What To Eat When You Don’t Feel Like Cooking

Summer is in full swing and the days couldn’t be hotter. You may be thinking how the last thing you want to do is turn on the oven and heat up your kitchen, or maybe its been a long day and you don’t feel like committing much time to preparing food at all. Or maybe you could use some some fresh meal inspiration. Either way, we got you covered with some ideas for summer meal planning.

Grain Bowls

Grain bowls are a great option for a balanced meal, and some convenience items can make it a no-cook meal: try microwavable quinoa pouches (Target) or frozen brown rice cups (Trader Joe’s) for the grains. While these swaps may be more expensive per serving compared to buying in bulk and cooking, it may be helpful to keep some on hand. Try these recipes or throw whatever leftover veggies and protein you have on hand with the grains and add your favorite sauce/dressing:

Quinoa Caprese Chicken Bowls

Burrito Bowls – heat the beans in the microwave or eat at room temperature with the seasonings added.

Chicken Salad/Smashed Chickpea salad

Chicken salad can easily be prepared without cooking using pre-cooked or rotisserie chicken – just chop it up real fine. Add some mayo, salt, pepper, and whatever mix-ins you like (celery, grapes, nuts, pickles, herbs). Click here for our favorite chicken salad recipes.

For a vegetarian version, try this smashed chickpea salad. So flavorful and easy!

Pair the salads with your carbohydrates of choice for a balanced meal, like crackers or bread/toast.

Roll Ups

Roll ups are basically wraps with various fillings…just rolled and sliced into bite-sized wheels. If this is a meal versus a snack, you can add another side item or two to ensure you meet your nutritional needs, like a yogurt cup, veggies with dip or handful or two of nuts. Here’s some ideas:

Peanut Butter Banana Roll Ups

Pizza Roll Ups

Ham & Cheese Roll Ups

For more meal planning inspiration, talk to your nourishED dietitian! For a free 15 minute Meet & Greet to meet a dietitian and learn how we can help, schedule your appointment here.

Tips for Summer Cookouts

Memorial Day Weekend has come and gone, signaling that warm weather is here and summer is right around the corner. With warm weather often comes social gathering, although this year may have looked quite different while dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing efforts. While you may choose to get together with family or friends from a distance, there may be something else that is causing stress: the food.

Imagine this scenario: you are at your family’s house and someone yells “Alright, its time to eat!”. A family member tells you to “grab a plate and go for it”. You look over at the tables of food: burgers, hot dogs, every kind of pasta and macaroni salad and desserts galore. If you are someone in the throes of an eating disorder or struggling with food and body image concerns, this scenario might send you into panic mode, and you can feel your anxiety setting in.

But the cookout doesn’t have to play out as your worst case scenario. Here are three tips you can put into practice next time you find yourself in a social gathering involving food:

Bring a dish

Anxiety can build when you don’t know what will be served and what food will or won’t be available. So bring one with you! Not only will the host appreciate you bringing food to share, knowing that there is at least one food that you are familiar with can be comforting. Its also important to challenge yourself with eating other foods or trying new things – make it a point to at least try one food that isn’t totally in your comfort zone. Perhaps share it with a friend Go ahead and eat the brownie –you can do hard things!

Take a tour of the table

Just because its “your turn” or the food has been brought out, doesn’t mean that you need to commit to making a decision right this moment. Take some time to stroll around and see what is being offered first. That way you can feel more prepared to take a moment and check in with yourself, and decide what to put on your plate. Using your meal plan or the plate method (meeting all of your food groups: carbohydrates, protein, fruits/veggies, fats, and ofcourse a fun food) can make deciding what to eat a lot easier.

Eat with an ally

Find someone who can make the eating experience more enjoyable, like a friend or family member. If your uncle who has made uncomfortable food comments in the past is around, you absolutely don’t have to sit with him! Participating in meaningful conversation, or just finding a quiet spot with a scenic view away from the crowds can help bring your attention away from the negative talk that might be happening in your thoughts.

For more tips from our Registered Dietitian Nutritionists on navigating food & nutrition, visit our website to schedule your free 15 minute Meet & Greet or initial appointment!

How To Make Meal Time Less Stressful (During A Really Stressful Time)

The Coronavirus COVID-19 global health crisis has changed everyone’s life in some way. Adjusting to the new reality of socially isolating and having to establish new routines in a very short amount of time can certainly lead to increased stress and anxiety. For someone in the throes of an eating disorder, new routines can mean a change in eating behaviors, disruption of body cues, and body dissatisfaction. Below are some tips on how to manage your food and eating behaviors during quarantine:

1. Plan your meal times then your daily activities (not the other way around).

Prioritizing meal times is so important and can help you follow through with your meal plan or nutrition goals. Most likely. your routine or schedule has changed in some way, or may even have become wide open without structure to your day. Less structure combined with stress can feel chaotic and lead to chaotic eating, such as grazing, skipping meals or acting on behaviors. To avoid that, make time for meals. Give yourself a non-negotiable 1-1.5 hour window for each meal, and schedule your other activities around them.

2. Consider or reconsider cooking.

Cooking requires energy, mentally and physically speaking. During a global health crisis, its absolutely normal to feel more fatigued then usual, so consider your energy level and how it may impact meal time. Talk to your dietitian about “high energy/cooking” days that include more creative or elaborate meals and also “low energy/no-cook” meal ideas that you can just throw together. This can help you plan for and prioritize cooking on days that you are feeling more energized and motivated, and know that you can have leftovers or convenience meals for harder days.

3. Find your stress-free food zone.

Is reading the news increasing your anxiety? Stop scrolling while eating! Eating in a relaxed state can increase overall satisfaction with your meal and also help to prevent gastrointestinal upset, like heartburn or stomach pains. Create a calming space in your home where you can mindfully eat. If you need a distraction or support thats fine too, call a friend or schedule a FaceTime lunch date! Your space doesn’t have to be at the kitchen table either: find a nook, a floor, or a couch and add relaxing music or a candle to create your comfort.

For more recovery-focused eating tips, talk to your nourishED Registered Dietitian Nutritionist or schedule your initial appointment here.

What our clients are saying…

One of the important keys to healing from years of dieting or disordered eating is receiving treatment and finding your community. Individual nutrition therapy appointments are crucial, but so is engaging in meaningful conversation with people who can totally relate to what you are going through. One way to do that is by attending support groups.

Our support groups are different because they are…

  1. 100% virtual. Meaning you can log in while lounging in your jammies or on your work break.
  2. Educational. Our staff will take you through a curriculum of important topics: diet culture, nutrition, intuitive eating, body image, and the psychology of eating. And you’ll have the ability to share whatever is on your mind that day. Its a combination of open-discussion and classroom style learning (minus the tests!).
  3. Empowering. Leave group feeling more resilient in your recovery and connected to your community.

Actual client testimonials…

“It was very valuable for me to be able to hear the opinions of other women with a similar food and body image experience. This was my first time doing group “therapy” and that alone was very valuable. It was helpful to learn about how the weight loss industry profits off of weight cycling. The resources I was given were also so valuable for continued education outside of the group.” -L.K.

“These groups are amazing and critical to my recovery. Melanie offers a supportive and safe environment to discuss these sensitive issues.” -T.F

“I was so happy that I participated in a support group that reinforced the individual work I was already doing with Melanie. I found there to be so much sincerity among the participants, and I love that I felt safe and supported in sharing my experience and thoughts each week. I was surprised by how much more enlightened I felt each week – not just from the formal content – but also from the perspective of a group of people coming from different backgrounds. This support group was an amazing step in feeling less isolated and alone in my food journey!” -N.N.

