Instagram

When Instagram Cultivates Unworthiness: Shifting Perspective

I don’t typically talk about myself or my story. I like to focus on how I can help my clients transform their lives. And then there are moments like I had this morning, moments I need to share, moments that humble me, moments that remind me that we are ALL HUMAN. We ALL struggle. And we ALL have the ability to become the people we were created to be, to live the life we were put on this world to live, to live our best life OUT LOUD.

I want you to know (even those of us who have done the work), we ALL experience negative thought gremlins creeping into our minds from time to time… and it’s absolutely possible to will them gone in a few seconds. It’s absolutely possible to live your life without allowing the negative thought gremlins to dictate, how you are to live your life.

Because if they got their way, you would feel… be… and live… small. And that’s not what you were put on this earth to do… to live small… You have gifts and talents and amazing things to offer this world. To live BIG. To live whole. To live the life you want to live.

 

Instagram

This morning I was checking my Instagram account for comments; I really do enjoy engaging with my followers. And yet, the social media world can be disappointing at times. I don’t know how many times a day I receive inauthentic comments from accounts that set up auto-responders. It’s fairly easy to identify when someone comments “sick” ie. “cool” to a post about my new Bison Meatloaf Recipe. Say what? My new Bison Meatloaf Recipe is “sick”? Seriously?!

And then there are those moments, glimpses of true connection that make this whole instagram, social media thing worth it. When someone responds that they were inspired to pick up a pound of bison meat at the store so they too can nourish themselves and feel their best, that’s what makes this whole social media crapshoot worth it! And yes, I totally called it a crapshoot. haha

 

 

The “Not Enoughness” Social Media Creates in Us

So back to this morning… I was reviewing my comments feed and noticed a comment that teetered on inauthentic so I clicked through to view their profile. It was the profile of a registered dietitian (nutritionist) who has 141 THOUSAND followers. Yup! only… oh, say,  140 THOUSAND more than mine! 😉 And as I started to move through her feed, I felt that sinking feeling in my stomach. Please tell me you know this feeling.

She’s svelte, beautiful… crap she looked like a run way model. She actually had posts of her sitting down to dinners with 3 star Michelin chef Guy Savoy. She travels the world capturing breathtaking pictures of herself in yoga positions on the side of rock formations (stock image, not hers!), kayaking in Caribbean blue waters, and drinking her morning lemon detox water on a rooftop terrace overlooking Paris.

Everything about her is gorgeous. Her posts were thoughtfully and intelligently written. She seems lovely, truly lovely.

 

Negative Thought Gremlins

And that’s when that very human, visceral, sinking feeling started…

that small, thankfully fleeting feeling… of “not enoughness”,

that feeling of “why try, clearly, there are people out there doing this so much better than you!” feeling,

“I sure don’t look like that!” feeling,

“She has it all figured out and I still struggle!!” feeling”,

“Bottom line: I AM A FRAUD; how am I supposed to help others when clearly I don’t have it together like she does!!!” feeling.

The thought gremlins of “lack”, “guilt”, “shame”, “fraud”… they flooded my body in about 3 seconds… and for those 3 seconds, I felt small… really, really small.

In 3 seconds, I felt the unworthiness. I felt the shame of my “imperfectness.”

 

overcoming NEGATIVE THOUGHT GREMLINS

Then something shifted in me, those feelings of inadequacy that washed over me receded like a wave in the ocean. Those negative thought gremlins didn’t get the best of me, not a chance. You see… I’ve done THE WORK!

I’ve fought to overcome those negative thought gremlins. I have fought so hard… struggled… had so many face down moments… found the courage to pick myself back up… dusted my ego off… and made it out to the other side. No freakin’ way was I going to let those negative thought gremlins of “lack”, “guilt”, “shame”, “fraud” dictate how I WILL LIVE MY LIFE!

I do not stand tall at 5 foot 10 inches, nor do I have legs for days, nor do I have the luxury of traveling the world or detoxing my liver with lemon water on a rooftop terrace overlooking Paris. I say this not to reduce this other dietitian’s seemingly luxurious, full of ease and comfort type of life. NOT AT ALL! I’m sure while she seems wildly successful and living a life of ease, she is STILL human. And she probably struggles like the rest of it. She is also simply living the life she wants to live and I am living the life I want to live. Neither is better than the other—just different.

It’s just… Her life is NOT my life. It’s not even close to the life I want for myself! So why was I even feeling “less than”, the “not enoughness”? My life is full of simple pleasures, non instagram worthy moments that fill me up in a way that no 5-star dinner can. The answer is because I am human. And if you have ever felt this way, it’s because you are HUMAN too.

Even though the seemingly successful life she leads isn’t what I want for myself, it doesn’t doesn’t change the fact that there are definitely moments, split seconds, that make me question my success in life, my worthiness.

