting thing that I found was all of a sudden, I started looking at myself and I was losing weight. And I was like, “This is interesting.” And because I wasn’t doing crazy … I was starting to do yoga, but I wasn’t running five miles a day, but what was happening is as I was delving off and peeling off these layers and working on myself of opening myself up, I wasn’t feeling … subconsciously I didn’t need all these layers of protection. And I also found myself, I wasn’t hungry. I wasn’t as hungry. I was only eating what my body needed to get through the day.
John : 20:03 And so naturally I was really connected into what my body needed really for the sole purpose of food, to fuel the body for what it really needed and not for anything else, not for emotional comfort, not for anything other than what my body needed. And it was a really interesting thing to be conscious of that and to really be connected into that. And it was a very different … it is the first time I ever experienced that with food, of really feeling like listening to your body, to what it needed. And if there was a day where it needed, hey, I needed to eat a lot. I ate a lot. If I didn’t feel like I needed to eat, I didn’t eat.
Kimberly : 20:45 Yes, yes. I experience that now. I feel really connected to my body. Whereas before I wasn’t. Looking back, I wasn’t that connected. I was still what I thought was connection, but it was more … It was still pretty mental, but now I really do feel connected. And so there are days where I feel like I need extra grounding. My constitution has a lot of Vata energy, which is that air and that wind and that creativity, but it can spiral into anxiety. It can spiral into insomnia and constipation and all these out of balance disorders. So I know when I need grounding and when I need grounding, I will eat a bunch of sourdough bread or a bunch of rice and beans. I’ve been eating a bunch lately or yeah, just heavier foods. And I feel it and I never question it and I certainly don’t feel guilty about it because I just say, “Oh, well, that’s what my body needs.”
Kimberly : 21:46 But what has gone away is A, the guilt, because I’m just kind of going with the flow, B, the rigidity that we talked about before, because I just don’t take it so seriously. And I also know that the body rebalances, so if you go off a meal or here, like who gives an F because it’s okay, ultimately, and I just feel like, back to what you were saying, it’s more about the nourishment and I don’t rely on food for that pick me up. And if you’re listening to this and you’re like, “Oh my God, I’m so far away from that. I rely on food so much.” I’m saying that as someone who did feel so attached to food over my life and so controlled by it. So I say this to be like, oh my gosh, if I can get here, you can get here.
Food in relationship to your emotions
Kimberly : 22:38 John is there, I’m here. We’re still working on ourselves, of course, but our relationship is so much, it is healthy. I can honestly say now it is a healthy relationship because it doesn’t have all those constraints. And for me, the meditation component was huge. Well, let’s talk about the emotional part. When my mom passed, I think that first year, and I’m not exaggerating, you came to the hospital with me, John, you saw, I was reading her parts of this book. There’s one book really, really had a huge impact on my life. I talk about it all the time now it’s called Letting Go by Dr. David Hawkins. That was the beginning of me … So what I was going to say is the first year I read it 19 times and I’m not exaggerating. I clung to that book.
Kimberly : 23:22 It was a source of … a whole chapter on grief. And it was a huge, huge source of healing for me. And he was talking about letting go of these emotions inside of you and the pent up feelings that don’t get digested. And it was the first time I really heard that concept. And here’s someone, I’ve been on food digestion for the past decade. And I believe in it and listen, I never ever skip taking our SBO probiotics. I take our digestive enzymes before lunch and dinner. I take Detoxy every night or every other night. So I believe in that, I believe in food digestion, but I started understanding that going wider into these cornerstones, I hadn’t digested so much stuff from my childhood, resentment, stuff from relationships, guilt with myself. And I started to let things come up.
Kimberly : 24:23 That was huge because in the past, if things came up, I would call somebody and usually I would call you, John, and be like, “I’m not feeling good about this.” I would distract. I would eat something. But the turning point for me was letting things come up and actually letting myself feel things. Woo, that was a big one. And then I started to let them go and I started to get lighter and lighter, and that was directly correlated with being less attached to food. So now I can say, “Oh my God, that was so stunningly obvious that so much of my food attachments were based in my emotional indigestion,” so to speak. But back then, I didn’t have a clue how closely they were correlated, but it’s amazing to look back and to see that connection.
John : 25:17 Oh, absolutely. A lot of things you just don’t realize in the moment. I mean, I think back then it was a difference of your meals and preparing what you were going to eat kind of controlled your life.
Kimberly : 25:31 Yes.
