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3 Powerful Approaches to Defying Diet Culture

Last week I called out the 3 biggest crimes of Diet Culture. If you didn’t read that blog yet, check it out here!

 

As a quick review, the 3 biggest crimes of Diet Culture are: Dishonesty, Disregard, and Destruction!

 

Any eating pattern that emphasizes how you look over your mental and physical well-being is detrimental. Diet Culture thrives on dichotomous thinking, also known as black-and-white thinking. Eat foods on the good list and you’ll be “thin” (good); eat foods on the bad list and you’ll be “fat” (bad). Thin = win!

 

In reality, no one food has the power to make you “thin” or “fat”.

 

I realize this might not be a popular belief among dieters or programs and people that spew dieting information. But if you think about it long and hard (and re-read that sentence multiple times), I believe you’ll come to this realization – eventually.

 

So what can you do NOW to help you come to this realization before you jump back onto the diet bandwagon?

 

3 Powerful Approaches to Defying Diet Culture

 Let’s address 3 very powerful impactful approaches that can help you defy diet culture.

 

  1. Non-Diet Living and Intuitive Eating

Non-diet living and intuitive eating used to be less traveled paths, but more people are choosing these with great success. Dieting is physically and mentally exhausting and people are simply tired – tired of dieting and tired of hating themselves, 2 things which go hand-in-hand.

 

Intuitive eating, along with the Health at Every Size movement, are striving to shift the focus away from body weight and demonizing food. They are displacing the current definition of healthy, broadening it to encompass more than simply a number on the scale. This shifts the perspective inward, focusing on listening to what your body is telling you, and on habits and behaviors for improved long-term health, versus how many pounds you’ve lost. More and more research is finding practices such as intuitive eating helping people with disordered eating habits become more in tune with their bodies again.

 

I recognize that the idea of no longer dieting is a scary thought if you’ve been dieting for many years. Logically you realize that the diets have never given you long term weight loss. In fact, you weigh more now than when you started dieting all those years ago. Research will back that up. Diets lead to weight gain, end of story.

 

So what would help you on this journey? This takes us to approach #2…

 

  1. Self-Compassion

Diet Culture thrives on you hating yourself. If that sounds harsh, it’s because it is. Dieting is about willpower and when you don’t have enough willpower, you start beating yourself up, telling yourself you’ll always fail.

 

Try something different. Try using self-compassion.

 

You’ll find that treating yourself with kindness is much more satisfying because it’s impossible to hate yourself into positive change. You’d never dream of speaking to your friend the way you speak to yourself, yet Diet Culture has taught you to do just that. After decades of believing it, be gentle with yourself in your escape from that mentality. It took time to build and it will take a long time to break down. It’s important to remember there is no perfection in the healing process. It will most certainly be challenging but you are most certainly worth that effort.

 

Sounds logical, right? When asked if you’d speak to your friend who is struggling with her food that way you speak to yourself, of course the answer is no, you would not.

 

Part of this journey is body acceptance. And a very important part of accepting your body where it is now is the 3rd approach to defying Diet Culture.

 

  1. Weight Inclusivity

Accepting and respecting the shapes and sizes ALL human beings come in defies the perfectionist ideology of Diet Culture. There is no one height/shape/weight everyone should be. Our culture needs to move further toward a mindset where judgement is no longer passed on people who don’t meet Diet Culture’s moving target of “perfection.”

 

More and more research is supporting the idea that being a certain weight or looking a certain way does not equate to being “healthy” or “not healthy.” Intuitive eating and Health at Every Size are teaching internal acceptance as well as acceptance of others, appreciating the diversity. They temper the internal diet wars being waged.

 

The principles of intuitive eating remind you how different everyone is and helps you to accept and respect your body where it is right now.  It is key to stop passing judgement on others which will make it easier to stop passing judgement on yourself.

 

So how do you mesh these 3 approaches together, so you can defy Diet Culture?

