Episode 201 // Health, Body, and Business with Ali Shapiro

November 6, 2018

You know it by now: when you treat your body right, you’re able to be more boss, but how many of you are actually putting that knowledge to practice? Well today we are joined by Ali Shapiro of the Insatiable Podcast who is blowing our minds about finding a healthy lifestyle that’s unique to your needs, determining what your comfort eating style is telling you, and offering actionable tips on how to devote yourself to health in a way that will expand your capacity for creativity.

Learn More about the Topics Discussed in this Episode
This Episode Brought to You By:
"Ultimately how I define health is: are you taking in life? When you work out and when you eat well, you're expanding your capacity for all sorts of emotions."
- Ali Shapiro

Discussed in this Episode

  • Ali's journey to health
  • Ali's food philosophy
  • Meal prepping + healthy hunger
  • Nurturing self-agency when it comes to health: discipline vs. devotion
  • The three types of comfort eating: The Competitor, The Avoider, and The Accomodator
  • Dealing with the "what's for dinner" question as a business owner
  • Balancing self-acceptance and body positivity with wanting to improve
  • Health tips for business owners


More from Ali Shapiro

More from Kathleen

Braid Creative

More from Emily

Almanac Supply Co.


Kathleen Shannon 0:02
Hello, and welcome to being boss,

Emily Thompson 0:05
a podcast for creative entrepreneurs. I'm Emily Thompson.

Ali Shapiro 0:09
And I'm Kathleen Shannon. I'm Allie Shapiro and I'm being boss.

Emily Thompson 0:17
In this episode, we're talking about health, body and business with Allie Shapiro. As always, you can find all the tools, books and links we reference on the show notes at WWW dot being boss dot

Kathleen Shannon 0:28
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Emily Thompson 1:41
Ali is the founder of a truce with food host of the top ranked podcast insatiable, holistic nutritionist integrated health coach and a rebel with a serious cause. She's academically practically and empathetically aware of how the medical system and diet culture and body positivity movements all have their own flavor of crazy. She created her truce with food method while in graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania, where she earned her master's in organizational dynamics, which is like getting an MBA in the change process where she drew from her decade plus of working with real life clients and her own personal healing journey from having cancer as a teenager.

Kathleen Shannon 2:27
Okay, let's get this show on the road. I am so excited for today's guest, Ali. Ali, welcome to the show.

Ali Shapiro 2:34
Thank you for having me. I'm like super excited. I love the show. So it's kind of like a fan girl moment.

Kathleen Shannon 2:41
Well, I was on your show, as of recording this a few weeks ago as of air date, and who knows, it could be a couple months ago. But um, I just had so much fun chatting with you about health. And I really wanted to bring you on to being boss to really talk about the link between kind of health and food and entrepreneurship and creativity, because I feel like they all go hand in hand. But I don't have the words or thoughts to articulate it like you do.

Ali Shapiro 3:10
Thanks. Well. And I also think a lot of people think being an entrepreneur and being healthy or in competition or conflict with each other. Right? It's like burnout. Like we're eating on the go. And so that's a big misconception and your body can actually be an amazing employee and see over you, if you know how to how to what the connection is. So I'm glad that you sense that intuitively. And then we can just get a little bit more clear today. But you're right on.

Kathleen Shannon 3:43
Okay, I love that. But let's rewind a little bit and go into your own health and maybe entrepreneurial journey, like how did you get to where you are? Tell us a little bit about what your the work that you're doing today and how you got there.

Ali Shapiro 3:56
Yeah, so it's started now, I can't believe this like 15 years ago, like I can remember 15 years ago. Do you remember being like 20 years ago, and I have conscious recollection of that. But I was about 23 and I was in the corporate world. And my health was really deteriorating. I was traveling abroad I was and I didn't really like my corporate job, but I didn't know what else was out there. And so I went to the doctor with and I was gaining weight and I was not exercising consistently. I was depressed. And I had been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome. super sexy. Carlos my husband calls it the abs. The is a couple years prior and I was taking acid medication. I was taking antidepressants. I and I was just so I went to the doctor. curious why I was gaining weight and I was hoping she was going to tell me something was wrong with my thyroid. And as I was waiting there, I saw my files on the back of the the door. And even though they were my files, I was like can I look at those What do they say about us? And I base so I looked at the file and I realized that I had my entire complete health history there. So I had eye surgery as a kid, I was asthmatic as a kid, when I was 13. I had cancer. And so like the chemotherapy and the radiation was there. The Accutane that I tried for my skin was there, the antibiotics I had tried for my skin. And my so I was just kind of like, wow, I am, I don't have cancer, which I'm super grateful for. But this is not healthy. Like this is for a 23 year old. I was like a geriatric patient, you know. And the doctor came in and was like, your thyroid is fine. She's like, and gave me a recommendation to four, to eat less and move more. And she gave me a recipe for a salmon salad. And she told me to sprinkle Splenda on it. And Splenda is like an is a known carcinogen and independent nutrition studies. And I don't know why that was the thing that like, clued me in that maybe I wasn't going to get the answers from Western medicine.

Kathleen Shannon 6:04
Also, how much is Splenda, paying doctors to tell them to sprinkle Splenda on food like salmon. That doesn't even make sense, like on a tastebud level.

