Is Your Diet Making You Unhappy?

‘Tis the Season (to be merry, bright, and full)

It’s basically a given that overeating, to some degree, is going to happen during the holiday season. So how do we eliminate overeating during the holidays? We don’t! It’s unrealistic, and honestly, unnecessary. Overeating is part of the holiday experience, but what we can do, is ensure this occurs in a healthy way.

Most of my clients feel an overwhelming sense of guilt for indulging in the holiday spreads, which leads to shame. Let’s not forget ’tis the season to feel joyful. My hope is by sharing posts on Intuitive Eating it will help you forgive yourself for feeling guilty and be merry instead.

dear diet

3 Signs That Your Plan Isn’t Working and How to Change it

1. You Can’t Follow The Rules.

When you’re following a plan that is inflexible with “yes” or “no” or “good” or “bad” food rules, guilt always follows. This type of restrictive eating is controlling and rigid, often making you preoccupied with food thoughts. So how do we deal with these moments and get on with enjoying the important part of the holidays like our family and friends?

Make a truce with yourself right now that you are going to overeat and you are going to savor every bite you choose to take with awareness and gratitude. When making your plate, ask what do I really want (not necessarily what is healthiest/you should eat). When you eat, use all your senses like sight, smell, taste, touch (texture on your tongue) to enjoy your food.

 2. You’re Measuring Success by “Losing”. 

Whether you’re measuring weight loss by pounds or inches lost or by what you are not eating, you’re labeling your success by deprivation. As humans we needs rewards and positive praise. I have never met a single person who said they got pleasure and enjoyment out of denying themselves foods they love. Don’t measure success by deprivation, instead start counting the positive stuff in your life, like spending time with people who bring you joy.

3. No One Wants to Hang Out with You

The holiday season is a time for socializing, connecting and celebrating with people that bring joy to your life. But when you’re standing around the hors d’oeuvres blabbing out “I shouldn’t have that!” or “I’m going to regret this later,” you’re ruining everyone’s holiday cheer, including your own. When you’re so caught up in how you look or too worried about what you’re going to eat, people begin to sense the negativity and don’t want to be around it. 

Imagine what would happen if you just let go and gave yourself permission to eat? In my experience (personal and with clients) you tend to enjoy the food without the guilt and you tend to eat it in moderation. You still get the healthy stuff you like too. Not because you have to, but because you want to.

Join in #WhatMattersMost

whatmattersmostDiets shouldn’t exist, but healthy lifestyles should! Let’s kick off holiday cheer with diet-ditching, body-loving self-care together! What matters more in your life than counting calories or dieting? I’d love to hear from you! Share your tweets or snap a picture using the hashtag #whatmattersmost.

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Three Flexible Ways to Eat Better Today with Eggs

Disclosure: I was compensated by Egg Nutrition Center for my time to write this post. Recommendations and opinion are my own.

When I tell people what I do for a living and the word “nutrition” comes up, the next thing I hear is… “Please, tell me what to eat!” I think everyone is looking for some guidance on what is good for you and how to get more of it. I wish it were as easy as giving people a “do’s and don’ts” list of foods, but it’s not. Your personal preferences matter because if you don’t love the food and how it tastes, you won’t make it a habit. Nor should you. That’s why I think it’s better to seek out nutrition advice that is flexible and guides you to choices you feel good about.

Three Healthy Eating Patterns to Fit Your Life

As a nutrition expert, I look to the scientific evidence for guidance in making my recommendations. In a report earlier this year, the 2015 Dietary Guideline Advisory Committee (DGAC – a group of food and nutrition researchers and scientists) placed a strong emphasis on the importance of healthy eating patterns as an effort to improve the major diet-related health problems we face as a nation. They recommended three flexible healthy eating patterns: Vegetarian, Mediterranean and Healthy US. In this blog, I will describe what makes up healthy eating patterns and share recipes and ideas that make them easy to follow. In addition to staples like fruits, vegetables and whole grains, one of my favorite versatile lean proteins, nutrient-rich eggs, is present in all three patterns.

Focus on Nutrient-Dense Foods

In a perfect world, everything we eat would taste delicious, be super-convenient, and offer plenty of nutritional benefits. But do such foods exist? Sure do! One egg contains 14 essential vitamins and minerals, 6 grams of high-quality protein, all 9 essential amino acids, and the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, all for 70 calories, making it one of the best nutrient-dense foods to eat.

Plant Powered Eating

The key to healthy vegetarian eating is to enjoy a variety of foods. One common concern with plant-based eating is getting in enough protein. Eggs provide one of the highest quality proteins of any food available. One egg provides six grams of protein, but don’t toss the yolk! Nearly half of the protein is found in the yolk. Eggs are also one of the few foods that are a naturally good source of vitamin D, nothing artificial.

pepper egg

Bring some color to the table with these easy to make Broccoli Quiche in Colorful Peppers.

