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Better Health for Better Creativity: An Interview with Jill Cruz


Today's guest is Jill Cruz, a Board-Certified Nutrition Specialist and the founder of Work with Your Nature Weight Loss.

I asked Jill to help us understand how we can be more creative in our work and keep up our good health even though most of us sit in front of a computer all day. She explained what some call the five pillars of health — nutrition, sleep, stress management, physical activity, and mindset — and how we can make small changes that will make a big difference.

Jill cautions us, though, not to tackle everything at once. That can lead to overwhelm and cause us to give up without seeing much progress. This is a brilliant interview with so many tips to help us improve our creativity by improving our health! The night after I interviewed Jill, I slept better than I have in a year!

You can find Jill on her website, https://wynweightloss.com/, where you can sign up for her amazing newsletter. Here's to a healthier, more productive year!


[00:00:07.630] – Kitty

Welcome to Write Now Workshop Podcast, where you can write a book and change the world. I'm your host, Kitty Bucholtz, and this is episode number 235, “Better Health for Better Creativity,” an interview with Jill Cruz coming to you on Thursday, February 18th, 2021. This episode could change your writing life. I am absolutely not kidding you. It actually might just change your life, period.


In the time that it took Jill and I to do this interview, so, you know, an hour-ish, we talked for a few minutes afterwards so let's call it an hour and fifteen minutes tops, I slept better the night after we spoke than I have slept in months. And I am not kidding. I've been having some sleeping trouble. But she was explaining so many things in this podcast that helped me to understand – and I thought that I already understood, I thought I was bringing her on for you.

[00:01:04.300] – Kitty

Little did I know that she needed to tell me a lot of things that I just need to tweak this. I need to change how I look at this and that and this and that. Oh, my gosh. You guys, seriously, this is going to be a great episode for you. I think that if you've been having sleep trouble like me, possibly you might notice that your sleep is going to improve. I'll just tell you a little hint.


It had totally to do with my mindset before I went to sleep, and I thought I had been doing enough, but apparently I hadn't. I just really, really focused on the things that made me super happy that I was super grateful for. I thought I just needed to relax. But when I really focused on thinking very positive, happy, strong thoughts like that is the best sleep that I've had in months. I am totally not using hyperbole.


You know, I love hyperbole, not using it this time. I was like, holy cow, I got to do. This again. And, you know, I've gotten out of the habit a little bit, which again makes me go, wow, that obviously does make a difference because now I'm sleeping well, better, but like not like I had been those first couple of days after talking to her. So much information. And I really think that it's going to help both of us with with our general health and also the kind of health that leads to a clearer mind, clearer thinking and better creativity.


So enjoy this episode, take notes. And remember, we now have transcripts on all the episodes, starting with this year, 2021. So go to podcast.WriteNowWorkshop.Com and find this episode 235 and you can read the transcript and remind yourself of all the things that she said that you want to make sure that you do. It's already changed my life. I'm sure it's going to change your life. Also remember that you can pick up my free Self-Publish Your Book Checklist.


That is a downloadable PDF that you can also just leave on your computer and fill out on your computer so that you don't have to print it and then fill it out by hand and then wonder, what did I do with that piece of paper, which is what I tend to do. So you can sign up and also get a free copy of that. And remember, if you have any questions about the Finish Your Book membership program or the one on one coaching or the group coaching, you can find more information at WriteNowWorkshop.Com/writing coach. Or you can reach out to me at Kitty@KittyBucholtz dot com. Send me an email. The membership group is totally fun. We're getting a lot of writing done together. We're kind of using each other's energy and a lot of people are continuing to write after we hang up. So they're using that energy and having even more energy to get even more writing done, which is awesome.


Plus, we have awesome guest speakers like Jill. In fact, Jill was one of our speakers answering specific questions where people could ask her, what can I do in this particular situation to help me with this problem, which is awesome. I love it.


So much going on! 2021 is just going to be a very exciting year for us. There's lots of new things happening and I'm just excited for you to be a part of it. So reach out. Let me know if there's anything that you are loving about the changes, anything that you're hating about the changes, or if there's anything that you're like, hey, can you do this? Or maybe I won't be able to help you myself, but maybe I'll know somebody else who can help you with something else.


So reach out. I am happy to help. I really do believe that we can write books that change the world, whether it is to changed the world of my readers who are stressed out, and then I give them more joy and happiness, or I take them to a place where really scary evil things are going on, but then good wins out in the end, or books that like literally are going to make people go, oh, this is so interesting, I'm going to do this differently. Oh, look, my life is better and now I'm interacting with other people in better way, and it's making these ripple effects of the world becoming a better place. So I completely believe that we can all do that. So I want you to write and I want you to finish. And if there's anything I can do to help, please let me know. In the meantime, Jill is about ready to give us all sorts of helpful tips that will help us with both our regular health and the health that we need in order to be the most creative people we can be to do the things that we have in mind. All right. Here's Jill.

[00:05:34.120] – Kitty

Today's guest is Jill Cruz. Jill helps women over 40 who hate dieting to lose weight and feel great without being deprived. Jill has a Master of Science degree in Human Nutrition and is a board-certified nutrition specialist. She combines her strong, science-based background with tons of practical nutrition, fitness and lifestyle guidance, helping people strive to be the best versions of themselves. She's on a mission to guide women to achieve their wildest dreams for their health while loving the food they eat and the life they live.

[00:06:09.960] – Kitty

Welcome, Jill.

[00:06:11.310] – Jill

Thank you. Thank you for having me.

[00:06:13.500] – Kitty

I just have to say, as a woman over 40, I'm like, I love your mission. I've been eating (pointing to something on her shelf) for like a month and a half now and it does feel good. But I'm wearing some jeans that are telling me it's time to back off.

[00:06:27.680] – Jill

Yeah, that can definitely happen. Listen, it happens to the best of us, everyone.

