Posts

3 Steps to Food Autonomy

Food is a very personal choice for you. What you choose to eat, why you choose to eat it and how you choose to eat it are decisions YOU get to make around the food you eat. However, there are 2 groups of people that do not honor this choice. In today’s blog, I will shed light on who these people are.

 

 Group #1: Chronic Dieters

A chronic dieter is someone who has been on and off multiple diets over their lifetime chasing a certain body weight, dress size or body shape. As a chronic dieter, you believe that the answer to all your food and weight problems lies in the diet you follow. So each time a new diet comes to market, you get excited and truly believe that THIS will be THE ONE. Unfortunately, even if you do lose weight, you know the way this story ends. You regain the weight lost plus some extra pounds just for good measure.

 

You no longer are confident in making food choices for yourself. You are so used to following a plan, a menu or rules that have been dictated to you, that when it comes time for you to figure out what you want to eat, you really don’t know the answer to (what should be) a simple question. You have given away your food autonomy.

 

Group #2: “Health Coaches”

The internet is swarming with people who call themselves health coaches. Maybe they took a 90 hour health coach course, or a 3 month certificate program, either way they are now “health coaches”. In my opinion, most of them do more harm than good. They give you lists of foods to eat and not to eat, rules to follow, and they spout inaccurate information about grains, dairy and gluten. Some will tell you they are teaching you intuitive eating, but it’s really disguised in a diet as they are giving you rules and telling you what to eat.

 

These health coaches are taking away YOUR free choice around food.

 

Health Coaches aka Diet Coaches

There’s a particular group of these health coaches who I’m thinking about as I write this blog. They lost weight on a liquid diet program (I won’t mention the name of one of the programs I’m thinking about when I write this, but if you think hard enough, you can probably guess) and then they “train” with the company to be a health coach. They are big marketers, telling you how amazing their diet is to lose weight and posting before and after pictures to hook you in.

 

In speaking with these health coaches (yes, I’ve had conversations with them), they demonize gluten, sugar, and dairy and speak about how they eat as if they have an “I’m better than thou” attitude. But they also slip and say things like “oh my gosh, that pastry looks divine. If I take one bite, I’ll eat the entire plate”, and “I don’t eat gluten except for _____ (fill in the blank) once a week because I just love it and then I start again the next day”. (Disclaimer – I’m not saying this about ALL health coaches, but many that I come in contact with).

 

These statements are reflective of the diet mentality and food battles that rage on!

 

3 Steps to Food Autonomy

  1. Stop dieting! I know this is so hard because diets feel safe to you. However, they have never worked for you and they never will, so it’s time to take a leap of faith and say NO MORE. You have the power within yourself to make your own food choices. I know you do, and I also know that you might not believe that right now. That’s okay. One step at a time.

 

  1. Stop listening to others! Decide that you will no longer listen to those health coaches that are telling you what to eat and not to eat. Instead, seek out a reputable registered dietitian nutritionist who is also a certified intuitive eating counselor who can help you get back into the drivers seat when it comes to food and your body.

 

  1. Do connect with a community! It’s lonely when you are swimming upstream alone. We are all surrounded by people steeped in diet culture. It’s likely that your inner circle of family and friends don’t understand when you say you are not dieting anymore. Come join the ladies in the Intuitive Eating Mastery Circle for the comradery and support that will help you take charge of your food choices again. As a reader of my blog, you get 50% off your membership. No commitment, you can cancel at any time.

 

Being in charge of your own food choices is your birthright. Take it back today. I’m here to help you. All you have to do is ask.

 

3 Steps to Stop Overeating on Vacation

Summer is in full swing, it’s my favorite season! There’s less stress, no school carpools or tutors to schedule and it’s a time when my husband and I take some much needed time off.

 

In the days when I was dieting, I would often be apprehensive about an upcoming vacation. It would start with the thought of trying on all the summer clothes in my closet to see what “looked good” and have them piled high on my bed until I narrowed it down to what would make it into my suitcase.

 

Then of course it was the thought of what I would eat on vacation. Would the restaurants have food that was “on my diet”? What would happen to my weight if I ate out at a restaurant each evening? And what about the drinks? I don’t mean water, that I have no problem drinking. I mean the cocktails that I may want to enjoy at the pool or at dinner. How many calories and how much sugar will it have and how will it affect the number on the scale?

