This week’s guest is Kimberley Bell.

Body shaming and having a distorted self-body image can lead to negative thought patterns and these thoughts can sometimes trigger eating disorders in some people, which can be life-threatening such as bulimia, binge eating and at the opposite end of the spectrum, anorexia. Kimberley Bell who is a Registered Nutritionist and Master NLP Practitioner, is this week’s guest on our show and she candidly opens up about her own personal struggles with an eating disorder which resulted from being body-shamed as a teenager going through puberty. She shares how this ultimately led to her relationship with food spiralling out of control and she became a binge eater. What she discovered when she went to seek help was, that in order to beat binging, you have to fix both the physical and emotional triggers. She tells us, that it doesn’t matter how mentally strong you are, if your body is crying out for nutrients, it’s going to be extremely difficult to resist a binge on mental strength alone.

Kimberley found that the most powerful way to stop is to target both the physical and mental aspects. In today’s show, Kimberley explains the benefits of the program she has founded in order to help other women overcome eating disorders, called Mind Your Nutrition, and she also gives us some excellent advice on what sensible eating for good nutrition consists of. There is so much great information shared in this episode that relates to all of us, irrespective of whether we or someone we know is struggling with an eating disorder.

In this episode
05:05 — Kimberley’s career and early nutrition journey
16:58 — 3 Main Eating Disorder Categories
19:27 — When do eating disorders become life threatening?
20:59 — Signs of an Eating Disorder
24:41 — Has COVID-19 spiked an increase in Eating Disorder cases?
25:11 — Does Social Media play a big role in food and body relationships?
27:21 — Kimberley’s Nutrition Program
31:41 — Should the word “diet” be removed / replaced from the English language?
36:42 — Food companies’ propaganda’s and advertising impact
40:24 — Worst foods to eat in terms of overall health
45:24 — Types of Weight Loss Diets
48:02 — Benefits and Importance of Fasting
51:24 — Correlation between eating a type of food and mental health issues
55:30 — Kimberley’s nutrition advice for the voice community

Kimberley’s Links
Instagram: @mindyournutritionnz


Dr Marisa Lee Naismith is excited to announce the release of her new book “Singing Contemporary Commercial Music Styles: A Pedagogical Framework” published by Compton Publications UK. Marisa offers this book as a starting point and as CCM markets continue to evolve, she encourages that we, as a voice community, continue to evolve, debate and communally add to this framework.



Visit the A Voice and Beyond Youtube channel to watch back the video replay of this guest interview or to see my welcome video.

Episode Transcription

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  00:00

Hi it’s Marisa Lee here, and I’m so excited to be sharing today’s interview round episode with you. In these episodes, our brilliant lineup of guests will include health care practitioners, voice educators, and other professionals who will share their stories, knowledge and experiences within their specialized fields to empower you to live your best life. Whether you’re a member of the voice, community, or beyond your voice is your unique gift. It’s time now to share your gift with others develop a positive mindset and become the best and most authentic version of yourself to create greater impact. Ultimately, you can take charge, it’s time for you to live your best life. It’s time now for a voice and beyond. So without further ado, let’s go to today’s episode. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  01:16

Body shaming and having a distorted self body image can lead to negative thought patterns. And these thoughts can sometimes trigger eating disorders in some people, which can be life threatening, such as bulimia, binge eating, and at the opposite end of the spectrum is anorexia. Kimberley Bell, who is a Registered nutritionist and master NLP practitioner is this week’s guest on our show, and she candidly opens up about her own personal struggles with an eating disorder which resulted from her being body shamed as a teenager going through puberty. She shares how this ultimately led to her relationship with food spiraling out of control, and she became a binge eater. What she discovered when she went to seek help was that in order to beat binging, you have to fix both the physical and emotional triggers. She tells us that it doesn’t matter how mentally strong you are. If your body is crying out for nutrients, it’s going to be extremely difficult to resist a binge on mental strength alone. Kimberley found that the most powerful way to stop is to target both the physical and mental aspect. In today’s show, Kimberley explains the benefits of the program she founded in order to help other women with eating disorders called Mind your nutrition. And she also gives us some excellent advice on what sensible eating for good nutrition consists of. There is so much great information shared in this episode, which relates to all of us irrespective of whether we all someone we know is struggling with an eating disorder. So without further ado, let’s go to today’s episode

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  03:33

Welcome Kimberley Bell to A Voice and Beyond. You’re all the way from New Zealand which is not too far away from Australia in Auckland. Now you are a registered nutritionist, master NLP practitioner, founder of Mind your Nutrition, and I’m so excited to have you on the show. Thank you for coming on.

Kimberley Bell  03:58

Thank you very much for having me. I very much look forward to this chat.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  04:02

Yes, and it is going to be quite a chat. There’s going to be a lot of sharing of information between us here because I’m going to actually share some of my own experiences around some of the things that we’re going to talk about. Now you have a specialization in eating disorders. And that is something that’s really close to my heart. And it was really important. I feel that you came on the show, because I believe there are a lot of people in the performing arts who have problems with their relationships with food, eating disorders, there’s still a lot of body shaming, all that kind of thing, and we’re going to unpack all of that. And then at the end, we’re also going to talk about other things to do with nutrition. So we’re going to give the positive side of it all. But Kimberley, tell us your journey and So how you came to do the work that you’re doing within your business?

