Community Nutrition · Topic of the Week

Intuitive Eating

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If there is one thing I’ve really started to notice in the last few months, it’s that most people don’t give their bodies the respect that they deserve.

What do I mean by that? I mean that every time I get on Pinterest I see something someone has pinned about a new fad diet, or a way to drop 10 pounds in a week, or the new “superfood” that everyone should be eating. I see it on the side bar advertisements on Facebook. I see Instagram pictures of girls I went to high school with who are incredibly tiny, posing in a bikini, with a caption “not where I wanna be, but getting closer every day.” Almost every single day I hear someone justify a food choice or why they haven’t worked out.

The question that has come to my mind more and more recently when I see all these things happening is “is that what your body really wants? Is that what it really needs?”

Why do we feel like we need to all fit into a set of rules?

The more we focus on rules when it comes to eating and health, the more we teeter on a dangerously fine line that can lead to a full blown eating disorder.  The average individual who has a healthy, normal relationship with food spends about 10-20% of their day thinking about food.  Not that much time at all, right? Right.  Well, those who are dieting or have a disturbed eating pattern spend about 20-65% of their day thinking about food.  Those with bulimia spend 70-90% of their time thinking about food, and those with anorexia spend 90-100% of their time thinking about food.

Essentially, it’s not healthy to spend a significant amount of time thinking about food.  If you’re dieting to be “healthy” you might actually be setting yourself up for some not so healthy habits in the future.  Habits that in no way respect your body or it’s needs.

So what can we do to stop this?

The concept of intuitive eating was introduced to me a few weeks ago and I think it’s probably the answer we all need. Intuitive eating has 10 principles that focus on respecting and honoring your body instead of focusing on an arbitrary set of rule that we’ve set for ourselves.

1) Reject the diet mentality.  Stop dieting, it doesn’t work.  Sure, you may start a diet and see some instant results, but do they last? Likely not. There is nothing more depressing than losing weight and then gaining it all right back. The best thing we can all do is stop looking for those quick fixes, they can be detrimental to a healthy relationship with our bodies and food.

2) Honor your hunger. I think this is huge and can be a really scary step for a lot of people.  Our bodies need fuel throughout the day and it’s our responsibility to give our bodies the fuel that they need.  If we’re hungry and we don’t honor that hunger and try to fight it, we’re much more likely to overeat later once we’ve reached that ravenous hunger point. We need to learn to recognize our hunger and refuel our bodies with the appropriate amount of food. If you’re hungry, eat!

3) Make peace with food.  Stop fighting with food. Stop labeling it as “bad” or saying you “shouldn’t have it.” Depriving yourself of certain foods can lead to uncontrollable cravings and binges that lead to feelings of guilt, which is worse than just allowing yourself the food in the first place.

4) Challenge the food police.  The food police is that little voice in the back of your head that tells you you’re “good” for saying no to the cookie or that you’re “bad” for not ordering a salad at lunch instead of a sandwich.  Stop listening to the food police and start listening to your body.

5) Respect your fullness. Make sure you’re taking the time to think “Am I still hungry?” when you’re eating.  This often requires pausing in the middle of a meal and asking yourself if you’re full or if you need to keep eating.  Eat until you’re comfortably full, not until you’re absolutely stuffed.

6) Discover the satisfaction factor. Eating should be satisfying!  When you eat what you really want, it’s much more satisfying than when you eat what you “should.”  When you allow yourself to have a much more satisfying eating experience you often don’t need to eat as much to feel like you’ve had enough.

7) Honor your feelings without using food.  Don’t let food distract you from other emotions, it can’t fix them.  Allow yourself to take time to identify what you’re feeling and find more constructive ways to work through them.  Eating to fix emotions will likely leave you feeling worse in the long run.

8) Respect your body.  We are all uniquely made by our own genetic blueprints.  As soon as we accept our bodies the way they are and stop trying to change them we will feel much better about ourselves.  Stop being critical and learn to love the beautiful body that you’ve been given.

9) Exercise- Feel the difference. Exercise doesn’t have to be a structured routine you follow because you “have” to in order to lose weight or because it’s what you’re “supposed” to do. Exercise can be passive.  Any kind of active movement counts! Most importantly you should exercise because it makes you feel good, not because you have to. Focus on how great it feels to be active instead of how many calories you’ve burned or how many miles you’ve gone.

