Girl, Stop Body Shaming Yourself

Have you ever struggled with body image?

This blog is going to get a little personal. Body image issues are especially troublesome in the diet-driven world we live in today.

This is especially tough for me, as I have struggled with body image my whole life. Today, I am going to share my journey with you in hopes of inspiring someone with the same insecurities as me that it is okay – you can whole heartidly achieve health promoting behaviors at any size and respect your body for what it does for you.

transformation

When I was a teenager, I was discriminated for my body size. Girls made fun of me because I was “bigger” than them. It lead me to chase a smaller body by restricting foods, skipping meals, over-exercising, and comparing myself to others. This highly affected my relationship with food, body and self.

half marathon

Just a background on me. I absolutely love exercising–I love anything from swimming, running, dancing to weight lifting and body weight exercises.I have completed 2 half marathons, a sprint triathlon, numerous 5K’s and 8K’s.

During my teenage years, I felt poorly about myself. It was not until I began attending Zumba Fitness classes that I began moving my body regularly–and regularly at that time was 2-3 times per week. I was always trying the new “wellness diet”-convinced that was the only way I could love myself – if I lost weight. Despite all of that, I still lacked confidence. Once I started doing Zumba, I felt better about myself, and I was a lot happier. Zumba was my gateway to fitness, and when I turned 16, I started instructing my own dance fitness classes.

zumba past

By the time I moved to Collegedale, TN to begin my first year at Southern Adventist University, I was regularly exercising doing more than Zumba. I was attending spin classes, Pilates, and running. I tried to keep my fitness regimen up even though I was not instructing anymore. In my second year at SAU, I taught a cardio class and strength class to continue my love for showing people that exercise can be fun. I had a great following, and it inspired me as an instructor to come up with new material.

southern fit

So it seems like I had it made, right? I was teaching fitness classes, enjoying time with friends, passing all my classes–but I still struggled with my body. However, it was not because I was upset with my body…it was because of the negativity I received from my shape. One day, this girl asked if she could borrow some of my clothing for a date she was going on. I was flattered–she must like my sense of style. She comes to my dorm room and goes through some clothes. We found a top she likes, but it went best with colored pants. She did not own any colored pants–but I did! She proceeded to ask me what size I wear, and I told her…”I am a size 4″.

In the most horrified, shocked, confused tone of voice she responds You’re a size 4!?”  It was a complete shock to her. I then said “Well, I have size 6 too?”  She kind of apologized and said “Well, I mean, I just thought you were bigger than that. I can’t believe you wear a size 4!”

Fast forward two years…I was a 21-year-old Nutrition & Dietetics student whose ultimate goal was to help others achieve their dreams of becoming healthier individuals. I want to inspire others to live better, and now, I truly believe that is accomplished through gentle nutrition, joyful movement and active spirituality.

Despite my dream, I had a lot of discouragement, especially when I started my nutrition program. It was a constant battle between “oh no, I am going to fail this course, and if I do I am going to get kicked out of the program”. However, after my exercise physiology class, I was in a different state. I was in the state of “oh no, my anthropometrics numbers are not within normal limits. My body fat percentage is too high. I am fat.”

How can this be? I had such an amazing fitness and wellness journey and am comfortable with the size I am. How could I feel so crummy about myself? So what if I am 156 pounds and have a body fat percentage that is “high”? Why can such stupid numbers affect me so much? Why do I get so down on myself when people are praising others because they are so fit? I should be happy for them, but it is so hard to be when you are sitting in the corner thinking about how much time and dedication you put into your workouts and lifestyle and no one notices. There I was, 2 years later…still getting discriminated for my body size.

Despite these repressions of my body dysmorphia struggles, I tried so hard to find a silver lining. Then I realized something–the only true way for me to get a silver lining is through spirituality. Remember when I said the three ways to truly live a better life were gentle nutrition, joyful movement, and active spirituality? I was missing a key dimension in the plan. Yes, I am an active Christian, but I was not looking to God for my body image issue. I was looking at other people and comparing myself. I was putting myself down and hurting me–that is it. I was hurting me not anybody else.

