Posts Tagged ‘Food’

Eat, k?

April 1, 2011

Over the course of my career, I have worked with my fair share of people struggling with what I’ll call ‘disordered eating habits’.  As a body-obsessed nation, many people work towards a perfect body or at least think about it. Knowing when my client isn’t like everyone else and is possibly suffering from an eating disorder has its challenges-as a fitness professional it is my responsibility to identify warning signs that could indicate a problem. Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa are the two most commonly known eating disorders but “disordered eating” falls in between.  To my knowledge, I haven’t had any bulimic clients, as under-eating has been the disorder of choice for my clientele.  Hello New York City!

Someone suffering from anorexia is typically obsessed with thinness and body image. They are determined to lose more weight, even if their weight is below normal and will have an irrational fear of fat and weight gain.  From this term, we can derive “manorexia” and “pregorexia” (any others?).

As is often the case, “-exics” might just restrict caloric intake and increase calorie burning (through exercise), or they may also use diuretics, laxatives and diet aids to assist in their weight loss.  Yikes!

Since our society tends to lean towards extremely thin bodies, it’s sometimes difficult to recognize these disorders by looks alone.

Being on a constant diet is indicative of disordered eating.  Normal eating patterns follow the body’s signals of hunger and fullness.  Eating every 3-4 hours to satisfy hunger is the key is to eat for health, energy and vitality.

As a “normal person” (am I normal?!), I think about my food intake and weight a small part of my day, but a person with disordered eating typically finds much of their day consumed with thoughts of food, calories burned, fat content and thinness of their body. You know you’ve crossed over the line from normal to disordered eating when food in itself becomes stressful.

The problem for me (after my assessment) becomes how to deal with the ‘elephant in the room’.  Referring my client to a professional, such as a dietitian, internist, or psychiatrist is only half the battle:  the rest is a tightrope walk:  how can we work out, burning as few calories as possible?  I still want to be in a position of support and positive energy without adding to the problem.  If we can identify the initial signs of disordered eating, can we stop it from getting to the next step?

TSA-Proof Snacks

March 1, 2011

These days, liquid restrictions for air travel can be annoying, to say the very least!  And the ‘liquid’ definition gets a little murky when it comes to food.  Between our wedding and honeymoon, we had a difficult time deciding on what to pack in the suitcase and what to carry on.  A dear aunt lovingly made jam for my new husband and I as a send-off gift.  On our way to the airport, I couldn’t resist sticking my finger in the jar to taste it’s homemade sweet goodness.  It was amazing.  I couldn’t wait to spread it on a slice of toast when we got home.  The TSA agent decided it was a ‘banned substance’ and smugly took it away from my unwilling, prying hands.  Tears weren’t far away as I watched my aunt’s love-filled work disappear.  Jam?  Liquid?

Getting to my point, I bring my own snacks when I travel, as I can’t handle the expense of airport food, nevermind the preservatives and sodium!  (Even bananas have that airport taste!)  I learned that even a jar of peanut butter will get snatched up by the hungry TSA’s, so I am very careful.  Here is a list of treats for those spring-break travels:

  • low-sodium, all-natural instant lentil, split pea or other bean soup (ask the flight attendant for hot water)
  • a pack or 2 of instant oatmeal
  • an apple with a packet of almond (or any nut) butter
  • hummus singles with a bell pepper, snap peas, carrot or celery sticks
  • the obvious trail mix handful
  • a kind bar (or other less-than-200-calorie-bar)
  • steamed (and already cooled) edamame
  • a few whole-grain crackers with a cheese stick

Happy travels!

Superfood: Kale

February 23, 2011

Sometimes I get bored of the same ol’ snacks week after week.  I’m always on the lookout for new and exciting healthy treats.  Some months ago, I discovered Kale Chips at a local grocer, bought them, ate the entire container in one train ride and had the worst stomach ache on earth.  To make matters worse, I had to log it and ‘fess up to my nutritionist.  While being chastised for portion control (in my defense, they were so good I couldn’t stop), I got heavy praise for my adventurous palate and discovering a ‘superfood’ on my very own!

Even though it’s not very pretty, kale is an amazingly easy  and quick veggie to cook.  In just a few minutes, steamed kale is a delicious accompaniment to baked salmon, chicken breast or pork tenderloin!  It’s high in so many vitamins and antioxidants, but let’s let Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, LD from WebMD explain it better than I can:

One cup of kale contains 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 15% of the daily requirement of calcium and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), 40% of magnesium, 180% of vitamin A, 200% of vitamin C, and 1,020% of vitamin K. It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.

So there you have it.  Incorporate this superfood into your diet.  I’m pleased to share with you my version of a kale chips recipe.  It’s amazing.

Skoog’s EASY Kale Chippers


1 large bunch of kale leaves
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
1 clove minced garlic

Sea salt to taste
Fresh ground pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
  2. Remove stalks and ribs from kale. Rinse and dry leaves with paper towel.
  3. In a large bowl, using your hands, toss leaves with olive oil until each leaf is coated.  Add garlic and mix well.
  4. Arrange leaves in a single layer onto a baking sheet. Sprinkle leaves with sea salt and ground pepper.
  5. Bake for 23-27 minutes or until crisp.
  6. Transfer chips to a wire rack or paper towels and let cool.