EAP 14: Angela Douge -Becoming a Mindful and Effortless Eater
Mindful eating is a mindset shift to a more present conscious thinking #EAP #EffortlessEater
Our guest on this episode of the Early Accountability podcast is Angela Douge, the dietician and nutritionist behind the Effortless Eater. Angela grew up in a home with strict parameters about the types of food that the family would eat, so she never had sugary cereal or candy as a child, and to this day has never tasted pork. After completing college and additional schooling to become a dietician with a master’s degree in public health, Angela taught nutrition at the college level for 7 years before venturing out to do her own thing along the same lines.
She now works as a consultant and coach offering meal planning, nutritional counseling, elementary student education services, and personal chef services as a part of her Effortless Eater venture. Angela’s tips for mindful eating are: (1) write down your vision for your overall diet, (2) determine the actionable steps that you can take today that will help you fulfill your vision, and (3) never leave home without a snack, to remove the temptation of stopping at a drive-thru that does not have food aligning with your vision.
Topics Covered in this Episode:
- How eating can be mindful and effortless at the same time
- Improving your overall well-being by practicing clean eating
- Ways that Angela and Effortless Eater can help you reach your health goals
Connect with Angela:
Instagram – @effortlesseater
Keep an eye out for Angela’s upcoming cookbook entitled “The Bitter Breakfast”!
As an Author, Dietitian and College Professor; Angela has worked with individual clients, groups and even children to offer a daily commitment to wellness that is effortless and with real ease. She teaches mindful eating so that her clients can learn right now steps to develop a higher quality of life while using healthy food choices to improve the mood and mental alertness. She also incorporates a spiritual connection to pull it all together. Having graduated from Benedictine University with a dual MPH and RD, Angela has developed a way of expanding those around her to reach their health and wellness desires, to know for themselves the importance of a fulfilled life. With each reaching their desires, she believes we all can build on our strengths to be and do more.
Welcome to the ‘Early Accountability Podcast’ hosted by Kimi Walker. Kimi has a track record of serving as a behavior change, and improvement catalyst for individuals, groups, and organizations. Get ready to make the best version of yourself a priority. Now welcome Kimi Walker.
Kimi: Kimi Walker here and welcome to the next episode of the ‘Early Accountability Podcast’. Today, I am very privileged to have Angela here with me. She is the mastermind behind ‘Effortless Eater’. Hi Angela, how are you?
Kimi: First, I thank you for being here.
Angela: Hi, how are you? Thank you for having me. I’m very honored to be here.
Kimi: Yes, I know you have, like you said a great dynamic Instagram account. You have Effortless Eater your business. You do a lot with Mindful Eating. Why don’t you start by just introducing yourself to the audience and just talking about how you kind of got into the path that you’re into today?
Angela: Absolutely, so I basically became a dietician because people kept stopping me or interacting or somehow figuring out how I was involved in food. And I originally went to college to go on to law and really thought that I was going to be an advocate for the people and you know, that lawyer with the cuffs arms in the commercials and you know, I was envisioning but I just could not get away from Dietetics Nutrition and Food. And so, I made the decision in my sophomore year to change and go into Dietetics and I did Food System Administration. So out of college I worked a lot in restaurants, in cafeteria dining and finally said, “Okay, now it’s time to go back and do the Dietetic.”
So I did a two year program and get my Dietetics and my Master in Public Health at the same time. And in doing that I just, again people just were kind of like, “Yes, this is the right fit for you, you should go on to teaching” And, so I taught for seven years on college level Nutrition and Dietetics in Coordinated programs. And was a Program Director and so I just like I said I couldn’t get away from it and it just has always been a very big passion of mine. My dad is a very strict eater, sometime he absent flows nothing passed fish, I would say that. And so we grew up [inaudible] [02:21]we grew up really not having the typical cereals. Like I didn’t have my first bowl of Fruity Pebbles until I got to college.
Kimi: Oh, wow!
