My name is Lyndi Cohen, I’m an Australian dietitian on channel 9’s TODAY show, body positive advocate and author of The Nude Nutritionist book: Stop Obsessing About Food and Never Diet again!
After struggling with dieting and binge eating for 10 years, I finally quit diets, learned to love my body and lost 20kg.
Today, I’m the founder of the Keep It Real, a program to help you end emotional eating and feel normal around food again! I also run the Instagram account @nude_nutritionist where I promote body confidence and self-acceptance. I also blog and share heaps of free recipes at www.lyndicohen.com.
In order to keep it real and be stripped bare, I never use photoshop (but I almost always wear clothes)!
Why The Nude Nutritionist?
My whole approach is about stripping back to nonsense and getting back to basics. There is too much nutrition noise out there that it can feel overwhelming! Instead of ‘trying to be good’ only to inevitably fall off the bandwagon again, I like to keep it real.
How did you get started on your Body Love journey and what was the driver behind your new book The Nude Nutritionist: Stop Obsessing About Food and Never Diet Again?
For a decade, I obsessed about food and tried every diet. I scrutinised over everything I ate, and felt guilty whenever I’d mess up. Eventually I realised that I didn’t want to spend the rest my life worrying about food and my weight.
I wrote the book I wish I had read when I was young, because I know it would have saved me so many years of obsessing over food. It’s a book for anyone who’s either really ‘good’ or falling off the bandwagon. It’s a book for the woman who’s been dieting for as long as she can remember.
But most of all, it’s a book that contains a wonderfully gentle approach to nutrition, along with 50+ easy, whole food recipes - because I truly believe healthy eating should make you feel amazing.
Images and recipes from Nude Nutritionist by Lyndi Cohen, Murdoch Books, RRP $35.00 Photography: Cath Muscat. https://www.lyndicohen.com/book
Why do you think so many girls and woman find it hard to love and accept their bodies?
The media have made us believe that you have to have a flat stomach and cellulite-free thighs to be healthy. So we have beautiful women who are torturing themselves (and sabotaging their wellbeing) to fit into this unattainable ideal. Photoshop, facetune, filters and the newsfeed highlights reel have just added to our body insecurities. That’s probably why 90% of women say they don’t feel comfortable with their bodies.
Your top 3 tips for people who are just getting started on their Body Love journey?
- We all have bad body image days. This also happens to me. When you find you’ve got nothing to wear, see a body photo of yourself or get stuck in the comparison trap, remind yourself that you are not meant to just have a perfect body. You are meant for so much more in this world. You do not need to be perfect from every angle or love how you look at every moment.
- Body love is a practice, not a destination. In that, you need to keep reminding yourself and the more you practice, the easier it gets. When the negative voice pops into your head, practice saying things like “her body is lovely, and so is mine” or “I accept myself the way I am.” Find something that resonates for you and practice using it.
- Imagine you were stranded on a desert island, with no one else around. Would you still hate your body? How much of hating your body has got to do with your body… and how much of it is because you’re afraid of what other people think? Body love is the moment you decide to care more about your body than what other people think. And it’s wonderful.
Can you tell us what Mindful Eating is and 3 ways we can implement it in our lives?
I’ve seen a lot of silly advice for mindful eating, like people recommending you avoid social arrangements or limit the variety of your diet. It’s quite scary how often eating disorder advice is disguised as health advice. Mindful eating is about enjoying your food and being present. Food guilt is one of the main barriers to mindful eating. Here’s 3 tips I recommend for mindful eating:
1. When you eat mindfully, try not to judge what you eat as ‘good’ or ‘bad’. If you do ‘mess up’, remind yourself that it’s ok to sometimes overeat. You are human and imperfect and that is ok.
2. Practice listening to your hunger, which I teach you how to do in The Nude Nutritionist book. Your appetite will help guide you to eat well for your body - you just have to remember to tune in. The good news is the more you practice, the easier it gets!
3. Sit down to eat, without distractions like Netflix or Instagram. When we’re so tuned into technology, it’s tough to tune in to our bodies. Most people don’t realise how eating in front of the TV can contribute to emotional or overeating.
What do you wish you could have told your 16 year old self?
I’d remind her that you can’t live a full life on an empty stomach. I’d make sure she knew that it’s not worth giving up on 95% of your life just to weigh 5% less. I’d teach her to eat healthily but make sure she knew that her body was already perfect the way it is.
What is your favourite quote that makes you feel most empowered?
“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before beginning to improve the world”. - Anne Frank
What is the main thing you want to achieve in your career?
I want to live in a world where we feel comfortable in our bodies, a world where we eat healthily to feel amazing and do the things we love. I’d love healthy eating advice to be balanced, smart, and realistic - and not something that promotes eating disorders. I want to live in a world where exercise is for enjoyment, not punishment for eating. My biggest career highlight would be in helping to make this happen… That would make me much more fulfilled that any product I could create!
What's your favourite food?
Chocolate, wrapped in chocolate and then dipped in melted chocolate.
What's your favourite exercise?
Anything that boosts my mood and generally, whatever my body feels like that day. Right now I’m loving jogs to the beach and pilates.
What's your favourite recipe from the book?
There’s a 4-ingredient chocolate mousse recipe in the Nude Nutritionist book that blows. my. mind! But the Hail Ceasar Chicken Salad with Avocado dressing is top contender, too.