Friday, December 31, 2010

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Why be Guiltless?


We're always asking you to give yourself some slack...to love yourself and appreciate the characteristics that make you who you are. But why? Why should you work on the relationship you have with yourself? When life gets busy, it seems like the first thing that should go on the back burner is your self-image, right? But it shouldn't. Here's why:



Having a positive image of yourself leads to...

1.) Increased self-awareness: When you are more self-aware, you are better equipped to handle whatever life throws at you. Whether it's a challenging project or even simply noticing when you need to take a break, increasing your self awareness is one of the most important things you can do for yourself.

2.) Better health: Studies show that those who maintain a positive relationship with themselves are more likely to eat better, exercise more, get more sleep, and lead overall healthier lifestyles. If you love the package you come in, it will pay off both inside and out!

3.) Better relationships: When you're overwhelmed with feeling down about yourself, it's almost impossible to be sensitive to others. You risk unknowingly hurting someone's feelings, or even worse, you may isolate yourself from those who love you. When you have a good relationship with yourself, it makes it much easier to maintain good relationships with loved ones... and it makes it easier for them to show their love for you in return.

4.) Better job performance: When you have the ability to recognize the good qualities about yourself, it will show in your work. Increased confidence will allow you to shine and produce the quality of work you know you are capable of.

5.) Increased interest: When you're feeling good, the world is your oyster. You are more likely to explore, discover, and enjoy life when you're in a good place with yourself.

This is only the tip of the iceberg! There are countless benefits to feeling positive about who you are. Life will inevitably be kind when you're kind to yourself.

Hope everyone is staying warm this wintry week! Be well.

Have you noticed any positive changes in your life lately that you can attribute to your "guiltlessness?"


Monday, December 27, 2010

Resolutions? Let's Set Some Goals!

Oh January 1st—the day when everyone swears to lose 5 lbs by January 5th, when gyms across the nation become suddenly jam-packed, and your best friend is swearing off chocolate. If you've managed to save some self love through the rest of the holiday season, this becomes even more difficult when everyone around is resolving to make 2011 bigger and better than ever, through deprivation and brand new intense workout regimes. When was the last time you saw these New Years Resolutions followed through to September? Perhaps it’s because most of us do not plan well enough, and fail to set good goals. So this year, let’s shift our talk from resolution-making to goal-setting!

To make positive change this year, create small achievable goals that focus on the positive.

  • Brainstorm. What do you want? And Why? Clearly defining these two things will give you a strong start to causing change.
  • Start with a simple plan. Make it specific, and achievable. How can you realistically get from point a to point b?
  • Accentuate the positive: Avoid “I will not.” Instead use “I am”. Replace “I should”, with “I will.” Example: Instead of “I will not eat chocolate” try “I will make sure to eat 5 fruits and vegetables a day.” “Instead of “I should work out everyday” use “I will be active to stay healthy and happy, and give my body the rest it deserves.”
  • Make it visible for accountability. Share it with your best friend, your mom, on Facebook, on Twitter, or on your blog. Letting others know will help you stick to your goal.
  • Take steps. Goals aren’t all or nothing philosophies. Make small, gradual steps to reach your goal. Remember that slipping on rigid goals isn’t always a bad thing, and should be considered an opportunity to grow and learn. It is important to revaluate your goals throughout the year to see what may be preventing you from reaching them, and whether they are still helping you create the life you desire.
  • Stay Focused- Reflect and evaluate how your progress has gone. Goals can always shift. Acknowledge what you are doing well! This will foster hope and motivation to continue doing great!

I have two traditions that I would love to share with you for a positive January 1st. First my family gathers together with a calender and day-book of 2010 and relives all the positive things about the past year. We then look to the year ahead and some of the things planned to start thinking about what 2011 will hold. At the start of the new year I also like to create a Vision Board. I bring together a lot of images and words that inspire me, and create a board that outlines some of the goals I would like to accomplish in the new year. You can learn more about vision boards here and here, and here is what mine looks like this year:

on my vision board I put images of strength and flexibility both in body and in life. I reminded myself to remember that I am strong, confident and beautiful and ready to face the world.

This will hang in my room all year, as a reminder of what will make 2011 so great!

If you don’t want to commit to an entire board, write an affirmation card. Write something you would like to change in the New year, and keep it somewhere where you can look at it and be reminded for the reasons to change.

Everyone likes instant gratification, but success takes works, and planning, and long term goals make that possible!

“Remember: You have the power within you to create the life you love. Be gentle with yourself. You are worth every desire.”
-Lori Shemek

What are your goals for 2011? Do you use January 1st to reflect and set goals?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Holiday Cheer Up!

The holidays are upon us, which means you're probably up to your ears in cooking/shopping/holiday cheer. Around this time of year, I often hear people refer to their stomachs as "bottomless pits," or to a specific time period of "endless eating." This is understandable as holiday food is by far the best! This year, let's aim to do two things:

1.) Participate in a little indulgence without overdoing it and without the guilt.
2.) Vow to ban all post-party fat talk.


Too often do we either worry ourselves into food restriction or guilt ourselves into food remorse. This holiday season, enjoy the company of your loved ones, and when you're filling your plate, do it with all of your holiday favorites. If you're feeling conisderate about your health, just make sure everything is in moderation...For example, if you have two favorites consisting of a baked brie dish and a root vegetable medley, take them both but a little less brie and a little more veggies. This type of balancing act will keep your appetite satisfied guiltlessly.


Banning all post-party fat talk (and thought!) will be a more powerful exercise than you would think. Instead of thinking/saying, "Those 5 Christmas cookies were delicious, but I think I just gained ten pounds," do/say/think this: "That Christmas cookie was delicious! Who made those? I want that recipe!" See the difference? Much more optimistic and merry!

