Establishing any new habit is hard. Establishing healthy eating habits is even harder. The foods we choose, how we eat, when we eat…these are all aspects of our lives that are very deeply ingrained in us. There is a reason you haven’t been following healthier habits for years and years. However, if you’re trying to lose weight, clearly whatever habits you have in place aren’t working for you. Realizing and accepting this is 10 steps in the right direction. …
As I’m gallivanting around Thailand undoubtedly gorging on all the delicious tropical fruit, I thought this would be a topical post. Think I’m going to limit my consuming of papaya, mango, lychee, rambuntan, mangosteen, and any other fruit I’ll try? Think again!
I get asked this questions at lest 3 times per day: isn’t fruit high in sugar? Shouldn’t I avoid it? Interestingly enough, this inquiry usually follows people telling me that they eat cookies, ice cream, and candy with reckless abandon. If you’re worried about sugar, shouldn’t you be worried about those foods too? Just saying…
Anyways, the fruit-sugar connection is a big player in the “pop nutrition” world, where fruit has been condemned to the deepest, darkest circle of nutrition Hell. Poor fruit. So what’s the deal with fruit?…
Hello everyone! At this time, I should be dead asleep in Hong Kong en route to Thailand. Let’s all just assume that the flight was a breeze and I’m not jet-lagged at all….
While I’m away, I have a few guest posts lined up for you. First up, is my good friend and fellow dietitian Kelly, the blogging genius behind Pocket RD. Be sure to check out her website and “like” her page on Facebook for more PocketRD nutrition tips & tricks.
Greetings to all you Decidedly Nutritious fans from the Pocket RD! I’m pretty excited to be here as a guest writer—the last time I “guest starred” in anything was as the witch in my old ballet school’s production of Sleeping Beauty. And they spelled my name wrong on the dressing room soooo that tells me this guesting gig may be of a higher value. Lauren and I both have a ballet background in common, but we also share a love for delicious food and good nutrition advice. So while she’s off gallivanting and having an awesome time in Thailand, I’m here in cold, typically-cloudy New England to speak on everyone’s favorite January topic: New Year’s Resolutions….
“But Dr. Oz says….” Well Dr. Oz is wrong! That phrase is one of my least favorite things to hear a client say. Somehow a media personality with ZERO nutrition training has become more reliable than a registered dietitian with 6 years of official training and a lifetime spent soaking up everything about nutrition.
I try to avoid mounting my proverbial dietitian high-horse and go crazy shouting that Dr. Oz is promoting quackery nutrition. But now, I don’t have to! Because a real scientific study has proved that Dr. Oz actually doesn’t know what he is talking about most of the time….
I ask every patient what he or she eats on a typical day. This “dietary recall”, as it is called, gives me great insight into the likes, dislikes, habits, lifestyle, and eating patterns of my patients. The process takes a long time, because with good details and data I can pinpoint areas for improvement. Believe it or not, I don’t judge what you eat. Even in my young career as a dietitian, not much surprises me, so I’m over being shocked.
But what does surprise me, is that people will do anything to be on a “trendy diet”. I have had patients tell me their typical dietary intake, which doesn’t include a single vegetable, and then ask me about the “paleo” diet or “raw vegan” diet because they “heard” people see great results….
Today I’m sharing a post I originally wrote for the website Around the Plate as an intern. I’m now a “nutrition expert” for the site. It is a wonderful website sharing healthy tips, recipes, and information. For those near Mount Pleasent, MI they also have a great, kitchen retail store 🙂 Be sure to check them out on FB and Twitter.
Women across the United States have been asking themselves for years “why don’t French women get fat?” First, to be clear, French women do get fat. And they do get heart disease. Just often at a lower rate than seen in this US. But the question remains: how can a food culture rooted in the holy trinity of butter, bread and cheese possibly lead to health? To get the answer, you have to look beyond what the French eat and study how the French eat. French Tip #1: What you eat is just as important as how you eat.
