Food Guilt Be Gone!

Kiley’s Intro: Eating my way through Italy has me thinking a lot about food guilt and lack thereof. Everything tastes better here (of course it does, it’s all fresher than fresh, drizzled with olive oil, accompanied by wine, and followed by gelato!) Italy is pretty much foodie heaven and the focus seems to be on taste, pleasure, and indulgence instead of calories, weight-loss, and diet. What a refreshing change of pace.

FullSizeRenderAs a culture, we tend to infuse shame into indulging in culinary delicacies. We’re taught that sweets, carbs, and alcohol are “bad.” Therefore, instead of feeling happy after a pleasurable meal, we resort to guilt. Shame on us!

Fueling our bodies with nutrients is essential, but eating mindfully and satisfying cravings are also crucial for overall good health. So, how do we make this transformation and rid the guilt? Elise Museles’ (of Kale & Chocolate) provides us with some insightful tips on slowing down, eating mindfully, and replacing food shame with enjoyment…a concept the Italians have down pat!

Does this sound familiar…

I feel GUILTY when:

Indulging in unhealthy foods
Eating when I’m not really hungry
Making poor food choices
Indulging in comfort foods
Munching on sweets
Looking in the mirror

MP900182704And that guilt you feel? It puts your entire life on hold. Not to mention that it serves no useful or forward moving purpose.

Guilt zaps every ounce of energy you have. It drops you into an endless array of stress and pressure. It forces you into a constant battle between your body and your mind.

The minute you introduce guilt into your world, your inner critic becomes the loudest voice in the room. Suddenly, your mind turns into an evil villain – spouting harsh judgments that you instantly start to believe.

Here’s what I know:

Paying attention to your inner critic won’t help you lose weight.
Hating your body isn’t going to get you any closer to looking like a million bucks.
Always thinking “I should” do something will lead to nothing but stress and disappointment.

Are you ready to take the power away from the voices in your head and put it back in your body? Here’s how: you need to show your body some respect by learning to listen to it. Your body is smart. It has a lot to tell you … if you really tune in.

Going through life at warp speed and focusing on your never-ending to-do list, pushing and pushing to get everything done…will never rid you of guilt. Why? Because you’re too busy being a human doing rather than a human being, which prevents you from tuning in…and keeps you from making choices that are in alignment with what your body really needs.

Think about it. If you’re in go-go-go mode:

How can you really know if you’re hungry?
How do you notice the signals that you’re full or satiated?
How do you understand what your cravings really mean?
How do you experience a pleasurable meal and savor all the goodness?
How do you take in all the sensations when you barely have time to chew?

What’s the result of not listening to your body? Oftentimes, a big old serving of guilt.

Your ultimate goal is to find ways to slow down so that you can be more intentional and mindful to create the space to listen to your body. Instead of eating your meal mindlessly while standing up, try sitting down and noticing the smells, the flavors, the tastes and textures. Instead of beating yourself up for wanting the chocolate chip cookie, try paying attention to why you might be having cravings.
Instead of assuming that you need to finish your plate and then feeling uncomfortably full, try putting down your fork and checking in with yourself mid-meal.

guiltOne Healthy Breakdown: When you tune into the wisdom of your body and allow your actions to follow suit, you’re much more likely to make guilt-free choices with food… and beyond.

*Elise Museles is an attorney turned Certified Eating Psychology & Nutrition Expert. She helps women stuck in a motivation-to-frustration cycle adopt a more joyful & positive approach to nourishment that starts with the food on the plate, but ultimately extends to all areas of life. Enter a delicious world full of freedom, ease, and fun at Kale & Chocolate. For daily inspiration, join Elise on Facebook and follow her on Twitter and Instagram @kaleandchocolate.

Crunching Cravings

Thanks to Elise of Kale & Chocolate, for sharing her chewy story on One Healthy Hamptons!

Recently, one of my awesome clients came to me with a situation:

She nourishes her body regularly with vibrant, nutrient-dense meals. Fitness is a fun part of her daily regime. When it comes to her health, she feels better than ever.

