5 Thoughts

Sometimes my thoughts are just not coherent enough to form one solid post. TBH they are often all. over. the. place! This is definitely shown in the numerous to-do lists I’m always compiling and re-compiling. I think when I have several projects going (teaching, taking a teacher class, business, actual work, etc) it can be hard to focus on one thing at a time. So in the spirit of my scattered brain, I just wanted to talk about five random thoughts of mine recently.

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1 random thought1
During college, reading sort of lost its appeal when I was forced to read textbooks. (I about get traumatic flashbacks just thinking about that organic chemistry book!!) But when I was younger, I always had a book in my hand. I looked forward to being in the summer reading program every summer for as long as I can remember. Now that I am no longer forced to read textbooks, I’ve finally started getting into the groove of reading again. Often times I waste so much time on social media on my cell phone when I could be reading. Recently I’ve been trying to make a conscious effort to take that time to read instead. I downloaded the Kindle app on my phone so I always have a book on me. So far I’ve read 2 books this month! My genre has definitely been in the “self-help” realm. (Let’s be real, I can use all the help I can get!) I just finished 10% Happier by Dan Harris and Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown just prior.

What other books do you recommend? I’m compiling a reading list!

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2 random thought1
I used to be one of those people on the Arctic Zero and Halo Top bandwagon. I mean, you could eat the entire container for x amount of calories. But since incorporating Intuitive Eating in my practice and own life, I’d much rather eat my favorite ice cream. Can you say Talenti Caramel Cookie Crunch Gelato? Yup, my mouth is watering.

While I can understand why people may opt to eat the lower-calorie versions, I just prefer to have the one that is most satisfying to me. For me, that’s not Arctic Zero or Halo Top. I also tend to think that these options promote binge eating which is something I tend to try to get away from with my clients. (But more on that a different time. 🙂 )

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3 random thought1
I swear I’ve tried every face product under the sun. While in grad school, I finally went to a dermatologist. I was prescribed Spironolactone for my hormonal acne (which shows up right around my mouth). I was on it for a couple of years, but recently I decided I wanted to see what would happen if I went off of it. (Note-I don’t recommend going off medications without advising with your physician first). Prior to going off of the medication, I had started using more natural beauty products. My skin looked the best it had looked in my 26 years! So I wanted to experiment and see if my new routine would stand on its own. So far I’ve had a couple of flare ups around my mouth in the last couple of weeks, but nothing major. These are some of the products I have been using most recently (pictured). I like products from Cocokind and Franklin and Whitman’s (not pictured) in particular. This last year, I’ve stopped wearing as much makeup and switched to BareMinerals foundation as well.  That has probably helped a lot too.

I’m DEFINITELY no skin expert. I’ll save that for the dermatologists of the world. But I like seeing what other people use in their routine. 🙂

Skincare Edited

4 random thought1
Getting enough sleep has been a constant battle my entire life. I’m just not good at sleeping. (Unless you count my ridiculous nap habit).  There was even a period of my life in the 3rd grade where I slept walk. (I’m sure my mom can tell you how fun that was to deal with). I’m naturally more of a night owl and so even on days where I’m going to work the next day at 7am, I have a tough time going to bed earlier. When I first started my new job as a Hy-Vee dietitian, I initially developed a bedtime routine…then life got busy. And here I am at square one. I love hearing of other blogger’s bedtime routines. It sounds like the perfect way to end the day. After how exhausted I have been the last couple of weeks, I think it’s perhaps time I prioritize sleep again.

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I’ve been so distracted with working lately, that I haven’t had as much time with my friends as I’d like. Finally this last weekend, I went home for my friend, Tasha’s bridal shower and bachelorette party. It was a great reminder of how important it is to take a break from working and prioritize time with friends. I’m already looking forward to the wedding and a mini vacation to Colorado next month.

Tash and me

Bach Party Unedited

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend! I will be teaching a Kids in the Kitchen class at Hy-Vee tomorrow, then relaxing and cooking the rest of the weekend.

