Are you still struggling to lose weight?  It could be your genes…

Are you ready for a weight loss plan that is sustainable and works with your body not against it?

If you’re tired of trying diet after diet, but can’t seem to find the one that sticks, the solution might be in your genes!

There is more and more exciting research about genes and their connection to nutrition.  For example, protein is an important part of a healthy diet, but for some people protein can also be the key to losing more body fat on their weight loss journey.

The FTO gene can determine if a higher protein diet is the best choice for people wanting to lose weight. In research trials, those with the AA variant of this gene lost significantly more body fat after 2 years while following a higher protein diet, compared to people with the TT or TA variants.

So, for people with the ‘responder’ genotype, consuming a higher percentage of energy from protein actually accelerated their fat loss potential, while for the non-responders, more protein in their diet did not make a difference.

Do you want to learn how you can eat to optimize your body composition and reach your weight loss goals? I can help by offering you a genetic test, called Nutrigenomix. Watch this video to learn more.

Nutrigenomix is celebrating Nutrition Month by offering a free Personalized Nutrition for Skin Health report (PDF) with the purchase of any 70-gene test ($79 value).  “Through nutrition care and prevention, the Skin Health test helps determine how genes can influence the skin’s ability to combat signs of aging, how the body metabolizes nutrients that support skin health, and how genetic markers that affect eating habits can play a role in the health of your skin.”

To learn more about the test, click here.

Contact me to schedule your test today.  The free skin care test is only offered until March 31, 2022.

Mindfulness and Hunger

A client told me the other day, “I’m never hungry.  My stomach never growls.”  When someone tells me that she is never hungry, I bring up my favorite subject: mindfulness.

You were born knowing when you were hungry and when you had enough to eat.  Unfortunately, for some of us, our hunger and fullness signals got mixed up.  Whether it was a well-meaning adult that made you “clean your plate”, learning that eating chocolate helped you feel better when you were sad, or ignoring hunger pangs to lose weight—you started to ignore your hunger/fullness cues and now you might not know what your body is telling you anymore.

If you are like my client and confused about what your body is or is not telling then, then mindful eating will help you.  According to The Center for Mindful Eating, mindful eating is:

“Mindfulness is the capacity to bring full attention and awareness to one’s experience, in the moment, without judgment. Mindful Eating brings mindfulness to food choice and the experience of eating.

Mindful eating helps us become aware of our thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations related to eating, reconnecting us with our innate inner wisdom about hunger and satiety.”

Doesn’t that sound really beneficial?  Wouldn’t you like more of that awareness with your body?  I think we all would.

There are many benefits of mindful eating that I could discuss with you, but I just want to focus on one right now: learning how to tell when your body is hungry. Here are steps take periodically throughout the day:

Step 1: Pause and stop what you are doing.

Step 2: Minimize distractions (phone, TV, conversations, driving, etc.).

Step 3: Take three big, deep breaths.

Step 4: Scan your body from head to toe, noticing if anything feels “off.”

Step 5: Pay attention to the part of your body that doesn’t feel right.  Let’s say you notice you have a headache, for example.  Could it be that it needs nourishment?

Step 6: Ask yourself some questions to figure out if it is related to hunger:

When was the last time I ate?

*What did I eat today?

*What time is it?

*Am I feeling stressed?

*How much have I had to drink today?

If you determine that your headache could be due to low blood sugar, then go ahead and eat something nourishing.

Ways your body might tell you that you are hungry

And that is using mindful eating in a nutshell to learn more about your hunger.  I realize it’s not always as easy as that.  It takes a lot of patience and practice.  The benefits are worth it!  That same client I mentioned who said he never felt hungry started using mindfulness and determined that when he was cranky in the morning it was due to skipping breakfast.  He started eating a small breakfast (yogurt and fruit) and is not irritable in the morning anymore!

How does your body tell you it’s hungry?  Comment below.  And to learn more about mindful eating, check out my most popular class Chocolate and Mindfulness: Why We Need Both.

Are you addicted to food?

