Honesty Hour: My Journey to Finding Balance with Exercise 

To be honest,

The last thing to go for me was exercise. That is, my unhealthy dependence on it. I was “recovered” but I held a death grip on exercise for years because it was my security blanket. It made me feel comfortable. 

Did I ever want to change this? No. Not in the least. That was one place I was not willing to go. 

Plus, I had let go of my obsessive food ways… what more could my body possibly want from me?!

A lot more. My body wanted more freedom. More flexibility. More breaks. More love. More rest. For years I did not listen. 

Now I will have to say: My exercise journey has come a long way. A LONG way. You can read more about my journey here. I use to be a cardio bunny. These days I do mostly weight training with some HIIT. I workout in the gym 3-5 days a week verses the 7 days a week in the old days. Nevertheless, when your body wants rest… it wants rest. It doesn’t matter how many “rest” days you had. When you feel a rush of panic when you don’t get to workout when you had planned… time to check yourself. 

This was me. I’ve been guilty of over working and over exerting my body because I thought “gains” were more important than rest. Habits are great, but when they lack flexibility without mental stress, they are more like potentially destructive obsessions. I, for one, am all about less stress in my life, and if I’m stressing out about something that is suppose to reduce overall stress and contribute to wellness, then what is the point?

What did I fear would happen if I skipped a day or two? What about if I skipped a week? Rationally… I’m not sure. I guess I thought I would gain weight… my muscles would atrophy… my metabolism would crash. Of course, all of this is irrational. I know my body- OUR bodies, are much more resilient than that. But I was too scared to try it out. I had finally reached this point in my wellness journey where I felt… wonderful. And happy. I was honoring my hunger, not worrying about my weight, not stressing about calories— I had made it: complete food freedom! But in the fine print, I believe I had a clause that said: “dependent on that you do not skip a planned workout”. 

I was subconsciously continuing to live in shackles. This time it was gym shackles. Not that I was technically working out too much… but that skipping a gym session was non-negotiable. I had no flexibility in my routine without suffering mentally by stressing out over it. 

I am happy to say today that those shackles are truly gone. How did I finally shake it? 

I went on a trip earlier this year that did not allow me to workout for over a week. Did I freak out? Yes. Was it challenging not to beat myself up over it? Yes. My mind ventured to all of the extremes (as I tend to do). But through that experience, I realized this: 

Just like when recovering from an eating disorder, it is imperative that you challenge yourself to do things you are scared to do.In some instances it might be food related. In this instance, it is exercise related.

@@Breaking out of your comfort zone is the only way you will ever become comfortable with what is currently uncomfortable for you. @@

The more you bend your own rules, the easier flexibility becomes. You will also most likely find what I found: NOTHING CHANGES. My assumptions of what would happen to my body were wrong. I realized that if I can skip over an entire week without working out with no consequences, I can most certainly provide myself more grace in my everyday life.

@@Flexibility does not break you. Flexibility allows you to enjoy life more fully without holding yourself to rigid standards. @@

Flexibly reduces the stress you have when you do not always meet your intentions. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: extremist thinking robs us of joy. If we are too busy trying to be perfect, we miss out on the good. We do not have to be perfect. Our bodies are more flexible and resilient than we give them credit for. In fact, sometimes the best thing you can do for you body is to do nothing at all. 

Intuitive eating goes even further- to intuitive living. That includes intuitive moving. If your body asks for rest- be sensitive to that. Honor that. If your friend asks you to go get a drink during happy hour when you were planning on working out… HONOR THAT S*** TOO! This “no excuses” mentality gets a lot of us in trouble. It creates more stress in our lives and detaches us from what our body truly needs. The body recognizes stress as stress- it does not differentiate just because it is exercise. If your body is beat down- honor that. And rest. Doing this will support your adrenals and modulate the stress response in your body. A healthy stress response lays the foundation for hormonal regulation. And hormones lay the foundation for weight maintenance, your sleep cycle, your menstrual cycle (ladies), your mood… you get the idea.

Well that was a tangent…

Anyways, this past week I was blessed enough to have the opportunely to travel again- this time to Ecuador. Between travel and being sick when I got back, I’ve only worked out once in the past 18 days. Yes, I am ready to get back to my gym routine… but wow! When I was in Ecuador, any guilt from not working did not burden me. How liberating! I believe I have finally learned to honor my body by allowing it to have times when I do not “work it out”. While yes, exercise will always be a habit for me, I want to relive myself of that burden when I need to so that I can focus on other things I love- like travel! Just like life and wellness isn’t all about the “clean eats”, its not all about exercise either. 

Rest days (or weeks) and self love are not mutually exclusive. 

What about you? Do you have struggle with finding that balance with exercise? Have you found balance? How did you do it? 

*************

If you are struggling with finding balance with food and exercise, reach out! I work with clients to achieve food freedom while also pursing wellness in my private practice, Nourishing Minds Nutrition.

Join our Nourishing Minds Facebook Tribe here!

What I Ate Wednesday... But has clean eating gone too far?

MMmmmmmm... inflammation. 

MMmmmmmm... inflammation. 

Hi everyone! 

I’m taking a break from my normal WIAW posts and writing something a little different. 

Something that’s been on my mind.

So this past Monday, the hubs and I went to a certain store in Tampa. When we were done, it was late so we decided to eat dinner there. We ended up at the Green Lemon in SOHO. Even though it was 10pm at night… the place was packed! They even had a DJ! I turned to my husband, “It is a Monday night right?!” Turns out it was also #NationalTequillaDay. Haha. Go figure. And it was also happy hour all night. Freak yeah! So in honor of tequila, we we partook in a Margarita. 

(Gr. All my pics were insta stories and I forgot to save them. -_- ) 

We also ordered avocado fries. (DEAD.) Blake ordered fajitas and I ordered a Fiesta Bowl.

When our food came out, I realized my chicken was fried- instead of grilled like I had assumed. Did I have a mental breakdown? No. Would I have had a mental breakdown in times past? Yes. I would have insisted Blake trade chicken with me. (Ew that was painful even to type.)

But what would the “clean eats’ police think!? What will my instagram friends say?! What about clean eating?! What about the inflammatory oils?! WHAT ABOUT INFLAMMATION!!!!

I care not. 

Does this make me a hypocrite? No. Look: I’m all about clean eats, but when it interferes with your ability to live normally and enjoy the finer things in life (like a chill evening with your husband), thats when I have a problem with it. When we take it so far that we have fear in food and consider things like fried chicken a “cheat” or a “slip up”, we got it all wrong. No, I don’t eat fried chicken every day, but when the opportunity presents itself, I’m not going to throw a fit over it. Life is about living in the gray area, friends. Freedom in food is not putting more labels and morality behind the thing we eat.

@@Freedom in food is eating as well as you can most of the time and then enjoying the rest without fear.@@

I’m kind of sick of people taking clean eating and just RUNNING to the hills with it. “Clean eats” are not all there is in life. And heck- I’m a dietitian… clean eating is kind of my job.  

I think we can get to the point on social media where we are doing ourselves and others more of a disservice in this area of food and wellness. I submit a new trend: #reallifefood. Because real life: food is not always going to be squeaky clean. Nor should it be. Not all food has to be “nutrient dense” to be healthful. According to my girl, Victoria, some food is beneficial to your soul. (I concur). That is arguably just as important. When we create this community of healthy food and “no excuses” mentality, then we subconsciously attach judgment to food. Many people on social media are impressionable and when all they see is salmon, avocado, kombucha and collagen all day… eating something of “lesser” nutrition value can create fear, guilt and shame. These things should never be attached to food. Food is not meant to be an extension of your conscience or morality. 

And I’m guilty of this myself- being too much about the “clean eats”. I’ve made it a resolution of mine to post more off my real life food on my Instagram and blog. Because in real life, I don’t just eat “clean”. Sometimes I live it up! Do I abstain from enjoying chips and salsa or drinks with my friends on the weekends because I’ve analyzed the nutritional capacity of these things and found them lacking? No. I partake and enjoy the community around these glorious, God given foods. 

One of my wise clients said to me yesterday: 

@@Wellness is an idol... to what end?@@

So much truth. When will the madness stop and when will we start to recognize that clean eating is not all there is in life. Let's not let the pursuit of something noble spoil everything. Is it really a nobel cause in that case? 

Whose with me?!

Thoughts? Let’s talk in the comments below! 

If you are struggling with finding balance in food, reach out! I work with clients to accomplish freedom in food while also pursing wellness in my private practice, Nourishing Minds Nutrition.

Join our Nourishing Minds Facebook Tribe here!  

What I Ate Wednesday

Welcome to What I Ate Wednesday! 

At the time this post goes live I’ll be in Ecuador! I”m sure I’ll have updates on that in my instagram.

This is what i ate on Thursday the 13th… not that it matters… but it was a busy day and full of good eats- as per usu. It's late in the evening, the night before I leave to catch my plane- so I don't have anything too interesting to say this time. Pretty cut and dry here folks. 