Ever feel like this? Ever feel those negative thought gremlins creep into your mind? Ever wonder how you are going to turn off all of that noise they create?

 

REal LIfe: Doing the work

When I say I have done that work… I have worked really hard on reducing the influence negative thought gremlins have in my life. You see… doing the work doesn’t permanently rid you of negative thought gremlins. Afterall this is REAL life. Life is messy and challenging at times. Doing the work doesn’t mean that you will never, ever experience feelings of inadequacy or unworthiness. That your life will suddenly become rainbows and unicorns.

When I say I have done the work… when you do the work…

It means that when you experience that brief moment of inadequacy or unworthiness, it’s just that, it’s brief, fleeting; you have the ability to pivot. You have the ability to shift your thinking in seconds. You have the ability to remind yourself that you are indeed, VERY worthy, you are ENOUGH, you are SUCCESSFUL in so many ways, you are an AMAZING human, and you have a lot to OFFER this world.

Here’s the real kicker… and this is what I was briefly hung up on. This is what causes us all to feel small and think we need to live small. There are always going to be people that are on a similar journey as you whether it’s your role as a parent, professional, volunteer or even your relationship to food journey. Others may appear to be wildly more successful than you. Some of those people will appear to “have it all together” when you feel you are just trying to survive.  This is NOT a “pink slip” to give up and live small because somebody is already “offering better”, “doing more”, “living larger.”

Remember this: What you have to offer in this life is COMPLETELY unique; nobody will EVER be able to deliver YOUR gifts and talents in the way you do.

Doing the work means I celebrate that other dietitian’s success but know that my own success isn’t defined by hers.  It means that I FEEL moments of unworthiness and inadequacy but I don’t let myself be defined by that. It means I have the ability to CHOOSE how I want to feel, how I show up in this world and how I want to live my life.

You can do this work too! You CAN CHOOSE how you want to feel, you can CHOOSE how you want to show up in this world and you can CHOOSE how you want to live your life. That’s your right.

 

Take-away

So the next time you feel those negative thought gremlins creeping into your mind… dictating how you should live your life, wanting you to live small, consider this: Gratitude and Appreciation. You can NOT feel immense gratitude and inadequacy at the same time. It’s harder than patting your head and rubbing your belly. 😉 Be grateful for who you are. Appreciate all of the goodness you have to offer the world. And those negative thought gremlins will recede like a wave into the ocean.

 

 

 

27 Day Eat Well Holiday Challenge

27 Days Until Christmas- Let’s Eat Well Together

I walked into Wal-mart today with 27 days left until Christmas! I know… I know. It’s not my typical place to shop but we needed MORE lights!! My inner Clark Griswald NEEDED more lights! You see my Sicilian grandma and grandpa LOVE Christmas. And their house looked EXACTLY like the Griswald house growing up. It was magical…and I want my kids to feel that same magic.

Anyway, I walked into Wal-mart and was greeted with a huge sign that said 27 days until Christmas! And instantly I thought wow… hmmm….that’s quite a bit of time! What IF for the next 27 days we eat well together? How would you feel, IF for the next 27 days you ate nourishing, whole foods? How would you feel waking up on Christmas morning IF you made the commitment to take care of yourself this holiday season? Yes, take care of yourself! What if your countdown to Christmas included taking the time to care for yourself, for your body?

While I am quite opposed to quick-fix challenges, a 27 day “challenge” to care for your body by eating nourishing foods FEELS very different to me. The only goal is to care for yourself and eat well. That’s it. So, let’s do this together. Commit. Today. Take Care of Yourself for the Next 27 Days. Do this with me!

I NEED this as much as YOU need this. The calendar is FULL. Holiday parties. Vacations. Christmas Programs. School events. I get it. I am with you. The stress from just trying to keep up can lead you to unhealthy food choices that make you feel even more tired and worn out. So with that in mind, don’t wait until January 1. Commit to taking care of yourself during the Holiday season. WOW! This FEELS revolutionary, right?!?! Taking care of yourself during the holidays! Here’s the plan.

27 Days Until Christmas- Your Plan to Eat Well during the holidays

  1. Eat Well- REAL, Whole, Unprocessed foods
  2. Eat QUALITY foods
  3. Eat Mindfully
  4. Practice self-care
  5. Limit stress

Here are The details

Eat Well- Eat Whole foods

 

EAT Well- Real, Whole, Unprocessed Foods

To eat well means to enjoy whole foods that come straight from nature, typically in their original form.

Choose Real, Whole, Unprocessed Foods:

  • Nutrient dense- that means they are loaded with nutrients- more protein, more fiber, more healthy fats, more vitamins and minerals, more antioxidants, more probiotics- MORE, MORE, MORE nutrients!
  • Avoid added sugar, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, artificial flavors, color additives, emulsifiers, stabilizers, etc.
  • Avoid  processed cookies, cakes, chips, boxed side dishes (those aren’t real mashed potatoes!), frozen dinners (even Lean Cuisine!)… anything with ingredients you don’t cook with in your kitchen when making a home-cooked meal.

