Monday, August 28, 2017

Do you tell your partner how you feel about your body?

Like millions of others, I love the Dear Sugars podcast. For most of my podcasts, I’ll listen if the subject is enticing. It’s different with the Sugars. I will listen to them talk about anything. It’s always smart, open-minded and reassuring. Last week, a Sugars podcast entitled “Body Weight and Romance” loaded and I listed immediately. Their guest was Ashley Ford who had written a piece, “Seeing mybody with fresh eyes” on the Cup of Joe blog (also a favorite).  I read Ashley’s post as soon as the podcast ended.

Ashley writes about two relationships. One boyfriend broke up with her because of her weight. I have a lot of thoughts about relationships and weight. Let me tell you, if someone is an asshole about your size, they are an asshole in general. There are no exceptions. Clients will say, “they really just want me to be healthy” which may be true 15% of the time. And if that’s the motivation, a non-asshole will open a conversation in a kind manner. It’s not to say we can’t talk about size and weight with our partners. But it’s never ok to scar someone and trust me, comments about weight stick.

Ashley then enters a new relationship, with understandable skepticism. Spoiler alert- the new guy is a non-asshole. He is accepting and adoring. This experience plants some positive seeds for Ashley. She writes, “I stood in front of my mirror and attempted to just feel my body, without judgement.” Any woman, of any size, should try this. Don’t cover yourself up, avoid the mirror, pinch or poke.

Progress with weight is rarely linear. Ashley talks about a sweet reunion where her boyfriend surprises her and shows up, during a time they were living in different states. The scene could be out of the best Nora Ephron movie, including the fact that Ashley is preoccupied with the thought she had gained weight. One of the reasons I feel weight is far more than vanity, is that when we’re uncomfortable with our bodies those thoughts are potent. How many special events or conversations have we all missed, or missed partially, because of snug outfits or body image?

Ashley learns something I’ve learned in years of practicing and in my own personal life. Nobody is as keyed into your size as you are. As Ashley says, you don’t have to fix yourself if it’s true love. It’s true, only the assholes demand we fix ourselves. I don’t have daughters, I have boys. You better believe I’m trying to make them sensitive about size and associated commentary. For those of you with girls, or if you’re still stuck in this body noise, do some asshole preparation. If someone says something like this... it’s not really about you and only you can prevent scarring.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Hurricane Harvey + What to Eat in a Natural Disaster

Hurricane Harvey is hitting our friends in the south hard, and as Lauren and I know from going to school in New Orleans, hurricanes do not just mean "hurrication" (hurricane vacation- what they were called pre-Katrina). In fact I heard that almost a quarter million people are already without power and there is serious price gauging with bottled water - with people charging up to $99 for a case!
So yesterday I chatted about natural disasters + food safety with Fox and Friends (Lauren had plenty of "blechs" but I'm just getting the info out). Whether you're in Hurricane Harvey's path or in case you get stuck inside during a future hurricane or blizzard, here's what you need to know:
• Refrigerated food is technically fine during a power outage for up to 4 hours, could be more. The KEY is to keep the fridge door closed. No going in and out for water (or wine!).
• When in doubt, throw it out - and also, don't taste it to test it. If something smells or looks off, toss it. A little food waste is better than a lot of food poisoning. 
• Stock up. Here's our Storm Shopping List (best to have some of these items in house before storm forecasts when supplies can be limited)
  • lots of bottled water or seltzer
  • gluten free bread
  • oatmeal cups such as vigilant eats, if need be can just add hot water
  • natural almond or peanut butter
  • jarred (or if need be canned) tuna
  • jerky
  • avocados
  • bananas
  • apples
  • pistachios (you'll have time on your hands) 
  • Kale chips
  • Rx bars 
  • Shelf stable almond milk
  • Pickles
  • (dark chocolate and limes for tequila optional)

• Oh, and one last great tip c/o Lauren: don't eat all the food+snacks+drinks just to prevent them from going bad. No need for Hurricane Weight Gain. 
Stay safe our southern friends!! 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Don't unfriend the scale

that's my little bamboo number lurking
The scale is a tricky thing. Some people are bff's with the scale, get together daily and enjoy its feedback. Others are highly sensitive to the scale's information, it has the power to ruin a day, or even a week. I'm "bi-scaleual" I've had times when I pop on each morning and others where I don't feel its necessary. I know this will fly in the face of intuitive eating but I think you can benefit from the scale, to some degree.
Our clients have us weigh them (facing away from the numbers) so we can track their numbers. I have friends who have personal trainers to monitor things. These are solutions to weighing without fixating on the number. I know you may be thinking jeans don't lie but they can fib. Your jeans may be a little different without you noticing. Do a little experiment, try on your "reference clothing" and see what you think, up, down or the same. Then, pop on the scale and see it it's in sync with your prediction. Anyone want to partner on a scale that simply has an up arrow or a down arrow?
On a personal note, my weight is fairly stable. I will tell you that my first visit with bamboo (see above) was mildly shocking. I was up four from my typical number. I remedied that (doesn't hurt that we're test driving our September Squeeze recipes). A long distance Foodstalking client summed it up yesterday, On our Monday food log we say "starting weight if you're a weigher." This client emailed me her Monday weight and said "and I have to weigh myself. Remember when I stopped? That is when it started coming on because I thought I was lighter than I was." I suggest taking a weekly weight or at least a monthly check in.
If the scale will send you over the edge, ignore what I'm saying. But if your behaviors have been a little off and you're open to it, see what the scale says. Oh and it's not broken.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Do doctors fat shame?

