Friday, January 27, 2012

Intuitive Eating

This week I had the opportunity to listen in to a Webinar on Intuitive Eating. What a great concept!!! The program was put on by the professionals at The Intuitive Eating Pros. And I have to say, the timing couldn't have been better. I've been afraid of creating too many "special foods" that I limit with the kids. The day after I heard this session, I found Annie in the pantry sneaking tortilla chips at 5:45 in the morning. That was like a slap in the face to me. I realized how I'm creating a scary emotional response to certain foods for her. Having too many limitations, I've created an unhealthy drive for her. I realized food needs to be for nourishment, not reward or punishment. Nor should it be continually restricted. Now, I'm not saying let your kids eat desserts all day every day, but we need to give them the opportunity to enjoy food and feel their body's messages. Ellyn Satter has some great tips. Check out her site here

The Intuitive Eating pros offered a ton of great info in the webinar, but I'd like to just give you their Top 10 Principles below (Copyright 2007-2010. As an adult it is critical for you to model these behaviors to your children. Study after study have shown dieting only leads to more weight gain. We must teach our kids to enjoy food and also listen to their bodies. 

1. Reject the Diet Mentality. Throw out the diet books and magazine articles that offer you false hope of losing weight quickly, easily, and permanently. Get angry at the lies that have led you to feel as if you were a failure every time a new diet stopped working and you gained back all of the weight. If you allow even one small hope to linger that a new and better diet might be lurking around the corner, it will prevent you from being free to rediscover Intuitive Eating.
2. Honor Your Hunger. Keep your body biologically fed with adequate energy and carbohydrates. Otherwise you can trigger a primal drive to overeat. Once you reach the moment of excessive hunger, all intentions of moderate, conscious eating are fleeting and irrelevant. Learning to honor this first biological signal sets the stage for re-building trust with yourself and food.
3. Make Peace with Food. Call a truce, stop the food fight! Give yourself unconditional permission to eat. If you tell yourself that you can't or shouldn't have a particular food, it can lead to intense feelings of deprivation that build into uncontrollable cravings and, often, bingeing When you finally “give-in” to your forbidden food, eating will be experienced with such intensity, it usually results in Last Supper overeating, and overwhelming guilt.
4. Challenge the Food Police. Scream a loud "NO" to thoughts in your head that declare you're "good" for eating under 1000 calories or "bad" because you ate a piece of chocolate cake. The Food Police monitor the unreasonable rules that dieting has created . The police station is housed deep in your psyche, and its loud speaker shouts negative barbs, hopeless phrases, and guilt-provoking indictments. Chasing the Food Police away is a critical step in returning to Intuitive Eating.
5. Respect Your Fullness. Listen for the body signals that tell you that you are no longer hungry. Observe the signs that show that you're comfortably full. Pause in the middle of a meal or food and ask yourself how the food tastes, and what is your current fullness level?
6. Discover the Satisfaction Factor. The Japanese have the wisdom to promote pleasure as one of their goals of healthy living In our fury to be thin and healthy, we often overlook one of the most basic gifts of existence--the pleasure and satisfaction that can be found in the eating experience. When you eat what you really want, in an environment that is inviting and conducive, the pleasure you derive will be a powerful force in helping you feel satisfied and content. By providing this experience for yourself, you will find that it takes much less food to decide you've had "enough".
7. Honor Your Feelings Without Using Food. Find ways to comfort, nurture, distract, and resolve your issues without using food. Anxiety, loneliness, boredom, anger are emotions we all experience throughout life. Each has its own trigger, and each has its own appeasement. Food won't fix any of these feelings. It may comfort for the short term, distract from the pain, or even numb you into a food hangover. But food won't solve the problem. If anything, eating for an emotional hunger will only make you feel worse in the long run. You'll ultimately have to deal with the source of the emotion, as well as the discomfort of overeating.
8. Respect Your Body. Accept your genetic blueprint. Just as a person with a shoe size of eight would not expect to realistically squeeze into a size six, it is equally as futile (and uncomfortable) to have the same expectation with body size. But mostly, respect your body, so you can feel better about who you are. It's hard to reject the diet mentality if you are unrealistic and overly critical about your body shape.
9. Exercise- Feel the Difference. Forget militant exercise. Just get active and feel the difference. Shift your focus to how it feels to move your body, rather than the calorie burning effect of exercise. If you focus on how you feel from working out, such as energized, it can make the difference between rolling out of bed for a brisk morning walk or hitting the snooze alarm. If when you wake up, your only goal is to lose weight, it's usually not a motivating factor in that moment of time.
10 Honor Your Health--Gentle Nutrition. Make food choices that honor your health and tastebuds while making you feel well. Remember that you don't have to eat a perfect diet to be healthy. You will not suddenly get a nutrient deficiency or gain weight from one snack, one meal, or one day of eating. It's what you eat consistently over time that matters, progress not perfection is what counts.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Cashew Queso

