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Exclusive cover reveal: Freedom with Food and Fitness by Alana Van Der Sluys

Book cover reveal with Alana Van Der Sluys

💥 Exclusive 💥TEDx speaker and Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor Alana Van Der Sluys visits for a cover reveal here TODAY for her new book Freedom with Food and Fitness! Let’s get to the unveiling of the cover for the book set to release November 14th, and then start the interview with Alana. Our conversation includes defining “food freedom” and helping women love their bodies again.

Are you excited? I am too!

Disclosure: This sponsored post focuses on finding food freedom, reclaiming a passion for exercise, and letting go of the perfect body myth. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases through links on this page.

Cover reveal with author Alana Van Der Sluys in 3… 2… 1!

Freedom with Food & Fitness cover: Intuitive eating guide
Cover reveal for Freedom with Food and Fitness. Click the cover to pre-order your copy!

Alana, I love the cover for Freedom with Food and Fitness! What does the cover allude to? For example, I see a wastebasket with a scale in it!

Thank you! I love it, too.

So many things about it, from the fun and approachable colors to the fact that the cartoon woman is a bit like me: not very curvy and pretty flat-chested! I wanted her to be very “normal,” approachable.

The scale in the wastebasket is actually a funny story. In the original version, the woman was stomping on the scale in an attempt to break it; only, at first glance, it almost looked like she was stepping on it to weigh herself–the exact opposite of what I was going for!

Because I was adamant about making the book’s non-diet message clear (which includes not using external tools like body weight scales), I asked my publisher’s [Urano Publishing] designer to make the change. They were extremely accommodating in creating the vision I had for the book’s cover, and I couldn’t be more thrilled with the end result.

Thank you for choosing to unveil the cover here! I can’t wait until the book release in November. What inspired you to write Freedom with Food and Fitness?

We can dig into the idea that things happen for you and not to you a little more deeply here because, in hindsight, I fully believe my eating disorders happened for me. Since childhood, I knew I wanted to write a book, but, at the time, I didn’t know what I could possibly write a whole book on!

Then, toward the end of grad school, for the first time in my life, I felt like I didn’t know my place in the world. I didn’t know how to “rank” myself without school, and for someone who relied on accolades and “gold stars,” it was a terrifying world that I had no control over. So, I took control of my weight and eating habits.

This quickly spiraled into three eating disorders that flew under the radar of everyone who knew me for seven years. Finding intuitive eating – this idea that you could pursue health through nutrition and fitness without being obsessive or restrictive with either–was life-altering.

Once I recovered, I knew I had finally found the thing I was meant to write about: my experience of healing and the exact strategies I used to get where I am today: Today, I am strong, fit, and healthy; but things like calories and my weight do not rule my life.

My happiness, confidence, and success are no longer tied to what my body looks like, yet I take very good care of this body. That allows me to live my life to the fullest.

I’m so glad you got healthy — and happy! Your experience definitely lends itself to this new book. Is the same true of your educational background?

I am a firm believer in things happening for you, not to you, even if you don’t always know why or how in the moment, even if, in the moment, the “thing” sucks. I have a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in secondary education. I’m still a full-time English and journalism teacher.

I think this professional background made the transition into becoming an author and intuitive eating coach pretty natural. I’ve always loved writing, ever since I was 10, writing incredibly embarrassing fan fiction.

I also always loved teaching, whether it was Tae-Kwon-Do when I was 9 or ballet and tap dance when I was 14. I didn’t realize, at the time, that the throughline of my life was both expressing myself and connecting with others through writing and supporting and mentoring others in the things about which I was passionate.

Living a full, happy, confident life quote
Happiness isn’t tied to your body!

Interview with coach and author Alana Van Der Sluys cont’d.

What defines food freedom? What does that look like?

I think the term varies from person to person, but for me, food freedom is a complete allowance to eat whatever I want, whenever I want, in the quantity I want. It’s the empowered decision to put into your body what feels good to it, without letting the noise of diet and weight loss culture influence those decisions.

It’s not a free-for-all where you ignore your health. It’s the freedom to listen to your own body’s needs, instead of fighting against them, so that you actually can achieve an authentic version of health that includes not only the body, but also the mind and spirit.

