5 Signs Your “Healthy Lifestyle” is a Diet in Disguise

So, you’ve dieted what seems like most of your life…and you’ve finally said you’re “done” with dieting…you just want to be “healthy”…so you look to magazines, blogs, Pinterest, and social media influencer’s to help you…

“This” influencer tells you to take a bunch of supplements, fast once a week, and drink a herbal detox twice a month. You do what they say, after all – this is what it takes to be “healthy”, right?

Then, “that” influencer tell you it’s okay to eat “forbidden” foods, but only on cheat days. And, if you want to eat fruit, don’t eat more than 2 servings per day if you really want to be “healthy”.

…only eat organic, non GMO foods if you want to be “healthy”.

Oh, and don’t even think about touching any grains, legumes, beans or night-shade plants because, well…you want to be “healthy”, don’t you?

“It’s not a diet, it’s a healthy lifestyle”…

Do you see a pattern here? It doesn’t matter if it’s a “fad” diet or not…if someone tells you to completely eliminate one food item out of your “lifestyle” (unless it’s an allergy or legit medical condition) – it’s a diet!

Now, why are diets undesirable? What’s wrong with them?

Well, in short, 90-95% of diets don’t work in the long haul. They aren’t sustainable for life. People go on diets to lose weight, then within 2-5 years after that diet, all the weight that was lost is gained back, plus some extra pounds. Does this sound familiar to you? It definitely resonates with me. And I’m sorry…but if you are still demonizing food but you’re not on an official “fad diet”, you’ve got a poor relationship with food. And without a true healthy relationship with food, you’ll have a hard time getting out of that “diet” mentality – whether you’re on a formal diet or not!

Here are 5 ways you can test if your “healthy lifestyle” is in fact diet culture posing as “wellness” or “fitness” culture.

  1. You have a “good food – bad food” mentality
    You only buy the almond flour crackers because wheat is “bad”. You only buy cauliflower crust because it’s “gluten free”. You’ll only allow yourself to eat blueberries because other fruits are “fattening”, and blueberries are “super-foods”. You eat sweet potatoes over white potatoes because they are “healthier” according to diet culture. You’ll never touch anything with refined sugar in it, but eat the tar out of something made out of maple syrup or coconut sugar.

    My friends, that is diet culture in disguise. “Wellness culture” is just modern day diet culture. If you find yourself forbidding these foods but you’re not on a “formal fad diet” – you’re still being affected by diet culture. Start by normalizing all foods. All foods provide your body with some sort of value, whether it’s nutrient dense or not.

    Now, of course nutrient dense foods are nourishing for the body because they make our bodies physically feel good – packed full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber – but that doesn’t mean it’s “better” than other foods. Food does not hold a moral value – one food is not going to lead to weight gain or weight loss…food in excess leads to weight gain – regardless of what food it is.
  2. You have to “earn” food
    Wellness culture highlights the importance of intense exercise. And if you want to be healthy, you gotta exhaust yourself in your workout (according to fitness culture).

    I’m totally on board with exercise – I love it! I love it because it makes my body feel amazing – inside and out. But, why are you exercising? Are you exercising to burn calories? Do you find yourself overly exhausted after a workout? Can’t sit on a toilet 2 days after a leg workout? You’re likely over-training.

    I used to think I had to burn at least 500 calories in a workout if I wanted to eat for the day. And if I was “planning” on eating dessert or going out to eat, I’d push myself even harder so I could “earn” food. But you know what? Your body STILL deserves and physically needs nourishment even if you lay in the bed all day. You of course need more fuel the more active you are…but you need food every single day – regardless if you worked out or not. You don’t have to exercise to earn food. Your body needs it for survival. Period.
  3. If you’re craving “this”, eat “that”
    Have you ever seen those Pinterest graphics that say “if you’re craving chocolate, that means you’re deficient in magnesium. Eat some kale, it’ll curb your craving!”

    I used to follow that stuff! And y’all – I don’t care who you are – if you’re craving chocolate, I can promise you eating kale will not satisfy that craving. I see this a lot from people’s experiences (and my own) – trying so hard to mask the craving by eating something “healthy” instead…

    What happens is, when we don’t honor that craving and try to substitute with something else, our mind can’t stop thinking about that one food. You end up eating other things to “fix” the craving…but ultimately, those other foods don’t satisfy you. So, you end up “giving in” and eating the craving anyway…you likely feel over-stuffed and intense food guilt. You blame the craving, when really it was all the food leading up to the craving that over-stuffed you.

    Has this ever happened to you? I’ve been there!

    Tip: Always honor your craving in an amount that will satisfy your body to prevent a binge later on.
  4. You have to “track” your food
    This is probably my favorite one. Not too long ago, I did a “fitness challenge” hoping to work on my muscular strength. A big part of the program was tracking your food using MyFitnessPal. I did it for a few days just to see if I was hitting my macros…

    Even though I thought I was “recovered” from diet culture at that point in my life (I wasn’t by the way…I was stuck in “wellness” culture), I found myself feeling guilty about food. I was so obsessed with getting my macros and calorie counts perfect, and when I didn’t count calories, I was worried if I was eating too much…”if I eat this, will I go over my allotted calories for the day?”…”am I allowed to have this?”…”is there too much fat in this avocado?”…”crap, I’ve gone over my carb count for the day, guess I can’t have anything other than water for supper…”

    My “so-called” recovered diet-self was on a downward spiral back into diet culture, so I stopped tracking my food & quit taking “before & after” pics, and focused on how the workouts made my body physically feel. How the workouts improved my strength and flexibility. How the workouts improved my stress levels and mental well-being.

