A Holis­tic Per­spec­tive

Cer­ti­fied nu­tri­tional prac­ti­tioner Maria Viall thinks eat­ing should be a plea­sur­able ex­pe­ri­ence de­void of guilt. Does she prac­tice what she preaches? Oh, yeah.

Milwaukee Health - - NUTRITION Q&A - BY ANN CHRIS­TEN­SON ◆

WHILE PUR­SU­ING a jour­nal­ism de­gree at UW-Milwaukee, Maria Viall was a record-scor­ing phe­nom for the women’s bas­ket­ball team. In 2004, she par­layed her ath­letic prow­ess into play­ing pro bas­ket­ball over­seas. Her home bases were Hun­gary and Swe­den, where she no­ticed at­ti­tudes and be­hav­iors to­ward food that dif­fered from the “think thin” Amer­i­can ones to which she was ac­cus­tomed.

While Viall strug­gled with nu­tri­tional mes­sages as both an ath­lete fo­cused on per­for­mance, and a woman cued into her ap­pear­ance, she ob­served that ▸uro­peans “ate but­ter and fat and seemed ar­guably health­ier and hap­pier.” That set the Wauke­sha na­tive on a course of study to­ward cer­ti­fi­ca­tion in holis­tic health be­fore re­turn­ing home and es­tab­lish­ing her prac­tice (mari­aviall.

com) in Shore­wood. In the hand­ful of years since, clients have come to her for holis­tic help with prob­lems rang­ing from weight loss and di­ges­tive dis­or­ders to sleep­ing prob­lems and symp­toms re­lated to au­toim­mune dis­eases. One word that rarely en­ters her vo­cab­u­lary: diet. In its place: “life­style ap­proach.” No foods are in­her­ently “bad,” though too much of one thing – sugar, caf­feine – can trig­ger un­pleas­ant symp­toms. Nu­tri­tional changes, Viall says, need to be re­al­is­tic and eas­ily im­ple­mented: “My job is to help peo­ple get to a place of bal­ance.” To that end, she of­fers in­di­vid­u­al­ized one-on-one help and an on­line life­style pro­gram called The Mind Body Shift. For close to five years, Viall has de­bunked myths about nutri­tion and a healthy life­style in her reg­u­lar seg­ments on TMJ4’s “The Morn­ing Blend.” She shared some tips with us on get­ting to the place of bal­ance that of­ten seems so elu­sive.

What’s a sim­ple thing peo­ple can do to in­cor­po­rate a healthy habit into their lives?

Hy­drate with wa­ter! Aim for half of your body weight in fluid ounces. Be­ing ad­e­quately hy­drated

helps with weight loss, en­ergy, in­flam­ma­tion, healthy skin, and… it helps de­crease bloat­ing. If you’re de­hy­drated, you may end up with headaches, poor sleep and low en­ergy.

Your views on ex­er­cise don’t seem to be a rigid, hit-the-gym­five-days-a-week mantra. Can you elab­o­rate?

I like to see mak­ing ex­er­cise part of the “life­style” as much as pos­si­ble rather than sched­uled gym time. Tak­ing walks, gar­den­ing, rid­ing bikes, get­ting out­side and get­ting fresh air and sun­shine helps with over­all well-be­ing and im­mu­nity.… For peo­ple who are al­ready ac­tive, mix it up be­tween in­tense work­outs with more restora­tive forms of ex­er­cise like Pi­lates and yoga.

You are a huge pro­po­nent of mak­ing sleep a pri­or­ity. Why?

Your body thrives on rou­tine. In terms of sleep, our cir­ca­dian rhythms can be eas­ily af­fected by in­con­sis­tent sleep pat­terns. So much heal­ing hap­pens while you sleep, and… ad­e­quate sleep al­lows your body to de­tox, re­coup and re­cover for the fol­low­ing day.

Peo­ple of­ten overeat for rea­sons other than hunger. How do you ad­dress those re­lated is­sues?

There is a huge emo­tional and men­tal side when it comes to change and food. My whole goal is to em­power them to trust their de­ci­sions around food. I had a client who was still feel­ing guilty for the sec­ond piece of cake she ate – two weeks af­ter she ate it. That think­ing is more toxic than eat­ing the cake! Make the de­ci­sion to do or don’t, then move on from it.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.