Breakfast: breakfast sandwich with salmon, eggs, cream cheese, and avocado 

Post breakfast snack: leftover pizza!

Lunch:

  • green salad
  • beef patties with guac
  • baked sweet potato with olive oil

More snack: cheese and strawberries 

And more snack.... I'm obsessed with fig newtons. 

Dinner: Literally this Ribeye steak was everything. 

Dessert: Paleo fudge! This recipe is from Victoria's blog! SO SO GOOD.

Andddddd that's eat! Sorry I didn't have too many interesting tidbits this week. 

Have a fabulous humpday!! 

An Open Letter to All Males Struggling with an Eating Disorder or Disordered Eating

John.

John.

Dear male, 

I want to say I’m sorry. I never ever want to discredit or not recognize the struggles you feel in this area. Of course, I have never done this intentionally- but I do fear I may have done so unintentionally. I understand that you- like women, are not immune to societal pressures. Because I am a woman- I gravitated and resonate with women and their specific struggle and so I tend to to address them with the majority in my words. But please never ever think that I do not believe my words or the struggle apply to you as well.

I would be doing a huge disservice to the EDO (eating disorder) and EDO recovery community if I did not recognize our male counterparts. I love the strong community that women have built around themselves but let us not hype ourselves up so much that we exclude and further damage and isolate others. Males in this struggle need just as much love and support and encouragement as women do and unfortunately, their support community is much less. Let us all welcome each other with open arms. 

Unfortunately, EDOs are often wrongly stereotyped to a certain subset of women… I’m sure we are all well aware of what that is. But the wrongful pressures of society do not discriminate between race, age, or gender. We are ALL susceptible to the pressure of societal “expectations” and “ideals” to look a certain way. 

There is a huge cultural movement- body positive. This is an incredible thing. However, it is geared largely toward the female population and I feel this is unfortunate. Because the cultural female “ideal” is so extreme, it often overshadows the fact that there are unrealistic physical expectation for men to reach as well. To not think so would be ignorant. Do you think our boys and men are immune to this message? No. I say it again: Men are not immune to societal pressures or the development of disorder eating or eating disorders. Our men and boys are in dire need of the body positive, intuitive eating, and self love messages just as much as our girls. But because there is a smaller subset of them or because there are existing stereotypes about EDOS, their cry for change and for help is not as loud. I believe men are often stereotyped to be rough, tough, no body image issues, no feelings, no emotions… etc. All of these things may be true for a subset of men (hah), but the rest of them have actual emotions and actual feelings. They want freedom from food and body shape ideals just as much as women do. Unfortunately, men, do not get the support and comradely that women often have and they are left out of the grassroots societal movements in this area.

This topic is extremely close to my heart as I have had and have men in my life who struggle with body image issues, disordered eating and even eating disorders. It breaks my heart. The person who changed everything for me was a male. (Read his story here.) Unfortunately, he passed away. But I want to honor him in every way I can and in everything do. It would disrespectful for me to not recognize his struggle as just as valid as my own. 

Women, don’t we all just want grace? Don’t we all want to celebrate the fact that there is beauty in every one of us and that we don’t need to reach this arbitrary pinnacle of “perfection”? Don’t we all want to tear down these body “ideals” and replace them with individuality? Then we need to extend the same grace and message that we want for ourselves and our daughters to our boys and men. This body positive moment is a two way street. If we are to change the societal ideals it is gong to involve both males and females working together. We can’t just demand change in this area like its strictly female struggle. It’s not. 

This body positive movement is great. This ED recovery community is wonderful. But again: let us not leave behind our male counterparts. Let us bring them into our community and love on them. Let us be open minded when we talk and in the conversations we have. Let us not add to the stereotype that eating disorders are a female disease. 

I for one, will be more careful with the words I write and the pronouns I choose. I never want to be insensitive, exclude, or undermine the male struggle. I encourage everyone to do this same.

Let’s get this conversation going. 

Thoughts? Feelings? Let me know in the comments!

As usual, let me know if you have any further questions about my journey and experience with recovery, If you feel like you need additional support in this, I work with clients one on one in my practice- Nourishing Minds Nutrition

What I Ate Wednesday

Welcome back to What I Ate Wednesday!

This is a weekly blog post where I literally tell you what I ate in a particular day. I use to say, “Who would actually care what I eat in a day?!” But then I realized three things:

  1. Actually showing people what I eat goes a LOT further than just telling them. It makes it seem more feasible! These days with the start of my private practice, I do not make elaborate meals or spend too much time in the kitchen- but I make it work!
  2. I feel like a lot of the time girls (and boys too but I’m addressing the girls here) underestimate how much they need to eat in a day. We don’t have to eat rice cakes and vegetables to be fit and healthy. (Not knocking those things- I’m just making a point!) So I hope my full day of eats inspires you to not sell yourself short when it comes to nutrition. Our bodies need that fuel!
  3. Also, sometimes I drink beer and eat cheese puffs… I don’t always post these things on Instagram. (cheese puffs are not very photogenic…) But this post allows me to disclosure those things and remind you all— a “real whole foods diet” is great… but so is ACUTALLY LIVING LIFE.

So lets get to it!

Breakfast: Black coffee + two Vital Farms eggs fried in butter + two pieces of avocado toast (I drizzled evoo on the avo toast). Pretty damn tasty. 

PS- y'all. I'm so so into my Bullet Journal.... I'm not a naturally very organized person. My thoughts and to-do lists are just all over the place. I knew if I was going to be a successful business owner, I had to figure something out. THIS WORKS. I am a creative person and art is my JAM... so the Bullet Journal actually makes me excited about organization because I can create content myself and make it pretty! 

black... like my soul.... (jokes)

black... like my soul.... (jokes)

Mid-morning beverage: MATCHA LATTE. Made with 1 cup coconut milk and 1/2 cup full fat canned coconut milk, raw honey and 2 tsp collagen. Blended in the blender.

mid morning matcha.

mid morning matcha.

Lunch: Mixed greens with a homemade cilantro Cesar dressing (recipe going out to my blog subscribers soon!) + two beef patties with sharp cheddar goat cheese + sweet tater (drizzled with olive oil) + strawberries.

salad and patties.

salad and patties.

Snack: Damn cheese puffs. Nuff said. 

cheese buffs. 

cheese buffs. 

More snacks: After finishing my last client in the afternoon, I joined V at Station House where we both partook in more snacks.

almonds, strawberries, dried mango

Dinner: Pizza + honey mustard salmon. What happens when you want salmon but you also want pizza….? You make both. Duh. The pizza crust is from Simple Mills- they have my absolute favorite gluten free pizza crust! It’s made with almond flour and oh so tasty. I just topped it with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese. CAN’T BEAT IT. I made a honey/mustard glaze for the salmon by simply combining equal parts dijon mustard and honey. I liberally applied it to the top of the salmon and let is marinate for at least 30 mins. I then cooked the salmon in the oven on 350 until flaky- but not dry! 

honey mustard salmon + gluten free pizza + broccoli 

honey mustard salmon + gluten free pizza + broccoli 

Pizza made with simple mills gluten free pizza crust!

Pizza made with simple mills gluten free pizza crust!

My good friend Amelia is leaving St Petersburg with her boyfriend to pursue their schoolie life in Tennessee! They are literally remodeling an old school bus to be a friggin HOME! Follow their journey here and here! Anyho... her going away party was last night at Green Bench Brewing Co. in St Pete. Obvs I partook in my most favorite IPA.

Beers at green bench

Beers at green bench

My go-to evening night cap: peanut butter with dark chocolate chips. So basic.

peanut butter + chocolate chips 

peanut butter + chocolate chips 

It was a day of nourishing and delicious eats!

Cheers!

Eating Disorder Recovery: The First Step to Intuitive Eating

Intuitive eating is all the rage right now. It is a huge wellness trend that is sweeping the nation.

THIS IS INCREDIBLE.

I think women (and men) are finally fed up with being told we that need to follow diets and food rules to maintain our weight. I think we are realizing the truth: we are in fact, not out of control when it comes to food! Or at least, we don’t have to be. And the method we use to contain ourselves does not have to be restrictive. On the contrary, it can be the most liberating thing ever. Giving your body complete control by eating intuitively- that’s magic. Intuitive eating is founded by honoring our cravings with a whole, real foods diet. It is founded in eating to nourish our bodies- not in restricting calories. It is founded in honoring our hunger and satiety cues. Nothing is off limits. Nothing is restricted. You merely let your body guide you to the foods that it needs to be fully nourished and fully satisfied.

Unfortunately, many of us have become incredibly disconnected with our own bodies. In this case, our minds take over and tell our bodies what to eat and when to eat it. Diets and the food manipulation mindset have stripped away the innate wisdom we have to determine the right food choices. This makes intuitive eating difficult and downright impossible. 

The point of this post is to give hope to those who are discouraged or frustrated by this concept intuitive eating – particularly, those who are in the clutches of or recovering from an eating disorder. I feel like I am doing this population a huge disservice if I merely say, “Yea! Just eat intuitively! It’s great!” without giving merit to their frustration and guiding them in what to do about it. Because trust- I’ve been there. So with the rest of this post- I discuss the very first thing I did to start my journey to intuitive eating.

