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Summary In this episode, Victoria discusses the shift from diet culture to true body nourishment, especially in midlife. She emphasizes that her guidebook is not a diet plan, but a tool for loving and nourishing the body. Victoria explains why this shift in mindset is crucial and shares five key points to help shift the mindset: honoring hormonal fluctuations, embracing changing nutritional needs, cultivating body awareness, promoting hormonal harmony, and embracing self-care and intuition. She also highlights the importance of mindful eating, rejecting restrictive thinking, cultivating self-compassion, and embracing intuitive eating. Victoria encourages building a community of women who uplift and support each other on the journey to true nourishment.

Victoria (00:00.846)

Hey everyone, welcome back to another episode of Victoria L. I am your women's holistic health strategist. I'm really excited to dive into this topic today. It's a topic that's been on my heart and on my mind quite a bit lately. It's a conversation that's been echoing in my own life. One that I never really actually anticipated to be bringing to the podcast, but you know, here we are today doing it anyways.

So today we are going to unpack the notion of diet culture versus true body nourishment and why it's essential that, especially right now in midlife, if you're facing a whole bunch of health things that are going on and shifts with your hormones, why it's essential that we shift our mindset away from the diet culture lack mentality towards

nourishing and loving our bodies. Okay, so first of all, let's address the elephant in the room, the guidebook. It has come up so many times, I can't even count with you guys in the last couple weeks about what is the guidebook? Is it just a diet? Is it some sort of lifestyle plan? What exactly is it? So I'm addressing this today. So the guide I've created is not a diet plan.

It is absolutely not. It is not about restriction, deprivation, or making us conform to some unrealistic standards of what we think we should be doing. No, not at all. It is about learning to love and nourish your body in a way that honors its unique needs and signals throughout your cycle. Okay. It is, I like to call it a tool for your toolkit.

But why is this shift in mindset so crucial? Okay, why? Why are we talking about this today? Well, diet culture has this, has insidiously woven its way into our lives as women, especially convincing us that our worth is directly tied to the size of our genes or that number that flashes on the scale. So for far too long, I myself have found myself

Victoria (02:27.534)

have found that I was caught in the grasp of diet culture. I've been in this industry for over 20 years. So I've endlessly been on the research bandwagon and trying every fad diet under the sun, especially when you work with people that bring you these things over and over again. I found myself doing them to try and figure out what they are. And I know I am not alone, right? How many of you,

have tried every diet under the sun and it's a diet because it's restricting. It's not listening to your body. It's just like do this or else, right? Many of you have shared with me your similar struggles and you know, it really has revealed for me just how deep and ingrained this condition of diet culture has become for us. But,

It was through this journey and I am grateful for it. It was through the journey of all these different things that the realization of feeling perpetually inadequate created the vision for the 28 day strategy, seven weeks to harmonize hormones. And it was through that vision that this all really crystallized for me. I wanted to break free.

from the shackles of diet culture and create a guide that allows you to feel empowered to nourish your body, to create a loving relationship with food without judgment, without shame. That's why in my book, if you really look at it, you don't find that it's restricted into portion sizes. There's no strict rules.

It is a guide for a reason. It's about education, it's about empowerment, it's about giving you options throughout your cycle that potentially can work to help you in this phase. It's about equipping you with the knowledge and the tools to make informed choices that support your individual wellness needs in your journey, right? That's why...

Victoria (04:38.094)

In the course too, there's no part in any of my modules that says you must do this. Never. That's not how it rolls here. It's about fostering a relationship with food and your body rooted in self -love and intuition, not about rigid guidelines and those external pressures to follow this current fad and be doing what everyone else is doing.

I tried really hard to highlight why eating properly for our cycle is not about dieting, but about fostering a loving nourishing relationships with our new midlife bodies. Cause let's face it, ladies, our bodies become different in midlife for a lot of us. I'm not saying everyone, but for a lot of us, they change. We don't recognize them. So how do we step into finding love and nourishment for them?

in a way that is going to create that love and relationship with your body again. And I found that focusing for myself on these five key points have really helped me shift this mindset. So I focused on one, honoring my hormonal fluctuations, because they are happening, right? As we transition into our midlife, our hormonal landscape undercoes,

many significant changes. A lot of things are happening. So eating properly for our cycle involves understanding and honoring these fluctuations rather than adhering to some rigid diet plan that may not be nourishing our bodies in each phase of our cycle or each phase of our midlife as it should be. By nourishing our bodies in alignment with our hormone rhythms, we can actually support and build

hormone balance and overall wellbeing for our bodies. Secondly, just embracing that our bodies need nutrition and that these nutritional needs fluctuate throughout our menstrual cycle. The things that we need in menstruation are not the same things that we need in ovulation. So with certain nutrients playing a crucial role in these different phases,

