Healthy Fats are Key to a Good Diet

Everybody is worried about fat– body fat as well as fat in our food!  It’s only natural that we begin to see fat as a bad thing.  We’ve been told to avoid it at all costs, after all.  Many products come in a low-fat option and television commercials are constantly convincing us to buy the newest supplement or workout program to burn fat fast!  It’s important to remember, though, that we need fat in our diet!  Continue reading to see what types of healthy fat you should be including in your diet!

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The truth is that not all fats are created equally.  We’ve villified fat in our culture to a point that many of us have cut TOO MUCH fat out of our diets!  So how can you know which fats should be on your table and which fats you should be avoiding?

The simple way to remember it is that Trans fats are bad and should be avoided, Mono- and Poly-unsaturated fats are good, and saturated fats are up for debate.

While we’re recommended to consume a very small amount of fat, the problem is that all fats are being lumped into one category here, but all fats aren’t the same.  Of course we want to cut trans fats out of our diets, but we definitely want to keep Omega-3 fats, and in fact most people need to be consuming more of them!  Check out these five sources of healthy fats that you can include in your diet to round out your nutrition!

 

Avocadoes

Packed with protein, vitamin E, and fiber, these guys bring even more good stuff to the table– they’re rich in monounsaturated fats (the good kind!).  Try adding half an avocado per day to your diet– they’re easy to add to salads, sandwiches, and wraps and also make a great soup or chili topping!  They can go on top of toast or be eating solo, too!

 

Dark Chocolate

The saturated fats in dark chocolate will help you to slow your digestion and feel less hungry!  On top of that, it’s packed with antioxidants that fight free radical damage.  A few ounces per day is all you need! Eat it as a snack between meals or add it to your oatmeal or yogurt in the morning!

 

Whole Eggs

If you’ve only been eating egg whites, listen up!  While the whites are solid proteins, the yolk of the egg contains fat and cholesterol.  However, most of those fats in the yolk are monounsaturated, and the overall fat profile of the egg yolk has been found to actually REDUCE LDL (bad cholesterol)!  On top of that, eggs are the top dietary source of choline, a nutrient that shuts down the genes that cause us to store fat around our liver.

 

Salmon

By adding two servings of wild salmon to your diet each week, you’ll be getting the recommended amount of omega-3 fatty acids that will help to protect your heart!  Try it as a main, a salad topping, or in a sandwich or wrap!  Just make sure you’re buying wild caught salmon, as farmed atlantic salmon does not have the same healthy qualities!

 

Olive Oil

This oil is packed with polyphenols, which are great for fighting cancer risk!  They contain adiponectin, a hormone that breaks down fat!  Extra virgin olive oil has also been proven to increase blood levels of serotonin, which helps us to feel fuller faster and avoid overeating!

 

What healthy fats do you try to work into your diet each week?

 


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Tops Foods To Improve Brain Function

We all need our brains to work quickly!  Work, parenting, and enjoying our hobbies or social events all require a fast-working brain!  How can you make sure your brain is in great shape?  One of the best ways to care for your brain is to eat foods that improve brain function!

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Coldwater Fish

Try eating 3-4 servings of coldwater fish (tuna, salmon, etc.) throughout the week, as the FDA suggests.  EPA and DHA fats are contained in these fish, and they’re in their ready-made form, making it easy for our bodies to digest them and put them to use right away!  These fats are important for healthy brain functioning and for protecting our joints, so eat up!

 

Tomatoes

One of their super ingredients, lycopene, has been found to fight the free radical damage that occurs at the onset of dementia, so make sure you’re adding tomatoes to your diet where you can — salads, soups, and sandwhiches are great places to start!

 

Broccoli

This vegetable is a great source of Vitamin K, which helps improve brain functioning, so make sure you’re packing it into your meals!  Try it roasted, grilled, raw, or grated into meatballs, soups, and salads!

 

Avocadoes

Packed with healthy monounsaturated fats, avocadoes are great for helping to maintain a healthy bloodflow in your body.  Your brain will reap the benefits of a healthy bloodflow, and they also lower blood pressure! Try adding olive oil to your dishes that contain avocadoes– they pair well together and you’ll get double the boost of monounsaturated fats, which studies have shown to actually slow brain aging!

