This simple mindfulness exercise could help transform your eating habits.

Check in on your numbers to determine if your body thinks you should eat.

Check in on your numbers to determine when you should eat and when you should stop.

What If I Told You Healthful Eating Is Not About The Food?

OK, that’s not totally true. Nutrition matters. The simplest way to follow nutrition advice is to look at your plate and fill it up with nourishing foods you love. There’s a room for a little bit of this and a little bit of that and there’s no need to eliminate an ingredient (like butter or salt) or food group (like banishing carbs).

But… We Overthink “What” Is On the Plate and Underthink “Why” and “How Much”

Humans, for the most part, suck at mindfulness. We are a culture of distracted, dedicated multitaskers. When we do 2-5 things at once we aren’t paying attention to any of it. We might be there but we are not aware.

The Culture of Busyness: We’ve made busyness a competitive sport in our busyness as a badge of honor culture. We brag about how tired and exhausted we are, how much stuff we cram onto our calendars, how we’ve run around and been so productive and crossed so much stuff off our to-do lists, and yet have so much more to do. It’s become so ingrained, we don’t realize we’re doing it! – Brigid Schulte, author The Overwhelm

My social media feed is overflowing with “what” to eat or “what” to definitely avoid.  In busyness reality, if we stop to think about “what” goes on our plate at all, we are best served to view it as an opportunity to energize, feel better, and improve health, but it is not nearly as extreme as you would think. My 3 year old will devour kale, but she needs it to taste good. When I saute kale with butter and salt, it wins dinner. I’m OK with that.

How Often Do You Think About “Why” “How Much” to Eat?

This hunger scale can help you make choices about eating more easily using a basic mindfulness skill we all have access to – self awareness.

  • Why eat? – Hungry (for the most part… this is not a rule, but a guide based on your body’s needs)
  • How much? – Until you get comfortable full, no longer hungry.

All you need to start using self awareness is two things: 1. Stop 2. Pay attention That’s it.

Eating should feel good before during and after and you will feel your best physically and emotionally eating in the range of 3-7, on a scale out of 10.

Check in on your numbers to determine if your body thinks you should eat.

 

How Can Mindfulness Transform My Habits

The definition of a habit is a routine you do without having to think about it. It’s mindless. Now, that’s a good thing when it’s a habit you want to keep. But what if you’re trying to eat better?

All the focus on calories, nutrients, and morally good and bad foods is exhausting and unnecessary. It’s a big ole waste of time you don’t have. Using mindfulness as a guide you don’t have to worry about anything except eating when you feel hungry, making a balanced plate (when you want to prioritize health and nutrition), and savoring your meal as you notice getting more full.

Paying attention will help you make food choices and it’s so much easier than dieting and calorie counting.

“I Can’t Figure Out My Numbers”

Yes you can.

You get good at mindfulness by practicing mindfulness. You get good at connecting to your body by trying to connect to your body. You get good at choosing a hunger number by practicing choosing your hunger number.

You are a resourceful person. You can do great things. But you need to slow down. Sit down. And focus on eating. I know you’re busy, but you deserve that time.

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Ditch Your Diet and Make Small, Satisfying Changes Instead

On average, women will try – and quit – 9 diets in her life. And recent research shows the more diets people go on, the more weight they gain. Instead of hopping on that pointless diet roller coaster again, make little changes that are healthy and enjoyable.

Little Changes Big Taste

Blueberries are jam-packed with fiber, vitamin C, and manganese plus there are only 80 calories in 1 cup.  And you can add them to practically anything – these little blue dynamos pair perfectly with everything from oatmeal to savory dishes. Try them in this salmon and avocado flatbread for a quick and nourishing meal.

Snack Smart with Sargento

Sargento cheese snacks have 4-8 grams of protein/serving to keep you fueled and satisfied with a natural source of protein.  It’s a wholesome snacking option that doesn’t sacrifice on taste – there are 14 varieties like sharp cheddar, Colby jack, and pepper jack to help you stay fueled even when you’re on the go.

Make a Better Breakfast

When it comes to breakfast, you want a delicious and nutrition option, and it’s great if it’s also convenient since we’re always on the go, especially in the morning.  New KIND breakfast bars are soft baked with a crispy outside, and loaded with whole grains for sustained energy throughout the morning.  Each two-bar pack provides more than a full serving of whole grains and is a great source of fiber to fill you up. Try them on their own, dipped in Greek yogurt, or paired with fruit, milk, or your morning latte.

Don’t Deprive Yourself

Don’t cut out all the things you love. Studies show that the more you try to avoid something the more you want it and the greater chances you have of overeating eventually.  For my sweet cravings, I love enjoying these Heavenly Organics Chocolate Honey Patties – they are made with 4 ingredients or less and have have a dark chocolate shell made from 100% cocoa that’s filled with 100% raw organic honey blended with natural flavors like Mint, Pomegranate and Peanut.