[00:06:33.330] – Kitty

Awesome. So listen, let's just kind of give the audience an idea of who you are and why we're talking. You and I met in a business coaching program called ACES that were both still in. We're talking in January, 2021. And we just hit it off. I liked you immediately the first time I talked to you. And then every time, you know, if you're talking during one of the group calls, I'm like, oh, that is so interesting. So I was thrilled when I reached out to you and said, could you talk about nutrition to writers who have this crazy sedentary activity and who I have to say most everyone I know eats while they write, which is terrible.But there's something about I think that has to do with the chewing and the crunching, does something in your head, I don't know. But anyway, I was very, very happy for you to come on the show and talk about how we can do our work better based on things that you specialize in.

[00:07:28.930] – Jill

Well, thank you for having me. I'm super excited to talk about it, too, because one of my big areas of interest is productivity and efficiency and really being your best. You know, how is it possible for we humans to kind of maximize our potential? It doesn't matter where you're starting. It's just how can you be a little bit better? A little bit better. A little bit better. So, yeah, I love talking about anything related to being a better writer or just being a better person.

[00:07:57.880] – Kitty

Yeah, yeah. Especially because, you know, it's been a tough year for a lot of people. Some people like you and I, we've been working at home the whole time and in some ways it feels like has my life really changed. But then all the people around you who used to be someplace else during the day, they're also at home. And so you realize your life has changed. And my life is.

[00:08:21.340] – Kitty

Yeah, my husband used to be an apprentice chef at a four-star resort when we got married. So instead of taking lunches with him and going away and then I would have peanut butter and jam or peanut butter on a banana or whatever came to my hand when I walked through the kitchen. Now I have these like big meals, delicious, lots of butter.And then I'm like, oh, well, since you're cooking, I feel like I should do something and my thing is baking. So I'm like, let me make some cookies and some cinnamon rolls and some homemade bread.And yeah, it's been fun, but I'm not sure how healthy it is. 

[00:09:00.010] – Jill

I mean one thing that I if anybody asked me at a party or if I'm working with a client, doesn't really matter if someone saying, you know, should I do this, is it OK if I do that, a lot of times I'll just say, well, what are your goals? Because for some people, it's really important to be to look a certain way or it's important to have their brain functioning really well during the day. Other people, it doesn't matter as much.So it really comes back down to what is it that you want to accomplish physically and also obviously career-wise, all of that comes into play. But I think that a lot of times people don't realize how much their lifestyle and nutrition practices affect their work. Yeah, yeah. So, you know, you may sit there saying, well, it doesn't really matter if I bake. You know, I'm not overweight. I'm having fun. I'm enjoying it. And that's great. But at the same time, if you want to be better and maybe be a better writer or whatever it is that you want to accomplish, you can use nutrition and lifestyle to do that. Right.

[00:10:07.480] – Kitty

OK, this is interesting because I'd never thought about me asking myself the question. I mean, I'm a product of the American marketing and media campaign that all women should look like, they weigh one hundred and ten pounds. And I'm like, I weighed one hundred and ten pounds and like the fifth grade, that's not good. So on the one hand I'm like, well, I want to be healthy. I don't want to die of a heart attack, you know, because I have sixteen pounds of fat surrounding my heart and my heart can't pump anymore. But I really like food and I would like to enjoy that too. But it's funny because even though I know nutrition affects my brain, like, I think that maybe it affects my brain long enough after I've eaten that I don't really make enough connections to know what thing helped and what they didn't like. I told you I had a little bit of caffeine about an hour and a half ago. And inside my brain, I'm like this squirrel on over the hedge.Have you seen that animated movie  his head,he's like, am going to go over here and climb the hedge and look over and, you know, do the look out thing that I said I do. But what all the other animals see is this girl going bing bing like, oh that's how I feel inside my head. I don't know if this will make me a better writer or a worse writer, but I suspect in two or three hours when it wears off I'll be like what. Writing. What's a writer.

[00:11:34.210] – Jill

Yeah, yeah, yeah. You're the opposite of the squirrel outside, you look very calm but inside.

[00:11:42.580] – Kitty

So tell us.So first of all, that is a great question and I just want to say it again. What are your goals? Lose weight. Think better, sleep better. I know nutrition helps you to sleep better. Exercise helps you sleep better. Supposedly I'm fifty two, I haven't slept past four a.m. and I don't know a while. Apparently that's a hormonal thing. And then I started thinking, well what about, what about my, you know, hormones can I do to eat differently or exercise differently that will make that ease up and not be such a problem? So there's probably six or ten hours worth of information you can give us. Why don't you pick, so it's writers listening. Why don't you pick what do you think are some things that would be really helpful for us to be thinking about for our 2021 goals?

[00:12:28.670] – Jill

Well, just going back to those goals. Danny who is, we are in this ACES program together, and Danny Iny is the CEO and he always talks about what is the roadblock, what is standing in the way of getting to where you want to go. And I think that's the first place when really to set that goal of what's going to bring you to the next phase, the next level up. So definitely you want to start with a goal, because I could tell you, do this, do that. But if you don't have a reason to do it, you're not you're just not going to do it. So first the goal and then the commitment to the goal. And then after that, there are really five areas that you could consider. There is nutrition, sleep, stress management, physical activity and mind set, and those are all five. Some people may call them pillars of health, that you could tackle one of those and you could see a big difference in your life. If you try to tackle all of them at the same time, you're probably just going to give up in a week. You know, like they have these programs where it's like 30 days get up every day, 6:00 a.m. workout and eat perfect. And, you know, go to bed on time and meditate. And after 30 days, you're like, OK, well, really, that was fun. But now let me get back to my life.

[00:13:53.110] – Kitty

Yeah, yeah.

[00:13:54.130] – Jill

No, it's it's not sustainable.