    You CAN love fitness & exercise without tracking your macros. You CAN be “healthy” without tracking every little thing that you put into your mouth. Calorie & macro counting is meticulous and time exhausting – you can do SO much more with your time!
  5. “Cheat days” or “cheat meals”
    This is very popular in the fitness industry. More specifically, cheat meals. You can eat anything you want in an hour time frame. So, you’ve restricted all these “cheat” foods for at least a week, as soon as you gain access to those foods during your “cheat hour”, you’re going to cram that food into your mouth as fast as you can so you don’t waste any of it…so you can eat as much of this “yummy, terrible for you” foods before the hour is up.

    This is wrong on so many levels. First, you have the “good-foods bad-foods” mentality. Second, you’re completely ignoring your hunger & fullness cues – a very instrumental step in mindful & intuitive eating. Our body was designed to tell us when we are hungry & when we are full – to prevent us from overeating. But, when we restrict “forbidden” foods from our “lifestyles”, as soon as we get access to them when it’s “okay”, we go all out! And then, as a result, feel like total crap after the meal- then we blame that food! It wasn’t the food’s fault, it was the food in excess…the decision you made to ignore your hunger & fullness levels because it’s a “cheat meal”. Third, you tell yourself “I’ll just go back on my diet tomorrow”, and it creates a diet-binge-diet-binge-diet-binge cycle. If you’ve been a chronic dieter, I know you’ve been there- I’ve been there too!

Did any of this resonate with you? Let me know in the comments section here or on Instagram. I know it’s hard to let go of the diet mentality – in both diet culture & the fitness/wellness industry. Know that your body is worthy of achieving health promoting goals that have nothing to do with dieting, weight loss, restriction, deprivation, or over-exercising. You CAN be healthy without falling into diet culture’s trap.

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 for more food freedom + gentle nutrition + body respect material

THE BEST Black Bean Brownies

Hey, hey, friends! I’m so excited to share this recipe with you!

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know I’ve posted a couple of “bean” brownie recipes…they can be found below:

Sweet Potato Black Bean Brownies
Chickpea Brownies
Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies

However, because I love to experiment in the kitchen…I’ve created THE BEST black bean brownie recipe, and I just have to share. These are by far my favorite, and they happen to be refined sugar free!

THE BEST Black Bean Brownies

Well, kind of. Other than the dark chocolate chips (which the kind I used does have some added sugar), these babies are sweetened with dates. I love dates because they are high in fiber, various vitamins & minerals and completely satisfy my sweet tooth.

Other ways to enjoy dates:
While I highly encourage you to make these black bean brownies, there are many ways to enjoy this delicious fruit. Below are some ideas!
Healthier Chocolate Turtles
Vegan Raspberry Tart 
5 Ingredient Cookie Dough Bites
Add to any baked good
Chop & add to oatmeal
Stuff with peanut butter
Stuff with 3-4 dark chocolate chips
Add to smoothies
Enjoy PLAIN!

There are so many ways to enjoy dates, but using dates as the sweetener in these brownies really gives them a nice, fudgy texture and sweet flavor. Find the recipe below! Be sure to tag me in your creationg on social media! 🙂

 

THE BEST Black Bean Brownies

  • Servings: 12 brownies
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:
1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained & rinsed
1/4 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
10 pitted dates
2 eggs
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 salt
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (plus more for topping)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray baking dish with non stick spray or line with parchment paper.
2. In a high speed blender or food processor, add drained black beans + oats + applesauce +  pitted dates + eggs + cocoa powder + baking soda + baking powder + salt. Blend until smooth.
3. Pour brownie batter into a mixing bowl and add dark chocolate chips. Mix well.
4. Add brownie batter to greased or parchment paper lined baking dish. Top with more chocolate if desired.
5. Bake at 350 F degrees for 20-25 minutes.
6. Allow brownies to cool for at least 30 minutes before serving. Store in the refrigerator.

Additional add ins:
Walnuts or Pecans
Peanut Butter Swirl
Coconut Flakes
Sprinkles

 

Remember! If you’d like to receive my email newsletters for more easy + balanced eating ideas & food freedom tips, subscribe here! Tell your friends 🙂

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN
Registered Dietitian
Follow me on social media!
IG: @balanced.nutrition.dietitian
FB: Live Better with Kat Detter
Tik Tok: @katrina.detter.rd
Twitter: @katrinadetterRD

 

 

5 Tips to Gain Body Confidence

What’s your experience with poor body image?

My poor body image started when I was a pre-teen–about 10 years old. I wasn’t tiny like the other girls my age…I didn’t have many friends, I was insecure, I lacked confidence and self worth. That mindset followed me throughout middle and most of high school until I decided I was worth more. I deserved more. Now, it still took me years to be at peace with my body (and I still struggle with it today!), BUT these 5 tips have helped me keep those negative thoughts away…and it can help you, too!