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Why I Dislike Before & After Pictures

They seem to pop up everywhere. Whether you are scrolling through your social media feed or a commercial promoting the latest weight loss regimen flashes across your television—they are difficult to escape. I’m talking about “before and after” pictures, of course. It’s easy to get caught in that trap. You see a “transformed” body and instantly want to throw your money at that product or program.

Before After Photo Cover

Being an anti-diet dietitian, it probably comes as no surprise that I am not a fan of “before and after” pictures. By now, most of us are at least somewhat aware that with current photo editing technology, it’s pretty easy to manipulate the appearance of your physique. Even without editing, a person can twist and turn their body in such a way to create the illusion of change in the new photo. These are all the more obvious reasons why I don’t care for comparison photos. Nothing new here.

What if I told you I don’t care for any kind of #TransformationTuesday photo?

I know what you’re thinking. “But Amanda, what about the pictures where people show a needed weight gain between the two photos? Why wouldn’t you be in favor of that?

My answer is simple—before and after pictures, of any kind, continue to draw focus back to our physical appearance.  Isn’t that part of what got us in this weight-obsessed predicament to begin with?

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While I don’t think there is anything wrong with being proud of progress you make in your eating disorder or chronic dieting journey, the “before and after” photo trend often reinforces misconceptions of what an eating disorder looks like. For example, many of you have probably seen photos of someone while they were struggling with an ED as a “before” photo and the next picture shows them in their recovered body. Often, you see a noticeably thinner body in the first photo. While this can certainly come across as inspiring to some, this is problematic for others. People in EDs often tell themselves “oh but I’m not that skinny, so my eating disorder isn’t that bad.” This happens all too often. However, the truth of the matter is that EDs and disordered eating does not discriminate based on size. I often still find people comparing their bodies to the people in any of these “before and after” photos and justifying to themselves that they are not “sick enough.” The use of photo comparison further exacerbates this problem.

Awhile back, I remember hearing the phrase: “true humility is not thinking less of yourself: it is thinking of yourself less.” That quote really stuck with me. I couldn’t help but think of all the time in my life I have wasted by fixating on my physical appearance so much. That’s time I will never get back.

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At the end of the day, for me it all boils down to what I truly value most in life. For the longest time the cognitive dissonance between striving to be thin versus what I truly value (family, friends, relationships, helping others…my dog!) did not bring me happiness. Once I let go of caring as much about my outward appearance, it freed up all this extra time to focus on the things that I actually care about in life.

Oh and while we’re on the topic of things I love, I thought I’d share the only “before and after” picture I am a fan of—my dog, Bela. ❤

Before and After Bela

It comes down to sitting with yourself and thinking about what it is you care about. What are your goals in life? What is important to you? How do you want to be remembered? I think if you are honest with yourself, you will find that the answers to these questions have nothing to do with your outward appearance at all.

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Winter Recipe Roundup

If you follow me on Instagram or my Facebook page, then it’s no secret that I’ve been on a cooking and baking kick the last month or so. I’ve been stumbling upon so many wonderful recipes on Pinterest and dietitian friends’ blogs! I can’t take credit for these beautiful dishes that I have posted pictures of (though I wish I were the brains behind them!) However, I did want to compile some of the recipes into one post for you. Then, if you message me looking for the link to a recipe that I posted about, you can go right to here instead. So I wanted to give these awesome recipe curators credit–because life is pretty neat when we give each other credit for ideas! 😉

Spilling the Beans Winter Recipe Roundup

25011024_1676928479039230_8436285280901660672_nSweet Potato Hash Inspiration

26067299_511049575945695_7748240105722085376_nVegan Nachos Inspiration

24177903_843351809179874_7686215400668790784_nButter Garlic Herb Chicken with Zucchini

Thai Vegetable SoupThai Curry Vegetable Soup

24253781_338152339926979_713842415206662144_nSlow Cooker Creamy White Chicken Chili 

