Add to Your Mental Health Care Plan with Food - E005
TODAY'S GUEST: PEARL CICCI
> Pearl shares why pivoting from being a dietician helped her feel more in alignment with her purpose (06:15)
> What's the correlation between mental health and nutrition (15:07)
> Tangible steps you can do to be more healthy (23:09)
> How you can actually get into action to improve your health (33:44)
> 3 Actionable steps you can implement today (37:17)
E005 - Add to Your Mental Health Care Plan with Food with Pearl Cicci
Mental health care plans include coping skills, talking with people, and even medication. But did you know they should include food?
We’ve been hearing about it for years: eat your vegetables, make sure you get enough protein, drink eight cups of water per day. But if you’re anything like myself, it was just one thing that went in one ear and out the other. Turns out, we should have listened.
The emerging field of nutritional psychiatry is beginning to understand just how big of an impact our food truly has on our mental health. For instance, 95% of your serotonin (a neurotransmitter that regulates sleep and appetite, mediates moods, and inhibits pain) is found in your gastrointestinal tract. No wonder we're seeing a spike in mood related disorders over the past 10 years, it's all that yummy, yet harmful, processed food we're eating.
On this episode of What We're Not Talking About, I sit down with Pearl Cicci, fitness coach and plant based nutrition expert, to talk about simple changes that you can make to your diet that will create huge results, both physically and mentally.
Amy: [00:01:34] Welcome back to this episode of What We're Not Talking About. Today we have the wonderful Pearl Cicci with us. Welcome to the show.
Pearl: [00:01:45] Hello, Amy. Thank you so much for having me. I appreciate it.
Amy: [00:01:51] Hey, it's great to chat with you. We've actually, all our listeners have already had a podcast interview together, so we do know each other. So there's a little bit of familiarity there, but due to extenuating circumstances of my life, I completely changed my business. Here we are now. I’m much happier.
So this is super exciting that we were able to reconnect.
And I'm really excited today to talk about obviously mental health because it’s obviously the entire point of this podcast, but also the connection of nutrition and diet in relation to our mental health care plan, because I think we don't highlight that enough.
Although I will give it, give credit where credit is due. We are improving on this. So I'm just happy that we can both help further that conversation. So thanks again for jumping into this zoom call slash podcast interview thing about adding food to your mental health care plan.
So I always tell my guests before we hop on and we were chatting about this, Pearl, that you have been, your lifelong dream was to be a dietician. So tell us a little bit about why that was your dream.
Pearl: [00:03:02] Yeah. So. My dream was to be a dietician because I really... Growing up, I was blessed to have a family that was relatively healthy, health conscious, and I was always in sports of some sort or doing activities and active.
So me being a healthy, younger kid and growing up, realizing that not everyone was the same and people struggle with their food. And my lunches looked different from everyone else's lunches and I didn't get why. And then just realizing that not everyone has the knowledge or the habits formed already, or the support to be healthy growing up.
So I decided that I want to do something with food and help people become healthier.
I wanted to help them understand their bodies and just live a better life. So I initially wanted to do, wanted to be a cook cause I'm like, well, people like to eat food. So, I can cook for them and make them happy. I took a little, a short weekend course on a pastry chef actually. I talked to the chef, asked him what he thought about the job and when I dug a little deeper, I realized it wasn't exactly what I wanted to do.
I wanted more human interaction, wanting to support people more through the process and really helping them be healthier. So I Googled a bunch of stuff and found out that dietician was a thing. I had no idea it was a thing until I Googled. And that sounded great.
I was like, hey, I want to be a dietician. Went through the whole works, it's a really long process. Took me six years to become a dietician. And there's an interview process and the program and I had to get in and I didn't get in three times actually. So I was like, hi... And I was like, do I go, am I not supposed to be a dietician?
Because I had to apply three times against the program. And even then we had to do an interview and he had to have cover letters and dietician references. And the whole works is quite intense. So I finally got in, cause I was like, Nope, this is what I'm doing. This is all I can do. And, went through the process.
There's an internship at the end where I work in a hospital and everything.
So when I graduated, I worked in the hospital right away, got a job right away. I knew I always wanted to do my own thing in the background as a dietician, like having my own practice, one-on-one consultations, things like that.
So I've always been pursuing my own business and coaching realm. And working in the hospital. I realized a lot of things weren't aligning with my values and how we worked with patients wasn't as ideal as I would have liked to. And I feel like it wasn't making the impact I wanted. So yeah, that was my load dietician realm. You want me to talk about why I transitioned out or?
Amy: [00:05:26] Yeah. Well, I was gonna, I was gonna say one to go. I love that you were like, “Oh, I Googled it,” because that's kind of how I found my first want-to-be career when I was 15. I was like, these are what I want. I do. I want to help people. I want to travel. I want to do this. And back in two thousand and what? 2004, and influencers weren't a thing.