Kimberley Bell  05:05

Yes, sure. So firstly, I just want to clarify in terms of the areas that I specialize in. So, for those listening, eating disorders is probably the easiest way to understand it, because not very many people understand this concept of disordered eating. So I’d almost say the work that I’m most specialized in now is disordered eating. So it’s people who and this theory often is a bit of a crossover. But especially any woman who is struggling with their relationship with food, with their body image, they usually having issues with it with their weight, eating patterns. And this could be eating disorders, but it could also be in this gray area of disordered eating. And that holds a lot of people back from I think getting help, because they’re kind of confused about what it is that’s going on. They know that they’re obsessed about foods, they’re struggling with their relationship with food, but they’re not really sure where to get help. So that’s actually almost where I specialize even more now. And is, isn’t that that middle ground. But in terms of how I got to doing this work, it for me, definitely stemmed from a what you consider a clinical eating disorder. So I, you want the whole story.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  06:15

Tell us your story. Yes. So listeners have an understanding of what you went through? Because I’ve heard your story. And I think it’s important to share it if you don’t mind.

Kimberley Bell  06:26

Yeah, sure. So I believe everybody has a their own their own story. When it comes to relationship with food and your body. We all have our own body image journey, that we all have the our own experiences growing up with food. So I guess my story began when I was about 12, or 13. Going through going through puberty, I was really early, develop that. So that was I guess the time when I started noticing changes in my body, and I changed a lot faster, and other girls a bit more nice around my thighs and got boobs, that kind of thing. And I remember when I was in a classroom in Intermediate School, and one of the boys in the class like pointed at me saying Look at you, you’ve got standardize. And I know that my story is similar to what other men experienced as well, they’ll usually remember like a point in time where they said they, they were moving through life, not really worrying about their body so much. And then something was said, and then it drew a lot of attention to that, to that part of the body. So I think that’s, that’s a very strong memory for me. And then there was other things growing up hearing my mom talk about her legs and her doing different diets, which for her was completely innocent. It was more to do with getting lean for a karate competition. But right. It’s amazing how, even if something’s innocent, you can still pick up on them. Yeah, so I guess my body and Mojang started in those early years where it happens to a lot of a lot of teams. And then I decided to do something about it. And I got really into running at the time, we had this challenge at high school called the Nike challenge. So it was about running pinkies every day for a month. Wow. And I did that. I know. I did that I was really fat kid. And so it wasn’t too difficult for me. But through doing all that running, I got really lean, and I started getting all these positive comments about my body. So then you start making this connection between how you look and how much people like you. And crazy yet. And I know this again, is really, it’s common for a lot a woman to have this happen as well. Yeah, so then, I guess that created a lot of attachment to being a certain way, shape and size. So then when I got injured, and I could no longer run. So from all this running, I actually damaged my hip, that’s gonna happen to a lot of dancers. So when you’re very flexible, and hyper mobile running can be not so good on your joints. So then I got injured and I got taught, I couldn’t run for a year or two to recover. And that spun me out. And so I was so worried about weight gain that I turned to food. So ironically, my motivation behind even doing a nutrition degree was because I wanted to control my body and I wanted to learn about food initially. So that I felt like I had some sort of control, because I didn’t want to lose all the praise that had gained from getting so Lang yes, that kind of spiraled. So when I was about fifth day, and I was trying to learn about all this food, this is when the calorie counting, low fat era was really being pushed out there. And next night, I was trying to stick to like tracking calories like constantly like obsessing over every number. It didn’t help when we got to the university and actually and university I think to this day, they still teach the calorie equation. And I’ll never forget there was a time and through my journey where I was doing triathlon training and And I’ll never forget when I was typing in the minute exercise on that day in China, I had burned at least well over 1000 calories. I think it was, I was checking to the whole week. And I was saying every day I was supposedly in this 1000 calorie deficit I was training I was doing and get my body wasn’t shifting. And I was like, How is this possible? Like you need you need telling me that as long as we’re in this deficit, we’re exercising hips, and we’re restricting our bodies should we should be getting smaller. And I was just like, nothing was shifting at all. And I was exhausted. Yeah. And at that point, I was also the lemak, as well. And so this is full eating disorder. And then I was just like, I think it just got so I just got so exhausted. From all this, that there one day, I decided, like enough is enough, and something needs to change. And to this, I look back on it. And I’m like, I don’t know, if I should do I do I know. Yeah, I think it was a combination of it, just getting to the point where just wasn’t worth it anymore. I think I had to get to the point where I was telling myself, no way or shape is worth going through this much stress and pain and suffering. So I eventually I managed to actually pick my eating disorder on my own. It was really, really difficult. It took about five years of battling out. But it’s what has motivated me to do the work that I do today as I don’t want any any any other woman going through any of those phases that I went through the body image challenges, they the food obsession, of binging like secret eating at night, I feel like I I had every disordered eating pattern under the sun, all of which caused a lot of pain. And that’s why Yeah, that’s why I’m so passionate about what I do today. How can women nourish themselves confidently and break free from what I call unhelpful eating patterns? Eating whether that’s a full blown eating disorder.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  11:59

