Is your helping voice really helping?

Is your helping voice really helping?

You know that little internal conversation you have when staring at the buffet table, open bar or other indulgent food (or beverage) choice?  There’s often opposing voices or thoughts going through our minds such as “it’s not that bad, “or “you know, you really don’t need that…”

You are normal

The good news, you are not crazy if you are hearing voices too! In fact, most of us have an inner helping and sabotaging voice. I think of it as friends versus an accomplice. Our friends help us when we feel down by saying comforting words that are uplifting and encouraging like this exchange with my best friend, Gretchen:

Me: I have a craving to quit my job, eat icing out of a plastic tub, and drink a margarita. Apparently, I’m feeling stressed…
G: Is it weird that we have all the same stress things? LoL
Me: Hahaha no, makes me feel less strange. And probably just confirms the soulmate best friend thing 😛
G: What’s got you so stressed?
Me: It’s the story I’m making up around people canceling or rescheduling last minute (clearly appointments with me don’t matter… Yada yada yada)
G: I’m sorry babe. I know that gets to you. You are amazing and important. Everyone overbooks and overdoes this time of year. That’s all it is.

See how Gretchen affirmed my feelings and gave me a chance to process through my negative thoughts? On the flip side, my thoughtful office mate, Richard, is more of an accomplice. When I told him that I was stressed out and craving sugar and/or booze he offered me animal crackers with icing and a beer or wine from the mini fridge. Not that he was purposely trying to sabotage me! On the surface, it sounds like those external stimulants or numbing agents are the cure to our problems, but we typically feel worse about ourselves after using comfort foods to “feel better.” 

The answer is in you

I can tell you in moments of stress nothing outside of us can make what’s going on inside feel better. Sure, the chocolate may light up some happy hormones in your brain which could temporarily take away the sadness. However, often when we turn to food or a drink to deal with negative feelings those choices cause guilt or shame, which leads to the downward spiral of making more unhealthy choices.

Recently, while speaking with the client, she mentioned when she eats ice cream with her son in the evening or on weekends her sabotaging voice will say “it’s OK, you’ll do better tomorrow.” I asked, “what does your helping voice say in opposition?” She responded, “I tell myself ‘you know you’re already gaining weight and you don’t really want to gain more weight’.”

Did you notice her helping voice sounds super judgmental?


Is that helpful?


Instead, I asked, if her friend called and explained she was feeling upset and was about to eat a pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream “what would you say to a friend you know is trying to lose weight?” She had much more supportive words for her friend that did not include justifying or shaming her choice to eat ice cream.

Food for thought

What kind of stories is you’re sabotaging voice telling you? When do you notice yourself reaching for food or a drink to soothe your negative emotions?

How can you respond to these cravings as a friend instead of an accomplice?

Looking for a friendly dietitian to help you sort out your food cravings? We can help 🙂

This is not to make you move, but to help you feel supported

This is not to make you move, but to help you feel supported

Last week, in a delicious yoga class at the Hot Asana studio near Southpoint, our instructor offered props and said, “this is not to make you move, but to help you feel supported.“ This made me think of our goal at Well-Balanced Nutrition. When most of the environment around us promotes convenience food and unbalanced options, it is our mission to give you knowledge, tools, and support to make choices that will have you feeling your best, not just surviving the day. At the same time, we aren’t forcing you to make any changes and here’s why.
Want to vs supposed to
The USDA tells us we are supposed to do 30-minutes of physical activity every day. We are supposed to eat at least five servings of fruit and vegetables… Or is it nine? We’re supposed to get eight hours of sleep. And we’re supposed to be taking at least 10,000 steps. What is your gut reaction to supposed to?
Now on the flip side, I’m curious to know what you want to do? For instance, I want to eat well balanced because I feel better when I include a fruit or vegetable with each meal or snack. I feel well rested when I get at least seven hours of sleep each night. Luckily, walking is my zen time so physical activity comes naturally. I do these things because I want to.
I know from years of practicing dietetics that if somebody is told to change, but they don’t really want to, the change is less likely to stick. You have to make the decision for yourself. Sometimes, that means changing your perspective. I do this because I want to feel better, not because I’m supposed to do this. Other times, it could mean you are simply not ready to change and that’s okay.
Choosing the right “brain food”
If you want to make a change, choosing the right brain food is important. All forms of media we take in are what I call “brain food.” For instance, if you watch evening television and suddenly find yourself craving pizza, it may be due to a Dominos commercial.  While driving down the road you see a billboard for a giant juicy hamburger, it may trigger the brain to crave those foods. The people you spend time with, the places you go, where you buy food, the social media you enjoy, the books you read, the radio stations you listen to, the shows you watch, the recreation activities you do, etc. are all sources of brain food.
Ways we offer support
You can follow us on Instagram where we post some of our favorite meal ideas or little things we find fun or inspirational throughout our day or join our closed Facebook group where everyone shares recipes and supports one another. We offer accountability with our Healthy Habit Tracker and one-on-one sessions for personalized support. If you are ready, we are here for you. Even if you are just considering change, you know you can find some good “brain food” here.
Food for thought:
  • What are you feeding your brain and how is it supporting you and your well-being?
  • Who can you ask for support?
  • What books or resources will give you more knowledge?
  • Where can you find social support?
If you need more support or just want to talk about the next steps on your wellness journey, click here to schedule a free call with one of your friendly dietitians at Well-Balanced Nutrition.
Sometimes it’s a simple solution

Sometimes it’s a simple solution

Monday, May 15, 2017

There are so many diets, research articles, and ideas it can become overwhelming to try and choose the healthiest diet for you and your family. Kristen and I have talked about many different diets, and you know it’s our well-balanced mission to help people ditch the diet mentality and make it simple. 

