Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Should I see a nutritionist? I mean, shouldn’t I be able to do this on my own?

Our waiting room

Recently, I received an email from a longtime client, who I hadn’t seen in a few months.
She was emailing for an appointment but expressed frustration at not being able to manage things (food things) on her own. This is a legit question but one that’s not asked of other experts. We don’t try to do therapy on our own. We see trainers for years at a time. It’s understood that our minds and bodies are long-term projects. Why do we pressure ourselves to be "done" with nutrition?

At the same time, we do try to build a degree of independence in our clients. Most Foodtrainers’ clients start out coming weekly, move to every other week and then to once a month. Clients, who tweak their nutrition continuously, tend to fare better than those who come in intensely, disappear and then resurface with the common refrain, “I should have come back sooner.”

After all these years, it’s not a matter of being sell-y”.  I know what works. If we start to see nutrition the way we do personal training, gym going, therapy, hair coloring (I was trying to think of repetitive appointments), waxing etc. we’ll mitigate feelings of guilt and really feel better.

Monday, June 19, 2017

My son stopped eating fries and I had nothing to do with it

I have two sons. One is more curious about nutrition;  he’s currently is into acai bowls, helps Carolyn and I test recipes etc. Then there’s my older son. He isn’t super technologically-inclined but figured out Postmates/Shake Shack really quickly. While he’s very diligent about fitness and enjoys our organic, veggie-loaded family meals, he doesn’t care too much about nutrition. That’s fine, I have made a point not to shove nutrition down my kid’s throats (in the idiomatic sense, I guess those family meals are forced on them).
Last week, this study made the rounds. Less-healthy son is a current events buff. He came into the kitchen and declared he was giving up French fries. He told everyone about this study. The study found that those who had fries more than twice a week were twice as likely to die prematurely. For the record, non-fried potatoes (roasted, baked) were exonerated.
 I wasn’t going to tell my son to keep eating fries but this study has some issues. These fry lovers, we don’t know what else they did. They could also be soda drinkers or couch potatoes or super stressed out. It’s very difficult to tease out one relationship. And there’s a portion issue too, twice a week of fries makes you die but once is perfectly fine?
I get it, “fries twice a week is associated with early death but the relationship isn’t causal” isn’t too catchy. What interested me most of all of this was that this fact so changed my son’s attitude toward a food he loves (too much). Maybe, I need to be blunter? Video games, body odor and rudeness make you die early too? In any event, don’t tell my son about the technicalities of the fry news. And while we’re deceiving my kids, don’t tell my younger son about the sugar in those acai bowls.

Friday, June 9, 2017

I Was Lifted (and not talking levitation or any weird crap like that)

I started this week feeling like shit, full of self-doubt, it happens. I looked on Instagram (as if that’ll help any insecurities) and found that I had been tagged by Heather in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
She posted a quote from LittleBook of Thin and explained she was home with a sick baby. She could sit on the couch and eat Cheeze-its or get up and “be the boss of her body.”  My messaging was helping someone else, that’s why I do what I do, thank you Heather.

The next day, Marc and I watched the docu “if you’re not inthe obits, eat breakfast” on HBO.
It’s about kicking ass in your 90s. One woman, who is still running at 100, told her story. She used running to get over a family tragedy (tragedies actually). It got her out of bed, it got her to climb out of her grief. Jerry Seinfeld (not 90 but his mother was in the film) talks about his life principles, one of them is “bust your ass”. Whatever you’re doing, bust your ass at it. Get up, bust your ass- a theme was building

And on Wednesday, I’m telling you it was a week weird signs and signals, I ran into a friend. We have a high profile friend in common. I say that only because it’s relevant. My friend said, “do you know how I met her?” I didn’t. She explained that this high profile person wasn’t as high profile when they first met. She found out my friend’s husband was in a position to help her take her career to the next level. She didn’t mince words and asked my friend to meet her husband. I joked with my friend “wow, she just flat out asked for what she wanted, I could do more of that.” My friend, as she walked away, said “yes, you could.”  For the record, I’m a terrible “asker”.

Finally, last night Carolyn and I went to a book party at Hu for the fitness phenom Holly Rilinger. Holly’s new book “Lifted” offers fitness advice but also life advice (and my favorite nutritionist contributed to the book). Holly joked that she’s a journal keeper. When she reviewed her journals, in writing the book proposal, she constantly said “again”?  Holly said, “10 years later and the same issues?”We all have these reoccurring emotional themes we need strategies for. So whether you’re 40-something or 90-something, your words can “lift” someone else. Or, as Heather in Kentucky or the 100-year-old runner (I need to go back and learn her name) did, lift yourself.
Anybody or anything lift you up this week? Are you someone who asks for what you need?
Are you going to order LBT or Lifted right now?

