Category Archives: Food Addiction

overeating

Are you starving or tend to overeat when you get home from work?

By:Jillian Ouhrabka MS, RD, LDN, CHC

So many of my clients tell me they eat well all day and then they get home and they can’t stop eating. Does this sound like you? If you are like so many of us, eating lunch and then have nothing to eat until you get home from work-listen up!

The recommendation is to eat every 3 hours to keep sugar cravings away and help you eat less. So think about this….if you eat lunch at noon and nothing until after work you are going about 5 or 6 (or more) hours without eating. This is too long! Now your body/brain is so hungry that it wants to eat anything it can and it doesn’t want a little piece- it wants the whole cake…meaning you will have little to no willpower to make a healthy choice.  This is when you will be cravings sweets, and treats, and be more likely to eat the leftover pie than the leftover salad and you are more likely to overeat and consume excess calories.

How can you stay in control of your eating and cravings?

  • Aim to eat every 3 hours during the day, this means having a morning and afternoon snack
  • Plan to have your afternoon snack (between lunch and dinner) around 3pm
  • Drink water throughout the day to stay hydrated

What should you eat for a snack?

Ideally you want to eat something with protein and carbohydrates to help you feel fuller longer, give you energy and prevent sugar cravings. (Note: If push comes to shove, eating something with just protein or just carbohydrates is fine!)

What are some good afternoon snacks?  (Tip: Bring snacks to work and have on hand in your office for emergency hunger situations!)

  • String cheese and an apple or orange
  • Fat free Greek Yogurt with ½ cup high fiber cereal mixed in
  • 1/2 cup cereal with skim milk
  • A banana or piece of fruit with 1 Tbsp. peanut butter (slice the banana lengthwise, add the peanut butter and put it back together and eat it as you would a normal banana)
  • Save half your sandwich from lunch and eat it at 3pm
  • Share a bag of popcorn with a coworker (don’t add butter or salt to it)
  • Hummus with celery or carrot sticks
  • ½ cup low fat cottage cheese with sliced apple or on a piece of whole wheat toast (or crackers)

healthy snack

What else can I do to minimize overeating when I get home?

  • Keep some granola bars, nuts, cereal, or fruit in your car (I recommend keeping granola bars in your trunk and grabbing 1 as you get in the car).  When you leave work, eat the snack as you drive home.  This way, by the time you get home you will not be quite as hungry and can either wait for dinner or will be more apt to make a healthy option
  • Plan ahead: If you like to eat right when you get home, keep fruit salad, vegetable salad, or healthy leftovers in the refrigerator and PLAN to eat it when you get home.
  • Put it on a plate: Never stand in front of a cabinet or the refrigerator or eat directly out of a package/bag…always put your food on a plate, in a dish, or bowl and sit down to eat it!
  • Drink a glass of water when you get home-this will help fill you up so you are not as likely to overeat.  Often times we are actually thirsty when we think we are hungry-drinking water first will help you determine if you were thirsty or if you are hungry and can save you calories!

Late night snacking

If you find you are snacking a lot in the evening, take control and plan to have a snack after dinner. Opt for diet hot chocolate, a bowl of high fiber cereal with skim milk, a bag of popcorn, or Greek yogurt.

Tip: Try fat free plain Greek yogurt, mix in 1 to 2 Tbsp. sugar free pudding (try cheesecake, chocolate, or French vanilla) and enjoy a guilt free high protein, low fat, low calorie dessert!

For more tips on how to help maintain a healthy weight email us at info@restorativenutritionri.com or visit us at www.restorativenutritionri.com.

no diet

Struggling with food or your weight?

Do you struggle to eat well, are the holidays overwhelming you? Is it difficult to maintain a healthy weight? Does work and life seem to get in the way of exercising and eating well?

When was the last time you took time to meet with someone and talk about your lifestyle and how you can be healthier?