Except…

photo(194)Every night, during family time, her husband heads into the kitchen to pop a huge bowl of movie theater popcorn. You know—that caloric bomb swimming in salt and mysterious bright yellow butter.

And, every night, that bowl of popcorn would seep into her senses. And before she could stop herself, her hand was digging in—over and over.

I knew this smart, savvy, health-conscious woman wasn’t actually craving that kind of popcorn. She usually makes the right choices, and truly prefers whole foods over processed & fat-laden options.

So, what was she really craving?

Together, we dug deep and went through a roadmap to discover her cravings, peeling back the layers and looking for any emotional triggers, too. We still couldn’t crack the crunchy code.

She filled up on nutritionally balanced smoothies for breakfast. Lunch was usually a big vibrant bowl of veggie or lentil soup, and she was enjoying dinners that included some combination of fish (or other protein), sweet potatoes and sautéed leafy greens.

She told me that when the popcorn appeared each night, she wasn’t hungry. She felt satiated, and noticed that her energy levels were sky high. So, what was ultimately the problem?

She was missing the CRUNCH. While her meals were nutritious & delicious, her smoothies, soups and softer foods weren’t cutting it with her urge to crunch.

Craving the crunch is quite common. When we’re stressed from a long day, we subconsciously clench our jaw. Chewing a crunchy food in your mouth releases this tension. And when you don’t satisfy your need for crunch in your meals, then you’re much more likely to turn to the less healthy options in between. (Hello chocolate chip cookies!)

When we think of balancing our meals to prevent cravings, the “protein-fat-carbs” macronutrient trifecta is at the top of our minds. (And it should be for steady blood sugar levels.) But, we don’t often consider the importance of balancing texture to keep us satisfied & satiated.

In the spirit of recognizing our craving for crunch (minus the calorie-laden, nutrient-deficient chips, popcorn & pretzels), here are my favorite ways for you to munch & savor crunch as part of your meal or for a mid-day snack.

Crunchy Meal Toppers:

For a creamy smoothie or an extra thick smoothie bowl, top it off with nuts, trail mix, homemade granola, seeds, cacao nibs, coconut chips or chopped up apples, pears, or frozen fruit. (If you haven’t checked out Breakfast Criminals yet, you should! I’ve been totally inspired to step up my breakfast game with some pretty creative smoothies & toppings.)

For a satiating meal of oats or quinoa, put walnuts, almonds or any combo of nuts and fruit to add more texture.

For beautiful salads in a bowl or mason jar, think about including the crisp vegetables like carrots, red pepper, cucumber, cabbage, celery, jicama, and broccoli. Then, sprinkle some kale chips, nuts, seeds or roasted garbanzo beans as a finishing touch.

For that piping hot bowl of soup that will warm you up from this inside out, pair it with flax crackers or a side of carrots & cucumbers.

crunchy-wideCrunchy Standbys:

Kale Chips (or sweet & spicy here)
Pumpkin or sunflower seeds
Nuts—almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, cashews, pistachios
Trail Mix
Roasted Chickpeas
Raw veggies
Apples, pears
Frozen grapes
Homemade Granola
Cacao nibs
Chocolate (Keep it in the freezer for that extra snap when breaking off a square.)

Just in case you’re curious, my client now happily enjoys a crisp apple and a handful of almonds while her husband still eats his popcorn. She feels amazing and completely satisfied.

One Healthy Breakdown: A little crunch goes a long way.

*Elise Museles is an attorney turned Certified Eating Psychology & Nutrition Expert. She helps women stuck in a motivation-to-frustration cycle adopt a more joyful & positive approach to nourishment that starts with the food on the plate, but ultimately extends to all areas of life. Enter a delicious world full of freedom, ease, and fun at Kale & Chocolate. For daily inspiration, join Elise on Facebook and follow her on Twitter and Instagram @kaleandchocolate.