 

Eat Well and Eat Quality Foods

Eat QUALITy foods

Better food. Better Health. Better Life. It’s that simple.  When we choose the highest-quality version of foods, we choose foods that are bursting with natural, vibrant flavor and are loaded with nutrients.

Quality foods are foods that are produced and harvested as naturally as possible and are fresh! When selecting quality foods to nourish your body, mind and spirit, this is what to look for.

  • Fruits and vegetables- Organic when possible. If organic is not available, STILL eat your fruits and vegetables. Don’t let “organic was too expensive” get in the way of getting in those fruits and veggies. In fact, commit to eating LOADS of veggies. LOAD up your plate with as many veggies as you can!
  • Meats and poultry- All-natural hormone and antibiotic free at minimum. Organic, grass-fed, free-range- whenever they are reasonably priced.
  • Seafood- Wild-seafood when possible. When buying farm-raised, look for “natural” farm-raised; this means seafood is free of antibiotics and hormones.
  • Dairy- rGBH free at minimum. Organic when possible.
  • Eggs- Omega-3, organic eggs. There is so little difference in price… pay the extra bit!
  • Grains and Beans- non-GMO and organic when possible 

Avoid fast food. It’s only 27 days! You can do this. Avoid the food courts, drive-thru lines and restaurants that warm up pre-made foods. For healthy and convenient meals, grab a salad at your local grocery store or a sandwich at a restaurant committed to quality ingredients like Zoe’s Kitchen. Prepare meals in advance in the crock pot so you open the door to the glorious scents of slow-cooked meats and soups. You can do this!

Eat Well and Eat Mindfully

eat mindfully

Ask yourself: Am I really hungry? OR Do I just have the “munchies”? If you are genuinely hungry, EAT. If not, consider how you might be feeling. Tired? Sad? Frustrated? Happy? Bored? Food can’t fix emotions/feelings. Check out the self-care section!

When eating:
  • Slow down.
  • Be present.
  • Breathe.
  • Check in with yourself throughout the meal. How are you feeling?
  • Eat slowly and savor the nuances of each food.
  • Chew. Really chew!
  • Stop when you are no longer hungry. BIG!! You should always leave the table feeling like you could have eaten more.

 

Self-Care Page Divider- NourishYourLife.org

Self care

Take care of yourself BEFORE you feel run down. I know the holiday season is all about giving… but you can’t give from an empty cup. Take time for yourself. TAKE IT! Self-care is about choosing to do the things that fill you up, the things that feel energizing. Here are a few nourishing ideas to get you started.

  • Breathe- oxygenate by taking three deep, visceral breaths (this helps when you are super overwhelmed with crispy children too!)
  • Dance- put on your favorite music and just shake it 😉 Nobody’s watching…
  • Stretching or yoga
  • The gym… I know it’s the last place I like to be too, but working out gets blood flowing throughout your body and can relieve stress
  • Give yourself a massage with lotion- hands and feet are easy to do and make a big difference
  • Inhale energizing scents- essential oils are great. I use grapefruit.
  • Laugh. Watch something “stupid funny” on YouTube and just laugh.
  • Take a quick nap.
  • Be still. Meditate for 5 minutes.
  • Lay down- Seriously! Lay on the floor on your back. This helps regulate your nervous system. I started doing this and it is amazing!
  • Pray.
  • Splash water on your face.
  • Drink water!
  • Go for a walk outside. Breathe deeply and enjoy the scent of nature.
  • Journal your feelings.
  • Call a friend and chat.
  • Read a book- even just one chapter.
  • Make a cup of tea. Sip… slowly…
  • Treat yourself to a manicure or pedicure
  • Go to a movie without kiddos.

 

Eat well and Limit Stress

LImit Stress

Limiting stress is ABSOLUTELY possible during the holidays. I come from a very long line of women who take on WAY too much. I am one of those who commits to making 3 dozen homemade cookies for the teacher’s luncheon tomorrow knowing I will have to be up until midnight to do it. Oy! It’s the American way, right? Do more. Be more. More, More, More!

Here’s a revolutionary idea… let’s simplify the holiday season and commit to doing less! By taking on less you will allow yourself to invest MORE of yourself in what is truly important. Give yourself permission to skip the things that you don’t truly care about AND the permission to fully and joyfully participate in events that truly matter to you.

You may find that by doing less and being more selective in your commitments, you will actually feel MORE joy, MORE peace, and feel MORE present. More, more, more! But in the good way. 😉 So before adding one more commitment to your already over-booked calendar, ask yourself 3 things:

  1. What are my current commitments?
  2. Will this bring me and/or my family joy?
  3. Do I really have the time? Really consider this one… If the answer is “I could squeeze it in.”, really consider if it’s worth it or if your previous commitments are worth it.

wow! This is a lot take in, right?!