Knowing yourself is important.

I had a client come to me with an interest in feeding her family more healthy food choices. She told me “I’m really good with the guidelines and rules so if you can just give me a few rules to stick by, I will do it.” This rule mentality works really well for some folks and I was glad she knew herself well enough to tell me her preference. 

How we kept it simple 

In our session, we focused on simple, healthy habits that start at the grocery store, like understanding food labels. She took the guidelines we discussed to heart and ran with it. By the next appointment, she was proud to report putting any foods with unpronounceable words or too many ingredients back on the shelf. Instead, she is eating mostly whole foods. Now, this mama feels confident making healthy foods choices for herself and her family. Success!

Why this works

After watching this TED talk about The Mindset for Healthy Eating by Gillian Riley, I was reminded that diets typically include prohibiting certain foods or food groups. That prohibition mindset typically leads your brain to fixate on the food that you are supposed to be avoiding. By implementing healthy habits instead of restrictions, and by keeping things simple, we can set ourselves up for success and make it a more enjoyable experience.

Food for thought: 

Sometimes we make healthy eating a little more complicated than it needs to be. 

Consider this week one simple change you can make it to your eating habits to incorporate more whole foods or reduce the complication of eating well. Tell us about it the comments.

4 steps to make Mondays awesome

4 steps to make Mondays awesome

Monday, Mar 6, 2017

I love that moment when I tell people that Mondays are my favorite day of the week… If I could read minds, I’m guessing their thinking, “there’s something wrong with this girl,” or “she must be on something.” 

As the story goes, in 2009, when I started Well-Balanced Nutrition (the first time) Monday’s quickly became my favorite day of the week because anything is possible. I see each Monday as a mini New Year and the opportunity to start fresh. Most people start the New Year feeling happy and optimistic. Why not start each week with the same enthusiasm? 

When restarting Well-Balanced Nutrition, in May 2015, I knew it was time to rekindle that love of Monday to share an empowering, motivational, and health-focused message with our Well-Balanced nutrition tribe (that’s you!). I was blessed to have Kristen join the team early 2016 and together we strive to bring you uplifting and authentic wellness information. 

But really, how do you make Monday’s “the best?”

1.Do something that makes you happy on Monday morning.

I designate every Monday as my admin time and make it very sacred time to get all the businessy stuff accomplished. Uninterrupted. Slightly odd that this is my happiness; however, I feel grateful to have the time to focus on what needs to get done and I feel so accomplished when I check those tasks off my to-do list!

2. Include positive brainwashing. 

Also, I start each Monday morning with a mentor chat from my man, Darren Hardy,  followed by an inspiring TED talk with breakfast. Have you discovered these yet? It’s amazing what you can learn in a 10-20 minutes inspiring video. 

3. Eat something well-balanced and delicious. 

Often, we get a little too liberal on the weekends and feel the need do penance to the diet gods on Monday for being “bad” over the weekend. This is bound to make Monday even less fun. Instead, I enjoy avocado toast w/ a fried egg and yummy fruit – nom nom nom!

4. Get moving.

My motto is a body in motion stays in motion, a body at rest stays at rest. Even if there’s not much time, include a 10-minute walk around the block before you head to work, a brisk walk during the first 15 minutes of your lunch break, or ending a long work day with a brief stretching session with

Food for thought:

What makes Monday truly great? My state of mind. I choose to believe that Monday is the best and therefore I wake up with a positive attitude every Monday morning because anything is possible. 

What are you gonna do to make your Monday the best? We’d love to see your comments below! 

One thing you can do this holiday season to preserve your sanity

One thing you can do this holiday season to preserve your sanity

Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others. – Brene Brown


I’ve learned a lot about boundaries in the past 3 1/2 years. When my daughter was born I discovered just how much your heart can love a tiny human. Naturally, I want to give her the world and I want her to be happy. Now more than ever, she has been testing her limits and pushing her boundaries as three-year-olds do. In those trying moments, I want to give in to her desires just to make her happy. Yet, I know avoiding temporary disappointments will only lead to long-term consequences.

If I let my little girl do whatever she wanted, she’d miss out on opportunities to develop life skills like learning how to share, be a friend, follow directions, and get along with others. On the other hand, if I’m too strict with her, she might not learn to think on her own, her confidence could suffer and she might grow to resent  me. The sweet spot is right in the middle where loving boundaries exist.

A boundary is simply a line drawn between what is okay and not okay. While I’m in the thick of establishing these loving boundaries as a parent, I realize how important this concept is for our health and wellness goals as well. We have to determine for ourselves what is okay and not okay to preserve our health in the long-run.

For example, one of my clients has recently entered a new relationship. She realized upfront that she could easily get swept up in other things if she didn’t define what was important to her now. She knew that getting a good workout in at least 3 times a week kept her mentally and physically feeling her best. So now that she has this boundary set in her mind, it becomes easier to choose the gym even when other opportunities arise. She’s choosing to focus on the greater, long-term results of loving herself, instead of focusing on what would make everyone happy in the moment.

The holiday season is a time when we could all really stand to set loving boundaries. It is so easy to worry about disappointing others that we often forget to care for ourselves. Setting boundaries can be the most loving thing we do for ourselves this time of year. Your boundaries can help guide your decisions  and make it easier to stay true to yourself through the hustle and bustle.

Food for thought:

Boundaries are a function of self-love and self-respect. – Brene Brown

What boundaries will you set for yourself?