As August is coming to a close, I had to share with you two of my favorite summer salsa recipes. I guess I just can't let go of the idea of an endless summer. :) Pair these tasty salsa with corn chips, burritos, or burgers. They're a yummy way to incorporate fruits and veggies into your meal. Enjoy!
Black Bean and Nectarine Salsa
Source: Today's Diet & Nutrition July/August 2008
1- 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 nectarine, chopped, about 1 cup
1 tomato, seeded and finely chopped, about 1 cup
1 serrano chile pepper, seeded and finely chopped (wear gloves!)
1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
1/2 tsp grated orange zest
1 T fresh lime juice
Salt & black pepper to taste
In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and toss with a fork. Season with salt & pepper.
Source: Vegetarian Times June 2008
2 mangoes, peeled, pitted, and diced, about 2 cups (How to cut a mango)
1 large yellow bell pepper, finely chopped, 1 cup (I also do red b/c it's pretty)
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2T lime juice
1 red jalapeno chile, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
Toss all ingredients in a small bowl. Season with slat and additional paprika if desired.
What's your favorite summer recipe?
First off, I want to say that tuning out the shoulds and tuning into our body’s needs when it comes to fuel is a process and journey. There will be some ups and downs along the way, but the longer that you tune out what you “should” be doing and view eating in a self-care, nourishing manor, the more freedom you will start to feel in your journey with food and your body. The longer you practice paying attention to your body the more you will connect with yourself and your needs, food and otherwise.
So, what does tuning out the “shoulds” mean when it comes to healthful eating? Here are a few principles that I came up with through my journey of paying attention to my body’s needs and health.
1) Tune out what healthful foods you “should” eat and listen to YOUR body’s palate (aka what healthful foods you ENJOY eating). Healthful eating includes trying new foods but also tuning into your palate. You don’t have to eat lima beans or whatever foods you do not care for to be healthy! There are plenty of other fruits and vegetables out there. Focusing on adding healthful foods you enjoy (like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts) to your eating allows you to connect with your body and keeps healthy eating from being a dirty word. It’s not about perfection- it is about learning YOUR body’s needs.
2) Tune out the “shoulds” of anytime you are feeling deprived when it comes to eating. A lovely RD, Julie Dillion, tweeted this the other day: dieting doesn't = wellness. Nourishing without deprivation is ticket to #health. I could not have said this better if I tried. So often, we hear that we need to “eat better” or discipline ourselves or have more self control around food. We can try to force ourselves into “eating right” or choosing healthful foods (fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, whole grains, etc.). But, this usually backfires just like dieting does. I tell people all the time that I have learned that the only “diet” I want to be on is one that I can live the rest of my life doing, and this means for me that I don’t feel deprived, focus on health and good fuel, use food to keep my energy up, and focus on nourishing my body (which does include sweets sometimes!). Through tuning into my body and not the “shoulds” or deprivation, I have learned that one of the most healthful and satisfying things is leaving a meal energized and not stuffed. Through the process of intuitive eating and no deprivation, I have gotten to this place because I have learned that I enjoy the feeling of being “satisfied” after a meal best, and my body is ok with this since it knows I will honor my hunger when it comes again.
3) Tune out how much you “should” eat (based upon what other people are eating) and listen to your body’s hunger/fullness. We all have different energy needs. Our energy needs can be very different from other people (this hopefully is not a surprise!) and our own energy needs fluctuate throughout our lives. Tuning out the shoulds means trying not to compare what you eat to what other people eat. There are always going to be people who need more food or less food than you, but ultimately your body knows best and it will tell you through hunger and fullness. For example, I am a tall, active person and my body needs a good amount of fuel throughout the day. I used to feel ashamed of the fact that I would eat more than other girls and went through a period where I was trying to eat what I felt like my body “should” need instead of listening to hunger. This deprivation period was eventually followed by a period of overeating, and I have learned that in the end my body knows best and will tell me how much food it needs.
True health comes from appreciating our bodies and wanting to take care of them and nourish them. Tuning into our bodies is learning our body’s unique signs of hunger and fullness and feeling confident in our body’s ability to tell us what it needs. You see we can be told eat your fruits and vegetables, move more, don’t overeat, etc. But, none of these things will be lasting if they don’t stem from a desire within oneself to care for his/her body. So, are you tuning into the “shoulds” or tuning into your beautiful body and its unique needs? I hope we can all learn to cherish what our bodies allows you to do, care for them in a way that helps us live life fully, and nourish them to give us health and energy!
Note: Connecting to Ourselves is a monthly column written by Janet Zimmerman. Janet will be writing about a wide variety of topics to help you connect with the best ways to take care of YOU! Janet is a dietetic student, positive body image advocate, and intuitive eating promoter. You can find Janet on twitter @JanetZimmerman where she loves tweeting yummy recipes, positive quotes, and mindful tweets.