[00:13:55.990] – Kitty

Right.I have to tell you, like, I've learned a lot of things in this business coaching program, a lot of things about mindset and other things. And and again, like how can I work better? How can I get the most out of my brain during the day and that sort of thing. And so there's this 15 minute meditation that I found. And then there's this exercise that really only takes me about a half an hour unless I add some cardio. Then we're talking 30 to 60 Minutes. And then, you know, I was like, OK, I need to be calm and stop being so stressed out. So then I'm reading my Bible, talking to God and kind of putting my goals down just two or three goals for the day so I can just be calm. And by the time I actually get to work, it's like 10 a.m. noon. I'm like, I can't get enough work done now. I don't know what to do. So I totally hear you. I'm trying to do too many things at once and feeling like you're not accomplishing anything.

[00:14:44.710] – Jill

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Each one of those things has to become an ingrained habit before, I believe before you really want to move on to the next. So it could be about asking someone else like me, like a professional saying, OK, what area do you think I should start with first? But I actually think most of us know and when you're choosing, you know, it's not the thing that I need to work on the most necessarily. Like, if you know that your diet is really poor, you might think, well, I got to get that diet fixed right before I do any of these other things. That may be true. But then again, that really difficult thing, may feel like a mountain in front of you and overwhelming. So you may want to pick something that's actually low, low-hanging fruit, that's easy for you to do. OK, so if you let's say your diet is really poor and you're sedentary, maybe the first thing you want to pick is, I'm just going to take a walk every day if you're not already doing that or I walk, but I don't exercise. Now, walking is exercise, but technically I kind of put it into the category of physical activity. So but either way, we're designed to move. Yeah, we're designed to move sitting down all day, writing and especially I don't think people write with pens anymore when you're a writer. Right.

[00:16:10.840] – Kitty

A few people but yeah, mostly on the computer, I think.

[00:16:15.580] – Jill

That may provide different postural issues than, you know. So if you are sedentary, it's probably highly, highly imperative that you start getting up and moving and it could be five minutes a day to start. So so we could go, you know, we could talk about any of those if you want, like a tidbit from each.Yeah, I can do that. Does it makes sense.

[00:16:44.180] – Kitty

Yeah, absolutely. That sounds good. So there are five pillars. Maybe you can give us an example of one thing that we could change that might make our writing life a little bit easier in areas.

[00:16:56.780] – Jill

So let's since we were talking about physical activity, I think that's a great place to start. Physical activity and exercise is, for the most part, pretty free. I mean, you could invest in gym equipment like you were telling me, but you can also just go outside and walk. You can clean your house. It doesn't have to be a financial investment. So that's one thing. And it also, there are enormous, enormous benefits from being more physically active. When I say that we're designed to move, I'm not just saying that, like we are literally designed to move. So when we sit all day, we're doing the opposite of what we're supposed to be doing, unfortunately, I hate to break the news. Now, I work all day, too. So the standing desk, which you mentioned you have, can be a life-changer right there. So if that's possible to get a situation where you're not sitting, you're actually standing and doing your work.

[00:17:56.810] – Jill

It's a totally different energetically when I write. I'm not a writer, but I do write a lot of blog posts and stuff. When I speak when I work with clients, I'm always standing up. It's a different creative energy. So that's one big tip. And if you're not doing anything, just five minutes a day. If you can commit to for the next seven days, don't even think about the future, just think about the next seven days-every day I'm going to do something for five minutes. I'm going to walk, I'm going to do a couple of squats. I'm going to dance to my favorite song, whatever it is that will make a difference and then you can always build on it. That's the beautiful thing about it. We put so much pressure on ourselves, like, oh, I'm not physically active. I have to spend a thousand dollars on gym equipment and start working out an hour a day. Forget about that. Just start simple and easy so that you don't have resistance to doing it. Because there's a barrier. If we put up barriers in front of ourselves, like I should work out, but I don't have thirty minutes.OK, we'll take that barrier away and make it five minutes and make it something you enjoy.

[00:19:06.470] – Kitty

Yeah. And you could this is what I do, sometimes I listen to podcasts, sometimes I listen to audiobooks that are related in some way to, you know, writing or the writing business or that sort of thing. And sometimes I have to say I get the best brainstorming activity when I go to the other room where my big exercise ball is and I sit on it. And then for me, not everybody can do it, but I lean back. So my back's on the ball and my head's down on one end and my feet are down on the other hand, and the blood is getting back to my brain, which is amazing how much it helps to have blood in your brain helping you think. And then five minutes of rolling around on the ball or less.I'm like, oh my gosh, that's what happens next. And I'm so excited.

[00:19:53.870] – Jill

Well, that's awesome. Well, one thing that I wanted to mention is and this gets into neuroscience, it's a little technical, but our our prefrontal cortex, which is our forward thinking, human conscious, intellectual part of our brain, there are different zones, so to speak, that you could be in. One is what we call central executive network. Central executive network, sounds just like what it is. You are the executive. You are working. You are intelligent, you're focusing your writing.

[00:20:27.650] – Jill

And that's wonderful. When you are engaged in writing. Your brain activity is mostly in the central executive network. OK, so right. Yeah. Now that's pretty intense. So the other side is what they call the Default Mode Network, DMM . And that's when you're spacing out, when you're on the ball and just kind of spacing out. Your brain activity is more in the default mode network, which is the mind wandering. And when you get into the default mode network, that's where creativity is allowed to kind of flow.

[00:21:05.750] – Jill

So you may get your most creative ideas actually, not when you're writing, but when you're taking a walk or just chilling out watering your plants. So what I suggest to people is that you work hard, you use that central executive network for twenty, 40, 60 Minutes, whatever it is, and then you take a break and you let your mind wander. Go do. Some mindless activity like washing the dishes or, something like that, and let your brain just kind of just space out, right?

[00:21:35.690] – Kitty

It's so funny. My husband and I were both in the writing the first draft stage of a book several months ago. It was definitely well into the year, might have been last summer. And neither one of us likes to do any housecleaning. If we could just magically have the house cleaned, just wake up and it's clean every day. Brownie's did it, I'd be the happiest person ever. But we were both in the stage where both of us are trying to figure out some stuff in the first draft of our stories. And we were fighting over who gets to do the dishes because we would notice that, you know, when we're not thinking about it, that's when it's happening. And we seem to always be working when we did the dishes.

