All tagged it's just food

How to Eat Pancakes Without the Side of Guilt


(I do see this is a cheeseburger.)

Look, I understand it's early in the week, and you have #goals to hit, and you're "supposed to be" eating nothing but chicken boobs and vegetables. If you're recovering from diet culture, the prospect of a, "fuck it, let's go get pancakes," Sunday like I frequently mention may seem terrifying. You might be thinking, "if I did that, I'd eat candy and mac and cheese for the rest of the day. I'd rather stick to the plan."

First and foremost, I think coaches who say, "it's just one day!" are giving lazy advice (similar to, "just love your body!"). Like, if that didn't send you into a spiral of anxiety and frustration in the first place, you'd be there already. NEXT.

You Can Put It All Down.

The process by which each woman comes to a place of peace with food looks different for almost everyone, but it begins with knowing that we have so much more to do than worry about how many minutes of cardio we did, how many grams of fat, and how many rolls we let show this week.

Fitness and nutrition are important because they show us that we can do hard things: that we can work toward a goal, find a process that lights us up and makes us more alive, and discover layers of ourselves as yet unintroduced.

A lot of times, that looks like trying a few things out before we get there. The part we often forget to talk about, though, is that it often also looks like disconnecting, going inward, and trusting ourselves to figure the shit out. You don’t have to be (or have ever been) a bikini competitor or varsity letter athlete to get started; you can start right where you are. You’re the expert on you, and I’m here to guide you along the way.

Eliminating Food Groups is Lazy. Where Do We Go From Here?

Fall is a special season for me. The leaves are changing, the smells of bonfires and tailgates are in the air, people enjoy hanging out outside, all the pumpkin-flavored things make a special appearance, and it’s socially acceptable to get a flavored coffee at any time of day.

I can’t remember a fall without pumpkin chocolate chip bread (since I learned to cook, anyway). I’m not much of a baker (you have to measure for that), but that’s one thing for which I’ll ignore my preferences (and habits of kitchen experimentation), hunker down, and get out the measuring cups. The mixing, the smell of cinnamon and nutmeg, the anticipation of the warm and gooey chocolate chips with the unmistakable scent and flavor of fall: it’s all worth it for me.  Even the extra calories, which I don’t typically count (and definitely don’t when it comes to pumpkin chocolate chip bread.).

And that leads me to picking and choosing our nutrition battles: one of my favorite topics that always bears revisiting with the change of food seasons.

4 Clicks to Peace With Food

In short, many of us are running on fumes, and one of the very last things we feel like doing is overhauling our entire lives (unless it's to set them on fire and start over on an uncharted island all alone, with The Rock on scheduled visits. No? That's just my escape plan? Okay...), because pizza and Subway are about all we can muster right now. 

And I get that. I *EVER* get that.

But, here's the thing: we deserve to be taken care of too.

And you know this, because we all know you can't pour from an empty cup, and you're a better coworker/partner/friend when you take care of yourself. But also, you deserve to be taken care of too...because you're a living, breathing, feeling human being worthy of care, just as you are. Not in order to *do* something. Just because you exist and are worth it.

Want a Hot Dog on Labor Day? Choose It.

Get real: we don’t *have to* eat any particular way. We don’t have to stick to any one diet; we aren’t being force-fed vegetables; we are under no obligation to eat all the ice cream. All we have are choices to make.

There’s power in owning this choice. And it’s magical, because, all of a sudden, we can examine ourselves in our fullness (no pun intended). We get to ask, “am I choosing the hot dog just because that’s ‘what you do’ at a barbecue, or am I choosing the hot dog because it’s what I actually want?” Avoiding the spiral starts with choosing the indulgences we’re truly excited about and owning that decision.

Bunless Burgers v Rice Cakes with Peanut Butter: A Lesson

Our mindset when it comes to nutrition is vital to our success.

If we think of eating well as a chore- as many of us do, because “diet” is the worst four-letter word I know- we’re unlikely to experience success. You know the drill (so do I): we think of “getting back on the wagon,” we cut out the foods we love and opt only for the boring stuff we sorta hate, we crave sugar so jazz up a rice cake with some peanut butter and pretend to be happy, we see success for 4-10 days, then we’re face-first in ice cream, because rice cakes and peanut butter after dry chicken and loads of steamed broccoli aren’t cutting it.