 

Start with having a heart-to-heart sit down with yourself. Ask yourself the tough questions:

  1. Has all the dieting I’ve done helped me achieve weight loss that I can maintain for a lifetime? No.
  2. Do I bash my body every day, maybe even multiple times per day? Yes.
  3. Do I wish food could just be a “non-issue” and meal time can be relaxed? Yes.
  4. Am I afraid to try this new approach of intuitive eating? Yes.
  5. Do I need support and a partner to walk the journey with me? Yes.

 

Great job! Contact me here and let’s defy Diet Culture together!

 

 

Handling Life’s Twists and Turns

Life happens. Twists and turns appear out of nowhere and even as an intuitive eater, you may lose focus for a bit.

 

The truth is that no matter where you are on your intuitive eating journey, stressful life events are bound to occur. It’s okay to feel stressed or anxious, but you don’t want to lose yourself to life’s surprises. I encourage you to stay focused on your big WHY to keep you pushing through the obstacles.

 

When you feel life weighing you down, you may feel inclined to turn to food… But food is meant to nourish you, not be used as your crutch. There are other things you can do to help you handle life’s twists and turns that don’t involve food. I’m here today to help you find out what those other things are (and they are often different for everyone).

 

I will turn the question around on you for a moment. “What can you do to keep moving forward when life throws you curveballs?”

 

Before you answer that, I want you to really focus on WHY you are on the intuitive eating journey. As you feel like you are falling apart, ask yourself the reason you embarked on your intuitive eating journey. Was it to feel better in your body? Was it to be a good role model for your kids? Was it to stop the diet madness?

 

Chances are your “why” still resonates somewhere within you, even on your darkest days. Let this motivate you. Some days are easier than others but if you keep your “why” in focus, you can navigate the bumps along the way. Instead of letting the tough times discourage you from working to better your health and yourself, use mindfulness to clear your head space and find peace within yourself.

 

Here are 3 things you can do to help you handle life’s twists and turns:

 

1. Prioritize your own needs. Make every day the best it can be by prioritizing your own needs. That may mean making a list of goals, tasks to tackle, or fresh produce to pick up from the grocery store. Each step in the right direction is an important one.

 

You can make the most of each day by scheduling time for your own needs into your daily routine. There is a time for work, a time for taking care of the needs of others, and a time to care for yourself. This includes time to sit down for meals and to be engaged, mindful and do nothing but focus on your food.

 

2. Take time to unwind each day. This can be movement you enjoy, taking a bath, catching the newest episode of your favorite TV show, or talking with a friend. Remember that you do not have to navigate alone. At times life is too much to balance on your own so reach out to friends, coworkers, family, and loved ones for support when you need it. By letting go of pent up emotions, you will be clearing your mind and allowing more room for mindfulness.

 

You may be thinking “but I don’t have TIME to relax.” Trust me, I know the feeling. With busy schedules, sometimes it may feel like there is just no time to unwind. Even just taking 15 minutes to vent to a friend or to decompress your thoughts onto paper will benefit your day and your overall goals.

 

3. Write down your motivation. Instead of making excuses as to why you cannot do this or that, put that energy towards focusing on the reasons you embarked on your intuitive eating journey. Write down your motivation and the messages your body is sending you. You will gain clarity and feel motivated to continue along your journey.

 

The truth is, life comes at you fast. You cannot go back in time but you can make the most of your present and future. Honing in on your intuitive eating and mindfulness will help you navigate through life’s obstacles and keep you on track to being the best version of yourself.

 

Always remember, when you are feeling low, there is nowhere to go but up! If you keep your focus and mindfulness, you will find inner peace on even your worst days.

 

Special invitation for you: Come join an amazing group of women in the Intuitive Eating Mastery Circle. They are navigating life’s twists and turns while successfully moving forward on their intuitive eating journey. Get all the info and join us here!

 

How Intuitive Eating Impacts Your Health

It’s Intuitive Eating Wednesday when I answer your questions and troubleshoot your challenges around intuitive eating and emotional eating.

