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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Half Full or Half Empty?



Having a wonderful and relaxing Memorial Day weekend.  Today my husband and I invited 8 of our dear friends over for a BBQ. Great food, company and the weather was beautiful.

I've been thinking about how lucky I am lately.  Sure I have problems, who doesn't?  But I think it really depends upon how you "hold" those ideas.  Problems are really ideas, or a story we tell ourselves about reality.  I'm not happy about my mother's aging, dementia and the difficulties this presents for my life.  Nor am I happy about the knee replacement surgery I'm having later this month, on and on and on.

Ok, so what am I going to do about these things?  My choice is to enjoy the other aspects of my life, good food, my friends and family, my beautiful home and garden and my 2 wonderful dogs.

What does this have to do with nutrition, conscious eating and the other things I usually write about?  I think that remaining conscious of what's real and true is my life includes not just food, but all these other aspects of my life as well.  I can CHOOSE to look at my life as half empty, or half full.

I do have issues with my health that affect what I eat.  I can CHOOSE to be unhappy about this, or I can CHOOSE to eat in the way that's healthiest for me, and enjoy all the wonderful things I CAN eat.

Half Full!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Can we really tell when we are full?

You Matter

This is an article by my colleague, Janine Quigley, from her blog:
New Wellness for Me: Health & wellness, fitness, and attuned eating

Last night, I had a great time with some friends from college. Oddly enough, there was a time in my life when I may not have even gone. Last night would have been an “event” for me; something that I had to prepare for. I’m not talking about a new outfit, I mean a whole new me… because back then, the old me was never “good enough”.

Let’s make this simple… an event called for the “diet-down” and the weeks leading up to it typically went like this:

You need to lose weight!
Diet more, eat less! … time is running short!!!
Work harder, exercise more!
If you don’t lose weight, you don’t deserve to go.

Possible scenarios? Oh yeah, these were great:

If I “allowed” myself to go I wasn’t fully present. I felt self-conscious and preoccupied. I played the body-check game and compared myself to my friends. Someone thinner or more fit than me meant I didn’t try hard enough. And, of course, dieting down usually meant I’d gain the weight back (or even more) when the event was over.
If I didn’t lose “enough”, or even worse I gained weight (typical when I pressured myself to lose)… I couldn’t go at all. Missing good times in my life because of the scale, oh yes this makes sense.

Is it all worth it? Life goes by quickly. Watching my children grow from helpless infants to independent young adults in what seems to be a blink of an eye helped me realize this. I began to notice what I was missing. I started questioning what all this worrying and obsessing over my weight was gaining me. My thoughts began to shift. I learned to appreciate myself for who I am, from the inside out first. There is much more to me than my jean size. Focusing on the positive things I have to offer took the focus away from my appearance. I felt happier and freer. I realized I need to respect who I am right now, in this very moment… not the person I thought I needed to be. It finally dawned on my how much of my life was passing me by! I had a choice. I could continue on this self-destructive path that never left me feeling good about myself or I could begin to accept me for who I am and enjoy what my life had to offer me.

I have a challenge for you. Think of 3 influential people in your life; individuals whom you admire and look up to. Why are they important you? What characteristics make them special? Do these qualities have anything to do with their weight? No matter what your size, you matter. You have things that only you can offer. There are people in your life who depend on you and look up to you. By putting your life on hold or not being fully present in it, you cheat yourself and those around you from getting the very best of you! You can’t enjoy life if you don’t allow yourself to experience it!

I did buy a new outfit for dinner last night but that was the extent of my “preparation”. Instead of stressing, I found myself looking forward to being able to share a night with some special people. We remembered (or at least tried to remember LOL) the fun times we had, shared stories about our families and our lives. We had many laughs and a lot of fun. And the best part, I was there, enjoying every bit of it :)

Saturday, April 28, 2012


How To Raise A Healthy Eater
It’s really tempting these days to classify foods as “good vs bad”, or “healthy vs. unhealthy”.   As we Registered Dietitians say, “All foods fit”.   The distinction is how foods are used in the diet. 
A useful way to think about this is “nutrient density”, which refers to nutrients per calorie.  For example, compare a fresh apple to apple pie.  A fresh apple has about 80 calories, lots of vitamins and minerals, and very little fat.  The sugar in apples comes naturally.  The average slice of apple pie has about 400 calories, and some of the vitamins and minerals, but more sugar and fat than the fresh fruit.  So the pie is less nutrient dense than the fresh apple.   If you choose foods that are more nutrient dense more of the time, you can create a “healthy” eating plan for you and your child.

