top of page

Episode 19 - Intuitive Eating with Rena Reiser

Episode 19 Overview

Meet Rena Reiser, Intuitive Eating Coach at Mind Over Munchies. I had so much fun interviewing Rena and hearing about the tools she uses as an intuitive eating coach to help her clients. So many of us struggle with our relationship with food, and Rena is knowledgeable and relatable, so I know you will love hearing from her!


Kayla Levin: Episode 19, Intuitive Eating with Rena Reiser. Welcome to the First Year Married podcast, where we get real about building the marriage of your dreams

Kayla Levin: I'm marriage coach Kayla Levin, and I take newly married and engaged women from anxious and insecure to confident and connected through practical tips, real life inspiration, and more than a little self awareness along the way.

Kayla Levin: Hey, welcome back to the podcast. I'm so excited to share this week's podcast with you. I am doing my very first interview. I'm interviewing Rena Reiser from Mind Over Munchies. She's an intuitive eating coach who runs her own podcast called Jewish Intuitive Eating Journeys.

Kayla Levin: Even though she focuses on the Jewish community specifically, I found her podcast to be so relevant and so relatable and I know this is the kind of thing that I'm hearing from you guys all the time during my coaching sessions and in the group coaching program is that this thought work really, really is relevant to our relationship with food.

Kayla Levin:  I really wanted to get someone in who focuses specifically on this area, learn a little bit more about intuitive eating and I am really excited for you to hear the podcast. Enjoy the interview.


Kayla Levin: Rena hi, thank you so much for joining for this interview this week.

Rena Reiser: Thank you so much for having me on your podcast. I'm so excited.

Kayla Levin: I'm very excited-

Rena Reiser: It's been a while since I was on someone's podcast so nice to be on this side.

Kayla Levin: Oh yeah. You're my first interview, we're going to see how this goes. I hope it'll be great. So Rena, I have to tell you, I've been listening to your podcast for a while for my audience. Can you share the name of your podcast?

Rena Reiser: Sure. My podcast is called Jewish Intuitive Eating Journeys.

Kayla Levin: And I'm definitely going to be picking your brand a lot about it and sort of the whole story of it. But you recently did a podcast episode that talked a lot about exercise and self care and self image. And I was like, "Okay, we have to get this for sure for First Year Married because these are topics that come up a lot."


Kayla Levin: I guess to back up a little bit for Jewish Intuitive Eating Journeys, I feel like we can break up every single word in the title of your podcast and have a whole question about it. But can you start just with intuitive eating? 'Cause I know a lot of people don't know. I really didn't know anything about it until I started listening to you. Could you just sort of give a for dummies version of what that is?

Rena Reiser: Sure. Intuitive eating was created as a recovery program for people who are chronic dieters and were stuck in a very black and white perfectionistic way of thinking about food, where they went through the cycle of deprivation and then binging or overeating. It was developed as a way to help people overcome their thoughts about food, why they're choosing the foods that they choose, when they eat the foods that they eat, and ultimately what they're eating. It was developed by two dieticians. And so really the goal of intuitive eating is to eat healthful foods overall. People kind of, they're like, "Oh, intuitive eating, that means I can eat whatever I want."


Kayla Levin:  Yeah my husband was, literally as soon as I said this he was like, "I would be intuitively eating Oreos all day long."

Rena Reiser: Which just comes to show the world that we live that, that's where our minds go automatically. But that's not really so intuitive. If you think about the definition of the word intuitive, intuition is when we get really quiet, we can hear what we really want deep down, person who's starting the process might eat a lot of Oreos at the beginning but ultimately the goal is that a person makes food choices out of a place of attunement. Really being able to tap in and listen to what their body's telling them.

Kayla Levin: 03:46 We do a ton of thought work in First Year Married and a lot of the time one of the things that we see that happens is that if someone's having a very difficult thought, which is triggering sort of like an intense feeling, a negative feeling, reaching for food is one very common response to dealing with the feeling that they're not comfortable with. In that case, are you coming at it from the feeling part or are there different tools for how to manage those feelings, or is it more time to plug in back with your body?