 

This week’s Intuitive Eating Wednesday Question comes from Dorica, and it is:

 

“Can intuitive eating improve someone’s health, such as migraines or upset stomach?”

 

The short answer is yes! Let me explain.

 

There are 3 reasons why intuitive eating will help improve your health, specifically migraines or an upset stomach (there are many other ways your health can be improved through intuitive eating, but I am specifically answering this week’s question about migraines (or headaches in general), and GI issues).

 

  1. Intuitive eating is stress-free!

 

Stress…. it’s a very powerful word which has a lot of effects on your body. When you live in a chronically stressed state, the switch to your stress response, known as ‘fight or flight’, stays on. This affects you in various ways including cognitively (memory problems, difficulty concentrating), emotionally (moody, irritable, depression), behaviorally (sleeping problems, social withdrawal) and physically (bowel irregularities, nausea).

 

What causes stress? Dieting! Hands down, calorie counting, restricting food, tracking points, logging your food into an app – all causes stress. And this stress triggers your internal stress response. As long as you continue dieting, you will stay in a stressed state and deal with the negative effects of it.

 

Once you decide to give up dieting and embrace the path towards intuitive eating, it’s like a ton of bricks is lifted off your shoulders. The stress disappears, and I bet you’ll see the headaches and gastrointestinal discomfort does too.

 

 

  1. Intuitive eating results in more consistent eating patterns

 

When you ditch eating by the clock, as most diets tell you to do (you know, all those rules that you follow), you learn to tune into your inner hunger and fullness signals. This likely results in a more consistent pattern of eating, specific to your inner wisdom. This consistency will improve the gastrointestinal symptoms you are experiencing, a.k.a. an upset stomach. And, will decrease any headaches that might have come from low blood sugar due to an inconsistent eating pattern.

 

Another point here to make is this. If you are still dieting, you probably find yourself in the restrict-binge cycle. So you restrict foods that you deem as bad for you, but at some point you can’t take it anymore. So, you end up eating said foods, but you don’t just have some, you overeat on those foods, leading to a binge. Then, you experience a flare in your IBS or other GI symptoms. Your mind goes right away to “You see, I can’t tolerate those foods”, but in reality, it’s the dosage of the foods you are eating, not the actual food itself.

 

So, give up dieting and restriction and embrace intuitive eating. You will find that you have more energy and your stomach is digesting food just the way nature intended.

 

 

  1. Intuitive eating encourages you to tune inward.

 

When you practice intuitive eating, you are engaging in mindful eating practices along the journey. That means you are learning to slow down, savor your food and tune in to how your body feels after you eat something. You are moving from auto pilot eating into conscious eating and this allows you to attune, not only to your inner signals, but also to your body’s reaction to food.

 

As a dieter, you listen to what the diets or health gurus tell you to eat. Many times, you don’t even enjoy it. Most of the time, you finish your meal and have had minimal to no pleasure in it. As an intuitive eater, you have rediscovered the pleasure in eating. If you had pleasure after eating when you were dieting, it was likely accompanied by guilt. That guilt turned to shame.

 

No more.

 

Without the guilt and shame and food worry, you can listen to what your body tells you in terms of how it feels. Then the next time you are about to decide whether to eat a food or not, you’ll remember how you felt the last time you ate it. Did your belly hurt? Did your blood sugar plummet? These factors will then play a role in whether you decide to eat that food or not.

 

Wow! Isn’t intuitive eating amazing?

 

Yes, it is!

 

Ready to start YOUR intuitive eating journey? Just email me and say “I’m Ready!”

 

 

 

3 Questions to Consider When Choosing an Intuitive Eating Program

It’s Intuitive Eating Wednesday! This is the day I answer your questions on intuitive eating and/or emotional eating.

 

Today’s question comes from a woman I spoke to on Monday. Let’s call her Pat.

