November 12, 2014

750 Words

Filed under: Uncategorized — JBNUT @ 9:33 am

You eat right, you exercise regularly, you are doing all the things you “should” be doing, but you still feel off. Life is stressful, sleep is difficult, mind can swirl fast, it is hard to stay focused, mood goes up and down and energy is all over the place.

Someone suggests you become more mindful and consider meditation. You are on board, try to sit, try to be more aware, try to breathe and just “be” but your mind is going crazy and you are stressed out at how difficult it is just to sit. How can it be that sitting still for 5 minutes can drive you that insane?!?

You are not alone! Practicing mindfulness and meditation is a bit more complicated than one thinks -that is why they call it “practice” because it really does take consistency, time and routine to get comfortable and open to truly surrender to the art of mindfulness. 

As difficult as it is, it is so important. It is THE practice we all should be focused on. Some form of awareness, breathing techniques, mindfulness - meditation is therapeutic for the mind and more and more research is suggesting how simply taking that time to sit and breathe and clear your mind can decrease stress, anxiety and improve your physical health. 

Your weight issues may have less to do with exercise or food than you realize - it may be all stress! We have to learn how to manage our stress to improve our health and well-being!EVERYONE NEEDS SOME MINDFULNESS!

Through a weird twist of events, I came across this article a few weeks ago and loved it. This man describes his journey to meditate and is very honest with his struggles. I can relate as I use theapp Headspace regularly but sometimes I just cannot sit still! After trying to sit and mediate, he came across a book called The Artist’s Way (a wonderful client also gave me this book, you know who you are – thank you!), he discovered the practice of morning pages which led him to create a website called 750 words to support a mindfulness practice that works for him and has improved his life.

It works! I started morning pages a few weeks ago and am now using his website and wow it is helpful. A beautiful mix of using technology to keep you accountable and organized….all with the purpose to slow down, open up, let go and be more mindful of your life, thoughts, feelings and actions.

This is a game changer. Can you write 750 words today?

Stop Eating Bread

Filed under: Uncategorized — JBNUT @ 9:14 am

For so many of you, that is your first strategy for weight loss. Stop eating bread. And then you give up wheat and/or gluten entirely.  Is it really bread’s fault? Is wheat truly the problem? I just have a hard time believing that globally, we are all so sensitive to wheat, that cutting bread out would really get everyone’s weight under control. That being said, it often works! It is a tricky one…

Why do bread and wheat/gluten get such a bad rap?

  1. Once we start we cannot stop. Many of us cannot just have one slice of bread. Giving ourselves the structure and rule of “no wheat” is very effective. Out of sight…out of mind.
  2. Bread is not just bread. Often when we say no bread or no wheat, we give up cookies, muffins, pastries, chips, crackers, cereals… is it breads fault? Or can we just not control the portions? Or is all the added sugar and junk that is in those foods that is the problem?
  3. The processed stuff is the devil. Many of us can tolerate whole wheat just fine, but when we eat the processed white flour we feel bloated, have headaches and get inflamed. Again…is it wheat’s fault? What if we just ate whole, high quality grains? Would that be ok?
  4. Not allergic, but definitely intolerant – Many of you eat wheat and gluten and just do not feel well. No matter how high the quality and little the processing. Your body does not like the stuff.
  5. Is it something totally different? Wheat is often the first to go, but maybe it is something totally different. There is a lot of talking growing about FODMAPs and other players that may be causing digestion and inflammatory issues.

I highly encourage you to take the time to understand why you are giving up wheat and/or gluten…or any food group for that matter. What are you trying to achieve? Weight loss? Digestive issues? Inflammation? Improve athleticism? Be clear on what you are trying to work on and take steps to find a solution. Many people cut out wheat, gluten, dairy, soy and all sorts of things just for kicks. Please, be smart and do what is right for you.

And know that the “gluten free” trend is making many folks extremely wealthy…not necessarily skinny. Gluten free foods are the fastest rising trend in the food industry at the moment. Just because is it gluten free does not mean it is healthy for you!

