Your Body is Not a Calorie Counter (and Other Podcast-y Thoughts)

Your Body is Not a Calorie Counter (and Other Podcast-y Thoughts)

I know I don’t normally post on Saturdays, but I had to share this with you. Recently, I was on the Rebooted Body podcast, which is hosted by Finding Our Hunger podcast guest Kevin Geary. It was, quite honestly, one of the BEST conversations I’ve ever had about health, nutrition, exercise, body image, and how we talk about weight with ourselves–and with others. I really, really hope you’ll give this one a listen. Even if you don’t think you have disordered eating or exercise behaviors, it’s really worth your time. Listen to “Healing Our Thoughts Words and Actions” on the Rebooted Body Podcast now! (You can also tune in on iTunes or Stitcher radio) And, if you’re interested in learning more about why we can’t measure our health in calories, check out Kevin’s “Definitive Guide to Calories.”  AND if you haven’t already, go listen to the Finding Our Hunger episode with Kevin! Happy Saturday! Stay hungry, @MissSkinnyGenes...
Friday Reading: Stop Counting to Make Paleo Count

Friday Reading: Stop Counting to Make Paleo Count

Happy Friday! So, I’ve been receiving a lot of communication from all of you out there in the blogosphere regarding feeling out of control about counting, tracking, and logging “health goals.” While the blogs, podcasts, and books make it seem like you can only achieve some “perfect body/perfect health” (and the promised happiness that it will bring)  through big data and self-quantification, I beg to differ…so I wrote an article about it. Go read: Stop Counting to Make Paleo Count Also! My blogging partner Jennifer Mulder over at the Health Sessions has posted her recap to the One Month Tune-Up. Her takeaways are really great–go give it a read! Aaaaaaand finally: Finding Our Hunger podcast guest Kevin Geary has just released a really great action guide for those of you out there who are finding yourselves struggling with food triggers. I love how Kevin takes a no-nonsense approach to disordered eating* by diving into the logic and the psychology of why we hold ourselves back from making peace with food. You can get the guide here. Stay hungry, @MissSkinnyGenes *Many members of Kevin’s audience are looking to lose weight or optimize exercise. While I believe that his message can be used by  disordered eaters at both ends of the spectrum, if you’re dealing with anorexia/orthorexia, please be aware of potential...
Do Your Snacks “Smile Back?” How to Stop Eating Your Problems

Do Your Snacks “Smile Back?” How to Stop Eating Your Problems

I don’t really watch TV, but I spent a lot of time hanging out with my little brother while my mom was out of town having surgery, so I’ve had more than my fair share of TV time in the past few weeks… Has anyone seen the Goldfish Puffs commercial in which a bunch of teens are sitting in front of a television set, playing video games, and literally eating away their problems? [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9i1wpgnNUw] Look, I know that it’s just a silly commercial, it’s nothing to get worried about, blah, blah blah… …except it’s not. This food-like product (because anything with ingredients like “enriched degermed yellow corn meal” and “disodium inosinate” is not an actual food) is marketed as a way to dissolve away annoyances, at least in the short term. And while it’s easy to “read too much” into the marketing messages we’re served up on an almost second-to-second basis across all of the different media we’re exposed to each day, I think it behooves us to start paying a little closer attention. This is a commercial targeted at teenagers, who are at a point in their lives when they are starting to not only make decisions about the types of foods they want to eat, but when and why they want to eat them. By encoding a message of stress-relief into the marketing of this product, the advertisers are helping embed the idea that we need snacks that “smile back” in order to deal with our lives. It doesn’t take a conspiracy theorist to see that constantly bombarding people with the message that they need to eat...
Why Am I Still Overeating? Part 3: What’s Satiety?

Why Am I Still Overeating? Part 3: What’s Satiety?

