How to STOP binge eating

Binge eating is something that more people struggle with than we think! I have personally struggled for years and have become more vocal about it lately because I truly don’t want ANYONE to feel alone in this struggle. It is something that can be hard to overcome, and the journey is up and down, but here are some steps I took to stop binge eating. They are steps I work on with my clients as well as helping them find their sweet spot of living a nourished life and enjoying food freedom all at once!

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  1. I started EATING MORE. Yep. I started eating MORE food. I ate more nourishing, real, whole foods and felt energized and satisfied daily. A big trigger for binge eating is hunger and deprivation. So I stopped letting myself go hungry or depriving myself of food. I ensured that each and every meal and snack had staying power and filled up my body.

  2. I stopped feeling guilty. Another big trigger for binge eating, even more than hunger, is GUILT. If I did have a cookie or two, I refused to feel guilty and I moved on. If I let guilt set in, that would inevitably get me to feel like a failure. I’d convince myself that I already messed up so why not keep eating more? Stopping the guilt it its tracks stopped the possible binge. And that was the most freeing thing of all!

  3. I stopped the excuses. I stopped telling myself that I deserved to binge on pizza because of a rough day. Because guess what? I don’t deserve large amounts of junk entering my body. I don’t deserve the food coma and nausea. I don’t deserve feeling sluggish when my babies want to play. I deserve energy, joy, and presence with those around me. I stopped excusing my behavior because of emotions or a bad day. I started giving myself what I TRULY deserved: health, joy, and energy for life. 

These steps take work and practice. They take TIME and grace. They take a lot of hit or miss food experiences that will ultimately get you to your place of living nourished and free. Nourished and Free is a method that teaches you how to truly nourish your body with real, whole foods, and also treat yourself and live in food freedom. It teaches you how to say YES and how to say NO to certain foods. And ultimately, it gives you the confidence to live as the healthy version of yourself that you are craving.

And bonus? As a mom to two girls, I want to teach them that their bodies are incredible. I want to teach them how to honor themselves and honor God through how they care for themselves. And I want them to trust themselves and have the confidence I desperately lacked when in the depths of binge eating. Being a mom is tough, but their little eyes are watching, and I want to be a present mommy instead of one who numbs out her stress with food.

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These simple steps transformed my mind, body, and life, and I hope they do the same for you! Comment below if you are going to implement any of these steps and any other questions you may have! I love hearing from you all! And if you want to take your health a step further and work with me 1:1 to reach your goals for your health and mindset, fill out this application and I will get back to you to see if my mentorship is a good fit for us!

Living in the Middle

Extremes can be so tempting for some of us. Extreme ways of living can make us feel secure with their rules and restrictions. And while I do believe rules and restrictions are healthy for us (my personality type is a rule-follower, type A, safe with routine type of person) I also think that living in the middle of extremes can actually be the healthiest thing for us.

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Being a dietitian that has worked with many clients, and has been on her own personal journey with food, I have found the most success with my health and my client’s health when we actually get a little LESS strict with our food rules. So instead of focusing on a 100% clean diet, which ultimately can lead to the binge-restrict extremes,  living in that 80% zone helps us stay balanced in the long term.

For example, let’s say you eat perfect meals for 3 weeks straight. You portion everything out, use your calorie counting app, and feel totally in control. You lose 10 lbs and you feel amazing, but you are missing some of your favorite foods, going out with friends, and the freedom to eat what you crave. You then decide to “give in a little” to a craving, go nuts, and binge for 5 days straight. You gain back 12 lbs, feel fluffy and bloated, and basically feel like a failure. This cycle continues, and you go up and down 10-12 lbs every couple months.

For me, this cycle had me going up and down 20-25 lbs every couple months! I had two sets of clothes depending on what weight I was at, and I was so TIRED of living such an inconsistent, extreme life between binging and restricting.

Isn’t it better to live a little less perfectly for the long term, versus living in extremes that leave our body feeling tired, going up and down in weight, and feeling like a failure time and time again?