Rena Reiser: 04:17 I call it like a two pronged approach. We have to target it from the food aspect, which is when you're feeling deprived and all that, you're biologically wired to want to overeat, if you're depriving yourself of whatever it is and you're just going to want that, that much more. But once you give yourself full permission to eat it and full permission doesn't mean you're always eating it, but it's permission to eat it that changes the picture. And then I targeted on the other side.

Rena Reiser: 04:40 I do thought work with my clients, but I also do a lot of somatic work, just getting into the body, what are they experiencing and working, I know you use Brooke Castillo's model, so kind of working backwards, like here's the feeling, how do we work backwards to get back to the thought.

Rena Reiser: 04:54 Speaking of Brooke Castillo, her book, If I'm So Smart Why Can't I Lose Weight was the first book that I read that clued me into this whole concept of intuitive eating.

Kayla Levin: 05:04 Really? That's so interesting.

Kayla Levin: 05:07 Because we had sort of talked a little bit about how in some ways there's a lot of difference, but I feel like in terms of her work of processing emotion and realizing, in my course right now we're focusing a lot on this of negative emotions. We don't have to run away from them. And sometimes when we're pushing them away, it's harder than just sort of letting it process and dealing with that negative emotion and realizing it's not dangerous to feel resentful or to feel anxious. I feel like in that way maybe there is more similarity with what you're talking about.

Rena Reiser: 05:35 For sure.

Kayla Levin: 05:36 Okay. And so it's not just intuitive eating but Jewish intuitive eating journey. Why that focus and I have about, I told you about 50/50 in terms of my audience being Jewish and non Jewish and we love that diversity. But I think it's interesting to be focusing on that. And do you feel like there are specific issues in the Jewish community where this comes up more?

Rena Reiser: 05:58 For sure specific issues in the Jewish community. There are a lot of podcasts out there on intuitive eating and I wanted to be able to differentiate myself. I wanted to be able to, you know I'm Jewish myself, Orthodox, I really want to be able to cater it. Yes specifically to Jewish women, and the specific challenges that come up with all of our holidays and on sabbath and our constant celebrations and events that we have. There's a lot of food and there tend to be a lot of mixed messages also, on the one hand, and this is no different in the rest of the world, but it's also an issue in the Jewish world. And I find that we need specific tools in order to target how to deal with it from a Jewish perspective.

Rena Reiser: 06:39 That on the one hand we're told, lose weight, here's how to go about it, here's like the latest diet plan here's ... And then you flip three pages later in the magazine and it's, here's an amazing recipe for some pie that's loaded with calories and then later you pick later it's accept yourself as you are and love your self. There's so many mixed messages and how do we balance all of that?

Kayla Levin: 07:05 I think it's true because I remember a couple episodes back, someone that you had on as an interview was talking about how there's guilt over, the mother-in-law will make a cake and then be upset if the client won't eat it. And I think that you had been talking with your guest about how she helps people with situations like that. It's one of those things where it's so classic to our community, but it's also so classic to so many family dynamics.

Kayla Levin: 07:33 Exactly. I hear what you're saying that we have the same thing too in that I have sort of a Jewish cohort and non Jewish cohort because while my non Jewish clients really wanted this material and it was very valuable and so we didn't want to close it down completely. At the same time, there are certain issues that can come up more frequently within any Jewish community. It helps to be able to the experience to people based on where they're coming from.

Rena Reiser: 07:55 Exactly and I think being that I'm a Jewish woman, I can that much more easily help another Jewish woman as opposed to somebody who isn't as familiar with our traditions and customs and everything so this way I'm able to target them that much more and show them, "Hey, there's help within our community. We're here for you."

Kayla Levin: 08:13 I definitely wanted to spend a little time talking about self care because I have to say that I like blew my brain open when you and your guests were talking about how if you have an hour to take care of your body, it's not necessarily hitting the gym. If you're exhausted, that might mean sleeping or that maybe self care at that moment would be making a phone call and that these things are all really integrated. And well, on one hand I really know that to be true intellectually, it's very hard to bring that into practice. And I would love for you to share some of that perspective because I'm sure you know as well as anyone that self care in marriage is such an enormously important part and a lot of the times women will run themselves down and it's really just the drags that are leftover and we're kind of relying on our husbands to take care of us and to help us out instead of owning that whole process for ourselves.

Kayla Levin: 09:03 What I find is that, in the course we talk a lot about self care but then every time I'll have someone say to me, I don't really even know what that would look like for me.