Have you ever felt like you are addicted to food?  I can’t tell you how many of my clients have expressed this belief about themselves.  Is food addiction even a thing?  The research on food addiction is very limited, but I can share with you some of the latest research and what we do know.

First, it’s very important to clarify that food addiction is a process addiction.  That means it is the act of eating and the feelings you have about eating certain foods that is addictive, not the food itself.  As you engage in overeating and eating foods you consider bad or trigger foods, your brain releases dopamine which makes you feel good.  After chronically overeating, the dopamine receptors are down regulated and then you need to eat more and more to get the same dopamine response.  This is the same process that occurs in other addictions like gambling, shoplifting, gaming, and phone use. 

Many people falsely believe that food addiction is a chemical addiction like drugs or alcohol.  That’s not so.  Drugs and alcohol contain chemicals that are physically addictive.  But foods commonly considered addictive (flour, sugar, salt, and chocolate) are not actually chemically addictive.  Sure, they do make you feel good, but you are not dependent on them.  For example, if you find chocolate to be a trigger food for you then when you eat chocolate you feel a hit of dopamine. You have a piece of chocolate and then want more and more.  However, let’s say you don’t find orange juice to be a trigger food and so when you drink orange juice, there is no dopamine hit.  So, it’s not the sugar from the chocolate or the juice, it’s the act of eating something that you feel is forbidden or you have strong feelings about. 

The act of overeating causes a similar pathway in the dopamine response.  The more you overeat, the less your body releases dopamine and then you need to eat more and more to get the same response.  Just like gambling and gaming, for example.

So, what does all this mean? It’s good news actually.  It means you don’t have to avoid your favorite foods forever because you think you are “addicted” to them and you have to abstain like you would from alcohol.  It means that you can eat your favorite foods in moderation after learning how to manage cravings, compulsive eating desires, and your feelings surrounding certain foods.   

How do you do that?

1. Keep a food journal where you write down the food you eat, your level of hunger/fullness, and the feelings you have surrounding that meal/snack. 

2. Identify the emotions that lead up to overeating/compulsive eating. 

3. Try to catch yourself when you are feeling those emotions and deal with them in a more constructive way.

This list is very simplified. I know it’s not as easy as that.  It takes a lot of introspection, outside support, and patience with yourself.  And that’s what I am here to help with.  I want you to feel in control of food instead of food controlling you.  Sign up for my Intentional Eating 101 program and you can start your journey to feeling better and getting healthier!

Easy, Healthy Weeknight Dinner: Sheet Pan Potatoes, Sausage, and Vegetables

Easy, Healthy Weeknight Dinner: Sheet Pan Potatoes, Sausage, and Vegetables

Here is one my family’s new favorite dinners: Potatoes, Sausage, and Vegetables roasted on a sheet pan. 

Why I love it:

  • Versatile
  • One dish meal
  • Can use leftovers
  • Inexpensive
  • Super tasty!
  • Everyone loves it (one of the few meals we all love)

Here’s how to do it:

Wash and cut into bite-size pieces your favorite potatoes and vegetables (white potatoes, sweet potatoes, new potatoes, green peppers, red peppers, broccoli, asparagus, onions, etc.). Toss the potatoes and vegetables with olive oil in a large bowl.  Spray a sheet pan with non-stick spray.  Spread vegetables and potatoes evenly on the pan.  Sprinkle your favorite seasonings on top: kosher salt, pepper, garlic powder, etc. Dice your favorite sausage (deer sausage, chicken sausage, pork sausage, etc.) into bite-size pieces and sprinkle over the vegetables.  Roast in the oven at 425 degrees until the potatoes are soft.  Serve with fruit and a glass of milk on the side.   Yum!

Please share: What’s your favorite easy dinner?

You can eat what you love and still be healthy!

You can eat what you love and still be healthy!

“This is my mom and she loves chocolate”

A few months ago I was outside with my 2 youngest daughters and we started talking to someone walking by.  My little ones were probably enthralled with the person’s dog.  But anyway, out of the blue, my 3-year-old said, “This is my mom and she loves chocolate.”  I started laughing at the randomness of this comment and have thought a lot about it since. Yes, both statements are true.  I am her mom and I do love chocolate. 

