When Diets Rule All Your Life’s Decisions

This week’s Intuitive Eating Wednesday topic is inspired by a client of mine who shared her frustration about some members of her family who are dieting. I will only share the relevant info, as to protect the privacy of her and her family.


We are knee deep in December and holiday festivities. My client, let’s call her Jane, has given up dieting 3 months ago when she committed to working with me in my Freedom to Eat Forever™ 5 Step Intuitive Eating Program. She is so happy and so sure she is NEVER going to diet again, and she is enjoying the holiday parties she is attending without fretting about the food that will be served (what a relief for her, can you relate?)


So why is she frustrated?


Her family holiday party is coming up. She was in charge of hosting this year and she takes pride in planning a fun time for her immediate and extended family, both with delicious food and fun, interactive games. But here’s what happened.


She got a call from a family member who basically told her that she would like to host the holiday party this year. Jane asked her why and told her she’s already been planning and prepping. But her relative said that she just really wants to, and to PLEASE let her. Well, Jane felt she had no choice but to say okay. Only later did it occur to Jane why this relative was so insistent.


Can you guess? I’ll tell you.


This relative, her husband and her adult children are all on a diet. They’ve been losing weight and have been boasting about it all over social media. The diet they are on is quite restrictive, although they’ll tell you it’s a “healthy lifestyle”. Yep, the diet companies have hijacked the words “healthy lifestyle’ and are masking their diet rules under the guise of eating healthfully. And worse yet, the diet company encourages their dieters to pull other people into their web “If I did it, you can too!”.


Jane’s family members don’t want to be tempted by food they cannot eat. Yes, I said ‘cannot’ eat because when one is on a diet, they have a list of foods they can and cannot eat. Jane remembers last year’s holiday party when this family was just beginning this diet. They came to the holiday party and were salivating over the food, and were found sneaking bites in the kitchen. They were overheard saying, “it’s okay, we’ll get back on tomorrow’.


Oh, so sad, just so sad. Is this how you want to live your life?


Do you want your diet to rule your life’s decisions?


Decisions such as:

“Do I go with my spouse to his holiday party or not?”

“Should I go with my friends on that cruise?”

“Will I attend that party I was invited to, or make up an excuse why I cannot go?”

“Should I breastfeed my baby? Hmm, I’m drinking these chemically-filled weight loss shakes, so perhaps not.”


If you resonate with any of this, it’s time to realize that the diet you are on is RULING YOUR LIFE! You are not living free! You are probably thinking about food 24/7. “What did I eat, what am I eating, what will I eat?”


This my friends, is FOOD OBSESSION. Yes, dieting causes food obsession.


I’d like to encourage you that you don’t need to rely on any diet. You can trust yourself to make food decisions on your own. I recognize that if you’ve been dieting for a while (and most likely if you are following my work you have been), then you have lost that trust in yourself and your food choices. But with the right support, you can learn to trust yourself again.


You know how to eat. You know about proteins, carbs and fats. You know how to balance your plate. I’m not saying there aren’t some things you can learn. I’m sure there are. But you know the basics. You don’t need to be drinking shakes, eating bars or following a diet that doesn’t let you live your life to the fullest.


Commit right now to stop the madness. I’ve got your back.


Comment below: “I will no longer let a diet rule my life’s decisions”.



3 Tips to Shut Down Diet and Food Talk at Your Thanksgiving Table

It’s Thanksgiving and I couldn’t be more excited. I just love this holiday where we stop and say thanks and show gratitude for all we have in our lives.


I also love cooking all the traditional Thanksgiving dishes. Since I’m off from work on Thanksgiving, I take my time cooking, with my daughters by my side helping. No pressure, no rushing, just some music, laughter, great conversation and recipe making.


We then sit down to an intimate meal with my immediate family and bond. I love it.


But for the intuitive eater in training (that might be you if you are in the midst of your journey), the whole thought of sitting down to a Thanksgiving feast might be intimidating. Maybe you still have some food fear and haven’t fully allowed all foods into your life yet. Or, maybe you have made peace with food and feel super comfortable approaching this holiday meal, but the issue you are worrying about is what others might say or think when they see you eating stuffing, sweet potatoes and pecan pie.