I wish you all luck in your last minute shopping, cooking, and holiday preparation!
Enjoy yourself, be mindful, and be well.

What's your game plan for the holidays?


Monday, December 20, 2010

Bakery Guilt


Yes I am a recent Boston University Nutrition Graduate, and yes I have worked in a bakery for a year and a half. Not just any bakery, but the sweetest traditional French artisan bakery, where it sells of chocolate and butter 24/7, where everyone always has a smile on their face, and everything produced tastes like heaven. It's a place where you go to feel warm and fuzzy inside, and allow yourself a special treat.
The things customers says to us at bakery ranged from rude, to flirty, to sweet to unbelievable. It's an endless source of amusement and can be very enlightening on peoples' relationshop with the world, food, and themselves.

The day before I took my vacation I had a small family come in mid-afternoon-mom, dad and junior. Their first time to the bakery they took some time to take all the sights and smells in. The husband was a loud type and I patiently answered all his questions. After some time, he turned to his wife and said 'what do you want to get, fatty"

While I'm sure it was done in jest (the entire family was overweight) and that he really loves his wife, blah blah blah. I was dumbfounded-and simply stared at him for a bit. How could you say something like that to someone you loved?

In case you didn't realize it (I think you'd have to be living in a cave not too) America has a weight problem. With over two-thirds of the population overweight or obease, we have a little bit too much junk in the trunk.

But calling your wife a fatty is not going to fix this problem. In fact, it will probably only further exasperate the problem. Perhaps she finds love, comfort and solace in her food, and with a low self-esteem she's much more likely to turn to that.

Not that I'm advocating that you all run to your nearest bakery, but I'm sure you've heard of the French Paradox- how can the French eat so much "bad" food, and be thinner and happier than fad-diet obsessed Americans? Yes, their diet may consist of more refined carbs, sugar and saturated fat, but their RELATIONSHIP with food is leaps and bounds better than ours. They listen to their hunger cues, stop eating when they are full, and savor their meals.

By building a relationship with food that does not involve guilt, we are on our way to a healthier, happier life. Where you don't feel shame when eating a crossaint. And perhaps you should examine your relationship with those in your life as well, and request that they not sabotage your plan by calling you "fatty." Build a support network of people that believe in you and uplift you to a higher level. And enjoy your pain aux chocolat.

How can you start to heal your relationship with food?

Friday, December 17, 2010

I Love my Smile


I Love my Smile
by: Donna Greenblatt

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

YOU-nique

Wherever you go, go with all your heart. ~Confucius

by: Stephanie Horton

I've been doing a lot of thinking about neurotransmitters lately. You know, the chemicals in your brain that communicate to the rest of your body how to function, think, remember, and feel? Without all this synaptic activity and chemicals coursing through our bodies, we would not be who we are. I'm no neurologist, but I wonder if we each have self-specific electricity running through us, making us the unique people we are...different, yet the same, and all beautiful in our own way...
The way we feel when we hear a certain song or the memories certain smells will trigger - this is all different for us. These ideas were initiated in me by something my adviser said during our Dietetic Internship meeting on Monday:"If you have three dietitians in one room, how many different courses of treatment will be proposed? Answer:3." But not every answer would be wrong, and in fact, all the answers could be 100% correct! Everyone has their own process of thought - Our unique problem solving skills and mindful abilities should be celebrated.

So when I was sitting down to think of a topic for this week's post, this is what I thought: Why should we love ourselves? What about ourselves should we love? And then I answered myself: We should love the things in our body and minds that make us who we are. So, in other words, I love my brain and soul and all the people, places, and things that contributed to my own unique memory and thought process. Without these things, I wouldn't be me, and you wouldn't be you.

So this week, please show some appreciation for the ever-so complicated network inside your brain that makes you who you are!

How to do this:
  • Trust yourself: If you are taking finals this week or perhaps starting a new job or project, follow your instincts.
  • Shine on: Don't get caught up in stress or drama. Simply exist as you are, be yourself, and you will shine.
  • Be Mindful: Even if you're simply figuring out what to make for dinner, listen to your inner thoughts.
What's one thing you love about your mind?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Stress OUT: Time to get rid of Stress!


Stress. A loaded word that makes me tense up just saying it! I know I'm not alone, since almost 75% of Americans reported stress in the past 2 weeks according to the National Health Interview Survey. We all have different coping mechanisms when workloads get heavy, and social demands start to weigh us down. Some of us might turn to food, over or under eating, some may resort to exercise, going overboard or giving up, others build up tension and stress bringing drudgery to every day.
These are some of the things the tools I use when school assignments pile up, life decisions must be made, and unpleasant suprises appear:
  • Go for a walk. Something about the fresh air, no matter the time of year, helps me to clear my head, set priorities and work things out.
  • Surround myself with friends- Friends that support and uplift me, who will inspire me, and reassure me that everything will work out.
  • Get a manicure or pedicure. A moment of forced relaxation, by taking the time to treat myself to a beauty appointment
  • Warm water- can you really feel bad when surrounded by warm water and bubbles, in a hot bath, hot tub, or sauna? As Slyvia Plath said, "There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won't cure, but I don't know many of them."
  • Yoga, Mediation or Running helps to clear my mind, and make my see the silver linings.
  • Make lists: Prioritizing what I need to tackle first, and writing it down helps reduce my anxiety

  • Break Tasks down: Small steps are much easier to accomplish than giant leaps, so breaking down my to-do list into manageable parts helps to reduce the stress associated with it.

What are your proven stress reduction techniques?

Friday, December 10, 2010

I love my wet hair

Julie Davis, vibrant as ever after running a half marathon! Go Jules!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Keeping Shining

Sometimes, all you need is a reminder...







Monday, December 6, 2010

The Pearl Photoseries by Matt Demers



As someone who prefers to be behind the camera rather than in the spotlight, the thought of a photoshoot can be harrowing (unless it's with Jessica Leibowitz that is).

What to wear, how to stand, how to flip my hair. How will I be perceived?? But what if a photoshoot wasn't at all about what you were wearing, how the lighting was, but instead about expressing your soul in plain black and white?
After stumbling upon a photoshoot of the unofficial Mayor of Boston, Christine Liu I was enthralled to find out who the photographer was. Christine said I must talk to Matt Demers, about women, body image, and beauty, so I reached out to him. He was nice enough to take some time out of his busy day to meet me at Eastern Standard and talk about The Pearl Photoseries, and find out a little bit more about this man behind the lens. A man of many coats, he has been a bartender, personal trainer, social worker/therapist, food photography, and wine purveyor, allowing him to see a whole slice of the world. 4 years ago, in a state of fever he came across the Louis Brooks photo of a young flapper's sillouette holding a strand of pearls. "In a delerium I thought, 'I could do this.' Its a cool pose, striking contrast and so artisitic. I know many powerful women in my life, I want to capture them like this."
the original inspiration
While it started with just an artistic vision, he says the project has transformed into something else entirely, something greater than he could have ever imagined. The photos are breathtaking, and exude such beauty, confidence, and expression in a high contrast black and white. Christine used the word "therapeautic" to describe her session.His models have ranged from his mother, 2 year old twins, yogi friend, neighbor, LUPEC ladies,friends from highschool (captured at a 10 year reunion) strong women in his life-150 of them with still a few more to go.

There is a freedom of movement in the photos, a sort of liberation. All the women wear black against the black backdrop, so weight, body shape, fat, thin, wrinkles, spots all disappear. You don't see any imperfections, you just see expression, beauty, and a strand of 100 pearls. He insists that the creativity comes from his models, and emotions can be stripped down in these two hour sessions. It's not about you being glamorous or superficial, it's about you being part of vision.
I find people like Matt inspirational. Not only does he showcase the powerful, strong women, but he highlights the opposite of what magazines do now, embracing real beauty and real women. He is showing true beauty and strength, raw, real, and imperfectly perfect women. We hope to see a big gallery gala soon!

What is beauty to you?

Friday, December 3, 2010

It's a Long and Winding Road

You are about to read a brutally honest, incredibly courageous story written by a woman named Lana. Since she was 7 years old, Lana has struggled with anorexia nervosa. The story below takes you through her memory in an effort to provide some insight into the painful world of eating disorders and the long recovery process. Lana wanted to share her story, hoping that she could not only reveal some truth, but also hopefully inspire others to love themselves and take care of themselves. Thank you so much for sharing, Lana!

October, 2006

I am sitting in the back seat of my aunt’s car looking up at the street signs. “Hospital, straight ahead.” Frantically, I drink seven bottles of water in ten minutes, desperate to boost my weight. For the third time in three months I am being dragged to the ER, and for the third time I will be admitted.

1990-2005

Much contributes to me developing anorexia, but there is no one specific cause. My mother is a dieter and still today talks of little other than weight. Dance school emphasizes weight also, and I feel surrounded by this constantly. Barely after puberty, when girls often gain weight, my parents tell me my thighs “are a bit heavy.” I do not blame them for my illness, I am past that, but I need to tell the truth here. Other parents need to be warned of the dangers of yoyo dieting and food talk all the time. Children see. Children listen. They notice everything.

By the age of seven, I am exhibiting signs of an eating disorder. My best friend and I love the scale. I spend many days at her house as a child, doing endless exercises and Barbie workout video-tapes. She eventually develops Anorexia too, but later than I and never quite as seriously as I did. We jump rope not for fun, but for exercise. We weigh ourselves and scoff at the number. “I am going to lose five pounds.” “Well I am going to lose ten.” I’m comforted because she weighs more than me; she is quite a bit taller, but only the numbers matter.

Now I am in high school and purging every day. I have no idea where this will lead. In one year’s time I will start a long, tumultuous road of treatment, relapses and severe depression. I do not eat anything until 4 O’clock pm, when I eat a normal sized meal and purge. I lose weight and everyone worries. I lose more and everyone panics. I lose more still, and action is taken. This is when I am brought to the ER and admitted to Children’s Hospital’s medical floor for the first time.

October 2006

Back in the car with my aunt and mother, I finish my last bottle of water just as we arrive. Unknown to me, water loading is seriously dangerous. I am admitted to the medical floor because of the dangerous electrolyte imbalances the water had caused, in addition to my low weight. I have been told numerous times that if I am admitted three times, it is off to treatment I go. I beg not to be sent away, but my pleading falls on deaf ears. I desperately do not want to get better. I relish in my low weight, at having everyone at school whisper about my eating habits and gray color. My anorexia was my life and my religion, and by God no one was going to take it from me.

Round three goes no better than the first two. I hide all my food and am constantly threatened with the tube. I want no part of recovery, and treatment is futile unless one wants to get better. With all of the games I am playing, I start to lose weight and get sicker again. The weight loss is blamed on the re-feeding process, which can push one’s metabolism to extreme highs. It is a sick irony that people with anorexia often have to eat an incredibly large amount of food in order to gain weight. Once I was stable enough to go to the psychiatric unit at the hospital (no treatment facilities had a bed), things only got worse. Every day for sixteen hours I pace the hallways, up and down, to burn off more calories. In my room, I run and do jumping jacks. I cannot get myself to sit even when I hit the point of exhaustion. At this point, I am sicker than ever, but nobody knows the half of it. They all believe, because of my lies, that I am recovering.

After this first stay in treatment, it all becomes a blur. I never graduated tenth grade because I was in and out of the hospital and treatment facilities so much. I received so much treatment in the following three years that I can barely remember how many times I was admitted.

2008-2009

On my 18th birthday, my therapist of two years told me she did not think treatment was working for me and that we were not making any progress together. I was utterly devastated. This was just another name in a long line of treatment team members who have dropped me for lack of progress.

Round 27 in treatment is just like all the others. Inpatient, residential, partial, IOP, inpatient…

I drop out of college in Florida because I am too sick to be there. My weight plummets yet again and off to treatment I go. This time, something clicks. This time, I realize I have nothing left to lose but my very life itself. I have no real “life” to speak of, but I am breathing and even my breath is on the line. I begin a new job and fall in love with it. I know I need to be healthy (or as healthy as I can be) in order to keep it. I am finally trying to get well.

2010-Present

I relapse in May 2010 and enter a residential eating disorder facility for two weeks. . While in this treatment – the shortest one of all – I decided I was not willing to let my eating disorder take what little I had in my life. It was time to take control and start loving myself.

It is up-and-down from there. Needless to say, it has not been an easy journey. Here I am today, absolutely adoring what I do for work and preparing to start college for the third time in the Spring. I send a text message to my dietitian who I still see weekly, “There is no way any eating disorder is taking what I have right now.” It is as simple and as complicated as that.

Bodies don’t work without fuel. Brains don’t work without food and fats and nourishment. I have found a direction in my life and that direction has provided motivation- the key to getting and staying well.

I write this in the hopes that even one person gains a better understanding of how complicating and life altering eating disorders and the recovery process are. Every single day, every moment for that matter, I have to make a choice. Will I give in to my disease today, or will I stay strong and show my body the love it deserves? It sounds like an easy decision, but for someone who struggles with this disease, it’s the hardest, and most important, of all.

If you are struggling with an eating disorder of any kind, please get help. I waited far too long to reach out for help and with every passing year I stayed sick it made it all that much harder to get well. No one deserves the pain and torment of having an eating disorder. If you suffer from one, you probably don’t think you are “sick enough” or “thin enough” to get help. Remember that we all think this and that absolutely NO ONE deserves to be tormented the way an eating disorder torments its victims. Get help, trust your care-takers and loved ones, and most importantly, and take care of and love yourself.

-Lana

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

by: Stephanie Horton

I watched the Victoria's Secret fashion show last night, hoping it would inspire me to write something on Guiltless today. After all, Guiltless is forum about appreciating the beauty in ourselves, and Victoria's Secret is the epitome of perceived female beauty in our society. So why wouldn't some fabulous topic pop into mind while watching scantily clad super models run around on a stage with loads of glitter, pop music, and shiny things and happy people? Seems reasonable, right? Wrong.

Absolutely nothing came to mind except, "Wow these girls are gorgeous, and these outfits are fantastic, and they are having so much fun, and oh my god those shoes...I want them." This is much different than the reaction I expected myself to have, which goes something more like this: "The fact that I will never look like that is the center of all failure in life...Why me, poor me, cry." Of course, this is a little exaggerated, but you get the point.

For so many women out there, last night's fashion show initiated feelings of guilt, envy, failure, and anxiety. I wondered why, after so many years of feeling these destructive emotions, it didn't happen to me. And then I realized...it's because I have been so focused on appreciating myself lately, that *gasp* , I actually do! Week after week, we write and read these inspiring stories about giving up the guilt and letting in the light. And I don't think I realized how important this has been until I put myself through the ultimate test last night! (Guys, you may not understand, but watching a Victoria's Secret fashion show - especially next to a man - is a true test of strength for us gals.)

I attribute this exciting transformation to the community of fantastic people we have been building together in an effort to help each other love ourselves. With that being said, a big THANK YOU to all of our readers and contributors for being so amazing. And now, some tips that you may have heard before, but like proven here, can't hurt to hear again:



Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

1.) Let positive in, push negative out: Every time you start to feeling those negative feelings creep up, simply tell them they are not welcome and instead encourage the positive thoughts to enter your mind. Like Sherlock Holmes said:

"I consider that [the] brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose. A fool takes in all the lumber of every sort that he comes across, so that the knowledge which might be useful to him gets crowded out, or at best is jumbled up with a lot of other things so that he has a difficulty in laying his hands upon it. Now the skillful workman is very careful indeed as to what he takes into his brain-attic. He will have nothing but the tools which may help him in doing his work, but of these he has a large assortment, and all in the most perfect order. It is a mistake to think that that little room has elastic walls and can distend to any extent. " ;)

2.) Write yourself a love letter: Tell yourself what it is that you are proud of. Leave out all criticism and include all praise.

3.) Say goodbye to the scale: It's not necessary. Body weight changes every day depending on so many factors like how much fluid you've taken in or how much rest you had the day before...The number is not an indicator of your "body status" and should only be used in a medical setting. Get rid of that thing.

4.) Ban all fat talk: Talking about feeling fat is no longer allowed in your vocabulary or your conversations with your friends. In fact, I'm willing to buy a taser gun and come give you a little shock with it if I hear you're talking fat. That's not a threat, it's a promise. I have ears everywhere.

JK, but really, stop calling yourself fat or ugly. Notice that when you tell yourself you're unattractive, you believe it? Try telling yourself that you are beautiful (since that is the actual truth), and then you will no longer be believing a liar!

5.) Inspire: Let yourself be inspired by others and by yourself.



What kind of reactions do you have to how the popular media portrays "beauty?"
What kind of advice could you provide readers with to end the self-abuse and bring on the self-appreciation?

