June 21, 2016

Stress and Set Point

Filed under: Uncategorized — JBNUT @ 4:23 pm

I have been a fan of the show The Biggest Loser since it started. I am fascinated by the participants and learning their stories of how they became morbidly obese. Watching their behavioral and emotional breakthroughs often would bring me to tears, and watching their workouts would motivate me to go to the gym. That being said, I always knew it didn’t add up. As much as it is theoretically true that weight is simply calories in vs calories out, I also know that is not true and stress hormones play a large role in metabolism and weight.

When all the press came out regarding how many participants have gained the weight back, I felt immense compassion for the struggles these individuals have gone through and how frustrating it must be. I also felt confirmation in my biochemistry knowledge that there is no quick fix. Your body is not going to want to stay in a situation where you are extremely limiting your calories and killing yourself at the gym. The body will always find a way to avoid that.

What came of this media blitz was a beautiful and poignant piece from Sandra AamodtShe discusses in a variety of ways the stressful impact dieting has on the body, metabolism and brain. Aamodt is a neuroscientist so her point of view is specific, but validates much of what I believe in.

Every question, concern, scenario, confusion of mine with regards to nutrition, health and weight often leads me back to one word – stress.

Aamodt writes: WHY would dieting lead to weight gain? First, dieting is stressful. Calorie restriction produces stress hormones, which act on fat cells to increase the amount of abdominal fat. Such fat is associated with medical problems like diabetes and heart disease, regardless of overall weight.

Many of you are probably surprised to hear that our metabolism can resist weight loss. Even though weight loss can be viewed as a good thing. Yes, in many ways it is healthy to get leaner, fitter, and more energetic, but our bodies often see it as a trauma. Aamodt describes the impact this stress can have on the body and emphasizes that everybody has a “set point.” When we try to live in a weight that is outside that set point, the body will rebound to get back to that weight, often leading to extreme excess weight gain and a damaged metabolism.

Do we all have a set point? This is not proven or 100% conclusive, but there is strong evidence to suggest that we all have a range that our bodies like to live in. Many of us have remained in 10 pound range for a majority of our lives, so it seems reasonable that range could be our set point.

However, how much work goes into that set point? A woman commented to Aamodt’s article that if diets don’t work, and we all have a set point, that it “gives the impression that changing what you eat will not do you any good, so might as well give up and just stay unhealthy.”

If you are eating unhealthily, not in a regular exercise program and not taking care of yourself, then your current weight is likely not your set point weight. Your set point is based on you taking care of yourself.

So if you eat whole real foods, lots of vegetables, exercise regularly, stay hydrated, sleep, say no most of the time to sweets and treats, but say yes to them from time to time, have found some moderation in your life and have remained in the same 10-pound range, then it is likely you are living in your set point range and those last 5-7 pounds you have been wanting to get rid of for the last 10-20 years, are likely not coming off.

If you follow an extremely restrictive diet, do not get a lot of calories, do not let yourself have a splurge, get an excessive amount of exercise in per week, you may be putting your body in a stressed state and your metabolism has been altered due to this. It is this stress that caused the weight regain in The Biggest Loser participants.

If you do not eat well, rarely exercise, overeat often and you know you are overweight, losing some weight would likely be in your favor. But be sure to make the process slow and steady rather than extreme and fast, so you can learn what your real set point is.

Sadly, there is no quick fix. Starving yourself for the short term and then hoping you can go back to your old gluttonous ways is not going to work out in your favor.

Moderation and mindfulness are essential in finding your set point. Taking care of yourself, being good to yourself, being kind to yourself are all part of the process.

It ain’t sexy. It ain’t crazy cool. But I gotta tell you, it feels so damn good when you let go of dieting. Find confidence and joy that you have created a routine that works for you.

June 1, 2016

Heartbroken over Carbohydrates

Filed under: Uncategorized — JBNUT @ 10:44 am

I was recently asked to write another article for The Washington Post. The editor suggested “Carbs and Exercise” as a topic and I immediately got to work. My first thought was to write about how people often exercise too much and do not eat enough carbohydrates and how this often leads to weight gain, or lack of weight loss. An extremely frustrating moment for many of my clients, and a key turning point for them on their health journey as they learn how to fuel properly.

