Thursday, April 10, 2014

What I Ate Wednesday

Late last week I got a tweet from Debra Riedesel, RD, LD (@NutritionistaRD) asking if I'd participate in the Registered Dietitian version of What I Ate Wednesday.  Check out the #WIAW and #WIAWRD hashtags to learn more. 

Honestly, I only reluctantly agreed.  My hesitation was and is this: as an intuitive eater, I really do honor my cravings while also listening to my body so sometimes my food choices are not "typical" for a dietitian.  Publicizing what I ate for a day would open me up for judgement not just from the readers of my blog but my colleagues.  I could have taken the easy way out and eaten like anyone else does when they are being judged--perfectly health with all the right amounts of fruits and veggies--but that's not me.  I'm not a vegan, I don't eat 100% organic and I add real sugar to my coffee.  I eat well but not "perfect" so for me it was a scary proposition to do this.  But, as I wrote earlier this week, I can be a slave to fear, so to continue to break free, I decided to participate.  As I thought about it more, I realized it's a perfect opportunity to explain how you use intuitive eating on a day-to-day basis.  With that in mind, with each photo, I'll explain not only what I ate but also give you insights into how hungry I was when I started to eat, how full I was when I stopped and how satisfied I was after.  Hopefully you will find it interesting and check you judgement at the door.

Breakfast: non-fat greek yogurt, an almond butter and homemade jelly sandwich, an apple and a cup of coffee.  I ate this meal at work. I usually get into the office at 6am and eat at my desk. Because the day is ramping up and there are many distractions, I usually spread this meal out over about an hour or so.  
Hunger level: 5 out of 10.  Fullness level: 5 out of 10.  Satisfaction: 6 out of 10

What I Ate Wednesday
Non-fat Greek Yogurt, apple and almond butter and jelly sandwich

Where I work, we're lucky to have a different food truck come by each day of the week.  I like to go down to the trucks because I like the variety of foods that are offered and I really love the fact that I can get some really delicious meals depending on the truck.  If I don't eat at the truck I usually get a sandwich or salad from our hospital food court.  On this day, the truck served Mexican food and I ordered a shrimp burrito with rice, fajita veggies and cheese with a bottle of water.  
Hunger level 7 out of 10 (I got out there late because I was busy). Fullness level: 6 out of 10 (with 1/4 burrito left) Satisfaction: 5 out of 10.  Not the best burrito I've ever had but it was pretty good.

What I Ate Wednesday
Shrimp Burrito

This particular Wednesday was a little unusual because I was not going home right after work.  Once a month I go to the Elyse Resch's office with other health care professionals for a Intuitive Eating Supervision session.  It's a great experience to sit with one of the authors of this book and learn together. 

Since I wasn't going home, I had some time to kill on the westside of LA and so I ran over to The Original Farmers Market to buy some horseradish for our Seder but I figured it would be a nice place to walk around before the meeting.  As I was walking, a hipster cup of coffee sounded good so I went over to Short Cake (owned by Nancy Silverton and Amy Pressman).  I got a cup of "pour over coffee" and watched all the people walking by.  True "me time" and what a treat! 

What I Ate Wednesday
Hipster coffee

If you have ever been with me when it comes to choosing what to eat, you might have observed that I hate a lot of choices.  It overwhelms me so the less options the better.  As I walked around, there were so many options of places to eat that my head was swimming.  Chinese, Cajun, Spanish tapas, Mexican, Irish, pizza, vegan, French, Greek, seafood, Middle Eastern and hamburgers were just some of the options.  I was also honestly obsessing about #WIAWRD so I had a seat and started to really think about what I wanted.  I also realized that I could probably check online to see what's near me and really make a choice that was right for me.  And all of a sudden, the haze lifted, and like a bolt from above I saw that there was a Mendocino Farms Sandwich Market just across the street. Halleluyah, baby!  I love me a good sandwich and from all that I've heard, this place is very good.  So I strolled across the street and when I walked in the first sandwich that caught my eye was called "A Sandwich Study in Heat"  Perfecto!  Turkey with a chili aoli, lettuce, avocado, gouda, and jalapeno relish.  Right up my alley.  I also got a side of quinoa with spinach and beets.  What a treat!
Hunger level: 5 out of 10. Fullness level 6 out of 10 (with 1/4 sandwich left). Satisfaction 9 out of 10!

