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I’ve had such a busy couple of weeks, so a sparkling cocktail is just what this dietitian wanted this past weekend. In less than one week we had trip to Connecticut (Cooper’s first overnight) and another outside of Chicago {my first night without Cooper – post coming Friday}.

Sitting down to enjoy a sparkling elderflower beverage was reminiscent of a trip to Nantucket a few years back, when I first tasted elderflower liqueur in a champagne cocktail. Well, since then I’ve enjoyed it many more times, but also love experimenting with kombucha in cocktails.

Why kombucha? In addition to just loving the fizz and flavor, I like the probiotic boost. Studies show a favorable balance of gut bacteria is linked to better immune system, antioxidant function, metabolism (think energy levels!), mood, and obviously better digestion. These things can all clearly benefit the active population, but there is emerging research that having enough beneficial bacteria can benefit athletic performance. I even authored a SCAN fact sheet on the topic that will be up on their site for members soon.

Lucky for me, this month’s Recipe Redux challenge was to make a probiotic cocktail or mocktail. The perfect opportunity to perfect a kombucha cocktail recipe and share with all of you. Typically I mix it with tequila for margarita style beverages, but the one I made with elderflower and brut edged it out for this post. My brother preferred my tequila version though, so I promise to share that in June!

Want more probiotic beverage recipes? Check out the link below my recipe at the end of this post!

Sparkling Elderflower Probiotic Cocktail

Ingredients
  • 1 ounce Elderflower liquor
  • 1/2 ounce vodka
  • 2 ounces brut champagne or prosecco
  • 2 ounces blueberry ginger kombucha
  • Blueberries to garnish
Directions
  • Pour vodka and elderflower liquor into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake
  • Add 3-5 blueberries to a champagne or martini glass
  • Strain the alcohol into the glass
  • Pour the kombucha into the glass, followed by the champagne or prosecco, and serve

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Disclosure: I received free samples of Sabra mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Sabra and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

When you need to be dairy-free, there’s plenty of options to keep dishes tasting somewhat cheesy and having a creamy texture… until you need to account for nut allergies, too!

This is the unfortunate case with my family, but the truth is, allergies are on the rise and should be considered by everyone. Tree nuts and dairy are on the list of the 8 major allergens, so it makes sense to be mindful that your guests may not be able to eat them at summer gatherings.

Well never fear, hummus is here! It’s an amazing solution to add that creamy texture you want – plus flavor – to your favorite dishes {like this creamy risotto}. When it comes to creamy hummus, Sabra seriously has you covered. It’s not a bad flavor enhancer for fish and chicken, too, and can help keep them from drying out.

Since spring time means it’s time to turn on the grill, this entire recipe can be cooked on it. It saves time cleaning pans and adds great flavor to the veggies to complement the flavors in the jalapeño and caramelized onion Sabra hummus.