French Women Don’t Snack
Snacking has long been touted as a great practice to fill in missing nutrients and prevent that “I’m so ravenous I’ll eat anything in site” hunger that leads to binges. And it is. The issue arises when a snack turns into an all day grazing event. A handful of nuts here, a donut in the office break room, snack mix out of the bag, a slice of last night’s pizza as a “pre-dinner appetizer”. Many people tell themselves that these snacks are the same type of snacks that registered dietitians applaud. Truthfully, this mindless grazing tends to add on hundreds of extra calories a day without people even noticing. Snacking isn’t even on the radar of French women, let alone this all day grazing event. French women eat sitting down. Preferably with utensils. Not in the car, while walking down the sidewalk, or while shopping. Eating in France is something to be savored. Keeping a snack or two in your day is perfectly fine, but try it the French way. Put your snack on a plate, sit down, and be mindful of what you eat.
French Women are Portion Conscious
Eating in France is such a pleasure. Not only because the food is a culinary masterpiece, but because the food is not presented in massive heaps that make you feel sick just looking at it. The French operate under the belief that quality beats quantity every time. French women appreciate 1 ounce of full-fat cheese and are fully satisfied, and guilt-free, eating it. They don’t eat fat-free cheese (which tastes like rubber by the way) and try to pretend it is the real thing. This practice only leaves you reaching for more and more fat-free cheese in the hopes that perhaps a higher quantity will satiate you like the real stuff. And guess what? It wont. And you will have eaten more calories than if you had the full-fat cheese to begin with. The same goes for bread and butter. Savor a delicious baguette with a pat of real butter. A small amount of the real stuff is far more gratifying than a flimsy, lower calorie bread with a fake butter spread (yes, I CAN believe you aren’t butter). Take a lesson from the French and eat real food. You will be surprised by how satisfying it is.
French Women eat Vegetables
On the side of the cheese and butter French cooking is synonymous with, is a pile of fresh vegetables. That means that French women are getting a big dose of heart-clearing fiber and health promoting antioxidants. In a word, their diet is “balanced”. Yes French women enjoy full-fat cheese and carbohydrate heavy baguettes, but they also eat more fruit and vegetables than most Americans. So tonight have your real bread, with your real butter but make sure to include lots of real vegetables!
Know what else the French are doing right? They walk everywhere. They’re less stressed. The spend hours savoring good food with good friends. There are many ways that French and American food culture differ that suggest the French Paradox might not be so paradoxical after all.
This was originally written for aroundtheplate.org on July 17, 2013
At some point in childhood we lose touch with our natural hunger cues. Children are notoriously annoying to feed. They say no to more food after 2 bites and come back starving 30 minutes later (sorry mom!). It can be frustrating, but we should all be impressed! They are really listening to their body telling them when they are hungry and when they are full. I don’t know when that amazing ability is lost, but I wish the natural instinct wasn’t so easy to override. Maybe it’s the “one more bite” mentality or the strong pull of food that just tastes too damn good.
Intuitive eating is a buzzword in the nutrition world now. It refers to the ability to eat what you want, when you want it. To eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re satisfied (not full, satisfied). To not obsess over “good” vs “bad” foods. To live in a world where you eat and enjoy food, but food doesn’t rule you. Unintuitive eating is often associated with mindlessly eating junk, but it is just as important to recognize that any relationship where food controls you needs to be improved. It can be mindlessly eating junk but it can just as easily be an obsession with eating only healthy foods. It is about finding balanced nutrition in an unbalanced world….
For today’s What I Ate Wednesday (WIAW), I thought I’d give you a bit more insight into my thought process behind how I choose what and when I eat. I have a mental checklist to make sure what I eat is balanced, satisfying, and nutritious. At this point, balanced meals/days are mostly completely second nature to me but even dietitians slip!
Days have been so crazy busy and sleep has been sacrificed (a bad idea which is why I’m going to bed at 8:00pm tonight…maybe). Yesterday is a good example of how lack of sleep affects your hunger. Read: it increases it. I tried to keep it in check but more snacks for sure! It’s okay, I don’t freak out about it. Appropriate food intake is a day-to-day average because your needs change. More one day, less the next. In theory that all balances out….