Have you ever had a day where you started the day with a healthy breakfast, brought a healthy lunch to work, had a healthy mid day snack, and had an overall healthy day….until the evening hit!
If you can relate to this scenario, I can pretty much guarantee you are not alone. In fact, I have talked to countless women about this very issue, and all of them have the same frustration: Evening snacking is holding them back from reaching their goals.
Before i say anything else, I want to clarify a few misconceptions on this topic:
Eating at night does not make you gain weight. Yes, thats right… There is no set time that you have to stop eating at night to lose weight. That is a huge myth. Sure, it is not ideal to go to bed stuffed, because it’s hard for your body to digest while laying down and sleeping. However, the time of day you eat has nothing to do with your weight. Calories are calories to your body, and regardless of the time of day.
Having treats, eating out, and enjoying foods that are not deemed as ‘healthy’ is entirely OK, and it will generally happen in the evening, because that is usually the time most people get together with friends, family, and enjoy food. If we make it our goal to eat healthy most of the time (at least 80% of the time), our bodies, minds, and soul will actually thank us for that occasional treat. That being said, as long as it is ONE meal or treat enjoyed, and not numerous meals or days of overeating, and indulgence, than it is perfectly acceptable and in my mind, encouraged! (Yes, I have my occasional treat too, my treat of choice is almost always frozen yogurt with my hubby on date nights or with friends on the weekend!)
Mindless snacking on unhealthy foods and binge eating disorder are two different things. If you suspect that you struggle with an eating disorder of any kind, (in this case binge eating disorder), please tell someone you trust as soon as possible, and seek professional help.
Now that we have cleared up those important points…
Here are some tips and ideas I have found to help keep your end of the day and weekend eating on track!
1. Don’t Skip Meals or Snacks. When we deprive our bodies of the energy and nutrients they need throughout the day, we are much more likely to overeat, later in the day when we finally give our bodies much needed fuel. The other downside to not eating a lot during the day, and then eating a lot at night is that it can be very hard on our digestive systems to process all of the food we ate just before bed. We can also severely damage our metabolism in the long run when we put our bodies through this all too common feast and famine cycle. Depending on your bodies needs, and the calories you are getting with each meal and snack, I recommend eating 3 meals and 1-3 snacks per day, and/or eating every 2-4 hours.
2. Get Enough Sleep. When our bodies are sleep deprived, we tend to reach for sugar, caffeine, and simple carbohydrates in an effort to get our energy levels up. It is much easier to stay in tune to your bodies true hunger signals when we get at least 7 hours of sleep a night.
3. Eat Plenty of Protein and Fiber. Be sure you are getting plenty of protein and a good amount of fiber with each meal and snacks. Protein and fiber help you feel satisfied and keep your blood sugar levels stead, preventing sugar cravings, and overeating later in the day. Eating a balanced diet, with good sources of lean protein, lots of fruits, veggies, and whole grains, and a moderate amount of healthy fats will ensure that we don’t feel deprived at the end of the day.
4. Stay Hydrated. Make sure you are getting plenty of water throughout the day. The part of our brain that signals thirst, also signals hunger, so it can be very easy to mistake the two. Sometimes we are simply dehydrated, but our brain signals make us think we are hungry. I personally like to fill up a big glass, and put some lemon juice, ice, and stevia in it- it tastes like sugar free lemonade, making it much easier to drink!
5. Remove Temptations. If you have certain food(s) that are hard to resist, don’t buy it, and get rid of it. There are a few foods that I won’t buy simply because I don’t want the needless temptation of having them in the house.
6. Keep Healthy Snacks on Hand. When you are leaving your house, make sure you bring a healthy snack with you. That way, if you find yourself stuck in a traffic jam, or out longer than expected, you won’t be overly hungry when it comes time for a meal. Also, if you are truly hungry at night, choose a healthy snack such as fruit (fresh or frozen), veggies and hummus, or a 1 minute single serve Dashing Dish dessert!
7. Stay Occupied. I believe one of the main reasons people tend to overeat in the evening is because it’s the only time of day that they are not preoccupied with something, making it easier to reach for food out of boredom. If this sounds familiar, I recommend reading a good book, playing a game, or even taking an evening walk to keep you from mindless eating. Another tip would be to chew sugar free gum, or sip on some decaf coffee, herbal tea sweetened with stevia if you find yourself eating mindlessly.