Grilled Jalapeño Shrimp and Caramelized Onion Snap Pea Potato Salad

Serves 4-6

Dairy free, gluten free

Ingredients
  • 1 lb of your favorite shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 6 ounces of Sabra jalapeño hummus
  • 2 lbs baby potatoes (also sold as “tiny potatoes” or “teeny tiny potatoes”, rinsed and larger pieces halved
  • 1 tablespoon avocado or olive oil
  • 8 – 10 ounces snap peas, rinsed
  • 1 large or 2 small spring onions, halved lengthwise
  • 1 large ear of corn
  • Half of a container (5 ounces) of Sabra caramelized onion hummus
  • Juice of 1/2 small lemon
  • Cracked black pepper to taste
Directions:
  • Stir the jalapeño hummus in a small mixing bowl to incorporate all of the jalapeños evenly. Add shrimp and stir to coat.
  • Peel back the corn husks without removing, and remove and discard the fibers/silk strands inside. Place the husk back over the ear of corn.
  • Toss potatoes in 1/2 tbsp oil in a small to medium sized mixing bowl. Do the same for the snap peas.
  • Heat grill to medium and place a grill tray over part of the grill. Spray with cooking spray and add potatoes.
  • Spray the grill before adding the corn and the spring onions. Close the grill lid.
  • While the corn, potatoes and onions begin cooking, divide the shrimp into four to six portions and skewer.
  • After 5-7 minutes, toss potatoes and flip the onions and corn before spraying the area of the grill where the shrimp will be cooked with cooking spray, and placing the skewers on the grates. Close the grill.
  • After 2-3 minutes Remove baby potatoes and place in a large serving bowl. Add the snap peas to the grill tray.
  • Let the shrimp cook with the grill closed, an additional for 1-3 minutes, depending on the size. After this time, stir the snap peas and carefully flip the shrimp, re-spraying the grill grates with cooking spray before placing the shrimp down (this helps prevent the hummus from sticking, though it is normal for there to be a residue).
  • After 2-4 additional minutes, carefully remove the skewers to keep as much hummus sticking to them as you can and set on a serving dish. You can now also remove the spring onions, snap peas and corn and place on a large cutting board.
  • Halve the snap peas, dice the spring onions and after removing the husks, cut the kernels of of the corn. Add all to the potato mixture, along with lemon juice and black pepper. Stir well.
  • Finally, add the caramelized onion hummus into the potato salad and stir to coat all ingredients.
  • Serve the potato salad along with one shrimp skewer.

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Serious real talk alert. This post is a long one and an open/more personal one. This past weekend, a friend asked me if everything was going as good as it seems on Instagram with the little babe. I instantly felt a bit of guilt for potentially showing so much good that I seem like one of those people trying to only show perfection on social media. This virtual world is proven to make people feel bad about themselves and I want to do the opposite with my online presence. The reality is I just don’t have as much time in general to share on the channel as I used to as I navigate new-Mom-hood, and when Cooperman is being fussy it doesn’t even cross my mind to snap a pic or take a video.As an anti-diet dietitian and someone who wants to be real and build others up, I realize this is a problem, though. If I want to get the point across to my followers that they’re enough… and that the bad, the ugly, and the struggles are OK and shouldn’t make their self esteem come crashing down, I surely need to show that I experience those things too – on a daily basis.

I still haven’t posted follow ups to “intuitive eating: a respectful lifestyle”, but I really want to get across that it is just that – a lifestyle. Your mood, your self-talk and your relationships influence your hunger, appetite and tendencies to deprive yourself of food or use exercise as a drug… and vice versa. Life isn’t always rainbows and sunshine and that’s OK. You should feel whatever feelings you have without suppressing them. Express them to others. And then increase your awareness of what stresses you out and brings out the worst in you so that you can make conscious connections and improve upon the worst in the future. But, another thing with intuitive eating and an intuitive lifestyle that’s different from a diet is that the end goal is not perfection. It’s essentially acceptance of imperfection.

So heres some real talk. While I’ve shared some of my past struggles, I realize I don’t share enough of my day to day struggles. I try to be an eternal optimist around others because I’m inherently an overly anxious person whose mind is constantly racing. Ive learned a lot about my anxiety over the years so the way I handle stress has become my second nature way to keep my anxiety from getting out of hand. {This includes that withholding from carbs or going too long without eating makes it worse, but so does enjoying a sugary snack or dessert without protein or fiber} Looks like in turn I’m not doing a great job of being real!

And I guess I should have realized this a little while ago. When I joined my main mastermind group in early 2017, I remember being shocked when I was told they thought I had my shit together (business/entrepreneur wise). They now know I’m far from that.

As a professor, my closest work friend asked a few years back how I’m able to stay so calm and never let work issues bother me. I remember being shocked that’s how it seemed. Me? The one who used to have panic attacks in grad school and never let anything go?

