Engage with your employees: Whether during a work meeting, while in the break room, or outside of work, engaging with employees in positive manners helps to create a healthy work culture and atmosphere.
Encourage adequate lunch breaks: Too often, employees are no longer encouraged to take lunch breaks and it has become almost normal to eat at their desks. Encouraging adequate meal breaks helps to ensure employees are adequately nourished, productivity is increased, and employees remain engaged.
Smile: When you smile at someone, that can make them feel at peace, welcomed, and a pleasure to be around with. Wearing a smile makes a huge impact on work culture.
Asa part of my series about leaders who integrate mindfulness and spiritual practices into their work culture, I had the pleasure of interviewing Gisela Bouvier. Gisela is an English and Spanish speaking wife, mom, and Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, living in Southwest FL. She received her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Dietetics and Nutrition from Florida International University in 2008 and her Master’s of Business Administration degree from Saint Leo University in 2014. Over the past 10 years, Gisela has worked in a variety of Nutrition fields and she founded Gisela Bouvier Nutrition in 2016. Her business focuses on creating in-person and virtual Corporate Wellness workshops and programs, with a focus on Mindful and Instinctive Eating. Her approach is an all-foods inclusive approach, focused on taking diets out of the workplace, and nourishment back in. Gisela is passionate about helping others find the tools that will work for them, so that nutrition is easy and sustainable. She is also a Certified Barre Instructor.
Thank you so much for doing this with us Gisela! Can you please share your “backstory” with us?
Inmy years as a Dietitian, I began to realize that something was missing in my practice in helping others with their health journeys. When I began my private practice business 3 years ago, I learned about Mindful Eating and discovered the impact it can make to our health. Mindful Eating is about bringing your focus back to meal time and making your nourishment environment a priority once again.
I soon also realized that this was greatly needed in the workplace setting. Too often, people eat at their desks, are eating on the go, mindlessly graze or snack, or simply do not eat because they are so focused on work, they aren’t connected to their hunger and fullness cues. Mindful Eating in the Workplace is about re-establishing much needed meal breaks, reconnecting to our bodies, and ensuring we are adequately eating to improve work productivity and improve employee engagement.
What role did mindfulness or spiritual practice play in your life growing up? Do you have a funny or touching story about that?
Without knowing it was called “Mindful Eating,” my mother always instilled mindfulness during meal time. We always ate dinner at the dining room table and no televisions or distractions were allowed. We were also a religious family, which helped instill spiritual and prayer practices.
How do your mindfulness or spiritual practices affect your business and personal life today?
Mindful Eating during my day ensures that I will feel more energized, less stressed, and more productive throughout my day. I always ensure that I have a fiber and protein filled breakfast before I get my day started and end my day with dinner with my family, free from distractions. Sometimes my day becomes busy and I do eat at my desk. However, I ensure to pause in between bites and remind myself that it is okay to stop when I am adequately full or eat more if I am still hungry. Through my own mindful eating practices, I share tools with Corporate organizations in how mindful eating can impact their employees and their own health outcomes.
Do you find that you are more successful or less successful because of your integration of spiritual and mindful practices? Can you share an example or story about that with us?
Mental health is an essential part of overall health. Mindful practices help to manage, deal, and alleviate stress, anxiety, and worrying. Without it is taking a few short breaks during the moments I need it most in my day, walking away from my workspace for a few minutes, or taking a break to enjoy a cup of coffee, all are important mindful tools and practices to help my day be more successful.
What would you say is the foundational principle for one to “lead a good life”? Can you share a story that illustrates that?
A foundational principle to “lead a good life” is to focus on what works for you. Too often we see or hear things of “This is the only way to manage stress…,” or “This is the best method for weight loss,” or anything in between. It’s important to implement mindfulness tools that can work for someone uniquely and individually.
In terms of nutrition, perhaps food logging is an optimal mindful eating tool to help someone visually see how much they are consuming or what they are consuming throughout the day. However, for someone else, that actually may be a negative and/or stressful tool. It’s about realizing what are positive, motivating, and supporting mindful tools that will work for you.
Can you share a story about one of the most impactful moments in your spiritual/mindful life?
One of the most impactful moments in my life in my own mindful journey was when meeting with a client and giving her a plan to help her meet her health goals. While she looked over it, she said, “This isn’t me. I am not going to do half of these things.” While reviewing it with her, I realized that I was only offering and guiding her with mindful eating tools that worked for me and what I had tried before. I didn’t think about asking her what she may want to try and what would help her own mindful eating journey and food enjoyment. Mindful living is about implementing tools that help to flourish a more positive and calming mindset.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
Amy Sowards, MS, RD, of Dietitian Institute is someone who helped my own mindful journey. It is because of her that I realized there were more ways to impact and help others through nutrition. Further, because we both had the same philosophy when it came to nutrition, we were able to co-create a course together called the Mindful and Instinctive Eating Practitioner™ Certification Program to help Dietitians teach their clients on how to better integrate mindful eating practices into their day.
Can you share 3 or 4 pieces of advice about how leaders can create a very “healthy and uplifting” work culture?
Leaders can create a healthy and uplifting work culture by doing the following:
- Engage with your employees: Whether during a work meeting, while in the break room, or outside of work, engaging with employees in positive manners helps to create a healthy work culture and atmosphere.
- Encourage adequate lunch breaks: Too often, employees are no longer encouraged to take lunch breaks and it has become almost normal to eat at their desks. Encouraging adequate meal breaks helps to ensure employees are adequately nourished, productivity is increased, and employees remain engaged.
- Smile: When you smile at someone, that can make them feel at peace, welcomed, and a pleasure to be around with. Wearing a smile makes a huge impact on work culture.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
My dream is to be able to create more corporate outreach as to why employee wellness programs need a mindful eating based approach. Many programs solely focus on weight loss (even if not appropriate for some employees) or are a program that do not meet the unique needs of their work culture or employees. Mindful Eating is key to optimizing health and wellness in the workplace.
How can people follow you and find out more about you?
People can follow me here: