January 16, 2018

A few weekends ago during the Golden Globes, Oprah Winfrey accepted the Cecil B. DeMille Award and like many people I was moved to tears by her speech. I knew I was witnessing one of the truly great women leaders of my lifetime offer us a rallying cry of hope and power.

I also knew I was witnessing a woman who many people have placed on a pedestal and toward whom criticism is sometimes seen as blasphemy. The last time I offered a public critique of Oprah I was surprised to see how many people unfollowed and even attacked me.

It’s imperative that we stop viewing our leaders with an all or nothing lens. They are neither saints nor sinners. They are humans, complex, and full of contradictions and blind spots — just like you and me.

Listen, I have blind spots. Lots of them. I mess up and speak out of cis-gendered, able-bodied, hetero, white privilege and ignorance all the time. Blind spots are not something any of us can pretend to be free from. We can only work with them to reduce the fog and shine a brighter light on the places we’re not seeing clearly.

And diet culture is inherently anti-feminist. Diet culture is a patriarchal tool, or rather a weapon used to keep women from their full power.

Thus, it is imperative we call in (or out) the leaders of the women’s movement who perpetuate diet culture and Oprah Winfrey is the most prominent person who fits this bill. I am not tearing Oprah down. I am not throwing Oprah and all her good deeds away. I am calling Oprah out where it is necessary while also still acknowledging the enormous positive impact she has had on the lives of women.

If you ever feel guilty for what you eat, find yourself eating in a way that feels out of control, find yourself limiting when/when/how much you eat in a way that helps you feel calm or powerful — you have diet culture to thank.

If you don’t feel at ease around food. If you feel like you need to keep a close eye on what you eat, even counting points or calories. If you are afraid to eat entire food groups. If you spend more time thinking about food than you do your relationships or life dreams. If you spend more time thinking about food then you do enjoying food or your life. You have diet culture to thank.

If you find yourself going round and round the dieting merry-go-round (on the diet, off the diet, blame self for ‘failure’, on the diet, off the diet, blame self for ‘failure’) you have diet culture to thank.

If you have spent years trying to lose weight only to end up weighing more than when you started. You have diet culture to thank.

If your day can be made better or worse depending on the scale, you have diet culture to thank.

If you ever feel like you have to earn what you eat by exercising more, you have diet culture to thank.

Does some of what I’ve just described sound benign, even normal? Thanks, diet culture.

These are just some of the many ways the diet culture has seeped into our everyday lives. This is what we’re sold and this is a load of poisonous bullshit.

Diets are proven not to result in long-term weight-loss or improved health and for a women’s leader to not only promote but profit from, this is not okay. Diets suck energy, time, and financial resources away from women.

It should be said that it is one thing to be on a diet. It’s one thing to be on a diet and share about your experience on your talk show. It’s one thing fall victim to the siren call of weight loss and portion control. I have all the compassion in the world for dieters. If you are on a diet or find yourself this New Year feeling the urge to get back on the merry-go-round I have no judgment of you. None. Billions of dollars are being spent each year to reenlist you.

However, with great power comes great responsibility and the pass I gave Oprah all the years she was dieting doesn’t stand now that she holds a 10% stake in and is the face of one of the biggest dieting empires. As I said, it’s one thing to be on a diet, but it’s another thing to sell dieting. It’s another thing entirely to go from drug user to drug dealer.

Oprah is wonderful, brilliant, and has made the world a better place. No question.

And Oprah and every other women’s leader who fails to incorporate an anti-diet, body liberation stance into her feminism and activism is failing women in this way.

Let’s ditch the black and white thinking, let’s stop with the hero worship and let’s not be afraid to make the downfall of diet culture a feminist issue because it is.

If you’re a feminist who wants to have an empowered relationship with your food and your body join me for this upcoming round of Feast, my masterclass for women who are seeking to be free and well-fed. The deadline to apply is fast approaching.

posted in Activism
December 19, 2017

This is the time of year I start to hear of New Year’s dieting plans. Despite my line of work and despite my very public anti-diet stance folks still share with me their upcoming January regimens. Despite all the evidence that diets don’t work, the most common justification I hear is:

“I just want to feel good in my body, ya know?”