Ali Shapiro 6:14
Exactly right. It's disgusting. Like Not only is it like unhealthy, but it's disgusting. And so I basically realized I wasn't going to get the answers I needed from Western medicine, I had tried everything they had offered me. And I found a holistic nutrition school called the Institute for integrative nutrition. And the theory that I really latched on there was functional medicine, which is an essence with natural paths have been doing for forever. But now that like dudes are into it, and it sounds more, you know, technical, collagen, functional medicine. But I basically was able to reverse my IBS, my skin cleared up, my depression mostly went away. And this was liberating, but also this dark night of the soul. Because I was like, why did me like, I'm so broken? And I figured this out. Like, how did I not know about this? And so I started seeing clients on this site, because I thought maybe this is just like a freak act of nature. And I'm not sure. And this was 11 years ago, when telling people to get off packaged foods was was radical at the time, right? People were still eating tons of zone bars and weightwatchers prepackaged foods. And I started to realize that just getting people to eat real food was really healing for them. I also, at the same time, realize that we stopped talking about food around the fourth session. And as I became better, as a business owner, my health actually got better. And I was really curious about that, because I thought I was tough from having gone through cancer. But in some ways, it made me resilient. But in other ways, it made me very, very scared, and very much in fear around any uncertainty. And you both know that you have to master uncertainty as business owners. And so I was like, what's going on with that. And so I went back to grad school at the University of Pennsylvania to study the human change process. Because I wanted to know what was happening that I was getting healthier, my clients were getting healthier, and food had something to do with it. But it was really going this identity shift, what I can later put towards was from being kind of a passive patient, to taking an active role in your health. That self trust was huge. And we're not taught it, we're taught to trust the doctors and listen to what they say, and and you just take orders, right. But really, we need to eliminate the hierarchy. And so that's what I've been doing for the past 11 years is mapping out this process that I call truce with food. So we can really feel like we have agency and by that I mean independent choice in our health care choices, because, you know, nutrition won't solve everything for everyone. But I didn't even know I had these choices. And I got so much better when I did and I looked at myself holistically also as to why I was binge eating and emotional eating rather than that being a problem me being weak. Why was that getting better? And how can I really solve it for good were the questions that drove me.

Emily Thompson 9:17
This is some big stuff,

Kathleen Shannon 9:20
and isn't always the smartest person you've ever talked to.

Emily Thompson 9:25
How long do you have today, Allie? How long do you have? I just really stubborn. Good. Okay, so I have a not similar story but similar enough story that I want to share because I feel like it's sort of maintains this trajectory where whenever I was in the fifth grade, it's super sick. I had pneumonia for almost a year. And it was I had it for so long because doctor after doctor after doctor couldn't figure out what was wrong with me, even though it was just pneumonia. And I remember getting to a point where I was on so many medications. I was Taking breathing treatments like all of these things to get better. I remember especially like it when I remember to be the end of it, all I wanted was an apple. I remember like just having this craving for an apple, because that was around the time when packaged foods were just the norm like my parents weren't like, at home cooking every meal, like, they definitely weren't living then like I live now that I remember my body, just wanting an apple. And at some point after that, like I was healed and fine, all the things. But I think about that all the time. Now one doctors couldn't figure out something really basic for a really, really long time that sent me into this spiral of having all kinds of other issues that I still think flare up occasionally now, because they couldn't heal a basic pneumonia back then. But also, I think, often where, you know, my mindset shifted around food from, you know, what I just grew up with, and what I thought was normal, to really thinking about real food was my body just craving an apple? That's all I want to ever having to convince my mother to go buy me an apple? Because that's all I wanted. And she didn't understand that, like, why do you want an apple? Like, here's that Canada's spaghettios, whatever it may be. But I remember that being just a very big moment in my life to where I realized, one, I can listen to my body. And I probably should, if it's telling me something very clear. And to it wants real food.

Ali Shapiro 11:38
I love that you said that. Because we have this narrative that we have to fight our bodies. And when something goes wrong, it's because they're the enemy. Yet what your experience showed is there was an intuitive urge to do the healthy thing. We just have to get out of the way. Really. So yeah, and there's also it because it creates a little you know, the word trauma is scary for people. But when doctors can't figure out what's going on, and you're going from doctor to doctor to diagnose something like pneumonia, that really, you know, wires into your nervous system uncertainty is really scary, because even the adults, you know, are the people who should know don't know.

Emily Thompson 12:16
Yeah, for sure. I totally experienced all of that. And definitely have a little trauma now around like doctors and medications. Like I definitely questioned it significantly more now than I think most people do.

Kathleen Shannon 12:28
Well, now I feel like I should share my food journey. Please share it, do it. So I had really bad stomach problems as a teenager, so not like on the IBS side of things but just constantly felt nauseous. And then I had a lot of anxiety around throwing up and like throwing up in public even though I never threw up like it was a true phobia. And I kind of got a little crazy and I went to the doctor and I was like I just constantly feel sick. And he prescribed me Maalox. And so I would carry a bottle of Maalox around in my bag and just kind of like chug this chalky Maalox all day long. Then I felt so nauseous. It's almost like pregnant, like in pregnancy, where you have food aversions, and then cravings were the only thing I craved because I was a 15 year old girl with brownies and a gallon of milk. And I would eat like half a pan of brownies and milk every day. And Chase, it was amazing. And like, I bet it's so weird whenever you can't put two and two together and then even so even beyond that, and eventually I realized, Oh, it was all stressed. Like it was all just mental stress of being a teenager that was flaring up in my body like it was just presenting in my body and my stomach. And so even today, I can recognize whenever I have anxiety or stress because I can still feel it in my stomach and also sometimes in other parts of my body. And then realizing that going into this detrimental cycle of eating terrible food so that we're not doing me any favors. We're only just creating like a really negative feedback loop right where I just could not get out of it. Now I know eating real food. cuz sometimes that's where I want to start if I'm having brain fog, or any sort of like emotional issues or stress and anxiety. Like if I'm stressed out in all the places the last thing I want to really do. I mean, the first thing I want to do is indulge in some really shitty food, but it's really I now I know, stresses, stresses stress and so I need to take care of my body so I can take care of my work. And this is where I really start linking what you were talking about Olli is that my body is a tool for my work. And that if I'm not running my body like a well oiled machine, my work my relationships, a lot of other things are really going to suffer and so it's not like I just think that we separate so Much and compartmentalize so much like our minds, from our bodies, from our work from our relationships, whenever it's all kind of in the pot together,