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

-Ephesians 2:10

Ephesians 2:10 says “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” You see, we are God’s “handiwork”–he created each and every one of us. He loves us just the way we are. Now, I do believe in 1 Corinthians 6:19 he says “Do you not know that your bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?” By Him saying this, he wants us to take care of ourselves. Remember the way to take care of yourselves? Gentle nutrition, joyful movement, and spirituality. That is the way.

beach

So there you have it. I have been judged for the way I look. But you know what? It really does not matter what others think. I am doing what I can to keep my body healthy and most of all…happy. You can be healthy at any size, hunnies! It does not matter what size you are, the color of your hair, or how fast you can run a mile–it is about how you see yourself. Stop comparing yourself to others; just focus on making YOURself the best YOU that you can be.

Love yourself–respect your body. Love what God has given you. He created you the way He wants you with the ability and strength to achieve whatever you want, be it a half marathon runner or dance instructor. If we were all the same, life would be boring. When you can fully love who you are as a person then you can love others they way Christ intended. There are so many other barriers we have blocking us from truly loving ourselves–this is just one of mine. You can look to Christ for any of these barriers, and I encourage you to do that.

You are beautifully & wonderfully made.

Jumpstart your mindful eating journey by downloading my 6 Steps to Mindful Eating guide here – it’s free!

Until Next Time,
Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN
Follow me on social media!

Benefits of Dark Chocolate

Valentine’s day is literally right around the corner—how are you going to celebrate?  This is such a fun holiday to celebrate because it emphasizes how much love you have for people.  Yes, we need to let people know we love them on a regular basis, but this is just another hallmark excuse for us to buy our loved ones gifts—primarily chocolate!

I LOVE chocolate. However, there was a point in time when I would restrict chocolate during the week and only allow myself to have it on the weekends…and instead of enjoying that chocolate, I’d binge eat it and end up feeling miserable physically and mentally.

With a life of food freedom, I can enjoy chocolate pretty much daily now without over-eating. But, one thing I love about a mindful & intuitive eating lifestyle is combining food freedom with gentle nutrition: foods that you enjoy, foods that physically make your body feel good, and foods that satisfy you.

Personally, I’m satisfied by eating dark chocolate – I like the taste, I like that it pairs well with fruit and peanut butter, and I like that it’s full of antioxidants!

According to the research done by Loma Linda University (shout out to my alma mater), 70 percent dark chocolate cocoa content affects regions of the brain associated with memory.  This research showed the affects of chocolate to “promote nerve cell growth, increased brain function communication, blood flow improvement, and the formation of blood vessels in the brain and sensory systems”.   The key word here in dark chocolate is “70 percent” or more.  

Dark chocolate is more bitter than milk chocolate, so it is not as desirable to just snack on. 

Here are some other fun ways to enjoy dark chocolate:
Dark chocolate chips stuffed dates
Peanut butter + banana + dark chocolate chips
Banana pops
Dark chocolate bark

 Below you will find my chocolate covered strawberry recipe! Combining the bitter dark chocolate with the sweet strawberry gives it a nice balance that is not overwhelming.  Using 70% dark chocolate will help give you those neurological benefits and offset the sweet flavors from the strawberries.

display

See full ingredient list and procedure at the end of this blog.

