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Did you know the “non-dieting” approach has been around since 1995? Evelyn Tribole, MS, RD and Elyse Resch MS, RD, CEDRD, FADA were the first to develop and publish this concept in their book, Intuitive Eating: The Revolutionary Program that Works. Intuitive eating is not a diet, but an approach to improve your relationship with food, exercise, and body image. Through this, studies have shown this method can additionally help improve blood pressure, cholesterol, decrease depression, enhance self-esteem and often result in weight loss for chronic dieters. Information below is a highlight of each principle and directly from the Intuitive Eating book:
|REJECT THE DIET MENTALITY
Throw out the diet books and magazine articles that offer you the false hope of losing weight quickly, easily, and permanently. Get angry at the lies that have led you to feel as if you were a failure every time a new diet stopped working and you gained back all the weight. If you allow even one small hope to linger that a new and better diet might be lurking around the corner, it will prevent you from being free to rediscover Intuitive Eating.
|HONOR YOUR HUNGER
Keep your body biologically fed with adequate energy and carbohydrates. Otherwise, you can trigger a primal drive to overeat. Once you reach the moment of excessive hunger, all intentions of moderate, conscious eating are fleeting and irrelevant. Learning to honor this first biological signal sets the stage for rebuilding trust with yourself and food.
|MAKE PEACE WITH FOOD
Call a truce; stop the food fight! Give yourself unconditional permission to eat. If you tell yourself that you can’t or shouldn’t have a particular food, it can lead to intense feelings of deprivation that build into uncontrollable cravings and, often, bingeing. When you finally “give in” to your forbidden foods, eating will be experienced with such intensity, it usually results in Last Supper overeating and overwhelming guilt.
|CHALLENGE THE FOOD POLICE
Scream a loud “no” to thoughts in your head that declare you’re “good” for eating under a thousand calories or “bad” because you ate a piece of chocolate cake. The food police monitor the unreasonable rules that dieting has created. The police station is housed deep in your psyche, and its loud speaker shouts negative barbs, hopeless phrases, and guilt-provoking indictments. Chasing the food police away is a critical step in returning to Intuitive Eating.
|FEEL YOUR FULLNESS
Listen for the body signals that tell you that you are no longer hungry. Observe the signs that show that you’re comfortably full. Pause in the middle of a meal or snack and ask yourself how the food tastes, and what your current fullness level is.
|DISCOVER THE SATISFACTION FACTOR
The Japanese have the wisdom to keep pleasure as one of their goals of healthy living. In our fury to be thin and healthy, we often overlook one of the most basic gifts of existence – the pleasure and satisfaction that can be found in the eating experience. When you eat what you really want, in an environment that is inviting, the pleasure you derive will be a powerful force in helping you feel satisfied and content. By providing this experience for yourself, you will find that it takes much less food to decide you’ve had “enough.”
|COPE WITH YOUR EMOTIONS WITHOUT USING FOOD
Find ways to comfort, nurture, distract, and resolve your emotional issues without using food. Anxiety, loneliness, boredom, and anger are emotions we all experience throughout life. Each has its own trigger, and each has its own appeasement. Food won’t fix any of these feelings. It may provide comfort for the short term, distract from the pain, or even numb you into a food hangover. But food won’t solve the problem. If anything, eating for an emotional hunger will only make you feel worse in the long run. You’ll ultimately have to deal with the source of the emotion, as well as the discomfort of overeating.
|RESPECT YOUR BODY
Accept your genetic blueprint. Just as a person with a shoe size of eight would not expect realistically to squeeze into a size six, it is equally futile (and uncomfortable) to have a similar expectation about body size. Respect your body, so you can feel better about who you are. It’s hard to reject the diet mentality if you are unrealistic and overly critical of your body shape.
|EXERCISE – FEEL THE DIFFERENCE
Forget militant exercise. Just get active and feel the difference. Shift your focus to how it feels to move your body, rather than the calorie burning effect of exercise. If you focus on how you feel from working out, like being energized, it can make the difference between rolling out of bed for a brisk morning walk or hitting the booze alarm. If when you wake up, your only goal is to lose weight, it’s usually not a motivating factor in that moment of time.
|HONOR YOUR HEALTH – GENTLE NUTRITION
Make food choices that honor your health and taste buds while making you feel good. Remember that you don’t have to eat a perfect diet to be healthy. You will not suddenly get a nutrient deficiency, or gain weight from one snack, one meal, or one day of eating. It’s what you eat consistently over time that matters. Progress, not perfection, is what counts.