What if, instead of examining this as a chore, we explored ways to serve ourselves?

What if we looked at our nutrition from the perspective of athletes who want to nourish our bodies, our minds, and our performance?

How would our attitudes change?

Imagine: we’re out to eat, and, while we know that no situation will be perfect, we’re aware of what “ideal” looks like for us. We know we need to prioritize protein for muscles, a few starchy carbs for energy, and a lot of fibrous, watery veggies to feel full and get our vitamins. We don’t have to skip a meal with our friends, because we know that the FOMO will lead to a regret-fueled, “I deserve this, because I sacrificed my social time” potato chip binge, so we navigate the middle, go out, have a glass of wine, a salad, a bunless burger, and maybe a French fry or two. We come home and feel satisfied, neither bloated nor deprived, we take the dogs for a short walk, and go to bed to wake up feeling rested and refreshed.

HOLY GRANOLA (vanilla cinnamon chocolate chip, to be exact)

I made granola the other day. Like, from scratch. Not out of a bag. And it had protein, because I've somehow become the Emeril of mixing protein powder into things (because I'm serious about my gainz, man). 

And I thought I'd pass it along for anyone who was:
a) craving granola (I'm not alone on that...right?),
b) wondering how to use a clean protein powder in something that was not a shake, 
c) looking for a "navigate the middle" solution to sustainable #snaxxx, and/or
d) just here for the food pics.

An Easy Recipe & Why Losing Weight Doesn't *Always* Mean Eating Less

The problem here is that we often are so used to eating the same thing or the same way day in and day out- especially while “on a diet”- that we haven’t paid attention to the cues our bodies are giving us in years. So, when we’re in a phase of life where we’re exercising less (either more skewed toward recharge activities or due to illness/lack of motivation/injury), instead of naturally eating less but still gravitating towards what serves us (veggies, proteins, fat as needed for delicious factor), we’re used to blindly following a plan, failing at it, and falling victim to the f it effect: “f it, I already had a burger instead of grilled chicken…I’ll get fries too. And a beer.” This leads to us feeling bloated and sluggish, with a heaping side order of shame that we failed yet another plan.

There’s a better way: eat more slowly, pay attention to our hunger levels, eat until satisfied, and see how our energy levels respond, which will tell us if we hit the Goldilocks spot (not too little, not too much, but just right).

This is a process- one that doesn’t get finished overnight!- of learning what our bodies are telling us and when. It won’t be perfect the first (or second…or tenth) try, but I can assure you that, if we stick to the process of seeing what happens when we eat well and adjusting if we experience negative effects (bloat, gassiness, energy crashes), there will come a time where food is just food, not the mental equivalent of the balance beam, and what works for our desired outcomes will be intuitive.

Anti-Resolution, Anti-F It Holiday Thoughts (AKA, Navigate the Middle)

ESPECIALLY throughout this season, where many people stress over food (from its preparation to accommodating diet preferences to feeling like we “shouldn’t” eat something), finding what works can seem overwhelming, but it’s simple: what keeps us full but not uncomfortably stuffed, what energizes us, what helps us meet our calorie needs, what keeps our cravings under control, what brings us joy…which, I’ve found, is almost never what someone else tells me should.

Also important to remember is that exercise is not punishment.

It’s tempting to want to “work off” an indulgent season, especially given all the #fitfam fotos of girls in their underwear doing “fasted cardio” at like, 3 in the morning (what are you training to be, Batman? Who works out at that time?). Not to shame them or anything, because if that’s what you want, then, by all means, go for it. This is the perfect opportunity, however, to recognize a few things flawed with fitness trends.

“Working off” an indulgent season is a rocky mindset and one that we will never catch up to, since it’s impossible to be perfect with nutrition and workouts all the time. In my experience, a better way to think about our fitness is by remembering that we (usually) don’t need to tell toddlers to run around and play; they just do it, because it’s fun to move around and wiggle and run with our friends. Finding a form of movement that brings us this joy and that allows us to get in touch with our bodies (and spirits!) will serve us far longer than whatever is trending.