If it’s not already clear- learning to eat intuitively has changed my life. I now consider myself an intuitive eating dietitian, but it hasn’t been an easy or quick journey to get here. (You can read about my journey here.) I learned to ditch the disordered, manipulative eating behaviors and eat what and when I effing want. Everything I say here is based off of my own personal experience. I juggled extreme restriction and binge eating during my EDO, so the journey to intuitive eating may be different for you. However, I believe there are many out there who are in my old shoes. I hope this resonates with you.

So here it is: Begin the journey to intuitive eating by eating what you do not want to eat. Say whaaaaa? I know I know. This goes against the premise of intuitive eating and I believe this is why many are left feeling frustrated and defeated when they try to jump straight from eating disorder to “intuitive eating”. If you have not already begun the process of recovery, what you want to eat at this time can be translated as: what your eating disorder wants you to eat- not what your body truly needs. Your eating disorder will tell you to eat more broccoli, or celery, or egg whites. It will tell you to eat less or to eating everything in the house in one sitting. None of this is intuitive eating. It is simply impossible for one to go straight from disordered eating to eating intuitively overnight- so do not expect this out of yourself! You will only feel frustrated and disappointed. However, this is what you can do to empower yourself and start your journey to recovery and to intuitive eating: 

Don’t eat what you want to eat- eat the foods that you have placed “off limits”. In this way, eating can be scary, confusing and frustrating because there is an internal conflict between what your mind wants and what your body needs. But friends, do not think that there are certain expectations that you have to reach during this first step. Just take it day by day. Every day, challenge yourself to eat a new food that was previously off limits. Or maybe just eat more of a particular food. For example, if you usually to have one slice of toast for breakfast- have two instead. If you were use to eating PB2, challenge yourself to eat real peanut butter. For me, this was the very first step to intuitive eating: eating what I did not want to eat- but what my body and soul needed to be healed. I began by eating foods that I considered to be “fattening” or “off limits” or “trigger foods”. This included things like peanut butter, oatmeal, bread, egg yolks, chips, and actual milk instead of almond milk. I began by creating small challenges every day to eat a little more or to face a food fear. The only way you will be able to get to that place of intuitive eating is by eating foods that nourish and satisfy your body and by eliminating the fear around food. So, I challenge you to challenge yourself. Food fear and intuitive eating are mutually exclusive: the two cannot exist together.

Tackling food fear can be a daunting process. This stage can be extremely frustrating, confusing, and evening saddening. It can lead people to believe that intuitive eating is hard. It can cause people to give up and revert back. But remember: this is not intuitive eating- this is the journey to intuitive eating. And yes, it sucks. But take heart, friends: it gets better! The more you face your fears, the easier it gets. The more you shut down your eating disorder thoughts and desires, the more your true needs can shine through. Daily successes will amount up to huge forward motion and progress over time. As food fears subside, your mind will get out of the way and it will become easier for your body to communicate with you. Your body will learn to communicate and your mind will become more receptive to listening.

Eventually, as you eat more calories and more nutrient dense foods, your metabolism will speed up and your body will become receptive to this new normal. Your hunger cues will become more pronounced- learn to honor these. Eat when you are hungry and do not relish it or ignore it. Hunger is a physical manifestation of your body’s need for energy. It is talking to you- listen to it. Eat slowly and mindfully. Taking note of how the food tastes and feels in your mouth. Relish every bite. Eventually, you will begin to sense and honor your satiety cues as well- even to previously “triggering” foods. Yes- you may go over board a few times- or even many times, but have grace with yourself. This is a part of the process- it does not mean you should restrict that food. On the contrary, if you have a tendency to binge on a particular food, you should eat that food more often. Once your body realizes that it can have said food whenever it wants, the urge to binge eat will wane and eventually, it will be gone all together. (I wish someone had told me this years ago. This truth would have prevented a lot of heartache and late nights of self-loathing.)

Hunger and satiety cues are the most basic, fundamental commutation between your body and your mind. As you grow in your confidence with these, you will become more sensitive to other signals as well- such as cravings for specific nutrients or micronutrients. But again, this is certainly a process that takes time.

So alas friends—take heart! I and countless others have found such freedom in intuitive eating. The first steps to getting there are not easy- but don’t give up or mistake the journey for the destination. Have grace with yourself and take it day by day.

I’d love to hear from you in the comments section! How did you begin your journey to intuitive eating?

Have questions about intuitive eating? Ask below!

If you want one-on-one intuitive eating coaching, I am now accepting clients at my practice, Nourishing Minds Nutrition. Email me with any questions: hello@rootforfood.net

 

 

What I Ate Wednesday

Whoop WHOOP!

Welcome to What I Ate Wednesday!!

Just a little snippet of my balanced life to give you some inspiration for your own daily eats!

To be honest, I am now a rebel in every way when it comes to my diet. People say you are suppose to eat at the same time every day: I do not.

People say you are suppose to have carbs just in the evening: I do not (I have them ALL DAY)

People say you are not suppose to eat after 7pm: I do.

People say eat 6 small meals a day: Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. People say don’t eat 6 small meals- eat 3 large meals with no snacks! Again, sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t.

What I do: I eat what I want WHEN I WANT. And that is enough for me right now.

So maybe I’m not the best person to be drawing inspiration from… haha. But after living a life full of nothing but food rules for 8 years, I’m 100% over it. I eat what I want when I want.

It’s liberating and amazing.

Without further adieu…

Coffee: Ugh. I deleted my stupid picture on accident. BUT- It’s black. To be honest, I’ve drifted away from bulletproof coffee recently. Why? I’m not sure. I just woke up one day and it didn’t sound good to be. So I didn’t make it. Maybe I’ll wake up tomorrow and it will sound good to me. Then I will partake- but not until then.

I mentioned on my guest WIAW on Victoria’s blog- I had been experimenting with interment fasting (IF) in the morning hours. Well that did not work well for me. (read more about that here). I think my biggest issue is that I have not getting enough calories in the day when I skipped breakfast. So that was my fault and I feel its not 100% fair to rule out IF just yet. I’ll be experimenting again in the future… maybe. Just not right now. If you are recovering from an eating disorder or you are just trying to find peace with food, I encourage you to tread lightly when it comes to fasting. Often times, your attempts to be “healthy” can be disguising an attempt to restrict or manipulate your food. You could be feeding the fire instead of promoting wellness. So be cautious and don’t do it just because someone else raves about the health benefits. Air on the side of caution and do not attempt IF until you are 100% ready. Its been 5 years since I began my recovery process and I am still careful.

 Breakfast: Baked taters with 2 scrambled eggs and hot sauce. 

breakfast: scrambled eggs with baked potatoes and Cholula hot sauce.

breakfast: scrambled eggs with baked potatoes and Cholula hot sauce.

I was still hungry and it was so good so I made more…

(If eggs increased cholesterol… my cholesterol would literally be through the ROOF. Its not. It’s normal.)

breakfast: scrambled eggs with baked potatoes.

breakfast: scrambled eggs with baked potatoes.

Mid-Morning:

This matcha is made with raw, local, whole milk. OMG I DIE. But I typically make my iced matcha with the following:

  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup whole fat canned coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp MCT oil
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp matcha
  • Blend that s*** up! The coconut fat solidifies a little since it’s ICED, but I kind of like it… If you don’t like it, you can totally have it warm! 
mid morning beverage: Iced matcha with coconut milk, MCT oil, and honey.

mid morning beverage: Iced matcha with coconut milk, MCT oil, and honey.

Lunch: I rode my bike to a coffee shop to work after my morning calls. I hate my lunch once I got there. It looks like an absolute mess here… but it was:

  • white rice
  • 2 beef patties with raw goat cheese
  • radishes
  • raw corn
  • hot sauce 
lunch: white rice, beef patties, cheese, romaine, hot sauce.

lunch: white rice, beef patties, cheese, romaine, hot sauce.

Snack #1: Raw almonds, cheese, and an apple. (Does anyone prefer slicd apples to eating an apple whole?! I didn’t take the time to slice this one up and I always regret it! Call me weird.)

snack: raw almonds, raw goat cheese, gala apple.

snack: raw almonds, raw goat cheese, gala apple.

Snack #2: RX bar.

snack: Rx bar.

snack: Rx bar.

Dinner:

  • Free range, 100% grass fed beef sausage
  • Romaine with dressing: I’ve been SO SO SO into Primal kitchen’s Cesear dressing. No BS in there. Its pretty $$$ so I’m going to just make my own next week…. I’LL POST THE RECIPE!
  • Baked sweet tater fries with ketchup. I baked the sweet taters in ghee on 400 until done. I broiled them for about 2 minutes when they were almost done to get the crispy. 

 

dinner: beef sausage, baked sweet potatoes, and romaine with Cesar dressing.

dinner: beef sausage, baked sweet potatoes, and romaine with Cesar dressing.

