Tag Archives: diet

Follow me at my new site . . .

Just wanted to post another invitation to follow me at my new website, lmwellness.com.  I notice that there are still a number of people who are visiting this site (kimthedietitian.com), yet I have not posted in many months.  I fear they must think I am lazy!  Not so.  I have just been posting in a different place.  Join me there!

Healthy Chocolate Shake Alternative

I found this recipe as I was looking for something a little healthier than a chocolate milkshake.  I love thick, creamy drinks when I am especially hungry . . . and wanting chocolate!!

Low-fat options just don’t quite do it.  This one uses avocado instead of dairy fat, so you could call it a “Mediterranean Shake.”  Better for your heart.  You might be able to reduce the sugar – I can – and still enjoy it as much.  Even with the sweetener, it is a big improvement over the standard fare.

http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/chocolate_avocado_shake.html

The (Apparently!) Multi-Purpose Kitchen Gadget

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The purpose of a kitchen gadget may not always be obvious to everyone.  A recent consultation with a young man reminded me that if you don’t know what something is, you might assume it is designed for a different job altogether.

This charming young bachelor is working on improving his eating habits, and the basics of healthy cooking was a key topic of our discussion.  “Do you eat vegetables?”‘  I asked.

“Not that often,” he replied, “I don’t know how to cook them.”

I mentioned that roasting is a good, simple method, and I went through the basics with him.  He wanted to know how to steam vegetables, and I told him, “Oh, that’s super easy.  Do you have a vegetable steamer basket?”

The response:  “No, I don’t think so.”

I described the inexpensive gadget and recommended that he pick one up at Target or Kohl’s.  “It’ll cost you about $5,” I said.  I used my interlocking fingers to demonstrate how it opens up to accommodate any size saucepan.  “It opens like a flower from a bud,” I went on, “with little metal ‘feet’ that hold the vegetables above the water as they cook.”

His face lit up.  The lightbulb just went on.  “Ohhhh, . . . so that’s what that is!  We have one of those in the drawer.  My roommate and I thought that was for straining pasta!”

Moving forward feels so much easier than backtracking . . .

This applies to more than just what happened recently on my way to the gym.  Let me explain.

My husband and I headed out to the gym together, with everything we needed for a quick workout . . . except – oh no! – my running shoes.  I discovered the oversight when we parked and I gathered everything:  Purse?  Check.  Phone?  Check.  Shoes for my workout?  Hmmm.  Gotta go back home.

That’s what this winter has done to me.  On the positive side, I am wearing boots more often; in the past, I have worn shoes and ended up tracking water and salt all over.  On the negative side, . . . well, my boots are really not the best for the treadmill.

As I drove back for the shoes, I had plenty of time to think.  I was irritated, really irritated!!  It was only 20 extra minutes, not a terrible delay, but it felt excruciating.  Why?  I decided that it was because I was back-tracking, moving away from my destination, not toward it.  (Interestingly, I had a huge mental shift in the 30 seconds between parking the car and heading back to the gym.)

I think it’s all about forward movement.  It just feels so much more positive and productive.   Even so, it is helpful to remember that we may actually learn more as we watch ourselves moving away from it.

This is true of any goal, but because I am a nutrition professional, I am especially interested in how this affects nutrition and health goals.  It feels wonderful to be “in charge” of choices, moving toward a more positive health state:  lower weight, lower cholesterol, or anything else.

The difficulty arises when something causes a change of course, and suddenly the goal looks very, very far away, and seems to get fainter and fainter the farther away it gets.  This is part of the process, but getting back to forward movement is the only way to get there.  What can you learn from the experience?  Learn something, or remind yourself of what you already know, and then turn that car around!

There is no sense in lamenting whatever caused the detour – in my case, forgetfulness – because it is over.  I could have given up and curled up at home with a book instead of going back to work out, but I turned around right away.  A few silent curse words and a tiny kick of the snow bank with my thick snow boot, and I was headed back with my shoes.  I even found myself thinking, I’m glad I have my boots on now, because that would have hurt if I had my running shoes on.

Confession: I joined the Godiva Chocolates Reward Club.

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Yes, it is true, and I will not apologize for it.  They were passing out samples when I was with a friend who was buying Valentine’s Day gifts for her daughters.

I enjoyed every bit of the small strawberry champagne truffle offered to me.  Creamy, just the right amount of sweetness, mmmm!  I ended up leaving with a boxed flight of truffles for my husband.  (Shhh, don’t tell!)

Pleasure eating is a part of a life well-lived.  In a society that has loosened judgments on almost everything else, why do I still hear so many guilty comments from people when they enjoy food?

It is true that when the main purpose of eating steers too far away from satisfying our physical need for nourishment, there are often dire health consequences, but there is still room in anyone’s eating plan for a little daily pleasure.   In fact, too little of it will surely derail any weight loss plan before you can say “strawberry champagne truffle”!

My iPhone App is In the App Store – Please Try It!

inTheMomentLogosFullColorI am happy to report that my 1-1/2 year journey to make my dream a reality has finally resulted in a phone app for iPhone that can be downloaded from the app store.  If you like my general approach – very human and forgiving, and very REAL – I think you will enjoy giving the app a whirl.  The name of the app is “In The Moment – Mindful Eating.

The final product accomplishes what I had hoped it would, and now I am ready to ask the really important question . . .  the question that matters most to me . . .

WILL IT HELP USERS WITH IN-THE-MOMENT FOOD CHOICES AND EMOTIONAL DILEMMAS?

I would be so grateful for your feedback.  You can rate the app, but I also encourage you to comment here with suggestions to make it better.  It will cost you $1.99 – worth every penny!