Thanks for reading. Be well, and enjoy the day!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Black Monday

I recently became aware of the term "black monday" with its "turkey dumps" ie the weeks around the holidays have statistically the highest likelihood of splitting with your significant other. (Want proof? Facebook tells all-check out this fantastic infographic ). While this fact made my single-heart pretty sad, it also made me think about how the holidays can put a strain on all sorts of relationships. Family time can be filled with joy, but sometimes tension, as the pressures of pulling off that perfect holiday soiree build. The Holidays are often a time when we break up with ourselves. Ok, while You can't totally break up with you, but you can have a very miserable, abuse relationship.We might stuff our body with too much food one day, and then starve it the next. Getting shaken out of the comfort of home workout routines and eating schedules, as well as many holiday commitments can put quite the strain on your relationships with YOU! Maybe you spend too much time pleasing others without worrying about putting "me" first. Let this serve as a gentle reminder to break this Black Monday trend!

To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.- Oscar Wilde
you deserve to not by guilt-ridden and tormented by YOU
you deserve Love from YOU
you deserve Respect from YOU
you deserve to be nurtured and supported by YOU


Don't let the holidays break up your relationship with yourself! Bathe in self love and respect, and watch all the other tensions of the holidays fall into place!

Are the holidays an easy or difficult time for you to remember to care for yourself?

Friday, November 26, 2010

We are thankful for you! And you are thankful for...

I loved and agree 100% with this Wall Street Journal article that compiled psychology research to find:
Adults who frequently feel grateful have more energy, more optimism, more social connections and more happiness than those who do not, according to studies conducted over the past decade. They're also less likely to be depressed, envious, greedy or alcoholics. They earn more money, sleep more soundly, exercise more regularly and have greater resistance to viral infections.
So let's give thanks!!

We asked you this week what you are thankful for in your life. We received so many thoughtful, poignant posts, we just had to share them. In the spirit of the holiday season, here is what you said!

Things I am thankful for:

  1. Coffee on Monday mornings- actually every morning but especially Mondays
  2. My bed’s down pillow top- so good; possibly the reason I need so much coffee to pull myself out of bed
  3. I have not traveled as much as I would like yet, so I have lots and lots of exploration and adventure left in my life
-Richie Ferrari
____________________________________

I am thankful for my incredible boyfriend
I am thankful for my amazing friends.
I am thankful for my family's health.

-Lisa Frissora

_____________________________________

I am thankful for my fantastic friends and family. -Liz Capone
_____________________________________
Have I told you about The Coffee Man on Newbury Street?

I gave a homeless man on my block a package of Starbucks Via instant coffees last week.
My morning routine sends me by his block every morning after the gym and on my way to begin my work day. Every morning he approaches me with his 10-second pitch: he is trying to get a cup of coffee and needs just one more quarter. I have looked straight ahead and walked right by this man for months. Not only did I ignore him, but he actually bugged me--I was bothered that before I could even begin the work day that I was rushing to get to, another person was standing stagnant on my corner, begging me to give up my own hard-earned quarters. One day it infuriated me so much that I ran a quick calculation; if I'd given this man one quarter every day for as long as we've shared a block in the Back Bay, I would have given him over 300 dollars. $300 dollars! I may as well go and buy him that pink cashmere Burberry scarf I've been saving for!

Last week, something changed. I believe it's as simple as this: for the first time, I caught the look in his eye when I shook my head "no" and kept walking. It wasn't anger or annoyance or defeat. He just looked ashamed.

Here was a man who wanted just a cup of coffee, a important ritual and part of every single day for me that I take absurdly for granted. I went back and gave him a dollar and a handful of Via instant coffee packets from my kitchen cabinet, something I'd imagine would be very useful for a homeless person: the chances of landing just a plain cup of hot water to mix it in on a cold day are probably good.

So, what am I thankful for?

Coffee. Yes, absolutely. But also a warm bed. Clothes on my back. That I was born into a life equipped with the basic provisions I needed to worry about bigger things than how I will land that last quarter for my cup of coffee today.

-Katy Rais


__________________________________________________

I’m grateful for many things: my health, my family, the good fortune to live in this country and to have had so many wonderful people cross my path through life.

-Andres Branger

__________________________________________________

I am thankful to have my Dietetic Internship placement!
I am thankful for all the wonderful girls in my nutrition program I have met I am thankful for having such a supportive and loving family

-Keating Simons

__________________________________________________________

Place your hand over your heart and connect to your inner self. Speak from your heart and give thanks :)
-Stephanie Cantillo

___________________________________________________________

I am thankful for being left handed, my family and friends, and that I live in a blue state.

-Phillip Spinks

___________________________________________________________

I am SO thankful for all the incredible women in my life. I am so blessed to be surrounded by strong, confident and beautiful women every day. From school, the rowing community, my GUILTLESS buddies, and at home, a better support network I could not ask for!

-Amanda Milad

__________________________________________________

I am thankful that I have freedom with food and will be intuitively eating at Thanksgiving this year. I am also thankful to have a wonderful and loving family
-Janet Zimmerman

___________________________________________________________

I am Thankful for finding where I belong in the world, and that is thanks to my friends, families, and teachers

- Mariel Boomgaardt

____________________________________________________________________
1. I am thankful for my education 2. I am thankful for my family 3. I am thankful for true friends and true love -Cynthia Dorta
_____________________________________________________________

1. i am thankful for my loving family, my caring boyfriend, and my beautiful friends. _Kara Lydon
_____________________________________________________________
I am thankful for all the people in my life that matter most: my family; my friends, old and new (and all the fab. people I've meant since starting Gourmet Recipes for One) and for being able to do what I love most each and every day: cook. -Karen Covey
______________________________________________________________
1.The opportunity to pursue (and finish!) my MS along with 7 other amazing women
2. For my comfortable, beautiful living space that makes me feel lucky every day
3. My supportive husband who makes me laugh all the time
4. Our two cats, Henry and Hagrid, who have more personality and charm than I lot of humans I've met
.... Can I keep going!?......
-Callie Gordon


Thank you and have a fantastic week!
What are you thankful for?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Guiltless Thanks

Elizabeth:

I breathe a deep thank you every morning to those people and things that have shaped my life. A thanks to my mentors, teachers, friends, supporters, family, acquaintances, to have taught me so much, and whom I continue to learn from everyday. For a warm bed, cozy comforter, in a wonderful apartment, with a sizable kitchen, IKEA (blood and sweat) furniture and a fantastic roommate. For a body that runs, crunches, dances, spins and twirls. For nourishing food in my fridge, and warm coffee in the morning. For a determination that burns bright inside me, and blatant optimism. For the constant inspiration that the world provides from a myriad of sources. Thank YOU.