[00:22:16.800] – Jill

Yes. Yeah, that is neuroscience-based. It's not something I made up. It's real. And it's actually can improve your productivity if you know that if you're aware, OK, I'm going to give myself time to really focus and concentrate and then I'm going to give myself some time to just chill out. And it doesn't have to be long. It could be a five-minute break. Yeah, ten-minute break.

[00:22:42.110] – Kitty

And I like to go back to what you said earlier to that, I can also include some of this house cleaning as exercise or that is movement as well. So I'm getting actually double, maybe triple benefits here. So I just have to tell myself. Listen, this is a benefit. This isn't for me. I have to do housecleaning and I hate it. This is I'm getting some exercise and thinking about my story without thinking about it. And I'm doing good things for my brain. And so I should be happy that I get to do this right.

[00:23:10.850] – Jill

Yes, absolutely. Well, you know, I mean, it's it's a work, right? It's a work in progress. Your perspective on things, you know, there's no shugs. But yes, there every time you move, that's good. So it is, it could be a shift in perspective from I have to do housework, to oh I get to move around a little bit and let my mind wander. I love that. That's just a shift in perspective.

[00:23:38.450] – Kitty

Perfect. Which kind of I'm beginning to see how these five areas are linked because now we're kind of hitting on one of the areas of mindset as well.

[00:23:47.000] – Jill

Yes, yes. And that alone could be a huge mindset tip, as you just understand kind of a little bit more about how your brain works. Yeah. And that if you try to just write all day, you're probably not it's not going to be your best work. You'll probably be fatigued. Yeah. So actually getting up and moving and that's a whole another piece to movement. It gets your blood flowing. Talk about getting blood to your brain. You know, our heart, our hearts are good at that. Like our hearts, if they're working well, we'll get the blood to the brain. And if the more we move all that, you mentioned earlier you were jumping on the trampoline, a lot of people do that to move to get the circulation from the lower body up. Oh, our muscles do that. That's lymph moving the lymph and moving the blood. But if you are physically active, whether it's jumping on a trampoline or walking or cleaning or lifting weights, it doesn't matter. You're getting that circulation to flow,more blood to the brain.

[00:24:47.360] – Kitty


[00:24:47.840] – Jill

So you could also think of it that way.

[00:24:50.760] – Kitty

Good. Cool. All right.

[00:24:53.480] – Jill

So so let's talk about food, nutrition.

[00:24:57.590] – Kitty

I love food.

[00:25:00.230] – Jill

So do I. And I want everybody to love food. I'm not the nutritionist who's like, oh, you know, that's bad and that's good. Like, if we could just take away the morality piece to it because there is a thing and I don't know how it is in Sweden, but in the United States, you grew up in the States. So, you know, if you have trouble with your weight, I don't want to say it's morality, but it's sort of something's wrong with you. You're lazy or you just can't control yourself. And there's a lot of negative stuff that goes on around that. And if you're even just, the way you were describing your baking and your husband's cooking and all these things, it's like, OK, sounds wonderful,but at the same time, there's this guilt. Yeah. Around it. Right. So I encourage people to move away from that and to approach eating as from the perspective of self-love. And self care. OK, so so, you know, as you get better and better, nobody this is a lifelong work.

[00:26:15.730] – Jill

It's lifelong work for me. I have the same issues that everybody else has with food. But as you get more and more into it, you kind of start to approach food from a place of, is this the most loving thing that I can do for my body right now? So it's like pretty advanced. But in the beginning, when I first start working with people, the thing that I talk about is how can you nourish your body properly so that it's easier for you to be in a better mood so that you can make better food choices.

[00:26:43.030] – Kitty

Yeah, yes. I have noticed that there is a big issue with what is the first thing I put in my mouth in the morning is it makes the whole day. If it's something sugary, I will probably have cravings and feel like I cannot control what I'm doing for the rest of the day. I have a protein shake or sometimes eggs will be enough. Then I feel like I have so much more self-control and I know it's chemical, but I don't understand what is happening.

[00:27:09.490] – Jill

Yeah, yeah. And you basically like if someone said, well, if you ask me if there was only one thing I could tell you about nutrition, it would be eat whole foods as much as you possibly can. Right. That would be if everybody in the world suddenly just started eating all Whole Foods or even 80 percent, let's say, Whole Foods. Yeah. First of all, the entire industrial food complex would crumble, melt.So, you know, that's one thing. But it's but we would all change. We would all be much healthier. It's processed foods that we really want to try to slowly but surely eliminate. So if you're eating a cold cereal for breakfast, switch to an oatmeal.

[00:27:52.690] – Kitty

Oh, OK.

[00:27:53.560] – Jill

Because oatmeal is less processed.

[00:27:55.840] – Kitty

OK, so we're talking about whole food equals sort of at least a food that's not been processed or.

[00:28:02.710] – Jill


[00:28:03.040] – Kitty

And only lightly processed like oatmeal would have been cut up. But it's still oats.

[00:28:08.960] – Jill

Yes, exactly.And an egg is truly I mean it's a very minimally processed food, right. I just crack it open, scrambled it up and I'm a huge fan of eggs nutritionally and just they're simple. They're quick. And they also for breakfast. What you mentioned about you're eating something that's dense in protein and probably some fat. And when you do your smoothie, there's probably some fiber in there as well. So those are the micronutrients that you kind of want to be thinking about at your meal is like, where's the protein, where's the fat, where's the fiber?