This book is a great read! If you are wanting to implement these principles in your life, and would like guidance/one-on-one counseling, the “BN” Dietitians are in your corner. We understand the role diet culture has played on one’s mind and body. Get back to the basics and learn to listen to YOU! LN
Keeping fresh produce “fresh” can be tricky. In recent months, I have backed off on how many times I grocery shop each month. Keeping fresh produce around for longer than a week can be challenging, but I have started using some of these strategies to keep produce looking and tasting great for weeks!
Storing Produce Properly
Let’s start with how to store your produce! Avoid storing produce at the top of the refrigerator where it is more likely to freeze. Instead, keep fresh produce in the center of the refrigerator to prevent freezing or thawing. Let’s dive into storing techniques for common grocery buys:
- Asparagus: Place in a glass of water (like flowers) and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Carrots: Store in a covered container of water in the refrigerator to keep firm until ready to use. Replace the water every 2 to 3 days.
- Celery: Wrap in aluminum foil to maintain freshness and crunch and keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 to 4 weeks.
- Cucumbers: Store on the countertop at room temperature out of direct sunlight.
- Lettuce/herbs: Place a dry paper towel around to soak up excess moisture that can cause mushiness, molding, or browning. Change towels every 2 to 3 days.
- Mushrooms: Keep in a brown paper bag in the refrigerator to prevent excess moisture causing mushiness, molding, or browning.
- Tomatoes: Store on the countertop at room temperature out of direct sunlight.
- Winter squash/pumpkin/onions/potatoes: keep in a dry, cool space like the pantry or garage. Ensure these foods are not overcrowded and have adequate air circulation to prevent breakdown.
It is recommended to wait and wash produce prior to using it to prevent excess moisture during the storing process. Berries are a bit different. Try soaking them in a vinegar solution (3 parts water to 1 part vinegar) for 5 to 10 minutes. Fight the urge to rinse the vinegar off. The vinegar helps fight off molding. Don’t worry, you won’t taste the vinegar on your sweet berries. Let berries dry completely. Then, return to a breathable container prior to storing in the refrigerator.
Isolation to Prevent Ripening
Some fruits and vegetables like apples, bananas, pears, and potatoes produce a gas called ethylene. When this gas is released it can cause any produce near it to ripen faster. Prevent this by storing these foods separately in the refrigerator or on the countertop. Alternatively, you can even place these items near avocados if you are impatient like me and ready to devour the avocados before they’re ripened!
Slow Down The Ripening Process
The cold environment of the refrigerator or freezer can allow you to store produce for much longer. Always allow fresh produce like pears, avocados, melons, bananas, peaches to ripen at room temperature first. When at ideal ripeness, transition the produce to the refrigerator until ready to use. Before any produce goes bad, use the freezer to keep it “fresh” until ready to use. Most vegetables need to be blanched before storing in the freezer. Blanching helps halt enzyme activity that impacts flavor and texture; it also helps to clean the produce prior to storing. Put herbs in ice cube molds with olive oil. Chop up green onions and place in a plastic bottle for easy dispensing. Place all produce in an airtight container and use within 6 months.
I hope these strategies are as helpful for you as they have been for my family! LN
I don’t know about you, but sometimes 24 hours a day is just not enough. With school and work, some days I struggle to find the time to eat nourishing meals because I don’t have the time to make a meal and any prepared options are usually not the best choices. I started meal prepping can help free up some time during the week by cooking meals ahead of time!
