Going into a diet is so much more than losing weight. It is about taking care of both our physical and mental health. Nowadays, people tend to skip meals in order to lose weight fast. What lies underneath that is the anxiety that is eating up your mentality as well. Registered dietitian Shelley Rael believes there is always a better way to become healthier. She thinks that contrary to doing things fast, we must think how our health and wellness is for lifetime. Health is not just about doing it for a week. We need to take care of ourselves in the most loving and natural way.
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Cultivating Lifetime Health And Wellness with Shelley Rael
I have with me a true Heartrepreneur, someone I’ve gotten to know and I’ve also gotten to do an interview with and she is amazing. Her name is Shelley Rael and she is a Registered Dietitian. She’s been doing that since 1999. She considers her title of Dietitian Nutritionist as more than just a credential or a job. It’s her mission and passion to help people feel better physically with proper nutrition and find relief mentally about food. Shelley has always worked in the area of wellness and disease prevention. She worked for thirteen years and worksite wellness and health promotion until deciding she would do better by being her own boss.
Shelley has their own private practice. She helps people have more energy through food and physical activity, so they can have more sustainable energy. Here’s one of the things she says that I so deeply resonate with. No gimmicks, no supplements, just with foods you eat. I’ve been so fortunate to actually get to be with you, I heard your passion. We talked a little bit about how you do new food experiences with your husband. That’s so cool, not a lot of people do that. Let’s start at the beginning. How did you go down the path of saying you’re going to be a registered dietitian nutritionist?
I was in a class when I was pregnant. I was sitting in a nutrition class and the person was teaching me stuff that I knew from growing up. My mom was so educated on nutrition. I took for granted what she gave us the gift, she gave us a good nutrition and it being just second nature. When I heard this person teaching it, I said, “I can do this.” When I decided I wanted to be a Registered Dietitian, I didn’t know the path it would take. It’s a science-based degree and an internship. I already had a family. I’m determined to get through this because I find it’s important for people to understand how nutrition affects their body. I took the time to go through graduate school. Even though I didn’t know it when I was younger, even when I first started college, this was the path I was supposed to take and I did it.
Like many of us here in Heartrepreneur, you were working for someone else and then what made you say, “It’s going to be a better way if I do it on my own as my own company, my own boss?”
The environment that I’ve worked in was something where I had asked for permission every time I had an idea or I should say every time I wanted to implement an idea. That was the thing that kept disappointing me. I wanted to share something with somebody and if I wanted to share it or implement the program or an idea tomorrow, that was not the environment that I was in. I had to get permission from a half dozen people and then they had to bring it down the chain of command back and forth for me to move forward. That’s one of the big things that I have an idea I want to implement it this afternoon or tomorrow. I was better at being my own decision maker on that aspect.With the proper nutrition, you can feel better both physically and mentally. Click To Tweet
There are a lot of politics and bureaucracy within any corporate environment, no matter how big or how small it is. I totally understand that. I feel that the world is better having you out there on your own, especially because I believe that the way you think and the way you feel is what’s needed. Why is this so important to you? Why do you want people to have this as a gift and what you bring out to the world?
I see all the time, and this is more so with social media, but even in a group setting, I hear people talking about their struggles with eating and trying different diets, detoxing, fasting and all these different things that seem to change with the whatever the year is. When I help people, I’m talking about a way of eating that is for life no matter where you are, no matter where you go. I customize it to the individual because we do all have different needs and preferences. I feel it in my chest even talking about it.
It disappoints me or hurts me that people feel they have to continually have a restriction or beat themselves up with how they’re eating. It seems like they’re constantly on a quest for their next latest, greatest thing. I taught people to feel comfortable with the food that they’re eating, but also feel good in their body and be healthier for it and not feel deprived and so many of the negative things that tend to come with this diet mentality.
I love this because in your intro, I talked about not only feeling better physically with the proper nutrition but the mental relief. I have to tell you that reading Facebook posts, sometimes I can feel the lack of mental relief. I can feel the chaos and the struggle, “I’m doing intermittent fasting. No, I’m going to sign up for this company and take these supplements. I’m having shakes and bars.” People are going from one thing to the next and it’s really obvious to me that there’s a struggle and there’s difficulty and they bounce from thing to thing. What is causing us not to just learn how to eat and move our bodies in a natural way?