I do know. I like feeling good in my body too. Unfortunately dieting won’t take us there in the long run and almost always leaves us feeling worse. Here’s is some advice for getting that good body feeling:

So, you want to feel good in your body?

Well, let’s start out that our bodies are not there to solely feel good. Our bodies are there to feel. To feel it all. So when we only pursue feeling good in our bodies we will discover that sometimes we have to feel crappy. We’ll have to feel that ache in our back. We’ll have to feel disorientation of being in a body we might not have lived in for some time. We’ll have to feel the rage we’ve been misdirecting towards our flesh that rightly belongs directed to the patriarchy, the dieting industry, and the specific people in our lives who shamed us. If you want to feel good in your body you first have to make peace with feeling.

So, you want to feel good in your body?

Then listen to it. Instead of going in the exact opposite direction of what it wants (a glass of water, some fresh air, more sleep, a sleeve of Oreo cookies) do not stop, do not pass go. Just listen to it and heed the call with as much devotion as you can muster.

You want to feel good in your body?

Erect bigger, firmer boundaries. Tell your intimate partners how you like to be touched and what doesn’t feel good. Practice saying no. Seriously, say it in the mirror a dozen times before you brush your teeth. Feel it’s power.

Make a list of the people and problems that are not yours to solve. Take back your body from other’s people’s fix-it lists. Leave the party early or pass on the invite altogether. Teach the people around you what is and isn’t okay for you. Boundaries are essential to a feel-good body.

You want to feel good in your body?

Vote for policies and people that will pursue better access to health care, women’s rights, and support for those less privileged. Vote in every election.

You want to feel good in your body?

Buy and wear only clothing that fits the body you are in right now. Donate or put in storage any clothing that doesn’t respect your current body. Ask your body what would feel good to it to wear and listen to what it says.

You want to feel good in your body?

Stop attempting to be smaller. That’s a surefire way to feel horrible.

You want to feel good in your body?

Work to stop ranking bodies that you see out in the world. Watch your thoughts as your eyes dart to other people’s stomachs or thighs or under eye wrinkles. Let go of the need to make assumptions about their lifestyle, their diets, their sex lives. Let go of the idea that life is a beauty contest. Let in as many different flavors of beauty as you can.

You want to feel good in your body?

Remember that you are an animal (Homo sapien to be exact), not a plastic doll. That means hair, odor, fluid secretions, cellulite, pimples, stretch marks, and wrinkles are all natural and normal. That means your lips and your breasts aren’t supposed to be full and plump for the duration of your life — or maybe at all. That means your hair isn’t meant to have the same shine that Barbie’s mane does. Say it with me: I’m an animal, not a plastic doll.

You want to feel good in your body?

Make generous offerings to all five of your senses. Move in ways that feel sensual, fun, enlivening, and kind.

You want to feel good in your body?

Embrace that weight changes over the course of a day, a week, a month, a year, and a lifetime are NORMAL.

You want to feel good in your body?

Help create a world where people who are less conventionally attractive, outside gender norms, fat, differently abled, not-white, or older are welcome and free.

You want to feel good in your body?

Never ever apologize for it.

You want to feel good in your body?

If you’re able, get a regular physical check-up and dental cleaning. If you don’t like your doctor (or worse, if your doctor is not HAES-friendly) and you’re able to switch, do that immediately.

You want to feel good in your body?

Stop labeling body care, in whatever form it wants to take for you, as a luxury. Whether a nap or neck massage, if you can afford it, it’s not a luxury.

You want to feel good in your body?

Remember that hunger and fullness cues are your friends. Know that it’s never too late to re-learn Intuitive Eating. Know that attempting to override, ignore, or minimize your hunger will only backfire. Shred your list of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ foods.

You want to feel good in your body?

If it/they makes you feel less than or promotes the denial of your body’s cues: Unsubscribe. Unfollow. Opt-out.

If it/they reminds you of your enoughness and expands your perception of human bodies: Follow. Subscribe. Opt-in.