This is about keeping it simple.

  1. Eat REAL, Whole, Unprocessed foods
  2. Eat QUALITY foods
  3. Eat Mindfully
  4. Practice self-care
  5. Limit stress

Need help staying on track?

I will be on the NourishYourLife.org facebook page for you throughout this entire “challenge”, through the holiday parties, the vacations, the school concerts, throughout it ALL. I will be there if you have any questions, have a sticky situation to navigate or just need some support. Also I will add MORE recipes. Easy recipes. Recipes that you can throw together in 30 minutes or less, crock pot recipes… healthy, clean recipes that will help you stay on track.

I am also officially on Instagram! Follow me for meal ideas and tips for Nourished Eating.

Always with you, Sarah


Comment below! I would love to hear from you throughout the 27 days of eating well during the holidays “challenge”. Let me know of your successes and challenges throughout the process. I would love to her from you!


 

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Thanksgiving- Eating Mindfully Holidays

3 Simple Strategies for Eating Mindfully and Celebrating Food & Holidays

My social media feed has been full of articles discussing tips and strategies on how to survive the upcoming cocktail parties and holiday feasts. I clicked through and read a few articles, but the more I started reading, the more unsettled and uneasy I felt. Why do we need to “survive” the holidays? Why do we need to “survive” food? Survive a bear attack? Yes, absolutely! But the holidays?  Food?

Food is to be celebrated. Food is to be enjoyed. Food is NOT the enemy. If we approach the Thanksgiving table as if food is the enemy, those articles are right, we won’t survive it. But if we approach the Thanksgiving table with gratitude and joy in our hearts, we are much more likely to not only eat mindfully, but ENJOY all the delicious foods without judgmental thoughts about ourselves.

I like to look at life through an evolutionary lens to see where we may have lost our way. Consider this. The first Thanksgiving between the Pilgrims and the Native Americans was a celebration of gratitude for survival and good health. The infamous Squanto not only taught the Pilgrims how to cultivate corn, extract sap from maple trees, fish and forge for indigenous plants, but he saved the English settlers from malnutrition and illness. The Thanksgiving table is not something we need to survive. The Thanksgiving table is the place where we come together to celebrate family, food and good health. Thanksgiving is the day we humbly reflect upon the abundance that saturates our lives and hearts.

So with that being said, I am not going to belittle the spirit of Thanksgiving by providing tips and strategies like: eat your dinner on a salad plate or fill your plate with salad and eat only thank you bites of the rich foods you have longed for all year. That is NOT embracing the spirit of Thanksgiving—celebrating food, abundance and good fortune.

GRatitude

Instead… this morning as you are preparing your Thanksgiving feast, let yourself fill up with immense gratitude. Gratitude is soul nourishing and a nourished soul leads to a nourished body. (Click here for the research on gratitude.)

If you really need a few strategies before sitting down to the Thanksgiving table, here are strategies… NourishYourLife.org style.

 

Holiday Strategies for Eating Mindfully and Celebrating Food

 

Enjoy the special foods you have waited all year to enjoy

Often times the foods that are most special to us, the foods that make Thanksgiving, well… Thanksgiving! are also the processed foods my family doesn’t eat regularly. You might be surprised to find that on a nutritionists’ Thanksgiving table this afternoon, we will enjoy the Kraft Watergate Salad- ie, the green fluffy stuff! This is not my favorite. Ick!

BUT, my husband and step-son LOVE this stuff and even as I was making it yesterday, completely bewildered how this “salad” was even concocted (seriously, non-dairy whipped topping, pistachio pudding powder and pineapple?!?!?!), I made it knowing it would bring a smile to their faces. You see my husband was an only child and would take the train to his grandmother’s every year alone for Thanksgiving. Oh how times have changed, right?! And this was one of his favorite Thanksgiving dishes that his grandmother would always make him. Having this “salad” on our table, makes Thanksgiving FEEL like Thanksgiving.

So… this year enjoy… REALLY enjoy some of those once a year processed foods that make the Thanksgiving table complete.  NO judgement. NO punishing thoughts. NO “bad” food versus “good” food”. NO inner bartering. Just enjoy the foods for the joy they bring.

say a blessing

First let me say, while my family practices Christianity, you do NOT have to be religious to say a blessing. I am simply referring to a display of gratitude for the Thanksgiving feast before you! When we remind ourselves of the blessings before us, we are more likely to eat mindfully and thoughtfully.

Eat mindfully

I know… I know! Eat Mindfully at Thanksgiving?!?! Yes, it’s absolutely possible!! Fill your plate with all of the goodness on the Thanksgiving table. If you are like my family, there are so many dishes that I can literally get a tablespoon of each, and my plate is loaded with goodness! While eating mindfully does require you to eat with some control and within limits, (when you eat mindfully, you eat until you are no longer hungry, not full), the focus is actually on the food! See you can get on board with this! Focus on the food. Focus on each bite. The tastes, the textures, the nuances. Eat mindfully by allowing yourself the joy of the food in front of you. And when you are joyfully eating and celebrating food and family alike, you will feel that sensation that fills your body, providing that gentle nudge that says, you have been filled. You are complete. No more food is needed.