 

Dark Chocolate

Dark Chocolate has powerful antioxidant properties which make it a must in your healthy-brain diet!  It contains natural stimulants which will help your brain to focus on the task at hand, and it stimulates endorphin production, which will help to regulate your mood in a healthy way!

 

 

What are your favorite brain-healthy foods?  How will you try to incorporate these into your current food habits?

Find out which foods you should be including in your diet to improve brain function!

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Top 7 Breakfast Ideas for Gym Goers

The best breakfast ideas for morning workouts!

Going to the gym early in the morning has plenty of benefits– it helps you mark off the gym from your to-do list instead of procrastinating, it gives you an early dose of feel-good endorphins, and can help you feel more alert and energetic for the rest of the day.  But if you wake up early to go to the gym, what should you eat for breakfast?

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Yogurt Parfait

It looks fancy, but it will take you less than two minutes to put your greek yogurt, berries, and granola in a cup! It’s a quick breakfast with a bit of protein and natural sugar and carbs to get your body ready to run!

 

High-Protein Oatmeal

Your body will need the carbs and the protein to power you through a high-intensity workout, so make your oatmeal the way you like it, but add nuts and the nut butter of your choice!  This will help to fuel your body throughout your workout and after, and you won’t feel lightheaded or dizzy while pumping iron in the morning!

 

Protein Smoothie

 

If you don’t have much of an appetite in the mornings but you KNOW you need to kickstart your metabolism for the day, try having a protein smoothie.  It can be as simple (milk, greek yogurt, protein powder, fruit) or as complicated as you want to make it, but get some calories in you!  Better yet, start your day with a good dose of protein to make the most of the exercise you’re about to do!

 

Apples and Peanut Butter

It won’t take you but 2 minutes to put together, but it will stay with you throughout your workout.  Slice an apple and top each slice with some peanut butter, raisins, chia seeds, or other chopped seeds or nuts that you like to add to your dishes.  This can be eaten on the run, too, if you have room in your gym bag for a food container!

 

Avocado and Egg Toast

If you boil your eggs ahead of time, this breakfast will take about as long as it takes to toast your bread!  Mash your avocado on top of your toast and slice your hardboiled egg on top.  You can add salt or pepper, paprika, olive oil, sri racha, or whatever else you’d like on top to boost the flavor level of your breakfast!  The healthy fats of avocado, complete protein of the egg, and the healthy carbs in your whole grain toast are the winning combination for a healthy breakfast!

 

Omelette

Eggs are always cheap and fast to cook.  Throw in a bit of leftover protein from last night’s dinner, any veggies you might like to include, and tada!  Full of protein and a great vehicle for other ingredients, omelettes are a great breakfast to get your  day started with, especially if you need a protein fix after a workout!

 

Freezer-Friendly Prepped Breakfasts

You can make tons of options ahead of time and then freeze them, ensuring that you always have something healthy that’s ready to go when you are!  Bacon, egg, and broccoli cups made in muffin tins are a great option!  Turkey and egg breakfast sandwiches are a classic, and breakfast burritos with your favorite proteins are popular, too!  In one sitting, you could easily prepare breakfast for 2 weeks if you take the meal-prepping + freezer route!

 

What’s your favorite pre- or post- gym breakfast?

The best breakfast ideas for morning workouts!

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5 Steps to Changing Your Taste Buds

Learn how to change your taste buds to crave and enjoy healthy foods!

Taste is one of our most important senses, and it can get us in trouble if we have cravings for certain tastes!  Potato chips, chocolate, or sugar– the list of tastes we love (but that are actually bad for us) goes on and on!  But did you know that you can CHANGE your taste buds?  I’m serious!  Use these five steps to reprogram your taste buds to keep you from craving foods that will derail your progress!

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Fight the Addiction.