Ali Shapiro 15:09
totally, because one of the things that was like life changing for me was realizing that we have more neurotransmitters in our gut than in our brain, we make the majority of our serotonin in our gut 70% of your immune system is there. And you know, the, the body is associated with the unconscious, because everything that we do like your heart, you don't have to consciously think about your heart beating, right? You don't have to think about your lungs. I mean, the breath connects our nervous system to you know, stress, fight or flight or relax. But we are taught that this body is something that we're just kind of dragging around, and we're like the bobble head, right? Like, just let's focus on that. Rather than, you know, I think of actually our minds as a mobile brain. So if you think about what you eat, how you sleep, how you move, all of that is sending messages in your brain or your mind lets your brain is where your brain is. But your mobile mind is throughout your cells. And it's picking up that sum total of, of what you're thinking, what you're feeling, what you're sensing, you guys both talked about, like Kathleen, you talked about, like that knot in your stomach, and it was really anxiety. And that's, that's something to pay attention to. Right, not just gives you Maalox. And then we have our intuition. And we can really kind of clear out the works and become more resilient if we take care of ourselves and get more clarity. And it's I almost think of those four different types. Like you're sensing your feeling and your intuition, you get, like extra employees that you don't even have to pay, right? Like they're just, they're just like on the payroll for free. But they're really rooting for you.

Kathleen Shannon 16:48
I love that. Okay, so let's then get into now a little bit where, how can we start to become friends with our bodies? How can we start to eat stuff that's really good for us, which is then good for our work and good for everything else? Like Where? I guess just let's start with like, your food philosophy? And let's start there.

Ali Shapiro 17:10
Yeah, so what I have learned is that there isn't one diet that works for everyone, which is kind of makes it a little bit more nuanced, then, you know, I joke people who don't have religion find nutrition. So it's like, Okay, if I'm gonna be vegan, I know. I know, by morals, I know my ethics, right? If I'm doing all 30, I know I'm going to show up a CrossFit. I've got a community right. And, and the truth is that there isn't one way that works for everyone. And I think we're so used to judging food, based on what the experts have told us is good or bad, rather than taking it meal by meal, to say, How am I feeling because how you eat, you will get instant feedback. And this is part of the problem with how we're taught health information we're taught, eat well, so that you can get 10 more years on your life in like 50 years. And when you have deadlines, and clients and kids, and like, that's not motivating at all. But if you can say Oh, my connect what you're eating to Wow, I'm gonna feel clear, focused, and a lot of times to your it's an absence of symptoms. So it's an absence of brain fog. It's an absence of anxiety. And so I have people always start when it comes to the food piece, like, take breakfast, for example, do a vegan breakfast One morning, do a Mediterranean like yogurt and granola and then do a paleo breakfast One morning, and you will pretty much you will know within a couple of hours. What you feel better with it's you don't need a blood test. You don't need a monitor. It's it's intuitive. And I'm just trying to get people to get the deconditioned like how they've been conditioned to believe what is good, versus just more in touch with that, that side of them. That will use Emily's term, I want an apple, like your body is like this feels really good. And I think we associate health. Because we think our body is a battle, we unconsciously think we have to be good soldiers. And so we think if we feel deprived, if we feel like we don't like our food that we're winning the war, when really I tell people to link into what I call healthy hunger. And healthy hunger is that grounded place where you make creative choices from where you make clear business choices from? It's not the juice cleanse Hi. Like a lot of people like I feel amazing. You know, this is what's working for me, but then they crash, right? And then other people are like, oh, but a food coma that was way too much. You want to make choices from that ground, that healthy hunger place that's like this feels good. I could keep this up.

Kathleen Shannon 19:44
Okay, I have a question because I know that you're a fan of efficiency. And I've become I've become more busy and I'm a mom and I've got these businesses. I've been really wanting to get into meal prep and planning and maybe even by Like a meal plan guide or doing something like hellofresh, or Blue Apron who are not sponsoring us, but holler if you want to, I think kind of wanting to do something like that just to save a little bit of time. But that healthy hunger place and that intuition and really just feeling what my body needs that day is keeping me from doing that, like, I will literally chew air to see what I'm craving, like, what do I want to eat for dinner, and I'll pretend like I'm chewing air, and just see what tastes come into my mouth. And then that's what I'll make. So then that kind of goes against the idea of meal planning or meal prepping? Because I don't know what I'm gonna want in seven days. So do you have any thoughts or ideas is kind of random, but

Unknown Speaker 20:44

Kathleen Shannon 20:45
any thoughts or ideas around that?

Ali Shapiro 20:47
No, I love this because my clients don't want to when you meal prep, you're adding extra steps, right. And that's like, we build up food rather than doing intuitively what you're already doing. And when you're doing say that breakfast experiment, what you're looking for is your blood sugar control. And most people think only diabetics have to worry about, you know, blood sugar control, but your blood sugar control talking about the connection between what you feel, if your blood sugar is imbalanced, your thoughts are going to be racing, you are going to feel moody all over the place. And so what you're looking for is blood sugar balance. And Kathleen, we talked on insatiable how you do really well with whole 30. And so for you, what you need to know is that, Okay, I need about 30% of my meals, I like about 60% of my meals to be fat and protein. And then if I know I have that, and you can start to buy that stuff. So it's like kind of your staples are in there. And then I can throw in what other veggies now I know that's gonna work for me, it doesn't matter if it's lamb, or if it's chicken, or if it's salmon, it's that I'm getting those macronutrients in versus someone who is vegetarian, you know, they need to know that they need a lot of grains and beans on stock. And so a lot of veggies and they don't need the meat and everything. So I think once you can get clear on how you balance your blood sugar, you can then have those things so that you can taste the air to see what you're in the mood for. But you're still getting the right combinations that will make you feel satisfied.

