We interviewed Jennifer Northcott RD, CDE also known as The Mindful Dietitian @themindful_dietitian to learn more about the relationship between health, alcohol and sugar, in addition to how Sobrii 0-Spirits can be a part of a healthier lifestyle.
Here's what we learned!
What do you do?
I am a Registered Dietitian and have been for over 15 years. I love my job. I get to help people find balance in their lives, heal their relationship with food, improve their body image and develop healthy habits that they can easily incorporate into their everyday life.
I have seen so many people struggle with dieting, restriction and being confused about what to eat over the years and it’s very painful because I did too. But we know from research that restriction with food does not work long term to improve health. It can actually make it worse. So I am very passionate about helping people make positive lasting change.
So basically teach people that there is way more to health than their body weight alone, and I help them navigate their way out of the frustrating cycle of dieting. I have recently created a new program called the Mindful Life Method that does exactly that.
Also, I just completed my 200 hour yoga teacher training! I have more training planned in the new year. I hope to incorporate teaching yoga into my private practice someday.
How did you start?
My own struggles with food and body image are what lead me to become a Registered Dietitian. I was never the skinny rale thin child like most of my friends were and from a young age I thought there was something wrong with my body. I know now that there absolutely wasn’t, and my body was just doing it’s thing, I was growing into the body that was meant for me - but living in a thin obsessed world that was the message I received even as a very young child. And so I tried to manipulate my weight with food and exercise to change it into what was considered more socially acceptable at the time.
This spiraled into a very unhealthy relationship with food. The starvation, the binging, the constant food guilt, the scale obsession. It was mentally and physically exhausting. It took me a while to break free from this cycle and it’s really the reason that I do what I do. Now I get to use the same framework and strategies with clients to help them break away from this spiral that I personally used myself to heal.
I discovered yoga when I was going through a difficult situation in my life. It’s helps me prevent and manage some of the disordered eating thoughts that still creep their way into my mind from time to time. My consistent yoga practice has definitely improved my relationship to exercise and to my body.
What are reasons people should consider less alcohol in their diet?
For me the number one reason is health. We are learning so much about the health consequences of drinking even a small amount of alcohol. For example it being linked to 7 different types of cancers is scary, one of the reasons our national Canadian guidelines have recently changed to recommend no more than 2 standard drinks per week. I don’t think people even know this.
Also as I get older, have become a mother, and go further into my yoga journey, I have realized the importance of being more present in my life. I don’t want to miss any moments. I want to soak it all up. And being alcohol free for me is necessary for that. So those are my personal reasons.
What are some of your recommendations when looking to build healthier habits?
The key to building lifelong healthier habits is consistency. Don’t make goals for yourself that you can’t see yourself sticking too for life. One of the biggest mistakes I see people make is being too extreme in the beginning and then eventually getting overwhelmed and then going right back to where they started or worse. Slow and steady and consistent habits Is what can more easily become a part of your daily routine.
What was your inspiration for the Lavender Haze Cocktail
My friends and I are obsessed with Taylor Swift. She was just starting her Eras Tour and we were listing to her lastest album, Midnights all the time and talking about which song title sounded most like a cocktail so Ladendar Hase was one of them. We could literally visualise it with the hazy egg white topping, and it obviously needed to be purple - and then it just came together.
What do you think is most challenging for people in terms of living healthier?
I think people put too much focus on intentional weight loss as a goal, and in doing so completely miss the mark on what actually promotes good health.
Health is so much more than body weight alone. It really comes down to your behaviours. And your body weight is not a behaviour. Are you eating enough fruit and veg, are you getting enough movement, are you managing your stress, are you limiting or avoiding alcohol, are you sleeping enough? These are all things that influence our health, which can be overlooked when we are only focused on the scale.
Focusing too heavily on just weight loss can actually do more harm than good to our mental and physical health. However we have been conditioned to believe that a thinner body is a healthier body and this is not necessarily true. This is what I help people navigate in my new program the Mindful Life Method.
What are the consequences of Sugar? Sobrii is sugar free!
An excessive intake of anything (sugar included) can lead to health consequences. I definitely think that we can include a little sugar in our diet to make it enjoyable and it shouldn’t be feared, however if there is a tasty sugar free alternative to something that you enjoy, why not?! It’s great that Sobrii is sugar free because I generally encourage people to minimize sugary beverages when they can because the sugar in drinks can add up quickly.
What was your impression of Sobrii?
I thought is was super tasty! My friends and I have made a few mixed cocktails using both the gin and tequila and they tasted amazing. We make a night out of it and have a new theme drink every time.
What do you wish more people knew about drinking alcohol?
I wish people knew that it is actually a drug and that can be addictive. It seems to get a pass and is more socially acceptable than doing other drugs, however it can be just as damaging to our bodies and our lives. I wish people knew that there is really no safe amount of alcohol to drink and to proceed with caution. I think my generation grew up with the believe that a little is actually good for you – which is simply not true.
What is your favourite thing to drink?
I obviously love mixed drinks with Sobrii! When I feel like a beer I am loving the NA corona or Sober Carpenter. I am also pretty basic at times and love a sparkling flavoured water or diet coke!
What is your advice for those starting their health journey?
My biggest advice is to start slow and do what you can be consistent with. Don’t start something you cant see yourself doing forever because it will be short lived and you won’t be able to make true change.
I also suggest getting support. That is huge. Especially in the beginning getting support from a qualified health professional is key. Make sure to check someone credentials too. There are so many people claiming to be experts who have no credible education so be careful who you get your information from. Registered Dietitians are the most credible, evidence based individuals get advice about food and nutrition.
Connect with Jennifer online at @themindful_dietitian