Katie Dalebout: Enlightened Eating and New Wellness Habits For The New Year

This week is the second part of my interview with Katie Dalebout from the Wellness Wonderland. Katie shares with us her view on nourishment and eating, perfect for the new year. 

AC: I love your program “Enlightened Eating” and totally agree with it. I think when you begin to look at your body, you really start to see how everything impacts your wellness. How you nourish your body can be a metaphor for how you cultivate your relationships your friends and family, your home, your work, the whole world, the universe… and your emotional self.

KD: You know that saying “How you do one thing is how you do everything?” I find it really true. I think some people find their holistic lifestyle/wellness, through their body, some from healing an addiction, etc. Everybody has their route of how they came to this work and how they found their spiritual connection. For me, that opening, that gaping wound, was my relationship with food and my body. And for me, that manifested in an eating disorder when I was very young. At the time, I had no idea and didn’t think anything was wrong. It doesn’t matter what the scale says or how your clothes are fitting. Your habits and how you’re speaking to yourself around food is what matters.

From a very young age, I decided that my body and personality were not good enough. I thought the quickest way to feel better about myself was by getting as thin as I could. Then I’ll feel good enough and I’ll feel safe, right? I would argue that most women have or have had an issue or a disordered relationship with food. Not necessarily just women, but men tend to be more “normal eaters” because they don’t have the body image standard. However, a lot of women are held to these crazy standards and it manifests in the way that they eat. 

When the way that you eat is out of balance, everything else will be too. I was so focused on eating that I had no social life and no life in general outside of controlling my food. I got high off of rigidly controlling my food. And I thought, “Oh, I’m so healthy, this is so high vibe!” That was the way I rationalized it, however that wasn’t what was going on. When your life is devoid of pleasures, you can’t be happy!

My mentor, Isabelle Foxen Duke, shared this really powerful quote: “Pleasure and restriction can’t happen simultaneously.” It’s like you have to choose. I think it’s a balance, like issues with food are directly related to the issues you’re having with your body, with yourself. A food problem is directly related to a body image problem. They don’t happen away from each other. Eating disorders don’t happen in a vacuum. You wouldn’t care about what you were eating if you didn’t care about the way that you look. A big part of every eating issue is the issue with body image, and that’s something recently that I’ve been learning. 

Tell us more about Enlightened Eating and the story behind it. 

My Enlightened Eating Toolkit includes tips about mindful eating. I practice intuitive eating which is about listening to your body. Eating when you’re hungry. Stopping when you’re full. And occasionally, when you can, mindful eating. Mindful eating is eating with no distractionsSitting down and being fully present for the meal. I don’t necessarily think you need to eat mindfully every meal. There are times when I’m eating an apple while I’m driving or eating while I’m talking on the phone or having a great conversation at dinner. That’s all well and good, but I think it’s really powerful to eat mindfully and really taste and appreciate your food every once in a while.

The other part is to plan a little bit. The Enlightened Eating Toolkit has some planning tools in there. Intuitive eating happens in the moment, so planning to some extent is not. However, if you know you’re going have a busy week, you may choose to plan to always have easy things to eat on hand. I don’t enjoy cooking a ton but I enjoy eating. But I make sure I have easy, healthy foods available for me at all times. I’m not going into the kitchen starving, having to cook something and then end up eating while standing up half the meal because I feel like eating ingredients while I’m cooking, right? With just a little bit of mindfulness by being kind to yourself, you can acknowledge that you’ve got a busy week. So you get some ingredients and put something together ahead of time. Or you pick something up. Get to know yourself and be kind to yourself by not putting yourself in situations where your blood sugar is low and you start to get “hangry."

Many people look at their eating habits for their New Year’s resolutions. What are your three tips for Enlightened Eating in the new year? 

As I said earlier, how you do anything is how you do everything. So my first tip would be non-judgment. Stop judging yourself right now. Don’t judge what you ate over the holidays. Don’t judge what you ate earlier. Now is a new moment. A lot of times we take one bad decision and make it a Pandora’s box that’s open so we can fly off the handle. I think it’s silly and how people stay stuck. It’s really awesome if you can forgive yourself in the moment instead. Use it as an opportunity to pivot and that way, it’s easier to come back, right? Eating one too many cookies is very different than eating the whole box, right? Before you’re on that rampage, use that moment of recognition as a time to pivot and say lovingly to yourself, “It’s okay you just did your old thing again, now is a time to resurrect the situation. Now is the time to begin again.” That’s better, because you don’t need 10 juice cleanses, 8 life coaching sessions and 9 yoga classes to come back. You can come back tomorrow. Bounce back and you’re fine. Not judging yourself is huge because you’re not going be perfect all the time. You’re just not. Acknowledging that and then using that as a tool is really important. 

