“It [the coaching journey] provided a clear focus on challenge areas and necessary goals and accountability to overcome them. I hoped to learn about my mental blocks to living healthier and I wanted to learn strategies to address them. Yes, my expectations have been met.
I have developed the strength/willpower to address all matters leading to a healthier me. I surprised myself when I drastically altered my work and personal schedules to make time and put myself on the front burner. My major insight/breakthrough was definitely the schedule disruption.
I benefited from, and enjoyed the most, what I learned about why my eating habits were poor and the tools to address this (eating at consistent times, drinking plenty of water, poor snack replacement, etc.). I am tracking my meals now (sometimes) and am more conscious about my food intake, eating times of day, and meal prepping myself.” – Dr. Kim Carter
It has been an honor and a pleasure working with Dr. Kim over the course of a few months. The most striking session was probably our first – she realized that she didn’t have much time to dedicate to herself and her health, and she fixed that right up in less than an hour! The keystone action of removing and choosing the activities that fit with her values and goals certainly helped as we added in healthier foods, routines, mindset, and more. Let’s find your keystone habit and build a healthier version of you – schedule your complimentary, 20-minute Discovery Call now.
Many of us have felt tied to presence of the little square box in our bathrooms. Whether it’s with a sense of trepidation each morning, or out of habit, we step on and wait for the results. This smug, often shame-inducing bathroom scale seems to revel in a bit of schadenfreude as it spits back a number that we’ll inextricably tie in with our sense of self-worth. And the bad news often colors the rest of our day, and mood, a dark gray.
While we aren’t necessarily proposing that you throw that machine out or smash it à la Office Space, what we *do* suggest is a different ‘scale’ of sorts – one that will serve you now and well into the future. It involves way less shame and is a springboard into knowing yourself better while quite possibly helping you lose a few unwanted pounds.
What is it? The Hunger Scale.
The tool seems simple enough, but don’t let it fool you. Its power lies in helping you answer some rather complex questions about yourself.
A client recently expressed this beautifully when she mentioned, “I feel like I don’t know how to fill this out. Am I the only one who feels out of touch with her body?“
Our answer was, “oh, definitely not. You’re in good company”….because it’s true. Many of us have had similar past experiences when it came to HOW we ate. Why?
Think back to elementary school. You had maybe 30 minutes to process through the line to get your lunch, eat, and talk with your friends before it was recess or back to class. This, of course, continued for many years into higher levels of education.
If you were part of the “clean plate club” at home, you were often eating out of alignment with your true fullness cues.
When it came to work, typically your first job(s) would give you a 15 minute break to maybe shove down some food.
Because of our early experiences in life, all of us have gotten used to driving and eating, eating and working, and eating just because food is around. Rarely do we know what hunger looks like until we are ravenous or light-headed…or what fullness looks like until our pants start biting into our belly skin.
We have lost a connection with our bodies over the years because of all these factors and more. Even if your stomach was growling during an early morning class, you might have told yourself, “shut up body, I can’t eat until lunch.” Perhaps being made to finish your plate involved inner dialogue like, “yeah, I know you’re uncomfortable, body, but you need to make more room and eat this because I don’t want to sit here; I want to go outside and play.”
Understandably, this claim seems a bit brazen, but we truly believe that this Hunger Scale tool is the only ‘scale’ you’ll ever need. When you are attuned to your body’s need for fuel versus its need for comfort, you start being able to differentiate between stress or emotional cues and the body’s refueling requirements.
Since getting in touch with her hunger and satiety cues, one client remarked, “I feel like I used to always be eating. I don’t do that anymore.”
We’re gifting you our Hunger Scale template here, with some parts filled in to assist and guide you.
Every one has different signals of physical (and psychological) hunger, so fill it out according to your own unique patterns. If you’re finding it a bit harder than you thought, you’re not alone and we are here to help.
Have you ever felt hopeless over a health condition? Or believed that the weight gain and symptoms you were experiencing were random or just ‘a part of the aging process’? It’s time to challenge these thoughts; there is hope in exploring one of the last modalities often turned to – nutrition – and yet, as you’ll read below, it played a huge part in healing, weight loss, and improving blood sugar regulation. It has been a pleasure in helping Sherri uncover common, ‘healthy’ foods that were tied to some uncomfortable and distressing symptoms.
“The symptoms in my throat have improved, including getting rid of the globus feeling and acid reflux symptoms. I have lost 45 pounds, have more energy, and I’m having fewer neurological symptoms. I feel healthier overall and I feel like I am making better food choices and have fewer unhealthy food issues like stress-eating or over-indulging in unhealthy foods. I went from having a 7.1 A1C to a 5.6 A1C without any medications just diet and increased steps a day. 🙂
I like the fact that you truly listen and that you believe me when I describe my symptoms. I also feel like you care about me and want me to succeed. I think you are creative and empowering and I enjoy talking with you.