I finally decided that I’d rather live as a healthy and balanced X lbs instead of living at either X +/- 20 lbs, forcing my body through the never ending and incredible unhealthy rollercoaster.

Let’s let go of these extreme lifestyles and focus on healthy habits that we can implement into our everyday life. For example, some healthy habits I encourage my clients to live by are working out daily, having a vegetable with each meal, and having a salad with dinner every night. These are habits we can ADD to our day, and they will not only nourish us more, but will help us establish a healthier foundation for the long term.

Extremes can be tempting because they promise results and success, but I’d personally rather live a lifestyle of health that includes salads AND pizza, kale AND cookies, and a little bit of middle ground when it comes to our food choices. I believe in living a nourishing LIFE so that you can have the freedom of sweets and treats, while trusting your body to take care of the rest BECAUSE of that heathy foundation you have set. 

This is what I teach my clients with my Nourished & Free Method.  If you want to live a life of nourishment while living in food freedom, click here to learn more about how we can start working together to make this happen.

You CAN build an incredible foundation of health that will allow you more freedom than you know! 

 

12 Days of Health-mas!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!! You guys, I am so so happy it’s finally December! But let me tell you, I didn’t always feel this way. There was a time that I dreaded this time of year, for two reasons. 

a) either I stayed on a strict diet, dreaded every holiday party we attended, and stuck to a strict meal plan devoid of any holly and jolly and fun... 

OR

b) I completely went off the deep end, ate every day like it was my last, and entered the new year feeling bloated, sluggish, and awful about myself. 

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I’m here to tell you there CAN be a middle ground. Balance is possible, and there is a way to enter 2019 feeling nourished, vibrant, and also feeling like you enjoyed all the treats and deliciousness that this time of year has to offer!   

I am so excited to be launching my new holiday challenge, kicking off next Monday, December 10th! The 12 days of Health-mas will include all you need to handle this holiday season in a healthy, but joyful and FREE way! When you sign up, you receive: 

  • a meal planning guide on building nourishing & sustaining meals

  • workout and activity tips to keep your body moving and energized

  • DAILY challenges that will help you grow in your mindset towards living a healthy lifestyle, and help you learn that you are WORTH living in freedom and health!

  • mindset challenges and journal prompts to not only get healthier on the outside but most importantly on the inside

  • AND a chance to win a $75 grocery store gift card!

This challenge will be run in my Nourished & Free community, which is my exclusive Facebook community for my group coaching clients where I teach on nutrition, mindset, the importance of exercise, and provide daily doses of accountability and support for all the ladies in there. Once you join the group, you’ll have access to all the files, educational videos, and challenges we’ve done, PLUS be able to join in on the 12 days of Health-mas! The Nourished & Free community is $19/month, but there is no contract! So you can join in for the holiday fun to test it out and it’s up to you if you want to continue with your membership in the new year!

You CAN make this year different, be more present with your family, enjoy some peppermint bark and Christmas cookies, and ultimately live Nourished & Free! I am so passionate about helping women everywhere live in the freedom and confidence that God intended, and what better time than NOW to start?

If you are interested in this challenge, fill out this form below and I’ll send the info your way. The deadline to join is December 9th, so be sure to fill out this form so we can get started! 

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4 Steps towards Food Freedom

Finding food freedom while still trying to live a healthy lifestyle is a delicate balance of nourishing your body with whole, nutrient-rich foods, but also allowing yourself to eat treats, sweets, and other foods that may not be as nourishing to your body, but more nourishing to your mind and soul. A couple of years ago, I developed a style of eating that truly made me feel nourished AND free. I had never felt so free in my food choices, but so healthy at the same time. Unfortunately, this past year, I got sucked back into diet culture, food rules, and found myself in a whirlwind of anxiety and confusion when it came to my food choices. God shook me out of it pretty abruptly and brought me back to a place of freedom with food that I am forever grateful for. My anxiety has been at an all-time low, while feeling the healthiest I have ever felt! I want to bring this nourished and free concept to you all, which is why I started my Nourished & Free community where I counsel and educate clients in a private group and show them ways to develop health habits, not restrict, and find their sweet spot of feeling nourished and free in their own healthy living journey!