Kathleen Shannon 22:21
Okay, so I want to come back to this self agency part, I love that you really believe in trusting yourself and having this agency and self reliance. And I can definitely see that's one of the core principles that being boss was built on is that listen, no one has the magic answer for you. We're all in this figuring it out together. And we're going to have these conversations online online. And we're going to publish them to show you that even you know, to creative entrepreneurs who have been in this for a while are still figuring it out. And I think that that happens with food. I mean, I just see so many links between food and running a business and the difference between discipline and will and self trust and self reliance. And when do you break the rules? And when do you make the rules and all the things. So I want to talk a little bit about really nurturing that self agency part of the equation. And really, I suppose doing that without hating yourself, which I especially see in the food world, but also in the entrepreneur, entrepreneurial world, too. Like there's so much shame and self doubt negative talk happening and all of these spaces. So how do we really nurture, discipline? And maybe discipline is even the right word for self agency, but like how do we nurture that side of ourselves? and really build it

Ali Shapiro 23:42
up? Yeah, it's such a great question. And I think it's like the million dollar question. Because I think of a lot of what's popular in coaching right now, like motivational interviewing and positive psychology that's like the foot on the gas, right? But what I work on with people is why do I have the brake? Why is the brake? Why am I flooding my engine? And I think let's first start with defining self agency, because that's not a word that I use it a lot. You got it. I think you guys both have it, but so I just want to kind of like explain it to people, but agency means independent choice. So again, if we go back to our health examples, right, like, at the time, we just did what the doctors taught, you took Maalox, you know, Emily's going from drugs to drugs, I'm going from God knows what it's just like a whole hot mess. And we didn't know that we had other choices. And so when we're in self doubt, when we're when we're feeling really vulnerable emotions, we tend to feel like we're not in choice. We go into an all or nothing mindset. And then what happens is we we make extreme choices, which aren't necessarily healthy, right? Like, I'm just gonna eat the whole bag of chips, or I'm gonna have nothing, right. And so this kind of gets to the emotional piece, I would say because I would say let's first replace discipline with devotion. The devotion because devotion is about it feels meaningful to practice and do the work and experiment, versus I think of discipline as you're just doing it to do it like, okay, it's like, I want to get an A on the test because I want to goldstar versus Alright, I want to experiment with the being boss, podcast, because this is fun. It's really helping people and look at the community around it. So you're getting something back from your choices. So when it comes to nutrition, often when we are doing things that are in conflict with what we want, and we feel like no, I really want the plantain chips, or I really want the cupcake, right? What we actually have to look at is what emotion popped up before that. So I'll give you a couple of examples. And then I can show you the patterns that happen so that we can nurture this self trust. Because we lose trust when we when we don't do what we think is what we value, right? When when what we say we're doing is in conflict with what we value, right? I want to put the project out there, I don't want to eat these chips. So what happens is, and this is, is we have a vulnerable emotion. And when it comes to food, often if we feel self doubt, we will eat to procrastinate, right? It's like, ah, I don't know what to decide. So I'm gonna and that's part of what's called the avoid pattern, right? Like, and when we're in avoiding, we think everything has to be dramatic, right? Like, I'm gonna do one podcast episode, and Oprah is gonna find me, it has to be the best. Right?

Kathleen Shannon 26:34
Wait, be my life coach.

Ali Shapiro 26:38
This is why it took me so long to figure this out. Because this is I've been through all these patterns. Then what we might do is get into what's so the avoider pattern is procrastinating, it's withdrawing, it's not speaking up and putting our hat in the ring, hey, I want to try to get that client but I'm gonna wait, I need to I need to learn more, right? That's great for women, like I need another degree or I need more experience, right? That's a procrastination technique, or with food, people will go up, I don't need to worry about the emotions, I'm going to try being vegan that's working for so and so. And they just switch gears I've seen in the creative world, that's what a lot of people pivot, right? Oh, I'm bored. Or this isn't working. I'm gonna pivot when it's like no just got hard. The other response is the competitor response. So if we're feeling really tired, or like, really exhausted, or often people turn to food when they're in the competitor, because they're just drained and they want to unwind. And and so they when we're competing often either with our older bodies, and like our previous bodies, but we tend to do that with our work as well, like, well, what is she doing? Or what how many Instagram followers they have, I'm never going to catch up there. And and I can't when there's only so many book deals or so much, so much wisdom to go, you know, so many clients. And so then we eat to just kind of like replenish ourselves. Because we're exhausted from the comparison. It's not the emotion itself. It's from competing with ourselves and with each other. And for those of us, you know, one of the things I also realized is, I had been bullied really badly in fifth grade. And that set up in the early part of my my own business, I was comparing myself to other women and feeling so inferior. And then I was like, wait, I'm not doing that with the men. Like, why am I competing? Only with the women I was like, because I don't want to be unpopular, right? Like I like feel like and when we compete, we isolate ourselves, and don't build the same community, the very community, we need to feel really good. And so then we eat and drink to kind of like, well, I deserve this because I'm working so hard and it's not working right. And I actually could give you an example of like, you see someone, like if say you're advertising the being boss vacation, right? a competitor would be like, Oh, I really want to go to that. But I'm behind what do I have to offer? And they don't show up, right? And then they see then they're scrolling through social media and see everyone's fun time. And they're like, I'm different. I can't like I isolated right when they've done that to themselves. And then they're eating while they're while they're scrolling through social media right. The avoider might my gosh, yeah, the avoider would go to the beating being boss you know event but maybe withdraw or not share their struggles or their or their wins as well. So and then they would just drink to kind of you know, social lubricant to feel more relaxed being the real them. And then the last pattern is the accommodator. And that is when we, I have a ton of clients who they feel burned out with their body and their business but they're accommodating their clients. They're accommodating, like the their employees. They're accommodating, like what everyone else wants, without really realizing what they want. And so then they just eat because they think they deserve They're like, I put up with all this shit all day. I deserve this right? And so the same patterns that and again, sometimes these can be useful, right? But sometimes it pays to avoid it's not worth it to the cranky client just a mock gonna say anything right? But more times than not these are the break on why we are stuck in eating and not getting where we want to be in our business.

