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Healthy eating guidelines from Cate Stillman (part 3 of 3)

Healthy eating guidelines from Cate Stillman (part 3 of 3)

This is the final installment of Chapter 8 of Cate Stillman's book "Body Thrive" that you can purchase from her website here. We are excited to collaborate with her to get the word out about healthy living! Also, listen to the recent interview between Cate and HANAH founder, Joel Einhorn, here on Yoga Healer's podcast 

Limiting Beliefs and Healthy Eating Guidelines

Below I share the Limiting Belief/Deeper Truth Tool that helps reveal the undercurrents of self-sabotage. I wish I'd had this tool back in my ice cream-to-snot days.

On the left side, write any beliefs around the habits you have that you know aren't getting you what you want in the long run. For example, "I'm an emotional eater." Then, pause. Reflect. Dig up the higher, more updated version of the truth. This is your Deeper Truth. In this example,"I go through phases of emotional eating," is a deeper truth.

Below, you can see from examples how to use an unhealthy consistent craving to unpack your behind-the-scenes assumptions. 

Limiting Belief
Deeper Truth
I don't have time to exercise.
I could take a five-minute walk after dinner.
Ice cream is so satisfying.
Ice cream isn't as satisfying as it used to be.
Food is a good reward.
I can think of better rewards that won't sabotage my body.
I don't have time to eat healthy.
I need to learn how to prepare healthy food. I should hire a coach to help me.
One glass of wine at night is good for me.
One glass often turns into two. My sleep is often disturbed. I feel groggy in the morning.


You're not conscious of your limiting beliefs or higher truths until you take the time to investigate them. Take the time to reflect and write down what is more true now.

You need to see this on paper. Fill in the worksheet in the Body Thrive Workbook at You'll discover the deeper, updated version of the truth. What you find will surprise you and bring your actions into integrity with your beliefs.

Healthy eating guidelines pyramid

The Anti-Fad Way to Eat

When I first learned the HEGs, most of them were not my current habits. I jogged during lunch hour and afterwards ate a light salad at my desk while working. I snacked. I had no idea about the six tastes or eating to fill the stomach one-third with food, one-third with water, one-third with space or room for digestion. I didn't know my eating habits generated allergies, weight gain, a poor body image and acne.

Now, after 15 years, these guidelines are in my back pocket. Though I rebelled against each of them, slowly I built momentum.

The HEGs are controversial from the perspective of allopathic nutrition. Your doctor may advise you to eat six small meals a day to lose weight. Ayurveda would rather you digest completely and rest between meals for maximum bodily and mental agility.

Ayurvedic is the anti-fad diet, hanging in the background for thousands of years.

Ayurveda at its most basic is folk medicine, grandmother kitchen wisdom.

My French grandmother liked to suck the marrow out of her lamb chops. She'd snag the bones that I rejected, informing me it was the best part. From an Ayurvedic perspective, she  was  right. The bone marrow is the most complex nutrient-dense tissue in that chop. My Polish grandmother taught me the little I know about eating organ meat. I learned the chopped liver recipe from her. Liver, it turns out, is in the top 10 most nutrient-dense foods on the planet.

Ayurveda has been cultivated in a culture of lactovegetarians. No chicken liver. Lots of ghee replacing the bone marrow. Adapt the teachings of Ayurveda to your own ancestry and ecosystem. The bonus chapter on Kitchen Sadhana will get you plugged into your ancestral taste buds.

Ayurveda Food Combining

Ayurveda is obsessed with digestion because imbalanced digestion is the root of most body-mind imbalances. Have you eaten when upset and noticed your belly couldn't handle the food? You marry what you eat with the emotions you experience while eating.

In Ayurvedic diagnostics, we look at the person's unique constitution and the nature of the imbalance. We investigate the type of agni. "Hangry" (or irritable when hungry) indicates sharp agni. Skipping meals and eating in an unpredictable pattern indicates sporadic agni. A sluggish, heavy gut indicates slow agni. No problems whatsoever, coupled with a pleasant demeanor, indicates sama agni. The HEGs help all types move toward balanced digestion and a pleasant demeanor.

