Guest Blogger

3 Ways to Celebrate No Diet Day!! 

Healthy bodies come in all different shapes and sizes. We see it every time we hit the gym, get our hair done, or just walk down the street.  May 6th is International "No Diet Day" - a day where people everywhere can say "I don't need no stinkin' diet." Wouldn't it be great to throw some self-love motivation out to the universe? 

  

Here are three ways anyone can celebrate "No Diet Day"

  1. "I love me some ME!" There’s no point in trying to look like a celeb on a magazine cover. Did you know that those celebs don’t even look like that? Over 95 percent of media images are altered (not real). We can rock our different sizes and unique shapes.  You can do it: Share what you value about your body and why - with yourself, a good friend, or on social media. 
  2. "Because I'm HAPPY..." We often think if we choose to be content, we’ve become complacent. That’s simply not the case. We can find health and happiness along the way. Try to let go of the “if/then” attitude. Being happy in the body you have is possible even while you’re working on making it healthier. You can do it: reflect on what you are grateful for today and why. Can you share three things?
  3. "Can I Live?" Life is happening whether you are there or not. Might as well join the party. Remember that experience trumps appearance. So what happens if you don’t get out on the beach (the dance floor, the doctor’s office, the dinner club)? It’s very likely that you lose what could have been a delightful or enlightening event. Choosing the experience is the first step in making wonderful memories. You can do it: Share a picture of a recent joyful experience - and talk about how it made you feel. 

By Leslie Schilling and Rebecca Scritchfield, Co-Founders of Dietitians for Body Confidence www.RD4BC.com

About: Leslie Schilling and Rebecca Scritchfield are registered dietitian nutritionists and fitness experts and moms of girls. They co-founded "Dietitians for Body Confidence" to establish a dialogue about the valuable role dietitians can play in helping to improve body image. Learn more at www.RD4BC.com

6 Tips for Grocery Shopping with PCOS

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Shopper

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) causes elevated insulin levels in the blood, resulting in difficulty maintaining a healthy weight due to the tendency of the body to store fat.  Did you know that if you lose 5-10% of your current body weight, you can help significantly reduce symptoms of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome?  Don't start crash dieting to improve symptoms, but start shopping smarter!

Grocery shopping, in general, can be a big pain but if you are grocery shopping with PCOS, things can get a bit trickier. I am here with some tips to make things simpler.

  1. Fuel Up Before Shopping! This is a rule for everyone to live by: don’t shop when you are hungry. Those donut holes look a bit more tempting when you haven’t eaten lunch yet (public bulletin: there is nothing wrong with treating yourself to a donut hole).
  2. Fortify Your Cart with Calcium & Vitamin D!  Calcium is an important mineral for women with PCOS since it is known to promote egg development and menstrual cycles. Almost more important than calcium, Vitamin D is key for calcium absorption, egg maturation, and insulin resistance. Some foods high in calcium and/or Vitamin D include: milk, eggs, salmon, tuna, cheese, and fortified cereals.
  3. Find The Farmer's Market.  Produce & meats pack the most nutrition when purchased local because the food items do not lose nutrition in the transportation of the food items to the grocery stores and on the grocery store shelves.  Check out your local farmer's market and research local farms near your home that sale grass-fed, hormone free meats!  Since its winter, what are the best items to look for to help fight PCOS? Kale and Turnip Greens!!!  Kale is great for any diet, but can be extremely beneficial for women with PCOS. Turnip Greens are low in oxalic acid so there won’t be any calcium absorption inhibition. Other vegetables high in calcium: broccoli, collard greens, arugula, and okra. One key tip: take advantage of all these beneficial greens and make some beautiful salads.
  4. Fight Oxidative Stress!! Eat a Variety of Colored Vegetables To Fight Oxidative Stress. Brightly colored vegetables are a rich source of antioxidants which fights oxidative stress. Women with PCOS have been found to have a higher rate of oxidative stress which leads to physiological stress.
  5. Fire Up The Grill!! Purchase Organic, Grass-Fed Meats. Grass-fed meat tends to be leaner and contain less hormones than standard meat. The livestock is also protected from genetically modified grains and pesticides which can negatively affect hormone balance and PCOS.  Lean protein sources also help maintain steady energy levels and curb cravings.  Some protein foods, like wild-caught fish, can get a bit pricey but some cheaper options include: beans, turkey, pastured eggs, organic yogurt, and  nuts/seeds. When deciding on which proteins to choose- it is better to choose protein with little to no saturated fats (items listed above, with exception of egg yolks, are great options)
  6. Figure Out Plan Ahead of Time!  There are many websites that compile a shopping list that you can print out and bring to the store and check off items you need to purchase. This makes things much simpler and prevents impulse purchases. I made one myself and I am attaching it here: Grocery List. My grocery list is based on what I usually purchase, there are modifications and write-ins that can be made to your liking! Try to make a weekly meal plan and only purchase what it planned for that week. With the shopping list printable comes a budgeting section. Prepare ahead and decide what you want to spend and try not to exceed that limit. If you find some huge deals and have leftover money, save it for a rainy day and after the end of the month see how much you saved!

