Quit the Comparison Game

As the weather starts to warm up, many of you may feel like you need to get “bikini body ready.”  Your Facebook newsfeed is probably exploding with links to “Bikini Body Diets” and your Pinterest page is probably overflowing with pictures of beautiful women sporting the newest bathing suit trends.  I know mine is.

But what does “bikini body ready” even mean?  How do you determine if you are “worthy” of wearing a bikini, or any type of bathing suit for that matter?  From personal experience and being around other women, I can see that it all comes down to comparison.

“If I look as good as her in this bathing suit, then I can probably wear it.”

“Everyone will be wearing a bikini except me.  I have to wear a boring one-piece.”

What do we typically wear bathing suits for?  Swimming

Do you see how these statements take the focus off of the main purpose?  The focus is no longer on spending time outside in the warm weather, swimming with friends and family.  The focus is now on how you rank among the people you are around.

It is easy to get lured into the comparison game.  On a rare occasion, you may perceive yourself to be “better” than the other person, which makes you feel good and leads you to want to do it again.  However, on most occasions, you end up finding flaws and that completely drains the fun out of the situation.

If you truly want to enjoy your summer, try to focus on the moment.  Wear your bathing suit and enjoy the cool, refreshing water on your skin.  Try to drown out the mental chatter that tells you you don’t measure up.  You deserve to enjoy your life, no matter how you look doing it.

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Mindful Eating as a Family

Mindful eating may seem difficult to do when you have a family.  In your past dieting days, you may remember times when you had to eat a completely different dinner than the rest of your family and felt singled out.  Or a time when you decided everyone was going to start “eating healthier” and you prepared your diet meals for the whole family, only to have them complain about the meal and ask for something else.  Now that you have decided to give mindful eating a try, you may feel like it will be like all the other times you tried a diet and mealtime became a time of frustration instead of enjoying it with the people you love the most.

The great thing about mindful eating is that it has nothing to do with what foods you eat.  It addresses why and how we eat.  This gives you the freedom to share a meal with your family that tastes good and everyone can enjoy.  You can apply the Principles of Mindful Eating to any meal you eat.  The added bonus is that you will have the opportunity to be a role model for other family members.  They will see from you that all foods can be a part of a healthy lifestyle.

So what are some easy tips to help you incorporate mindful eating into family meals?

Have your family help you prepare the meal.

They can help with the whole meal or just one part, such as a side dish or dessert.  This will help bring awareness to the process of creating their meal.

Say grace.
Prayer or not, just taking a moment to be thankful for the meal in front of you sets the stage for a more peaceful mealtime with family.

Minimize distractions.
Eating with the TV on or with your cellphone at the table distracts you from the act of eating and can lead to mindless eating.  This may not be possible for every meal with family, but even one uninterrupted meal a day can make a difference.

Be adventurous and creative.
It is easy to get into a rut when it comes to planning meals.  Switching up cuisines or adding something simple, like a new spice or vegetable, to a familiar meal can reawaken your palate and take the boredom out of mealtime.

I hope these tips will help make mindful eating as a family easy and enjoyable!

Changes

Hello everyone!  I’m sure you have noticed that I have been MIA for a while now.  First, I apologize for just leaving without any notice.  I did not intend to stop blogging, but you know sometimes life gets in the way.  This summer has been full of many changes.  The biggest change being that I am now a resident of Raleigh, NC!

My husband was accepted into grad school at NC State University to study structural engineering.  (Smarty pants) The decision to move was a very long, drawn out, stressful one.  In order to move, I had to leave my current job and look for another job as an RD in Raleigh.  This proved to be extremely difficult and still is.  In the meantime, I have returned to the world of Starbucks as a barista like I did back in my undergrad days.  It’s a fun job and a great way to meet people in the area.  Soon I will be attending the North Carolina Dietetics Association (NCDA) conference in Raleigh and hope to do some networking and meet some dietitians in the area and hopefully get my foot in the door.  (Prayers greatly appreciated!)  Until then, I plan to enjoy my time at Starbucks and continue providing nutritional information as I can and remain up to date on current research and trends in the world of nutrition and dietetics.

Now that I’m back in the swing of things, my posts will continue to be about mindful eating, nutrition, healthy lifestyles, and treating your body with grace, as well as, my wanderings and explorations in Raleigh!  This is such a great area!  I will also no longer be posting daily Twitter topic info.  I will still be on there, just not with topics.

So, are any of you out there from Raleigh?  Do you have any suggestions for a new resident?

North Carolina!

So last week I spent the entire week in North Carolina, first in the Concord/Charlotte area, then in Raleigh.  I have to say I loved both areas!

I attended the Multi-State Nutrition Assistant’s Conference while I was in Concord.  Nutrition educators from WV, VA, NC, AL, SC, and even the Virgin Islands were there.  There were a lot of interesting presentations at the conference, but I’d have to say it wasn’t the best conference I’ve been to.  After attending some presentations, my coworkers and I took advantage of all the wonderful shopping areas in the Concord/Charlotte area and also took a short trip to Queens College to visit a coworker’s alma mater.  The college was so quaint and adorable!  Check out this amazing College of Health building!

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One evening, my friend Jill and I drove in to Charlotte to explore and get something tasty for dinner.  We went to the Dandelion Market and it was delicious!  The restaurant owners are from Ireland and it gets its name from a famous market there.  The vibe of the restaurant was very cool and relaxed.  We both decided to share some yellow beet hummus and then both got the shrimp and grits.  The hummus was definitely different and had a strong “earthy” taste, but was still enjoyable (especially with the dried cranberries!).

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Shrimp and grits is definitely my favorite southern dish so I’ve had it many different ways.  Super cheesy, spicy, with kielbasa, etc. but never like how they serve it at Dandelion Market.  It is served in a deconstructed way, with the grits cooked up like large croutons and the shrimp on the side.  Even though it was different, it was still delicious!  They used goat cheese and a roasted red pepper sauce, both of which were to die for!

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After my conference in Concord, Nate came down to meet me.  We spent the night with some dear friends who had just moved down to Concord and then headed to Raleigh the next day.  We went to Raleigh to explore the area because Nate has applied to grad school there.  The area is beautiful!  I love how it’s a bigger city than I am used to, but isn’t overwhelming at all.  We took a little tour of NC State (where he is applying) and also met some of Nate’s friends for dinner and a little tour of downtown.  I wish I had taken some pictures of all the delicious foods we had and fun places we went, but I completely forgot!  Oh well, hopefully we will get to go down again soon and I’ll have another chance.

On a side note, Nate and I have completed our Vegetarian Experiment and had our first bites of meat in a month while we were in Raleigh.  I will tell you more about how the experiment went and where we will go from here in a later post.  Stay tuned!