Set a Day for Meal Prepping
First, set a designated day to cook your meals. I like to cook on Sundays and Wednesdays making meals for three to four days so I don’t get tired of the same meals every day. Also, most of the time food only says good for about three to five days or so. This is also a great way to get the family into the kitchen. Getting kids to help out can spark their interest in healthy food and cooking. Plus, they are more likely to eat the food that they helped cook.
Plan Your Meals
Once you have set a day to make your meals, plan what you are going to make and write a list of food you need to get at the grocery store. Planning your meals in advance can help make grocery shopping much easier as you already know what to get. This way you only need to go to the grocery store once a week. When planning your meals, think about ingredients that could be cooked in multiple ways. For example, you can make spinach into a salad, put it in some soup, or sautee it with other veggies!
Don’t limit your meal prepping to just lunch and dinner. You can save time in the morning by portioning out your smoothie ingredients in mason jars or pre-making pancakes and cut fruit for an easy breakfast for the kids.
Having pre-made snacks make it easy for you to grab and go. Cut up and portion fruits and veggies! Portion out cheese, lunchmeat, and crackers for homemade Lunchables! Pre-package trail mix or cereals! The combinations are endless.
Utilize your kitchen to the max!
- Make sheet pan meals by roasting multiple items on the same sheet pan. That’s one less dish to wash at the end of the night!
- Multi-task. Whether that be boiling some pasta while sauteeing some greens or baking chicken and roasting potatoes, make use of your time cooking.
Portion Out Your Meals
After making all your meals, portion out your meals. This makes it quick and easy to grab your lunch when you are on your way out the door! If you don’t have enough room in your refrigerator, pack your lunch and dinner the night before so you have it ready to go in the morning.
Mason jars are a great way to put salads in. Place your dressing in first and then put hardier vegetables like chickpeas or tomatoes or protein. That way your salad is not soggy when you eat it. It’s also great to use if you want instant noodle soups. Just cook your favorite noodles and shock them in ice water before adding it to the mason jar with other ingredients you want. Add miso, tum yum paste, a bouillon cube, or any other soup flavoring. When you are ready to eat, just add hot water and let it sit for a couple of minutes. And voila you have soup!
If you want to meal prep way far in advance, you can freeze the extra meals you made. You can marinate meat, cook vegetables, or make soup and freeze it! Making and freezing family meals can be a huge time saver when you are running short on time to make dinner. You can make lasagna, oven bakes, or casseroles in a disposable pan and freeze them until you need them.
Fast food can be healthy. Meal prepping may require taking some time out of your week, but you can have ready to eat meals that you know are nutritious! You can make it as easy as you want it by simply putting everything in the oven or have fun making different meals. Not only does it save time during the weekdays, but it can save you money and unnecessary stress. Try meal prepping this week and comment below how you did it!
How are you taking care of yourself? Taking care of yourself directly impacts your ability to care for others. Think – are you getting the sleep you need, managing stress in a positive way, meeting your nutritional needs, getting in physical exercise?
Which came first? Are nutrient shortfalls secondary to lack of sleep or lack of sleep secondary to nutrient shortfalls?
The answer – either one can cause an impact on the other. There are some common nutritional deficiencies that may prevent us from getting adequate sleep and/or caused by lack of sleep. Ideally, we should get 7 to 9 hours of sleep at night. However, less than 1% of the population falls into the “exception” category of needing less or more than this. If you are not meeting this guideline, you are likely putting yourself at risk for nutrient deficiencies and causing your sleep to be worse.
Adults with less than 7 hours of sleep at night have been found to have nutrient shortfalls in vitamin D, vitamin E, magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium, vitamin K, potassium and omega 3s.
- Did you know 96% of Americans don’t eat enough vitamin D?
- Vitamin D plays an important role in lung health, insulin secretion, bone health, brain health, heart health, inflammation, muscle health, and our immune system.
- Did you know 55% of Americans don’t eat enough magnesium?
- Magnesium plays an important role in our bones/teeth, regulation of heartbeat, muscles, nervous system, metabolism, and cellular energy.
- Did you know 95% of Americans don’t eat enough omega 3s?
- Omega 3s play an important role in eye health, maintaining healthy triglycerides, healthy blood pressure, brain health, heart health, and inflammation.