 

Oh my, this is just so exhausting, so forget it! I’ll just enjoy my vacation and start my diet again when I get home.

 

Does this sound familiar to you? Have you done this, or thought these same things? (Please comment below the blog in the comment section….)

 

The above scenario depicts what I call the “Vacation Diet Mindset”. Yep, there’s a name for this. You are so good on your diet all week/month/year long, but vacation comes and all that “goodness” gets tossed out the window. Why?

 

Well, since you’ve been depriving yourself of the food you love while dieting, you figure that when you are away on vacation and enjoying yourself, you might as well enjoy yourself with food too. But the problem is it leads you to overeating and overindulging and quite honestly, not respecting your body.

 

Here’s the thing. If you were not restricting all week/month/year before your vacation, you’d be enjoying all the food you love all the time and you wouldn’t have to go into “Vacation Diet Mindset” when you went away.

 

So how do you shift out of this mindset? Here’s 3 steps to get started:

  1. Commit to no longer dieting. And by dieting, I also mean your own self-designed diets and food rules you put into affect for yourself. I know that’s a tall order, but until you are able to give yourself unconditional permission to eat what you desire, you will restrict and deprive and fall into the Vacation Diet Mindset on your next vacation.

 

  1. Take the Mindful Eating Pledge. Basically, this means promising yourself that you will be mindful of the food choices you make and you will maintain an awareness so you can fully savor and enjoy the food you are eating. When you do this, you will find that it will be easier to recognize fullness and stop before you get overfull.

 

  1. Ask for Support. The journey towards returning to being an intuitive eater and achieving WholeBody Trust™ of your mind, your hunger and your food takes time and requires support. There is no reason you need to do this alone. Seek support from your loved ones, a registered dietitian nutritionist-certified intuitive eating counselor and a community of like-minded women on the same journey as you. It’s powerful!

 

Are you struggling with your intuitive eating journey and want to take it to the next level? Join us in the Intuitive Eating Mastery Circle. Learn more here.

 

Intuitive Eating Doesn’t Mean Disregard Nutrition

Okay, this is a serious topic for me. As a registered dietitian nutritionist I believe in honoring one’s body though nutrition and movement. This means thinking about the foods you eat in terms of how it helps your body function on a daily basis as well as how you move your body to keep your joints and muscles supple and your bones strong.

 

As an advocate of intuitive eating and a certified intuitive eating counselor, I help clients incorporate gentle nutrition and joyful movement into their practice, when the time is right.

 

What do I mean “when the time is right?”

 

Most, if not all, of my clients are coming to me with a disordered eating background. They are chronic dieters, going on and off diets to find the “perfect” diet to help them get their “perfect” body. Along with the diet is excessive exercise. They spent hours in the gym or in some other form of exercise for the sake of burning calories and losing weight.

 

For these clients, it’s most important to help them shift their mindset and change their relationship with food and their bodies before we talk about gentle nutrition and joyful movement. For these clients, it is very important that they learn to lift the food restrictions and take ALL conditions off their food in order to make peace with food.

 

And that often means eating foods that you might think are not “nourishing” for the body. But you are accomplishing something very important when you do this. You are making all foods emotionally equal, taking foods that once were on that mighty pedestal DOWN!

 

“How can you tell people to eat donuts, croissants and ice cream? You are a registered dietitian nutritionist!” is a question that I do get, thankfully not as often anymore. But it is a question that opponents to intuitive eating are often asking (not so kindly I might add). They think intuitive eating totally disregards nutrition.

 

This is not so!

 

If you are one of those people who think that, listen up.

 

Intuitive eating does NOT say “eat whatever you want, whenever you want it”. This is a misconception.

 

Intuitive eating is not about instant gratification. I see the donut, I want the donut, I eat the donut.

 

Nope! That’s not what intuitive eating is about.

 

Intuitive eating encourages you to stop and think about the foods you are choosing and how it feels in your body. It encourages you to discover what foods satisfy you more, sustain you longer and help your body function better. And, it does all this WITHOUT RULES of “eat this and don’t eat that.”

