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March 2020

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Navigating Valentine's Day (Or Any Holiday!)

February 2020

Ahh February, the month of love am I right? Red and pink hearts galore and boxes of chocolate everywhere, a time to show appreciation to our loved ones. No matter if you celebrate Valentine’s Day or not, food seems to be a common ground for celebrating any holiday. Whether it is a social get together, date with your honey, or just enjoying that much needed alone time, we all deserve to indulge in something we love. Here are 5 tips to celebrate Valentine’s Day (or any special occasion!)


1. Savor Seasonal Treats

Focus on eating foods you actually love. Fit in your favorites! Food is meant to nourish our bodies but also gives us pleasure in life. Chocolate covered strawberries are one of my absolute favorite treats (especially around Valentines Day). Be in the moment and take the time to taste and enjoy the foods you like when you have it!


2. Don’t Skip Meals

Skipping a meal in hopes to “save up” the extra calories you may eat later in the day often backfires and leads to overeating in the long run. Restricting an entire meal can lead to ravenous hunger and will most likely be the cause of overeating your next meal or snack. Keep yourself nourished throughout the day and be mindful of your meals.


3. Think (And Eat) In Color

Everyone loves a little color, right?! Think about how you can make your plate as colorful as possible. Aim for half of your plate to be fruits and veggies that bring you joy!


4. Say No to Food Pushers

We all know someone that is a food pusher. Constantly asking if you want more or literally scooping another serving on your plate even though you are full. It is okay to say no! Don’t be afraid. Honor your hunger and politely explain that you do not want any more. When we don’t honor our fullness cues, we push to the point of feeling stuffed which can be very uncomfortable.


5. Lose the Guilt

If you did overindulge in your favorite food or the holiday did not go as planned, don’t fret. One day does not determine how the rest of the week or the rest of your month will go. Take a deep breath, recharge, and move forward. Letting go of food guilt can be the healthiest move you can make. 

All Foods Fit 

January 8, 2020 By Jenna Koellner RD, LD

Disclaimer: This blog post is not meant for patients or clients with a medical diagnosis or food intolerance/allergy that involves the need for medical nutrition therapy.


In today’s world, diet culture has consumed an overwhelming part of our lives. Statements like “I can’t eat this because it has too many carbs” or “I have to workout harder to burn off what I just ate” are just a couple of common ones that we all hear often - or we may even find ourselves saying. Where did this mindset come from? What made us believe that banishing an entire food group would make us “healthy” or help us lose a mass amount of weight? The answer: Diet Culture!


What is "All Foods Fit?"


As a Registered Dietitian, my philosophy is “All foods fit.” Why? Because they can! We often restrict certain foods that we've decided are “bad” or “unhealthy,” just to turn around and break our diet and overeat the foods we initially restricted. Restriction leads to overeating which leads to more restriction and more overeating. When you believe that your only opportunity to eat a "forbidden" food is now or never, you're much more likely to overeat those foods, even in the absence of hunger. It is a continuous cycle that we can’t break unless our mindset changes.


The truth is, when we make peace with the “forbidden foods," we are much less likely to overeat or have as much anxiety about eating them. When we give ourselves permission to eat ice cream, we will not be consumed with guilt. You may discover you don’t enjoy it as much as you thought and not finish the rest. On the other hand, you may find the ice cream is so delicious that it takes only half the ice cream cone to feel satisfied.


Research has shown dieting actually causes weight gain in the long term. This is because of the continuous cycle of restriction, breaking our diet, overeating, and restriction again. When we allow all foods in our diet, our bodies naturally crave moderation and balance.


Ask yourself: Would I feel good if I ate 10 apples in one sitting? (Hint: probably not.) Would I feel good if I ate 10 Oreos in one sitting? (This one is most likely also a no.) Variety and moderation is key. When our bodies learn to balance and consume all foods, we gain a greater sense of peace and respect for our body and its natural capabilities.


Yes, food is fuel for our bodies, but it's also meant to be enjoyed and give us pleasure in life. We all need play in our lives, whether that means taking a vacation from work, going to the movies with friends, or enjoying an ice cream cone on a summer night.


Consider this - instead of labeling food as “bad,” try using the word “play." Food has no moral value of good or bad. If we only worked or went to school without any break, surely we would be burnt out, right? Just as we need balance in other areas of our lives, we need balance and play when it comes to food. Eating only "healthy" food can elevate the risk of eating becoming disordered. Play food simply exists for our enjoyment. Even if it has fewer nutrients than other foods, it still provides us with energy and sense of satisfaction.


Be an advocate for yourself and for your body. Trust your intuition. Make peace with food.