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Food Police

Last month’s blog discussed how Intuitive Eating has completely changed the way I approach nutrition education with clients. Intuitive eating features 10 principles. I was reminded of Principle # 4 (Challenge the Food Police) when I came across this article titled “Guilt Free Foods are a Lie”. It’s no secret that food advertisers manipulate our emotions when selling their products: ‘”eat this, not that” “guilt free indulgence” the list is exhaustive. Advertisers have taught us to believe that food is a moral choice and sadly we have fallen for it. Many of my client session’s focus on the intense guilt felt when a “bad” food choice is made & how they want “do better next time.” We should nourish our bodies with good food because it makes us feel good, guilt should never be a motivator for healthy eating (and exercise). Food is essential for life; lets make peace it & enjoy every bite.

* Intuitive Eating Principle # 4 Challenge the Food Police. Scream a loud “NO” to thoughts in your head that declare you’re “good” for eating minimal 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.

Spicy Maple Popcorn

3 T canola oil
1 c unpopped popcorn
1 c dry roasted cashews
1 c sugar
1 1/3 c maple syrup
1/4 c butter
1 t cayenne pepper

1. Pop corn in canola oil, stir in cashews
2. Combine remaining ingredients, bring to boil
3. Cook 1 min, stir constantly, remove from heat
4. Pour hot mixture over popcorn & cashews, toss to coat
5. Immediately spread mixture in jelly roll pan lined with parchment paper
6. Cool & serve

The Feels

Lately across the MG globe, we have been taking extra steps to educate about the power of emotional intelligence (EQ).  Seems it’s on a lot of people’s minds as we see, hear, and experience ourselves…strong emotions.  This article provides yet another angle on how important EQ is:

In the past, it was thought that people with higher IQ would outperform people with lower IQ…(but), research showed that people with higher IQ outperformed people with lower IQ only about 20% of the time, while people with lower IQ outperformed people with higher IQ 70% of the time…Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize one’s emotions and the emotions of others and to manage those emotions to achieve more effective results. You could simply ask yourself, “In a moment of high or negative emotion, do I have my feelings or do they have me?”

Approach Nutrition Differently

Over the years, I have had the privilege of working with many different types of clients as they journeyed toward weight loss & wellness.  I was self-motivated to eat well & exercise, so I made the naïve assumption that empowering people with knowledge would naturally lead to better choices and hence weight loss.  Sadly, this assumption has been proven wrong time and time again in my personal experience.  The great majority of clients actually possess quite a bit of nutrition knowledge, however, knowledge does not always translate into action.  A person struggling with obesity does not want to be told how to count calories when they have been doing it unsuccessfully for years.  There are actually many examples of this “preaching to the choir” type nutritional education, but at some point in my career, I assumed that perhaps I just wasn’t teaching them right & nevertheless, I persisted.

My epiphany came when I attended an eating disorders conference and learned about Intuitive Eating. Intuitive Eating is an evidenced-based, mind-body health approach, comprised of 10 Principles and created by two dietitians, one of whom lead the conference session. I walked away from this conference feeling completely inspired and ready to change the way I approach nutrition education.  The transition to an intuitive eating approach has not been easy; changing your relationship with food and your body is certainly scary. And despite my best attempts I still get many requests for “strict meal plans” and “tell me what to eat since I don’t trust myself.”

To date, my most successful outcome was with an overweight client who learned to love herself.  While she may not have lost many pounds on the scale, she learned how to embrace her genetic blueprint & focus on the strength of not only her body but also her mind. “Healthy” eating & exercise” came as a natural consequence to the more internal changes she made in her life.

Lastly, I wanted to share these points made by an RD who embraces the philosophy of Intuitive Eating.

Enjoy food..all food

  • Tap into your intuition and listening to what you need. If that means that meal prep stresses you out or you have to choose to take a nap over going to the gym, that’s ok!
  • Believe that people of all shapes and sizes can be healthy and that you don’t need to lose weight in order to improve your health
  • Believe that you can feel calm and confident around food without counting calories, weighing or measuring anything
  • Believe that in order to truly heal your relationship with food, you have to completely leave nutrition out of it (at least to start with)
  • Believe that any kind of external factor including diets, meal plans or calorie restriction of any sort will result in diet backlash including guilt, shame, stress, overeating and binging.
  • Don’t  believe in labeling food as “good”, “bad” or “forbidden”
  • Don’t believe that it is your lack of willpower that has caused you to “fail” at dieting or losing weight (hint: it’s the diets fault)
  • Don’t believe that there is any good diet
  • Don’t believe in shaming people into making changes to their eating

Apple, Edamame & Chickpea Salad

Makes 6 1/2 cup portions

1 1/2 c red apple, 1/2″ dice
1/3 c small carrot, thinly sliced half moons
1 green onion, thinly sliced on bias
3/4 c canned chickpeas, drained & rinsed
1/2 c shelled edamame, thawed
1/3 c packed fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 c favorite vinaigrette (recommend lemon)

1. Combine apple, carrot, onion, chickpeas, edamame & parsley
2. Add vinaigrette, toss well to coat

Is your road blocked?

