Welcome tABLE Health!

I’m so very please to announce Very Personal Training’s new partnership with tABLE Health, a small, energetic business that was founded on the premise that fresh, local ingredients are the building blocks of a healthy lifestyle. They offer environmentally sustainable, nutritionally focused cooking classes and individual and group consulting.

Run by registered dietician, Rachael Saks, and a super business savvy, Ora Warmflash, they are trying to change the way people eat from the inside out. They are to food what I am for fitness – helping you not just have a quick fix, but to really change your behavior and habits.

Check out their menu of services for an idea of what they can offer you. All sessions take place in your very own home, so there’s no need to go anywhere!

In addition, they also have a cooking event coming up on January 12th where you can learn to cook healthier (but still yummy) versions of comfort foods, such as Mac n’ Cheese, Baked-Fried Chicken, and Raspberry and Peanut Butter Bread Pudding. YUMMMMM!

This is a great addition to Very Personal Training and is something I am very excited about. One of the things I highly recommend to anyone trying to get over emotional eating or under-eating issues is the Menu Planning session. It may just be the bridge you need to help you relearn how to eat without having to make so many daunting choices.

Their services are available for purchase on my website, by clicking here and signing in. And as always, if you are having trouble, please feel free to contact me to let me know and I will help you.

Ask Dani – Did I Make The Right Choice?

Dear Dani,

I was in the cereal aisle of the supermarket the other night trying to decide between two cereals. One had 100 calories per serving, but no fiber, and the other had 140 calories with 5g of fiber. I ended up choosing the one with the fiber, figuring that the fiber makes it better, but now I’m not sure if I made the right choice. Can you help me out?

Thanks, Munching Michelle

Dear Munching Michelle,

You definitely made the right choice by going with the fiber filled cereal. Just because something is lower in calories doesn’t mean it’s a better choice, because they can be empty calories and your body doesn’t use them as efficiently as nutrient dense calories. Fiber creates more bulk in your food which will help you feel fuller longer and ultimately help you eat less, plus it’s great for your digestion and colon. But, just because something has fiber in it doesn’t mean that you can eat whatever you want. There are a lot of products on the market now that tout added fiber, but that doesn’t give you leeway to eat 5 fiber filled cookies. Plus, the added fiber that they put in yogurts or even cottage cheese isn’t necessarily the same kind of fiber that is naturally found in grains and produce (but, that’s a whole other conversation…). If you’re looking to lose weight you still need to take in fewer calories than you burn. So, you did a great job at choosing the fiber cereal, but always pay attention to the ingredients and serving sizes to make sure that you’re actually making the best choice. It sounds clich

Emotional Eating Survival Strategies

Emotional eating isn’t something that only overweight people do. People of all shapes and sizes use food to comfort themselves, because they’re bored, sad, lonely, or angry. At first you think that you’re hungry, so you go for a pint of ice cream in the freezer, but then before you know it, you’ve eaten almost the entire pint and you’ve gone from hungry to disgusted in a matter of minutes. Where those minutes have gone you have no idea, because it seems like you were almost in a trance through the whole thing. Even if you did notice what you were doing you probably rationalized all the thoughts that were telling you to stop, because “you deserve it”, or “you’ve been really good lately”, or “it’s only today, I won’t do it tomorrow, so let me just enjoy it.” But, what ends up happening is that today becomes tomorrow and then tomorrow becomes the next day and the next, and before long you’ve created a habit of comforting your anxiety with food, thinking that it’s going to help. All it does though is make your problems worse, because now on top of your boredom, loneliness, sadness, or anger is guilt. And what you’re left with is a vicious cycle that won’t end unless you make a conscious decision and effort to end it yourself.

Here are a 10 tips to use the next time you feel like masking your feelings with food:

1. Dig deep – The first thing you absolutely must do is figure out why and when you eat. What feelings are you trying to avoid dealing with? Did something happen at work, do you feel sad or angry? Figure out your patterns, so you can watch out for them next time.

2. Make a List - Make a list of things you can do instead of eating the next time you feel the urge to raid your refrigerator. You can include all the tips listed here plus some others that you think might help you specifically, such as calling a friend for help or occupying yourself with something else.

3. Wait 10 Minutes – If you feel the need to eat make sure to wait 10 minutes before indulging. Most of the time you’ll be able to talk yourself out of it and see that you don’t really want to eat.

4. Ask Yourself This Question – “What purpose is this serving me?” If the purpose of eating is to console yourself maybe you need to find another strategy. Think back to all the other times you ate out of discomfort and think about how you felt. Probably the only purpose it served was to make you feel good in the moment, but pretty badly for hours after and maybe even into the next day. You don’t need to feel that way. You’ll feel much better if you fight the urge.

5. Brush Your Teeth – – Ever have orange juice after brushing your teeth? Not so good, huh! Walk away from the temptations and instead go for your toothbrush. You’ll be less likely to eat after you brushed your teeth.

6. Use a Reminder Designate an object as your reminder and put it in a place where you can see it, such as the kitchen, so that the next time you go towards food for comfort you’ll see it and be reminded that you don’t really want to eat right now.