So I couldn't go snap photos on Instagram. And that would come up. It was like, you're going to do international development. That's what I did. I literally was like, okay, this Google search, because I'm sure it was Google back then told me to become this. And I went to school for it.
Similar things to you as we... I won't spoil it cause we had this conversation off a different time, but I just fell out of alignment with it. So, segue, segue. You're no longer working as a dietician.
So what happened for you to pivot?
Let's say we'll use that word.
Pearl: [00:06:23] So that is interesting.
I started my own thing this year, January, as a dietician was seeing some patients or clients and doing one-on-ones, zoom calls, nutrition consultations, things like that. And I loved it. It was great. I really loved having the hour-long sessions with people to really educate them, empower them, make them, understand their health and have progress and follow up with them.
So, through this process, it was around February. I got an email from the college dieticians for my province BC. And they were like, “Oh, we got a complaint from someone we just noticed that, you know, you're posting some stuff on social media that isn't in alignment and is out of scope of practice.” And I'm like, What do you mean?
All my social media I'm posting were all my things I do in my life that make me healthy and happy. My workouts, my mindset, mental health care plan, positive quotes. I talk about various things related to stress management and how do you sleep and basically the overall wellness realm as a human. I didn’t realize though that the regulations are quite strict and dieticians are only allowed to talk about what's within their scope of practice.
So if I was to talk about all these other things, I technically have to be a specialist as well in those areas. For example, for me to talk about mental health, I have to be a psychologist.
And I was like, I'll go back to school for like four more years and talk about mental health.
And little things came up like that. So I really had to decide where my values lie and what I want to talk about and how I want to help my clients. So I just realized that, because health is such a big, broader realm that just what you eat. And I really believe mindset and mental health is a really big part of that.
And even though I'm not an expert, I do know some things that can work and help people along the way. I don't want to leave that out in my consultations or my sessions. So I just thought I'd be better to part ways and not have any issues, no conflict, so I can pursue my own career and kind of live it, lead it the way I want to.
Amy: [00:08:21] Yeah, and I, I really love that. And I've two actual two questions. So one you were talking and I had this moment of like, “Oh my God, what is that going to happen to me?” Because I'm not becoming a dietician, but I am starting, hopefully, I haven't been officially accepted yet, to become a therapist. And I always had that in the back of my mind.
It's like, well, okay, I'm very honest and open about my life. I've literally put most of the crazy stuff that I've done on social media. Are they going to then go use that against me? And that's crazy, but also scares me a little bit that these, I don't know what they're called - organizations? - Don't even recognize the correlation between mental health and what you put in your body.
They don’t put a mental health care plan together with what they eat.
Pearl: [00:09:04] Yeah, I know. I think it's very, for example, I think it's just the very, the word I'm looking for is... Individualized... compliment... compartmentalized ideas and approach. Because really when you look at health and wellness, everything's intertwined. Like you have to stay active, you have to have good mental health, you have to eat well, you have to stay hydrated, you have to sleep and all this stuff.
And also by social interaction, you have to engage with people. And there's so many aspects to overall being healthy. There’s so many aspects to put in your mental health care plan. Cause for me, health is more than like I said, more than what we eat. And it's the overall feeling. It's a lifestyle and how you live your life day to day. And I'm not sure I understand why, because technically with all the professions, they have to stay within their scope and not cross lines.
And that's understandable for sure, but I think it's also important to acknowledge that. There is crossover. And I'm not saying like, I'm sure I could have had a little bit of leeway, but all the things that when I was talking to them at that time wasn't just not aligning with me. And I'm sure some dieticians do have a little bit of wiggle room to talk about these things in their sessions and have all this other freedom depending on what they do and maybe they refer to people. They're like, Hey, you know, it's important to keep in check your mental health, so I'll refer you to this expert, things like that. So that's definitely an option as well.
But for me it was just not the career for me, I found out.
Amy: [00:10:24] Yeah. Yeah. I also think it's so I'm really into the universe and like the universe telling us stuff and things like that.
And I'm like, well, maybe that's why you got denied three times. You know, it was like, no, we're trying to protect you from going through these six years. But I mean, you had to go through it. And it’s brought you here to where we are talking about our mental health care plan. But I have a question, like, how did you come to that?
Obviously I know that someone complained about you and you're like, okay, like either I stop doing this or I don't. What was that moment where you were like, you know what, being an integrity to who I am and what I want to talk about is more important than this job?
Pearl: [00:10:59] Yeah. So I think that really stems from my passion around overall holistic health and really supporting a good mental health care plan. So, a little bit background, my sister passed away about a year ago and, and she struggled with mental health issues. And I was, you know, I was healthy. I was eating well. I was going into the exercise.
