Smart Athlete Podcast Ep. 26 - Katie Hake - EAT TO LIVE - Part 3 of 3

I didn't look at the research on this, to give any stats, I just kind of like, pull this it out my head. Have you worked with anybody who grew up in an environment that had a lot of food insecurity that didn't necessarily have-- they literally came from a place where like, maybe their parents could only feed them twice a day or once a day or they didn't have food on the weekends.

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JESSE: I didn't look at the research on this, to give any stats, I just kind of like, pull this it out my head. Have you worked with anybody who grew up in an environment that had a lot of food insecurity that didn't necessarily have-- they literally came from a place where like, maybe their parents could only feed them twice a day or once a day or they didn't have food on the weekends. I live in Kansas City and I kind of grew up and live currently in a very like mixed economic areas. And I was friends with people that kind of in that situation and it is a reality for some people. Some escape it some don't. Have you worked with people that kind of lived in that environment and gone on, but then still kind of have that weighing them down?

KATIE: Yeah, so that's even a harder place to shift from because that's not necessarily just your belief, that's your value system, right. Your value system is I have to clean the plate because I truly don't believe or feel that I may get enough at that next meal. And it's amazing how much of what we learn in our environment growing up, what we have, what we didn't have, the way we were talking to you about food, what kind of meals were cooked around us how much that can influence us as an adult. And so I do have quite a few clients who to prescribe to that clean plate club mentality of, I've got to eat at all, and really feel guilty regardless of the socioeconomic status that they're at now, it's really hard to throw away food or really hard to feel safe and secure when it comes to food. So, yeah, that's a tough one for sure.

JESSE: Yeah. People come from all different backgrounds. So, just since these are the people you get to talk to you, it's like, kind of curious how you deal with these different mentalities? I know my grandparents because my father's older, lived through the Great Depression and they were farmers. So, they know all about like food-- they knew all about food and not having enough and that's kind of got passed on to my dad a little bit though he's not too bad, he didn't really pass it on to me, but I do have a little bit of first-hand experience with that, eat everything on your plate, don't waste anything kind of mentality. And that plagues a lot of people for various reasons.

KATIE: Yeah, and I always tell people that well, it's a waste either way, right? It's a waste if you're overeating to the point where you're uncomfortable and it's sending you down this guilty spiral, it's a waste if you throw it away. So, that's definitely a process and like we talked about it takes practice, it takes time of learning to go I have resources. I am lucky now, or fortunate enough now that I have plenty of access to food that I don't have to eat it all right now in this moment.

JESSE: So, thinking about input, I can't remember if this was a podcast or a blog post you did talking about social media. I think it was a podcast talking about basically your social media diet and whether the people that you follow and the things that you see whether that is a positive impact on your mental state. I want to dive into that a little bit more. Is that a matter of just thinking about yourself and like does this person affect me positively, negatively? Or is it a matter of the environment as a whole, as in social media as a whole is relatively unhealthy? I kind of isolate myself, I don't use social media that much so I don't have a lot of personal experience as far as getting on Instagram and following people and doing that kind of stuff.

KATIE: Yeah, there's just so much in social media now that can influence us even on a subconscious level. So, in that podcast, particular talking, asking people how do you feel when you see this girl in a bikini or that Instagram model or there's a lot of fitness influencers who may not necessarily have the background but they've got a good body. How does that make me feel? I think a lot of times people think, we think, oh, if I look at this certain body type or physique, it's going to be motivating to me and for some people, maybe. But for a lot of people, they find I actually just feel worse about myself that I'll never be that thin or I'll never have those types of muscles, things like that. As well as when it comes to food too, what are you seeing on social media? Does it make you feel bad about yourself? Does it educate you? Does it inspire you or is it having a negative effect? So, that's kind of a good barometer, I guess you could say to clean up your feed.

JESSE: Yeah. So, it's really just like, your approach is more think about your own kind of personal attitudes towards people. But not necessarily that Mark is a really negative person on social media, you gotta get rid of him and so is whoever. It's not necessarily like that person, in particular, is bad although I'm sure there are bad actors but just that maybe like in my case, I've been trying to work on having a better diet to reduce my body fat. I've never had a six-pack, I've always been a very competitive athlete but my diet's not been, I'll say optimized so that I can have a six-pack. So, like say I'm seeing all these guys with six-packs and then I'm like hating myself so I need to get rid of them, they're not necessarily bad people. Is that kind of the idea?

KATIE: Right. It's not a reflection on that person. But what is it that they're putting out there on social media? How is it affecting me, right? It's not about them. It's not you, it's me. Right?

JESSE: Right, right. That is the reality this time [??? 6:55]. With the time we have left, I do want to talk a little bit about, so you kind of addressed fad diets a little bit in some of your posts. I like the term diet cults, I don't know if you're familiar with Matt Fitzgerald, but I talked to him a few weeks ago. He's a sports journalist, an author, he predominantly writes books around running and endurance sports. He wrote a book called Diet Cults. I just like that term because it seems to get to the heart of the mentality of like, it's almost like a religion like this is the thing that I do, and everything revolves around this.

I guess I want to use an example. I actually know a lady who is one of the top influencers in the keto space, and she has like one of the top-selling keto recipe books right now, very nice lady. It's worked very well for her at least from her kind of anecdotal standpoint. But, and feel free to correct me, it seems like you are not a big prescriber of diets. So, how do you deal with that kind of dichotomy between say, her who's had seemingly a pretty good success; she's lost a lot of weight, she feels a lot better, all these kinds of things on this particular diet, and then also kind of trying to reconcile that with your own philosophy?

KATIE: Yeah. No, I deal with that challenge, I guess every day for Do you mean, how do I deal with it personally, like personally from a professional standpoint, or just in general?