Addiction?  What addiction?  Let me tell you:  science says that the serious overdoses of sugar and fat in our diet are addictive to our taste buds, and that they also dull them!  That means that you’ll crave those tastes but constantly need more and more to get your fix, and you might not be able to register new tastes as they actually are.  So step 1 to changing your taste buds is to make a serious commitment to swearing off large amounts of these ingredients.  You don’t have to go cold turkey!  Try weaning yourself off of them and finding enjoyable replacements for fatty or sugary foods and drinks.  Over time, it will get easier to avoid (but warning: you might pass a couple of grumpy days as your body and brain adjusts!).

Try it Again and Again.

It can be difficult to try foods that we’re sure we don’t like, but it’s an important step in reprogramming your taste buds.  If you have bad memories of hating broccoli as a child, maybe it’s time to try it again.  And if you find that you don’t like it, you’re not done!  Try it with a minimum of 2 ways of preparation:  Maybe you don’t like sauteed broccoli, but you might like it roasted, in a creamy soup, or raw in a salad.  Sometimes we think we don’t like the taste of something when really it’s the texture.  When it comes to vegetables, texture can change so much just by cooking ingredients differently.  Set a goal to try 3 foods each week that you normally don’t eat.  Kale, sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts, broccoli, mushrooms, and lentils might be a great place to start, but go with what will work for your personally!

 

Trick your Brain!

If you’re still not a fan of something that you KNOW you should be including in your diet, try and pair it with something that you do like.  For example, if you’re still not a fan of brussel sprouts, try sprinkling them with parmesan cheese after cooking.  At first you’re just masking the taste a bit, but you’re brain will start to associate BOTH tastes with happy feelings instead of just the cheese.  After trying this magical combo a few times together, you’re likely to find that brussel sprouts are a new dish in your regular rotation!

Become a Mouth Breather.

A big part of our sense of taste comes from our nose (shocking, right?), so sometimes you may think you don’t like the taste of something, but what you actually don’t like is the smell!  Quite a few vegetables have scents that are different from their actual tastes, but if you’re smelling it in front of your mouth for 15 seconds while you debate whether you’re going to eat it or not, all you ever get is the disagreeable smell.  Take stinky vegetables and try boiling or roasting them to help remove the sulfurous compounds that cause their odors.  Another good tip?  Your sense of smell is weakest in the evening, so save dinner for the time of day when you get wild and adventurous with new and healthy foods. Try to avoid taking huge whiffs of food before taking a bite if you know it’s a food that you have a complicated past with.

 

Spice Things Up!

If you’re really craving salty, fatty, or sugary flavors but you’re being so so good by avoiding them, try to keep your mouth entertained with other flavors!  Soy sauce, chili pepper, sri racha, vinegar (and all of its variants!  Rice vinegar is a great and interesting taste to add depth to stirfrys, for example), mustard, lemon, and fresh herbs are all great ways to create interesting tastes that will liven up any pot of green beans or lentils!

Make Small Changes

If you consider yourself a really picky eater, this is an important step to consider.  If you’re a fan of butter, don’t drop straight into dark olive oil– try a lighter one to ease yourself into the transition.  If you’re a chocolate lover, don’t move from milk chocolate to 80% pure cacao!  Start with smaller percentages of cacao and work your way up.  Water down your juices or sodas with a bit of water until eventually you don’t need such intense sugary tastes to get your sweet fix!  Sometimes making huge and sweeping changes is really setting yourself up for failuer.  Humans are creatures of habit and that’s ok.  Start small but stay constant and you’ll end up where you need to be!

 

What are your best tricks for trying new foods and tastes?

 

 

Learn how to change your taste buds to crave and enjoy healthy foods!

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Top 10 Foods and Drinks that Cause Bloating

Find out what foods and drinks to eliminate from your diet to get rid of bloating!

Bloating is the worst, and it happens to all of us at some point or another.  Most bloat can be avoided though, because it’s caused by the foods or drinks that we consume! Read the list below and see what foods or drinks you can eliminate from your diet to help avoid bloating!

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Carbonated Drinks

Because they contain carbon dioxide, these drinks are terrible for bloating!  Try drinking cold teas or infused water if you need something with flavor!