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

10% Happier? Maybe.

I’ve been reading more lately. I always read newspapers and have a stack of books on my nightstand but sometimes TV intrudes on my reading time. This past weekend, I read a ton and finished Dan Harris’s 10% happier. If you’re unfamiliar with the book, Harris is a newscaster who was battling panic attacks and, as he so aptly called, it “the asshole voice in his head” or negative self-talk. Harris embarks on a journey through the self- help sphere in the most skeptical way. It reminded me a little of A.J. Jacob’s books, if you’ve read those.
Some things that have stuck with me from the book:

Just because a book changed someone else’s life doesn’t mean it will resonate with you. For example, Harris doesn’t relate to much of Eckhart Tolle’s writes. In fact, Harris interviews Tolle and doesn’t feel there’s much that’s useable in his advice. There are a number of books, Brene Brown’s work comes to mind, that friends or colleagues rave about whereas I cannot get through them. Unlike Bill Gates, I think it’s fine to put a book down and find one that’s not a struggle.

Wanderlust may be misleading. I am a travel junkie and I have always felt a certain pride in being adventurous. While reading this book, Harris describes the person always looking for the next thrill, trip or high. Maybe, focusing on these amazingly amazing moments makes everyday life feel dull or not enough. We were home this past weekend and, at first, part of me regretted not going to Vermont or somewhere new. Perhaps reading this book played a role but we had the best time. We had no plans, I slowed down…if you’re go, go, go reconsider a bit.

You don’t have to love yourself. Confession- I hate this advice. And again, it’s personal so if you love loving yourself by all means continue. For me, it feels phony. One of the experts on this book says he counsels against it. “Mindfulness gives us a way to examine our self-hatred without making it go away. Just being mindful of it can be liberating.” Harris points out, if we allow ourselves to acknowledge those less-than-lovable parts of ourselves maybe we don’t need to eat, pop pills or do whatever it is to hide it or distract ourselves. WOW

After reading this book I found myself looking at mediation as something with a payoff, I know that sounds wrong. I used to see meditation as something I should do, something other people benefited from. Now, I see it as something that could help me at work, help me pause and not react out of anger and tame that voice inside my head that’s an asshole.
What are you reading? Do you meditate? I’d love to hear.

Monday, May 1, 2017

F-Monday, here are a few distractions

I know there are a lot of blogs that do Friday roundups or “best of the week” lists. I don’t know about you but by Friday, I’m weekend-focused. I need inspiration on Monday. If you’re a “grab the bull by its horns” type of Monday person, that’s terrific. I’m not, it takes me most of Monday to wake up and accept that the weekend is over.
And so, I’m going to try to give you a few useful tidbits on Mondays. Instead of TGIF, maybe ISIM “I’m sorry it’s Monday” …no that isn’t a good acronym for reasons I’m sure you gathered.
  1. I spent most of my weekend watching this on Netflix. There were a bunch of things I found unrealistic, even irresponsible but I couldn’t stop watching. Our school sent an email about this series. After watching it, I feel it’s a useful basis for discussing a hard topic with my kids. The series also confirmed how difficult it is for parents to connect with teens, even if you feel you’re a good parent.
  2. And this is my current favorite podcast. The episodes with Sheryl Sandberg and Ina Garten were fantastic. I ran extra errands yesterday listening to Sheryl talk about her latest book.
  3. I’m a Part’s Unknown fan, I already knew Anthony Bourdain avoids airplane food (and that’s impressive because he’s away 200+ days a year). The Times revealed some of his packing habits- he always brings a real book and its often a novel that takes place in his destination.
  4. Saturday night we had drinks and dinner with my high school friends. Food and drink highlights were the kale margarita here and Brussels sprouts with blue cheese at dinner afterward. That's a happy marriage (Brussels and blue).
  5. And finally, on Friday I received a delivery from Not MilkNYC. Their non-dairy milks are a blend of nuts and seeds and even the flavors are lightly sweetened (we’re talking 1 date per bottle). I found Colombe’s cold brew coffee, Not Milk’s chocolate milk and a touch of NuNaturals to be an enjoyable pick-me-up.

Any favorite finds you’d like to share? Are you pro-Monday or more of a F-Monday person?