Post dinner snack: Edible gf cookie dough! Here is the recipe:

  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • ½ - ¾ cup milk of choice
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar
  • ¾ cup chocolate chips

Method: Combine all the dry ingredients. Add milk gradually- until reaches the consistency of cookie dough! Store in the fridge… or just eat it all immediately. 

snack: edible peanut butter cookie dough.

snack: edible peanut butter cookie dough.

It was a day of nourishing and delicious eats!

Cheers!

How to Love Yourself in a World that Makes Self Love Hard

IMG_4690.JPG

How do we grow to not care about the opinions of others when it comes to our own bodies?

I am not about to say anything profound or unheard of… I am not about to blow your mind.

I am just giving my own two cents on this question that haunts so many. This insight has come from my own experiences and my own journey to body acceptance. It is my hope that it inspires and guides you in your journey as well.  

For many years, I found my identity- my happiness and my joy (or lack of), in my physical appearance. If someone said I looked thin: *happiness*.  If I thought I looked fat or ugly (which was 99% of the time… ): *depression*. (Did I ever experience true happiness or joy in these things? NO. Appearance based joy is not true joy.)

Of course, I do not have it all figured out yet. I am still not numb to the world’s opinions or “ideals”. In a world where skinny, fit, “perfect” women are everywhere you turn…. I feel you, ladies.

I still feel the feels too.

What is different now is that I do not let someone else’s opinion of me define my worth or create my joy. Let me reword that: I do not let society’s “ideals” determine my own. I do not let society’s “ideals” define my own worth.

To get to this place, I have applied the following principles/practices to transform my mind and my opinion of self in relation to the world.

 

1. Challenge the expectations. Think long and hard about the expectations you have for yourself. WHY? Why do you have these certain expectations? Why do you feel looking a certain way is more desirable and thus, something to be sought after? What expectations do you have of others? Do you hold them up to the same set of standards?

You know what I’ve realized over these past few years?

The more we have grace with others; the more we will have grace with ourselves. Take a long hard look at yourself. Do you judge others for their appearance? This can be tough think about. No one wants to think of themselves this way. No one wants to be shallow. But when you confront your expectations and get real with yourself, you can point out their flaws and begin the process of tearing them down. To initiate change, we women must grow to support and build each other up. Not compete against or put each other down.

Of course, we all have different Gods. I am of Christian faith, and one of my most favorite verses is 1 Samuel 16:7b: “People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

I think the principle of this scripture applies - regardless of your religion. It is that beauty comes from the heart, ladies. What a wonderful principle for womanhood. Think about it. Let it sink in. Damn- what a relief! Our appearance does not define us. Not in the least. To grow a beautiful soul: what a more worthwhile endeavor.

What if we all had grace with one another instead of measuring each other up by the net worth of our own skin? Honestly, I feel like the economy would collapse because women would be too busy being badass unicorns instead of buying all of the beauty products, weight loss supplements, and the newest fashion.

So my first recommendation is to have grace the others. I believe that the first step in loving yourself is practicing by extending that same grace those apart from you. Do this long enough and it translate to your relationship with yourself. Don’t hold others or yourself up to a certain worldly standard of physical “perfection”. Because who are they to determine "perfection"? 

2. Change your vernacular. Replace negative self-talk with positive words of affirmation. Here this: the more you say something- the more you believe it. So talk sweet to yourself. Tell yourself how good you look! This is not cockiness. It’s confidence… and confidence is sexy. When you manifest something- you become it. When you talk down to yourself all the time, you will become low in self-esteem and uncomfortable in your own skin. When you complement yourself, you will radiate confidence. Confidence is beautiful.

3. Get naked! Okay- this one sounds odd, but hear me out. I use to be so ashamed of my own skin. Seeing myself naked in front of the mirror was painful. I was ashamed of me so I made it a point to be fully clothed all of the time- even when I was alone by myself. I spent very little time undressed. What I’ve learned: if we are going too be confident and comfortable in our own bodies, we have to do things that make us hella uncomfortable at first. So get naked. I challenge you to sleep naked, get up in the morning and do yoga or stretch naked, walked around the house naked, drink your coffee naked. (Just remember to shut the blinds!)  Replace your quick shower with a long, luxurious bath once a week. All of this will seem uncomfortable and foreign at first, but embrace your body in this way and it will become easier and easier. Your body will grow less foreign to you. It will be harder for you to resent it when you become comfortable and familiar with it. You will grow to be more and more comfortable and confident in your own skin- clothed or not.

4. Appreciate curves for what they are. All women are lovely! Just because one woman does not have any body fat does not make her any more or any less of a women. In the same way, just because one woman has body fat does not make her less of a woman. If you are the proud owner of some body fat- embrace it, lady! For you, this is a mark of womanhood. It is in no way a reflection of your worth or self discipline. We women are all created so uniquely different and for there to be one “ideal” for all women is asinine. Why are we all striving to be something we are not? Why are all women trying to achieve one “ideal”? I guess it is inherent human nature. Our mentality is that the grass is always greener. Well guess what?! Your grass is green- you just don’t realize it. Find value in your own lawn. 

5. Find your identity in something apart from yourself. Here this: if you find your identity in your physical self - life will suck. Just saying. Gravity and the aging process is a very real thing. So think long and hard: what is it that you live for? What is your purpose in life? What are your passions? Pursue these things with all you have. Can you imagine- chasing after life without being trivial about food and your body? All that time you spend obsessing could be channeled into a much more worth while endeavor: to pursue our passions and our callings in life. Being successful means different things to different people. Find what makes you tick. Find what sets your soul on fire and chase after it.

Unfortunately, women often confuse their identity with something that it is not. You are your soul. You are your heart. You are your sprit. You are not your body. Our bodies are mere skin and bones that host our being. That is a weird and abstract concept- but it is true and thinking of it this way reminds me that who we are on the outside is not the whole story.

6. Find soul activities. What do you do in your spare time? What do you do for fun? I feel obligated to mention here: many women abuse working out. I know- I’ve been there. When working out isn’t fun for you- time to lay off and incorporate some other activities. Find a hobby that is fulfilling and gratifying. Guess what? Burning calories is not the only worth-while investment of time. Paint, blog, write, rock climb, Frisbee golf. Find something you can do that is fun and fulfilling for you. These will bring you more joy that you realize.

7. Journal journal journal. Feel all the feels. The current ones, ones that come up, and feelings from the past that are un-dealt with. The more you are open and honest with yourself- the better. The point of journaling is to express yourself. To talk through the emotions: the good, bad, and the ugly. Journaling allows us to be real with ourselves. Are there inner struggles or past experiences that you have not dealt with? Time to deal with them. Doing this will free you up to live fully in the present. It will allow you to channel your emotions appropriately and allow you to express them in healthier ways than taking them out on your physical body. Journal daily and finish each entry with three things you are grateful for. Gratefulness goes a long way when It comes to your relationship with yourself. It changes your heart. It puts everything into perspective. It reminds us how good life is- even when we feel sad and defeated.

 

Like I said- this is nothing insanely profound. But self-love was not intended to be profound or unusual. Self-love should be inherent in all of us. In a world that has made self-love hard, let us defile the odds. Let us all have grace with each other. Let us all have grace with ourselves. Begin to apply these principles, and I promise- your priorities and view of self will begin to change. And that, friends, changes EVERYTHING. 

If you have a principe or practice that helped you get to the place of body acceptable and self love, I'd love to hear about it! Please comment below.

If you feel like you need more guidance in the area of food and body image, please message me. I work with disordered eating and eating disorder clients via my practice- Nourishing Minds Nutrition

 

Almond Flour Pancakes (paleo, gluten free, dairy free)

This is my go-to pancake recipe. They are PERFECT for loading up on all the toppings! Because lets be real, the best thing about a stack of pancakes is the toppings... no? Now don't get me wrong-- these aren't my mama's pancakes! I mean common'... they're made with almond flour! But they are fluffy and tasty nonetheless. As a bonus, they are gluten free- making them feel good on my tummy. Being made with almond flour, they are filling but they don't make me feel like crap and go into a food comma either. I hope you enjoy them!

Note: If you want them a little sweet, feel free to add a tablespoon or two of honey.

Almond flour pancakes with fresh peaches, Keifer, peanut butter, pepitas, and honey. 

Almond flour pancakes with fresh peaches, Keifer, peanut butter, pepitas, and honey. 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2+ coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp butter or coconut oil

Method

  1. Whisk together dry ingredients. Add egg. Add coconut milk a little at a time. Whisk until you reach a runny consistency. (But not too runny!)
  2. Heat a skillet on medium heat. Add butter or coconut oil. Pour about 1/4 a cup of batter at a time. Flip when half way done and cook until both sides are golden brown! Add more butter to the pan as necessary. 

 

 

Almond flour pancakes with fresh peaches, Keifer, peanut butter, pepitas, and honey. 

Almond flour pancakes with fresh peaches, Keifer, peanut butter, pepitas, and honey. 