 

My intuitive eating work with clients is based on a foundation of 3 essential ingredients:

  1. A Healthy Mindset
  2. Caring Support
  3. Nutrition Education

 

Yes, nutrition is important. But a healthy mindset needs to be in place along with a support system and self-care practices. Then, and only then, are you ready for gentle nutrition.

 

If you’d like more information on working with me to incorporate these 3 essential ingredients into your intuitive eating journey, contact me HERE. There’s no time like the present!

 

 

You Mean I Don’t Have to Ever Diet Again?

“Why haven’t I heard about intuitive eating before today?”

 

This is a common question that I get from clients who sit opposite me in my office (or on Skype) when I share with them how they don’t ever have to restrict or deprive themselves of their favorite food again.

 

They don’t quite get it at first. They come to see me because they don’t feel well in their bodies, they are carrying around excess weight, and they figure they need another diet to help them achieve the weight loss that they’ve been chasing after for years. They expect me to give them a list of foods to eat and those to avoid and a “meal plan” for them to follow.

 

When I tell them that I won’t do that, they look at me in shock. But then when I explain to them that they have it within them to make food decisions for themselves, they perk up and want to hear more. By the end of the session, they are SO RELIEVED that I am NOT giving them a meal plan it’s palpable.

 

It’s not surprising to me that many women still haven’t heard about intuitive eating. This is because they are surrounded by diet culture every where they turn. At home, at work, in school, in temple, in church, and in the local park. Add to that magazines, television shows, movies, radio, social media, and the list goes on and on. It’s hard to escape the idea that you need to be thin to be worthy, and if you are in a larger body, then you must be lazy, unhealthy, and undisciplined.

 

This has led you to continuously strive to lose weight through dieting and “be better”.

 

But dieting is exhausting. All the counting, tracking, weighing and measuring, it gets to be too much at some point. Yet that’s what you know and that’s what you continue to do.

 

There is another way! It’s called Intuitive Eating.

 

Intuitive eating is eating based on your physiological need to eat, not eating based on situations you find yourself in or emotions you may be feeling. Intuitive eating is learning to eat based on your hunger cues and to stop eating based on your fullness cues.

 

You are born with this ability yet its buried deep within you from all your years of dieting.

 

The good news is that you can reclaim being an intuitive eater and recapture the pleasures of eating. It will take time but it IS possible and quite honestly, is the only way to end your battle with food and your body.

 

I invite you to reach out to me to get started on your intuitive eating journey. We can work together privately, or you can join my online program where you work through the process with group support.

 

Just click HERE to send me a message that you are ready to end dieting for good. We’ll figure out together which is the best option for you.

 

 

 

 

You Are Worthy of a Sit-Down Meal

I have a question for you…  When it’s time to eat, do you put your food on your plate and sit down to eat, or do you stand at the counter and pick at the food until you’ve had enough?

 

I’ve had a number of clients tell me they are not worthy of a sit down meal.  They do not think they deserve to enjoy their meal in a pleasant environment, free of distractions.

 

Let’s take a look back to your past and figure out where this belief might have originated.

  • Is it something you saw mom or grandmother doing?

 

  • Is it something you were lead to believe by someone you trusted?

 

  • Were you ever told that you “shouldn’t” be eating because you are “fat”?

 

While it’s important to understand the origin of this belief, please know this…

  

You deserve to eat, every meal of the day, every day. And, you deserve to sit down and enjoy your meal and savor each bite.

 

Plating Your Meals Throughout the Day

You may say that you have no time to plate your meals, that you are busy, constantly on-the-go and it’s just easier to grab when you can, or just graze throughout the day. I get being busy, but it’s all about priorities. You CAN restructure your day to include meal time. This means you sit at the table with a plate of food and enjoy it in good company.

 

Let’s start with Breakfast:

Instead of eating breakfast in the car, wake up a few minutes earlier and plan to sit at the kitchen table to enjoy your breakfast. To make this even easier, prepare what you can the night before so you have less steps to do in the morning.

 

Then there’s Lunch:

Instead of eating lunch at your desk, schedule 30 minutes into your schedule to leave your office to eat lunch. Maybe there’s a break room at work, a local park with picnic tables, or on the occasion, a nearby restaurant you can eat at. Your meal times can be a good time to reflect and really tune into what your body is telling you.

