Artificial Sweeteners and Your Appetite

This post is for you if you regularly consume artificially sweetened foods and beverages!

For many of you this time between Thanksgiving and Christmas means major anxiety about staying on track with your health goals.  It often brings up fears of losing willpower around sugary temptations and constant stress about weight gain.  And if you’re a diet soda junkie it means slurping down these beverages in an attempt to satisfy cravings and tame your appetite– but could this habit be doing more harm than you realize?

I want to help you feel good about yourself and your life.   I want you to have a healthy relationship with food and eating.  It’s really tough to do this with artificial sweeteners interfering with the natural rhythms of your appetite.

If you have been relying on diet products in hopes of losing weight or controlling your hunger and you have not noticed any positive results– you have to question why you continue to use them.

Be open to the concept that they may be making it even harder for you to lose weight.

Thanks to clever marketing, so many people believe that consuming artificially sweetened beverages or foods will help with appetite control and weight loss.  Hmmmm….yet since their introduction into our food supply and despite millions of people eating and drinking them, obesity is more out of control than ever.

These fake foods fuel the ridiculous myth that to lose weight you must eat as few calories as possible and you must try to suppress your appetite, like it’s a bad thing.  It’s not.  Your appetite is there for a reason and until you make friends with it you’re not going to be at peace.  You respect your body’s urge to breathe, sleep and urinate, right?  You should pay attention to your hunger as well.

Ask yourself this:  Have sugar-free products helped me?  If so, excuse me and end of discussion.  Who am I to tell you something doesn’t work for you when it has?  BUT I am going with what I’ve noticed in everyone I’ve met so far and I have yet to meet someone who has achieved and maintained a healthy body weight through diet products.

What if you got them out of your system and let your body reset itself through nutrition from real foods?  If you’re regularly putting fake sweeteners in your body you can bet that your appetite is confused about this ingestion of sweetness without the accompaniment of expected energy (calories).  You can’t trick your body.  Instead you’re only encouraging your sweet cravings to haunt you.

I want you to consider testing out a new approach:

Get artificial sweeteners out of your diet in order to rebalance and regulate your appetite.

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2 Ways to Drink Your Turmeric

Last week I mentioned turmeric as an ingredient in the curry powder in my butternut squash soup.  I got to thinking, “Really, how often do I eat curry powder or turmeric?”    Not very regularly and considering the proclaimed antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits of this bright yellow spice, I wouldn’t mind incorporating it into my diet a bit more.  But seriously, you can only eat so much curry, right?

As chance would have it, I was at Whole Foods last weekend when a woman was demoing a product I had never seen before that caught my eye:

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Golden Milk Turmeric Infusion with Grass Fed Whey and Warming Spices.

 

 

They also make a vegan version with no dairy called Golden Tea.

 

You mix a scoop with hot water or warm milk/coconut milk/almond milk/etc.

 

 

I tried a sample of each and decided to go with the whey version for the added protein.       I happily accepted a $2 off coupon as well.  🙂

I’ve used it a few times this week– the first time I heated up some cashew milk and blended in the Golden Milk–which made a warm, soothing drink to sip.  The other two times I’ve added a scoop to a cup of tea…

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Which brings me to my second way to drink your turmeric:

Organic Turmeric Ginger Green Tea.

 

This tea is great on its own, but for a more substantial dose of turmeric, add a scoop of the Golden Milk powder.  The woman at Whole Foods told me she likes to add it to her coffee–I have yet to try this.

 

 

 

And there you have it.  Two ways to treat yourself to turmeric in addition to cooking with curry powder!  Are there any other foods that you know can offer valuable health benefits but that you tend to not eat?  Some things are a challenge.  One that comes to my mind is ginger root.  It’s not like you can just pick it up and snack on it.  There is peeling, cutting and finding just the right other foods to add it to.  After I ate up all my Curried Butternut Squash Soup I made a pureed Carrot Ginger soup which was a perfect way to use fresh ginger root.

