How your mindset affects your diet

Ricki in a turquose shirt talking about how mindset affects food choices

I love stories of people who “made it” later in life.

For instance, did you know that Julia Child didn’t publish her first cookbook until she was 50? Laura Ingalls Wilder didn’t publish her first Little House book (which became the TV show Little House on the Prairie) until she was 65.

Grandma Moses didn’t begin her career as a painter until she was 78. (One of her paintings went for 1.2 MILLION in 2006!). And then there’s Harry Bernstein, who wrote for his whole life but didn’t achieve recognition until his first memoir was published. . . when he was 96!

Of course, I LOVE the fact that these people finally were successful and even exceeded their goals (and also, it means I still have time–lol!!). 

But what I love even more is that they are all great examples of someone with a “growth mindset.” 

What is a growth mindset? In 2007, psychologist Carol Dweck published the book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. In the book, she defined a “growth mindset” and a “fixed mindset.”

The fixed mindset is when you believe that your personality is pretty much, well, fixed.

In other words, your intelligence, creativity, character and behavior  in most situations are all determined by your personality and there is no ability to change them.

Someone with a fixed mindset thinks, “I’m just shy; there’s nothing I can do about it.” Or, “I’m just no good at math. I’ll have to hire someone to do the books for me.” Or, “I just love my chocolate treats too much, and there’s no way I’ll ever be happy with a different diet.”

Someone with a growth mindset thinks that there is always the ability to change. 

This person sees challenges as something exciting and dives right it; failure doesn’t mean that they are stupid, or incapable; it just means they haven’t figured out what they need to do. .  YET. 

I think that Steve Martin, the former comedian-actor is a perfect example of someone with a growth mindset. 

In 1981, at the peak of his comedy career, Martin completely stopped doing standup comedy and switched to acting. After that, he tackled writing. Then art. Then music. . . he continues to grow and challenge himself as he ages, rather than sticking with what is safe and comfortable.

So how do you get a growth mindset?

It’s easy: you begin to accept and allow change in your life. You acknowledge that you won’t always be perfect, but you don’t let that get in the way of trying new things. You are willing to try, and then try again. . . until you get where you want to be. 

So often, clients will tell me that they “can’t” make the changes they need to make in order to clear their symptoms. It feels impossible, and they can’t imagine life ever being different from what it is right now.

I felt that way, too. I was sure that my candida would never get better, that I would have IBS for life, that my dry eyes would never improve. (I was wrong about all of them).

If you feel stuck that way, I want you to remember: it IS possible to adopt and develop a growth mindset. This is something my clients and I work on all the time, and sometimes the changes are incredible.

Believe that you CAN learn to make changes in your life that will, eventually, feel easy. . . and may even bring you to places you never imagined.

Embrace your ability to adapt and change, and who knows? You may end up like Julia Child, Steve Martin, or Harry Bernstein (who published THREE more books before he died, at age 101!).

A growth mindset will allow you to believe that change IS possible. No matter what your age or current situation. And you can start as soon as you decide that you want to. 

What do you think? Has your life been held back by a fixed mindset? Or have you adopted a growth mindset? And how has it influenced what you have (or haven’t) done in your life?


  • NEW WORKSHOP IS COMING! Be the first to know when registration opens for the Stick with it This Summer workshop. Click here to sign up for the list!
  • Would you eat crickets? And how does your answer relate to your healthy diet?
  • We need to consider how far we’re ready to go beyond where we are now.
  • Do you tend to eat the same foods at home, or frequent the same restaurants, all the time? How this affects your chances of sticking with a new diet.
  • Why we tend to stick with the familiar foods–and behaviors.
  • The growth vs the fixed mindset and why they are important.
  • How I know that you really CAN change your diet.



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