Upgrade your Sports Drink

It’s not just food, but we need exercise to be healthy. When we work out, it’s crucial to stay well- hydrated.  If you’re an athlete or have a very active child, you might benefit from more than just plain water during activity, especially if it’s over 60 minutes. Parents will often ask me, what’s the best sports drink for my active child and I recommend BodyArmor because it has no artificial ingredients, is low in sodium, and has more potassium-packed electrolytes and vitamins that any other sports drink, and it’s made with coconut water.  Try 7 great tasting flavors like fruit punch, orange mango, and strawberry banana.

Hear it From You

Let us know! What are some of your favorite tips to “ditch the diet” and stay healthy?  Please share below or tweet to @ScritchfieldRD! I’d love to hear them!

Find out more about these products and topics by connecting on Twitter

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Disclosure: I was compensated by U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council, Sargento, KIND snacks, Heavenly Organics, and Body Armor for my work on the TV segment, but was not compensated to write this blog. Recommendations and opinion are my own.

 

Cozy Up with Wild Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash

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If you’re looking for a new recipe to fall in love with, this is it! With a hearty stuffing of wild rice, sausage, cranberries and kale this acorn squash it’s a meal in itself. It’s loaded with comforting flavors with subtle notes of sweet and earthy from the cranberries and kale. It can easily be made into a veggie friendly meal by omitting the sausage from the stuffing.

This hearty dish with bring coziness to your table and warm you inside and out. Enjoy!

Acorn Squash Stuffed with Sausage, Cranberry, Pecan, Kale and Wild Rice
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This recipes combines warm earthy flavors and stunning autumn colors for a perfect Fall dinner. Omit the sausage in the stuffing for a vegetarian friendly option.
Author:
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • For the Squash:
  • 6 small acorn squash, ⅛ inch of bottom sliced off to make flat surface, remainder left in tact
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • For the Wild Rice Stuffing:
  • 2 cups wild rice cooked in 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 cups kale, cut in ribbons
  • 2 Tbsp dried cranberries
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 chorizo sausages, casing removed
  • 1 tsp oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees, and arrange rack in middle.
  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and lightly brush the foil with olive oil.
  3. Place the flat surface of each squash on the sheet and, once preheated, place squash in the oven and roast for 30 minutes, or until soft enough to cut through.
  4. While the squash is roasting prepare the wild rice. Place 2 cups uncooked wild rice in 4 cups vegetable stock, bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes or until tender.
  5. Remove the squash from the oven and let sit for 15 minutes. Reduce oven heat to 350 degrees and oil a rimmed baking dish big enough to accommodate all of the squash.
  6. Meanwhile, sauté sausage and shallots in oil, once shallots become soft add kale and cranberries. Cook for 2 more minutes and combine with rice.
  7. After cooled, cut away the top ⅓ of the squash and scrape out the seeds and insides. Paint the insides of each squash with ½ tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Fill each of the hollowed larger portions of the acorn squash with an equal amount of the rice stuffing (about ½-3/4 cup).
  8. Place the tops back on and arrange the squash on the prepared baking sheet. Continue roasting until the squash is completely fork tender, the edges have started to brown, and the filling is heated through, about 20 to 25 minutes.

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What Will You Do After The Ball Drops? Join My Free #30DayDrop Challenge

Reboot, Bounce Back, Start Fresh, Clean Slate…

On January 2nd I will be kicking off 2016 with my #30DayDrop Challenge! The holidays are fun and when the new year rolls around, we all want to start fresh. I feel the same way. I want to feel better, overflow with energy, and get revved up for a productive, successful, and joy-filled year! That’s why I’m dropping.

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I’m dropping diets, cleanses, detoxes, and other strict challenges because they evoke negative emotions: deprivation, depression, and disconnect with your body. 

I’m also dropping excuses… like I don’t have time, it won’t make a difference, and there’s more important things to do.

With the clutter all clear, I’m picking up fun and healthy choices that help me feel good, inside and out.

Want to join me? Sign up for my e-mail list and you’re in. How’s that for easy? (If you already get my weekly e-mail to your inbox, you’re set.)

Then spread your health and happiness with the hashtag #30DayDrop and follow it on social media to get more from me.

Who’s Up For the Challenge?

We are going to be dropping some serious dead weight, leaving all that negativity behind to make room for the good stuff. The best part is it’s free, fun and completely on your own time! Sign up today and forget about it until January 2!

Every week I’ll share a new challenge focused on bringing out your healthiest and happiest self. You’ll hear stories from other people’s journey and may even get inspired to try some of my favorite simple and delicious recipes. And of course, I’ll be high-fiving you every step of the way!