I feel like I have embraced trying foods I may have never considered before. Aside from arugula and kale, I didn’t eat many greens. I also would have never known about certain high-fiber foods or the importance of looking for non-GMO and organic foods. I also never considered how much better I would feel eating gluten-free.
I tell everyone I know that working with a dietician was what helped me feel better. Last time I saw my doctor he told me keep working with the dietician because it’s working. :)”
Thanks for all you do!!
– Sherri G.
Superstar Sherri has met her 6 month goals and has really taken her MRT Food Sensitivity test results and LEAP protocol to heart. She expressed early on how her problems with her throat were threatening to ruin her relationship with food. Though it wasn’t easy, tracking symptoms in her food diary and following her LEAP protocol helped her figure out how to ‘reset’ when things went wrong, and to see foods that were ‘friendly’ to her. We didn’t just talk about food though – we explored personal hygiene products for damaging ingredients and even air quality in the home (radon is an issue in Ohio). As Sherri said in our most recent session, “it confirms that I didn’t need a pill, I just needed a change in my lifestyle. We are killing ourselves with the food we eat.” Luckily, we can also help our bodies heal with the foods we eat.
1. It’s easy to be overwhelmed when you set your eyes upon a prepared feast. Take a deep breath and ask yourself how much food you’ll need to feel satisfied. Your surroundings, mood, stress and hunger levels will influence your answer. Be mindful.
2. Restricting one’s self takes a lot of willpower and brainpower, which can pull focus away from enjoying a meal together and spending time with loved ones. Take time for conversation, slow down, relax, savor your food, and listen to your body’s response.
3. The holidays are marketed as ‘special’ and ‘limited time only’, which makes it so we often believe this is our only chance to eat certain foods. This causes thoughts of scarcity and deprivation, which can easily lead to over-indulging, just to ‘get it while it lasts’! Remember, you can have these special foods again – ask for the recipe, go back for a second helping, have leftovers. This helps with staying mindful while enjoying our food and the holiday celebration.
4. Identify a few things that really make the holidays for you. For some it’s visiting the zoo lights and hot chocolate, reading by the fire, or time with friends over a pastry and coffee. For us, the holidays come alive while baking cookies with family. Since this isn’t something we do during the rest of the year, it’s nostalgic and has a wonderful feeling of holiday celebration. Find the special treats that are an integral part of your holiday celebrations and take the time to mindfully savor them.
5. Hosting for the holidays? It’s easy to forget to eat while cleaning the house, bathing the dog, and running errands; however, skipping meals during the day can lead to intensified food cravings and overeating at night. Remember to check in with your body often to assess hunger level and have healthy snacks or meals on hand.
We may not actually scream for ice cream (we’re all adults here), but, to be honest, there’s usually a squeal of delight involved.
While visiting the beautiful land of Italy, we neither confirm nor deny placing an equal importance on finding the very best gelateria as visiting all the historic landmarks. We have priorities though and are happy to say we found the top-source gelato in Rome.
This is really to say that we love ice cream. Love it. From putting it in coffee at breakfast to having it as a meal (yes, you read that correctly), it’s pretty much a perfect treat for whenever.
However, anyone who has indulged on a regular basis knows that nothing seems to add on some poundage faster than this creamy delight. So, when our very favorite non-dairy ice cream was discontinued from Giant Eagle Market District, there was a mix of disappointment and relief. Then, curiously, Halo Top emerged into and around the space instead. Eventually we took the mint chip version home and found it to be very light (more air incorporated into the product) and, frankly, delicious.
So what’s in it? Here’s ‘the scoop’ on the mint chip flavor ingredients:
How do they keep the calories low? Part of the reason why they can do this is because they use three different sweeteners: erythritol (a sugar alcohol), organic cane sugar (really just a fancy way of saying white sugar), and organic stevia. The erythritol contains less than .5 calorie per gram, sugar has 4 calories per gram, and stevia is a no-calorie sweetener which is a couple hundred of times sweeter than sugar. The other reason is that the Halo Top ice cream is physically lighter (a 1/2 cup serving weighs in at 64 grams vs. about 95 grams for other ice creams). With more air incorporated, you’ll have less calories and ice cream in general.
The calories, fat, saturated fat and sugar content for Halo Top are less than traditional ice cream, while providing fiber and protein. This does not replace vegetables, fruits, healthy protein and fat sources in the diet, but, as far as ice cream goes, it’s a pretty decent choice.