 

Pat contacted me to learn more about my 5 Step Intuitive Eating Program called Freedom to Eat Forever. You see, she’s been dieting for a long time, has struggled with binge eating and hating her body, and really wants to embrace intuitive eating. But, here’s her question:

 

“I’ve already invested hundreds of dollars in other intuitive eating programs, and I’m still struggling. I’m nervous to commit, even though it sounds like working one-on-one with you is what I need. How do I overcome this worry and make the commitment?”

 

This is a great question and a very valid concern.

 

There’s 3 things I asked her to consider, which I’d like you to consider as well if you have the same question.

 

1. Was it an intuitive eating program, or a diet disguised as intuitive eating?

 

There are many health coaches, holistic nutritionists and self-proclaimed gurus on the internet that are saying they are teaching intuitive eating. Yet, upon deeper investigation, they have hijacked the term intuitive eating and are disguising it in a diet.

 

Case in point: a well-known coach is promoting her program where she teaches you to not diet, but then gives you rules around eating and exercise.

 

Another coach starts you off on the ketogenic diet, but teaches you how to lose weight through mindfulness while on the keto diet.

 

And yet a third coach is telling you not to follow any of the old rules of dieting, but then gives you a whole new list of rules to follow.

 

Huh?

 

Rules are rules, whether they are 50 years old, 10 years old or 2 days old.

 

The idea behind intuitive eating is yes, listening to your body and your inner cues of hunger and fullness, but also to put YOU back in the driver’s seat.

 

Intuitive eating empowers you to trust in yourself again, trust that you can make food choices and exercise decisions for your body that feel right for you. Not that another person feels is best for you.

 

Now don’t get me wrong. This doesn’t mean that you wouldn’t benefit from guidance from a professional on nutrition and movement. You can, most everyone can. But the idea is that you get to make the decisions with the gentle, caring support of a professional walking the journey with you.

 

2. Did you have any one-on-one private coaching?

 

Many clients who come to me after having “tried” other intuitive eating programs realize that the missing piece for them was the lack of 1-1 private coaching in other programs. They joined a group program because it was a less expensive route, and while there were group coaching calls, there were no, or very few, 1-1 private coaching sessions. They attended the group calls, but didn’t get to do the deep dive work to uncover the mental blocks and limiting beliefs that were holding them back.

 

Once these women started working with me 1-1, they saw the value in getting the personal help and insight into how their past is affecting their present. That’s when real change happened.

 

The program Pat previously invested in did not have 1-1 coaching, and this made all the difference for her.

 

Did you have the deep dive 1-1 coaching as part of your previous intuitive eating program?

 

3. Are you a self-starter and self-motivator?

 

This is a very important question to ask yourself, and to answer honestly. If you are not a self-starter and don’t do well holding yourself accountable, then that is probably one very big reason why those other programs didn’t work out for you.

 

In the case of Pat, she joined a group program that had modules for her to complete. The problem is she isn’t a self-starter and would push off doing the modules. When she motivated herself enough to sit down and do some of the work, it didn’t last long. Her kids needed her, her husband needed her and she got pushed back down to the bottom of the totem pole.

 

There was no consistency, and this lack of consistency and action kept her stuck where she was.

 

If this sounds like you, that’s okay. Not everyone can ‘go it alone’. The fact that you identify this now helps you to take your next steps.

 

After considering these 3 questions, Pat decided to take a leap of faith and work with me one-on-one so she can finally be at peace with food and her body.

 

Are you ready to take your leap of faith? If yes, just email me at Bonnie@DietFreeRadiantMe.com with the subject line: I’m Ready!

 

Best wishes for a happy, healthy and intuitive 2018!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dreading the Diet Talk at Your Holiday Meal? Here’s 3 Survival Tips!

It’s only 5 days until Christmas, which means you’ll likely be surrounded by family, friends, food and wine! The holiday season brings with it all types of emotions, some happy and some sad.

 

Add to these emotions the fact that you are surrounded by dieting messages at every turn. “New Year, New You” is a common theme as we end one year and begin planning for the next. This message is enmeshed in diet culture, sucking you into thinking there’s something wrong with the “current you”!

 

I’m here to tell you there is nothing wrong with you, just as you are now!