Jerk Fish Tacos w/ Mango Salsa & Coconut Avocado Sauce + Coconut Lime Rice

jerk fish tacos with mango salsa and coconut avocado cilantro sauce

jerk fish tacos with mango salsa and coconut avocado cilantro sauce

Another Tuesday bites the dust! And… another tray of tacos. I made these babies on Sunday and they were a huge hit. Jamaican cuisine is one of my absolute favorites and has been since we had a little Jamaican restaurant in my hometown of Marble Falls, Texas. I remember falling in love with plantains and dark rum (haha just kidding!) at a young age. I had many fond memories of that place- I even had my first date there! Now jerk seasoning holds a special place in my heart. Not to say these tacos are authentic Jamaican cuisine by any means, but they are certainly inspired. Heck I’m from Texas- everything comes in the form of a taco and have a little Mexican flair!

I hope you all enjoy them as much as we did! 

Taco platter!

Taco platter!

Ingredients

Jerk seasoning:

  • thyme, 1 tbsp.
  • onion powder, 1 ½ tbsp.
  • garlic powder, 1 ½ tbsp.
  • ginger, 1 tbsp
  • cinnamon, ½ tbsp.
  • allspice, 1 tbsp
  • nutmeg, ½ tbsp.
  • paprika, 1 tbsp,
  • coconut sugar, 2 tbsp
  • salt, 2 tbsp
  • cayenne pepper, ½- 1 tbsp (depending on how spicy you like it)

Mango Salsa:

  • mango, 1, peeled and chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
  • fresh cilantro, rough chopped, ¼ cup
  • fresh lime juice, ¼ cup
  • red onion, ½, small chopped
  • ½ cup black beans
  • salt to taste

Coconut Cilantro Sauce: 

  • 1 big handful of cilantro
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk, light
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Rice:

  • 4 cups cooked white rice
  • ½ cup canned coconut cream
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Other:

  • 1 lb. fresh white fish of choice, such as snapper, cod or mahi-mahi
  • tortillas of choice
  • fresh cilantro, chopped, for garnish
  • avocado oil
  • radishes, thinly sliced, for garnish
  • lime wedges for garnish
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 very ripe plantain (optional), thinly sliced
  • radishes, for garnish (optional)

 

Avocado cilantro sauce.

Avocado cilantro sauce.

Method

  1. Make jerk seasoning by combining all of the spices in a small bowl.
  2. Place fish fillets into a baking dish. Squeeze half a lemon over the fillets. Sprinkle with the jerk seasoning- enough to cover the top and bottom of each fillet. Place in the refrigerator and allow to marinade as you are preparing the other items.
  3. Make mango salsa by simply combining ingredients. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Make the cilantro sauce by combing all of the ingredients to a food processor or blender. Blend well. Adjust thickness as desired by adding water a tsp at a time.
  5. For the rice, simply stir coconut cream and lime juice into freshly cooked white rice. Stir in chopped cilantro. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Preheat a skillet on medium heat. Add the butter. Add sliced plantains and cook until brown and caramelized. Flip to the other side and do the same. 

 

Coconut lime rice.

Coconut lime rice.

Guest Post: What I Ate Wednesday with Victoria from the Diehard Foodie!

Well, hello there!

My name is Victoria and I am Meg's other half in our practice, Nourishing Minds Nutrition! Meg is my dietitian soul sister and it is such a joy to find someone to practice with who just gets you...it's the freakin' best :)

If you have never met me, let me quicklyyyyyy introduce myself. 

I am a registered dietitian who, like Meg, is uber passionate about helping women ditch the diets and find food freedom. I, too, used to diet obsessively and have also struggled with digestion issues for years. I have since healed my relationship with food and then was able to heal my issues- including years of unbearable IBS, hormonal imbalances, skin issues and so much more. I blog over at Diehard Foodie, and you can read more about my experiences with disordered eating, discovering intuitive eating and healing my digestion & health over there.

We both thought it would be fun to start guest posting on each other's blogs from time to time...and what better of a way to do that then sharing all the delicious food we eat in a typical day!

You'll notice in our daily eats  (find Meg's on my blog today!) that we eat VERY similar. Like I died laughing reading her post because we eat so similarly. Honestly, it wasn't planned at all but I think our food convictions/beliefs speak from these daily eats post we are sharing today! So let's get to the food! My fav topic eva :)

When I was writing this post for Meg, I have to admit I was grinning from ear to ear. Why? Because for YEARS of my life I didn't eat any FODMAPs because of my IBS. Years. Not kidding. In today's post you'll see pesto made with lots of garlic, yogurt, all the honey, onions and guacamole made with lots of garlic. And watermelon! This would have KILLED my stomach in the past, but I have thankfully healed my digestion. I found the root cause of the issue (for me my issue was recurring SIBO and dysbiosis of gut flora), treated it and now I am in the final stages of healing where I am using both probiotics and prebiotics (hence purposefully eating all the FODMAPs I can) to recolonize my gut flora. My digestion has been a source of daily pain for the past 10 years...to not feel this way anymore is truly life changing. If anyone out there reading this knows this pain- please know that we get YOU and we don't want you to feel this way. You can change things. I promise. And we can help you do that. Okay for realz..onto the food now!

Today's eats are everything I ate this past Monday.

I started off the morning as I always do, with an early rise and lots of warm lemon water (about 4 cups) as part of my morning routine.

Shortly after my warm lemon water, I made a cup of Jacked Up Java- my version of bulletproof coffee. Today's was made with about 1 Tablespoon MCT coconut oil, an overflowing Tablespoon of heavy cream, maca and nutmeg. I honestly make it differently everyday, depending on my mood. Variations included in the recipe!

An hour or so after coffee, I ate breakfast before I headed off to work. I am usually team savory in the morning but here lately I have been digging yogurt bowls!

Today's bowl was made with goat's milk yogurt with collagen peptides mixed in and topped with Beekeeper's Natural bee powered and honey, cacao nibs, sprouted pumpkin seeds, ground flax meal and a heavy dollop of peanut butter. Plus I added loads of cinnamon after this pic :)

Around noon, I enjoyed a quick lunch....in my car because hashtag real life with me juggling two jobs right now...lunch just has to be quick and efficient! I prepped this lunch with items I had food prepped the day before: lettuce topped with olive oil and balsamic glaze, baked pesto salmon, cucumber and tomato salad, smashed red potatoes and more pesto added! 

Plus a few bites of my new fav dark chocolate and two mandarin oranges!

I LOVE cooking, its actually one of my favorite ways to unwind and relax ('specially with a glass of red wine!) but meals lately have been quick and efficient (catching a theme here?!). So this dinner was thrown together before a client appointment later that night. I had soaked some white rice during the day and cooked it that night in bone broth and then topped it with grass fed beef I made taco style (aka I threw in all the spices in my kitchen cabinet), sauteed squash & onions and topped it all with lime, sriracha and all the guacamole. it was SO GOOD.

Dessert was watermelon (dying over fresh summer fruit currently) plus turmeric milk as part of my nighttime routine! Meg shared with me her secret way to make the turmeric milk extra thick and creamy...about 3 Tablespoons of coconut cream mixed with a little bit of whatever milk you have on hand (I used carton coconut milk) and the rest of the ingredients per usual...even my hubby noticed how extra delicious it was! Never going back, thanks Meg for the idea!

 

 

 

 

For you Ladies! Potential Causes For Your PMS

Texas flower field. #happyplace

Texas flower field. #happyplace

So I sat down this past weekend to write blog post on PMS…. totes caus.

Hahahaha. Jokes.

I thought I knew about PMS… thought. Days later… after pouring over all of the literature… My conclusion is as follows:

We don’t exactly know for sure what causes PMS and we don’t fully understand the pathology behind the symptoms. However, there are some valid hypotheses and things we can do as women to regulate our natural hormonal cycle and mitigate PMS symptoms. Today, I want to discuss the pathology of PMS as we know it. As women, I think this knowledge is empowering. Having an understanding of our hormones allows us to be in tune with our bodies and live more instinctually and be more purposeful in our journeys to wellness.

a woman's hormonal cycle. PMS occur in the luteal phase- post ovulation.

a woman's hormonal cycle. PMS occur in the luteal phase- post ovulation.

First, there seems to be differing opinions on what actually qualifies as PMS and what does not- is it emotional and physical? Or just emotional? Different areas of research say different things, but today and for my purposes, I am referring to the emotional symptoms only.

These symptoms include moodiness, irritability, weepiness, depression, anxiety and everything in between. The defining factor is that these symptoms cease when menstruation starts.

PMS affects many women during the luteal phase of our cycle- the time between ovulation and menses. PMS is thought to be a result of the changes in our sex hormones during this time. However, that is not the whole story. These hormones effect our mood by impacting our neurotransmitters- particularly serotonin and GABA.

Key players:

Sex hormones:

-       estrogen

-       progesterone

-       testosterone.

