True admission: I am an emotional eater! When I am stressed and alone (that being key) I can binge eat with the best of them.
How do I know I am binge eating and not eating for health?
It’s not purposeful eating. It’s not a meal time (usually). I often eat quickly. I'm alone. And I sneak the food. I eat TOO much. And my choices are all in the sweets category (I don't binge on carrots. LOL).
How can you learn to fight against binge eating?
I am learning to back up time a bit. It’s hard at times to stop the mindless binge or emotional eating because you don't catch yourself until after the fact. But I can replay the day in mind. I back up the day until I find the one thing that stressed me beyond what I felt I could handle.
All kinds of things cause stress for me. It could be as easy as not sleeping well and then having it snow, heavy snow and rain and I get a bit aggravated at how exhausted it makes me feel. Sometimes it could be a bit harder to do the detective work to find the straw that broke my camel's back, so to speak.
But once I find the triggers or points of interest, I can start to look for them on different days. I know my own 'red flags' so I can spot them before they become issues. At least that is the goal.
My emotional closet eating has become less and less (not totally obsolete) because I am looking for those signals from my body. They are like caution signs on the side of the road.
Next time you have one of those moments or days, back up time. Rewind the film so you can replay the scene. Look for your triggers, that one more thing, the caution sign, and look to avoid the end result.
To Your Best Health,
Our natural human tendency is to fill our plate up with food and then eat all of it. We eat all of it because as a kid, our moms told us to eat every last bite (not sure the connection between people starving in Africa so that means I need to stuff my face, but my mom knew that connection or at least said that often enough that I believed she did).
The "clean your plate" behavior was instilled in me and probably in you, too. The message is ingrained. Now as an adult I still clean my plate – every last little bite. Changing that habit for a day is a no-brainer. But changing it permanently? Now that’s hard. That is why so many people who diet gain their weight back. It's why people rarely follow up on their New Year’s resolutions past January. It is also why it is so difficult to reach your goals for long.
So why change the behavior? Why not change something else?
Think about it. You’ve tried other plans but the voice inside your head still shouts that you need to ‘Clean Your Plate’. Consider changing something else to seek the results.
The “Clean Your Plate Club” is important to me. Without realizing it or actually meaning to, I’ve taught my kids the same principle. But its not entirely bad. It only becomes bad when we overstuff ourselves just because its there.
My whole point is to become more aware of what you are eating, why you are eating it, and how much you actually need.
To Your Best Health,
Healthy eating is all about reasonable meals that leave you comfortable and satisfied until 30-60 minutes before you eat again. Its working on the “Goldilocks Effect” (thank you Josh Hillis for teaching me about Goldilocks again). The “Goldilocks Effect” is eating until you are comfortable, until you are ‘just right’. You feel comfortable with yourself physically but your emotions as you walk away from a meal are ‘comfortable’ as well. You eat enough so you are not deprived or feeling deprived. ‘Just right’ is your frame of mind as well. It is a skill that has to be worked on because our lives are always changing.
Be like Goldilocks.
Eat just enough. Goldilocks ate just enough to satisfy after a day of walking in the woods. She ate just enough to satisfy so she could fall fast asleep and not wake up when bears came home. Just enough so when she had to run, she could and did.
Bring awareness to your meals.
I believe all of us have felt that overstuffed feeling after a meal. You know when you want to rush to put on that pair of sweats so you can breathe again.
Eat slowly. Enjoy each bite. Take small bites and chew to enjoy the food and the experience (it will take practice).
Identify the feelings and sensations that happen as you eat. These will help you to recognize 'being satisfied'. Eating just enough.
To Your Best Health,
One of the biggest struggles I have had, and still have with my nutrition, is "All or Nothing".
Either I am all out, 100% in.
Or I'm not.
And while short burst of intensity can be good; a time of focus can help us get ready for that wedding we are in, or the anniversary vacation at the beach, those times should be rare. We should be using them to lose the "last 5 pounds", not try to lose 40 in 4 weeks.
