How to Become Confident in Your Body
Without Wasting Another Minute Obsessing About Food

2 Ways To Refresh and Recharge Your Fuel Plan Over The Holidays! Happy Holiday Eating Series EP#4

2 Ways To Refresh and Recharge Your Fuel Plan Over The Holidays! Happy Holiday Eating Series EP#4

This is the season for FOOD!

With so many holiday foods around, there is focus on desserts and drinks. I say, why save all the fun for desserts and alcohol? We can refresh our everyday staples with the same seasonal flavors without losing the nutritional value.

Today we wrap up the final episode of the Happy Holiday Eating series! I am sharing two ways you can refresh and recharge your fuel plan over the holiday season. The best part? It is simply building on foods you are already eating! 

Christmas food
Tip #1: Boost your beverages!

We need to hydrate all year long, but when the weather shifts it can be more challenging to stay motivated. There is no better way to stay motivated to drink than to add some seasonal flavors to your beverages.

My current favorite: The Golden Milk Latte!!! Made with turmeric and milk, this creamy hug in a mug is a great blend of protein from the milk and nutrition from a unique spice. Turmeric contains curcumin, which is a naturally potent anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting spice that not only has healing properties, but it also tastes really good in a cozy latte! It helps to consume it with black pepper.

Pepper enhances the absorption of turmeric by up to 2,000%. Curcumin is also fat soluble, which means it breaks down and dissolves in fat or oil. That’s why it may be a good idea to take curcumin supplements or have turmeric with a meal that contains fat. In this case, using almond milk or 2%/whole milk is ideal. And I know, I know… turmeric and pepper in a latte? Sounds weird, but I swear it is delicious!

 

Tip #2: Refresh Your Staples with Seasonal Flavors!

Most would agree that the easiest meal to eat with balance and intentionality is breakfast. We don’t have the normal distractions or extra options that we might have at meals later in the day. Over the holidays, take this one meal and refresh it with seasonal flavors. My rubric for breakfast (and this is true for most of the fuel plans I write) is to include at least 20g of protein with natural color.

If you work out in the morning, you will also need to add a high-fiber carb to this meal.  Smoothies, oatmeal, and Greek yogurt are common bases for many breakfasts. Below are some ideas on how to seasonally spice these up!

Make a Gingerbread Smoothie! Recipe @jessbrownrd or make your own cranberry sauce to replace berries in your oats or Greek yogurt.

Can’t wait to hear what you come up with!

I know you are loving the Empowered Eating approach to food and wanting more details. This is why I created the FREE Body Confidence Method Workshop. I created this training to help you feel more confident and strong in your body without obsessing over food or wasting time on another failed diet. You in???

Until next time… cheers and happy holiday eating!

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Nervous About Holiday Weight Gain? These TWO Tips Will Change Everything!! Happy Holiday Eating Series EP #3

Nervous About Holiday Weight Gain? These TWO Tips Will Change Everything!! Happy Holiday Eating Series EP #3

What if I gain weight over the holidays?

My mission today is to help you manage your thoughts around this topic so we do 2 things: prevent extreme changes in weight and how to accept the small fluctuations… because sister, it is normal this time of year.

For any of you wanting to solidify your empowered eating journey, Food Foundations is my signature program where I teach you how to feel strong and confident in your body without obsessing over food or wasting time on another failed diet. This is the real deal where you learn empowered eating. And I have a little surprise for all of you Food Foundations students…

I am adding a special something that ONLY YOU have access to as a Food Foundations student. Something that has been on my heart to serve and support you all in a greater capacity. So, any of you who are currently enrolled be sure to check your email from me this week! The details and updates will be sent directly to you or you can go on into the Food Foundations platform and details will be in the welcome and congrats models. Eeeek! So excited to see you all there.

Eating over the holidays

All right, all right… let’s get ready for this one today. We are talking about the one thing most people fear over the holidays… weight gain. While this is a challenging topic, I am here with you to face it head-on so it doesn’t steal your joy this year… who else is in?

Today, I have two key points for you. I want to invite you to take these two tips into the holidays so you can grow in your own empowered eating journey.