Don’t forget to EAT

What? Who forgets to eat on Thanksgiving? This is a reminder for all of the cooks out there. Do NOT forget breakfast and/or lunch depending on when you are serving your Thanksgiving feast. Cooking requires energy! And you don’t want to be completely exhausted and depleted by the time you actually sit down to eat. When we are completely famished, we eat hurriedly and often too much. Eat regular meals before your Thanksgiving feast so that when you sit at the table, you can enjoy the foods mindfully and with great celebration!

HAVE A WONDERFUL THANKSGIVING!!!!!

Always with you, Sarah


Comment below: Let me know how eating mindfully worked for you today! I would love to hear of your successes and challenges. Have a blessed day!!


 

Plan To Eat-Recipe and Meal Planner

I don’t know about you guys, but I can’t believe that we are already beginning the Holiday season! Thanksgiving is right around the corner… Thursday, eek! I LOVE holiday traditions. I am always scheming and creating MORE, and MORE, and MORE traditions for our kids because when I look back on my childhood… that is the goodness I remember. One of the holiday traditions for our family that I joyfully anticipate each year may sound a little “anti-Thanksgiving”. haha

After our Thanksgiving feast, a true celebration of food and family, the table is cleared and we spread out store magazines, the Thanksgiving edition of the Houston Chronicle and every mailer collected in the weeks before. Then the kids go through the mounds of advertisements and write down everything they “NEED” for Christmas. 😉 We always knew we would only be receiving a select few gifts and our kids know that too… But it’s the joy of abundance that bubbles up in me when I think back to those moments and when I see my kids joyfully shouting “Look at this!!!” AND that my friends, very much aligns with the true meaning of Thanksgiving. Oh, how, I am thankful for the abundance all around me!!

Sarah, this has nothing to do with “plan to eat”!

I know, I am getting to it! I promise. So… this year my husband and I have decided that we are going to cut WAY back on Christmas and purchase meaningful and/or truly useful gifts for each other. Gifts that we will really use and appreciate year round. And Plan To Eat is one of the gifts I give myself EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR on BLACK FRIDAY!! I renew my subscription on Black Friday each year because it is ALWAYS half off!!

Plantoeat.com makes my life so much more convenient, and it can completely change your meal planning too! In fact, when I was developing NourishYourLife.org I made sure that my recipe section was compatible with Plantoeat.com because I wanted to be a part of the menu planning solution. I wanted to make your life easier!!

How plantoeat.com works

Plan To Eat

Recipe collection

You enter your recipes in one of two ways. You can enter it manually in the form provided. OR my favorite!! You simply copy and paste the recipe url from any website and it auto-populates all of the recipe information. Soooo easy! You can upload as many recipes you would like and your recipe collection is available through their site. That means as long as you have internet connection, you can access your recipes! This is the best. This summer when we were vacationing in Colorado, I was able to pull up all my recipes on my phone and ipad…. in the mountains where wifi coverage is shotty at best. And let’s be honest, who has room to take along their recipe box everywhere?!

Menu Planning

Each week I go through my recipes and plan what we will eat. Their menu planning is by far the easiest menu planning software out there. You drag and drop your recipes on to the planner. That’s it.

Grocery LISt

Once your recipes are in your planner, a grocery list is automatically generated. You simply select the dates you want to include on your shopping list, and it will include all of the ingredients from your selected recipes. The list can either be printed or accessed on your smartphone. I use my smartphone and check off as I go through the store. No digging for a pen at the bottom of your purse!

Check out this video for a full tour OR take advantage of their 30-day, completely FREE, no payment required trial period for the next few days. And if you like it as much as I do, then purchase it for HALF OFF in their Black Friday sale.

Click the image below to sign up!!

Plan To Eat Website Black Friday Sale

 

Always with you, Sarah

 


 

Comment Below! Let me know if you purchased PlanToEat.com and how your like it!!

Disclaimer: I want to be completely honest with you. I did sign up for their affiliate program. That means I do get a small percentage for promoting their website so I may “earn” enough to get my program paid for. HOWEVER, this is NOT my intention. I just REALLY love their product and think it can help you as much as it has helped me.

 

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Stop Focusing on Weight Loss Goals

Stop Focusing on Weight Loss Goals

What do football and weight loss have in common?

A few years ago I read an article in Fortune Magazine about Nick Saban’s coaching philosophy. Nick Saban, the University of Alabama Football Coach and arguably the most talented coach in college football, transformed the Crimson Tide into a multiple-national-championship football program. How does football have anything to do with weight loss goals and nutrition???? Stay with me!