The New Yorker just published a great article on the topic – check it out here.


November 2, 2014

Shooting Guns and Eating Vegetables

Filed under: Uncategorized — JBNUT @ 4:54 pm

Two weeks ago, I shot a gun for the first time. I went to Montana for an “adventure getaway” filled with shooting clays, hunting pheasant, fly fishing and a little ATV ride in the mix for kicks. Quite a weekend! This city girl was out of her comfort zone the whole time and it felt fantastic.

As many of you know, a few years ago, I killed my Thanksgiving turkey and worked on an organic farm – my life was changed. It was all because I wanted to know where my food comes from. If I am going to eat meat, I want to know what an animal has to endure in order for us to enjoy that meal on our plates. 

I am humbled by the experience and quite frankly am still processing it all, but there are two things I was thinking about the whole weekend. Literally, with a gun in my hand, out in the middle of the field, I was thinking about these two things:

1. It takes a lot of work to eat meat. In order for us to have meat in our markets and available on our dinner plates, it takes an extraordinary amount of effort that most of us do not appreciate or acknowledge. We were out on that field for hours, walking through tall, tough grass, using trained dogs as guides, attempting to get a pheasant and even though the group did get a few birds (I did not!) there was not enough to feed the group. All that work and still not enough!And then I got to thinking about if we were hunting elk, how that would be enough meat to feed a lot of people, but the work that goes in to getting that animal from the wild to the plate is intense.Immense time and labor that most of us do not have nor do most want to spend their time killing their animals for food. But most of us eat animal meat everyday! Including myself! 

2. We need to eat more vegetables. A lot more. Raw, cooked, fermented, in season and from local farmers. We need to eat more vegetables than we even realize and we need to do it NOW.Vegetables are full of nutrients and fiber, will change our palate to make us crave less processed foods and have little to no calories. Our health will be improved, our waist lines will be smaller and we will be supporting sustainable farming. It also takes a lot less effort to grow vegetables than animals.

There is a large conversation around protein that we all need to have because the protein we are eating comes from unsustainable sources and is often not filled with the nutrients we think it is. I am not going to become vegetarian any time soon – I need and want animal protein in my diet. All I know is I think about things differently.

That getaway to Montana forever changed me and I am grateful. I am emphasizing the need for more vegetables in our diet. And I am appreciating every bite of food I eat more than ever. I hope you do the same.

October 15, 2014

Play Your Game

Filed under: Uncategorized — JBNUT @ 5:59 pm

Do you know the film Miracle? One of my favorites. Always down for a good sports flick and LOVE rooting for the underdog. I have this film saved on my DVR and sometimes I watch 10-15 minutes just to fire me up when I need some inspiration. Yet another random fact about me you do not need to know…

Anyways, the famed coach Herb Brooks was very honest that his team was not the best in the world, but he had a system and created champions. They were prepared, they were strong and fit, they created a team, they all knew the goal and they believed they could achieve it.

During the crucial game against USSR he tells his team…Play Your Game. He repeats it over and over again like a mantra, reminding them to believe in themselves, be present and stay focused on the prize.

So…I ask you to play your game.

  1. Set a goal
  2. Take responsibility and work hard
  3. Don’t worry about anyone else – focus on you
  4. Accept bumps in the road and keep moving forward
  5. Believe in yourself – you can do this!

Play your game

…when you are crazy rushed and do not have time to plan – do your best and find an option that can work

when you say no to that glass of wine or dessert at a social event. You don’t need it or want it and no one will care if you say no

….when you cannot get your workout done in the morning, so you walk more during the day or get an evening workout in to get the job done

…when you make plans with friends and choose a restaurant that has food you like and is in line with your goals

…when you create an outing with friends and family that involves exercise so you can be social and active at the same time

…when you are stressed at work, you get up from your desk, walk around the block and go grab a wholesome meal or snack to keep you fueled

when you are honest with yourself about what is working and what is not

when you ask for help when you are struggling

Do you believe in miracles? I do!