You want to feel good in your body?

Be intentional, rather than passive in your choices to use or not use caffeine, marijuana and other substances. You get to decide what is right for you.

You want to feel good in your body?

Remember that antidepressants are not a sign of weakness.

You want to feel good in your body?

Notice that confirmation of your enoughness has never been found outside of yourself.

You want to feel good in your body?

Celebrate your sensitivities. Be an ally and an advocate for your just how deeply and intensely you feel.

You want to feel good in your body?

Get savvy to the many costumes the diet industry dresses up in to get your buy-in.

So, you want to feel good in your body?

Let go of being a ‘good girl’. Take up space. Smash the patriarchy. Exorcise the male gaze from your own lens. Be unruly. Be shrill. Be full. Be imperfect.

You want to feel good in your body?

Seek to be embodied in THIS body. here. now. human. flesh. alive. needy. sacred. unique.

Happy New Year everyone.

May 2018 be the year that an army of women decides what this world needs more than their obedience or their beauty is their freedom, their joy, their unequivocal no, their fierce empathy, their unleashed power, their laser focus, their loud voices, and their embodied presence.

Love, Rachel

December 11, 2017

You and I connect because of a free and open internet. Right now you don’t have to pay extra to read my blog or visit any of your other favorite websites. That freedom is under real threat and the only way to stop it is for you to do the following two things. Please take a few minutes for these simple and important acts of engaged citizenship.

1. Call your representatives and make it crystal clear that you “strongly support net neutrality backed by Title 2 oversight of ISPs”

2. Go to this page on the FCC website. Next to the 17-108 link (Restoring Internet Freedom), click on “express” and you’ll see where you can enter your name on next screen. Then enter your name at the line and be sure to hit “ENTER” after. In the comment section write, “I strongly support net neutrality backed by Title 2 oversight of ISPs.” Click to review, then click to SUBMIT.

Battle For The Net Video Bumper from FFTF on Vimeo.

posted in Activism
September 14, 2017

I spent all of August (and some of this month) in bed.


Some combination of burn out from months of heightened devotion to my business, intense withdrawal from Zoloft (tapering in advance of trying to get pregnant), physical ailments (a persistent rash on my face, debilitating periods, and a polyp in my uterus), and yes, a daily diet of heart-shattering news of a world in the midst of destruction and eventual rebirth.

It would be easy to simply call it depression, but I’ve been depressed before and this was different.

Then I read something that named it perfectly: soul fever.

The thought of bringing a child into this world is heavy, and I’m exploring that from a lot of angles. Last week I picked up the book Simplicity Parenting and couldn’t put it down. It’s a powerful and useful read regardless of whether or not you have children. The value of the book, though not intended by the author, is in the roadmap it provides for parenting not just children but our adult selves in today’s overwhelming world.

Soul fever (just one of the book’s insightful concepts) is an inflammation, overheating, and overstimulation of the self. Soul fevers might not register on a thermometer, but you know when something is chronically not right. You know when ‘too much’ has driven you to your most unsupportive habits, dimmed your light, intensified your emotions, and thrown you off-kilter. Recent news of hurricanes, floods, fires, and earthquakes (never mind the raging inferno of white supremacy and toxic masculinity) is enough to make anyone sick on every level.

For most of human history, we didn’t have television or the news. Reports of what was happening around the world took time to travel. There was no 24/7 play-by-play of natural disasters or moment-to-moment death counts. We’re not designed to handle this much human suffering in real time.

I keep thinking about the documentary film Paper Clips that details one school’s effort to help children comprehend the human loss from the Holocaust. Knowing that it’s nearly impossible for anyone, not just children, to grasp how many six million lost lives is they set out to gather six million paper clips. This was an ingenious solution to working with the limitations of the human mind, and these days I feel my limitations acutely.

Perhaps you do too.

Perhaps, like me, you’ve come down with a soul fever.

Soul fevers don’t come and go in a day, but like a body fever, linger until proper rest and care have been given. Soul fevers won’t be ignored, they get worse and get louder.