John : 25:32 Because you felt like if you could control your food, you could control everything else in your life. Or there was some kind of connection with controlling, or something you could control. You could control what you’re putting in your body, right?
Kimberly : 25:47 Well, so what it was was I think that I displaced … Before food, I was an obsessive runner and I never loved running, if I’m honest. I did high school track. And then I ran marathons in college and I did it honestly, to stay thin. So I didn’t have my food dialed in. And in college it was just a mess all around. I would go fluctuate. I would eat late night pizza. I was eating a bunch of dairy, but I was like, “Okay, if I run this many miles, I can stay skinny.” And I didn’t like running, so I wanted to get rid of the running. But then I was like, oh, I kind of transferred that control that you’re talking about into healthy food.
Kimberly : 26:31 So it’s easier to mask healthy food, right. Because it’s not an eating disorder. I wasn’t throwing up anymore. And no one could say, “Oh, look at how much pizza, you’re still eating.” I was eating like kale salad and healthy stuff. So it’s hidden, it’s a tricky control mechanism. It’s orthorexia, you become obsessed with like eating healthy, but you’re right. It was so regimented. And it was like, “This is how I’m going to stay skinny. And if I can stay skinny, then I’ll feel good about myself. And if I feel good about myself, then I’ll be happy or then I’ll get the life I want” or whatever, you know how we rationalize it in our mind and yeah. Interesting you used that word control because I didn’t think about it that way, but rigidity is always about control. And as we know now control is futile. Control is the opposite of flow and being dynamic and open, which is really where our energy starts to thrive, not in being regimented.
Kimberly : 27:35 And whether it’s back in calorie counting days, and I would add everything up and feel like I had to bring the calculator to dinner almost to like, okay, I’m healthy. I’m not counting any numbers anymore, but it had to be a certain way to now, which is really back to nourishment and sure, I enjoy food, but I also I don’t live for those traits. I’m not obsessed with everything tasting a certain way or all these like treat foods. I’m just not as attached to food. It’s just so amazing. It’s an experience that I would love everybody to have, just everything that we’ve ever talked about, what I’ve ever written about is, you know John is what I’m passionate about.
Kimberly : 28:32 And I’m so passionate about talking about this now, as someone that’s really been on this journey. Some of you have been with me since the Beauty Detox Solution. Some of you, maybe this may be your first podcast or listening to, but I can say for the past decade, the path to freedom and really having an amazing relationship with food is to focus on your wholeness and to focus on these other cornerstones, which then really do balance the food relationship. It seems ironic at first, but believe me, it really, really works.
John : 29:10 Yeah. I mean at first glance you don’t think they’re connected. You don’t think that they really are synergistic. I mean, I know I didn’t for a long time and when people would say that, I was like, “Ah, what are you talking about?” It just didn’t make sense to me, but then as you kind of delve into it and start to really get a spiritual practice and really go into emotional wellbeing, working on yourself, it allows you to let go. And the part of it, like I said, the controlling part of where food can become a very controlling thing to people’s day. If you think about it, it’s the one thing that is constant everyday in our life, we have to eat. You have to eat.
Kimberly : 29:54 Yes. Unless we’re fasting.
John : 29:56 Unless you’re fasting, it’s something you do. Majority of every single person does multiple times a day. And so it is a big part of our lives. And then when you equate the part of not only just eating, like dinner and eating with families or whatever, your loved ones who are eating, meals are a big part of our lives. We go out to dinner with people as a social thing where that component in our lives is very big. I just feel the difference is as you really start to work on those and really carve those out, you become more present in your day to where you let the flow of life really dictate those things and not to be where you have to have everything planned out, “Oh my gosh, I’m suddenly at a place and I don’t know what to eat.”
Kimberly : 30:49 You don’t care so much, it’s not so important.
John : 30:54 Exactly. And you know your constitution of the way you eat, I’m not going to suddenly going to start eating hamburgers, but where I don’t sit there and go, “Oh my gosh, I missed, I didn’t have my most ideal day of eating.” I’m not going to get into the mental space of going, dissecting that and, “Where did I go wrong? And what am I doing wrong?” And that kind of stuff just, “Okay, today is what it was. And tomorrow it will be a new day.” And I think when you get to that space, it just really, it not only you think about food differently, but you appreciate food in a different way. It’s one of the interesting things that I’ve never experienced was conscious eating. You really are more aware of what you’re eating and you have, I’ll just say, more appreciation for really food.