October 8, 2014

Swimming and Fried Eggs

Filed under: Uncategorized — JBNUT @ 9:37 am

Swimming makes me so hungry! What is that about?!? I went swimming this morning and by the time I got home I was literally about to eat my arm off. And I am not even a good swimmer! Seriously, I am barely exercising – the whole experience is a bit sad actually, but I am forcing myself to get into a swimming routine twice a week because it so good for me and my aches and pains go away. Have not yet found my zen with it all…but I will get there!

Okay, back to my hunger. Came home and threw leftovers in a pan to make one of my “everything under the kitchen sink” concoctions…and could not forget the piece de resistance - some delish fried eggs.

I love me some eggs! A fantastic, high biological value protein, so easy to make and seems to work with everything. Of course, I highly encourage you to buy pasture raised eggs from a local farm so you know the chickens are living well and you are getting a nutritious product.

Eat up – here are some recipes to get you inspired. But really, when all else fails, throw an egg on top and all is well.

October 2, 2014

Food – Environment – Culture – Global Impact

Filed under: Uncategorized — JBNUT @ 7:47 am

National Geographic is doing a phenomenal series on food.  Articles are great (but quite long!) so they have created excellent, very short videos to tell each story.

Here is the truth - what we eat, what we put in our bodies affects not only our health and waist size, but there are immense impacts on our culture, government and environment – as a country and a planet. Each choice we make truly is making a difference – and it can be for the better or for the worse. I may think about this more than all of you since this is my profession (and I am obsessed!!) – but I cannot stress enough the importance of knowing where your food comes from and making conscious choices on what is important to you.

We make mindless decisions all day long – running around stressed and busy and not taking time to think. I am not telling you what to do, I am simply asking you to be more aware of what you are doing and make sure you are comfortable and confident in your decisions.

Hope this can help get you thinking…and allow you to make mindful choices.

September 23, 2014

Reflect. Focus. Move Forward.

Filed under: Uncategorized — JBNUT @ 12:36 pm

We all have something we want to work on…and it can be difficult to figure out how to help ourselves. Often it is related to food, exercise, stress or time management. We get so frustrated that it is not working, we want to fix it, but don’t know exactly how…and we are so darn busy that we do not have the time to figure out what to do. It is like we are stuck in mud and cannot take that step forward.

I have an idea to get you out of that mud and trucking forward to success. A few years ago, I was introduced to 10Q as a tool to use during the Jewish New Year. Traditionally, the ten days between Rosh Hashanah (the New Year, which starts tomorrow at sunset) and Yom Kippur are used as a time of introspection and reflection to atone for our sins. Interestingly enough, many Jews do not participate in this tradition. I never used to take the 10 days to really reflect, atone and think about the year ahead…and I was raised a good Jewish girl!

I was then introduced to 10Q10Q is totally secular – anyone can do it. And you should do it! It is online, free, private and very user friendly. It takes advantage of this important Jewish tradition and asks you 10 questions over 10 days to really reflect on the past year and think about what you want for the year ahead. It is beautiful, so simple and phenomenally effective. I have been doing it for several years and every year I have had an “a-ha” moment while I write my answers as well as when I look back at my answers from years past. It allows me to get honest with myself, focus on what I want and do something to achieve a goal for the year ahead.

So if you are feeling stuck, feeling stressed, ready to move forward….the time is NOW to figure out what is holding you back. Use this as a tool to help you take that very important first step forward.

Now go have some apples and honey…it is going to be a sweet, happy, wonderful year! 

September 19, 2014

Veggie Friday!

Filed under: Uncategorized — JBNUT @ 12:09 pm

Happy Friday everyone!

Vegetables have been on my mind lately. Many clients are wanting go vegetarian, clients as asking for more vegetarian recipes or I have clients who need to eat vegetables and plant based foods and will not do it.

No matter what your health goals are or what meal plan you prefer, plant based foods need to be a part of your life. So…here are 10 recipes full of veggies and vegetarian friendly – make one this weekend!