Weight commentary sticks. In practically every initial nutrition session with clients, I hear of a family member, coach, doctor or boyfriend/girlfriend who once said something about their appearance or size. And 10 or 20 or 50 years later, these remarks can be repeated verbatim.
And so, when I received this, in an email, yesterday, I took it seriously.
Loved your last two blogs - saved me from watching "what the health?" (Which everyone is recommending). Here's a blog idea on how confusing/hard it is to raise girls with a healthy body image. Took my 2.5-year-old in for her check-up and was told her BMI is "high" (over 85%). I thought the pediatrician was kidding but then he said no, part of his job is now fat shaming two year olds.
We are all sensitive when it comes to our kids or we should be. I was shocked when my pediatrician suggested I take one son to the eye doctor (I thought he was overreacting). And yet, I almost fell out of my chair when I witnessed his eye exam. At every check-up when the pediatrician plots their height and weight on growth charts, I'm anxious about the results. I could get into how growth charts are developed and my issues with BMI, as a measure, but I don’t think that’s necessary. Doctors would be remiss if they didn’t test and plot and share results with parents.
However, I don’t think young children need to hear from doctors or nurses about their height and weight. As a parent, you can request to be the one who filters this information, decide if it’s important to share and what action to take. We don’t see young children at Foodtrainers because we feel that parents (or adults) food shop and make the majority of food decisions a certain age.
I think it’s difficult to raise children, regardless of gender, with a healthy body image. One approach is to focus on non-physical characteristics. Even if it’s positive, if we are always commenting on children’s appearance, we’re sending the message this is most important. Try to note when your child is kind or diligent or patient. I also avoided, and this may be surprising, conversations about nutrition until my boys were old enough to ask We have wholesome food in the house (and good versions of snacks and treats) and home cooked meals. We are active and so are the kids. As simple as this sounds, I think basics and a foundation of sound habits are key.
With young children, you can shield them from callous or potentially hurtful comments, to a certain degree. But the goal isn’t to raise kids with healthy body images. Our goal should be to raise kids with healthy self-images so when comments about their weight, intelligence, athleticism or character come their way, they don't internalize them for decades.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

What clean eating means to me

Add some more protein, maybe dark chocolate and avocado 
I’d like to think I have a good handle on nutrition news. I may skip some of the endless, depressing political articles but I read the food-related ones. There was an article in the Guardian that I missed and, more than that, I seem to have missed when “clean eating” went from being a descriptor and morphed into a cult.
There are a lot of annoying diet terms. Yesterday, I talked about plant based. Now, let’s tackle clean eating. For me, clean eating is akin to sensible eating. More veg, fewer sweets. More whole foods, fewer packaged items. In my eyes, clean eating isn’t perfect eating, clean eating isn’t unreasonable.
This article on clean eating conflates clean eating with orthorexia. Orthorexia is an eating disorder characterized with an obsessive relationship with consuming healthy foods. I don’t’ understand this, that’s like assuming hydration is similar or ove rhydrating (a dangerous type of hydration). The Guardian piece also makes clean eating seem like a club. Either you’re in or you're out, clean or dirty? If that’s the case, my eating since my kids arrived home would be dirty, I’m out? C’mon. We all have times where we lean more clean and others where the picks or treats are a little too frequent. Find me the person who is 100% clean and I’ll find you issues may more damaging than any French fry or margarita (just examples, not saying they are my favorite friggin’ things) can inflict.
The other issue is Instagram and those without qualifications offering advice. Let’s start with Instagram. If Instagram is real, no houses have clutter, no food is ugly and we’re all off in exotic locations all the time. We all play a role. I like Insta stories as I don’t filter and tend to present less pretty things. The more we all do this, the better. I have a ways to go. As far as credentials. I am not a snob. There are people who are fantastic cooks without culinary school and others who have a ton of knowledge without letters after their names. BUT, I find that when you have someone who only offers advice on social media or blogs they are sharing their story. When you see clients, or have experience beyond your own, you are more conscious of being general.
I’m halfway through my coffee, I don’t think I’m expressing that well. I’d see bloggers and “influencer’s” (talk about annoying terms) posts as inspiration versus prescriptive.
So, that’s that. I’m trying to write and blog more so please let me know if there are topics or articles you want me to address. Off to have my “clean” breakfast. We’ll see if I veer dirty as the day drags on.