As we are in the busiest time of the year it can be difficult to take time for ourselves. What if I told you that if you took an hour to meet with me, to talk about your lifestyle and health goals, that I could help you change your life? I am a Registered Dietitian, Certified Health Coach, and recovered food addict. I understand how challenging it can be to make time for yourself, to focus on your health. I also know how critical it is to take time to do just this.

What do I offer you?

  • A confidential and supportive environment
  • A unique and integrative approach to your health
  • Evidenced based knowledge to help you navigate the path to healthy choices and weight management
  • Personal experience
    • I suffered with food addiction and compulsive eating for 14 years, I know how challenging it can be to change and I also know what it takes to do just that!
    • 24/7 support
    • Flexible scheduling and payment option

There is no one answer, we are all different with different goals, lifestyles, and beliefs. I will help you find the path that will lead you to a healthier, happier you. You are worth it. Don’t wait until the 1st of the year, call or email now: info@restorativenutritionri.com.

image via harvard school of public health

12 week weight loss challenge 2014 Starts January 3rd

  • “Do you struggle to maintain a healthy weight?”

  • “Are you tired of quick fixes and fad diets?”

  • “Don’t have the time to lose weight?”                                      

 This program is for you!

12 weeks + individual attention + group support = success!

Taught by a former food addict, she knows the challenges you face. You can lose weight, live healthier and enjoy the foods you love while doing it! Program includes:

  • Individual Nutrition and Health Consultation including goal setting ($100 value)
  • Weekly weigh-in & follow up w/ Nutrition Specialist ($900 value for 12 weeks)
  • Weekly education and support  ($900 value for 12 weeks)
    • Topics include:  Basics of healthy eating, eating for energy, snacks vs. treats, reading and understanding food labels, mindful eating, balancing a busy schedule, exercise, dining out, sweets and treats, budgeting and shopping, and how to keep weight off!

  apple

Take control of your life, change your future! Sign up today! 

Call 401.529.7925 or email: info@restorativenutritionri.com

Make the Commitment to a happier, healthier you in 2014 before December 15th for this discounted rate ($275 for 12 weeks-a $1,900 value)!

*Ask about a private group session for you and your 4 friends!

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Do you struggle to keep your energy level up during the day?

Help keep your energy levels up by eating breakfast and then eating small, frequent meals every 3 hours. Aim to have some protein and carbohydrates at each snack and meal and drink plenty of water throughout the day.

Try one of these ideas for a high protein, energy packed small meal:

  • 1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese on a slice of whole wheat toast or mixed into 1/2 cup high fiber cereal
  • 1/4 cup tuna salad made with light mayo on whole wheat bread/whole wheat pita and a piece of fruit, or add tuna to a green leafy salad with your favorite veggies and balsamic vinaigrette
  • 1/2 cup egg salad made with light mayo with whole grain crackers and carrot and celery sticks
  • 4 oz sliced turkey and low fat cheese rolled up in a whole wheat tortilla with mustard, lettuce, onion, and tomato and a piece of fruit on the side
  • PB&J on whole wheat bread: Nuts are a great way to get added protein- add a piece of fruit or greek yogurt to complete this delicious meal
  • Choose a whole wheat bagel or multi-grain English muffin with 2 tablespoons peanut butter or  light cream cheese and smoked salmon
  • Oatmeal made with low fat milk and a tablespoon of peanut butter mixed in (or try sliced almonds) with fresh berries or sliced banana

Having a mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack helps you stay focused and energized, not to mention it helps prevent overeating when you get home from work.Try these delicious snacks to keep energy up all day:

  • Greek yogurt with 1/3c trail mix (dried fruit and nuts)
  • 1/2c almonds with a string cheese and fruit
  • Peanut butter spread on an apple and a yogurt
  • Hummus with vegetable sticks/whole grain crackers and a string cheese
  • High fiber cereal (such as raisin bran, shredded wheat or grape nuts) with low fat milk and fruit
  • Low fat cottage cheese with sliced fruit
  • Try a fruit smoothie made with 1 cup fruit (try strawberries, banana, blueberries, or mango) 1 Tablespoon peanut butter, 3 Tablespoons Greek yogurt, skim or low fat milk, and 1 cup ice, blend and enjoy!