8. Have a Set Shut Off Time. One of the problems of staying up late is that it causes you to feel hungry when your body should be sleeping. Make it a point to set a time when you shut down and go to bed. In order to go to sleep at a decent hour of the night, make an effort to cut down on caffeine throughout the day. If you must have coffee during the day, try to limit the amount after 3 pm. Even if you are not tired, going to bed and spending time doing something relaxing will help you unwind, and keep you out of the kitchen, where it can be easier to make poor choices late at night.
9. Be Present at Meal Times. Often times we can get so busy that we are not truly ‘present’ when we are eating our nutritious meals and snacks throughout the day. If we make an effort to sit down and truly enjoy our meals, we will be less likely to feel deprived later on in the day.
10. Strengthen Your Spiritual Muscles. Sometimes what we think is hunger is truly not physical hunger at all…but rather it is something much deeper, resulting in emotional eating. In those cases I personally have found that there are three powerful weapons to combat emotional eating: Spend time with the Lord, Praise and Worship, and Pray the Word of God! I also love to go on walks, listen to worship music, and just spend time with the Lord. He always promises to draw near to us when we draw near to Him. He is able to strengthen, encourage, and steady our hearts better than we ever could on our own.
If you struggle with eating mindlessly at night (or any time of the day for that matter), I hope these tips help you on your journey to health! I believe that the very best place to start when it comes to overcoming any ‘bad’ habit in the area of nutrition is to start to see yourself as an overcomer! If you truly start to believe that you can become healthy and balanced in all things, it will just be a matter of time before your actions and behaviors line up with how you see yourself on the inside. I pray blessings over each one of you, and your journey to health! xo Katie
Welcome to the first ever Dashing Dish 1 Month Workout Challenge! This challenge is called the Dashing Dish 30 Challenge, because the goal is to do a 30 minute workout 3-6 days a week, and it will last for 1 month (about 30 days). The goal of this challenge is to inspire all of us to cheer each other on and commit to getting active throughout the week.
To follow along, simply pick either the suggested Dashing Dish (DD) workout listed for that day, or do 30 minutes of activity of choice. (I listed it as a 30 minute run or walk, but you can do anything that get’s your heart rate up for at least 30 minutes). To join in on this challenge, simply pick 3-6 days a week to workout (it doesn’t have to necessarily be Monday-Friday, just make it your goal to workout 3-6 days per week, depending on your current fitness level.) When you have completed the workout, give a shout out on social media using the hashtag #DashingDish30
You can join with a friend, or go at it alone, and if you don’t have access to a gym…no excuses…just choose an outdoor activity now that the weather is warming up, or you can choose a home workout! There will also be a Facebook group for this challenge, so we can motivate each other to get in our workouts for the week!
GRAND PRIZE: One lucky winner will win a Polar Heart Rate Monitor to help you stay motivated to exercise and reach your goals long after the challenge is over! To enter, simply share your workout in the form of hashtag #DashingDish30 somewhere on social media, (Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram). The more entries, the greater chance you have to win, so let’s get moving! ;) The winner will be picked at random, and announced on June 1st, 2015.
Now, who’s ready to join in on the fun and spend the next 30 days focusing on our fitness!?! We kick things off the week of May 4th, but you can join any time in the month of May!
Have you ever been moving steadily down the path of balanced, healthy living and BAM, out of nowhere, one food can cause things to spiral out of control before you even know what hit you? Me too, you’re not alone.
I felt the Lord prompting me to share with all of you some of the ways He’s helped me to keep trigger foods in check. I pray these help free your mind and spirit today!
Out of sheer frustration one-day, I really took my struggle with certain foods to the Lord in hopes of understanding how to handle them appropriately. Truthfully, I was tired of feeling helpless to enjoy certain foods without the risk of binging. I was confused and frustrated. I’d overcome most of my disordered eating why did certain foods so often leave me feeling out-of-control and frantic? I began to press into the Lord for help. Now before I begin, I’d like to say that there are volumes of information and opinions on the addictive qualities of certain foods. I’m not going to address those; rather, my purpose for this devotional is to simply share what I believe the Father heart of God chose to share with me for the purpose of granting me more freedom and abundant life.