Let's do all the things that you would be like, yeah, this girl’s killing it.
But of course, when something traumatic happens to you, you take a step back and you have a wake up call. And I realized like people that don't have a control, their mental health, even if they're eating healthy and doing all the things they need to do, they're still not going to be happy, not going to be functioning well, and not going to be their best selves.
And I just thought there's such a big correlation between diet and lifestyle and mental health and everything we need to do. And I couldn't talk about it in the way I wanted to. And really as someone that really wants to support the overall human, it just didn't make sense to me to keep only talking about food only, and not touch other topics. I just thought, yeah, it wouldn't make me feel good as a practitioner either.
Amy: [00:12:06] Yeah. And it's so awesome that you're able to do that because I know so many people that would just be like, okay, like I've just spent six years doing this. Like, you know, I've gotten what I want and you know, this is why I wanted it my entire life.
So I'm going to just do what they tell me to do. So like, congratulations, that takes, it takes like, you know, big kahunas. I'm not going to say the other word
Pearl: [00:12:24] Yeah. Because it was honestly, it was a really hard decision. Like everyone was like, “what are you doing? You just.”
Because as a dietician, you have to do a second registration exam to be certified.
And that exam took place in November. So it was only January, I got supported or a certified as a full dietician. And it was, I was only, I was only a real dietician or a full dietician for six weeks
Amy: [00:12:50] Actually?
Pearl: [00:12:52] I was a dietician before, I had taken the course. And I was like, okay, I'm going to... So everyone was like, well, you just got your certification!.
And everyone was blown, but I really believe staying aligned with your values is so powerful and it takes courage for sure. But, yeah, it felt right. So you gotta go with your gut for sure.
Amy: [00:13:09] Yeah, absolutely. I know a lot of people. I had no problem with them for forever. It is like not being able to trust my gut because in the past it's... told me to do some things and it didn't turn out well.
Oh, so there's that. Yeah, but it's great because we have this opportunity that we can build platforms outside of these traditional organizations. I truly honestly believe, and I say, I feel like I want to say this. Every single interview that I have is that like, not to like, talk us up, but millennials and gen Z years are literally going to change everything.
Like I'm so excited. And a lot of people were like, Oh, they're in their forties. Or like, not doing anything like with millennials at least. And I'm like, we're young children still, like, wait until we overthrow everything and we start doing like, changing the game. Like you just wait, all the boomers will be like, What am I doing with -?
And we will all have mental health care plans.
Pearl: [00:14:14] I love it. It's so true. And right now we have so much opportunity. It's crazy. You're gonna start a podcast, start a YouTube channel, and it's just really amazing. Start your own business. Like there's so many options and opportunities. So I think it gives people more freedom to do what they really want to do. And I'm really grateful to be in this time and the society for sure.
Amy: [00:14:22] Yeah. so I want to talk about, like, the correlation that you see, especially through mental health and what you put in your body. And also exercise, because I know that you also are doing all these awesome, like, what I want to say pot workouts, but it sounds like I'm saying cannabis, but like kitchen pot workouts. Like, you know what I mean? Like the idea that you're using that as a weight and I think that's so cool and… This is why mental health care plans are so important. This is why we need to consider our diet in our mental health care plan.
Also, like, I don't know why. I literally never thought to use a pot when I've been home during COVID it's always been like a potato or like a can of soup, never a pot. That makes the most sense because
Pearl: [00:14:59] The potato and cast iron are pretty good too. Like...
Amy: [00:15:02] They're just smaller, you know? So...
Pearl: [00:13:05] That's so funny. Yeah. I think gang creative definitely was something I learned to do during COVID.
And for me, the correlation between nutrition and mental health, just overall health, is just key.
Because when you think about a lot of what I talk about is around gut health and how to keep our guts healthy. Because our gut health is aligned and you know, really related to our mental health, our immune system, our mood, and our hormones, like so many other things.
And when we realize that we have more bacterial cells in our body than human cells, and really we need to feed the bacteria way more and take care of them because they will in turn, reward us by healthy because bacteria, their main goal is to live as long as they want, live as long as they can. And since we're their hosts, they want us to be as healthy so they can live longer.
So if we take care of them and we're healthy they're happy and they also keep us healthy for longer. So the gut health thing is so important and it’s, it really just comes down to just eating healthy. But people it's, it's harder than it sounds. It sounds simple, but it's not easy. So eating more vegetables, eating more fiber, cutting out inflammatory foods, cutting out the junk.
And you know, I think a mindset thing is important because people don't realize our habits are everything. Our habits, our drive, our life, or what we do, what we eat, how we think. So when you realize that, okay, well, my habits are like this. I mean, change them, but it really comes down to how you think.
