In this episode of Healthy Family Project, we talk to Jackie Vega of the Wellness Solution about what is means to have a positive relationship with food, how to develop that relationship and how to pass that wisdom onto your kids.

Jackie shares ways to evaluate new food trends and fads and how to tackle a weight loss journey in a sustainable way.

Jackie is a registered dietitian, ACE certified personal trainer, wife, and mom of two. She is the founder of the Wellness Solution where she offers guidance to her clients on all things health and fitness.

Jackie recently launched the Busy Moms Kitchen podcast where she invites you into her kitchen to listen in on conversations about life as busy moms, reaching health and fitness goals and other things that only you and your girlfriends will understand.

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Want to skip straight to a hot topic? See time stamps below. But of course, we recommend listening all the way through!

  • 3:24 Jackie’s New Podcast
  • 7:39 What does a healthy relationship with food look like?
  • 9:15 Teaching kids to have a positive relationship with food
  • 12:07 Dealing with the influx of food trends and fads
  • 15:10 Starting a weight loss journey in a sustainable way
  • 20:08 What does a healthy family mean to you?

Other Podcast Episodes to Check Out:

Healthy Family Project Podcast

Conversations covering hot topics in the world of health, food and family with a dose of fun. Helping families ease their way into a new fresh and healthy world.

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If you are interested in being a guest on the Healthy Family Project podcast, contact with your topic idea for consideration.

Transcript for Episode 41

This transcript was produced by Otter.Ai. Please forgive any misspellings and grammatical errors.

Welcome to the healthy family project by produce for kids, covering the hot topics in the world of health,
food and family with a dose of fun. Today we are talking to Jackie Vega of the wellness solution. Jackie is
a registered dietician a certified personal trainer, wife and mom of two and now podcast host, I’m
definitely excited to hear about that new venture. She is the founder of the wellness solution where she
offers guidance to her clients on all things health and fitness. We talked to Jackie back in episode six
seems like forever ago about mindful eating. And if you haven’t listened, definitely go back because I
think that that episode really goes hand in hand with what we’ll be talking about today. Today we’re going
to talk about developing a positive relationship with food. I think a positive relationship with food is
important at all stages of life and ultimately starts at a young age. Recently, during a food as medicine
conversation, kind of had an aha moment, the more I started to think about the statement, yes, food can
be a source to prevent and combat disease, I fully believe that. But the fact is, food is what nourishes our
body to keep us going every day. And our perception of food as a positive and having a relationship
where we’re not looking at it as medicine. Again, I truly stand behind, you know, that we eat, to prevent
disease, and so on and so forth. But it’s kind of sending me in opposite directions in my thoughts. And so
knowing that we have to eat every day, it’s probably a good idea that we have the best relationship with
food as possible. So and food, when you think about it is attached to memories with family and friends
attached to holidays and good times. You know, those smells that bring back, you know, bring you back
to your grandmother’s kitchen, all of those things are just so amazing to think about when it comes to
food. So knowing that, and then thinking about food being attached to kind of negativity or feeling shame
or worry or guilt. It’s a difficult, you know, it’s a difficult balance. So and I’ve really been thinking a lot
about this balance you can tell for myself and for my family. And I know Jackie is just the person to help
me fill in the blanks. Welcome back to the show. Jackie. It’s been a while since we connected back in
episode six seems like such a long time ago, where we talked about mindful eating. And I think today’s
topic is really an extension of our previous conversation about mindful eating. So I’m excited to talk to
you today. And now you have a new podcast of your own, which is really exciting. We need everyone
who’s listening over here to come over and listen to what you have going on. So before we jump in, tell
us a little bit about the new podcast and what you have going on over at the Wellness solution.
Thank you, Amanda. I’m also really excited to be back here with you. Something that I’ve always wanted
to do is just talk and educate people. And when it comes to health and being a mom, I always say bring it
on. And I guess that’s why I started the podcast. And more importantly, I just wanted to connect with
other health, wellness and fitness professionals who are moms as well. I feel like we have just a different
way of going about our day to day schedules and things that we have to do with the kids. And it’s you
know, we we connect differently and I feel like a lot of people look towards fitness professionals,
dietitians, maybe even doctors, they look at us as if we’re going to have this perfect life and we don’t and
I just want to bring it out there to other moms.
Well, that’s awesome. And the name of your podcast is busy mom’s kitchen. Is that correct? Yes. Okay,
so we need everyone to go search search for that over on on Apple podcasts and start listening. Well,
sounds like you’re doing some new great things. But of course, I never expect any less from you. You’re
You’re always into something new. But let’s jump in today’s topic. So today we’re going to talk all about
having a positive relationship with food. I really feel like there’s so much we’re seeing these days food as

