GRIT by Brit

Fun, Fierce, Fitness


Leave a comment

Why Dieting Doesn’t Work (and Why Intuitive Eating Does)

Most Diets DON’T Work

Before reading on, please check out this *fantastic* short video by neuroscientist Sandra Aamodt:

This post is a supplement to Dr. Aamodt’s message about the futility of dieting, from a dietitian’s perspective. I am going to take it one step further by discussing the 10 basic principles of intuitive eating, so that you can start implementing them in your own life!

*These principles have been adapted from the book Intuitive Eating, by Evelyn Tribole, MS, RD and Elyse Resch, MS, RDN, CEDRD.

1. Reject the Diet Mentality. Hopefully the TED talk already convinced you why you should.

2. Honor Your Hunger. So often we berate ourselves for failing to “control” our hunger, when the reality is: hunger is not something that needs to be controlled. Hunger is like a signal; it’s our body’s way of communicating our nutritional needs to our brain. To best honor your hunger, consistently keep your body nourished by eating every 3-5 hours (a normal amount of time to start feeling hunger again between eating episodes). Suppressing your hunger cues or ignoring them only predisposes you overeat later on.

3. Make Peace with Food. Contrary to popular belief, every food offers some type of nutritional values (yes, even cupcakes – carbohydrates are a much needed energy source!). It is essential to accept this fact before we can make peace with food. This is not an endorsement for eating an unbalanced diet, and of course, anything in excess will generally leave your body feeling not-so-great afterwards. But if you recognize that (what you may currently be labeling as) a “bad” or “forbidden” food can fit in to a healthy diet, then you won’t have to feel guilty or “out of control” when you have it.

4. Challenge the Food Police. The Food Police represent any rules you might have internalized about healthy eating or weight control. For example:

  • “I am only allowed to eat [insert random # of calories here], or
  • “I will get fat if I eat past [insert random time here],” or
  • “I should have a salad for lunch even though I’m really in the mood for [insert higher-calorie entrée here] right now.”

These are EXTERNAL and ARBITRARY rules that have nothing to do with what your body is asking for. Start noticing how your personal food police have been holding you hostage from a balanced approach to eating, and see if you can challenge them! Don’t worry, the only ticket you’ll get for doing this is a ticket to a healthier relationship with food :-).

5. Respect Your Fullness. This is probably one of the hardest skills to master, because fullness is not always a clear-cut sensation. The goal is to get to a place where you are comfortably full. That is, somewhere between “I definitely still need more” and “Woah, I’ve had enough.” Mindfulness is key here. You can do this by paying attention to the physical sensations in your stomach, how the food tastes and feels in your mouth, and your overall feeling of nourishment.

6. Discover the Satisfaction Factor. We might be physically very full but completely unsatisfied. Or, we might be just at the border of physically full, but highly satisfied. The point: deciding when to stop eating at a meal is not solely determined by physical fullness. Typically, when a meal is very satisfying, we need less food to honor our fullness. So, how do we make my meals more satisfying? By preparing or choosing food that is compatible with our tastes preferences, appealing visually, and set at an ideal temperature. Also, we can enhance satisfaction by making it a point to eat in (or create) a pleasurable ambience, and when possible, dining with a person (or people) whose company you enjoy.

7. Honor Your Feelings Without Using Food. So often, we use food to soothe, express, cope or repress feelings. While this is normal and somewhat inevitable from time to time, it’s no surprise that consistently using food to fill emotional needs can take a toll on health, and can also lead to feeling worse in the long run. Your best bet is to find more effective, non-food related ways of dealing with your feelings. If you find that you have trouble doing this on your own, there is no shame in reaching out for additional help from a trained professional.

8. Respect Your Body. Everyone is born with a naturally different body shape and size. As Dr. Aamodt points out, these traits are governed by genetics and your pre-determined set-range (aka your body weight thermostat). Very unfortunately, we live in a society that glorifies certain body types and imposes unrealistic expectations of beauty. Acknowledging this sad truth, while simultaneously accepting, respecting and appreciating your body, is a crucial element of intuitive eating. It’s nearly impossible to honor your body’s hunger and fullness cues if your mind is pre-occupied with fitting into some “ideal” size.