Trying to eat more healthy foods but struggling?  Tip:  Make a list of all the nutritious foods you love that you want to ADD MORE OF to you diet.  Go out and buy them to have them available in your kitchen and specifically plan meals that will include these foods.     This beats putting your focus on the foods are trying to cut back on.  And when you start using more of the nutritious foods you bought, this will naturally and effortlessly leave less room for the not-so-healthy stuff.

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Curried Butternut Squash Soup

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I’m taking it easy today and this weekend after having some dental surgery yesterday.  Once I arrived home, I knew I would be thinking about food very soon and needed something nourishing but also soft since I can’t chew and disturb my stitches!

Hmmm, I have this big box of beautiful butternuts….what could I make?

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Not only is it squash season, it’s quickly becoming SOUP season.

What I decided to do was whip up a delicious thick, creamy, pureed soup made from my stash of butternut squash and just a few other simple ingredients.

Almost everyone I talk to tells me they love butternut squash so I wanted to share this idea that is so simple to create, healthy and tastes incredible.

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Nutrition with a Twist of Psychology

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I have always been fascinated with human behavior and why we do the things we do.  In fact, before pursuing my degree in Nutrition, I originally graduated with a Bachelor’s in Psychology.

Little did I realize at the time how intertwined Psychology and Nutrition truly are.

The food itself is only part of the picture.

Our dietary habits go so much deeper than we realize.  Nutrition is a complex subject and while what we eat and how much we eat matter, it is also crucial to look at the way we eat and why we eat if we want to achieve lasting behavior changes.

It wasn’t long after I began working as a dietitian that it became clear to me that suggesting healthier diet alternatives and limiting portion sizes wasn’t always working.  Clients would leave my office with a clear plan of what to change about their eating habits and come back feeling ashamed and disappointed in themselves for not being able to follow it.  Again and again.  That’s not how it’s supposed to go!

WHY weren’t my clients able to make changes?  WHY did they stay stuck in their old habits?  WHAT was holding them back from working towards their goals?

So I began reading up on anything and everything I could find about behavior change.  Over the years I acquired priceless knowledge and skills from books, podcasts, seminars and largely from experience and practice gained through directly working with people.

And then I came across one especially intriguing website that caught my eye and that I just knew I had to get involved with….                                                                                                      a school that marvelously combines Nutrition and Psychology.

I have just completed my latest continuing education adventure!  I am now an Eating Psychology Coach trained by the  Institute for the Psychology of Eating.  I am not a psychologist, but I am a Registered Dietitian who is very interested in helping you understand what is really going on behind your challenges with food and the message these challenges have for you.

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Quick and Easy Meal Idea: Farm Fresh Spaghetti Squash Boat Topped with Chili and Cheese

I’m experiencing my annual mixed feelings about the weather changing.  The darker mornings and early sunsets are a reminder that summer is gone and winter is approaching.  I despise being cold.  But the chillier temps calling for leggings, sweaters and boots are refreshing and I am excited to be turning my oven on more often to fill my house with warmth and the delicious scents of baking.  You may think it’s early…but  I have already made one pumpkin pie as well as pumpkin pie bars this fall.

It’s squash season!  I’m seeing pumpkins on my neighbors’ front stoops and I smile.  🙂 Summer squash are okay…. I like zucchini grilled or spirilized once in a while, but what I really love are the thicker-skinned winter squash which are out now at the local markets.

This weekend I went to my nearby farm, Healey Farm on Lafayette Road in North Kingstown.  She is loaded with butternut and spaghetti squash (among other awesome produce like corn, peppers, potatoes and cabbage).  And eggs!  She’s got tons of gorgeous pumpkins too.  Check out the deals I got buying squash by the box:

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$10 for a half bushel of butternut squash.

 

 

 

 

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$20 for a bushel of spaghetti squash.