Neurotransmitters:

-       Serotonin

-       GABA

There are some very real hormonal changes that occur post ovulation. Estrogen and progesterone levels take a sharp plummet before rising and dropping again pre-menses. Yep—they are all over the place! Progesterone is the dominant hormone over estrogen during this time. (The opposite is true in the follicular phase – prior to ovulation).

The decline in progesterone post ovulation is hypothesized to be a major culprit for PMS symptoms. You may have trouble sleeping or have decreased stress resilience. Promoting production of progesterone naturally during this time is helpful for many women. Progesterone, the sister hormone to estrogen, has calming, sedative qualities. You can see why its decline could cause some unpleasant symptoms!

Estrogen dominance may also play a role. When estrogen is high in relation to progesterone during the luteal phase, you may have aggravated PMS symptoms.

However, both of these theories fall short to explain the full picture when the research shows that women with and without PMS have comparable amounts of hormones during this time. Therefore, cyclic changes in the sex hormones can NOT be the whole story behind PMS… can they?! So what gives? Why do some women get PMS symptoms, and some do not?


The answer resides in our brain chemistry! It is hypothesized that women with PMS have an abnormal neurotransmitters responses to the hormonal changes. There is evidence that these cyclic fluctuations in estrogen and progesterone can cause changes in the GABA and serotonin systems.

Both serotonin and GABA are inhibitory neurotransmitters that are needed for a stable, sane mood, and can be affected by the hormonal changes post ovulation. Research shows that PMS women have lower serotonin levels than women without PMS. SSIRs and other medications that work by increases serotonin have been highly effective in treating PMS. (I’m not recommending them… just saying.)

Serotonin is needed to make you feel calm and give you feelings of significance and importance. It is also needed to control your circadian rhythm, curb your carb cravings, and regulate your digestion. If your serotonin is low, you will become depressed. Estrogen is needed for regulation of serotonin in the brain.  It increases serotonin receptor levels, sensitivity, and production. Thus, the drop in estrogen levels post ovulation can play a role in PMS symptoms. However, like I said, estrogen dominance can also contribute to PMS symptoms by influencing the serotonin systems and reduce progesterone’s calming abilities. So its all about finding that happy middle spot.

GABA is crucial for promoting relaxation, our ability to focus, and control stress. Progesterone and its metabolites enhance GABA receptor function and create a calm, mood stabilizing affect. This could be why women low or deficient in progesterone during this time may be particularly susceptible to PMS.

As far as vitamins and minerals are concerned, the most researched based to be beneficial were magnesium and vitamin B6. Studies show that these were both low in women with PMS and supplementation is effective to reduce symptoms in some women.

In conclusion, low progesterone and high estrogen are theorized to be the main culprits of PMS due to their effects on the serotonin and GABA systems in some women. Of course, hormonal testing can give you a better idea of your particular case, but diet, lifestyle and targeted supplementation can set us up on the road to hormonal success!

 Stay tuned for next week, friends!

 

References:

  1. Schmidt PJ, Nieman LK, Danaceau MA, et al. Differential behavioral effects of gonadal steroids in women with and in those without premenstrual syndrome. N Engl J Med 1998; 338:209.
  2. Andersch B, Abrahamsson L, Wendestam C, et al. Hormone profile in premenstrual tension: effects of bromocriptine and diuretics. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf) 1979; 11:657.
  3. Taylor JW. Plasma progesterone, oestradiol 17 beta and premenstrual symptoms. Acta Psychiatr Scand 1979; 60:76.
  4. Wardlaw SL, Thoron L, Frantz AG. Effects of sex steroids on brain beta-endorphin. Brain Res 1982; 245:327.
  5. Majewska MD, Harrison NL, Schwartz RD, et al. Steroid hormone metabolites are barbiturate-like modulators of the GABA receptor. Science 1986; 232:1004.
  6. Bethea CL. Regulation of progestin receptors in raphe neurons of steroid-treated monkeys. Neuroendocrinology 1994; 60:50.
  7. Schmidt PJ, Purdy RH, Moore PH Jr, et al. Circulating levels of anxiolytic steroids in the luteal phase in women with premenstrual syndrome and in control subjects. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1994; 79:1256.
  8. Rapkin AJ, Morgan M, Goldman L, et al. Progesterone metabolite allopregnanolone in women with premenstrual syndrome. Obstet Gynecol 1997; 90:709.
  9. Facchinetti, F, Borella, P, Fioroni, L, et al. Reduction of monocyte's magnesium in patients affected by premenstrual syndrome. J Psychosom Obstet Gynaecol 1990; 11:221.
  10. Rapkin AJ, Edelmuth E, Chang LC, et al. Whole-blood serotonin in premenstrual syndrome. Obstet Gynecol 1987; 70:533.
  11. Taylor DL, Mathew RJ, Ho BT, Weinman ML. Serotonin levels and platelet uptake during premenstrual tension. Neuropsychobiology 1984; 12:16.
  12. Ashby CR Jr, Carr LA, Cook CL, et al. Alteration of platelet serotonergic mechanisms and monoamine oxidase activity in premenstrual syndrome. Biol Psychiatry 1988; 24:225.
  13. Ashby CR JF, Stout AL, Knight DL, Nemeroff CB. Reduced platelet tritium-labeled imipramine binding sites in women with premenstrual syndrome. Am J Obstet Gynecol 1992; 167:168.
  14. Steege JF, Stout AL, Knight DL, Nemeroff CB. Reduced platelet tritium-labeled imipramine binding sites in women with premenstrual syndrome. Am J Obstet Gynecol 1992; 167:168.
  15. Rojansky N, Halbreich U, Zander K, et al. Imipramine receptor binding and serotonin uptake in platelets of women with premenstrual changes. Gynecol Obstet Invest 1991; 31:146.
  16. Brzezinski AA, Wurtman JJ, Wurtman RJ, et al. d-Fenfluramine suppresses the increased calorie and carbohydrate intakes and improves the mood of women with premenstrual depression. Obstet Gynecol 1990; 76:296.
  17. Sherwood RA, Rocks BF, Stewart A, Saxton RS. Magnesium and the premenstrual syndrome. Ann Clin Biochem 1986; 23 ( Pt 6):667.

Taco Tuesday! Marinated Flank Steak Fajitas

Marinated flank steak Fajitas with mango salsa and guacamole 

Marinated flank steak Fajitas with mango salsa and guacamole 

Flank steak fajita spread.

Flank steak fajita spread.

Ingredients

Marinade:

  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp cumin, ground
  • 1/2 cup coconut aminos
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp paprika

Guacamole:

  • 2 avocados, peeled and pitted
  • 3-4 garlic cloves (I love garlic!), minced
  • Juice of 3 limes
  • small handful of cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 a jalapeño, seeded and chopped. 
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp white or black pepper

Mango salsa:

  • 1 large mango, chopped 
  • 1/2 a red onion, thinly chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, minced, deseeded if you don’t like the heat!
  • small handful of cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

    Other: 

  • 2 pounds flank steak
  • 3 bell peppers, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • fresh cilantro
  • fresh salsa of choice
  • tortillas of choice
  • lime wedges
  • 2 tbsp ghee

Method

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the marinade ingredients. Place flank steak in a deep dish pan and pour marinade over it. Cover with saran wrap. Marinate for 48 hours. (!!!!!) Flip steak at 24 hours.
  2. Heat a large sauté pan or cast iron. Add two tablespoons of ghee. Sautee the bell peppers and onions on medium heat for about 25-30 minutes. Remove and place on a plate.
  3. With a sharp knife slice flank steak into thin pieces. Add to heated skillet and cook until done to your liking. Remove meat from the skillet and add to the sautéed veggies.
  4. Make the guacamole: Combine avocados, garlic, lime juice in a medium sized bowel. Using a knife and a fork, cut and mash until it is as creamy or as chunky as you desire. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Season with more salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Make the mango salsa by combining all the ingredients in a medium bowl.
  6. Using the same skillet as before- heat tortillas one at a time. Flipping to toast either side.
  7. Assemble your fajitas!!!! 

 

Marinated flank steak fajitas.

Marinated flank steak fajitas.

Thirsty Thursday! Cucumber Lime Thirst Quencher

Bonus: It is naturally ombre.... #fancy #how 

Bonus: It is naturally ombre.... #fancy #how 

I feel so cheezy calling this the “thirst quencher”… sounds like Gatorade or something! But with the alkalize effects of the lime and the hydrating effects of the cucumber this beverage is ideal for the hot summer months. With the temperatures rising in Florida all I’ve been thinking about are cold beverages and lighter fare. This drink is super easy and equally as tasty.

Ingredients

  •  3 tbsp fresh lime juice (I used the juice of two limes)
  •  1 cup cubed cucumber, peeled and seeded
  • 3/4 cup water, still or sparkling
  • 2 tbsp honey

Method

  1. Combine all of the ingredients into a high speed blender. Blend on high until everything is fluid throughout. Add ice and serve immediately. 
  2. Cheers!

