Ep. 80: Reverse Interview with Listener Tara!

Fed & Fit
Fed & Fit

    Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. Any purchases made through these links will result in a small commission for me (at no extra cost for you), but all opinions are my own. You can find our full affiliate disclaimer here

    jump to recipe print

    Today kicks off the very first Reverse Interview where I invite Fed & Fit readers who've written in with questions to come ask them on the show! Fed & Fit Reader Tara and I discuss healthy desserts, if nut butters are a healthy choice, thirst for hunger, transitioning from a diet to a lifestyle, when intentionally ingesting gluten is worth it, and the benefits of white over brown rice.


    We're back with our 80th episode of the Fed+Fit Podcast! Remember to check back every Monday for a new episode and be sure to subscribe on iTunes!

    Find us HERE on iTunes and be sure to “subscribe.”

    Connect at:

    Episode 80 Transcription

    Today we’re kicking off the very first Fed and Fit reverse interview, where I invite readers to dial in and ask their questions on the line. Today we’ve got Tara, who talks about; we chat about healthy desserts, nut butters (if they’re healthy or not), thirst instead of hunger, interpreting those cues, transitioning from a diet to a lifestyle, when is gluten really worth it; and then why white rice over brown rice?

    Cassy Joy: Welcome back to another episode of the Fed and Fit podcast. Today is an extra special episode, because we’re doing something totally different than what you have seen before on this show, and maybe on some other shows.

    So let me give you some background information before I introduce our very special guest. Every once in a while, folks will send me an email or they’ll comment on social media, whether it’s Instagram or Facebook, or even Snapchat. Gosh I love Snapchat because I can have conversations with people. And I love answering questions, and I love giving everybody, I guess just the answers that they’re looking for, or at least some direction or some reassurance. And it dawned on me that they can’t be the only ones with these questions. And that’s often true; if you have a question, sometimes people feel silly asking questions, and I always try to remind people, there’s no such thing as a dumb question, and you are definitely not the only one with those questions. So I thought; what would be a cool way that I could help answer these questions for these wonderful people in a way that may help and benefit more folks?

    So I got to thinking about it, and it’s something that I’ve thought about for a while, about maybe doing some sort of a reverse interview on the Fed and Fit podcast, where I invite people who email me with excellent questions, and I invite them on the show to essentially interview me. They get to ask all their questions, tell a little bit about themselves, and hopefully we can have a dialogue. This may turn into a mini; I don’t know if it’s going to be a mini nutrition coaching, or business coaching, or just overall healthy lifestyle coaching, but whatever it is, it would be fun to have a quick conversation, get it on record with these wonderful people.

    And I’m so excited to kick it off today with a lovely lady named Tara. She is joining us today, and I’m going to go ahead and turn it over to her to tell us a little bit about herself, and then the show is yours girl. I’m going to let you lead it wherever you want to go, and I am here to just chit chat and answer any of your questions. Take it away! {laughs}

    Tara: {laughs} Thanks Cassy. Awesome; I’m excited. This is, I think, a really cool step you're taking. I have so many questions; I feel like some are going to be silly, some might be a short answer, some might lead into more questions, but before I jump in; yes, my name is Tara, and I live in Seattle, Washington. Surprise, surprise, I work for Amazon. We have a lot of Amazonians here in the city, but I really enjoy it despite our grey skies and clouds and rains. But it doesn’t rain as much as you think.

    Cassy Joy: {laughs}

    Tara: {laughs} I am really inspired by just all of the paleo bloggers and just that lifestyle, living that way. Cassy I think I was listening to your podcast about which pots and pans to be using, and then I was super concerned, like, “Oh no! I should get home and check what I’m using!” And then it just led to question after question, so I was like; “I’m just going to shoot her an email!” And so that’s what I did, I just sent her an email with a handful of different questions, and then that kind of spiraled into, “Hey, you should come on the show!”