7. Repeat – Tell yourself, “this is my pattern, this is what I do.” When you understand what’s really going on with yourself and you recognize it as a series of habits and behaviors it’s easier to get a handle on things and steer it in a different direction. Keep telling yourself this mantra when you feel like eating, so that you drive home the point that this is just your pattern. You can change that pattern!

8. Journal – Writing down what you’re thinking and feeling can really help you work things out. The process of writing can help you get to the bottom of your thoughts and can help make sense of things. Remember that no one is reading it, so let it all out there and don’t worry about judgements.

9. Have a Support System – Choose someone you trust who you know will support you in your fight against this. Call them when you need to (kind of like a sponsor at an AA meeting).

10. Don’t Beat Yourself Up - If you do have an emotional eating episode do not be mad at yourself. What’s done is done, so feeling guilty is pointless. It will only feed into the cycle and force you to continue this pattern. All you can do is learn from the experience and strategize on how you’re going to deal with it next time. Instead, give yourself some major praise for actually thinking about these things and trying to do something about it. You can’t be perfect, you can only try your best.

Ask Dani – Diet Dilemma (South Beach Diet)

This is an old-time diet. They thought that would work too.

Dear Dani,

I’ve been thinking about doing the South Beach Diet, but I’m not sure. There’s so much information on diets and I don’t know how to figure out what would be the best one for me. What diet do you recommend and how would you choose which one to go on?

Thanks, Dieting Dilemma

Dear Dieting Dilemma,

Dieting is such a dirty word. When I think of a diet I think of agonizing weeks of being hungry and wishing I could eat everything else, but what I’m allowed to eat. I can’t stop thinking about food and my whole day revolves around thinking about what I’m going to eat at the next meal. Most of the time I’m also counting how many days until it’s over, which means that all the hard work I’ve done over the past few weeks will be completely undone by a mega binge on some Coldstone Creamery, as soon as I can get my hungry little paws on it. So, as you can see I don’t like diets. They are only short-term solutions to long-term issues. It’s like putting a band-aid over a gun shot wound.

What you need is to learn how to maintain healthy eating for a lifetime, which doesn’t include cutting out whole food groups or restricting your calories so much that you’re constantly hungry. You can’t keep up that kind of thing for long and it will only backfire and make your problem worse. All of that being said, I don’t condemn the South Beach Diet. I think that it does a good job at teaching you balance, but that’s only true if you really follow their guidelines and treat it as a learning process and not a quick fix. The fact that they focus on whole-grains and fiber is a good sign, because so many bad diets will cut carbs out completely or tell you to restrict way more than you need to. Normally I would say that the fact that they cut out fruit for the first 2 weeks is bad, but I can understand them doing it in order to regulate your blood sugar levels and to kind give you a reset button. My advice though is that if you want some fruit in those first 2 weeks then have the fruit. But, if you want to really maintain your weight loss you need to do some homework, which may include keeping a food diary to track your patterns, keeping a journal to track your emotions, relearning your hunger cues and patterns, and trying to get past emotional triggers. A good diet will never dip below 1200 calories per day and will have a balanced mix of all the major food groups. Every meal should consist of a carb and a protein (so that means grapefruit diets and cabbage soup diets are a major no-no), and will never cut out fats entirely (you actually need good fats in order to lose weight, as well as for healthy akin and hair). You should never feel deprived and the emphasis should be on teaching you how to make better food choices and portion control.

If you have any questions on some of the things I mentioned, such as relearning your hunger cues or getting past emotional triggers, please don’t hesitate to ask me for help!

**Have a question that needs answering? Send em in! Every Thursday I ll be answering a new question, and it might just be yours!

Beat It or Eat It – Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

Beat it:

Chocolate and peanut butter together are like little hugs and kisses from God. I’m not even kidding when I tell you that I feel like I’m having some sort of religious experience when I eat something that has this magical combination. My spine tingles, I get light-headed, and almost all of my other senses get knocked out, because of the sensory overload in my mouth. I’m seriously like a little lab rat that will suffer through an electrical zap, just to get to my precious pb & c, because I MUST have it! I have these very high cabinets in my kitchen where I stash all the goodies that I don’t want to be tempted to eat (out of sight out of mind, right?), but I would be lying if I said that I’ve never been caught scaling the counters to reach the peanut butter and chocolate chips that I keep hidden there. And I would be lying even harder if I said that I didn’t then sit down on the counter with the jar of peanut butter in one hand and the bag of chocolate chips in the other and proceed to dip chocolate chips one by one into the jar and make little chocolate chip perfections. Hershey’s makes Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and you may ask yourself why I don’t just go to the store and get a package if I love it so much. It’s a lot easier to do then climb my counters, risk falling off as the cabinet door opens (there have been a few teetering close calls), and then go through all the work of dipping each chip in one by one. True, but each package of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups will run me 210 calories (110 of those are from fat), 13g fat, 4.5g saturated fat, 24g carbs, 21g sugar, 1g fiber, and 5g protein. However, I just came across this recipe, which I can’t believe I never thought of, because it’s insanely easy and will give me more of a chocolatey punch than a measly chocolate chip will. Plus, it’s easier to control your portions!