Taco Tuesday: Meatball Tacos with Pesto and Roasted Tomatoes

Taco Tuesday: Easy meatball tacos 

Taco Tuesday: Easy meatball tacos 

Happy Taco Tuesday, Friends! Today I combined two of my most favorite things: tacos and meat balls. WHAT COULD BE BETTER!? This is one of my most favorite pesto recipes. I make it about every other week to put on... just about anything! If you've never roasted tomatoes-- GAME CHANGING. They're like little bursts of flavor that send your taste buds over the edge! ENJOY!  

Ingredients

Pesto:

  • 3 big handfuls of basil
  • ½ a shallot, peeled
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • ½ cup pepitas or pistachios
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Meatballs:

  • ½ a seeded jalapeño, fine chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound beef
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper

Other:

  • Tortillas of choice
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • greens for garnish
  • sharp cheddar cheese for top

Method

For the meatballs: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Work with hands until all is combined. Make small balls with your hands. Place balls on a lined baking dish. Add tomatoes at this time. Bake for about 15 minutes or until balls are cooked through and tomatoes are blistered.

For the pesto: Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor. Blend until combined- but not too much- you don’t want to make nut butter! Season with salt and pepper.

Compile tacos, top with the tomatoes and grated cheese. Enjoy! 

On Eating Disorder Recovery and Weight Gain

As I mentioned last week, I’m writing these words in response to emails and questions I have received following the post: An illustration: Eating Disorder to Intuitive Eating.  Last week I addressed mindset in recovery (The Mindset for Recovery: How I Started The Process), and today I want to address weight gain in recovery.

Disclaimer: Of course, what I’m about to say is all inspired from my own experience and what worked for me. Everyone’s situation is completely different and unique to them based on their specific disorder, weight, BMR, where they are mentally etc. What worked for me might not work for you. It may take time, but if you’re sick of living a slave to food- it is possible. 

Let’s get to it!

So…. there is honestly no way of sugar coating this: if you were like me and your metabolism is absolute garbage, you will most likely gain weight during recovery. (Which may actually be a good thing if you are like me and underweight for your body… but more on this later.) This is obviously the hardest part of the process because it’s not something you just learn to be okay with overnight. This is the beginning of teaching yourself to rewire your brain COMPLETELY. Forcing yourself to overcome your desire to restrict and to actually EAT MORE FOOD while simultaneously knowingly gaining weight goes against EVERYTHING we have told ourselves regarding food and our bodies. It goes against every part of our nature. If you are in the same place that I was— it SUCKS.

Will there be mental breakdowns? Yes.

Will there be times you feel like you can’t do it? Yes.

Will there be times you want to quit and revert back and restrict again? YES.

Will you gain weight? You may. I did.

But here are a few things to keep in mind if you are fighting with this or about to start this process:

#1 There is no better time to start than NOW. It’s not going to get any easier, friends. If you ever want to eat “normally”, if you ever want to eat “intuitively” and have complete freedom in food without worrying about what it was going to do to your body- then it’s time to make the jump. This is the part where we have to learn to give a big f*** you to society’s standards and heck—even our own! We need to have grace with ourselves and our bodies and stop holding ourselves to any sort of internal or external expectation. When your body starts to gain weight—reminder yourself over and over—it is because it is finally being NOURSIHED. At last, it is receiving the food it requires. Say words of affirmation to yourself whenever negative thoughts come to your mind such as, “My physical appearance does not define my worth”, “I love my body and the things it does for me”, “I am strong and capable”, “I will not let the world define my worth”, “I love myself today. I don't want to be anyone else.”, “I am creative and calm”, “I am beautiful.”

At the end of the day, your desire to eat “normally” again and to actually nourish and respect your body has to overcome and overpower your tendency to use and abuse it.

I know it’s hard-- believe me-- I know. But it is possible. You are stronger than you think. 

#2 You must let go of the need to control your body with your mind. If you are anything like I use to be, you have completely detached the two. Like I mentioned earlier, there is no longer a fluid, mutually respectful communication here. There is only the brain telling the body what to do. When you let go the need to control everything, you open up the opportunity for communication and instinctual eating. Your body is incredibly intuitive- if only you will listen. When you are done, you will not have to rely on calories and formulas for wellness- or even to loose, gain, or maintain weight. You will eat according to your cravings. You will honor them and respect that your body knows best. IN this way, your body guides the way to wellness. Whatever the reasons for this control, let them go.  

#3 You have to acknowledge that restriction DOES NOT work. At this point in my recovery, it kind of baffles me that dieting is an encouraged and accepted way to achieve weight loss. Our culture teaches us that restriction and food manipulation are the way to achieve a desired body aesthetic/composition. On the contrary… do you want to feel strong? Empowered? Do you want to maximize your body’s potential and accentuate your natural and beautiful features? WEIGHTS AND FOODS. That’s it ladies. We need to rewire our brains, get out of the cardio room, and pick up some weights and some tacos. THAT is where the money is. Learning to weight lift was what I saw as a crucial step in my recovery. It taught me to appreciate my body for how strong it was and see my body and food in a completely different light. I was not longer working out to burn calories- I was working out because it made me feel good and strong and I ate to fuel my muscles. My body composition didn’t start to truly change and morph to be what it was designed to be until I got into the weight room. I began to rebuild the muscle I literally starved off myself in my previous years. Remember this:

Restriction DOES NOT WORK-- neither physically or mentally.

Physically: Your body does not know the difference between starvation and self restriction. It’s biological reaction is the same: Store fat… slow down the metabolism… break down muscle mass to use as fuel. All of these are natural protective mechanisms the body has. It does not know when its next meal will be!!

Emotionally: With continued restriction, the body’s cravings only increase. (And thus, you may struggle with binge eating during times of deprivation.) Your body KNOWS it needs nutrition! And thus, it creates intense food cravings. Or perhaps you are at the point where you don’t even have food cravings anymore. In this case, you hunger and satiety cues have completely atrophied.

#4: What goals are you trying to achieve? If you are like me, you think: “Once I reach a certain weight, then I will be radiant and confident and I will go to the pool and wear tight dresses without worry.” FALSE. If you are already insecure, no arbitrary number on a scale will fix this. This is when you need to look for confidence in things outside of yourself and realize your worth outside of your body. YOU ARE MORE THAN YOUR BODY! Why are you letting it rule you? Rock whatever the good Lord gave you. You are unique and perfect exactly the way you are. There is no “perfect” body, because who is to say what that is? Find confidence in that.

#5 And finally, lets talk about the weight- will it stay? Will it go? This all depends. It depends on where you are at in your disorder- what your body composition currently is and what it is suppose to be. But what is true—YOUR BODY WILL BEGIN TO CHANGE FOR THE BETTER. From the outside maybe- but from the inside—CERTAINLY. When you begin to nourish yourself, you are giving your body the building blocks it needs in order to function correctly. In my experience, I gained weight. (I am not going to say how much.) But I did eventually loose some of it and settle at my body’s “happy weight”. So while I currently weigh (way) more than I use to, my body composition is completely different. (You can see proof of this in my previous post.) So in my experience, I gained weight, but then some of it came off when my metabolism increased. I have grown to embrace my body exactly how it is. Will I ever be as “thin” as I was? Hell no. But I no longer want that. I have new goals- goals to be strong and fit and nourished and HAPPY.

But regardless, the whole point of this is that IT IS NOT ABOUT THE WEIGHT. My hope is to get you to that point of peace with yourself so that you can let your body do its thing without any judgment from your mind or societal expectation. Have grace with yourself and give yourself time. Learn to love your body unconditionally. Just have peace in this, friends—the weight gain truly is temporary in that you won’t keep gaining weight forever. As your body starts to adjust to being nourished, your metabolism will increase and your body will adjust. 

#6 And finally—if you are anything like me, you need accountability.  You need that person who you can text when you are having a mental break down and want to quit and revert back to your old ways. You need someone who can encourage you in all these things and speak truth into your life- that things will get better. Things will get easier. That it will be worth it. Preferably someone who has been through the process before, but any good friend will do.

In closing, it is my privilege to work with women and get them out of the clutches of an eating disorder and to that place of freedom in food. If you want to work with someone to learn how to eat intuitively - please email me @ hello@rootforfood.net. I work with clients in person and virtually via Nourishing Minds Nutrition.

Email me with any questions!

XO,

meg

 

 

 

Thirsty Thursday (Saturday...) : Citrus Margaritas with Watermelon Ice Cubes

Whelp... it's been a doozy of a week! I've been home in Texas since Monday to be with my family during my grandfather's passing. It's weeks like this past that put everything into perspective and leave you emotionally drained but also re-filled. What a gift life is. My grandfather was such an incredible man. I am ending this week feeling inspired. If I amount up to half the person he was in his morals, work ethic and character I will consider my life a success. Cheers to you, Grandfather. 

To be honest, the last thing on my mind this week was my Thirsty Thursday post! But here I am on Saturday, playing catch up. It's memorial day weekend so I'm re-releasing an oldie from my old blog archives! 

These watermelon ice cubes are game changing for any beverage... but especially a margarita! I LOVE them for the summer time. They make any libation special and even more delicious. 