Victoria (06:57.23)

Rather than focusing on calorie counting, creating restriction or eating properly according to this keto diet or that low carb diet or whatever diet it is, we create a cycle of eating properly for our cycle that involves embracing the nutrient needs and prioritizing foods.

rich in essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that actually support our health during these phases, right? It's about creating and cultivating a body awareness, right? So the third thing I really focused on was tuning into my body's cues and the signals that my body was giving me. This is essential for building a loving, nourishing relationship with our midlife bodies. Eating properly for our cycle in...

encourages mindfulness around when we're actually hungry, when we're full, what cravings we're having, what energy levels we are experiencing. And by creating body awareness, we can make food choices that truly nourish and support our unique needs. Because I'm sorry, guys, you have to face this. You need food. We all need nourishment. We all need food. So why not give your body the food that it needs?

to be optimally healthy and to create a loving relationship between the food you're eating and your body. And the fourth thing here that I really have been focusing on, especially for myself, is promoting hormonal harmony, right? That's the name of the course, is what I really focus on. The foods we eat can profoundly impact our hormone balance and the menstrual health.

of our cycles. So eating a varied and nutrient dense, rich whole food diet with fiber, healthy fats, good proteins can support our hormone harmony and really alleviate some of the symptoms that we're having, right? Our symptoms that we get like the bloating, the mood swings, the fatigue, these are ways that our body is trying to communicate with us. And when we ignore them,

Victoria (09:14.254)

then we're kind of ignoring our body. We're kind of saying like, your opinion doesn't matter here, right? So that's why in the guide, we really focus on these things. This approach focuses on nourishing our bodies, right? Nourishing from the inside out, rather than looking to some quick fix diet tactic. Like if you eat seven billion eggs today, you're gonna hit your protein and then you're gonna be like losing weight. That's not what this is focusing on.

And then lastly, really embracing self -care and intuition when it comes to our bodies. Eating properly for a cycle is really, it's more than just the food. That's why we touch on so many different topics in the guide. It's a form of self -care and self -love though, when you eat in a way that allows your body to feel good. It involves tuning into your intuition.

honoring your body's needs and making choices that prioritize overall well -being. By approaching nutrition as a place of self -compassion and using your intuition, we can cultivate this loving relationship in our midlife bodies and embrace the journey of holistic health and vitality. But perhaps, honestly, the most important thing is

that we, by doing this and coming together, we get to build a community of women who uplift and support one another on this path to true nourishment because we get to talk about it. We get to discuss what the food is doing and how we feel. Because when we come together, we get to share stories and experiences. We realize that we're not alone in our struggle and together we have the power to redefine what it means to care for our bodies, right?

And the thing is, unless you have done the research yourself and you know what your body needs at what phase, how many of you can honestly say that you know, right? That's what the guide is there for, so that you can reference and be like, I am in ovulation, which foods would support my body the best right now? And then you can try them and see if they work for you. So as we continue on this journey, let's remain open to guidance and growth.

Victoria (11:35.63)

Let's challenge the status quo and reject the notion that our worth, again, our worth is not tied to our appearance. Let's embrace a mindset of abundance, of self -compassion, knowing that true wellness is not found in restriction. It's found in joy, in celebrating, of nourishing our bodies and finding that nourishment from the inside out. It's about shifting our mindset, right, from diet culture,

to love and nourishing our bodies, and it involves adapting a holistic approach that encompasses various aspects of our wellbeing. I know we have talked about all these well -researched strategies before, but today I just wanted to give you a quick reminder of the ways that we can continue to facilitate this mind shift transformation, right? So the first one we talked about before, and I am a huge advocate for is,

learning to practice mindful eating. Mindful eating involves paying attention to the sensory experience of eating, allowing yourself to slow down. We talked about this the other week about how mindful eating allows us to decrease the stress hormones around our eating. Because when we eat and just shove food in our face, like I'm totally guilty of, I've talked about this before, I'm totally guilty of it. But when we shift out of that and we allow ourselves to really

really cultivate an awareness around our eating habits, we can develop a deeper connection with our bodies. We get to better recognize when we are hungry, when we are full. This approach encourages us to savor each bite and make food choices that actually align with your nutritional needs and your body's preferences. Not everybody's the same, right? So.

The second thing that we have talked about quite a bit is rejecting the restrictive thinking. I challenge the idea that certain foods are good or bad. I really do. And instead, I urge you to adopt a more flexible and inclusive approach to eating. So rather than imposing strict rules or...

