I’m excited to announce that enrollment for my signature Smaller Size Bigger Life weight loss program will open again on January 1st.
On January 1st I’m also releasing a totally FREE weight loss class, and I guarantee that you’ll walk away from this class with actionable tools that you can put to use right away to release your weight loss blocks and drastically change your relationship with food and your body.
Smaller Size Bigger Lifeis an online training program for women who struggle with emotional eating, binge eating, overeating, or body image issues. This program is for you if…
You’re tired of feeling overwhelmed, powerless, and ashamed about weight or food.
You want a clear step-by-step system for long-lasting and life-changing results.
You’re open-minded and ready to change the way you eat, think, and live.
You believe in the mind-body connection.
You know what to do to lose weight and improve your health, but you’re just not doing it.
This is an entirely NEW way to lose weight. A kinder, saner and easier way to lose weight!
I’ve not only drastically changed my own life using the tools and techniques I’m sharing in this program, as a dietitian and wellness coach I’ve also helped countless clients do the same. And I would be honored to help you do the same.
Here’s what one of my lovely clients, Gwen, has to say about the program…
“This program has been life altering for me in terms of how I eat, how I treat myself, and how I manage stress.
Before Smaller Size Bigger Life I was at a low point in my life and very frustrated with my lack of control with my eating habits. I was truly scared that there was no hope for becoming healthy. I knew I was using food as a way to cope with stress, but I didn’t know how to change this.
Thank you for teaching me how to love myself, and for showing me that I can really ENJOY food and still lose weight!”
With a little planning and a few hours of preparation each week, you CAN get healthy meals on the table every single night, and it’s not complicated or time consuming.
Simply streamline your week by prepping some of your meals ahead of time. It’s easy, effective, and (SERIOUSLY) sanity saving.
By investing a few hours on the weekend preparing for the week ahead, you buy yourself a whole week of fuss-free and good-for-you breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinners.
When people ask me for healthy eating advice (and as dietitian, this is something I get asked a lot!) once-a-week food prep is always my first recommendation.
Remember, one of the BEST ways to love and respect yourself is to provide your body with nutrient-rich foods that make you feel your best (read more about how to eat like you love yourself HERE).
So today I’m sharing another week of my meals and food prep. This is exactly what I ate, and exactly what I prepped, for one week.
Be sure to check out my previous food prep post HERE where I share my top three food prep and eating tips.
Also keep in mind that the KEY to food-prep success is flexibility. I never create a set meal plan; I just prep a bunch of meals that I can mix-and-match throughout the week. That way when things come up (and you know they always do!) I can just roll with it.
Note: I cook for just two people (me and my fiancé Aaron), so 1 recipe yields 2 or 3 meals for us. If you’re feeding more or less, just adjust your menu and prep as need be. Also, obviously, use the freshest and best ingredients you can find. Check out this must-read book for more on this.
Beginner’s Luck Smoothie from Simple Green Smoothies This is the smoothie that started me down the green smoothie path. I pair it with a piece of whole grain toast or a hard boiled egg.
Apple, Carrot + Raisin Baked Oatmealfrom Simply Scratch This cozy fall dish with carrots, apples, raisins, coconut and pecans is like carrot cake in a bowl-YUM! If you make this at the beginning of the week, you can eat the leftovers all week.
Fall Fruit + Nuts + Hard Boiled Egg This no-fuss, no-muss breakfast is ready in minutes. Any combo works. I like…
Crock Pot Maple Dijon Drumsticks from Skinnytaste This is an EASY slow cooker recipe with just a few ingredients. I make this dinner on my prep day (see Meal Prep below) and use the leftovers for lunch. I serve the chicken with crusty whole wheat bread and a simple salad with greens, apples, pumpkin seeds, crumbled blue cheese, and oil & vinegar.
Asian Salmon Bowlfrom Skinnytaste This is my sister’s recipe and it is seriously addictive. Having cooked brown rice on hand (see Meal Prep below) makes this a super simple weekday meal.
