Thanksgiving is a wonderful yet stressful holiday for a lot of people. The entire day is centered around food. And if food is a source of stress and anxiety
for you, that's a lot of pressure! I won't be providing you with a list of food do's and don'ts at your Thanksgiving meal. So if that's what you were
hoping for, I do apologize. But I will provide you with some ideas to contemplate. If you are anxious about Thanksgiving, I'd encourage you to take
a pen and paper and journal about some of the questions below.
1. What gives Thanksgiving value and meaning for you?
2. What contributes to or detracts from the "specialness" of the holiday?
3. When it comes to food, what are you worried about specifically? Really give this some thought. What concerns you?
4. How would you like THIS Thanksgiving to be different from past Thanksgivings?
5. How would you like it to be the same?
6. List 3 specific factors that will make it hard for you to have a different experience?
7. How can you plan for those challenges? Can you do it on your own? Do you need support? Do you need a new/creative strategy?
8. What thoughts and beliefs do you have about eating on Thanksgiving? Where do those thoughts and beliefs come from? Are they really yours? Really listen to those thoughts. Do you believe them? How do those thoughts affect your feelings and actions?
9. When it comes to eating, food, and your body- what are you truly grateful for? What makes you feel good?
Thanksgiving, just like all eating experiences is highly individual. While eating is the central event in most homes on Thanksgiving, I hope your holiday is also filled with positive relationships, peace, and gratitude.
What tips have helped you have a positive food experience on Thanksgiving?
Note: This post was originally published November 20th, 2012
Regardless of whether you supported Donald Trump or not, this election has likely deeply affected you. In this video blog I share my thoughts about picking up the self-care pieces post-election 2016. Self-care is at the center of your ability to be present and effective as the kind of change agent YOU want to be. And during stressful times our best attempts at self-care can unintentionally slip into self-destruction. I encourage you to take a quick self-assessment, commit (or re-commit) to taking charge of your online media usage, and remember that we aren't able to be effective when we are trying to pour from a dry well.
What are you doing to take care of yourself post-election?
The Concept of "Throwback Thursday" (TBT) is all over social media these days. This past week I have been talking quite a bit with clients about a topic I actually blogged about over two years ago. So here's to throwing back to an old but still pertinent topic- the different between a serving size vs. a portion size. I hope it's helpful!
Alright, I'm about to get on my RD soap box here. I have a little pet peeve. Ok, sometimes it's a big pet peeve. Have you ever noticed that popular diet
books, magazines, and well-intended news reporters get confused between serving sizes and portion sizes? Probably not. But I'm writing about it because
it's important! And it all comes back to the difference between a rule-bound diet mentality and eating based on internal wisdom.
Serving Size: A standardized, measured amount of a food that may be determined by "typical" portion sizes from consumption surveys, convenience in measuring, nutrient content, and sizes from previous guides. This is what you see listed on a nutrition facts panel, diet plans, and the food guide pyramid.
Portion Size: The amount of food YOU decide to eat.
Note: these two concepts are quite different. Since nutritional content of food values dramatically, it can SOMETIMES be helpful to have a sense of how much nutrition is contained in a product. You can read here in more detail if you're curious to know how to use nutrition information (like calorie counts) in a productive way.
However. no one on this planet is a better judge of how much food you need than YOU! Sometimes dieting and eating disorders disrupt a person's ability to determine how much food they need.If you have gotten used to someone else telling you how much to eat, it makes sense that you'll have to re-learn this skill.
So the next time Shape Magazine tells you to eat 14 almonds for an afternoon snack, you can say "I'll decide what portion size is right for me, thank you very much!" Then consider the following 4 factors:
1. How hungry am I?
2. When will I be eating again?
3. What nutritional qualities does this food possess? Carbs = quick fuel, Protein = fullness, Fats = Satiety and stick around the longest
4. What type of meal or snack balance do I need for my overall health?
Hopefully you can feel a little more confident knowing that you don't have to rely on any outside measurements or randomly determined serving sizes to determine how much food you can eat. If you listen, your own wisdom won't let you down!
How often have you heard someone say “Oh, that’s only 250 calories, it’s not so bad.” I’ve heard it A LOT and it really gets on my nerves. What if a calorie total wasn’t good or bad? What if we could strip all the morality out of how many calories we consume? Unfortunately, calorie talk is NOT going away any time soon. It’s posted on menus, plastered on magazine covers, and someone you know is probably counting them. But it’s not a total bummer if you can start to practice looking at them more objectively and with less judgment. I’ll show you.
Example #1- Lean Cuisine Meal = 310 calories*
Old way of thinking: 310 calories for lunch isn’t so “bad.”
New way of thinking: Wow, I notice that when I eat a 310 calorie Lean Cuisine for lunch I’m not very satisfied, I feel hungry again an hour later, and I’m still thinking about food quite a bit. If I want to stay full for longer than an hour, I either need more food or I should choose something different.
Example #2- Turkey and Avocado Sandwich from Au Bon Pain =650 calories
Old way of thinking: Oh, I was really “bad” at lunch today. That sandwich had over 600 calories. According to Shape magazine, I should eat less than 400 calories at lunch. I’m so disgusting. I have no self-control. Why couldn’t I eat just half?
New way of thinking: The sandwich tasted delicious. The balance of carbohydrate, fats, and proteins left me feeling satisfied. I feel a lot fuller than after I eat a Lean Cuisine. Plus I noticed that I have more energy and didn’t think about eating again for a few hours. If I need something to tie me over for a few hours, this is a great choice.
See the difference? We have to get out of our heads and into our bodies. How do certain choices make you feel? Energized or sluggish. Satisfied or left wanting more. Happy tummy or upset tummy. If we can let go of the idea o food being good or bad and tune in to the physical experience of eating it, we’ll be headed in the right direction!
Have any personal experiences? Please share!
*Disclaimer: I totally made those calorie numbers up.
Body Positive. It seems to be a term that’s getting a little more press these days. As a self-described “body positive dietitian” you’d think I’d be thrilled! Truthfully, I’m conflicted. I’m conflicted because “body positive” began as a term used to promote body inclusivity, meaning all bodies (fat, thin, short, tall, able-bodied or not) deserve respect AND don’t need changing. Yup, body positive means I’m going to take good care of my body just as it is today and love it fiercely, without any agenda of making it look different.