So, off I go, happily writing away. The editor likes the piece, all is well and it was published last week.

And then what happened? HATE MAIL. People writing very mean things because I suggested they eat a carbohydrate! No joke, check out the comments. People said all sorts of mean stuff. Wow.

When I first started reading the comments, I was a bit shocked, confused, and I will admit my ego a bit bruised. But as the day went on, I felt sad. And by the time I got home, I was heartbroken. Why so sad? It hit me, that there are a solid chunk of individuals who truly believe carbohydrates are the devil. So much so, they will write hateful comments on the internet! Are you guys afraid to eat carbohydrates? Do you think carbohydrates are bad for you?

Obviously my message was not clear, so I am attempting to redeem myself.

When I write carbs I do not mean cookies, chips and candy. I mean greens, carrots, peppers, berries, brown rice, oranges or potatoes etc. Are these foods the devil? Really?

The folks were writing with such conviction, such anger. I mention in my article that you need carbohydrates for survival, which is a fundamental, biochemical fact. Many people completely disagree with me.

I agree with the whole “no sugar” craze. I believe the world should exist without processed sugars and processed grains. But, whole grains, root vegetables, fruit, non-starchy vegetables are wonderful, healthy foods. These foods should be part of your diet.

What has happened, that so many think these foods are so bad for you?

AND, many people out there, try to restrict carbohydrates and go too low, and then start to exercise too hard, and they struggle because their body needs carbohydrates to support their metabolism.

For my own emotional well-being, I need to bring the point home….

  1. You need carbohydrates to survive. Carbohydrates break down to glucose and glucose is an essential part of our metabolism. While we have alternate fuel stores and can function without carbohydrates for some time, it is not ideal, it increases stress and ultimately the body will want and need glucose to function.
  2. When I write “carbohydrates,” I am referring to whole, real, unprocessed foods. Non- starchy vegetables, fruits, whole grains, roots and tuber, legumes and dairy.
  3. A portion size of a starch, fruit or dairy is about ½ cup – that is it! So when you are incorporating them into your diet, think of them in ½ cup servings. Add a ½ cup at a time. You will see quickly that this is not a lot of food. Slowly add these foods into your diet and stop if you notice you are gaining weight or are overeating. Find your balance point of getting enough fuel to achieve the results you are looking for. So if you are start overeating on starches and fruits and notice you are gaining weight, EAT LESS! If you are noticing your energy is low, your workouts are fatigued, and your weight is stuck, take note of your current carbohydrate intake and adjust to see if fueling yourself properly will get you out of your slump.
  4. Non-starchy vegetables are carbohydrates and are extremely nutritious foods. Eat them!  All vegetables, except corn, peas, potatoes and winter squash are considered non-starchy vegetables. Hi in fiber, low in calories, full of vitamins and minerals and a wonderful source of food. Please…eat them!
  5. Exercise is a stress to the body. Fueling yourself properly will allow your metabolism to work in your favor and reap the benefits of your workouts, rather than think you are over-stressing yourself. Again, I am not saying live off cookies and chips…eat vegetables, fruits and starches and find the correct amount for you to meet your needs.

Please feel free to write me a note. I want to hear from you as this clearly seems to be a confusing topic. I want to learn how to make it more clear and support everyone in incorporating carbohydrates in some way into their life.

May 9, 2016

Drink up! Well, not really.

Filed under: Uncategorized — JBNUT @ 11:01 pm

Last week, I was fortunate enough to write an article for The Washington PostThe article was titled “Yes, healthy habits can include alcohol.” When the editor asked me to pitch a few articles ideas, of course I suggested an article on alcohol, since as I have mentioned to all of you, oftentimes all I discuss is alcohol consumption with my clients. I joke with many clients when we spend an entire session negotiating how many drinks per week, why a client drank, strategizing new ways to handle social events and laughing a lot along the way. I become a weird mix of rabbi/priest/counselor/therapist/dietitian all at the same time!