medicine. Here’s your prescription, which I am totally on board with. I do believe that food can combat
diseases. And as you know, it means for preventative. But I also feel like, there’s this thing around food
that we all have like the smells that remind us of our childhood and our grandma’s kitchen and the pie
smell and, you know, being around the table. And so my fear, with so much of this conversation
happening around what we need to be doing with food, and you need to eat this, and this is bad, and this
is good that we are, do you know, our society is just developing this relationship with food that might not
be so great. A friend of mine just told me a story about a friend of hers who I do not know. But the story
kind of shook me last week a little bit. But the woman had to be admitted, admitted for an eating disorder
because she had so much anxiety around what she ate due to reading, so many health claims and going
down the rabbit hole that we can all go down of what you’re putting into your body that she was to the
point where she could eat nothing. And I thought, oh, my gosh, and then when I talked to you, I said we
need to address this.
Yes, definitely. And unfortunately, it’s not uncommon. I had oddly I just heard of somebody last week.
Actually, it’s an old manager of mine, her daughter, who’s in her 20s, she did die due to an eating
disorder. So it’s, it’s not uncommon. And in my podcast that actually went live today, I did talk a super
small portion about that. Because it’s not uncommon. And it just seems to be even more prevalent in
those younger ages. And with you and I both with preteen and teenager now, it’s something that we’re
both very aware of it. And sometimes I find that the conversations that I personally have around food
when I’m around friends, I’m almost afraid to have my kids around me because I don’t want the wrong
words, right? Or thoughts around it to be said. So that’s why I do feel that this conversation is important,
no matter where we are in our life, you know, the phases in our life and the time of year.
Right? So I know there’s no textbook definition here. And it really varies person to person. But from your
perspective, what does a healthy relationship with food look like? And what does an unhealthy
relationship with food look like? I know, it’s like a loaded question. Because I think it’s really easy to end
up in a place where you have a negative relationship and maybe don’t even realize how you got there.
Oh, Amanda, question like, this is rough. And when you send these thoughts to me last night, I had to
kind of step back. And when I think of it simply, it’s eating what you want without feeling guilty. But then I
did a Google search. And the first thing that came up was from the National Eating Disorder Association.
And the article talked about relaxed eating, preference over position, balance and flexibility. And overall,
it was just eating without stress, not worshiping a certain food, and certain foods meaning good, bad,
super healthy, and avoiding the food rules such as diets or foods that are good versus bad. It’s a great
read. So I’ll definitely make sure that I pass over the link to you.
Sure, yes, I would love that. We’ll put that in the show notes so that everyone can kind of take a look at
that. You know, we always like to relate things back to how things affect families, and especially children.
Again, here’s another not so simple question to answer. But how do we encourage our kids to have a
healthy relationship with food, especially when many of us, regardless of age, don’t have it all figured
out? I mean, really? So basically, how do you tell your kid not to eat an entire bag of Cheetos in one
sitting without them feeling like, you know, oh, I’m a bad person, or I’m eating incorrectly or them feeling
shamed. There’s, I mean, there’s more to it, of course, but how do you teach them about balance? And
it’s not something so that it’s not something stressful to them? That makes sense? Yeah,
it’s true, and it’s not easy. And when I get questions like this, I always resort back to myself being a mom.
So I like to offer my kids their 11 and 13. Just different smaller dishes or different color dishes. Like our
popcorn we have I got these from the dollar store. We have these little plastic containers that look just
like the popcorn bags in the movies. So we’ll put the popcorn in there. Ice Cream goes into another
special dish. So we have a couple of different ones there and I found this particular one in the dollar
section at Target. There’s this little it’s a glass ice cream cone and it’s white, so that goes in there. If
they’re going to have chips it goes on a plate near a sandwich With veggie slices and fruit, so just taking
things out of the container, and getting them used to that right from the beginning, or even if it’s not from
the beginning, just make it something new. I mean, from working with families of several, you know,
different stages in their lives, I know that it can be really easy from the beginning. But even as teenagers,