[00:28:44.800] – Jill

So if you have a bowl of cereal with let's say you have it with whole milk, which a lot of people don't, but the cereal is so highly processed, the milk is actually highly processed unfortunately, even though it doesn't look like it is, there's very little protein, if any at all. There may be a little bit of fat in the milk. It's just not sustaining. It's like you're trying to make a fire and you want the fire to keep burning. Right. You don't want it to just put a couple of twigs on a piece of newspaper and it burns out. That's what the cereal is doing. If you eat protein, fat and fiber, those are the logs. Those are the slow burning fuel. They'll sustain you for hours. And one of the best ways to know if you ate enough protein, fat and fiber. Yeah. Is how long does it take for you to get hungry? If you eat it, just do an experiment, eat two eggs, maybe a vegetable omelet, even add some fiber in there and then have a bowl of cereal or a croissant for breakfast.Just pay attention to the difference.

[00:29:50.050] – Kitty

Yeah, OK.

[00:29:51.410] – Jill

I pretty much can guarantee there's going to be a big difference in not only your hunger cravings later in the day, which you mentioned,energy and also mood and the big one for writers, energy is really important, but so is mental clarity. Yeah. So do you ever eat a meal and then feel like there's just like a kind of a veil came over your brain? Have you ever experienced.

[00:30:18.430] – Kitty

Wow. OK, well see that's the thing is that I've never asked myself the question about why, why this like I haven't had the question to link it to anything else. So I know that I don't feel as good like I'm happy if I have the peanut butter crunch cereal that I got for Christmas. But then, yeah, I'm totally ready to eat something else two hours later and then two hours after that and then twenty minutes after that again. And then I'm just eating chocolate and but it never occurred to me to ask myself, like, is my brain working less well than yesterday when I had a smoothie.

[00:30:52.490] – Jill

Mm hmm. Yeah. So that's that's an that's and for anybody who watches this, you can just, if we can go into these experiences with curiosity rather than judgment, blame, regret. I did this, I did that, I'm a bad eater, I'm overweight, but let that all go and just go with curiosity.

[00:31:13.980] – Kitty

I love this. Oh my gosh. You making me feel so much better about myself. I could totally. Yes. And then curiosity. And then you make your own decision about, oh, I don't like the way I feel. So I'm going to change how I eat tomorrow or whatever because I want to, not because I should.

[00:31:29.010] – Jill

Yes, yes. Yes, yes. The latter should be because, you know, when a doctor tells you, you have to eat better, that's like that's an external motivation. They call it extrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation comes from inside. Like, I just want to do this because I want to feel better. I want to take care of my body. Yeah. I want to be a better writer. That's also could be like an intrinsic motivation that works. That would work. OK, so to kind of summarize, you know, you can look at your food and you can say, well, is there something that's processed that I could eat that's less processed? And I do have a document which I don't know how I guess I could send it to you, but it's I actually have a reference. These are more processed. These are less like a it's a continuum.

[00:32:20.700] – Kitty

Is this something people can go to your website and sign up to get a copy or.

[00:32:24.570] – Jill

Well, I can set it up that way. It's not set up that way right now, but I'll put that on my to do list because it's actually really useful, because a lot of times people are like, well, not really sure. I never thought that milk was processed. Wait a minute. Some things are very obvious, right? Like chips and cereal and granola bars and hot dogs, pasta crackers. You know, these. It's pretty obvious. Yeah. But if you can just think in terms of, is this as close to its natural for original form. Right. Like we talked about. Oh yeah. So they take the oats off of the plant. They clean it up a little bit, they put it in a bag, not that processed. Cereal on the other hand, it goes through multiple, you know, how do they get it into those little shapes that's a lot of processing..

[00:33:12.390] – Kitty

And make it purple and blue and green.

[00:33:15.000] – Jill

Exactly.So I can provide that resource. So that's one thing to think about. And the other is, am I nourishing my body so that I can go four or five hours without being hungry? Am I eating a meal where afterwards I feel the same as I did before I ate the meal mentally like like brain fog, mental clarity wise? So I used to eat. This was me. I would eat cereal for breakfast or a bagel with cream cheese.

[00:33:44.160] – Kitty

Oh, yeah.

[00:33:44.520] – Jill

And then in the morning, I was so tired it didn't even matter, what I did but I just felt tired. Then at lunch I would usually have a sandwich. But what I would notice is that before I ate was hungry but my mind was clear after I ate, I wasn't hungry, but my mind I couldn't quite…

[00:34:01.420] – Kitty

Oh yes.

[00:34:03.120] – Jill

Be working as I wanted it to. So, you know, I can't in this short amount of time that we have, explain all of the possible reasons that that could be happening to somebody. But typically, if you don't have enough protein, protein is a big one. And then if you're eating refined carbs, like a bagel, right, or cereal, these are refined carbs. There's not a lot of fiber in there and the blood sugar shoots up and it kind of messes with your brain function.

[00:34:35.120] – Kitty

OK, so again, go go into curiosity mode and ask yourself, what did I eat, how do I feel? And then just start paying more attention and try a few different things, see what changes so that you're feeling the way that you want to feel, thinking clearly, if that's what you're looking for. I mean, at Christmas, I wasn't working, I had every intention of eating everything I wanted to eat and doing nothing but sitting on the couch and watching TV, if that's what I wanted to do.Now I have to make up for that. But that's what I wanted for those two weeks. But now I'm like, no, I need definitely like mental clarity and just healthier choices because I want to feel better and I want to do my work because I like my work and or, you know, we do our work because we get paid to do our work. We need to do our work.

[00:35:23.960] – Jill

That's true, too. Yes. Yes. Yeah. And I think that what happens is the more you get used to feeling good, the more you want it. So that feeling that you had over the holidays, I have that same feeling. But it lasts like two days. Yeah. And then I'm like, well, I just want to go back to eating the way I'm eating. I want to go back to exercising so we can shorten those periods. I don't want to say that those periods should never happen. Yeah. Because maybe that's just part of being human. So, yeah, but we can, the more aware you become of how good it feels to feel good, the more you're going to intrinsically want it and you're going to do those things right. It's a process does not happen overnight.

[00:36:10.530] – Kitty

All right, cool. This is great. So we've got a couple more of the five areas, right?