Kathleen Shannon 30:27
Wow. Okay, so to recap, those three patterns are,

Ali Shapiro 30:31
yeah, the competitor, and the behaviors there are you tend to isolate yourself, compare yourself to other people or what you used to be able to do at the gym, what your body used to look like. It's the same pattern just because we're talking about a relationship, right? A relationship to food, a relationship to our business. It's how we relate. So competitor, avoider, avoider is going to procrastinate. We call it interest with food chocolate. Fuck it like yeah, it's not worth it. It's just not worth it to say anything or to be the real me. And then the accommodator pattern is where we say yes, when we mean No, we think that the if the other person wins, we lose. So we people, please, we rescue, right accommodators love to rescue because they often feel their value is in the nurturing. So we do those, each of those patterns, which drain us emotionally and energetically. And then we eat to kind of compensate.

Kathleen Shannon 31:32
But it has nothing to do with food.

Ali Shapiro 31:35
No. In fact, one of the and this is could be really useful for listeners, I tell people, when you start having mental food gymnastics, to take a step back and think, what am I feeling not? Like people will will say it social media, they'll say it's a client. But that's because they're self critical. They're like, I shouldn't be feeling this way. I shouldn't want to eat the plantain chips or the ice cream. But if you sink below that and say, What am I feeling right now? Where do I feel at risk? Like psychologically at risk? not physically at risk? But where am I worried about doing the wrong thing? Or if you're competing? Where do I feel like I'm behind? Or if you're a commentator? What do I feel guilty about? Then you'll start to feel the feeling. And the food is just kind of a distraction piece so that you don't step outside of your comfort zone.

Emily Thompson 32:23
Okay, so I want to call therapist net. Right? No, so let's say, what do you do with these? Like, once you know, or Ks Kathleen?

Kathleen Shannon 32:36
Well, I was gonna say, Yeah, like coming back to that discipline or self agency part. It's like now you see these players, you see these patterns? What do you do with them?

Ali Shapiro 32:46
Yeah, so this is the fun part. Because you can have it all, like no one tells you this, because when you're in all or nothing, you're just kind of stuck in the same cycle. So this is all based on the Thomas killman conflict model. So this is what people do when they feel they're in conflict. And the ideal situation is we get to what's called collaboration. And this is where we get creative solutions that we didn't even know existed. And how we get there is we first have to check in with our needs. So when we're reaching for ice cream or alcohol, and we realize we don't want to be doing that, if you want to be doing that great, right? Wonderful. That's then you don't have a problem. But if it's sabotaging you, it's really protection, not self sabotage. So you say what do I need in this situation? Do I need to reach out to my business bestie and talk about this? Do I need to get clear with what the client like, I can't be available at those times, whatever it is, you have to get clear on your own needs. And then you have to get clear on the other person's needs or the situations needs. And we often perceive we know what people want. But in actuality, we have to really I say, like clarify to verify. And I can give you an example of this. I had a client who she came to me burnt out in her business and with her body, and she had been to, oh my god, like weight loss camps, like you name it, she had tried it. And she was like, I think I want to give up my business. She's like, it's so stressful. It's like, it's not what I really want anymore. And what we started to realize was she was she was a brick and mortar store. And she thought that the conventional way to grow was just to keep expanding with physical locations. And that's actually not what she wanted. And she was just continuing to think she had to accommodate what was quote unquote, normal or the standard business operating modus operandi. And she's like, I don't even like running physical stores. And so I was like, then you don't need to do it. And when she thought of a different growth strategy, she brought it online. She was able to get really creative, and she still was marrying what her clients wanted. She asked them you know, you test out new ideas, right? You're not going in blind and now she is like She's her staff, she's totally rearranged her staff. She loves her business model, because she's in that collaborative space with what she really wanted, and had all intentions kind of going into it. But after several years, it got unwieldy. Because she was just accommodating the conventional path, rather than really being creative and creating something that hasn't existed until she got in touch with what she needed. And that's the wind, when I way to think of that is what's the win win?

Kathleen Shannon 35:27
Okay, wait, so did that client hire you for food stuff? And then you figured out a whole new business model? Yeah, well, how often does that happen?

Ali Shapiro 35:35
Yeah, because we have, you know, we, it's interesting to set because 80% of my clients have a career shift. Once we're done working together, and the people who are business owners, which is about 80% of them, their business becomes so much more what they want, and so much more efficient, because these patterns that they couldn't see before, were like really running their life again, and they and when you realize you don't have to do that, it creates so much self trust. And I think about you and Emily, I think part of why you guys, I mean, you guys were brilliant in your own right. But you guys have that connection, where you probably can, can help each other figure out like you probably coach each other a lot, right to get clear on those needs. And knowing that you have someone often we think our needs are really complicated. But if we know we can just go to someone and hash it out. And they're, if we want advice, we ask for advice. But if they'll just listen, don't you normally talk it out and figure out what you need? Yeah, totally. All day most days.