 

No More Dinner Grazing:

  • Believe that you are worthy of eating a well-balanced dinner, sitting at your table. Make it a point to finish cooking, plate your food and sit down.

 

  • Put a nice tablecloth on your dining table and use a nice china plate instead of a paper plate.

 

  • Savor every bite. Really tune into the taste, texture and flavor of the food you are eating. Be fully present.By actively savoring each bite, you will find yourself more satisfied with your meal rather than when you pick at food mindlessly.

 

Plating and sitting down to your meals throughout the day will help you feel more satisfied and you won’t find yourself searching for food during the day and night.

 

If you truly have trouble with this, dive deeper to uncover your limiting beliefs around your worthiness to eat. If you need help, just reach out to me at Bonnie@DietFreeRadiantMe.com

 

 

4 Tips to a Mindful Summer Vacation

Summer is here; I’m so excited. Summer is my most favorite season of all. But for many women I speak to, the thought of summer vacation brings them anxiety and stress about how family trips, outings and days at the beach will affect their intuitive eating journey.

 

Do you feel the same?

 

These feelings creep up because of your past (or lingering) diet mentality. You’ve always dieted before vacation so that you can “splurge” while on vacation. Then you come home only to feel guilty about “blowing it again”.

 

This behavior starts the diet rollercoaster all over again.

 

Let’s make sure the diet mentality stays quiet as you plan ahead for the most rewarding intuitive summer yet.

 

Here are 4 tips to help you navigate your intuitive eating journey during your summer get-away. 

  1. Stay strong against the chatter in your head that is screaming “I have to lose 10 pounds before vacation!”This will only put you back into diet mentality and onto the latest quick fix, which will keep you riding the dieting roller coaster. Continue on your intuitive eating journey with confidence. When the inner chatter starts up, have a comeback to put that voice in its place. And, if you are contemplating starting the journey, now’s as good a time as any. Contact me here and let’s get started.

 

  1. Be aware of mindless snacking while vacationing.Oftentimes when you’re on vacation, you have less structure to your day. You might be lying on the beach where your friends are passing around the snacks; or touring through a new city, walking the streets and trying the local fare. So just pay attention and have an awareness of whether you’re hungry or not before you dig into the snacks.

 

  1. Be prepared.Whether you are sitting at the pool, lying on the beach, in an amusement park or on a full day tour, you are going to get hungry at some point. It’s very important to be prepared and have snacks with you so you don’t have to wing it. Remember, one of the principles of intuitive eating is to honor your hunger. If you wait too long, you tend to not choose the most healthful choices and you tend to overeat, so be prepared.

 

  1. Stop when you’re comfortably satisfied and not when you’re overly full. I know when you’re on vacation it’s so tempting, especially if you’re at a resort hotel which is all-inclusive. This means that all the food and beverages (including alcohol) is included in what you’re paying for the hotel. It’s very tempting to just eat and eat and eat to “get your money’s worth”. This is not staying true to your intuitive eating journey.

 

While on vacation, remember to listen to your body, stay mindful, be present and enjoy yourself!

 

Honor yourself and honor your body by paying attention, being aware and making conscious food and beverage decisions. Stop when you’re comfortably satisfied so that you can enjoy your vacation without regret and without guilt.

 

If you would like more individualized help for your next vacation, reach out to me at bonnie@dietfreeradiantme.com. I’m here to help you.

 

 

Finding Balance with Intuitive Eating

I recently had a client share her success story.  Let’s call her Jessica. Jessica was at a barbecue when chocolate ice cream and homemade chocolate chip cookies were being served. She thought that maybe she would overeat on these desserts because that’s what she’s always done in the past. So she took a small piece of each on her plate.  She ate a few spoonfuls of the ice cream, then a few bites of the cookie, and something that has never happened to her before happened…

She didn’t feel the need to eat more! She was shocked.

She was able to savor each bite using her mindful eating techniques and felt satisfied after only a few bites.

How did she do this you ask?

By using the intuitive eating strategies that I am teaching her, she is learning to move away from the all or nothing way of thinking.  She didn’t feel guilty for indulging in a food she wanted.  She has made peace with food and has reaped the benefits, which is showing up in so many ways in her life.