Yes. And well, thank you so much for sharing your story. There’ll be a lot of people out there that will resonate with your story. And whether it’s something that they haven’t admitted to themselves or to anyone else’s yet, I hope that it inspires them to go and seek help. And seeing as you are so kind to share your story, I’m going to share my story, and slightly different because my story is not related to body image at all. So in the 80s, I lost my first husband who committed suicide. And then some 15 months later, I lost my father. And both of those were quite significant losses in my life, as you can imagine. And I remember the night my father died going home. And there was a sponge cake in the in the house. And I ate the whole sponge cake. The reason why I kept eating and I kept eating and I kept eating was because I felt such a void. I felt so much loss, I felt such emptiness in the pit of my stomach. The grief was physical pain that was in my stomach that I felt that I had to fill this void. And I just kept eating. And oh my gosh, you know, still remember it, I still have that picture. And then I felt so guilty afterwards that I went and purge. Now I’ve never done anything like that before. And it kept going. And I kept going for five years, without realizing it was like a full blown problem. As crazy as that sounds. This was the 80s and we didn’t talk about eating disorders back then, or any kind of mental illness. I think everyone lived with their heads buried in the sand or we just didn’t know. And I had a five year old when my husband died. My My daughter was five years old. So I was looking after a young child. And it was a way of me dealing with the grief that no one knew about. I could be secretive about it. So I could try and comfort myself through eating all this food and then purging. So I didn’t gain weight. I didn’t look any different. I could do it. It was always at nighttime when I would go home from a gig and I had to enter my bedroom and going into an empty bedroom. No one being there. And that emptiness and that feeling of loss and grief and emptiness. So I developed this eating disorder and we’re thing was now how I found out it was a disorder was that I went to the gym one particular morning. And the story about cat, Karen carpeta had been on on TV the night before. And she had an eating disorder apparently died from her eating disorder or complications through her eating disorder. When I heard people talking about it in the gym, and I realized that was me. And I had a child, I thought, I can’t die, my child has no one else. She’s if I died, there’s no one else to take care of her. And I’ve got to sort this out. It’s not even for me, I have to do it for her. And that was five years later, like that was from from when my father died. That was five years later. And I went and saw psychiatry, I started with a nutritionist who gave me an eating plan. But when food is your enemy, and you can’t stop, how does that work? So I would be scared, I was scared of eating. And then I went to psychiatrist to accounts law to psychologists. And I did a lot of work on myself. And then I think in the end, because a lot of them were quite useless and didn’t really help. I don’t think they even understood. I ended up helping myself. And it’s not about vanity. And it’s not about ego. There’s other things that can trigger eating disorders. And mine was, at the end of the day, it was unresolved grief. Yeah. So now that we’ve shared our stories, and it’s like, standing in front of an audience naked after telling those stories tell us what is the difference between having an eating disorder and disordered eating as you describe it.

Kimberley Bell  16:58

I don’t even think this that is so that that clear, to be honest, because there’s so many, there are so many crossovers. So to be diagnosed with an eating disorder. There’s kind of three main categories, but there’s also getting more categories as we go along. So your three main categories are anorexia nervosa, you’ve got bulimia nervosa, and you’ve got binge eating disorder, then then there’s some also some some other subcategories, for example, they’ve now they now say, like, you can have anorexia, that’s atypical, which is, you might have all the all the times like the fear of weight gain, the really restrictive eating the weight loss, but you might not necessarily look reconsider. So whereas your typical your typical anorexia be that you are in a dangerously low weight category. So for each of those categories, they there’s like a checklist and the, in the DSM, that you have to tick all of those to be considered an actual eating disorder. And that’s something that psychologists psychiatrists will typically diagnose. So it’s, I think it’s important to, if you’re concerned to make sure that you do see somebody who can help you decide if you if this is something that you need to say, I psychologists for, whatever, it’s something that you can work through with a nutritionist or Yeah, or a dietitian, who is qualified and helping people with a disordered relationship with food. Yes, so another example would be saying, say, but like binge eating is another one I think people get quite confused about so when I was doing my eating disorder training, they were teaching us at the time that Brett to be like, considered eating like a proper eating disorder with bit like Benji disorder, you’re you’re eating to the point where you’re really uncomfortably fall it’s coated, huge amounts of food and a very, very small space of time. But even that can get a little bit confusing because some, I think, there are so many people who are experiencing that kind of thing, but it’s not so extreme that they’re like completely uncomfortable lying on the floor, but there’s still thing what a girl’s afterwards. So it’s, um, I think it’s really interesting space. Bulimia is quite an easy one to diagnose. So if you are binging and then purging, then that’s definitely an eating disorder.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  19:27

So when do these eating disorders, when do they become life threatening? Or, you know, to that point where people are just their lives are spiraling out of control.

Kimberley Bell  19:41

So life threatening is obviously a medical thing that they’ve changed like with all the vitals, when you get under a certain weight and under a certain level of like, nourishment your body like literally shuts down like your organs go into failure. Again, that’s that’s not something that I’ve dive too much into because I I don’t dealing with people and that kind of that kind of stage. But from this is like my physiology talking, if you are, like I say not getting enough nutrients, not getting enough energy, your body will shut down. And so it is it is life threatening. It is it is very, very serious anorexia. And I guess my mission is to try and prevent it getting that bed. So I’m really working in that prevention space trying to work with either work with young young woman who are still in that disordered eating space. They could almost turn into anorexia, but they’re not quite there, get them early, but also working with women who are saying, either new mums, or maybe they have kids. And it’s really important, I think, to help like woman with with daughters to be able to speak nicely about their bodies and improve their relationship with food, because ultimately, they become the role models, right? Yes. That’s another part of where I’m hoping to play a role in the prevention, so.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  20:59

Yes. And how do we as parents, or, you know, in the singing voice community, I’m dealing with a lot of singing teachers, how can we tell if someone’s in trouble? Is there any telltale signs that something’s going on? Outside of someone that’s anorexic, and losing a lot of weight? Is there any other little signs that there’s a problem?