For example, food freedom for me is craving pizza, and honoring that craving for pizza; but it’s also considering how I’ll want to feel after eating the pizza and choosing to pair it with more nutrient-dense foods like grilled vegetables, chicken, or a side salad. It’s unconditional permission to eat foods that are neither “good” nor “bad” and not feeling a sense of guilt or shame for anything I eat.

I love that you’re encouraging guilt-free eating. That leads to my next question: How does Freedom with Food and Fitness differ from intuitive eating books?

I put a lot of intention behind how to write it differently by doing some research on what was already out there. I wanted to meet a need, and what I saw was a lack of books that discussed intuitive movement in addition to intuitive eating.

“Joyful movement” is one of the 10 principles of intuitive eating, and yet, despite the typical discussion of “diet and exercise” as a united concept, no author was giving equal air time to intuitive movement. Most people who have frustrations with eating and weight loss also have issues with exercise.

The other thing I noticed about most other intuitive eating books out there was their tone. They were all very cut and dry, prescriptive, esoteric. I wanted to produce a book that sounded very conversational, very informal, very much like one girlfriend talking to another and holding her hand through learning how to ditch the diets in order to live a life that’s more free, enjoyable, and healthy.

I prefer that informal approach. What do you hope readers take away from the book?

I want readers to know that if they struggle with nutrition, exercise, weight, and/or their body image, they’re not alone, and they’re not crazy. Their mindsets and behaviors are a product of a culture that is very broken, yet has become extremely rich over making us feel like we’re the ones who are broken.

You don’t have to diet to be healthy. You don’t have to lose weight to feel confident or be successful. There is another path to those things, and it’s called intuitive eating.

Wonderful! Is this meant as a one-time read or a book to have on hand to refer to as needed?

I hope people carry this book around with them everywhere they go! This is a very practical guide with a lot of strategies built into it that you can implement immediately.

I didn’t want this book to be me waxing poetic about ditching diet culture because it’s a creation of the patriarchy (that’s a different interview altogether!). I wanted this to be a step-by-step guide that someone could follow if they wanted to learn to be at peace with food and their body.

But as with any new mindset, habit, or practice, they have to be continuously performed and revisited. Which is why this book is definitely not a one-time read.

You mentioned diet culture. What do you want more of us to know about that?

It’s made up of lies that tell you we will never be loved or accepted as you are, and it’s a genius business model: create an unsustainable and unrealistic system of beliefs that make you feel “less than” if you don’t meet their expectations. And when you try to meet their expectations and inevitably fail, you think there’s something wrong with you and that you need them, over and over again.

You pour your money, time, and effort into diet culture, hoping “this time,” this diet will be the thing to make you beautiful, happy, successful, and enough. But the reality is that those feelings cannot be found in a goal weight or certain dress size.

They’re found within. But diet culture doesn’t want you to believe that because if you did, they’d be out of business.

So dysfunctional. It’s no wonder many women’s relationships with food are messed up. How can we start healing this relationship?

Body trust needs to be re-established. Women’s relationships with food become broken and dysregulated after years or decades of dieting, following “expert’s” rules for what, when, and how much to eat.

We’re led to believe we can’t trust ourselves and need to rigidly control our bodies. So the work starts with learning to let go of control and lean into trust.

This is coming from a recovering perfectionist whose poor relationship with food was born out of a need for control… So I know this is way easier said than done!

Intuitive eating quote from Alana Van Der Sluys
Love this explanation of intuitive eating!

Alana Van Der Sluys interview cont’d.

How can women empower themselves when it comes to food?

There’s a lot of power in giving yourself unconditional permission to eat all foods. To demoralize all foods, getting rid of the labels of “good” and “bad,” “healthy” and “unhealthy” and deciding for yourself which foods feel good in your body, which foods bring you joy, and which foods don’t.

Intuitive eating IS empowering! To a woman struggling with loving her body, what would you say?

You don’t need to change a dang thing about your body to love your body. You don’t need to lose weight, tone up, or fit a certain size.

You need to shift your mindset, your definition of beauty, and your definition of love as it applies to your body. Love isn’t this Pollyanna mentality where we’re totally in love with how our bodies look 24/7 because we think they look perfect. Love is complex, full of ups and downs that require a whole lot of grace and self-compassion.