#1 Stand assured and confident in the top 3 healthy habits you have committed to maintaining.

On Halloween I dropped an episode called “Do you swing from restoration to overeating? What to do differently this holiday season” and here I invited you to commit to your top 3 healthiest, best habits. The intention here is to give us confidence in what we ARE DOING.

This is our commitment to ourselves, this is our date with ourselves, and ultimately this is where we solidify the hard work we have done all year. This is the discipline side. I want to remind you of your top three and invite you to stay strong and committed to those throughout the month of December. For me that is my workout routine, mindfully eating desserts, and making one of my 3 meals a veggie-based meal.

#2 Accept fluctuation— normal fluctuations are anywhere from 1-7# in a day.

When weight changes overnight, it isn’t necessarily reflective of a consistent change rather it is more likely you are capturing a fluctuation based on your environment. Your body isn’t the problem here, rather it is simply a shift because of circumstance.

I would expect a change after any thanksgiving day, traveling, a late night, drinking alcohol, or having a larger meal before bed (say at a holiday party). Where we can start to weave in trusting our body is by giving ourselves space for this fluctuation WHILE returning to tip #1, and maintaining our top 3.

This is how we avoid the all-or-nothing mentality! Nobody gains weight because they had one larger meal at thanksgiving. Sure, you may feel puffy or bloated, but your body didn’t flip a switch and decide to stop metabolizing food and hold on to every bite. This is not what causes holiday weight gain.

What causes holiday weight gain is when we get to that next morning and feel icky… and decide to either hop on the restrict-then-overeat merry-go-round or decide it is the holidays so we may as well throw in the towel and we can “get back to it in the New Year.”

Can you hear the all-or-nothing lens on those responses?

To build trust in our body we will need to give it a bit of grace (that is accepting the fluctuations) while continuing to care for it (and in this case that is staying committed to your top 3). This is the balance of discipline with sprinkles of flexibility. I am wishing that for all of you as we go into Thanksgiving week and the last month of the year. I am praying for you to find more peace and body gratitude this week than you ever have before.

Cheers my sweet friends, and happy holiday eating!

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How To Politely Decline (So You Can Say YES To The Holiday Foods You Actually Want!) Happy Holiday Eating Series EP #2

How To Politely Decline (So You Can Say YES To The Holiday Foods You Actually Want!) Happy Holiday Eating Series EP #2

Welcome to episode #2 of the Happy Holiday Eating Series!! 

Today we are talking about how to politely decline foods when you want to say “No!” so you can feel free to say yes to what you really want! This one is for all the people pleasers out there as I share the how to say no framework. We are talking about boundaries babe and I have 2 steps on how to say no (nicely of course) and draw boundaries with food this holiday season.

Why?? Because, it is hard to say no to food, especially when it is from people we love. 

say no to food

I am so excited to talk about this topic because boundary setting is crucial to our own success. There are two parts to why I love this discussion of boundaries: 

#1- It is empowering!

When we learn to say yes and no to the foods that best support our body it tremendously contributes to letting go of guilt because we stand confident in our own choices.

#2- What we practice on our plate we learn to exhibit in our life.

Empowered Eating is life-changing. Can I go deep for a second?

In the words of author Geneen Roth:  “The way you eat is inseparable from your core beliefs about being alive. Your relationship with food is an exact mirror of your feelings about love, fear, anger, meaning, and transformation.” 

So often we divert our emotions onto our feelings about food and our body. At face value, it feels easier to “fix” our body than it does to “fix” the hard things. We use food as a coping tool (be it restriction or binging).

So while this is true from a negative angle, I know it also to be true from a positive angle! When we learn empowered eating we are learning empowered living. Truly the empowered eating model can be applied anywhere. It is so cool how this model can be reshaped to fit each area of our life. Food is a doorway to a deep sense of living. This is MY FAVORITE part of my job. This is the part where I have to pinch myself…. When I see my clients go from chaotic, confused eating and insecurity to empowered eating… and then it turns into empowered living. Suddenly their healthy body and mindset are now their platform for their awesome. I love watching it. I lived this and I have to tell you… the work is worth it!