Let me back up and explain.


The Struggle for an Intuitive Eater in Training


You have been on your intuitive eating journey for some time. You have made peace with food and your body, and you are ready to approach your very first Thanksgiving as an intuitive eater. You have no qualms about eating what you love. But, what about all those family members who have seen you dieting for most of your adult life?


You know the ones. Your sister-in-law, mother, or cousin who have dieted with you in years past and who have joined in with you at the holiday meal saying things like “I shouldn’t eat this but …..”, or “this has SO many calories, and is SO bad for me, but I’m going to eat it anyway”.


They are probably still dieting, but you aren’t (lucky you)! But when they see you eating and NOT commenting with them about how guilty you feel or how stuffed you are, you may feel they are judging you.


Or, there may be family members who just know you as the ‘dieter’ and have never seen you eat in public. They don’t realize that when you’ve restricted in the past, you’d just go home and eat whatever you can find. So for them, they may say outright to you: “YOU eat that now? I’ve never seen you eat this.”


3 tips to shut down the diet and food talk at your Thanksgiving table:


  1. Say with confidence: “Yes, I eat all foods. Food is just food”. And, leave it at that.


  1. Say with boldness: “Please do not comment on what I am eating. Let’s focus on the beauty of the holiday, not my food.”


  1. Say with firmness: “This house is a diet-free talk zone. We don’t discuss diets or shame people for eating. Thank you for respecting this house rule”.


The most important person is YOU. Have confidence in yourself and in your food choices that you are making to honor and respect your body. You are in the drivers seat now, you are no longer a passenger on the diet train.


If you’d like my support at any point on your journey, just reach out to me HERE.


Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!



Is the Holiday Stress Already Getting To You?

Does the approaching holiday season stress you out? I have had a few clients come in to my office recently who are already beginning to feel the stress of the holiday season now that it’s November!  One conversation really stuck with me.


Sara walked into my office this week all stressed out. I asked her what was wrong, and she started to tell me about how overwhelmed she’s feeling about Thanksgiving, Christmas, all the parties and family visiting. There’s still 3 weeks until Thanksgiving, yet she’s already anticipating and feeling the stress.


These are some of her stressors that she started listing:


  • Gift shopping. Sara is a mom of four children and in charge of gifts for them for the holidays as well as the rest of her large extended family. This causes her a lot of anxiety about finding the right gift and making sure she’s getting what everyone wants, while still staying on budget.


  • Hostess. Her parents come in from out of town during the holidays and tend to stay with her and her family. She said this becomes very stressful because she has to make sure her house is spotless the whole time, cooking meals every night and she feels pressure to constantly entertain them.  This becomes overwhelming and takes away from her own self-care.


  • Cooking. Finding a balance between cooking what her family wants and finding meals that nourish her own body has become very stressful. Normally, she likes to choose meals based on whole foods. During the holiday season, her family requests lots of holiday favorites, which she enjoys as well, yet she has trouble balancing the holiday favorites with foods that feel best in her body.


  • Cleaning. As the holidays approach and her extended family visits, Sara finds that she is cleaning nonstop.  This chore becomes daunting and stressful, as it’s hard to keep a full house clean all the time.  However, she feels she needs to do it to keep everyone happy and not let anyone know she is overwhelmed.


  • Parties. This is where Sara said she has the most stress. Sara is usually the hostess at the family holiday parties and dinners. She feels extra pressure to entertain everyone while still ensuring they are well fed and happy. She really doesn’t have any help, and finds it difficult to ask for assistance from her husband and kids. She feels she ‘should’ be able to do it all.


And then of course there is the obligation of attending her workplace holiday party where there’s lots of food and drink available. By this time, she’s physically and emotionally drained and just says “What the heck. I’ll deal with my eating in the New Year!”


Woah! No wonder she is already worrying about the holidays.  This is a lot to handle and can be hard for anyone to keep from getting stressed.