Second is intuitive eating, or listening to your body. It’s okay not eating because it’s noon and then again because it’s six, because you ate a big lunch and you’re not hungry for dinner. Instead you have a little snack at 9 o’clock. Or maybe you want to eat dinner anyways and that’s okay too. Noticing the clues from your body: when are you hungry? when are you full? You might surprise yourself. You might need less food than you think you do or you might need more depending on what you did that day. Or how you’re feeling or what time of the month it is. Being aware of your body and listening intuitively to this guidance it gives you is powerful.

Pleasure would be the third tool. It’s probably contradictory with many New Year’s resolutions. If you decide to start a special diet like vegan, paleo, gluten-free or whatever it is, that’s all well and good. Good luck, that’s great and good for you. However, if you do something you do not want to do for example, if you eat something that you didn’t want to eat, judging yourself is only going to keep you stuck. For every diet, there’s an equal and opposite binge. A binge doesn’t necessarily mean standing with the fridge door open and stuffing your face. It could be that you felt so deprived that now you’re going allow yourself to eat the thing you didn’t want to because you deserve it and you earned it. This is a way to refuse yourself any pleasure. So please make sure to allow pleasure in some way. Maybe it’s a healthy version of something that you love. Maybe it’s the real version but it’s in moderation. Being able to allow yourself to have those things you really like and not denying yourself of pleasure -- that’s real healing, that’s real work, right? When you can have those things, be present for them, eat them mindfully and then move on.

Finally, how do you create your own holistic space in your kitchen to support your enlightened eating? 

I clean my refrigerator a lot. When it comes to holistic spaces, a clean refrigerator is really important. And I don’t just mean literally wiping it down with a paper towel but also looking at the contents. For instance, why all the junk in the door? I sometimes have mustard containers that are almost empty. Time to toss them! I am a minimalist with what’s in the fridge. I don’t like to go to the grocery store once a week and buy a huge haul; that doesn’t work for me. I go to the grocery store like every 3 days and get what I need. It’s fresh. I know some people reading this might have different situations, for instance if you have a family, but for me it works. Like I’ve been recently doing a “capsule wardrobe” which includes a few essential items.  It’s a minimalistic approach. Similarly, a capsule menu or capsule diet is really helpful. I basically have 3 or 4 things that I know I enjoy for snacks, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Three options for each that I know I like and I know my body likes. I know these options make me feel good, give me energy and are easy. And I always have those ingredients on hand!

I also keep the kitchen really clean, especially in the pantry. I have little containers from Anthropologie for such things as spices that I use all the time. Anjie, you and I both love the fire water from our mutual friend Sacha Jones. Sacha actually got me into setting up a fire water station. I’ll keep my turmeric, ginger and all the other spices in a certain spot. And I use the same mug every morning for water, fire water and teas all day. Sacha actually made me that mug. On the bottom it says “In a Wellness Wonderland.” I use that mug every day; it never goes in the dishwasher. I rinse it out after I have my fire water, then have green tea in it, then drink a glass of water in it and so on. It stays in use all day when I’m home. At the end of the day I rinse it out. That ritual is actually really helpful. And I look at that mug and it immediately makes me feel happy. Before, I would get stuck with the decision of what mug to use, oh I can’t reach it the one I want to use, etc.

I also incorporate the feng shui for the stove that I learned from you. I switch around the burners that I use because it’s multiple streams of income and opportunities for wealth!

Thanks Katie!

If people want go deeper into this work, you can download Katie’s Enlightened Eating Guide here. She also coaches people; info about her 3 month mentorship program here. She goes really deep into all the concepts that helped her and shares all the knowledge that she’s acquired. Finally, she also hosts a weekly Podcast.

by Anjie Cho


Katie Dalebout is an author, speaker, yoga teacher, social media butterfly, life-coach, podcast host and most importantly, mayor of the Wellness Wonderland. Katie believes that every detail counts, positive thoughts make miracles, authenticity creates strong relationships, and that every day you should dress, eat, and act like it’s a special occasion.