A Plant-Based Diet Doesn’t Mean Only Plants

There’s no strict criteria that defines plant-based eating. The focus is on the foundation, which is mostly grains, nuts and seeds, fruits, veggies and legumes. At each meal, pairing plants with 20-30 grams of high-quality protein like eggs, fish, chicken, lean meat, and low-fat dairy can help support healthy muscles and strong bones and keep you feeling satisfied. Check out this neat infographic for more protein and plant pairings to help inspire you.

Looking for way to jazz up traditional egg salad? Try adding flavorful image003ingredients like tomato, red onion, avocado and cilantro for more zing. This Tomato Avocado Egg Salad can be enjoyed as a meal or a hearty sandwich filling or serve in hollowed-out tomatoes.

Long Live the Mediterranean Way

This stands as one of the world’s healthiest and tastiest ways of lifestyles. So what is it about this lifestyle that is so protective? Lots of physical activity for one, but also this style of eating thrives on an abundance of fruits and veggies, olive oil, more fish, less red meat and processed foods, and they enjoy their wine in moderation.

Looking for a high lox eggprotein breakfast option? Heart-healthy fish has a strong presence in the Mediterranean diet, so why not add some to your morning meal? Scrambled Eggs & Lox Breakfast Bagels puts a sunny twist on the bagel and lox combo with the simple addition of a scrambled egg to help you power through your day.

The Pattern on Your Plate

Composing a healthy meal means getting the right balance of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. When planning out your Balanced Plate fill your plate at each meal with one-half fruits and vegetables, one-quarter protein and one-quarter grains or starches. But don’t forget the fat. Studies now show enhanced absorption of nutrients in veggies when consumed with a source of fat, such as eggs or olive oil. Here’s another neat infographic that highlights the latest research.

Nature’s Form of Portion Control

Eggs are naturally portioned (one egg is one serving) which makes them easy to prepare, whether you are cooking for one or many. Compared to other proteins, they are relatively inexpensive (average cost 25 cents/egg) and can remain in your fridge for several weeks without spoiling.

Boiled to Perfection

Boiling an egg is a simple way to create a healthy snack that can be taken on the go. Boiled eggs are also easy to pack in kid’s lunch boxes, or can be stored away in the refrigerator for later snacking. To get that perfect boil, cover eggs with 1 inch of cold water, and start heating. Take the pan off the heat as soon as the water boils. Cover and let eggs stand in hot water for 12 minutes (for a large egg), then drain immediately and serve.

Which Eating Pattern is Best for You?

A healthy eating pattern is not a rigid prescription for eating or a diet. It’s a style of eating that gives us flexibility in making choices to help meet our nutritional needs and also account for our personal preferences, food budget, and availability. If you’re looking to adopt healthier ways of eating the best eating pattern is the one that fits your lifestyle and you can stick with!

Visit IncredibleEgg.org Recipe Resources for more creative ways to use eggs in cooking.

Sources:

  1. http://www.ars.usda.gov/main/site_main.htm?modecode=12-35-45-00.
  2. http://www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015-scientific-report/10-chapter-5/
  3. http://www.ars.usda.gov/main/site_main.htm?modecode=12-35-45-00

Disclosure: I was compensated by Egg Nutrition Center for my time to write this post. Recommendations and opinion are my own.


 

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You’re Thanksgiving Full, Is It Time to Diet?

I sincerely hope you enjoyed every bite of delicious food and did not worry about calories, food rules, or anything but your comfort, joy and happiness.

Usually, my clients come back from Thanksgiving feeling guilty.

Even if you got “stuffed like the turkey” it happens to us all and as you probably noticed it goes away with time to “rest and digest.” You may have even noticed you felt better after a nice brisk walk with family or play time with kiddos.

If you have guilt for overeating, or some emotional eating check in with yourself. Is it your “diet brain” talking? Is it the fear of weight gain?

After you get curious about your guilt, forgive yourself immediately! I’m not talking about apologizing for indulging. I’m talking about forgiving yourself for feeling guilty.

Last time I checked lots of people indulged on Thanksgiving.  There is no special reason you should feel bad. Even if you got too full, even if you felt uncomfortable, I’m 100% confident you weren’t the only one.

There’s a reason we use “Thanksgiving full” as the 9 out of 10 on the fullness scale I use with clients. It’s that once-a-year full (OK maybe more often than once, but it’s not what you usually do at most meals and snacks. You wouldn’t because it’s not comfortable.)

Practice Loving Kindness

If you would like to practice self-forgiveness, try the Loving Kindness Meditation (or Metta) which has been shown to increase positive emotions and happiness.