If you are thinking: Jess! I want in on the empowered eating life but don’t know how to get there. I have all these resources for you over at jessbrownrd.com. You can learn more about my empowered eating model in my self-paced e-course Food Foundations or I would love to walk with you as your personal coach. But as for today… below are your two steps to politely decline.

Step #1 A quick lesson on disappointing people.

When we say no to something, there is a chance we will disappoint someone. Food is a love language and so often we express our love, especially during the holidays, in the form of food. Here is the good news, you get to decide who you are going to disappoint. And it gets easier over time.

In one of my all-time favorite books “Present over Perfect” Shanna Niequest says that in order to feel comfortable saying no and disappointing people we need this: “What you need along the way is a sense of God’s deep, unconditional love and a strong sense of your own purpose. Without those 2 you’ll need from people what is only God’s to give, and you’ll give up on your larger purpose in order to fulfill smaller purposes or other people’s purposes.”

How this applies to our plate is that we need a deep sense of our definition of health and our goal in how we want to take care of our body. If you are thinking that sounds great but how do I figure this out? I have an entire module on this in Food Foundations where you take the time to establish your value and redefine health. It is so crucial. Because in any health journey, learning how to say no to food when it doesn’t fit your goal is a link in the chain that you need to be solid.

Step #2— Finding the words to politely decline.

I once heard the quote that “No is a complete sentence.” I like to add thank you to that and think “No thank you” is a complete sentence. In other words, your no’s don’t need an explanation attached and you have the authority to just say no. Now… as I mentioned I am a recovering people pleaser and this sounds really great in theory but it is hard for me! So here are some other ways to lovingly say no thank you:

“I am deeply honored you made this for me. Unfortunately, my current health circumstance requires that I pass this time.”

“Thank you for the thought you put into this! While I would love to, I have health focuses that won’t allow me to eat this at this time.”

“This looks so delicious! While I am unable to partake, I know many others will thoroughly enjoy this!”

Cheers, and happy holiday eating!

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How to Mindfully Eat This Holiday Season So You Don’t Overeat or Battle Guilt. Happy Holiday Eating Series EP #1

How to Mindfully Eat This Holiday Season So You Don’t Overeat or Battle Guilt. Happy Holiday Eating Series EP #1

Healthy Holiday Eating Series EP #1 is here!!! Some of you might think “YAY!” and get on my level about the holidays. Is anyone else ready to start playing Christmas music the day after Halloween??? Or maybe you are not of those people and hearing this made you gag a little.

I will tell you friends I haven’t always been this chipper about the holiday season. There was a season that this time really stressed me out. I would enter the holiday season nervous about seeing people— I didn’t want them to see me and witness the weight I gained or felt like I gained that year. I didn’t want to be around all the food, knowing every bite would be an internal battle. Don’t eat this, but I want to eat this, ok fine one bite, crap!

It is so good now I want it all! Insert all the food followed with boatloads of guilt and play this scenario on repeat all season long. It stole precious time from me and robbed me of joy during the holidays.

holiday food

Whatever emotion you bring into the holiday season I am here to be a little voice in your ear to let you know you have the power to rewrite your experience THIS year. This doesn’t have to be a season you GET THROUGH, rather you hold the key to making it a season you not only grow through… but find joy in.

Today I am kicking off a 3-episode series: Happy Holiday Eating and my mission here is this: To help you find that sparkle this holiday season. Regardless of your past experiences with holidays, your food struggles, the weight you may or may not have gained this year, despite the difficult people you might be around or the busy schedule that we all have coming…

I don’t want to hear any of you say “I just need to get through the holidays” no sisters, we are here to be in the moment, especially during the holiday season and we hold the key to our own happiness.

This is where we let our empowered eating skills not only shine on our plates, but they also show up in how we live. I am praying this prepares you and encourages you this holiday season… today’s episode is on mindful eating and how this is the key to keeping you from overeating or battling guilt. Are you ready to grow?

Here are 3 steps to mindful eating this holiday season:
#1 Work your values into your thought process

— This needs to always be step one. Learning to lead with your values changes everything. I see it over and over again, and I have done it too… we allow body modification or our body insecurities to lead our health goals instead of our values.