As I looked back I did realize that part of my coping is to block those feelings of anxiety when they arise. Or to shift my mindset to something more positive and productive as quickly as possible. Anyone predisposed to anxiety knows if you keep thinking about something that stresses you out, it only gets worse. And that when you’re feeling anxious it’s hard to think about anything else (like sharing on social media that you’re anxious).

I also don’t want to seem like a downer and complainer. As a swimmer growing up, I was always the one telling teammates they could do anything, as a friend giving others pep talks and as a family member find myself always wanting to build other’s confidence. I also hate when someone only shares the negative on social media and have “unfollowed” lots of negative Nancy’s over on Facebook if I’m being honest here.

But, to be relatable it’s important to share what’s stressing me sometimes if I’m going to share the lights of my life with the world too! So here’s my reality.

I didn’t share a ton during my pregnancy cause I always felt like crap. 24/7 from week 6 on, I was nauseous and eating food (one of my favorite things and the focus of my Instagram account) was down right miserable. It was a necessity but not enjoyable, and I actually never ever felt hungry (while I love food and cooking against, I’m still trying to gain normal hunger back). Not easy when you’re preaching enjoyment of food and intuitive eating to followers and clients!

Before that, I was terrified to become a mom. In a selfish way, not because I thought I couldn’t be a good Mom. I had a lot of anxiety in the first half of the pregnancy thinking I’d have a hard time adjusting to not being able to do what I wanted to do all the time and having to put my business goals and entrepreneur hustle on hold. Now that Cooper’s here, I’m making it work without worrying about where my career is going, and actually wishing I was just spending more time with him. Who would have thought?!

On that note though, I’ve gotten upset several times because I chose to start working so soon after his arrival. I had the opportunity to start working with the Phillies organization. Awful timing with him arriving mid March, during spring training, with the season starting 2 weeks later. If I didn’t do it now, someone else would have the gig and there was no “I’ll just do it next year”. I’ve never wanted to be full time for a team or college so being able to be a contractor for a pro team was an opportunity I had to take, even with the timing. I’m lucky I can do a lot of the work from home and only have to be on site a minimum of 6 days a month… still with him just over 7 weeks old, Tim’s already had to convince me that I’m not a “bad mom” and that I did the right thing.

This isn’t a new mentality just as a mom though. I struggle mentally to feel confident that I make the right career choices and too often will say “I wonder if” even if I’m in the middle of a great opportunity! I also am usually thinking of wayyyy too many potential business possibilities or ventures to fully immerse myself in what steps I can take right now. I guess you can say I sometimes lack direction. Motherhood is surprisingly helping with that, but it’s a flaw of mine for sure that you’d never know by following my social accounts.

To tie all of this into my philosophy and how I educate on my blog and accounts, let’s now touch on the post-partum body and fitness. Which, to make sense of everything means going back to pregnancy when I just didn’t have the energy to post about anything. I’ve gotten a lot of “you look great” comments since having the baby. I appreciate that it’s women who are saying it to be nice and make me feel good, however, if you were pregnant, delivered a tiny human and are now keeping that lil’ babe alive, no matter what you look like, you look/ARE awesome! This experience is no joke and everyone’s body reacts to it differently.

Also, I try to advocate for giving compliments that don’t have to do with someone’s body because you never know how that impacts someone mentally. For example, if I had a strong dieting and disordered eating history, and was restricting my food intake to lose the baby weight, that comment could be dangerous, encouraging the restrictive behavior. As someone breastfeeding, that can in turn also impact milk supply and not only how much food baby is getting, but also then my stress levels further.

In terms of how it impacts me, people also don’t know that in my second trimester I was REALLY worried I wouldn’t gain enough weight. With how nauseous I was, I lost weight in the first trimester and was terrified my baby wasn’t getting enough nutrients. I as a dietitian got my diet on track as best as I could and my weight gain was within the recommended 25-30 lbs by the end. However, comments from others like “you don’t look pregnant” or “you haven’t gained an ounce have you??” didn’t make me feel great early on. Then, towards the end, I got everything from “you look great” to “could you get any bigger?” to “stop eating so healthy / you should really gain more, that baby needs more food!”. Thank GOD I became pregnant with much better body image than 5 years prior and less of a care of what others think than the majority of women.