Rena Reiser: 09:13 Yeah and it's so true because we're so stuck sometimes in this place of, how could I possibly do that for myself? First of all, I think when people think about self care, the first things that come to mind for a lot of people I speak to are manicures and massages and things like that, which I think really when it comes to self care, they're like two very distinct categories of self care. There's the self care, and for each person it's going to be different. There is self care that's a need and there's self care that's a want. And for some people a manicure is going to go on the need list and for some people it's going to go on the want list and that's perfectly fine. Each person needs to figure it out for themselves.

Rena Reiser: 09:51 But when we look at the need list, those things are, you have got to sleep, you have got to eat and you've got to move your body, you've got to have fun, you've got to have social togetherness. Getting together with friends and things like that. And when we don't have those things, it's going to be really hard to do just about anything else. If you look at what's actually healthy for a person, sleep is really top of the list and it's usually the first thing to go for a lot of people, especially once people start having kids.

Rena Reiser: 10:21 When you think about back in the day, the way we used to live, we were surrounded by our loved ones. A new mother had her aunt, her mother, her sisters, her cousins all around to help take care of her and the baby after she gave birth.

Rena Reiser: 10:35 Now we're so used to living on our own which, okay not saying we should go back to those days, but we've also adopted the mindset that we have to push ourselves in order to be successful. And that means if I just had a baby, I have to show up as I've got it all together and I'm surviving on three hours of sleep and look at me and I'm so happy and can you just see, oh my gosh, you keep my eyes open and everything is like ... No, you have a body that actually needs to be taken care of and taking society's expectation and putting that on ourselves is really not good for us. It's actually really unhealthy to be putting that on ourselves and it's so important to really get the help in whatever way that we can get it. And obviously for each person that's going to mean different things.

Rena Reiser: 11:25 But being able to say, "Yes, sleep is a priority" and that means that if my body needs eight hours of sleep at night, that means that most of the time I really need to be getting that. That needs to be a priority and that means the other things are going to have to fall to the wayside. And that's okay.

Rena Reiser: 11:40 Going back to, we talk about what are our priorities? Well, how do we figure out what our priorities are? My house needs to be cleaned and I need to cook, I need to work and I need to sleep and I need to do all these things. How am I supposed to make everything work out? And it's true, we can't do everything. We really can't do everything. It's really hard to let go of the things that are more outward like my house for example. How could I have anyone over if my house is a little bit upside down. There's laundry flying and the chairs aren't pushed into the table and whatever, whatever is going on.

Kayla Levin: 12:10 I'm glad that you went into talking about the external because I think that, that's really where a lot of people are struggling and this is one area where I think it's hard because everyone sort of has to be very real about the lifestyle that they're living. In our community specifically, in the average home, there is a tremendous amount of pressure on both the husband and the wife because in addition to working the husband is often going to dub in to pray three times a day and he might be learning on top of that. And so there's all of this extra and then sometimes I'll have people who are confused like I did the zero based calendar one.

Kayla Levin: 12:45 I got a person writing in saying why is she doing everything? Her husband's just relaxing on the couch and I was reading it with my sister-in-law and we were cracking up because I haven't seen the last time my husband sat down on the couch. He's going nonstop. But what I think it comes down to at the end of the day, regardless of how busy people are, is that we do often have a lot of really limiting beliefs, I guess being sort of cliche phrase for this, but a lot of limiting beliefs about self care. There is the importance of self care. But I have so many people that just can't get past the, well I can't do it. There's no time for it. It's not going to happen. It's because we don't have enough money so I need to work or it's because my husband doesn't help me.

Kayla Levin: 13:24 There's always that story about self care and I think that the first step for self care is stepping back and just being really real with ourselves of what am I blaming my lack of self care on and then how can I put myself in a place of like creativity and empowerment and reconsider this, maybe self care for me is different or maybe I'm willing to do five minutes of self care a day if I don't think I can get the hour long nap that I really need and sort of breaking that cycle because it sort of becomes this mental spin of, well these are all the reasons I'm not taking care of myself. And so then it really does become kind of a lack of responsibility in a way.