Why do I bring this up?  Because I think many people have the misconception that my being a dietitian means that I don’t eat sweets and only eat healthy foods.  Some people think my kids never eat junk food and we must not have any candy or chips in my house.  This is not true!  I want to write about this today so you can see that I am just like you…I love chocolate and my husband loves chips.  I have kids that love junk food and candy (and they like some vegetables and nutritious foods too). I crave desserts just like you and want chocolate when I’m stressed out.  At various times in my life I have worried about my weight and health and been on both sides of the dieting spectrum.  I know what it’s like to hate your body and I know what it’s like to love your body.  And not only have I been through it, I’ve seen hundreds of my clients go through it as well.

I am here to share with you today, that you can break through whatever bad eating habits you have, poor body image, dieting scars, etc.  You can find the middle ground between health and “eating whatever you want.”  I’ve done it, my clients are doing it, and you can too.  It feels so amazing to feel comfortable in your own skin, to eat nutritious foods most of the time, and include the sweets/treats/junk foods a little of the time.  It’s so rewarding to go to the doctor and get a good report on blood work, realizing that you can do it!  You don’t have to be in the gym for 2 hours every day (but it’s OK if you like that) and eat only chicken breast and broccoli (it’s OK if you like that too).  There is way more to life than just that!  We can love chocolate (or French fries, or chips, or anything else) and still feel good in our bodies, be healthy, and live well.  

Will you give me a chance to show you that eating what you love AND meeting your health goals is possible for you too?  Simply comment on this post and I will put you on my waiting list for new clients. 

Healthy, Easy, Personalized Meal Plans Done-for-you

Healthy, Easy, Personalized Meal Plans Done-for-you

Today I couldn’t believe it when I looked at the calendar and realized my kids go back to school in 3 weeks!  Sadly (if you go by school schedules) the summer is almost over. 

How do you feel about that news?  How is your summer going?  Are you staying on track with your eating plans and exercise?  I know it can be hard when you feel pulled in different directions AND it’s so hot you don’t even want to turn on your oven.

The reason I’m bringing this up is I don’t want you to have regrets in the fall. Come September, I hear it all the time, “I wish I would have done better on my vacation.  I wish I had taken the time to meal prep.  Now I feel like I’m starting all over.” 

The good news is it doesn’t have to be that way!  You CAN stay on track this summer without working too hard.  When September comes you can seamlessly transition into the holiday season without “starting over” or “getting back on track.”  I want to tell you how. 

I have a menu service that is different than any other because this menu is not generic. Let me tell you how it works:

  1. I create a meal plan for you based on your health goals and enter it into EatLove.
  2. I personalize your plan taking into account food allergies, health conditions, and how many people you want to cook for.
  3. The system finds meals that match your meal plan’s criteria.
  4. You get an email invitation to log on and view your meal plan. You’ll see breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks that fit into your meal plan and support you in your health goals. 
  5. You schedule your meal plan, print your grocery list, and head to the store.  You’ll have thousands of recipes at your fingertips that meet your unique nutrition needs. 

Having a plan is the key to having not only a fun summer, but a successful summer.  Click on this link and let’s get you started with your meal plan for approximately $10 per month until the end of 2019.  The regular cost is $30 per month, but I’m going to give it to you for one payment of $49 TOTAL until December 31, 2019.  I want you to end this year feeling better than you ever have.  You’ll save more than 66%!

Click here to get your very own personalized meal plan.  As soon as you do, I will contact you via email to get you set up for success. 

Tip for Eating Out While Dieting

Tip for Eating Out While Dieting

Do you feel like it’s impossible to eat out and still stick to your diet? I know many of my clients do.  (And remember when I say DIET, I don’t mean some crazy, fad diet.  I’m just referring to the way you eat.)

I’m going to share a simple trick with you for staying on track while eating out.  Because after all, who doesn’t like to eat out?  Especially during the summer!