Had she found herself in this scenario a few months ago before we began working together, the outcome would have been different. The all or nothing thinking is part of a diet mentality and usually leads to overeating, followed by guilt, unhappiness, dieting, restriction, overeating etc.  It’s a vicious cycle.

Intuitive eating is tuning into what your body wants, even if it’s ice cream or a cookie, and giving it what it wants.  If you listen to your body, you won’t feel the need to overeat and have guilt afterwards.  Your body will be happy it can enjoy the foods it wants.

You may be asking yourself, “How do I get myself to this point?”  The answer is to change your mindset.  You have to step away from the diet mentality of restricting certain foods or entire food groups.

The way to make peace with food is to give yourself unconditional permission to eat what you want. I know, this sounds like an opportunity to eat uncontrollably. And to be honest with you, some people use it as an excuse to do just that. However, that’s not how this process works.

Changing your mindset does not happen overnight. Those who work through the process with the support, encouragement, positive attitude and patience are the ones who will experience what Jessica did. The intuitive eating process can help you transform your relationship with food, where you end the battle with food and your body and achieve great pleasure in eating once again.

Here are 2 steps you can take today to become and intuitive eater and change your mindset:

  1. Commit to saying goodbye to the dieting mindset! It is time to recognize that you can have your cake and eat it too. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You can find a balance that works for you!
  2. Start tuning in and listening to your body. Your body gives you signals when it starts to get hungry and full. Tune into these signals to know when and what you should feed your body.  You’ll learn to eat what your body craves without overeating.

I am here to help you embark on this journey and break out of the dieting mindset.

If you’d like further individualized support, just fill out this form at the link below and I’ll share how I can support you on your journey:

 www.TalkWithBonnie.com.

End Your Struggle with Food and Dieting!

It’s interesting. Many people know their struggles in life, but choose not to do anything about it. I sometimes wonder why that is. Why would someone identify a challenge they are having in their life, but not want to do what they need to do to change it?

 

While I can be speaking about so many things right now, such as hating your job, a difficult marriage, a strained relationship with a parent or child, what I really want to address with you is your relationship with food and your body.

 

Is one of your biggest struggles in life food and eating?

 

Is one of your biggest struggles in life being unhappy with your body?

 

If you answered YES to the above questions, then are you struggling with dieting?

 

Most probably if you struggle with food, eating and your body image, then you are struggling with dieting. I can say this with certainty because you’ve been led to believe that in order to “fix” your eating and your body, you need to diet. You need to be told what to eat, when to eat, and how much to eat. Let someone else tell you all these things so you don’t have to make any decisions about food, and that’s how you will achieve the body you’ve always wanted.

 

Well, this is a lie.

 

And, I guess that you have realized this lie, but you are caught in the web of deceit in diet culture.

 

Diets are SO tempting. Heck, if someone told me I can lose 30 pounds in 30 days, I’d be suckered into trying that too. Except that I have broken out of the web of lies that diet culture has you believing. But I realize that it’s not so easy.

 

I also want to say that I know that some of you reading my blog have stopped dieting because you know that diets don’t work. But you are still spinning your wheels. That’s because diet culture is very sneaky. You THINK you’re no longer dieting, but you very well may be and not even know this.

 

Now, I am only bringing this to your attention because I want you to stop and ask yourself if you are ready to do what it takes to stop the diet madness. If you are ready to finally break the spell that diets have over you.

 

If so, then click below for an ONLINE EXPERIENCE that will get you started.

 

Yes, it’s free! But it doesn’t mean it’s easy. And that’s okay. Because if you are serious about finally ending the biggest struggle in your life > FOOD AND DIETING > then join this unique experience and participate to the fullest.

 

Click here if your biggest struggle in your life is food and dieting!

 

I hope to see you in the experience!

 

 

Eating 40/30/30 Intuitively?

I receive emails every day from people on my email list, my online community, or private Facebook group. One common thread among many of these emails is NUTRITION OVERWHELM.

 

Here’s an excerpt from the end of one of those emails:

“…..I already think about food too much as it is and when I hear webinars about plant-based diets and eating less meat/protein I feel I’m doing the right thing. Yet I then hear “anti-aging experts” talk about needing higher protein and I stress about changing my entire diet. It’s very frustrating! How do I eat intuitively if trying to eat by a ratio 40/30/30? I don’t have any idea about the ratio I eat or even “how many calories” my body needs but I think it seems eating like 40/30/30 is not at all intuitive eating if it needs to be calculated. Please help!”