Having a balanced diet with a variety of produce and protein sources can help prevent nutritional deficiencies. Nutrient-dense food sources include:
- Vitamin D: Egg yolk, mushroom, fatty fish, cod liver oil, fortified foods/beverages (cereal/orange juice/milk)
- Vitamin E: Almonds, avocado, fatty fish, sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, spinach, butternut squash, olive oil, kiwi
- Vitamin C: Kale, broccoli, green chili pepper, bell pepper, coriander, kiwi, strawberry, lemon, grapefruit, pineapple, orange, papaya, tomato
- Vitamin A: Liver, cod liver oil, spinach, butternut squash, mustard greens, tomato, fatty fish, carrot, sweet potato, cantaloupe, red bell pepper, parsley
- Vitamin K: Kale, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cucumber, asparagus, kiwi, avocado, cheese, eggs, chicken, butter
- Magnesium: Pumpkin seeds, almonds, spinach, quinoa, beans, dark chocolate, peanuts, edamame, cashews, cacao powder, oatmeal, avocado, broccoli, banana
- Calcium: Milk, cheese, yogurt, fish, spinach, kale, collard greens, beans, lentils, walnuts, edamame, fortified drinks (almond milk/orange juice), chia seeds, sesame seeds, almonds, broccoli, tofu
- Potassium: Pistachios, beet greens, salmon, white beans, potatoes, milk, mushrooms, avocado, tomato, flaxseed, pumpkin seed, peanuts, almonds, banana, acorn squash, broccoli, brussels sprouts, celery, watermelon
- Omega 3s: Fatty fish (anchovies, sardines, herring, trout, salmon, mackerel, albacore tuna), basil, chia seeds, flax seeds, spinach, walnuts, edamame, brussels sprouts, avocado
Whether lack of sleep causes nutrient abnormalities or nutrient abnormalities causes a lack of sleep, it is important to make both a priority to help the body function properly. They both play a key role in overall health. Speak with your Dietitian about ways you can improve stress, sleep, and nutrition. LN
The large intestine contains the highest concentration of microbes in our bodies and these microbes are different for everyone. The different types depend on genes, age, gender, diet, hygiene and even climate and occupation. Studies show that gut microbes even affect pain, mood, sleep, stress, and how our bodies use the food we eat to fight infection and keep us healthy. The microbes in our gut also affect how the nutrients we eat are stored in our bodies, as well as regulate our appetites and have some control in our weight.
Diets high in fat and refined sugars can cause the good and bad bacteria in our gut to become unbalanced. This can cause inflammation and increase our risk for infections. The gut microbiota actually act to crowd out bad bacteria that can cause infection. It can also decrease inflammation throughout the body by releasing specific compounds to prevent attacks on the immune system.
Foods that are good for gut health include high FIBER foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and pre/probiotics!
- Bran cereal, FiberOne bar
- Beans (lentils, kidney, black, lima, etc)
- Berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries)
- Quinoa, wild rice, brown rice, whole wheat bread
- Spinach, collard greens, peas, broccoli, squash
- Almonds, sesame seeds, pistachios
- Pears, apples, dried fig, prunes, oranges
- Aged cheeses, greek yogurt, kefir
- Kimchi, kombucha, olives, sauerkraut, soybeans
- Sourdough bread
- Berries, bananas, tomatoes, vegetables
- Barley, flaxseed, oatmeal, wheat
- Beans, chickpeas, lentils
For more in-depth info check out this link>> http://www.nutritionnews.abbott/nutrition-as-medicine/the-role-of-the-microbiome-in-gut-health-.html?fbclid=IwAR2R1aisahO4KeNLiZNXXiszzbQoZDqtCoT-5jLopPYlI-PXhMeHVepZ464
This recipe adds more carrots and parsley, substitutes low-fat milk, and uses less butter! Easy swaps like this can really transform a classic recipe into something healthier!
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
- Combine chicken, carrots, peas, and celery in a saucepan. Cover with water. Boil until chicken is no longer pink in the middle and vegetables are fork tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, drain, and set aside.