Spiralized Garlic-Paprika Sweet Potato Fries from Inspiralized + Eggs Over Easy
I top these tasty sweet potato fries with lightly fried eggs (I keep the yolks runny) and some chopped green onions. This is perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner, and if you prep the sweet potatoes (see Meal Prep below), this hearty and healthy meal is ready in a flash.
Turkey And Sweet Potato Chili from Skinnytaste Chili this time of year is really a must, and this make-ahead recipe (see Meal-Prep below) from Skinnytaste is one of my favorites. I add a can of white northern beans to the recipe, and I top the chili with chopped cilantro, green onions and a dollop of sour cream. You can serve this over brown rice or with corn tortilla chips. You can also substitute the sweet potato with the Trader Joe’s Cut Butternut Squash.
Bangkok Coconut Curry Noodle Bowls from Pinch of Yum This is one of those recipes I make again and again and again. It’s just that yummy. You can add more veggies (I include red peppers), and protein (I sauté shrimp with the veggies), and if you prep the veggies (see Meal Prep below) and serve this over leftover rice instead of noodles, this dish comes together in minutes.
There’s this crazy idea in the world of weight loss that if we hate ourselves enough, torture ourselves enough, and shame and guilt ourselves enough, that somehow we’ll end up happy, thin and confident.
But this is NOT the path to happiness.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned working as a dietitian in the weight loss industry for the last 20 years (and overcoming my own food struggles), it’s that you cannot solve your body and weight problems with the same hateful mindset that got you here. It just doesn’t work.
By accepting and loving yourself exactly as you are right now, you’re not giving up. You’re empowering yourself to feel good now, so that you can take positive actions towards your goals with confidence. Start now by forgiving yourself for the past. You did the best you could with the weight loss resources you had at that time, period. Release the past and begin again. (Read this awesome book HERE to learn more.)
2. Stop Eating For Weight Loss (Start Eating For Health)
Food is a life-giving necessity and eating should be fun and enjoyable.
Diets, however, make you feel like food is the enemy. Food restriction also triggers binge eating, increases anxiety, and slows your metabolism. Diets rob you of the pleasure of eating and keep you locked in a self-imposed food prison.
Plus, if you only consider yourself “worthy” or “good enough” when you eat less, weigh less, or stick to an unattainable set of dieting rules, you set yourself up for a never-ending cycle of self-hate and frustration.
Stop eating for weight loss, and start eating for health. (Ironically, the positive by-product of eating for health is weight loss.)
The biggest and most common weight loss mistake is trying to lose weight by ONLY changing what you eat. Changing what you eat is a crucial part of weight loss and healthy living, but before you change what you eat, you need to change how you think.
You need to deal with the voice (the hurtful and annoying voice) inside your head. You know that voice I’m talking about, right? It’s the voice that keeps you locked in patterns of anxiety and fear. And it’s the voice that sends you running to the kitchen… even when you’re not hungry.
But the good news is this: You absolutely have the power to train this voice. We all do. And meditation is one the most powerful tools you can use to help you do exactly that. Even just 10 minutes a day makes a HUGE difference. (Discover how to meditate HERE.)
4. Listen To Your (Very Wise) Body
Feeding yourself according to external cues—the clock, the amount of food on your plate, or a rigid dieting plan—goes against your bodies’ natural instincts and internal wisdom. And if you skip meals or underfeed yourself, you trigger your primal drive to overeat.
Your perfectly designed body instinctively knows exactly what it needs to thrive and naturally reach its ideal weight—you just have to get in tune with it. (Find out more about Intuitive Eating HERE.)
And if you think your body is broken or your metabolism is ruined (common complaints from my clients), know this: You can’t permanently damage your metabolism. Your (incredible!) body will bounce back so much faster than you think. Instead of fighting, underfeeding, and abusing your body, be amazed by it. It’s working hard to keep you alive, and it deserves your appreciation and respect.
5. Celebrate Everyday Successes
Most of us (myself included) tend to focus on what we are doing wrong. We see the negative more than the positive. This is totally normal, but you can train yourself to notice all the GOOD instead.