Eat it:

Little Kisses From God
(Serves 4)
- 8 1/4-ounce squares bittersweet chocolate (you can use other chocolates too, but as long as we’re being healthy bittersweet has some great antioxidant benefits)
- 4 teaspoons peanut butter (you can also use almond, cashew or pistachio butter)

1. Top each chocolate square with 1/2 teaspoon of peanut butter (or almond, cashew, pistachio).
2. Have a religious experience.

Each of these babies will only cost you 79 calories, 6g fat, 2g saturated fat, 9g fiber, 1g fiber, 1g protein, so technically you can even have 2!

Beat It or Eat It – Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

Beat it:

Chocolate and peanut butter together are like little hugs and kisses from God. I’m not even kidding when I tell you that I feel like I’m having some sort of religious experience when I eat something that has this magical combination. My spine tingles, I get light-headed, and almost all of my other senses get knocked out, because of the sensory overload in my mouth. I’m seriously like a little lab rat that will suffer through an electrical zap, just to get to my precious pb & c, because I MUST have it! I have these very high cabinets in my kitchen where I stash all the goodies that I don’t want to be tempted to eat (out of sight out of mind, right?), but I would be lying if I said that I’ve never been caught scaling the counters to reach the peanut butter and chocolate chips that I keep hidden there. And I would be lying even harder if I said that I didn’t then sit down on the counter with the jar of peanut butter in one hand and the bag of chocolate chips in the other and proceed to dip chocolate chips one by one into the jar and make little chocolate chip perfections. Hershey’s makes Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and you may ask yourself why I don’t just go to the store and get a package if I love it so much. It’s a lot easier to do then climb my counters, risk falling off as the cabinet door opens (there have been a few teetering close calls), and then go through all the work of dipping each chip in one by one. True, but each package of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups will run me 210 calories (110 of those are from fat), 13g fat, 4.5g saturated fat, 24g carbs, 21g sugar, 1g fiber, and 5g protein. However, I just came across this recipe, which I can’t believe I never thought of, because it’s insanely easy and will give me more of a chocolatey punch than a measly chocolate chip will. Plus, it’s easier to control your portions!

Eat it:

Little Kisses From God
(Serves 4)
- 8 1/4-ounce squares bittersweet chocolate (you can use other chocolates too, but as long as we’re being healthy bittersweet has some great antioxidant benefits)
- 4 teaspoons peanut butter (you can also use almond, cashew or pistachio butter)

1. Top each chocolate square with 1/2 teaspoon of peanut butter (or almond, cashew, pistachio).
2. Have a religious experience.

Each of these babies will only cost you 79 calories, 6g fat, 2g saturated fat, 9g fiber, 1g fiber, 1g protein, so technically you can even have 2!

Beat It or Eat It – Pancakes

Breakfast is by far my most favorite meal of the day. I love everything about it. The foods, eating a meal after waking up hungry, and that it’s like baking mixed in with cooking. And did I mention the foods? Pancakes, waffles, french toast, frittatas, omelets, bagels, cereal (I always say that if I had to live in one aisle of the supermarket forever that it would be the cereal aisle), etc. The possibilities are endless. I even love breakfast for dinner. Seriously, I could go on and on about this, but I won’t. I will just tell you that my love for pancakes is true. Cereal is going to come and cereal is going to go, but my love for pancakes is true, and I will love pancakes till the day I die. For real. Sadly though, I don’t indulge often enough, because like I’ve mentioned before, I’m a little girl and little girls don’t get to have 600 calorie breakfasts. So, I’ve resigned myself to sneaking a taste or two off of my husband’s plate, since he is a 6’1” man that can have his pancakes. But boy is it a happy day, because I just found a healthier recipe for yummy blueberry pancakes that will give me the chance to eat my pancakes in loving peace off of my very own plate.

Beat it:
3 Regular blueberry pancakes (with 1/4 cup maple syrup): 530 calories; 128 of those calories are from fat; 14.17g fat; 750mg sodium; 96.66g carbs (!!!); 1.5g fiber; 32g sugar; 9.39g protein

YUM!


Eat it:
Berry Good Pancakes
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
- 3/4 cup low-fat milk
- 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups blueberries

1. Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
2. Whisk eggs, cottage cheese, milk, lemon zest and vanilla in a medium bowl.
3. Make a well in the dry ingredients; add wet ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula until just combined. Fold in blueberries.
4. Moisten a crumpled paper towel with canola oil and use it to lightly oil a large nonstick skillet and heat over medium heat. Spoon on about 1/4 cup batter for each pancake and cook until bottoms are golden and small bubbles start to form on top, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip and cook until the other side is browned, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Lightly oil pan between batches. (Adjust heat as necessary for even browning.) Serve hot. (Yields 6 servings – 3 pancakes per serving)

Ready for the stats? Each 3 pancake serving is only 233 calories; 3 g fat (1 g sat, 1 g mono); 630 mg sodium; 41 g carbohydrates; 2 g fiber; 11 g protein. AMAZING! And if you use sugar-free syrup, you’ll be adding only 25 calories!

Can’t wait for Sunday!