The problem with intensity is that it cannot be sustained for long periods of time. You can only sprint so far before you exhaust yourself, and even more important, it breaks on this truth.
Consistency Beats Intensity.
For instance an appropriate training program 1 hour long 4 days a week is always going to achieve better results in the long run than training 4 hours 1 day a week.
"But it takes so long that way!"
Maybe. But I can't tell you how many times I went on a "strict diet", lost a few pounds, and then gained back more when I stopped.
And that's where "The Continuum" comes in. Life is not "all or nothing". Sometimes things are great, sometimes they are not. If you think about it, the only time you are not on a continuum is when you are dead - and then we don't have to worry about it anyway. 🙂
Here's what I mean:
To often we think we have to be "100%" to transform our body. But in reality, we just need to be steadily moving from left to right.
I am writing this a couple days after the New England Patriots won the Super Bowl after being down 28-3 in the third quarter.
How did they come back and win? Score a 25 point touchdown?
Not possible; so they did what they could do. Picked up a first down, then another one. They scored 3 points first, and they were happy they did. They could have been aggravated they didn't score a touchdown, but they had the long game in mind. Without those first 3 points, they would have not had an opportunity to score the next 28 and win.
Ever feel that way? Like I have to be perfect or it just doesn't count?
Next time, when you feel like you are 25 points down, and you want to give up...
What can I do today to score the first 3 points?
Until next time,
What does hunger feel like anyways?
Everyone describes hunger a bit differently. How do you describe that feeling?
I don't like to be hungry. Hungry means that I must not have any food in the house, the cupboards are bare, and there is no hope of eating a meal today. Hungry to me is the same as living in a 3rd world country and I’m on my way to starving (but I don’t, and I certainly am not starving).
Hunger gives me a bit of a panic attack. When I actually realize that I am still in my comfortable state of New Hampshire and life looks just like it did the day before, I know hunger is not starving but the empty feeling, maybe a bit hollow down inside of me.
To think about why I don’t like being hungry (thinking that starvation was just around the corner) was a big eye opener for me. Hunger in reality is a natural signal your body uses to let you know it needs some more fuel soon. That is it.
I know it is easy to let food do more than it is supposed to do. We have let food keep us company because we are bored. We let food be the shoulder to cry on when we are sad. We let food be the hug when we need comfort. We let food be the kicking block when we are stressed. Food is the fuel that keeps our bodies working.
Listening to your body talking to you is an effective way to reduce snacking. Like a turn signal in your car, when you see it you know soon there will be action taken on it. But like the car turning, it isn’t immediate. We don’t have to eat the first moment we notice we are hungry.
How can I start to work on this skill?
You can start with specific meals. For example, don’t have lunch until you actually are hungry. If you have the flexibility to hold off your work breaks until your body sends that hunger signal and you’ve noticed it for 30-60 minutes, then eat. It may mean you wait for hunger only for your last meal of the day. If the other two meals are scheduled by work or family needs, wait on the one meal you do have more control over.
Listen to how your body feels while you eat. Understanding the level at which you need to eat in order to remain comfortably full, not overstuffed, and yet ‘feel’ hunger before it is time to eat again sounds easy but is much more difficult to do. This cycle is one of the key skills for eating for your body's health.
Some of our bodies whisper, other shout, but they all talk to us. For each meal you will listen intently to hear it signal hunger. Hunger has some different levels. We're looking for that range of hunger where you are not emotionally irritated by the feeling or irrational in your judgement of the amount of food to satisfy your hunger.
My friend Georgie Fear puts it this way:
"Here are some tips on recognizing genuine body hunger and distinguishing it from false hunger (emotional or mental appetite):
Real hunger builds gradually, and may go through an initial phase of coming and going before becoming a steady sensation. False hunger or a desire to eat may arise suddenly and doesn’t last for more than about 20 to 30 minutes. This is because it is generally triggered by an emotion, time of day, smelling or seeing and appetizing food or viewing an advertisement – not a genuine bodily need. If you aren’t sure whether you’re feeling genuine body hunger or a false hunger, simply take a 20- to 30-mintue wait-and-see period."