9. Exercise. But first, be honest with yourself about your motivation for exercising. Just like food, everyone’s tastes are different. Try to focus on the internal experience (i.e., how certain types of movement make you feel in your body, which types you genuinely enjoy, how they impact your energy levels, etc). Do something that appeals to you! Sign up for an Irish Jig class. Take a walk with your head phones and a playlist. Go for a long, sweaty run. Kick butt in a Turbo Kickboxing class (better yet, one of Brit’s!).  Zen out in yoga. Join an organized sports team. Or, come up with your own creative form of movement! The options are endless.

10. Honor Your Health. Consistently eating a balanced diet that contains a mixture of *mostly* whole grains, lean protein, whole fruits and veggies, and essential fats. Again, it’s your consistent intake that counts. Healthy eating and a healthy relationship with food are inherently fluid, flexible, and imperfect!

If you have questions about any of these principles, or how to apply them to you, feel free to comment below or email Lindsay directly through the contact page of her website, Lknutrition.com.

For more posts by Lindsay (aka FalafeLover), follow her new personal blog, Falafelover in Brooklyn.

Advertisements


2 Comments

Brit’s Tastiest Top 5 Healthy Holiday Treats: Lower Calorie Dessert Options

I don’t know about you guys, but starting this weekend my schedule is jam-packed with holiday parties – LOVE IT!  Many of the parties are “pot luck – style.” So in an effort to avoid overindulging in high calorie desserts, I’ve been researching some “Healthier Holiday Treats” that I can prepare and bring to the festivities.  Below are my Top 5 Favorites!  Hope you love them too.  Enjoy! xoxo, Brit

1. Rocky Road Almond Butter Balls

almondbutterballs

Source: http://livglutenfree.com/recipes/rocky-road-almond-butter-balls

2. Strawberry Santa Hats

strawberry santa hats

Source: http://www.snack-girl.com/snack/light-holiday-snack/

3. Maple Cinnamon Roasted Almonds

MapleCinnamonRoastedAlmonds620-12

Source: http://thehonoursystem.com/2013/04/26/maple-cinnamon-roasted-almonds/

4. Sugar and Gluten Free Ginger Snaps

Ginger-Snaps

Source: http://realhealthyrecipes.com/2011/12/20/real-healthy-ginger-snaps/

5.Dark Chocolate Covered Peppermint

dark chocolate covered peppermint

Source: http://shadandlizzie.blogspot.com/2011/12/dark-chocolate-covered-peppermint-joe.html


Leave a comment

Keep Your Kale Fresh: Quick and easy way to freeze Kale and keep it from going to waste

KALE STORAGE

Hello my luvs!  I hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend – spending time with friends and family and eating delicious food.  I certainly did.  As we prepare for the week ahead, I wanted to share with you this awesome tip that my amazing Aunt (who happens to be a 6 feet tall former runway model – see photos below) shared with me during our family Turkey Day Feast…

aunt helen modeling

My stunning Aunt Helen modeling in NYC in the 70’s

aunt helen modeling 2

More modeling pics of my Aunt Helen – a diet full of lean protein and veggies has allowed her to keep this figure for over 40 years!

As we shared our love for kale, I was complaining about not being able to keep my kale fresh and having to throw so much of it away since I travel every week for work.  It’s nearly impossible to use a whole batch.  HOWEVER, she showed me the cool way to store kale according to serving sizes which alleviates my problem.  It goes like this:

  1. Wash kale
  2. Remove the large stems
  3. Place kale in a plastic sack/bag
  4. Separate the kale into the serving size you want with a twisty tie
  5. Tie off each serving size
  6. Freeze

When you are ready to eat the kale, simply break off the end piece.  It’s super easy to throw the serving into your Vitamix or Blender to make a green drink  or to let it thaw and cook it.  Yay! Stuff like this makes me want to be a vegetarian again!  I  hope you enjoy this tip as much as I did.

Happy meal planning for the week!

Lots of luv, Brit


1 Comment

Embracing the Healthy Side of Thanksgiving

Happy Healthy Thanksgiving Tips

Guest post by Lindsay Krasna, Registered Dietitian

Happy (almost) Thanksgiving, Grit by Brit readers!

