by The FIRM nutrition expert Sara Ryba, R.D., C.D.N.
I remember my first sleepover as a young child, when my friend’s mom said we could have a midnight snack. It was so exciting to be able to eat junk food so late at night!
Of course, my opportunities to gorge like that were few and far between. But regular late-night noshing plagues many of us and can cause weight problems if you don’t control it.
Do you find that you consume too many calories after dinner? Are you continually returning to the kitchen for “one more thing”? Do you wake up in the morning annoyed that you snacked too much the night before? If so, you are not alone. Studies have suggested that people feel less inhibited to overdo the snacks after dark.
So, let’s do something about it! Nighttime eating is my weight-loss clients’ single most common obstacle. But it is a challenge worth taking on, as conquering this habit will open the door to long-lasting, successful weight loss.
I love good food and celebrations with family and friends. Which makes Thanksgiving one of my favorite holidays — it serves up both in spades!
But this Thanksgiving, I did something a little different. Rather than filling my belly with the usual feast, I decided to observe a day of fasting, which I followed up with a donation to our local food bank.
That’s right: a no-food Thanksgiving!
“This food comes from the earth and the sky. It is a gift of the entire universe and the fruit of much hard work; I vow to live a life which is worthy to receive it.” — Grace of the Bodhisattva Buddhists
At the beginning of every yoga class, while we’re sitting in sukhasana, my yoga teacher always says to “give silent gratitude for all the blessings in our lives.” And, even though I am mentally not quite “there” yet — I’m still trying to find my “sit bones” and thinking about my grocery list and how I forgot my daughter’s gym shoes and did I shut the garage door? — usually, I do it. Images of my kids’ faces and my cozy brick house flash through my mind, and if I take time to really think about it (and not about the location of my cute new flats that I hope the dog isn’t eating right now), I realize I have so much to be grateful for: my close, loving family, my friends, my health, my readers, my Dutch oven, fire-roasted Hatch green chilies, pasture butter and the fact that I am rarely hungry.
I think it’s safe to say that one of the things we modern-day moms do a bit more than our moms did is baby our kids, especially when it comes to what they eat. Some of this is good, of course. Regulating intake of sugar and processed foods is probably not something best left up to people whose idea of a balanced meal is beef jerky and fruit snacks. But at some point, kids need to learn to make their own good choices, right? When and how we do that is each family’s decision, but for me the food thing was getting ridiculous.
With today’s hectic schedules, it seems like there is just no time for anything besides the day-to-day hustle. This can make taking time to make healthy choices seem like a luxury.
What’s your typical day like? For many people, it’s up in the morning and off to work with no time for breakfast, or up in the morning, drive through the closest fast food joint and haul butt to work. And that’s just breakfast. The rest of the day will likely include snacking at your desk and lunch at some place that, while close to work, may or may not have healthy options.
I know it might sound obnoxious at first and that I sound a little like Martha Stewart with that headline, but I like the idea of raising gourmet kids. By “gourmet,” I don’t mean kids who demand white tablecloths and truffle oil. What I mean is simply someone with an appreciation of good food. Here’s how Webster’s defines it:
We love this healthy, vegetarian- and vegan-friendly spin on Indian food from the Gaiam Cafe: heavy on the veggies and spices, light on the oil and devoid of any animal products. Serve it as a side dish with chickpea masala and creamed spinach for a hearty, Indian-inspired meal.
Serves 4 to 6
When Dolly Pardon laments about working 9 to 5, I want to slug her. With a full-time freelance career, a toddler daughter, volunteer work and myriad chores associated with keeping my house and car in relatively working order, I feel like I am working nonstop.
Sometimes even the most detailed shopping list and most carefully scheduled meal planning doesn’t help. This was the case for us this week.
In another lifetime, I went to culinary school. Well, it really was only about four years ago, but it seems like another lifetime because I was single, living in New York City, and experiencing a minor career crisis in which I thought that maybe becoming a chef would be a good move.