Angela: And we didn’t have candy and you know my mom she would give us candy and it’ll be like Fannie Mae. [Laughs] like, you know, it was like really, really [inaudible] [02:40]it was never this, “oh like the snickers in every season.” So I tell people a lot of times sometimes, when you meet me we talk about food, I don’t have a lot of hang ups, I’ve never have pork before so I don’t know what bacon tastes like and I don’t know what pork chop taste like, there’s no connection for me. So there’s nothing really to be like, “Oh God I miss it” I don’t know, you know so it works that way.
Mindful Eating really came into a big component of my nutrition counseling when I started to practice science of mind, spirituality pathway that really fits me. It really speaks to an individual energetically and how they connect to themselves, the universe and ultimately to food. So I’ve just been able to be in that place and just constantly keeping that energetic energy for myself and for my clients, it feels good, it feeds me. When I think about it, the more I pour into other people the more I get a benefit. So, I enjoy being of service to other people and this is the vehicle I use to do that and that’s through food and Mindful eating, Intuitive eating, Conscious Eating those type of things.
Kimi: That’s awesome. So, for clarification you’re a Vegan, a Vegetarian?
Angela: I am what I call 80/20.
Angela: So, for a majority of my eating, 80% of my eating is vegan and then 20% I do still enjoy fish, egg and cheese. So 80/20.
Kimi: So, no poultry, like you said no pork?
Angela: Yes, so no chicken, no beef, no pork. Pork never and it works for me. I have my brother’s a Vegan, I mean he’s like a staunch vegan like. He’s like, “Okay what did you, you baked that, what’s in it? Is it a flag or an egg?” You know like [inaudible] [04:25]
So I have those kind of people in my roll, I mean it’s all good you know it’s just that’s not people say, “Are you going to the dark side?” you know I’m not at the dark side yet and I still enjoy eggs benedict here and there.
Kimi: With Early Accountability, we really talk a lot about how people can jump start a new venture for themselves. So if someone wanted to become let’s say they said, “Okay I want to like clean up my eating. I want to be a more mindful eater. I want to lose weight. I want to gain weight. I want to feel better.” What kind of tips would you give them if they wanted to just start like tomorrow. What are some strategies that you would suggests to help make that transition?
Angela: I would definitely say you need to put pen to paper, pen into whatever utensil tool you can to paper and actually write out what you desire, what do you think that should look like. So whether it’s you know I want to eat four times a day and I want three times to have vegetables in it. Once you put that to paper, then you actually have where you can work in smaller steps and do what I call actionable steps. So now that you have that on paper you have a vision, you can work your way out of that vision and say, “Well today I’m going to work on eating those three vegetables out of my four meals” and you’re either going to you know hit 100% or you are going to be at 50% and then you start over again tomorrow.
And I’ve really, with my clients, I always focused on let’s add to our meal plan, let’s add to what we eat and let’s not worry about necessary taking things away because what you end up finding out is that the more you add to your meal plan, your plethora of what you eat, other things they just fall off, like they they just disappear. So if I was to tell you, you know try more waters, try variety of waters, you know try different teas. Then before you know it, you like, “[unclear] [06:23]all right people call me [unclear] [06:24]am not even drinking pop anymore”
Angela: And we never talked about it I never said stop drinking pop, I just say, let’s try some of these other really awesome beverages that can hydrate you and get you through your day.
Kimi: That’s awesome. So can you talk a little bit more, I know when I hear mindfulness I always think of being aware or being present in the moment and then when you say kind of effortless, I kind of think of I didn’t really have to think about it. [Laughs] So explain how those intertwine?
Angela: So absolutely, so right, really what you should just say is, it is really about being more present be more conscious in making a decision that this is, ‘I’m actually sitting in front of me and I have a plate of collard greens and I can see the color in them, I can see the flavor in them. You know I see the essence coming off of it’ and doing that you are being mindful. You’ve taking the effort out of this idea that it has to be hard. So it’s a mindset shift towards more present conscious thinking.