First, you will need a small bowl, a spoon, 70% or higher dark chocolate (I used a mix of 85% and 70%), fresh strawberries, coconut oil, wax paper, a sheet pan, unsweetened coconut flakes, and red sugar crystals.  The coconut flakes and red crystals are solely for decoration purposes, and they add a little bit of pizzazz.

choc

You may be thinking—why the coconut oil?  Now, I am not on the “coconut” bandwagon where I use anything and everything coconut, but for this recipe it works—and here is why.  From my food experimentation in food science lab, I found through research that coconut oil helps harden candies and syrups when completely cooled at room temperature.  This makes sense, because coconut oil is a saturated fat, which is solid at room temperature.  This will give the strawberries a nice, hard coating. We do not need much!  Just a teaspoon or less will do the trick. Take the chocolate and coconut oil and melt them in a microwave safe bowl at 30-second intervals to make sure you do not burn the chocolate.  I have burnt chocolate many of times, and it does not taste good one bit.  Wash strawberries in a strainer.

straw

Line your baking sheet with wax paper.  Simply dip the strawberries in the chocolate and set them on the wax paper to cool.  It is that simple.  Once the strawberries are all lined on the paper, add your decorations!  Let cool for at least 1 hour and enjoy!

finished

That is literally all to it.  Very simple, yet extremely satisfying. Spice up your next date-night-in, girls-night, or bridal shower with this elegant dessert. 

display

Try these decadent berries and tag me on instagram or share on Pinterest.

Ingredients:

1.5 bars of 70% or higher dark chocolate 1

1 teaspoon of coconut oil

Washed and drained fresh strawberries

Unsweetened coconut flakes (optional)

Red sugar crystals (optional)

Directions:

  1. Wash and drain strawberries, and allow to dry.
  2. In a small bowl, microwave chocolate and coconut oil at 30-minute intervals, stirring in between each.
  3. Dip strawberries in dark chocolate and set on wax paper lined baking sheet.
  4. Optional: Add unsweetened coconut flakes and red sugar crystals for decoration.
  5. Allow to cool for at least and hour.
  6. Enjoy!

    Download your 6 Steps to Mindful Eating FREE guide here.

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN
Follow me on social media!!

References:
Nelson J, Sun T. Loma Linda Study Reveals New Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate.  http://www.sbsun.com/health/20151018/loma-linda-study-reveals-new-health-benefits-of-dark-chocolate.  Accessed February 11, 2017.

Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies–With a Twist!

Guess what?  It’s February!  Which means it’s the month of love.  Now, this isn’t going to be a sappy blog post about how much I am in love—although I am!  And in 248 days I will get to marry the love of my life!  But that is beside the point.

When I think about February, I think of Valentine’s Day.  Not only Valentine’s Day, but also all the chocolate and treats associated with it.  It is a tradition for significant others and secret admirers to get gifts for “their person”.  In addition to that, many Valentine’s parties happen.  One thing I remember from my childhood is thumbprint cookies—you know, the ones made out of shortbread with the gooey jam-filling inside.  Well, in celebration of a childhood memory, I created my version of these thumbprint cookies.

Now, these aren’t just any thumbprint cookies, these cookies have a secret ingredient.  Can you guess by looking at them?

cookies 3

I have gotten raspberries (obviously), coconut oil, dark chocolate—but one person did indeed guess the secret ingredient.  While these delicate goodies do contain raspberries and dark chocolate, those are not the secret.  My secret ingredient in these cookies is—BLACK BEANS!

I know right?  Weird.  For the past few years, black beans have made an appearance in the dessert world.  I first heard of them in black bean brownies, which I have made a few times.  However, I have not seen many black bean cookie recipes around, much less a thumbprint black bean cookie recipe, so I decided to create one that was similar to my childhood cookie.

The beauty of this cookie is that it contains black beans, which are very high in fiber, which is great for your gut.  Instead of grabbing those fiber one bars and supplements, opt for these nutrient dense cookies!

This is also my first attempt at making thumbprint cookies!  However, I am quite pleased with how they turned out.  I will now show you a step-by-step process in creating this divine dessert.  At the bottom of the blog is the recipe and procedure.

