There are SO many summer camps out there that it can be hard to pick which ones you want to send your kids to! But of course not as hard as it is to make the spreadsheet for each kid and try to fill in the blanks, pick camps that aren’t too far from each other and then say a prayer that they get into all of the camps making your perfect summer camp spreadsheet complete! #momproblems See below for some of our favorite local summer camps that provide kids with an opportunity to learn cooking and baking skills. Teaching kids these skills now will help them build confidence in the kitchen and enjoy cooking. If you aren’t local to Charleston we recommend checking out your local kids museum, culinary or technical school, and recreation centers.
Amanda Cain | May 27, 2019
Routine during the summer? Isn’t that the whole point – to escape the routine? Whether you’re out of school for the summer, home from college, or have kids on summer break, summer can throw people and families out of their usual flow.
This definitely isn’t all bad – spontaneous trips to the pool or frozen fruit pops are part of what make the summer fun and interesting! However, there are advantages to having some sort of routine.
There’s no need to be overly rigid (deviation is normal and okay!) – but having at least a rough routine to take care of yourself can help you feel your best and make the most of your summer!
1. Keep a regular bedtime routine.
Feel free to deviate from the school year’s usual 8pm to 6am bedtime (or whatever your usual is). Exceptions, vacations, and sleepovers may occur, but if you want to move bedtimes and wake-up times a little later, just try to keep it somewhat regular. If you go to bed and wake up at roughly the same times each day, you can better plan your meals and activities, and may feel a little more energy.
2. Plan your summer meals.
Without a normal routine, it can be easy to either a) skip meals, b) not have meals planned, and/or c) just graze on snacks throughout the day. Try to listen to your hunger cues – grab a snack if you’re hungry, and don’t just eat every hour or so out of boredom.
If you’re doing an activity, consider whether you should eat a meal/snack before you head out, pack a meal/snack, or if it would be reasonable to wait until afterwards. If you’re at home more, take advantage of this! Without the need to pack a lunchbox every day, weekday meals and snacks could include fresh-made items like smoothies, oven-baked vegetables, etc.!
The days may look different, but think ahead - consider continuing to make meal plans, to figure out what food you’ll need and how to nourish your body for the week.
3. Keep it active!
The blessing and the curse of having nowhere to be is the tendency to stay in bed, play video games, or watch TV far longer than we would ordinarily. No matter what your schedule each day, schedule something active. It can even change each day, but set aside a time to do something where you move your body – your body in turn will thank you!
Ever find yourself saying, “I have nothing in my fridge!” Or maybe you just have a pantry full of items that you’ve never gotten around to eating? Sometimes it can be hard to think of pantry meals as opportunities to still get in a balanced meal but if you know us you know that we love them for multiple reasons!
Below are some items that can be helpful to have stocked in your pantry:
We have just a few short weeks left before school is out for the summer. Whether the kids are going to be home or at camp all summer this likely means you’re going to have to start thinking about food a little more! Here are some tips to help keep everyone fueled up for summer fun:
Are you using gentle nutrition to help you live your best life?
What makes a food “healthy?” Ever wondered what foods or styles of eating are “good” or “bad?” While there are some similarities in nutrition recommendations that are generally applicable to most people, like eating more fruits and vegetables, the reality is that the way each person “eats healthy” may be a little different from person to person.
For instance, while whole wheat toast is something that someone with celiac disease might avoid because of its gluten, for another, it’s a great way to get in whole grains, with its carbohydrates, fiber, and folic acid among other nutritional benefits. Likewise, while one person may find switching to black coffee is an easy way to limit added sugars, another may find that much less enjoyable, and might choose to limit his or her added sugars by just using less sweetener, or by decreasing sugar somewhere else during the day.
The point is – you have to find a way to use nutrition guidelines that works for you. Not only does healthy eating look different based on any medical conditions and your taste preferences, but also based on emotions, personality, and lifestyle.