    So, over the course of the last week or so, I’ve been just jotting down questions. So I don’t even know where to start; let’s see here. I think my biggest thing is really, say after dinner. You had a good dinner, but a couple of hours later you have that craving and you just want some chocolate or something to kind of fill that void or that need. How do you overcome that, or treat it; like, I’m just curious, do you even feel that way, or just kind of how you treat that?

    Cassy Joy: That’s a really great question, and it’s something that I definitely encounter on a semi-regular basis. That feeling becomes stronger if I’m currently a little addicted to sugar, you know, after maybe an indulgent holiday weekend. Or, I just got back from a weekend in Chicago with my girlfriends for a bachelorette trip, and I’m definitely finding myself gravitating towards the bar of chocolate that my friend gave me and is still sitting in my purse. So I definitely, those feelings are definitely stronger when I’m semi-addicted to sugar, and I get that after maybe one too many cocktails, or gluten free pizza, or just enjoying more refined sugars and refined carbohydrates that I normally do. It kind of turns a little trigger on for me. And I think that’s true for a lot of people.

    Some people; you know, I do not. I’m answering all around your question, and then I’m going to answer the middle of your question. {laughs} So, I think there are some folks, when they are in that point, some people think that if they are feeling addicted to sugar they need to go through an entire program, right, to get out of that. They either need to do a 21-Day Sugar Detox or they need to do a full 28-day Fed and Fit Project. And the truth of the matter is, I do not believe that you have to. Something that’s going to be on the Fed and Fit Project online, for example, I call it a 5-day reset. Back on track in 5, and essentially it’s just how to get back in control of your cravings before your cravings start to control you some more.

    I think the 28-day Project and 21-Day Sugar Detox, those programs; and Diane and I, Diane Sanfilippo who is the creator of the 21-Day Sugar Detox, she and I had this conversation a lot on book tour together. That people; we really only want them to do them once, maybe twice. It’s really just to learn lessons about your body, and then you figure out how to apply those in the long run. It’s not meant to be a very, very regular detox.

    Anyway, so I think it’s important to acknowledge that if you are feeling that way very strongly, then maybe we are inordinately addicted to sugar, just for a hot minute, and to acknowledge it, and to decide where do we want to go with that? Do you want to ride the train a little bit? Do we want to have a little sweet treat after dinner? There’s nothing wrong with that, if that’s something that you’re comfortable with. If you’re comfortable with having a little dessert after dinner every day and that’s part of your lifestyle and you feel really good about that, then I say go for it! There’s nothing wrong with that.

    Sometimes when I’m feeling that way, I just want to embrace it. I will prechop; I’ll take bananas and I’ll cut them up in little discs and I’ll freeze them. I’ll put half a banana in a bag, in a bunch of little baggies and I freeze them hard, and then I will treat them like ice cream, and I’ll put them in a bowl, and put a spoonful of almond butter and a little drizzle of honey and some chocolate chips on top of that. And maybe if I’m feeling wild, a sprinkle of cinnamon. And those pictures never make it on Instagram, because I’m usually eating those when it’s pitch dark {laughs} and I can’t take a good photo of it. But you know, sometimes I just want to embrace it and ride the wave and maybe have a little bit more sugar, especially if, us as ladies, if we’re getting around that time of the month and our body is just craving more carbohydrates, especially in the form of sugars from fruits; go with it. That’s fine.

    Now, if you feel like your cravings are on an emotional run-away train, and you don’t feel like you’re in control of them and you want to get back into control of them; and I’ve been there, as well, on a pretty regular basis. After, for example, coming off an indulgent weekend. If that’s the case, part of my back on track in 5 that’s going to be in the Fed and Fit Project online, part of my tips with that to get away from sweet treats is I will then replace it with; this sounds so boring compared to the decadent frozen banana, but I will replace it with an herbal tea that is kind of sweet. So, licorice tea for example is caffeine free, and it’s kind of got a sweet flavor to it. Ginger is another one of my favorites. I really like citrusy foods, so I’ll do a ginger tea and I’ll squeeze half of a lemon in it, and that’s really lovely and wonderful. And that kind of signifies I’m done eating for the day. When I have my hot ginger tea or whatever it is.