For the cookies, you will need one can of black beans, 2 tablespoons of whole wheat flour, 2 tablespoons of creamy peanut butter (or nut butter substitute), 4 tablespoons of milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk), 4 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/3 cup of brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, ½ teaspoon of salt, and 3 tablespoons of chopped dark chocolate (70%).

ingredients

To blend up the drained and rinsed black beans, I recommend using a food processor.  I used a NutriBullet blender because that is what I have in my college apartment—I have to be a minimalist baker while I am here.  Blend up the drained and rinsed black beans with the 2 tablespoons of peanut butter and 4 tablespoons of milk.

black beans

In a separate bowl, mix the whole-wheat flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, cinnamon, brown sugar, and salt well.  Add the chopped 70% dark chocolate.

dry ingredients

**Nutrition fact**  I used 70% dark chocolate because it is rich in antioxidants which can help prevent a free radical build-up damaging the cells in your body.  That topic is for a later blog coming this month.

Now the fun begins!  Combine the black bean puree with the dry ingredients.  Mix well together (I had to use my hands), and form a ball.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.  This will help the dough become firm enough to form little thumbprint cookies.

cookie dough 2

Once the dough has chilled for at least 3 hours, it is time to form into the traditional thumbprint design!  I cut the dough into small squares and then shaped them in ball form, and created a dip in the middle to hold raspberry jam.

cookie dough

Now it is time for the jam!  Now, you could definitely use your favorite brand of raspberry jam, but I made my own!  It was more of a raspberry sauce that I thickened with corn starch, but it is a simple recipe.  Start with a ½ cup of fresh (or frozen) raspberries, blend up with 1/3 cup of water.  Add to a sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Dissolve ½ tablespoon of cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of water, and slowly pour into the raspberry mixture while stirring.  Make sure you continuously stir so the cornstarch does not gelatinize.

raspberry compote

Allow the “jam” to cool.  Once cooled, spoon into the little dips of the cookies and bake at 350-degree oven for 14-18 minutes.

cookies 2

Allow the cookies to cool.  The next part is optional.  I combined 1 tablespoon of almond milk to 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar to create a simple glaze.  Drizzle on top of the cookies, but make sure they are cool or else the glaze will melt.

cookies 3

And there you have it!  My version of Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies for Valentine’s Day!  Let me know in the comments below or on Facebook or Instagram (@betterwithkatdetter) if you tried the recipe!  See the recipe and directions below.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

Cookie Dough

1 can Black Beans (drained and rinsed)

2 tablespoons of Creamy Peanut Butter*

2 tablespoons of Milk**

2 tablespoons of Whole Wheat Flour

4 tablespoons of Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

1 tablespoon of Baking Powder

1/3 Cup Brown Sugar

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

½ teaspoon of salt

4 tablespoons of 70% Dark Chocolate, chopped

Raspberry Sauce

½ cup fresh (or frozen) Raspberries

1/3 cup of Water

½ tablespoon of Cornstarch + 1 tablespoon of water, dissolved

Basic Decorative Glaze (optional)

2 tablespoons of powdered sugar

1 tablespoon of milk

*I used natural peanut butter, but you could use whatever you have, or a nut butter substitute.

**Any kind of milk will work.  I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Thumbprint Cookies

Directions:

  1. In a blender or food processor, blend up drained & rinsed black beans, peanut butter, and milk until creamy.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine all dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, brown sugar, and chopped dark chocolate.
  3. Mix black bean mixture with dry ingredients until well incorporated.  Shape into a ball and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
  4. Shape dough into little “thumbprint” cookies.
  5. Fill with raspberry sauce or store bought jam.
  6. Bake at 350 degree oven for 14-18 minutes.
  7. Let cool.
  8. Decorate with vanilla glaze (optional).

Directions for Raspberry Sauce:

  1. Blend raspberries and water.  Pour into a saucepan.
  2. Under medium heat, bring to a boil.
  3. Stir in the cornstarch mixture.
  4. Boil and stir vigorously for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Allow to cool.

Directions for Glaze:

  1. Mix powdered sugar and milk together.
  2. If it is too runny, add more powdered sugar.
  3. Drizzle on cooled cookies.