 

 

 

 

 

I figure that comes out to around 50 cents per pound.  Aside from being delicious and nutritious, another nice thing about winter squash is they can be stored for several months in a cool room.

Here’s what I made for lunch on Sunday:

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So easy.  Simply cut your spaghetti squash in half, scoop out the seeds and bake at 450 for about 45 minutes or until tender.  Top with any kind of protein– I am typically not a fan of canned chili but they can sure come in handy to have in the pantry when you don’t have any leftovers and you want something quick.  I used Trader Joe’s Chicken Chili and topped it with some sliced Organic Valley Raw Sharp Cheddar Cheese.  So good!

I hope this meal idea inspired some of you to visit your local farm and stock up on some winter squash too.  You don’t have to spend a bunch of money or invest a lot of time and energy into nourishing yourself with good food.   If you can even replace one fast-food or highly processed food meal each week with something like this squash and chili meal, you are making progress and heading in the right direction.  And if you’d like some guidance in your wellness journey, you’re in luck– that is exactly what I am here for!  I’m full of ideas and will get you set up with personalized weekly health goals designed to change your unwanted habits into new ways of eating that you will feel good about. Send me a message, call me or stop by!  🙂

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35 Pounds Lighter One Year Later

One of my clients, Mike Messier, shares his testimonial about his experience at Be the Change Nutrition after recently reaching our one year anniversary of working together!

In Mike’s words:

Corinne’s Be the Change Nutrition is saving my life and I am going to tell you about it.

I have been overweight most of my life, with surges of activity and better eating, but only to fall back into lethargy and bad habits. Corinne’s dedication, patience and insights are exactly what I needed to start – and continue – losing pounds after all these years.

It was “fun enough” to be a big, fun guy for all these years, but in reality, the tears of a clown are what were hiding behind the chuckles. Overweight people will know that being fat means ‘selling yourself short’ and ‘accommodating others’ over looking out for yourself.  There is a real psychological element to being overweight and these issues can not be fully tackled by just- the familiar but limiting “eat less, exercise more” simplicity, or a stack of diet books or some type of “I’ll go to the gym everyday until I’m in shape” mentality.  One must really have the help of a trained, and compassionate, licensed nutritionist like Corinne Goff to really break through these obstacles of a self-sabotaging mindset and the negative behaviors associated with being obese.

Corinne knows what she is talking about. Upon meeting her, you will discover that she has a very healthy physique and happiness to her face that most of us would envy.

More so than “what to eat and what not to eat,”  Corinne helped me discover the ‘whys and hows’ of my overeating. Case in point: I never realized just how much bread, carbohydrates, sugars and sweets I had been eating until Corinne had me document my food intake with a journal. Only then, could we really see together the mistakes I was making. Yes, I will use the word ‘mistakes’ because, to cut to the chase, to eat like I had been my whole life was a detrimental mistake, not only to my looks, but to my health, my career as an Actor, and my enjoyment of life.

I will never get back the years I spent being overweight, all I can do now is move forward, and I advise anyone reading this to remember that every day you put off getting help is another day of misery. Or even worse, mediocrity. Because when you are miserable, at least you feel it. When you are just mediocre, you don’t feel anything.

This is your wake up call. If you are fat, pleasantly plump, ‘large and in charge’, a BBW, ‘not fat just husky’, Big & Tall, portly, jolly,  or whatever you and your friends like to think of yourself as… that is mediocre. That is not living up to your best potential. You are hiding behind the fat. You are hiding behind fear.

Kill the excuses. The fact that many, if not most, of us  Americans are overweight is not a good excuse. The fact that your family, or your friends, or your spouse or even your kids are overweight are not good enough reasons to not apply yourself now to losing weight.

If you are struggling, then you know you care. Call Corinne. She will work with you, to make things happen for you. You can do it and Corinne and her Be the Change Nutrition can help!

