Cravings and Binge Eating: Interview with Peggy Schirmer.

Cravings and Binge Eating: Interview with Peggy Schirmer.

I recently had the honour of being interviewed by Peggy Schirmer for her fabulous podcast on Youtube called, Gut Feelings. We talked about cravings and binge eating and how they are linked to dieting/food restriction and negative body image. If you haven’t heard of Peggy before, she is a certified naturopath (all the way from Panama) that specialises in helping people to heal their digestive issues and cultivate good gut health.

We talked about 

  • My personal battle and full recovery from chronic dieting and an eating disordered that inspired me to help other women have a healthy relationship with food and their bodies.
  • The worst advice I’ve heard when it comes to cravings and stopping binge eating and what to do instead.
  • Why willpower does not work when it comes to cravings and how our microbiome also influences what we crave. 
  • The best advice I would give my friends and family members to stop binge eating.
  • How to manage your cravings so you’re not restricting and feeling deprived. 
  • The essence of the work I do is “stop punishing start nourishing” and what that actually means and how it can help you heal and transform your relationship with food, your body and by extension your whole life. 

We literally could have talked for hours! 

Watch the interview here



Cravings and binge eating have much in common with gut issues. 


Many people that struggle with chronic dieting, disordered eating and/or an eating disorder also experience some level of digestive upset. Some surveys show that up to 98% of people with an eating disorder also have concurrent digestion issues. I wanted to point this out to show how prevalent this relationship is!

And it makes SO much sense when you think about how dieting and disordered eating behaviors impact the amount and the variety of food consumed. Ultimately, that will affect the way our digestion works.


Disrupted gut/brain connection.


Communication between the brain and the gut is “disrupted” in a “functional gut disorder.” A functional gut disorder is a gut issue in which the symptoms cannot be explained by a structural or tissue abnormality. Irritable Bowl Syndrome (IBS) falls into the category of a functional gut disorder, whereas Celiac Disease does not (that’s because in Celiac Disease, gluten triggers an autoimmune response in the body, which can cause damage to the small intestine).

How can this communication between the gut and brain become disrupted?

Typically by some type of stress response, which can either be physical or psychological. So yes, anxiety can cause a disruption in this communication. And it may result in things like acid reflux, bloating, gas and/or diarrhea.

Many people are then often prescribed an elimination diet, like FODMAPS. One major problem with these types of diets is that they are extremely restrictive, which means they are not appropriate for disordered eating and/or eating disorder clients.

Up-and-coming research suggests that gut-directed hypnotherapy may be just as effective as elimination diets. I thought that was fascinatin and I am looking forward to seeing the new research on this.

On the physical side of things, this connection could be disrupted by undereating, over-exercise, laxative use, or bingeing. And it goes both ways. Digestive symptoms often cause stress and anxiety via the same connection. Someone may be feeling really anxious about how/when/if their digestive system will play up. 

There’s so much to learn about our digestion and gut health and it’s a topic that science is only beginning to scratch the surface on. 

If you would like more information regarding how you can manage cravings, stop binge eating and improve your gut health, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me here.


kelly renee eating behaviour coach

The mind-body-health-connection.

The mind-body-health-connection.

“Health” and the choices we make about our health, are not one-dimensional. Rather they are a multi-dimensional continuum; where physical, mental and emotional health are all interconnected like a matrix. They are not separate from one another, and indeed have a powerful energetic influence flowing between them. Read on while I explore how the mind-body-health-connection can help you to better health and wellbeing.


The mind-body-health-connection


To explore and treat one, but not the other, is like committing a crime to our bodies. It denies the whole person, the complete 360-degree care, healing and support we need.

Not long ago the mind-body-health-connection idea was considered new age. But as we learn more about the brain and body, we see how intimately one affects the other.

Not only is our brain performing billions of actions to keep us alive every second (no exaggeration). Our thoughts and emotions actually influence this biochemical and neurological cascade, either increasing or decreasing inflammation, and even changing our immune system in a way that makes us more (or less) vulnerable to disease. It’s a fascinating field of research called Psychoneuroimmunology.

Furthermore, the mind has a profound influence on the body when it comes to how we metabolise the food we eat. The psycho-physiology of how digestion, assimilation, calorie burning and all the nutritive functions of the body are literally and scientifically impacted by stress, relaxation, thoughts, beliefs, emotions, pleasure, eating rhythm, eating speed, awareness, our personal story, and more…

To put it another way: What we eat is half the story of good nutrition – the other half of the story is who we are as eaters.

So, where can you begin?

Reclaim your personal power, because it = metabolic power. Reaching your personal potential helps your body reach its physical potential. Therefore, personal growth is an essential part of physical healing.

Be willing to get curious and ask yourself the deeper questions:

What lessons am I here to learn?

How am I here to grow?

What character flaws am I here to overcome?

How am I able to serve others?

Where am I excelling?

Where am I falling short?

Ask these questions with compassion, not self-judgment. This is a lifelong pursuit and will not magically happen overnight. But the healing journey begins by asking these questions of yourself and putting the answers into action.


The key to healing


If you’re struggling to with challenges regarding your health and you’re feeling betrayed by and at war with your body, it’s natural to feel angry, disappointed and depressed. However, we need to have an understanding that our bodies do want to help us, even if it feels like your body is letting you down.

Feeling at war with your body increases the issue by triggering the “fight or flight” response – which is the exact opposite of the healing environment your body needs in these times. Instead, you need to have compassion with yourself for having these normal human feelings and be kind to yourself. Relaxing into your symptoms – can activate the healing process.

In essence, health is not binary – it is not something that we either fail or succeed at. In fact, health is an ebbing, flowing web of choices and experiences that we traverse differently from day-to-day, depending on who we are in life, the challenges that we have faced and the environment in which we were brought up in.

The key to doing it, is with compassion. Is this something that you need help with? Don’t hesitate to get in touch here>>



kelly renee eating behaviour coach