[00:36:16.560] – Jill

Yeah, we talked about a little bit about mindset, but we talked about fitness and nutrition. So stress management, huge. And sleep, those. Listen, I started off with physical activity, but if you if someone's sleep, if your sleep is not good, let's say if it's good, then maybe you're OK. But we want it to at least be good. I would start with that.

[00:36:42.570] – Kitty


[00:36:43.410] – Jill

If your sleep is poor or spotty. Because sleep is the foundation of all health. So if we take those pillars and we put a foundation, sleep would be at the bottom. OK. And upon the sleep rests the fitness and the food and the stress management, all of that.

[00:37:03.490] – Kitty


[00:37:03.970] – Jill

If you are not well-rested, then it doesn't matter how well you eat. It doesn't matter how much physical activity you get. Or you could sit and meditate. It's you cannot outrun poor sleep, unfortunately. Right. So there are two types of people there who let's say have poor sleep. There are people who choose to have poor sleep and there are people who really want to get better sleep.

[00:37:27.280] – Kitty


[00:37:28.300] – Jill

They can't it's hard. They have insomnia. They wake up at four a.m. or they have trouble falling asleep or whatever. If you're choosing to get poor sleep, stop. I'm joking a little bit about that. You know, it's hard. The one advice I'll give those people is- just dial it back just fifteen minutes. That's it. If you go to bed at two a.m., go to bed at 1.45 am. If you're all over the place, try to pick a time and just do that. Even if it's two a.m.. I don't care if it's one a.m. today, three a.m. tomorrow, midnight the night before, try to pick a time and stick to that.

[00:38:09.280] – Kitty


[00:38:10.270] – Jill

And, and sometimes you have to move in fifteen-minute increments. Yeah. I have a client I've been working with for about ten months now and we've finally got her from 2:00 a.m. to 1.30 a.m. consistently.

[00:38:20.650] – Kitty


[00:38:21.340] – Jill

It's taken her time. She's been working on other stuff too. Yeah. It's OK to take time as long as you're moving in the right direction. So that's those people, for people who have poor sleep. Again, like I could talk for an hour or more. There are three things you can do to get better sleep if you have trouble sleeping. OK, number one is consistency. The same thing that I mentioned for those people who are kind of erratic, if you can go to bed at the same time every night, that will help. And these three things are based, not Jill Cruz's opinion about stuff, but there's a lot of research around these three. If you look online like how do I get better sleep? You're going to find fifty five things and you're going to feel awful. Oh, I have to do all those things to sleep better, my gosh, it's overwhelming, so start with these three if you're not doing them already. Number one, consistent bedtime, consistent every night. You know, give yourself a thirty minute window. That's it. Yeah. The other is room temperature. Cool. Hot, we do not sleep well with heat so sixty-five to sixty-eight degrees Fahrenheit. I don't know what that is in Celsius.

[00:39:31.060] – Kitty

Yeah. Well somebody can, feel free to just do convert anyone who needs it in Celsius because I don't know it either. I know it's, it's in the teens.

[00:39:38.950] – Jill

Probably in the teens. Yeah right. The upper teens. So, so there's that. And then also I'm having a brain freeze right now about what the third one is.

[00:39:50.380] – Kitty

Does it have to do with exercise and nutrition? I always feel like those affect my sleep.

[00:39:56.370] – Jill

Yes, but that's not what I was going to say, but, yes, that is another thing I find when people they're more physically active, they do get better sleep. Absolutely. But it's what I call light therapy. And that doesn't mean we could talk about blue lights and TV screens and all of that. I'm not even going to talk about that. Don't even worry about that right now. Get natural light early in the day.

[00:40:20.850] – Kitty


[00:40:21.120] – Jill

that actually has been shown to improve sleep in the evening. Oh, go outside and take a walk. Now, when you live in Sweden, I don't know what you do.

[00:40:29.370] – Kitty

Well, we go outside at eight or eight thirty in the morning when it starts getting sort of light.

[00:40:36.150] – Jill

Yeah. And that's when you and maybe when you live in Sweden, you actually have some lights. You actually do real light therapy, like you have lights on your desk.

[00:40:43.620] – Kitty

I do have, yeah. I do have like it's actually for a photography studio, but I was trying to find a light bulb that would kind of simulate what people in Seattle apparently can buy a certain kind of light bulb that simulates daylight.

[00:40:57.540] – Jill

Yes. Yeah. Because what happens is if you get up in the morning, let's just say here in New York, I get up, I go outside and the light is getting into my eyes and the eyes are directly connected to the brain. Oh, it's morning time. Wake up. So that affects all of your hormones because the hormones, our bodies are on a circadian rhythm, where they move on a certain rhythm our hormones, certain hormones peak in the morning, cortisol peaks in the morning. So we want the more consistently, the more we can kind of allow ourselves to follow that natural day-night schedule, the better your sleep is going to be OK. And of course, there's a lot of other stuff, but try those three and if anybody has questions, you can reach out to me. And I will just segue right into the next one. Yeah, stress management. And the reason that I want to segue right away is that, I'd say 9.9 times out of 10, people have poor sleep because of stress.

[00:41:58.040] – Kitty


[00:41:59.070] – Jill

Unfortunately. So even waking up in the middle of the night, you could understand not falling asleep, right? Oh, my mind is racing. But even waking up in the night or waking up really early in the morning is usually because of stress. So and hormones are a whole other, we could do a whole other podcast on hormones, but yeah, obviously hormones play a role, like you mentioned, being 52 and all of that. So. Stress management. Do you have any things you do? You mentioned you, you meditate, so.

[00:42:33.570] – Kitty

Yeah, I do it for three or four days until I get to. Well, let's see. It's actually Wednesday right this minute. And tomorrow I will probably like read my Bible for about thirty seven seconds, skip the meditation and run into my office as soon as I can get myself out of bed because now I feel like I've used up all of my free time and I really have a lot of work that I have to get done before the end of the week. That's how my weeks usually go Monday. I'm very calm. By Friday, I'm like, holy crap, I need more time.