JESSE: Yeah. Do you say, okay, well, if it's working for you, it's okay or are you like I think you could probably still incorporate some more foods? Or say somebody just dead set on a particular diet when they come to you, how do you deal with it and say they've had success with it; how do you kind of approach that mentality?

KATIE: Right. No, that's a great question. So, yeah, I mean, I actually I have clients who do keto. It's not that I'm-- I think understanding that non-diet isn't necessarily anti-diet if that makes sense. So, part of my role is that if somebody comes to me really fired up about let's use keto as an example, they've done the research, they've seen that it's helped other people and they want to explore it, they want to try it; with my background in nutrition, I understand. I can help anybody with any type of disease management, whether it's renal, whether it's they've got like I said, they've got different energy requirements, whatever it is.

But helping that person become the expert of, okay, what are the pros and cons of eating this type of way? What is it that makes you feel good about it? How does, for example, we'll use that example, keto? How is that affecting you when you go out to eat? Do you find that it's a real stress when you go out to eat in a social setting? Do you find a lot of guilt if you do eat too many carbohydrates or things like that? So, for me, it's really getting to the root of the how is the way you're eating, affecting you all these other aspects of your life? I don't think there's a right or wrong way. I think to me, the word diet is just the way you eat. Right? It's not you're on a diet, it's not you're off a diet. That's just a snapshot of the way you eat in this time.

JESSE: Okay. Okay. It's just one of those things since-- I'll paraphrase Matt. He kind of prescribes, he's not a Registered Dietitian, but his opinion in his book is he prescribes, what do you call it agnostic healthy eating or it's like, kind of the idea about intuitive eating, like eat things that make you feel good. Don't try to prescribe one this very rigid, you only have rice on Tuesdays at noon because it's like that kind of mentality, getting out of that. So, I always like to ask the professionals how do you deal with that since I know that as an entrepreneur you learn about marketing, you learn about the psychology of selling things. And there are times, especially in the food industry when the kind of dark side of marketing comes out and foods that aren't necessarily the best for people are pushed and successfully because you have good marketers working behind them. So, it's almost your job to kind of try to unravel some of that stuff with all the things you've learned.

KATIE: I would say it's job security. So, for me, what I do is when I find myself like, oh, it's that comparison, comparing my success to somebody else's. For me, I put my blinders on and as long as I can go to bed and put my head down on the pillow at night, knowing that I've done what feels right to me and I've helped my clients in a way that I feel that is going to help them that help serve them best and not cause any more harm, then for me, that helps me sleep at night and at the same time keeps me motivated and passionate about continuing the work that I do, despite how challenging it can be. Because when I have somebody who does have that aha moment and goes, oh my gosh, I ate this or I didn't think so much about food today. And I'm at my lowest weight ever, but I'm not obsessed with food as much anymore. Like for me that moment of seeing people have kind of that aha moment, it's the most rewarding work.

JESSE: That's always great to hear like this subject subjective approach to your own practice, not just the subjective approach of like how do I get people to think intuitively and feel intuitively about their own body. But then your own internal system of like I need to keep my own moral barometer or moral compass in check. I'll nerd out a little bit. Have you read any John Stuart Mill on liberty?

KATIE: I have not. I have not.

JESSE: Okay. So, this was required reading for us in college. And so it's a very thin book. It's about 100 pages long but it is very dense in that his sentences are sometimes half a page. But in it, he prescribes this kind of utilitarian thought where he talks about the harm principle, which I'm a big fan of. And it's basically like, as long as you're not harming anybody else, then do whatever you want to do. And it kind of sounds like you have a similar kind of idea when you said as long as I feel okay when I go to sleep at night, I can get sleep, I'm not restless, knowing that I didn't do anything harmful to somebody that's okay. So, I like that guiding principle. So, it's just I'm always curious when it comes up, if anybody was introduced to it via - or whether it kind of just kind of came up in life.

JESSE: It was so good that it's just gotten spread, I guess. I don't know.

KATIE: Something like that. So, here we are at the end. I'm going to ask you-- So, this season I'm asking everybody the same question, it's particularly [??? 14:51] for you and all the dietitians I get to talk to. I asked everybody on the athletic side or exercise side, post-workout, if you can only choose one food for recovery for the rest of your life, what do you choose?

KATIE: Oh, that's so tough. You always hear that chocolate milk is like the perfect carbs to protein ratio. But oh my gosh, what do I like to eat post-workout? For me, it's like a meal like I just want a meal, usually, a sandwich because you get a little bit of carbs, you get your protein from the meat and then avocado for a little bit of fat. That's tough, I don't know, one meal, that's like picking your favorite child.

JESSE: Well, sometimes you have a favorite child. You're not supposed to, but we know it happens.

KATIE: So, I'll say yeah, either chocolate milk or like an actual meal like a good solid plate balanced meal with a little bit of crunch, a little bit of hot, a little bit of cold, protein, fat and carb, all of it. Also, it seems like people will answer, the vast majority of people I talked to will answer with a comfort food. And then like the more professionals like you will go with what, the kind of answer we would expect. Although, this may make you feel good Nancy did say chocolate milk, which that episode will come out on Friday. So, nobody knows. You'll know, right now but nobody else knows besides me.

KATIE: It's much cheaper too, it's much cheaper than your fancy protein shakes, and all that.

JESSE: It's also delicious, the protein isn't-- depending on the blood you get is not always the best taste. Katie if people want to see you, follow you, get in touch with you, listen to your podcast; where do they go? How do they find you?

KATIE: Yeah, so the podcast is Fit Friends Happy Hour. But you can find me-- I like to hang out on Instagram @KatieHake or they can just go to my website,

JESSE: Sounds good. Thanks so much for coming on today. It's really been fun talking to you.

KATIE: Thanks so much for having me.

JESSE: Take care.

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