10) Honor your health. Remember, one good meal doesn’t make you healthy and one bad meal doesn’t make you unhealthy. It’s a balance over time. Being healthy is a lifestyle, not a trend or a fad that you only have to stick to for a period of time. Health looks different for each individual person, so stop comparing yourself to others and focus on your body and how you feel!

 

Although this is an approach commonly used for those suffering from an eating disorder, I think everyone can benefit from eating more intuitively because we all probably have more disordered eating habits than we would like to admit. We can learn so much from our bodies, the more we listen to them the more they can tell us what they need and in turn we can start living healthier lives!

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Week 21 Recap

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Good morning! Good morning! Good morning! 

To the tune of some song on a commercial that has for some reason nestled itself into my brain this morning….

Anyways, I think my foodservice rotation is literally going to kill me, so it’s probably a good thing that I turned my calendar to March yesterday and now have this hanging on my wall for the remainder of my time there.  It’s not that I don’t like the rotation, it’s just literally running me into the ground.  I have so much to do there!

The good thing is, no one would ever leave that rotation with a false idea of what a job in food service is like! It’s intense and it’s busy and it’s a lot of problem solving and creativity.

I’m on the fence about food service, I can’t decide if I would actively seek out a job in it right away.

Anyways, one of the other interns, Anne, started her rotation at the same retirement community I’m at on Monday.  Her schedule had to  be switched around and now we’re there together for 3 weeks! It’s great to have someone to bounce ideas off of and I feel less like I’m just stashed away in my office working on projects.

Tuesday we were on campus at OSU for the Moore Family Center for Whole Grain Foods, Nutrition, and Preventive Health’s Annual Food, Nutrition, and Health Update.  Wow that was a mouthful!  It was a day full of talks learning all about whole grain’s and how they relate to our health.  Bob Moore, the founder and CEO of Bob’s Red Mill, was there and gave a talk too.  He is so wonderful! I should have gotten a picture with him but I can always go visit his store up in Milwaukie for lunch if I really want that.

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I also got to wear my new pear shirt and got so many compliments on it! Thanks J. Crew 🙂

The rest of the week was busy juggling multiple projects at once.  My Mardi Gras meal is on Tuesday and I’ve got it mostly squared away, which is good.  I’ve got some decorations but I might get more if my preceptor is okay with it.  I’m getting reimbursed for everything I buy so I’m trying not to go too overboard with the cost.

I felt really sick on Friday and yesterday I was supposed to run 7 miles but I still felt really weak so I just went to the gym and did a short workout.  Of course now it’s steady rain all day (my weather app literally says 100% for every hour that I can see) so I’ve got a wet wet run in my future today after church.  Then I’m making some buffalo chicken mac and cheese! Plus doing another mountain of work on projects.

Happy Sunday!

Child Nutrition · Community Nutrition · Dietetic Internship · Life · Weekly Recap

Week 18 Recap

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This was a week that was supposed to be SUPER busy for me and it turned out being….not so busy at all.

I was finishing up my time at the school district this week which turned out to be a lot less stressful than I had initially anticipated it being.  I had to give a presentation on salad bars Tuesday during the elementary managers meeting and it ended up being very well received which was great.  I was a little nervous going into it because I was addressing some subjects that I thought might put the managers on the defensive, but none of them had any objections to what I was telling them.  I kept it short and sweet and provided them with a handout to reference later.  My preceptor was really pleased with how it went so hopefully the managers make some of the changes I suggested!

I actually finished my projects on Tuesday and I was able to turn them in on Wednesday morning after one final look through.  I spent the rest of Wednesday filling out a really extensive job application for the job I believe would start sometime during the summer.  I know it’s a little early, but I figured it really couldn’t hurt to fill out an application and revise my resume and all that jazz.  If it is a position that I could take (I made it really clear that I’m occupied with this program until the end of June) then I’ll hear by the end of the month about an interview.  It would be so awesome to have a job lined up and not be stressing in a few months!

I left the school district early on Wednesday and had Thursday plans of presenting to one of the undergrad nutrition classes on school nutrition and lunch with my preceptor and everyone else in the food service office.  I woke up to quite a few inches of snow already covering the ground on Thursday morning and a phone call from the university saying they were closing campus because of the “increasingly hazardous weather conditions.”  So obviously my presentation wasn’t happening.  I called my preceptor and she also told me to just stay home.