25006805_199789580584988_7910305791783993344_nRoasted Veggies Inspiration

24845924_529303767424170_1251582473968549888_nCashew Chocolate Chip Cookie Skillet

24177280_1506440916138885_4145991441895653376_nPumpkin Streusel Muffins

25017436_1878587225695239_2373181039783706624_nGinger Snap Cookies (w/ almond flour)
Christmas Gooey Butter Cookies
Seriously Soft Molasses Cookies
 (I made these for the holidays, but they could be enjoyed all times of year 🙂 )

24331933_450523538676756_8958394111132434432_nPomegranate Orange Scones

26868880_2045965112350598_5128385564982116352_nVegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Well, I’m off to enjoy the weekend. Do you have big Super Bowl plans. I’m over here still sulking about the miserable Vikings lost two weeks ago. Ugh! But I still plan on partaking in the Super Bowl madness.

Have a fantastic weekend! 🙂

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Principle 2: Honor Your Hunger

I am finally back to my Intuitive Eating series. Phew! What a crazy past couple of weeks! It feels like I have hardly had a second to breathe since Christmas. Between holiday celebrations, weddings, and work events, I looked at my calendar today and all of a sudden it was January 23rd. How did this happen?! I love being busy, but I am always thankful when life slows down a little bit and I have the time to take better care of myself (ie. sleep and exercise for me).

Today I want to jump right in with the second principle of Intuitive Eating. (If you missed the other posts of the series—check out the new page I created to combine all of these posts.
Principle 2. Honor Your Hunger

The first principle was all about working to get out of the diet mentality that has likely been deeply ingrained in you. Now it is time to tune in to your hunger and also honor it. Learning to listen to your hunger will set the stage for rebuilding your trust around food (1).

Think for a minute about all of the things that your body does naturally for you. Your lungs provide you with oxygen. Your heart pumps blood throughout your body. You get the gist. These are all a part of your basic physiological needs. Just like your body needs air, water, and sleep, it also needs food. So why is it that we so often deprive ourselves of what our bodies need to carry on their daily functions? I once heard another dietitian ask the question: “When you need to use the restroom, you don’t just hold it and try to ignore that urge—so why do you do the same with your hunger cues?”

Our bodies are much smarter than we give them credit for. When we are not fulfilling our energy needs (ie. eating), our bodies detect this as starvation and respond accordingly. A classic example of this comes from the famous Ancel Keys Minnesota Experiment (2,3). This study was set during World War II and was designed to help famine sufferers. 32 healthy men were selected due to their superior mental and physical health. Over the course of the study, the men were required to cut their average caloric intake in half to simulate a semi-starvation state. The response bore a striking resemblance to what we see in chronic dieters today. Here were some of the findings that stood out:

  • Metabolic rates decreased by 40%
  • Participants experienced food obsession and heightened cravings
  • Eating styles changed
  • Bulimia episodes were reported by some participants
  • Some engaged in deliberate exercise to increase their food rations
  • Personalities changed

These findings were remarkable, but certainly not surprising based on what we know to be true today. You have probably experienced many of these same side effects of deprivation in your own life. While eating and hunger is often portrayed as something we can manipulate through “self-control” and restriction, there are actually nerve cells of appetite located in the hypothalamus region of our brains (4). Therefore it is not a matter of willpower, but actually a biological drive. However, when we restrict, this actually switches on neurochemicals that induce eating. For example, Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is one of these chemicals produced in our brains that turns on a switch for our drive to eat carbohydrates. We often find the NPY levels to be the highest in the morning after a period of fasting while sleeping. As you can imagine, the NPY is only further revved up by mid-afternoon if you also skipped breakfast. This might explain a sense of “hanger” and potential binges when you have gone too long without eating.

