Category Archives: Uncategorized

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is a great opportunity to reflect and give the thanks.
For me, I am eternally grateful for those who have:
played with me
made me laugh
helped me cry
offered the arms that i have safely fallen into
been the light that i have followed
shown me new ways of opening myself body and soul
trusted me with your selves and your stories
proven that i can trust you with mine

Wishing you a meaningful Thanksgiving in whatever way you choose to celebrate!


Health Activist Award!!!

I’m so excited to share that I have been nominated for WEGO’s Health Activist Award!

Please take a minute to support both me and Destructively Fit by clicking HERE!

It’s simple, just click “Endorse” under my photo and follow the prompt!

This small moment of your time will put a smile on my face, leave me feeling grateful for you (tho, I’m already grateful for you!) and will inch me towards becoming a finalist! Also, being nominated and moving forward will help to spread the word about my work with eating disorders and about Destructively Fit!

Many thanks for the support you have already given me and thanks in advance for your vote!


replace your resolutions with personal resolve

resolutions

Year-end is a marker of time and offers a natural moment to both reflect and look forward. During this time of year, it seems most people are talking about resolutions. What kinds of decisions, changes, etc. they will be making in their life beginning January first.

While these tend to be done with good intention, the truth is that most of these new year’s resolutions are quickly forgotten or broken, leaving behind a feeling of failure. While many remain entrenched in the new year’s resolution cycle, some sway in the complete opposite direction by making no resolutions. And of course, let us recognize that there are those for whom these resolutions stick.

No matter what your experience, I invite you to make this year different by replacing your resolutions with personal resolve.

What is personal resolve? A lifelong commitment to yourself. Knowing your own personal truth no matter what. It parallels the age old existential questions, “who am I?” and “what defines me?” When we know our own truth we become grounded in ourselves. Thus, less likely to become emotionally wiped out by other people or events. When we know our own truth, we make better choices and decisions, as they match our internal value system, ultimately creating more satisfaction in our lives.

This year I challenge you to get to know yourself better and to understand what makes you tick. I encourage you to cultivate your own personal resolve. Begin by noticing your actions and reactions. What gets you excited? Angry? Sad? Passionate? What are your intentions?

Take a moment and consider your own personal resolve. What do you know to be true about yourself no matter what?


Happy, Happy, Merry, Merry

Happy + merry whatever holiday you choose to celebrate. If you don’t celebrate a holiday during this time of year, chances are that you are surrounded by holiday hoopla, events, parties, food, obligations, family and friends. If you’ve chosen to skip town and managed to escape it all, have a fantastic vacation!

So for those of us who are in the midst of so-called holiday “bliss,” I’d like to acknowledge that holidays can be a difficult time for many. Frequently people experience a mix of emotions ranging from joy to sadness, from connectedness to loneliness. The best gift that you can give to yourself is to make room for these emotions to move through you and out of you. Squelching them can actually make this potentially complicated time even harder. If you feel joy and love, express it! If you feel sadness and loneliness, express that, too! Keep talking and keep sharing. You might realize that you are not alone and this, in itself, can be very powerful!

So I wish for you an authentic holiday season (that has already begun, so apologies for my tardiness!) that is replete with what makes you smile!


marshmallows, revisited

IMG_1668 - Version 2

The Stanford Marshmallow Experiment, has been the object of intrigue for decades. The focus of this series of studies was the exploration of delayed gratification. There have been many recreations, showing young children being presented with one marshmallow and the promise that if they waited and did not eat the marshmallow, the researcher would return with two marshmallows for them to enjoy.

The findings were spectacular! Four decades later, the children from the original experiment demonstrated a strong association between the ability to delay gratification (wait for the extra marshmallows) and their mental health, differences in activity in key areas of the brain, competence and success later in life. Overall, the participants who were able to wait were more successful later in life.

Celeste Kidd worked on a more recent study that highlighted an additional point – trust. The new study manipulated the reliability of the conditions and found that waiting for the promised extra treats was strongly correlated with the degree of trust in the conditions (the trustworthiness of the promise).

Kidd explained (as quoted by Rochester University), “Delaying gratification is only the rational choice if the child believes a second marshmallow is likely to be delivered after a reasonably short delay.”

