Semantics are important. The words we choose hold a great deal of meaning, whether we realize it or not. So I’d like to give you something to ponder during this holiday season. As you spend time with family and friends you may want to consider a few of the following tips. My hope is that they will keep you focused on the reason for the celebrating without the distractions of excessive concerns with weight, food, and body talk.
Try greeting your loved one with “it’s so great to see you!” rather than “you look so good!” A comment on appearance might seem benign but in many cases it isn’t. For example, if you have a family member whose weight tends to cycle, a comment when their weight is low may put a lot of stress, pressure, and anxiety for future visits when their weight may be higher. The goal is for family and friends to feel love and acceptance for WHO they are, not WHAT they look like.
“Oh, I’m being so bad right now” is a comment that many of us have heard or even spoken. Comments about fat, calories, and “being bad” are nothing but an unhelpful distraction. And quite frankly, it’s obnoxious and may put a damper on the meal for others. Ironically, keeping the focus on enjoying the meal, tasting your food, and listening to your body’s hunger and fullness will improve your mental, physical, and emotional health. And you won’t annoy your loved ones, which is a huge bonus.
Keep your diet and weight loss goals for the New Year to yourself. Seriously, a holiday party isn’t the time for it. Enough said?
I hope you find these holiday tips useful. Do you have any conversation tips you’d like add to the list? If yes, please comment!
I truly LOVE Thanksgiving food. And sweet potatoes are at the top of my list of favorites. I tried these sweet potatoes two years ago and posted on my blog immediately. But it came to my attention that the link to the recipe is no longer active! So I felt the need to re-post. The recipe is so simple, so nutritious, and so yummy. Talk about comfort food. If you have any unique Thanksgiving recipes that you love, please share!
Note: This recipe was originally published at NYTimes.com.
Garlic-Scented Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Coconut Milk and Cilantro
Serves 4. Published November 1, 2002.
Shake the can of coconut milk before opening to combine the coconut cream with the
liquid beneath. Cutting the sweet potatoes into slices of even thickness is important in
getting them to cook at the same rate. A potato masher will yield slightly lumpy sweet
potatoes; a food mill will make a perfectly smooth puree. The potatoes are best served
immediately, but they can be covered tightly with plastic wrap and kept relatively hot for
30 minutes. This recipe can be doubled in a Dutch oven; the cooking time will need to be
doubled as well.
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 small clove garlic , minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 2 large or 3 medium-small potatoes), peeled,
quartered lengthwise, and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices pinch ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro leaves
1. Combine coconut milk, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, sugar, and sweet potatoes
in 3 to 4 quart saucepan; cook, covered, over low heat, stirring occasionally, until
potatoes fall apart when poked with fork, 35 to 45 minutes.
2. Off heat, mash sweet potatoes in saucepan with potato masher, or transfer mixture to hopper of food mill and process into warmed serving bowl. Stir in pepper and cilantro; serve immediately.
Alright, I'm about to get on my RD soap box here. I have a little pet peeve. Ok, sometimes it's a big pet peeve. Have you ever noticed that popular diet books, magazines, and well-intended news reporters get confused between serving sizes and portion sizes? Probably not. But I'm writing about it because it's important! And it all comes back to the difference between a rule-bound diet mentality and eating based on internal wisdom.
Serving Size: A standardized, measured amount of a food that may be determined by "typical" portion sizes from consumption surveys, convenience in measuring, nutrient content, and sizes from previous guides. This is what you see listed on a nutrition facts panel, diet plans, and the food guide pyramid.
Portion Size: The amount of food YOU decide to eat.
Note: these two concepts are quite different. Since nutritional content of food values dramatically, it can SOMETIMES be helpful to have a sense of how much nutrition is contained in a product. You can read here in more detail if you're curious to know how to use nutrition information (like calorie counts) in a productive way.
However. no one on this planet is a better judge of how much food you need than YOU! Sometimes dieting and eating disorders disrupt a person's ability to determine how much food they need.If you have gotten used to someone else telling you how much to eat, it makes sense that you'll have to re-learn this skill.So the next time Shape Magazine tells you to eat 14 almonds for an afternoon snack, you can say "I'll decide what portion size is right for me, thank you very much!" Then consider the following 4 factors:
1. How hungry am I?
2. When will I be eating again?
3. What nutritional qualities does this food possess? Carbs = quick fuel, Protein = fullness, Fats = Satiety and stick around the longest
4. What type of meal or snack balance do I need for my overall health?
Hopefully you can feel a little more confident knowing that you don't have to rely on any outside measurements or randomly determined serving sizes to determine how much food you can eat. If you listen, your own wisdom won't let you down!