Ingredients

  • fresh squeezed orange juice, 1/2 cup
  • water, 1/2 cup
  • organic white sugar, 1/2 cup
  • tequila,1/2 cup (of your choice)
  • fresh lime juice, 3/4 cup
  • fresh lemon juice, 1/4 cup
  • cold water, 1/4 cup 
  • 1/4th of a medium sized watermelon
  • ice cube trays
  • kosher salt or coarsely ground sea salt
  • mint leaves, for garnish
  • orange, 1, thinly sliced, for garnish
  • lime wedges, 2, for garnish

Method

  1. Remove seeds and rind of watermelon. Cut into cubes. Puree in a blender or food processor. Pour into ice trays and freeze. During this time, make the simple syrup by combining the orange juice, water, and sugar in a small sauce pan. Heat the ingredients until dissolved. Pour into a glass jar and place in the refrigerator to cool. Wait until the syrup is cold and the watermelon frozen to proceed. 
  2. Pour a thin layer of salt onto a small plate. Using one of the limes you squeezed, run the wet edge along the rim of your glass. Dip the top of your glass into the salt to catch it. Add an orange slice to the glass. 
  3. Fill a small cocktail shaker with 3-4 watermelon ice cubes and pour in the tequila, fresh lime juice, lemon juice, cold water and 3 tablespoons of the simple syrup. Add the lid and lightly shake for 30 seconds. Pour contents of cocktail shaker into your glass. Garnish with fresh mint and a slice of lime. CHEERS! 
  4. Note: add more simple syrup to meet your taste preference.
watermelon ice cubes in the making! 

watermelon ice cubes in the making! 

The Mindset for Recovery: How I Started the Process

I’m writing this post as a follow up to my previous post. I have received some emails asking how I actually started the process of recovery from an eating disorder. Of course, what I’m about to say is all inspired from my own experience and what worked for me. Everyone’s situation is completely different and unique to them based on their specific disorder, weight, BMR, where they are mentally etc. What worked for me might not work for you. However, if you’re sick of living a slave to food- it is possible. I finally got it in my mind that I didn’t want to eat that way forever- I was tired of being a slave to food and I was ready to stop abusing myself. I saw a friend who had recovered and it inspired me to do the same. He encouraged me to start my recovery process by gradually increasing my calories. However, I didn’t do this systematically with formulas and calorie counting. While yes, calorie counting and tracking was still subconsciously taking place at that time, I tried to separate myself from those thoughts and not put any weight into them. I started by making myself eat more and fighting my ingrained tendency to eat less. I gave myself permission to eat the things that I always said were off limits like oatmeal and peanut butter. I tried to honor my hunger instead of relishing it. In the beginning I was still eating way under what I should have been eating at that time, but I was eating a lot more for me.. and it was a gentle and gradual way of re-introducing myself with food and the feeling of being full and rewiring my relationship with these things.

Just eating more calories isn’t going to fix an eating disorder.

I had to fix the root cause of the problem- which was my relationship with food and my body. This is why I didn’t force myself to reach a certain calorie number or what not— in fact, I had to force myself to do the opposite and not count calories. In hindsight, this was one of the best decisions I made. I allowed myself to give into my food cravings and tried not judge myself for them. This is the foundation for eating intuitively so I believe this is a good place to start if you can. For me, trying to “recover” using exact calories and formulas would have been a loosing battle. Letting go of the need to track was liberating and so incredibly necessary. Scary? Heck yes. But I had a trusted person helping me through this process that would always remind me how little calories actually mater and now much NUTRITION actually does matter.

Calories are vital to life. Why are we running from them?

I had lived my life trying to get below a certain calorie number each day, I didn’t want to change just to live my life trying to get above one now. Honestly, letting go of calorie counting is NOT going to happen over night. It is definitely a process when it is so ingrained in your mind. Just keep reminding yourself-- calories are mere numbers. They mean NOTHING from a moralistic standpoint. However, calories are very essential to life. If something has calories it means it gives you ENERGY. This is not a bad thing! You need energy for life- for you cells to function! For you to run and play and for your brain to think! Putting so much emphasis on calories is a sad lie we've bought into. To think calories alone can make us thin and happy is wrong on so many levels. Why do we think reaching an arbitrary number on a scale is going to make us happy!? Also, there is SO much more at play when it comes to weight maintenance than just calories. Calories do not equal fat! Calories equal energy and life. Putting so much emphasis on them is wrong on an emotional level and a biological level.

I kept reminding myself what my friend (counselor of sorts) was saying to me—eventually my metabolism will speed up again! When my body realizes it is no longer in a constant state of starvation, my body will begin to metabolize food correctly and efficiently again as fuel. In this way, calories are friends. Food is friend. Honestly, this was a huge motivator for me. I was tired of my TANKED metabolism.

Recovery is hard because eating intuitively is not possible in the beginning—we have TRAINED our bodies to survive on less. There is literally no mind/body communication- only the mind telling the body what to consume. If the communication between the two is not present, fluid and mutually respectful, then intuitive eating is not possible because your body cannot communicate effectively to the mind and the mind is not receptive to listening yet. Over the weeks and months and years I gradually increasing the amount of food I consumed and with every day it became easier and easier. The word “calorie” grew to have less stigma around it and foods become less morally charged as “good” and “bad”. Calories grew to have little meaning to me. Eventually your body will remember what it feels like to be nourished and your mind will begin to soften to the body’s innate wisdom. You become a nutrient seeker instead of calorie counter. Then you can begin to eat intuitively.

Next week I am going to address weight gain in recovery. Of course, weight gain is one of the hardest things to mentally cope with and I don’t have all the answers to any of this. But maybe in can help and speak to you where you are at.

It is my biggest passion in life to guide women along this journey to intuitive eating. If you have tried to recover over by yourself but you feel you still need to work with someone- check out my practice- Nourishing Minds Nutrition.

Thirsty Thursday! Black Grapefruit Lemonade

Black Grapefruit Lemonade

Do you want a beverage that is nourishing, hydrating, soothing, and detoxifying all in one?!

This is it. Eureka my friends!

I started implementing a few more detoxing and anti-inflammatory practices since my trip to Croatia (bc wine and pastries) so I’m so into this drink right now. Inspired by my latest trip to a juicery… a drink like this cost $8. I was like what?! So I put my own spin on it and damn its good.  

Here’s the ingredient low down:

  • Alkaline water: used for natural detoxification by helping our bodies metabolize nutrients and expel toxins. powerfully hydrating with beneficial minerals (calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium) that help to dissolve acids in the blood.
  • Ginger: a carminative (a food that decreases intestinal gas) and an intestinal spasmolytic (a food that relaxes and soothes the intestines). Helps to ease the stomach and accelerate gastric emptying. Used to treat primarily nausea and vomiting and other inflammatory conditions.
  •  Lime Juice: High in vitamin C, detoxifying, and alkalizing to the body.
  • Aloe Vera Juice: Nourishing, calming, and soothing for your intestines. Supportive of the stomach lining and stomach acid production.
  • Activated charcoal: Natural remedy used to trap toxins and in the body, allowing them to be flushed out so the body doesn’t reabsorb them.
  • Grapefruit: I’m not even going to go into this one… I’m tired and everyone knows grapefruit are awesome.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup alkaline H20
  • 1 inch knob of ginger
  • 1/2 a grapefruit
  • Activated charcoal, 1 – 1 ½ tsp (I used 3 capsules. If you haven’t had it before, you might want to start with 1 or 2)
  • Aloe vera juice, 2 tbsp
  • Lime juice, 2 tbsp
  • Maple syrup, 1 tbsp (optional)

Method

1. Add grapefruit, ginger and water to a blender. Blend on high until emulsified. Pour through a strainer into a mason jar. Pour strained liquid back into the blender. Add remaining ingredients and blend until combined.

2. Cheers!

Taco Tuesday: Buffalo Chicken Tacos

Ingredients

Buffalo Sauce

  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks)
  • 1 cup Tabasco sauce
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 ½ tbsp honey

Blue Cheese Dressing

  • 1 cup keifer (I used Maple Hills)
  • 4 oz blue cheese
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • pepper to taste

Other

  • 1 pound chicken breasts
  • sliced radishes- for garnish
  • tortillas of choice (I used almond flour tortillas)
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • Fresh basil, 2 tbsp chopped
  • Chives, 1 tbsp, chopped
  • 2 cups romaine lettuce

Method

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Make the buffalo sauce: First, sauté garlic and shallots in a sauté pan. After 5 minutes, add the butter and Tabasco. Melt. Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth.

Next, butterfly the chicken breast and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Add ½ of the buffalo sauce to the top of the chicken—save the rest. Season with pepper and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.

Thinly slice the chicken and toss in the remaining buffalo sauce.

Prepare blue cheese dressing by simply combining the ingredients in a blender. Blend on low.

Compile the tacos with romaine, chicken, avocado, chives, radishes, basil/chives, and blue cheese dressing.

Enjoy!