It turns out that one’s ability to employ self-control is also influenced by external factors. Thus, delayed gratification PLUS a reliable environment offers insight into success later in life.


teaching nutrition in school

by guest blogger Laura Cipullo, RD, CDE, of Mom Dishes It Out!

Like so many things affecting their children, parents tend to disagree on whether sex, sexual orientation or religion should be taught in school. Well, this mom (and an RD) often wonders if nutrition should be taught in school.

Teachers are not experts in nutrition nor are they educated about pediatric or adult nutrition as part of their college curriculums. Yet, many classroom teachers are giving lessons on “calories, good and bad foods, and even having students log their foods to see why they are so fat.” And I’m not making this stuff up. My client’s mother recently told me exactly what her daughter’s teacher had said to the class. If you’ve been reading my blogs regularly, you’ll easily imagine that at this point my nails are, at least figuratively, scratching the chalkboard!

Stop! Hold on just a minute! Do we even realize that these kinds of discussions and activities help create little food police and body dysmorphia? Moms, dads, teachers and kids: Do you know how many calories you burn in 24 hours? In 168 hours? Do teachers know how many calories kids are burning…especially since every kid hits puberty at a slightly different age? We typically do not know these answers; nor should we be obsessing with them. Also, do we really know if the calories on a package are correct? News flash: They are not being regulated and/or checked for accuracy! So why are we relying so heavily on these external measures? Be cautious and recognize that this black and white/all or none mindset is an unhealthy one. Instead, think about using an internal regulation system and try eating nutrient dense foods the majority of the time.

Most importantly, please know that foods are not “good” or “bad.” How can food be a moral issue? When you teach your children or your students that a particular food is “bad,” think about how they’ll feel if they eat the food. That’s right. They’ll not only feel bad and guilty; they’ll also probably start to hide these foods. Instead, try to make all foods neutral. For example, teach children that milk is milk. It’s a dairy product that is high in calcium and protein and comes from cows. Broccoli is a food that grows up from the ground and helps our bodies fight getting sick. Because foods vary in nutrient density, our bodies and kids’ growing bodies need certain foods more often to meet specific demands. You can describe each food’s nutrient density or just call them “everyday” foods or “sometimes” foods as described in my book, The Mommy Manual’s Healthy Habits.

And why are some adults teaching kids to identify how “fat” they are? Our children are already being bullied by their peers…and now they’re learning to tell themselves how bad they are! I say this because our society (not me personally) continually states (overtly or covertly) that “fat” is “bad”! Why don’t we teach children how healthy they are or how special they are?

Even First Lady Michelle Obama is singing this new tune. She has been quoted saying she does not discuss weight with her daughters, nor does she weigh them.

So, why not use something like what the children’s nutrition tracker calls “An Apple A Day”; it motivates our youngsters to eat their veggies and be active. My boys love this tool and have actually turned eating and being healthy into a friendly competition.

Meanwhile, it’s not just one misguided teacher who shares this “good” and “bad” food misinformation. Even one of my son’s teachers labels certain foods as “treats.” I have told my son I will no longer acknowledge this word as it indicates something special. For example, ice cream is a snack choice, not a special reward. The point here is that nutrition is a sensitive issue…especially in my world where I am privy to the teary-eyed triggers that influence the development of eating disorders. And yes, binge eating is an eating disorder. Most adults don’t have their own nutrition needs in order, so it’s particularly scary to me as a mom (and as an RD who cares about her clients) that nutrition education is being taught without regard to both biology and psychology.

I know…quit my yapping and do something! Right? Well I did…and I continue to do! First, I’ve educated my sons’ school on appropriate food language and they’ve made this information part of their Health and Wellness Curriculum. I recently planted strawberries with the students and talk food and nutrition with them on a regular basis. Second, and on a much greater scale, I’ve finally finished my 8-week plan for creating healthy habits for children. The complete program is available to download. Moms, dads and teachers alike can use this book for lesson plans and nutrition education on subjects such as what carbohydrates are or what qualifies as an “everyday” food. In short, teachers can teach about nutrition but should consider using a positive approach and promoting things kids can do rather than what they shouldn’t be doing. For instance, my sons’ school just made pancakes with blueberries and did a “dairy study”. The result: My picky boys came home eating blueberries and having tried goat’s milk. Now that’s what I call a beautiful educational experience!

So what do you think? Is nutrition education appropriate for school?

What positive programs are your schools implementing?

Would you like to share your nutrition education success?