Practice Practice Practice.......Each meal is our chance to practice. As we experiment with nutritional skills, we'll see some mishaps as well as some successful completions. That’s okay. We need to find out what works for us in our individual life's challenges.
I know many of us want to be perfect and not let others see our mishaps. But you are human and so am I. You'll get back up and keep on practicing. It is actually freeing to stop trying to be perfect. You can learn your own resilience through struggles.
Lets stop talking and start doing. There are some crazy real life situations that are happening in my life for the next 6 weeks. Birthday parties, travel, extra work load, kids that are active outside the house, and my 31st wedding anniversary. I could let them control me or I can take charge and realize this is my life and I still want to be in a measure of control. Am I perfect through all that life seems to keep throwing at me? No, but I was better than last year. Isn’t that what it is all about? I’ll keep practicing being hungry before my meals. I know this is the natural cycle my body works best at.
To your best health,
My kids are totally into Harry Potter. He waves his wand and BAM, magic happens. It would be so nice if real life was like that. For change to occur in real life you have to put in the work.
You see habits don't have a way of changing with a snap of your fingers, do they? We are not going to magically stop doing the things we have been doing for years because a there is a big black hat that rolls around. Habits are formed one small step at a time. We talk about breaking habits, when what we should talk about is replacing habits.
One teensy-weensy step at a time.
You and I don't have forever on this earth. We owe it to ourselves to make every day count. Monday is just as good a day to start as any other. In fact it's better, because it's today, and today is always the day to start.
So what one small step can you take today to get better?
Here's some suggestions for you.
Nobody is going to come busting down your door and making demands.
But we do want to know if we can help you start taking those small steps.
Don't wait for next Monday or next January 1st
One teensy-weensy step at a time!
To Your Best Health,
1. Don’t Starve Yourself- I’m speaking mostly to women here but really why do we try this one? We know we can’t keep it up forever. We know when we take that first bite of something yummy we won’t stop eating until it is all gone.
Let’s be sensible. A eating plan should be something we can stick with for a lifetime. Jutta Matta, PhD at Stanford University in CA, said, “A diet plan shouldn’t be done just to fit into a pair of jeans; it’s a healthy habit to manage or ward off chronic illness. You need to think of it as something you can do all your life.”
She also says, “If you believe a diet is complicated, that things are hard to calculate, chances are good you’ll quit the program before reaching your goal.”
My suggestion is to stick to getting in protein, produce, and water every meal. Be creative, call it the PPW plan. Say it with me PPW- protein, produce, water!
2. Don’t Go It Alone- Find a partner, write out your goals and share them with others. Support groups like AA are successful not only for the advice, but the emotional help from others who are going through or have conquered their addiction. Support is vital to reaching your goals quicker. It is easy to cheat on your eating plan, or skip your training session if no one knows about your doing it.
3. Don’t Buy Before You Try- Our two week free tryout to Get Fit NH Smart Group Training is for your benefit as much as ours. So many people in January with high enthusiasm sign up for a year at the local gym and buy an online meal plan without testing it out first. Two weeks into the year, they realize they dislike the food choices and the hours the gym offers, don’t match with their schedule. Feeling frustrated, they stop going to the gym and head to their local grocery store to stock up on cookies and donuts.
4. Don’t Make It Complicated- Save your sanity! When thinking of getting healthy, seek out the experts. Researching the latest fitness gadget or buying a fitness video is not the same as having the hands on benefit of a personal coach in the room who knows you. Although we might do research on the internet if we think we have a problem, we wouldn’t (or shouldn’t) rely on the information there to treat and cure us, we visit our personal physician. The same is true for nutrition, although magazines can list out foods to ‘trim the tummy’, they can’t see you and your individual needs. You need a coach to help you know what choices are right for you.