3 Steps to Start Living Your Dream Life this Year!

Ok, I have a confession. I failed at my New Years Resolution within the first THREE hours of the new year! I only mildly, vaguely, kinda sorta committed to the idea of being a vegetarian in 2014. So in the midst of champagne celebrations on New Years Eve, I was handed a chicken sandwich, and my resolution was out the door. It all just happened so fast…Oh well, there’s always next year! Alright, so resolutions shmesolutions. Nobody likes them, especially me. They don’t work. We end up giving up all together when we feel a little depressed about failing at them so quickly. Out with the resolutions, in with the GOALS!

3 steps to start living your dream lifeWhat does actually work is setting goals! Choosing a few clear, specific, and inspiring goals will change your year…and your entire life.

1. I need to lose this extra weight from the holidays (is soooo not inspiring to me. Blah. Ick. Get it away.) What actually may work?

2. I try out three new classes every week

or

3. My boyfriend and I cook a new vegetarian meal together every Friday. (Uhh…excuse me, but those goals actually sound pretty fun!)

We are going to make 2014 the BEST year–the year YOU start living YOUR dreams and having tons of FUN, starting NOW! If that sounds like something you want, sign up for Hamptons Wellness Week! I’m going to be delving a WHOLE lot more about goal setting, bucket lists, and dreams during my New Year’s Vision and Goals workshop during Hamptons Wellness Week! I hope you’ll join me then so we can get super clear, specific, and inspired for 2014!

But, why wait! Here are three simple steps to help you elevate this year to the next level of awesome:

1. Get crystal clear on what your dream year and dream life actually looks like. You can’t expect it to fall out of the sky, because even if it did–you wouldn’t recognize it if you don’t know what it is that you want! Take some time (like we’re talking 10 minutes) to sit down and make a list. Draw a picture. Create a vision board, or use Pinterest. Do some honest soul-searching. What does your ideal life, your ideal year, really look like? By ideal, I’m talking wildest dreams. Endless possibilities. Nothing is too crazy, too bold, too risky. It’s your year to start being honest with yourself and start living like you mean it.

Where do you dream of living? What do you daydream about doing for work? Do you want to travel? Where do you want to go? How do you take care of yourself? Do you wish you could run a marathon? Do you want to feel like you belong to a community? What does that look like to you? What do you want to do for fun? What is important to you? What do you value? What have you always wanted to try? Heck…what would you do if you won a million dollars tomorrow?

2.  Once you know exactly what it is you really want, you can start setting some inspiring goals for yourself! Goals give you a target, a clear, specific spot to set your aim towards and ultimately reach. Goal-setting sets your dreams into motion and gets your creative, subconscious brain moving in the right direction, YOUR direction. Your goals are 100% authentic to you and inspire you to take action. Brian Tracy (goal setting guru) says that “people with clear, written goals accomplish far more in a shorter period of time than people without them could ever imagine. Goals allow you to control the direction of change in your favor.” Sounds pretty awesome, right?

3. Finally, the BIGGEST thing you need to do to make 2014 your BEST year yet is to get into action now! Your dreams, goals, and visions for your life are so beautiful and so perfect. The only way the world will ever see your greatness is if you choose greatness today. Choose to show up for yoga class. Choose to read that book, write that book, or give away that book! Choose to eat your broccoli, kale, and green beans. Choose to spend time with the people who matter most to you. Choose to sign up for that race you’ve been putting off. All it takes is one teeny tiny small action a day to bring you closer to your wildest dreams. YOU are the one that’s going to take your year to the next level. So many adventures are waiting, so many melt-your-heart moments, and so many “hell yeah, I did that!” are just beyond these initial footsteps.

Can’t wait to see YOU soon to talk more about your goals and to set you up with an action plan for the year! Sign up for Hamptons Wellness Week THIS Sunday, January 12th, at Hamptons Coffee Experience Store (749 County Rd. 39A) Wellness Week participants are invited to goal coach with me on January 16th at lululemon athletica East Hampton. It’s going to be an awesome year!

One Healthy Breakdown: Commit to choosing your dream life, and you will have it, it’s that simple.