Elizabeth is a RD-to-be who hopes to change the world-one self-loving thought at a time! She loves spreading this message in person, through social media, and on her blog Guiltless.
Thanks for covering my not-attractive-when-bald head. Thanks for blowing in the breeze, keeping my head warm in the snow, and obeying when I pull you up into a tight ponytail or bun. I haven't always, but right now, I really like you. And I want to say thanks.
Thanks for being red and curly (just like dad's!) when i was a little tyke.
Thanks for making my sister and I look adorably innocent for a period of time, while you were straight and blond.
Thanks for enduring endless knots and "ratsnests" as I forget about brushing you while I played in the woods, and dirt, getting quite a bit of sap stuck in you.
I now understand that below is not your fault. Curly, frizzy hair was new to me and my mother (thanks puberty) and I really didn't know what to do with you. So i brushed you. Poor decisions. (as evidenced below. am i really publishing this?)
Thanks for enduring awkward tween/teen years as I pulled bangs out of pony tails, experimented with straightening and just generally didn't know what the heck to do with you.
Thank you for being curly. Thank you for letting the sun give my strawberry-blonde locks highlights, which look better than any professional can do. Thanks for enduring the occasional straightener. I'm doing that much less now if you noticed. I've embraced my curls. Thanks for not extending the 10 minutes it takes for me to get ready every morning, by requiring that you be blown dry, or straightened or curled. Thanks for getting ready by air.
We've had our good days and our bad days, and it's been an off-and-on relationship. It's a long time coming, but I can now for sure say that i love you hair, so Thank you.
Do you have a love or hate relationship with your hair? are you pro-dying/ curling/ straightening or au naturale? please do tell!
Eating well while on the road is tough for all of us! And since I'm heading out on vacation, I appreciate Janel's great guest post on nutritious eating on the run. Big thank you Janel! Be sure to check out awesome blog full of culinary tips and delicious recipes.
Whenever I travel, whether it be a road trip (hate ‘em) or a cross country flight, my eating always gets out of whack. It’s not that I have such regimented eating habits, I’m just so used to eating an abundance of whole grains, fruits and veggies, home-cooked food and snacking that when I deviate from this, my body, brain, mood, and energy totally shift – and not in a good way. Usually after a few days of traveling I readjust and can always manage to find nutritious foods on the go, but even the healthiest dining establishments will take a toll on your wallet.
A few months ago I headed to Oregon for a conference. It was a quick trip – about 48 hours in total – and one where I arrived late at night in Portland, and then left at the crack of dawn to fly home. And since I wanted to bring my A-game to speak at this conference, I didn’t want to rely on airport fast food or questionable conference food to fuel me for this trip.
For breakfast in my hotel room (there was none provided with the hotel) I packed a little oatmeal bar to go: snack bags filled with oats, currants, walnuts, brown sugar, chia seeds and hemp seeds. All I needed to do was heat up some water in the hotel room coffee maker and I had a piping hot bowl (ok paper cup) of oatmeal as I ran through my talk one more time. I also packed one of these for breakfast the next day. Instead of paying Starubcks for some perfect oatmeal in the airport, I just got a (free) cup of hot water and enjoyed my own perfect oatmeal breakfast as I waited to board. I also could have saved this for the flight and asked the flight attendant for some hot water.
I made sure to pack plenty of snacks, like Larabar minis, apples, Triscuits, walnuts, and dried plums. Granted my trip was short so I only had to pack a small amount to tide me over for 48 hours, and this of course didn’t cover my lunch or dinner in Oregon, but it was the best way to keep me on my toes for an important conference.
Also, since I was stranded in some business center hotel in the ‘burbs of Oregon without a car, I didn’t have the opportunity to check out any Portland restaurants like I did in January. Instead, I ordered room service from the hotel restaurant, which didn’t seem to have many appealing vegetarian entrees. So I scanned the menu and put together three side dishes: a vegetable plate, grilled polenta cakes, and sautéed cannellini beans. It turned out to be a delicious and well-rounded dinner. Who knew sides could be so satisfying?
What are some ways you eat well when traveling?
Janel Ovrut Funk MS RD LDN is a Boston-based registered dietitian who helps you reach your nutrition goals, one bite at a time. Follow Janel on her Eat Well with Janel blog, Facebook fan page, and Twitter feed for more healthy tips.
On Wednesday I was joined by other positive body image activitists to talk with Andrea Owen of "Your Kick Ass Life" about practical solutions to staying sane and maintaing a positive body image in the summer months. I love this topic-in fact I already wrote a post about it-and couldn't wait to hear others' thoughts. Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the chat! (If you are not familiar with Twitter, the @ followed by a name is our Twitter username.)