- Cook and stir onions in butter in a saucepan over medium heat, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, and celery seed. Slowly stir in chicken broth and milk. Simmer over medium-low heat until thick, about 5 minutes. Stir in parsley and remove from heat. Set aside.
- Place chicken mixture in bottom pie crust; pour hot liquid mixture over. Cover with top crust, seal edges, and cut away excess dough. Make several small slits in top to allow steam to escape.
- Bake in preheated oven until pie is golden brown and filling is bubbly, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Let us know how you like this great recipe from allrecipes.com!
Are you tired of dieting and being confused by all the latest diet trends? Do you feel like you don’t know how to get on track and establish a consistent eating pattern? Are you unsure of how food connects with your mental and physical health? If you answered yes to any this, the concept and practice of intuitive eating will be great to apply to your lifestyle.
Intuitive eating in a nutshell is a mindset or philosophy that honors internal body cues that we are innately born with such as eating when we are hungry and stopping when we are satisfied, and it rejects the diet mentality that is heavily marketed. There is more that is involved in becoming an intuitive eater but here are the 10 principles that were first developed by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch in their book titled intuitive eating.
- Reject the Diet Mentality – Avoid fad diets and all the rules surrounded about eating
- Honor your Hunger – Listen to the cues your body gives you to tell you to fuel up. Keep yourself fed.
- Make Peace with Food – Give yourself permission to eat and enjoy all foods. Restriction leads to overeating which creates a poor relationship with food
- Challenge the Food Police – Stop the thoughts in your head that make you believe your “good” for eating low calories or “bad” for having some ice cream.
- Respect your Fullness – Listen for the signals your body gives you to tell you that you are no longer hungry. A hunger scale can be great to use for this.
- Discover the Satisfaction Factor- Enjoy the food and meal experiences you encounter. Remember that food is to be both nourishing and satisfying.
- Honor Your Feelings without using Food – Find ways to cope with emotions you may struggle with. Practice guided mediation, talk with a friend, or dive into a great book.
- Respect your Body – Accept your genetic blueprint and be proud of the skin you’re in! Your worth is not determined by your size.
- Exercise, Feel the Difference – Get active in an activity you enjoy. It doesn’t have to be at the gym to be considered exercise. Go on a walk or get some yard work done. It all counts. Shift your focus from solely burning calories to how energized you may feel. It’s a great stress reliever too!
- Honor your Health – Avoiding diets doesn’t equate to not being aware of or caring about what you eat. Choose nutrient dense foods the majority of the time also knowing that’s its totally fine to have some indulgences
Remember that intuitive eating doesn’t happen overnight and it takes consistent practice and time. You can work with any of the dietitians at BN to help apply these principles into your way of life long-term.
The American Heart Association recommends no more then 6 TEASPOONS (25 grams or 100 calories) of added sugar per day for women, and 9 TEASPOONS (38 grams or 150 calories) per day for men. To put things into perspective…
1 Tablespoon Ketchup = 3.7 grams Sugar
1 Quaker Chewy Bar = 7 grams Sugar
1 Cup apple juice = 24 grams Sugar
1 Serving Yoplait Fruit, Nonfat Yogurt = 47 grams Sugar
With the new Nutrition Facts label, there is now a column for “Added Sugar”. This is great information to have and it tells us how many grams of calorie containing sweeteners/added sugars have been added. Consuming added sugars in excess can cause weight gain and obesity because they do not contain nutrients and are a form of empty calories. In large amounts, these sweeteners rapidly increase blood glucose levels, insulin levels, and triglycerides. When these levels are elevated, your risk for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other chronic illnesses increases.
Artificial sweeteners, aka non-nutritive sweeteners, are another type of sweetener that can be added to food products and are widely known for being added to diet beverages. They are low and even no calorie sweeteners such as Nutrasweet, Sweet One, Sweet’N Low, and Splenda. In their chemical forms they are Aspartame, Acesulfame-K, Saccharin, and Sucralose. This type of sweetener also provides no nutrient benefits for the body. Studies show that daily consumption of artificially sweetened beverages, such as diet drinks, are associated with a 36% greater risk for metabolic syndrome and a 67% increased risk for type 2 diabetes (Gardener, et al., 2019).