What I Ate Wednesday
A Sandwich Study in Heat with quinoa beets and spinach

By the time I got home from my session it was 9:15pm and I was tired and inspired at the same time. It had been a great session and my mind was buzzing even though I was really beat (hey, I get up at 4:45am!).  I wanted a treat so I had some Trader Joe's cookies and a 1/2 glass of soy milk to wrap up my day.  Hunger level 3 out of 10. Fullness level 2 out of 10. Satisfaction level 7 out of 10.  

What I Ate Wednesday
Cookies and soy milk

The WIAW Dietitian Tag! #WIAWRD
This blog post is a part of a ‘dietitian tag’ to see what other registered dietitians from around the world really eat!
To carry on this tag all you need to do is:
1) Copy and paste this section (marked within the ******) to the bottom of your WIAW blog post.
2) Tweet/Facebook the link using the hashtag #WIAWRD (What I Ate Wednesday Registered Dietitian).
3) Add your blog post link into the section below.
4) ‘Tag’ 2-3 other dietitians to carry on the tag via email! – Tags coming soon
Previous WIAW Blog Posts (add yours here along with where you’re from!):
Nic’s Nutrition – Weekend Edition (West Yorkshire, UK)
Gemma Critchley, Dietitian Without Borders (Liverpool, UK)
Nic’s Nutrition – Week Day Edition (West Yorkshire, UK)
Helen West, Food & Nonsense (Uluwatu, Bali)
Diana Chard, Bite My Words (Nova Scotia, Canada)
Mark McGill, Glipho (Ottawa, Canada)
Debra, Sensitive Dietitian’s (Iowa,Florida, New Jersey, USA)
Aaron Flores, Balance Variety and Moderation RDN (Los Angeles, CA)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

How an Intuitive Eater-Environmentally Conscious-Fighter For Social Equality-Dietitian Celebrates Passover

As far as Jewish holidays go, Passover is one of my favorites.  As a child, I loved it because of the food.  My memories are filled with fantastic brisket, homemade gefilte fish and matzah with chopped liver.  As I've become and adult, Passover is still my favorite holiday but now for different reasons. There's still the food, of course, but now I love the meaning.  

Recently my wife and I have started to host Seder for our families.  It's always a special night for us because we try to take some time to plan a haggadah that brings meaning to our families.  Before I go too far, though, let me explain a little about Passover for all the non-Jews reading.

Passover is the holiday that is celebrated in the spring, around the same time as Easter.  The holiday is celebrated in many ways but the primary way that most families celebrate with a meal called the Seder. In this meal we read from the haggadah.  The haggadah is a road map, if you will.  It explains symbols, tells you when to recite certain blessings and most importantly, it tells us the story of the Exodus.  The story of the Exodus recounts the Jewish bondage in Egypt and how Moses, with the help of 10 plagues, freed the Jews from slavery.  If you want a recap of that, try watching the Ten Commandments.  

The story of the Exodus is not why I'm writing this blog, though. I'm writing because Passover is meaningful on so many levels.  We celebrate Passover to remind us that we were slaves, to remind us of the sadness and bitterness of slavery and to help us remember that slavery is still around us today and it's our duty to help those enslaved to find their freedom.  

Slavery is a very important theme of the Seder and as the holiday approaches, I thought a lot about that from many different perspectives.  I've thought about it as an advocate of Intuitive Eating.  In that sense, I think of those that are a slave to a diet,  imprisoned by food choices and without freedom to eat what they love.  As someone that sees a broken food system, I see slaves all around.  From those workers that don't receive a fair wage for growing or picking my food, to the animals that are mistreated in commercial feedlots.  As an individual, I notice how I'm a slave.  

My slavery is not in the literal sense but I think of what really holds me back.  The thing that I am a slave to is fear.  I'm fearful that I won't succeed in business.  I fear that with every new blog post that no one will read it or that I'll say something that will offend someone.  It's that kind of fear that holds me back from doing what I love, from putting myself out there and from really trying as hard as I can. Fear is what makes me think I'm not as good as others in my field. It's fear that stops me from putting on my running shoes and getting back on the pavement. 

