5 Things You Will NEVER Hear Me Say

5 Things You Will NEVER Hear Me Say

1

Your weight matters: Believing this slams shackles on people. It is a joy thief. Believing this is what led me to bulimia during my freshman year of college. We live in a culture that tells us fixing our weight fixes everything. SPOILER ALERT: You will never be skinny enough. Your body image issues can only be fixed now, at your present weight. Sure eating healthy and exercising will help you feel better about yourself- but forget about that number. It can fluctuate when you lift weights, or travel, or have extra sodium, or even if it’s cloudy.  That number seems to hypnotize us into forgetting all the wonderful things our body does like keep us alive, grow, think, and so much more. I say let that number go. Throw out the f***ing scale.

2

Tomatoes are delish: I am pretty sure the first tomato was grown in hell by the devil himself. Ok, ok that may be extreme and I am likely in the minority.  There are so many reasons tomatoes are healthy. For example, did you know they are packed with the antioxidant lycopene which basically acts as an internal sunscreen protecting your skin from sun damage? I so wish I liked them… but I don’t… so I don’t eat them. We all have food preferences and those preferences are worthy of being honored. Don’t eat anything I post, no matter how healthy it may appear, if the ingredients makes you gag.

3

I rock at pushups: There is something about pushups that triggers my need for self-justification as inadequacy overtakes me. Every time I attempt a pushup, and fail, I want to stand up and announce to everyone in the room that while I cannot do this I did have two babies without an epidural. It’s like a cruel joke nature plays- we women have such a gnarly pain tolerance yet we can’t do this simple movement of pushing our body off the ground in a parallel fashion. WTF. Coming to accept my body and its capabilities is a journey that I continue to battle every day.  I imagine it will never change. For us women there is body image, then pregnancy changes, then post-pregnancy body, then aging. Approximately 91% of women are unhappy with their bodies. WOW. I know that more than 91% of the women I hang out with are knock out beautiful so to me this statistic tells me the problem isn’t actually our bodies, its our minds.

4

No, thank you I don’t eat cake: Or ice cream, or cookies, or candy, or fried food or gluten or dairy or beer for that matter! I actually eat it all and on a daily basis. I vehemently believe that deprivation leads to restriction and regret. And whatever happens on our plate seems to seep into the rest of our lives. Have you ever met a person on a low carb diet that isn’t cranky? (Sorry, not sorry.) Studies show that up to 95% of diets result in rebound weight gain.  This one is a no brainer. We are happier when we offer ourselves permission, balanced with intention.

5

I can’t do that: I don’t believe in those words. I believe in choice. Sometimes I choose not to do things and that’s ok. I own that. Taking extreme ownership of our lives means we have to make a daily choice to engage in life. To show up. To take care of ourselves so we can take care of others. Taking care of your health may mean choosing to have salad instead of chicken nuggets or choosing to hit the gym instead of sleeping that extra hour. It may mean choosing to put on sweat pants during those PMS days instead of judging your body. We always, always have a choice. Except when it comes to pushups- I can’t do those.

Want to follow me for more tips on fueling a life you love? Connect with me on Instagram @jessbrownrd.

Pumpkin EVERYTHING

Pumpkin EVERYTHING

Pumpkin is the mascot of fall. Being that we’re headed into Thanksgiving season, I can assure you that fall has exploded in my house with more than 50 pumpkins on display and my pantry now full of pumpkin EVERYTHING! While I am aware of how basic this sounds, there is more to these popular gourds than the trends give them credit for…

The stellar nutritional value.

Pumpkins are nutritional rockstars packed with enough vitamin C and beta carotene to immediately boost your immune system and more potassium than a banana. Potassium in particular is a mineral that rocks because it helps us repair and rebuild muscle damage. Being a mama who wants to be strong enough to play with my boys until they won’t let me, maintaining a strong body is important to me. The secret to strength is what I call P2: protein x potassium. Protein is like Batman and potassium is like Robin when it comes to muscle maintenance. Potassium isn’t required (like Robin), but it sure helps get the job done! Pairing pumpkin with protein, like in this yummy CrockPot chili, is a great way to keep your body strong!  Check out my KRQE news segment for more pumpkin recipes!

Pumpkin OR Pumpkin SPICE?