Kimberley Bell  21:25

Yeah, in terms of what to look for, for children?

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  21:28

Yes. Even anybody, actually,

Kimberley Bell  21:31

Anybody? Yeah, I mean, anybody who seems to be feeling anxious or uncomfortable around food, even thinking back to what I did, so some of the telltale signs that I know my parents picked up on was getting really picky with things. And so I would try and try and skip the carbs, I push the potato to the side, or insist that nothing was cooked in oil. So kind of requesting that things be made in a really specific way, I think is a really big telltale sign. And, and when you’re dealing with an unhealthy relationship with food, it’s in your mind 24/7. So you’re under quite a lot of stress. And so you’re also probably more likely to lash out and get frustrated. So say you guys are going for like ice cream or something, somebody with an unhealthy relationship with food will feel quite panicky about that. And they might even lash out and get, you know, teary or upset. And that’s because there’s so much going on, in their mind, fear of what this was gonna do to their weight or to the body.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  22:31

Yes, I Yes, I can relate to some of that. Definitely. As parents, you you talk about women, you know, with their daughters, it’s really hard to not address food at some point of time, how can we ensure that we don’t have children that end up with an eating disorder, I’ll give you an example. So if your child is not eating, and you push them to eat, and then they don’t like you too thin, you need to eat more. Or if you see that your child has gained a substantial amount of weight, and you feel that you need to tell them because of their own health, that oh, my gosh, you know, you’ve we need to maybe cut out some sugar here. Like there’s such a fine line. And my daughter was a dancer, or is a dance, she still is a dancer, and she’s on a cruise ship. This is another whole different story. And they get weighed every fortnight. And that’s not uncommon. Yet, there’s still a lot of that that still goes on in the performing arts industry. But as parents, how can we encourage our children to have a healthy relationship with food without driving them into having an eating disorder?

Kimberley Bell  23:51

So my number one piece of advice is be a role model. Okay? Because if you are speaking kindly about your body, and if you are nourishing yourself with that restriction, your kids are going to watch you doing that. So the most important thing is that they don’t see you dieting, and they don’t see you picking apart your body because that’s where so many girls are getting these ideas and mums just they’re not aware of that they will they’ll be surprised as to how their daughters are creating these links, because because in their mind, they’re like, but I’ve never told her that she’s overweight, but I’ve never told her to go on a diet. And yet when I speak to them, the stuff comes up all the time. And so being a role model is really, really, really important, I believe.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  24:41

Have you seen an increase in eating disorders as a result of COVID or since COVID?

Kimberley Bell  24:48

As honestly, it’s really too hard to say from listening to I guess other other podcasts where you have like clinics who are dealing with large amounts of people. I think it was a bit of an increase particular and particularly in binge eating disorder, I believe is what I heard, I probably don’t deal with enough volume to really make like a proper give you like a proper statistic from in terms of like my clinic space. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  25:11

Fair enough. And do you feel that since there is now so much more social media engagement, that that is problematic?

Kimberley Bell  25:23

Yes, so definitely plays a big role. And it’s not getting any better. Actually, there’s at least these days, there’s more and more, you could say, body positive pages, or like non diet pages. So I think we can start following pages that can be a bit more supportive of a non diet like balanced lifestyle, there’s still plenty of very unhelpful content on social media, anything that’s promoting, like, the thin, ideal, macro calorie tracking everything, eliminations, like fast fixes, I think we need to be really careful of following pages that show before and after photos, especially if they’re creating this link that, you know, well done to this person who lost weight. And then, as I described, through my story, that that can that can trigger eating disorders, and the person who’s celebrating you know, we don’t know how they’re going to feel, you know, four months down the track, when they relax on their diet on a couple of kilos, we need to be so careful. I think celebrating really sucks. But we do need to be careful celebrating weight loss, I think, these days because it’s just take it in a negative spiral. Back when I first got into social media, so I remember when Instagram really kicked off. And there was definitely no, I don’t remember, there might have been positive body positive pages, but I didn’t didn’t seem like they were definitely weren’t hitting me. Like it was would have been I would have been for 1415 I can’t remember God so long ago. Yeah. And yeah. And it was the thigh gap was–

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  26:57

Ohhhh yes. The thigh gap. Yeah.

Kimberley Bell  27:01

Yeah, it was. And it was the bodybuilding same and see constant looking at these girls who are like timbers in body fat. That was really damaging. For me, that’s for sure. So social media plays a definitely plays a big role in our relationships with food and our bodies.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  27:21

Definitely. So let’s talk about though your program, because we’ve talked a lot about the disorders. But what about your program? I know you offer a unique approach to helping with nutrition and helping people with eating disorders. So describe your program and why it works. And what’s different about it to other programs? 

Kimberley Bell  27:46

Yeah, sure. So typically, when you go to see a nutritionist, you’re like, most people would think that they’re gonna see a nutritionist for just their nutrition, right? So what I do is I actually combined both the nutrition aspect as well as a psychological aspect. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  28:02


Kimberley Bell  28:03

Yeah. So I essentially have these these five pillars that I have to work through. So the first one is clearing their nutrition confusion. So helping them break free from this constant, should I be eating this, should I not be eating this? What is even right from my body, helping them actually what I call become their own body expert. So that’s a really cool pillar. And I’ll always have that as a strong pillar is the clear in the nutrition confusion. And then I also help women through coaching, with the intuitive eating and mindfulness sides. This is a political befriending food. This is the dumping the non-diet principles.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  28:41

Right. When when you talk about mindfulness with food, you’re meaning enjoying the food and enjoying the process of eating, I’m assuming.