    So those are kind of some of the things I’ll do; I’ll replace it with an herbal tea if I’m really looking to get rid of it; and if I’m not looking to get rid of it then I just embrace it and I roll with it and I try to prepare healthier sweet treats at the end of the day, whether it’s a frozen banana or I’ll make up; I don’t know, for the holidays sometimes I just like to have, I think it’s just so fun to have stuff already prepared so I’ll premake a grain-free gingerbread, and cut those up into slices, freeze the slices, and at the end of the day; this is, I feel like people are going to finish this podcast episode and they’re going to be like, where can I make gingerbread and do what she just said. Because I’ll take these gingerbread slices, and I’ll heat them up in either the microwave; oh gosh, shame if people don’t like microwaves. Either there or the oven, whatever you like better, and then I’ll put a scoop of like a salted caramel ice cream on top of it. And it’s just such a fun, decadent way to celebrate the holidays with my husband and myself, and we just kind of get to enjoy it very slowly, because all those foods are kept in the freezer and there’s no rush to eat them all right away.

    So anyways, those are kind of some of the things I’ll do. It depends. It depends on if I'm ok with having treats, and it depends if I’m trying to break the habit. Either way, there are definitely ways to do it that are very healthy and won’t really make you feel like you’re living without.

    Tara: Yeah, and sometimes I think it’s more of maybe a boredom, or I just want to chew on something or eat something; or maybe it’s a lack of; maybe I’m thirsty. Maybe I should just have water. But sometimes I just go straight to my nut butter jar and just have a spoonful. Is that; I know it’s super high in calories, what is your take on nut butters, I guess?

    Cassy Joy: I think nut butters are fine. I think that if you’re; I don’t usually concern myself with calorie content too much. I think that sometimes, if you’re afraid you have too much healthy fat in your diet; if you’re having a couple of spoonfuls of nut butter and a whole avocado, and putting butter in your coffee in the morning; that’s a lot. Those are all wonderful, healthy fats, but that’s a lot. Now, a spoonful of nut butter here and there within a normal balanced lifestyle diet. You know; cooking your eggs in butter, whatever it is, that’s not going to hurt you at the end of the day. So I think that’s completely fine, if you feel comfortable with it.

    If you are thirsty, and that’s something you can also do to check to make sure it’s not thirst driving this hunger/semi-boredom you may have, drink a big glass of water and see if that helps solve it. Or, if I am bored; if I’m just bored and I just want to eat, or I’m overwhelmed and it makes me want to eat; it’s one or the other, right, it’s never in the happy medium.

    Tara: Mm-hmm.

    Cassy Joy: Sometimes sparkling water really helps me because it’s not boring like water and it’s a little bubbly. I try to get the kind that’s not flavored, because I just don’t trust the flavors. Sparkling water over ice, maybe a little fresh citrus in it, and it feels like kind of an indulgent little mocktail, so to speak, and really helps to take the edge off of wanting something. Whether it’s a drink or something to chew on; I’ll do that. Another one of my favorite hacks, if you’re looking for maybe a candy type deal, because sometimes it’s nice to have something to just kind of munch on, is have you ever heard of tamarind?

    Tara: I haven’t.

    Cassy Joy: You haven’t, ok.

    Tara: Is that a spice?