Body Confidence

1. Wear clothes that make you feel good
Dress to impress–yourself! Ain’t nobody got time to wear clothes that don’t make them FEEL good. If that means going a size up, do it! The size of your clothes does not define you as a person or your health.

When I was in high school and college, I’d only wear things that were a certain size. If they didn’t fit me, I would put them back on the rack and forget they existed. No sizing up for me!

Last week I went shopping and found THE cutest rompers–and guess what? The small was too small for me! Instead of dreaming about how cute it “would have” been, I decided to try the medium-and I’m so glad I did because it looks good, and I feel super confident in it. Don’t let the size of something define you. Wear clothes that embrace your confidence!

2. Move your body
Why do you move your body? Exercise releases endorphins, the happy hormone, and those endorphins can help you have a clear, happy mind. What’s more? They can bring you confidence.

Think of the different kinds of workouts you’ve done. Which ones make your body feel amazing?? Which ones make you feel defeated? Choose to do the activity that makes you feel good.

As for me, swimming makes my body feel amazing from my head to my toes. I can feel all my muscles. Our bodies are all different and we all like different things, so find what jives with you.

3. Celebrate your body
“My legs are too short.”
“My butt is too big.”
“My thighs are huge.”
“My stomach isn’t flat.”

I was concerned with every one of those things when I was a pre-teen–overly consumed with ‘how’ my body looked…constantly comparing myself to my teenie-bopper classmates. But you know what I was doing wrong? I was shaming my body for what it wasn’t instead of celebrating it for what it was! When you can change the mindset of “these are my imperfections” to “these are my strengths”, you can love and appreciate your body more.

My legs may be short, but I have them-and they get me from point A to point B. I am able to challenge myself in my workouts daily. My booty and thighs may be “bigger”, but they are strong. Any time a negative thought comes into your mind, just think of how far you’ve come and tell yourself, “Nope, we aren’t gonna talk like that. We are gonna celebrate our body instead”.

4. Stop comparing yourself to others
It’s super common to envy what others have–we all have our insecurities…me included! If you find yourself comparing yourself to someone on social media, unfollow them. If you compare yourself to someone else in the gym, go workout in a different spot. Bottom line: try your best to eliminate the source of negativity. Stop comparing yourself to others and start celebrating YOU. You do you, boo!

5. Daily Affirmations
Affirmations can help you change your mindset about your body and self worth. I encourage you to engage in daily affirmations. Look at yourself in the mirror and say:

“My body deserves love and respect”
“Food is not the enemy, I’m grateful food nourishes me”
“Thank you, body, for getting me through that tough workout”
“My worth is not defined by my weight”
“I am comfortable in my own skin”
“Other people’s opinion on my body do not involve my thoughts”
“I take care of my body by doing ______”
“My body is a vessel for my awesomeness”
“I feel sexy today!”

It doesn’t matter what you tell yourself–whether you tell it to yourself in the mirror or write in down in a journal–positive self talk is foundational in changing your mindset toward your body and self.

I challenge you to focus on one of these tips this week. Track your progress, make goals for yourself. You deserve to be unconditionally happy with food, your body, and yourself.

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
Registered Dietitian
Follow me on social media!
IG: @mindful.eating.dietitian
FB: Live Better with Kat Detter
Twitter: @katrinadetterRD

4 Steps to Learn Your Hunger Cues

One of the 10 Principles of Intuitive eating is using your hunger and fullness cues, but what does that actually mean? How do you do that?

After years of fad dieting, I kind of lost touch with my physiological signs of hunger. I ate when society said it was “time to eat”. If I was hungry at 11:00am, I’d avoid it like the plague until the clock striked 12:00pm. I used to treat hunger as a “bad thing”–because I associated eating as a “bad thing”. Now that I have a healthier relationship with food and myself, I am able to eat when I am hungry and stop when I am satisfied, and you can too! Use my 4 Steps to Learn Your Hunger & Fullness Cues!

Hunger & Fullness Cues
Learn you Hunger & Fullness Cues

Use a hunger/fullness scale before, during & after meals
When you are first learning your hunger/fullness levels, it is important to use some sort of scale to keep your hunger in check. On a scale from 1-10, how hungry are you? how full are you? are you satisfied? Ask yourself these questions before, during and after a meal or snack to help you gauge your true hunger. The goal is to be completely satisfied with your meal–not hungry or overly full. This is not only to keep you physiologically full  until the next meal, but also to help you keep your mind off of food.

Hunger & Fullness Scale
Hunger & Fullness Scale

Journal before and after your meals
As cheesy as it sounds, this can be your most helpful tool in re-learning your hunger & fullness cues. When you use the hunger & fullness scale, write about it! Before your meal, document what level of hunger you’re experiencing. After your meal, note what level of  fullness you’re experiencing. If you are not satisfied, figure out what you can add to your meal to appease your hunger. If you are miserably full, write down how you can prevent that from happening in the future.

Hunger & Fullness Cues
Journal before & after meals while learning hunger & fullness cues

Avoid starvation: use practical hunger
Practical hunger is essentially eating something when you’re not physically hungry to prevent overidulgence later. For example, if you are not very hungry at 12:30pm but you know you won’t get to eat again until 6:00pm, use practical hunger to tide you over. When using practical hunger, choose foods that will nourish your body with at least 2 of the 3 macronutrients. This will keep you full for a longer period of time.