So, even though you might eat vegetables, you still need to change your mindset or it won’t stay long-term.
And that's where I believe a mental health care plan comes in. Because if you don't have good mental health, you're not going to really feed yourself well, and then in turn, you're not going to be able to support your mental health through nutrition. So it's like a round cert... What’s that round?
Amy: [00:16:52] I was going to say, catch 22. You know, like it's like, what?
Yeah. If you can't be one of them, the other, one's not going to happen. If you can do it, then that's a different kind of thing.
Pearl: [00:17:03] Exactly So that's where the link and there's lots more science behind it. But I do know there's a definite link between gut health and mental health and just keeping our bacteria babies healthy.
Amy: [00:17:11] And like, I'm actually going through this right now. So I have a long history of just having to take so many antibiotics as a kid because it was just so sick. And for anyone listening that doesn't know, it can really mess up your gut house. I'm currently on an anti or anti slash low histamine diet, which is literally the worst diet you have to go on.
I swear. I don't know if you're familiar with it.
Pearl: [00:17:36] No.
Amy: [00:17:37] But like it's... I can't eat anything. I can't eat avocado. I can't eat strawberries, bananas... I mean, all the normal stuff, like refined sugar, gluten, things like that. The dairy, you can't do that. But then avocado, which is such a staple in vegetarian food, which I was trying to be like a pescatarian and like even spinach. I can't eat spinach.
It's just all these really weird things that I like just affect me.
I have an auto-immune disorder, called mass. I always forget what's called... mass cellular activation?
Pearl: [00:17:10] Okay!
Amy: [00:17:11] I think that’s what it’s called. I forget what it's called, but essentially the histamines that naturally release when you eat… There’s just so many that it just attacks my body.
Pearl: [00:17:20] Oh wow! I never heard of that one.
Amy: [00:17:22] It’s like a new one that people, it's just like starting to be talked about. I actually, weirdly enough, the way that I found out about it was from my therapist. So she was like, cause I was telling her I was going to naturopath, I was going to dermatology cause they have a lot of topical issues, and I was like going all these things and all these like specialists and they were always like, take this antibiotic.
And I'm like, Oh, but I just told you that, like, I know that the problem is because I took all these antibiotics. So they gave me creams or they gave me, like, I took like this Eagles blood at one point, like, like the naturopathic homeopathy stuff, and I was doing everything. And she's just like, have you ever heard of this?
I hadn't. I went back and I started looking at it and started making the correlation. I've always had a problem with alcohol my entire life. I just thought I was sensitive to getting drunk because I had this really bad experience when I was like 14, where I've just was stupid and just drank a lot and didn't know better. It turns out that I can't eat this and why.
I can't eat high levels of food with histamine.
And the one thing that made me realize this is I had a banana and I broke out in hives on it on my face. Banana is one of the highest. And that was after I had stopped eating histamine for like three days.
It's a very fast period that you can see it, which is awesome because then you have that evidence faster, but it's horrible. Like it's actually insane. However, since I started doing this, I have, and I can tell you, I have never been more content and like level headed and like mentally okay. In my entire life.
And again, we talked earlier, like my life is... On paper crazy right now, but I'm the best I've ever been.
Pearl: [00:20:13] Awe. I love hearing that. Wow. It is so powerful and it is to really take care of your health. And unfortunately I have to call off a lot of foods, but there's still so many other things and you can eat right? So they support your gut health.
And, wow. I love hearing that, but sorry about the whole antibiotics. They're really bad for us. Like horrible.
Amy: [00:20:28] They're like, oh, to be I'm like, yeah, it's great for like the symptom. And like, granted, there are like some cases where I get it. You have to take it like, you know, certain sexually transmitted diseases and things like that.
Like I understand, but like some of it I'm just like...
“Could we just try one other thing before you throw like high dose antibiotics? Just one thing!”
Pearl: [00:20:50] I find that the instant reaction is, “Oh, antibiotics!” They don’t even really even ask what is... “Oh! Antibiotics!” And it's just, it's just not the approach that's probably best for us. What's the fastest? The band aid approach, but that's-
Amy: [00:21:05] Definitely the band aid approach.
Pearl: [00:21:07] It has powerful and long-term effects and benefits.
Amy: [00:21:10] Exactly. And I think that's why in mental health and our well-being, personal well-being, what all we're talking about, it's so important to take a role in your own personal mental health plan. Because I feel like the way that we've kind of been taught is that everything will be good until you get sick and then you go to the doctor and they'll make it better.
Do you know what I mean? So it's like, okay, but what if I'm sick every day? I'm going to go to the doctor every day? And was going to happen then? And we just don't educate enough. People in a more like self exploratory sort of way.