    Cassy Joy: It is; so they do turn it into a spice. You can sometimes find it like a paste. So it’s usually found in the tropical food section of grocery stores, and I’d be willing to bet that the bigger grocery stores up in Seattle have it. It is actually, it comes in a little pod. It almost looks like an overgrown snap pea pod, you know, except it’s brown, and it sounds kind of weird and gross. Bear with me. But it’s brown, and the outside of it is this brown kind of leathery texture, and on the inside are the little seeds. You crack open the outside, the pod, the shell, and you pitch that, and on the inside you have these seeds that have this really tart paste around them that’s the tamarind fruit around these little seeds. The seeds are rock hard. So essentially, you pop out one of the seeds, and you kind of just chew on it or suck on it like candy, and you get this huge vitamin C punch. They are so rich in vitamin C. They have a little bit of sugar, but you can’t eat too much because they’re like nature’s; my mouth is watering thinking about them.

    Tara: {laughs}

    Cassy Joy: They’re like nature’s Sour Patch Kids.

    Tara: Wow.

    Cassy Joy: They’re really sour, really delicious, and you can’t eat too many of them, they kind of make you stop when you’re ready to stop or when you need to stop. That maybe something else; if you’re just looking for some sort of a candy, that’s something that I tend to lean on if I want something like that.

    Tara: Ok. No, that’s great advice. I think; so I eat pretty much a paleo-influenced lifestyle. A lot of meat with veggies and a sweet potato or something, and I had a child last summer, and I’ve just been hanging on to this last probably 5 to 7 pounds. I’m working out constantly; I do Crossfit for 4 to 5 times a week, and it just wasn’t coming off and I was getting so frustrated. I’m eating healthy, but what I did recently was I kind of went on; and I really like your 5-day fix because the Whole 30 kind of intimidates me to commit to the 30 days. But I can commit to 10; I’m going to do 10 and see how it goes. It went great, and it’s so true in how afterwards, I just wasn’t craving anything and I’ve been continuing; it’s been over a week since the 10 days have completed, and it’s just kind of like teaching my brain and focusing on the right things. But how do you; so here I am, maybe 22 days into it. But how do you continue al lifestyle like that, and want to live this way but almost intimidated that you’ll screw up?

    Cassy Joy: Yeah, that’s fair. Can I ask what the major differences between those 10 days are and what you were doing before?

    Tara: Yeah. I think; {laughs} so for everybody that knows me knows I love peanut butter, and I think; work is really busy right now, and so what I was doing is I was working in the evenings and having a couple of spoonfuls of peanut butter with chocolate chips but eating healthy throughout the day, so I thought that would be ok. But I think that was just very high; and I don’t calorie count either, but…

    Cassy Joy: It was too much.

    Tara: Yeah. So I think that’s really the only difference. Maybe having more sweets here and there, too.

    Cassy Joy: Ok. Awesome. Yeah, you know; a way that you could incorporate it. So something I encourage folks to do is write down the things that you did in a day that made you feel really great. So if you have a really good day and you have a lot of energy and you’re feeling more on top of things and whatever it is in your lifestyle, direction, or your moving more quickly towards in the direction of your goals; pause for a moment and write down the three things you think have contributed to that in that day, and then just set them aside. And then do that again when you have another really good day. Now you're on day 22, so if you’ve got other big lessons learned and, you know, two spoonfuls of peanut butter with chocolate chips at the end of the day every single day does not make me feel great. So write something down that would be a really positive replacement for that that made you feel like you weren’t missing out.

    And I think that a way to leverage these short term investments in sort of this challenge type format into long-term lifestyle is to then go by your lessons learned. Don’t go by a program, necessarily, but look back at the lessons that you wrote down and the big takeaways; the major takeaways. “I slept for 7.5 hours last night, and I feel like a million bucks today.” So write down that 7.5 hours is your magic number for sleep. Or whatever it is; it can be anything. It can be that you drew the blackout curtains last night, or you turned the temperature down 3 more degrees than normal. I’m in Texas, {laughs} so obviously I’m thinking about temperature. I think it’s probably pretty cozy up there by now.