Slow down at meals
Take time to really enjoy your food. It will not only make your meal more enjoyable but also allow your hunger to catch up with your brain. When you take your time at meals, it allows you to feel hunger satisfaction before you reach the “over full” stage, preventing overindulgence.

A note on overeating:
It happens. Try not to beat yourself up about it. Our bodies can handle some overeating here and there–we learn from it and move on. It takes time in the beginning when you’re learning how to correctly use your hunger/fullness cues. Give yourself grace and learn from your experience. Eventually, you will know your body so well that overeating will happen less.

 

I challenge you to learn your hunger & fullness cues. Take it one step at a time, and you’ll eventually become fully in tune with your body’s hunger.

 

Remember! If you’d like to receive my email newsletters for more easy + balanced eating ideas & food freedom tips, subscribe here! Tell your friends 🙂

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN
Registered Dietitian
Follow me on social media!
IG: @balanced.nutrition.dietitian
FB: Live Better with Kat Detter
Twitter: @katrinadetterRD

 

5 Ways to Build Easy & Filling Meals

Hey, friend!

Do you ever feel hungry shortly after a meal? Or just not really satisfied at all quickly after eating?

There could be a reason for that! On one hand, you may not be eating enough. On the other, you may not be balancing out your meals.

I don’t know about you, but when I’m hungry I can’t focus on anything else but that hunger.

Have no fear! Today I am going to share with you 5 ways you can build filling meals so you are happily fueled the rest of the day to prevent brain fog and the hangry monster.

easy & filling meals
How to make easy meals filling and satisfying

  1. Bulk up the fiber
    And I’m not talking fiber supplements! I mean load up on the PLANTS! Vegetables, fruits, 100% whole grains–add them to your meals! Fiber is a nondigestible carb that helps keep us full for a long period of time. Plus, it can help with prevention and management of chronic diseases, aiding in digestion and weight management.

    Easy ways to add fiber to your meals:

    easy & filling meals
    easy ways to add fiber to your meals to keep you full
  2. Incorporate a heart healthy fat
    Fat plays an instrumental role for our body (especially us gals) because it is important for hormone production. Back in the 1990s, fat was deemed “bad” by society and diet culture. While fat does have more calories per gram than carbs or protein, it is still a vital nutrient our bodies need. Lots of people avoid fat-and that could be why you’re hungry soon after a meal! Incorporating heart healthy fats into your meals can be a great way to keep your body satisfied until your next meal.

    Ways to add fats to meals:

    Add avocado to you salads/sandwiches
    Mix nuts into yogurt parfaits
    Drizzle salad with Olive Oil based dressings
    Sprinkle chia seeds on your smoothie bowls
    Incorporate fish (like salmon, tuna, mahi mahi) to your meals twice a week

    easy & filling meal
    Mahi Mahi fish tacos with avocado-perfect easy & filling, balanced meal
  3. Ensure there is enough protein
    To be honest, the protein element in meals is the hardest one for me to plan! I’m not a big meat eater, so I get a lot of my protein from vegetarian sources (like beans, legumes, corn, grains, soy, etc) or dairy…but I can defintely tell a difference in my hunger levels when I am not getting enough protein at meals. Pro tip: plan and prep ahead of time!

    Some of my fave + EASY ideas:
    Boil eggs for the week
    Make dried beans in the crockpot (easy + low maintenance)
    Canned fish – salmon & tuna (easy for on the go protein)
    Frozen pre cooked grilled chicken (easy for busy nights)
    Boil chicken for the week (quick + easily accessible for quick lunches/dinners)
    Greek yogurt (great for breakfast or snacks)
    Make your own veggie burger (then freeze for easy protein source)
    Add nut butters/nuts to meals/snacks

    easy + filling meals
    Filling snacks with non starchy vegetables (fiber), hummus (protein + complex carb) to keep you fueled and full for hours

     

  4. Include a complex carbohydate 
    Okay, okay…I know the whole craze is to go carb free, but honey…our bodies run off of carbs. We need carbs for energy. Choosing to go “no carb” or even strictly “low carb” is not a sustainable lifestyle choice…so, eat the carbs! Complex carbs (like 100% whole grains, potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, fruits etc) contain fiber in them making them more satisfying than refined, simple carbs (such as sugar, refined white flour/grains, baked goods, soda, etc). The more active you are, the more carbs your body is going to want–so be mindful while you are planning your meals.

    Some ideas on how to add carbs to your diet:
    Add fresh/frozen berries to oatmeal
    Snack on a banana with peanut butter
    Eat raw veggies (carrots, celery, broccoli, peppers, cauliflower, etc) with hummus for snack
    Mix in brown rice with your cauliflower rice
    Try bean pasta (chickpea, lentil, edamame)

    Easy + Filling Mexican Quinoa Bake
    Filling meal with protein/ complex carb (black beans + quinoa), non starchy vegetables (salad + fiber), and healthy fat (cheese)!