Q1 In what ways does a negative self-image keep a person from living a full life?
@ValerieKusler: Q1- negative self-image keeps u from believing u r worth working hard 2 achieve something meaningful for ur life.
Q2 As temperatures rise, body image issues tend to escalate. What are events and situations that tend to be most challenging?
@NeedStrength: I find beaches and bathing suits freeing. Theres less to hide behind and I can just be myself w/ no shame
Q3 Many people dread picking out a swimsuit. Any tips for swimsuit or summer clothes shopping?
@livienna I just bought a pair of jean shorts that I'm in love w. My method? Focus on how you FEEL, not size. &Bring some1 ED supportive
@eatingpermitRD: pick out a couple suits in multiple sizes...then, when the suit feels good and well fitting, check it out in the mirror. #ended
Q4 What are practical things people can do to have fun at BBQs, beach and pool parties despite feeling body conscious?
@jessicaclaytonm: Go to the event prepared with some mantras/positive affirmations in back of mind
@andrea_owen: Be grateful for all the things you love about summer, BBQs, etc. Make a list in your mind
Q5 Body and weight talk tends to come up in social situations. Any ideas on how to deal with uncomfortable body talk?
@ValerieKusler: Q5 Avoid skinny-bashing, & if friend is fat-talking dont turn it on yourself to try to make them feel better
@andrea_owen: Q5 Ive also said, "Well I for one think you are all AWESOME." when I hear fat talk.
@eatingpermitrd my friends know I don't do fat talk & will call them out (usually say we have much more important things to discuss as women)
Q6 What are signs/signals that a person's body/food struggles require more support, like professional counseling?
@ValerieKusler: If negative/stressful thoughts a/b food & body occupy your mind a significant portion of the day, seek support!
The goal of #endED is to bring anyone and everyone together who care about ending eating disorders. My hope is to end the silence and myths about eating disorders, create a place for honest and informed discussion, while offering hope and encouragement. You can join the next #endED chat in September. Details to come, so stay tuned!
Save the date! Wednesday, August 17th I'll be tweeting with my guest expert Andrea Owen. We'll be talking about practical solutions to staying sane and maintaing a positive body image in the summer months! Andrea is a professional life coach and speaker. She is passionate about empowering women and girls to value their character and feel beautiful by manifesting respect and love for themselves first and foremost. She has helped hundreds of people manage their inner-critic to break through and live their most kick-ass life.
Follow @marciRD & @andrea_owen on twitter and the hashtag #ENDED at 8:30pm EST on 8/17.
Not sure how Twitter works? Check out this primer. Let us know you're coming on the Facebook event page.
About: The goal of #endED is to bring anyone and everyone together who care about ending eating disorders. My hope is to end the silence and myths about eating disorders, create a place for honest and informed discussion, while offering hope and encouragement.
You can find Andrea here!
Here's what we'll be chatting about:
In what ways does a negative self-image keep a person from living a full life?
As temperatures rise, body image issues tend to escalate as well. What are events and situations that tend to be most challenging?
Many women dread picking out a swimsuit. Any tips for swimsuit or summer clothes shopping?
What are practical things people can do to have fun at BBQs, beach and pool parties despite feeling body conscious?
Body and weight talk tends to come up in social situations (i.e. I hate my thighs, I wish I could get a tummy tuck). Any ideas on how to deal with uncomfortable body talk?
Negative body image seems to be acceptable in our society, how can a person know whether their food and body struggles require more support such as outpatient counseling, residential care, etc.
I love a good balsamic vinaigrette. It's great for salads and wraps and marinating portobello mushrooms. And I was recently inspired by an article I read for the many uses of a tasty (and also cheap!) homemade vinaigrette.
Homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar (play around with flavored vinegars!)
1 clover garlic, minced
1 tsp. dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Shake the ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Store in the fridge so it's always handy.
Toss 1/4 cup of the dressing on any of these combinations:
1 1/2 cup cannellini beans, 1 jar drained artichoke hearts, 1 cup sliced celery, shaved Parmesan
6 cups arugula, 1/2 pint halved cherry tomatoes, 2 oz. fresh mozzarella, fresh basil
8 cups salad greens, 1/4 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, 4 sliced button mushrooms
1 1/2 cups chickpeas, 2 chopped roasted red peppers, 1/4 cup diced red onion
2 cups lentils, 1 diced apple, 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
2 lbs grilled or broiled vegetables (think zucchini, summer squash, eggplant, peppers)
2 lbs. roasted root vegetables (think butternut squash, carrots, turnips, onions, and parsnips)
Any other favorite salad ideas that pair well with a balsamic vinaigrette?
