Bill and Connie DeKramer have long worked in the field of offering solutions about healthy eating and healthy living. But they found that there was a piece missing when it came to helping their clients find lasting results. Then they discovered the 3 Principles of innate health and everything fell into place, for them and for their clients.
Bill and Connie DeKramer love sharing a program that has helped more than a thousand people restore their health, lose weight naturally and create a healthy relationship with food.
All this happens through a simple understanding of our true nature and our innate intelligence that effortlessly guides us to the food and lifestyle choices that return us to balance and thriving.
You can find Bill and Connie at AmazingHealthEffortlessly.com and on Instagram @amazing.health.effortlessly.
- The end of spiritual seeking as we discover it’s all within us
- How we can’t use our minds to change our minds
- How we are always feeling our thinking
- How eating changes when we see our thinking for what it is
- On the wisdom in cravings
Transcript of Interview with Bill and Connie DeKramer
Alexandra: Bill and Connie DeKramer Welcome to Unbroken.
Bill: Thanks, Alexandra. We’re delighted to be here.
Connie: And your title, Unbroken. It’s so true. We all are.
Alexandra: Exactly. Thank you. I chose that very consciously, of course. So this is the first interview I’ve done with two people, as opposed to one. So this will be kind of fun. Why don’t you start and tell us each about how you came across the principles.
Connie, why don’t we start with you? Why don’t you tell us about that.
Connie: We’ve been spiritual seekers forever. And all of a sudden, I realized no more of this. I know it’s all within me. And that’s where I’m going to look from here on out. I had an experience thinking Bill and I might separate where I was devastated. In that sadness, I saw that I would be fine no matter what happened. And my mind went quiet.
It has stayed that way since then, actually. Then we moved to Kelowna. And that’s how we found the principles. And for me, everything that Syd was saying, confirmed my experience. So I knew this was something really true and worthwhile.
Alexandra: And Bill, what about you?
Bill: We discovered them at the same time. And then what actually introduced us to the first person that was talking about this understanding of the principles was – Connie had an career in weight loss, she opened salons in Australia big deal. And so she would tap in every now and then to see what was going on in the weight loss industry. And we had been helping people restore their health with whole foods for 30 years, and had great success with that.
But we would find that when people – even if they had great results – sometimes we would see a client six months, 12 months later, and put the weight back on their conditions were back and say, Hey, what happened, it was always the same story, something had happened in their lives, that created a lot of pressure. And they turned back to their old habits of using foods to come through. So we knew there was a mental emotional piece to tied into being healthy.
Just giving the body what it needs, the body will be healthy if we give it what it needs. But we’ve got to give it what it needs and our emotions, how we feel, can have a big bearing on our relationship with food, and we’re reaching for food that’s not serving us to deal with something other than our health.
So, we were listening to this webinar, and Dr. Amy Johnson came on and was talking about weight loss. But she was putting it in their context of it’s about our relationship with life, that we can really find lasting change in establishing weight loss. And it didn’t make any sense. But something resonated. It’s like I’ve learned more about what she’s talking about. So one thing led to another and we studied with Amy and became change coaches through Amy’s Change Coach Program. And that took care of that mental emotional piece that we’ve been looking for, to help our clients be able to make the lasting change in terms of diet and lifestyle without getting thrown off the tracks if something happened in their lives.
Alexandra: Connie, were there other things you had tried, in terms of that emotional piece that hadn’t worked?
Connie: Oh yeah. We tried HeartMath. We tried Byron Katie’s work, we tried meditation. We tried everything that seemed like it might really support people, but nothing worked. Everything made sense that people would do their positive thinking with us for a while. But nothing would stick.
What we see now is that all of these techniques and strategies, people were using them like they wanted the what do I do; they use their mind to change their mind? We can’t use your mind to change your mind. We have that insight about how we work, how life really works about this well being that we all really come from. And then experience.
Alexandra: Did you begin to see changes with your clients when you introduced that idea?
Connie: Yes, we did. And they experienced freedom in a lot of other areas. By seeing more clearly, instead of being lost in thought they began to have major life change. It’s so rewarding and fulfilling for them and for us.
Bill: It helped us deal with the issue of cravings. Because if we’ve established a habit to reach for food, when we’re looking for relief, then whenever a little bit of tension comes up, we have a craving for that food. Now, that’s our wisdom actually helping us navigate resolution.
When we begin to understand that we’re feeling our thinking, it’s not really that our bodies want this food, and understand how the Principles, we’re going to apply that. Now we’re helping people restore health and lose weight naturally. And to deal with those cravings that come up.