I tell a lot of people, when you eat food you really should try to sit down and that be what you do. And again a lot of us we have extremely busy lives, we have a lot of responsibilities and so again I’m not asking you to be a 100 percent all the time, you might just only do that with one meal and then you’ll find that the more you do that the more you enjoy it and you enjoy the food and then you end up eating less of it. And it just kind of like this kind of spiral, like, “Wow, okay It really isn’t that okay”
I have a really cool video, it’s super old on YouTube and it’s called, “The Snack Attack Box” and is something that I’ve always taught my clients is that, ‘never leave home without it.’ Never leave home without food because what happens when we leave home and we don’t have food, we get really anxious and we let the day run us through and then before we know it we’re in some drive through.
Angela: But, if you had a Tupperware or little container and it had some apples and some raisins and it had a preapproved granola bar that you like, you know some of the things on the market aren’t. [Laughs] you know, they are not really what they say they are but you know you had those four or five things that you know you could have that would hold you over or whether they might be a string cheese or boiled egg or some precooked vegetable that you don’t mind eating cold, like kale then, you’ve again, you’ve taken an effort out of that, you’ve taken it we’re it’s more easy. And now I can feel good about myself because I’m out and about and I’m empowered. I’m not going to fall prey to and I’m not going to say any names but you know I’m not going to fall prey to any of these places because now I’m desperate.
Kimi: Right, you’ve prepared.
Angela: I’m prepared. Yes, so part of that is been prepared I know you saw my tag line in my e-mail “chance favors the prepared mind” and I know we’d talk about that later, that’s one of my favorites.
Kimi: Okay, awesome. Now, how long have you been doing, let’s talk about you more and your entrepreneur side. How long have you been doing like Effortless Eater, how long have you had your business?
Angela: So I’ve had my business for, I always kind of gage it to my son’s age, so that’s about nine years.
Angela: And what I did was and I know we’ll talk about kind of like the challenges of being an entrepreneur and having to re-prioritize. I knew right on, coming out of high tech school and had already you know done ton of volunteer work, that this was something that I could do viable as a job. And so I did quickly even before I was even call myself the Effortless Eater, would have you know gigs that I would do or have clients who I would say, “Okay well just pay me this much and I’ll come and help you do a meal plan and you know shoot you an email or something.”
So, I’ve had it for those nine years but I would definitely say since I’ve been in Georgia which is in the last four years I’ve really started to lean more into it and really say, “Okay, this is something that it just fits, it’s right, it’s like there’s no better time than the now.” So, yes I’ve been on and off the entrepreneurship training but this core round I’m on it.
Kimi: All right, it’s great. So tell us how, what kind of services do you offer. I know you said a few, like you know like meal plans and consultation.
Angela: Right, so we definitely do meal planning where, if I’m doing that on paper for you or actual meal planning, cooking in my home or your home for you for a certain amount of time. I do personal chef work in the home, so say, you might be having like a birthday party and you want you know to have a little spread out, I could be that person hiding in the kitchen moving food out [laughs] to the other rooms. I do Nutritional Counseling. I do Medical Nutrition Therapy, so I work with clients who are diabetic, clients who have renal disease. I do cooking classes where again I can go into your home and teach you how to make wonderful dishes that you desire. I have a pretty good Thumbtack account I don’t know if the listeners are familiar with that but it’s a website you go to and you find people that you want to get services from and I’m up there and so a lot of clients have found me through there and I teach them how to make various vegetarian dishes and that’s very helpful. So nutritional counseling, the meal planning, personal chef, cooking classes and I’ve even been doing some speaking engagements.
Angela: So, those are things that I’m able to do. And then I also have a real strong interest in my day job. I do K12 nutritional education, farm to school work. Anything that kind of, from the seed up to the [laughs] I seem to be really connected to, it really it feeds me.
Kimi: So, what kind of projects do you have coming up here in like the near future? How can people find out more information about your initiatives, like where can they find you and on social media?