I had a hunch that controversy was brewing before submitting the article and when the article posted, I got a variety of feedback some lauding my perspective on moderation and sustainable habits and others deeply disturbed, angry and disappointed that I would support an individual drinking alcohol.

I am so “in it” that I forget sometimes that not everyone is having the conversations I am having with individuals struggling with living healthily.

I am a health professional with a passion for supporting others to create sustainable, healthy habits.My ultimate goal for all of you is that you do not live your life yoyo-ing between depriving yourself on living a super strict plan that makes you feel miserable and boxed in and then overeat, stop working out, and binge because you simply cannot take feeling so regimented.

It is exhausting going two steps forward, three back, one forward, three back, two forward…you get the idea. We have all been there right? It is so difficult feeling stuck. Even if it is super small baby steps, how can you keep moving forward?

Of all habits, alcohol is one of the trickiest for two reasons:

  1. Most of us do not know how much we drink. A comment I received to my article was a reader who was horrified that people drink 10 drinks a week. Do you know how many people drink 10 drinks a week?!?! So, so very many…so many of you! It is not that difficult to do! Especially if you are not paying attention.
  2. You do not realize the impact it is having on your weight and health. Many of you try to calorie count it in or do a hard workout the next day to work it off, but alcohol just doesn’t work that easily.

Yoyo-ing with alcohol is painful. Drinking a lot and drinking a little can be difficult for many of you and it is essential to find your place where it can be a sustainable habit for you without sabotaging your efforts towards healthy living.

I do want to be very clear on this. I am not suggesting you drink alcohol. Once more…I am not encouraging anyone to drink alcohol! 

But if you do, be mindful and aware of how much you are drinking and acknowledge it is not allowing you to reach your goals.

April 6, 2016

How to Own Weight Loss

Filed under: Uncategorized — JBNUT @ 6:13 pm

I was meeting with one of my weight loss groups participating in the study at Stanford I am working on and one participant opened up that he is struggling. Really struggling. He knows what to do, is eating healthy food that is in line with the low carbohydrate diet he is assigned to as part of the study, but he is gaining weight. When the study started he lost about 15 pounds, but has since put back 10 and is feeling stuck and frustrated.

When I asked him to describe his day, it starts off super lean, meal times are planned and organized, early morning workout and small meals planned thereafter…and then he gets home and overeats. He said his wife gets home later than he does so while waiting for her, he ends up munching on any and everything he can get his hands on. He isn’t going for junk. He is eating whole, real food such as cheese, hummus, vegetables, nuts, fruit, more cheese…and more cheese. You see, he is assigned to a low carbohydrate plan for the study so cheese is allowed!

We talked it out as a group and got a good discussion going since so many could relate. The group expressed the difficulties in staying on the plan, and how hard it can be when eating out and social situations, and how “skinny” people have it so easy….the frustrations, concerns and excuses were flowing and everyone was venting on how much losing weight sucks! 

There was a moment of silence and then the struggling participant took a breath and simply said, “I know I need to own it. I need to own this process. I need to take care of myself, be good to myself and completely own this experience. That is what I need to do. That is what I want to do. I can do this.” 

He took my breath away. I was so proud of him as I understand how scary it is to own it. To really jump in and own the weight loss process. Not only take on the responsibility of losing weight, but owning the new life that he wants to live.

Could this be what is holding some of you back? That you are not ready or able to own it yet?

What does “Owning It” mean to you?

  1. Saying no to that second glass of wine…that third glass of wine
  2. Carving out time on the weekend to batch cook/meal prep for the week
  3. Saying no to that dessert because you don’t even want it. Eat it when you want it, not just because it is there or everyone else is eating.
  4. Going for your annual physical so you know your data
  5. Thinking about your day in advance and planning ahead for busy/hectic/stressful moments – always having a Plan B is owning it
  6. Stopping mid afternoon and eating a balanced meal rather than a cookie and coffee
  7. Get out of the diet mentality and start creating sustainable habits
  8. Believe you can do it!
  9. Waking up early to exercise….or going for that workout in the evening…or at your lunch break
  10. Sharing with friends that you need support, and that you want this time to change your life for the long run.