With her grounded Midwestern roots and astronomical dreams, Katie has taken her passions for communication & wellness and blended them together to share them with the masses on this platform. And elsewhere including Over The Moon, MindBodyGreenThe Beauty Bean and Bella Life

With her thoughts, Katie truly lives in her own…well…wonderland, visit her there often and create your own state of  bliss. If you’d like more inspiration from the girl behind the blog, hop on over to InstagramFacebookTwitter, and Tumblr. Be well…


The Wellness Wonderland with Katie Dalebout

I first met Katie Dalebout when she interviewed me on her podcast, Wellness Wonderland (which by the way, will be aired in the next couple months! I’ll keep you posted!). I was extremely impressed by her podcast, her knowledge, energy and mission. You must check her out!

AC: I’m so excited to be interviewing the interviewer! Katie, please tell us about the Wellness Wonderland?

KD: The Wellness Wonderland is my corner of the Internet for holistic wellness. Holistic wellness has been defined and redefined by my audience and myself over the years. WW started in college as a way for me to express myself in general and creatively. I loved reading blogs. I would identify with the writers and just lust over my favorite blogs like designlovefest.com, cupcakesandcashmere.com and A CUP OF JO. I thought to myself, “Wouldn’t it be cool if I could do something like that?” And so I did! I finally got the confidence and I started blogging.

I had no idea of what I was doing! I was super interested in physical health and wellness, almost to a fault. At the time I shared recipes, health tips and yoga stuff. Eventually, the umbrella term of Wellness Wonderland expanded beyond that, because my piqued interest in health and wellness spiraled rather quickly in college into an eating disorder. I was anorexic and orthorexic. I focused a bit too much on healthy and high vibe foods to the point where I was devoid of pleasure in my life.

I think pleasure is one of the most important parts of true holistic wellness and health. That bottom led me to spirituality and holistic living in another sense, which looks at the mind. I think holistic wellness goes far beyond the body and it encompasses the mind and spirit. This led me to the work of many, many teachers: Gabrielle Bernstein (one of my main mentors), Louise Hay, Wayne Dyer, the whole gang of like spiritual gurus and rock stars. I became a student and read a ton about self-help and personal development and did much spiritual work. I realized my true passion was teaching spiritual work and the tools that had helped lift me out of that dark place.

I didn’t leave behind my interest in healthy food, healthy living and yoga. I just added in some more things and I am slowly bringing in more pleasure. It’s not being dogmatic about any one thing such as any one specific diet. It’s acknowledging that bio-individuality exists, biodiversity exists and we’re not all meant to eat or live in a certain way or certain space. We’re all super, super unique beings and that’s not honored in the health world and a lot of places. There are a lot of labels and I think the labels are for containers and folders, right? People don’t need labels.

I love your story, how you and the Wellness Wonderland started and evolved. I have a similar story about how I went from architecture to holistic architecture and spaces, and it’s definitely part of my personal journey. It is truly amazing how the universe guides your life and everything synchronizes holistically. You know you’re taking the right path because one thing supports the other and touches every aspect of your life.

I have never really spoken about the Wellness Wonderland while taking everything into account like that. I could very easily just say, “Oh, it’s a space for wellness and happiness,” right? But I think it’s important to tell my story fully.

This quote comes up on almost every single Podcast interview I do:

“You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”

–Steve Jobs

In every person’s journey, that’s really true! Everyone has the hero’s or heroine’s journey, as Joseph Campbell says. All the puzzle pieces fit together so perfectly when looking at the story and looking back on where you’ve been. However, when you got started, you probably had no idea that A would lead to B which would lead to C. Like for me, I studied broadcast journalism in college. I’m not a TV news reporter like I wanted to be, but all those radio classes I took ended up helping me for the Podcast. I would have never imagined that. Just like that, it all works out. It’s cool to see that looking back.

What are three tips for readers to create their own Wellness Wonderland?

Three things that I think are really crucial are:

1.    Mindfulness and Presence

I think this tip alone can get you really far. When you’re mindful of what you’re doing and you’re really there, that’s when your life becomes a meditation, right? In a recent interview, Oprah asked the Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh “How often do you meditate?” He responded: “I don’t meditate every day, I meditate every moment.” When your life can become a meditation and you can be fully present when you’re chopping vegetables or folding laundry or driving… When you are really present while having a conversation or an argument or whatever you’re doing.. When you can fully be there, you can bring your best self. I think we spend so much time multi-tasking. I’m a freakishly good multi-tasker, but there’s something to be said for mindfulness and presence and just being fully there.  