Pearl: [00:21:50] I completely agree. I agree. And that's my whole stance. That's why I do what I do when I educate people and I'm creating a program because the common knowledge is so not common. And to me, I'm like, it's obvious, like I've learned that.
Also this society makes it hard for people to understand what's real because they're throwing a bunch of information, ads like weight loss infomercials and like all these random things, “oh, this detox!” and people are just trying to make sales. And it's a marketing scheme overall, in my opinion. So they're confused.
They don't understand and ask, “Well, how do I really be healthy?”
Like someone DMed me. They're like, “Oh, do I do a juice cleanse?” I'm like, “Depends on what you want, but you want to be healthy, so probably not.” It’s so misleading. So education and empowering peoples like my for sure stance.
And it really needs to change the mindset around health and be more proactive versus, “Hey, you're gonna, you're going to get sick. And then when you do go to the doctor.” It's like, “Hey, to prevent yourself from getting sick, so you don't have to go to the doctor, this is what you need to do.”
Amy: [00:22:47] So. Yeah. okay, so that’s great segue. Cause I was like, what are some tangible things people can do? So what would, what are some things that they can do in avoiding? I mean, not necessarily the doctor immediately, but like long-term.
Pearl: [00:23:05] Yeah, long term, I think is going to be a lot of things. People, you need to eat healthy, your vegetables, avoid eating inflammatory foods, reduce your consumption of sugars and processed foods and red meat and junk food and alcohol and all the things that cause us to have higher risk of certain chronic diseases.
And of course, staying active, moving around, making sure you stay hydrated, sleep well. And all the things that people know they need to be doing but don't. So, one thing to ask is what is the barrier from you doing that? And what is your mindset around it?
I believe if we don't understand why we're not doing something, we're not going to really tackle it.
So knowledge is important, but it's more important to apply the knowledge because every week. If it was research or Google, like how to be healthy, you get the same answers, but to really figure out why you are not, or why aren't you not motivated to, or what your barriers are and your habits, that takes a lot more work that people don't want to do.
So that is where I encourage people to dig a little deeper and find out like, do you need an accountability partner? Do you need to hire a coach? Do you need to learn more? And all these things that get you closer to your goals. Because I believe everyone wants to be healthy for sure. But the reasons why they aren't definitely vary and need to get over those speed bumps.
Amy: [00:24:22] Yeah, absolutely. And I love that you say that because that was actually the main reason that I decided to leave... Well, I always say this is the main reason, but there's so many reasons, but one of the reasons that I decided to leave the position or the work that I was doing was because I saw so many people become like going into business courses and like getting coaches and being so excited and so motivated.
But when it came time to application, they just couldn't. And that's where I became fascinated because I'm like, if you just invested all this money, you know, it's for the best, like... Why? And like, again, it's because I was that person I'm like, I'm doing all this stuff. Like, why aren't I actually doing it?
Unpacking is so scary.
I mean, as you said, it takes forever it's, or maybe not forever, but it takes a long time. It's scary. And you're really about to... most likely, especially in my opinion, when it’s about food and exercise and go to, like, deep, deep, deep, deep, deep, deep trauma. But we have to add that to our mental health care plan.
Pearl: [00:25:24] That's a lot of the root causes of it people's in... Hesitance, I'll say hesitance or avoidance of doing these things because they know the reasons why they're bingeing or eating or not exercising results from or as a stem from something that happened to them in their life.
And another thing I'm kind of diving into is how to deal with our emotions. I read a really powerful book called The Emotion Code. And it really talks about how people trapped their emotions in certain areas of their body. And these emotions could cause health conditions, and depending on how we are and depending what we do it really, we need to really release the emotions to be able to be fully healthy.
So I'm really diving into that and realizing that it's, that everything is so intertwined. Like if you have an emotion trapped about something or you have a trauma, you're going to be eating, not healthy, and then you're going to be... Oh, anyway. Yeah. It's a whole world of everything's joined.
Amy: [00:26:16] I think it's so important though, because there's that I'm going to say intersectionality. I believe that's kind of the term. I know that's what it is in politics. I'm not sure if it's in the dietician problem, but like...
Pearl: [00:26:25] I think it, I think it overlaps for sure.
Amy: [00:26:29] Yeah. So like the intersectionality between it all, because then you also have like, you know, are like society as well. And like, you have to look at like, you know, how the expectation of say, women to look and be, and it's so unrealistic.
So it's like, it's that as well. And then it's like, you know, the underlying, like, “I'm not good enough or I'm not enough.” That's always there, regardless of what anyone wants, just to say, like, you can not be like that, but that's when you're an action. If you're an action doing it, that means it's not there.
So, and like, I like, I'm so passionate about this topic, especially because I've been that person for the first 20 years of my life. Whereas like, I wanted all these things, like, especially I struggled with weight. I was saying earlier, I'm off, off recording off camera that my father was like morbidly obese.