This is something that I talk about a lot. Our society, our day-to-day living, has shifted in the last 30 or 35 years. It’s not one thing. People want to blame one thing and it’s not. It’s multifaceted. We have screens literally at our fingertips. There is more screen-time and more technology. We don’t have to exert effort to connect with people or do certain things and the access to more food, 24 hours a day, at least in this country, in the United States. It’s a multifaceted approach here that has caused us to sit more, move less, but have all this information coming at us. It is truly conflicting information.
I see through it because I do have the background. I see that it’s not so conflicting or there’s not any evidence behind some of these things. All of those things that we’re seeing with the fasting or the detox and I saw somebody who was like, “I’m getting ready to do a fast.” It was so much anxiety I felt through that post. I was desperately wanting to tell her, “You don’t need to do this.” It wasn’t something I was close enough with that I felt I would have had an impact. I said, “Be careful about some of these things. If you have any questions, let me know.” It’s everywhere more so now.
I was with some friends and three of them said, “We can’t go out to breakfast because we do intermittent fasting and we can’t eat until noon.” Somebody else said, “I’m not eating lunch anymore. I’m drinking shakes.” I’m like, “What is going on?” It used to be very simple. You would say, “Do you want to go to breakfast or lunch?” People would go and they would make healthy food choices. I question why we have such a focus. Maybe we want a quick answer. If I take that one pill or drink that shake or buy that supplement or I don’t eat until noon or whatever it is, that’s going to be the miracle. Do you think people are looking for like the quick easy answer versus just learning how to eat food?Health and wellness is lifetime. Click To Tweet
We have shifted into an instant gratification society on many things and this is it. This is the place where I see it so much, but I probably tapped into it more than other people. Health is a lifetime. Wellness is a lifetime. It’s not something you start and do it for a week and then you’re good. Weight changes as necessary and I want to emphasize that because a lot of times I see people who want weight changes that don’t necessarily need it. It is a society that’s defining that for them. I’m not going to say whether it’s right or wrong thing for them, but I had people sit back and look at that and listen to that.
What you said about going out, that something that gets to me to the court because we do socialize with our friends, family, meeting people with coffee, breakfast, lunch, whatever it is. The holidays in most cases are around food and that’s not here nor there, whether it’s good or bad. It’s just how our life was. It’s disheartening when people say, “I can’t do this because of my restrictive diet.” Even though that’s not exactly what they say. “I can’t socialize with you because I’m doing this particular diet.” That’s hard for me to hear that.
It makes me sad. I feel like food is a part of life and socializing and breaking bread together is also. Whenever I hear people say that, I think, “You’re missing out on a life experience. Surely you can just eat something healthy and be with other human beings.” I’m in total agreement. How can people connect with you and find out more about what you have to offer?
The easiest way to find all the ways to connect with me is my website. It’s ShelleyRael.com. That has my social links and I’m prolific on Facebook as well as Instagram. It also lists some of the upcoming programs that I have and how to work with me and more about my philosophy. I had somebody just talked to me and he said, “One of the reasons I thought I could connect with you is because of this one thing that you have mentioned in my bio.” He loved it and I thought, “How great is that?”
This has been very valuable. I hope that you will take a look at connecting with Shelley and rethinking about the restrictions and the concerns and understand that you could have so much joy and freedom and moving your body and eating in a healthy way.
About Shelley Rael
I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) helping adults (mostly women at the mid-point of life) have more energy using food and physical activity. I’ve been a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist since 1999 and have worked in health, wellness, and disease prevention/management my entire career. I worked in corporate wellness for over 13 years prior to going on my own in private practice.
I help people have more energy, so they can get through the day with energy to spare so they can enjoy family or social time when they choose to, without feeling exhausted. I also am a #NutritionMythBuster. The field of nutrition is complex and there is no one size fits all.
I customize my recommendation to the individual because we are all different. I want to end the on-going roller coaster of the so-called “right” way to eat and help people choose a way of eating that works for them year-round, not just before a big event, vacation, season or change of the calendar. Fads, trends and the quick fix will come and go, but eating will always be necessary. We can do this without a list of foods to reference but shifting our mindset and choices overall.
I work with people to create their own Customized Nutrition Blueprint, a design in the personal pattern or eating that works best for the individual. I am a professional speaker and speak about the Quest for Energy and Stamina and the Common Nutrition Myths that Block Us from Getting There. I also work with companies to design a wellness program to help increase productivity and employee health and reduce health care costs. I am an adjunct faculty teaching nutrition at my local community college and university (both of which I attended). I am a wife to one husband, mother to one son, Nana to one Grandiose-Daughter and the mom to two rescue Dachshund mutts.
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