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

 

 

6 Things that are Damaging for Your Health

Have you ever chased a smaller body? Felt like your worth was dependent on your weight?

Most people try to lose weight at some point in their life…and unfortunately, diet culture promotes quick fixes that do not last a lifetime. Did you know that within 2-5 years of dieting, 95% of people gain weight lost back, plus more pounds? It’s time we stopped chasing diet culture’s lies and started choosing health promoting behaviors > weight loss for good. Here are the 6 things that are damaging for your health.

IMG-4375

    1. You’re not eating foods that make your body physically feel good

What foods make your body feel good physically? Think about it – foods that contain micronutrients – vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Those are found in nutrient dense foods like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. If you are constantly fatigued, constipated, low energy, or you “don’t feel good”, re-assess your food choices and see where you can add in some of those nutrient dense foods. Does that mean that other foods are “bad”? Absolutely not.

With mindful & intuitive eating, choosing food that make your body physically feel good is key…but honoring your food cravings are equally important. You’ll find out why later in this blog post!

 3. You’re not drinking enough water

Our bodies are literally made up of mostly water–meaning we thrive off of water. My college anatomy and physiology professor said if you’re actually “thirsty” then you’re already dehydrated…so be sure you’re drinking enough water throughout the day. Enough fluids also aids in digestion to help build that healthy colon and keep you regular, if you know what I mean. Set small goals for yourself – for example: I will drink 4 water bottles by the time I leave work for the day.

   4. You’re restricting foods

A popular diet culture belief–restriction. If you eliminate carbs, you’ll lose weight. If you avoid fat, you’ll lose weight. If you eliminate gluten, you’ll lose weight. If you eat only protein, you’ll lose weight. If you fast, you’ll lose weight. And you know what? Many people do lose weight from restriction–however, when restricted foods are reintroduced into their life, it likely leads to a “binge”, and a food guilt session follows. That is why it is so important to eat balanced meals including all, yes all, foods at each consistent meal. Eating consistently is more sustainable for life, and you get to enjoy all foods.

With a life of mindful & intuitive eating, kales & cookies can coexist!

   5. You’re only doing cardio.

Trust me, I’ve been here! I am a cardio queen-running, dancing, swimming, biking–my favorites! Cardio burns the most calories and makes you sweat-and back when I was in the height of my disordered eating, that is all I cared about. Cardio is important for cardiovascular health…but strength training is just as important. Sculpting exercises builds muscles so we can be strong, complete activities of daily living, improve body mechanics and protect bone health.

  6. Poor relationship with food

Have you ever beaten yourself up over eating a food you consider “bad”? What about feeling good about yourself for eating something deemed “good”? That is the problem. Labeling foods as “good” and “bad”. With mindful & intuitive eating, all foods can fit as long as you’re enjoying balanced nutrition. Labeling foods is not good for mental clarity. Foods do not hold moral value. Part of life is enjoyment, and if that means eating your favorite food, then do it! You will have more food freedom if you get out of the “good food-bad food” mentality.

   7. Self Doubt

Is this something you struggle with? I do too. But hunny, remember – you are beautifully and wonderfully made! This is my favorite positive affirmation to remember. God designed you to be YOU. Unfortunately, we live in a society that glorifies weight loss…and when we aren’t successful with keeping weight off from diet culture, we feel like a failure…but I’m here to tell you that you do not need to give into the lies of wellness culture. You do you, boo!

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
Follow me on social media!

Benefits of Blueberries

Who else loves blueberries??

blueberries

When I think summer, I think “summer harvest” including squash, zucchini, watermelon, cantaloupe, and even okra…but, blueberries definitely steal the show for me when it comes to summer produce.  Why, you may ask?  How could such a simple berry they have all year long be my favorite?  Well, I grew up on a small-scale farm with over 20 blueberry bushes, so I spend every summer picking gallons upon gallons of blueberries.  Today, I am going to share the nutrition benefits of blueberries with you and give you some FUN ways to enjoy these beauties.

bush

Blueberries have been a huge part of America’s agriculture from the beginning days when Native Americans cropped the land.  They used blueberries not only because they tasted good, but also for medicinal purposes as well as fabric dyes.  Interestingly enough, North Carolina (my home state) is one of the prime locations for blueberry cultivation.  This explains why my father has so many bushes!

blueberrys

 Health Benefits of Blueberries

First off, blueberries are rich with vitamin C, vitamin K, and the mineral manganese.  Vitamin C is great for immunity and skin while vitamin K promotes healthy gut bacteria flora.  My personal favorite nutrient in blueberries is fiber.  Fiber not only promotes satiety (the feeling of fullness after consumption), but also helps ya poo!  There is also a lot of research that shows blueberries as having anti-aging affects and antioxidants to help with cancer prevention.

FUN Ways to Enjoy Blueberries

Blueberries are super versatile and can be enjoyed in many ways.

Ø  Add ½ cup of blueberries (fresh or frozen) into your oatmeal

Ø Blend 1/2 cup of frozen blueberries in smoothies

Ø  Sprinkle on top of salads

Ø  Bake with them! See recipe below

Blueberry-licous Muffins

muffins

Recipe yields 12 muffins.

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs, preferably room temperature
  • 1 cup of unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup of honey or maple syrup
  • ¼ cup of canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon (or more if you like the flavor)
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon of baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • 2 cups of whole wheat flour (you could use AP flour, I just like the added nutrients of WW flour)
  • 2 cups of fresh or frozen blueberries
  • ½ cup of roughly chopped walnuts

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  You can line muffin tin with cupcake liners or use baking spray.  Set aside.
  2. In your mixer (or large bowl), add eggs, salt, vanilla, baking powder, and baking soda ensuring that everything has dissolved.  Once all is dissolved, add in your flour and gently fold.  Once flour is gently folded, fold in the blueberries, cinnamon, and walnuts. Do not over mix! *Cooking fact: If you over mix the muffin batter, the muffins could present tunneling, which is small tunnels in the cooked product.
  1. Scoop your batter into the greased muffin tins with a large ice cream scoop.  Bake for 22-25 minutes, checking with a toothpick to ensure they have been cooked all the way through.  Once out of oven, let the muffins rest for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.  Recipe yields 12 muffins.  Enjoy!

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!

References
USDA Harvard Study:
https://www.ars.usda.gov/plains-area/gfnd/gfhnrc/docs/news-2014/blueberries-and-health/