Kimberly : 31:45 Well, when we talk about feeling good, our feel good movement, our products, our feel good, our feel good podcast, feeling good is not about being giddy all the time or trying to be happy or forced, you’ll fake happiness, feeling good is about connection and union, right? So yoga is really about union and meditation is about self-connection, connection with the true self. As Yogananda calls it, connection with the divine, the spirit inside of you, connection with your body connection, with who you really are, our essence, which is not the surface. And when we feel really connected, there is no greater feeling than that because we flow, like you said, and we just is suffering is separation. Suffering is disconnection, suffering is anxiety, but one more connected, it’s not about being perfect. It’s not about eating perfectly, but it feels grounded. And it’s when we’re connected, I think, the joy and the peace and that just that softness that not so rigid, but just so relaxed and so loving that comes from connection.
Kimberly : 33:01 And I think that we get this message, when I used to read these different magazines and I would look in the media more, I mean, I just, I don’t … I tune out a lot of stuff, but I know what’s going on to an extent. But I used to be more in it, reading a lot of articles in popular magazines and things. And I would be fed this idea that, “Oh, stress eating is something that’s very commonly talked about,” but it was more like, “Okay, if you’re going to stress, eat and believe me,” I actually said this too. I remember in some articles, “keep the crunchy veggies around instead of the chips,” right?
Kimberly : 33:38 Well, holidays are here. So there’s a lot of holiday articles, holiday stress. So make sure you eat the chips and the salsa, or sorry, the veggies and the salsa or the veggies and the hummus. But now I say, “Okay, these events in and of themselves are not stressful. It’s our perception of them that creates the stress,” right? It’s raining period. That’s the fact. It’s stressful that it’s raining is our own perception. So instead of saying, “Oh, when you’re stressed eat veggies,” I would invite you to say, “Why has the stress been building up? And then what areas of your life and in what ways are we allowing reactivity to come in?” Because we’re not, we’re letting, let’s say, an emotion of fear built up so much that stress starts to build up or resentment or anger or jealousy or whatever all these other adverse emotions are.
Kimberly : 34:32 Instead of saying the Band-Aid effect of, “Keep the crunchy apple around so you don’t indulge in the chips,” from where I am now. I mean, that worked for me 10 years ago, but where I am now is I keep going, going, going where I’ve created this healthy relationship with food. I really want a healthy relationship, healthy relationships across the board with myself, with food, with others, with everybody, with everything. So it’s not the Band-Aid effect, it’s saying, “How do I deal with that stress so I’m not stress eating in the first place?” See the difference? It’s amazing how it’s like an onion that keeps going deeper into deeper into layers. And some of the stuff that I was talking about recommending, then I could see, it keeps going deeper and deeper.
John : 35:21 Well, totally. I mean, stress eating. I was the worst stress eater. I was a horrible stress eater. And then as I worked more on meditation, emotional wellbeing, peeling back the layers of myself to realize, what is the root of this? What is the root of the stress eating? Where is this coming from? Is it coming from a feeling of lack, or not loving myself or not feeling that I’m enough or whatever that is. And when you start to delve into those, you don’t find yourself stress eating as much because you’re realizing that, you’re not eating because of stress. You’re eating because there’s something deeper than the stress. And the stress is the trigger. The stress is what triggers that emotion in you that then your comfort is eating.
Kimberly : 36:15 Yeah, I would say to me, stress is like build up. It’s like if you don’t take out your garbage can, it starts to overflow. So where the meditation comes in is because with self-connection, with something so much deeper than the surface, you become less reactive in your daily life. Not all the time, it still flares up, but more and more and more. And so you’re more stable, right? So things come and you process them and you let them go faster and you don’t have that buildup, buildup, buildup that spills over into reactivity, spills over into stress. So to me, it’s like the primary purpose of meditation is connection, but then the byproducts are less reactivity, calmness, all of that. But first it all comes from that deep, deep connection.
John : 37:14 Yeah, that’s so true. And I think stress also comes from not recognizing that you’re feeling stress, of not saying, “Hey, what’s going on? I’m acknowledging that I’m feeling this anxiousness right now.” And when you start acknowledging your feelings, you’ll find, it really takes the air out of the balloon, because you’re letting your body and your mind connect. And I think what happens is so many times we’re disconnected from our minds and our bodies that the stress could be coming from your mind, or it could be coming more from your body.