Stephanie:

To know what it feels like to have a family to count on and love unconditionally...
A blessing I vow to never take for granted.
To know what it feels like to have true life-long friends...
A bond that's inexplicable and indestructible.
To know what it feels like to truly love someone...
And to be truly loved in return.

For those who inspire me and continue to shape my life.

For my body and all the miles it has covered and all the loved ones it has hugged.

For the ability to spread joy with words and actions.

For the amazing people I have had the pleasure of crossing paths with in this life.


For the laughing & crying, reading & writing, singing & dancing, running & sleeping, cooking & eating, and for wanting to shout at the top of my well-used lungs:

That these are the things that I am grateful for every day of my life.

Life is short. This is true. But it has the potential to be oh so sweet...

Have a Happy, Guiltless Thanksgiving!



Monday, November 22, 2010

A Week of Thanks

"Beauty is how you feel inside, and it reflects in your eyes. It is not something physical."
~ Sophia Loren


We want to say a huge Guiltless Thank You to all our readers, our contributors, our role models, the changing face of beauty. To YOU for your constant inspiration. Like Summer said, enlightenment is a constant state of gratitude.
As Thanksgiving comes near we are taking this week to give thanks. On Wednesday Steph and Elizabeth will be listing a few of the many things they are thankful for, and we would LOVE for you to share what you are thankful for as well! We will publish a list of Thanks the day after Thanksgiving!

Leave a comment here of one (or two or ten) things you are thankful for today!
Tweet: @iamguiltless I am Thankful for _______ #givethanks
Leave a comment on our Facebook Fan Page of something you are thankful for!

Thank you for giving us a podium upon which to share our love for life, food, our bodies, our souls, our joy!

Friday, November 19, 2010

I Love My Eyes

The Lovely Emily Saltzberg

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

It's all about "Me Movement"


By: Stephanie Horton


Motion is deep within me

I move with the rails

With the planes

I move with the rising steps to see

The next level come into view

And feel its ecstasy


-Scott Mutter

I couldn't agree more with Rebecca Scritchfield's "Me Movement." It's focused on keeping us all happy and healthy during this holiday season - but I am pledging to keep it going throughout every season of life. If you're like me, it's easy to let yourself disappear in someone or something other than yourself...You become passionate about a cause and hold on to that cause like it's your last breath - you squeeze it like a boa constrictor - until finally, you realize it's actually what is causing the suffocation. When you do this, you lose sight of who you truly are - and this can suck the happy right out of you. It's imperative to keep sight of what's important to you and to put effort into these things, but the most crucial part about doing this is making sure you don't forget about yourself. With that being said, I couldn't be happier to join Rebecca's cause and share some of my own goals.

Here's the pledge...

For my health and wellness, I want to put myself first this holiday season. This year will be different. I am going to take care of myself during this busy (sometimes hectic) time. If that means asking for help, saying “no”, or scheduling “down time,” I will do it. I’m done being over-committed.

  • I pledge to remember how good it feels when I’m taking care of myself. And when I feel good, I am able to take better care of those I love.
  • I pledge to keep in mind that social situations are about the companionship, as much as the delicious food and drinks. I want to enjoy foods that look and taste good while respecting my body’s “fullness” and “satisfied” signals. I won’t judge myself if I ate “too much” of the holiday foods that don’t come around that often.
  • I pledge to stay in tune with what my body needs, whether that’s food, rest, exercise, or sleep.

My well-being is my priority. The goals below reflect the healthiest ways I know how to meet my own needs.


What are three things you can do to make sure your wellness needs are met this holiday season? You may want to choose one goal for each of these areas: nutrition, exercise and stress management. Or maybe you want to focus on just one or two areas. These goals are meant to be personal for you! Hang this pledge somewhere you will see it on a daily basis as a reminder of your commitment to honoring your health.

Goal 1: I will never feel guilty or stress out about doing things that make me happy.

Goal 2: I will exercise my body and my mind every day in order to strengthen both.

Goal 3: I will make the time to get organized in my apartment, my finances, and my books/notes from the last 2 and 1/2 years of school.

___________________________________________________________________

Signature Stephanie Horton

Date: 11/16/10

___________________________________________________________________


Share your pledge with us! What are the ways you personally create happiness in your own life? What makes you feel strong and healthy?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Me First

The theme of this past week has been inspired. After attending FNCE (The American Dietetic Associations annual convention) and being inspired by some amazing RDs, on Friday we attended Grand Rounds at Sargent College. We are lucky that the nutrition department shares space with other Health Sciences, including Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Speech therapy and once a semester they gather together and discuss a case for us all to learn from."Our patients are our best teachers" one of the professor's started and we were honored to have Matt there to teach us what it was like living after a Stroke. His resilience, and dedication to trying to restore the activities of daily life, while being Mr. Mom to two small children was so touching. The entire time he kept saying "step by step" "little by little" "One step at a time" If Matt can recover from a very serious stroke and impairment, and work hard to regain his Independence, we all can. It was so wonderful to see the amazing work therapist can do to really make a difference in people's quality of life. Thank you Matt.

Every little step makes a difference, and little by little we can reach our goals.Whether we want to feel comfortable in our bodies, appreciate our beauty, smush fat talk, eat healthier, feel better, it is the little steps towards those goals that matter. You need to listen to your heart, follow it, and remember to put yourself first.