Bottom line—we need all of the macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein, fats) on our plates. It’s not uncommon for people to turn to cutting out carbs to dangerously low levels (ie. ketogenic and paleo diets). However, our bodies need carbohydrates as the preferred source of energy for the central nervous system and to fill-up our depleted glycogen stores.  If you’re not getting carbs, then your body starts to compensate by breaking down muscle to be converted as glucose. While people may claim that they are losing weight on these low-carb diets, you are actually losing about 3-4 pounds of water with each pound of protein lost (1). Spoiler alert—please just don’t go on a ketogenic diet!!

Reclaim your hunger

In order to begin to honor your biological hunger, you need to start listening for it. One of the first exercises I have clients work through is keeping a hunger and fullness journal. Notice how I didn’t say to keep track of what you are eating using the Fitbit app. I often find that those tools actually lead to more food obsession in both my personal and professional experience. Instead we are taking a different approach to tracking. Check in with yourself several times during the day. If journaling isn’t your style, you can use the Notes app on your phone to jot down what you notice. Not sure what to look for? Here are some common indicators that you are hungry:

  • stomach is growling or gurgling
  • headache
  • feeling faint or lightheaded
  • difficulty concentrating
  • irritability

Once you start to see a pattern in your body’s hunger cues, you can then begin to use this scale to identify your hunger and fullness level.

The hunger Recovery scale

As you start to notice the patterns in your eating, I encourage people to feel somewhere in the “satisfied” to “full” spectrum while eating. As for preparing for your next meal, it’s important to do your best to avoid falling in the “ravenous” spectrum. Don’t feel defeated if this is challenging at first. Just think of all of the years you spent feeling guilty about eating. It will take a little bit of work and patience to get in tune with your body.

SidenoteI do also want to mention that if you have been severely restricting your intake or fall in the eating disorder/disordered eating category, Intuitive Eating is not going to be appropriate for you just yet. Often when your biological hunger has been silenced for so long, you aren’t necessarily well-equipped in this stage to determine when you are hungry or full. I encourage you to work with a care team that includes a dietitian with eating disorder experience to help you through the early stages of recovery. As always, you can always contact me for help as well. 

I also want you to know that just because you aren’t hungry, this doesn’t mean you can’t eat. Food is also a form of pleasure that can bring joy to your life. Sometimes we also don’t notice our hunger in the rush of life. For example, when you are nervous for an event, you might have suppressed hunger. But this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t eat because you don’t have hunger pangs. Intuitive Eating is also about honoring your body’s need for nutrients to thrive.

Cacoa Cookies

As promised, I have included a handout that summarizes the second principle of Intuitive Eating and a journal prompt to help get you started with this journey.

Principle 2 prompts

Don’t forget to use the hashtag #SpillingTheBeansOnIE on social media or tag me in any posts while you are going through the principles with me.

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Sources:
  1. Tribole, E. & Resch, E. (2012). Intuitive eating, 3rd edition. New York, NY: St. Martin’s Griffin.
  2. Keys, A. (1990). Recollections of pioneers in nutrition: from starvation to cholesterol. Journal of American College of Nutrition, 9288-291.
  3.  Kalm, L. M. & Semba, R. D. (2005). They starved so that others be better fed: Remembering Ancel Keys and the Minnesota Experiment. The Journal of Nutrition, 135(6), 1347-52.
  4. Ahima, R. S., & Antwi, D. A. (2008). Brain regulation of appetite and satiety. Endocrinology and Metabolism Clinics of North America37(4), 811–823. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecl.2008.08.005

Setting Intentions

We are already off to a roaring start to 2018. If you are like me, then you like to wait about a week before setting intentions for the new year. This allows me more time to reflect on the previous year and make a thoughtful decision on the intentions I want to set for the upcoming year. You don’t have to have a new year to set intentions. You can also set weekly and monthly intentions for yourself. Check out my video to learn more about the process that I personally use when setting my intentions.