According to the book, soul fevers arise when chaos and unpredictability, a lack of grounding, and intense pressures to go faster, do/have/achieve more — all drive one to be unwell.  

Soul fevers manifest differently in each person. We know a soul fever when whatever is a person’s homeostasis is thrown off and the discord persists.

It’s safe to say the whole world right now has a sort of soul fever. An arrhythmia of earth and of humanity.

It took me weeks to get quiet enough to hear where my heart is beating out of rhythm.

And it’s challenging if you’re a helper, a committed citizen, an aspiring ally, an empath, a highly sensitive person (HSP), or a conscious human — to juggle the pull to do something, anything, to help the suffering and threatened people ‘out there’, while also tending to yourself. It’s a delicate balance for many. 

I saw this floating around the internet this week and it really stuck with me:

What if we right now we didn’t try to be heroes?

What if we focused more on long-term ‘chronic empathy’ and caregiving—starting with ourselves, our experience, our minds, and our bodies?

Healing soul fever looks different for each person.

For me, it looks like not watching the news (I love Rachel Maddow, but the nightly dosage was making me ill) or deep diving into news commentary. Yes, I like to know what’s going on and thankfully, that’s relatively unavoidable, but I don’t need to know more than that right now.

It looks like getting offline, closing screens, and focusing on simple activities: a jigsaw puzzle, an embroidery project, or a walk around the neighborhood (without a politically-focused podcast to keep me company).

It looks like regular therapy sessions and truth telling to my kinfolk.

It looks like laughter — intentional, radical, unapologetic laughter. It looks like patience and a slow, wide-eyed stance as I, like everyone, navigate these choppy waters. It looks like doing what has to get done and nothing more.

It looks like going out into nature — not just so she can restore me — but so that I can feel into my relationship with her; something she is clearly asking each of us to do.

I invite you to step into a plane of expansive permission and curiosity:

Does this soul fever I speak of sound familiar?

What, in your life, is making things worse? What’s inflaming the fever? (hint: pay close attention to screen-time, news, and social media.)

What would you do if you had a body fever? What’s the equivalent of that for your soul?

What can you trust?

Can you trust in your own essential goodness?

Can you trust in your capacity to awaken, evolve, and hold contradictions?

Can you trust the pace that feels best to you?

Can you trust that other people can take the reigns if you take a break?

Can you trust in mother nature’s wisdom?

Can you trust that out of destruction and collapse, eventually, comes a new birth?

As I look ahead to the rest of 2017, my focus is on creating stillness, grounding, and breathing space for myself and for you. I have no doubt that with these things in place an engaged citizenship will rise, but without them, soul fever, paralysis, and disconnection set in.

If you’re suffering from your own acute soul fever do whatever you need to heal. If you are needing a break, a full stop, or a time-out please know that the permission is there for the taking and no irreparable harm will come of it.

Go gently.
Play the long game.
Listen, listen, listen for what is needed now.

Even in the darkness our hungers light the way forward.

A few ways I might be able to support you in moving through your soul fever:


I have a few spots that opened in my practice this month. Coaching is actually where I feel my most grounded and powerful these days. If you could benefit from a strong container of love, practical strategies, and guidance through these uncertain waters reach out.


There is nowhere I would rather right now than secluded in a canyon in Tucson, Arizona, sitting around the fire pit at night, listening to the owls, seeing the stars, and filling my cup. If a getaway is just what you need, consider hopping a flight to the desert in October and joining in for a long weekend of deep self-tending.


November will be here before we know it and I’ll be bringing back my daily audio meditations with a handful of new guest contributors. There has never been a year we have needed this more. Stay tuned.


Recently I started an in-person writing group—IT’S AMAZING. The first run ends in mid-October and I’ll be opening up spaces for a few new folks beginning in November. If you’re in the Bay Area and interested, send me an email.

Image Credit: Evelyn De Morgan

June 26, 2017

To hear me read this post use this audio player:

This is just to say we have two ears. One for listening to our own hearts and one for listening to the hearts of others.