Artificially sweetened beverages can be used among consumers to decrease calories but use of these beverages should be limited-time and as an in-between while transitioning to drinking water only.
Real Sugar/Natural Sugar
Not all sugar is bad. Naturally occurring sugars in food such as fruit (fructose) and milk (lactose) provide important nutrients. Whole fruits contain antioxidants and fiber, which helps you feel full for longer and provide metabolic benefits. The natural sugars combined with the other nutrients in these foods are digested more slowly than the added sugars which helps stabilize blood glucose levels. When given the option, always choose whole fruit over dried fruit or fruit juice.
As always, we recommend a balance of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats. However, there is room for the occasional Coke or Diet Dr. Pepper in moderation. Living a healthy lifestyle is about variety, moderation and making choices for YOU and your health!
Studies and Pictures Cited:
- Gardener, H., & Elkind, M. S. (2019). Artificial Sweeteners, Real Risks. Stroke,50(3), 549-551. doi:10.1161/strokeaha.119.024456
- Strawbridge, H. (2018, January 08). Artificial sweeteners: Sugar-free, but at what cost? Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/artificial-sweeteners-sugar-free-but-at-what-cost-201207165030
- Photo by Mikael Stenberg on Unsplash
As a Dietitian, I always recommend real food over meal replacements, shakes or bars. In a perfect world, we would sit down and eat a balanced meal three times a day. However, if you are in a time crunch, having a nutrition bar is better than skipping a meal. So that leads us to the big question – “how do I choose the right bar?” Choosing the right bar for you can be very challenging. Several bars on the shelves are full of sugar with similar nutrition content as a candy bar. Here are a few guidelines and things to look for when choosing a nutrition bar:
- Carbohydrates: Complex carbohydrates are a great source of sustainable energy, so look for bars that have fiber content. Also, look for bars that contain natural sources of sugar, like fruit. Try to limit added sugars.
Rule of thumb: 2 gm or more of fiber and 8-10 gm or less of total sugar content
- Protein: Protein is needed to help you feel full and keep you feeling full between meals, so this is an important one. Your body can only absorb a certain amount of protein in one sitting, so getting a bar with 30-40 gm protein is not helpful.
Rule of thumb: 8-20 gm protein content
- Fat: Look for a bar that contains healthy sources of fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats) and avoid bars high in saturated or trans fats.
Rule of thumb: less than 3 gm saturated fat content
Here is a list of bars that meet the guidelines above:
- Kashi GOLEAN Plant Powered Bars: Salted Dark Chocolate and Nut; Crunchy Peanut Butter
- KIND Breakfast Protein Bars: Dark Chocolate Cocoa; Almond Bar; Maple Cinnamon; Peanut Butter Banana Dark Chocolate
- KIND Sweet and Spicy Bars: Roasted Jalapeno; Thai Sweet Chili; Sweet Cayenne BBQ
- CLIF Whey Protein Bars: Mint Chocolate Almond Flavor
- CLIF Mojo Bars: Honey Srirocka
- CLIF Luna Bars: Lemonzest; Chocolate Peppermint Stick; Sea Salt Caramel; Nutz Over Chocolate; White Chocolate Macadamia; S’mores; Chocolate Cupcake
- POWER Bar Plant Protein Bars: Dark Chocolate Almond Sea Salt
- EPIC Bars: Chicken Sesame BBQ; Turkey Almond Cranberry
- Nature Valley Protein Chewy Bar: Honey Peanut Almond
- Think Thin Protein + Fiber Bars: Pumpkin Spice
- KIZE Bars: Cocoa; Peanut Butter; Vanilla Almond; Cinnamon Roll; Pumpkin Seed; Peanut Butter Crunch with Pumpkin Seeds
Note: The above recommendations are for healthy adults. If you have a chronic disease, please talk to your Dietitian to see if there are any other specific recommendations for you to look at. The bars pictured were found at Crest Foods and Target.