Intentional Blogging Challenge
FitFluential Is Fitness Found

Quote of the Week #2

A healthy body...

 

In the fall of 2012 we spent our anniversary at the Kohler Resort in Kohler, WI. The Kohler Waters Spa is nothing short of ah-mazing and I booked myself 3 luxurious treatment for each day we were there. Upon entering the treatment room, there was a small business card-sized card waiting with my robe that had my name on it with a tranquil picture and a quote. This week’s quote comes to you by way of the mecca of relaxation for body and soul!

Food Frustration

Right Way Wrong Way

Imagine for a minute that you don’t have GPS or Google maps and you are lost. You stop and ask some kind soul for directions and they say, “well, any road will get you there”. Feeling exasperated you’d probably shrug a sarcastic “thanks” while thinking “what the what?”. When you ask for directions you expect the fastest and/or shortest route. When making a souffle, there’s really only one way to ensure a perfectly puffed and fluffy result. Many things in life have a right way and and a wrong way, but when it comes to nutrition that is just not the case. And this, my friends, is what I like to call food frustration. Few things are cut and dry in the nutrition world, yet there are a lot of people out there preaching that their way or their product is the only way. Sometimes it frustrates me so much that I wish I could go back and tell my college self to pick a different major. No joke.

This week I read two great blog posts that reiterated I’m not the only RD out there feeling food frustration. It also comes as no surprise during conversations with friends and family that food frustration is felt by anyone and everyone. I want you to know that I have felt the twinge of excitement when I hear about a “dramatically effective weight loss program”. I have been tempted to rehab my entire grocery list to conform to the “only nutritional approach that works with your genetics to help you stay lean”. And, I’ve kept my TV tuned to the “holy grail of weight loss” infomercial for an embarrassing length of time. Why on earth would I do this knowing what I know about nutrition? Well, just like you, I want nutrition to have an obvious and easy-to-follow right way and wrong way.

I can’t tell you how many times someone has asked me “Kate, what do you think about such-and-such product, pill or plan?” I want to do my part to help fight food frustration. I’m going to do some digging about some of these products, pills and plans one by one. I’ll take a look at the ingredients, the evidence and the approach and post my thoughts in future posts. I’d love to know what you want to know about? I often say “if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is”…so, what has sounded too good to be true to you lately?

I’m With You

For the who-knows-how-manieth time, I’ve found myself saying the same thing that nearly half of all Americans are saying…I want to lose some weight. I’m not feeling stellar about my overall health and, while it does have something to do with the remaining baby weight, it has as much to do with other things as well. (and let’s get real…Audrey will be 1 in jut a few weeks!) Its a hard pill to swallow that this whole being healthy thing is such hard work, particularly since I am a dietitian. I often feel insecure that I don’t look the part, and therefore people won’t take me seriously. And, honestly, I can’t blame them.

For a long time I’ve felt like I can’t figure out what I have to say about nutrition and health since I’m not the model of perfection that I think people expect me to be. I recently let my guard down with a great group of my mom friends and found out that they were relieved that I fight the same battles they do. So, I’m here to say, I’m with you. Whoever you are, where ever you are, chances are, we’ve faced the same temptations.

One of my personal struggles is emotional eating. Here are a couple scenarios you might relate to:

  • I’m making my way downstairs from getting my girls down for their naps and regardless of how the day has gone up until this point, one of my first thoughts as I come down the stairs is about the snack I’ll eat as I take a break from being “on” all morning. The snack has more to do with relaxing than hunger.
  • I’m watching TV in the evening and feeling a little restless so I grab a snack. It is really odd, but I swear that eating while watching TV makes me feel like I’m multitasking and somehow makes me feel less guilty about not getting other things done.

Its the start of a New Year, so I’m going to work on hitting the reset button with everyone else out there. Even with a degree in nutrition its not a switch you just flip, so I’ll share my struggles with you, if you share yours with me.

So, what do you wrestle with most?

Me and my girls this past fall.

Me and my girls this past fall. Gotta be healthy for these two love bugs!

8 Resolutions For My 35th Year

Today I turned 35 years old. Whoa! Cue Joey Lawrence sound effect. (Which, by the way, if you are 35ish you might have totally loved the show Blossom like I did.) As I was saying, today is my 35th birthday – otherwise known as the 6th anniversary of my 29th birthday. Up until this point, I haven’t gotten terribly worked up about passing birthdays, but 35 does have a little bit of a different feel to it because the finish line of the next 5 year segment is 40. Yoinks. (Do I have any Scooby Doo fans out there? 35?)