and maybe those college students that are home, you can just start that type of eating, you know, a new
way of eating or putting things in little containers and stuff, it can be done. So
I’m all about the portions I have lived by that in adulthood. And especially since I’ve had had kids
because I know it’s easy to take out that tub of ice cream, mint chocolate chip to be specific. And really
forget, like, wait a second, how helpful was this? When I started? How many spoonfuls have I had? And I
think yeah, you know, goes back to our original conversation about mindful eating. You know, when you
have something portioned like that, I think you can be more mindful about what you’re eating, you
recognize how how much is there. And using those fun bowls and Target dollar Ben is always that dollar
section is always full of fun and dollar store. I mean, we have, we also have like ice cream shaped bowls
and things like that. So I’m with ya. So it seems like every year there’s some new food fad, I guess we’re
getting ready to move into 2020. So everybody, get get prepared for the next one. Whether it be keto,
whole 30, or the explosion of plant based alternatives, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed and feel like you
need to rethink all of your food choices all the sudden, what have I been doing all this time? You know,
it’s like, Ah, I remember a few months ago, celery juice was all the rage. And now I really haven’t heard
much about it was like, hit me hard. It was everywhere. And now yeah, it’s kind of like on to the next
thing. So what’s a good strategy for evaluating these trends and deciding if it’s something worth trying?
Or if it’s just a trend that will come and go?
Okay, well, before I go into that, I also just wanted to say that when, when we are trying out these new
things as far as how to serve our food, I think the other big thing is to is to not, like not not be the person
that says, Oh, my gosh, why did you put that much ice cream in a bowl. So and I just have to put that in
there. Because I feel like how we talk to our kids is important as well. So okay, so let me go back. The
best line of defense, when it comes to all of these different diets out there is knowledge. So read as
much as you can listen to what others are saying, use websites that end, look at those
reputable sites, look at what the dietitians are talking about. And then you just need to make your own
judgment based on what you have learned and the needs of yourself and your family.
I like that That’s simple. That’s a simple way to kind of evaluate those diets, to know where to go, these
are the trusted sources and make the decision. It’s a personal decision. It’s not because you know, it’s
everywhere, all over Pinterest, you have to be doing this. And I always say to, for me, and this came with
age, listening to your body. Just I know that there’s things that I eat that I just don’t agree with me. So you
know, it’s, you know, I tell the girls all the time, like try to listen to what your body is telling you like, your
body is not going to steer you wrong, but you have to understand and pay attention to what it’s saying to
you. I feel like we had this conversation before. But yeah, so that’s my biggest thing. You know, they
know if there’s a day where you know where to go to a theme park and then we go to a dinner and
they’ve had, you know, their, their soda of choice whenever they they splurge for a soda is usually Sprite.
And so we drink so much water, that I feel like when there’s a shift like that we’re at a birthday party, and
it’s like kind of like, you know, limitless sprite at their disposal. And then you can see that, that both of
them will say like, oh, I shouldn’t have had so much of that, you know, or, like they know you can see and
I’m like okay, I didn’t have to say anything. It’s just they recognize, you know, like, okay, there’s times for
this, but maybe I should not have been five cups in one sitting. Yeah, so anyway. Well, so there’s no
denying that discussions about weight gain and weight loss are a big part I think of this overall positive
relationship with food. You know, we can say this all day long, but in a diet culture is a big reason why
many people have a negative relationship with food. So what’s the best approach here? You think for
people looking to lose weight or change their lifestyle? What’s the starting point that doesn’t send them
down the path of yo yo diets and alive for them to reach their goals in a healthy and really a sustainable
way, making it a lifestyle instead of you know that diet.
Mm hmm. Very true. So we need to understand that it’s not all about food and exercise. And the first
things that I would consider are proper hydration, plenty of sleep, and I’m guilty on that one, right now
blaming going on hormones, so hard meditation, or some type of personal relaxation, and healthy
relationships, you obviously don’t want to tackle all of this at once. So you want to take one at a time
people think that that’s the other thing too, that people will just be like, I’m going to do this, this and that.
And then a week later, they’re saying, forget it, I’m throwing in the towel. So taking a look at your life, and
just figuring out what would be the simplest thing to tackle. And I say simple, because no matter what