     

  5. Choose satisfying foods
    How many of you are guilty of eating salads for lunch but actually hate them?? I’ve been there! I used to force drink kale smoothies in college–plot twist: I HATE raw kale. I hate kale in smoothies. BUT I was trying to be “healthy”. And you know where it got me?? 20 minutes later, in my dorm room, eating all the snacks because I was not satisfied with my food choice. Smoothies are great, but when they contain things you don’t like and there is an imbalance of nutrients, then you’re gonna be munchin’ on whatever you can find shortly after. What are foods that satisfy you? Let me know in the comments section 🙂

Easy & Filling Meals
Choose foods that satisfy YOU! Food that brings you joy and nourishes your body

I hope these tips were helpful for you! Comment down below (or on social media) how YOU stay full and fueled at your meals. I challenge you to keep these things in mind while you’re meal planning and prepping so you can build balanced meals that keep you FULL and satisfied.

Easy & Filling meals
Build easy & FILLING meals

Remember! If you’d like to receive my email newsletters for more easy + balanced eating ideas & food freedom tips, subscribe here! Tell your friends 🙂

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
xoxo
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN
Registered Dietitian
Follow me on social media!
IG: @balanced.nutrition.dietitian
FB: Live Better with Kat Detter
Twitter: @katrinadetterRD

 

Nourishing Chocolate Turtles

Chocolate, caramel, nutty chewiness-ahh, the pure joy of a chocolate turtle!

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I’m thinking all things chocolate-including my nourishing chocolate turtles!

healthier chocolate truffles using dates as the caramel layer. Perfect healthier sweet treat

Now, I can’t take all of the credit. This past Christmas, my aunt made something very similar and I was amazed! Essentially refined sugar free, these turtles contain whole pecan halves, pureed dates, and dark chocolate to make the perfect after-dinner sweet-fix.

livebetterwithkatdetter.com

Healthier Desserts and Intuitive Eating?
These little dessert bites are refined sugar free and loaded with fiber and antioxidants, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy something with a little more sugar on occasion, too! With intuitive eating, you use gentle nutrition to guide your food choices based on what makes your body FEEL its best. Personally, I feel my best when I eat whole foods and low amounts of refined sugars, but I definitely enjoy a double dark chocolate fudge brownie from time to time. 🙂 Read all about intuitive eating here. It is 100% okay to choose a “healthier” choice for dessert…it all boils down to your relationship with food and your reasoning for food choices. 

Why Dates:
Dates are a great way to naturally sweeten your baked goods, energy bites, oatmeal, or just to treat your sweet tooth.

While these babies are perfect to satisfy a sweet craving, they are also very nutritious. Dates are good sources of fiber and antioxidants, making them great for digestion and fighting against chronic diseases. I recommend buying the medjool dates because they have a better texture and flavor than other pre-packaged pitted dates. PSA: Aldi has GREAT prices on medjool dates 🙂 

On to the recipe!

healthier chocolate truffles using dates as the caramel layer. Perfect healthier sweet treat
healthier chocolate truffles using dates as the caramel layer. Perfect healthier sweet treat

Healthier Chocolate Turtles

  • Servings: 18-20 turtles
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:
18 Medjool dates (soak in warm water for 30 minutes)
warm water to thin (use as needed, about 1/4 cup)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups pecan halves (~50 pecan half pieces)
3 ounces dark chocolate (or any other chocolate you like)
1 teaspoon coconut oil

Directions:

  1. Soak dates in warm water for at least 30 minutes. This will help soften the dates making them easier to puree.
  2. Remove the pit from the dates. Add pitted dates to high powered blender or food processor.
  3. Add warm water (as needed, using a little at a time), cinnamon and vanilla. Puree dates until smooth yet sticky consistency. *you want the puree to be thick so you can spoon on top of pecan halves. Set aside.

    healthier chocolate truffles using dates as the caramel layer. Perfect healthier sweet treat
    Puree dates, pecan halves, dark chocolate
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place clusters of pecans down (2 or 3 pecan halves per turtle).
  5. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the date mixture on top of the pecan clusters. Once dates are on top of pecans, freeze for at least 30 minutes.

    healthier chocolate truffles using dates as the caramel layer. Perfect healthier sweet treat
    2-3 pecan halves clustered with 1 tablespoon date puree on top. Freeze for at least 30 minutes
  6. While dates are freezing, melt chocolate. In a microwave safe bowl, add chocolate and coconut oil. Melt in microwave at 30 second intervals (stirring in between to prevent burning) until the chocolate is melted and smooth.

    healthier chocolate truffles using dates as the caramel layer. Perfect healthier sweet treat
    Top with melted dark chocolate or any other chocolate you prefer
  7. Remove pecans + dates from freezer. Spoon/drizzle dark chocolate ontop of each cluster. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  8. Enjoy!

*Note: these turtles store well in the freezer! Make a batch and freeze for later day when you want a sweet treat!

What a perfect way to treat your Valentine (or Galentine)! No matter what dessert you choose to celebrate with, take time to enjoy this special time with your loved ones.

Join the “Mindful Nutrition” fam!  Subscribe here! 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN
Registered Dietitian
Follow me on social media!
FB: Live Better with Kat Detter
IG: @mindful.eating.dietitian

What is Intuitive Eating?