 

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Crunchy Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bites

I’m on the road to Illinois this weekend to celebrate one of my good friend’s weddings. To say I am excited is an understatement. This will be the first time that I am reunited with my best friends from grad school since we walked across the stage at Illinois State University in May 2016. There is something special about having other dietitian friends. It’s much easier to relate to one another because we share similar career triumphs and struggles. We also can talk about nutrition-y things without boring one another.

Fun friends, long conversations, lots of laughter? Yeah…this weekend is going to be good!

While I am blasting nostalgic playlists with my girls on the 8 hour drive from South Dakota to Illinois, I wanted to leave you with this easy recipe that I sampled at my Hy-Vee location last week. I got positive feedback on these and wanted to share it with you guys.

Chunky choc PB protein bites1

These were one of those pleasant mistakes that you stumble upon in the kitchen. My recipe was originally inspired by this one. However, in my rush to get my demo set up, I purchased half the wrong ingredients. Instead of smooth peanut butter, I grabbed the chunky peanut butter. It seems that people are either “team chunky peanut butter” or they are not. I tend to be not a fan. However, I had already opened the jar and there was no going back. My other mistake was that I didn’t purchase the mini chocolate chips like I normally do for protein bites. Luckily, they turned out nicely! I actually liked the little crunch that the chunky peanut butter added to the bites.

PI Protein Bites (3)

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Let me know what you think! Were the changes in the recipe a hit or a miss?

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Simple Guacamole

If you’ve made your way over to my About page, then you might already know that my favorite food is guacamole. Yum! My mouth waters just thinking about it. Earlier this week, I was experimenting with a vegan nachos recipe and obviously needed a fresh mountain of guacamole to complete the nachos. In the process, I thought it would be fun to show you the recipe that I typically turn to. I’ve seen a number of variations of guacamole recipes and I’m not entirely sure where I found this one originally.

Beanitos and guac

Lately I’ve been obessed with the Beanitos brand of chips. They are cool because they are made from beans. Hello extra boost in fiber and protein! We sell them in the Health Market section of my Hy-Vee store so they are extra convenient for me. If you haven’t tried their version of cheese puffs, do it now!! My dad even raves about them after I brought a bag home at Christmas.

I especially wanted to share this recipe today because Hass avocados are on sale at my store and guacamole would be the perfect addition to your upcoming New Year’s Eve celebrations. I can’t think of a better way to ring in 2018 than with some guac in my belly!

(I forgot to add the salt in the video 🙂 )

Simple Guacamole

Printable Version

What’s your favorite way to eat guac? Do you pay extra for guac at Chipotle or Qdoba? (Is that even a question?!)

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Principle 1: Reject the Diet Mentality

Last week I took the week off from blogging to celebrate my birthday and the holidays. I gotta say, it felt pretty good to unwind and use social media minimally. Sometimes you just need those little breaks. This week I am back with the first principle of Intuitive Eating since I started this Spilling the Beans on Intuitive Eating Series.

If you are reading this, then you have probably put yourself on a diet at some point in your life. More than likely, you’ve tried multiple restrictive diets. According to Markdata, in 2014 the weight-loss market reached $69.8 billion (1). I can about imagine that this number has only increased since then. Yet, here you are—back at square one—searching for another diet full of exciting promises. You’ve probably felt like you failed diets in the past . “If only I had more willpower and had stuck to my plan…” Or you might reminisce about past diets and remind yourself how you had lost x amount of weight. “Why did I let myself go again?”

The truth of the matter is that YOU are not the problem. The dieting system itself is set up for failure. And it’s time to reject diet mentality once and for all.

Principle 1. Reject the Diet Mentality

The thought of rejecting diet mentality may sound exhilarating and frightening all at the same time. Leaving behind the old diet rules that you’ve been hanging onto is going to be a little scary at first. Those diet rules have been a frenemy to you for so long. You love them because you heard that your friend’s aunt lost so much weight following those rules; but you hate them because they control your life.

Repeat after me—Diets. Do. Not. Work!

