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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Margaret Floyd eats Naked

Margaret Floyd is a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner & Holistic Health Counselor who wants to get you naked. She started with a handful of clients, and like yeast, her work has spread across the globe. Her new book, Eat Naked: Take it All Off is scheduled to create an eating revolution in Spring 2011, through New Harbinger Press. To get the skinny on Margaret's food philosophy go to EatNakedNow.com

Why do you want everyone to get Naked?

Over the years it has depressed me watching our health stats tank and looking at what goes into so many people’s shopping carts at the grocery stores – mostly what Michael Pollan calls (brilliantly) “edible food-like substances.”

To me the connection between what we eat and our health is absolutely fundamental. I love food – real, whole, fresh food. And I live a full, fast-paced life. I don’t think you need to choose one or the other. Eating naked is my solution to this – bringing it back to the basics in a way that’s simple, fast, healthy and really yummy.

How did you develop this passion for food?

I have always loved food and everything about it. I learned to cook at a really young age and I became really fascinated with “healthy” eating somewhere in high school when I decided to try vegetarianism.

I was a really bad vegetarian, though – what I now call a junk-food vegetarian or “carbivore”. I just ate loads of pasta (mostly white) with some veggies and cheese, and thought that was sufficient. By my mid-20s a skin condition I’d had for years flared up really badly. I went to a naturopath and had my first really powerful experience of what changing your diet can do. Within a couple of months we completely eradicated the skin problem that had been a constant hassle for years. I was hooked, although I didn’t decide to do this work professionally for several more years.

EAT NAKED - Brilliant name, how did you come up with it?

The way I come up with most things that are any good: by accident on a run. It started out as a topic for a blog, but I kept procrastinating when it came to writing it because it felt bigger than a blog posting. I realized that the concept sums up the fundamental principles I teach: eat simple, real, whole foods without all the extra junk we don’t need. And the name is provocative, which I like.

If you weren't teaching us how to eat like our grand-parents did, what would you be doing with your life?

It’s hard to imagine anything as exciting to me as what I’m doing right now. I think I’d be doing something to help people – probably I’d be a life coach or a business coach working with start-ups and new entrepreneurs. As long as I’m helping people live their dreams, I’m a happy girl.

What do you believe with every cell of your being?

That food is the essential building block of life. We are what we eat. It’s a cliché, but it’s true.

That eating can be one of the most profound acts of self-love and self-nourishment. Most of us eat at least three times a day – that’s three times daily we can love ourselves up through our food.

That our bodies never betray us and always tell us what they need – our job is to learn how to listen and respond appropriately.

When are you happiest?

When a client experiences success, no matter how small. Even if it’s learning how to make a new dish, or losing a few pounds, or resolving a digestive issue. Those moments absolutely delight me. I’m in my happy place on a nice long run, or doing yoga on the beach. Or sharing a really yummy home-cooked meal with my sweetie or a group of close friends. I’m really fortunate – I do these things all the time.

What keeps you up at night?

Aside from “How on earth will I get everything done that I want to do today?” Well, typically really irrational fears like spiders, earthquakes, and taxes. Okay some of those are rational, but there’s nothing I can do about it in the middle of the night.

Before writing your book you were approached by a publisher, got a deal, and an advance - don't people want to slap you?

I have definitely been accused of keeping horse-shoes in unsightly places. :) It actually was amazing the way it all worked out.

I took some time off last summer and while I was away it dawned on me that Eat Naked was more than a blog posting – it was a book and it was my whole brand. I got excited and put together the outline and a new business plan. Amazingly and with perfect serendipity, when I got home from my trip there was a package waiting at my office from a prominent publisher in this field asking if I’d consider writing with them. What a sign from the universe! Here we are, several months later, well en route to a finished book. No one has slapped me yet, but every so often I pinch myself to make sure this is real…

You push yourself pretty hard. Don't you ever want to be one of your cats, just lounging on the couch all day ... licking yourself?

Oh hell yeah. There are days when I seriously envy their sedentary life. In fact, that’s what I do when I go on holidays. I’m the most boring holiday companion ever. I need to sleep for hours on end and it’s a hard sell to get me out the door. Until you mention dinner… :J

What's your guilty pleasure comfort food?

Macaroni and cheese from a box. Eaten out of the pot it was made in with a wooden spoon in front of the TV watching some crime show, drinking a nice big glass of red wine. As un-naked as you can get.

It's all about Balance, right? Good to know you're only 99% perfect. So what does BALANCE mean to you?

It means giving yourself space to work hard AND play hard. And sometimes sleeping the day away if that’s what feels right. It means eating really healthfully most of the time and still having treats on occasion – as long as you enjoy them (I don’t believe in guilt). It means doing your absolute best AND giving yourself permission to be human all at the same time.

What's the toughest thing you've ever been told that saved your ass?

I used to be wildly ambitious and driven (yes, even more than I am now), and gave myself absolutely no time for self-care or rest. I fueled myself on caffeine in the daytime and alcohol in the evenings. I was completely manic most days. After a particularly hectic day of travel, meetings, and social engagements, I came home exhausted but exhilarated and announced to my folks that I didn’t care if I died tomorrow, I had squeezed every last drop out of my life up to that moment.

My mother – who has suffered from a chronic and debilitating illness over the last 20 years – looked me square in the eyes and said very solemnly, “Or worse, you might not die but just get really sick like me, and have all that same ambition and drive, but no physical capacity to act on it.”

I felt like I’d been slapped in the face, but she was completely right. It took me several years, and it’s something I still struggle with at times, but I realized that with no time for self-care, I was doing myself a lot of harm.

If this was your last message to the world it would be...

Please treat your body as the incredible, magnificent, powerful, soulful being that it is, and give it the nourishment – on all levels – that it deserves. We will only ever have one body.

Feel inspired to Eat Naked? Need some help?

Contact Margaret for a FREE One-Hour Health Consultation by phone.

You can reach her at 310-562-1115 or margaret@eatnakednow.com

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