Kimberley Bell  28:53

Yeah, so there’s actually, so there’s a kind of like a full program protocol called intuitive eating. So this is by Evelyn Trivoli. I think I pronounce her name, right. And what I do is, I guess it’s similar to that it uses a lot of principles from the intuitive eating model, which is eating replays of self care. So self care is almost at the site core pillar, and it is about learning how to honor your hunger cues. But I guess there’s also why I’m a bit different. So my approach isn’t the intuitive eating model, because the traditional Intuitive Eating model puts nutrition kind of like it’s like number 13 on the list of steps. Whereas I actually have like an ancestor or functional nutrition, whole food nutrition background, and through that, I learned a lot about the power that food actually has on your ability to eat intuitively. And I’ve found that it’s really actually difficult for a lot of people to eat intuitively and choose nourishing foods if they’re in a really undernourished state. Right? And so I do love that with this good nutrition foundations first And then pull in a number of, you know, nice self care principles like listening to your body getting back in tune with your body, ditching Diet Rules, that’s always going to be a core pillar. But I think nutrition science is key as well. So I need to essentially pull in the nutrition science, I pull in elements of intuitive intuitive eating model, I do body image work, which is essential. Because if you’re not happy with your body that often perpetuates unhealthy eating patterns. Yes, I have another pillow, eating food that you enjoy. So I’m big on making sure that whenever somebody’s doing, they’re actually enjoying the food that they’re eating. And then my last pillar is designing your day. So learning how to habit like build habits, build healthful habits and break unhelpful ones. That’s like my routines, evening routines, because I believe everything actually fits together.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  30:53

That’s amazing. Like, that sounds really thorough. And I love the fact that you sound like a one stop shop. Back in my day, I didn’t have that I had to see individual people to receive help, but wasn’t that kind of help was not available from one person. So I think that’s brilliant. Because obviously, in the case like mine, it’s very evident that I needed more than a nutritionist, I didn’t just need to learn how to eat food again, and have a healthy relationship with food as in terms of what to put on my plate. It was my whole psyche around food, too. And these days, too, we’re bombarded with all these different diets. And I’m going to ask you, do you believe the word diet should be eliminated from the English language and replaced with another terminology?

Kimberley Bell  31:53

So I’m gonna answer this from an NLP lens. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  31:56

Okay, so tell us what NLP is, by the way, I know what it is, but some of our listeners, just a short term.

Kimberley Bell  32:03

Oh gosh, I find this such a hard one to describe. So what it stands for is Neuro Linguistic Programming. Now, if you were to Google NLP, you’re gonna come up with a whole bunch of different stuff. So yes, in short, NLP is is how your mind works. Sure, okay. It’s how your mind works. There’s so many elements of NLP that crossover with, like, say, with psychology and things like CBT and I’m really excited to see what happens with NLP moving forward. It got a bit of a bad rap, I think because amongst the studies on NLP, it can be used for just such a wide variety of things like people have used in our phos for like sales and neuro persuasion and hypnotherapy, which I have no interest in. And I don’t we didn’t really even learn much about that. And in the course that I did, I learned when I did the NLP, I was learning about how do we help people create change? How do we understand what’s going on in our minds? How do we help people understand what their core values are and live by their core values? So in our piece, just it seems like this such massive field, that if you’re interested in learning more about it, just be mindful of what you read that would that sort of sort of say to you? Yes, there’s this beautiful side of NLP, which is basically psychology like positive psychology, how your mind works. And then there’s other stuff, but I’m sure there’s so even in psychology, you’ve got dark psychology. So in the same way, there’s going to be like dark psychology, positive psychology, dark and positive in ARPU. We’re talking about how our minds work right. So that’s a minefield.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  33:49

Yeah, almost like dark diets and positive diets. So let’s go back–

Kimberley Bell  33:57

To answer your question, yeah, so um, so something that I really a powerful concept I learned through NLP is recognizing that everybody takes different interpretations of words, depending on their I guess this subconscious programming. So if you were to ask say the like intuitive eating, like haze non diet community, they would probably say yes, like, we need to get rid of diet and actually saying diet is damaging to every single person. But through the NLP lens, they teach us that will actually depends on the person. So for some person that the word diet could trigger absolutely nothing damaging at all. But for another person, the word diet could trigger negative thoughts or thoughts or restriction or a negative pathway. I think if we blame, diet, culture language that actually disempowers us, and I think what we actually need is to learn how to understand what different words bring up for us and And if they are problematic, we can choose to change that meaning we can choose to either ignore it, ignore it or shift our dialogue to something more more positive. So I think we need to take back the power instead of saying we just like eliminate certain words, diet could just be what you eat in a day. And that doesn’t have to be a negative thing.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  35:19

Yes. Okay, now that’s an interesting viewpoint. And some people may like to use the word healthy eating plan, there’s all these other different ways of describing the same thing. Whatever works for you, whatever floats your boat, and doesn’t trigger anything within you, I suppose is the answer to that.