Have you ever struggled with food freedom? Felt guilty at just the thought of eating a certain food or food group? Been on every diet in the book?

I sure have. I have shared my obsessions with food and over-exercising several times before…and today, I want to share with you the freedom I have found with intuitive eating.

Intuitive eating is such a big topic that I am going cover a few blog posts on. Today, I am going to break down what intuitive eating is and what it is not. It is my hope that if you struggle with food rules, deprivation, restriction, purging, or maintaining a healthy relationship with food that this may become one of your wellness goals: to become an intuitive eater.

Green Field Girl Spring Pinterest Graphic

What is Intuitive Eating?
When you think “intuitive” think “instinctive”. What are our actual physical instincts when it comes to hunger? Logically, when we are hungry, we *should* eat. Many restrictive diets cause us to completely neglect our true hunger cues and just eat a portioned amount of food based on society’s limitations.

Intuitive eating is also based on these 10 principles:
1. Rejecting the diet mentality
2. Honoring your hunger
3. Making peace with food
4. Challenging the food police
5. Discovering the satisfaction factor
6. Feel your fullness
7. Cope with your body’s emotions with kindness
8. Respecting your body
9. Exercising to feel a difference
10. Honoring your health

The Break-Down of The 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating:

  1. Rejecting the diet mentality:
    Transitioning the common societal view eating “healthy”. Especially this time of the year, many people go around saying “I am going to get back on track” or “my diet starts tomorrow”. When you become and intuitive eater, you honor your hunger and body by fueling it properly using gentle nutrition, but also know there is a time and a place for cookies…because let’s be real, a life without FUN foods is not as enjoyable.
  2. Honoring your hunger:
    Have you ever been on a “diet” that gave specific times to eat food? Certain portion sizes? Only allowed you to eat certain foods? That’s a major problem with diet culture–not teaching you to really listen, know or honor your hunger cues. With intuitive eating, you base eating needs on your physiological hunger.What are the physiological signs of hunger??
    Physiological hunger is your body’s way of saying “hey, feed me!”

    Signs of hunger:
    *empty stomach
    *stomach growling
    *dizzy/light-headedness
    *headache
    *irritability (HELLO hangry monster!)
    *difficulty concentrating
  3. Making peace with food:
    Any of you ever experienced fear foods? Foods you fear are going to make you gain weight? Foods that society has deemed “bad”?I used to have a huge fear of peanut butter and would only eat the powedered peanut butter because it was low in fat and calories. However, when I started studying nutrition in college, I learned that while peanut butter may be higher in fat and calories, it is also a great plant based protein source. The fat in peanut butter is actually beneficial for your hormone production and heart health. There is much nutrition in peanut butter, and I am happy to say now I am at peace with it and probably eat it daily.You can make peace with any food. When you can break it down and realize your body needs fuel for survival. Truly think of food as fuel. Know that your body can handle eating a cookie on Christmas…a slice of cake on your birthday…a piece of chocolate on Valentine’s day. The bottom line is: with intuitive eating, you never feel deprived or restricted of any food…so when you allow yourself to have more indulgent foods, you don’t feel the need to eat as much as your body can hold.
  4. Challenging the food police:
    Do you know how many times people have analyzed what I eat? Especially now that I am a registered dietitian. I remember my grandpa telling me I shouldn’t eat macaroni and cheese because it would “make me fat”. Or having family members say “Oh, you’re eating cake??” at Thanksgiving dinner. Those comments are annoying, and very difficult for those transiting into the food freedom lifestyle. As hard as it may be, my biggest advice is taking those comments with a grain of salt, and always think about what you’re gonna say next. You can always say “I’m at peace with  food, and very thankful that I can enjoy this pumpkin cheesecake today”. 🙂
  5. Discovering the satisfaction factor:
    Lots of times when we “diet”, we may not be satisfied with what we are being “forced” to eat. “Oh, I’m trying to eat healthy…guess that means I have to eat salad every day.”

    When we are in that mindset of “I have to eat this because it is healthy”, then our bodies aren’t satisfied. We aren’t eating foods we actually enjoy…meaning we aren’t satisfied after a meal. With intuitive eating, you choose foods based on your preference and what you want to eat. You may choose a big mixed greens salad for lunch with some lean protein, avocado, and vinegar based dressing. Other times, you may choose to have a burger with roasted vegetables. Regardless, you learn how to be satisfied after a meal so in turn, you won’t binge and mindlessly eat later on.
  6. Feel your fullness:
    Just as we should honor our hunger cues, we also need to honor our fullness cues, or our satiety level. As an intuitive eater, you learn how to stop eating when you are  full. No one is perfect! Overeating happens to all of us, but intuitive eating can help us learn when to stop at our fullness level, which helps us not overindulge.
  7. Cope with your emotions with kindness:
    This essentially means not to “fix” your emotions with food. Find other kind ways to handle your emotions. Find something that destresses you…that brings you comfort. It could be painting a mural, talking to a friend, journaling…whatever it may be, focus on that instead of food.
  8. Respecting your body:
    This can be easier said than done. From a spiritual aspect, God created you the way He wanted you to be. He wants you to be healthy and develop healthy relationships with people and health. Your body is a celebration of His creation, and wasting time worrying about your size does not enhance your life. Respect your body and what it can do. You are more than the number on the scale or the size in your pants. Focus on your strength. Your talents. Your growth. Your relationships. Your happiness. Respect yourself.
  9. Movement-feel the difference:
    This is all about shifting the mindset of “how many calories can I burn during this session” to “what movement brings me joy?” Don’t run if you hate running. Don’t spin if you hate biking. Find what exercise brings you joy and you’ll never feel “forced” to workout ever again…you’ll even look forward to your workout sessions!
  10. Honor your health using gentle nutrition:
    This is my favorite one! There are so many misconceptions with intuitive eating, but intuitive eaters know how to eat well by using gentle nutrition. With gentle nutrition, you honor your food choices and taste buds with foods you enjoy. Bye, bye kale salads, hello burrito bowls! You don’t instantly become “unhealthy” from one snack, meal, or one day of eating. Intuitive eaters focus on eating well consistently over time versus eating perfectly 24/7. It’s all about progress over perfection with gentle nutrition.

