GROUP CLASS: Fall Back in Love With Your Body


Are you unhappy with your postpartum body?

Are you trying – but unable – to lose baby weight?

Is it difficult for you to fit healthy eating into your busy day?

Join me for a one-month group program designed to help you fall back in love with your body.  It’s all online and on the phone, so you can participate from from anywhere in the world.

Discover how you can improve your body image, create healthy habits that guarantee long-term results, and end the war you’ve been waging with your body.

The program includes 4 one-hour interactive phone calls, weekly recommendations, and access to a private online forum where you will receive on-going support from myself and your fellow participants.

Class Details:

Four weekly sessions for only $150.

*** Sign up by May 1st and it’s only $125! ****

Dates and topics covered:

Thursday, June 4
8-9pm EST
Loving What Is

Thursday, June 11
8-9pm EST
Constant Cravings

Thursday, June 18
8-9pm EST
Overcoming Negative Chatter

Thursday, June 25
8-9pm EST
Finding Time For You

Ready to commit?  Register here.

Eating It All

Recently, one of my clients confessed that the night before, she had eaten an entire pint of Ben & Jerry’s Chubby Hubby ice cream.  Now I’m going to turn into a chubby hubby!, she wailed, so disappointed with herself. She hadn’t intended to eat the whole thing — in fact, she just wanted a taste — but it was there and it tasted good good and she felt like such a badass doing it and she couldn’t stop eating until every last chocolate covered pretzel was gone.

How many of you have had the same experience? Once you start eating something, you just can’t seem to stop. The food takes over control and you’re just along for the guilt-ridden, nauseating ride.

Um, I have!  Throughout my life, I’ve experienced this many, many times. Ben & Jerry’s is often the culprit, though it can also be Whole Foods spelt vanilla cake (because it seemed healthier?) or chocolate covered pretzels or tortilla chips. Emotional overeating can take many forms.

When we’re in the middle of emotional overeating, our first reaction is to feel guilty and/or ashamed.  Why can’t we control ourselves?  Why do we have no willpower! Why are we so WEAK?

But that response is what encourages many of us to continue eating — because we have to erase the proof that it happened in the first place.  If the entire pint/bag of chips/piece of pie is gone, then there won’t be any incriminating evidence the next day! There will be no reminder of us how flawed we are when it comes to food. So we eat it all.

So what to do? I would say that the first step is to try your very, very best notto  feel guilty. Yes, easier said than done BUT… sometimes we overeat. Sometimes we binge. Sometimes we eat emotionally. It happens to us all. It’s like getting angry at yourself for crying during a particularly sad film.

So instead of using your energy feeling guilty about your lack of willpower and creating elaborate strategies how you’ll work off all those calories the next day — try using that energy to delve deeper into what’s going on in your life. Is there something missing from your life that you’re using food to make up for? Are there feelings you’d rather not feel? Are you missing sweetness from your life? Do you feel empty? What’s going on?

Because with emotional eating, there’s always something else going on. It’s just a matter of identifying it and figuring out what you need that you’re not getting.

Gena’s Fig Bars

 

The above picture in NO way conveys the delicious of the fig bars I made this weekend. I made them in a hurry, on my way to a BBQ in New Jersey–so there wasn’t a lot of time for a photoshoot. Instead, you get to see them all piled up in a Tupperware ready for transport.

I saw this recipe a few weeks ago on my friend Gena’s blog, Choosing Raw. It looked amazing — and perfect for a family-friendly BBQ. ‘Cause who doesn’t like figs!?

Well, okay, I’m not a big fan of figs. That it, I wasn’t a big fan of figs before making these. I’ve now been converted.

The first step to making them it to make the fig jam — which is a (easy) recipe in itself. You could easily stop here and happily eat the fig jam for weeks to come.


But THEN you get to make this super-simple oat dough, put it all in the oven and in 30 minutes you have yourself a feast. Despite this being a vegan recipe, as the bars were cooking, I swear it smelled like butter. ‘Cause this recipe is a keeper.

I followed the recipe almost to a T, which is a huge compliment to Gena’s baking skills cause I usually always change a few things. The only change I  made–and this was pure necessity because I was out of cinnamon–is that I swapped it for nutmeg. I loved the results, but it also tasted a little Christmas-y. I’d recommend sticking with the original cinnamon.

FIG BARS
Gena Hamshaw, ChoosingRaw.com
reprinted with permissio
vegan and can be gluten-free

For the fig filling:

About 12 large dried figs
6 pitted medjool dates
2 tbsp agave syrup or maple syrup [I used agave]
2 tbsp lemon juice (or the juice of 1 large lemon)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp brandy (if desired) [I skipped this]

For the oat dough:

1 1/4 cup oat flour (GF if following a GF diet)
1 cup rolled oats (see above)
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup sucanat or natural brown sugar [I used brown sugar]
*2 tbsp vanilla flavored brown rice protein powder (totally optional, but a nice way to amp up the protein if you want these bars to be a part of your breakfast) [I skipped this]
Dash salt
2 tsps cinnamon [I used nutmeg, see above]
1/2 cup almond milk
1/2 cup applesauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut oil (or safflower oil) [I used coconut oil]

1) Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Oil an 8 inch square baking pan and dust it with oat flour.

