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A diet plan is NOT the same as meal planning.

Let's set the record straight.

 

There is always an overwhelming request for diet plans. It’s easy to assume that a diet plan is what we need to be successful. People want to be told exactly what to eat and when to eat, so there’s no room to fail.

The problem with this is that following a diet plan is usually unrealistic and unsustainable long-term. Chances are, you’ve tried strict diet plans in the past and it didn’t work then, so why would it work now? 

As opposed to a meal plan, planning ahead for meals is a dynamic process that sets yourself up for success. Rather than being told exactly what to eat, it’s best to learn how to plan ahead for your meals. Once you learn the basics of meal planning, you’re empowered to make informed decisions about what your body needs to function at its best. Contact Cassandra to get started! 

Benefits of planning ahead: 
  • Takes the guesswork out of meal time
  • Takes into consideration all the factors that affect your food choices
  • Ensures healthful foods are planned 
  • Prevents choosing quick, processed convenient foods 
  • Cost savings by eating out less 
  • It’s a relatively simple process to make a plan in advance

Tips to get started: 
Start to think about what you will eat just 24 hours in advance. Take an inventory of what’s available in your fridge and pantry. Write down your decision on simple meal planning template. Remember, our brains make decisions differently when we are calmly planning ahead vs. making impulse judgments. Planning ahead for your meals is one of the most advantageous, yet simple habits you can implement as part of a healthy lifestyle. 


Protein 101
When it comes to protein...more is always better, right? Well, no.


 Too much of a good thing is not always better… we know that. It’s beneficial to spread out your protein intake throughout the day rather than trying to consume a majority at one meal or protein shake. 
 
BEWARE: Overspending on  a protein powder that provides extremely high amounts of protein is a waste of money, since we can only absorb so much protein at once (a maximum of 0.55g per kilogram of body weight per meal). Remember how nutrition is complex, with lots of math involved?!

It's important that you read the ingredients list, because many powders (and protein bars) have additives, like added sugar. For example, I’ve seen popular brands like EAS, Premier Protein, Muscle Milk and many others have carrageenan, corn syrup solids, artificial flavoring and/or sucralose. 

Check out my recommendations (with coupon codes!) on my website

Here are my favorite brands for plant-based protein powders, based on their ingredients: 
 
Orgain - made with brown rice protein, chia seed, hemp protein, and pea protein (HEY, there is a coupon code on my website for 30% off!)
 
Aloha - made with pea protein, pumpkin seed protein and hemp protein 
 
Swanson Pea Protein 
 
Tone It Up - made with pea protein and pumpkin seed protein 
 
Vega - made with pea protein, sunflower seed protein, and pumpkin seed 
Weight loss doesn't cure negative body image. 
Adopting a strict diet to lose weight in hopes of improving body image will result in: 
  • Living in fear of gaining the weight back. 
  • Constant body checking. 
  • Thinking about food all day long. 
  • Obsessing over every calorie. 
  • Missing out on social events to prevent “temptation”. 
  • Harm to your emotional well-being. 
  • Your eating habits become disordered, unsustainable and obsessive. 
  • Fixating on the number on the scale, which steals your joy in every area of your life. 
Body dissatisfaction is the main reason why women start a diet. Dieting is the most common reason women begin binge eating. We restrict food in order to solve binge eating, which actually does the complete opposite. It’s exhausting!!! 

Getting confident with your body is a practice. It doesn’t happen overnight. It could mean unraveling years of negative thoughts you’ve believed. It’s tough to have peace with food when you’re at war with your body. 

Are you ready to begin your own journey toward mindful & intuitive eating? My Intuitive Eating Journal is available to you on Amazon!
Get your copy of The Intuitive Eating Journal

Got cravings? Check your magnesium. 

 Magnesium is a mineral in the body responsible for protein synthesis, blood sugar control, energy production, and many more essential functions. A deficiency can make you feel tired, and therefore crave sugar as an emotional response to being tired. To ensure you're meeting your magnesium needs, consider taking a supplement or adding in magnesium-rich food sources to your diet, which include green leafy vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds.

Virtual Nutrition Counseling

 Thanks to technology, I am able to give you guidance at the times that work best for you. Whether you have free time on your lunch break, after the kids are asleep, or on a Saturday morning: I am there in real-time. This takes the stress, time, & cost out of driving to and from appointments. Let's get started!

Happy Foods for Stressful Times

Could it be true that our happiness is dependent on what lies at the tip of our forks? 
It is true that our daily food choices can affect our mood and overall mental health. The emerging field of Nutritional Psychiatry is finding there are many correlations between what you eat, how you feel and how you behave. 
 
According to the Harvard School of Public Health, consuming more foods that trigger inflammation and less foods that prevent inflammation increases the risk of being diagnosed with depression by 29-41%. 
 

Need a little help navigating the anti-inflammatory diet? Check out these resources: 

Normalize snack time

I refer to a snack as “the vehicle to get you from one meal to the next”. I often come across the assumption that snacks are “bad” and it leads to weight gain. However, it’s a wise decision to plan out a nutrient-dense snack to prevent a ravenous binge at your next meal, am I right?! Also, side note: A planned snack and grazing throughout the day are two completely different things.


Today’s snack spotlight: spirulina clusters! Theses meet my snack-spectations! 

✅Plant protein ✅Fiber ✅Antioxidants ✅Calcium ✅Iron 

Use referral code: nutritionnibbles10 and ORDER HERE

Strawberry Watermelon Smoothie 

Simple, 6-ingredient smoothie with fresh watermelon, frozen strawberries, lime, and chia seeds! Refreshing, hydrating, and the perfect summer breakfast or snack!

Click here for my favorite smoothie making guide!  
Servings: 2
Ingredients (vegan and gluten free):
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh watermelon (cubed, black seeds removed)
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 medium ripe banana (previously peeled, chopped and frozen)
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup unsweetened plain almond milk
  • 1 medium lime (juiced)
  • 1 Tbsp chia or hemp seeds (optional)
Instructions:
  • Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until creamy and smooth, adding more almond milk to thin, or more frozen strawberries or ice to thicken.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more lime for acidity, banana for sweetness, or watermelon for a more intense watermelon flavor.
  • Serves 2 (as original recipe is written) - top with additional chia seeds to mock watermelon seeds! Best when fresh, though leftovers keep covered in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.
Nutrition Information per serving: Calories: 182, Carbohydrates: 30g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 6.2g, Saturated Fat: 0.8g, Trans Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg,Sodium:48 mg, Fiber: 9g, Sugar:14g (natural sugars). This recipe was adapted from Minimalist Baker

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