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What Intuitive Eating Isn’t:
Intuitive eating isn’t anti-health. It isn’t eating cookies all day long. It isn’t failing to eat nourishing foods. It isn’t mindlessly eating. It isn’t neglecting physical activity. It isn’t eating highly processed foods “just ‘cuz.”

Intuitive Eating is used to help people truly learn to fuel their bodies without a fear of food, without restricting, without guilt, without over-exercising. Intuitive Eating helps us learn to be comfortable choosing a big salad for lunch, but also realizing if you eat a cookie for dessert that you aren’t “unhealthy”. 

Intuitive Eating
What intuitive eating is and what it isn’t

I hope you now have a better idea of what this intuitive eating movement is all about, and it is my hope that we all can make peace with food. Life is too short to be a chronic dieter.

Make sure you subscribe to my blog so you get all my newest material sent straight to your inbox.

If you’d like to subscribe to my Newsletter to help you on you mindful eating journey, click here.

Join our Mindful Eating Facebook Community here!

Grab your copy of The Principles of Intuitive Eating here. 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN
Registered Dietitian
Follow me on social media!
IG: @no.guilt.nutrition
Facebook: Live Better with Kat Detter

This blog post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on a product link, I may receive a commission. All opinions are my own, and all brands featured represent what I personally like and support. This blog is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program where I earn advertising fees by linking to amazon.com.

References:
https://www.intuitiveeating.org/10-principles-of-intuitive-eating/

Pumpkin Dark Chocolate Tahini Cookies

Happy Holiday Season!

This is my favorite time of the year for many reasons…cooler weather, colorful leaves, fun outdoor activities, holiday baking, festive flavors…

This recipe is no exception! Combining two things I love the most: pumpkin and dark chocolate! Pumpkin is still in full swing in the Detter household, and today I’m sharing my Pumpkin Dark Chocolate Tahini Cookie recipe.

Essentially, this recipe is like my original Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe except I substitute pumpkin puree in place of smashed banana. Pumpkin puree and banana can be used in recipes to swap out oil. Banana adds an extra sweetness to the cookie while pumpkin gives the cookie a little more flavor–which is perfect for this time of the year!

Nutrition Benefits?
Dark chocolate is a powerful antioxidant, tahini is a heart healthy fat, oatmeal and almond flour adds extra vitamins + minerals + fiber, and pumpkin is rich in beta carotene (an antioxidant) making these cookies a wholesome + nourishing treat for the whole family to enjoy. Make as your Thanksgiving dessert or keep around the house during this holiday season! See full video tutorial below.

 

 

FULL Printable Recipe Below

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Pumpkin Dark Chocolate Tahini Cookies

  • Servings: 22 cookies
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

1 cup oat flour
1/2 cup almond flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/4 cup maple syrup (pure)
1/4 cup tahini
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 325 F.
2. In a mixing bowl, add oat flour, almond flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Mix well. Set aside.
3. In a separate mixing bowl, add egg (or sub flax egg if vegan), maple syrup, tahini, and pumpkin puree. Mix well.
4. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and mix well.
5. Fold in chocolate chips.
6. On a parchment paper lined cookie sheet, scoop cookie dough onto cookie sheet.
7. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Allow cookies to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.
8. Enjoy!

Baking is one of my all time favorite ways to get in the holiday spirit. What’s yours? Let me know in the comments section or on social media!

Be sure to tag me on social media in all of your creations using #livebetterwithkatdetter or @live.better.with.katdetter.

If you’d like to receive my FREE Monthly Wellness Newsletters, subscribe here! 

*What is this Monthly Newsletter? Every month is different, but they are all nutrition based and wellness oriented including in season foods, past relevant blog posts, fun food finds, and spiritual insight. 🙂

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN
Registered Dietitian
Follow me on social media!
FB: Live Better with Kat Detter
IG: @live.better.with.katdetter

 

Homemade Apple Pie

Happy Fall, y’all!

I am taking a break from #allthingspumpkin and experimented in the kitchen with homemade apple pie! When it comes to pie, what is your favorite: apple, pecan, or pumpkin?

With holidays right around the corner, I decided to get in the kitchen and make a more nourishing pie with the same flavor and deliciousness. Finding healthier alternatives to my favorite treats is one of my favorite things!