Angela: Right, so you can definitely find me on Instagram its effortlesseater all one word and as I say you can find me on Thumbtack, and again you can just put in effortless eater. I actually am deciding very soon like by this weekend, if I’m going to do the Veggie Tastes, which is an annual event, so I’ll be doing that. I have some talks I’ll be doing for at [inaudible] [12:52]insurance. So those are the public events but like I say you can always message me and say, “Hey, I have something coming up I would love for you to come” I live in Gwinnett, so our public library is going to have me come out and do a talk on Nutrition Pillars. Once I get there, I’m going to let her know like how I’d love to something with the kids because kids are like really, on top of you. Like you know I was dabbling when I was nine and ten, twelve with these kids would blow me out the water, I mean the [inaudible] [13:21]still blow me out the water. And I do it for a living but I like the energy of kids because these generations of young children have no boundaries, they’re just like, “What do you mean? I can be a chef, I am a chef? [Laughs] you know.
Angela: So, I love that energy. So I want to do some more things with K12 environment and working with young people, young young people.
Kimi: Okay, great. So and you have a book coming up?
Angela: I do, I have a cookbook coming out and that book it is about 90% vegetable based. There’s a veggie and egg chapter, so there are some eggs in there, so but yes it’s coming out, it’s actually done. I just put on the list to okay, the next step after you’ve completed it.
Kimi: Absolutely, yes.
Angela: You know the Amazon.
Angela: Yes, so I’m really hoping to have that out by April.
Angela: So that should be available, would definitely be available on my IT page. It’ll be a link for Amazon. I’ll have a E-version as well.
Angela: So, am very excited.
Kimi: That’s great. And so again, you are definitely in like the Metro Atlanta Area but you do a lot, a lot for social media as well. So even if people aren’t in Metro Atlanta they can still definitely benefit from your services through social media and just digital market.
Angela: Absolutely. Yes, I have a client right now in Ohio and so we do our nutritional counseling through phone and face time. I mean I’m hearing now that you can have personal trainers who are not even in the same state with them and it really works. So, yes don’t be bounded by, you know you still get to see my face, you still get to talk to me and hear my voice. I’m just not there to like touch and agree, right.
Kimi: Okay, so Angela tell us what is your personal mantra, your daily mantra. What gets you through and Keeps you pushing?
Angela: Yes, I said earlier you know, “Chance favors the prepared mind” that’s what I really like and it really holds true for me. And then the other one that I learned early on in my Science of Mind Practice is “I am perfect, whole and complete” and so I probably say that a million times a day to myself just to reaffirm that, I know who I am, I know my worth, I know my value. Because you know you always bump up against you know energies that just aren’t as healthy and not as safe. There are a lot of unsafe people in the world and so you’re going to have to have that bubble that you protect yourself in to keep that away and so I do “I am perfect, whole and complete.”
Angela: And that seem to work.
Kimi: To brink yourself back [inaudible] [15:51][Crosstalk]
Angela: Yes, to stay safe, to not get it you know, just be like okay that has nothing to do with me, I am perfect, whole and complete. [Laughs]
Kimi: Absolutely, yes.
Kimi: And when we see fast food, I don’t need it. [Laughs]
Angela: Yes. You know, I guess I don’t see it, so I never have to use it towards that, like yes you could totally do that if you were rolling by the arches. [Inaudible] [16:15]. Not today Lord.
Kimi: Exactly, I don’t see it, I don’t need it.
Angela: Right, not those salty fries, no.
Kimi: I know. Angela thanks so much for your time we really appreciate you coming in gracing us with your presence and really giving us a lot of tools and tips for mindful and effortless eater on our social media and again until next time thank you again.
Angela: Absolutely thank you for having me. This was great. I really enjoyed it, and I look forward to us talking again.
Angela: I’m sure there’s more and we can talk and share.
Kimi: Yes, absolutely.
Kimi: So until next time.
Angela: [Inaudible] [16:52]
Kimi: Yes, thank you.
It was a pleasure to have you join us on this episode of the ‘Early Accountability Podcast’ with Kimi Walker. Be sure to visit earlyaccountability.com to sign up for the Early Accountability newsletter. We look forward to activating your greatness and helping you reach your goals.