• Are you frustrated after years of trying every diet in the book and still can’t seem to lose the weight?
  • Afraid you will have to give up all the foods you love in order to fit into a smaller dress size?
  • Are you overwhelmed by the amount of health and nutrition information available and don’t know who or what to believe?
  • Are you wondering, “what am I doing wrong?” You think you are eating healthy and exercising, but see little or no results.
  • Are calorie counting and willpower just not working for you? Are you interested in a new and different approach to weight loss?

You no longer have to resort to willpower and deprivation! Imagine tapping into your inner wisdom to learn how to enjoy your meals and drop dress sizes in the process.

Contact me today for your free consultation


Happy Mindful Monday!

Posted February 1st, 2016

images-5Written by Brooke Mullen


Last Thursday we celebrated International Mindful Eating Day, and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate eating well then taking a day to focus on nourishing our bodies while also experiencing the pleasure in enjoying our meals in a conscientious, non-judgmental way.

If you are unfamiliar with the concept of mindful eating, you are in the right place! Today’s post is devoted to all things Mindful.

What do you think of when you hear the word “Mindful”?

A few things that immediately come to my mind (no pun intended) for me are:
*Being Cognizant/Aware
*Being Careful

Although being mindful does include the aforementioned things (they are listed as synonyms on thesaurus.com), mindful eating it is much more than that.

So let’s cut to the chase- what is Mindful Eating?

According to The Center for Mindful Eating, Mindful Eating is:
*“Allowing yourself to become aware of the positive nurturing opportunities that are available through food selection and preparation by respecting your own inner wisdom.”
*“Using all of your senses in choosing to eat food that is both satisfying to you and nourishing your body”
*“Acknowledging responses to food (likes, dislikes or neutral) without judgement”
*“Becoming aware of physical hunger and satiety cues to guide your decisions to begin and end eating”

Have you ever experienced being so deeply absorbed in a book or a movie, that you don’t realize you have eaten an entire bag of popcorn until your fingers scrape the bottom of the bag?

Or, been out to lunch with friends, catching up and laughing about old times when suddenly you look down at your plate and realize it’s almost clean and you barely remember taking or tasting a single bite?

Almost everyone can relate. Unfortunately, in these moments, we have lost your connection with food. We’re not even sure if we were hungry enough to eat the entire plate/bag, or whether or not we even enjoyed what we just consumed…
Instead of pleasure, we can often be left with feelings of sadness, disappointment or even guilt.

But with mindful eating…
We can bring ourselves back to the moment.

We can take note of the smells, textures, and tastes of each bite. Become aware our surroundings: the company, the location, the plate you are eating off of, the music in the background.

We can begin to notice how eating affects our mood, and how our emotions affect what and importantly, how we eat. We can begin to notice internal and external cues to hunger and fullness, and connect with mind cues of when to start and stop eating.

Studies have shown that with mindful eating, women can have a positive relationship with food, rid ourselves of feelings of deprivation (with mindful eating- there is no “right” or “wrong” / “good” or “bad” foods!), empower ourselves to build a healthy mind and body, and ultimately, bring pleasure back to the act of eating.

So next time you’re ready to nosh—take a breath, and ask yourself these questions, from the Mindful Eating Cycle, created by Michelle May, MD.

*Why do I eat? (Are you hungry? Bored? Stressed? Taste? For comfort? Nutrition?)
*When do I eat? (Physical hunger cues? Emotions? Time of day?)
*What do I eat? (What factors do you consider? Convenience? Taste? Nutrition?)
*How do I eat? (Rushed? Distracted? Secretive? Mindful?)
*How much do I eat? (Amount may be decided by fullness, package size, habit, company?)
*Where does the energy go? (Does eating give you energy? Cause sluggishness? Lead to guilt?)

Mindfulness can flow into other facets our daily lives too, not just at mealtimes. We can begin to notice the small details in life, appreciate simple things in our daily routine, perceive gratitude with otherwise inconsequential interactions, and experience the world in a whole new, positive light. We just have to be present, and embrace in the moment.

Life’s moments, including eating occasions, should be enjoyable, revitalizing and memorable.

So in honor of International Mindful Eating Day, let’s all be empowered. Let’s embrace life and life’s imperfections. And let’s eat and eat well.

If you are interested in learning more about mindful eating, nutrition, or healthy habits contact Heather, at: intuitive.nutrition@gmail.com.

We are so glad you stopped by!


Nuts About Nuts!- Motivation Monday (a day late)

Posted June 10th, 2013

By Katie Petroka

Nuts are loaded with essential fats, fiber, protein, and antioxidants. They are a cheap and healthy snack for on the go, sprinkling over salads, or using as your favorite nut butter.  While dietitians recommend nuts often to their patients because of all the health benefits, many fad diets have given nuts a bad rap. The common misconception is that nuts are unhealthy because of their fat content – this is way off base! In reality, nuts are rich in energy and nutrients. Nuts do contain fat, but you may be surprised to hear that it’s healthy fat! Nuts are loaded with an excellent source of unsaturated-fats that help to lower LDL also known as “bad cholesterol” and increase HDL or “good cholesterol.” Nuts are high in vitamins such as vitamin E and are a rich source of minerals like manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, fluoride and selenium.

But, before you reach for your favorite brand of nuts and start eating them by the handful, a quick word of caution! Nuts are calorically dense, so keep your portion size in check by sticking with a handful not a cup full. The healthiest nuts are not the caramelized and sugary goodness kind. Or, when they are smothered in salt causing the sodium content to skyrocket. It’s when they are…RAW! I know there is the whole health food craze of “eating raw” but the truth is, the food industry over processes food to the point that we are often eating more of the chemicals they add than the actual food itself. Eating raw is about eating the food how it was found in nature. So next time you are shopping for nuts, simply, look at the ingredients, you should see just ONE ingredient…just the nuts you are buying! As you begin to eat more natural foods like raw nuts you will start to taste the real food you are eating (what a concept!) and you may realize it tastes much better than anything that is over processed with excess unnecessary ingredients.