 

Well, this woman who wrote in to me is right. This is not intuitive at all.

 

We were not born with a calculator attached to our bodies, adding up the protein, carbs and fat we eat with each morsel of food every day.

 

Our bodies know exactly what we need, and if we would stop trying to manipulate this, there would be no disordered eating or eating disorders.

 

There are WAY too many people on the internet touting THE way to eat to help you lose weight, be healthier, and age backwards. My advice to you is to STOP listening to them. Go with your gut! What does your instinct say when you hear or read these “new and revolutionary” ways to eat and live longer?

 

Trust yourself. You were born with the ability to know what you need. Your body is truly amazing like that. If you go for a few days without eating vegetables, for example, at some point your body is going to say to you “can you please give me some roughage so I can have a bowel movement?” It’s up to you to listen.

 

So dear reader, I am not going to tell you what percentage of the macros to eat. But I will encourage you to just be. Just let your body guide you to what nutrients it needs and wants in each moment at each meal.

 

The result: more freedom to think about other joys in your life instead of counting your macros.

 

 

3 tips to manage food stress in your life

44708423 – vector illustration in super mom concept, many hands working with very busy business and housework part, feeding baby, cleaning house, cooking, doing washing, working with laptop. flat design.

I returned to my office yesterday after a 4-day weekend. Wow, the number of emails, messages, Facebook notifications and faxes was truly overwhelming. Then the phone calls started…people somehow know the minute I sit behind my desk.

 

I was overwhelmed. That overwhelm caused me to procrastinate on getting some projects done, like this blog for IE Wednesday which I am writing quite late!

 

What I didn’t do was turn to food. Yet so many people do.

 

Food has become a way for so many women in my community to distract from pain, procrastinate from work, and deal with the stress and overwhelm they experience in their lives. The problem is that food does not fix any of these things!!

 

Food is supposed to be enjoyed. Yet, when speaking with so many clients, and potential clients, they tell me that food is stressful. All aspects of food, whether its deciding what to eat, shopping and preparing food for meals, or even the thought of going out to eat food.

 

And certainly, the guilt they feel after they eat what they think they “shouldn’t eat’!

 

Stress, stress, stress!

 

So today I wanted to share some strategies with you to help you manage food-related stress, without turning to food to cope!

 

If you have had a difficult relationship with food for some time now, then you can probably relate with today’s topic.

 

I know you probably want food to be a non-issue in your life. And you know what? It can be.

 

Let’s first start with 3 strategies that you can put into place immediately to help you minimize the stress around food.

 

Strategy #1: Set up your environment for success.

While I’m all about teaching you how to be intuitive in your eating (of course…I teach intuitive eating!), I am also very practical. It is important to be mindful of your eating and one way to do that is to reduce your external eating cues. That means put all food away after you’ve eaten and don’t leave food on the counters or table. If food is left out, it can very easily lead to mindless munching which then leads to feelings of guilt and frustration for eating when you weren’t hungry.

 

Strategy #2: Seek assistance from your family members.

Food shopping and meal prep doesn’t have to just be your responsibility. Get everyone involved in the menu planning. Even better, assign everyone a night to prepare the dinner. This way the whole family is involved, the kids will more likely eat what they help to prepare, and you get quality family time too.

 

Strategy #3. Start to use meditation and visualization.  Meditation can be a powerful tool to help keep your mind clear and stress-free. You can use meditation as a way to visualize yourself being stress-free around food and, by visualizing that, you can start to believe it will happen too.

 

These strategies are a good place to get started and you can use them as a way to figure out what works best for you.

 

But I have more right inside my online ‘do-it-yourself’ program where you will get my best strategies to decreasing the stress and overwhelm in your daily life!

 

And, because reality has it that there will be times when stress just happens, I teach you the most important questions you need to ask, and practices for you to use to beat that stress without turning to food (because let’s face it, it’s not about the food, it’s about the reasons you are eating!)

 

Save 30% during this Memorial Day Special – 2 days only. Seriously, check out all you get for just $67. You can’t get coaching or a therapy session for that fee anywhere!