They’re no longer trying to use that willpower to resist this craving. I don’t know, I just get through it for five minutes that will go well, that stuff that people try to do. So that’s how helped us deal with the whole craving piece. So that was a big shift for people to find that more effortless transition. Not having to work so hard.
Alexandra: Exactly. And you guys, I think I read on your website, you, Connie was it you that ran a sort of a health food restaurant years ago.
Bill: We both did okay.
Alexandra: My thought was that you had both, or for a very long time been very healthy.
Have you personally dealt with cravings yourself?
Connie: Yes. I would use potato chips. Or whatever. And that would be the thing that would come up for me every so often. And a friend asked me one day, are you giving your well-being to potato chips? I realized, ah, yeah. I decided that I would meet whatever was there. And I got just quiet.
The next time the craving arose, and in that quietness, I saw the source of what was driving me toward potato chips. And it was a feeling as a young kid and feeling safe. One of the few times when I felt really safe there were always potato chips at those events. The minute I saw that, then the I’ve never had another craving. Never and really for nothing. That was kind of the final one.
Alexandra: And what about you, Bill?
Bill: I like sweets, that kind of stuff. We were talking to a client earlier this morning, actually, I was sharing his story how there was a store in the mall called Death by Chocolate. There’s a glass case right out front, everybody’s walking by right. So every time I’d walk by it would start bringing those feelings up because like Connie, I didn’t see this at the time. But we make associations between experience in our lives and food.
When we’re starting to feel tense, and we remember we had potato chips, and everything was so calm. We had a potato chip, and we find that space again, the potato chip and break the space, but the association in our mind, and so I had associations with chocolate.
I began to understand more about how we’re always feeling our thinking and exploring that more and that relationship with food was changing. It was the strangest thing one day, I didn’t even see it coming but I’m walking by Death by Chocolate, I look into case expecting the usual high because isn’t that part of the whole process? You love even that first thought of having a bite, you don’t even have to have the bite.
I’m waiting for this to come. I might as well have been looking at cardboard. Like, wait, wait, what’s happened? So the association just broke. That was such a beautiful demonstration to myself about how our experience really works. Feeling our thinking.
If I’m no longer associating chocolate with this wonderful feeling, then chocolate is just neutral. It might as well be …well, for some reason. I thought cardboard at the time, but it could be spinach or anything else.
Alexandra: That’s such an interesting point about the associations, because when we just naturally don’t have an association with something, like I’m trying to think of a food that some people might crave that, that we personally don’t. It just holds no energy at all. There’s no thinking about it. It’s yeah, so interesting.
Bill: If you’re a nonsmoker, and a smoker saying, God, I’m trying to quit smoking. You say, well just stop. See the inner dynamic, that association that’s driving it? And so it just doesn’t make sense if we’re not experiencing it, but it’s that way for everyone.
Alexandra: Which really points to that we live in the world of our thinking. So clearly, that’s so great.
When you guys are working with someone who’s wanting to change their habits, and eat better and lose weight, where do you begin with them?
Connie: What I keep finding more and more often is the best place to begin is with that thinking piece. They see the association, they have that some true, real. And as they see that, then making changes in the food world is very easy. And we can then just focus on food, and make change and have helped that’s amazing beyond what we even thought we could have, without pushback from old habits, old thinking.
Bill: Around the food piece we’re a hybrid business, we deal with food. Because the body has a say it’s been designed to function best with certain foods in the same way that if our car works well, on gasoline, we don’t put diesel in, right. And so we have guidelines, because both of us resolved health challenges with a whole food plant based diet, science that supports it. And so this is our approach around the food.
That seems to be a good fuel for the body. And we’ve had great results, I can say for 30 years, people are getting out for high blood pressure medicine, diabetes, meds are having energy, their aches and pains are guiding it seems to work. But the key is the lasting change. So that’s the emotional piece. So we’ve got the two things.
It’s easy to tell them, this is what we found worked really well give it a try, see how you like it, and that kind of evolves on its own.
It’s the challenge with emotional pieces were caused, saying, We can show them the associations that they have around, usually unhealthy food habits. Because we’re often drawn to things that make us feel good because it kicks in a very natural process in the body, this pleasure center, we have a treat, the body is designed to give us a hit of dopamine, if we have high calories come into the blood, which is sugar and fat and you know, give me a pizza. How does that feel?
There’s dopamine going on. So it’s good to understand these associations that make us feel good. That’s not the real feel good we’re looking for. There’s a difference between the satisfaction of the dopamine hit and the satisfaction of really being grounded really touching into this innate well-being. So, when I see chocolate looks like cardboard, that’s not the kind of hit I used to get from chocolate. But I’ll tell you, it is it is the satisfaction I was always looking for in chocolate.