RS-LovingKindness

Over the next several weeks I will be sharing a series of posts that focus on the practice of Intuitive Eating and how our relationship with food influences our happiness. Before you consider your next diet, hear me out on why you should reconsider…

Why Diets Don’t Work

As anyone who has ever been on a diet knows, it is difficult to permanently and safely lose weight. Why is this? It seems straightforward – calories in, calories out, right? Actually, one of the biggest problems associated with weight concerns is that most people have problems discerning the difference between emotional hunger and physical hunger.

Take a minute to think about what your weight was the first time you went on a diet…now where is your weight? With each diet we often end up regaining all the weight we lost, plus more. Why is this? When we diet we are manipulating our metabolism — slowly depriving it of the fuel it needs. Over time it becomes very “efficient” by slowing down so it is able to function on minimal energy. This makes it very difficult to maintain any weight loss and over time our set-point weight creeps higher and higher.

What Matters Most

I would like to invite everyone to think about what matters most in your life? Often we think we will be happier if we lose weight, but take a second to think about what in your life will change when you lose the weight?

  • Will your friends and family still love you?
  • Will you still have the same job?
  • Will all the things that make you happy still make you happy?

Our lives really don’t change unless we change our habits. And if you’ve been on even one diet and stopped it, you know that it didn’t do squat for your habits. Instead of focusing on your weight, focus on your habits and how they make you feel.

It’s not just weight loss that won’t make you happy. Jobs, relationships, money and others also don’t do much for you for very long. Read 7 happiness myths you should stop believing from researcher Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Riverside.

Join in #WhatMattersMost

What matters more in your life than counting calories or dieting? I’d love to hear from you! Share your tweet or snap a picture using the hashtag #whatmattersmost. Stay tuned, next week we will be discussing emotional hunger and how you can respond in useful ways.

 

 

 

Celebrate Gratitude With a Healthy Twist: Breakfast Strata, Corn Chowder, Roasted Cranberries

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Check out my latest appearance on WBAL talking healthy eats during the holiday season.

Thanksgiving is only days away but the holiday season is just kicking off! I love this time of year because it’s all about gratitude – celebrating with good friends, family – and of course, FOOD. Check out my recent TV appearance where I share some last minute healthy twists to your festive holiday dishes and where to find the best grocery bargains.

Holiday Entertaining That Won’t Break the Bank

When I’m hosting a crowd I love making one dish meals. It saves time and doesn’t skimp on flavor. I love this savory recipe inspired from bacon kale stratBon Appetite Magazine: Bacon, Kale, Parmesan strata  Strata is dish where you combine sautéed vegetables (I added mushrooms and tomatoes to the original recipe), eggs, and bread and then bake it. It’s surprisingly easy to pull together simple natureand it’s a great dish to serve around the holidays, especially for a crowd. You can get this recipe and many more at Aldi.US.
And who doesn’t love to save money this time of year? If you haven’t shopped at Aldi yet, you can save up to 50% on your grocery bill! (Surprising, right?) You can find great deals without compromising on quality – including organic fresh and frozen produce and even a line called Simply Nature with no artificial ingredients.

What to Serve With the Bird

Dairy-Pure-Milk-Printable-Coupon-Looking for last minute ideas on “what to serve with the bird”?  Mashed potatoes are a favorite on Thanksgiving – but don’t let the white color fool you, potatoes are a vegetable with good nutrients. These Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes are a guaranteed crowed pleaser at your Thanksgiving feast. mash spuds For a twist on the corn side dish, try making this Creamy Corn Chowder filled with vegetables.  Both recipes are made with milk too, which offers a boost of protein, vitamins and minerals.

I like DairyPure milk for all my holiday cooking and baking recipes. It contains no artificial growth hormones and is the only milk backed by a Purity Promise. Fresh, quality milk for your family. You can get these recipes at Dairy Pure or follow them on Facebook.

Add Color and Health with Cranberries

This time of year it’s all about cranberries – fresh, frozen, dried, and cranberry juice can benefit your health. New research from the Cranberry Health Research Conference shows that drinking cranberry juice may protect the heart. A study on healthy men showed improvements to vascular function and blood flow. cran spritzerServe up a festive looking beverage to your guests with a simple cranberry spritzer using sparkling water and a splash of cranberry juice.

For Thanksgiving dinner, take a shortcut using canned cranberry sauce and dress it up with chopped dried cranberries, pecans and orange zest. cranberry-and-pecan-green-beans-033Or try adding a pop of color and tang to any holiday dish using chopped dried cranberries — they’re a great compliment to Brussels sprouts, green beans or any grain-based salad. Cranberry products are usually sweetened because they are naturally acidic and low in sugar. Dried cranberries have similar sugar to other dried fruits. You can visit The Cranberry Institute to learn more great health benefits of cranberries.