Kimberley Bell  35:39

Yeah, that’s true. That’s true. Yeah. So like I say, you got you kind of got two options, you can either choose to be mindful of the language that you use for yourself, which you have control over. So we think as I guess, from where I’m going with us, as we have control over the the language that we might use for ourselves, but we can’t control other people’s say, so unnecessarily what we see. So even if you do really well, with getting your social media to look pretty, you may, you’re still going to be happy with this word diet and dark horse could come up. So just saying that we need to eliminate it altogether, that I think it’s a bit unrealistic. So yes, have chosen your toolkit so that when you’re speaking about yourself and what you’re doing, maybe you use the word, like my way of eating, maybe that’s, that’s triggering. But I think we still need a toolkit as a tool in our kit, where if diet chat does come up, because you’re not in control of people talking about diets, we can’t draw that people say, right, so we need to be able to hear that word and not let it affect us that that’s our responsibility. And we want to empower ourselves to be able to do that. That’s– 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  36:42

Yes. And it’s really interesting, talking about being empowered, and having control and people having power over us. Now, I’m just going to read a little bit of this, because I think this is a really interesting thing. And you may have some comments on this, that the food we eat can change our gene expression change our hormones, our brain chemistry, our lymph system, and yet people still continue to eat badly. So is there an element of blame with food companies that do to propaganda, TV advertising, and also that the foods that are being developed can also be addictive. Is that any of that true?

Kimberley Bell  37:35

100%, 100%. That is something that we need to shrug but have compassion to ourselves for is the fact that it is so hard to eat just a normal balanced, mostly whole food, diet and today’s society, we have a history of marketing, it’s so hard to know if the product that you’re eating is a real food or isn’t nourishing, because the advertising is so clever. Now, you can go down the supermarket aisle, there’ll be all these different muesli bars and cereals. And they’ll be in this beautiful like, you know, green natural looking packets, it’ll be saying all natural on the front. And then when you turn it, turn it over, it’s all this refined food, additives, preservatives, just all these non food ingredients. And I do think that that makes it really confusing for the public. And that is why I think we need more nutritionists and like to be educating. I do think education is such a, it’s so important today, because just yet it’s who would have thought it’s so hard to just eat a diet of real food. But today, it is we have to have the knowledge. We have to have the support on how to cook you know, when so many women are now working and they’re struggling to have these jobs and then also be a domestic goddess to cook every night. So cooking is getting harder, fast foods more convenient. We are not living in a world today that supports a balanced whole food diet, I believe.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  39:10

Yes. And also to the marketing is so clever to the point that during times where say children are watching TV during those peak times for them that all the lolly all the icecream all the fast food ads all come up at that time and on YouTube. I go I use YouTube in my teaching studio to bring up songs. And there was a time that every single ad that was played before a song was a fast food ad. Now we get Grammarly. Sorry Grammarly. I have nothing against you. At least you’re not fast food. But I’m just saying and we are constantly being bombarded with that clever marketing. And I also believe in no to that they are making foods addictive, that there are foods out there that give you the same dope have been hit, as I don’t know, whatever it is that that you get these brushes, and the brain lights up the way that you would after having cocaine or heroin. That’s terrible. So what foods do you believe are the worst foods to eat in terms of overall health and well being?

Kimberley Bell  40:31

Just to put into a general category, I’m going to say, more processed foods. But that’s a big spectrum. So I would actually like to spend on there.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  40:41

Oh examples, yeah?

Kimberley Bell  40:43

Yeah. So the research is showing that like, okay, there’s a lot of the things that people still debate out there, which is better. A low carb diet or a high carb diet should be having meat or vegan or all these debates, right. But the things that they don’t seem to be debating that everybody whether they’re vegan, or whether they’re not vegan, high carb, low carb, everybody seems to be agreeing on the fact that a diet consisting of predominantly real food is the healthiest diet for all human beings, every single human being, is going to thrive better off real food diet.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  41:20

The real food encompasses, what do you mean like things from the garden?

Kimberley Bell  41:25

Yes, so food and its most natural state, things that you would actually find in nature, with few ingredients that have been put in to make the texture nice, or to hold it together, like binding factors, preservatives, which is, again difficult, because as humans, we like things to have a nice consistency. And we like the bliss point. And so scientists have got really clever about modifying foods to meet our our wants, not just taste, but also texture as well. And so trying to adopt a 100%, like zero processed ingredient diet can end up actually interfering with with your life. And so I’m not going to stand here and suggest that anybody strive that, and I myself have no issues with buying a hummus in the supermarket. And so I think we need to so so we’ve got, so overall, you’re trying to have foods that contain whole food ingredients, that is mostly made up of whole food ingredients. So for example, you might say, Okay, you might look at, we’ll use hummus as an example. Yeah, maybe hummus. The first 10 Ingredients could be a chickpeas and spices or things that you recognize that maybe at the end, it’s got like preservative at the end. I personally think you don’t have to worry about that so much. Because at least you’re getting a whole bunch of good nutrients, right? If you were picked, and you picked up a packet of something, and the first ingredients was canola oil, the next one was sugar. The next one was flavor enhancer. The next one was color 345. And you can’t actually find very many nourishing ingredients. And that would almost say, well, that’s a highly processed food that’s not providing you with any nutrients. So those suppose we need to be really I think, really mind really mindful of.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  43:24

Would that like, sorry, cereals?

Kimberley Bell  43:27

Not necessarily so some cereals are great. You’re looking for cereals that contain nutrients, like what am I actually consuming? If this is saying, you know, nuts and seeds, grainy cereal, have a look at the ingredients less we’re on nuts, it says 14 to like 50% nuts great! And it’s saying 0.5% nuts at the less? Then it’s like okay, like what? It’s never not consuming that slot? They said I am what am I consuming instead?

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  43:58

Yes. So it sounds like a common sense approach.