Ok folks... you HAVE to try this recipe. It is really, really good. I realize it sounds a little funky, both Oscar and I were skeptical. But it is tasty! It's also something the kids will love (just leave out the jalapeno if they don't like spicy). Annie loves any dip that gets her tortilla chips! I also ate this on corn tortillas with tomatoes. Yum.

It comes from the Post Punk Kitchen... a fun vegan recipe site.

Here's the link to the recipe:


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Animal Free and Loving It!


So I have to tell you all, I've been on a vegan diet for for about 11 days. I am ABSOLUTELY loving it. I can not believe my energy levels, my skin is glowing and I've lost 7 lbs. I don't plan to stay vegan forever- just for a bit more into the new year. It's just been a great way for me to give my health a kick after the holiday gorge. 

Now I know a vegan diet is certainly not for everyone, it would be especially challenging to do with kids, but there are some great things you can take from it! 

First of all, our diets really should be plant based. Remember the My Plate guide release last year? HALF of the plate is covered with fruits and vegetables. Trying to achieve this at each meal is a great goal- for you and your kids (and don't forget about snacks!).

It's also great to encourage us all to try new things. Perhaps get a little adventurous with some kale, tofu, seitan, tempeh or miso.

Finally, I've found it's a great way to cut some extra calories. I made tacos tonight with tempeh... and instead of adding sour cream and cheese... I just added more salsa. Its was delicious and and had no saturated fat calories. 

Here's a kale salad recipe for you all... it's AWESOME! I've converted many non-kale eaters with this one... give it a try, even if you pair it with some chicken!!!

1 bunch greens (kale/collards/chard) , stems stripped and leaves chopped
Juice of 1 lemon (use more if bunch of greens is big)
1/4 cup olive, canola or grape seed oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 tsp honey (or more to taste- I like it sweet)
1/4 cup (or more) peeled or julienned carrot, sweet potato or beets- I use way more
1 avocado, cubed (optional)
1/4 cup raisins (optional)- I use more
1 tsp miso (optional)
Whisk together lemon, olive oil, miso and salt. Pour over greens and carrot (or substituted ingredients). Toss together and marinade at room temperature for at least an hour. Toss with remaining ingredients.

You can skip the waiting 1 hour if in a hurry!


Friday, January 6, 2012

Mom's Cooking Night Out!

One of my new endeavors for the year is teaching moms of young kids how to better feed their families with limited time & money while catering to those ever-so-picky eaters. With this in mind I designed a mom's night out to make the learning process fun!

Last night some local moms and I gathered for a little education, meal tips and ideas, recipes and cooking. We all rolled up our sleeves to try out some new healthy recipes for the entire family. All agreed the food was great, the company fun and everyone got to leave with a little food for home, lots of new ideas and a bunch of tips for their feeding kids. 

If you would be interested in hosting one of these nights for your friends, please let me know (the host gets the session for free!). I bring all of the food, wine and education, we just use your kitchen!

Email me at: for more info!

Happy eating in the New Year!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Kid Friendly Snack Ideas!

Hi All!

I've taken a pretty big break here, but I'm back at it. Figured I'd post a few of my favorite snack tips for kids to give you some new ideas for 2012!

Plain yogurt with low sugar jam… also in smoothies

Baked chips and salsa

Whole grain English muffin with cream cheese

Whole Grain Pretzels with cheese or nut butters

Frozen juice and yogurt pops

Yogurt Ranch dip and veggies- easy to make! Yogurt, dill, garlic powder and salt.

Falafel/ Veggie Patties- available at Costco

Trail Mix- combo or nuts, dried fruit and granola

Sweet potato and/ or kale chips… bake in oven with oil and salt til crispy

Muffins made with whole what flour and fruits/ veggies like blueberries, sweet potatoes, etc.

Cheese and Fruit Kabobs

Whole grain cereals