Another example - one person may enjoy the challenge of following nutritional recommendations very closely, and thrive off having accountability to help reach his or her goals. This person may tell friends and family about new nutrition information, or certain “nutritional challenges” they are following. Doing so may motivate him or her to continue towards those goals in a healthy way. Meanwhile, for someone else struggling with disordered eating, hearing negative talk about certain foods in the workplace or with friends could discourage him or her from eating some of the nutritious foods that he or she is already struggling to feel “okay” about eating.
Lastly, remember that nutrition is just one part of health, and that it is not all-or-nothing (nutritional indifference vs nutritional perfection). It’s important to keep nutrition in mind, but for the sake of quality of life, learn how to strive for nutritional progress while making peace with nutritional imperfection.
Here are some questions to ask yourself to determine what “healthy eating” might look like for you:
1. Do you have any medical conditions? What are your nutrition priorities?
If someone has a severe peanut allergy, the first thing they check on the nutrition label is probably not going to be the saturated fat content. It’s likely the ingredients – to make sure there are no peanuts. That’s not to say people can or should only consider one aspect of nutrition when looking at food, but some issues may be more important for you.
With all the nutrition “advice” out there, some of which may not always even be accurate, it can get overwhelming. If you followed ALL the nutrition “advice” out there, you couldn’t eat anything, which isn’t good either. Think of what nutrition priorities might be most important for you, and focus on those. If you’re not sure, seeing a registered dietitian nutritionist is a great start.
2. What might some of my loved ones be struggling with regarding food?
I personally think there is something very special about sharing food and meals with the people you love – it’s like nourishing your body and your soul at the same time. Yet sometimes, eating with others can become a source of stress. Practice being present and mindful; slow down and enjoy not only the food, but the time with loved ones.
Especially in your immediate family, consider in what ways you’d like your diet to match and differ from other family members. Maybe you choose to go vegetarian alongside a spouse, or you try new foods together every night with a picky eater. On the other hand, maybe you need a different amount of food at each meal than another family member based on your age or activity level, etc.
Try also to be aware of how you talk about food with others. It can be a good thing to find a support system, but especially in larger groups of people, consider your audience. You may not know who is struggling with their own dietary restrictions, weight, disordered eating, etc.
3. Just because this works for this person, will it work for me?
One person’s nutrition goals may look very different from another’s, and one person’s way of eating may not work for another. That’s okay – we’re all different. Sometimes we can draw inspiration from others – a new snack idea, a new recipe, etc.
And while how we eat may evolve with us throughout life, consider how your nutritional choices will make you feel physically, mentally, emotionally. And if you’re not sure whether it’s something that is good for your body, or that you could enjoy and be okay with, don’t stress – eating healthy has more than one look. Meeting with a dietitian can help you strategize what ideas might work best for you.
[Spanish version here]
Amanda Cain, Medical University of South Carolina Dietetic Intern
Author: Morgan Curless
It’s Spring and gardens all over are popping up. We love the beautiful flowers and fresh produce that come from our garden, however, it's key we ensure that the soil used is nutrient-dense enough to grow bountiful products. Compost soil is an amazing way to minimize food waste, while also adding a variety of nutrients needed into the soil.
What Can be composted:
All of these items can be broken down and used for soil. Composting can be done directly in the back yard and turned daily to promote breakdown. Composting has not only growing benefits, but also earthly benefits. Typically, waste is sent to a landfill when not composted. During decomposition in the landfill a toxic gas, methane, is released into the air. Composting is a biological process that does not release methane, reducing the toxicity in the air we breathe. Composting is an excellent way to improve the quality of our garden, while also improving our environment.
Each time I cut the top off of a carrot or dump my coffee grounds into the trash I consider the possibility of composting, and potential for my waste to become something more than just trash. I currently live on the second floor of an apartment complex and have no way to build a compost pile, nor the time to maintain it even if I did. There was once very little one could do with their compostable waste in this type of living situation. Now, there are multiple solutions from community gardens to services like CompostNow, that offers composting services.