Victoria (13:52.942)

Regulations focus on nourishing your body with a balanced and varied diet that includes a wide range of nutrient dense foods. That's why in the guide I give you this huge plan that you can pick and choose from. Right. One of my one of my students said that they really enjoyed the fact that when you look at let's say you open up to menstruation phase and you see in the book.

These are some really nourishing foods for this part of your cycle. You have seven breakfasts to choose from, seven lunches, seven dinners. You get to pick and choose and they're all well -balanced meals. So you get so much nutrition in each and every meal that you get the opportunity to eat without restriction, right? So embrace the concept of food not being labeled as good as or bad, but food being labeled as nutrient.

dense where all foods really all foods can fit into a healthy eating pattern when consumed in moderation, right? We don't need to restrict or cut everything out, but we can look at how can we listen to our bodies. For example, I know that I absolutely love Lay's plain chips. I love them so much.

But I know if I sit down and eat the whole freaking bag, I don't feel good. I don't feel good at all. But I know that if I sit down with a nice little bowl and I don't eat the whole bag, that that fits into moderation, into consuming in moderation for me. And I don't feel bloated afterwards. I don't feel dehydrated from like the copious amounts of salt that I just ingested.

but I feel good about that little moderate amount of chips. I feel like I've satisfied that craving for the Lay's What's There slogan. You bet you can't eat just one. Definitely can't eat just one. But I'm also not restricting or telling myself you can't eat that food because it's bad for you. Yes, there are foods that are not great for you, but again, it's not about that, right?

Victoria (16:10.798)

So the third thing that I really try to focus on is cultivating that self -compassion. When you are able to shift your inner dialogue from self -criticism to self -compassion, you get to practice kindness and understanding towards yourself, especially when it comes to food and body image. Food and body image, again, there is so much societal bullshit around food and body image. So if you can start to shift,

the way you talk about your food, the way you talk about your body when you're eating the food, you will find that this is a massive, massive change for you in how you view, you know, and how you view things like meal preps or how you view things like grocery shopping less and all those things. Cause a lot of times those things are tied to the diet culture and.

we criticize them instead of understanding them, right? So recognizing that your worth is not determined by your appearance or what and how you eat is huge. Treat yourself with the same empathy and care that you offer to a loved one and let go, let go of the unrealistic expectations of perfectionism. I often say to my clients, I want you to tell me how you talk to yourself.

you know, and they'll say things like, you shouldn't eat that, you're too fat. Or they'll say things like, you didn't earn that, don't eat that, you didn't earn that yet. That's a big one that I've heard. I've heard people say so many times, well, I didn't get on the treadmill for the 45 minutes I needed to earn that treat or earn that cheat meal or whatever it is, right? And then I say to them, now,

I want you to think of your very bestest bestie and tell me, would you look at them and say, you didn't earn that or you're too fat to eat that. Would you ever say that to them? And nine numbers at a time, they're like, no, I would never say that. That's so mean. Okay. So creating that exact same relationship with yourself, right? And in the course, the other thing that we do is we focus on your health, not your weight. There's nowhere.

Victoria (18:31.406)

There's nowhere where I'm like, log your weight, let's find out how much you weigh. No, it's not about that. Some people will lose weight once they start to harmonize their nutrition with their hormones, but instead of fixating on the number on the scale, we prioritize your overall health and wellbeing. That's what I'm doing here too. I'm doing this and I'm shifting away from the, I need to be a certain weight to knowing that,

I'm working towards finding a harmony within my body where everything is functioning well, right? So shift your goals from weight loss to, you know, holistic health outcomes, such as maybe feeling improved energy levels, maybe mood stability, maybe physical function is one of those things that you're working towards. So celebrating those things as they come up, celebrating non -scale victories.

such as maybe today you lifted an extra five pounds, you have increased strength, your digestion is running better, your mental clarity is picking up. These are all indicators of progress that don't tie into the diet culture. Number five, embrace intuitive eating. Now intuitive eating, this is kind of a sticky one, okay? So I'm gonna share with you.

the ins and outs of intuitive eating in an upcoming podcast, but I wanna give you a little bit of information here. So intuitive eating is a sticky one because it involves listening to what your body is asking for and being connected to your body. But where I have a hiccup with this one is if you are out of balance, if you are having hormones that are all over the place, you may be

craving things based on that. So for example, sometimes let's say you really need magnesium, your body is like desperately in need of magnesium and you're craving that chocolate because that is the body's signal. For example, it doesn't necessarily mean that your body wants to eat all the Oreos. It may actually mean that your body is desperately needing magnesium. So this is where

Victoria (20:55.534)