“More support groups, PLEASE! Cannot wait for the body image group, this is where I struggle so hard.” -N.L.

“I’ve had less than stellar experiences with support groups in the past and honestly wasn’t expecting much. But Melanie’s group was different. They were educational (lots of interesting facts and discussion) which helped explain WHY I struggle with eating and helped me feel less alone by talking to the other participants. Definitely recommend.” -T.M.

Not sure if support groups are the right fit for you? Talk to your nourishED dietitian or therapist! We host free eating disorder recovery groups every so often so be sure to check our events page and sign up for our monthly e-newsletter at the bottom of this page.

The Dangers of Dieting

Its that time of year again that diet culture ramps up and is ready to prey on all of our post-holiday eating and body insecurities. Everywhere you look there is a new diet program or fitness routine that promises to change your life and fix your body in some new, alluring way. The top 3 New Years Resolutions year after year are dieting more, exercising more, and losing more weight…so its no wonder the $72 billion dieting industry is only growing and stealing more of our money and energy. But the reality is, diets don’t work, and neither does intense and rigid exercise routines. At least not in the long-run.

We want to point out that just because you aren’t officially following the latest elimination or weight-loss diet, doesn’t mean that you aren’t still participating in diet culture or eating in a restrictive way. Diet culture is everywhere…in the way that we praise thinness and shame larger bodies, the way that we dress, the food we buy, the healthcare we receive. Lets take a deeper look into the dangers of dieting and how diet culture is harmful to everyone.

Here’s what the research says dieting may cost you:

Your weight

95% of diets fail and most will regain their lost weight in 1-5 years. Whats more is that those who weight-cycle (aka yo-yo diet) are at an increased rick for adverse health outcomes compared to those who never lost weight to begin with. The dieting industry is the ONLY industry I can think of that has a 5% success rate yet diets are prescribed and recommended ALL.THE.TIME!

Your health

Many diets and fitness programs appear to be different, but at the end of the day the goal is usually the same – create a calorie deficit. By undereating, you are underfueling your body and brain and will inevitably lead to low energy availability, and your body will respond by slowing down in an attempt to conserve energy for survival. This presents many problems ranging from inability to regulate essential body functions (temperature, heart rate, metabolism), decrease in mental focus and increased irritability, hormonal issues (decreased testosterone and estrogen, loss of menstrual cycle and thus loss of bone mineralization leading to osteoporosis), gastrointestinal disorders like gastroparesis or slowed gastric emptying and constipation…and many other health issues.

Your mental health

35% of “occasional dieters” progress into pathological dieting (disordered eating) and as many as 25%, advance to full-blown eating disorders. Eating disorders are a mental health disorder with nutritional and physical consequences and can be life-threatening. Dieting and weight loss is NOT synonymous with health, and diet plans and protocols totally miss the mark on addressing mental health concerns or the ramifications that can result such as increased anxiety and stress or depression.

Your wallet

The dieting industry is stealing our money at an all-time high of $72 billion in 2019. How much money have you wasted on supplements, diet programs, weird diet “foods”, fancy scales, apps and trackers?

Your social life & relationships

Dieting is isolating and stressful. How can you possibly attend a pizza & movie night with your friends if your diet only allows chicken breast and broccoli? You may not go at all, or go and feel deprived or guilty if you break your diet. Research shows that the constant challenge of monitoring what you eat, eliminating foods you enjoy, and having feelings of hunger, can cause stress. This may compound attempts at losing weight, as stress causes a rise in cortisol and adrenaline, which reduces our calorie-burning potential. So we’re creating the exact conditions that make losing weight difficult by obsessing over food.

This list is by no means all-inclusive, but will hopefully get you thinking about how dieting is harmful in many ways. Now that we have looked at the risks of dieting, which begs the question: what have you gained from dieting? The majority of people pursue dieting for the purpose of weight-loss, or making their bodies smaller. Is the pursuit of weight-loss worth the risks?

If you are wondering, “if I’m not dieting…then what?” we can offer another way of thinking about food and your bodies. Rejecting dieting and diet culture and learning how to eat intuitively is a good place to start, and our Registered Dietitians can come up a roadmap to guide you towards food freedom. If you want to learn more about a non-diet approach to nutrition and wellness, we can help.

And for a limited time, we are offering our Ditching Diet Culture Virtual Support Group in January & February 2020. Be sure to RSVP to reserve your spot Click here to learn more.

Putting Mindful Meals Into Action

Mindfulness produces positive outcomes when it comes to eating, including reducing overeating or bingeing, reducing anxious thoughts about food and your body, improving diabetes symptoms, and more.

” Mindful eating isn’t difficult, but remembering to do it is.”

Do you struggle with remembering to be mindful and putting it into action? Not every meal can or has to be a mindful experience – eating on the job or feeding a baby certainly can make it challenging. But, what about committing to just one of the action steps below and putting it into action for one meal of the day, every day this week (or as often as you can)?

Here’s five ideas to try:

Sit at a table. Do you sit on the couch or in front of the tv? Make this simple change and save your show until after you eat.

Slow down. Practice makes progress. Give yourself at least 15-30 minutes before getting up from the table or going back for seconds. Set a timer on your phone if you need to.

Stop multi-tasking. Studies show that multi-tasking doesn’t actually make you more productive. So take a real break.

Talk about it. Involve the kids or your family members and describe your meal after you eat – how did it taste? What flavors did you notice most? Mindfulness can make for great conversation.

Try a new recipe. Are your taste buds on auto-pilot and tired of eating the same foods? By trying something new you will be more likely to tune-into your senses and observe the experience.

These small steps can make a big difference if you commit to doing them consistently. For more tips on mindful eating, just ask your nourishED dietitian or schedule your first appointment here.

What Kind of Eater Are You?

Have you ever considered yourself an emotional eater? Do you think way too much about food? Many kinds of eating patterns exist on a spectrum of being too careful and conscious of your diet, to not paying any attention at all to your food in the moment. Identifying and learning about your eating style can help you become aware of triggering situations that cause you to eat for non-hunger reasons, like in response to emotions or a lack of mindfulness. Its important to note that although people tend to have one dominant trait or style of eating, you may identify with all of them, or go through periods of time switching between several depending on what is going on in your life.

The following list is taken directly from the book Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch. If you haven’t watched our Introduction to Intuitive Eating Video, watch it here to learn more about this nutrition framework and how to start making peace with food today. And if you are FINALLY ready to start healing your relationship with food and feel better in your body, you might be a good fit for our comprehensive Food Peace Jumpstart Program. Get the details and fill out a short questionnaire here.

Read through this list of eating styles and take note of which style relates to you:

The Careful Eater

Trigger: Fitness and health

Characteristic: Appears to be the perfect eater. Yet anguishes over each food morsel and its effect on the body. On the surface, this person seems health-and-fitness oriented.

The Unconscious Eater

Trigger: Eating while doing something else at the same time.

Characteristic: This person is often unaware that he/she is eating, or how much is being eaten. To sit down and simply eat is often viewed as a waste of time. Eating is usually paired with another activity to be productive. There are many subtypes:

The Chaotic Unconscious Eater

Trigger: Overscheduled life.

Characteristic: This person’s eating style is haphazard – gulp n go when food is available. Seems to thrive on tension.

The Refuse-Not Unconscious Eater

Trigger: Presence of food.

Characteristic: This person is especially vulnerable to candy jars, or food present in meetings or sitting openly on the kitchen counter.

The Waste-Not Unconscious Eater

Trigger: Free food.

Characteristic: This person’s eating drive is often influenced by the value of the food dollar and is susceptible to all-you-can-eat buffets and free food.