changes we make, they’re not going to be easy. So I think that’s huge. For many people, I find that it’s
adding water, so they’re carrying around a water bottle. For others, it’s scheduling in those 10 minute
morning meditations or morning pages, to get their minds clear and ready to tackle the day. And from
there, once you’ve made a habit on most days, days of the week, for at least a few weeks, then you can
move on to the next one. And also, I think as well for myself, I always resort back to that busy mom life,
we need to be forgiving. And if you do find it really difficult, seek the help that you need. And don’t beat
yourself up about don’t beat yourself up about it. And it’s definitely going to take the time.
Yeah, and I feel like in, you know, life in general, I don’t remember where I first read this strategy. But it
said, if you have a task that seems that you keep putting off and you’re just like, oh, this seems like you
know, I don’t want to work on this project, it just seems like too much. Break it into smaller, like smaller
pieces. So if you’re looking at something and thinking this is going to take me five hours to finish this
project, say and then how can I break it up into 45 minutes, you know, like break it into these smaller
projects. So I think that can kind of transfer over? Oh, yeah, to this topic, where you look at this huge
mountain to climb, and it’s like, I can never, I will never get to the top of that mountain. But then if you can
break it down into those little like, I’m going to drink an extra glass of water a day, you know, just those
little wins, those will result to get you to the top. But yeah, you know, it’s just looking at it differently. I think
whenever you’re not seeing it is such a huge task to take care of. For sure. And so also to add, we have
the healthy family Project Facebook group going on, I need to add you over into the group. Because
once we once this podcast goes live, we always ask that people continue the conversation over there.
So yeah, so we’ll definitely do that. So if there’s any extra questions or thoughts or anything, we’ll do that.
But we have been doing with our registered dietitian, several live videos with her. And we did one last
night dealing with picky eaters over the holidays and kind of being in the mix of things around family. And
is that the time that you’re trying to push the broccoli? Or is it okay that they have a plate of dinner rolls?
And that’s it. So I would encourage anyone you know, it’s the same kind of atmosphere over there really
low key, no judging, believe me, we have a rule when you join the group, you know, we are just having
the conversation. And so our Registered Dieticians over there, and she, you know, free free tips and you
can ask her questions, and we have people posting things all the time. And then we’ll get you Jackie, in
the group too. So that so that you can kind of stay in the mix as well. So definitely come over there and
join us because I feel like we’ll we’ll have some good advice on tackling a lot of this stuff easily. Alright,
so you have not had a chance to answer the question. I went to a podcast, I feel like I say this every
episode. People are like, come on. i We know, we know. But you don’t know. Jackie doesn’t know. So I
went to a podcast conference in August. And they in one of the sessions they said like something, you
know, interesting to do would be to ask every guest the same question. And you get this diversity of
answers. And I’m thinking that maybe at the end of the year, spoiler alert, I might pull together all of these
answers and kind of put them together because I think they make up such a beautiful, you know, kind of
hodgepodge of what a healthy family means. So, all that said, What do you think it means to be a healthy
family? No right or wrong answer They’re just looking for that that diversity of response.
Okay, so a healthy family, I feel eat as many meals as possible together, no matter what kind of meal it
is. And I say that because in the last, you know, just the last several years, and one in particular that I’m
thinking of is, during my internship back in 2010, I was working with a young girl, and she just was having
a hard time with what to feed her child. And he was very young. And I made it clear to her and you know,
helped her to understand that. Sometimes it’s okay that you’ve grabbed that fast food or that fast food
meal. But it because it’s even more important that they’re sitting together. So I always have to resort back
to that, whatever it is that you’re eating, just at least sit down together. And a healthy family
acknowledges that they’re in it all together forever.
I like it. That’s a good one. I’m excited. No, now that I said it, though, I’m probably ahead. Now I’m gonna
tie myself into doing it. So I better get started. So awesome. So like I said, let’s continue this
conversation over on the healthy family Project Facebook page, we want everybody to have a positive
relationship with food. And lastly, Jackie, can you just let everyone know where they connect can connect
with you?
Yes. So the main thing now, of course, is my love project is to live hopefully, you guys would love to listen
to my podcast. The first one, there’s only five as of today. The first one, it just gives you a general idea of

what the podcast is becoming. And since it’s new, you will have to search for it exactly word for word, the
busy mom’s kitchen. I don’t have a little apostrophe in the s either. So I don’t know if that makes a
difference. It’s on Apple podcasts and Google Play. And I believe it’s going to eventually be on Spotify
and SoundCloud, and then also on Instagram, and Facebook, and all of that, but I’ll have you if you want
to put the links to that, because that can get a little confusing with all that information.
Yes, I will, I will definitely link up to all of that any links that we have from produce for And
anything extra Jackie, that you have that that we can share out over there to just provide more, you
know, background and everything for this topic. So once it’s been too long, so I know clearly for the time
we spent talking before we started recording, but definitely always love having you on excited for your
new adventure. We’ll be following along. And just thank you so much for taking the time to chat today.
Thank you, Amanda.
I’m truly glad we had this conversation today. I think it’s just a good topic as we start to move into 2020.
And, you know, no doubt, we’ll see all of the new diets for the new year and the new superfoods and
everything, to kind of just take a moment and not get overwhelmed with all of it. And like I said, we’ll be
continuing this discussion over in the healthy family Project Facebook group. So be sure to request to
join the group and we can add you into the mix. If you have a topic you’d like us to cover. You can share
it in the comments here or share it in the Facebook group. We’re always interested in feedback, please
good or bad suggestions, anything we like to hear it so let us know. And then don’t miss out on all of our
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