Allowing your values to be the first step in your health journey is what will change everything. This is why I have Values-Based Goal Setting as one of the first modules in Food Foundations. Before I ever recommend a fuel plan, I want you to take the time to redefine health based on your values.

Sure- somebody’s change might be a part of the outcome, but it isn’t our reason. In other words, if you want to lose weight or see more definition in your arms these aren’t necessarily bad things to want but if they are our sole reason our motivation will be short-lived because it is superficially rooted.

When we allow the why behind our how to be based on what we value most… like our family, our faith, our need for more energy to do better and more in our career… this is a game changer.

#2 Reframe guilt

— All of us have done it. We eat something and the guild floodgates open. “I shouldn’t have eaten that!” “I ate too much.” “Now I can’t eat the next meal.” “I am so mad I did that but now I want more.” It is a crappy place to be.

Today I want to invite you, friends, to consider the flip side of guilt. Feeling guilty can actually be a good sign because we are recognizing areas of the importance of the action we didn’t choose. If we could freeze here instead of going into body bully mode there is a lot we can learn from guilt.

#3 Integrate these 2 Mindful Eating checkpoints

1. The 5 Senses Check— is a quick tool to help you be and stay present. Check-in with all five senses before you start eating.

 2. Midpoint Check— halfway through any meal/snack check in with yourself. How does this taste? What has changed with your hunger and fullness cues? A great tool for this is the hunger/satiety scale which we go over in detail in Food Foundations. Learning this part is honestly life-changing. I know it was for me. This is what transformed my experience with holiday foods and allowed me to enjoy without overeating and thus feeling guilty.

It is a beautiful thing when you can eat your favorite holiday treat, enjoy it, and move on. This is what I want for you all this holiday season. I am praying this encourages you all and sending you a holiday hug! Be sure you tune in next week as we continue this series Happy Holiday Eating!

Cheers, and happy holiday eating!

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Do You Swing From Restriction To Overeating? What To Do DIFFERENT This Holiday Season!

Do You Swing From Restriction To Overeating? What To Do DIFFERENT This Holiday Season!

… that is the question.

Halloween kicks off what I call the food holiday season! From today until Valentine’s Day, there will be food EVERYWHERE. This can bring up so much…

How do I navigate the extra food?
What if I overeat?
What happens if I gain weight?

How can I stay focused on my goals? I know it is possible to enjoy holiday foods while setting appropriate boundaries and continuing to feel good. In today’s episode, I have 3 to-do’s to kickstart your empowered eating holiday season.

Halloween candy

Empowered Eating: Created values-based, science-supported, and biofeedback-adjusted goals.

#1 ESTABLISH YOUR PRIORITIES

— To successfully navigate the holidays we have to establish our focus. I recommend creating values-based, faith-led health goals for this season. Imagine yourself on December 31st reflecting on the year 2022. What went awesome? Where did you struggle?

Now, imagine sitting there by your Christmas tree (in my case that would be one of my 5 Christmas trees) and reflecting on the most recent 2 months. As you reflect on October, November, and December of 2022… what do you see? How did you care for yourself amidst the holiday season?

How did you see yourself come together with others around food? How did you lean into faith and trust your body was divinely crafted? In what ways did you steward your energy to create a present, enjoyable, and generous holiday season? Outside of food, what did you get out of this holiday season?

Confirmation you are on the right path comes with peace. Galatians 5:22 tell us the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. I use this to keep my eyes on the right path.

In Food Foundations, I have journal prompts asking students to explore their health in relation to each of their values. If you have taken Food Foundations- go back to this module and re-visit your values. What role do you want food to play in this season of the year? Joy? Energy source? Connection? Continued discipline? If you haven’t taken Food Foundations, this is a great time to sign up! Go into the holidays ready!

#2 KNOW YOUR NEEDS

—This is the nutrition science piece. Like knowing your budget, you need to know what your body needs. If you go into the holiday season swiping your credit or debit card for every little thing you want and that appeals to you… you will have a hefty bill to pay come January.

I see many parallels between money and our nutrition budget. On the one hand, we want to have a mindset of abundance and trust that we will have enough, and on the other, we have to be wise to live within our means. I believe it is the same for our nutrition budget.