Coach Saban summed up his philosophy like this, “You’ve got to have a vision. You’ve got to have a plan to implement it. Then you’ve got to develop the principles and values that are important.” In Tuscaloosa they call it “The Process.” Coach Saban’s Process was born during a November 1998 practice at Michigan State where he was serving as Head Coach at the time. His guys were training for the next game; his unranked Spartans were to play the undefeated Number 1 team, Ohio State, on the road. There, Coach Saban told his team they weren’t going to worry about winning the game. Instead he wanted them to treat every play in the game as if it had a “history and a life of its own”. And, regardless of what happened in the play before, they were to focus only on the next play.

In a huge upset, Michigan State came from behind to win 28-24. Coach Saban and his players chose to focus on the execution rather than the results. Success comes NOT by envisioning a number on the score board, or in the game of weight loss, the scale. Success results in focusing on “the process” and each of us doing the next right thing. 

Nick Saban’s, “THE PROCESS,” CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE

That might be a slight exaggeration. I tend to do that when I am trying to making a point. But the truth is, success results in focusing on “the process” and each of us doing the next right thing. This is why it is so important to focus on the fundamentals that contribute to having a healthier relationship to food. When you focus on “the process,” when you focus on making small, consistent changes, like the quality of food, eating mindfully, recognizing and managing emotions, taking care of yourself and creating strategies that work for you, you will profoundly transform your relationship to food. And by transforming your relationship to food, your body will intuitively transform as well. See “The Process” CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE.

I encourage you to stop focusing on the scoreboard!!!

Consider what it would feel like to stop focusing on that EMPTY number in between your feet. Consider what it would feel like if THAT number was absolutely powerless… if THAT number didn’t define everything that has failed you or how much you have failed yourself.

Consider what it would feel like to ONLY think about your next “play” WITHOUT judgement of your last. That means regardless of what happened in the play before, regardless of what you ate or how you ate, you were able to focus only on the next play. No judgement. No punishing thoughts. Just standing up. Dusting yourself off. Digging into what YOU need to do to prepare yourself for the next play.

How would that feel?

 

Experiment

For the next few days, focus ONLY on what you can control in that moment. Stop thinking about the scoreboard and winning the game. For the next few days simply focus on how you can add as many nutrient-dense foods to your meals as possible. Focus on quality. Focus on nutrients. Focus on how each bite tastes. That’s it. Jot down how you feel during your experiment. AND if a play gets messed up, you eat foods that make you feel crummy or you eat mindlessly to the bottom of a potato chip bag… Stop. No excuses. Dust yourself off. Get ready for the next play. Eat well. Nourish your body.

Need help with “the plan”? Check out the Nourish Your Body page.

 

Always with you, Sarah

 


 

Comment Below! Seriously. Tell me how the experiment goes for you. What did you notice?

 

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Be Your Own Nutrition Advocate- Research

Be Your Own Nutritional Advocate

Albert Einstein- Information is not Power

This might seem an odd place to be quoting Albert Einstein, especially THIS quote AND considering my intention for NourishYourLife.org™ IS to provide nutritional information and research. You see, it’s my hope that the information I provide DOES help you in your journey to a healthier relationship to food.

But I want more for you. I want you to use this nutritional information to discover YOUR Nourishment Blueprint™. I don’t want you to just “take my word for it”. I want you to discover how knowing the science and research coupled with really tuning in to you and your experiences, can help you make better choices for yourself.  After all, you know YOU better than anyone else!

I believe that all the information provided through NourishYourLife.org™ should be deeply rooted in science and good, solid research. We have been over-stuffed with contradictory information for decades, with some credibility within the medical community and nutritional world lost along the way. This coupled with overzealous journalists eager to write the next viral headline, with little regard to understanding the methodologies used in research, creates confusion among everyone just trying to eat the next “right food”.

Yesterday butter equaled death; today butter is a “health food” and may lower your risk of diabetes. Ok, so this may sound a bit extreme, but I think this is how it FEELS. It FEELS extreme. It FEELS impossible. It FEELS defeating. Not all the time but certainly at times.

This is why it’s important to have a basic understanding of nutrition research. By understanding these strategies, you will be able to view the next big nutritional break-through with a new lens. As important as research is, it isn’t the end-all-be-all. Research is the starting point to finding your north, discovering what works for you.

So if you don’t read anything more beyond this point, SKIP to the section “INDIVIDUAL RESULTS BASED ON EXPERIENCE” and read it!!! It’s important. I saved the BEST for last! But it’s all REALLY good if you ask me! 😉

NUTRITION research and science

Here’s my take on this. There IS good, solid science out there. And I promise I will make EVERY effort that my sources are deeply rooted in good scientific research. Here are three things I look for when I consider research.