The other night, I hosted my first family-style “dinner party” of sorts: a pre-Thanksgiving potluck/apartment-warming, Brooklyn-style. The combination of the good energy from my pals, and the scrumptious Thanksgiving-esque fare they all contributed made for one of the most fun Big Apple nights I’ve ever had! While admittedly, I ate more in quantity, and more “indulgently” than I would have on a typical night, I walked away from that meal with an incredible sense of well-being, contentment and nourishment.

Reflecting on the evening inspired me to post on this topic – The Healthy Side of Thanksgiving – because so often, this holiday gets a bad rap in the nutrition world. I mean, let’s face it, “nutritious” isn’t exactly the first adjective that comes to mind when we think of Thanksgiving… “diet buster” or “gluttony” is more like it. Furthermore, during this time of year, the media is relentlessly flooded with stories featuring tips on “how to avoid holiday season weight gain” or “how to re-work traditional holiday dishes into healthier versions.” While I certainly recognize the value that this type of information offers for health-conscious individuals looking to sustain their healthy habits throughout the holiday season, I also feel strongly that there is not nearly enough attention paid to the (perhaps less obvious) healthful aspects of Thanksgiving that we may forget to embrace and appreciate.

Thus, I’d like to draw your attention to my personal top 4 underrated (yet wonderfully nourishing, and yes, even nutritious) parts of Turkey Day!

  1. Expanded food repertoires. We are creatures of habit, and so often, we get stuck in foods ruts, eating the same things for breakfast, lunch and dinner without even realizing how routinized we’ve become. But food variety is an important part of good nutrition, too. With an extensive “food-scape” to choose from on Thanksgiving, we can use this meal to expose our palates to less familiar flavors and textures, learn about new cooking techniques, and even garner inspiration for some new meals ideas outside of holiday time.
  1. Kitchen collaboration. There is a TON of research touting the benefits of family meals. For example, children of families that cook and dine together regularly tend to have more nutritious diets and a decreased risk for developing disordered eating habits. And while meals together may not always be a realistic gig for families on a regular basis, what better holiday than Thanksgiving to make it a family affair! Cooking as a group also provides a natural foundation for bonding, which occurs through the collaboration and communication necessary for preparing and enjoying a home-cooked meal. Speaking of which…
  1. Emotional nourishment and group entertainment value.  We receive nourishment not only in the form of the physical nutrients that enter into our body through food, but also through the emotional satisfaction that comes from experiencing fulfilling connections with others. The convening of family (or friends) in a group setting such as Thanksgiving provides us a unique opportunity to bond with loved ones, many of whom we may not see on a regular basis. There is also a special dynamic that comes along with a group meal. Groups have a way of forming a life of their own, and if you take a step back and actually listen to the group’s conversation, it can be quite humorous and highly entertaining. Or, maybe this is just my family… 🙂
  1. A perfect opportunity to practice self-compassion. Remember my post on “Finding Balance?” The definition of healthy eating is: consistently blending basic nutrition principles (cerebral knowledge) with your body’s intuitive hunger-fullness cues and taste preferences (internal knowledge). Key word: “consistently.” Overindulging is TOTALLY normal and natural at a meal like Thanksgiving, when we’re presented with an overwhelming amount of food (and perhaps overwhelming people, too). If nothing else, we can use Thanksgiving to practice being compassionate with ourselves, especially after we realize we were waaaay off the mark when we reached for that 3rd helping of sweet potatoes…. (yum).

Wishing you a Thanksgiving feast that is truly nourishing!

For more nutrition tips or to get in contact with Lindsay Krasna, Registered Dietitian, visit: http://www.lknutrition.com/


3 Comments

Super Scrumptious Southern-Style Fall Veggie Recipes

Happy Fall everyone!  Historically, I haven’t been a Fall-lover, but as I’m “maturing” I’m starting to love the season more and more.  As a former vegetarian, I still have a special affinity for vegetarian recipes and the best of the best arrive in the Fall!  So, since I’m a Southern Girl slash veggie lover, I wanted to share with you my top 3 favorite Fall recipes, all of which are southern-style.  I hope you love these recipes as much as I love them.  Enjoy.! Lots of luv, Brit

