I always look forward to the beginning of each school year, but admittedly, I often forget just how busy the season can be. Whether you are headed back to school this fall, have kids who are, or are watching safely from a distance, the start of a new school year may require us to change up our strategy to maintain positive eating behaviors.
If change seems scary, take a deep breath, and read on because one thing that can remain steady in times of flux is your commitment to taking care of yourself.
Make meals and snacks a priority. Your schedule may change the exact times you eat, but it won’t change the fact that you still need to eat. This means you may need to look for different pockets of time where eating is possible for you. This will allow you to plan ahead and incorporate foods throughout the day that will help support your body.
Be food flexible. When life gets busy, our options for what we eat may not always seem “perfect.” But don’t let perfection stop you from eating. Instead, be food flexible. By adjusting your food expectations, you may find that you stress less about what you eat. Not to mention, a food flexible approach can expand your food options, actually increasing your likelihood of better meeting both your energy needs and nutrient needs consistently.
Keep it interesting. Once you create space for meals and snacks and make eating a priority, it’s then possible to make the most of each eating experience. Whether you are eating in a college dining hall, packing lunches for you or your kids, or packing options to get you through a busy day at work, look for new foods and food combinations to try. Not only will this help keep meals and snacks more interesting, but it will also allow you to get more comfortable putting foods and flavors together.
Remember you’re not in this alone. If you find yourself struggling to make time to eat, find yourself stressing out or feeling bad about your food choices, or need fresh ideas to keep meals nourishing and enjoyable, I’m here to provide support. Whether you schedule a one-on-one session with me or want virtual support by connecting with me through the Healthie app, I’d love to be apart of your wellness team. To learn more about how we can work together, give me a call at 989-400-1478 or book your appointment online.
When it comes to the macronutrients our bodies need for good health, protein might seem the least controversial. In truth, most Americans get adequate amounts of protein each day; however, we may not always recognize which foods help us get there on a regular basis.
When building meals, I like to recommend considering foods that contain protein and fiber first. Foods rich in both often allow us to best meet our energy needs and feel more satisfied after we eat. Both are important not only to make sure our body has what it needs to function properly, but to help us set the stage for being able to more adequately listen to our body’s internal regulators like hunger and fullness.
If you’re not quite sure why protein-rich foods matter or if you need a little convincing that it’s OKAY to enjoy these sorts of foods, here are a few reasons that may convince you to look for ways to support your health by incorporating these foods consistently in your meal plan:
- Protein-rich foods contain other important nutrients too! Meat, poultry, fish, dry beans and peas, eggs, nuts, and seeds – foods often considered to be rich in protein often include B vitamins (niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, and B6), vitamin E, iron, zinc, and magnesium as well. Each of these nutrients play a unique role in your body:
- B vitamins help the body release energy, play an important role in supporting the nervous system, and assist in the formation of red blood cells and tissues.
- Iron helps carry oxygen in the blood.
- Magnesium plays a role in releasing energy from muscles and is used to build bones.
- Zinc helps the immune system function properly and supports biochemical reactions with the body.
- Vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin that works to protect cells from free radicals and may play an important role in supporting our immune system.
- EPA and DHA are omega-3 fatty acids often found in seafood. These fatty acids play a role in reducing heart disease risk and may reduce inflammation as well.
- Protein-rich foods help build and maintain your physical body. Protein is used to build bones, muscles, cartilage, skin and blood. Enzymes, hormones and vitamins are also dependent on protein.
- Protein-containing foods give you more tools in your tool box to build nourishing meals you love. Although most of us can probably identify foods like chicken and egg as protein-rich food sources, did you know that foods like cottage cheese, quinoa and even spinach can help provide your body with the protein that it needs? Research suggests that for most people, getting enough protein at dinner is rarely a problem, but breakfast and lunch are sometimes a challenge. This is where some of those other protein-containing foods come in. Together, they can help you better meet your needs throughout the day, taking the pressure off dinner a bit. And bonus – this may just help you turn those earlier meals and snacks into more enjoyable ones too because you have more foods to choose from. Now that’s what I call a win-win!
Need some protein-food inspiration? Check out some of my favorite recipes here!
Are you a fan of podcasts? I love listening to them when I travel or even while I sit at my desk. They often provide a great way to hear new ideas or reinforce ideas that already matter to you.
This summer, I’d love to encourage you to check out a few of my favorite body positive podcasts. Not only can these help reinforce many of the principles I discuss here and in session, but hopefully they will give you a sense of community support as you embark on discovering a more positive relationship with your self and your food.
Four Body Positive Podcasts to Check out this Summer
Please note: some of Rebecca’s most recent podcast episodes are for adult ears only, covering sex-related topics, and do not necessarily match up with my own personal views on sexual relationships.
Do you have a favorite body positive podcast you like to listen to? Share it on Facebook!