In working with Sara, I’ve identified that she has the all-or-nothing mindset when it comes to the holidays.  She needs to do everything herself at 100%, or it doesn’t count. She needs to eat perfectly, or she eats “terribly” (her words!).


Does any of this resonate with you?


Can you relate to Sara?


Well, Sara asked me to help her handle the stress better this year and lucky for her, and you, I have exactly what she needs.


I invite you to join my 3-week free challenge Enjoy Your Holiday Festivities (and Sweets) without Guiltwhere I’ll give you tips on self-care during the holiday, navigating holiday parties and eating your sweets without guilt.


Yes, you CAN eat your holiday sweets and not have any guilt. 


You CAN rid yourself of the all-or-nothing thinking when it comes to your food and the holidays.


Allow me to show you how.


In this challenge, you’ll get step-by-step training and support every step of the way.


We start Monday, November 6th!


Learn more and join us HERE!


I look forward to supporting you through the holidays, so you can enjoy your holiday festivities and sweets, without the guilt!


A Mindful Passover

Passover -  MindfulWhat comes to your mind when you think of the holidays?


For most people, the first thought is food. The second thought is “oh, no I am going to gain so much weight”.


Passover is just two days away and if you celebrate this holiday, you probably understand when I say that preparing for Passover is exhausting. Cleaning the house, planning the holiday menus, writing your shopping lists and finally “turning over the kitchen” so you can begin cooking even before the holiday begins can really take a toll on your energy level.


For those reading this who might not understand what “turning over the kitchen” means, let me take a moment to explain. It is required on Passover to use different dishes, silverware and pots than you use all year round. One has to clean out the refrigerator, oven, stovetop and microwave of all leavened bread and crumbs before using it for Passover food and cooking. So when someone says “I am turning over my kitchen tonight”, that means from that night forward until the end of Passover, only Passover dishes, pots and foods are in the kitchen.


Needless to say, this is a lot of work! And, cooking for the 8 days of Passover is a lot of cooking. Many of my clients tell me that by the time Passover begins, they are exhausted and they don’t make healthful food choices. Exhaustion is definitely a feeling/emotion for many people that triggers poor food choices.


But for the chronic dieter, this goes even deeper.


I see one of several scenarios in the chronic dieter and how they handle Passover. Here are just two that come to mind now:


Scenario #1:

She arrives at the Passover Seder exhausted and over hungry, having not eaten all day due to Passover preparation. She overeats on the appetizer and then says “I blew it already, so forget it. I’ll start again after Passover”.


Scenario #2:

She enters into the holiday with the mindset of “I am not going to eat anything I am not supposed to”. She says no to her favorite traditional holiday foods for the first 4 days of Passover, and then BAM, she can’t do it anymore. On day 5 she says: “I just want to taste a sliver”, which leads to a second sliver, a third sliver and so on until she says “Forget it, I’ll start again after Passover”.


So, what’s the best way to stay mindful and intuitive over the Passover holiday?


  • Banish the rules. Be rid of the “I won’t eat anything I’m not supposed to mentality”. That is a dieters thought and will keep you struggling.


  • Remember to eat! I know this sounds funny, but it is very important to be sure you are eating meals on Friday so that you don’t arrive at the Seder starving.


  • Take it slow. There is no need to rush the meal. Take your time and savor each bite of food, really exploring the taste and texture so you can have great pleasure in your meals. You will be less likely to be on the prowl looking for snacks later in the evening.


  • Forget about deprivation. If you have a favorite Passover food, enjoy it. Deprivation leads to overeating, keep that in mind. If you are interested in exploring traditional Passover foods with a healthy twist, check out my cookbook Passover the Healthy Way!


Your turn to take action: Which scenario above do you resonate with, or share a different scenario you have found yourself in. And, how will you stay mindful this Passover? Let me know in the comments below.



Simple Solutions to Stop Stress Eating in its Tracks!

DFRM_StressLessEatLess_Holiday_300x300Thanksgiving is only one week away. Yikes!


Cleaning, shopping, cooking, preparing the house….there is so much to do!