Kimberly : 37:48 But see that it goes back to connection. It goes back to connecting the dots like I’m stressed or this happened, or it is all essentially to me, the root is connection. And I didn’t get that for a really long time, by the way.
John : 38:02 No, absolutely. Because I think one of the hardest things I ever had to do is, is connecting the mind with the body, of having that connection to where that little person in your mind feels safe. And that little person in your body feels safe and that the person in your body feels like their mind has got your body’s back and vice versa. Because sometimes, everyone’s different. Some people their mind more controls themselves, other people more it’s in their body controls their mind more where if they’re … So when you start, and these obviously are all coming from working on your emotional wellbeing and then that spirituality comes and helps to balance that through meditation where you’re sitting with yourself, because when you’re meditating, essentially what you’re doing is, we spend so much time with everyone else in our lives between being on the phone and social and interacting that we never spent a lot of time quietly just with ourselves and letting yourself sit with yourself. And that’s a powerful thing in itself, I think.
Kimberly : 39:08 So, as I was saying, this is … I’m a passionate person. And I really believe that my purpose here and my life’s calling is to help support others back to feeling that connection, back to feeling their best. And for me, that started with really teaching people about food. And now it’s really … Food is one of our cornerstones and I will always support us all in food, but it’s really providing resources for these other tools that we talk about. We’re talking about here, emotional processing, we’re talking about meditation and anyone listening that’s like, “Oh, that sounds great. But like, how do I really do that?” And so one thing I just want to remind you guys, is that we have so many free meditations in our Solluna app and on our website. And I’m actually, I recorded two meditations in May and we’re going to start putting out two meditations that are seasonal and connected to what’s going on every month on the website that are free, that are there for you.
Kimberly : 40:13 And I just want to bring up, this was from this place in my heart. This is why I created the Solluna circle. Because from an emotional standpoint, when we are around like-minded people, our experiences can reflect back to us. Our experiences can help each other. We’re like mirrors to each other, and we had our May Solluna circle a couple of weeks ago. It’s always the second Tuesday of the month. Part of the program is you get a live Zoom with me. And one of the beauties said, “I would never talk about this stuff with my friends.” And that is one of the amazing parts of being in a like-minded community, where we’re all focused on self-growth, is sometimes it doesn’t come from your friends and family that may perceive you in a certain way. Maybe there’s fear about showing parts of yourself to them or whatever it is.
Kimberly : 41:12 Sometimes the circle is meant to be holding space for everybody’s growth and supporting each person. And, John, I started doing these circles in my house. Remember it just started happening after my mom passed away, it happened very organically. And I started to really see it. I started to get so much benefit. So I’m really passionate about that because I think you and I have always had each other, we’ve talked about things and it goes deeper and deeper, but not everybody has that person that they can go to. And even though we have each other, there’s other experiences. And for me really aligning with other women has been really powerful because the circle is, not that we exclude men, but it happens to be all women on there. But just the shared experience in the community has been the foundation of my emotional healing, really, and that’s my passion project. I really believe I can offer so much in that space. And that’s where it sprang from honestly, right from my heart.
John : 42:29 Yeah. I mean, listen, I’ve been to some of the circles and online, they’re fantastic. I think what it does is again, it’s a safe space. I think if you’re coming to those circles, everyone that comes to these is coming with an open heart and are coming to be there. It’s not casual. They’re not just people that didn’t stumble upon it, they’re coming for, they want to be there. And so you’re creating a space to where, when people start sharing, it’s so powerful because you’re able to share. And when you share with people and then people speak, you start to, it’s a connection again, back to connection, because what’s happening is the people in this circle, it’s a circle. It’s a circle is always connected, right? It’s a big circle, goes around around. Everyone’s connected within the circle.
Kimberly : 43:21 Yes. And everybody is equal and everybody’s supportive.
John : 43:26 Exactly. And that energy is flowing through the circle. And so it’s flowing through everybody that’s in that circle. And what you find is that as you go around and people start sharing, it’s just, it’s a life-changing experience because you’re feeling like, “Wow, I’m not the only one may that feel this way,” or like, “Wow, this is so powerful. The intimacy that you feel within this circle, because you’re all sharing these beautiful, unique things about yourself or anything. And that in itself is such a growing, amazing thing, a gift that you can do for yourself that really transcends so much within your own evolution as a person.