One of my mentors and role models, Rebecca Scritchfield just launched a new initiative called the Me Movement-a way to help you stay healthy and sane this holiday season. She designed a pledge to commit to positive self care through the hectic holiday season. Of course, I signed up asap. I printed out the pledge I made for myself and put it on my desk. Finals are coming up, and I have a funeral, thanksgiving and christmas, all periods when I could start stress eating, over/underexercising or feeling bad. Not this year though! I am committed to having a guilt-free holiday season. I'd love for you to join me! Download the “me” movement pledge (PDF)Feel free to print the pledge and spend some time thinking about what self care habits YOU want to be accountable for this holiday season.


The "me" movement

For my health and wellness, I want to put myself first this holiday season. This year will be different. I am going to take care of myself during this busy (sometimes hectic) time. If that means asking for help, saying “no”, or scheduling “down time,” I will do it. I’m done being overcommitted.

  • I pledge to remember how good it feels when I’m taking care of myself. And when I feel good, I am able to take better care of those I love.
  • I pledge to keep in mind that social situations are about the companionship, as much as the delicious food and drinks. I want to enjoy foods that look and taste good while respecting my body’s “fullness” and “satisfied” signals. I won’t judge myself if I ate “too much” of the holiday foods that don’t come around that often.
  • I pledge to stay in tune with what my body needs, whether that’s food, rest, exercise, or sleep.

My well-being is my priority. The goals below reflect the healthiest ways I know how to meet my own needs.


What are three things you can do to make sure your wellness needs are met this holiday season? You may want to choose one goal for each of these areas: nutrition, exercise and stress management. Or maybe you want to focus on just one or two areas. These goals are meant to be personal for you! Hang this pledge somewhere you will see it on a daily basis as a reminder of your commitment to honoring your health.

Goal 1: I will dedicate 20 minutes of every day for “me” time. This can not be in front of a screen-I will use this time to read a book for pleasure, collage, or meditate.

Goal 2: I will get 7-8 hours of sleep every night.

Goal 3: I will incorporate more yoga into my workouts, for balance, flexibility and peace of mind.

___________________________________________________________________

Signature Elizabeth Jarrard Date 11/11/10



Need some ideas for your own pledge? Check out this list!

What are you inspired by right now? Are the holidays a stressful time for you? Would you consider signing the pledge and putting yourself first this holiday season? Guiltless is right here with you!

Friday, November 12, 2010

I love my belly

Thank you Summer. Have a guiltless weekend all!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

It's getting chilly out there...

by: Stephanie Horton

First and foremost, Congratulations to our Guiltless Giveaway Winner: Rachel Chemerynski! We hope you have a fabulous night at The Liberty Hotel for Lunafest, and we'd love to hear about how it goes!

This week, I am thinking about the cold weather. Every year, the winter rolls in, and my motivation to do pretty much anything besides watch movies on the couch or read books in bed rolls right on out (See Mike's Post on Night Cheese....I AM Tina Fey in that picture come the cold weather). I don't think I'm alone in this predicament.

Something about the cold outside makes it feel natural to want to stay nice and cozy inside! But every year around this time, I start to work out less and I start to crave macaroni & cheese or lasagna or pizza, etc much more.

Every year I tell myself that I'll make a schedule and stick to it, and no matter WHAT, I will go to the gym at this specific time and I will eat tons of veggies and absolutely no desserts! Bahahaha. Not. Gonna. Happen. (Even dietitians-to-be have to work extra hard to stay on track, especially during this time of year.) So what can we do to allow ourselves to have these feelings of laziness during the winter without sacrificing our lovely guiltless mind set?

Here are a few things I am going to try this season. Want to try them with me?

1.) Staying Social: Ordering pizza and watching a movie is much more fun when you're enjoying it with someone you're close to. Plus, if you're engaged in conversation, you'll probably eat one less slice...Also, there's never telling when a spontaneous dance party will erupt, and there ya have it! Dancing, Calorie burning AND staying in the comfort of your own home...plus pizza.

2.) Alarm Setting: On an especially busy day, try to set aside 20-30 minutes to do absolutely nothing. I'll set the alarm on my phone, take a quick cat nap, and hopefully wake up refreshed and motivated. It's important to give yourself some "me-time" during the day to recharge. Of course, this could turn into "just 20 more minutes," so you have to make sure you stick to your plan.

3.) Find work-outs I look forward to: This one is rather easy for me, because I have Phyllis...the most incredible trainer who knows how to keep workouts exciting and effective. However, if you don't have a Phyllis, search around this month for classes you love or maybe new exercises like Pilates or Yoga that might inspire you. Or maybe you can splurge a little on winter athletic wear. Playing in the snow is always more fun when you do it in style. If you're looking forward to the work out, it's much easier to put off couch lounging.



4.) Get back in the kitchen: One of my favorite things to do is cook hearty winter soups and stews during the winter. They fill up the house with an enticing aroma, and they are fun to share! Stay tuned on Food For Real for some of my favorite healthy winter recipes. Cooking a healthy meal that lasts all week always beats ordering in...and if you feel like staying in, cooking is a fun activity.

5.) Get enough sleep: This is a tough one, especially for me. Not because I don't get enough sleep, but because during the winter, I feel like I could always sleep more. Is this some kind of evolutionary trait I've carried on? Cave-woman hibernation instincts of some sort? Who knows? But I vow this winter to try to get at least 7 hours of sleep at night which will hopefully help me combat the afternoon "motivated-only-to-nap" blues.

So there you have it!

Would you like to share any of your tips on how to stay motivated (or at least how to stay on track) when the winter weather gets the best of you? We always love hearing from you!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Guiltless Giveaway!