Anyway, I DID gain weight while pregnant like you’re supposed to. But, due to the current comments I’ve gotten about my account and my body and the fact that I may be perceiving things as perfect without intending to, I decided to take a couple pictures to describe my real life and real feelings post partum {both pictures below depict how I really truly feel}. Everyone’s bodies will be different during and after pregnancy and THATS OK. What you see on the outside often doesn’t match up with what’s going on inside at all so choose your words wisely.

It’s been humbling getting back to fitness – my #1 stress reliever and where I forget all my worries – since I was cleared a week and a half ago. I’ve gone on two run/walks and not jogged for more than 5 minutes without stopping due to the pelvic pain and awkwardness. I can’t do more than 6 push-ups which I realize now is a lot for some people, but not for me. I am reallly feeling that lack of core strength everyone talks about too. But, Sunday I went to my second Zumba class since being cleared to exercise. I’m SO happy I found it before becoming pregnant.

As a former athlete, I was very regimented in my fitness routine and honestly had the mentality that zumba wasn’t a real workout. Well, it is an intense one at the NAC, at least with Rosalyn and Chris’s classes. But it’s also SO fun and a 60 minute class goes by super fast. I would not have exercised past my due date if it weren’t for this joyful movement and I would have been even more miserable while pregnant if not for that time getting my mind off the nausea and releasing endorphins.

Sunday I made it through the whole class and while I was pouring with sweat felt AWESOME at the end. Still, despite feeling strong and high on endorphins, underneath I was wearing core support workout leggings since my core is so NOT strong right now. I also want anyone’s recommendation for sports bras because nursing has dramatically increased the size of my chest {sorry male clients if you’re reading} – and I feel physically uncomfortable most of the day on top of it impacting what I can wear. So much so that I have next to nothing to wear in my former wardrobe. And I’m not exaggerating. Friday was rough as I went through my entire closet to find only one flowy casual dress that sort of fit and one sweater I could put on over my new day to day normal wardrobe – tank tops (the kind you wear under clothes or don’t leave the house in).

My point is, life over here isn’t perfect, but at the same time it sort of is. Accepting my anxiety and learning to manage it means it doesn’t bother me as much and run my life {though this was harder while pregnant}. Accepting my body means I exercise in ways I enjoy and I’m not forcing it everyday to “get my body back” post-baby – cause that really doesn’t matter and the strength/fitness part that does matter for health will come with time. Accepting my new body means my discomfort is temporary and won’t impact my ability to enjoy exercise and my everyday life. I just need to find some time to buy new clothes! I promise to share more of the not do glamorous and perfectly imperfect experiences in hopes it helps anyone feeling insecure remember everyone has good days and bad and most of us are still trying to figure “it” out .

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As a new Mom, I understand the “I don’t have time” excuse more than ever. Still, if I don’t make time, I’ll be left deprived of energy both physically and mentally, so I prioritize having nourishing staple meal ingredients ready to go, just like I always have. Then those ingredients can be transformed into a satisfying meal at anytime. Everyone needs fast, easy, delicious meals, so this is just the first of new power bowlI’ll be regularly posting.

Bowl-style food may be popular right now at quick serve restaurants (Sweetgreen and honeygrow for example), but its also practical at home and extremely versatile, so you’ll never get bored. While this particular lunch or dinner for one could require a tiny bit of meal prep, the reality is that with ready-to-eat grain options now in grocery stores, you could get by with no prep at all, too!