Emotional Unconscious Eater

Trigger: Uncomfortable emotions

Characteristic: Stress or uncomfortable feelings trigger eating – especially when alone.

The Professional Dieter

Trigger: Feeling fat.

Characteristic: This person is perpetually dieting, often trying the latest commercial diet. Has extensive knowledge of calories, portions, and dieting techniques.

The Intuitive Eater

Trigger: Biological hunger.

Characteristic: This person makes food choices without experiencing guilt or an ethical dilemma. Honors hunger, respects fullness, enjoys the pleasure of eating.

Source: Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole & Elyse Resch

Once you have identified your current eating style, you may start thinking about how these triggers and characteristics cause problems in your life. Did you notice the last style, the intuitive eater? This eating style is actually the solution to a lot of these eating problems, like yo-yo dieting, feeling hungry and irritable all the time, and bingeing. Its possible to change and let go of eating habits that aren’t serving you and keeping you from your wellness goals!

If you are ready to jump into this nutrition framework and end emotional eating (and other types of eating!), we are accepting new clients for our comprehensive Food Peace Jumpstart Program. Learn more about our program here.

The BEST Holiday Gift Guide 2019

Let the holiday shopping begin! If you are looking for awesome gifts for your family, friends, or thinking about what to put on your own treat yo’self list, we’ve got you covered. And the best part is you won’t find any gifts that promote diet culture, weight loss, or anything having to do with changing your body. Because turns out, there’s so much for you to do in 2020 that doesn’t involve going on another diet or obsessing about food. So here’s our holiday gift guide:

Kitchen Things

  1. Comfort floor mat -standing in your kitchen while you are cooking can be uncomfortable, especially if you have any existing aches or pains. This mat is so essential for anyone who wants to make their kitchen just a little more inviting and comfortable.
  2. Fun lunchbox – Is one of your goals to pack your lunch more often? Do you know that packing your lunch the night before makes for an organized next day? Lunchboxes are so essential for setting you up for mealtime success! Choose a lunchbox that holds up and won’t smash your food, and one that can keep food cold throughout the day or in warm weather.
  3. A motivational mug start your day by sipping on a mug of motivation, like this one reminding you about “progress, not perfection”. Or use it as a pen holder on your desk at work as a reminder of your food peace progress so far.

Books & Journals

  1. Anti-Diet by Christy Harrison – If you don’t already follow or listen to dietitian Christy Harrison (on FoodPsych podcast), you should be! Her new book dives deep into the history of diet culture, the problems it has created for all of us, and how you can reclaim your health and life without dieting. Now available for pre-order, and will be released on December 24, 2019.
  2. The Recovery Planner – The Recovery Box has just dropped their 2020 planner that helps you organize your life + prioritize recovery. The pages are filled with plenty of room for all your affirmations, coping skills, and even a meal planner.
  3. Enchanted Forest Adult Coloring Book – turns out coloring cute animals can be relaxing and meditative!

Just Because

  1. I Heart Carbs Tote – because carbs are life (literally!). This tote can come in handy anywhere, but especially at the grocery store when you want to send a strong message against dieting and no-carb products. Feel confident buying those bagels and look fashionable up and down those aisles.
  2. Challenge Accepted Fork – for those in eating disorder recovery, every bite can be a challenge. This gift can be a reminder that you can get through this meal even if it feels hard.
  3. Riots Not Diets Tank – rock this cute tank and show Karen that you don’t want to spend your lunch break listening to her talk about cabbage soup.

Support

Invest in your wellness by giving yourself community and support. Join our Ditching Diet Culture Virtual Support Group every Friday in January 2020. Click here to learn more and reserve your spot.

Intuitive Eating FAQ: Part TWO

This blog post is dedicated to anyone who is new to Intuitive Eating (IE), or those who are aren’t sure if its actually possible to make peace with food and their bodies, and live their lives without food rules and restriction. I totally get it, I’ve been there myself a few times. 

As a dietitian, I thought that these principles went against everything that I had ever been taught in my many years of schooling. Before I found food peace, I gave IE a few tries but didn’t feel like I could possibly step away from diet culture, being that it was so intertwined with my profession and my own personal judgements (thankfully I did some deep inner work, educated myself about Health At Every Size, and havn’t looked back). BUT, this post isn’t about my journey…it’s about yours. I just want you to know that you’re not alone, and its totally okay to question this nutrition framework. 

If you watched my video Introduction to Intuitive Eating + How To Get Started Making Food Peace Today (ICYMI watch it here), I listed a bunch of frequently asked questions that I hear from my clients on the regular, and wanted to answer them for you today. If you havn’t read our first post Intuitive Eating + FAQ, you can read it here. Let’s get started!

But what if I need to lose weight?

First, I think its necessary to discuss that intuitive eating is not a weight loss plan – even though many people who are jumping on the bandwagon frame it as such, claiming that you can eat intuitively AND lose weight. This is not how it works.. As dietitians, we can use our best tools and knowledge and take into account your health history and relationship with food to make an educated guess about what will happen to your body when you start nourishing yourself. But the reality is – we don’t exactly know.

One of three outcomes WILL happen – you will gain some weight, your weight will stay the same, or you will lose some weight. Even if weight loss is one of your goals, perhaps it can help to put it on the backburner while you work intensely on other goals that are more of a priority in healing your body. 

“How can I tell if I am emotionally eating?”

Separating physical hunger from mental hunger can be challenging, they are often times intertwined. Its actually normal to experience both at the same time. Emotional eating if often seen as a bad thing, that we should only be eating for fueling our bodies and not for pleasure, boredom, or any other feeling. Emotional eating is important to address if you feel like you can’t stop and it is happening all the time and getting in the way of your wellness goals. If you find that you are ignoring physical cues and using food as the primary means of soothing yourself (or numbing out), intuitive eating can help you explore what is driving this behavior.

“How do I stop feeling guilty after I eat?”

Merriam-Webster defines guilt as “the fact of having committed a specified or implied offense or crime”. Let’s allow that to marinate a minute (I’ll wait)!  Eating is the ability to feed and nourish ourselves, the most basic thing we need to do in order to survive. So should eating EVER be considered a crime? Certainly not, but sometimes it may feel like one.

Perhaps someone or something has given you the idea or rule that “you shouldn’t eat ______”.  It could be a news article, a health professional, a coworker, a parent, a social media post, or perhaps you don’t even know where that idea came from. But I challenge you to explore why you think this to be true, and what is so wrong about eating that food? A dietitian can help sort out fact from fiction and challenge the food police, which is the fourth principle of IE. When you let go of food rules and restrictions, you lose the guilt. 

“How can I trust that I will know when to start and stop eating?”

Ah, body trust. Something that is never ever talked about or written on a dieting plan. That’s because dieting is really great at helping you get OUT of sync with your body. Are you hungry after only eating a bowlful of celery as your snack? Dieting doesn’t care, dieting tells you to push through it and follow the plan, that those body signals are a sign of weakness and lack of willpower! How does a diet plan know what you and your incredibly complex physiological needs are? It doesn’t, its a one-size-fits-all prescription.

In order to get back in tune with your body, and trust that it knows exactly what to do when you eat, you first have to give your body and brain adequate and consistent energy and nutrients. A starved brain and body (no matter your body shape/size) can’t function properly, and can’t give you reliable body cues. Only then can you start working towards identifying what hunger and what fullness feel like in your body and brain, and eventually build body trust.

“I feel hopeless after so many failed diets. Is my body broken?”