In your mind, divide your plate in half.  Order a meal where half of your plate is fruit or vegetables.  Then imagine a quarter of your plate.  Order meat or protein that will fill a quarter of your plate. Last, imagine the 4th quarter of your plate and order a starch (bread, tortilla, pasta, rice, potato, etc.) that will fill the remaining quarter of your plate. 

Obviously, most restaurant meals will not naturally fit this plate.  Just do your best to tweak your meal into this plate idea by sharing a meal or taking some home for the next day.

If you need more ideas for staying on track, join me at my next Master’s Group class.  You can attend your first month for free. Send me an email to be put on the invite list @ kelli.worley@intentionaleating.net.

Please share: What’s your favorite meal when eating out?

Websites for healthy, nutritious and easy recipes

I don’t know about you, but I am easily overwhelmed by the amount of recipes on the internet.  Really, I have a love-hate relationship with recipe searches.  I LOVE being able to find any recipe I can think of and many that I never thought of.  I HATE that there are so many options and I have no idea which version of the recipe is going to taste the best.  That’s why I have stopped doing general recipe searches and now just go straight to my go-to sources.  It frees up my time by not scrolling through 20 versions of Asian Chicken, for example, and makes me feel so much more confident when I have a website or two that I can trust.  I wanted to share one of those sources with you today:

www.whatscooking.fns.usda.gov

These are the reasons I love this website:

  • You can search by ingredient
  • You can search by food group or type of dish
  • You can save recipes into your “cookbook”
  • You can view recipe books
  • You can print your recipe book
  • You can view recipe demos
  • You can refine your search by cost, cuisine, diet, and cooking method

With all of these options, what’s not to love about USDA’s What’s Cooking? Best of all, is it saves me time by going to only one place when I’m making my weekly menu.

If you want more tips, please subscribe to my newsletter by clicking here

Please share: what is your favorite website for recipes?

Is citric acid bad for you?

Is citric acid bad for you?

The other day someone asked me about Citric Acid and if it is harmful.  She is trying to eliminate harmful foods from her and her family’s diet.  In just a few short paragraphs, I will answer that for her and you.

Citric acid is weak tricarboxylic acid found in citrus fruits.  The highest food sources are lemons and limes.  Although you won’t find citric acid listed in any database or calorie counting app, citrus fruits have been tested in labs to determine amounts. 

You can find citric acid added to foods as a preservative.  It has a sour and acidic taste.  It is commonly used when canning tomatoes and in products that you add to fresh fruit to prevent it from turning brown.  I have some in my cupboard for science experiments and home-made bath bombs!

Citric acid is perfectly safe.  Your body breaks it down and excretes it through your urine.  In fact, it may even be helpful in preventing calcium oxalate kidney stones.  Studies show that citric acid can prevent the stones from forming.  Studies are mixed on whether drinking lemon or lime juice can treat current kidney stones.  But if stones are a concern for you, it certainly won’t hurt.

Bottom-line, there is no need to worry about citric acid in your food.  There are more important things to think about…like what’s for dinner?

Please share: are there any food additives that you are concerned about and you want me write a blog post about?

How many times a day should I eat?

One of my frequently asked questions is, “How many times a day should I eat?”  I’ve got the answer for you!  Research shows it’s ideal to eat at least 3 times per day and then the rest is up for you to decide.  Eating at least 3 meals a day is ideal for managing appetite hormones, metabolism, and hunger.  There is no research to support whether snacks are necessary for weight control.  For some people, eating snacks causes them to overeat because they snack on cookies, chips, and soda.  For others, snacking is necessary because they don’t like to eat big meals.  That’s where personalization comes in.

How many times a day should you eat? It’s up to you!

My suggestion is to keep a food journal and track your mood and energy level based on your meals and snacks.  See if you do better with 3 snacks and 3 meals or just 3 meals (or anywhere in between). 

To take it a step further, pay attention to how the snacks and meals make you feel. Do some snacks weigh you down and others energize you?  Does eating big meals make you feel sleepy or satisfied?  Pay attention to trends and use that to guide you in how many snacks and meals are ideal for you.

And if you need help with your meal plan after that, check out my services to see which is the best fit for you.

Please share: do you prefer to snack or not to snack?