[00:43:03.240] – Jill

OK, so I'm just going to step for a moment into this mindset piece because it is related to stress management. Yeah. And mindset and productivity. So the better you nourish your body, whether it's food, sleep, meditation, doesn't matter what it is, physical activity, the more productive you are. OK, that's just undebatable, in my book that's undebatable. I have a lot of energy and my mind is clear and I'm calm, that's not because I'm doing a lot of work and getting it all done. It's because I slept well last night and I took my walk in the morning and I did my meditative type work. So do you see what I'm saying? So we tend to think, well, I don't have time for self care because I'm too busy. Right. It's actually the opposite. The more self care I practice, the more productive I am, which means I get more work done in a shrinked amount of time.

[00:44:06.040] – Kitty

Oh, that sounds really good to me.

[00:44:08.290] – Jill

Yes. Yes. And there is a world where you can live like that. Number one, it takes prioritizing self care. Number two- time management ,really looking at your schedule and making sure that you're not taking on too much. Yeah. That's a big especially women we take on too much.

[00:44:28.360] – Kitty


[00:44:29.260] – Jill

And we push entrepreneurs and writers I believe are at their parts, probably mostly entrepreneurs, even though I may not identify that way. You know, we want to get it all done fast and we want to be productive. We want to make money now, like I understand all of that, but we're kind of shooting ourselves in the foot by trying to do too much. Does that make sense?

[00:44:51.310] – Kitty


[00:44:52.720] – Jill

So it takes also, again, taking a step back and saying, what does my schedule look like? Are there things that I need to delay or actually just remove. Yeah. So both of those things. Yeah. At the same time if possible.

[00:45:07.900] – Kitty

Oh my brain is just full.

[00:45:11.470] – Jill

I know it's a lot.

[00:45:12.350] – Kitty

Yeah. So, so sleep being the foundation, for people who like me are struggling with and I try really hard not to drink very much water after I really love water. You're just drinking water. You know, I normally have a glass everywhere I go, but I try really hard to stop drinking by like six o'clock at night because I don't want my bladder to be the only reason I woke up out of a sound sleep. But if I'm going to wake up at four o'clock in the morning, then I've tried two different ways. This morning I was like, screw it. Not falling or not waking…Sorry, what am I trying to say? I'm not falling back asleep again after forty-five minutes, I'm just going to get up and do stuff and I'm probably just going to be tired today, which is why I had some caffeine earlier. But other times I'm thinking, OK, I know sleep is the most important thing, so I do everything I can think of to fall back asleep. Eventually I'll turn my Kindle on, read some more until I hopefully fall back asleep. But now it's like eight or eight-thirty, when I finally get out of bed and I'm thinking, OK, I'm not really sure that was the best use of my time. Thoughts.

[00:46:18.700] – Jill

Yeah, OK. First of all, one of the problems with insomnia or whatever it is that you want to describe what's happening to you, whether it happens at 11:00 p.m. or 4 am, it doesn't matter, is that pressure that we put on ourselves,

[00:46:32.050] – Kitty

oh, hurry up and fall back asleep.That's what I'm telling myself. Come on, come on, sleep.

[00:46:36.430] – Jill

And that, like, prevents you from falling asleep. So in if you look at, like, very medical people around us, they all say thirty minutes, if you don't fall asleep within 30 minutes, then get up and do something that makes you sleepy,

[00:46:53.730] – Kitty

but then maybe go back to sleep again for another.

[00:46:55.990] – Jill

Maybe but for you, 4 am, some people just are early risers. Maybe what you actually would need is a nap later on.

[00:47:04.920] – Kitty

Oh, right.

[00:47:06.280] – Jill

I don't know. I don't know. It's OK to nap. It's OK to nap. We humans have napped historically like if we look at indigenous people, they nap. Right. So there's nothing wrong with napping. Right. If it works for you,

[00:47:22.680] – Kitty

Especially because I don't know about others who are listening, but in my business, most of my clients and the people that I work with are somewhere in the North American time zone, which means that in Sweden, the earliest I can get to bed is 10 and I'm usually like a nine p.m. I'm done with my day person, but I have to stay up later than my normal rhythm would be, which is why I'm trying to force myself to get up extra sleep. But if I'm going to wake up at 4:00, whether I go to sleep at eight-thirty or ten-thirty, then maybe just nap on days that I'm tired, is the better solution.

[00:47:57.090] – Jill

Yeah, rather than lying there, you're basically just wasting time. Right. Like I just get up and work or get up and do your meditation or something and yeah. You have all this extra time now and then it's like OK, I'm going to take a nap. The only problem potentially with napping is, is it harder for you to fall asleep later? So you have to kind of you know, everybody's individual around that. There are a lot of things you can do to stop those racing thoughts and calm down. I mean, there are apps like the calm app, right? You know, there are lots of sleep apps. I personally am a physical person. I get up and I move and I don't move in any specific way. I just kind of move or put on a song that you love and just dance and, you know, you may think, well, that's going to rev me up, but it actually it just gets your blood flowing again and actually can work through some of the stress. And, you know, you can work physically, you can work mental stress out of your body physically. Oh. So, yeah, there's a lot of fun stuff with this.

[00:49:01.200] – Kitty

Hey, Jill, I feel like you need to be like a regular guest speaker on this podcast, this is amazing stuff. I'm already kind of seeing into my future here how my writing career is going to get so much more fun and relaxing.

[00:49:17.280] – Jill

Yeah, that's the point. Look, if you're not having fun, you're doing something wrong. I believe that, that's almost like my own personal motto. And there are ways like things that we think are really hard. Like some women, a lot of women struggle with eating and we feel like it's so hard.

[00:49:34.020] – Kitty


[00:49:34.770] – Jill

There's always a way in my in my opinion, there's always a way. You know, just a lot of times we need help with that.

[00:49:42.390] – Kitty

Yeah. And is it's correct to believe that, what's a solution for somebody won't be a solution for somebody else.