Alexandra: Right. And it occurs to me too, that when we when we understand how our thinking works, the mechanics, if that’s the right word, of eating well become a lot easier because there’s a lot less suffering there and worrying about every little mouthful and all that kind of stuff. You guys are both nodding.
Connie: One thing I’ve found recently is I will tell people, there are two ways to go about the food piece. One is slowly put the toe in the water. And the other is jump in with both feet right away and see what happens. And people who really favor animal products often will take a slower route. And they don’t have to totally get off all their animal products to find the health level they want. So we keep learning.
Alexandra: I’d love to find out more about this. This is kind of like asking the same question I’ve asked already. But from a different angle.
What do you notice that your clients struggle with if they come into this understanding without any previous awareness of it? Where do they struggle?
Connie: I think the main struggle is just that false belief that often is unconscious that we carry with us that drives us to use food for something it isn’t designed for, in supporting people to see that very clearly from beginning to end. Often it’s dissolved like my potato chip story.
Bill: I think what creates the struggle for them is because they come into this with the classic societal approach, select that life works outside in. So if there’s a problem with my weight or with my health, with an eating disorder, then it has to do with the food. So they want to deal with the food.
And we’re saying it’s not about the food, and they’re going well, it is about the food, because it’s what I eat. And so there’s just that turnaround for them to begin to understand the Inside Out nature of life versus the outside in. As they keep believing it’s outside in, there’s going to be this wanting to control and restrict. And this is the answer by managing my life outside instead of recognizing it’s all inside.
Alexandra: Such a good point. Go ahead, Connie.
Connie: Many people have the false belief, because that’s all they’ve known that following a diet is the answer where there’s a lot of restriction. And that actually is totally not the answer. That won’t lead you anywhere except where you’ve already been, which lose some weight and then gained it all back plus, usually
They see where is truth really with food. With anything in life? It isn’t in restriction and willpower, right.
Alexandra: One thing that occurs to me too, is, in my experience was that anytime talking about restriction and diets and that kind of thing, anytime I tried something like that, that was new, and failed, I felt that I was the problem. And so 30 years of feeling you’re a failure weighs on you.
I imagine your clients must find some relief from that kind of thinking.
Bill: For sure, some clients they’re 50 years old, and they’re telling us their story. They started dieting when they were 10. They lost 100 pounds, and they’ve gained 120 back. That kind of stuff. What’s that do to your psychology when you think it’s all about your ability to manage life? After control life? That’s way too much work.
Alexandra: What a relief when we realize that there’s another answer. That’s for sure. And so, you guys have given a couple of examples of your personal relationships with food. Is there anything that you’ve noticed because you were running the restaurant and running weight loss clinics for years and years and years?
Since you found the Principles have you noticed other shifts around your feelings about food?
Connie: That’s a good question. Yeah, I have to tell you, we’ve always eat really clean for many years, as we’ve said, but I used to use some homemade ghee and my beans and I use salty vinegars from my macrobiotic days, and all of a sudden I had a very minor stroke. Well, that was a wake up call.
Me the picture of perfect health supposedly having this physical condition. So then I learned about salt, oil and sugar free and change my blood pressure changed everything that in the good direction. And now I just love food more than I ever have in terms of its taste. Once the taste buds change, food, wow, what we have to eat every day, I’m so deeply grateful more than ever for what it offers. So salt, oil and sugar free. I know that at one end of the extreme spectrum, but it makes such a difference, especially as we get older, in terms of our health. So that’s my, my take on it.
Bill: For me, I’m learning the Principles and learning this inside out perspective of life that really, this is how life works. And it’s so obvious once I see it, the awarenesses about how life works keep opening more and more, there’s more and more insight all the time. And so how food has changed with these greater insights, I think, is that I become more and more sensitive to the feedback from my body.
Eating something you know. So this is happening all the time, I believe this is happening all the time, our bodies, they pick up on information, so much more information than we’re conscious of, I think we’re supposed to get maybe between one and 5% of the information that the body’s registering and storing consciously.
And so as I learn more and relax more into my relationship with life, I’m much more sensitive to everything that I experienced. But as I eat, when I used to have the chocolate or whatever I say it’s like I was eating here up this experience. And when I started to really calm down and really get grounded in eating really healthy I was like eating from here down.
I’ll eat something and I can tell, is this just giving me some pleasure? And I enjoy it for that reason? Or is my body really saying, Wow, thank you for that. Your relationship with our body, isn’t it? It’s designed to do what it can do with working men to thrive. W’e have an innate wisdom we that this body is designed to thrive. But we’re responsible to give it what it needs. So it can just like take care of our car.