 

Sugar Alcohols

Do Xylitol, Sorbitol, or Mannitol ring a bell?  These are commonly used as sweeteners in processed foods and drinks, and they are known to cause inflammation and bloating.  Make sure you’re checking the food labels and ingredients lists of the processed foods you put in your cart!

Booze

Alcohol can make you retain water.  No thanks!  Make sure you keep your alcohol intake to a minimum during the week in order to avoid bloating!

 

Beans and Lentils

Because of their fiber contents, beans can be tough to digest for some people.  Some beans, such as pinto beans or black beans, can be easier to digest than others (thanks to the thinner skins they have).

 

Dairy Products

Lactose can bother some people and cause severe bloating or other stomach problems.  Even if you don’t have a serious intolerance to lactose, you might experience some bloating after eating cheese, heavy creams, millk, or yogurt.

 

Apples and Pears

These fruits are great to eat on the go, but because of their high fiber content, they can sometimes cause bloating while being digested.

Cruciferous Vegetables

Kale and broccoli, along with a few others, can cause bloating while being digested. They contain a type of carbohydrate called Raffinose, and our bodies don’t produce the enzyme necessary to digest it. Roasting these veggies will make them a bit easier to digest.

 

Wheat

While it was originally a controversial claim, it’s now a widely accepted fact that many people have an intolerance to gluten, a protein found in wheat and wheat products.  It’s everywhere in processed foods, too, so if you think you have this intolerance, it’s time to start clean eating!

 

Onions

These guys contain fructans, which are soluble fibers that can cause bloating.  If you think they’re causing bloating, try cutting them out of your cooking ingredients for a few weeks and see if their absence makes a difference!

Pizza

I know, I know.  It’s delicious.  But it’s also packed with fat and salt.  All of that sodium can cause you to retain water, and the fat will prevent your belly from emptying on a normal schedule, causing you to feel bloated and full.

What foods do you try to avoid to stop bloating in its tracks?

 

Find out what foods and drinks to eliminate from your diet to get rid of bloating!

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What to Eat After a Heavy Workout

So you went to the gym and you KILLED your workout.  Now what?  What you eat next could make a big difference in your fitness results and your recovery time.  Keep reading to get the best tips on what to eat after a heavy workout!

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First let’s start with what you shouldn’t eat:

You want to avoid fat right after a heavy workout.  Fat by itself isn’t always bad, of course, but you shouldn’t eat fat right after a workout because you want to get carbs and proteins into your body as fast as you can.  Including fat in that post-workout meal with slow your digestion, and you want to start digestion your protein and carbs quickly to get the maximum effect from them!

 

When should you eat?

We know that there’s a window of about an hour after a workout that’s the ideal time to refuel your body, so it’s important to take advantage of your time and make sure you’re feeding yourself after a workout.  If you want a shower first, go for it– it doesn’t have to be the second you drop the weights.  But you don’t need to shower, go to your car, run some errands, then get home and cook.  Do what you need to do (meal-prepping, anyone?) to find a way to eat a healthy meal post-workout.

 

On to protein and carbs:

You know why you want protein (muscle building woot woot!) but do you know why your body needs carbs after a workout?  They aid in the recovery system for your muscles!  You need a good meal after an intense workout that consists of easy to digest (which means faster digestion time) food.  Here are a few options to consider:

Eggs

Don’t let the Rocky movies trick you– there is no benefit to consuming raw eggs.  In fact, your body will be able to absorb even more of their protein by cooking them.  Hard-boiled (easy to prep ahead!) or scrambled, make them however you want to meet your protein goals for your post-workout meal!

Whole Grain Pita and Hummus

Carbs? check.  Protein? check.  Add your favorite spices to your hummus to keep things exciting, and dip away post-workout to make sure your body has what it needs to recover and grow!

Sweet Potatoes

A baked sweet potato has the perfect dose of healthy carbs to kick your body’s recovery functions into full gear.  Pair this with your favorite go-to protein and remember to hydrate yourself!