It can be scary! Changing your habits is no joke! But I believe it is worth it, that you are worth it and if you OWN IT the time to change is now. 

So go get em! Jump in. Own it and get excited for the new you!

March 15, 2016

If You’re Happy and You Know It….Eat?

Filed under: Uncategorized — JBNUT @ 9:20 pm

A colleague passed along this video of the Weight Watchers commercial played during the Super Bowl. It probably does not surprise you that I did not watch the Super Bowl…but I hate that I missed this ad! It is fantastic!

Please watch – it’s a minute long – go. Click here.

My favorite line is “If you’re human, eat your feelings, eat a snack”  

Here is the thing….we often eat and we are NOT hungry. 

We are..as the commercial sings:


We think a “snack” will assist us with that emotion. It will take it away, or make it better, or soothe us, or help us celebrate or make us feel worse…or who knows! But we eat when we feel. And that is not necessarily the purpose of food. Especially if we are struggling with weight or a clinical issue. Or we are an athlete needing to perform at a certain level. Or we are just human, and don’t want to use food as a coping mechanism.

Food is fuel! Food is nutrients! Food keeps our physical bodies running so we can live our lives. Food is not really there to help us work through our emotions. And it is truly not there to make an unpleasant emotion go away. Trust me! I have tried. It does not work. Trust me. 

So what can you do?

  1. Acknowledge when you are eating because you are physically hungry versus emotionally hungry.
  2. Rank yourself on a hunger scale from 1-10 - 1 being “eat your arm off starving” and 10 being “so full you are about to burst” - Ideally you are eating in the 4-7 range when your body is physically hungry, not letting yourself get too hungry so you are overeat, or eating when you are already full.
  3. Use meal timing to support cravings! Eat within an hour of waking and every 3-4 hours thereafter. This is my foundational philosophy. Use it!
  4. Notice your food groups. Are your meals balanced? Get a protein, carbohydrate and fat on each plate so you are fueling your body with everything it needs.
  5. Get your emotional foods out of your house! Chocolate, chips, dried fruit, cookies, ice cream, salty snacks, bread, cereal…you name it. Out of sight, out of mind! You wouldn’t let a heroin addict have drugs sitting innocently in the kitchen would you? So get that stuff out of yours!

When you are happy - hug someone you love, laugh and giggle
When you are sad - go for a walk, call a friend, listen to music, get support
When you are bored - play, work, laugh, workout, go for a walk, find an activity
When you are sleepy - go to sleep! Or walk around the block and get some fresh air to wake up
When you are stressed - get help on stress reduction. Take 5 breaths, practice mindfulness, take ownership of your schedule, get your meal timing down, exercise

Use tools that do not have calories to support yourself through emotions. You likely cannot do it alone, find a community of people to support you whether it be friends and family, hired professionals or even strangers at the gym or group networks to motivate you during rough times. Use something other than food to get you through those moments.

This is tough stuff! It is real and affects so many of us. Deep breaths. Stay aware. Take care of yourself and be good to yourself. You got this.


March 8, 2016

Go Against Your Instinct

Filed under: Uncategorized — JBNUT @ 4:20 pm

I am a big believer in listening to your body and trusting your gut instincts. But, there is an instance where the body can play a very clever trick on you. It is not being cruel on purpose, it is all with the intention of survival, but sometimes we need to outsmart our survival instincts.

Sounds strange, but consider this….

As I have mentioned many times, our bodies are constantly in flux questioning whether we are safe or are we in trouble? Are we starving in the desert? Or are we cozy at home with food in the fridge?

If the body thinks it is in trouble, a cascade of reactions will occur to keep us alive. One of those, is to fire up our craving for sugar. Yes, sugar. Why you ask? Sugar is the nutrient the brain needs to keep going. It is the ultimate key to our survival.