At the end of each day set aside a few minutes to write down three things that went well for you that day. The three things don’t have to be earthshaking in importance (“Went for a walk in a beautiful park.”), but they can be important (“Received good news from the doctor.”).
What you focus on expands and grows. And when you focus on your daily victories and appreciate what is already good in your life, your day feels like a success – because it IS a success.
6. Take Five Deep Breaths Before You Eat
How often do you wolf down food while driving in your car, running out the door, working at your desk, watching T.V., or doing something else? And how often do you eat while you’re experiencing emotional stress and strain? If you’re like most people in today’s fast-paced world (and if you’re like most women who struggle with weight, food, and emotional eating), it’s probably pretty often.
But here’s the thing: If you eat while your body is in a stressed-out “fight or flight” mode (called the sympathetic state), your digestive system does not have the ability to process its food appropriately, which can lead to (among lots of other things) weight gain.
The quickest way to get your body into a relaxed parasympathetic state that naturally activates your digestive process is through deep breathing. So before you eat anything, sit down and simply take five to ten deep breaths—slowly breath in through your nose, and then push the air out through your mouth. Easy and life-changing.
7. Cultivate Eating Consciousness
Hunger is the need for food. It’s a physical reaction triggered by low-blood sugar and hormones that is designed to keep the body properly fueled.
Appetite is the desire for food. It’s a conditioned response to food triggered by senses (usually after seeing, smelling, or thinking about something yummy), social situations, or emotions.
And it’s super easy to confuse wanting to eat with needing to eat. An easy solution is this: The next time you feel the urge to eat, pause and ask yourself, “Am I really hungry?” It’s not about deciding if you are in fact allowed to eat, it’s about raising your awareness around WHY you want to.
By answering this one simple question you’ll empower yourself to make a conscious eating choice. And that is a very big deal! Make this an everyday habit, and you’ll not only drastically cut back on mindless and superfluous eating, you’ll also start to unravel your emotional connections to food.
8. Honor Your Emotions
Eating is a seductive distraction that immediately soothes negative feelings. And certain foods (sugar and carbs, I’m looking at you!) trigger a release of feel-good chemicals in the brain. But, as you know, the relief found in food is temporary. In fact, it lasts all of five seconds—then you go back to feeling sad or stressed… and now you also feel guilty, stuffed, and disgusted.
The truth is this: If your food craving doesn’t come from physical hunger, then you can be sure that eating is not going to satisfy it.
The next time you have an intense emotional food craving, first take a few deep breaths and really acknowledge any accompanying feelings of fear, anxiety, or whatever. Once you make yourself aware of your feelings, simply say to yourself, “OK this is how I’m feeling right now, and that’s OK, I have a right to my feelings.”
Then take a few more deep breathes and say, “I choose to feel peace instead.” Concentrate on your breathing and just repeat this mantra until you feel a little calmer. This begins a powerful new habit of releasing your fears instead of holding on to them. (For more help with emotional eating, go HERE.)
9. Actively Appreciate Your Life
I’m not suggesting we deny or avoid the challenges in our life, not at all. But we also don’t have to incessantly complain and obsess about the bad stuff.
When you focus your attention on what you DO want and on what is already good in your life, you create feelings of hope and possibility. And this moves you forward in positive ways. Because…
Helpful Thoughts = Good Feelings = Helpful Choices
So starting today notice the many blessings you have in your life right now and all that you have to be grateful for. Look for the good, really search for it, and I promise you will find it.
Also start highlighting and appreciating all the things that make you so uniquely and wonderfully you. Recognize that you are SO much more than your body. Self-appreciation is really one of the easiest ways to begin healing your relationship with yourself.
10. Eat (Mostly) Real Foods
Real foods are those that are unprocessed, unrefined, whole and fresh, free of additives, colorings, flavorings, sweeteners and hormones. They’re as close to their natural state as possible. (For a long list of my favorite Real Food resources, go HERE.)
And when you eat real foods (rather than highly processed ones) you’ll notice that you just feel so much better, as these are the foods that provide your body with what it needs to function at its best.