You hear of short, quick weight loss surrounding the latest diet trend. However, when you look down the road, the evidence points to regaining weight (and usually additional weight). It’s called the Dieter’s Dilemma and it’s driven by the desire to be thin (2). We go through this dilemma each time we decide to start a new diet plan.

The Dieter's Dilemma

Don’t allow the false hope of there being another diet around the corner linger in the back of your mind. In order to find peace with food, you must fully reject the diet mentality.  This means not only giving up dieting, but also the sneaky rules you follow when not on a diet (ie. no eating after 6pm, low carbs, etc).

When letting go of diet mentality, there may be multiple fears that arise in the back of your mind. “But what am I supposed to do if I don’t follow rules? Won’t I be out of control around food?” The reality is that once you start eating intuitively, you learn to listen to your inner signals which will guide your eating. Your body is smarter than you give it credit for. You may be fearful that without rules, you will go crazy around food. In reality, the food rules are what cause you to overeat. Once you are told you can’t have something, you automatically start to crave that food. If there was some kind of miracle diet with proven long-term results—don’t you think we would all be doing it? In the book, Intuitive Eating, I love the line: “Remember, as long as there is money to be made, there will always be a new gimmick or diet for a quick-weight-loss fix.

Principle 1 Quote

How can you lose the diet mentality? As the Intuitive Eating book describes in detail, you need a paradigm shift. You need to re-frame your thoughts. To first shift your perspective, you must recognize and acknowledge the damage that dieting causes. Evidence shows that dieting actually increases your risk for gaining weight and also slows metabolism. One of the most notable studies was a six-year follow-up study of the contestants on The Biggest Loser (3). This study identified that contestants’ metabolism was suppressed by 500 calories on average. As you might guess, they gained back a significant amount of weight. While this show may be an extreme weight loss scenario, it still serves as an important reminder of the failures of diet culture. For more examples of how dieting doesn’t work, I encourage you pick up a copy of the Intuitive Eating book, workbook, and Linda Bacon’s Health at Every Size.

The second step to shifting your mindset away from diet mentality is to identify what diet mentality looks like. One of the journal prompts I have included this week will help you with this. Take some time and reflect on some ideas that you have about eating. Dissect these statements. For example, you might look at the common misconception: “carbs are bad for me.” You can ask yourself: Is that really true? Do carbs play a role in the human body? Why do people think carbs are ‘bad’? Once you dive into those thoughts (you might also want the guidance of a professional), you’ll realize that carbohydrates are actually the body’s preferred source of fuel. We would not be doing our body justice by eliminating them.

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A final step to shifting your perspective on diets is to get rid of dieting tools. This means letting go of obsessively weighing yourself and using that number as a validation of success. You can read my past post about why you shouldn’t worry about weight. In addition, today people often use their fitness watches as a means of measuring their success. While I’m all for being more physically active throughout the day, when using these devices with thoughts like “I can’t eat lunch unless I have x steps in” then we are using them as tools of diet culture. Be careful of this! Take some time to identify what has been in your dieter toolkit. You will soon start replacing your toolkit with a new set of empowerment tools. Now you will be able identify progress as a normalized relationship with food and putting a stop to worries and obsessions surrounding food and weight.

As promised, I have included a  handout that summarizes the first principle of Intuitive Eating and a journal prompt to help get you started with this journey.

Principle 1 Prompts

Don’t forget to use the hashtag #SpillingTheBeansOnIE on social media or tag me in any posts while you are going through the principles with me.

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Sources:
  1. Marketdata Enterprises Inc. (2015). The U.S. weight loss market: 2015 status report & forecast. 1-64.
  2. Tribole, E. & Resch, E. (2012). Intuitive eating, 3rd edition. New York, NY: St. Martin’s Griffin.
  3. Fothergill, E., Guo, J., Howard, L., Kerns, J. C., Knuth, N. D., Brychta, R…Hall, K. D. (2016). Persistent metabolic adapttion 6 years after “The Biggest Loser” competition. Obesity Biology and Integrated Physiology, 24(8), 1612-9.