Rena Reiser: 14:03 Yeah. Total lack of responsibility and one thing I work with my clients on a lot is what's our underlying value and when we talk about values, it's like, what is my compass? What's a thing that's directing me in life toward ... The underlying reason why I make the decisions that I'm making in life. Now a lot of times we just do things by default without really thinking them through. I mean, they're kind of subconscious. They become habits. They're just behaviors that will be repeated again and again and again and maybe there was some thought at the beginning, but now they're kind of subconscious and we just do them without consciously thinking about them.

Rena Reiser: 14:40 But when we drill down and really figure out, why am I doing this thing? Why is, if I look at, let's just say a clean house versus taking a nap. Why is the clean house more important to me right now than taking a nap. Why? What's the underlying reason? What's the underlying value into why I think one is more important than the other?

Rena Reiser: 15:03 Sometimes one will be more compelling than the other and that's okay. And every moment we got to make a choice. What I like to have people do is you can Google a list of values and you'll find the list of 30, 50, 100 different values that a person can have and go down a list of values. Just check off whichever one's kind of speak to you. And you might have a list of five, 10, 15 values at that point. And then take your smaller list that you've compiled from the bigger list and then try to narrow it down to three or four ultimate values that really guide you in your life.

Rena Reiser: 15:38 And for each person, it's going to be something totally different. If someone's health is a value to them. This is a Jewish value, having taken care of our health, ultimately it's not in our hands, whatever's going to happen to us, but it's a value to make efforts to take care of our health. Then if I look at, let's say health and I have clean house versus taking a nap. Now sometimes clean house is going to be important for my mental health.

Rena Reiser: 16:03 Sometimes that's going to take precedence over taking a nap. Really it's just a matter of like, well, I'm nervous that somebody's going to walk in the door and like they're going to see my house like this. Maybe right now the more important thing is actually to go take a nap. If we can get clear on like what's really at the core of this and why I'm choosing this thing, then I can make a much easier decision about which way I want to go.

Kayla Levin: 16:27 Okay. This came up in my group call last night, so I have to ask, I don't know if this comes up in your work at all, but one thing that happens in, I think generally religious communities for sure in the Jewish community is that there are more women having more children and often having them closer together. And so we were having a discussion on the group coaching call last night about knowing how to space out kids. And I said, just to be perfectly open that in my experience, my body, it really took a huge toll. As I've said on my podcast before, I ended up after my fourth child being diagnosed with type one diabetes, which is an autoimmune condition, which I really think had a lot to do with how my body was responding to all of the stress of that.

Kayla Levin: 17:15 I mean it seems like from sort of where you're coming from, even though I know you focus mostly on food. I feel like there's also just this general, how do people manage all of the expectations of the community and it's not even an expectation of the community that people are necessarily like looking and checking, but if your friend is now having her third child and you're not yet, it seems like the tools that you're sharing over food, what also really come into play here in terms of really being more aware of what's going on with us and honoring that I guess.

Rena Reiser: 17:50 Yeah, absolutely. Well, it's interesting that you say that what I do is about the food, because I always tell my clients, while it's about the food, but it's also really not about the food at all. We're just using food as a metaphor for really how we do everything in life. Because generally speaking, the way we do, one thing is the way we're going to do other things. And so I have a really fun time talking about things like binging on food, restricting food and how that shows up in our life where we will binge on like cleaning our house and then restrict on sleep for example, just using an example 'cause that's just what we've been speaking about now.

Rena Reiser: 18:22 And I think that is so important for each person, in the same way that there's not one diet plan that works for anybody, like one diet plan will work for one person, and every single person's going to need something completely different depending on the day. Just using your example about like numbers of kids or women that could pop out kids every year, year and a half. And have like huge families, 10, 15 kids and are totally fine and managing totally fine. Their houses are like immaculately clean and their kids are so well behaved and well dressed and it's like, "Oh wow, if it's possible for her, of course will be possible for me."

Rena Reiser: 18:56 But I feel like each one of us is unique and each one of us needs something different and we have to be so honest with ourselves and unfortunately it sometimes take like in your case getting diagnosed with something to be like a big wake up call. "Oh hey, maybe I'm over doing it." Not saying you were, but-

Kayla Levin: 19:20 I for sure was.