The catch is that when our body thinks it is starving in the desert, we are typically not in the desert starving, but rather living on the go in the busy city. So when that sugar craving comes, we have at our disposal a lot of treats and sweets at our fingertips. And that craving overcomes us and we indulge.

We think we are having a sugar craving, but the truth is the body simply needs a balanced plate. Fuel! Not simple sugar. We actually need the opposite of just a bite of sugar. We need a balanced, savory plate of protein, vegetables, fats and whole starches to fuel the body and provide it with all the nutrients it needs rather than simply a quick fix of a sugar rush to keep itchugging along in stress mode in the desert.

These moments catch us when we are on the go. Mid-afternoon, we are busy at work, sitting in traffic or just got home with the kids and are rushing and we crave sugar and go for it. But what if you didn’t? What if you had a balanced plate of food accessible to you, even on the go?

  • Turkey sandwich with whole grain bread, avocado, veggies
  • Lentil salad (or quinoa, cous cous, farro) with veggies and protein/cheese
  • Hard boiled egg, fruit, nuts
  • Olives, nuts, sliced protein, vegetables, whole grain cracker
  • Yogurt/cottage cheese, nuts, fruit
  • Whole grain cracker, cheese, fruit
  • Vegetables, hummus, cheese
  • Overnight oats, nuts, fruit, yogurt, spices
  • Beef jerky, vegetables, nuts, fruit
  • Leftovers from dinner – protein, starch, vegetables
  • Salad filled with vegetables, protein, nuts
  • Sweet potato, protein/cheese, veggies

Start noticing when your sugar craving fires up and consider walking away from the sweet tooth and fueling yourself. If your sugar craving is strong after dinner, you likely have not eaten enough during the day so the body is still craving fuel. A not-sweet, balanced, night-time snack may get the job done. 

Walk away from your instinct and fuel yourself. Listen to your body in a different way and see what happens.

February 26, 2016

3 Things to-do this Weekend so you Succeed Next Week

Filed under: Uncategorized — JBNUT @ 7:38 am

Happy Friday! Many of you are excited to exhale, take a few days off, and “not think” over the weekend. I get it. And I look forward to it too! But, if you think, plan and motivate just a bit, your week next week will be healthier, more productive and a week from now – next Friday – you will be so pleased with how your week went. Lets go!

1. Take a look at your schedule next week and assess busy days and hot spots. Are you traveling? Do you have a super hectic day of meetings? Do your kids have a special schedule one day? Assess your schedule now and highlight busy moments. Those “hot spots” are the ones you will want to be prepared and have extra food, take extra breaths, be mindful so you can prep for success, rather than being blind sighted and overwhelmed by a stressful day. I recommend always looking at your schedule for the next day so you know when, where and what you will eat. On Fridays, taking a look at the week ahead is a great way to get ahold of the bigger picture so your schedule does not take over your health and wellness.

2. Grocery shopping and meal prep. I wrote about this last week - taking 2 hours this weekend to shop/prep/cook/pack will change the tone for your entire week. You do not have to be a gourmet chef. You do not have to cook anything! Just focus on prepping meals and snacks that are ready for you to grab during the week so you are prepared. Especially for those hot spots in your schedule.

3. Realistically plan for exercise and sleep. If you know you have an insane week, you are likely not going to get 9 hours of sleep and 2 hour workouts in. But maybe, you can get 7 hours and a 20 minute walk or interval session? Or maybe you can walk to a meeting instead of driving? Or play with your kids and get a sweat going? Or workout at home? Take a realistic look at your week and figure out how to fit in sleep and movement into your life in a sustainable way. Often times we “power through” a week, don’t sleep and push exercise to the side…what if we could still get some in, regardless of the insanity? Can we make it happen? I say yes.


Eat within an hour of waking and every 3-4 hours thereafter – always!

Sleep 7-8 hours per night

Exercise - Move daily – ideally 30-60 minutes, whether it is broken up throughout the day or in one chunk

Stay hydrated - are you drinking water? Do you have a bottle nearby?