Kimberly : 44:13 There’s so much power in being witnessed, really just witnessed, not having advice given to you, but being seen and being witnessed. And there’s a real power in that. And there’s a great healing. And in the circle, there’s the opportunity, and you sit back and you can be more quiet or you can … it’s not, there’s no pressure to talk a lot or anything, but everybody does have the opportunity to speak and for us to witness and to honor you. The emotional healing, this aspect of these parts of us, that we push down or feel in the shadows or whatever it is, the light that comes from that has the ability to blast through so much unhealthy, unbalanced tendencies, including with food. And so, I just, I believe so much in these cornerstones, I believe so much in all these other offerings and it is the reason that I talk about this so much.
Kimberly : 45:17 My first two books, as you know, John, were very food focused, but from the Beauty Detox Power on there really has been this conversation. And it always felt really good to me, I must admit was Leslie is a member of our circle, and she was a yoga student with me from New York. So she has been with me for at least 12 years. And in the circle the other day, she said, “You were talking about this stuff back then in your yoga class.” I would give a talk at the beginning of class or whatever. And she said, “People were stopping you in the hallway. You had these hour long conversations with people.” And it was true. And I said, “Oh my gosh, I have been talking about this stuff,” but then along the way, and I felt that immediate need in the world and in myself to put forth a lot of food information, but now I see the need to put forth more of a holistic lifestyle to have that conversation and to get people away from fixating on food. And I don’t fixate on food.
Kimberly : 46:18 I really go wide and I go deep into the spiritual now. So none of this is preplanned by me or us. It’s going with the flow and what’s organic. And really, I just feel what is needed in the world. And this is what I feel is needed, this conversation and this idea of the healing that the way to get that healthy relationship with food is not to try a different diet. It is not to go deeper into knowing more food facts or controlling your recipes more, whatever it is, it is nurturing your emotional side and your spiritual side, and being connected to your body and its needs and not about food, really. So it’s kind of ironic, but not really when you think about the fact that we are whole beings and our wholeness is our power. And so if we just focus on food, we fragment ourselves and we ignore these parts of ourselves, which are actually calling out for help and support. And so, yeah, so that’s the gist, John, thank you much.
John : 47:33 Yeah, I mean, it’s interesting because you think about that is you probably started in the spiritual space.
Kimberly : 47:35 Yes, I did.
John : 47:38 And now you’ve done a full circle. You think about it as a clock, you’ve come all the way around and those different, maybe 3:00 was the food and like 6:00 was starting to get into emotional and you’ve gone fully around the circle and you know that, and that’s the kind of, and it’s probably not ironic that it’s called a Solluna circle.
Kimberly : 48:00 Oh my gosh, John, thank you so much because, I reflect back and I said the reason I became plant-based wasn’t for health reasons, it was because I went to India when I was backpacking. And I learned about yoga. I learned about Yogananda and you know, it is taught by the yogis to be plant-based to support your meditation practice. So I started spiritual. I started in New York as a yoga instructor and I would do meditation. And when I was working with clients, I would do yoga and meditation with them and yes, make their food. And then I went down to this food cornerstone, but you’re right. It’s always been there. And so I’m coming back and expanding and thank you for pointing that out. And thank you for being on this podcast. You and I could talk forever. We will have you back on soon because we’re so connected and there’s so many topics, conversations that I want to share, but first of all, thank you so much. And thank you for being such a big support to me and the community over the years. The community may not see you all the time, but John is running the show. He’s running the backend and all these parts of the business. So you are supporting everyone and you’re supporting me, my energy. Thank you.
John : 49:26 Well, no, you’re welcome. And it’s a team. And I think, I remember when we first started this, I mean, what 2007? One of the main initiatives was to spread joy and help people throughout the world. And now it’s come back full circle to that. So, that’s really what brings I think us … I know it brings you joy and brings myself motivating, putting in the hours is that, of giving service to everyone and being a beacon of that for people. And then at the same time working on ourselves at the same time. So it’s synergistic.
Kimberly : 50:02 Mm-hmm (affirmative). Well, Beauties, thank you so much for tuning in and thank you for being part of our community. We are immensely grateful for you. And we are so grateful for our connection. Remember on our website, mysolluna.com, we’re going to have these show notes and there’s also a place there to leave questions for our Q&A podcast on Thursdays and lots of other resources there for you, like the meditations I mentioned and food recipes and all resources in the cornerstones. I will be back here Thursday for our next Q&A podcast, speaking of which, so until then take great care, sending you so much love and see you back here soon.