Our bodies are incredibly strong and amazing at adaptation. Despite the fact that dieting often times puts our bodies through hell (intentional starvation, bingeing, nutrient deficiencies, harmful attempts to change its natural genetic makeup…and so on…) our bodies are highly capable of healing. Dieting can slow your metabolism to prevent actual starvation, but you might be surprised at what your body can do once you start caring for it. Intuitive eating teaches you how to take care of and even respect your here-and-now body, versus the pursuit of always trying to change it. You were meant to do so much more in your life!

I hope that this post helped give you information about what intuitive eating can and can’t do for you. We always recommend working with one of our dietitians and intuitive eating specialists, especially if you have more questions. How can we help you?


Kitchen Confidence for Intuitive Eating & Eating Disorder Recovery

kitchen confidence

Do you struggle with cooking and putting a nutritious meal on the table? Are you trying to follow a meal plan but get overwhelmed with what to make to meet your needs? Our dietitians want to help you build kitchen confidence!

At nourishED, we offer individualized cooking lessons in our teaching kitchen to inspire you, sharpen your cooking skills, and reinforce what you are working on with your dietitian. The classes are taught by your dietitian and are personalized to your tastes, preferences, and skill level.

We have two tracks:

nourishED for Intuitive Eaters

Sharpen your kitchen skills for intuitive eating. Learn how to make nutritious and tasty meals with whole food ingredients – no diet foods here!

recoverED for Eating Disorder Recovery

Learn the kitchen skills you need to follow your exchange-based meal plan and work on your eating disorder recovery.

Here’s what our clients are saying…

“I loved the one on one cooking class that is offered! Melanie had some great recipes and had all the ingredients ready to go. I have a limited number of meals I’m typically comfortable making so this has been great to get me out of my comfort zone. I have actually been able to recreate one of the recipes we made in our class so I can add to my meal routine!” -Allison

“With cooking classes I’ve been able to try new recipes and expand my cooking abilities! I’ve learned fun recipes and found a creative way that helps me nourish my body.” – Tracy

To learn more and meet with one of our dietitians, schedule your initial session here or contact us for more info.

How to address Halloween candy with your kids

Author: Abigail Billingsley, RDN, LDN

As a dietitian, I receive a lot of questions around this time of year regarding the responsibilities of parents and children and Halloween candy. Should I set a limit on how much candy my child eats? Should we avoid a certain type of candy? Should I allow them to have as much as they want whenever they want?

My advice to parents is to enjoy Halloween and cherish those moments when your kids are excited about dressing up in their best costume. Notice the joy in their eyes as they are collecting their favorite candy. Foster freedom around food but encourage them to listen to their tummies. Don’t worry about the amount of candy they are eating or what type of candy it is, today is a fun day for trick or treating and enjoying the moment.

Tomorrow you can implement some ideas to ensure not all the candy is consumed in one sitting whether it’s what the kids collected or what was left over from your own trick-or-treater bowl.  Provided are ideas to guide your children in determining how much candy to eat and when:

  • Remembering that as a parent it is your responsibility to determine “what”, “when” and “where” your child eats but it is your child who determines “if” and “how much” they will eat. For example, it is the job of the parent to determine what candy or treat is offered, when it is available and where he or she can eat that treat. Then you can allow them to decide if they eat it and how much they eat.
  • No forbidden foods – it is important to keep all foods neutral including Halloween candy. Research shows us that kids who grown up in an environment where there is bribing, pressure or restricting of foods, they more often then not crave those “forbidden” foods. Allowing your kids to determine or self-regulate their food with the above guideline may be more beneficial then strict limitations on foods.
  • Be clear and consistent with your decisions about the allotted amount of candy per day. It takes the pressure off you as the parent to decide daily when to allow it. It could be a time limit (such as a week, month or until the candy is gone) or until they forget about it. Odds are after a few days most kids who have been allowed to have their Halloween candy may forget about it all together.
  • Incorporate candy as a snack paired with a glass of milk or with a side of fruit or vegetable so that your kids are getting more nutrition out of their snack, like protein and fiber to keep them feeling fuller and more satisfied – and less likely to go back to the candy bowl.

For more information about helping your child to become competent and conflict-free eaters, we recommend these resources from Ellyn Satter, a dietitian who specializes in helping families feed their children.

How To Stay True To Yourself At Mealtime

Focusing on your own food peace journey can sometimes be a struggle. Comparison, judgments, and relationships can distract from your true intentions and goals for meeting your own nutritional needs. “How can I focus on my own food when my partner/coworker/roommate does or says _____?” This question comes up quite often and we have some common situations and strategies for staying true to yourself at mealtime.

Situation: fear of judgment

Have you ever been around people who make it their job to comment on your food or talk about what they are/aren’t eating? Comments like “Are you really going to eat that?” or “I’m being good tonight, so no dessert for me” can be (unfortunately) commonplace at the dinner table. Although the person may not mean any harm, it can be awkward and hard to ignore when you have your own goals. But are you choosing foods that you really want to eat, or are you making decisions out of fear of judgment? The truth is, many people make judgments because of their own insecurities around food. Don’t let their relationship with food harm yours. The best thing you can do is practice saying “yes” to your needs, and caring less about what they have to say about theirs.

Situation: multitasking

We all have a million commitments and tasks on our plate each day, so multitasking is sometimes a way of life. Research shows that multitasking actually leads to less productivity and less mindfulness, which can certainly interfere with the ability to tune into what your body and brain need, nutritionally and emotionally. Distractions disconnect mind and body and thus, you may feel unsatisfied after you eat since you weren’t even tasting the food and start digging through the pantry for something else. Or, distractions could lead you to eat past the point of fullness and feeling physically uncomfortable. To stay true to your meal intentions, start by setting one (“I’d like to sloowww down and take at least 20 minutes to eat my meal before getting back to studying”) and take a timeout to focus on just yourself.

Situation: cooking for others

Is mealtime stressful because your partner doesn’t have the same eating habits? Do you cook for others, but have different food preferences and goals? If you are focusing on eating a balanced and healthful dinner, but your partner is a selective eater or doesn’t like vegetables for instance, it can be tempting to cater to their wants and needs. But that only leaves you feeling frustrated and even resentful. Having an open conversation and sharing your concerns may be helpful, and sitting down and meal planning together to find commonalities and troubleshoot differences -just because someone doesn’t 100% like the food you do, doesn’t mean you can’t find common ground. Creating meals like grain bowls with mix-and-match ingredients like different dressings, veggies, and grains can make mealtime easier. Talk to your dietitian for more ideas!

Situation: your roomie influences your food choices

Have you ever felt like you have been doing well honoring your needs only to have your roommate say “Let’s order takeout for dinner” or brings home a box of cookies to leave on the counter to share? You weren’t planning on that happening, but now you have to make a decision if you are going to participate or eat foods that you hadn’t planned for, or perhaps you haven’t totally made peace with. Solution? Choose what is important to YOU!  Can your roommate order takeout without you? Totally, plus you already have something in fridge. Do you really like your roomie’s mom’s homemade chocolate chip cookies? Have one with her and thank her for sharing. Or maybe you don’t have to decide tonight. Whatever you choose, its important to ask yourself “What do I really want?” and own your decision.

These are just some suggestions for navigating your food peace journey, but remember that it is just that – YOURS! For more tips, talk to your nourishED dietitian.

