Two Helpful Graphics

I’m super into any kind of visual representation that helps a message stick. I’d guess about 50% of my readers/followers are dietitians or students and 50% are not, so I try to speak to both by using evidence and more stripped-down explanations. Taylor has some fab graphics all over her Instagram that help drive the message home, and here’s two that I doodled out this weekend:

extended binge restrict cycle

EXTENDED BINGE-RESTRICT CYCLE

There’s a very simple version of this around that’s just diet/binge and overall that is accurate – we know that diets are not sustainable and our bodies have protective mechanisms in place to help combat that and get us eating again. But I thought that a more in-depth picture may be more helpful since it shows the actual mechanisms and how they tie into each other. Leptin is fullness hormone and ghrelin is hunger hormone – so diets do create more hunger and less satiety to promote additional intake. Insulin promotes fat storage – aka, when you diet and intake is low, insulin encourages your body to save some energy in reserves in case there’s another period of starvation (dieting) again.

 

diet culture viewpoint

DIET CULTURE VIEWPOINT

I also like this graphic paired with the diet-binge cycle one. Diet culture/general lack of understanding of metabolism makes it easy to incorrectly simplify weight down to a matter of willpower. This relation of diets to willpower is dangerous, because it perpetuates the mental/emotional stress of feeling like a failure for not adhering to a diet. It also perpetuates weight stigma because it creates the idea that weight management is simple and that people in larger bodies have moral failings due to lack of willpower and they “got themselves into this”. So understanding how diets and weight actually work is so important because it shows that we not only don’t have control over our long-term weight, but that you can be healthy at any size and working actively manipulate weight is ineffective and unnecessary.

Have more graphics you’d like to see? Email me with a post request!

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Thai Peanut Noodle Salad

Thai Peanut Noodle Salad with Chickpea Pasta

Note: this post is part of the #BanzaPlusPlants recipe contest. It is not sponsored, and all opinions are my own.

One thing I’ve always found challenging is creating recipes that get better as leftovers – we make some of our food for the week ahead of time on Sundays, and preserving quality/flavor is important to me so that we’re satisfied all week. Cold noodle salads have been fitting the bill lately, so I knew when Banza announced the #BanzaPlusPlants contest, this is what I would be whipping up!

thai noodle salad with banza chickpea pasta

A huge part of how I use gentle nutrition in my life is by considering how to incorporate protein/fat/fiber to make meals more satisfying. The chickpea pasta, edamame, and peanut butter in this salad make it more satiating and keep me full for longer! Plus, they taste great… which is my main consideration with food. Here’s how it’s done:

Print Recipe
Thai Peanut Noodle Salad
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, rinse with cool water, and set aside.
  2. Mix together rice vinegar, toasted sesame oil, soy sauce, peanut butter, garlic, ginger, and honey.
  3. Toss together pasta, bell pepper slices, edamame, and dressing.
  4. Optional: top with sriracha, lime wedges, and cilantro.
Recipe Notes

Note: for an extra smooth texture, use a blender to mix dressing ingredients (a whisk also works just fine!)

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If you make it, be sure to share on Instagram and tag me + #satisfynutritioneats!

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Three Helpful Practices for Unkind Body Thoughts

three helpful practices for unkind body thoughts

I used to envision that there would be a point where I’d arrive with intuitive eating and body image. Like, one day I’d just wake up and love my body and food would always be easy. But I think that the goal is more continuous learning rather than arriving. We’re all on a journey and I still have less-than-kind thoughts pop up about my body sometimes, but they’re further apart, less loud, and I don’t react as quickly or deeply to them. Depending on my mood/day, I can even react to them with humor. Here’s three helpful practices for dealing with unkind body thoughts:

DISTANCE YOURSELF

It’s more clear-cut to physically distance yourself from an object than it is to create mental and emotional space from it – but one helpful practice is to 1) note your feeling and then 2) add “I’m having the thought that…” in front of it. It can also help to name your emotions surrounding the experience. This is not the same thing as suppressing your feelings or numbing yourself – this is a step in processing them in a healthy way. We have to de-escalate a little in order to think things through with our rational mind.

So, for example: If you’re feeling like you’re not good at anything… the first step is to take note of that feeling and then reframe to “I’m having the thought that I’m not good at anything.” Then add emotions: “Along with that, I feel frustrated, sad, and angry.”

Remember: you are not your thoughts and feelings. They’re something you have and they come and go – I like to imagine them as cars driving by on a road. Creating distance helps you dissociate your thoughts/feelings from seeming like part of your identity, which lets you challenge them.

CHALLENGE THOUGHTS & ASK QUESTIONS

Next, throw down a challenge flag on those feelings. Are those feelings true? Also, where are they coming from? Get curious and ask questions – it’s okay to be frustrated with thoughts, but the likelihood of those same thoughts/feelings popping up again is pretty high if we’re not investigating them. This is the kind of work that’s really great to do in counseling, but you can also do it with yourself or someone you trust.

Here’s one question that’s been especially helpful lately: Does placing value on this now allow me to live out my values in the future? I love this idea of small decisions snowballing into bigger effects – so this thought really helps me translate long term goals into short-term ones/actionable steps, and also helps me revisit and realign myself with what I value.

 

POWERFUL AND POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS

Reminding yourself of what you value and of all of the value that you represent is  empowering. Here’s three helpful positive affirmations that I’ve found meaning in lately – repeat to yourself as needed.

  • I am strong and I can withstand discomfort.
  • I am enough, just as I am.
  • I am not more valuable because of what I eat, how I move, or what I wear – I am already valuable.

You can save the images right off this post to use as a phone background, or download here.

It’s really good to have tools to use when unkind body thoughts are already happening, but even more powerful if you practice them as you go instead of saving them for when it all feels like too much – similar to why I have a self care box. If you have any tools for challenging thoughts, dealing with body image feelings, or affirmations – holla at me in the comments!

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