Corinne Goff’s  Be The Change Nutrition consultation helped me lose 35 pounds in twelve months. Every pound has been a challenge and Corinne has been with me the whole time.  I started in September 2015 at 302, then reached my goal of 289 by Jan 1, 2016. Just getting to 289, even if I had to take my shoes off!,  and making that simple first goal was great.  We have set monthly goals since, most I have met, some I have not.  But we keep pushing forward, meeting every single week. I weighed in at 267.6 at my last weigh in with Corinne in early September, 2016. The next goal is 259 by January 1, 2017. I may get there sooner. For 2018, I will focus on my life-goal weight. But, one step at a time, and I am slightly ahead of schedule. That’s the nuts and bolts.

Beyond pounds, for me the real deal is how I look and how I feel. I don’t have that same “tired” feeling all the time, or that usual “bloated after eating” feeling… that feeling I had all day, no matter what or when I ate. I don’t have that ache in my lower back anymore. Well, there’s 35 pounds less to carry! Also, for the first time in years, I got in the “30s” for pants size. From 42 down to 38. And, for the first time since college, I am into a size 2XL shirt, instead of a 3XL or even a 4XL.

It’s great to be “a big guy.” I’ll always be a big guy. But to be a big guy in a 2XL instead of a 3XL… that is the change that I want to be. And now, that is the change that I am!

If you are overweight and/or unhealthy, and have read this enough to feel a glimmer of inspiration to call Corinne, I urge you to call her now, before thinking too much about it, or “discussing it with my spouse” or “sending her an email when I get home from work.” We all know those are the delays that we put in front of us to avoid taking action.

You aren’t going to figure this out on your own, and you won’t be able to “wait until next year” or “when my schedule clears” or to “get back to this later because now is just not the time” to lose weight. These are the lies we tell ourselves.

Start telling yourself the truth. You need to lose weight. Call Corinne now and get started.

– Mike Messier, Movie Maker/ Actor. Wickford, Rhode Island.

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Before working with Corinne and Be the Change Nutrition.

Mike Messier (far left) May 19, 2015 at a film premiere with colleagues Steve Feinberg and Chad Verdi.

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One year into working with Corinne and Be the Change Nutrition.

Mike Messier: September 6, 2016.

 

Thanks so much for sharing Mike!

What do I believe helped make Mike’s nutrition counseling experience such a success?  Definitely his positive attitude!  No matter what type of week he’s had, he keeps his focus on his long-term goals and the behavior changes he needs to keep working towards.  He does not let any setbacks get him down.  He knows and accepts that making changes is challenging and never gives up.  When you know what is important to you– you find a way to make it happen.

There is nothing I want more than to see my clients get where they want to go with their nutrition/health goals.  Mike is an excellent example of what you can achieve with persistence, patience and a positive attitude.  I look forward to continuing to work with him through his weight loss and wellness journey.

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Note:  I take client confidentiality very seriously.  Your personal information and what is discussed at our meetings is never shared.  Mike graciously volunteered his story for my website.

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Your Health Insurance May Pay For Your Nutrition Appointments

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Did you know that many health insurance plans will cover visits with a Registered Dietitian?  🙂

Are you trying to lose weight but can’t seem to change your habits?                                        Or maybe you know that your health issues would improve if you cleaned up your diet?

Many people hear from their doctors that they should lose weight– but most doctors aren’t taught to discuss diet and nutrition with patients.  While doctors do wonderful work, the majority of doctors do not have the time to spend with you to discuss HOW to go about losing weight or manage your disease/health concerns through diet.

Typically the most you’ll hear about what to do about your weight is depicted in the cartoon above.  The “eat less and exercise more” message sounds great in theory, but honestly, how is it working for you?

This is where a dietitian comes in.  A dietitian will take an assessment of your eating habits and come up with a plan tailored to YOU.  This plan will focus on habit changes designed to get you where you want to go in respect to your health and weight goals.  Having a plan is half the battle.  The other half is the accountability and support that follow-up visits provide.  Here is where your progress is monitored– and if you’re getting off-track, you’re going to leave the session knowing exactly what you need to do to get right back on-track.