Another way to raise a healthy eater is to encourage your child to respond to physical hunger and fullness signals.  We all have these physical signals; we are born with them.  Our society does a great job of encouraging us to avoid responding appropriately to them.  Food is everywhere, and we are encouraged by advertising and social influences to eat at all times, regardless of whether or not we are hungry.   Our children learn not to pay attention, as they watch what we do.  

Our job should be to help our children learn to distinguish between hunger and other feelings, such as boredom, hurt, or anger, or feeling just plain happy.  Some people, adults and kids, just know when they are hungry and only eat then.  But most of us eat when food is available, and that’s almost always.  Many people easily confuse emotions with hunger, and we can help our children (and ourselves!) make these distinctions.  When you are hungry, physically hungry, eat.  When you are NOT hungry do something else!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

You Matter

From my colleague, Janine Quigley. This is a terrific post on Intuitive Eating

You Matter

Last night, I had a great time with some friends from college. Oddly enough, there was a time in my life when I may not have even gone. Last night would have been an “event” for me; something that I had to prepare for. I’m not talking about a new outfit, I mean a whole new me… because back then, the old me was never “good enough”.

Let’s make this simple… an event called for the “diet-down” and the weeks leading up to it typically went like this:

You need to lose weight!
Diet more, eat less! … time is running short!!!
Work harder, exercise more!
If you don’t lose weight, you don’t deserve to go.

Possible scenarios? Oh yeah, these were great:

If I “allowed” myself to go I wasn’t fully present. I felt self-conscious and preoccupied. I played the body-check game and compared myself to my friends. Someone thinner or more fit than me meant I didn’t try hard enough. And, of course, dieting down usually meant I’d gain the weight back (or even more) when the event was over.
If I didn’t lose “enough”, or even worse I gained weight (typical when I pressured myself to lose)… I couldn’t go at all. Missing good times in my life because of the scale, oh yes this makes sense.

Is it all worth it? Life goes by quickly. Watching my children grow from helpless infants to independent young adults in what seems to be a blink of an eye helped me realize this. I began to notice what I was missing. I started questioning what all this worrying and obsessing over my weight was gaining me. My thoughts began to shift. I learned to appreciate myself for who I am, from the inside out first. There is much more to me than my jean size. Focusing on the positive things I have to offer took the focus away from my appearance. I felt happier and freer. I realized I need to respect who I am right now, in this very moment… not the person I thought I needed to be. It finally dawned on my how much of my life was passing me by! I had a choice. I could continue on this self-destructive path that never left me feeling good about myself or I could begin to accept me for who I am and enjoy what my life had to offer me.

I have a challenge for you. Think of 3 influential people in your life; individuals whom you admire and look up to. Why are they important you? What characteristics make them special? Do these qualities have anything to do with their weight? No matter what your size, you matter. You have things that only you can offer. There are people in your life who depend on you and look up to you. By putting your life on hold or not being fully present in it, you cheat yourself and those around you from getting the very best of you! You can’t enjoy life if you don’t allow yourself to experience it!

I did buy a new outfit for dinner last night but that was the extent of my “preparation”. Instead of stressing, I found myself looking forward to being able to share a night with some special people. We remembered (or at least tried to remember LOL) the fun times we had, shared stories about our families and our lives. We had many laughs and a lot of fun. And the best part, I was there, enjoying every bit of it :)

New Wellness for Me
Health & wellness, fitness, and attuned eating
http://newwellnessforme.com/

Saturday, March 10, 2012

A Success Story from my Practice

Here's a story from my practice, which focuses on body acceptance and Health
At Every Size.

I had a 70 year old woman who had been active and healthy until 1 year
before contacting me. She was of "normal" weight, athletic and very
comfortable in her body. She married a man 10 years her junior, and was
very proud that she kept up their active lifestyle.

Over several months, she began to have joint pain and fatigue and many other
symptoms. She was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, and it was advancing
quickly. The meds she was given included steroids and others that caused
weight gain, which she found extremely upsetting. Over this time, she had
changed her diet, which was quite healthy, and did not contain too many
calories.

She came to me to lose weight. We discussed her diet at length, and I
conducted a computerized nutrient analysis of her detailed food records.
Her diet was very appropriate, and if she were to decrease her calorie
intake, she would not be receiving adequate nutrients. As we talked, I told
her that steroids have the side effect of weight gain, and that for some
people the weight gained is not lost, at least not at first. She was no
longer on steroids, but was sure she would need these meds again for acute
flares of pain.

We discussed her goals in terms of her illness, which is now chronic. As we
worked together, discussing her goals and values at this point in her life,
she realized that she could learn to live with the new, higher weight. She
realized she would do her best to remain as active as possible and to
continue her very healthy diet. She left working with me with many thanks,
and said that I had given her more peace and allowed her to progress in
accepting her illness and the changes in her body.

A very satisfied and satisfying patient experience for us both!

Friday, March 9, 2012