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.

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 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.

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.

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!

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.