I hope these suggestions have been helpful, please let me know if I can help you further or if you have other questions. Good luck!

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Food Addiction Journal Entry

April 23, 2010

           “After my very inspiring entry on April 19th, 2010 I had another “bad” day on April 20th which I took very hard. I was extremely at peace with going to get the candy and didn’t even try to convince myself to stop. I was just like “ I want it” and it was full force. I felt very out of control and like I wasn’t the one in charge, it was scary. I told my boyfriend about it and he said the “maybe you really aren’t ready to get better” which really upset me-of course I want to get better! He is supposed to be supporting me no-matter-what and he says because I have a set back that I don’t want to get better??? Then I started thinking…could he be right? I don’t know. I don’t think he is right. I think that unless you have or are trying to recover from an addiction you really have no idea what its like. I think he thinks that it should be no problem to get over it if I really want to which makes me feel extra awful when I have a “bad” day. I accept that I will have good days and then a bad day and have to get “back on the wagon” and pick myself up until eventually the good days are easier and more numerous than the bad days. I just wish everyone else got that. Maybe I am fooling myself into thinking I am getting better but I am pretty sure I am getting better.

I look at my life at this time last year and I had just begun to be able to have “good” days during the week. The start of my recovery was really in March last year when we were in Hawaii for my sister’s 21st birthday. When we came back I was doing really well and I lost 10 to 15 lbs and looked great all summer. During the end of August, early September into October things were harder again. I found it harder to have a “good” day and easier to just cave in. I think a lot of it was that I was living with my parents and just not very happy. When I moved out in November I sort of restarted the whole recovery aspect and have been in full force ever since.  I honestly find my boyfriend to be a great source of motivation without his even knowing it. I want to get better so that we can do whatever we want whenever we want and I don’t get all weird or feel like I can’t enjoy the time because of my food addiction. I want to be well so I can enjoy life and do what I want when I want. This eating disorder holds me back from social outings, friends, family, and from being a normal well adjusted person.

Today I read a book at home and actually thought “this is what it should be like.” I was doing a normal activity and just at peace with the day/myself. I thought about buying candy, I even went to a store to buy gum and had to go to the candy aisle to do so. I left with gum, soda, and saline solution for my dog’s eye. I was so proud of myself for not caving. I can go into a store and not buy candy!! I think that is another thing that is hard, I am really all on my own for my motivation and praising myself. I have reached out to a lot of people for help and they are all willing to help however they can but ultimately it is up to me.

I have to say I am really happy that I am now able to go through a week and have more good than bad days. I feel like everyone else wants me to be well but truly has no idea how to help me and honestly I don’t know what to say in regards to that. I just need support and the hardest part is that I need the support the most when I can’t ask for it. How do I get that? How do I tell someone to help me when I need it the most but won’t ask for it?

This is definitely not an easy road to recovery and I find myself frustrated a lot but also am really trying to cut myself a lot of slack. I have my eye on the light at the end of the tunnel and I truly believe I will be well. If I can improve each month and each year then I can eventually be free of this horrible disease.

still contemplate entering rehab and perhaps it would be for the best because I would truly have to surrender my control and would be forced to face myself when I am in addict mode and will do anything for a “fix.” Unfortunately I am not in a financial position to get that sort of help and since I currently have no health insurance there is really no way for me to seek help. I could take out a loan or ask for money from my parents but I really think I can do this on my own with the support of professionals and those closest to me. My brother still asks me weekly (though its supposed to be daily) how I am doing and he keeps a weekly tally of good vs. bad days.  My boyfriend asks me daily for 3 reasons why I want to get better and he is so supportive of me though he often doesn’t know how to help he keeps trying. I have never had someone care so much about me and genuinely want me to be better. I am actually very afraid that I will lose him over this eating disorder. I am afraid he will just pack up and leave one day because he can’t handle “it” anymore or he will get sick of my failing. I would hope he would stick by my side thru thick and thin but I couldn’t blame him if he couldn’t deal with it. It’s a lot to deal with. I wish I could be “easy” and eat whatever I want. I wish I could indulge and enjoy it. I have never been and never foresee myself being the sort of person who enjoys unbuttoning their pants because they are so full. I would rather keep my pants buttoned and eat less. I don’t think that’s about control but more that I find a person should eat for energy and not for enjoyment. I know that so many people would disagree and that is okay…

