My 4 Nutrition Tips That Might Surprise You: Part 1

It’s not what you eat; it’s why, when, and where…

Of all of the questions I get, the one that most seems to trouble women is their confusion over food. Although in my dreams, every one of you will have the confidence to seek fuel for your days in multiple ways: ample and quality sleep, stress resilience practices, mindfulness practices, relationships that support your wellness centric lifestyle, seeking expert advice for the transition to midlife – (or perimenopause and menopause) and yes, finally, food choices.

The above strategies are those practiced by women who find their holistic wellness, and they are the foundation for my concierge program and the online wellness program I’m developing. Sign up for my newsletter at

These are the strategies that, while they take time, are well worth the patience to find your own brand of wellness.

The diet industry has done a number on all of us. Eat this, look like this. Eat this be happy. The diet industry spends billions of dollars on tapping into your behavior. Social media, books, etc., feed the female lack of confidence (without saying it) and we fall prey to it every day.



More important than any type of food you eat, the questions below lead to the ultimate in wellness, longevity, and contentedness and they are 100 percent part of the amazing field of study about habits. Habit science is here to stay – and it is beating out willpower and discipline every day. They are:


• WHY you make a food choice you know is not contributing to your wellness.

Are you eating certain foods due to boredom, stress, or as a reward? Or are you really hungry?

There is an entire dissertation and a whole field of study on human behavior that is super intriguing to me yet isn’t the point of this article. Bottom line: What is your trigger to that food choice. What is the underlying cause of that choice? Go to that instead of the actual food choice.



• WHEN you make the food choice that is not contributing to your wellness.

Do you find yourself reaching for that sweet snack, stop at a coffee place, or want a sugary snack/drink at 3pm as you fight that mid-afternoon “slump?” Do you want that glass of wine every evening around 6pm as you try to unwind from your chaotic day before dinner is ready?

I know, I’m like a broken record. The time of day and the location of our unhealthy habits are typically a trigger. Time of day and location are the two factors to always consider before all else when we want to get curious about why we are choosing to continue habits that detract from our wellness. Either individually or together, they trigger a behavior that we eventually regret. Why? It is the time of day and the location that needs serious consideration. It is not the actual food.

I mean, look at how many of us brew coffee within minutes of awakening?! Time of day is (almost) everything.


• WHERE you choose to feed yourself that isn’t contributing to your wellness is also a consideration of my concierge clients. I will dive into this more in my online program, so be one of the first to signup to get our newsletter at

Are you eating and working? Are you eating and thinking about your to-do list? Are you eating and not thinking about eating? Are you eating and lost in your thoughts and worries?

Our brains are not supercomputers. They want to do one thing at a time and when we eat, it needs to focus on the act of eating, not other activities or thoughts. When we do this, neither one of the activities is done well and food that isn’t chewed properly or mindfully often leads to bloat and digestive issues – even worse dissatisfaction with the meal because you hadn’t thought about the food you are eating and how it is fueling you.



Now you know why I’m convinced it isn’t necessarily what you are eating that is detracting from your health and wellness. If you are still convinced it is, then it is still a great idea to ask yourself WHY, WHEN, and WHERE you are eating.


Stay tuned for part two next week, where I will outline my top four nutrition tips and simple strategies you can apply now to help you lose weight and feel your best.


  • The latest from Adrien
Adrien founded Fitness on the Run in 2004 out of her home after a successful career in policy and public affairs communications. After spending 15 years developing her own personal definition of wellness and watching thousands struggle with theirs, in January 2019 Adrien founded Alexandria Wellness, the home for the Concierge Wellness Program and Corporate Wellness with Adrien Cotton. Over the course of 15 years, “FOR” was home to more than 2,000 clients, 30 instructors, and hundreds of inspirational success stories. Adrien is now, more-than-ever, passionate about helping women view their fitness as a journey, not a quick fix. Adrien’s recipe for success herself has evolved from a rigid training plan of sweaty and heart pumping workouts to some days getting in her 10,000 steps, consciously breathing, her 7.5 hours of sleep, and her beloved 5-Minute Flow. Adrien believes the most important ingredient is making small changes for big results, even if it’s one new habit formed each month. Still passionate about fitness, Adrien’s clients appreciate her ability to make sessions seriously challenging without a “beat down,” a healthy mix of strength and metabolic (cardio) work and ultimately helping her clients gain real strength in mind and body. She believes we all benefit from being curious about our bodies and that change, or improvement, is within reach despite what your “inner voice” or others may tell you. Adrien is bubbling with excitement to help women learn the importance of a comprehensive approach to wellness, weight loss, and contentedness with yourself, and that every person has the right to feel good about themselves. Most days, you can find her helping clients with their wellness, listening to success stories, and bragging about her twin 13-year-old children and “fittest man in Alexandria” Bill Cotton. Adrien prides herself on her practice of mindfulness, meditation, and putting it all into perspective.

Alexandria Wellness offers achievable answers for anyone who is tired of chasing fitness and health without a clear plan, someone who has struggled and is not satisfied with their fitness and wellness or someone who is open to maximized healthful longevity and fitness along with healthful weight loss. Adrien and her team offer help with food guidance, body acceptance, sleep and stress issues, and insist you have fun along the way.

Schedule your free 30 minute consult here!

Alexandria Wellness
215 North Payne Street
Alexandria, VA 22314



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