2) Place figs in a small pot with enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil and lower to a simmer; simmer for about five minutes. Remove figs from the pot, drain them, and place them in your food processor along with dates, lemon juice, agave or syrup, cinnamon, and brandy if using. Process until the mixture resembles a smooth fig jam.

4) Mix oats, oat flour, cinnamon, salt, protein powder if using, baking powder, and sugar in a large mixing bowl.

5) Whisk together almond milk, applesauce, vanilla and oil.

6) Add wet ingredients to dry, and mix till just combined.

7) Layer half of the oat mixture into your baking pan. Using an inverted spatula or regular spatula, spread all of the fig paste on top.

8  ) Spread remaining oat mixture on top of the fig paste.

9) Bake for about 35 minutes, or until top is golden.

10) Let cool, and cut into 9 squares.

 

Cooking for Two

Most people complain that it’s hard to cook for one.  Well, over the years I’ve gotten that one down pat. I can quickly whip up something that’s perfect for my mood at the moment, often with plenty of leftovers to eat for another meal.

For the past week, though, I’ve been cooking for two.  I’ve also been cooking in a kitchen that’s not my own.

At first, this frightened me. The idea of taking someone else’s food preferences into account seemed daunting. I cringed at the thought of having to make do in a less-than-perfectly-appointed kitchen. (Specifically, the kitchen wares I’ve been using include one frying pan, one sauce pan, a paring knife, and a spatula). Could I still make rice without my trusty rice cooker?! Would I still be able to chop vegetables without my santoku knife!?What if I needed more than two pans at once!?

At least there’s always take-out.

BUT I’m happy to report back that I have prevailed. Well, mostly. The first night I mis-estimated the amount of food we’d need and we were both a little hungry at the end. (In fact, my boyfriend supplemented his dinner with leftover homemade Pad Thai).

Aside from that misadventure, everything was okay. I just had to be creative. I managed not to burn my brown rice, despite the fact that the saucepan top had steam vents. I discovered that sauted mushrooms + a lot of white wine + some vegetable broth all cooked down for a while resulted in a delicious mushroom ragout that was perfect over coconut rice. I figured out that a saucepan can also be used as a mixing bowl for pancake batter. And a frying pan can be used to steam asparagus.

A lot of my clients find healthy cooking and eating daunting because it’s complicated. But it’s really not — and this week has forced me to re-prove it to myself. Healthy cooking is simple. It’s easy. A typical dinner for me is It’s a whole grain and lots of veggies and some sort of protein–usually all mixed (if not cooked) together.

But you do have to be brave enough to try. And to accept that you’ll probably make a few mistakes. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve burned rice, even though I always follow the same procedure. But that’s okay — it’s all part of the fun.

For all of you cooks out there, what are some simple shortcuts or tips you have for the newbies among us?

 

Creamy coconut corn with lime


I love corn! Along with perfectly ripened tomatoes, it’s my favorite summer vegetable.  Most of the year, you might never know I grew up in the South, but the minute it gets warm I bust out the corn, tomatoes, lima beans, zucchini… I could live on them.

For the past month, I’ve been making my go-to recipe for corn risotto.  But after a few weeks of creamy deliciousness, I decided to see if I could one-up myself and create something even better. Which I did.

Enter:  Creamy coconut corn with lime.  A fool-proof, decadent dish that’s still light enough to eat on a hot summer day.

I started off by bringing coconut milk, vegetable broth, a bit of agave nectar, and lime zest to a boil.


While that heated up, I cut corn off the cob. I used to do this all willy-nilly and corn ended up all over my kitchen. I eventually figured out that the best way is to lay the cob horizontally on the cutting board and cut it off with a chef’s knife. The kernels tend to stay together, so it’s less messy.

Then I threw in the corn and let it cook down for a bit.  Fifteen minutes later I had myself a creamy, tangy corn dish that was just begging to be eaten.

 

CREAMY COCONUT CORN WITH LIME

1 can of coconut milk (can also use “lite” coconut milk)
1/4 c vegetable or chicken broth
1 tsp agave nectar
zest of one lime
5 ears of corn, kernels cut off the cob
juice of one lime
salt to taste

Combine first four ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Add corn and simmer for 10 minutes, covered. Remove cover and continue to simmer until most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 5 minutes. Salt to taste and stir in lime juice.

This would also be delicious with chopped cilantro on top!

 

On Eating

In search of a photo for this post, I googled “woman eating food” on Google Images.  I was assaulted with images either of women eating dainty bites fruits/vegetables looking happy and virtuous or women stuffing cake/ice cream into their mouths, looking guilty. I scrolled and scrolled… but that was all there was. Those were my two picture options:  good eating and bad eating.

But that’s the way we ladies navigate the world of food, right? We have our good days, we have our bad days. We use the scales to celebrate our triumphs and chastise us for our moments of weakness.