I made a quick trip to the gym and by the time I left my poor little Corolla was struggling in the snow.  My roommate made it home from work around 10 am in her tiny Civic and we both decided we weren’t driving anywhere else!  The snow continued to fall and we decided to make a trip to get hot chocolate and go to the grocery store to get food.

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We walked around for an hour and came back exhausted but it was so incredibly gorgeous outside!  I love the snow!

We spent the rest of the day watching How I Met Your Mother and the first part of the Olympics.  When we woke up yesterday morning it had already started snowing again!  We decided another trip to the store was necessary, this time for puzzles and Monopoly.  We took a measuring tape with us and measured anywhere from 9-10 inches of snow, depending on where we were.  Crazy!!

We played Monopoly, started our puzzle, cooked, watched the birds go crazy over our bird feeder, and ended the day by watching the entire 4 hour opening ceremony for the Olympics.  Late in the afternoon we measured again and the snow was 13 inches.  By the time the snow stopped around 10 pm we had to have had much more.

We woke up to freezing rain this morning so it’s probably going to turn into an ice slick outside.  We inspected the snow and it was already getting icy and compacted.  I’m thinking our only adventure outside today will probably be to get the mail.  Otherwise it’ll be more puzzle, Monopoly, and Olympics for us.  Probably plus some wine or beer 🙂

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I’m extremely thankful I have a roommate that I enjoy spending time with, that we live in walking distance of a few stores, and that we haven’t lost power.

If you’re also experiencing this abnormal weather, stay safe!

Child Nutrition · Community Nutrition · Dietetic Internship · Life · Weekly Recap

Week 17 Recap

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You guys, I actually had a good week at a community rotation! It was possible!

That being said, I still don’t think it’s where I will ever want to end up.

So this week started off with me still being sick which was definitely a bummer.  I went to the school district on Monday morning because I thought I was okay.  I was still not feeling that great but I took some medicine and sucked it up.  Unfortunately, things took a turn for the worst pretty quickly and around 11:30 my medicine was making me nauseous so I headed home.  I coughed all night that night and when I woke up Tuesday morning I just knew I would not be able to go in so I sent off an email and went back to sleep.

I actually was able to get one of my simpler projects completed on Tuesday so it wasn’t a total waste of a day.  On Wednesday I came in feeling much better and was actually happy to be back at the school district.  I spent the day working away on multiple projects and the time seemed to just fly by which was so nice!

Thursday morning I was at Central Kitchen at 7 AM to help the manager refine some problems with production reports.  We worked for 2 hours on them and made some changes I feel really good about.  I hope they’ll help eliminate some of the current problems with production!

Central Kitchen is located at one of the high schools so after we were done with production stuff I got a tour of their snack bar and got to watch their breakfast service that the high school kids have during their first break.

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Their drink display in the snack bar is seriously impressive.  Apparently if it’s not fully stocked and beautiful all the time the kids will just pass it by.

Why are high schoolers so picky?!?!

Watching the breakfast service at the school was kind of like watching….actually I don’t know anything to compare it to.  Basically, the break is 10 minutes long so all of a sudden there is a HUGE flood of students that come in.  They know exactly what they want, so they don’t spend much time browsing, so they just grab it and get in the check out line.  They have some staple breakfast items every day to eliminate the need for them to take much time deciding.  They are in, out, and eating with their friends in a matter of minutes.

It was overwhelming to watch!

Today I got to go to the USDA commodity food show in Portland with my preceptor and a few other gals from the district office.  We spent 3 hours sampling foods and filling our bags with the items they had for us to take home.  By the time we were done I was incredibly full, my feet hurt, my bag was full, and I just wanted to lay down on the floor in exhaustion!

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It was a really fun experience though! I’m glad I got to go.  It was so cool to see all the foods that are available for school food service! We definitely left with a few ideas of additions to the menu for next school year.

Next week is my last week at the school district and it’s going to be packed with things to do!  I have to give two presentations and complete all my projects, as well as work on my study guide for the next rotation.

Life is busy busy busy!

Child Nutrition · Community Nutrition · Dietetic Internship · Life · Running · Weekly Recap

Week 16 Recap

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This recap might be a little short today, I’m really not feeling very well and staring at a computer screen is making me kind of nauseous.