    Write down those big things, the more water you drank, the kinds of foods you ate for breakfast that gave you more energy. Write down the positive actionable steps that you took that made you feel great, and leave you feeling empowered, not disempowered. Write those things down, and when the time comes that you have to deviate from this plan, and you feel like all of a sudden you’ve gone off the bandwagon, look back on the lessons learned that you wrote down, and kind of view those at that point as your personal how-to book. Right? That way it’s not about having whatever the program is that you’re following. It’s not about having these exact meals and these exact times and these exact portions. You can then go by just the big hitting things that you know are going to be right just for you.

    That’s a way, I think, to free yourself from the restrictive guidelines of a program and just go on to living your life. Because those are things that are just going to be about you. And it’s easier to rest; kind of just not be as on-guard with planning stuff if you have some of those things to go by. And again, this is stuff I try to teach people through the Project, is walking them through that. Because again, I don’t want people having to do these programs over and over again. That’s really not the point. The point is to just learn really great things about yourself, and build the lifestyle, the balanced lifestyle. Maybe that’s peanut butter three times a week, you know? {laughs} Whatever it is. Build it from there, and don’t feel like you’re having to restrict yourself. Did that help answer your question at all?

    Tara: Yeah. And so for, for example, when do you know when to splurge or not? I follow you on Snapchat, too.

    Cassy Joy: {laughs}

    Tara: So I know that you just celebrated your one year, so congratulations on that.

    Cassy Joy: Oh, thank you!

    Tara: And I saw on one of your Snaps that you were doing like wine, cheese, bread kind of thing. Did you eat the bread? Are there times where you're like; “Nope, absolutely not,” or you know, “I’m just going to have a piece.” Or do you just know gluten is not going to enter my body, ever?

    Cassy Joy: I mean, I definitely inadvertently get it in my body. I eat out so much, it’s got to wind up in some of the foods that I’m eating. I don’t eat it directly intentionally as much. For that bread on the wine and cheese tray, we actually asked the guy to bring it out vegetables, because my husband and I both try to avoid it. At the end of the cheese, meats, and bread tray I did pick; it was one of those olive loafs that have the big olives in it, and I totally picked out the olives {laughs} from the loaf and ate those. Which of course had residual bread on them.

    I have a gluten sensitivity, and I don’t look at not eating bread as something that I’m restricting myself from, you know, because I definitely love it and miss it in some regards. I don’t eat it because it just makes me feel so darn crummy. I get a lot of inflammation and my stomach; my joints start to hurt, I get headaches, and I just feel foggy, and I just don’t feel like myself for about 7 to 10 days. Sometimes it’s worth it. When Austin and I were in New Zealand for our honeymoon last year, it was worth it. I had, gosh, I don’t remember what it was. We were at some amazing restaurant, and they have these amazing little chocolate tortes; and I was like, I’m going to eat that. You know, and it was fine. I didn’t feel amazing, but sometimes it’s fine.

    In Fredericksburg for the wine and cheese tray, the bread looked good, but I really wanted to be able to have high energy for the rest of the day, and that was the decision that I made. You know, was I just didn’t want it to have an impact on how late I was going to stay up that night. Because honestly, if I have a piece of bread, I’m going to be sleepy in about 2 hours. It’s the weirdest thing. So yes, sometimes I do eat the bread and sometimes I don’t, it just depends on my priorities. The last time I intentionally ate wheat, though, I think really was my honeymoon, a year ago.

    Tara: Wow. Ok. And so question on the wheat; I noticed that sometimes you’ll choose white rice over brown rice. Is that just because white rice doesn’t have gluten? Brown rice does, right? Is that a silly question? {laughs}

    Cassy Joy: Good question. It’s totally not silly. It’s totally not silly, it’s an excellent question, and there are probably a lot of people listening who are wondering the same thing. So rice is actually pretty much gluten free as it comes. So when we see packaging on rice that says “gluten free rice”, some of that is just clever marketing. The reason why I choose white rice over brown rice; the brown rice is, if we’re looking at whole grain brown rice, not just the kind that’s already been processed and essentially has a nice little coating on the outside {laughs}. But if you’re thinking about long grain rice, the kind that has the shell on the outside of it, that’s the kind of brown rice I’m looking at.