You can learn to love your body. If I can come back from where I was, gaining weight and loving my body more now than I ever did then anyone can.

So inspiring! Is ‘food guilt’ real, and if so, what are some ways to work through it?

Food guilt is a very real thing. There’s a historical correlation between dieting and religion; this idea that to indulge is sinful, and we need to repent those sins through “cleansing” ourselves. The guilt is tied to that.

We eat foods labeled as “bad,” maybe even described as “sinful” in the marketing and packaging. And after we eat those “sinful” foods, we feel guilty: we’re “out of control” around food, we lack willpower, we’re glutinous (one of the seven deadly sins).

One of the best ways to work through this guilt is to explore the reason for the guilt. I guide clients through what I call “The Why Game,” which I also detail in the book. Why do you feel guilty about the food you ate?

If it’s because you’re afraid you’ll gain weight as a result, why are you afraid of weight gain? So on and so forth.

You end up going down a rabbit hole that will reveal the core reason you feel food guilt. And it almost always comes down to the need for one of four things: safety, acceptance, love, or validation.

Exploring the ‘why’ will change many people’s outlook on food for the better. Where can we pre-order the book?

Freedom with Food and Fitness can be preordered on Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Preorders are huge for authors because they help with rankings, and rankings help increase the visibility of the book and its message.

Plus, I’m offering $250 of bonus gifts to anyone who preorders on my website as an incentive to order their copy of the book prior to November 14.

Alana, we like bonus gifts! Thanks for offering that ‘extra.’ And thank you for being here today!

I want to help as many women as possible see their inherent worth….and I hope that starts with YOU! — Alana Van Der Sluys

Alana Van Der Sluys new book

More about Freedom with Food and Fitness by Alana Van Der Sluys

Build the full, vibrant life that you’ve always wanted, without another diet or dreaded exercise program.

No matter who you are, you’ve probably experienced the shame, guilt, and frustration of trying to be “healthy” and “fit.” You may have tried Whole30, Keto, Weight Watchers, or Paleo, and paired it with Beach Body or Peloton workouts that leave you exhausted, hungry and unhappy with your body. The cycle ends now: you deserve to be at peace with food, and feel energized and joyful with your exercise routine. You deserve freedom.

TEDx speaker and Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor Alana Van Der Sluys coaches clients on how to stop feeling out of control around food, embrace their body, and stay consistent with their nutrition and movement goals in a way that feels empowering and not punishing. Driven by her own struggles with three undiagnosed eating disorders in her twenties and healing through intuitive eating, she is passionate about showcasing how intuitive eating can be paired with a healthy relationship with exercise.

Filled with personal stories, science-backed research, and easy tools to apply to your life today, Alana’s advice and story will inspire you to adopt a more mindful and intuitive approach to food and fitness.

You’ll be guided through two life-changing mindset shifts:

  • PART 1: Finding food freedom by rejecting diets, learning about intuitive eating, and trusting your body
  • PART 2: Reclaiming your love for exercise by incorporating joyful movement into your routine as a form of self-care and letting go of the “perfect body” myth

It’s time to build the healthy, energetic, and vibrant life of your dreams without having to count every single calorie or step on the scale every day!

Connect further with Alana Van Der Sluys

I’m most active on Instagram @FreedomwithFoodandFitness, so definitely come on by and say hi! I answer every single message.

If you’re interested in working with me as your intuitive eating coach, you can go to my website and check out my virtual intuitive eating coaching program, Defy the Diet. I’ve worked hard to make the program accessible to everyone by offering different tiers with payment plans.

I’ve helped dozens of women achieve a guilt-free relationship with food and a peaceful relationship with their bodies. You can also find more free content on my podcast, Finally Free.

Set to publish November 14, 2023, pre-order Freedom with Food and Fitness by Alana Van Der Sluys today. 

6 thoughts on “Exclusive cover reveal: Freedom with Food and Fitness by Alana Van Der Sluys”

  1. Funtastic interview! I love the reasons for Alana writing this book, and I love the cover!!! Congrats to Alana. I will keep my eye out for the book! <3

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