Tag Archives: mindful


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.


The power of a breath

When was the last time you took a deep breath?

A moment of silence.  A deep breath. Feeling an inhale and the breath move down your throat to your body.  Your shoulders lifting, heart rate slowing, calmness fills you. The exhale pushes out the old energy and the inhale sparks your senses bringing new positive energy.

Being able to listen to your body, to stop your negative thought patterns, to recognize what you actually need takes practice.

Have you ever eaten a whole bag of chips, or come home from work, stood in front of the refrigerator or cupboard and gone into a food haze? You are eating everything you can and yet you are so unaware of the food you are eating. Does this happen to you? Have you ever eaten food you don’t like just because it is there? Does food have power over you or your life? You can start to change your food habits by becoming more aware. Are you actually hungry? Are you really tired? Did you just have a stressful meeting and now you are on your third donut and don’t even like them?

Food should be eaten to nourish the body, and help fuel your day but so often we eat it for emotional reasons.  Start to notice why you eat or overeat. Are you listening to hunger cues? If you are hungry, eat something. If you are not hungry, do whatever else it is you need.

To heal yourself and to change habits and behaviors you must first recognize what the problem is. Why do you feel anxious, tired, scared, happy, hungry, sad, or stressed?

Focusing on your breath can help you notice what your body needs. Start with a moment of silence. Turn off the radio. Close the office door. Shut off the television.  Start with a deep inhalation (take a deep breath).  With your eyes closed try to follow the air as it enters your throat, neck, and stomach. Feel your diaphragm expanding and your body relaxing. What is happening in your body? Do you feel calmer? Has your heart rate slowed, do you feel calmer? Feel your chest expand as your shoulders reach back, and then squeeze from your core and push out the air for an exhalation.  The exhale pushes out the old energy and the inhale enlivens the senses with new energy. Breathe in calmness, breathe out anxiety. Breathe in health, breathe out stress. Just breathe.


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…”