Spilling the Beans on Intuitive Eating Series

This post has been long overdue and I have admittedly been putting it off. Intuitive Eating (IE) is the foundation for my food philosophies as a registered dietitian and I have been referring to the topic since the first post on Spilling the Beans. With transitioning to a new job and city, I haven’t had quite the time or head space that I wanted when tackling this subject…until now!  I wanted to make sure that I gave this topic the time and energy that it deserves to do the subject justice. Instead of trying to explain all of the ins and outs of IE in a single post, I have decided to do my first series here on the blog—Spilling the Beans on Intuitive Eating. 

Spilling the Beans onIntuive Eating

In each post, I will provide insights into each of the 10 principles to better break it down for you. I also have some awesome guests who will be posting in the series as well. With the principles, I will be including exercises and journal prompts that you can work through at home. It’s one thing to read about a concept, but to fully embrace IE, it takes some practice. Eventually it will become second nature—intuitive, if you will. If you are a dietitian, these may also be helpful exercises to share with your clients. One of my goals in life is to help people build healthier relationships with food and self; and IE is the best method for doing so.

Today I wanted to kick off the series by sharing the 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating. And don’t worry—none of these are those restricting food rules you are accustomed to reading about in magazines or the latest episode of The Dr. Oz Show (can you sense my eye rolls from there?!?) Check out the infographic I created below for a brief overview of all of the principles.

Intuitive Eating Infographic

Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch are the dietitians behind Intuitive Eating—and huge role models in my life. Their book is always the first I recommend to people wanting to heal their relationship with food. They also released a workbook this past year that has been so helpful in guiding clients through the principles. For the most comprehensive guide to IE, definitely order a copy of their book. I also created this Intuitive Eating Principles handout that I first use with clients when introducing the topic of IE.

Now that you have read through the principles and started to develop an idea of what this IE world is all about, I want to provide you with some questions to reflect on. As I mentioned, I will be providing journal prompts each week and introduction week is no exception. Before entering a life changing journey, it’s important to take the time to think about why you are starting to begin with. When I began my IE journey, I was sick of obsessing about my weight and trying to micromanage my body. When thinking back on my life (though it may sound morbid), I knew that I didn’t want people to say “well, she was really good at dieting and staying skinny.” I imagine the same can be said about you.

Introduction to IE Prompts (1)
If you do any reflecting, I would love to hear from you either in the comments below or using the hashtag #SpillingTheBeansOnIE. When I was recovering from unhealthy relationships from food, I found so much value in hearing other people’s stories. I’m sure others feel the same. 🙂

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Winter Fruit Salad

‘Tis the season for winter fruits and I am on board! Over the weekend, I spent most of Sunday afternoon in my kitchen making delicious scones and a fun cookie skillet. This time of year always puts me in the mood to bake goodies. Between bites of those decadent treats, I opted to throw together a colorful salad filled with some of my favorite fruits, including pineapple, pomegranate, kiwi, pears, and mandarin oranges. Though the fruit stands on its own, I also experimented with drizzling a homemade poppy seed dressing over top. (My recipe was inspired by this one, though I made several changes. 🙂 )

Winter Fruit Salad3

This fruit salad adds a bright, festive pop of color to any holiday gathering this month. It doesn’t hurt that this beautiful salad is chock full of antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber.

Easy on the eyes and nutritious? Count me in!Winter Fruit Salad Promo SignYou can certainly modify the recipe depending on what fruit you have on hand or what is on sale. These fruits are in season right now which means it won’t be hard to find good quality and affordable prices.

Winter Fruit Salad Recipe Handout (1)

Printable Recipe

If you make this fruit salad this month, tag me in it on social media and use the hashtag #spillingthebeans. I would love to see what you come up with!

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