Therese Bridges

Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

breast cancer Breast Cancer: one in eight women will be diagnosed in their lifetime. Most (if not all) of you can name at least one relative, neighbor, or friend that has, had, or defeated the cancer. Since men grow breast tissue as well, they can be diagnosed with the disease but it is the most common cancer of women, so the focus often lies on women. Since it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we wanted to post a nutritional blog that could possibly help any of you, male or female, who needs advice on prevention!

My view point on the power of proper nutrition changed when I learned that three-fourths of cancers can be prevented through healthy diet and lifestyle. Three-fourths! I don’t know about you but that gives me a certain amount of comfort that, in a small way, we have the power!

Breast cancer is considered a genetic cancer by many so there are no promises. Also, there is no sure fire way to completely prevent any type of cancer but there are some nutritional tips that can help avoid those vexing cancer risk factors.

  1. This one may (not) be a shocker: exercise. Weight gain as an adult leads to a stronger chance of being diagnosed. The best way to avoid this is through exercise, which helps prevent any number of other health issues. Two birds meet one stone.
  2. Stick to one glass of wine a day. Those who drink an excessive amount of alcohol have shown a stronger chance of getting breast cancer. Since wine is such a relaxant, I cannot blame anyone who wants to sit back after a long day at work and drink a few glasses. Try to keep it at a one drink maximum.
  3. Don’t smoke. (I feel that this does not need further explanation).
  4. Mothers who breast feed for a year (or longer) are less likely to get breast cancer versus a mother who did not breast feed. Breast feeding has also shown a prevention in ovarian cancer, postpartum depression, and type 2 diabetes.
  5. Get screened often! Especially get screened if you have a family history of breast cancer. This is not a "prevention" technique but more of a way to receive the good news that you defeated the disease or to avoid a late diagnosis.

I have included links to Susan G. Koman's website, throughout this post, to provide any further research options you wish to pursue. Also, below are some of the trusted sites I found my information from (most was learned in my medical nutrition therapy class but I do not have a web link of my notes for y'all).

http://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/breast-cancer-facts

http://www.cancer.org/cancer/breastcancer/detailedguide/breast-cancer-prevention

Therese Bridges

Sweater Weather

Headshot Hello readers, my name is Therese Bridges and I will be Suzanne's intern for the next few weeks. I am currently in the middle of my dietetic internship and I will be aiding with her blog and social media. A little about myself: I am from Mobile, AL, recently graduated from the University of Alabama, and my day revolves around planning my meals. I am looking forward to my time with Suzanne and I hope you enjoy my posts!

Now onto the point.

Fall has always been my favorite season. Ever since I was a kid diving into a large pile of leaves in my front yard, I appreciated the weather and beauty of autumn. As I have grown older, my admiration has evolved to include football and food (I still enjoy a good pile of leaves, though).

Hot chocolate and fire pits are on the top of my sweater weather list. However, any one of my friends will tell you, I crave soup once the temperature drops to 70 degrees (I know this is dramatic and in fact, not cold). My favorite soup in the fall is butternut squash. Let me create an image: Sitting in front of the fire, curled up in a comfy sweater, eating butternut squash soup, and laughing with your friends.

To make this image possible, I am sharing a delectable recipe that you are sure to enjoy. My mother has made this soup for the family before and it is even delicious served cold. **I made this for my sick roommate and, not taking any "credit", she feels significantly better today.**

This soup could serve a large dinner party of 8 or last one person for a week of meals. I made it a bit spicier than advised by my mother but I find that it adds an extra kick.

BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP

Based on recipe in Williams-Sonoma Everyday Roasting Cookbook, with some personal tweaks

Pumpkin seeds inspired by Panera Vegetarian Autumn Squash Soup

Prep time: 20 minutes; Cook time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Serves 8 to 10 people

Ingredients:

  • 1-  4 lb butternut squash, peeled & cubed
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 or 5 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup roasted pumpkin seeds
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • pinch of cayenne pepper

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees, line baking sheet with aluminum then brush with olive oil and arrange de-seeded butternut squash on pan. Roast squash for 13 to 15 minutes or until brown around the edges.

2. Once squash is done, set aside squash. Chop and arrange the onions on the same oiled up pan. Sprinkle salt and pepper on onions and drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over onions. Roast for 12 to 13 minutes then set aside.

3. In a stockpot over medium heat, melt the butter with remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Add squash and onions and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add cayenne, nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste. Continue to cook vegetables, stirring for 2 minutes then add chicken broth (enough to cover vegetables). Bring to a boil then place lid ajar and turn to low heat/simmer for 20 minutes.

4. Let soup cool, then working in batches, puree the soup in a food processor.

5. Return puree to stockpot, taste and adjust seasonings then reheat soup. Serve soup and garnish with nutmeg and 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds (available already made at most stores) on top of each bowl.

6. Enjoy! (preferably enjoying your favorite movie, sitting around a warm fire)

Butternut4edit

13 Quotes About Your Body You Need to Hear

Happy Monday NutriFocus Family!!! 

