Dana James, renowned nutritionist and behavioral therapist, talks about the complex relationship between food, metabolic issues and emotions
by Maria Benetos
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Here’s the thing… most of us know what to eat and do for optimal health and beauty but we often get in our own way with our thoughts, habits and insecurities. That’s why we were thrilled to interview the wellness expert when it comes to weaving diet and the mind together, certified nutritionist and cognitive behavioral therapist Dana James. After working with over 1000 women, Dana noticed deeply entrenched patterns that shape a their physical bodies, food behaviors and food preferences. From that she created four archetypes of women based on how each derives her self-worth. Do you identify yourself with giving to others, your achievements, physical appearance or your connection to the higher realm? Once you determine the psychological underpinnings of your routine behavior, you’re better able to nourish yourself properly. As a woman who has had a let’s-just-call-it-complicated relationship to food, I immediately wanted to hear more!
I give an overview of each of the archetypes below – Nurturer, Wonder Woman, Femme Fatale and Ethereal. Sort of like a horoscope, they provide a sense of identity and a set of thoughts and behaviors that help us better understand our inner mind. This is the archetype that has supported you, but it has also created your insecurities. Take note, you don’t have to fully agree with all of the archetypal patterns – it’s just what is dominant within you. Dana also says we all have an overlay – a second archetype which also influences behavior, but in a more transitory way. For instance, you may be an Ethereal with a Nurturer overlay because motherhood is weaving compassion and caring into your life. Furthermore, you can exhibit the positive attributes of all four archetypes but you won’t exhibit the negative attributes of all four. That’s partially because they’re contradictory. For instance, a Wonder Woman would rarely be called scattered (an Ethereal shadow), because she’s so driven and focused.
It’s a lot to take in so for more on each archetype, check out the full Facebook Live interview here: https://www.facebook.com/minimodenyc/videos/
All images by Henrique Gendre for Vogue Brazil
A Nurturer‘s worth is based on her ability to love and give. She’s the friend that always there for you but she’s a people pleaser and often gives to the point of exhaustion. This type tends to gravitate more toward comfort food or will eat in secret, stashing food in the house for when she’s alone. A Nurturer often carries body fat all over and stores excess weight on her hips and thighs, which implies estrogen dominance. She needs more protein, healthy fats and cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower and brussels sprouts and should avoid carbs.
A Wonder Woman‘s worth is based on achievement, needing recognition for her work and accomplishments. She is charming and chameleon-like, able to fit into every situation – but she’s overworked, never turns off and needs to learn to let go a little. In terms of body type, she tends to carry more belly fat and is a reward eater and drinker. A Wonder Woman is good with structure and likes to have rules when it comes to good health – she would benefit from a balanced diet (protein, healthy fats and carbs, vegetables) and regular meditation.
A Femme Fatale‘s worth is based on her appearance and can be obsessive about externalities, food and exercise. She thinks about what she’s going to eat, what she’s not going to eat, and her body 80% of the day. If a Femme Fatale is not feeling beautiful, this can be diabolical – she can become depressed, anti-social, jealous and engage in compulsive or restrictive eating. She tends to be either underweight or curvy and would also benefit from a well-balanced diet, but more importantly she needs to change her mindset to realize that power does not come from looks alone.
An Ethereal‘s worth is based on creativity and her connection to the spiritual world. She can often engage in spiritual snobbery, judging other women for their lack of consciousness and can distance herself emotionally. She’s intuitive and connected to a higher realm but can often get scattered and have trouble focusing. An Ethereal’s body type tends to be willowy and light and would benefit from food that helps ground her, such as root vegetables, healthy carbs or a vegan, vegetarian diet.