I have witnessed too many people who’ve been robbed of happiness because of diets. Let’s never let that happen again and let’s start 2016 off right.

Sign Ups Open

Ready to get started? All you have to do is Sign up for my e-mail list. You’ll get my FREE Feel Great Guide that includes a handy health and happiness journal along with weekly challenges delivered right to your inbox every Friday in January.

I’m challenging you to stash your scale, say no-no to the diet yo-yo and rejuvenate your health and happiness.

Enlist Your Crew

Have a workout buddy, friend, mom, sibling or spouse that you’d like to have join in the challenge? Invite them to sign up too! Share this post and challenge them to turn over a new leaf and get healthy in 2016 with you.

I’d love to see pictures of your 30 Day Drop Challenge. Anything you’re doing that is making you feel great and cultivating healthy habits, share it! Use the hashtag #30DayDrop. Let’s do this!

Fresh Ideas for a Happy and Healthy Holiday

‘Tis the season to celebrate! The holidays are officially the best time of year-it’s a time for baking, holiday parties, and giving gifts from the kitchen. And what better way to celebrating in the festivities than with healthy, delicious and easy tips. Check out my latest appearance on Let’s Talk Live to get fresh ideas to make your holiday gatherings delicious and memorable without the fuss.

Let HelloFresh Help With Dinner

Let HelloFresh help with dinner and your health doesn’t have to take a backseat to the holidays. HelloFresh is a great meal delivery service that delivers boxes with fresh ingredients and recipe cards that are simple and easy to follow, each taking no more than 30 minutes.

They offer favorites like Italian Ciabatta Burgers — so easy and fun.  You can pour a glass of wine, put on some lovely holiday music and follow the cooking instructions. ciabatta

I like working with HelloFresh because they are the only meal delivery service that has a full time registered dietitian on staff to make sure your meals are nutritionally balanced. These quick, simple and nutritious meals are big on flavor too. They have vegetarian options and they change the meal each week. Costing only $10 per person per meal, it doesn’t break the bank. Looking for a last minute gift? You can purchase holiday gift certificates for HelloFresh from their website.

Snack Smarter with Wonderful Brands

Snacking is a biggie during holiday gathering. We want options that don’t take a lot of time and quite often can be pieced together to make nutritious mini meals. Fruits and nuts offer a great foundation for healthful snacks, which is why I love working with the brands at Wonderful.

Wonderful Scarlett’s is Texas Red Grapefruit, with a sweeter flavor and brighter scarlettesred color than most grapefruits. Just half a grapefruit gives you 100% of your daily needs of vitamin C, for good immunity and also support collagen formation for healthy skin. Use them in smoothies, or broil them with a light topping of brown sugar to satisfy your sweet tooth. They will go great with oatmeal, salads, or paired up with any side vegetable as well.

halos2Pick up a box of Wonderful Halos, California grown
mandarins that are easy to peel and eat. I love that Halos are palm sized and seedless so if you have kids you can just hand them over. They are filled with goodness, including vitamin C and fiber and make a delicious pairing with cheese or some Wonderful Pistachios!

I’m nuts for Wonderful Pistachios. You get a good source of protein and fiber and there’s 49 nuts in a serving of pistachios – more than any other nut. If you’re looking for something easy to take to the party – guests will not be disappointed to see you bring Wonderful pistachios instead of chips. You can get great flavors like salt and pepper and thai sweet chili.

Send the gift of KINDness

You can’t go wrong when you take KIND nuts and spices bars as on-the-go snacks. This snack contains real, wholesome ingredients and uses 50% less sugar compared to the average snack bar, only 5-6g per bar, mostly fkind cuberom honey or dried fruits.

I’m excited about KIND cubes – a gift you can give to share your love of KIND snacks. You can get this gift at KIND Snacks. For $39.50 you get 20 bars – 8 varieties from the Nuts and Spice line, including Dark Chocolate Nuts and Sea Salt, Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Pecan, Caramel Almond Sea Salt.

In the spirit of the holiday season approaching, KIND has made it easy for you to celebrate someone doing a KIND act by sending them a free #KINDawesome card on Facebook or Twitter. They can redeem it for FREE KIND, or they can send another card and pay it forward.  Visit howkindofyou.com to learn more.

Hear it From You

Let us know! What are some of your favorite time-saving, fuss-free holiday entertaining tips?  Please share below or tweet to @ScritchfieldRD! I’d love to hear them!

Find out more about these products and topics by connecting on Twitter @getcrackin@KINDSnacks@HelloFresh, and follow Sweet Scarletts on Facebook.

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Sign up for my e-mail list and get my FREE Feel Great Guide and get a handy health and happiness journal and more.

Disclosure: I was compensated by KIND Snacks, Wonderful brands and HelloFresh for my work on the TV segment, but was not compensated to write this blog. Recommendations and opinion are my own.