 

If you have achieved a peaceful relationship with food and your body, then you are in a place where these media messages are benign to you. They don’t affect you, except make you mad as hell that the diet industry is praying on those desperate to lose weight.

 

But thankfully, that is not you anymore. You appreciate your body, you are at peace with food, and you are enjoying the holiday meals without guilt. And I am so happy for you.

 

If you aren’t yet there yet, just know that I realize this next week may be challenging for you. If you will be surrounded by family members who are dieting, you will hear comments at your holiday meal such as:

“I shouldn’t be eating this, but…”

“I’m starting Diet X on January 1st…”

“I can’t eat that dessert, you are?”

 

How you handle these comments will determine whether you slip back into diet mentality or not.

 

Here are 3 Tips to Help You Navigate the Diet Talk at Your Holiday Meal:

  1. Maintain awareness: That word right there, awareness, will be the difference between you throwing in the towel or standing your ground. Stay present within your body and make purposeful food choices that honor you! If at any point you find yourself losing that awareness, that’s okay. Bring yourself back to the present moment with a pause and a few deep breaths.

 

  1. Tune out the diet talk: When the family starts getting into all the diet talk, just tune them out. Start to sing your favorite song in your head, think about the good time you had on your last vacation, or excuse yourself from the table for a stretch and walk around the house. You will be so thankful that you are no longer going down the rabbit hole of the ‘New Year Diet’!

 

  1. Change the topic: When the conversation goes to the food and should/shouldn’ts, change the topic! Be the leader in moving the conversation to where you want it to go. A good idea is to have some conversation starters ready to go such as:

 

  • “What’s the most embarrassing thing that happened to you in the last 6 months?”
  • “If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money?”
  • “If you could have any superpower, what would it be?”
  • “What’s your biggest pet peeve?”

 

You have the power within you to resist falling back into diet mentality. Keep reminding yourself of this, especially as December is coming to a close and a New Year is beginning!

 

And, give thought to how you want your intuitive eating journey to look in 2018.

 

If you are content in continuing to go it alone and are happy with your progress, then I am happy for you too!

 

But if any part of you would like a smoother transition into the world of intuitive eating, then reach out to me and let’s see how I can support you in the New Year. Just answer a few questions at www.TalkWithBonnie.com and we will set up a time to speak.

 

Best wishes for a Happy Holiday!

 

 

Can You Mindfully Eat Fast?

Mindful eating. Sounds simple doesn’t it?

 

Actually, it’s not! If it was, many more people would be doing to. Why is it so difficult to eat mindfully?

 

I think a big reason is the chaotic lifestyle that a lot of people live.

 

We live in a society where we are constantly running, running, running, doing, doing, doing. If we aren’t ‘running’ and ‘doing’, then we are considered lazy.

 

When we have a chaotic lifestyle like this, chances are our eating is chaotic as well. We don’t plan, and even if we do, we don’t have time to carry out the plan, so we just grab what we can when we can.

 

Some people call this winging it.

 

Do you experience this?

 

Let me share a story with you. This is an experience that happened to me 2 weeks ago.

 

It was Wednesday.

 

Wednesdays are very busy days for me with client appointments often back-to-back. I planned a lunch break into my schedule, but this particular Wednesday morning time got away from me. It was 12:40 pm and I was 10 minutes late to leave the office for lunch. But, I figured that’s alright, my next appointment isn’t until 1:30 pm, so I will work for another 10 minutes to finish up a project, and then I’ll still have 40 minutes left for lunch.

 

My assistant then says to me, “Bonnie, you need to break for lunch. Your next appointment is in 20 minutes at 1:00 pm”!

 

I jumped up, looked at my appointment book and in fact, the next appointment was only 20 minutes away. I made a mistake in my timing. I was noticing gentle hunger, and I knew I needed to eat lunch before my next appointment, otherwise I won’t have a break for many hours.