[00:49:52.000] – Jill

Absolutely. Absolutely. I mean, I personally, I take CBD oil, which is a little bit controversial, and I'm not recommending it unless you work with a qualified health care professional. But for me, CBD is great because I don't wake up in the night anymore.

[00:50:08.490] – Kitty


[00:50:08.850] – Jill

So. So there, but that may not work for someone else, right? For some people to meditate, like, yes. There's so many ways, whether it's food or sleep, stress management, we're all different. Yeah. And we have to honor that.

[00:50:22.750] – Kitty

Yeah. OK, this is good because my husband and I've been trying something new which we didn't understand what it really was. And then we finally looked it up or like, oh, let's try that. So we've been trying Interval fasting so we don't put anything with calories in our mouths until nine a.m. and then pretty much anything that we want during the day. But we stop at five and after that we brush our teeth and we're done unless it's Friday night, because then it's margarita night. But and I really like I don't think that I am making this up in my head. I really do think that it's helping me to sleep better. And I feel like I'm not gaining three pounds and then losing two pounds and gain more. I feel like my weight's more even, I just feel in general more even. And I wasn't sure if it was my imagination or just finding that I found something that's working for me.

[00:51:16.770] – Jill

Yeah, it sounds like it's working for you. If something's working, it's working and you'll know, OK. And that's another thing that I could say about helping with sleep is, no large meals or heavy, heavy exercise three hours before bed. That's another one that's very well researched.

[00:51:31.830] – Kitty

Three hours. OK, good to know.

[00:51:33.330] – Jill

Yeah. So you're getting at least four or more hours and that's that's problem. I'm sure that that's affecting your sleep. Yeah. And just overall, just maybe your blood sugar is getting more balanced. I don't know. I mean, but hey, if it's working. Yeah.

[00:51:51.030] – Kitty

Keep doing it then right?

[00:51:53.820] – Jill

Yeah. And it's just between 9 a.m. and 5pm where you, you know, you may want to like, pay attention to those, macros. The protein, the protein is so important. If you can just get a protein rich breakfast. Yeah. It'll probably you'll see throughout the day, not just in the morning but throughout the day, less cravings and better brain function.

[00:52:15.000] – Kitty

Brilliant. Oh my gosh. I wish I could just reach through and hug you. I feel so much better about myself and. My life in the near future, in the distant future,

[00:52:23.470] – Jill

Thats good, I'm so glad to hear that.

[00:52:25.620] – Kitty

Everyone who's listening and if you're watching on YouTube, I hope you're getting as much out of this as I am. This is awesome. And can I ask Jill? So there will be most people will listen on their podcast app, their favorite app. A lot of people will be watching on YouTube because it's just a different audience and it's fun. And you could see people chatting. But when it comes to like, how can people ask you a question? I'm thinking YouTube is one place they can just like post under the video. But also tell us about where can people find you online, find out more about what you do. And you have different things that you can give away to people. They just sign up with their email and then they can get like, different helpful, I don't know, helps, tips and stuff. Tell us some more about where people can find you and what you do.

[00:53:14.740] – Jill

OK, so the name of my business is Work With Your Nature weight loss, which I think after hearing this conversation makes sense. Yeah, because basically I'm talking about working with your human nature, including neuroscience and psychology and the body.

[00:53:31.650] – Kitty


[00:53:32.370] – Jill

So it's called Work With Your Natural weight loss. My website is actually wynweightloss.com, like work with your nature. There's only one w, all right. So you can maybe put the link there, but it's wynweightloss.com.

[00:53:49.230] – Kitty


[00:53:49.560] – Jill

And going to my website is you can find out a lot about me. And it's very important to me that the stuff I talk about science is science-backed. I have a Master of Science degree, I have a certification in applied behavioral neuroscience. I don't like to espouse things that are just not that are just sort of tenuous. Yeah, so. So that's my work. And of course, obviously I work in mindset, but the work that I do is really is, I help women over 40 who are fed up with yo-yo dieting to lose weight, but to do so in a way that's nourishing and sustainable and pleasurable. Really. Gotta have fun.

[00:54:32.010] – Kitty

That's awesome.

[00:54:33.150] – Jill

So you could just visit my website, if you get onto my email list, I send out a weekly blog post. I do have a blog. So you could just go and learn a ton of stuff in the blog right away. It's on my website and/or if you're on the list, you get a weekly update, a weekly recipe, and I do monthly lunch and learns. So we get like this on Zoom as a group and we just chat about various topics relating to everything we talked about today.

[00:54:59.550] – Kitty

Wow. And is that a paid membership sort of thing? Or just if you're on your email list, you can show up,

[00:55:05.607] – Jill

No ( it's free)

[00:55:05.670] – Kitty

oh my gosh, I'm going to get on your email list.

[00:55:07.830] – Jill

Yeah, you should. Yes. Yes. So I love there's so much to talk about. And if someone needs my help, it's not information that they need so much. It's personalized, targeted strategies and then all the help with the mindset stuff. So I could give away information every day for the rest of my life and I would still have clients. So for me, it's fun. It's fun to chat with people and create. I have I love the community.I really do.

[00:55:36.240] – Kitty


[00:55:37.110] – Jill

So join us.

[00:55:39.690] – Kitty

I love it. Thank you so much. I really feel like you have shared so much fabulous information that it makes it feel like 2021 has a lot of hope and potential in it.

[00:55:51.450] – Jill

Absolutely. I agree.

[00:55:53.220] – Kitty

Thank you for being on the show. We appreciate you.

[00:55:56.280] – Jill

Thank you so much. This was absolutely pleasurable. And one I want to add one little thing. If there was one thing that I would say that would cover a lot of those bases, it would be a morning walk. If you take a morning walk, you're moving physically, right, you're allowing your mind to get into that default mode network, you're going outside getting that natural light into your eyes. And also walking has been shown to reduce stress. And if you can walk in nature, that also has been shown to reduce stress. So if you do nothing else after this, go out and take a five-minute walk every morning.


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