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If you have a similar story to me and you are sick of the diet, restrict, binge cycle that seems to plague most of us, read on. Here are my four basic steps to starting on your journey with food freedom. I hope they help and inspire you!

Let go of the diet rules, the good and bad foods, or any other labels you’ve put on yourself.

The best way to get started on your journey is to let go of your mental list of “good” or “bad” foods. Yes, some foods have more health benefits than others, and some foods will be more nourishing to your body, but no ONE food or one food experience is going to make or break your health. The stress caused by confusing food decisions will cause more damage to your health than the slice of pizza or side of fries! Unless you have a diagnosed allergy or celiac disease or a food that really affects your health poorly (and that’s not just in your head, more on that later), the best first step towards food freedom is to allow all foods into your lifestyle.

Find a healthy form of movement you enjoy.

The next step would be to find a form of exercise or movement you enjoy. The only way I can get up so early in the morning to workout is because I actually look forward to my morning routine. Remember, our bodies were MADE to move, so we can all find a form of movement that we enjoy. Try out your local yoga or barre studio, join a gym, get some home workouts, or start training for a race. Whatever it is, I truly believe that we can all find a form of movement that we can enjoy a few times a week. I also think it is important to note that exercise alone does not cause weight loss, so we have to find other motivations to workout and move our bodies. Use exercise as self-care, to decrease your anxiety, and to increase your energy and motivation for a day. This will help you stick to a workout routine for reasons other than to see the number on the scale go down.

Add vegetables to your meals and snacks as often as you can.

Vegetables are nutritional powerhouses because of a myriad of reasons. They are full of fiber and water, which help fill you up during your meal. They are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, which help protect your body against disease and energize you. They also can be prepared in SO many ways that there is no excuse anymore to not eat your veggies! I love to add veggies in wherever I can. You can add them to omelets in the morning, snack on carrots or cucumbers at work, always add a side salad to your lunch, and roast up some of your favorite vegetables for dinner. This way, you still feel like you are eating a lot of food (any other volume eaters out there?) but you are also nourishing your body with whole, nutrient-rich foods.

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Learn food freedom by incorporating some of your favorite foods and evaluating how they make you FEEL.

Lastly, the best way to start living out food freedom is to start incorporating some “forbidden” foods into your day, and then evaluate how you really feel. Does dairy really cause you to breakout? Does bread really cause you to bloat? A lot of these symptoms are caused by other factors such as stress, lack of sleep, etc. Did you know stress can actually make you feel blaoted too? I started testing this out a few weeks ago and its changed my entire mindset. For example, I decided to start enjoying the free food that work offered, and I realized that I was just as sleepy in the afternoon after having my homemade, paleo free lunch vs. the pizza and salad that work provided. Maybe I was just tired in the afternoon because I am PREGNANT, and not necessarily because of gluten, sugar, etc. While I do believe there is a time and place to make nutritional recommendations and changes based on symptoms, I found that I was overanalyzing every food decision I made and thinking all of my symptoms (anxiety, sleepless nights, a breakout) had to do with the food I was eating. I reality, there is SO much more to health than just our food choices. Sleep, stress, activity levels, financial issues, a life event….ALL of these factors play a role in how you feel as well. I don’t want to undervalue your symptoms, because trust me, they feel very real, and I’ve been there not too long ago. But if you want to experience true freedom with food, know that research is very blurry when it comes to food sensitivities, and there is no real way to prove that a certain food is causing an issue for you because most of us are also under stress, feel sleep deprived, and have other factors contributing to our symptoms. Become an investigator of your own body, and evaluate non-food stressors as well that could be impacting your health.

I hope these simple tips can get you started in your own food freedom journey. Know that life is worth living, and is about so much more than your food rules or what you do or do not eat. You do not have to live in two extremes: being deprived one week and then binging the next. There can be true freedom when it comes to nourishing your body, and if you want to dive into that further, I highly recommend you joining my Nourished & Free community!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone! Move your body, eat some delicious food, and love on/be present with those around you!

 

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