In Honor of #Motivation #Monday I'm sharing an encouraging reminder to LOVE YOUR BODY!!!!  Check out These 13 Quotes Your Body Needs to Hear!

13 Quotes About Your Body You Need to Hear - WorldLifestyle.

"Seeing the Holidays through Recovering Eyes"

{The following is written by a current client that is taking the road of recovery!}

 

With less than a week before Christmas, the countdown is rapidly gaining momentum, and for most individuals, this is a time of great anticipation and celebration!  Truly, there is much to enjoy: Fellowship, Faith, Fir Trees, and Falling Snow.  But, of course, let us not forget one very essential element – Food.  While most people look forward to these aspects of the holidays, those who are recovering from eating disorders or disordered eating view them somewhat differently.

I am one of those people.  Because I am recovering from an eating disorder, my perception is most likely different from that of my family and friends who partake of the holiday season freely and fully.  Clearly, the holidays are saturated with social gatherings, inevitably including friends whom I have not seen in a while and foods that either I have never eaten or I fear eating.  Nevertheless, as my own recovery progresses, I no longer want to sacrifice the joyous occasions in the name of an eating disorder.  For me, it is not merely enough to be present at such occasions; instead, I want to engage in them whole-heartedly and create memories that are no longer dimmed by the shadow of illness.  I want my smile in this year’s Christmas pictures to indicate that I am not just surviving another holiday season, but, rather, I am thriving in my own way through the most challenging times of the year.  Throughout previous years, the holidays have merged together, and memories have faded as quickly as they were made as I witnessed my eating disorder stealing them from me season after season.  This year is different, though, because I am different.

In an effort to thrive throughout the upcoming Christmas season, which will be followed closely by New Year’s festivities, I am constructing my own list of personal coping skills.  Many people have given me tools to use over the years, but I must admit that I continue to pick and choose those tools that I want in my own recovery toolbox.  I am going to share the top three from my list because my hope is that those of us who are recovering continue to pick and choose from all available resources in an effort to make recovery work for us.  Here we go:

1.) Currently, this season, I am finding it helpful to “branch out” and surround myself with individuals who do not struggle with eating disorders or disordered eating.  Specifically, I joined a Bible study group this semester with a collection of women whom I would have never met otherwise.  This entire experience has proven to be invaluable for countless reasons.  Not only are they “normal” eaters (which was mesmerizing initially for me), the most important thing I have gained from this group is that these ladies introduced me to a life that I had completely dismissed because of the focus on my eating disorder.  These women showed me that life is so much more than the food on my plate.  They focus their attention on faith, family, friendship, and FUN!  With an eating disorder, I have certainly not had the time or even the desire for any of these considerations, and fun has been completely out of the question because there is no fun with an eating disorder, after all.  All this said, I am finding it helpful and enjoyable to gain strength from those who are living – truly living – and realizing the blessings of the season.

2.) Next, I once heard, “In recovery, you have got to clean out your house!”  I did not take this to mean that I should begin scrubbing the floors on my hands and knees in an effort to deep-clean my apartment.  Instead, I am realizing more and more that I need to surround myself with those things that are helpful to my recovery, and to toss out the items that perpetuate the harmful cycle.  For instance, in my apartment there are no longer diet foods, “skinny clothes,” pictures I would rather forget of times when I was desperately ill, rooms laced with tennis shoes and exercise equipment, etc.  After a clean like this, every single person’s “house” will need to keep and remove different things, but for me, I have replaced that which reflected upon my eating disorder with stuff that remind me of health and happiness.  Right now, for example, I have fresh flowers on my kitchen table and decorative (should I dare say fun?!) placemats that I picked out at some random sale.  Also, all of my walls are plastered with meaningful photographs and paintings from a dear friend who I actually met in recovery.  And, although there are a few pairs of tennis shoes in my closet along with my one set of exercise bands, I now use them in healthy, appropriate, life-giving ways.  My apartment, much like me, is an evolving work in progress.

3.) Lastly, the most obvious way that I keep my recovering eyes focused on the prize is to carry a little reminder of that which I am working for at all times.  Specifically, I try to either wear or carry something every day that provides a visual, tangible reminder of my fight toward freedom.  For instance, right now, I am wearing a bracelet that reads, I Chose to Live.  Also, in my jewelry box, I have a charm bracelet with the word Life engraved on it as well as a necklace with an intricately designed Magnolia charm, which I received when I left treatment for the final time.  My little reminders, though, actually extend beyond my physical person.  Currently, in my car posted on the dash behind the steering wheel I have a small picture of my mentor and myself hugging with the words “Thank you for the life that you represent” written beside it.  Also, hanging from my rearview mirror I have two, small hand-painted decorations reading “Believe in Your Dreams” and “Live. Love. Laugh.” I encourage us all to seek out those things that are meaningful to us – no matter how seemingly small or odd – and keep them nearby at all times so that when our eating disorder thoughts flare, we can immediately combat them with sources of encouragement.

Now, that I have shared some of my recovery tools, it is time for you to share yours!  There is strength in numbers, and together I think that we will see through recovering eyes that the holidays have no place for an eating disorder.  And, honestly, neither does any other time of the year!