Rena Reiser: 19:21 Okay. Maybe I'm overdoing it. Maybe I'm not being really so honest with myself about what I'm capable of and that doesn't mean that just because I'm less capable that there's something inherently wrong with me. When we can realize that each one of us was created with our own unique gifts and talents and that's what's going to determine what we can accomplish in this world on a day to day basis, then we stop comparing ourselves to other people because it no longer becomes about what she's capable of versus what I'm capable of. This is who I am and I am living exactly using the tools that I was given to live in this world.

Kayla Levin: 19:58 It reminds me, I once went somewhere for a Shabbat for a Sabbath meal and the hostess was one of these people like you're describing. I was on top of everything, she was doing all these different community things. Plus she had a whole slew of children and she just was like running up. I remember watching her running upstairs to grab something, running and I was just watching her like, who runs upstairs, who has the energy and at some point, I don't know how I asked her about it. I don't know how I was that upfront with her but she said that she only really needs four hours of sleep at night. My immediate reaction was I'm so jealous. Which just says, I fully function healthily on four hours of sleep. And I said, "I'm so jealous." And she said, "Don't be jealous because that's four more hours of my day where if God designed me that way, I'm expected to be accountable for doing something useful with my time. And you can spend four hours sleeping and you're doing exactly what you're supposed to be doing."

Rena Reiser: 20:56 That's so beautiful.

Kayla Levin: 20:57 It was beautiful. And I wish I kept that in mind more. I have to say that, I feel like starting to listen to your material, I can see myself at the very beginning of a learning process. This is definitely not something that I've mastered. I think it's just something I'm starting to become aware of and I think maybe that's why I see it in my clients also because you can really recognize the things that you struggle with also, which is that, a lot of us are these, you want to do the right thing and you want to do good and you want to work hard and sometimes working hard isn't really the right thing to be doing. And taking a minute to realize that.

Rena Reiser: 21:33 Yeah, I was going to say that. You're saying that I've got it all figured out. There's a phrase that says, you teach what you need to learn. Exactly I'm like right there with everyone else, like these are very strong type A perfectionistic personality that I work very hard to, maybe a little too hard. Maybe I'm being a little bit too type A about trying to break my type .

Kayla Levin: 21:58 That's interesting because that's actually, I was going to ask you about every word of your podcast name. It's Jewish Intuitive Eating Journeys. I guess that's the journey's part is that it's a process.

Rena Reiser: 22:09 It's a process, till the day we leave this world, we are on a journey. And my hope is that for my clients, specifically eating will stop being a struggle, but it's a constant journey and our bodies are always changing and our needs are always changing and so the way we relate to food is always going to change as well.

Kayla Levin: 22:28 Interesting. For people who are listening, like me who are sort of starting to tune into, wait a second there might be a different way of thinking about food and maybe it doesn't have to be this dramatic struggle all the time. What would you recommend other than of course subscribing to your podcast, what would you recommend for a way of just starting to learn about it or maybe first steps to take in terms of rethinking our relationship with food? I have to just say also for anyone who's listening with children, I really, really highly recommend Rena's podcast. I found that for me this information is equally, if not more valuable for how I deal with my children and food as it is for myself.

Rena Reiser: 23:08 Absolutely.

Kayla Levin: 23:08 But what would you recommend is like first steps for somebody who's beginning their journey.

Rena Reiser: 23:13 Well, like I said, towards the beginning when you asked me about intuitive eating, it was developed by two dietitians back in the late eighties, and then in the early nineties actually wrote a book about it and the name of the book is intuitive eating and it was written by, their names are Evelyn Tribole, T-R-I-B-O-L-E. And Elise Resch, R-E-S-C-H. They are up to the third edition, which is when I would recommend either buying or borrowing from the library. And that's a really great place to start. I think the book does a really great job of just explaining the whole idea. It's like learning a new language almost, intuitive eating.

Rena Reiser: 23:49 They do a really good job of like explaining why we need to learn this new language and what it encompasses and all the details about it. And then I think it was last April or two Aprils ago, I don't remember. They came out with an intuitive eating workbook, again by the same authors. And the workbook really goes through the process step by step and you can get both of those on Amazon, a total of $35. It's a really affordable way to really just look into this just unbelievably refreshing way of relating to food and our bodies.