I watched them my entire life. So he used to be just a little bit overweight when I was first born. And it just looks like a consistent gaining of weight. Ironically, I think he had the same problem that I have, but he didn't get it fixed or anything, but. It's so...
Interesting, but I think it should be a different word, but it's so interesting that like, not only like, as children, we grow up and we learn like from our parents, then we also have to deal with our own crap. So it's like the generational stuff that we're dealing with... In addition to everything that we've experienced.
And it has to do with how our parents developed their own mental health care plan via unhealthy coping mechanisms.
Pearl: [00:28:04] Yes, exactly. And I really believe that society doesn't equip us with the tools we need to deal with this. Because life happens to everyone. We all have trauma. We all have crap thrown at us, but it depends on our mindset, our toolbox, what we can use, our support systems, and how we think about these problems. And mindset is so important in your mental health care plan.
So... I really believe it’s not in the way that is empowering us to really look at it like, “Oh, I can get through this. Like, this is fine. I'm going to do this.” It's more like, “Oh my God, like, this is hard. I can't do this.”
And it's very... we don't empower people. And that's one thing that. Like I mentioned earlier, I think part of people's “the best thing we can do,” just because... Take control of your life and to believe in yourself and to have that mindset, even though things are going to come your way, you're going to be okay. And just knowing that, that's the thing.
Amy: [00:28:28] Yeah, absolutely. And I think it's so good to have a variety of different types of people empowering too... Because you know, like, Stacy McQueen over there from like, I don't know, Los Angeles, who's been living that lifestyle kiss life. Her entire life was going to have one type of audience, whereas you'll have someone else and I'll have someone else.
Or a group of different people. And, it's just like... As much as I'm like, can we deal with this?
There'll be so much more competition!
But the reality is there are more people getting up here and educating on such a variety of different topics in a way that is, as you said, empowering education.
And then also just like true, like real actual facts, because I think that's really important too. And then also encompassing to be like, it's not just put this in your mouth and you'll be skinny. It's like, 100 other things, you know, it's so awesome that you have been able to move forward and like, become who you want it to be, because you probably didn't know like six or seven years ago that that's, this is kind of like what role you're going to step into, but you're like, yeah, this is awesome. That's so wonderful.
Pearl: [00:30:00] Thank you. Yeah, no idea. But I think life has a unique way of showing you what you're meant to do. So.
Amy: [00:30:05] Yeah, I love it. I think that’s the one, like it's so great when people can ride that wave. I had a... my mom's friend, we were talking and she was like... I told her that I had shut my business down. She's like, “Oh, like, if you don't want to do it...” I was like, if it's not that I didn't want to do it. It was just that I just didn't want to do it anymore.
And like, I pivoted it and she was just like so shocked and I'm like... We're young until like, in my opinion, like 60, you know what I mean? Yeah.
Pearl: [00:30:33] I love that! Yeah. That'd be a great mindset. We have so many. We can pivot whenever we want to, and we can change things up.
If something doesn't work for us, we don't have to stick with it.
I think that's, what's changing because back then the other. Older older generations would be like, okay, got my job, my corporate job. Be here 40 years and I'm going to retire. And then they were happy with that. And that was great for them. But for us, we're like, no, you know, I can do this for five years.
I can switch it up and I can go here and there. And it's just so much more liberating, I think for sure.
Amy: [00:31:01] Absolutely. I know for me, my personal opinion is that like I watched my parents do that and they hated their lives. So I’m like, umm… I’m not going to do that either.
So it's like, it's like, okay, thanks guys for really trying to get me to do what you want to do yet, I can see you're not happy. I mean, again, I think it's so funny that all the people that ups like get so like, Oh my God, you're not doing this. I'm like, you're the ones who raised us. It's your, like, you're the one who told us how we can do anything. Don't complain to us. We listened to you. You did or didn’t teach us the importance of mental health care plans.
Pearl: [00:31:33] It's just so true. I always tell my dad. I'm like, yeah, but who raised the millennials? I'm like, it was like-
Amy: [00:31:39] Right? Exactly!
Pearl: [00:31:40] Like it was a mindset that you guys let us have. So...
Amy: [00:31:43] Yeah. I mean, also there's like the timing and stuff, but I just love it. Like, I just think it's…
Oh! I'm just so excited for the future.
Which a lot of people are just like, how are-? How?
And I'm like, because right now sucks. I can't get worse can it?
Pearl: [00:31:57] Oh no, don't test it! Don’t test it!
Amy: [00:30:59] I know. I actually, so funny, funny story is I kept asking you the universe, like before COVID even happened before, like the Mississippi and all the other things like Minneapolis and all the other riots and then also in Canada too, as you know, that's been going crazy here too.