Meal prep never has to be complicated. It shouldn’t be the pairing of chicken + sweet potato + broccoli for every single meal all week and it doesn’t have to be getting ingredients ready for complicated recipes each week night, either. Whether you’re prepping your ingredients or just stocking them in your pantry, all you need for a successful, delicious and balanced bowl is:

  • A cooked starch, such as quinoa, potatoes, farro, corn, etc.
  • Cooked (or just canned) legumes or another precooked protein source
  • Vegetables (cooked or raw)
  • Your favorite dressing, sauce or condiment, such as this lemon garlic tahini dressing, sriracha, guacamole, etc.

I’ve posted about meal prep in the past, but I’m excited to now show you what that prep can turn into each week for real life meals that need to feed you quickly. Plenty of these meals have already been shared with my audience on instagram, but I realize it’s not as intuitive for everyone to build them as it is for me. Here’s the guidance you need!

Lemon Garlic Tahini Power Bowl

Ingredients
  • 1-2 tbsp Tahini
  • Juice of 1/3 lemon
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • Dash of salt and paprika
  • 2 Cups of favorite salad mix
  • 1/3 cup black beans
  • 1/3 cup chickpeas
  • Heaping 1/2 cup quinoa
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon hemp seeds
Directions
  • Heat a small pan over medium and spray with cooking spray.
  • Add quinoa and beans, stir, reduce heat to low and cover.
  • Mix all other ingredients except greens in a small dish before pouring over the quinoa mixture. Use just 1 tablespoon of tahini if you prefer a less creamy dressing.
  • Stir until well incorporated, then pour entire mixture over greens in a bowl.
  • Enjoy!
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While April 23 is National Picnic Day, you don’t need a reason to whip up these snack bites any time you have a ripe banana on hand. Unlike my other energy bite recipes, you don’t need a food processor, just a good old mixing bowl and rubber spatula or wooden spoon. They’re perfect for kids and adults, before a workout or as an afternoon work snack, and as a side with or to finish off a picnic meal!

Few things make me feel more at peace than dining outside. Enjoying nourishing meals and snacks out in nature where our food comes from just feels right! I have breakfast out on the patio or at least our sun porch any chance I get and while I love grilling with Tim, think it’s even better when we pack up a picnic to enjoy after a hike in Tyler State Park close to our house.

The great thing about picnicking is you can do it anywhere! It doesn’t have to be a state park after a hike. Why not a small park in your neighborhood or even your backyard? For the perfect picnic anywhere, check out my article on the Today’s Dietitian RD Lounge. Want more recipes to pack on your next picnic? Click the link at the bottom of this post for other Recipe Redux picnic hits!

Variations

Nut butter: Feel free to sub peanut butter for natural cashew butter or sunflower seed butter.

PB powder: I tried this with hemp protein powder as well and it turned out great. Feel free to use other protein powders and let me know how it goes.

Add ins: Some of the Bites pictured had cacao nibs mixed in, and you could also add mini chocolate chips or raisins. I also rolled a few in unsweetened coconut flakes!

Peanut Butter Banana Snack Bites

Vegan, Gluten Free

Makes 20-32 Bites

Ingredients
  • 1 small-medium overripe banana
  • 1/2 Cup plus 2 Tablespoons natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 Cup honey
  • 1 1/2 Cups quick cook oats
  • 1/2 cup course ground flax
  • 3-4 Tablespoons peanut butter powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Directions:
  • Mash the banana in a medium mixing bowl before stirring in the peanut butter and honey until well blended.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients, starting with just 3 Tbsp of the peanut butter powder.
  • Roll 1-1 1/2 tablespoons of the mixture into a balls. If mixture seems too wet to form into solid balls, add the other tablespoon of peanut butter powder. If for some reason it still is too wet to form, add one tablespoon of oats until you reach the right consistency.