In fact, one of the BEST ways to love and respect yourself is to provide your body with nutrient-rich foods that make you feel your best…and to drink (lots and lots!) of water. And if you think you’re too busy to eat healthy real foods, try THIS.
11. Stop Criticizing Yourself
As women, we tend to tear ourselves apart and see the worst about ourselves. We notice the negative. But we need to do the opposite. We need to build ourselves up and notice all the good.
In fact, I believe it is our responsibility to do so. No one is going to treat you better than you treat yourself. And it is not up to anyone else to do it—it is up to YOU.
Think about it this way: If criticizing yourself worked, you’d already be thin and happy, right?
Pay attention to your thoughts and eliminate the negative and nasty ones. Start talking to yourself the way you would talk to your best friend or your daughter – with kindness and compassion. Concentrate on just this one thing each day, and your life will get better and your weight loss journey will get easier, guaranteed. (I have a 30-day challenge HERE that will help you do exactly this.)
12. Find Joyful Ways To Move
Exercise is not just about losing weight, it’s about feeling good in your body and being more connected to everything you do. Movement boosts your mood, relieves stress, and it sharpens your intellect. And movement in your body WILL create movement in your life. No doubt about it.
But here’s the most important part: You have to find something you LOVE to do.
Do you know people who, despite their hectic schedules, never miss a Zumba or yoga class? Do you have a friend who’s always raving about some new activity? They don’t have more willpower than you do; they’ve just found their exercise groove or sweet spot. And you can too.
Test things out until you find something that clicks. You’ll know when you’ve found it cause it won’t even feel like exercise… it will feel like FUN. And speaking of fun…
13. Prioritize Self-Care (And Fun)
Self-care is showing up for yourself with love and kindness on a moment-to-moment basis. And the more you act like you’re worth it (and YOU are so worth it), the more you enhance your self esteem, the more your fears subside, and the more you feel driven to care for yourself.
Plus, the more you fill your life with fun, self-care, and joy, the less you’ll need to fill up on food for emotional fulfillment.
Not to mention, stress has a huge (and I mean HUGE—see habit 6 above) impact on your health and your weight. Among other things stress slows your metabolism, intensifies cravings, and increases abdominal fat storage. And as your daily joy increases, your stress decreases, your body relaxes… and you lose weight.
Stop using your weight or body as an excuse, and start showing up for yourself in small ways every single day. Start doing things that bring you happiness, things that make you FEEL good. And start treating yourself the way you treat the people you love.
14. Drink Green Smoothies
Overhauling your entire diet in one fell swoop can feel seriously overwhelming. But adding just one delicious green smoothie to your diet each day is easy-peasy. And it’s effective.
The ladies over at Simple Green Smoothies (love this site) say this… “Plant-powered green drinks are packed full of leafy greens, fresh fruits and hydrating liquids that keep you nourished and keep your cravings at bay for hours. With Simple Green Smoothies by your side, get ready to boost your energy, lose weight effortlessly and make healthy eating a lifestyle— not a diet.“ Yes, please!
Down one green smoothie a day, and you’ll feel so good, you’ll be inspired to make other good-for-you diet and lifestyle changes. (Check out the soon-to-be-released Simple Green Smoothies cookbook HERE.)
15. Seek Support And Positive Mentors
The people that we invite into our lives greatly influence our success and happiness.
Over the past ten years I’ve worked with life coaches, business coaches, intuitive coaches, and a wonderful therapist. I’ve taken dozens of online courses, read countless personal development books, and attended a ton of wellness events.
I purposely find mentors, coaches, and like-minded people to support me on my healing journey. And you should too. None of us has do it alone.
For example, if you think you might have food sensitivities or allergies, work with a dietitian who specializes in integrative nutrition (Danielle Omar is an awesome choice, contact her HERE). And if you struggle with emotional eating, compulsive overeating, or body image issues and you want to learn how to lose weight from a place of love instead of fear, please join my Smaller Size Bigger Life group coaching program (you can hop on the waitlist HERE.)
Remember, no one is going to treat you better than you treat yourself. So please take back your power and invest in yourself and your happiness.