I would love to see nutrition taught in the schools so kids learn how to eat right. Its ridiculous that there is no nutrition education and it makes me crazy because I really think if someone had pulled me aside or showed me how to eat for energy not for feelings of emptiness or sadness that I would not be the product of an eating disorder…”

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Food Addiction Journal Entry

Note: “This is a journal entry when I was at a pivotal point in changing my eating habits and behaviors. Journaling has really helped me learn why I binged, and struggled with food. I encourage you to start journaling and trying to understand why you are struggling to maintain a healthy weight or struggle with food. My hope is that by sharing these types of entries, you will realize you are not alone with your food addiction or weight struggles. I struggled for 16 years. You can get better, there is hope. Do not give up!!” ~Jill

April 19, 2010

To most people a cookie represents happiness. It is something sweet that they crave and eating it fulfills the craving which then passes. To me, a cookie represents fat, calories, and “being bad.” If I ate a cookie I would be “misbehaving.” This does not apply simply to cookies but also to pancakes, cake, pastry, candy, butter, lard, oil, essentially anything with fat and sugar. I realize as I write this how most people will roll their eyes and say “get over it” or “just eat it!” but I also realize that these people would have no comprehension of what it is like to be physically afraid of food.

More and more I am really getting the whole idea that food is what we need for energy.  This simple statement seems like a no brainer but if it was so simple to just eat for energy there would not be such an epidemic of obesity or a rising number of eating disorders and food addiction. I am continually trying to train myself to eat and think more in terms of refueling my body. I am thinking of my body as a car, it won’t work if it doesn’t have fuel. For instance, if I go for a run I will think of the energy I just used and realize that I need to “refuel” in order to continue to operate. I am thinking of my body in much nicer terms. I would not be able to live if it did not support me. I must support it with healthy foods and give it enough food. I am trying to appreciate myself much more.

In many ways I really love and admire my body. I find it amazing that my body can operate on its own and it will keep me alive as long as I provide it with the tools it needs.  While high fat/ high sugar foods are what taste great, they are not the best choice for providing the body with the energy and nutrition it needs to survive. The best choices are low fat, nutrient dense foods like brown rice, vegetables, lean meats/fish/protein, and dairy products.

My whole life I have looked at my body as a means of acceptance to others.  It was like a competition, everyone needed to be the same small pant size or something was wrong with you. I have thought that if my body could look a certain way then I will be more loved by my family and more accepted by strangers and the general population. I remember when I lost weight in high school and college- I loved when people would compliment me on my figure-it made me feel “better than the rest.” Now I realize that this method of thinking is absurd. The reality is that being a certain size is not what is important but rather what you are physically putting into your body (or not putting into it) that is important.

My goal going forward is to eat for health, not happiness/comfort/guilt/etc. I want to become one of those people who changes their whole life simply by eating better and exercising. My biggest challenge is eating right. I keep eating two and three hundred calorie meals and then snacking a lot because I am still so hungry. While I almost never go over my calorie allotment, I also never really feel full. This is something I would like to work on as well.

I really wish this was not such a struggle for me. I wish I could just eat whatever I want and not care but I can’t…not yet.

getty_rf_photo_of_honey_with_prebiotics

Prebiotics versus Probiotics

If you are like many Americans you are probably hearing more and more about prebiotics and probiotics. Perhaps you are wondering what they are and why you are hearing so much about them. Many food products are claiming to have digestive health properties or offer improved immune function. These products are usually promoting prebiotic or probiotic components.