Now that I’ve become more and more sensitive to and I love this relationship, it’s made a much more of an interesting, more intimate relationship between me and my body and my food and we’re one happy family.
Alexandra: There’s four of you in that relationship. Oh, that’s wonderful. And that, actually, and that was one of my questions on the sheet that I sent you was about the wisdom of our bodies and what we see about that.
Tell us what you see about the wisdom and cravings?
Connie: Oh, I love that question. Because, one thing I love to share with clients is the problem that the cravings have initiated that say, is really where all the gold is. We create these, quote, difficulties to really come back to unlearn and live in who we really are. So it’s only in creating these perceived problems that the time is now we’re ready. To go further in our evolution, it’s beautiful.
Bill: On the idea of the wisdom of the body. There’s more and more research these days about the vagus nerve. And for longevity, we’re talking about having a second brain in the gut and that kind of thing. And so there really is so much feedback that’s always available, if we hear it.
But our conditioning and using food for reward and for celebration or for social events, we are very settled in terms of that. My experience and what we see in others, expanding and exploring in their own lives too, is this ability to listen to our bodies, its ability to, to pick up on the wisdom.
There’s all kinds of little aphorisms always going on in the way of little nudges. And in terms of the thank yous that we get for when we really provide something that our bodies thrive for. I think there’s a lot of wisdom, intelligence, or bodies reflect the intelligence of nature, the intelligence of the universe, we, in our conscious awareness can actually begin to relate and have a relationship with that wisdom. That’s really sweet.
Alexandra: It goes back to that famous Sydney Banks quote, doesn’t it?
If the only thing people learned was to not be afraid of their experience, that alone would change the world.
You mentioned celebration there, Bill. And it’s such a good point.
What role now does food play in in your celebrations?
Connie: When Thanksgiving comes around, we make the most amazing Thanksgiving meal, whole food plant based, but we love and enjoy even more than the old traditional meal with turkey. We’re discovering new realms of taste and enjoyment. Recreating recipes that were favorite so far. So that’s really fun. And we don’t do a lot of using food to celebrate, like maybe many families do. But when we do it, we love it.
Bill: We both have birthdays, there’s just a couple of days apart. And so Connie loves this black bean brownie recipe we have. So I thought, well, I’ll make these brownies for but in the shape of a cake, and we’ll have a birthday cake. So we’ve had his cake for a few days. And what’s been interesting is that it’s kind of like my Death by Chocolate experience. I still have associated my mind, birthday cakes going to make me feel good. And we’re going to have a fun night. And it goes so far beyond the food because of the association.
So I have this piece of chocolate cake. And it’s like, where’s the fun? Where’s the fun? So synergy has kind of been on Wow. So like I said we’re the food we eat. And if it’s around what we would call a celebration, a birthday or a holiday or whatever. It’s really great.
But it’s no wonder the afterglow of my association of it’s the food that makes me feel so good. Being with all these people being at a holiday having a birthday. What makes me feel good about birthdays and holidays and everything? Is the birthday, the holidays, the people. It’s no longer has that association, the food playing such an important role in what I think is they can be filled with it.
Alexandra: While you were speaking, I was see it like we’re food used to play the central role in a circle. Now, it’s somewhere on the periphery. And there’s other things.
I don’t know how to phrase this question. You guys seem to be a retirement age. And yet, I can tell from our conversation you’re so passionate about this and about what you do. And you’ve clearly been doing it for such a long time.
Talk to me about that and about the joy that you find in in sharing your work. Connie, why don’t you start?
Connie: I’m’ just reflecting.
Bill: She just turned 80.
Connie: Yeah, I just turned 80. I don’t know why but I think it’s a great anyway.
Say your question again.
Alexandra: What I’m searching for is you both just seem so passionate about what you’re doing. And so it seems to me like you haven’t felt a need to set that down. And retire, quote unquote.
I would just love you to talk about that a little bit.
Connie: Where I’m at right now, I just want to reach people who want to feel better, and be healthier. So we’re looking at maybe bringing one of the whole food plant based in these to Kelowna to really reach out to a wider audience of people here, and I’m exploring, is it possible? How can we do it?
But the drive behind it is, I would just love to introduce this way of living meeting more people who have an interest. Because I think there’s so much value in it, so much value in it. And then when we add the piece of the mental emotional work.
We just did a conference in Dallas and shared this work in relationship to food. It’s so rewarding when you have an audience of people who really want to learn more and get healthy and be free of the old of the old problems, perceived problems.