Does all the stress and overwhelm of the holidays cause you to go into a tailspin? How will you accomplish all that you need to do? And, of course, you still need to go to work, tend to your usual house chores, take care of the kids etc.


What happens when you get stressed and overwhelmed?


For many, they cope by turning to food to “ease the stress”. Ahh, that piece of chocolate melting in your mouth is melting away all the stress too. That is, until you try on your favorite holiday pants and they don’t button.


Sound familiar?


Listen, I know you want to overcome stress eating. The holidays that are upon us are just one time when you might find yourself coping with food. But what about all year round? Is life hectic with little time for yourself?


Deep down in your heart and soul, you wish there was a way for you to learn how to manage the stress and overwhelm without eating. Actually, you wish you could better handle all that life throws your way so you aren’t overwhelmed.


There is a way!





I am excited to bring to you a brand new program called Stress Less EAT LESS™.

Read all the way to the end to learn about the Holiday Special I am offering you.


In this program you will discover:

  • How to develop a calm mindset by better managing your time and priorities so you can be more mindful in how you handle kid stress, job stress, life’s stresses.
  • What changes you need to make in your daily health and nutrition habits so you feel physically and mentally ready to deal with a stressful situation without caving to the ice cream and cake.
  • The two most important steps that you need to take when you are in the midst of overwhelm and it seems easier to turn to food to numb.
  • The ONE practice you MUST learn to stop stress eating in its tracks and turn you away from the cookie jar and drive-through.


I originally created this program as a “Do it Yourself” program. But I realize that you could probably use some extra support during the holidays, so for this time only, I am offering this program with LIVE group calls a private Facebook group and more!


Click here for all the details and to sign up.


There are lots of bonuses for you once you sign up. The sooner you sign up, the more bonuses you get.


Oh, and share it with your friends and loved ones who could use Simple Strategies to Stop Stress Eating in its Tracks.


Here’s to a STRESS FREE Holiday!




Family and Food…Roadblocks to Success?

Roadblock breakthroughIt is a time of year for family.  While that should mean love and gratefulness to be with loved ones during the holidays, family time can often bring about a lot of stress.  Along with the stress come plates, upon platters, upon trays of traditional holiday foods that are served.  Between these two things, it can make the mindful eater want to hop a ride to the North Pole and wait out the food and stress storm until New Year’s Day.

First I want to address the food traditions that come with the holidays.  You made it through Thanksgiving with flying colors, and you are still here working on moving forward on your intuitive eating journey.  Please take a moment to take pride in that and tell yourself “good job”.

I know you don’t want to fear the holidays and the “once a year” foods it may bring.  Remember to exercise your ability to enjoy the flavors you wait for all year, and savor each bite.  Most of the foods surrounding you during the holidays can be associated with a memory.  Let that memory have its moment as you practice your mindful eating techniques.    It will both warm your heart and tingle your taste buds.

We all know that family, on a normal day, can be a difficult roadblock on your healthy eating path, but during the holidays, the number of family members critiquing your body and your food choices seem to multiply.  You don’t want to let that stress get the better of you and lead you into making choices that you don’t want to make.  I’ve mentioned before, while support is a wonderful thing, this is your journey, not anyone else’s.  Perhaps take this opportunity to educate them on how this lifestyle has helped you.  Who knows, they might want to know more about it so they can begin their own journey!

An obstacle you might face is a family member or host making you feel bad if you don’t partake in enough of the food they made.  This might be your grandmother who worked hours cooking and baking and doesn’t understand why you don’t want a bigger slice of her famous pie.  Or, another family member telling you to, “Eat more! It’s the holidays!”

Remember, how much food you eat and what you choose to eat does not equate to the love you feel for your family or the person who prepared the food.  Explain to them that you love them, and you love their food, but that is all you want to eat.  Having this confidence and ability to stay true to your decisions about food empowers you and will be another victory on your road to a body you love.

This is a great time of year and it does not have to throw you off because of the stress that family can bring.  At the end of the day, your family truly wants to see you happy.  If you are confident in yourself and what you have accomplished so far, you are sure to have an awesome 2014.

Your turn to take action: What is a family food stress you typically encounter during the holiday season?