5. Don’t Quit- Our motto is Make It Happen. We strive to instill this in our training sessions because it affects our mental and physical state. There will be days when life gets in the way and fitting it all in becomes hard. We have to fight through it. As a mom I can describe it like this: you walk into your house exhausted. Its trashed. You have company coming and you only want to go to bed. What do you do? You can grumble and complain, yell and scream, cry and pout; but in the end you pick yourself up and do what it takes to make it happen. The cleaning might not be the best cleaning you’ve ever done and dinner for company might include easy to prepare dishes but in the end you do what it takes. You work through it all. You make it happen.
Yes, there will be days when it is more of a mental game than physically doing what it takes to get food on the table. Guess what? By overcoming the mental the physical gets done. It’s a double win, since the physical gets done the mental side gets a prize, a boost, a high five of sorts.
The flip side is true as well. When the mental side looses and physical side loses too. They bring each other down one more notch. Its like they are scolding each other and they both walk away pouting.
Dig down deep and Make it Happen!
The coaches at The Grateful Plate are trained to help you. Our program is unique. You can not buy it anywhere else. But the biggest difference is that we truly have a passion to change the world. We know that by helping you get healthier, health and wellness will spread to those closest to you. From there it fans out like a beautiful spider web. Together lets make 2017 your year for a better healthier you.
To your best health,
Its January already? Yes, I know it is the second week but that is the thought that went through my mind at the beginning of the year. Is there any one else like that?
I thought so.
Christmas and New Years are filled with fun, family, outings, shopping, and parties. Its crazy busy and all of a sudden January steps in. For most people life slows down just a bit but not for me. January is one of our busiest times of the year. Knowing this, Dean and I had to simplify life. Our menu plan had to be simplified. We didn’t want meals to creep up that we were not prepared for. If we did that our health gets pushed to the side.
With all the busyness we made that area simple for us. Our goal? Simple meals that we've eaten before. Nothing fancy but meals we knew we could count on. Meals our family already enjoyed.
What in the world does that have to do with you?
Well……. Are you busy? Is your plate full driving here and there with the kids? Getting to work? A Social life? Adding in time for the love of your life? Business meetings in the evenings? Saturday sports for the kids?
3 Strategies I Use to Get My Meals On the Table In January
Plan One week of meals: “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” This is going to take some planning and organization. Figure out which nights you will be home to cook dinner and which nights you need a quicker option (a go-to meal or something from the freezer). Then plan what you will make for dinner the nights you are home. Make sure you will have some leftovers for breakfast and lunch. Also make a plan for some breakfast and lunch options that are quick and easy. This will make creating your grocery list very simple. I then repeat my meal plan the next week.
Grocery Shop: Stock your fridge with lean proteins, eggs, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Fill your pantry with cooking staples such as (coconut oil, almond meal, and a variety of spices).
Establish “Go-To Meals”: Pick 2-3 meals that can be prepared in about 15 minutes on those nights that you get home late and don’t feel like cooking. Our favorite is breakfast for dinner, and the recipe I make most often is Carlson Breakfast Hash. Use Your crock pot as much as possible. One of our favorite meals is Chicken Enchilada Soup. My last tip/suggestion here is to cook several meals on the weekend and freeze some.
Carlson Family Secret Meatball Recipe
1.5 pounds ground beef (we use a mixture of venison and beef)
½ yellow onion, diced
1 egg, whisked
¼ cup almond flour
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon chili powder
Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat and add onions. Cook until onions are translucent. In a large bowl, add ground beef, onions, egg, almond flour, and seasonings. Mix thoroughly using your hands. Roll into little bite-sized balls and place on a parchment paper lines baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the size of the meatballs. Serve with the tomato sauce recipe from below.