I’m participating in Jeff Goins’ Intentional Blogging Challenge and today’s assignment is to write and publish a list post. I couldn’t think of a topic that I could possibly write 35 things about, so instead I’m giving you a list of 8 things. Why 8? 3+5=8. Duh! So, here are my resolutions for my 35th year:

1. There are a million ways to say it, but there’s no time like the present. For a long time I’ve talked about what I want to do/be when I grow up, when I have the time, when I have the stability, when I have the resources, etc. Suddenly I’ve found myself in a very fortunate place. Not entirely by accident of course. We’ve worked hard to get to this place where I can be home with my kids, spending some of my time carving out my niche in the nutrition communications world. However, now that I’m here, I don’t want to get stuck in a cycle of planning my future. News flash, Kate…this is the future.

LiveForNow

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/129337820523039490/

2. Get more sleep. With 2 small kids, this one is sometimes very much out of my control. However, we are blessed with good sleepers (I better not jinx myself by putting this in writing) and more often than not, I am solely responsible for my exhaustion. There’s this thing called sleep procrastination and I’m a major offender.

3. Call my family and friends more often. I already talk with a select group of people fairly regularly, but I want to keep up with more people more often. As of 10 pm, I received 91 birthday messages on Facebook. Facebook is great for what its worth, but I really need to call a good number of those folks.

Google knew today is my birthday. Cool or creepy?

Google knew today is my birthday. Cool or creepy?

4. Get cards and gifts in the mail on time. Oh. My. Word. Based on my track record for the last 3-4 years, you’d never guess that I’m a total “card person”. I LOVE getting snail mail and care packages and I used to be pretty good about sending them. I could totally blame this on having kids, but…well, wait, yeah, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

5. Hire a cleaning lady. Ok, before you throw rocks at me, this one is really my way of saying, “Cut Yourself Some Slack”. I’ve been getting really anxious lately about how messy (dirty?) my house is and feeling like a bit of a failure that I don’t get around to cleaning it during the day. But the thing is, I’m a full-time mom (and all the job duties that go with that title), part-time nutrition communications consultant and aspiring writer/blogger. When I worked full-time, we called this delegating. Since I can’t delegate most housework to a 3.5 year old or 8 month old, I think I need to consider outsourcing.

6. Step away from the technology. This one is going to be hard. Particularly because technology gets more prevalent and pervasive every moment that passes by. But, I do want to spend more time taking mental snap shots and less time seeing how many pictures & videos fit on my phone before it starts spitting smoke. (I finally downloaded 2,463 items last week – I don’t even remember taking half of them!)

7. 10 + 10. The Pastor of my church has challenged us all to spend 10 minutes reading the Bible and 10 minutes in prayer every day. I’ve never had this kind of discipline related to developing my relationship with God, but I know only amazing things can come from it, so I need to figure out how to make this second nature.

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/44262008813226322/

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/44262008813226322/

8. Use every item in my kitchen before I turn 36. Do you have things in your kitchen that you’ve never used? I do. Springform pan anyone? O.k, you cheesecake-making people, not you. Christmas-tree shaped cake pans? Note to self: better make a Christmas cake. Or, when is Arbor Day?

So, how about you? Any resolutions you want to publicly declare?

Photo Essentials at Balanced Exposure

Adam and I got our Cannon DSLR camera for Christmas in 2008 and I have spent nearly 6 years using the camera with the mode selector safely stationed in “Auto”. Every now and then I twisted the dial to one of the neato scene selectors, but not very often. I’d watch Adam twist and turn the dials, examine the numbers on the back of the screen and be moderately impressed with his skills, but many of the settings he chose were based on recommendations he read online or lack of fear to just play around with the camera (what a novel idea!), so neither of us really had a clue what we were doing.

Earlier this summer, my friend Kathy and I were talking about how we both have these fantastic cameras that we barely know how to use and I mentioned that I had seen Groupon deals for photography classes. After checking out what was available, we roped in our friend Julie and all purchased a $49 Groupon for the 4-hour Photo Essentials course at Balanced Exposure in Schaumburg. Our hectic summer schedules kept us from taking the class earlier, but we were finally able to go on Saturday and it was really stellar.

Julie, me and Kathy cheesing it up at the end of class in front of the portrait backdrop!

Julie, me and Kathy cheesing it up at the end of class in front of the portrait backdrop!