Beware of your vices - caffeine, alcohol. sugar, fried foods – watch out for these trouble makers when life gets busy.

You got this. Breathe. Be realistic. Make it happen. 

Have a great weekend…week ahead!

February 3, 2016

Step on the Gas Pedal? Or Pump the Brakes? Learn how to Decrease Internal Stress.

Filed under: Uncategorized — JBNUT @ 7:40 am

Our Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) is the part of our brain and nerves that does work without our conscious thought. Our eyes see without us telling them to, our heart pumps without prompting etc…thank goodness!

The ANS consists of two parts – the GAS pedal, our sympathetic nervous system and the BRAKE, our parasympathetic nervous system. 

The Parasympathetic nervous system, our brake, is our “rest and digest” response. Imagine sitting in a chair, taking some nice deep breaths. Your PNS is hard at work getting you to rest by lowering blood pressure, heart rate and lung effort and making an effort to digest food stimulating all organs involved with digestion and detoxification such as intestines and kidneys.

The Sympathetic nervous system, our gas pedal, is our flight or fight response. If our body goes on alert the SMS kicks in and does the exact opposite of the PNS. Heart rate, breath rate, blood pressure increase due to a release of adrenaline, our stress hormones, and all other systems for daily life and prevention slow down such as digestion, immune response and detoxification since they are not a priority when we are in danger.

Why am I giving you a quick lesson in our nervous system? And why should you care?

Let me ask you this, which system would you like to be in more often? Would you like to have your foot on the brakes so your body can rest and digest or would your rather put the pedal to the medal and gas it so you are in flight or fight all day long?

I hope you can see where I am going on.

We should be keeping the brake pedal on more often to let our bodies, recover, metabolize efficiently, heal, digest, rest and only use the gas pedal when we need it. 

The SMS should be used when we are in danger. We are driving through a rain storm and are scared, we are running from danger, we are participating in an athletic competition and need to be superhuman for the final minute of the game, our kids kept us up last night with no sleep and we have to get through this one presentation at work, we are truly starving in the desert and need some more time to survive.

Sadly, most of us are stepping on that gas pedal all day long, with no moment to rest, digest and recover. It is not helping you physically or mentally. Trust me. Take time to lower internal stress hormones, take a moment to recover and discover ways to pump the brakes.

Some ideas to find the balance between the gas and brake pedal:

  • Meal timing - eat within an hour of waking and every 3-4 hours. That is a guaranteed way to lower the stress response. It is the beauty of food! Eat a balanced plate of protein, carbohydrate and fat regularly throughout the day to fuel your body and give it time to rest, digest and rejuvenate.
  • Water over caffeine - I am a coffee fan! You all know that so I am not taking it away but if you are living off coffee all day, that is only pushing the gas pedal down harder with each sip. Get water in the mix of your day so you stay properly hydrated. First goal is to drink half your body weight in ounces.
  • Take 5 breaths. If you are a pedal to the medal-foot on the gas-go big or go home type of person, take 30 darn seconds for 5 good breaths at least once a day. If you could do it a few times a day (set alarms on your phone to remind you!) that would be even better.
  • Exercise in a way that gives you what you need. If you are living in a stressed state, running on empty, I would not suggest a high intensity interval workout where you are dripping in sweat and totally exhaust yourself. Again, that is just pressing the gas pedal down harder. The same goes for you brakers, if you enjoy resting and digesting a little too much, I would not necessarily suggest a slow yoga class or walk. Exercise is supposed to give you something that you do not have.
    • So for the heavy footed gas peddlers - go for a walk, go to a flow yoga class or Pilates session, take a spinning class but don’t push past 70%, do weights but slow it down rather than speed it up.
    • For the pump the brakers – get that heart pumping! Do some intervals, 30 seconds on with a minute break in-between or take a class that is a bit outside your comfort zone. Get comfortable feeling a bit uncomfortable.
  • Sleep! Please sleep. 7-8 hours is ideal. Make it happen. Slow down earlier, get a nighttime ritual where you can fall asleep sooner, get the room to a cool 68 degrees, get some white noise, blackout curtains, take the tv and tech out of the bedroom, soft cozy sheets, a nice candle, whatever you need to make it happen. Give your body time to recover.