I love pumpkin, but let’s be honest… the flavors we savor are actually the spices in Pumpkin Spice. Good news! There are also awesome benefits packed into these spices! Take cinnamon for example: when you eat carbohydrates, your body breaks them down into glucose. Glucose then binds with insulin to move into your cells, which is were our daily energy comes. So that pumpkin pancake you just ate turned into the energy you used to chase your kiddo. Cinnamon is a spice that has proven to accelerate the movement of glucose into your cells meaning you turn that pumpkin pancake into energy QUICKER. #nutritionhack Who doesn’t need more energy, faster??? 

The real reason I love pumpkins…

…doesn’t actually have to do with the fact that you can eat them, rather what they represent: a change in season. I don’t know about you, but some years are harder than others and this year has been one that brought me unexpected challenges. Nature’s cyclic change is like a blanket of comfort as it reminds me that there are also seasons of life, and just like summer ends this season will also pass. I hope the pumpkin EVERYTHING that you see this fall reminds you that life also happens in seasons. And there is always hope that with the new season there are new opportunities and excitements (like the return of This Is Us…eeeeeek). I will pray that the pumpkins you will no doubt see this season nudge you with peace, give you a little perspective… and remind you to get your potassium. 🤓

Before You Diet, try these 5 things

Before You Diet, try these 5 things

Today I was starstruck that I got to hang out with Kristen Currie of KRQE News and chat about 5 things to try before you dive into the next diet! (Thanks @kristencurrietv for calming my nerves!)

Here’s the deal. After 10 years of working in the health world I still don’t go a day without someone asking me about the latest fad diet. Five years ago it was paleo, now we are at keto and quickly moving into intermittent-fasting – and my answer is the same every time…

There is a time and a place that these diets may be helpful. But the reality is they don’t ever live up to what they promise if they aren’t sustainable. Research shows that 95% of diets FAIL, and I second that with what I see in my office. So when people come to see me these are the first 5 things we tackle… THEN, if they don’t get the results they want, we can have a different conversation. 😆

1) Probiotics 

These are live bacteria cultures that you can get from food and/or supplements. The reason they are all the rage right now is because they are what we need in our gut. That’s right! You have a-whole-lot of bacteria in your gut and its called your microbiome. I think of the microbiome as your “food interpreter”— it translates how you receive food into your body and this can be for the good, or not so good. Mounting amounts of research is showing that a healthy microbiome is linked to everything from better immune function to mental health.  I recommend getting a probiotic daily which be found in foods like yogurt, Yakult shots, kefir, kombucha, or sauerkraut. 

2) Fruits and Veggies 

Have you heard me and every other health professional recommend this? Well there is a reason for that… they are good for you (and your microbiome). Wherever you are at, aim to up your intake by 2 servings. It will give you an energy lift you can feel! And if you are like me and my 2 year old and have weird aversions to these 2 food groups, don’t underestimate the power of smoothies! My favorite morning blend is a frozen fruit of choice, 1/2 banana OR avocado for creaminess, handful of fresh greens and water! Cheers! 

3) Protein

After having kids and passing the 30 year mark- acquiring and maintaining muscle has gotten a lot more difficult. Having 20g of protein per meal turns on your muscle repair process, so it is a must! You can get this from 3-5oz of chicken, beef, or salmon,1 cup of greek yogurt or 1 1/2 cups of beans and cheese. As a dietitian, I am a foods first kind of person, but as a working mom of 2 rug-rats, I am a give-me-something-quick kind of person! When in a rush I will mix my protein shake with my iced coffee to add to a meal or enjoy with fruit for a snack. Again… cheers! 

4) Mindfulness…. 

…is SO DIFFICULT in a world that never stops. The next meal or snack you have try to disengage from all electronics for 5 FULL minutes. It is amazing what you can discover in 5 minutes. I know its hard to stay off social media, or step away from your email; but I dare you to try it and see if you can taste the food you are eating! 

5) Permission 

It seems some people are more afraid of giving themselves permission to eat enjoyable foods than they are swimming with sharks. Both research and what I have seen in my office day in and day out is that people who give themselves permission to eat enjoyable food, but are mindful and attentive to it… make better food choices the rest of the day. 

I call this budgeting your fun food. 

For example, I wish I could lie and say a donut is nutritionally good for you, but I can’t. BUT I can say there is something great about eating a donut and being able to enjoy that with my little boys. And when I give myself that permission, my satisfaction factor increases— mentally and physiologically. Research shows your hunger hormones decrease when you acknowledge the deliciousness of food! 

There you have it! Try these 5 things out… and if you are still stuck, come have coffee with me in my office and we can chat more about those fad diets.