That being said, this product still has dairy (so if you have issues with milk products, beware) and, for some people and in generally higher amounts, the sugar alcohol can cause digestive upset, headaches, gas, and diarrhea.
There is likely to be a bit of a health halo effect with this product – with less calories, it can be very easy to over-consume. Remember to exercise portion control and enjoy it mindfully.
Your body: “hey, I just wanted to let you know that we’re having some issues dealing with the amount of sugar coming in -it’s definitely more than we need. The pancreas is doing the best she can but I’m sure you’ve noticed some blood sugar and energy swings…
You: “yeah, I did notice and my lab results show being on the higher end of normal, but I’m really not having that much compared to my co-workers….besides, is it so wrong to have ice cream after a stressful day?
Your body: “well if you could…”
You: *hang up* “argh, as if I didn’t have enough going on…”
Your body: *experiences unanswered calls, slowly becomes pre-diabetic and then diabetic*
Often we are so stressed and busy in life that we fail to feed ourselves properly and sleep enough. We can end up driving our bodies into the ground, possibly leading to illness. The dark circles under our eyes, anxiety, poor digestion, and low energy levels are all telling a story, but are we listening?
Take a moment, a breath, and check-in with your body as you see which of the following symptoms apply to you:
Excess fat around the abdomen
Tendency towards hives, allergies, bronchitis, asthma, and arthritis
Add up your number of symptoms. The only acceptable answer is “0”; anything more shows there is at least one area of possible improvement. These symptoms are associated with adrenal health, blood sugar handling, stress over-load, digestion, liver function, and food sensitivities.
Does your result fit into the life of vitality and energy abundance you desire? Get clear on the areas of healing; an initial consultation with an integrative nutritionist will help you establish where to begin.
The key to an improved relationship with the body is to be open to the messages it is sending and moving towards healing.
Think about the last meal you ate today. What did this meal consist of? How long did it take you to eat it? Did you actually chew your food or mindlessly stuff your face?
When you take the time to Be with the food you are eating and truly enjoy it, you will get more out of your mealtime experience. Chewing your food is a first, major part of digestion that helps you to absorb the nutrients of the food better. The saliva released in the mouth helps to break down carbohydrate components of your meal; the mechanical action of chewing breaks the food down before it enters your stomach and the rest of the digestive tract. Improper chewing can lead to over-eating as well as bloating, gas, and other digestive issues.
Chewing also helps you to enjoy your food more. By noting the texture and colors on your plate, while mindfully tasting your meals, you will have a greater appreciation for your food.
Next time you sit down for a meal, count how many times you chew eat bite you take. Try to increase that number by 10 and once that feels normal, keep increasing. The slower you eat, the more benefits you will see!
For a majority of those living in the U.S., the action of eating is seen typically as a task– something usually done in the span of 10-15 minutes with the location often being in a car or in front of a screen. The three-plus meals a day are thrown down the hatch and often in such quantities as to cause discomfort about 20 minutes later along with the realization of having over-eaten. In times of stress or emotional unrest, eating is seen as a comforting activity. The good news: eating mindfully can start with the next meal. Here’s how:
Eat your meals together – not only will this help maintain a cohesive family and social life but it gets everyone away from the pervasive screens of everyday life, at least during mealtime. Bring attention to the sight, textures, and taste of food while you converse and share with others.
Check in with yourself to assess hunger level and then serve the amount of food needed to satiate. This improves connection between mind and body as an association is made with serving sizes and satiety levels.
Reduce temptation to over-eat by serving meals in the kitchen and eating at the dining room, rather than keeping bowls and platters of food on the table. Try not to keep many leftovers as that can be a temptation for distracted eating later on in the day.
Don’t be the food police. People have to learn for themselves how much food it takes to feel physically satisfied. It can be a challenge not to try to control, especially when trying to ‘help’ child stay thin or healthy. Often, when mealtimes and amounts are controlled, a child may resort to sneaking food and can develop unhealthy eating patterns later in life.
Ask yourself important questions. Do you only eat healthily when trying to lose weight? Are children and friends hearing disparaging comments you make about your body? Do you feel ashamed when you choose certain foods or eat too much? If so, tackling these problems by enlisting the support of a health coach can help you create positive changes and prevent passing on these issues to other family members, especially children.
Mindfulness techniques, over time, will help establish emotional hunger versus physical hunger. Discover food intolerances and allergies by becoming more aware of how food makes you feel during this process as well.
We all want to be comfortable in our own skin. Be honest & compassionate towards yourself with the quality and quantity of foods you eat, as well as the motivation behind eating.