 

I left the office, went to my kitchen and prepared my lunch. I was intending to have soup and a salad (I love soup and it was a bit chilly out), but noticing the time, I knew I would not have enough time to mindfully eat and enjoy.

 

So, I changed course.

 

I asked myself what else would I enjoy eating now, that I can prepare quickly and not rush eating? The answer was a sandwich.

 

By the time I sat down to eat the sandwich, I had 10 minutes to eat. Oh no, I thought. Can I mindfully eat my sandwich in 10 minutes?

 

The answer is YES!

 

Here are the things 3 mindful eating strategies I used that you can use too when you are in a hurry, and still want to eat mindfully:

 

  1. Sit down at the table, do not eat standing. This is so important. If you eat while standing at the counter, or running around the kitchen, you won’t actually process that you just ate your lunch. So, while you may fill your belly, I can tell you that psychologically you won’t feel satisfied and you’ll be searching for something to eat the moment you have a break.

 

  1. Put your fork down in between bites. Or, in my case, I put my sandwich down in between bites so I can focus on what’s in my mouth and not on the next bite I am about to take.

 

  1. Avoid all distraction. Mealtime is not the time to catch up on your texts, emails or the local news. Give your food the attention it deserves.

 

 

I mindfully ate my sandwich in 10 minutes and returned to the office just in time for my next client appointment. I felt satisfied, both physically and psychologically.

 

Now it’s your turn: Tell me a time when you have eaten mindfully when in a rush! Comment below!

 

 

Here’s the BIG Difference Between Intuitive Eating and Dieting

Picture this: A new diet comes to market. It’s exciting; this will be the one. You start the diet and things are going well. But then you had a bad day at work, you went on vacation or you had a fight with your boyfriend. Or, you get on the scale on weigh-in day and it hasn’t budged.

 

Either way, you ended up in the pint of ice cream saying to yourself “forget it, what does it matter anyway”.

 

You have just “thrown in the towel” from another diet. If you are a chronic dieter, then more than likely you have “thrown in the towel” quite a few times.

 

But, have you ever asked yourself, “When will this end?”

 

I’ll tell you when! When you finally realize that diets are not working for you. Never have, never will. When you decide that to give up dieting, you need another path. And, you have discovered intuitive eating is that path.

 

Okay, so let’s talk about this intuitive eating path.

 

You start working with me to learn how to reclaim being an intuitive eater (I say “reclaim” because let me remind you that you were born an intuitive eater). And you immediately are having major “aha” moments. Wow, you are discovering things about yourself, your past, your beliefs that you never realized impacted your relationship with food.

 

This is great! You laugh, you cry, all from a good place of finally moving forward.

 

Then it happens. You disappear, stop showing up for your appointments and stop returning emails and phone calls.

 

What is going on?

 

More than likely, an old familiar trigger has popped up and you haven’t yet learned how to handle it. So, you fall back into past overeating habits. Now you feel bad, embarrassed and say to yourself “you see, this won’t work either”. And, you throw in the towel.

 

Now here is the difference between intuitive eating and dieting….

 

THERE IS NO FAILURE IN INTUITIVE EATING!

 

THERE IS NO “THROWING IN THE TOWEL” IN INTUITIVE EATING!

 

Intuitive eating is a learning experience. It’s a process of ups and downs. Whatever trigger has thrown you “for a loop”, you’ll learn from it. Don’t let it take you back to a place that you DON’T want to be….back to the land of dieting!

 

I am here to help you become an intuitive eater. I can help you reach your goal of being diet-free.

 

Reach out to me if you are interested in going from Dieter to Intuitive Eater! We can have a strategy session to see how I can help you and what will work best for you.

 

Revealing My ‘Word’ of 2017

We are 5 days into the New Year….how are you doing with your New Year’s Intentions?

 

Remember from last week’s post, I am not a believer in resolutions! I like to think instead of “Intentions for the New Year

 

There’s a lot of talk online about picking a word or theme for the year. This is a word or theme that will define how you want to feel and act in the New Year. I’ve never been one to actually pick a word or theme, but this year was different.

