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
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
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
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”
*Note: This article includes raw interviews and limited strong language
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.
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
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
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
Many of us read Danny Meyer’s book, Setting the Table, some years ago when we featured it in MG Book Club and discussed it at meetings around that time.
He and Union Square Hospitality Group (or “USHG,” his company), continue to be a source for best practices, habits, philosophies for our industry. From this recent article: Danny Meyer’s Recipes for Success:
USHG language has evolved over the years as a collection of management aphorisms Meyer created in Setting the Table. The “51 percent rule” describes the personality-based hiring principle Meyer conceived by instinct. Potential employees are awarded a “hospitality quotient” score based on traits such as optimism, warmth, and empathy. When evaluating potential hires, 51 percent of the weighting is given to emotional intelligence, and 49 percent to technical skills. There’s extra percentage points on the emotional side that can’t be taught…
The article goes on to describe how they hire for these skills, incorporate them into their onboarding process, and continually train around them. Makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it?
“Counting macros” appears to have become the latest and greatest diet trend everyone is talking about. When I first heard “counting macros” I assumed it was some complicated mathematical formula; turns out this formula is basic nutrition 101. Macros are an abbreviated term for macronutrients- carbohydrates, protein & fat. These 3 nutrients provide calories, along with a whole host of other bodily functions. Quite simply we cannot survive without them.
To count your macros, your calorie goal is determined and then broken down into how many grams of each macronutrient you should get. This calculation takes into account sex, age, height, weight, daily activity level and daily exercise. There are online tools available to do this.
One purported benefit of this type of diet is that it teaches you how to include all foods & balance portions (something lacking in the typical diet). The long-term goal is to transition into a less rigid eating style, relying on your prior nutrition knowledge & your own personal hunger cues.
For those of you who simply want to enjoy eating intuitively & are satisfied with your current weight, this is not the plan for you. For others who need guidance on what to eat & how much, this may be a good starting point. That said, ultimately, eating should be pleasurable & enjoyable, and if you are constantly weighing, measuring & recording your food intake, the innate pleasure of food is lost.
“We eat food, not macros. Food should be one of life’s pleasures and not a mathematical struggle. While one or two days of educating oneself about macros in a daily menu can be helpful, constant counting can become obsessive and eating should be more intuitive.”
Nancy Clark, MS, RD, CSSD
Sports nutrition expert
Sources: If It Fits Your Macros
Makes 3 cups
2 c peaches, fresh or frozen, diced to 1/4″
1/3 c yellow onion, diced to 1/4″
4 t fresh peeled ginger, minced
1/4 c red bell pepper, diced to 1/4″
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
1/4 c cider vinegar
1. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan
2. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer 15 mins or until sauce is syrup consistency
3. Serve hot or cold
Will hold in the refrigerator 1 week