Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Holiday Eating: Katie Davis

Holiday Eating

Holidays are a wonderful opportunity to see family and friends that you might not otherwise see during the year. But what is a holiday without rich and tantalizing foods? To arrive into the New Year with only positive memories of the holiday season, here are a few nutrition tips to guide you:

1.      Be “choosy” with your choices: The holidays are a great time because it is often your one chance during the year to have Aunt Sue’s famous pumpkin pie, grandma’s stuffing, or cousin Vinnie’s bacon-wrapped scallops. My advice? Eat them! But choose those options over other foods you are able to eat any old time of year. Be “choosy” – eat what you don’t always get!

2.      Be mindful: Once you decide what food(s) you are going to eat during that special holiday meal or event, find somewhere to sit down and truly ENJOY what you have selected. Don’t be in a hurry to eat – take your time and converse with family or friends as you eat. Food should be enjoyed slowly, thoughtfully, and with intention. As you are eating, take note of your hunger and satiety levels – always stop when you are comfortably full or even sooner if your craving is sufficiently satisfied.

3.      Eat a sufficient meal before evening holiday outings: If you are heading to an evening holiday party serving only appetizers or desserts, be sure to eat a well-rounded meal before leaving the house. This will provide your body with energy to help you more easily make good eating choices at the event. It is easier to make smart choices when you are not ravenously hungry.

4.      Mingle away from the food table: To take the focus of your party away from the food, mingle with family or friends away from the food table. Position yourself in a completely separate room or with your back to the food table. This will help you to think less about the food because you can’t see it.

5.      Make sleep a priority: Studies show that inadequate sleep signals a hormone in your body that increases the drive to eat and makes it more difficult for your brain to gravitate toward healthy options. Help your body by getting at least 7-9 hours of sleep each night on average.

6.      Enjoy what truly matters: Keep in mind that what truly matters during the holidays is not the food, but the time spent with family and friends. By focusing on the enjoyment derived from people and not food, the holidays will be much less stressful for you and making healthy choices will happen naturally.

Katie Davis, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN offers individual nutrition counseling on Tuesdays at The Awakening Center. For more info call 773-929-6262.   

Sunday, November 4, 2012

EDA or OA: Which is right for you?

Eating Disorders Anonymous (EDA) or Overeaters Anonymous (OA): Which is right for you?
EDA and OA are very different programs, and it seems as though many people do not know the differences between the groups.

Deandra Christianson

Both programs are based on the Twelve Step and Twelve Tradition Program that originated in the Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) program. The programs are funded through the voluntary contributions of the members. Also, they seek to create a place of support for individuals with eating disorders that they may not feel alone. Though we are all unique, there are other people who are sharing similar experiences. There is no religious affiliation with either organization, and the spiritual values endorsed by the programs are to be interpreted by each individual, if they so choose.

The biggest difference between EDA and OA are the views of recovery.

“Our primary purpose is to abstain from compulsive overeating and to carry this message of recovery to those who still suffer.” –OA
OA believes that an individual with always have an eating disorder. An individual must abstain from certain behaviors or food and is always in recovery. Compulsive eating is seen in OA as a ‘progressive illness.’ OA emphasizes an ‘action plan’ for individuals in the program. This is a plan surrounding food and behaviors to help a person abstain from his/her patterns of overeating. The group focuses on the spiritual, physical, and emotional impacts of overeating and stresses health in all three of these areas.

“Our primary purpose is to recover from our eating disorders and to carry this message of recovery to others with eating disorders.” –EDA
EDA believes that an individual with an eating disorder can recover completely. The organization does not endorse any rules or rigidity around food. It is believed in EDA that the behaviors were due to emotional distress that was expressed through food. EDA strives to help individuals learn safe and effective coping skills. The program’s goal is balance and not abstinence.

To find more information about:
Overeaters Anonymous (OA), go to www.OA.org
Eating Disorders Anonymous (EDA), go to www.eatingdisordersanonymous.org

At The Awakening Center, we have an Eating Disorders Anonymous program on Wednesday nights from 7:45pm-9:00pm.