Elizabeth here! It's been a whirlwind weekend at FNCE-the annual convention of Registered Dietitians, held in Boston this year. I've been meeting RDs that inspire me daily, real role models and mentors in my life. The sessions have been educational, conversations superb. I have a lot of thinking, and digesting to do in the next couple of days!. But I am very excited to announce the First Ever Guiltless Giveaway!!!! There is a fantastic event coming to Boston this week and we were asked if one of our readers would like a pair of tickets. We thought you'd be interested so we're hosting a Giveaway! Unfortunately it's only for those who are free November 10th, at 7pm in Boston, but we have two tickets to LUNAFEST! First more info on the event:


LUNAFEST is coming to Boston!!! Lunafest is similar to other traveling indie film festivals except one thing...it's films by, for and about women! You will find the films offered unique, artistic efforts by female directors, producers and writers, who are under-represented in the world of film. And, it's the feel-good event of the season. Add on some dessert and drinks, and it will be the best night out you've had in awhile.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010 @ 7pm

THE LIBERTY HOTEL

215 CHARLES STREET

BOSTON

Post-show reception in the Rotunda includes open bar (wine & beer), dessert, door prizes

More information can be found here


In case you've never been the Liberty Hotel is FANTASTIC. It's going to be a stellar event and I'm so bummed I can't be there. A few ground rules:

All entries must be in by 6pm Tuesday 11/09/10.

Only enter if you can attend the event in Boston at 7pm on 10/10/10

1 entry per comment below

1 entry per tweet (you can copy n paste " @iamguiltless is giving away 2 tickets to #LUNAFEST #BOSTON Enter at http://iamguiltless.com " )


Best of Luck-Here's to a guiltless week!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Self Love in 140 characters

Monica of @dearnutrition decided to express her self love in 140 characters for a week! We Loved this idea and decided to post her tweets here. She is a fabulous young RD with a great blog, I suggest you check it out!
  • today a customer told me she loves my "radiant smile." I'll have to love it too! :)
  • I love the high arches of my feet. Make me feel like a Barbie!
  • Today: I love the natural waves of my hair!
  • Day 5 . I love my thighs! Proof of my years of playing basketball and dancing. @
  • Day 6 #selflove I love the color of my skin. A true #Filipina indeed! @iamguiltless
Then she shared this great song:


How do you remind yourself you are beautiful? Have you joined the guiltless challenge?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Breakdown

"If there is no struggle, there is no progress." -Frederick Douglass

by: Stephanie Horton

Chocolate is one of my favorite things. And when chocolate is one of your favorite things, it's not easy to resist. And despite what popular media may have told you, chocolate is not "healthy" due to it's antioxidant content. (Please, I WISH!) It does contain some antioxidants but has only been scientifically proven to have cardiovascular benefits in the elderly in very small doses. So unless you're 80 years old and nibbling on a 1" piece of dark chocolate every other day, chocolate is still an indulgence.

So why in the world am I writing about it? Because yesterday, I had a "chocolate breakdown" and I was not "guiltless" about it. I was pretty stressed out over an exam in Metabolic Regulation...this stress resulted in stress-chocolate-eating which resulted in the consumption of one candy bar followed by a mini chocolate pumpkin (yes, it was cute). Normally, I am great about indulging in basically whatever I want, but there was something different about it this time. I wasn't doing it to enjoy it...I was doing it because I was stressed out! And there is a big difference here, and I think this might be a major key to being "Guiltless."



Take a look at these two scenarios:

Scenario 1: Steph comes home from a long day at school and needs a break. She decides to walk up to the square in her neighborhood and buy a cappuccino and a few gourmet chocolates from the specialty chocolate store. She enjoys both in the comfort of her own home, probably watching an episode of Grey's Anatomy or reading a magazine. Later that evening, she whips up a healthy dinner and enjoys a glass of wine with a friend...feeling great

Scenario 2: Steph is sitting across the table from her study-partner Sarah, and she feels like ripping her hair out. She can't remember if the liver can oxidize ketones! (They can't, by the way). She spots a Musketeers candy bar in the vending machine to her right. Suddenly, a single dollar bill flies out of her wallet, into the vending machine, and within the blink of an eye, that candy bar wrapper is empty. She feels ok about the exam, but during the next class, she's having a tough time paying attention, because she's having a bit of a sugar withdrawal. She spots a pumpkin chocolate, and takes one b/c this might help her focus a little better. She gets out of class at 8:30, is home by 9:00 and has a few cocktails for dinner...not feeling so great.

What's the main difference here? STRESS. Learning how to cope with stress is a huge part of feeling good about ourselves, and I don't think I realized this until I observed my own behavior last night. How can we feel guiltless about our choices if we allow our emotions to make the decisions? Instead of shoving the candy bar in my face, I should have acknowledged my stress and determined whether I really was hungry or if maybe I just needed to take a breather. And if I was hungry, I had an apple in my bag! The mindlessness of my snacking is what made me feel guilty last night...It wasn't the chocolate's fault! (I still love you, Chocolate).

A few months back, I wrote a post on Food For Real about our relationships with food. Along the same line of thought, I also wrote a post on why we eat (reasons other than being hungry). One thing I wrote was, "I am a tried and true study/stress eater. During finals and midterms, it’s nearly impossible for me to sit down for a long study session without snacking." Yup! I continue to give snacking advice, saying that it's best to snack on low cal foods like grapes and veggies, etc. But I think that there is something else that must be acknowledged here. It's not the food choices that we need to work on (though this is certainly one of the puzzle pieces)...it's how we manage our stress. After we get a handle on that, the better choices will roll into place.

This is all part of our quest toward mindful eating. It really is a journey, and as we can see from my night last night, there are some bumps in the road here and there. But it's good to have obstacles once in a while, because it helps us reflect on the things that matter to us.

What's your breakdown scenario? What's your take on mindful eating and stress?