Rice or Potatoes

While we’re often warned against white starches, they can be helpful right after a workout because the lack of fiber (the reason we’re told to avoid them) actually helps your body to digest them faster, helping you to quickly access the carbs your body needs to begin recovery.  Chicken and rice or potatoes is a dish you can even pack ahead of time if you’re really serious about getting that meal in right after your workout is finished.

 

What’s your favorite post-workout meal?

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6 Super Healthy Breakfast Grains

Find some new healthy breakfast inspiration here with these 6 healthy breakfast grains!

Breakfast can be one of the most challenging meals of the day to prepare, simply because mornings can be so hectic sometimes.  The temptation to eat processed foods, junk, or to just skip the meal altogether is REAL!  Check out these six healthy breakfast grains that can be prepared in advance to help you get a quick and healthy breakfast every day!

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Quinoa

You may have seen it in salads, but did you know that you can whip this grain up for breakfast, too?  Quinoa is a great breakfast grain because it can be prepared in bulk in advance!  Treat it like a cereal and mix it with your favorite milk– whole milk, coconut milk, or almond milk– and heat it.  Add your prepared fruit on top and you’ve got an instagram-worthy healthy breakfast bowl!  The protein in quinoa will help you to stay full until lunch, and you won’t be loading up on highly processed or sugary stuff from a box!

 

Buckwheat

This is a great gluten-free option if you’re craving oatmeal, because you can prepare it the same way.  You can go sweet or savory depending on the ingredients you decide to toss in.  The texture of buckwheat porridge is a bit creamier and less lumpy than traditional oatmeal, and has a slightly nutty taste to it!

Steel-cut oats

A traditional breakfast staple, steel-cut oats make a great start to your day.  Heart-healthy and quick to make on the stove or the microwave (or overnight in the fridge!), buying steel-cut oats gives you more fiber than the instant version.  Add your favorite nuts and fruits to boost the nutrients count!

Muesli

You might not have tried this dish, but you really should give it a shot!  Try this:  warm muesli with ricotta (or greek yogurt) and honey.  It’s quick and savory, and you can add other fruits or nuts if you’d like!

 

Brown Rice

I know that in the western world, rice isn’t a common breakfast, but hear me out:  I had a friend who hated breakfast foods. She’s not a big fan of fruit and doesn’t like honey or yogurt.  She loves savory breakfasts, like eggs and bacon and toast.  So when she went on a stricter diet, her nutritionist suggested she make brown rice bowls for the morning– stirfried veggies that can be batch prepped at the beginning of the week, mixed with brown rice that can also be batch prepped at the beginning of the week– TaDa!  Unconventional?  Absolutely.  Did it work for her? Absolutely.  Maybe you should give it a try!

 

Freekeh

An Arabic grain that you might not have heard of before, this stuff acts as a prebiotic that helps to grow healthy gut bacteria.  It also offers up over 4 times the amount of fiber than brown rice!  Serve it warm with fruit, ricotta (or yogurt), and honey to get your day started right!  You can find this grain in your local arabic supermarket.

 

What are your favorite breakfast dishes?

Find some new healthy breakfast inspiration here with these 6 healthy breakfast grains!

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Food Labels– What Do They Really Mean?

Make sure you know how to understand food labels and ingredient lists!

Understanding food labels can be tricky business– serving sizes might be half of a container that otherwise looks like a single serving to you, and ingredients can go be disguised by other names that you don’t recognize.  Read up below on how to understand food labels, and make sure you’re informed about what you’re putting in your body!

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Serving Size

At the top of the nutriton information panel on the back of each product, you’ll see the serving size.  This might come in grams or another unit of measurement that you don’t keep handy in your brain, but it should also estimate about how many servings are in that container.  Don’t just assume that a small container is one serving– check this information first so you can then inform yourself about the balance of nutrients listed below.

 

Calories

Once you know the serving size, check how many calories are in each serving.  Remember to do the math on how many calories you’re actually consuming if you double up on portions.  A common problem in the U.S. is that many people eat more calories than necessary each day, and even with all of those calories they still don’t meet the ideal nutrients intake recommended by the FDA.  Checking out the calories (as well as the calories that come from fat) is an important step to deciding if this is a food that you want to include in your diet. The nutrition information panel is based on a 2,000 calorie per day diet.  The FDA suggests that 40 calories per serving size is low, 100 calories is moderate, and 400 calories is high.  Take this into consideration when checking out the back of the box or can!