Hear it From You

Let us know! What festive Thanksgiving dishes will you be serving up? Please share below or tweet to @ScritchfieldRD! I’d love to hear them!

Find out more about these products and topics through Twitter at @USCranberries and @AldiUSA and follow Dairy Pure on Facebook.

Disclosures: I was compensated by The Cranberry Institute, Aldi US, and Dairy Pure for my work on the TV segment, but was not compensated to write this blog.

3 Festive Thanksgiving Feast Ideas to Boost Flavor and Nutrition

happy tday

Watch here! My mindful eating tips to enjoy your Thanksgiving Feast, plus festive holiday food ideas.

Thanksgiving is almost here! I love this time of year because it’s all about gratitude – celebrating with good friends, family – and of course, FOOD, which is a meaningful part of our traditions.

Don’t waste time on thinking about “food rules” and what you can or can’t eat. It’s not fun, AND most people don’t realize, you usually end up overeating because your brain gets too tired out from resisting tempting foods! Instead, focus on savoring your food and slowing down – or Mindful eating helps you enjoy what you really want, and get satisfied without putting you into a food coma.

I’ve got some food ideas and recipes to help boost the nutrition value for your festive food choices to make your celebration healthy, happy, and memorable.

What to Serve While Everyone is Waiting on Dinner

When you’re entertaining, it’s nice to take some shortcuts. But instead of putting out potato chips, offer up satisfying snacks that won’t spoil your guests’ appetites before the big feast.pistacio

Wonderful Pistachios are just as easy to serve to your guests, plus they have three times the protein, fiber, and portion size per serving! Just put them out for crackin’ and snackin’ on and around Thanksgiving.

If you’re on the road, Wonderful Pistachios come in convenient 100 calorie packaging or you can make your own–you get 49 nuts in a serving of pistachios – more than any other nut. Try tasty varieties including the classic roasted & salted, lightly salted for just a touch of salt, and great flavors such as sweet chili and salt & pepper.

pumpkin-hummus-ck-xMany people love hummus and there are so many ways to serve it. Try an easy variation – warmed pumpkin hummus – just stir in ½ cup pumpkin puree into your hummus and warm it up for a few minutes and top with toasted pumpkin seeds.

Two heaping spoons of Sabra hummus a day will have you eating 1 ½ cups of beans in a week, increasing your fiber intake, plus boosting the veggies you eat – not to mention when you serve Sabra hummus as part of your veggie platter it can serve as your “scoop vehicle” for the hummus. It’s a win-win.

What to Serve to Drinkpom spritzer

Serve up a festive cocktails and mocktails using pomegranate juice. POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice contains the juice from two whole pomegranates, and nothing more. I love using this for holiday beverages – like Spiced POM Cider, or try mixing with sparkling wine or sparkling water at your holiday table.

 Everything but Turkey – Colorful and Creative Sides

For the holiday table – we all know we’ll be enjoying some mashed potatoes – one of my family’s favorites. Add a “secret ingredient” to your spuds by using hummus instead of butter and cream, which cuts about 15 mash spudsgrams of fat per serving and adds a zesty flavor and creamy texture that your guests will find delightful.pom brussle

As you plan your holiday menu, think color! Pomegranate arils offer a delicious flavor and a perfect festive color for your side dishes like these Roasted Pomegranate Brussels Sprouts. You can buy Wonderful Pomegranates whole, or try POM POMs, a convenient package of ready to eat arils.

What to Eat for Energy

Be the host with the most, but don’t get stuck ravenous. Stay on top of hunger and keep up your energy up between meals with nutritious snacks.Kind bar

KIND bars are smart snacks, made with real, wholesome ingredients and use 50% less sugar compared to the average snack bar, only 5-6g per bar. Pair them with yogurt or cheese for added protein to keep you powering through your to-do lists, or enjoy them with a piece of fresh fruit for some quick energy while on the go.

If you’re looking to satisfy your sweet tooth while still snacking healthy try KIND Nuts & Spices. Nuts and Spices come in a variety of delicious flavors, including Maple Caramel Sea Salt, Madagascar Vanilla Almond, Dark Chocolate Mocha.

Hear it From You

Let us know! What festive Thanksgiving dishes will you be serving up? Please share below or tweet to @ScritchfieldRD! We’d love to hear them!

Find out more about these products and topics through Twitter at @POMWonderful, @getcrackin, @Sabra and @KINDSnacks!

Tasty and nutritious, add some of these festive ideas to your Thanksgiving menu and you’ll be sure to add some health as well!

Disclosures: I was compensated by Sabra, KIND snacks, and Wonderful (pomegranate and pistachio) for my work on the TV segment, but was not compensated to write this blog.