Kathleen Shannon 36:39
Okay, I have another question. I don't know how this relates. But again, I think that you're so smart that you have the answer. So Emily and I have both talked before about how we can make decisions all day, every day, we can run businesses, but if you ask us what's for dinner, we will lose our shit. And so this really actually does make me think sometimes I I've been able to articulate well, because I'm making decisions all day. Like I cannot make one more decision. So how does this fit into the patterns? Like the what's for dinner question? And how can I get around? Like, I feel, but I feel like this isn't just us. There are so many entrepreneurs and creatives and you know, especially I feel like it's a big thing for parents to like, what's for dinner? This question just triggers 90% of people. I know why? Well, what

Ali Shapiro 37:34
can we do about it? Yeah, yeah. Well, I think part of it is like, do I really value home cooked meals, like is, is that you know, and I know that I'm the person who's nutrition based, but you, to me nutrition and health served your greater life purpose, right? Like you're not here, just to like meal plan, you're here to eat well, so you have the energy to go do the life that you want to do. And I, I mean, this gets into, like, socially, I think I think families, we aren't a country of family values, right? Like, we don't value working parents. We don't value children, like so that's a bigger systemic issue that I think it's harder to tackle. But I think like Carlos and I don't even have any kids. And we've had that fight. And we've just both had to realize like being an adult is so much more work than we want it to be. Like, it just comes down to being a lot of work. And so if we have limited energy, then it becomes a pattern when you feel guilty for not wanting to cook dinner, or you feel guilty for not doing it right guilt is actually a protective emotion versus I just to really be seen, I don't want to cook dinner, I don't want it to be my responsibility, or are we making it so complicated? Like I have to meal plan, I have to have all the veggies or whatever, versus can it be easier is always my question. And can we take turns? And do we not have to be a short order cook? Right? There's other kind of asking other questions. But that's every one that I know struggles with that has a little bit of a different conflict with it. But I think it's recognizing like, is the competitor in me, like we have to eat all meals at home during the week. And you know, we're trying to not go out as much versus it's like it might be a phase of your life, where it's just intense. Like your husband starts a new job and we're in a new routine and, okay, it's not forever. It's not all or nothing. But for right now we need support. And I think it's hard to accept that we can't do it all all the time.

Emily Thompson 39:32
I love this. And what I love most about it is this idea of really thinking about where your values lie with food because that's something that I don't think about very often and I do have this argument with my family quite often. And just hearing you say that makes me realize that when I supervalu home cooked meals, I love to cook it's something that I super enjoy doing. But usually by the end of the day, I am so white to the last thing I want to do. I stand on my feet for you know, two hours cooking and cleaning a meal that way, even if she likes it, my 10 year old daughter is going to make a face at some point, that is just going to happen. And so for me that's realizing that if I truly value those home cooked meals, and the issue is my work, I need to restructure my work so that I can cook some meals and be happy about it.

Ali Shapiro 40:24
And if you look at some of those patterns, the competitor, the avoider and accommodator, I bet if you think of like a battery, you'll see how your battery's being drained during the day from that those patterns that then there's no juice when you come home. It's like, oh, like, we can't even plug this in to recharge it. Right? It's like, yeah, so that's how it's connected, right? Because often there's no energy left from our work. And we're being tends to beat Now granted, you're in a new business said your your cycle, maybe it's your season might be a little bit different. But often, like I would encourage you to like the timelines competitor set totally unrealistic deadlines themselves. And then they're like, why am I so tired? I'm trying to get ahead. Versus like, if we can expand the deadline a little. It's like, Oh, my God, I'm enjoying this more. It's replenishing me, and recognizing that home cooked meals. And also, if you value that, what is it about it that you value? Is it meditative for you? Does it give you energy back that you don't have? And that's often we have to experiment because we think, Oh, my God, food is so much work. But if it helps you during that transition time, that's a that's a really challenging time for everyone coming, transitioning from work, to to home. But if the food is what helps you kind of move into that, and it grounds you, then it's serving a purpose, not only of home cooked meals, but Oh god, this is cleansing the palate of the day, and like helping me just like wash the day over me.

Emily Thompson 41:57
I'm feeling that so hard. So hard, a shift has happened, perhaps we'll see.

Kathleen Shannon 42:04
Well, and it also makes me think about what you were saying about devotion. And really, okay, so one of Yeah,

Emily Thompson 42:10
that has been a minute ago blew my mind. Thank you very much.

Kathleen Shannon 42:14
Yes. So I want to come back to that, because I love how you said that. And it really empowers it makes me feel empowered to make better choices. So one of the questions I was gonna ask you is like, well, I definitely get into that I deserve this. I've been working so hard, I deserve all the things. And I'll even do this with shopping for example, but if I'm devoted to whatever value it is that I'm devoted to, which usually is like Emily, a home cooked meal, or moving my body, and if I can, if I can shift it from this discipline, mind frame to devotion, if I'm devoted to my body being this vessel that is carrying my soul and thoughts and experiencing this life, then I want to nourish at well, and at that point, maybe I don't want to eat the ice cream.

Ali Shapiro 43:03
And, you know, devotion is also about experimenting, which you guys are totally big on right. It's like, maybe I'm not who I thought it was right? Like I thought I loved food and cared about food. And then when I realized I was just reenacting trauma from PTSD from cancer, I was like, I actually don't care about food that much I care enough to eat the humane needs, and cook enough. But I actually don't care about maka supplements and being super into nutrition like, and I had to let that go. Right. So this is also like really owning who we are resisting, we think we used to be.