While not necessarily essential to be healthy, prebiotics and probiotics offer many health promoting benefits. When combined, prebiotics and probiotics form a symbiotic relationship promoting improved immune function and intestinal health.

Although research is still pending, health benefits associated with consuming prebiotics and probiotics include:

  • Protection against certain types of cancers
  • Promotion of healthy urinary tract infection
  • Improved immune system function
  • Better absorption of vitamins and minerals
  • Improved diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome and intestinal infections resulting from certain medications

*Tip: To help maintain a healthy gut, include a variety of prebiotics and probiotics.

Learn More:

What are probiotics?

Probiotics are beneficial strains of bacterial that help promote digestive health. When our body experiences chronic stress, poor dietary choices, and certain illnesses it can become unbalanced due to a loss of beneficial bacterial. When this happens you may experience severe bloating, gas, and low immunity towards illness and disease. Probiotics help regulate and balance our digestive tract so we can fight infections and maintain optimal health

Where are probiotics found?

Probiotics are found in many fermented foods including:

  • Active cultures found in yogurt
  • Acidophilus milk
  • Miso (fermented soybean paste)
  • Sourdough bread
  • Sauerkraut
  • Kefir (a fermented yogurt type drink)

What are prebiotics?

Simply stated, prebiotics are a non-digestible carbohydrate that fuels/feeds the probiotic microorganisms. Probiotics, or good bacteria, need energy to survive and flourish-this is where prebiotics come in providing the fuel source for probiotics to stay active and healthy.

Eat a variety of prebiotics to promote healthy growth of these good bacteria in your gut!

Where are prebiotics found?

Prebiotics are found in many foods, some common sources include:

  • Bananas
  • Honey
  • Legumes
  • Whole grains (oats, rye, wheat, barley)
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Asparagus

*Tip: To help you remember the difference, think of probiotics as healthy bacteria and prebiotics as the food they eat or think “prebiotics fuel probiotics.”

For more information email info@restorativenutritionri.com.

glutenfree

How to be Gluten Free

There are many reason’s people are going gluten free including many health related reasons.

What is gluten free?

A gluten-free diet is one that excludes gluten.

What is gluten?

Gluten is a protein found in grains and grain products including wheat, barley, rye, and triticale (a cross between wheat and rye). If you have Celiac’s disease, eating gluten causes the small intestines to become inflamed thus eating a gluten-free diet will help with symptoms associated with inflammation of the small intestine.

How do I eat gluten free?

When you start eating gluten free it can be difficult but the more you follow the diet, read food labels, and learn the foods you can eat the easier the diet will be. A gluten free diet should include:

  • All fruits and vegetables
  • Fresh meat and protein including beef, poultry, fresh eggs, fish, and nuts in their natural unprocessed form
  • Most low fat dairy products
  •  Beans, and seeds
  • Grains: There are many grains that are allowed on a gluten free diet including: Amaranth, arrowroot, buckwheat, corn and cornmeal, flax, gluten-free flours (rice, soy, corn, potato, bean), hominy (corn), millet, quinoa, rice, sorghum, soy, tapioca, and teff.

Tips for eating gluten free:

  • Make sure to get enough vitamins and minerals, particularly iron, calcium, fiber, and B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and folate) you will want to eat a variety of different foods
  • Start to read food labels, and ingredient lists to make sure those foods are not processed or mixed with gluten containing grains, additives, or preservatives
  • Start trying and comparing products to see which ones you like and will fit into your diet the best!
  • Take this new diet as a way to find new foods you never would have tried, get creative!
  • When cooking, baking, or ordering out do not bread foods or order breaded items as these may have gluten in them
  • Look for gluten free foods in your supermarket, and talk to your grocer about which gluten-free grains they offer
  • Most of the grain cereals and containers have recipes on them- try to incorporate a new recipe into your meal planning!

How do I avoid gluten?

