“To my friends, the ones that knew me when I was another person, the ones that understand that this journey has made me a happier person” Thank you.

Maria Marcano

A while ago I made a discovery. It was a little embarrassing and it has taken me a long time to confess. I found out that my tribe had expelled me because I no longer complied with their unspoken eating regulations. I was casted out in a way, but at the same time I was liberated and given the opportunity to ask myself if I wanted to be part of such tribe. Let’s look at my experience as a mirror for most humans but with a magnifying glass in the food part. I’ll be very honest, this was a tough one for me, but perhaps you’ll recognize your tribal behavior too, and maybe you’ll want to be authentic instead. If that happens for you, being this vulnerable would’ve been worth it.

When I say tribal behavior I’m talking about some primitive thinking, but also about the most powerful energy in human relationships. We want to belong, to be accepted, to be part of the gang…this is not just a teenage phenomenon or an indigenous people thing. We all go primitive every day.

In my case I come from several tribes. One is the Hispanic one, to be more exact Venezuelan. I also have been, for most of my life, quite the social butterfly and a professionally trained foodie. Each tribe had a code of ethics to which I agreed silently. …but we are going to focus on food. My tribes asked for the following:

Venezuelan: Eat copious amounts of rice, beans, seafood of any kind, tropical fruits and lots of fresh cheese. This tribe drinks coffee and knows how to recognize good coffee (sorry but American coffee is not coffee for our tribe- it is either expreso or “nada”). A good Venezuelan likes her piece of baguette with each meal, dark aged rum and good scotch (yep! seriously) and it never turns away a good piece of steak or chorizo.

Foodie: Eats almost everything. I mean it. Explores every culture through food. Knows the Chef Du Jour and his/her newest restaurant and makes travel plans based on this information. Also loves small holes on the walls that are kind of “hipster” or secret – that makes him/her cool. Eats parts of animal bodies most people avoid (like liver aka “foie gras”  – yep I ate that!). Rejects cheap ingredients and dislikes anything from a chain or franchise restaurant. . Attends all kinds of food festivals. Eats to the point of excess in multi courses feasts …Oh and pairs wines with each course.

Enter Maria is now  gluten free and sugar free plant based eater that barely drinks and likes to eat uncomplicated things. Tribal reaction: (this is the literal saying from a friend) “I lost a friend”. Neither one of my tribes knew how to behave around this. “What is wrong with her?” They thought. All the good qualities they saw on me started to fade. I understand that in part it was difficult for them to decide whether to invite me to a celebration because – well – “what is she going to eat?!” Fear kicked in and that was it. The biggest manifestation of this happened one holiday back in 2013, when I heard several friends explain to me how they did not know what to cook for me. I was touched by their concern, I wanted to help them feel comfortable, should I modify my lifestyle for them? The answer was no. I decided not to pretend being someone that was no longer me, and instead I contributed to every party with a dish made with love and I hosted my first vegetarian “Friendsgiving”.

Some of the wonderful people that were part of my old tribes preferred to avoid the new me. I hold no resentment nor pain for this. Life goes on and holding on to personality traits that are not in the service of your growth  is not an option. I lived that life and I enjoyed until it ran its course. We must know when things are over in order to receive the new.

The people that truly saw me for who I was remain in my life. In my experience, honoring my lifestyle without fear of rejection was the best distilling system ever…! I grew more confident and attractive to the people I wanted to meet, and that was obvious. I did not have to apologize for being healthy or force anything that did not resonated with my new found values. Neither do you.

Now let’s look at my story  reflected in your life. You will, in a matter of a few weeks face your tribal behavior around food big time. When? When the holidays come at you full swing. All the sudden you will tell yourself things like “It is tradition” or “The family always makes/ eats X or Y”. You will eat things you would not eat otherwise mainly because you have identified your Self with a tribal code. You may also use food in lieu of a better coping mechanism for stress, loneliness, memories and more. I know you don’t like hearing this, but you are probably going to do it. I’ve done it too…because that’s what I thought was normal, and it never felt good. I felt like a weak person, I felt I had betrayed my “Self”

But what if you have had a awakening, however small, and you are feeling healthier recently. What if you don’t want to go into a coma after each party. What if you don’t want to gain weight, feel ill, go on a guilt trip, regret the previous night?…What if you are now living by new rules? Can you still belong? Can you be loved and accepted. The answer is: of course!

I know it because it happened to me and it has happened to many clients. When you stand in dominion of your own choices and you have made up your mind to LOVE and RESPECT yourself, everyone responds kindly. People that love you want to see you happy & healthy. They may need time to adjust. Also, seeing you change may bring up the changes they too need to make but aren’t ready to face…Just be compassionate.  Many times they end up asking you for advise 🙂

I’m going to give you three simple steps to start building a powerful mindset for the Holidays. This is a mindset based on knowing yourself and knowing your tribe(s). It is a key to living an authentic life this holiday season.

  • Walk your walk and only talk the talk when asked. You don’t have to tell people that you “have changed”. Don’t speak smack about their food even if you know is bad for them. Be kind and accept your family and friends for what they are.
  • Eat before you go or buy something to bring with you. Change doesn’t just “happen” it is a conscious effort and you need to be strategic. Buy healthy & easy to share things like veggie platters with hummus, trail mix, fruits, etc. Bake a pan full of veggies with garlic and rosemary and bring it to dinner. And never go hungry to an event (I recommend having a good plant based shake to save the day in case of an emergency:)
  • Heal your holiday emotions. Stressed out? Make time for more yoga classes and reject invitations that don’t appeal to you. Sad? journal and find out the cause, call friends and make amends or consider forgiving people, go to church if that helps you or attend one of the many community gatherings of the season so you are not alone. Join a charitable endeavor – helping others helps us. Finally, find that feeling you are trying to push with food and feel it. It will be uncomfortable for a little while but when it “runs through you” it will be gone for good.

I know this is easier said than it is done, but you won’t have to figure it out alone. I will guide a systematic process of preparing the body and changing your mindset around the holidays. I’ve called it the Holiday anti-sabotage plan and it starts in just a few days. In it you will eat to rise your energy and cleanse the habits & taste preferences that would otherwise make you give in and crave the wrong stuff. You will heal the holidays, learning how to deal with the family drama, the shopping madness and any of the usual suspects that affect your health. You’ll find ways to change the impulses that make you go for an extra slice of apple pie (and more).

The early bird offer ends on Sunday so don’t wait too long! CLICK HERE to learn more and register.

This program is 100% online and it includes coaching circles, email support, social media forum, videos, meditations and more. Imagine entering the Holidays with such a state on BEING!

No more sabotage, no more hiding or numbing our emotions, no more hurting our bodies for lack of emotional tools and no more gaining weight this holiday. CLICK HERE  and un-sabotage your beauty

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We start on November 6th. Join us HERE


Coach Maria Marcano


My tribe, food & the holiday rejection

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