Kathleen Shannon 43:40
Okay, so then I have another kind of complicated question. Yeah, let's do it. Okay. I feel like I love the body positive movement. And I love the self acceptance. And I feel like the whole world has been really hard, especially on women through advertising and societal standards, like, Oh my gosh, like, we just can't win whenever it comes to what the world has put on us a lot of times, but sometimes I struggle with really wanting to, you know, be body positive with also wanting to improve on myself, right or not being content with certain things. So I and I don't even explore it probably half as much I mean, a fraction of what people in the wellness world are experiencing. So as a wellness professional, how are you balancing self acceptance with the desire to improve and to like hustle and discipline and all of that stuff?

Ali Shapiro 44:39
Yeah, I love this question. Because I feel like trousseau food is option C. I feel like we've only been given two choices. But I'll say first of all, before I kind of redefined some terms, I think we only change once we accept ourselves. So it's that paradox of you know, and Carl Rogers said this, who was he's kind of the foundation Have some coaching theory, but he kind of rocked the therapy world when he like, again said his patients were brilliant, and that he just had to ask the right questions before then it was the same. But he's like, the curious paradox is when I accept myself that I can change. And I think what we I think in the mainstream media, we've taken self acceptance to mean resignation, like, Oh, this is just, I'm depressed. And this is just who I am. My family. I mean, this is what I used to think like, I have a history of my, in my family, there's mental illness, like, everyone I know is on an antidepressant. It's just who I am. And then versus saying, Okay, what is the message in my depression in my cravings in my exhaustion, and really taking a root cause resolution approach? I'm not, it's not that I'm weak. It's not that I'm a bad person, or whatnot. But there is deeper issues that if I look and listen, there's so much like possibility on the other side of this. Now, that's the middle and I think body positivity. I think, first of all, it's so unrealistic. I think it's part of the Let's be positive all the time. Like that's not. That's just like, I mean, when you want to talk about collaboration, it's the creative tension, right? of like, Oh, my God, like, have a challenge of like stepping outside your comfort zone. That's the most enlivening right, no one is positive all the time. No

Kathleen Shannon 46:24
one is making me think about business too. Like let's replace body positivity, with business positivity. And no wonder so many creative entrepreneurs feel like shit, whenever all we see are happy quotes and happy launches and all these things and not seeing like the gritty work behind the scenes.

Ali Shapiro 46:41
Exactly. And that the gritty work teaches you so much about what you care again, and coming back to devotion. devotion is gritty. It's like, how did I come and arrive here? It was not, you know, on a violin on a yacht, it was like a lot of pulling up our sleeves. And I think we discount the quote, you know, even the word down, like, if you feel down, you know, that can often I mean, now I'm getting to like Greek mythology, but depression used to be like a gift from the underworld, like, what, where's your life off track, and I look at my own depression, my life was completely out of whack. It wasn't a corporate job. Like, anyone who knows me. He's like, what, like you were ever in the corporate world. But like, that was safe at the time for me. So I am kind of going off on a tangent, but I think we have to understand that we might not know ourselves as well as we think. And we're always changing. And when we challenge ourselves, we discover the sides of ourselves that are completely untapped. Right. And it's kind of like, I mean, if you look at people, I'm thinking of celebrities, right? Like the kids stars who have never had any grit in their life, they self destruct, right? If because all they are doing like they've had everything that that most of us are working for. Right? Like, they're I'm thinking they're partying with Jay Z and Beyonce, the Mediterranean, you know, like, what other aspirations are there? You know?

Unknown Speaker 48:02
What is blue IV have to look No.

Kathleen Shannon 48:08
No, I think that blue IV is going to grow up a badass, but because her mom is yes, yes. No shit she has I'm fine. I think about Brittany. I mean, bless her heart. Yeah. Or think of this as a metaphor.

Ali Shapiro 48:23
One of my clients is went to her concert in Atlantic City, and she's like, she lips sank the whole thing. I guess that's her thing. Like she's. And I said to Carlos, my husband, I was like putting, he doesn't even sing. He's like, well, she was a product. She wasn't like, like, Christina Aguilera, at the time had a voice, right? Like she was. Brittany was a product. I was like, Oh, I never thought of it that way. But if you think about organic food versus conventional food, right, conventional food gets the pesticides, it doesn't have to get greedy and fend off the pests. And it's not as nutritious versus organic foods. Like we're fighting the bugs out here. We're in the soil. And that's actually what creates a lot of the nutrients is that that tension? And so I don't know I mean, you can you I could go on with my metaphors. But I think that you're what you're hitting on is we have a culture are obsessed with positivity and happiness. But it's then we don't trust ourselves when we're not like, why am I not happy all the time? Because you know what? building a business is hard. It's so fulfilling. It's the the greatest thing I'm most proud of, but it's kicked my ass more than anything else. I don't know about you guys.

Kathleen Shannon 49:30
Every day, my kiddos kicked my ass but in a really good way and business to in a really good way. Like they're both really sacred and cool and awesome and rewarding, but it's not easy.

Ali Shapiro 49:43
Right? But I would say I mean, Kathleen, you're really into lifting weight, like working out? Is it easy to like, push yourself beyond? That's the same thing now, but when you're done, you're like, did that right? I did that.

Kathleen Shannon 49:56
I think it's good because I do I struggle with that. I mean, not Not the body positivity and self accepted. I mean, of course, I struggle with that too. But it's more of like, Just wherever I'm at in my lot in life, I think that it's either or those extremes you're talking about, like, either I can be content, or I can be trying to grow something bigger than myself and challenging myself and I, I often go to those extremes where I don't think there's room for something in the middle, where I can be accepting of myself, and at the same time growing and challenging myself into the next level.