We can’t help but geek out over the idea of nutrient-cycling and replenishing lost nutrients back into the soil. Composting our waste products is a great way to not only reduce our carbon foot print, but also ensure the nutrient profile is maximized in the produce we are feeding ourselves and our families.
Author: Savannah Weeks
According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID), “a food allergy is defined as an adverse health effect arising from a specific immune response that occurs reproducibly on exposure to a given food.” Prevalence of food allergies has increased significantly over the past decade and is an important health issue for millions of Americans. However, false or clinically irrelevant positive allergy tests for foods are common. Indiscriminate and non-evidence-based screenings often lead to unnecessary dietary restriction.
Specifically, tests such as allergen-specific IgG are not supported by evidence and should not be used to diagnose food allergies. Only serum IgE tests and double-blind, placebo-controlled food challenges can be used to diagnose food allergies. Many serum samples show positive IgG results for foods that cause no clinical symptoms in patients. There are no controlled studies demonstrating the diagnostic value of IgG testing in food allergy. IgG results indicate that someone has been repeatedly exposed to food components, recognized as foreign proteins by the immune system. This does not mean that the person is hypersensitive to the food component, but rather that there is immunological tolerance. It merely shows a normal physiological response of the immune system after exposure to food components.
Food allergies can be frightening and serious, but they are still rare. It’s estimated that >20% of the population is modifying their diet due to a perceived food allergy, but it is estimated that only 4% of adults have true food allergies. Unnecessary dietary restriction can lead to nutrient deficiencies, lower quality of life, and decreased enjoyment of food. If you suspect you might have a food allergy, talk to your doctor and avoid testing from any non-medical professional.
April is Eat Local month and we love supporting our local farmers and locally sourced restaurants. Although the eating choices in Charleston are endless, eating local may not be as infinite. Today, we live in a world where almost anything we want as consumers is within reach. A fresh lobster dinner can be shipped overnight straight to our door step if we so wish. While such having access is convenient, the benefits may not ring true for local farmers, small business owners, and even our planet.
For example, imagine having a shrimp dinner in Illinois. This shrimp did not come out of the Illinois River. Instead, it traveled hundreds of miles before it landed on your dinner plate. When you think deeper into this meal you may find that the shrimp was mass harvested, packaged multiple times and transported using multiple methods. While our jobs are truly to keep things as simple and easy for our clients as possible it terms of food, it is always good to remind you of the benefits of consuming products that are produced near your own community. In the end, you'll most likely get a superior product, reduce your carbon foot print and support local businesses.
Here are some ways you can eat local while supporting your community:
Opting to buy grocery items such as fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, bread and many other locally grown products is an easy way to buy and eat local. Buying from a local farmer ensures freshness and likely contains more nutrients than commercially grown products. There are even some health benefits from certain local products such as honey.
Locally Sourced Restaurants
I encourage you to ask questions and find wha restaurants near you source their food from local farmers. There are many here in Charleston, SC that are willing to buy local foods and follow this “Farm-To-Table” approach. These restaurants typically have more whole food options, leading them to have more healthy food options to choose from. It is important to remember that even if you live near the ocean, that doesn’t mean that the fish you are eating was sourced from your own region. Don’t be afraid to ask the waiter questions about where the menu was sourced as this has become acceptable restaurant etiquette.
While there are many perks to eating local, the concept also keeps more money in your local economy. Supporting small businesses allows them to keep their doors open, feed their families, and also provide more choices for consumers. So, next time you brainstorm where your next meal is coming from, choose to eat local!
There are millions of food-related products out there. Here are some of the go-to items to we frequently recommend to our clients. They are listed below in order of frequency of use. Enjoy!
Digital Food Thermometer: We like this one because you can put the probe in the food and the digital screen that stays on the outside of the oven/grill will tell you when it has reached the proper internal temperature.
Meal Planning Sheets: These make it simple to plan meals for the week and keep track of your grocery list.
Anchor Glass Food Storage: Glass storage containers that are safe for the oven, microwave, dishwasher, and freezer...yes please!