Bill: I love the question too, because it, it sets up the contrast to the conditional thinking that really aren’t we just here to work hard, so we can retire, and just do whatever we want. We’ll do whatever they want us to do. So I can get this money together retirement, I can do what I want. And it’s like, No.
Fortunately, we’ve always followed our hearts in terms of what do we do. So like you say, you see the passions, we’ve always loved what we do. But as we’ve understood more about the Inside Out nature of life, and that, in reality, life is living us. It’s not for me to decide where my happiness will be found. I will find happiness, by listening to my heart to this current of life that’s moving through me, to direct me.
As opposed to, let’s see, when I’m 65 will have this much money in the bank, and I can play golf Monday, Wednesday, that kind of an idea, which there’s nothing wrong with those kinds of ideas about retirement, being the golden years, and all the rest of it. It is all based on that outside in thinking, that is my secret that are going to provide guarantees I’m looking for.
As we’ve understood more and more about the principles and open more and more to listening, and allowing the wisdom of life to move through us and responding to that we engage in life, from these nudges, as opposed to try to figure out where’s my happiness next? Retirement, just as a concept doesn’t live in that world.
Alexandra: I saw somebody the other day who said the only reason one would retire would be if you didn’t like what you were doing. I can just see how much joy you guys get from what you’re doing.
And that’s such a good point, Bill about it being an outside-in construct. I think this is way off topic, but I’ll just say it anyway. When I see people struggle when they retire, and It’s because I bet they’ve put all the somehow this magic date occurs, and then I’ll be happy, right? I’ll leave my job. And of course it doesn’t work that way. Interesting.
As we start to wrap up, is there anything you guys would like to share that we haven’t touched on yet today?
Bill: One thing that comes to me is, and maybe we’ve said this in different ways, but just to kind of summarize it, the healthy relationship with food rests on the same foundation as a healthy relationship with life. So if we’re if we’re having an issue with food, it’s the same answer there as it is to deal with if I have a difficulty in my marriage.
If I have difficulty my marriage is because I’m using the marriage. I’m using that person to try and satisfy something in me that I don’t feel is complete. And so I need to look inside and really see how it is that I’m relating to that person. And if it’s not providing what I think I want, is it that she needs to change? Or is it that I need to change, and it’s the same thing with food.
If I’ve got a health condition, it’s not because something’s broken. When a hurricane blows over Florida, doing all this devastation, it’s not because the weather system broke, is because the meteorological conditions were just such that it created a hurricane. And when there are hurricanes, these things happen.
So if I have high blood pressure, it’s not because my body broke. And so I need medication to fix it. It’s because there’s an environmental condition created, usually by what I’m eating, by my lifestyle, that’s creating an inflammation that the body’s responding to perfectly. It’s laying down fat and cholesterol in the arteries to deal with the inflammation.
Unfortunately, like the high winds of a hurricane, those have negative side effects over time. So it’s looking at that relationship from the standpoint of how am I if things are going right, am I using that for me? Or am I relating to it in the way that it’s really designed to create a thriving relationship?
Alexandra: You’re saying that our bodies are giving us feedback. It’s not that we’re broken. It’s that there’s feedback. There’s information there.
And what about you, Connie, anything you’d like to share that we haven’t touched on?
Connie: With the principles, and even before, when my mind went quiet, I realized that I could use my love of food and good health to support people to know who they really are more deeply. And I love that so much. My blood just gets very active when I get a chance to talk about it, and sure. And, yeah, aren’t we lucky.
I keep learning and growing. And, oh, I just love live. Seeing more and more beauty wherever you look. And even in the midst of the perceived difficulty now I’m at the place where [I say] come in my darling, whatever you have to show me I want to see it. I am here with full attention. I just respond to life has said arises and it doesn’t have to look any particular way ever. In the past. That was not the case, believe me.
Alexandra: That’s so well said. I love this idea that the challenges that we have are actually doorways and opportunities for us to see ourselves in our full magnificence and well being and our innate resilience and all that stuff.
Where can we find out more about you guys and your work?
Bill: We have a website, amazinghealtheffortlessly.com. And that’s probably the best place to read a little bit more about us and easy to contact us through that.
Connie: And we have lots of wonderful recipes for free on the website. So go on and explore. And, if you want to have any questions or connect with us, we’re always open.
Connie: We always provide a free 30 minute consultation. People want to learn more about how what they’re dealing with might be addressed between us.
Alexandra: Great, I will put links to the website in the show notes at unbrokenpodcast.com. All right, well, thank you guys so much. It’s been so lovely chatting with you.
Connie: I love the depth of your questions. And now insightful they are.
Alexandra: Thank you. All right. Take care you guys. Bye bye.