So it's like, I kept asking. There was a mass shooting in Nova Scotia. I don't know if you know that. I asked the night before. I was like, what else can go wrong?
Pearl: [00:32:23] I didn't know that, Oh my God.
Amy: [00:32:25] It was the biggest shooting in Canadian, biggest mass shooting in Canadian history. It's super dramatic. I won't get into it, but look
Pearl: [00:32:31] Why have I not heard of that? I don’t listen to the news, that’s why. That’s intense!
Amy: [00:32:36] Yeah. Yeah. It was like, I don't ask that anymore. So good. Thank you for reminding me because I don't want to do that.
Pearl, it's been so great chatting with you. I love having these conversations. And also, I don't know what it is. Maybe I'm just like in a better space, but I feel like...
It was so natural and beautiful and sometimes that's really hard to do when you're talking about nutrition. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, like, it can be pretty fun sometimes
Pearl: [00:33:00] Yeah! It for sure can be.
And I didn't talk that much about nutrition.
I can do more if you want, but I love it. It's just natural. And just talking about all the things. I really like conversations like these, so...
Amy: [00:33:11] Yeah, absolutely. So, yeah, let's actually do this one more thing. One more question. So for you, in your experience, because again, I recognize that you're not like a psychologist.
What's the biggest struggle that you find or you see that comes between like actually getting into action and... yeah. What's the biggest struggle that you see when it comes to getting into action? And do you have a solution for it?
Pearl: [00:33:40] I think it’s around the habits and the mindset. I always come back to this cause it's so important, but people have formed habits that aren't serving them for X amount of years and they realize that, and like, “Oh crap, okay, need change.”
But in order to change, they have to be first committed to the change and they need to be able to have the mindset towards, “okay, I'm going to do these habits and it's going to be hard, but it's okay because it's worth it for the long run.”
I think it's the big picture mindset versus, “okay, I'm going to eat this and be miserable, but it's for my greater health,” or it's going to be, and you don’t have to eat things and be miserable. That's not something I preach at all. I really think everyone can find things they like that are healthy. So I really, I think for me, it's also a little bit of self-love and acknowledging that eating and being healthy is a form of self-love.
And it comes back to what we're talking about and are you like, “I'm not worthy or I don't deserve this.”
This comes up a little bit as well. Because people that don't take care of themselves often don't have that confidence, that self love that... “Oh yes. I love my body. I need to take care of it. I want to be healthy for a long time.”
And that's really sad. So I really try and encourage people to see themselves as someone that's healthy and someone that's, you know, going to be active and live a long life and have that bigger vision. Because with anything in life, you don't have a big vision and you don't know what you're working towards.
It's very easy to get derailed. And I think that's what happens so much with health and nutrition and they just want the short-term, I almost want to lose my 10 pounds. Great. When I get to my 10 pounds, now what? They don't have anything past that. So for me, when I coach my coach, when I coach my clients in my program, I really start off with a mindset, visualizing yourself having a big picture and really committing to it.
Cause there's, there's one thing saying I want to be healthy. There's another thing is I'm committed to my health and having the support. I think the support and the accountability is also important to build those habits because habits aren't easy to build and you need a break bad, not bad, but break unserving thoughts and unserving actions. So having someone to support you like a coach, like myself or someone that knows the way, and know what’s going to be hard and a group of people to have accountability with as well as so important. So the main thing for sure is habits and mindset.
Amy: [00:35:53] Amazing. Yes.
Habits. I always say that.
I'm like, Oh, it's a habit. And people are like, Oh, shut up with that. I'm like, but literally everything we do is a habit! Like everything! So yes, it does come back to that.
But, so thank you so much. where can our listeners find you if they want to follow along and get, and more tips on all things diet, nutrition, exercise, mental health, and adding these things to their mental health care plan.
Pearl: [00:36:17] Yeah. So everything for me is Pearl Cicci. So at Pearl Cicci at gmail.com. That's not my email! But no, @PearlCicci is my Instagram, my YouTube channel is also Pearl Cicci, anything related to Pearl Cicci that comes up will be me.
Amy: [00:36:35] I'll make sure that they're in the show notes and everything, so you guys can easily get them below.
Awesome. Well, thank you so much. It's been great chatting with you as always. And I just, I love having these conversations. They're so important and yeah, maybe we didn't actually get into many tangible steps, but again, as we said, like there's so many nuances in each individual person, that's why it is better to maybe... Look for a support system that's a little bit more intimate than just, you know, two people on a podcast that I've ever talked to you guys.
Pearl, thank you!
I’ve enjoyed this conversation about adding food to your mental health care plan.
Pearl: [00:37:11] Do you want more tangible steps? I can give like three things off the top of my head.