Bentgo Lunch Box: Perfect for kids and adults to take meals to school/work/on the road
YUMBOX Mini: This is a smaller size meal/snack box. Perfect for younger kids or to hold your snacks for the day.
Snack Stacker: Fun way to keep snacks handy and properly portioned.
Instant Pot: Multipurpose tool and great for quick dinners.
Nutri Bullet: You can do A LOT with this little apparatus! Our uses go beyond smoothies to grinding coffee beans and spices!
Vitamix: Kitchen must have! Smoothies, soups, sauces and much more come together quickly in this product. The refurbished product still comes with a warranty and you'll save some money.
Spiral Vegetable Cutter: This spiralizer is easy to use and can be cleaned in the dishwasher. Great way to add more veggies to meals.
Dinnertime Survival Guide: Great book that provides recipes + good tips for getting healthy food on the table without a lot of stress!
Hidrate Spark Smart Water Bottle: Glows to help remind you to stay hydrated and integrates with FitBit and other activity trackers.
Kitchen Aid Mixer: Another kitchen must have. This piece of equipment will last forever. You can purchase optional attachments including a spiralizer, food processor, pasta maker and more!
We all know the temptation that comes with passing a Sonic Drive Thru between the hours of 2 and 4 pm on a sunny and 75 degree spring day. The thought of a fruity, sweet, refreshing slushy treat is sometimes too great to pass up, and sometimes you shouldn't. However, we can't always pull in. For one, we'd all be broke. Second, those delicious drinks pack a punch of added sugar (even more than a regular soda). If you still have the craving for a refreshing afternoon treat, but don’t want to meet or exceed your daily sugar total in one slurp, try this more nutrient-dense, less-sugary alternative instead.
Spring Slush Recipe
4-5 medium strawberries
5 chunks of pineapple (medium-large diced)
5-6 ice cubes
Juice from ¼ fresh lemon or lime
1 ½ cups liquid (water, flavored water, sports drink or combination)
Simply put all your ingredients in a blender, “bullet”, or food processor-type device, and blend away! You will even get a little frothy/foam on top! Sip through a straw, or use a spoon; the consistency is up to you! This recipe creates a refreshing drink as a fun alternative to your average fruit-infused water choices. I love having the option to squeeze in an extra serving of fruit rather than my day’s worth of sugar. Experiment with your flavors you love, and find your favorite version of your Spring Slush!
Author: Kelly Burgess, MUSC Dietetic Intern
Here's how I did it:
Plan, Plan, Plan!
Here are my Go-To Recipes:
Spray muffin tin with cooking spray. Whisk eggs, any veggies (my favorites are tomato, spinach, mushrooms), turkey sausage, cheese, salt and pepper together. Portion in muffin tins and bake for 20 minutes at 375F.
Scramble together eggs and turkey sausage - veggies are good too! Portion out into tortillas of your choice. Fold like a burrito and wrap in plastic wrap. For freezing, place in gallon size freezer bag. When ready to eat, pull out of freezer the night before and microwave in the morning.
Dice 1 large onion and brown in a large skillet. Add onion, (2) 15oz cans of tomato sauce, (2) 15oz cans of diced tomatoes, (1) 15oz can of kidney beans, (1) 15oz can of black beans, (1) 5oz can of corn, 1 cup of quinoa, 1 Tbsp cumin, and 1 Tbsp chili powder to a crock pot. Mix well and set on high for 4 hours. Portion out 2 cup portions (about 6 servings) and refrigerate. Freeze portions not used during the week.
Author: Erin Seprish, MBA
Milk has been a staple grocery item for what seems like forever. In recent years, though, milk (and many other staples such as eggs) has been under scrutiny by well-meaning research teams and the general public.
While we believe knowledge is power, we also understand that it is a tedious task to wade through all the information available. Our goal is to help you navigate your way towards healthy options.