Kayla Levin: 24:21 Yeah. And how does that deal with people who have certain foods that they really shouldn't be eating? Meaning medically speaking, somebody who who struggles with gluten or dairy, is that addressed also?

Rena Reiser: 24:34 The book doesn't address it in the way of like, here's how to exactly go about it? But it honors that, I think the example they do talk about in the book is if somebody has a peanut allergy, they're not going to go ahead and eat a peanut. That wouldn't be very intuitive if they would like die. That wouldn't be honoring their health by eating a peanut and as a Jewish woman who keeps kosher. I talk about that with my clients. I'm not going to eat pork tomorrow even if I'm in the mood for it because it's just the food that's just off limits for me.

Rena Reiser: 25:06 And so that comes into account also when we think about these things, so definitely somebody who has a medical condition, it creates an extra level of challenge, especially if it's something that is not so black and white like a peanut allergy or keeping kosher, of course it needs to be taken into account. It's part of honoring our bodies and taking care of ourselves, is not eating foods that don't make our bodies feel good. But that being said, I will say that I've seen this a lot and of course this won't happen in every single case, but a lot of the time when we start to remove a lot of the rules and the restrictions and the way that we've been thinking about food, that I have seen it change the way the body digests certain foods and foods that people were a little bit more sensitive to are now able to eat them sometimes in smaller amounts and sometimes in larger amounts. But our thoughts and the way that we think about food also affects our digestion.

Kayla Levin: 26:04 Wow. That's fascinating. That makes a lot of sense, but that's really interesting that you've been seeing that. I remember when I did one live training with with Brooke Castillo and that's the one question that I asked her, at one point I said, "I don't understand why I struggle so much not to eat foods that I know were going to be hard for me" because at the time with all my pregnancies, I had gestational diabetes and it was such a struggle for me.

Kayla Levin: 26:26 But at the same time, like you said, I would just never go to McDonald's and buy something and eat it. And I thought that I was like making this really brilliant comment and she was like, "Yeah, my vegetarians are the same way."

Rena Reiser: 26:38 That whether they wouldn't touch, they wouldn't touch .

Kayla Levin: 26:41 They're not struggling not to eat chicken. It's not an option for them. And I remember just thinking like, I just wish I could just bucket other things in non kosher would be so easy.

Rena Reiser: 26:52 Yeah. Because we don't really believe it deep down.

Kayla Levin: 26:55 Doesn't work.

Rena Reiser: 26:55 Like a peanut allergy. It doesn't work. There's a really great book for, you mentioned diabetes, there's a really amazing book that was written by Dr. Michelle May. She wrote a book, she has a whole series of books called Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat and she has one specifically for diabetes. Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat with diabetes, and it's a phenomenal, phenomenal book where she really goes into talking about how to, the idea isn't that you're going to start eating more carbs than you're allowed as a diabetic because that's not healthy for your body. But being able to really tap into like, what are you experiencing in your body when you overeat carbohydrates and how does your body react and what are your thoughts around it and what are your feelings around that and how to work through all those things. You come to a place where you are truly honoring your body even with a-

Kayla Levin: 27:41 With a restriction.

Rena Reiser: 27:42 I don't know, yeah.

Kayla Levin: 27:43 That's very interesting. Okay. Would you just say a couple things about, cause I know we definitely have people who have children who listen. Maybe just a little bit of what the approach is in terms of, we all want our children to eat healthy food and we want them to grow up healthy. And we also feel that, that's on us to make sure that our kids are okay. I know literally every time I pack my child's lunchbox I'm imagining the teacher's face, like what they're going to think when they see what my kid's eating that day. What is the intuitive eating approach in terms of how we help our children.

Rena Reiser: 28:13 The way to feed children with intuitive eating was developed by a dietician and family therapist by the name of Ellyn Satter and she developed what's called the Division of Responsibility. And ultimately what it is, is you're dividing the responsibility of the feeding. The parent is ultimately in charge of what the child eats, where the child eats and when the child eats and the child is responsible for if they want to eat and how much. In very, very short, the example I like to give is you as a parent decide that let's say that for dinner you're serving chicken with green beans and rice. You're feeding it at the kitchen table at 6:00 PM.

Rena Reiser: 28:59 That means that, that's when dinner is, then your kids come to the table and then they decide if they want to eat so they look, there's chicken, there's green beans and there's rice and they only want rice and they take two spoonfuls of rice and they put down on their plate. That's the how much they decide how much they want to eat.