Struggling with overeating? Cool–you’re not alone. Read Part One: Habit and Part Two: Emotional Eating and then head back over here to find out some strategies for getting past the compulsive eating roadblocks. ROADBLOCK #3: What’s Satiety?  In my own personal research, I’ve come across plenty of information on emotional eating and stress, and I’ve even read a fair amount of information on leptin and other biochemical reasons why “full” never seems to happen. But something kept bothering me about those two explanations–even in tandem, with the effects of one compounding the other–I was pretty sure I should have had my overeating under control. I’ve had plenty of practice eating mindfully, and I finally have a normal amount of body fat.* And while I’ve been under a ton of stress for the last several months, that only explained the desire to bury my face in a bag of chocolate chips…but brussels sprouts?** And that’s when I realized: it’s not that I’m not full, it’s that I don’t remember what full feels like–and there’s a good reason. This is more than just breaking a habit or filling a craving. This is time for a reset, “etch-a-sketch end of the world”,*** let’s break down this problem and fix it from the inside out. Let’s step back and take a look at our daily diets, shall we? (I’m going to do it too, because we’re all in this together.) When you stop restricting food, you’re faced with the ridiculously scary question: what am I supposed to eat? (I say ridiculous, because we should not feel so much despair over the fact that we’re finally...
Why Am I Still Overeating? Part 2: Emotional Eating

Why Am I Still Overeating? Part 2: Emotional Eating

Struggling with overeating? Cool–you’re not alone. Read Part One: Habit and then head back over here to find out some strategies for getting past the compulsive eating roadblocks. ROADBLOCK #2: Emotional Eating [source] “Mindful eating” isn’t a new concept. But just because it’s been around for a while doesn’t mean it’s easy. Part of an addiction (whether it be to food or anything else) is the aspect of comfort or routine. In times of great stress (or even minor stress), our brains make up excuses for why we need to indulge in a certain behavior. On the chemical level, it’s because our neurotransmitters, the chemical messengers that try to keep our mental states in balance, are thrown out of whack. For example, have you ever read one of the million articles published yearly by the major media about how chocolate is a health food because it’s good for, among many other things, endorphin release? That’s an example of comfort food in action: your endorphins (the “feel good” neurotransmitters) are activated by the chemicals in chocolate. So you feel good when you eat it. When you’re stressed, depressed, or feeling low, your brain instinctually remembers the kinds of foods that triggered happiness, and then send you to the pantry in search of more. At the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where I’m being certified as a health coach, the curricula often references “primary foods:” healthy relationships, physical activity, a fulfilling career, and spirituality. If you don’t have these four on lock down, then you’ve got a hole deep inside that can’t be filled with chocolate–but not for lack of trying. We...
Why Am I Still Overeating? Part 1: Habit

Why Am I Still Overeating? Part 1: Habit

Despite the fact that I believe in the core mindset behind low-carb/Paleo/ancestral nutrition, there is one phrase uttered by so many who follow that type of diet/lifestyle that just kills me: “When you’re eating real food, like healthy fats,* you can’t overeat.” Oh yeah? Just watch me. For many people, the aforementioned statement is truth. Fats are incredibly satiating, and when you’re full, you’re full. Same goes for protein and even veggies, for the most part. The problem is, when you’re approaching the dinner plate from the perspective of someone with a broken metabolism and a history of emotional eating, “full” doesn’t always mean full. Perhaps, like me, you’re following a satiating, ancestral/Paleo template, which means you’re avoiding grains, pasteurized dairy, refined sugar (or all sugar, except for fruit) and flavoring your meals with lots of delicious, filling fats (like coconut oil, olive oil, and animal fats)–but you find yourself bingeing anyway. On weird things, like coconut butter. Strawberries. Brussels sprouts. Beyond an almost certain derangement of my leptin levels, I believe that there are a couple of mental roadblocks that are keeping me from putting down the fork “when I’m full.” [source] ROADBLOCK #1: Habit Coming from a history of disordered eating, I am no stranger to habit. In fact, I’m still pretty much habit’s slave, when it comes down to it. Whether it was my strict meal timing on my bodybuilding diet or my strange strange little meal rituals–using certain bowls or utensils, eating certain foods in certain quantities at certain times, playing mental tricks on myself to make it feel like I was eating more while...