Butternut Squash with Pecans and Blue Cheese

butternut squash

Ingredients

  • 1 2lb butternut squash
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1-2 teaspoons Herbes de Provence
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup Danish Blue cheese, crumbled

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F/200C. Cut ends off squash, then cut in half lengthwise. Scrape out seeds with a sharp spoon, peel squash with a vegetable peeler, then cut into 1 inch cubes.
  2. Toss the squash cubes with 1 tablespoon olive oil, herbs, salt, and pepper.
  3. Arrange the squash in a single layer and roast for 20 minutes without opening oven.
  4. Remove the pan and turn squash cubes over. (They should be lightly browned on the bottom.) Roast the squash 15 minutes more.
  5. Turn the squash one more time and sprinkle pecans over the top. Roast 10-15 minutes more, until the nuts are fragrant and the squash cubes are soft and caramelized.
  6. Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper if it needs more.
  7. Serve the crumbled blue cheese at the table, so you and your guests can choose how much cheese to add (if any).

 

(Source: Stephfood.com)

Apple Pecan Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

apple pecan stuffed sweet potatoes 4

Ingredients

  •  4 medium-size sweet potatoes (3 1/2 lb.)
  •  3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup butter
  •  1 large Rome Beauty apple, chopped
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Directions

  1. Place potatoes on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet. Bake at 425° for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until tender.
  2. Heat nuts in a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat, stirring often, 5 to 7 minutes or until toasted. Remove from skillet.
  3. Melt butter in skillet over medium-high heat. Add apple and raisins; sauté 2 to 3 minutes or until apple is tender. Stir in brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Remove from heat.
  4. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise; scoop pulp into a large bowl, leaving shells intact. Add apple mixture to pulp in bowl; stir until blended. Spoon mixture into shells. Place on baking sheet.
  5. Bake at 350° for 15 to 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Top with nuts.

 

(Source: Southern Living)

Maple Collard Greens

collard-greens

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch collard greens (chopped)
  • onion (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup (real)
  • 1 tsp barbecue sauce
  • 2 tbsps oil (butter margarine)
  • salt
  • pepper

Directions

Heat butter or oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add onions. While onions are cooking wash collards leaving them damp. After about 5 minutes when onions are lightly browned  add collards and cover pan with a lid. After about 5 minutes add maple syrup, BBW sauce, a pinch of salt and a few dashes of pepper. Mix together and cook covered over medium for about 10-15 minutes or until greens are tender.

 

(Source: food.com)


2 Comments

4 Fantastic DETOX Drinks

Hey guys!  As always I hope your week is going well.  In preparation for the holidays, I’ve been searching for some interesting yet effective detox drinks to help me get through all of the turkey, ham and pie that I plan to eat.  I found these 4 recipes that I’m super excited about.  I’ve already tested them and they received the GRIT by Brit stamp of approval.  Remember that detox drinks are good meal replacements and/or supplements to add to your diet every once in a while.  However, long-term elimination of food for intense detox cleanses can be dangerous and actually slow down your metabolism which leads to weight gain.  Be smart and drink up!  Lots of luv, Brit

1. Fat Burning Detox Drink

I love this drink because it has apple cider vinegar in it!  Apple Cider Vinegar is believed by many to be a natural fat burner – my mother and grandmother swear by it.  Growing up, I remember watching them take a straight shot of it every morning.  In case you’ve never had it, it’s disgusting!  I found this recipe on Raining Hot Coupons and I was excited to find that the drink actually tastes good!

fat burning detox drink

Fat Burning Detox Drink

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2  cups of water
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp sweetener
  • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • ½ apple (sliced) – add to the liquid ingredients at eat after you finish drinking

Instructions: Mix all liquid ingredients together in a blender/shaker for 10 seconds.  Pour into a cup a let sit for 10 minutes.  Drink and eat the apple slices at the end.

2. Liver Detox Drink

The liver is our most vital, detoxifying organ.  Sometimes it has to work overtime when we consume too much processed food, alcohol, sweeteners and coffee.  Everyone once in a while, it’s a good idea to give your liver a rest by drinking tons of water and drinking this liver detox drink.  All of the ingredients in this recipe are ‘RAW” and have been shown to naturally help cleanse the liver.