Eating for your constitution is a high priority if you have digestive issues. Take a constitutional quiz at Read an Ayurvedic cookbook, like Eat, Taste, Heal, to eat for your body type, or Happy Belly by Nadya Andreeva or Explore Your Hunger by Dr. John Immel, to get a grip on your unique digestive type. Take an online course that works particularly with digestion, like those offered by Nadya Andreeva or Dr. Immel.

Marry Your Foods Wisely

You want to marry your foods with your constitution and digestive type. In general, if you have sporadic meal times, get on a schedule. If you bloat when you eat, start to eat one pot meals. Prefer dishes that are soupy, warm, well spiced, and have high quality fats. If you get hangry, eat on schedule, eat more protein and a little fat with each meal, and stop snacking. With this regimen, blood sugar usually stabilizes within 10 days. If you have slow digestion, eat just twice a day, around 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., and spice up your dishes.

Now, let's turn to marrying foods wisely before they hit your belly.

What you eat combines in the pot, on the plate, and eventually in your belly. Certain foods enhance digestion when combined. Others throw jabs and hooks in your gut. The physical experience in your gut directly influences your mental/emotional experience as the food works its way into you and through you. As many an elder has advised, marry wisely.

Here are the major Ayurvedic rules for food combining. The more sensitive your gut, the less you want to break the rules.

  • Raw fruit should be taken alone or with greens. Otherwise it causes other foods to ferment in your gut, and you'll bloat. If you want raw fruit, eat it 30 minutes before the rest of your meal. Fruit with granola and yogurt for breakfast is enough to overwork your gut for an entire day. A green smoothie with just fruit and greens is easy to digest, but if you add nut milks and protein powder — good luck.
  • No milk with meals. Milk is best taken warmed, spiced, and alone. It's heavy and difficult to digest. A little in oatmeal or rice pudding may be fine for you.
  • Yogurt only combines with vegetables and grains.
  • Eggs only combine with non-starchy vegetables and grains.
  • Beans only combine with grains, greens, roots, other beans, nuts and seeds, not eggs, cheese or meat.

Remember, the more energy you want to have, the more you need to lighten the workload on your gut. If you have digestive issues, and you notice you break the food combining rules, start with awareness. If you eat yogurt with granola, notice if you get bloated or gassy. Always start with awareness, notice cause and effect, and then plan ahead for what you'll have instead next time. Get an Ayurvedic cookbook — the recipes will combine food properly.

Tips for Healthier Eating Guidelines

  • Use the HEG worksheet in the Body Thrive Workbook.
  • Dial in one HEG at a Start with this easy one — enjoy your food, taste it. The HEGs interconnect. Soon you'll find you prefer the  guidelines.
  • Notice cause and effect. When you disregard a guideline, notice the effects. Trace back your symptoms to the offense. Be brutally honest, because karma doesn't lie.
  • If you're a chronic snacker, add short bursts of exercise, drinking water, and deep breathing between meals. Soon, you'll love the mental clarity and emotional steadiness that comes from metabolizing fat.
  • If you have ama, do a detox. goes live online every April and October. Join us — we rock the detox.
  • If you usually overeat, have a pint of water 20 minutes before eating. 
  • Use the Limiting Beliefs / Deeper Truths worksheet. 
  • Learn about the six tastes in Ayurvedic food preparation. If you aren't incorporating them all, learn from an Ayurvedic cookbook.

The author, Cate Stillman, is the founder of She empowers thrive-seekers to uplevel their health, their careers and their lives in real time. Cate teaches wellness pros to grow their impact and their income and live their best lives.

Check out part 1 & 2 of this series along with our other blogs with Cate:

  1. Healthy Eating Guidelines from Cate Stillman (1 of 3)
  2. Healthy Eating Guidelines from Cate Stillman (2 of 3)
  3. Yoga Health Coach Cate Stillman's Slow Release Green Elixir
  4. Four Leading Yogis on how HANAH ONE Enhances Health

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