Russ, the photo pro who teaches the class, is knowledgeable and personable and you get to spend a large portion of the class practicing hands-on with your camera. I have a long way to go before I can proficiently and quickly pick the best settings for my photo op, but I’m much more confident in what all the buttons mean and that I’m not going to totally screw up the camera by messing around with them. I even signed up for 3 more classes at a great in-class discount. Now that I know a little, I’ve been bitten by the photography bug! I have no aspirations to become a professional or anything, but just to be able to confidently capture all our family memories would be an awesome skill.

Yes, I know both of the pictures are terrible...this is an example of how you get to practice how various settings influence exposure.

Yes, I know both of the pictures are terrible…this is an example of how you get to practice how various settings influence exposure.

The girls and I have plans to get together on Thursday to practice our newly acquired skills. Russ told us that we had to practice within the week or everything we learned in class will go in one ear and out the other. With any luck we’ll be able to put our collective mommy-brains together and remember the important stuff. No more Auto-mode for me…the training wheels are off!! If you are in the Chicago area and you are looking to learn about your DSLR camera and improve your photography skills, I’d highly recommend Balanced Exposure. I think the Groupon is offered nearly all the time and it is a great deal.

Looking so serious. I hate candids because I suffer from terrible resting bi$%hy face (RBF)!

Looking so serious. I hate candids because I suffer from terrible resting bi$%hy face (RBF)!

Quote of the Week #1

This week’s quote is in honor of Labor Day, a day that was created in 1882 to pay tribute to the social and economic achievements of American workers. I hope you were able to spend this Labor Day feeding your soul, relaxing, enjoying time with your friends and family, confronting no problems and giving your mind a rest.

Here’s our Labor Day Weekend in pictures:

Jumping off the dock

Swimming in the lake

Eating delicious food both healthy…

…and indulgent!

Nothing better to clear your head than roasting marshmallows over a campfire.

Pregnancy Week 7: Caffeine During Pregnancy

First things first, if you’re pregnant, I’m not going to tell you to give up caffeine altogether! Did I just hear a collective sigh of relief? While you don’t have to give it up completely, it is a good idea to take stock of the various sources of caffeine in your diet and to limit your intake. TheMarch of Dimes recommends no more than 200 mg of caffeine per day which is about the amount in a 12 ounce cup of regular coffee (that’s a “Tall” cup for you Sbux lovers out there!)

Continue reading for tips to curb caffeine consumption and information about caffeine content of food and drink…

Foodie Penpals: Newbie Edition

I’ve been hearing about Foodie Penpals for a little while. My friend Anna has raved about her experience after participating a bunch of times and every now and then I come across another blogger who participates in the program.

Did you have a pen pal in elementary school? I did! She was from Russia (I think we called it the USSR then?) and our schools were “sister” schools with classrooms of kids paired up and sending letters and tokens back and forth across the Atlantic. I honestly can’t remember how many times we exchanged letters – I imagine it was only 3-4 times. But, I have vivid memories of her penmanship and the paper she wrote on (it looked like graphing paper). I can’t remember what we discussed, but I do recall the feeling of connection with someone in a far away place who had the slightest thing in common with me.

While not uniting people from distant lands (shipping food through customs would be a nightmare!), Foodie Penpals does bring together people who share a love for both introducing their favorite foods to new people and people who have tastebuds at the ready for discovering new favorites. Foodie Penpals is the brainchild of Lindsay from the Lean Green Bean. Each month she facilitates a signup and matching process to pair new pen pals and this month, I decided to get in on the action! (If you are interested in learning more about the program, check out Lindsay’s FPP page.)

I probably looked a little something like this opening my letters from my pen pal back in the day too!

My package came from Stephanie in Fort Collins, CO. Stephanie is not a blogger, but that isn’t a condition of the program, so anyone get join the fun. When you get matched, you share some details about your preferences with the sender – likes, dislikes, opinion on homemade goods, etc. This time around, I went with the “surprise me” approach, but I did share a few major dislikes (coffee, coconut). Aside from an unfortunate (and messy) shipping mishap (a Ball jar of peach butter didn’t survive the trip) it was so fun to explore the contents of the box and learn a little bit about Stephanie through food. She must like peaches because she sent me both peach butter (sad face) and peach honey (tasty!). She grew up in Kansas City and shared an excellent taco seasoning mix from Spanish Gardens and thyme is her favorite spice. Funny enough, I think my favorite item from the box was also one of the smallest. She included a few packets of Twangerz flavored salt and the Pickle flavor sprinkled on air popped popcorn is t-a-s-t-y. (only time will tell if this a pregnancy-induced obsession or a truly tasty snack!)