 

Avoid These Ingredients!

Try to avoid products with trans fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium.  These can contribute to problems such as heart disease and high blood pressure.  By limiting these in your diet as much as possible, you can achieve a more balanced diet and better health.  It’s important to note that these ingredients often appear in processed foods, so you may be able to avoid many of these ingredients by taking the long route of cooking a meal from scratch instead of buying the convenient boxed versions that fill our supermarkets!

Look for These Ingredients!

Try to opt for items that are high in Vitamins A and C, Calcium, Iron, and Dietary Fiber.  Many Americans don’t get enough of these nutrients, despite their high caloric intake.  You can see the percent daily value available on the back of each box (based on a 2,000 calorie per day diet) which can help you to better understand how well a certain food may help you meet the necessary daily intake of specific vitamins and nutrients.

 

Check the Ingredients!

The other aspect of the food label that’s important to understand is the ingredient list.  The most important piece of information to know about the ingredient list is that ingredients are listed in order of quantity.  You want the first several ingredients of any packaged food to be whole ingredients that you recognize, not chemicals or fillers.  If the first ingredient on the list is something you can’t pronounce, it’s probably not very nutritious.

 

Watch Out for Sneaky Names

The next detail to be aware of when reading the ingredients list is that many undesirable ingredients go by different names.  For example, sugar can be listed as plain sugar, but it can also be listed as corn syrup or high fructose corn syrup, barley malt syrup, agave nectar, or dehydrated cane juice (and those are just a few!).  Sodium also has several different names that can appear on a label.  Trans fat, something we want to avoid, might not appear at all!  Instead, ingredients that are high in trans fat (partially hydrogenated oil and hydrogenated oil, for example).

Don’t Fall for Gimmicks!

Health food labels on the front of foods can also be quite deceptive, so watch out! ”No added sugar” might make you think that a food is sugar-free, but some foods are naturally high in sugar.  ”Natural” doesn’t mean the same as organic.  It only means that the product began as something natural (such as pears or grains), but it doesn’t denote what may have been done to those natural ingredients on the way to making the product.  Low-fat and sugar-free options often are high in other undesirable areas in order to compensate for the lack of taste that comes with cutting out fat or sugar.  It’s important to read up on the labels that denote ”healthy” food, because they are designed to entice those of us that want to eat healthily!  It’s a sales gimmick!

 

Opt for Whole Foods

We know that the best way to avoid nasty ingredients and increase our intake of quality nutrients is to eat whole foods.  This doesn’t mean everything that comes in a box or a bag is off limits or terrible, but those products DO require a close look at the food label!

 

Those are my top tips about checking out food labels!  What’s your biggest difficulty understanding food labels or ingredient lists?

Make sure you know how to understand food labels and ingredient lists!

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Comfort Food Cure

Use these strategies to get your Comfort Food Cure!

Everybody has a few favorite comfort foods that get them through stressful periods and bring back happy memories from the past.  Unfortunately, many of these comfort foods go straight to our base instincts to consume sugar, fat, and sodium in as large a quantity as possible.  Pasta, ice cream, fast food, and fried foods all fit into the comfort food category because while they offer little nutrition, they’re packed full of these feel-good ingredients.  So how can we get around the comfort food trap?

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Swap out unhealthy ingredients for healthy ingredients.  

Is your comfort food something that, as a base, isn’t the end of the nutrition world, but often packs an unhealthy punch?  Take pasta for example– By itself, it’s not the healthiest option, but it doesn’t have to get knocked off your list totally!  While it’s often served in heavy cream sauces, you can lighten up the sauce ingredients and still get your pasta fix.  Try a vegetarian sauce packed with veggies, or substitute meat for shrimp or other seafood.  Try to hack your comfort food ingredients when you can, because you’ll still get that happy little fix but you’ll be able to avoid some of the less healthy ingredients!