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Eat Real Live Well by Eatreallivewell - 3M ago

We eat mostly plant-based in the Jones household, but despite regular consumption of beans, lentils, protein rich whole grains and tempeh, Tim is not a huge fan of tofu. Unless of course, he is food prepping and overcooks it to the point where it’s crispy, but overly chewy and he mixes it with farro, veggies and some sort of sauce for lunches. Needless to say, we don’t enjoy tofu prepared the same way.

Until now! While eating this dish for dinner one night, Tim looks up at me and says “how hard is it for you to make this?”. After explaining it’s pretty easy other than the time it takes rice to cook, he said “I think it’s my favorite thing you’ve ever made”. This says a lot considering he truly enjoys my cooking (I rarely will post something on here that isn’t Tim approved, which is usually just oatmeal or blueberries), and doesn’t really love tofu!

This mixed dish was ready to be made when we were running out of food, (grocery store trips are less frequent in general for us since I was constantly nauseous while pregnant and now have the baby around!) but I had cabbage and red bell peppers sitting in the fridge that needed to be used. The only protein ready to go was the tofu. Then, on the day I was ready to make a stir fry, I saw Pinch of Yum post a delicious looking peanut stir fry sauce for lettuce wraps on their Instagram story. I bailed on the sauce I usually make and decided to make a modified version of hers – it was easier (no food processor required), required items I always have in my pantry and used raw honey instead of refined sugar. Win!

This mixed dish is great for anyone as it provides a balance of protein, fiber, mono-unsaturated fats, and energizing carbohydrates. Still, the tofu is a higher quality protein than that of most plant-proteins, so it makes this recipe great for athletes and active individuals.

If you’re someone who competes in endurance races or does a lot of weight training, your protein needs are higher than the general population. You can increase by a few grams if you use quinoa or farro instead of rice, or really boost it if you use an extra package of tofu or add a cooked egg on top.

As I mentioned above, rice can be a pain to cook, simply due to time required. If you don’t have a pressure cooker or rice cooker, pick up some quick cook rice or even the ready cooked rice packets (I like Seeds of Change of 365 brand)!

What’s your favorite sauce to have on a stir fry?

Spicy Peanut Tofu Stir Fry

Vegan, gluten free

Serves 4

Ingredients

Stir Fry:

  • 2 Cups cooked short or medium grain brown rice*
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 yellow onion,  diced
  • 2 red bell peppers, diced
  • 1/2 medium purple cabbage, sliced thin and chopped, or shredded
  • 1 package extra firm tofu

*alternatively, you can use soba or rice noodles

Sauce:

  • 1/2 Cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce or coconut aminos
  • 1/4 cup sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chili paste
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey
  • 1 tsp powdered ginger
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • optional: 1 tsp red chili flakes (if you like extra heat)
Directions
  • Press the tofu with a towels to remove some of the moisture. Cut the tofu into small pieces. Heat 1 tbsp sesame oil in a nonstick skillet over low-medium and add the tofu. Cook until golden brown, roughly 10-15 minutes.
  • While tofu is cooking, whisk all of your sauce ingredients together.
  • When tofu is browned, add the rice to the pan and stir well before stirring in the sauce.
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If you follow along with my blog, are a recent student of mine, or have attended any of my seminars, you know I have developed a strong intuitive eating philosophy. It’s not only to treat eating disorders or disordered eating in the athletes and active individuals I work with, but also to prevent these problems, improve physical and mental health, and help people recognize there is so much more to life than comparing their body to others (or their former selves).

In January, I gave a talk at the Newtown Athletic Club titled “Breaking up With Dieting”. I was excited by the number of people who attended, but more so by the interaction during the talk and the feedback I received afterwards about how enlightening it was. A lot of what I presented, I started speaking with you about in early January, but having a discussion with others who have spent countless years dieting was exciting. You see, while people go on a variety of diets and often think they’re the only ones struggling with cravings, binges, low energy, stress and poor body image, most chronic dieters have had similar experiences.