Kimberley Bell  44:02

You would think so.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  44:06

That’s alot of time consumed in the supermarket reading all those labels, too.

Kimberley Bell  44:11

Yeah, exactly. And the thing is, that the challenge with it is all these little preservatives like on their own. I mean, they would have been our foods if the food industry showed that they were actually damaging for health. So the studies aren’t there to eliminate any of these individual colors and flavors, because in the quantities that they’re being used. It’s not causing drastic issues. It’s the compounding effect of having these foods over a long period of time. And I also thought, I think that another way of looking at it as maybe it’s not so much the process food that’s necessarily a problem, but what is the processed food replacing? We know that people are getting stuck, right? And it’s like, what why is it because they’re having processed food and it’s the processed ingredients. Is it the fact that they’re having processed food? And that’s replacing the opportunity to have nutrients? Which is causing a nutrient deficiency? My my, I think it’s probably a combination of both. So another important thing to be mindful of is there seems to be a overall agreement that sugar and as refined form doesn’t seem to be helping any human beings a huge amount.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  45:24

When it comes to all these diets. There’s the Paleo, the Atkins, the Mediterranean, the High protein, the low carb, is there a diet that you endorse? And is there a like an evidence based diet that is proven to be effective in weight loss in a healthy way?

Kimberley Bell  45:46

Every single diet can cause weight loss, at least for the short term. So that’s in terms of like, the evidence, nutrition science is interesting, you can pretty much prove anything you want to through a study, which is why on one Netflix series, you can have a whole bunch of professors speaking confidently about the fact that vegan is the new healthiest way to age. And then on another Netflix series, you also have a bunch of professors, medical doctors, you know, speaking about how important it is to be, you know, to be having meat. Right. It’s this. This is kind of where I was going back to, there’s so much arguments out there so much controversy, we need to look at okay, well, what are some of the things they all have in common? Nobody’s agreeing on anything, so no, such thing. So what do we all have in common? Every single positive, like health out like health outcome from studies, there’s usually a link towards switching from more processed diet to a more real food diet. So I’m going to always go back to that. And I really want to keep it really simple, simple for people. So real food, as you just you really cannot go wrong with it. In terms of, I say that probably one of the diets that has been studied the most would be the Mediterranean diet. Again, we can talk about it for weight loss, but it’s any diet can show weight loss, depending on what you’re doing with it. So looking at the Mediterranean diet, more from like, overall health, that’s probably the studied the most in terms of eating for overall health and surprise, surprise, that is based on a whole food.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  47:29

Yes, being a Mediterranean person, I know. My mum just passed away, and she was 99. And she ate from the garden. She had her own garden right up until she passed away, still tended to that garden and ate fresh produce. And it was basically olive oil, tomato, garlic, everything that that was your base, still a lot of the foods that she was cooking. Yeah. So okay. And then people talk about fasting, and the importance of fasting. And even down to the importance of having a 12 hour break, say from dinner to breakfast? What’s your thoughts on fasting, whether you fast for 24 hours, one day, a week? Is there a benefit to that? Or is that just another one of those myths?

Kimberley Bell  48:27

So there is a lot of a decent amount of research tech, fasting in terms of health benefits, and it doesn’t make sense. I think a body is designed to experience breaks from food, you know, every time we eat something, we’re asking our body to work, we produce insulin. So I do think it’s good to have periods of time where you’re you give your body a break. So I personally don’t have clients that need to eat every two hours, which is where a lot of a lot of people get told that you know, you must you must have your breakfast or snack lunch or snack agenda, your snack. And that’s not something that I agree. And I think that doesn’t align with listening to your body and eating intuitively half the time. And that way of eating is also more a, like a low fat from the low fat era where you don’t have much fats in your diet. You need to eat every couple of hours because you’re hungry. Yeah, but if you have more fats in your diet, you can last long between meals. So I do I do believe in allowing your body to have breaks. What I don’t believe in though, is sitting any particular row that then inhibits your ability to honor your own hunger and fullness cues. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  49:43

Oh I love that! 

Kimberley Bell  49:46

Does that make sense?

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  49:47

Oh absolutely. To me, that just means listen to your body. 

Kimberley Bell  49:52

Yeah, so sure, if you you might have an accidental fast. So you might say have fun can more indulgent dinner and desserts and drinks with your friends on a Friday, and then maybe you’re not actually hungry until midday the next day. That’s your body telling you actually do need a break. We had a lot of food last night, and I’m trying to deal with it all. And that often happens. I mean, you know, I’ve heard that a couple of times, and you have a big Friday, and then you’re not actually that hungry to the next day. And some people could say, oh, you’ve you’ve fasted till midday. It’s like, no, just waited until I feel like I want to eat again. And I’m proud and proud that I would rather somebody do that then wake up in the morning, feeling stuffed and uncomfortable from the night before thinking, Oh, I have to have breakfast that’s in my meal plan. Like, that’s not intuitive eating to me. So I think there are some people who can benefit from fasting who say have more like a medical medical conditions, I think it can be helpful for people with diabetes and insulin resistance. But it’s been a long time since I’ve played around with that. So it’s hard to say. What the most recent, like researchers in terms of fasting specifically for insulin resistant diabetes.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  51:08

Yes, yes. I’ve heard it being advocated. But I can’t remember the reason why was so heavily advocated either, we’re nearly to the end here, you’ve been so kind with your time, it’s all very fascinating. Is there a link between food or types of foods and mental health issues such as depression, people having panic attacks or anxiety, can eat any of those foods trigger those conditions?