 

It just happened. I felt it in my bones. It was intuitive. And all of a sudden I was posting in my business support group my intentions for the New Year and my word for 2017 came alive.

 

Ready for it?? Here it comes………….

 

FUN!

 

I have decided that I want to add more fun to my life on both a personal level and a professional level. Now, I’m sure you can figure out how I’ll add fun to my personal level. Think date nights with hubby, fun activities with my kids, and giggles with my grandsons.

 

But how will I infuse fun into my professional life?

 

Well, it happened organically at our New Year’s party Facebook Live! I put on my New Year’s hat, 2017 funky glasses and had my party horn, with music playing and was dancing live in our private FB group. The members of my group joined in…posting selfies in their New Year’s getup and dancing wherever they were (home, in a hotel, in their car – as a passenger!).

 

In between all the fun, we settled down and got down to business, learning about the mental blocks that keep you spinning in the diet-deprivation vicious cycle.

 

It was amazing! I got positive feedback and made some great connections (seems my 2nd word for the year is becoming ‘connection’). And from this experience, my 2017 word was born…FUN. We can have fun and overcome our deepest struggles at the same time.

 

Are you ready to have fun AND leave your food and body struggles behind?

 

If so, I have an opportunity for you! And, here it is:

 

Freedom to Eat Forever™ is a LIVE group program where I take you through my 5 step system to breaking free of dieting to become an intuitive eater. The program is opening for enrollment in February. But don’t wait until then.

 

Register in January to receive 2 amazing bonuses:

 

  1. 36 Ready-to-Go Nourishing Meals and Bonus Recipes

 

  1. 60 minute Private Coaching Call with me

 

 

Email me at Bonnie@DietFreeRadiantMe.com to set up a complementary time to speak with me to learn more about the program and to see if it is a right fit for you. No pressure! If it’s not a fit, I will tell you!

 

These January bonuses disappear on January 20th and will NOT be offered to those who enroll in February!

 

Freedom to Eat Forever™ is your opportunity to make peace with food, enjoy guilt-free eating a life free of dieting and a body you love.  

I’m waiting here for your email. Or, just call me direct at 516-486-4569.

 

P.S. What’s YOUR word of 2017? Tell me in the comments below!

 

New Year, More Mindfulness

Whenever the New Year nears, it’s all about “New Year, New Me”.  The “new me” is usually associated with joining the gym and going on a crash diet, all to lose a few pounds.  Instead of starting your New Year off with enjoyment and ready to tackle what comes your way, you’re starting it off with food restrictions and stress about going to the gym and “needing” to lose the weight.

 

Why do you associate the New Year with weight loss?

 

Let’s try something different this New Year and reframe your thought process.  Change your “New Year, New Me” mentality into “New Year, More Mindfulness”.  By taking a step back from focusing solely on weight loss and what your body looks like, you’ll develop a greater appreciation for what your body is capable of and what it needs to be its best.

 

Here are 5 tips on how to, or continue to, be mindful in the New Year:

 

  1. Recommit to your diet-free journey. Remind yourself why you began your intuitive eating journey, or are planning to begin it. Then every time another commercial hits the airwaves, an email pops up in your inbox or your friend chews your ear off with the new diet she is on, quietly repeat this mantra to yourself “I have committed to a diet-free life. I rock!”

 

  1. State your New Year intention. Set a clear intention about what you want to experience in 2017 and what steps you will take to reach your goals. Write down your big intention and keep it in a visible spot around your home.  Reflect back on it throughout the year when you need a reminder about what you want to accomplish by 2018!!

 

  1. Listen to your body. Instead of focusing on the weight you “need” to lose and restricting your favorite foods, focus on listening to your body. What is your body trying to tell you?  Does it want you to stop dieting?  Does it want you to feed it nourishing meals?  By taking the time to listen to your body, you’ll develop a stronger relationship with it and you’ll learn to love your body.