I adapted my pie crust from @livelytable and it did not disappoint. Essentially you could use about any type of flour, but I chose 100% whole wheat flour for some extra fiber + B vitamins + nutrients.

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Tip for the pie crust: The recipe calls to use a food processor, but I used my Vitamix and it worked perfectly. This recipe makes 2 pie crusts that last in the fridge up to 3 days before use. If you are vegan or do not care for  butter, feel free to use coconut oil.

I chose to peel my apples BUT there are TONS of nutrients in the apple peeling-fiber, vitamins and minerals…you can keep the peeling or save it for a smoothie.

Okay, onto the recipe!

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Homemade Apple Pie

  • Servings: 8 slices
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Pie Crust Ingredients:
2 cups 100% Whole Wheat Flour
2/3 cup (12 T) cold butter, cubed
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold water

Filling Ingredients:
4 large apples (I used Fuji & Pink Lady)
1/4 cup Maple Syrup-pure
1 T Lemon Juice
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 tsp Cinnamon
1 T whole wheat flour

Pie Crust Directions:
1. Using a food processor or high powered blender, pulse flour, butter, and salt until crumbly (or pea shaped form).
2. Add cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until flour meets dough-like texture.
3. Form dough into 2 equal shaped disks. Refrigerate up to 3 days or go ahead and roll out and form crust into a pie pan.
4. Bake at 375 F for 10 minutes.

Filling Directions:
1. Peel apples if desired. Slice apples to desired size.
2. In a medium sized mixing bowl, add peeled + sliced apples, maple syrup, lemon juice, vanilla extract, cinnamon and flour. Mix well. Set aside.

Assemble Pie:
1. Allow baked pie crust to cool for about 5 minutes.
2. Add apple pie filling.
3. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, keeping an eye on pie.
4. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream and ENJOY. 

*TIP: if you’d like a more “goopy” pie, use a tart apple like Granny Smith and cook for about 30-45 minutes. I will experiment with this method soon!! 😊

 

Let me know in the comments section or on my social media pages what YOUR favorite pie is! I’d love to know!

If you’d like to receive my FREE Monthly Wellness Newsletters, subscribe here! 

*What is this Monthly Newsletter? Every month is different, but they are all nutrition based and wellness oriented including in season foods, past relevant blog posts, fun food finds, and spiritual insight. 🙂

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN
Registered Dietitian
Follow me on social media!
@livebetterwithkatdetter

Pumpkin Spice Granola

Who else is still on a pumpkin kick? You know I am!

Y’all know I love me some granola, and if you haven’t checked out my other granola recipes, you can find them linked below:

Maple-Almond Granola

Almond Joy Granola

BUT since it’s pumpkin season, I made my version of pumpkin spice granola and honestly–it’s my favorite homemade granola recipe yet! I hope y’all love it as much as I do! Make sure you tag me in all of your creations: @livebetterwithkatdetter

Fun Pumpkin Facts: 
Did you know that pumpkin can be used to replace butter or oil in baked goods? You heard me right!
Subbing pumpkin for butter in a recipe: For 1 cup of butter, use 3/4 cup of PURE pumpkin puree
Subbing pumpkin for oil in a recipe: For 1 cup of oil, use 1 cup of PURE pumpkin puree (1:1 ratio)

Pumpkin is also high in fiber which many Americans do not consume enough of daily. Fiber aids in digestion, promotes heart health, and controls blood sugars. Make your “treats” more nourishing by using pumpkin!

Other ways to incorporate pumpkin:
Add pumpkin puree to Greek yogurt with a drizzle of honey
Make pumpkin muffins or scones
Mix 1-2 Tablespoons into coffee with 1 teaspoon of maple syrup
Make a savory sauce with pumpkin + light cream + Parmesan cheese
Combine pumpkin + ricotta cheese + herbs + spices and use as a filling for lasagna
Make a pumpkin smoothie

Okay, now onto the granola!

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Pumpkin Spice Granola

  • Servings: 6 servings
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

2 cups old fashioned oats
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp salt
1 T chia seeds or ground flax
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/8-1/4 cup maple syrup (depending on how sweet ya like it!)
1/2 can PURE pumpkin 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 F.
  2. Mix oats, spices and chia/flax together. In a saucepan, heat coconut oil, maple syrup and pumpkin until melted and combined together.
  3. Mix pumpkin mixture into oats.
  4. Once well incorporated, add to a parchment paper lined baking dish.
  5. For granola clusters, spread granola evenly and firmly pack oat mixture onto baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes, rotating pan halfway through. Allow granola mixture to cool for an hour, then break into chunks.
    **NOTE: If granola is too moist, bake for an additional 10-20 minutes at 200 F to take out excess moisture.
  7. Enjoy on a top of yogurt, in a smoothie bowl, or plain!
  8. Additional/optional add ons once granola is cooled:
    Dark chocolate chips/chunks
    Pumpkin seeds
    Raisins
    Dried cranberries
    Freeze dried fruit

 

What other fall recipes would you like me to try? Let me know in the comments here or on my social media accounts!

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN
Registered Dietitian
Follow me on social media!
@livebetterwithkatdetter