Every time I go to the grocery store, there seems to be a new brand, blend, and flavor of milk alternative. How do you know which one to choose? Is real milk bad for you? What are the benefits, and where do they fall short? Here are the nutrition highlights of milk and milk alternatives:
Author: Kelly Burgess, MUSC Dietetic Intern
Author: Amanda Cain
I always cringe a little on the inside whenever I have to throw away food. Especially if it’s a mostly full container that seems like it was perfectly fine yesterday, but it’s actually been there over a week. The holidays seem to compound things in this department as food is a core feature in many traditions. Thankfully I’ve learned a few strategies since I first started cooking to minimize food waste.
#1 – Meal Planning
It’s my first go-to for combatting food waste. Take spinach for example. I love it, but it seems to go bad so quickly. My solution? I plan to use it in several meals throughout the week. Put it in salads, on sandwiches, in pasta, in omelets, you name it. If I plan it in, I’m less likely to end up with a box of wilted spinach at the end of the week.
#2 – Reuse ingredients. Yesterday’s grilled chicken breasts can be tonight’s chicken tacos. Today’s raw veggie sticks can be the base for tomorrow’s vegetable soup. Leftovers don’t have to be mundane – start with more “whole” food items, then try chopping or slicing leftovers to put in soups, casseroles, or different dishes.
#3 – Check expiration dates.
Milk is a big one for me. I don’t go through it very quickly, so I opt for organic simply because it’s processed in a way that gives it a longer shelf life and later expiration date. With foods already in the fridge, prioritize foods likeliest to go bad first. Choose fresh produce and earlier expiration dates first, and incorporate more frozen foods later in the week.
#4 – Freeze it.
If I make a large batch of a recipe, and don’t anticipate using it up within the week, I’ll freeze part of it for later meals. Soups and stews typically freeze and reheat pretty well. This also works for some ingredients you may not use all of – such as meats, vegetables like broccoli or peas, etc.
#5 – Make your own stock.
Feeling ambitious? Make your own stock! Don't throw away the ends of vegetables, seeds and pits, and other leftover parts that didn't end up in the main dish. Put them in a bag in your freezer, and when you’re ready, boil the contents for several hours. Strain the contents, and you’ve got your own stock! The same can go with meat bones, for making your own broth.
#6 – Composting.
Still have food waste? (Let’s be honest, we all have some.) Consider composting, especially if you like to garden or even just have indoor plants! Really, all you need is some kind of container with holes. (Here’s 35 awesome ideas from the blog DIY & Crafts to get you started!) Toss your food scraps, coffee grounds, then leave it outside and let nature do its thing. It’s a quick, eco-friendly way to give your plants some added nutrients!
"How to pack the healthiest school lunch, according to nutritionists" by Samantha Cassetty of NBC.
Note that any press we are associated with may have their own opinions that do not align exactly with our philosophies, and any comments from Nutrition Rites are to shed positive light on the benefits of well-balanced nutrition.
A NUTRITIOUS LUNCH 3 WAYSDietitians Cheyenne Richards, MBA, RDN, LD and Kayla Fitzgerald, RDN, LD give you multiple ways to hit several food groups—including plenty of fresh produce—in one lunch box. “The variety helps fuel daily activity and adds fiber which has many benefits,” they say. Keep in mind that these lunches may be best suited for elementary-aged children, but upping the serving size would make them appropriate for older kids. And if your child often turns up her nose at your lunch offerings, take note: “Picky eaters will love these meals as they are diverse, yet not overwhelming and there are plenty of finger foods,” they say.
For the full article visit: https://www.nbcnews.com/better/pop-culture/how-pack-healthiest-school-lunch-according-nutritionists-ncna905421
"How to Avoid a Post-Thanksgiving Hangover" by Hirstina Byrnes of 24/7 Wall Street features comments from your dietitian, Kayla Fitzgerald.
Note that any press we are associated with may have their own opinions that do not align exactly with our philosophies, and any comments from Nutrition Rites are to shed positive light on the benefits of well-balanced nutrition.
Tip: “Instead of trying to make the foods we eat on special occasions healthier, we like to focus more on eating well on all the other days of the year and allowing yourself to enjoy your traditional holiday meals without feeling guilty,” Kayla Fitzgerald, a registered dietitian and nutritionist at Nutrition Rites, a nutrition counseling center in Charleston, South Carolina, said.