 

  1. Practice moderation, not deprivation. You may feel like you need to deprive yourself to avoid weight gain, but that’s not true. When you deprive yourself, the backlash is overeating and bingeing.  If you take the time to listen to your body and savor each bite, you’ll find you are satisfied with smaller portions.

 

  1. Avoid celebrating with food. Whenever something good happens in life, birthday, promotion, anniversary, etc., going out to eat is the common way to celebrate. But, if you’re struggling with your relationship with food, this can be a difficult time.  Instead of going out to eat to celebrate an occasion, find another way to celebrate that makes you feel comfortable and happy,

 

By becoming more mindful of your body and what your body needs, you’ll be able to give your body what it wants.  With mindfulness, you’ll learn to become an intuitive eater.  You’ll be able to avoid overeating, feeding your emotions and loving your body once again.

 

If you want to talk, just contact me here.

 

A Happy and Mindful Thanksgiving

happy-thanksgivingThanksgiving is hands down one of my favorite holidays.  I love having the whole family over and a table full of good food.  It is the perfect way to kick off the holiday season!

 

But I do know it is easy to get lost in the chaos. Don’t let yourself feel out of control this year. Start your holiday season off on the right foot! Make this the year that you conquer your dieting habits and turn to intuitive and mindful eating for a body you love.

 

Mindful Eating

 

Engaging in mindful eating can be the perfect way to help you enjoy Thanksgiving this year.  Here are four tips to help you stay mindful.

 

  1. Stay fully conscious. It’s easy to lose yourself in all the food, conversation and football.  If you maintain an awareness of your food choices, amount of food you are serving yourself and eating, you can avoid overindulging.  This can be difficult in a social situation, but if you set your intentions out in the morning, you can do it!

 

  1. Serve small portions. With a holiday that only comes once a year, you can easily serve yourself large portions of your favorite dishes.  You may even fall prey to “my eyes are bigger than my stomach”.  Start with small portions to avoid overeating yet still satisfies your craving.  If you are still hungry you could always have more.

 

  1. Listen to your body. Do you belong to the “clean your plate club”?  This year commit to staying present and listening to your body’s signals as you are getting satiated.  Stop eating when you feel comfortable, you can always wrap up the rest of your food and take it home.  If you do this, you will be able to enjoy your favorites when you get hungry again.

 

  1. Pace Yourself. During the meal, pacing yourself is key. Put your fork down and spend time talking to relatives in-between bites. This allows your brain to register the food that is entering your stomach. Your body will be able to signal when you are satisfied and have eaten enough.

 

The holidays can be a difficult time for someone who has just started on the intuitive eating journey.  Resisting the urge to overeat can be hard to overcome.  But you can do it! 

 

Recipe Modifications

 

While it’s great to eat your favorite traditional Thanksgiving dishes, consider modifying the recipes just a bit to better nourish your body.

 

  • Sweet Potato Casserole – Who doesn’t love sweet potatoes covered in marshmallows? But guess what… the marshmallows are not a necessity!  Instead, you can top the sweet potatoes with raisins, chopped pecans and a small handful of mini marshmallows.  This way you won’t miss the sweet melted topping, it is now just a lighter dish.
  • Mashed Potatoes – Do you normally take all skin off the potatoes and use whole milk when making mashed potatoes? Instead, leave the skin on and use low-fat milk or soy milk.  I promise you it will still taste delicious, but with less fat and more nutrients.
  • Salt – In many traditional dishes, salt is a staple. However, it isn’t the only seasoning that can be used to add flavor.  Try adding other herbs in place of salt, such as thyme or parsley.
  • Sour Cream – Do you serve baked potatoes topped with sour cream at your Thanksgiving dinner? Swap the sour cream for Greek yogurt and add a sprinkle of scallions for more flavor!

 

Still looking for more ways to have a mindful Thanksgiving?  Start your day off with a long morning walk to kick-start your body.  Also, don’t forget to eat breakfast!  This will keep you satisfied and help you avoid heading into dinner starving.

 

Check out this article from BRGHealth.com for tips on how to have a safe Thanksgiving.