Here are a few of my favorite nuts that give me that quick boost of energy I need in my day.

Almonds: I’ll start with my absolute favorite nut! Almonds contain a powerhouse of health benefits and are also extremely delicious (if I do say so myself). Almonds help regulate cholesterol and are great for the heart with their protein and potassium content. The potassium in almonds also helps to regulate blood pressure. Almonds also aid in relief from respiratory disorders, anemia, diabetes, and constipation.

Unsweetened almond milk is a great alternative to skim milk. Per 1 cup serving, unsweetened almond milk has 45% of calcium VS skim milk with 30% calcium.

Cashews: Cashews are high in monounsaturated fats, fiber, and protein, making them a very filling snack. Cashews are also a very rich source of essential minerals such as manganese, potassium, copper, iron, and magnesium. Also, cashews contain an important pigment flavonoid antioxidant known as zea-xanthin. Studies have shown that this antioxidant provides protective UV ray-filtering functions and could help with age-related macular degeneration in elderly.

Walnuts: These nuts are the best source of the Omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linoleic acid (ALA). While most nuts contain monounsaturated fats, only walnuts are comprised primarily of polyunsaturated fat. Polyunsaturated fats improve blood cholesterol levels, which can decrease your risk of heart disease. Eating walnuts can also improve how blood pressure reacts to stress. So sprinkle some of these Omega 3’s on your salad or oatmeal!

Peanuts: Many of us have fond childhood memories of those peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Peanuts are higher in protein than most nuts. Peanuts are also a better source of folate, which helps to build strong bones as well as protect against heart disease and cancer. The main concern when buying peanuts is usually, they contain a large amount of salt. If eating raw peanuts tastes like cardboard to you, try finding peanuts that are made with ½ the sodium content. When it comes to peanut butter, if you aren’t buying raw, look for all natural peanut butter made with just peanuts and salt. All those preservatives I was talking about before… this is where you will find them! Many popular brands of peanut butter contain partially hydrogenated oils, which is trans fat.

Put natural peanut butter on a banana for a great protein potassium combo or go for that classic PB&J.

So remember, nuts are a great source of unsaturated fat for our bodies. But leave the nuts solo, they taste just as good and will provide your body with the nutrients it needs!

Motivation Monday: Tips For Feeling Bathing Suit Ready!

Posted May 13th, 2013

By Katie Patroka BS – Nutrition intern

It’s that time of year again when we trade heavy coats and chunky sweaters for shorts and maybe a swimsuit! Most women, no matter what size they may be, have moments of anxiety, when exposing so much skin. Even cover girls may feel a sense of self-doubt when exposing their un-photo shopped body to the world.

The rush of constant advertisements for summer weight loss pills, diets, and workouts to make your body “bikini ready” creates a false belief that a perfect body can come from external sources. Here is what the diet industry doesn’t want you to know:  being “bikini ready” is a state of mind that has very little to do with your actual body size, and everything to do with self -confidence.

Don’t’ get me wrong, eating healthy and exercising can definitely aid in that confidence. But at the end of the day, it is how we view ourselves that gives us the motivation to walk proudly with our own unique body. We can do a thousand crunches a day or only eat salads for weeks, but that won’t matter unless we accept, respect and love our body.

We are our own toughest critics and will quickly harp on our perceived imperfections. Without realizing it, we allow our mood, friends, family, culture, and the media to drive our own body image. It is easy to get wrapped up in comparing ourselves to actresses and models.  It’s hard, but try to remember actresses get paid for looking a certain way and have a lot of disposable income to spend on personal trainers and chefs. And cover models are not even real, but air- brushed versions of a real women.

I know I have judged myself too harshly too many times. And it wasn’t until I started loving who I am and my own particular body that I felt comfortable and more importantly HAPPY in my own skin.

           Already appreciate and respect your body but still need a self-confidence boost? Here are a few bathing suit tips to help you find a suit you will feel proud to wear.

  • When shopping for a bathing suit, choose a style that fits YOUR body type. Bathing suits come in all shapes and sizes including cup size and many stores will allow you to buy different sizes for your top and bottom.
  • Purchase a bathing suit that is YOU. Some bathing suits can be very conservative while others can be on the wild side. You may think you want that bedazzled bikini but will you be comfortable when chasing your kids along the beach or swimming in a pool? Playing it safe can be a lot more attractive than being a little too risqué.
  • Choose a bathing suit that will make you feel good all the time. In other words don’t buy a suit that is too small and tell yourself you will lose weight by summer. Nor do you want to select one that is falling down and may fall off when jumping in the pool. Buy one that allows you to be a real woman in it and still have room to indulge in a few piña coladas or swim in the ocean.
  • Accessorize! Buying a cute cover up, sunglasses, hat, and sandals will make your outfit more complete. Instead of hiding behind an oversized t-shirt, buy a pretty sarong that will make you feel beautiful and confident.
  • Personal care can help you feel comfortable in your own skin too. Exfoliate and moisturize before soaking in the sun. Pampering yourself with a pedicure, faux tan (spray tan or lotion…no tanning booths!), or waxing will make you feel better about shedding those clothes.

Summer time is a chance to relax and enjoy the weather with your loved ones. This is your opportunity to embrace your body and walk proudly. We are each a beautiful individual, lumps and bumps and all. If you see yourself as beautiful the rest of the world will too!