Amy: [00:37:15] Yeah. Oh, sure. Lay it on us.
Pearl: [00:37:17] Okay. Sure. So honestly, everyone I talk to needs to eat more vegetables. So upper your vegetable intake, that is a hundred percent. Get more fiber again, more micronutrients. Feed your gut health.
So, one would be to eat more vegetables, ideally aiming for 7 to 10 servings a day. Now that's tough, but work your way up there.
Secondly, it would be taking vitamin D if you're not taking vitamin D already. That is a huge micronutrient that a lot of us are deficient in. It's really important. Our gut health, immune system, mental health, our mood, hormones... like the list goes on. So, vitamin D, please be taking that.
And the third thing would be to stay hydrated. A lot of us are dehydrated, aren’t functioning at our best capacity. So try to get at least 1.5 liters or six cups, but even more, depending on your lifestyle, depending on how much you weigh, things like that.
So just to recap: eat more vegetables (7 to 10 servings), take vitamin D, and try to gain aim for at least seven, at least six glasses of water per day.
Amy: [00:38:18] Amazing. Thank you.
I have two questions.
So I've always wanted to ask this and I've never really talked to a nutritionist before. So I feel like I'm going to ask this.
So you said at least six glasses of water. What is it like? For me, I would like to detox. I'm just in a detox state. I can drink water. I was at 16 glasses of water a day. It was hard though. I was peeing all the time.
So what would you say if that was my goal would be the bare minimum I should drink?
Pearl: [00:38:55] If what was your goal?
Amy: [00:38:59] I was working on detoxing and I was taking regular supplements to help me clear all the toxins from my body.
Pearl: [00:39:03] It was all the thing about detoxing. When detoxing, our body naturally does it when we fast. So our liver does a detoxing thing. It's the best organ and it does its job so well when we allow it to. When we fast. So in my opinion, detox tea and detox this and detox that is not really as effective as our liver when we treat it well.
And drinking water is just, of course, good to keep us hydrated, but allows our body to do all those functions. So in terms of water, it really depends on your individual needs. I said at least six cups, but it really depends on if someone's more active, if you have more muscle mass, your age, what you're doing during the day, where you live, altitude...
The best way to tell if you're hydrated is to see if your pee is a pale yellow.
So if your urine is pale yellow, that's how you know, you're hydrated. If it's dark yellow, that means you might need more water.
And if it's super white clear water, then that means you're drinking a little bit too much fluid, but I don't believe there is ever too much water because of my... TMI, but my urine is super pale. So, but at least try to go for a pale yellow and that would be a good indicator that you're getting enough fluid in your day.
Amy: [00:40:20] Amazing. Okay. Last question I promise! Is that... Are there any vegetables that are bad for you that you shouldn't eat?
Pearl: [00:40:28] In my opinion no, but it also depends on you. Some people have sensitivities. If you have some diseases, like thyroid issues, then some vegetables aren't good for that. And for example, for you, some aren’t good for you.
Amy: [00:40:42] Everything. There are so many.
Pearl: [00:40:44] It really depends. But for the average human, no. But if you have any medical conditions or autoimmune diseases or thyroid or other things going on, definitely would look into that.
Amy: [00:40:53] Okay. Cool. I think that's super important because that's something that, you know, you see a lot. It was like... Oh, can I eat a potato? And again, of course, if you have allergies, things like that, it's separate. But it's the average person who is just starting out... You see all these weird things like, “Don't eat sweet potatoes!” which I don't know why anymore, but…
Pearl: [00:41:12] No, I also don’t know. Sweet potatoes are amazing.
Amy: [00:41:14] I know two people that definitely eat a lot of vegetables.
Cause I'm like, “Sweet potato!”
Pearl: [00:41:19] And I know they're so good. They're so nutrient dense, right? I eat for nutrients and that's one of my favorite foods ever.
Amy: [00:41:26] Amazing. Well, thank you so much, Pearl. It was so great chatting with you about adding food to your mental health care plan, and I'll make sure that all your info is in the show notes and on the websites and all that fun stuff. So you can get access to her very easily.
My dog's staring at me telling me that it’s time to go pee.
And as always, it's such a great... I almost said chance. It's such a great time to connect with you. And I'm so happy that we got to do this interview and talk about adding food to your mental health care plan.
Pearl: [00:41:52] Yeah, me too. Thank you so much for inviting me, having me on, I really hope that was helpful and valuable and keep in touch and you're doing great things.
I'm so excited seeing where you end up. So thanks again.
Amy: [00:42:02] You, too! Of course. I'm excited to see where you end up and I know I'll be following you. For a long time.
Pearl: [00:42:09] Thank you so much, Amy. Have an awesome day!
Amy: [00:42:11] Thank you. You too. Bye!
Pearl: [00:41:13] Bye!