Yum! Go get em! And go eat a vegetable!

September 7, 2014

Low carb diet is the winner??? Not so fast…

Filed under: Uncategorized — JBNUT @ 8:45 pm

Last Tuesday morning, my inbox was flooded with emails about new research suggesting the Low Carb diet is the best diet for weight loss and cardiovascular health. 

Last Tuesday afternoon, my inbox was flooded with emails about a different study suggesting that all diets are equal and there is no significant difference between them.

Then my email (and my mind!) was flooded with – well, what is it? Low carb or low fat??

Of course this is an important topic for me considering I am a dietitian and discuss weight loss all day long…and I am working at Stanford University on the largest single site weight loss study where we are comparing low carbohydrate and low fat diets. Quite a day!

So, here is the skinny on the two studies

Study 1: At Tulane University, 150 people were randomized into low carb and low fat groups and followed diets for a year. The goals were that the low carb group would drop their intake to 40 grams of carb per day, while the low fat group would drop their fat intake to a diet where fat comprised 30% of their total calories.

At baseline, the low carb group was averaging 240 grams – so they had to drop their carb intake by 83%. Pretty significant change! The low fat group started at 35% fat- so they only had to drop by 5%. Not too difficult! 

Pretty sneaky eh? It is crucial to understand the research and study design to be able to interpret results. While it is true the low carb group lost more weight and improved their cardiovascular health, this may not be due to being on a low carb diet per se, but rather because they made such a significant change in their diet.

Study 2: A review comparing literature of research that looked at low carb and low fat diets. They used “network meta analysis,” meaning they used statistics to compare all diets. For example, if one study compared Diet A to Diet B and another study compared Diet B to Diet C – they used techniques to compare Diet A to Diet C. Well, that gets tricky, and the amount of confusing data out there can get even more confusing…so I have a hard to believing it to be fact.

So, what the heck to do? I happened to write a blog about this two weeks ago – convenient right??As I mentioned, I am not sold on one diet being better than the other just yet. I am convinced in planning your day, eating whole foods, finding a system that works for you and taking responsibility. OWN it and make it happen. 

Here is a great New York Times Op piece discussing the diet drama! David Katz provides an excellent perspective and my boss at Stanford, Christopher Gardner, is quoted.

No need to trust the headlines - TRUST AND BELIEVE IN YOURSELF. You got this. And I am here for support whenever you need.

August 22, 2014

Man vs Diet- Which Plan is Right for YOU?

Filed under: Uncategorized — JBNUT @ 12:21 pm
Many of you know I am busy at Stanford researching low fat to low carb diets and everyone always asks me… “So? What is the verdict?” Well I gotta say the jury is still out…I myself cannot wait to see the results. What I am very certain of is “the right diet” for you is not just what makes you get to a specific “ideal” weight. There is a lot to the story…what does your blood say? How is your energy? How is your mood? Are you happy eating the foods you are eating? Is it sustainable for you? How do you feel in your clothes? How do you feel in your body?
This article in Outside Magazine gives a nice perspective - the writer spends a year of his life going on 6 different diets – two months on each plan. Pretty interesting!
What I love is there is not one perfect answer. There is NEVER one perfect answer. We all have unique routines, motivation, preferences and genetics…we all have different needs!!!
I am catching on to some common themes when trying to create a successful plan. Here ya go…
1. Never get too hungry - eat every few hours – avoid feeling ravenous and hangry.
2. Whole foods is the way to go. No matter what you are doing, cut out the junk. This means processed sugar, trans fats, chemicals – you should be able to understand all the ingredients and know where the food came from.
3. The body needs protein, carbohydrates and fat. How much of each? Not certain. But if you go too extreme and cut one of these out you are going to get into trouble.
4. You have to be able to indulge, enjoy a treat and splurge or you will fall off the wagon.
5. Learn about YOU. What is going to work for YOU. That is what is most important.
What is the perfect mix for YOU?
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