For the full article visit: https://247wallst.com/special-report/2018/11/02/how-to-avoid-a-post-thanksgiving-food-hangover/
I love my crock pot. I love it so much that I haven't even made myself get an Instapot yet, and that's saying a lot! Some of the perks of a slow cooker include time saving (e.g., dump and go or prep ahead), cost reducing (e.g., tenderizes less expensive cuts of meat) and health boosting (e.g., homemade vs. takeout) benefits.
Some of my favorite recipes:
Tip: Brighten up your meal with a fresh side salad of the same flavor profile (e.g., a Southwest salad would be nice with the taco soup).
If you're a seasoned pro and want to up your game, check out this great article by @Today for some great tips on maximizing the benefits of your slow cooker. Frankly, I'm usually too busy to even sear the chicken thighs before I dump them in! That's the best thing about the slow cooker...it's ability to be so forgiving.
Have a 2-qt crock pot? Get it out of the cabinets and put it to use one of these ways:
We love this time of year just as much as the next person...except that we love it more! Back-to-school for dietitians means we get to use our knowledge base and creativity to the max. Back-to-school is also a time where we get, at least for a couple weeks, constant satisfaction as we help others tackle lunch packing. Check out some of our quick tips below.
Show some love to a few different food groups in your lunch. This will help to fuel your body for the rest of the work or school day.
To the left, we have fruits + veggies + protein + grains.
Even the lunches pictured are incredibly simple (which is a tip in-itself), it is key to:
Another key: Commit to dividing your container. Whether you invest in something like an OmieBox (keeps colds cold or hots hot) or go simple like we did with our Tupperware and silicone cupcake molds, having multiple sections gears your brain towards adding those varied food groups. There's something about the combination of the different food groups that not only makes the meal visually appealing, but that also aids in digestion and other positive metabolic benefits.
Overall, the meal should also be pretty satisfying. Enjoy!
Adding a new dietitian to the team is a wonderful thing for our clients! Here's a bit more on RDN Kayla Fitzgerald, Q&A style.
1. How did you get into dietetics?
I did some grueling product testing this weekend just for you. Here are my thoughts on these trendy "fit wines." (This one caught my eye through a Whole Foods email ad campaign.)
First of all, I don't drink wine to be "fit." So...the concept in itself is kind of lost on me. More so, the runner on the label is kind of a turn off. For me, I don't necessarily want to be reminded of the gym while I'm enjoying my glass of Chardonnay.
For you, though, I went through with this experiment and tried it anyways.
The results...I kind of liked the wine. It is not very "full bodied," which I prefer, so I would not buy it again for the purpose of enjoying a glass of wine.
All in all, I figured I'd be giving this product a thumbs down.
However, on further thought, there are some real pros to this brand.
#1: Fit Vine wines are lower in sulfites (they are filtered out). Many of my clients decrease headaches, migraines, acne, bloating, and more by watching their sulfite intake.
#2: I would almost never make a drink like a Sangria (they are super high in sugar and I prefer to eat vs. drink my calories). Because this particular Chardonnay was so light (and about 30 calories per 5oz less than traditional wines), it would be an awesome ingredient to a wine spritzer or Sangria (like in this recipe from Emma Chapman).
Enjoy! (responsibly, of course)
One thing almost every client and I discuss is the importance of sitting down to a completely built plate each time they eat. I explain how just the act of seeing a complete meal can have an effect on how satisfying it can be. This piece of advice isn't just from gut instinct (although, when I take my own advice, it works). It stems from research that indicates how both hunger and the feeling of being satisfied are linked to our perceptions of our meals.
Here's the example the study gives:
Tim Church has over 20 years of experience in the fitness and health industry. Besides traveling the world to educate other personal trainers, he also actively coaches a variety of clientele (e.g., from locals like you and me to celebs who make Charleston one of their routine destinations).