  • You go on your first diet. It’s new to your body so the pounds “melt off”.
  • You feel more confident and are pleased with yourself because you achieved a goal (not necessarily because of the number itself that you hit). Who doesn’t love reaching goals?
  • If exercise was a part of your weight loss, you’re probably not realizing that this increases confidence regardless of body weight changes. Maybe that’s where your better mood and strength are coming from, but your brain confuses it with the number on the scale.
  • You hit a point where you couldn’t stay on the diet anymore. Vacation, holidays, a stressful time in your life, etc. are the things you “blame”, but in reality, it’s your body’s physiological need for energy and nutrients that you’re depriving it of. Your mood worsens and then maybe you binge. Possibly in one sitting, potentially excess intake and feeling out of control with food for a day, a week, or more.
  • You remember how you felt on that first diet, so you do it again. Only this time, your body remembers the deprivation and wants to protect you. Your metabolism slows quickly, and you release hormones that make you crave all the “bad” things that you’ve put off limits. You wonder what’s wrong with you, blame yourself for failing, and your confidence is lower than ever. So you try a different diet and the cycle continues.

Sound familiar? This is how 35% of dieters progress to pathological dieting and how 20-25% of pathological dieters wind up with an eating disorder. It’s crucial to also recognize that you don’t have to be rail thin to have an eating disorder. With bulimia nervosa versus anorexia nervosa, most individuals fall into a “normal” or “overweight” BMI range (please note that the classification of “overweight” by BMI is excessively flawed, too).

Binge Eating Disorder is also a clinically diagnosed disorder – it just isn’t diagnosed enough. 20-40% of those in a weight management program (aka on a diet) are reported to binge with 8% of people being diagnosed with it in their lifetime. And honestly, I bet the numbers are actually higher, ’cause how many people are comfortable admitting that they binge eat? Not to mention, those that report fasting and dieting actually weigh more than those who do not.

So, this brings us to increasing awareness of eating disorders… and talking about the statistics, and your personal experiences. Rather than let the media, college campuses and fitness clubs be filled with diet chatter, let’s be open about the harms of diet chatter and the expectations they bring, when dieting and weight loss are not the key to better health (physical or mental).

First, I think having this awareness week in February is perfect, after all the New Year diets have crashed and burned and people need support (though, I warned you). I also think it’s pretty fitting that this year’s theme is “Let’s Get Real” when my Fit Fueling business partner is literally “The Real Talk RD“. If you need to learn more about intuitive eating (read: you need to learn more about intuitive eating), she launched an amazing series on her podcast this January that begins with interviewing one of the RD intuitive eating “founders”, Evelyn Tribole on this set of principles that are based on the science of diet failures. She then goes on to interview a new dietitian for each principle! I think we’re up to the 7th principle now (honoring your feelings without using food).

While I encourage everyone to check out each podcast episode and learn more about the principles, note that everyone may start the process of intuitive eating with a different principle depending on where you are in your habits and health. While it’s rare in our society, you also may learn that you’re already a really intuitive eater and you didn’t even know it! Which is fabulous, but you should continue to learn more. It will help you if loved ones or people around you start to work towards this lifestyle, so you can understand their point of view, and be more conscious of how you speak about food, exercise, dieting and other’s bodies. Much of the questions I’ve received in recent months from those going through the IE process are related to how they can help their family and friends understand their new lifestyle.

Even if you’ve read it before, if you’re a female reader, I’d love for you to read my post from last year on Women’s Locker Room Talk  and if you’re an active individual, recognize that all the risks I list for athletes below are risks for you, too, even if you don’t identify as an “athlete”.

If you’re SO over dieting and reading to jump in to IE for fitness, the next group for our virtual course begins Monday, March 5. The group interaction and our live Q&As are just a bonus to the guided week by week content and resources.

Finally, it’s totally normal to still not realize you’re dieting. So, here’s a reminder of things that are still a diet, plus a link to the NEDA screening tool so you can evaluate your thoughts, feelings and habits.

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