Rena Reiser: 29:14 Now you might be thinking like, "What the heck. My kids can be like starving, like how can I possibly do this?" But the point is when a kid is able to understand that food will show up at specific times, that it's coming in a predictable way. The kid starts to trust that they're not going to be forced to eat whatever they don't want to eat. And it relieves a lot of the pressure. And so then kids will over time start to eat the foods that are being put out to them.

Rena Reiser: 29:43 Now kids can get exposed to foods all sorts of ways. It doesn't just have to be at the dinner table. Kids need to be exposed to foods many, many times over before they're willing to sometimes take a bite of it. And the research, I don't remember the exact number, but it's something like, I dunno, 20 something times or something of a kid being exposed to a certain food until they might even be willing to try it and trying again might be touching it, trying it might be putting it in their mouth and spitting it out. Trying it will come in all sorts of different ways.

Rena Reiser: 30:12 And so exposure to food can come at the dinner table, but it could also come in ways of looking at, reading books that have different pictures of different foods, taking them to the supermarket and showing them all the different foods that are available and letting them see them. Involving them in the cooking process, obviously in an age appropriate way.

Rena Reiser: 30:32 All of these things, what they'll do is when there no pressure for a child to eat the foods that are around, ultimately they'll start eating those foods to some degree or decide that they don't like it and that's okay. They don't have to like everything.

Kayla Levin: 30:47 Okay. That's really interesting. All right. Thank you. I feel like I got a free session here just by interviewing you for the podcast. I think this is going to be so helpful and I feel like I'm definitely on the beginning of this journey, but I think that opening up to this whole idea of how we're taking care of ourselves and rethinking what we consider busy is the new important and we wear it like a status symbol, how busy we are, how many things we're doing and just learning to sort of rethink that. And I had an episode a little while back called You're Invisible Cape, which I think kind of can tie in here, which is one thing that I'd say to my clients a lot, which I guess I should be saying to myself also, which is that when we want to do what's right so it might mean taking a nap instead of cleaning the kitchen. But we have trouble with making that decision.

Kayla Levin: 31:40 One thing that we can do is we can think of it in terms of being an example to others and that's the invisible cape. Like here you are being the superhero. When I'm talking to college girls and saying, "You don't want to drink at a party" if they don't assuming they don't, then if you don't want to drink at a party then you might feel like that's difficult but it might actually be impossible for another girl. But when she sees you're not drinking, so now you've worn the invisible cape and now she's unable. You don't know what you're creating by making that hard choice. And I think it's this way too. I think the more people that we have who are making active decisions to pull back, to say no, to really focus like the values exercise that you said and take care of themselves, then we'll have more models for, especially the girls that are growing up now, of women who are having priorities and one of those priorities is taking care of themselves.

Rena Reiser: 32:32 Absolutely. Just to relate it back to intuitive eating and what you said about listening to my podcast for the sake of some of these kids, that the more that the parents, in this case the women that are in your program that can model a healthy relationship with food for their kids, even if it's not always easy, then there'll be able to hopefully raise a generation of kids that are having a more healthy relationship with food.

Kayla Levin: 32:59 Very interesting and I remember hearing once, they said the best time to start working on parenting is before you have kids. Even for those people who are listening who don't have children yet, it's maybe worth starting to think about this work now, if this is an area that you want to grow in.

Kayla Levin: 33:12 Rena, thank you so, so much. This was so valuable and I really appreciate you taking your time for this interview.

Rena Reiser: 33:18 Thank you so much for having me on.

Kayla Levin: 33:19 Okay, good bye.

Rena Reiser: 33:21 Bye.

Kayla Levin: 33:23 Thanks so much for tuning in this week. I can't wait to hear from you. I would love to hear anyone else that you would like me to interview. I'd love to hear your thoughts about the interview and if you want to get more information about Rena, her website is

Kayla Levin: 33:39 I'm going to link that in the show notes and she has a group coaching program called Mind Over Munchies. So check it out, and in the meantime I will see you next week. Have a fantastic week.

5 views0 comments


Discover why Jewish women love How to Glow


Never miss an update

Thanks for submitting!

bottom of page