Diets and Diet Culture Have Been the Fabric of Our Lives

My mother has lived in the same New York City apartment — my childhood home — for close to 60 years. Deciding to finally move south, we sifted through her apartment filled with as many memories as possessions. The process flooded my senses with remnants of diets and diet culture: a doctor’s scale in the master bedroom, Weight Watchers food scales, bowls and measuring cups in the kitchen, bookshelves lined with diet books a la Atkins, Stillman, South Beach, Jenny Craig and Nutrisystem, and finally to my former bedroom, which still displayed that full length mirror I’d spent hours standing in front of as a teen!

Body image issues

Thankfully, I never developed a full-blown eating disorder but certainly dabbled in diets and had my fair share of body image issues through the years. Society is much more critical of a person’s weight and body size now than when I was growing up. Many young people feel enormous pressure to “fit in” and look a certain way. The media only fuels the focus on external attributes by using anorexic-looking fashion models in television and magazine ads. Eating disorders do not discriminate and can be seen across all races, sexes, ages and sexual orientation.

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Is Intuitive Eating Basics For You?

On Tuesday, November 1st  at 7PM ET, I will be offering an 8-Week Virtual Intuitive Eating Basics workshop for a limited number of qualified participants.

Does That Include You?

  • Can you imagine a life where you feel free around food without obsession or worry?
  • How would you like to gain compassion for yourself, knowing that every mistake is simply a learning opportunity with no judgment or blame?
  • If you would like to have stronger self-esteem and body confidence, regardless of your size, it might just be time to try a different approach.

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We Made Frittatas with a Twist!

Cooking for Recovery Class with Erica Leon Nutrition and Cook Learn Live

This month our group chopped, mixed and baked their way to Recovery! The support each member provided each other in trying new textures, tastes and of course,  facing scary foods, was awesome!  I have to admit…I have never made such a beautiful frittata!

 

With Jenna Lebowich guiding, we made a fabulous meal of  two types of frittatas — kale, basil & goat cheese, and zucchini, mushroom & mozzarella cheese. We also made a quinoa salad & peach crumble for dessert. Erica Leon Nutrition holds Cooking for Recovery Classes monthly in conjunction with Cook Learn Live in White Plains.

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Why is Mindful Eating So Difficult?

We asked 25 men and women in New York City why they thought eating mindfully (we gave a basic description of what this means) was so challenging. Here’s what we heard:

Eating mindfully is desired, but respondents cited a lack of time

 

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“Are You Tired of Being Fat And Ugly?” – A Response

This is a wonderful guest post written by my  niece, Jenny Rose, who is also the designer of my beautiful website. I am fortunate to have family members who “get” the damaging and body-shaming messages the media dole out on a daily basis. 

I came across this sign outside Nutrishop, a vitamins and supplements retailer next door to Chipotle (where I’d just unapologetically eaten 3 tacos).

The sign spoke to me:

“ARE YOU TIRED OF BEING FAT AND UGLY?” it shouted, ringing caps lock in my head.

“Who, me?” I answered.

“JUST BE UGLY!” it concluded, its underline signifying that this was the final word: Conversation over, now buy our products.

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Mindfulness and Your Health

Relaxing is easier said than done for most of us, but it might just be the key to a healthy heart and soul. When we are under stress, our natural alarm system is turned on and we pump out adrenaline, which results in quicker breathing, a fast heart rate, and a rise in blood pressure. This response, over a prolonged period of time, can result in serious health problems. Mindfulness decreases cortisol levels in the body; this hormone is associated with sugar cravings and overeating. Mindfulness has been defined as, “the practice of purposely focusing your attention on the present moment – and accepting it without judgment.”

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