Cool {no-bake} Summer Sweets

If you are trying to make peace with food this summer, desserts can be a scary subject. Part of eating disorder recovery and learning to eat intuitively is honoring cravings – including sweets. There’s absolutely no reason to feel guilty or shameful that you have cravings or want to eat foods simply for enjoyment- it is totally normal (and not all eating needs to be hunger-based, or the most nutritious choice)! If you find yourself wanting something cold and creamy to cool off this summer, give yourself permission and ask yourself these questions: what desserts are meaningful to you, or have positive memories of? What desserts bring you pleasure, or used to? What am I craving right now? If you aren’t sure, or if you are curious and like to get creative in the kitchen, we’ve picked out a few recipes to consider incorporating into your summer eating. Here are 4 cool recipes that don’t require you to turn on the oven:

Cookies & Cream Popsicles

Popsicles and ice cream cones are summer staples when you want something sweet. This recipe is like a mash up of both – frozen ice cream on a stick. You can even mix it up and try different flavors of oreos -there’s so many possibilities (hello, Golden oreos). Popsicle molds can be found at most grocery stores or dollar stores.

Strawberry Shortcake Truffles

While strawberry shortcake is such a craveable warm weather dessert, it does require turning on the oven to bake those biscuits. These truffles are similar but with a twist…white chocolate, strawberries, cream cheese…yum! These little balls are easy to roll up, pop into the freezer, and enjoy in no time.

Yogurt Bark 4 Ways

There are lots of variations of yogurt bark out there, here’s 4: honey granola, mixed berry, dark chocolate peanut butter, and tropical. These recipes call for spreading greek yogurt onto a cookie sheet, adding whatever mix-ins you like, and freezing it. You then cut it into pieces and enjoy. This bark is great for a protein-rich breakfast, snack or dessert. Get the recipe here.

Root Beer Float

This summer classic is less of a recipe and more of an infamous pairing: vanilla ice cream topped with root beer. Eat with a spoon (while you can) or drink with a straw.

Summertime Tips

Summer has finally arrived, and so has time off from school, vacations, dog days at the pool and other fun activities to fill up the long days. Oftentimes, fun activities and fun foods collide: barbecues, restaurants and ice cream stands. If you are struggling with an eating disorder or poor relationship with food, the summertime can be stressful if you correlate fun foods with shame, guilt, and compensation. But you can allow yourself to enjoy food, perhaps like you used to.

Here’s 3 tips for making peace with food this summer:

1.Food is food – it isn’t a moral decision. You are not a good if you eat healthful foods, and you are not horrible if you eat less nutritious foods. What you eat has absolutely nothing to do with who you are as a person! Our sneaky and overbearing diet culture has made us think otherwise, but I encourage you to reject this illusion.

2.You do you – are you afraid of judgement and what people around you may think if they see you eating ice cream? Focusing on your own needs and wants and worrying less about other people is a good place to start. We don’t possess magical powers to read other people’s minds (that I know of), so we can’t assume that people are thinking negative things. You may be thinking, “well my family/friends have said judgy things before”! I’m so sorry that you’ve experienced that – its not OK. Unfortunately, we can’t control other people’s behaviors, so learning to set boundaries about what is OK and what is not OK is important if this is a recurring thing.

3.Don’t miss out – for me, summertime is tied so tightly to some of my happiest memories growing up. But dieting and restricting fun foods took those moments of joy away from me and turned them into missed opportunities – to connect with my family and friends, to accept that food can be eaten simply for pleasure, to live in the moment. What has diet culture stolen from you? How can you stand up to your eating disorder and start living again? Don’t wait another day to take action.

For more tips and support, talk to your nourishED dietitian or contact us here.

Fitness for Thought

As summer approaches, the warm weather and school ending can bring up the desire to be active. If you are recovering from an eating disorder, you’ve been doing a lot of hard work healing your relationship with food. But what about your body – with exercise? Have you used exercise in an attempt to manipulate your body size? Have you used it to punish yourself or compensate for the foods that you eat? If so, it can be hard to know how to work with your body, not against it.

It is important to talk to your treatment team about exercise, and it is often recommended to take a break from exercise early on in your recovery – for medical reasons and so you can focus on food. You should not be exercising if you have not met your nutritional needs FIRST. If you are medically cleared for exercise, talk to your dietitian about how and where to start.

Here are 3 tips for healing your relationship with exercise:

1.Don’t get caught up in creating a “beach body”. The diet industry sells and makes billions of dollars off the idea that there is something wrong with your body and that it needs to be fixed. Ads for strict workout plans, diets and detox teas that will give you the “perfect body” are everywhere this time of year. But the truth is that you don’t need to change your body – you are the same being, same soul, and same heart regardless of the shape and size of you. Its up to you to reject diet culture and not let it be a driving motivator for why you exercise.

2. Find what truly moves you. Perhaps you’ve never had a healthy relationship with fitness, or maybe you have had bad experiences in the past. But our bodies are meant to move, and it is possible to move in a way that feels best for your body. If you are counting the seconds while running, getting injured and feeling run down from bootcamp classes…maybe its time to re-think what the word exercise means to you. What brings you joy? What connects your body and mind? Would you rather be outside connecting with nature instead of in a sweaty gym? Exercise doesn’t have to be regimented – intuitive exercise is possible!

3. Ditch the numbers. The fitness industry can often make us believe that in order to be successful with our goals, we must meticulously and obsessively track numbers. Weigh-ins, macro grams and percentages, distance run, calories burned, steps stepped…the list goes on. But is this really helpful? No – it can lead to mental and physical burnout, and also takes up a LOT of time and energy that could be spent elsewhere. If you find yourself feeling guilty or “not measuring up” to your calculated plan, perhaps its time to let go of it and go back to the basics of moving for the purpose of feeling good, stress relief, or just for fun.

If you are struggling to find your balance with fitness, or don’t know how to begin, talk to your nourishED dietitian! Book your first appointment by contacting us here.

Do I Need Meal Support?

If you are in the throes of an eating disorder, eating a meal (or just thinking about eating a meal) can be an incredibly overwhelming task – and one that must be done several times a day. Common emotional and behavioral features of eating disorders can include preoccupation or overthinking food choices, inability to make decisions about food, refusal to eat certain food groups, food rituals, or feeling uncomfortable eating in front of others or in social situations. No matter where you are in your recovery, you may benefit from having added support at meal time.

What is meal support and what can I expect?

Meal support can take several forms, but generally includes eating with the presence of one of our dietitians, and with or without other participants. The meal may be homemade, catered or prepared in office, or eaten out at a restaurant. There are 3 phases of meal support: before, during, and after.

Before the meal begins, your dietitian will spend time listening to your thoughts, feelings about the meal. This is also a good opportunity to check in with your hunger cues. You will collectively come up with one or two goals for the meal to coincide with what you have been working on in your recovery. For instance, do you want to work on eating at a normal pace? Identify progressing fullness? Practice not using food rituals? Order something off the menu that challenges your eating disorder rules? This discussion will help set your intention for the meal so that you can go into it with a clear focus.

During the meal, you can expect to eat your meal and engage in conversation with your peers and dietitian. Please be mindful of other people’s recovery and refrain from triggering talk (i.e. calorie counting, discussing ED behaviors, comments on other’s food, etc). There are a million other things to talk about besides food! You will be expected to do your best to complete your meal and ensure that you have adequately met your nutrition needs (ask your dietitian if you aren’t sure what that means for you).

After the meal, you will have a discussion about how the meal went for you. Did you meet your goals? What went well, and did you struggle with any disordered thoughts or urges? What have you learned for next time? What do you need to feel supported and move on with your day? If you are in a group setting, you may also give feedback to your peers.

Meal support at nourishED

Our dietitians offer several meal support options to support your recovery:

Individual in-office meal support: BYOB or make a meal with your dietitian.

Dining out meal support group: our Tuesday night support group dines out once per month at a local restaurant. Join your dietitian and peers to work on challenging your eating disorder. To RSVP, click here.