I did a lot of site visits this week by myself to different elementary schools and supper programs throughout the district, so I got to rock my double nametags almost daily.  Since my official intern school district badge doesn’t have my name on it, I started wearing my other nametag on the lanyard so if someone doesn’t know my name they actually have something to look at.  I got tired of people looking at my intern badge only to find it didn’t have a name and then awkwardly having to ask me what my name was.  So now I’m voluntarily walking around schools with two name tags on.  It’s fine.

Although I’ve established the fact that community nutrition isn’t my thing multiple times now, I will say that I have met some incredible people this rotation while I’m out at schools doing site visits.  Almost all the kitchen managers take so much pride in their jobs and really try to do the best that they can.  They sincerely care about all the kids and want to do what’s best for them.  It’s so refreshing to see people who love their jobs!

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My other GGLittle, Conchita, turned 21 on Wednesday so I went an met up with her and some other girls at one of the bars near campus to celebrate.  I wish you could see what that shot actually looks like, there is a reason she has that look on her face!

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I’ve also started running again.  I’m running the Shamrock Run 15k on March 16 so I have less than two months now to prepare for that.  I ran on Monday and yesterday and both times 4 miles were a little more difficult than I expected.  I need to find a day during the week that I can run since just weekends is not enough at all.  I just wish it didn’t get dark so early still!

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We’ve had some warmer, sunny weather lately and I am absolutely loving it! I think the rain starts again tomorrow or Tuesday which I’m not super happy about but oh well.  The sun was nice while it lasted!

I can’t believe I’m starting week 17 of this internship tomorrow.  I think I might actually be halfway done at this point!

 

Child Nutrition · Community Nutrition · Dietetic Internship · Life · Weekly Recap

Week 15 Recap

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This quote pretty much sums up the view I am trying to take on life right now.   I’m trying really hard to focus on the good and be grateful for the good.  Truly, I have a lot to be grateful for and putting the focus on that and recognizing it is something I’m really trying to work on.

That being said, I can’t believe I have already completed 2 weeks at the school district.  I actually only have 12 days left there total even though the calendar says 3 weeks.  I had a small panic attack when I just realized that because honestly I’ve been super lazy and have done virtually nothing so far.

I unintentionally completed one of my projects on Tuesday when I volunteered to help with a tasting table at one of the elementary schools.  Every month there is a Local Highlight day on the menu where one of the menus items features mostly local ingredients.  Of course things like spices aren’t going to be local, but most of the other ingredients are.  A grant from Farm to School is used to fuel this so anything that is purchased for school lunches that is either grown, processed, or raised in Oregon can be reimbursed.

We were sampling what was being called a “Carrot Wrap” to the kids.  Since it would have been really impractical to sample it in wrap form we just sampled the insides with tortilla chips.  The filling consisted of quinoa, black beans, carrots, and cheese mixed with some spices, including cumin.  Minus the spices, all the other ingredients were local!

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I forgot to take a picture (I fully intended to!) so I had to take this one off Facebook.  Unfortunately, you can’t really see the filling.  The kids loved the little cups though! While they were eating we went around sampling them.  They also had the chance to try them before they came into the cafeteria if they wanted because we had a sample tray outside.  We ran out of the actual wraps on the tray line so the kids were really open to trying them which was awesome!  They all really enjoyed the flavor and texture of the filling too when they sampled it.  It was so awesome to see them trying new things and loving them!

I have some reservations about whether or not I would ever want to do community nutrition as a career but experiences like that one make me think I might like it.  The only bad part is I know that’s not how it is all the time.  I really hate being stuck in an office all day answering emails.

Nothing super notable happened for the rest of the week, it was kind of blah.

Last night my GGLittle Kelsie had her 21er celebration!  She actually turned 21 at the beginning of the month but waited until this weekend to celebrate.

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Isn’t she cute?

We all had a lot of fun! My other GGLittle Conchita turns 21 on Wednesday so we get to do it all again that night!

I’m currently watch the 49ers vs. Seahawks game and I’m happy to report that right now the 49ers are winning!  Hoping it stays that way!

I have tomorrow off because the school district actually recognizes MLK Day as a holiday and hasn’t taken it away to make up for snow days, like they did President’s Day, so I get a 3 day weekend! I’m super excited.

Hope everyone has had a relaxing weekend!