Biases

Biases should be minimized and that means carefully reviewing studies that are funded by big name food manufacturers and question whether the conclusion could have been bought and paid for by big business, for big business. There are also situations where the researchers themselves could be biased based on their original hypothesis. I mean we all want to be “right”! Check out this article on why the Low-Fat Diet was widely promoted with very little evidence.

CONFOUNDING Variables

I remember in my senior year of college, I took a course on how to examine research objectively and look for “confounding variables”. This is just a fancy term for “other variables that cannot be ruled out.” For example, the old paradigm of nutrition garnered a belief that low-fat diets reduce heart disease. However, researchers did not consider that those same health conscious people that ate low-fat diets were also less likely to smoke and more likely to exercise. We now know smoking and lack of exercise, independently, increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. So was it really the low-fat diet or was it the low incidence of smoking or the high incidence of exercise? We have to look at the evidence in it’s entirety.

Correlation does NOT equal causation

This is one of my BIGGEST pet peeves. I know I am a dork, but this is right up there with the mis-use of the word “epic”. (For the record, WWII was “epic”, NOT the party a 17 your old had last weekend.) Ok, rant over! Correlation does NOT equal causation.

All kinds of crazy things can correlate but it does not mean that one CAUSES the other. Here’s some funny proof.

Image result for causation not correlation examples

Ok, some of you might be questioning my sense of humor, but I find this funny. If correlation equals causation then margarine causes divorce…at least in Maine!

 

Does it seem reasonable?

And that brings me to my next point! Does the conclusion seem reasonable?

I have met dietitians and clinicians that get so invested in the science, that they lose sight of “does this seem reasonable?” It’s funny because just the other night I was reviewing my 2nd graders’ math homework and noticed she had an incorrect answer. I suggested that when she goes back to check her work, if something looks amiss, ask yourself “is the answer reasonable”? If it’s not, re-work the problem. It’s that simple.

Example

As I did earlier, let’s look at the Low-Fat diet. For hundreds of years, our ancestors, generation after generation ate diets rich in saturated fat and protein from wild animals, and during this time there was very little evidence of heart disease. We were able to SURVIVE for THOUSANDS of years this way. Why would this suddenly be a problem now? We need to take a step back and view modern research with this evolutionary lens.

This did not happen in reference to the low-fat diet. The question wasn’t asked. Without knowing the causation, the solution was found. Suddenly in the 1940’s scientists and physician’s alike decided that refined vegetable oils, never before eaten by mankind and developed in a test tube, was the answer to heart disease. Does this seem reasonable based on the history of mankind? NOPE!

Like my Daddy says, “butter” (ie. margarine) that doesn’t melt on your toast and looks like plastic can NOT be good for you. I agree.

Individual results based on Experience

If there is one take-away, one bottom-line, it’s this! Your experience TRUMPS scientific research. Information is not knowledge. The only source of knowledge is experience. Discovering how certain foods nourish all bodies is important; but exploring how foods nourish YOUR body is what REALLY matters.

Example:

There is a community of health professionals out there that are adamant if people do not have a diagnosed food allergy, then they do not need to unnecessarily eliminate certain foods from their diet.

I fall somewhere in the middle. I agree that nobody NEEDS to eliminate foods if they do not have a food allergy; however, I know how uncomfortable my body feels when I eat foods that “don’t agree with me”. I don’t think people need a piece of paper that shows the presence of IgE antibodies to specific foods to “prove they need to avoid” foods that cause them digestive upset.

The research states that the inclusion of whole grains in the diet, including whole grain wheat, can lower the incidence of heart disease. But let’s say, you discover that your Nourishment Blueprint™ requires eliminating wheat from your diet. You feel healthier, have more energy, and less digestive upset; your experience TRUMPS information and knowledge.

 Bottom line

As important as research is, it is NOT the end-all-be-all. Research is the starting point to finding your north, to discovering what works for you, to discovering your Nourishment Blueprint™. When looking at the research try viewing it with an evolutionary lens, and ask yourself is this reasonable? And if you were wondering… the grapefruit diet, cookie diet, raw egg and milk diet, baby food diet and anything that has the word “cleanse” in it are considered UNreasonable! You can’t find your north at the bottom of a 3-day juice cleanse. It doesn’t work that way.

Discovering your Nourishment Blueprint™ will take some investigative work. It will take some time. And there will be ups and downs and highs and lows. But it IS possible! Let me know if I can help.

All my best to you, Sarah

 


 

Comment below! Tell me about a time you have felt like “the research” didn’t match your experience. And tell me what feels like the biggest challenge you would face in discovering your Nourishment Blueprint™. 

 

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Halloween Candy

5 Things to Do With Leftover Halloween Candy

 The Day After Halloween… What do I do with All this Candy? ugh!

We have all been there. Halloween is over and you have loads of candy now stashed in your pantry taunting you for a late night snack or an afternoon pick-me-up or a quick breakfast appetizer—no judgement here! I mean chocolate and coffee—this pairing is a real thing in the gourmet, artisan, foodie world!