Ali Shapiro 50:33
And that's what I ultimately how I define health is, Are you alive? Like, are you taking in life, and when you work out, when you eat? Well, you're expanding your capacity for all sorts of emotions, right? Like, you're like, Oh, my God, I can hold this right. And again, I think of working out because that's my Achilles heel. But like when you're like, really out of breath, and like, I just, I was just doing the peloton before this, and the instructor was like, you know, connect to your breath, and you'll be able to go further. And it's like, if you can find that, in the storm, you get stronger. So like, I am so out of breath right now. But I'm, I can hold the push as well, right? I mean, you guys both have kids. So you probably like labor, right? It's like midwife, like, same process. But that's what help is, is when we can hold multiple feelings and multiple truths and, and then be creative with all of that, like, that's where the fun is. I mean, it takes skills. I don't want to say like, you just wake up like, oh, creativity is fun, but you get better at it.

Emily Thompson 51:33
All right. I feel like you can a million little things that I would love to dive in with you. However, I think we're getting about to the end. But what I really want to know is let's go into like some practical what can people do now who are listening to this who feel who feel inspired? They're just like all a meaning everything that you just said, but want to take a little step? What would you say to those people? Yeah, so

Ali Shapiro 52:03
if they're interested in the food, and that feels really personal to them. I would do a breakfast experiment. Take a vegan breakfast right that smoothies. I'm there's tons I am I don't eat vegan. So do you guys know some vegan?

Kathleen Shannon 52:22
Yeah, so one part plant our friend Justin banana at one part podcast, she has an amazing cookbook. And it's incredible, full of vegan deliciousness.

Ali Shapiro 52:32
Yeah, so do a vegan breakfast one day, and see what your energy and moods are like and cravings for the next three to four hours. Because how you eat one meal sets up all of that for the next three to four hours. Then one morning, have a Mediterranean breakfast, do some healthy granola with with yogurt. Or if you can't do dairy. Do, I'm trying to think like some sprouted toast with peanut butter. Something that's very like, again, it's about 30% protein, 30% fat, 40% carbs is Mediterranean. And then one day, do some like I always do eggs, I do better with more paleo, do some eggs with avocado, and kale, and see how you feel for those next three to four hours on each of those, and you'll get a really clear reading. And if you can work, if all of them work, then you're in the middle. And I'm jealous because you have more choices than all of us. Mediterranean people can like they can kind of go between the continuum a lot more unless they're under a lot of stress. So that I would say is the first the first step when it comes to food if that's what you're really interested. And realize too, because especially creatives, creatives tend to have a lot of anxiety and depression. And I want people to know that that's a symptom, not a diagnosis. Especially because depression shows up differently in women, and it's often presented as anxiety. So that is an inflammation issue. But just be curious about your symptoms versus thinking this is something that you have to struggle with forever. And I will also say creative. This is kind of like a whole other podcast but tend to not be getting enough fat and animal protein in they that's that tends to be how their their nervous system very people are very creative, tend to be. I'm going off on a tangent but the as a clue if you're a creative, you probably need more fat and some animal protein.

Kathleen Shannon 54:19
Oh my gosh, we need to get you back on the podcast just to talk about patterns of creatives and how they're eating.

Ali Shapiro 54:27
Yeah. And then from the emotional perspective, I have a quiz on my website that you can take it's what's your comfort eating style, but it will help you see what pattern of competing avoiding and accommodating are most prominent in your life. And if you don't want to take the quiz, look, start looking for the win win in situations rather than the all or nothing or the either or, or the really tight deadline because you will start to feel a reduction of pressure. But if you take the quiz there Like a lot more tools and insight into that, but even starting to label, I'm competing here because it's not something that people necessarily love to admit about themselves. Right? I was like, we could call it the type A, if that makes you feel better, right? Or Oh, I'm avoiding here like I'm eating because I'm procrastinating on how to do this contract or whatnot, right? But even starting to see those patterns is super helpful for people because when we do personality testing, we think it's who we are. But you can change that it's you're not necessarily destined to be a competitor or an avoider or an accommodator. You even in that moment are like, Oh, I have a choice not to do this. And that starts to relieve some of the pressure. So I would say those are kind of the the first two steps, but see what you're most excited by. Trust your body trust your intuition of what you're most curious about.

Kathleen Shannon 55:49
I love it. Okay, where can our listeners find that quiz and find you?

Ali Shapiro 55:53
Yeah, Allie shapiro.com A Li, sh a PR o calm and it's on the homepage.

Kathleen Shannon 56:01
And tell our listeners about your podcast? Oh, yeah.

Ali Shapiro 56:03
It's called insatiable. And it is. I would say it's a holistic health podcast that is more evidence based, I would say research based. We have a lot of physicians who have left Western medicine and are because they're not happy doing that. And they have other ideas. And we really look at health from this holistic perspective, especially emotional health. I think it doesn't get enough airtime. So we look at a lot of a lot of the reasons that your food choices while they feel like they're self sabotaging are really actually pretty brilliant. And self protective. So thanks. Yeah, insatiable. Were all great podcasts are found. Thanks for asking. Yeah. And finally, what makes you feel most boss? Yeah, getting people out of the matrix. I love it. I love it.

Emily Thompson 56:54
Thank you so much for coming to hang out with ice. It was a pleasure to talk I have a funny feeling that this will not be the last time. Well, thanks for having me. I had so much fun.

Kathleen Shannon 57:08
Hey, bosses, I want to tell you about the CEO day kit. The CEO day kit is 12 months of focus planning for your business in just one day. So Emily and I have packaged up the exact tools that we've been consistently using for years that have helped us grow from baby bosses to the CEOs of our own businesses. gain clarity, find focus, get momentum, prioritize your time, make better decisions and become more self reliant with the CEO day kit. Go to courses that being boss club to learn more and see if it's a fit for you and your business.

Emily Thompson 57:44
Thank you for listening to being boss. If you're looking for more help and being boss of your work in life accom check out our website where you can find Episode shownotes. browse our archives and access free resources like worksheets, trainings, quizzes and more. It's all at WWW dot being boss dot club. Do the work. Be boss