Intuitive eating can get a little sticky and I highly I highly believe in intuitive eating and approaching Approaching intuitive eating in a way that allows you to tune into your body's hunger and fullness to start so Listening to your body a really good example is you know, maybe first thing in the morning you get up and you feel starving and

You look at your thing and you're like, I'm doing that intermittent fasting, so I'm not supposed to eat for another 20 minutes. When you're putting your body into this stress and your body's starving and that's not a great thing, okay? So when we begin intuitive eating approaches, I really encourage you to tune into when you're hungry and when you're full. So when you bring the mindfulness eating practice in, you slow down your eating, you get that cue from your body that says, I am full.

even if your plate is like 97 % still filled with food, your body being able to listen and start to bring that intuitive eating, that is the first step, right? As well as then once you're kind of getting through that, then you can start to really tune into your body on is this food creating satisfaction within my body? Is it creating pleasure within my body? And,

Am I having any sort of reaction to this food? So this also includes emotions. Intuitive eating is really, really important to tie in with your emotions. So sometimes we can eat foods that make us feel off. So becoming aware, right? Trust your body's innate wisdom to guide these food choices and these eating behaviors. And it takes time and it takes time to build.

And I think what's really important when you start your intuitive eating journey is to understand and have a base knowledge of what foods are providing love and nourishment for your body at each part of your cycle, right? So tuning into those cravings, tuning into the preferences, the emotional cues, not having judgment around them. Again, not creating good or bad, good or bad for food and honoring your body's signals by nourishing it.

Victoria (23:16.174)

with foods that actually give you that feeling of satisfaction, both physically and emotionally, right? So finding a way to nourish your body in a way that feels satisfying. And then again, seeking that support and that community, surround yourself with individuals who share your values and support your journey towards a more loving and nourishing relationship with your body. That is the most important thing.

connect with like -minded peers, whether through online communities, joining our Facebook groups, support groups, maybe you do in -person gatherings, maybe it's somebody at a class at the gym that you connect with, but share your experiences, share your resources, share encouragement. Having a strong support system can help you feel validated, empowered, and motivated to stay committed to your wellness goals, right?

There was a stat that I read recently that said that the individuals that post a sweaty selfie after their work, their workouts are 70 % more likely to continue. That's pretty, that's pretty crazy, right? Because it's that accountability and showing up for yourself. So by incorporating these strategies into your life, you can gradually shift your mindset from that diet culture, the limiting thoughts to one that prioritizes love and nourishment for your bodies.

Remember that this is a transformation and it is a journey. So be patient and compassionate with yourself along the way. This is my perspective. Honestly, guys, this is where I've come to. I have been down so many rabbit holes with eating disorders, myself suffering through eating disorder, through disordered eating, through diet culture.

through thinking that I'm not good enough because I'm too big or I'm too small. Like I have been there, I have gone through this. And when peri -menopause hit, I told you guys about my story about how, you know, that 40 pound weight gain, it was mind blowing how different I felt in my body, right? And it wasn't just about the weight, but it was about how my body felt, how tired I was.

Victoria (25:39.598)

and how I wasn't fully listening to what my body was telling me because I was technically doing it right, but I wasn't doing it right for what my body needed. And I was following a restrictive diet and a restrictive lifestyle and it wasn't great. So shifting my perspective has really helped me to understand that we can use our knowledge, our guide and our...

you know, our templates, but not have to feel like they are just a diet or just restricting, right? So again, this is my perspective. This is what I've gone through, but I'm always eager to hear what you guys have to say on this. I would love to continue this conversation in a way that lifts each other up so that we can navigate the complexities of emerging through the diet culture, right?

and come out in a way that creates empowerment and allows us to be more connected to both our bodies and our community than ever before. So if you're not already, I would love to have you in our Facebook group. It is a free group to join and it's where we can open the conversation around what all this is. And I'd love to hear from you guys. So reach out and let me know. Is...

Is something like a guidebook, do you consider it just another diet, another fad? Do you think that learning to nourish your body with your cycle is again another diet, another fad? Or is this something that you are connecting with like I am to find compassion and deep sense of love and awareness of my body and what is going on here? So I'd love to hear from you. Leave me a comment, like, share.

and spread the word. Let's open this conversation out across the nation. Thank you so much for joining me here today. Remember that our course goes live May 27th. And for cohort two, I'm opening it up so that if you purchase the course guide on Amazon, you actually get to join the course for free. All you have to do is send me.

Victoria (28:01.23)

the screenshot that you bought the guide, that you have the guide, and I will add you into the course. It's that simple. It's seven weeks to harmonize your hormones. Thank you guys, we will see you next week.

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