If we eat, enjoy, and indulge in every little thing that is presented to us over the holiday season we will likely have a health bill to pay come January. We must operate in a mindset of abundance, trusting our bodies. And at the same time, it is imperative to live within our own biological needs.

To keep us from any surprises or unwanted bills in the New Year… let’s set our “budget” now. For nutrition, this means getting the nutrition science piece locked in and understanding what and how much food your body needs and operates well on.

#3 MAINTAIN YOUR TOP 3

—  What are your top three health habits? Set a goal to maintain these over the holiday seasons. For me, this includes my exercise routine, mindful eating practices when I enjoy desserts, and one veggie-based meal per day.

For more details on how to become an empowered eater download my FREE 3-Steps To Empowered Eating guide today! Or take this journey to the next level and go into the holiday (food) season empowered with your Fuel Plan and Food Foundations e-course.

Cheers, and happy eating! 

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Still Self-Sabotaging? What To Do About It And How To Stop! Interview with Tanja Shaw.

Still Self-Sabotaging? What To Do About It And How To Stop! Interview with Tanja Shaw.

Self-sabotaging? We have all done it… we set the goal to eat “better”. Then we walk into a pizza place and after much deliberation decide “better” will start tomorrow.

I will meal prep Sunday.

The diet starts Monday.

Hanging on by Tuesday…

… only to be followed up by ice cream for dinner on Thursday.

You aren’t alone if these words resonate with you. Self-sabotaging our health goals is something most of us do often. But why? And what happens when we do this?

women smiling

There is some physiology here that is at play against us. We all have a microbiome in our gut. When we take care of our gut by eating enough, balanced meals, and a variety of foods our gut takes care of us. It does this by sending a “tune” to our brain. This “tune” is comprised of metabolic byproducts that are comprised in our gut from the nourishing food we consume.

On the other hand, when we don’t nourish our body with enough food or adequate micronutrition or overeat/binge eat, our microbiome can become disrupted. When our microbiome is disrupted, the “tune” to our brain is negative. The messages (aka neurotransmitters) that are sent to our brain can impact our mood and general mental health.

Oftentimes, when we are trying to break an old habit or introduce a new, healthier habit this tune is negative and making change is more challenging. Think of it like trying to make a wise decision when your kids are loudly, and repeatedly singing “The Wheels on the Bus”. Anyone would have a more difficult time picking a salad over pizza in this situation!

Why?  Because you are human and wanting to feel better is normal. However, knowledge is power, and knowing this can help us overcome it! One of the best things you can do for your mental health is to take care of your gut health.

For more on gut health, you will love my Gorgeous Gut Health Guide found inside Food Foundations!

Taking care of your body requires intentionality. And I believe in doing this well…. WHILE maintaining a sprinkle of flexibility.

So what is the difference between discipline and rigidity?

So much of my work is defining this line.

I wish someone would have helped me work this out years ago… when you struggle with food or exercise or body image, rigidity is the name of your game:

Eat perfectly. Workouts HAVE TO be hard but somehow are NEVER enough. Forever chase that beauty ideal that is impossible to attain, therefore you never feel good enough.

Also, there is a socially defined expiration date on your age- so you better get with it now and never mess up.

Unfortunately, when you live in rigidity for so long, you begin to let it taint discipline.

Here is a little help to separate the two:

👉🏼 Rigidity operates with the currency of shame.

👉🏼 Discipline operates with a focus on curiosity and a goal of growth.

👉🏼 Rigidity is rooted in insecurity and comparison

👉🏼 Discipline is rooted in a desire to be better than yesterday’s version of you and to serve a greater purpose.

👉🏼 Rigidity doesn’t allow error, discipline learns with every step.

Work hard, focus, fail, get up and try again.

Let that rigidity go to make room for discipline.

On today’s episode, I am jamming out with my new friend Tanja Shaw as we discuss the physiology behind self-sabotage and the difference between intentionality and rigidity. To learn more about Tanja Shaw, be sure to connect with her on IG @tanja_shaw or check out her resources at tanjashaw.com and her podcast The Fit and Vibrant Podcast.

Cheers, and happy eating! 

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