A client was telling me about this fabulous salmon recipe that has been passed down to her from her Grandma. It sounded so scrumptious I had to share with you guys. I love salmon for it's deliciously fresh flavor. But I also love eating it, knowing all the omega-3s are doing great things for my brain, hair, and skin. Enjoy paired with roasted sweet potatoes. Yum.
Pecan Crusted Baked Salmon (serves four)
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon margarine
4 teaspoons honey
1/4 c fresh bread crumbs
1/4 c finely chopped pecans (I crush them in a ziploc with a meat mallet)
4 (4-6oz) salmon fillets
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 450
2. Mix mustard, margarine and honey in small bowl
3. Mix bread crumbs, pecans and parsley in a separate small bowl
4. Season salmon with salt and pepper if desired. Place on lightly greased baking sheet (we used PAM spray). Brush with mustard honey mixture. Pat crumb mixture on top.
5. Bake for 10 minutes per inch of thickness, measured at thickest part, or until the salmon just flakes when tested with fork.
AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, ENJOY! YUM YUM
When you read the words "body image" what does that mean to you? Body image is actually a pretty complicated topic. I google searched a definition and there were over 4 million results and quite the variety of definitions. For our conversation, I decided to select my favorite definition:
A term that refers to a person's inner picture of his or her outward appearance. It has two components: perceptions of the appearance of one's body, and emotional responses to those perceptions.
There are multiple factors which influence your body image. And I've decided to create a series of blog posts dedicated to helping us better understand what creates our own body image. I will not make promises to change your body image (this may take a lot of work in therapy). But I can give you some tools and insight to get started with your body image work.
Body image issues are influenced and made made manifest in four areas: perception, cognition, affect, and behavior. The following four blog posts in this series will target each of these individually. Often, people believe that they can only feel better about the way they look once their physical appearance changes. I am here to tell you that it is possible for your body image to improve without any physical changes taking place.
I have worked with countless individuals who admit that the only time they felt slightly ok with their physical appearance (if at all) was when they were engaging in harmful eating and exercise patterns that became self-destructive and non-sustainable. My hope with this blog series on understanding body image is to help you empowered by realizing WE create our own body image. And I promise, the only lasting way to feel better about yourself is by treating your here and now body with love, kindness, and lots of self-care.
Ok, I'm going to keep it real here. I like to cook. But recently, there hasn't been time for much else but microwaving. So I recently picked up two new frozen items to try. (Yes, frozen and pre-prepared items from Whole Foods and Trader Joe's have been keeping me fed the past couple of weeks.) And I just warmed them up for dinner and was pleasantly surprised!
Product Showcase Item #1: Turkey Meatballs from Trader Joe'sSuper tasty. Just microwave them! I can imagine they'd be great with pasta, a baked potato, or wild rice. I paired it with...
Product Showcase Item #2: Garden Lites Butternut Squash Souffle from Whole FoodsTop with some brown sugar and you're good to go! Would be super tasty with salmon or grilled chicken as well. I totally enjoyed both the flavor and fluffy texture!
In under 10 minutes I had a bowl of meatballs and squash ready to go, along with a glass of milk. Yummy, balanced, and super super speedy when cookin' just ain't gonna' happen!
What are super speedy meal time favorites?
A big thank you to my anonymous blogger who wrote this post for my site. I thoroughly enjoyed every line and think you will too! Remember, these product "no case" postings are intended to highlight products out there that tout themselves as health food, but are anything but nourishing! Talk about a wolf in sheep's clothing. Enjoy!
I have been struggling with an eating disorder for 17 years. I have become remarkably adept at convincing myself that I like low-calorie, low-taste, low-nutrient foods. In fact, I have rarely found one that I didn't covet. That is why I was pretty excited to see Arctic Zero staring at me from my grocer's freezer last week. Mint chocolate cookie. 150 calories per pint. Nutritious and all natural. High protein. High fiber. I could feel my eating disordered adrenaline pumping. What could be better than that?! Well, let me tell you: pretty much ANYTHING is better than that. This stuff tastes so bad I couldn't even eat more than one bite. Think battery acid. Do yourself a favor- if you want a sweet, frozen dessert or snack, eat something real that will taste good and leave you satisfied. Life is just too short. Thank you, Arctic Zero, for helping me get one step further in my recovery.
I am in full support of eating what gives you a true feeling of fullness and satisfaction. When we do that (while honoring our hunger and fullness) our food cravings and food thoughts actually diminish naturally. So the next time you are craving something sweet, go for the real deal!
There seems to be no shortage of "product no cases" out there. Send along any products you think are absolutely fabulous too!