    That outer part of the rice is where a lot of those; to keep things really simple I’m just going to call them anti-nutrients. It’s these proteins, not like the gluten protein, but it’s still a protein found in these grains that can do a number of things in the body. It can bind to certain vitamins and minerals, meaning that your body doesn’t get a chance to absorb them. For people who already have a sensitive gut it can cause a little bit more damage and really perpetuate that leaky gut syndrome where the gut’s intestinal permeability is enlarged. So particles that are supposed to stay inside your intestine all of a sudden find their way into your body, causing more inflammation. So the outer shell on the rice can contribute to that, as well. So it’s essentially a protein that’s just tough to digest. There are some people who have plenty of stomach acid and they’ve got a super health gut and they tolerate it just fine. And I have nothing against people eating whole-grain rice with that regard.

    I choose to just eat the white rice, because the white rice is essentially polished. Some people call it polished rice, and what that means is they’ve polished off the outside of the rice shell, leaving behind just the white interior endosperm, and that is just pure carbohydrate essentially. So we’ve removed all of those possibly problematic little proteins and little things that might cause somebody problems, and what we’re left with is just the carbohydrate. So if I put a scoop of white rice on my plate, I’m really looking at it as a macronutrient; I just want more carbohydrates on this plate. And white rice is delicious {laughs} so I rather choose that. It usually doesn’t bother me. Some people are bothered by it, so I would recommend they avoid it altogether, but it’s kind of a benign grain that I think some folks can get away with. So that’s why I choose white rice.

    And like I said, if you’re out there, and you tolerate brown or whole grain rice really, really well, I say go for it. Have that as well. I think the right answer for everybody is going to be different, so you kind of have to experiment and see what’s best for you.

    Tara: OK. Thank you, because I feel like I’ve been confused lately, just because I feel like spend at least half my life, “Brown rice is better. Brown rice is better.” So I always sub in the brown rice or pay extra for the brown rice over the white rice, and then just recently, I don’t know if it was you or, someone would go to Chipotle and they got white rice. I’m like, wait a second? Isn’t brown rice healthier? So ok.

    Cassy Joy: Awesome.

    Tara: Perfect.

    Cassy Joy: Well thank you so much, Tara! It was so good to have you on the show today!

    Tara: Yeah, thank you for inviting me. This was great.

    Cassy Joy: Oh my gosh, this was so great. I hope that you got some good questions answered, and I hope; I’m sure that it was helpful to other people. But if you guys missed something in the show or you want to go back and read it, remember you can go to https://FedandFit.com and you can see the entire transcript for the show. You can read everything in case you miss something, or just want a reminder. And thanks again, Tara for joining us. Wishing you all the best. I hope you have a warm, dry, winter fall {laughs} there in Seattle. It sounds like; it’s one of my favorite places on earth. My sister graduated; she got her graduate degree up there at Seattle University, so it’s a wonderful place. I’ve always loved visiting and I wish you the best.

    Remember that if you have more questions for the show, go ahead and leave them as a question or a comment at the end of the show notes for this episode. And as always, we’ll be back again next Monday with a brand new episode. If you have a laundry list of questions, just like Tara, and you’d like to see if you would be a good fit for coming on the show, feel free to email them to me and we’ll see if we can’t get you on the calendar. So thanks again, for joining me Tara, and everybody else. We’ll be back again next week.


    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    1. Veronica says:

      Loved this episode! Have you posted that grain free gingerbread you mentioned? That sounds amazing! I didn’t see it when I searched your website or in your Holiday guide. Please let me know if you’ve published the recipe or if you plan to in the future. Thank you!

      1. Cassy says:

        I’m so glad you liked it!! I haven’t posted the gingerbread but WILL!