The goods from Stephanie including Moroccan soup, peach honey, dark cocoa, taco seasoning, thyme and flavored salts.

I sent my first Foodie Pen Pal package to Melissa at Bare Book Reviews and she’ll be posting a recap of the goods I sent her, so check it out!

Did you have a pen pal? Did you stay in touch for a long time or just a short while?

Pregnancy Week 6: Picking a Prenatal Vitamin

Last week I briefly touched on prenatal vitamins, but I wanted to devote a whole post to this important topic. Eating well and making smart nutrition choices during pregnancy is important, but try as you may, there are certain nutrients that you may not get enough of that are important for the normal growth and development of your baby and your health as well.

If you are reading this post before becoming pregnant, all the better because it is ideal to prepare your body for conception by taking a prenatal even when you are just thinking about becoming pregnant. Certain nutrients (like folic acid) are especially critical during the time between conception and a positive pregnancy test so it is important that they are circulating in your blood at appropriate levels well before you conceive. Research also shows that taking prenatal vitamins may help in the prevention of a low birth weight baby.

Continue reading for a list of nutrients to look for and tips for taking a prenatal vitamin…

Note: This post was added to Indulgent Wellness on September 4, 2013 and backdated to match the date this post appeared on Smart Eating for Kids.

10 Reasons I Want to Go To Blog School

#1 – I ate a pickle for lunch today. My sandwich was made on whole wheat bread and I had them hold the mayo. Does anyone care? As a registered dietitian nutritionist, I feel like I have some great knowledge to share with the world, but do people really want to know what I ate for lunch?

My half-eaten, but entirely yummy lunch!

#2 – See that section in the upper left called “Quotables”? My vision was that I’d rotate in a new food/health/inspirational quote every week, but alas, after my designer set it up for me, I never figured out how to change it! So, that quote has been there for about 18 mos. In that time, I should’ve/could’ve posted 72 quotes. Silver lining? I still have plenty of quotes squirreled away for the next 18 mos….like this one!

#3 – This sad, broken coaster from Woodford Reserve. We went on a tour of Woodford Reserve back in May. I jotted notes the whole time and planned a super-fun recap post (that never was). The coaster broke on the way home and I thought that just maybe the kind folks at Woodford Reserve would send me a new one if they saw my amazing post (but they didn’t. because it is the post that never was).

Sad coaster that never got to see the bottom of a drippy glass:-(

#4 – I have approximately 62 (o.k., not approximately) ideas for future posts logged in a Word doc and in a Google Drive doc, but that is where they sit. I want to finally share my tips for how we use a whole bag of baby carrots from Costco before they go bad and my yummy recipe for an Apple Pie a la Mode smoothie!

#5 – Of the 62 aforementioned ideas, at least 23 are out of date since I came up with the ideas back when the topics were actually timely!

#6 – I want to redo my blog navigation. I know exactly how I want it to be. Problem is, I’m stuck with this pretty org-chart looking thing.

Nice right? Would be nicer if it wasn’t a static image!

#7 – See that funky looking icon off to the left over there? I think it used to be a cute little chocolate-dipped logo that said “Archives”, but somewhere along the way I must have messed up the HTML. Perhaps when I was (unsuccessfully) trying to figure out how to change the quote in #2?

#8 – One of my biggest pet peeves is wasting time. One of my favorite sayings is this one by Herb Kelleher of Southwest Airlines. I’m calling myself out as a class-A hypocrite because instead of “doing things” with my blog, I’ve been working on my “strategic plan”….for far too long. Please help me stop the madness!

#9 – I’ve been ignoring the yellow bar at the top of WordPress that tells me Version 3.6 is available because the warning to “back up my database and files” both scares and baffles me. Is that bad?

#10 – It’s back-to-school season and I’m a little jealous of all the kiddos and their fancy school supplies…I want to go back to school too! And, although it is all virtual, you better bet your bottom dollar that I’m still going to pack a lunch in my newly acquired Bento lunch box! And, don’t you want to know what a nutritionist packs in her lunch? It’s not all pickles and sandwiches, you know!

 

Blog School is a 6-part virtual program created by Rita the Blog Genie. Registration is open now through September 9, but she is giving away 3 free scholarships! If you want a scholarship to Blog School too, all you have to do is follow these instructions to enter Blog School’s Scholarship Giveaway! But, please don’t make your entry better than mine because I really want to be one of the top 3 people!

Note: This post is an entry to win a scholarship to Blog School. I have not been compensated in any way for writing this post and, let’s be real, we’ll all benefit if I win!