Kimberley Bell  51:38

So apparently they can, whether it is the processed food ingredients, or the nutrient deficiencies, they’re not totally sure. So there’s a really amazing book that’s come out called the better brain by Julia Rutledge. And this has got all the up to date research around the link between nutrition and mental health. And as like two attempts to summarize her incredible research, we know that nutrient deficiencies have play a massive role and mental health, and how they’ve figured it out at how sorry, how they’ve figured that out is through a lot of studies, but also specifically looking at what happens when you supplement somebody with a broad stroke spectrum multivitamin. They’ve seen great improvements in people with depression, anxiety, or other mental health conditions, which is really, really exciting. And what she was saying what she also says in the book is kind of like what I was just saying before, it’s, it could be that we can handle some processed food as long as we’re getting in enough of the good stuff. So it’s the making sure that we’re not replacing good food with processed food. And unfortunately, that’s typically what happens. Typically, by the time people have had the processed food, they don’t feel they don’t have enough space to have the real stuff. So that’s yeah. 100% that’s a link and move. Strong research now to back that.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  53:08

Wow, that’s incredible. All right, so we’re going to get to the final questions here. What changes in terms of mindset around food and body image would you like to see in the next generation of women?

Kimberley Bell  53:28

Okay, so I would, yeah, so I would like in the next generation, for women to be able to nourish themselves confidently, to feel confident and, and how to nourish themselves and to trust themselves with their choices, which is just, there’s so many women, it’s not happening. They’re confused about what to eat, and they don’t trust themselves, because there’s so many, so much out there telling them what they should and shouldn’t be. Hmm. And so they’re spending so much of your time with their mind consumed over food, and when you’re doing and your body. And when you’re doing that it’s holding them back from living the life that they want to love and actually fueling their purpose. It takes them away from their passions takes them away from their studies, it takes them away from building positive relationships from creating memories. You know, I look back on my years with an eating disorder and I can’t get those those years back. I can’t get those memories back. Yes, I actually I quit. hobbies like that I loved I used to be a passionate boss, right? I used to love horses, horses love spending time with horses. I used to be a singer and a dancer and I lost I basically quit those beautiful hobbies to become obsessed with food and exercise, and that it breaks my heart to think that there could be women out there who are like young girls out there who are choosing food and body obsession over feeling yeah fueling hobbies that make them happy. So I’d like to see that shift. And then in terms of their bodies to grow up knowing that their worth is not associated with their weight, shape, and size.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  55:13

That’s very powerful. And it’s true what you’re saying. Because basically, you’re allowing food to control your life, and you’re giving up on life, and allowing it to take over every aspect of your life. And what piece of advice sorry, would you like to offer our voice community in terms of nutrition?

Kimberley Bell  55:38

Keep nutrition, simple before you get caught up in all these different diet fads and high carb, low carb and calories and things. Let’s just go back to the basics. See, if you are eating a mostly real food diet, start actually thinking about what you’re putting into your body. Look at some levels, check that what you’re eating, is what you think that you’re eating. That’s a really beautiful foundation to start with. Start with including all macronutrient groups have you got a carbohydrate, that and protein serving, and breakfast, lunch and dinner, that will be just taking a minimum nutrient requirements, and so many of us aren’t hitting those. So if depending on what your goals are, and then regardless of whether it’s whether it’s weight, whether it’s just energy, or whether it’s being able to have more focus that you can focus on your singing. It’s having that foundation of nourishment. Yeah, keeping it simple. Yes. Because obviously, if, if we’re talking to people who are trying to focus more on their singing, the last thing they want to be thinking about is as their as their body image or their food, or how many calories have eaten that day, they want to be channeled channeling that energy into their passion, which is singing, right?

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  56:57

Yes, yes. And the industry does enough of that, for all of us. Focusing on on those very things that you’re saying we we shouldn’t be focusing on ourselves. Yes, it’s it’s just it’s a bit of a shame, really the way that the industry is that present and always has been, and I don’t see it getting any better in the near future. But, look, it’s been such a pleasure having you on the show, Kimberley, I really appreciate the time, we’ve been having a storm here. So the the WiFi has been a little unstable at times, we’ve got 60 kilometer winds, apparently, it sounds like that. That’s a lot of wind. And I can tell you, everything’s vibrating around me. But I appreciate your patience. We’re going to share your links in the show notes. So if people want to learn more about you about your program, I know that you have some amazing blogs on your website, because I’ve looked at them, I’ve read through them. So we will share all those with you. We wish you all the very best in the future. And thank you and you just keep up that amazing work. You just keep helping people the way you are.

Kimberley Bell  58:15

Thank you so much. It’s been a pleasure. I love talking about this stuff. So thank you for having me.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  58:19

Thank you. Take care. Bye. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  58:26

Thank you so much for listening to this episode of A Voice and Beyond. I hope you enjoyed it as now is an important time for you to invest in your own self care, personal growth and education. Use every day as an opportunity to learn and to grow so you can show up feeling empowered and ready to live your best life. If you know someone who will also be inspired by this episode, please be sure to copy and paste the link and share it with them. Or share it on social media and use the #AVoiceAndBeyond. I promise you I am committed to bringing you more inspiration and conversations just like this one every week. And if you’d like to help me, please rate and review this podcast and cheer me on by clicking the subscribe button on Apple Podcast right now. I would also love to know what it is that you most enjoyed about this episode and what was your biggest takeaway? Please take care and I look forward to your company next time on the next episode of A Voice and Beyond.

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