Liver Detox Drink

Liver Detox Drink

Ingredients:

  • A handful of spinach
  • 1 apple
  • 1 banana
  • 1 lemon (squeezed)
  • Half a chili pepper (optional)
  • 1 garlic clove or as much as desired (optional)
  • 1 glass of water

Instructions: Put all ingredients into a blender and mix until smooth

3. Digestive Detox Drink

Warning!  This drink does NOT taste good, but it is really good for you.  It’s got a ton of vegetables that are super rich in fiber.  If you’ve been suffering from constipation and  want a digestive “cleaning,” look no further!

digestive detox drink

Digestive Detox Drink

Ingredients:

  • 3 carrots
  • 3 kale leaves
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 2 beets
  • 1 turnip
  • ½ bunch of spinach
  • ½ cabbage
  • ½ bunch of parsley
  • ½ onion
  • 2 garlic cloves

Instructions: Mix all ingredients with water and puree in a blender.

4. Diuretic Detox Dandelion Tea

Dandelion detox tea is a diuretic that will eliminate bodily toxins through your liver and kidneys.  Drinking it is natural way to rid your body of excess water and feel lean.  According to classical homeopathic practitioner Sonya McLeod, B.A., D.C.H., dandelions are a great source of vitamin A, potassium, iron and calcium.    Also, some research shows that it’s a natural cancer fighter.  Most importantly Lindsey Lohan and Gwyneth Paltro swear by it (kidding, not kidding).

dandelion tea

Diuretic Dandelion Detox Tea

  • 6 tablespoons of 1-year-old dried dandelion root
  • 12 tablespoons of fresh dandelion leaves
  • 4 cups of purified, boiling water.

Instructions: Mix all ingredients together in a tea bag.  Place bag in boiling water and brew for about 10 minutes.


2 Comments

Brit’s Delicious Morning Detox Drink

Detox Drink Ingredients: Water, Cucumber, Lemon & Mint Leaves

Detox Drink Ingredients: Water, Cucumber, Lemon & Mint Leaves

Hi GRIT Gang!  Here’s a detox drink recipe that my lovely mommy shared with me.  I can’t wait to try to it – sounds amazing!  Right off the bat, I think it’s a good look because it has very simple, healthy ingredients.  Also, it’s extremely affordable and easy to make.  Here are the details:

Ingredients:

  • 2 lemons
  • ½ Cucumber
  • 10-12 mint leaves
  • 3 quarts of water

Directions:

  1. Chop the lemons and cucumber into thin slices
  2. Pour 3 quarts of water into a large container and mix in the mint leaves, cucumber and lemon slices.
  3. Let the detox solution sit overnight and drink it first thing in the morning – enjoy!

Lemon-Mint-and-Cucumber-The-Delicious-Detox

Top 5 Benefits of Brit’s Delicious Morning Detox Drink

  • Get Lean – The morning detox drink is filling and hydrating.  Drinking it first think in the morning will prevent you from immediately going for an unhealthy breakfast option.  Also, substituting the detox drink for your daily glass of  juice can reduce your calorie intake by 100-150 calories!
  • Glowing Skin – For our skin to look healthy, it’s got to be hydrated.  When our bodies are dehydrated, our eyes look sunk-in and wrinkles and dark under-eye circles are more visible.  Hydrating your body first thing in the morning (before the cup of coffee) is critical for sustaining your glow.
  • No Sniffles – Lemon water provides vitamin C which boosts your immune system.  Also, lemon helps reduce fever because it stimulates sweat.
  • Stay Regular – The detox drink hydrates your digestive system and stimulates bowel movement.  “Lemon helps the bowel to dispose waste, including preventing constipation. The lemon reduces the amount of mucus production in the body, helps dissolve gallstones and acts as a liver cleansing and detoxifying.” Source: Healthy & Natural World
  • Eliminate Toxins – The detox drink benefits your liver by increasing the level detoxifying enzymes and improving your liver function as a result.  Also, as a natural diuretic, the detox drink will stimulate the secretion of bodily waste.

For best results, I recommend starting every day with the detox drink and making it a new healthy habit.  Try it out and let me know what you think.  Lots of luv, Brit