Virtual meal support group (coming soon!) : eat your meal from the comfort of your home – or anywhere you can a phone or computer – with your peers and dietitian.

Meal support is only available to nourishED clients – if you are not a current client, book your first appointment by contacting us here.

Intuitive Eating + FAQ

Intuitive Eating (IE) is a nutrition framework created by two dietitians in 1995 – its been around for some time now and there is quite a bit of research about the health benefits and positive outcomes. IE is a non-diet approach to health and wellness that guides you to tune into your body’s signals, break the cycle of dieting, and heal your relationship with food.

This framework has 10 principles:

  1. Reject the diet mentality
  2. Honor your hunger
  3. Make peace with food
  4. Challenge the food police
  5. Feel your fullness
  6. Discover the satisfaction factor
  7. Cope with your emotions without using food
  8. Respect your body
  9. Exercise- feel the difference
  10. Honor your health with gentle nutrition

Q: Is it the same as mindful eating?

These terms are often used together or interchangeably – but it is important to note the difference. Mindful eating is allowing yourself to become aware of your senses, food choices, and to recognize hunger and fullness surrounding meal times. Intuitive eating encompasses mindful eating but takes it a few steps further to include topics like respecting and accepting your body size, coping with emotions, exercise for other purposes than calorie burn, and rejecting diet culture and negative food judgement.

Q: Who would benefit from eating intuitively?

Everyone! Here’s a few examples, for anyone who…

  • Is tired of dieting, or weight-cycling up and down
  • Considers themself an “emotional eater”
  • Would like to become better in-tune with their body cues to regulate eating
  • Has a poor relationship with food – thinks of food as the enemy, food is stressful
  • Wants to be a more “normal eater”
  • Wants to improve their health or medical conditions without dieting
  • Would benefit from focusing on other areas other than weight loss to improve their health and wellness

Q: What about IE and eating disorders?

IE is a long term goal in eating disorder recovery. However, if someone is engaging in harmful behaviors (restricting, purging, over exercising, abusing laxatives/drugs) – they are NOT attuned to their body’s physical sensations, and they are likely NOT nourished enough mentally to be able to work on some of these complex topics. If malnutrition is present (which is likely in most eating disorders) this needs to be addressed and corrected before IE work can begin. It is common to take months to years before someone with an eating disorder is able to practice IE.

Q: Can you lose weight while practicing IE?

IE is not a weight-loss program. Unfortunately, no one has a crystal ball to know what a person’s body will look like when they make peace with food and exercise. You may lose weight, stay the same weight, or gain weight. In our culture, we are programmed to believe that weight gain is the worst possible scenario in our lives, which leads to fat phobia and weight stigma (more on that later). The focus of IE is changing your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors around food first rather than using the scale as a marker of progress.

Q: How do I learn more about IE?

We highly recommend reading the book!

Our dietitians at nourishED are trained in IE and can’t wait to get started with you on your food peace path. Feel free to contact us to learn more.

Spring Clean Your Kitchen

Flowers in pitcher

Spring time often brings up conversations of “spring cleaning” your home. This weekend in Baltimore brought fresh air and sunshine which may spark a desire to clean up your home and perhaps film your own episode of Tidying Up. Why not take a look into those cabinets and freezers to see what food you can use up and what needs to be tossed? Here’s three tips for Spring cleaning your kitchen:

1. Check expiration dates

Food expiration dates are a guideline as to how long a food can stay fresh for. They’re not written in stone, and often times you can tell (or smell) if foods have exceeded their time – if there is mold, foul odors, change in color…etc. Not only will this food taste nasty, but you run the risk of foodborne illness. Most leftovers that you have frozen will only last up to 2-3 months. Check out this handy chart for refrigerator and freezer storage times from foodsafety.gov.

2. Take inventory of pantry items

Cleaning out your pantry is a great opportunity to discover that bag of lentils, those canned tomatoes or beans, and whatever other random things you’ve forgotten about. If you have met with a nourishED dietitian, it is likely you have talked about the importance of meal planning. Use these items as inspiration for your meals this week. Just think of the tv show Chopped – and ask yourself “what can I make with these ingredients?” You will prevent food waste and save money. Supercook is a website where you can type in all the ingredients you have, and it will find recipes from popular websites that match. Lastly, you can donate unopened goods to your local food bank.

3. Get organized

An unorganized or messy kitchen is a stressful place to be, and can often times take the joy out of cooking or eating. If you are trying to make peace with food and incorporate mindful eating principals into meal time, it is often helpful to make your kitchen a more enjoyable space. This may mean throwing out old junk that doesn’t belong, using vases or bins for cooking utensils, or looking to Pinterest for storage solutions and small kitchen hacks. You may want to also check your knives and see if they need to be sharpened – safety first!

If the Spring cleaning inspiration hasn’t hit you yet – that’s OK! These tips can be used any time of year.

Progress…Without the Scale

If you are working on eating intuitively (principles that teach you how nourish yourself based on recognizing and honoring your own body’s cues) or want to be able to eat intuitively in the future – you may be wondering if you should be weighing yourself to monitor progress, or throw the scale away altogether.

First, it might be helpful to ask yourself what your relationship is like with your scale. Is the scale like a bad ex-boyfriend that you keep texting, knowing the relationship is not going anywhere? Does the scale determine your mood – if you gain a pound or two do you feel guilty and ashamed of yourself? If you can relate, lets explore more.

Finding food peace on your intuitive eating journey is not measured by pounds lost. In fact, the number on the scale says very little about your overall health and well being – so why use it as the only marker of success? Its not to say that weighing yourself is wrong, but at what cost? Feeling like you obsessively have to weigh yourself in order to ‘monitor’ your eating is no way to live, and certainly does not promote good mental health.

So whats the alternative? How do you measure improvements with your relationship with food and body (thoughts, feelings, behaviors) as you learn to heal and trust yourself? Here’s some ideas, to start:

Ways to measure progress without the scale:

  • You stress less about food. Food doesn’t preoccupy all your thoughts, and it frees up a lot of time and energy spent worrying or second guessing all of your food choices.
  • You binge/overeat less. When you nourish yourself properly and leave the diet mentality behind, you feel less need to eat past the point of fullness.
  • You are able to identify hunger and fullness sensations. Dieting wreaks havoc on your internal food regulation system. But with practice, these cues can return when you are working with your body and not against it.
  • You eat a wider variety of foods. Foods that were once off-limit may now make a regular appearance in your kitchen, no big deal.
  • You feel more satisfied by the foods that you choose to eat. Eating foods that are considered super healthy but lacking in taste leave you unsatisfied. But you are able to make food choices based on taste, preferences, and cravings vs just nutrition labels.
  • You are able to socialize at social events. You no longer get so stressed out by going out to eat, and you’re able to have meaningful conversations and experiences with your loved ones.
  • You can move or exercise for purposes other than punishment for eating or for burning calories. You can either move mindfully (or take rest days) based on what your body is telling you and what feels restorative.
  • You stop labeling food as good or bad, healthy or unhealthy. Food becomes just food, not a moral decision every time you eat.

Focusing on progress with your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors around food is way more telling than any number on a hunk of metal. If you are already working on healing your relationship with food, what progress markers do you use? We would love to hear about it!

Show Yourself Some Love

Valentine’s Day is coming up this week, and whether or not you plan on celebrating with a significant other, there’s plenty you can do solo to treat yo’self. Here’s a few festive food and fun ideas to nourish yourself and show some love this holiday:

Chocolate Cherry No-Bake Balls

Ingredients:
½ cup dried cherries, chopped
¼ cup chocolate chips
¾ cup old fashioned oats
½ cup unsweetened coconut, shreds or flakes
¼ cup chia or hemp seeds
¾ cup natural nut butter (peanut, almond, cashew, sunflower…)
¼ cup maple syrup

Instructions:
In a large bowl, mix together all of the ingredients with a spatula.
Scoop 1 to 2 tablespoons of mixture into your hands. Roll and press into bites. Keep in refrigerator for up to a week.