And the idea of spending every. single. day for the next three weeks negotiating how many pieces will be rationed to your children, sounds like a slow painful death. Please tell me I am not the only Mama out there that feels this way.

So, here’s a quick guide to navigating the Halloween Candy Conundrum.

 

play

One of my favorite childhood memories of Halloween was at the end of the night when my twin sister and I would pour out our loads and sort through our candy. We would group them, all the snickers in one pile, all the skittles in another… then we would sort the “inedible” candies from the “good stuff”.  We would count how many of each we received. We would simply enjoy the abundance! Each Halloween we would eat candy and yet I have no memories of  actually tasting the candy. I do have sweet memories of playing with them. Let your kids PLAY with the candy and FEEL the abundance.

 

Save and indulge

Yes, I said save and indulge!!! I mean it is Halloween after all.

Halloween Candy- Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate

Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate Miniatures. One piece contains 40 calories and “only” 4 grams of sugar. This is great for an after dinner dessert or a mid-day pick me up. Plus dark chocolate is a powerful source of antioxidants and contains iron, magnesium, copper, and manganese.

And because dark chocolate has such a deep, rich, sightly bitter flavor profile, you are less likely to overindulge. Save these.

PayDay Halloween Candy

Fun Size Pay Day These fun size bars are for the heartier snacker! These contain about 90 calories (one goes a long way!) and contain 8 grams of sugar. But they also contain 3 grams of protein which will help maintain blood glucose levels. That means you shouldn’t have the big sugar crash after indulging in one of these sweet treats.

Remember: savor, savor, savor! When we enjoy foods in a consciously aware state, they taste richer and their flavors more nuanced. Save indulgences for after the kids are in bed for distraction free, sweet enjoyment!

 

Freeze

Did you know you can actually freeze candy for about 6 months? Save money and freeze any leftover candy for your child’s next Birthday Piñata . Now I do have to say, if you are the type that would love to eat a frozen candy as much as a fresh candy, then this might not be your solution. No need to set yourself up for a midnight raid of the freezer. 🙂

 

Learn

This mom is amazing! Kimberly Crandell, is a mother of three, with an aeronautical engineering degree.  She has come up with 10 brilliant ways of using leftover Halloween candy to satisfy your inner scientist! Oh and the kids will have fun with this too. 😉 From exploding monster marshmallows in the microwave to re-enacting the scientific experiment that supposedly killed “Mikey” (ie. Poprocks and CocaCola explosion!), you are sure to have a great time.

Pass this along to elementary math and science teachers. These are great ideas for the week following Halloween. I am sure all parents would gladly send ALL of the leftover candy with their kids for some of these fun experiments.

Check out her article, here.

 

DONATE and serve

This has to be my very favorite!! 2016 Halloween Candy for Heroes!

We did this last year and my oldest really enjoyed it. Operation Gratitude sends leftover Halloween candy to American troops serving over seas.  This is such a fantastic option if you have young school-aged children at home—what better way to transform Halloween into an opportunity to teach empathy and service to others. And what a way to lift the spirits of soldiers around the world fighting so that we may be safe!

Don’t forget to have them use up all of the Halloween art supplies you have hanging around by making the soliders a fun card!

Here are the Do’s and Dont’s
  • DO ship your candy NO LATER THAN November 15 to:
    Operation Gratitude
    21100 Lassen Street
    Chatsworth, CA 91311
    Attn: Angel Cuevas/Receiving (818)469-0448
  • DO line your boxes with big bags to safely ship loose candy, or place the candy into zip-close bags.
  • DO include donations of individually-packaged toothbrushes, dental floss and toothpaste — we need to keep smiles on the troops’ faces all shiny, bright and healthy!
  • DO fill out the Donation Form and include the number of pounds of candy, number of toothbrushes, etc., you are shipping. This donation form is a downloadable PDF file, so even if you don’t see a window pop up, a file has been downloaded.
  • DO include a Donation Form in every box or carton you send to us and note the total number of packages you are sending to us on each form.

DON’Ts: 

  • DON’T ship the candy to any other Operation Gratitude address than the Lassen Street address.
  • DON’T purchase candy for us at the 1/2-off sales after Halloween — just send us your extra/leftover candy and please consider making a financial donation instead.
  • DON’T use boxes any larger than 24″x 24″x 20,” please.
  • DON’T send Pixy Stix (or other powdery candy) – unfortunately, they make a mess of the Care Packages.
  • DON’T sort your candy. We want to make sure our Troops and First Responders get a variety of treats in each care package.We encourage everyone to write letters/cards to the troops that we can include with the candy in our care packages: Letter Writing Flyer

And here’s the important shipping info.

 


Comment below if you have more ideas! I would love to hear them and I am sure others would love to hear them too!

 

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