End of summer, start of school. What’s one thing that changes almost overnight? You got it, traffic.
Add to that a 15% increase in spending on asphalt pavement (compared to last year) under the recent federal budget agreement, and you may have really bad traffic and even a few roadblocks.

As we “open for business” everywhere across the MG globe, there is an almost endless list of repairs, improvements, fixes, needs — from staffing to signage. It’s not just this year, it’s every year. Remember to breathe (and deeply 3 times). Slow down to speed up. Strive to be the calmest, clearest, kindest voice and head in the kitchen. And, take a moment to examine your roadblocks. They may be exactly what you need.

“Difficulty doesn’t have to be a roadblock. It may just be an opportunity to find a better way to go.”
Mimi Weaver (Owner, GraceMoves)

Leslie Phillips, ESQ
CEO

Is it an Epidemic?

As a dietitian, I am always on the lookout for science-based research regarding health and nutrition. The search almost always leads to obesity and how to treat/prevent this epidemic; but recently I was led to something quite different. “Everything You Know About Obesity Is Wrong” is both a horrifying and thought-provoking article. Though not technically a science-based read, it certainly has merits in regards to how we treat this severe public health crisis. I encourage everyone to take the time to read this important article.

“For decades, the medical community has ignored the mountains of evidence to wage a cruel and futile war on fat people, poisoning public perceptions and ruining millions of lives”

Everything You Know About Obesity Is Wrong*
 
 

*Note: This article includes raw interviews and limited strong language

Feed the Difference – Harvest Week

What’s “The Difference”?
For this Harvest Week, we will use our menus and our messaging to bring into focus some food-related issues of our time: the benefits of local and seasonal; reducing our consumption of meat; and hunger awareness. We will feature local foods and farmers; tasty meat-free options; and will seek ways to support those that are hungry in our communities.
Why Local?
Beyond tasting better, local ingredients reduce long-distance trucking & increase support for local economies one farm or artisan at a time.
Why Less Meat?
“Factory Farming” supplies most of the world’s meat. Here are some of the hidden costs of this choice: It accounts for 1/5 of global greenhouse gases (more than all forms of transportation, combined). If all Americans went meatless one night a week for a year, that choice would have the same effect on emissions as taking 30-40 million cars off the road for that year. It takes 450 gallons of water to produce ONE POUND of ground beef. The average person needs 1 gallon of clean water a day to survive. Globally, 2.7 billion face clean water scarcity.
Why Hunger Awareness?
Too often, at home and when eating out, we waste food. We prepare more than we need, and sometimes we eat more than we need, but good food ends up in the trash every day. Meanwhile, 795 million people, globally, do not have enough food, and 1 in 6 Americans struggle with hunger

BLT Deviled Eggs

24 halves

12 ea whole eggs, hard cooked, cooled, peeled, sliced lengthwise
1/3 c good quality mayonnaise
1/4 t salt
1/4 t black pepper
1/4 t tabasco sauce
3 sliced bacon, cooked, cooled, cut into small pieces
6 grapes tomatoes, sliced into 4 small pieces
24 small basil or arugula leaves

1. Remove yolks of eggs to medium bowl, arrange whites on platter, mash yolks with a fork
2. Add mayonnaise through tobasco to yolks & mix until smooth
3. Fill each egg half with yolk mixture, top each with bacon piece, tomato slice & basil/arugula

Watermelon Gazpacho

Approx. 8, 1oz soup shots

4 c seedless watermelon, chopped
1 c cucumber, peeled, seeded, chopped
1 c ea red onion, roughly chopped
1/4 c roughly chopped fresh mint
3 T fresh lime juice
2 T red wine vinegar
1/4 t salt
1 c seedless watermelon, diced 1/4″

1. Combine all ingredients EXCEPT final 1 c of finely diced watermelon
2. Purée using immersion blender or standard blender
3. Chill for several hours
4. Garnish with finely diced watermelon just before serving

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