Secret Tomato Sauce to go with the Secret Meatball Recipe
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped (or 1 tablespoon dried thyme)
½ medium carrot, finely shredded
2 28-ounce cans peeled whole tomatoes, crushed by hand
In a saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft and light golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the thyme and carrot and cook 5 more minutes, until the carrot is soft. Add the tomatoes and juices from tomato cans and bring to a boil, stirring often. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Season with salt. The sauce can be refrigerated for 1 week or frozen for 6 months.
The end result of getting your meal planning done ahead of time?
You can relax knowing your plan is thought out in advance. You have planned your meals and therefore have a shopping list to be prepared for those meals. Your time frees up as you've taken the few minutes to plan and now it is time to execute the plan. You reap a multitude of benefits the whole day long knowing your meals are going to be less stressful, more organized.
To your best health,
January first is right around the corner. Resolutions are being made.
But how do you keep the focus and resolve you have on January 1st through the whole year?
Here are some helpful tips to keep you on track. Remember most of our New Year’s Resolutions were not something we can attain quickly but over time. Lets keep on fighting for our dreams.
1. Get quality sleep
You’ve heard us say it many times but sleep is important. Getting 6-8 solid hours of sleep is essential for your body to rejuvenate, replenish, and repair itself. Your body is doing a lot while you sleep. Beyond the health benefits, think how much happier, smoother, and relaxed your day goes when you wake up ready to tackle the activities of your day.
2. Surround yourself with people that encourage you.
Most people are hard on themselves to begin with. We blast ourselves for not being perfect. Perfection in our diet, looks, actions, talk, relationships, and work will not happen. We need to be our best but don’t beat yourself up for a failure; learn from it and move on. The last thing we need to do is spend time with people that are critical toward us or people that are always bleak and downhearted. Spend time with people who see you and value you for who you are. They are the ones who make you feel like you can accomplish anything.
3. Exercise regularly
Exercise raises your serotonin levels. You know, the stuff that make you just feel good! The physical challenges you overcome in your training will boost your confidence outside of the gym as well. Exercise sends you a message that you are worth the time and effort you make for yourself.
4. Eat a clean healthy diet
Eating clean healthy food is another way of sending a message to yourself that you are worth it. You are worth the best foods, the time to plan your meals and prepare them. Avoid processed foods. Focus on foods fresh fruits and vegetables and a variety of protein. Remember a healthy diet keeps your hormones in balance, which helps activate the cycle of a happier, healthier you.
5. Finish what you Started
Something motivated you to start each and every action you do each day. A boss can motivate you to be on time each day to work, and your paycheck can be a motivation for you to show up to work at all. There are also motivations to do laundry, plan meals, and make training each time you are scheduled. Once you start something you will soon find there are often obstacles that get in our way. Laundry might be put on hold while dealing with a sibling dispute, dinner might be late on the table because an unexpected phone call interrupted your prep time. Each time you overcome an obstacle and succeed by finishing your task it adds to your sense of accomplishment. Taking the obstacles seriously will enable you to focus on it and then get back to your plan. It is a great feeling to start something and cross it off your daily list. It is even a bigger boost to cross things off your weekly or monthly to do list.
6. Eliminate “Can’t” and “But” from your vocabulary
Those obstacles that get in your way when working toward a goal will come. How we handle those obstacles define our success. When we start allowing those obstacles and life to get in our way we often start making excuses. You’ll start off by saying “ I can’t get the laundry done today because the kid were acting up.” “I didn’t eat to support my goals but I didn't eat the whole cake.” Those words are self-defeating. Turn those two little words into possibilities. You can do anything you truly set your mind to.
7. Focus on your strengths
All of us were created differently with special talents and abilities. They define us, they give us character and personality. We all have something we are really good at. Focus on those things. I’m not saying we shouldn’t stretch our selves in our weaker areas but comparing ourselves to others is unfair. You are unique. Enjoy that part of you that makes you special.
While we write our goals down on January 1st many of us will dream those dreams for a long time. The dream to be better/change is worth the fight. You have already encountered some challenges. When we look back over the first half of the year; our goals and dreams will still be blossoming and growing. Don't be in it for the sprint but for the marathon.