Is anyone else exhausted by this constant measuring and weighing and moralizing?!

About a year ago, I gave up dieting — in large part to a post I read on the fabulous Cake & Carrots blog. When I mention this to other women, half look at me aghast that I would dare to not count calories or carbs or fat along with them. The other half look at me wondrously, imagining all of the cakes and donuts and sticky toffee pudding that surely I eat all day long.

It’s been an interesting journey. It’s completely changed my relationship with food and eating. It’s made me realize how much of our time and energy we devote to dieting and talking about dieting. And it’s made me understand how deeply ingrained the urge to diet is ingrained in women.We’ve done it for so long, we don’t know how NOT to count and judge and measure our self-worth against what we consume.

These days, I just eat and do my very best not to judge. No, I’m not scarfing down Hostess Cupcakes at every given moment — I still eat a ton of fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains — but I’m also enjoying foods that I haven’t enjoyed… ever.   Without guilt. Without shame and regret and remorse. Knowing that they’ll be there tomorrow so I don’t have to eat the whole pint of ice cream or the whole bag of chips tonight.

It’s been a challenge. It was hard to realize that I could be trusted around food, especially when so many Special K and Slim Fast commercials were telling me I should just eat their products and I’d be okay.  It was difficult to resist the urge to diet and just trust that my body would compensate naturally.

But it worked. I could be trusted around food. My body did compensate. I secretly feared that I would walk away from this experiment 50 lbs heavier than I was — but I didn’t. In fact, I lost weight. (Well, I think I did. I stopped weighing myself so I’m not sure).  And I gained a lot of time and energy no longer devoted to obsessing over food.

During this journey, I realized that the focus of my counseling practice needed to change along with my eating habits. I was working with women who were binge eating brown rice cakes and emotionally drinking spirulina shakes:  the foods may have changed, but the impulses were the same. We all had disordered eating, but didn’t even realize it because it had become so common.

So over the past year, I’ve begun working with women who are ready to get off the diet roller coaster and join me in the land of eating. It’s been a challenging transition but an immensely rewarding one — there’s nothing like the satisfaction that comes with a client telling me that she feels free around food, that she’s made up with eating.

Is dieting a part of your life? Does it continue to support you?

Closing a door, opening a window

As you may have noticed, the HadleyHolistics blog posts have become few and far between.  In large part that’s because I’ve been blogging over at Spark! Wellness, which I co-founded back in October.

After a lot of thought, I’ve decided to stop blogging here. I’ve so enjoyed sharing recipes and experiences and ideas here… but I only have so much blogging in me!

I thank every single one of my readers for sticking with me all this time.  I very much hope you’ll continue to follow me at Spark.

xoxo

Hadley

Ditch the diet! FREE April Teleclass

Exhausted from dieting? Sick of waging war with your body? Looking for a solution that works long-term? Join me on April 21 at 8:00 PM for for a free telephone seminar that will help you learn to Ditch the Diet and Reclaim Your Natural Appetite!

As a holistic health coach and emotional eating expert, I’ll help you discover a way of eating and living life that makes you feel good about yourself and your body.  Learn why diets don’t ever work and explore how they make us feel disconnected and alienated from our bodies.  I’ll share my top 5 tips to breaking free from the pattern so you can listen to your body, eat intuitively, and enjoy the foods you love.

Email us to register and be provided with the dial-in code.

Get Your Nature On

Who loves spring?  Who loves getting out of the city and into nature?  Who loves moving their bodies, eating well, and a great group of people?

Spark! Wellness is launching its first-ever wellness tour to Beacon, NY. Join us for a day of hiking, outdoors yoga, a healthy lunch, and leisure time.

Itinerary:

  • Bus leaves Manhattan at 8:00am on Saturday, May 1
  • We kick off our day with a 3.9-mile hike through the woods and along the river in Beacon. We’ll be on a relatively flat, easy trail so this is perfect for most fitness levels. This gentle hike will take approximately 2 hours and will afford us beautiful views of the Hudson River.
  • Our hike will be followed by a series of gentle, standing yoga stretching poses held outside by the amazing Kathy Hogan (local yoga instructor and nature expert).
  • Post-hike and yoga, we’ll be hungry! So we’ll be having a delicious, healthy lunch at one of Beacon’s charming restaurants.
  • Our bus heads back to NYC at around 4:30p.

Join our community of health-conscious explorers for this great day outside of the city. Meet new friends and spend some time in the country!

Read what the New York Times and Time Out NY have to say about the town of Beacon.

Total cost: $79, which includes transportation to and from NYC, a guided 2-hour hike, outdoor yoga class, and lunch.

*** PLEASE NOTE: We have space for ONLY 25 people!! If you are interested, please contact us immediately at info@sparkyourwellness.com to reserve your spot. Reservations are on a first-come, first-served basis and we expect space will sell out quickly. ***

Added bonus:  Spark! is giving away a spot for people who comment on the blog post.  Enter to win a free trip here.