Archive for December, 2020

THE BEST THING YOU CAN DO FOR YOURSELF IN 2021

As trainer and nutritionist, my views have been shifting over the years. As a trainer, I have been consistent:  I want people to build muscle, have strong bones, be cardiovascularly sound, enjoy moving, and feel energized and alive. As a nutritionist, my philosophy has evolved: My approach is not about weight loss. It’s about learning how to nurture your body with good nutrition. Since so many women are in a bad mental place when it comes to food, my goal is to lower the volume on all the mental chatter that we have about our bodies and food choices. I want to slowly change the internal dialogue from mean/judgmental to kind/compassionate. It’s moving to a place of acceptance and having more mental freedom. This doesn’t mean that I’m opposed to weight loss, it is just not my primary focus.  Most people come to me, for just that.

Unfortunately, we live in a DIET CULTURE, which entices us to try the latest plan that will FINALLY make us feel happy about ourselves and our bodies. This is total BS because diets don’t work. In fact, diets only make things worse. They make us feel that we somehow failed. We did not fail—the diet failed us! This sense of failure leads to self-deprecating thoughts, crushing our spirits. The stress of all of this has profound effects on our physical well-being. In my view, the diet industry preys on our vulnerabilities and weaknesses. It tells us that we have to eliminate food groups , detox our bodies, look a certain way, and be “fixed”. If you are old enough, you’ve been bombarded with these messages for decades. These messages seem to get louder and louder at the end of each year so we can “start over” in the following year.

In 2021, I want you to throw out the diet culture and move towards focusing on how you can nurture your mind, body and spirit. This will not be easy. I know you will be tempted to go back to Weight Watchers or to try, once again, the Keto diet or Whole 30. If you’re going back to a plan that didn’t work, please don’t think that it will work this time. It won’t.

A great way to start the process of changing your mentality is to listen to a podcast that focuses on doing just this—ditching diet culture. The podcast is called “RUN, SELFIE, REPEAT”. While this is a podcast about running, the founder, Kelly Roberts does an 8-part series about getting rid of diet culture with her friend and nutritionist, Kayla Reynolds. Unfortunately, you will be able to relate to EVERYTHING that they’re saying! We have almost been brain washed when it comes to food, eating and our bodies.  Like most things, this is podcast is not a panacea but you will find it thought-provoking, disturbing, and funny all rolled into one. Some of you will want to listen to all of the episodes. For others, one or two will suffice. Either way, you’ll get the message loud and clear. Just a warning—the episodes are long. The hosts are young and sassy, and while they are extremely knowledgeable, they also use the word “like” way too for my liking! (a pun!). Do not let that deter you—there’s great info in there!

Once you’re done, if you want to talk about this with me, reach out! Nothing would make me happier.

Let’s hope 2021 is better for us in every way: No more COVID and no more DIETS!

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CORONAVIRUS: STRIVING FOR “JUST RIGHT”

I find myself wanting to write more and more about this pandemic and how it’s impacting all of us in so many different ways.

I have a bunch of clients who, in the past, have been dedicated, consistent exercisers. Now, because of the pandemic, some of them are struggling to barely maintain a routine. For the first time, they are experiencing “never-before-twinges” in their bodies, coming from a lack of exercise.

On the other extreme, some people, because of the pandemic, have extra time in their day and are actually exercising more than they ever had before. After all, exercise helps alleviate stress and this is a stressful time. For the first time, some of them are experiencing “never-before- twinges” in their bodies, coming from too much exercise and not enough rest.  

In both cases, the balance is off. And in both cases, ignoring those “never-before-twinges” is not a good thing. Our bodies feedback a lot of important information to us—we just have to pay attention and listen. A lack of exercise, accompanied by too much sitting, will cause back and neck pain, as well as stiff knees and hips. Your body is letting you know that you need to move more. Likewise, if you are overdoing it, your joints and muscles WILL tell you what’s going on. Ignoring those messages and pushing through the discomfort, never works out well in the long-term. What your body needs is good nutrition, rest, and in most cases, stretching.

Striving for that middle ground—that “just right”, is what we all need to do. It’s not easy–especially in a pandemic!

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SHEET-PAN BAKED FETA WITH BROCCOLINI, TOMATOES AND LEMON

Oh my goodness is this a work of art in every way!! Enjoy this super easy, delicious masterpiece of nutrition!

ingredients

1 bunch broccolini, ends trimmed, thick stalks split lengthwise, or broccoli, stalks trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces

1 pint grape tomatoes, halved (about 2 cups)

1 small red onion, peeled, quartered and cut into 2-inch wedges

1 lemon, ½ cut into thin rounds and the remaining ½ left intact, for serving

3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for serving

1 teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon red-pepper flakes

Kosher salt and black pepper

2 (6- to 8-ounce) blocks feta, cut into 1-inch slices

Cooked orzo or farro, for serving

½ cup fresh basil or cilantro leaves and fine stems, roughly chopped (optional)

directions

Heat the oven to 400 degrees with a rack set in the lower third. On a sheet pan, combine the broccolini, tomatoes, onion and lemon slices with the olive oil and toss. Add cumin and red-pepper flakes, season with salt and pepper, and toss again until evenly coated. Nestle the feta slices into the vegetables. (It’s OK if they break apart a little.)

Roast 15 to 20 minutes, stirring halfway through but leaving the feta in place, until the broccolini is charred at the tips, the stems are easily pierced with a fork and the tomato skins start to blister and break down.

Serve over orzo or farro. Drizzle with olive oil and serve with the remaining lemon half for squeezing. Top with fresh herbs, if using.

(Recipe found on https://cooking.nytimes.com)

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