2.    Non-Judgment

Don’t judge yourself! You’re going to mess up all the time, like literally all the time! I mess up, but I try not to beat myself up about it. But this is the practice! Because sometimes I do judge and beat myself up. But it’s silly, and regretting anything is a waste of time. I think that you can be loving towards yourself and speak to yourself kindly. It will take you far and genuinely make you happier. We often speak to ourselves really meanly, right? We can be really mean to ourselves and speak in a way we would never speak to a child; we would never speak that way to the ones we love. So talk to yourself like someone you love and stop judging yourself.

3.    Be Authentic

The final tip, and I could give a billion tips, but the biggest thing is to be authentic. Be who you actually are. Be vulnerable. All people want is for you to be real with them. We go around our lives trying to paint ourselves a certain way. But people are pretty perceptive and even the least perceptive person can pick up on that. People can smell when you’re being fake a mile away. It doesn’t feel good for them and it sure doesn’t feel good for you, so you might as well be real. The people who like you are the ones you want to be around anyways. The people who don’t, you weren’t meant to be around them to begin with so it’s a win – win.

AND… the real you is perfect.

from Katie's Instagram @katiedalebout

from Katie's Instagram @katiedalebout

So Katie, how do you create holistic spaces in your home and workspaces?

Yay! I love this question so much because I never get to talk about this but it’s really important to me! My taste is minimal. I really appreciate minimalism and I de-clutter as much as possible, almost to a fault. I like to keep things simple because choices really stress me out. If I can have things as simple and as clean as possible, it's really advantageous.

I have an altar, which is also my bookshelf, with a heart that I made from scrapbook paper. It’s on my wall and I love it. It’s a focal point for my room. (see above!) The colors that I really like are white, gold and black with pops of other colors like pink. I really just try to keep everything really minimalistic, spacious, open and clean. I love all the feng shui tips that like I’ve gotten from you. I absolutely love feng shui and strive to think about it in every decision I make. Even when I go to work in a coffee shop I’ll sit in the commanding position. It’s always in the back of my mind. I try to face the door like you taught me and I’m trying to use all my burners. I really, really take it to heart, and it’s really impacted me.

Check in next Sunday for the rest of the interview where Katie talks about Enlightened Eating and incorporating new wellness habits for the new year! 

by Anjie Cho


Katie Dalebout is an author, speaker, yoga teacher, social media butterfly, life-coach, podcast host and most importantly, mayor of the Wellness Wonderland. Katie believes that every detail counts, positive thoughts make miracles, authenticity creates strong relationships, and that every day you should dress, eat, and act like it’s a special occasion.

With her grounded Midwestern roots and astronomical dreams, Katie has taken her passions for communication & wellness and blended them together to share them with the masses on this platform. And elsewhere including Over The Moon, MindBodyGreen, The Beauty Bean and Bella Life

With her thoughts, Katie truly lives in her own…well…wonderland, visit her there often and create your own state of  bliss. If you’d like more inspiration from the girl behind the blog, hop on over to InstagramFacebookTwitter, and Tumblr. Be well…


The Tortoise and the Yoke with Lodro Rinzler

Last week I shared part of my interview with writer, teacher and Buddhist practitioner, Lodro Rinzler. And here’s the rest!

AC:  How do you create holistic spaces in your life?

LR: I’m reminded of my teacher Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, when he said, “the environment is a support or deterrent for everything we do." It’s really that straightforward. When you wake up in the morning and you have clothes everywhere, on the floor, on your chairs. You go to use the bathroom but you end up tripping over your computer. Then you’re cursing…and all of a sudden, your mental state entering that day isn’t going to be one of joy or mindfulness. It’s going to be one of aggression. In that way, I’ve always taken care to create a clean environment free from clutter so that when I wake up, I feel uplifted by entering into it.

What that means for different people is obviously personal to them. For me, it means having art that I personally find uplifting; it means that everything has a proper place. There are basic Buddhist principles for arranging objects in one’s home where you hold certain objects up high and others down low. You could say it’s respecting the natural hierarchy of objects. Generally, in my environment I like to keep it clean and maintain things in the spaces, if that makes sense. 