Thanks to photoshop, it's very easy for women to forget what a "real" woman's body looks like. My mother used to refer to it as her Kangaroo Pouch. The endless messaging of "targeting those hard to reach lower abdominals" in our core workouts, combined with the airbrushing out of any softness in a woman's lower belly has completely eradicated an all important fact from our minds - Women. Have. A. Uterus.
What's cool is that it helps us do all sorts of neat things, like ovulation, so that we can someday make some cute looking babies. Let's take a look at this before and after photo of Serena Williams shall we?
Before Severe Uterus Castration and After
See now I'm almost standing on my computer chair ready to deliver a tyrannical speech on "Saving the Uterus". Firstly, Serena is an extremely fit and strong woman, with abs that could probably survive one of those Acme weights or pianos falling on top of them.
Secondly, and this is key, she is a woman. By smoothing out (and airbrushing in) her stomach area, you are essentially removing that which makes her female, and you are perpetuating a myth that there is such a thing as a concave lower belly that occurs naturally, and not through extreme starvation. In essence, anorexia does the same thing to a woman as the photoshopped picture above - it removes the womanhood from the female, and creates a little girl. It removes any purposefulness, other than to be looked at through (or consumed by) the male gaze.
In the depths of my eating disorder, I lost the ability to menstruate. While of course women would kill to not go through the millions of annoyances of having a monthly cycle, for me it was the ultimate wake up call. I started having dreams of babies - dreams and nightmares. Babies floating on clouds, babies screaming and crying and me running through tangled woods to try and find them, babies who were hungry and I could find no food to soothe them. I recalled watching my mother try to conceive, the failure of her systems to operate properly bringing her miscarriage after miscarriage, watching as my father had to inject her with shots of infertility drugs, watching as she turned into a skeleton of herself as she cried in her room while others became pregnant when she did not. I remembered the joy in her eyes when my sister was finally born.
Suddenly, I wanted to fight for my uterus.
Now, I'm constantly amazed and astounded at my body. When I pay attention, I learn something new from it every day. I notice how my uterus ascends upwards after I ovulate in preparation for a baby (that will definitely not be coming anytime soon, but still!). I notice that this makes my stomach stick out for the two weeks prior to my period. And instead of lamenting my "kangaroo pouch", I thank it. I send it warm thoughts on how grateful I am that it is working properly. I continue to nourish my body and I recognize that underneath all the photoshopping, all women, everywhere, have a uterus.
Even if you don't want kids, isn't that a comforting thought?
Several days ago, some friends on Twitter asked about my thoughts regarding this article in The Huffington Post: What Nutritionists Order When Eating Out. My knee jerk response: I hate it. Below is a more thoughtful, nuanced response. If you glance through the article, you might feel that the nutrition suggestions are reasonable. So why wouldn’t I like it? Let me explain.
1. The title. It suggests the copy-cat approach to eating. Just because a nutritionist is doing it, doesn’t mean it’s right for you! My whole approach to nutrition is helping my clients learn and tune in to their own needs first. See Intuitive Eating for more details.
2. This type of article supports “rule-based eating” rather than “skill-based eating.” If someone told me that I couldn’t have French fries with my burger, I might be a little angry! But for someone else, veggies with their burger might feel like a nice balance. If you are checked in to your mood, appetite, hunger, and fullness level you won’t go wrong. It’s when we shut down to your internal regulators that you get off kilter.
3. There’s nothing wrong with balancing out your dining out dishes with fresh whole foods and veggies. But I fear this article misses the point on balance. Because balance goes for eating out too! Sometimes we feel like a salad. Sometimes we feel like Chinese food. Balance eating out with eating in. Balance fruits, veggies, grains, protein, and fats along with “fun foods.” It really is ok to have the occasional meal, snack, or drink that you enjoy just because it tastes good!
4. I think it’s odd that the RDs in this article are giving advice on portions ie “eat one slice of pizza.” We come in all shapes, sizes, hunger levels, nutrition needs. And if I ate one slice of pizza (unless it was a big one!) for dinner I’d be hungry an hour later. In fact, I don’t know many adults that would feel well-nourished after a slice of veggie pizza.
5. I really really dislike advice that says “stay away from…” Instead, I like to think about it more thoughtfully: If I eat this, how long will it keep me full for? How will it taste? How will it make me feel physically? Is this truly what I’m in the mood for?
In summary, black and white rules make us want to rebel! They are seen as bad and forbidden and become all the more alluring. Learning how to be a skill-based eater is so much more rewarding! You don’t have to follow anyone else’s rules. Simply ask yourself those simple questions listed in #5 and see where it gets you. I bet you’ll be surprised to find you are a pretty good nutritionist all by yourself.
What do you think?