Let’s say you love the pizza from one specific pizza place in town.  Not just any pizza, but THIS pizza.  It can be tough to swap out ingredients if you like it just the way it’s made with this one special recipe.  You don’t have to cut it out of your diet forever, though!  Order the smallest pizza (or other portion of food) that’s possible, and box half of it up immediately to go to the fridge for a meal later in the week, or to go in the freezer if you want to really space out your comfort food fixes.  One or two slices of pizza isn’t going to upset your entire diet or the last 3 months of going to the gym, so have at it!  Just don’t eat the whole pizza (or nibble on the leftovers for 3 consecutive days!).

 

Find self-care strategies that help you avoid comfort food binges. 

The occasional comfort food binge might not do too much damage, but if you are going through a bout of depression, are dealing with constant stress, or other reasons that might lead you to frequently seek out comfort food, you’ve got to find something to take it’s place!  Instead of eating a tub of ice cream, go for a manicure.  Instead of diving into a bag of fast food, buy yourself a nice wine.  Instead of caving to your comfort food cravings, find other ways to take care of yourself or make yourself feel good that don’t involve food.  Taking a new exercise class, getting your car washed, going to the salon, or buying a new outfit might be ways that work for you!

 

What’s your biggest struggle with comfort food?

 

Use these strategies to get your Comfort Food Cure!

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What to Do After a Food Binge

How to get back on track after a food binge!

We’ve all had food-related moments that we’re not proud of– eating a whole pizza or bag of chips, breaking our diet plans and going all out on lunch, or losing our patience and hitting up the junk food aisle of the grocery store. Everyone has moments of weakness, and we live in a culture that capitalizes on our moments of weakness. A food binge doesn’t have to be the drama to end all dramas, though. Here’s what to do next:

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1. Forgive yourself. 

You can’t get a perfect body in one day.  We all know that!  It’s important to remember the flip side of that coin, too– you can’t ruin your body in one day just because of a food binge.  Take a few moments to recognize that you’re human and you let yourself slip into a couple of bad food choices.  In a few days, all of those ingredients will be out of your system.  It’s not a long-lasting mistake, and you haven’t set yourself back lightyears from your fitness and nutrition goals.  Everyone has a moment of weakness here and there.  You’ve had yours, now it’s time to move on.

 

2.  Identify your triggers. 

Something triggered you to make you throw progress and caution and diet rules to the wind and binge on chocolate cake (or whatever your binge food of choice may have been).  Was it stress?  Impatience with your fitness goals?  A craving for a specific food or ingredient?  There is so much psychology behind why we eat what we eat, and it’s important to pay attention to that.  If nostalgia for treats you ate as a child is your trigger, find another way to fill that space by calling an old friend or listening to music from your childhood.  If stress is what brings on a food binge for you, try finding ways to cut back your stress levels, and be proactive by taking up yoga, boxing, or something else that will serve as an outlet for that negative energy before it triggers you again!

 

3. Make a plan. 

How are you going to avoid the things that make you want to food binge in the future?  If you know that walking past a donut shop is too much temptation, make a plan to cross the street before you get there.  If you know that your night out with the girls is going to lead you straight to a drunken McDonald’s run, try eating a filling dinner before catching your cab out for the night.  Having a plan in place will give you a firm alternative when food temptation starts creeping up on you.

 

4. Treat yourself to some self-care.

You’ve forgiven yourself, identified your triggers, and made plans for how to avoid them in the future.  Now it’s time to be kind to your body.  Treat yourself to a night in with a face mask and a detox smoothie, or a hot bath.  Go to a yoga class and then get a manicure.  Do something kind for your body that makes you feel really good about yourself.  Dedicate some time to yourself as a way to get back on track to doing what feels best for your body and your mind.

 

A food binge doesn’t erase all of the progress you’ve made.  In fact, you can even use it as motivation to get back on track!  Just make sure you don’t fall into a cycle of negativity or punishments because you’ve slipped up with a few meals!

 

What’s your go-to way to get back on track after a food binge?

 

How to get back on track after a food binge!

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