Mine might be fear but we all have our own forms of internal "slavery" that hold us back.  I like Passover because it's time to reflect on this issue and try to be better in the next year.  Even though it's uncomfortable to think about, I like that this holiday is a safe way for me to reflect.

Let me share with you how an Intuitive Eating loving, environmentally conscious, fighter for social equality, dietitian, father, husband and Jew honors the spirit of Passover in our annual Seder and after:  
  1. We buy only grass-fed, humanely raised beef.  We choose a local ranch Novy Ranches as our purveyor of choice. If you want to see the brisket recipe I use, read this post I wrote a while back. 
  2. We make our own gefilte fish using wild caught salmon and halibut.  You can find that recipe here.  
  3. When purchasing foods for our Seder, we try to buy Organic and local products when possible
  4. As we eat our dinner, I will slowly and listen to my body.  I will stop when satisfied and try not to eat to uncomfortable fullness. 
  5. My wife and I supplement our traditional haggadah with readings that help our family and friends reflect about their own personal experiences with Passover.
  6. Despite the fear, I continue to put myself out there.  Each post is a labor of love and my thoughts are my own and I have to learn that I should not apologize for believing what I believe.
  7. No matter how scary, I will continue to network and build a name for myself.
  8. I will fight to keep fear at bay but also remember to acknowledge that my fear is real but it is only my perception.  
I hope you've enjoyed this post and if you celebrate Passover, I'd love to hear how you celebrate your Seder.  

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April Fool's...I Wish

I thought of many different April Fools jokes I could play on my readers/followers but then I realized the truth can be even more foolish than a prank.  A diet so laughable that it sounds like a joke but sadly it is real.  So, here's the first (and hopefully last) edition of the "Real Life Weight Loss Plan I Wish Was A Joke."

My friends, I present to you the 5-Bite Diet.  This awesomely horrible diet is based on the book, Why Weight Around by Dr. Alwin Lewis.  The plan is simple: eat 5 bites of anything you want at lunch and 5 bites of anything you want for dinner.  All you need to follow this plan is the ability to count to 10. Sounds easy enough, right?  I know what you're thinking, "Only 10 bites each day? Won't I get hungry?"  Sure you will but here's the good news: you get to drink as much no-calorie drinks as you like.  Woohoo.  Rejoice.  As much diet soda, water, or tea as you like.  You might also be thinking, "What about all the vitamins and minerals my body needs?  Is 10 bites a day enough to get those essential vitamins and minerals?" The good Dr. Lewis has you covered by having you take one multivitamin each day (which does not count as one of our 10 bites, thank goodness).

Why 5 bites per day you might ask? Dr. Lewis says it's like having your own gastric bypass and that over time your stomach will shrink.  And with eating only 10 bites, the weight will just come off.  Wow, you think, Doc?  Dr. Lewis should get an award for such forward thinking.  Let's have someone lose weight quickly on a plan that they can't sustain and--viola--call it a day.

Dr. Lewis cares, though.  He doesn't want you to fail so you can pay $50 a year to join his online community and have access to his membership boards and weight loss tracker.  If that's not enough support, for $2,000 you can get weekly sessions with Dr. Lewis for 3 months.  That's 12 sessions at $166.67 per session.  Sound expensive?  Well, think of all the money you save if you are only eating 10 bites per day.

I don't even know where to start on this one.  First of all, I'm appalled that he's getting away with this. This is such a ludicrous plan that I'm surprised it's even still around.  Secondly, what kind of integrity does this man have?  I don't think I've ever seen a diet promote disordered eating patterns more than this one.  Shame on Dr. Lewis for fueling this behavior.  My hope is that this is the last time we ever hear of this diet.  May it fade away into oblivion where it belongs.  Sadly though, there will be more like these to come and I will have to write another post like this next April Fools Day.

In the mean time, don't be a fool.  Listen to your body.  Trust that you have the skill to eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full.  Make peace with food and say goodbye to your restrictive behavior.  Love your body, no matter what shape.  You are worth the space you take up.