Tim has offered to help me add a little variety to the information I "dish" out to you. His ingredient of choice is physical activity. The recipe for the day is called FITTE. Frequency, Intensity, Time, Type, Enjoyment.
Tim's best advice is to make the "F" and the "E" the foundation of your routine. If you enjoy the exercise, the frequency is more likely to be established. Everything else falls into place (between the F and the E). Tim talks my language. "It's like a good chili," he says. "Once you get the base, each cook can add their own spice and variety." This is what makes it feel personalized.
On enjoyment: Start with what you're good at first. Go to the low hanging fruit. Start with your strengths. For some, power is key. For others, slow and steady might be the ticket.
Also, start with people you enjoy. This is tried and true advice. When someone is waiting on you, you're more apt to show up.
On frequency: Tim's rule is to start with more than 50% of the days of the week. This means 4 days. If this number of days bogs you down, don't sweat (hehe). Short durations are okay (as little as 15 minutes per day can make a difference). Heck, once you talk yourself into 15 minutes, 30 minutes blows by. One key to frequency is having a 10 minute back up routine on hand for the days that just seem to absolutely turn upside down. This is just like having that back up Larabar or almonds in your bag in case you get stuck and need that nutrition.
Even if you're a seasoned athlete and are making it to the gym, there are those days when you're fatigued or bored and need this advice. Enjoyment and frequency. Start there. Keep it simple and go.
Tim is locally based so give him a call if you need a jump start. You can find him at www.mostfitlife.com.
Regardless of what percentage of New Year's resolutions stick, at least they get us thinking. Sometimes they even get us talking and doing new things that can lead to healthier and happier habits. Thinking in terms of habits can dramatically improve your chances of achieving results.
At our home, "We believe that clear thinking leads to good decisions, that good decisions lead to the right habits, that the right habits lead to character, and that character becomes destiny." A quote by Lord Acton, which I learned about in grad school.
When the purpose of the goal is clear, good decisions are made, and long term patterns of behaviors are achieved - this is when you will see results.
Previously, I've work on kicking bad habits. In particular...diet soda. I tried unmercifully for years (yes, years!) to kick this particularly detrimental behavior. It wasn't until I could clearly think about and understand the reason or purpose of the goal that I was able to commit to removing diet sodas from my diet.
The best thing I did was ask myself, "Why is this so hard?"
At first, I would just contribute the challenge to how "addicting" diet sodas were said to be. While I did apply some of the rules of addiction therapy, it still wasn't enough. Finally, I realized that the actual, physical prevalence of sodas and their coinciding advertising were the things that fed my behavior the most. I mean, there is a Coke on the end of every grocery store isle, at every check out (even at Marshall's for crying out loud), and you can even order cases on Amazon Prime. Don't forget about commercials, billboards and friends' habits. I literally could not get away from the one thing I didn't want.
This was it for me...the "ah ha!" I was being manipulated by these large soda companies to not only consume their products, but to consume more and more of them by thinking that the products were "a part of my life."
Once I understood this, I was able to look at my habit from a whole new perspective. I could say "no" to these big corporations. My experience reminds me often of the anti-tobacco commercials, where cigarettes dominate the main protagonists' lives. Of course, I also applied other behaviors that I would naturally recommend as part of nutrition counseling for my own clients (e.g., replacing soda with an alternative).
In my case, when the purpose of the goal was clear, decisions to remove barriers were made, and long term patterns of behaviors were achieved - this is when I saw results.
At first, I counted each day a success, then months and now years. This is what healthy living is about - making positive changes that last a lifetime. Just thinking about new, healthier goals is good. Start somewhere!
What's on my New Year's list for this year? I'll keep you posted.
Why not? You know there will be plenty of dips, desserts and sliders. Beyond that, people really do want something fresh for a change. Here are a couple of fresher (and still gorgeously delicious) options.
Why we love these:
Healthy - Fresh - Easy - Quick - Colorful/Beautiful (AKA appetizing)
Cheyenne is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist located in the Charleston, SC area.