In my work environment I have reminders of the Buddhist principles I want to cultivate. Right above my computer is an image. It’s a very traditional image reminding me how precious this human life actually is. Whenever I’m distracted or annoyed or whatever, I can look up and see a gentle reminder that I really should be so appreciative for this life that I do have. I think it’s nice to actually have inspiring art images and writing within your environment as constant reminders to wake up to what’s actually going on as opposed to being lost in your head.

What is the image mentioned that you have over your desk?

It’s an image of a tortoise with a yoke around its neck. Within Buddhist canon, this is used as an analogy for the rarity of a precious human life. The image is of a blind tortoise who lives in the ocean. This ocean is as wide as the world. He only comes up once every century, even though he lives many, many thousands of years. It is said that on the surface of this “world ocean,” there is a yoke. A yoke is what one would traditionally place around your ox or yak’s back. That yoke, with its little head-sized hole floats, on the top of this ocean. The odds of this blind tortoise who comes up once every hundred years, poking its head through that yoke… it is said that it is even MORE rare and MORE precious to have a human birth. Our lives are an incredible opportunity that we have. It reminds me that we should make the most of it.

What are some day-to-day meditation tips for my readers, especially for those new to meditation?

I think the most important thing in starting a meditation practice is to be consistent about it. I teach at Shambhala Centers, one could visit www.shambhala.org, to find a meditation center near them. Or just type your city and “Buddhist meditation” into your search engine and see what comes up. Most meditation centers have an open house night where you could learn the basic meditation practice for free or by donation. 

Once you receive the practice, try to do it consistently on your own at home. And there are many places that have regular open sittings where you can go and sit with a group and gain that level of support. As you engage your practice, starting to do it regularly, you don’t have to meditate for long periods of time. But you could pick it up in the same way that you would pick up a new musical instrument. 

If we pick it up once a month and play around with it, often we spend that time figuring out what we learned last time. But if we picked it up 10 minutes a day, it starts to become easier and easier to remember what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, how it goes and we actually get better at it. 

Just 10 minutes a day for 11 days, breeds a sense of consistency into our being. It becomes more habit-like instead of just something that we’re trying out. It’s said that after 11 days of doing anything, it could be stopping smoking, it could be writing, it starts to become a regular habit. Our brain fires differently to actually incorporate it and it feels weird when we don’t do it. 

So, if someone really wanted to launch a meditation practice, I recommend that 10 minutes a day, 11 days in a row. Scientifically they say that after 11 times is when a practice starts to become a habit in our mind. After 21 days, it’s the fully formed habit. But you must be consistent and practice regularly every day.

by Anjie Cho


Lodro Rinzler is a teacher in the Shambhala Buddhist lineage and the author of the best-selling "The Buddha Walks into a Bar...", the award-winning "Walk Like a Buddha" and the brand new "The Buddha Walks into the Office." Over the last decade he has taught numerous workshops at meditation centers and college campuses throughout North America. Lodro’s columns appear regularly on the Huffington Post and Marie Claire online and he is frequently featured in Reality Sandwich, the Interdependence Project, Shambhala Sun, Buddhadharma, and Good Men Project. He is the founder of the Institute for Compassionate Leadership, an authentic leadership training and job placement organization, and lives in Brooklyn with his dog Tillie and his cat Justin Bieber.

For more teachings and articles by Lodro visit www.lodrorinzler.com
Follow Lodro on twitter: @lodrorinzler


eHow.com Video: Inspirational Wall Decor

Inspirational Wall Decor

Inspirational Wall Decor

Inspirational Wall Decor is Beneficial, Positive and Easy to D-I-Y

see more eHow.com videos here

Video Transcript:

I'm Anjie Cho, and this is how to create inspirational wall decor.

In feng shui, I often suggest that my clients place some inspirational wall decor above their desk or located as one of the first things that you would see when coming into your home. To create your own inspirational wall decor you'll need a few things: a picture frame, your computer, a printer and some unique paper that you like.

First things first, select an inspirational quote of words. I've selected this quote from the writer Joseph Campbell, "Follow Your Bliss". There are websites out there that can help you create a word cloud like this. You can search online for word cloud and find a website that will help you generate one just like this. Select a quote you love or meaningful words to have on your inspirational wall art. Words have great impact on this.

So use your computer, print out your quote of words, put it on a nice paper that you like, open up the back of the frame, pop in the art, use tape if you need to and then you've created your own inspirational wall art.

It's so beneficial and positive to spend the time to make your own inspirational wall decor. Not only will it be personal to you it will motivate you to improve your life.

by Anjie Cho