Be good to yourself…slowly lift off the gas and create a new speed that allows your body to thrive

January 27, 2016

HALT when Hungry

Filed under: Uncategorized — JBNUT @ 7:37 am

Dr. Param Dedhia, eloquently suggested when you feel hungry, “HALT” and assess what is really happening.

H - True physiological Hunger

A - Feelings of Anger, Agitation, Anxiety or Annoyance

- Feeling Lonely

T - Feeing Tired

Allow yourself to take a pause to understand your true feelings for why you are hungry, then you can then decide if food is going to assist you.

If you are genuinely hungry, eat! Eat a balanced plate of proteins, carbohydrates and fats to properly satiate yourself and fuel yourself.

If you are not physically hungry but experiencing one of the ALT-ernative feelings, support yourself through those feelings without food. While tempting, food is not going to make any of those feelings go away. 

Consider self care through one of the following approaches, to support yourself during emotional moments.

  • Sleep
  • Hot cup of tea
  • Talking to a friend, family member or someone who supports you
  • Going for a walk
  • Getting some fresh air
  • Going for a workout
  • Visit somewhere beautiful – beach, woods, desert, sunset, sunrise, park bench
  • Listening to some music
  • Watching some TV or film
  • Sit for 5 minutes and breathe – set a timer on your phone, find a breathing or meditation app to time or guide you.
  • Play – dance around the house, go do something silly and fun
  • Learn something – go to a lecture, museum, class

We often eat as a form of comfort. We believe food will make the feelings of anxious/lonely/tired go away. They may for a moment, but they usually come back.

We often eat out of habit. When we feel anxious/lonely/tired we always eat ice cream (fill in the blank on your vice), and it has become an automatic reflex even though the ice cream does not truly help.

We often eat mindlessly. If we were eating only when we were physically hungry, portion sizes and emotional cravings would not be an issue. We often eat without paying attention and the calories can add up.

Take a moment before you take a bite…and make sure it is providing you with what you need.

Be good to yourself!

January 19, 2016

Healthy Canyon Living

Filed under: Uncategorized — JBNUT @ 11:38 am

Last year, I was fortunate enough to spend a week at Canyon Ranch. They are doing incredible work and it was a pleasure to meet with doctors, dietitians, fitness specialists, meditation teachers, chefs, hiking guides – they are doing so much I cannot keep track! Every possible resource to support you in living a healthier life. Quite a week.

Of course, I was obsessed with the nutrition program and food. I was a huge nerd asking tons of questions. Cannot believe what they pull off everyday. They have designed a menu created by dietitians, chefs and home cooks and have a recipe database that is beyond extensive and impressive, I had to share. Their recipes are typically low sodium, low fat and focused on clean ingredients. They use a lot of spice and herbs to add flavor and use vegetables to increase fiber and texture to all their foods. They are incorporating all the habits we should all be doing everyday but we do not have a “recipe development team” at home so I thought I would pass these along. 

I learned a lot over my week, but what I took home with me was that it is essential to create your own wellness center within your everyday life. It is easy to exercise every day and eat clean when it is all being handed to you, but what resources do you need to create a solid routine at home, so you can live healthy and well every single day? The key is to remember you need help! This is not meant to be achieved alone. We all need our wellness team. All of us! Whether it is hiring a health professional, signing up for an app, or joining a gym or community support group…reading a book, whatever are the habits that you want to focus on, ask for help and guidance to support you in reaching your goals.

One part of your team could be a recipe database. Here are a few recipes I grabbed that looked tasty. Check out all they have to offer – hundreds of goodies for you! Enjoy!


Cajun Poached Eggs 

Red Lentil Salad

Bitter Spinach Citrus Salad

Black Coconut Rice 

Cod with Olive Salsa and Artichoke Fritters 

Curried Chickpea Wrap 

Chocolate Truffles

Who is on your team? Who can be your support system? What do you need to live well everyday?

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