Raspberry Nutella Mug Cake

 

Ingredients:
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar 1/4 cup milk, at room temperature
2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon chocolate hazelnut spread (Nutella)
1 tablespoon seedless raspberry jam or preserves
Fresh raspberries, for serving

Instructions:
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, sugar, and baking powder until thoroughly, completely combined with no streaks of flour or cocoa powder remaining. Blend in milk, butter, and vanilla until batter is smooth. Pour batter into a 14-ounce (or larger) microwave-safe mug with straight sides.
Combine Nutella and raspberry jam and dollop into the center of the mug, gently pressing down until even with the top of the batter. Microwave on high for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Allow to cool for a couple of minutes and top with a few fresh raspberries before serving.

Salted Chocolate-Dipped Orange Slices

Recipe inspired by deliciouslyyum.com

Ingredients:
5 mandarin oranges
1/2 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
sea salt

Instructions:
Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper and set aside. Peel the oranges. In a microwave-safe bowl (or in a double-boiler), melt chocolate chips. Dip each orange slice halfway into the chocolate and place on baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt until all slices are prepared. Put sheet refrigerator for 10 minutes or until chocolate has hardened. Will keep for up to 2 days in airtight container in refrigerator.

Three Make-Ahead Breakfasts

Let’s be real, mornings can be rough. Sometimes waking up on time and getting out the door is a struggle in itself, let alone figuring out what is for breakfast. But breakfast can be a breeze with a little planning (especially if you are not much of a morning person) and preparing a recipe that can easily be reheated throughout the week-or frozen for up to 3 months! Here’s a roundup of our favorite make-ahead meals:

Muffins

Muffins are a tasty and portable grab-and-go breakfast option. Banana nut, blueberry lemon, pumpkin cranberry…the flavor possibilities are endless. Make a dozen and you have muffins for days. Pair with a milk carton single and a piece of fruit and you’re out the door. Try these Maple-Sweetened Banana Muffins.

Breakfast Burritos

If you like savory breakfasts, try these Freezer-Friendly Breakfast Burritos. Prepare the filling-eggs, potatoes or rice, leftover veggies, cheese, bacon or sausage and assemble in a large flour tortilla for a complete meal. Follow the instructions for freezing and reheat for a warm breakfast.

Baked Oatmeal

You’ve probably had oatmeal before, but have you tried baked oatmeal? The consistency of this Apple Cherry Baked Oatmeal is a cross between a chewy granola bar and bread pudding. Serve with yogurt (or eat like cereal with milk) with fruit and nuts for a complete meal.

Meeting with a Non-Diet Dietitian

If you have never met with a dietitian before, or are a little apprehensive about making your first appointment, this blog is for you.

At nourishED, our dietitians are non-diet dietitians. You may be thinking “Say what? As if things weren’t confusing enough in the world of food and nutrition!” We take a different approach to helping you because our dietitians are Health At Every Size (HAES) informed-meaning we support and celebrate people of all body shapes and sizes, and help you reach your health goals without a side of judgement or weight-bias. We strive to meet you wherever you are in your recovery and support you along the way. Let’s talk more about what WILL and WON’T happen when you meet with your dietitian:

1. You WON’T be put on another diet

We don’t believe that restrictive diets or fad diets are the solution to your wellness or fostering a positive relationship with food. In fact, dieting is the number one predictor for developing an eating disorder! Dieting can also lead to weight cycling, obsessive thoughts surrounding foods, and dissatisfaction with yourself when you can’t maintain it-among many other things! So we won’t be promoting the latest paleo-pegan-keto-intermitant diet or putting you on a restrictive, low calorie diet. We do, however, provide Medical Nutrition Therapy-dietary strategies that can help manage medical conditions like diabetes, heart or gastrointestinal disease, for instance. Ultimately, we want to help you with building solid nutrition habits, not harmful ones.

2. We WILL value your story and lived experiences

We will spend our first session together getting to know each other and talking about your relationship with food. We will probably ask you a bunch of questions, but only what you are comfortable answering. And we want you to ask us anything you want! We will talk about your health history and current concerns, what a typical day of eating looks like, your food preferences, relationship with exercise, and much more. Together we will work towards setting long and short term goals, and a few action steps to get started on when you leave. Do you want to feel confident cooking new foods? Do you want to feel less stressed around mealtimes? Do you want to learn about intuitive eating? We want to hear about it!

3. You WON’T be alone in your recovery

Having an eating disorder is often isolating-you may feel like you are suffering alone. Maybe your parents or best friends don’t even know. But your dietitian is your partner (and personal food consultant!) in your recovery journey and an essential part of your treatment team (along with your therapist and/or physician). We will provide you with things to work on in-between appointments and resources like books and podcasts. We also encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and join our community! We offer a free support group on Tuesday nights, cooking & meal support groups, and fun random workshops. Check our schedule to see what is happening this month at nourishED.

If you are not sure if you are ready to meet with a dietitian to support your eating disorder recovery, we would be happy to talk with you about what we do. You can read about our dietitians here or contact us.

On Eating the Rainbow

This is a common phrase thrown around by dietitians, but why is it an important concept in eating disorder recovery?

Eating the rainbow refers to eating a variety of foods, including vibrant and colorful fruits and vegetables. We all know eating fruits and veggies are important for nutritional reasons, including providing essential vitamins and minerals, fiber for digestive health and fullness, and contributing water for hydration.

Lets take a look at how food variety its helpful in your recovery:

  • Colorful food or many colors in a meal may be more appealing or lead to a more satisfying and enjoyable meal. Satisfying meals means less seeking out other foods or triggering destructive behaviors.
  • Variety prevents burnout. Eating the same thing every day can eventually lead to boredom and a poorer relationship with food.
  • Eating disorders often cause nutrient deficiencies from eliminating many food groups or engaging in behaviors which wreak havoc on your brain and body’s ability to run efficiently. Talk to your dietitian about what kinds of foods may benefit you in your recovery.

One way to increase variety is food swapping- taking one food that you already eat and swapping it with another similar food. For instance:

  • Instead of snacking on your daily apple and PB, try a pear.
  • Do you drink juice with breakfast? Try cranberry instead of your usual orange juice.
  • Cut up orange and yellow bell peppers with your dressing or dip instead of carrots.
  • Stir frozen cherries into your morning oatmeal and heat.

Keep in mind that our bodies work in averages, not absolutes, meaning that food habits over time make a difference in your health and not to worry about having the “perfect” food plate at each meal.

Even small steps towards change can be beneficial for your overall health and recovery. So what can you do this week to eat the rainbow?

Non-Diet New Year Resolutions

Commit to NOT going on another diet in 2019

With 2018 coming to an end, its that time of year for reflection and wonder for what 2019 will bring us. But it also seems that each year there is an ever-present pressure to kickoff 2019 with some kind of fad diet, cleanse, detox, or intense exercise routine (or all of the above). But why?

The holidays often bring an overabundance of decadent foods and desserts, social gatherings, alcohol and routines that have gone to the wayside, which can leave you feeling run down or like you haven’t been eating as balanced as you want to be. But is a quick-fix diet really the solution?

You may be thinking, “whats the harm in doing Whole30?” Diets can be alluring for many reasons and sell hope that this one diet will finally change your life, but the reality is that there are so many dangers of dieting that are never talked about. We’ll save that for our next post though-stay tuned.