To avoid gluten, avoid eating:

  • Barley
  • Rye
  • Triticale
  • Wheat
  • Bulgur
  • Durum flour
  • Semolina

Unless the following products are labeled “gluten-free” and you verify this by checking the ingredient label you will want to avoid:

  • Beer
  • Bread
  • Cakes and pies
  • Candy
  • Certain cereals
  • Cookies
  • Crackers, and croutons
  • Gravy, soy sauce, and food cooked in sauces
  • Pasta
  • Seasoned snack foods including potato and tortilla chips
  • Oats: You can eat oats however they are often times contaminated with wheat during growing and processing and for this reason it is safest to avoid oats

Maintaining a healthy weight

Many people struggle to maintain a healthy weight when on a gluten free diet. To help promote a healthy weight:

  • Eat regular meals and snacks
  • Don’t skip meals
  • Watch portion sizes
  • Eat a balanced diet
  • Stay within your calorie goal
  • Stay hydrated

The bottom line with weight gain is that if you are eating more calories than you need/ use, you will gain weight.

Following a gluten-free diet should not cause you to gain weight; you just can’t eat a lot of the high fiber foods that are typically recommended for weight management. Fruits and vegetables are gluten free and low calorie so enjoy these often!  Focus on eating a healthy, balanced diet and living an active lifestyle!

How can I get help or learn more?

If you have recently been diagnosed with Celiac’s disease, gluten intolerance, or have been told to follow a gluten free diet, contact us today! We will give you the nutrition education needed to follow this diet, meal plans, and make recommendations specific to your individual needs. Contact us today: info@restorativenutritionri.com

www. infinitelifefitness.com

The Importance of Snacking

Many people confuse snacks with treats but they are very different!

  • Snacks should be eaten regularly to help you get in your daily nutrition
  • Treats are part of a healthy, well balanced diet but should be consumed less frequently than snacks- eaten in moderation

Ideally you should start each day with breakfast, then have a snack, eat lunch, have a snack, eat dinner, and have a snack.

Benefits of snacking

There are many nutrition and health related benefits associated with snacking. Snacking benefits adults as well as children.  Some great benefits of snacking include:

  • Eat more to weight less:Eating small, frequent meals will help you eat less throughout the day which helps promote a healthy weight
  • Eat every 2-3 hours: Eating every few hours helps keep blood sugar stable which helps you avoid extreme hunger and helps you stay in control so you can make healthy choices and avoid sugar cravings from getting too hungry
  • Increase energy: If you are eating every 2-3 hours you are also keeping your blood sugar levels stable.  Stable blood sugar means your energy level will stay steady. If you don’t eat your energy level falls and you get tired, snacking helps keep you energized
  • Increase nutrition: Snacking is a great opportunity to get more essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrition into your diet! Since you are eating more often you can include a greater variety of healthy foods into your diet
  • Improved concentration: Snacking between meals improves concentration, focus, and performance at work and at school.

What is a healthy snack?

A healthy snack should ideally consist of a carbohydrate, protein, and healthy fat. Don’t be afraid of eating fat! Fat is what helps us feel full and satisfied after eating so we are less likely to overeat. You do want to choose healthy fats such as those found in olive oil, fish, nuts, and low fat dairy products. Choose a snack that is about 100 to 200 calories (depending on your specific needs) and aim to eat it between bigger meals.

What are some examples of healthy snacks?

  • Low fat cottage cheese (protein and fat source) with cubed melon (carbohydrate source)
  • Peanut butter (protein and fat source) on whole wheat crackers (carbohydrate source) or a sliced apple (carbohydrate source)
  • Low fat Greek yogurt (protein and fat source) with high fiber cereal (carbohydrate source) sprinkled in
  • Mixed berries (carbohydrate source) with sliced almonds (protein and fat source)

The bottom line:

  • Snacking improves overall nutrition status, energy levels and concentration, and helps you eat less!
  • The ideal snack should be about 150 calories (depending on your individual needs) and composed of a carbohydrate, protein, and healthy fat!