To Your Best Health,
Nobody likes to be left out of the holiday fun, including all those holiday parties. Here’s some pointers that will allow you to be social and enjoy yourself without splitting your pants before the New Year:
1.) Train With High-Intensity Activity Before and/or After a Big Meal or Holiday Feast
I know, I know, tell it to the judge. I promised strategies, but I simply cannot go without recommending some activity. Your body is most receptive to higher carbs within 30 minutes before and within three hours following an intense workout. Ideally you would want to workout out before AND after a big meal, but if you can only do one, that will suffice. Don’t obsess over it – Even a 20-30 plus minute walk a few hours afterwards can help a little bit..
2.) Do NOT save up your calories for your Holiday Feast
Eat as you normally would on a good nutrition plan – At each meal, get in your protein and veggies. If you go into that huge meal in a fasted state, you are going to overeat, and because you are so hungry, your body will be craving all the high sugar and fat foods! You are just setting yourself up for a sugar crash and fat gain.
3.) Do NOT Gorge Yourself
Maintain your discipline, and eat until you are satisfied, not until you have to loosen your belt. Remember this: binge eating is not the habit of lean individuals. It is imperative to understand that that holiday meals are not a ticket to eat as much as you can in as little time as possible. Eat to live, don’t live to eat.
4.) Eat Healthy Fats and a Protein-Rich Meal An Hour Before the Big Party
This is another great way to help you from stuffing your face with sugar cookies. Healthy fats and protein are a powerful combination in helping you be full and satisfied. A great strategy is to have a protein shake adding in 2 Tablespoons of flaxseed. Nutritious, delicious, easy to prepare and it won’t go from your mouth to your hips.
5.) First Things First – Eat Your Vegetables
Just because it’s a holiday meal doesn’t mean you can’t eat any nutritious food. Head for the vegetable and meat tray and get something good in you. This will leave less room for the unhealthier, higher calorie treats.
6.) Water, Water, Everywhere
Water competes for space in your stomach and really does help keep you from overeating. For every plate of food you eat, drink a glass of water. After that second plate, when you have 1 full liter of water in your stomach, I bet you might just throw in the towel!
7.) Immediately Resume Your Normal Eating Schedule at the Next Meal
Ok, you had your fun, and what’s done is done. It’s time to get right back on the wagon, and back to normal, healthy eating habits. Don’t let one meal become one week and then turn into a month.
8.) Don’t Eat Junk Food at Breakfast or Bedtime
Eating a highly refined carbohydrate meal first thing in the morning will make your blood sugar levels go crazy for the rest of the day resulting in greater junk food cravings and uncontrollable hunger. On the other hand, eating a big meal before bed will result in a bunch of unused energy that will be stored as body fat and can cause trouble sleeping.
9.) Don’t Drink Your Calories
It is way too easy to get way too many calories in liquid form. One can easily consume over 1,000 calories per day from liquid calories alone. This means that in one week, you will gain 2 lbs of body fat from just fluids! Those holiday lattes ARE yummy, but the extra fat attached to your backside not so much! Also, sugar laden and alcoholic beverages tend to make you hungrier in general and often hungrier for junk food in particular. Furthermore, your body cannot burn fat until the alcohol is processed out of your body. It could be setting you back anywhere from a few days to as long as a full week!
10.) Avoid Eating Meals that are High in Carbohydrates Alone
The absolute worst thing that you can do is to eat a meal that is high in carbohydrates without balancing it out with some protein and healthy fats. The high amount of carbs will lead to a rapid increase in blood sugar levels , which increases the potent fat-storing hormone Insulin. Good for a Sumo wrestler, bad for you.
Following the strategies outlined above will keep those stretchy pants at bay this holiday.
Don’t give into the mindset that holiday fat gain has to happen. Following these simple strategies will help you enter the new year better than ever!
To Your Best Health,