Instead of being part of our crazy diet-culture and all the messages to hit the gym/lose weight/eliminate foods/restrict yourself, I encourage you to commit to NOT go on a diet this year! Here’s some ideas of resolutions that are recovery-focused:

  1. Clean up your social media feed. A recent study ranked Instagram as the worst social media network for mental health, and who you are following can have a huge impact on your own body image. What does your feed look like? It can be helpful to diversify your account-follow people of all different body types, shapes and sizes. Is that #foodporn making you feel like your breakfast just isn’t good enough? It may be time to unfollow them to protect your peace of mind.
  2. Stop comparing yourself to others. Social media gives us a view of other people’s lives, but we don’t see the whole picture. Where else do you find yourself feeling like you aren’t good enough? Does the gym leave you feeling worse then when you started your workout from looking at other people’s bodies? Maybe its time to ditch the gym membership and find movement that makes you feel good.
  3. Try new foods. Variety is so important in recovery-it keeps things interesting so you don’t get burnt out on foods, but also gives your body different nutrients that it needs. Why not commit to trying one new recipe each week? Create a Pinterest board of recipes that you’ve been eyeing up but haven’t made. Or maybe make a lateral move and try a different seasonal fruit to go with your breakfast.

There are SO many more productive ways to work on yourself and on your recovery in 2019. What non-diet resolutions are you committing to this year?

Kitchen Confidence Cooking Classes

Let's get cooking!

We are excited to announce that we are now offering individual cooking classes for our clients in our teaching kitchen! You and your dietitian will choose 1-2 recipes and prepare them together. You will also receive recipe cards and tips for grocery shopping and food prep. All cooking skills welcome, and watching is just fine too. Let your dietitian know if you would like to add meal support and eat together.

Cooking classes may be helpful if you:

  • Want to learn basic cooking skills and navigating your way around the kitchen
  • Are getting bored with your go-to meals (variety is SO important in recovery)
  • Struggle to find easy meal ideas to fit your meal plan
  • Are ready to challenge foods with the support of your dietitian
  • Feel that cooking is overwhelming and don’t know where to start

Class ideas:

  • Make ahead breakfasts
  • Sheet pan meals
  • Asian-inspired dishes
  • No-cook lunches
  • DIY grain bowls
  • Instant pot meals 
  • How to cook tofu

Here's what our clients are saying:

“I loved the one on one cooking class that is offered! Melanie had some great recipes and had all the ingredients ready to go. I have a limited number of meals I’m typically comfortable making so this has been great to get me out of my comfort zone. I have actually been able to recreate one of the recipes we made in our class so I can add to my meal routine!” -Allison

To learn more or sign up, talk to your dietitian at your next appointment, call or email info@nourishfamily.com. We can’t wait to cook with you.

Pomegranates Are In + Recipes

Its winter, and pomegranates are in season

If you have spent time perusing the grocery store recently, you may have noticed pomegranates are making an appearance in the produce aisle. You can typically find the beautiful bright red fruit next to the apples or pears, or you may find pomegranate arils -or seeds- that have been picked, packaged and are ready to eat. 

Pom facts: 
  • Translates to “seeded apple” in Latin
  • In-season in North America September-February 
  • Grown predominantly in Asia, India, and also California
  • Only the arils are eaten or juiced, the white pulp is bitter
  • The arils are rich in fiber & antioxidants and are sweet and slightly tart tasting. 

To be honest, I used to think that pomegranates were such a hassle to eat. But now I find it oddly therapeutic to crack one open, and there are a few ways that can speed up the process. Check out this short video to learn about the method I use: how to open a pomegranate. 

I recently visited Thailand and made it a point to find a pom. This Thai pom was white on the outside, not red, and the arils were not as sweet and juicy. A local farmer described that there are a few varieties, as I did find plenty of red poms in Bangkok, but only found these white ones out in the countryside of Chiang Mai. 

There’s lots of ways to incorporate this beautiful seasonal fruit into your meals and snacks. Here’s a roundup of some favorite recipes:

Pomegranate, Goat Cheese, and Walnut Salad

Ingredients:

4-6 cups mixed greens or arugula
1 pear, chopped
1/2 cup to 1 cup pomegranate seeds
3/4 cup walnuts
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
your favorite dressing or vinaigrette (balsamic or a maple balsamic works well here)
*optional: I added 2 cups leftover roasted butternut squash

Instructions:
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Top with dressing.

POMegranate & Chocolate chip yogurt bark

Ingredients:

2 cups greek yogurt (if using plain, add 1 TBSP honey or maple to sweeten)
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
1/4 cup to 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)

Instructions:
1. In a medium bowl, combine yogurt and half of all the toppings (save the rest for topping).

2, Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. Pour yogurt mixture and spread evenly with a spatula until about 1/2 inch thick. Sprinkle with remaining toppings.

3. Freeze for 1-2 hours. With a knife, cut into pieces and eat immediately or store in an airtight container in the freezer.

Note: you can swap or add whatever mixins you like, such as chopped strawberries, granola, or chopped almonds. 

5 Tips for Holiday Food Peace

From Halloween through the New Year, food is a way to celebrate and bring people together. But the holidays can also bring awkward family encounters, diet talk around the table, and increased anxiety around all of the abundant and delicious food. All of these things combined can lead to feeling out of control around food or judgemental feelings. This year, how about taking some steps to making peace with food instead of swearing to start over in the New Year?

Here's 5 tips for making food peace this holiday season:

1. Give yourself permission to eat the foods you crave.

Restriction – whether emotional or physical – inevitably causes us to feel crazy around food. So what if you gave yourself permission to eat the foods you like, even ones that you would deem as “bad” or off-limits? You might find that the more often you practice giving yourself permission to eat any food you want, the less stressed you feel about food. So savor your favorite holiday foods while they are here, and remember that all foods can fit into a healthful diet.

2. Know that its okay to feel full.

The holidays are a perfect example of eating for an experience or pleasure rather than purely out of hunger. Even if we do our best to listen to our bodies, we can sometimes overshoot fullness especially in social situations, or because food tastes good. Its ok to feel full, and it will pass. It does not mean that you did something wrong, instantly gained weight, or that you need to do anything about it. Trust that your body knows how to handle it.

3. Separate food from exercise.

There’s a lot of messages around the holidays that you need to burn or sweat in order to deserve indulging in a meal. The truth is that you deserve to eat, period! If you are only exercising to compensate for what you are eating or to alleviate guilt, you may need to take a deeper look and find more meaningful motivators. Exercise should be a way to restore and feel good about moving your body, not as punishment. 

4. Set your boundaries.

Does family time around the dinner table bring up memories of diet-talk and food-shaming? Unfortunately, you can’t control other people’s behaviors and food opinions (or their desire to share it with everyone) but you can establish your boundaries before-hand so that you are equipped if anything comes up. Having a few go-to “conversation changers” like new TV shows or current events can help protect your recovery.

5. Focus on family, friends, and festivities.

When you stop worrying about food, it frees up so much brain space to focus on the more important things in life. Remember your true meaning of the holiday season. What are you thankful for? Who do you want to spend time with? How can you help others? The holidays shouldn’t be all about the food. Before you go to a holiday gathering, try visualizing how you want this valuable time to be spent.

 
For more tips, talk to your nourishED dietitian, and don’t miss out on our upcoming holiday events. Happy holidays, yall!

For the safety of our providers and clients, our in-person offices are closed for the time-being. However, we are still offering virtual services via video or phone. Fortunately, insurance companies are still covering these services.