The Best Diet for 2014

Gotcha!  I knew I could catch your interest with a title like that!!

Are you still looking for IT – the plan that will do it for you this year, the ONE that will help you meet your New Year’s resolution (the same one you make every year, to lose X number of pounds, maybe by a certain date)?  Despite the mounting evidence against dieting in general, and against a specific effective plan for everyone, the diet industry will still take buckets of our money again this year.

Are we nuts?!  No – but we are feeling desperate.  And those claims are oh-so-tempting, aren’t they?

Can I talk you into reading a recent article from the Wall Street Journal?  And can I convince you that your own experience has probably already taught you much of what is mentioned in it, making an even more compelling argument for knocking off the nonsense and beginning the real work of changing your lifestyle habits in a more permanent way – and following a plan chosen with great thought about your life situation, taste preferences, and physical needs?

This way of choosing does not mean reading an ad, watching an infomercial, or even falling hook, line, and sinker for the testimonial advice of a friend who just lost 20 pounds in a week and a half – all while in the midst of the most recent panic attack over your last visit to the bathroom scale.  The sane way of finding your “plan” involves sitting down in a calm environment, perhaps breathing deeply and centering for several minutes first, and then asking yourself for real answers about your overall needs and what is realistic to expect.

Then, and only then, can you find the plan that fits you.  Not sexy, not fast, and not a profit center for the diet industry, but hey, it just might work!

What are your habitual thinking patterns? Are they serving you or undoing you?

Habitual thinking patterns can easily undo the best of intentions when it comes to eating.  Because they have become habits, these thoughts play out unconsciously, which makes them so sneaky and difficult to change.  A perfect example is the all-too-common self talk that proclaims “I blew it.”  The obvious (but not really very logical) conclusion is “. . . so now it doesn’t matter any more.”

This is probably the single most damaging pattern of thinking in the quest for better health, a better weight, a smaller size, etc.  It initiates the cycle of guilt and disappointment, which never sets the stage for motivation moving forward.  Argue with me if you like, but I think you know I am right!

I had a reminder last night of how ridiculous repetitive habits of thinking can be.  It did not have to do with eating.  It had to do with sleeping, but the concept is similar.

I have been having trouble sleeping well through the night lately – very frustrating!  It seems that it is hardest to get back to sleep when I wake up around 3am.  It’s interesting, but hardly a reason to think that it should be any more difficult to get back to sleep than if I wake up at, say 2am instead.  The problem seems to be getting worse whenever I see a time starting with “3”!

I began to realize that I have been telling myself, “It’s that time.  I will now have trouble falling asleep again.”

Last night I saw the lack of logic – not to mention science – in my developing thought process.  I actually saw the humor in it when I woke up, looked up at the clock and saw that it was not just 3:00, or 3:30, but 3:33!  I laughed to myself, thinking I was truly screwed if seeing a “3” on the clock in the middle of the night meant no hope of sleep.

Now I am debating whether to hide the clock or just be aware of the ridiculousness of this thought pattern when I am faced with a dreaded “3” staring back at me in the middle of the night.  I think I’ll hide the clock.

We can’t really help it that thoughts pop into our heads, but recognizing negative patterns are forming – or have been there for a long time – allows for the chance to challenge the logic and perform a slow exorcism of the not-so-supportive thought patterns.

With the New Year on the way, what a great resolution!  How about resolving to challenge some of the negative thought patterns?  It sure beats the tired, worn-out eating resolutions so many people recycle every January 1.

Try Counting Grams of Added Sugar

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I just heard the first Christmas song on the radio yesterday!  Yes, the holidays are upon us once again.  This is the season for egg nog, cookies, candy, . . . all in excess.  That makes it a good time to take a closer look at sugar.

Most of us consume too much added sugar.  If you think you don’t, you might want to do a quick assessment.

There are 4 grams of sugar in a teaspoon.  While it is easy to look at packages and see the grams of sugar, it is more difficult to visualize what that amount looks like.  For most of us, that number in grams means very little. ” Is that a lot?” we wonder.

And then the next question arises.  After you have tallied up the number of teaspoons of added sugar in your diet, what does that mean for health?

There are different recommendations about upper limits for health.  Obviously, the less the better.  We do not need added sugar for any biological function to work optimally.  In fact, added sugars from processed foods appear to increase the risk of heart disease by contributing to increased triglycerides and causing unhealthy cholesterol particles to form.

One recommendation I have read suggests that women should aim to keep added sugars under 7 teaspoons a day (28g), and men should be under 10 teaspoons (40g).  Sound easy?  Start looking at packages and watching the sugar you add to food (and beverages!) yourself.  You may be surprised.

If you are already meeting the recommended amount, look at this as a way to pat yourself on the back for a job well done.  There can never be too many opportunities for that!

Top Ten Weight Loss Mistakes

I presented a seminar with this title several years ago.  While looking for something else in my (not so) organized file, I came across the handout.  The tips are just as appropriate now as they were then.  While I usually like to take a positive approach, this flip-side look at weight loss habits may help by forcing a different perspective.

1.  Ignore hunger.

2.  Eat fake, tasteless, or “diet” foods you do not like.

3.  Skip meals.

4.  Ignore your total well-being and life passions.

5.  Let stress rule.

6.  Set unrealistic goals for weight loss or eating habits.

7.  Have a short-term outlook.

8.  Lose track of the simple mathematics behind weight loss.  It is not the whole story, but it is a good approximation.

9.  Neglect to include enough protein in your daily intake.

10.  Neglect to include plenty of high fiber and high fluid-content foods.

Bonus Mistake #11 – Underestimate the power you have to sabotage yourself.