If you’ve been stuck trying the same tactics and they aren’t working, consider having a trained set of eyes look at your diet and eating patterns and work with you to make positive changes in your life.  You don’t have to figure these things out alone.  And if your insurance will pay for it– how can you not take advantage of that benefit?  🙂

Insurance plans vary with some covering an unlimited number of sessions while others have a set amount.  A few have co-pays and certain plans will only cover specific diagnoses.   Call the number on your card to find out the details of your individual plan.

Looking forward to seeing you soon!!

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Your One Wild and Precious Life

I have a question I often ask my clients that I believe is worth taking some time to reflect on…

What about your life would be different if you lost the weight?

I see so many people who have focused for so long on their desire for weight loss and the struggles endured in that process that they have lost sight of what deeper result they are actually seeking.  Is it really a new body they want or rather how they would feel and what they would do in that new body?  All too often I meet people hurting badly inside because they don’t look a certain way that they *think* they should look.   They think their life won’t change until they finally lose weight.

Sure, losing weight can be a great goal.  Especially when it means you are elevating the quality of your food and nourishing your body instead of depriving it.  But there’s more to think about.  Look beyond simply being thinner and ask yourself,  then what?  What do you expect will change in your life once you DO reach your desired weight?  Answers to this generally sound something like:  I’ll be happier and more self-confident,  able to do more things, start a relationship, feel more comfortable in my body…

Hmm, is that truly how it works?  Having the body you *think* you want guarantees none of these things.  Do you know anyone personally who does have what you would consider an ideal body?  How does their life look?  Chances are they too struggle with finding joy, relationships, self-confidence, etc.  Here’s another question:  Have you ever lost the weight and been at what you consider your goal weight?  Was your life really any better?  If you were happy with how your life was at that weight, why didn’t you/couldn’t you stay there?

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One Healthy Habit to Establish if You Want to Eat Better….

 

Read the ingredients in everything you buy and eat.

Ignorance is not bliss, at least not when it comes to what you’re putting in your mouth.

Awareness is key.  There is a connection between checking ingredients and making healthier buying and eating decisions.   Reading and learning what is in your food will empower you to make better choices— which in turn will keep you on track towards your health goals.  If you ignore what’s in your food you are more likely to make unhealthy food choices.  So, start paying attention!

“What is in the ingredient list?”  That is the question I ask when somebody asks me if a certain food is “good or bad.”  (… and labeling a food as “good” or “bad” is a topic for another day! 🙂  ) On the back of the package, usually in small print, is the list of ingredients and that is where your answer lies.  Only most people don’t think to look.  (Or are afraid to?)  But once you form this habit, you will have a refreshing new sense of control and clarity to replace your old confusion.

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I Can Have it Tomorrow: A Tip From a Client

Does this sound like a familiar scenario?:  You’ve just finished eating a delicious, satisfying meal and you’re now faced with the temptation to eat yet more food– maybe an invitation to the local ice cream shop, perhaps a chocolate bar in your desk drawer or whatever it may be that sounds like something you want to eat but also something that you know isn’t exactly what your body needs at the moment.

A typical thought process may go something like this:  I MUST eat this NOW and I will begin my diet again tomorrow.  This is my only chance.  It’s now or never.  There’s a sense of urgency and lack of control.  So you eat it, only to feel overstuffed and guilty….again.

How does that work for you?  I’m guessing not great.

Keep reading for a  little tip that was recently shared by a client who is struggling with overeating.  I wanted to talk about it because when something really clicks for someone, chances are good that it will resonate with somebody else.

Instead of her predictable dieting mentality which revolved around “can’t” and “shouldn’t”, she tried a fresh approach.  This involved slowing down, taking a few moments to relax and checking in with her body:

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