This is just to say that the juxtaposition is striking
as we put the chocolate cake in the oven, or scan for cheap flights for the upcoming holiday, or press the wrinkles out of a dress, iron steam wafting in our face
all the while the threads of our democracy are fraying and police can murder black people.

This is just to say Philando Castile.

This is just to say Philando Castile was murdered and it was legal.

This is just to say this morning’s oatmeal wasn’t quite as creamy. Was is too much water? Not enough milk?

This is just to say that fat people are not before pictures.
This is just to say if you care about the ravages of white supremacy then you should care about the ravages of thin supremacy.
This is just to say some of the least woke people call themselves feminists.

This is just to say the plants on my balcony are outgrowing their pots—crawling out of the soil like a child does last year’s shoes. This is just to say that I wonder “Am I outgrowing my soil?”

This is just to say it’s not Flint, Michigan that doesn’t have clean drinking water, it’s the human beings in Flint, Michigan that don’t have clean drinking water more than 1,000 days later.

This is just to say I tried one of those online clothing resale sites. I got a sweater. I think I overpaid. It’s warm and perfect for summer in San Francisco.

This is just to say my cycles have been irregular and it’s unsettling.

This is just to say I think I’m still trying to get what I needed when I was eight. You too?

This is just to say that we have two ears and many people have known for a long time how to listen out of both. The Syrian parents who throw birthday parties while bombs drop around them. They know that we need both ears open wide. They know that it’s a privilege to listen with only one.

This is just to say that we have two ears and one of them is to hear our own life. Through it we get the call, we find the switch to lift us out of the gray. Through this ear our hungers point loudly north, we discover how to start our day, the name of the chapter we’re in reveals itself. Through this ear we find the detours around our resistance and pleasure, and the urge to make, and the imperative to be together. This is the ‘follow your bliss’ ear. The ‘well-fed living’ ear. The ‘live your best life’ ear.

This is just to say the other ear is to hear the babies crying. Through this ear we hear injustice so it makes, wakes and shakes us towards our one mouth. This is the ‘we’re all in this together’ ear. This is the ‘privilege isn’t a choice’ ear. This is the ‘talk less, listen more’ ear. This is the ‘blindspot shattering’ ear.

This is just to say thank you.
Thank you to those fighting today and to those whose shoulders today’s teachers stand on.
Thank you to Shaun King, Kelly Diels, Desiree Adaway, Melissa Toler, Linda Bacon, Ragen Chastain, Jes Baker, Janet Mock, Cecile Richards, Ethan Nichtern, Ijeoma Oluo and Sonya Renee, and and and…

This is just to say you deserve to eat. You’re allowed to eat. Food is not the enemy. You are not the enemy. Your body is not the enemy. The enemy is anyone or anything that tells you to mistrust yourself, to shrink yourself, to override yourself, to cover either of your two ears. The enemy is anyone or anything that tells you that trading ease for the illusion of control is a good deal.

This is just to say Sandra Bland.
This is just to say Kalief Browder.
This is just to say go register to vote. Go now.

This is just to say that one time at a dinner party, many years ago, the woman seated next to me casually mentioned that she and her husband saw a therapist for general relationship maintenance. I cried. Right there. The ache for a partner willing to do the work was so deep in me. Listen for this ache. You have two ears too.

This is just to say you’re not alone.

This is just to say that Greta, my niece, learned to crawl this week.

This is just to say I want to circle around the fire with you.

This is just to say that the week our president took office my face broke out in a rash.

This is just to say that the cake is almost ready to come out of the oven.

This is just to say your faith can be as simple as believing in your own worthiness and our interdependence.

This is just to say white nectarines are my favorite of all the summer fruits.

This is just to say we have to hold both.
This is just to say the juxtaposition is striking and we’re not supposed to feel comfortable.

This is just to say that we all have two ears and one mouth.

This is just to say I struggle to listen too.

posted in Activism

Hi, I'm Rachel

I am a life coach and fierce advocate for women feeding their truest hungers. I'm also a curator of inspiration and this is where I share the wisdom I've gained, words that trigger deep reflection, and resources to help you live your most well-fed life. Feast onward.

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