Is it the food or is your soul starving?
Above all else I’ve come to understand that if my spirit is starving, my flesh is very vulnerable to over eating. When I’m slipping into a pattern of overusing food, the first place I need to look is at the condition of my spirit. Have I been consistently feeding on the Word of God? Do I need to spend time with Him in prayer and praise? Almost without fail, if my flesh is crying out to be satisfied, the answer is no. In times like this, I need to be very purposeful about seeking the Lord to fill my spirit so that I use my body to glorify Him.
Proverbs 4:20-23 Amplified Bible “My son, attend to my words; consent and submit to my sayings. Let them not depart from your sight; keep them in the center of your heart. For they are life to those who find them, healing and health to all their flesh.”
John 15:4, Jesus said, “No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine.”
Understand the trigger!
I used to use food as a source of punishment. I would overeat as a “weapon” against myself. After I was restored and healed from that I was confused about why I would still over-do-it with certain foods. I took it to the Lord in prayer and He revealed something quite unexpected. He showed me that I was no longer using food to abuse myself; I was using it as a source of misdirected “self-care”. I began to understand that my need to feel good was actually a healthy instinct that just needed some redirection.
When I realized that my body was pleading for self-care I had a whole new outlook on how I viewed trigger foods. Up to that point, I believed that as long as my spirit was full I wasn’t vulnerable to over eating. While that is a KEY factor to successfully overcoming binging, the missing link for me was realizing that I also needed self-care. I began to make a connection. I realized that when I was purposeful about caring for myself in healthier ways, I could eat the same foods I might otherwise abuse without struggle. Now if I’m feeling that way, I quickly make room and time to do other things that restore me: I sit in the sun by myself doing NOTHING, enjoy a nap, I make time to get away for a little while, read something just for pleasure, or treat my body to a bath or at-home spa time. I’ve discovered that it actually takes very little to restore myself and when I enjoy a little self-care to “fill my tank” the trigger foods don’t have power over me.
Mark 12:31 “Love your neighbor as yourself.” This implies that to love others well, we must also love ourselves well.
Enjoy trigger foods in the company of others
I don’t know about you, but I rarely struggle with trigger foods when I’m in the company of others. It’s only those times I’m alone at home that I feel vulnerable. I believe the Enemy uses that time of isolation to make us weak and with no accountability we are far more vulnerable to stumbling. For that reason, I also recommend enjoying foods that may trigger you when you have the support of others around you. For instance, if peanut butter is something that you may easily overuse, trying making it something you enjoy outside of the home. Make a peanut butter sandwich to take with you for lunch or a snack. Maybe it’s dessert. Make dessert something that you enjoy when you are out to eat with family or friends. It allows you to enjoy it with praise and thanksgiving without the risk of overeating which often leads to shame and condemnation.
Ecclesiastes 4:12 (MSG) “By yourself you’re unprotected. With a friend you can face the worst. Can you round up a third? A three-stranded rope isn’t easily snapped.”
If God says it’s not beneficial, listen!
I am a huge proponent of embracing balance in both food and exercise. After years of life learning, I have a firm understanding that any extreme is very hard to sustain long-term. Considering too many foods “off-limits” or “bad” makes it easy to stay bound to a diet mentality. That said, scripture does make it clear however, that though all things are permissible, not all things are beneficial. Even after having walked the journey to diet recovery, I still struggle with keeping chocolate within healthy boundaries. Sometimes I can eat a very reasonable portion, enjoy it, and move on – most of the time I can’t. After praying about this, I’ve heard over and over from the Lord, “chocolate is the food you need to resist.” Of all the glorious, tasty, abundant choices the Lord generously offers me to enjoy, He has lovingly directed me to stay away from only one. He knows me better than I know myself and He knows that this one food can easily lead me to a place where my flesh struggles to maintain self-control. I will tell you that when I listen to His leading on this, I am free. It’s a relief for me and increases my peace. God has told me this for years. I’m a work in progress. Most of the time I listen and obey, sometimes I don’t. But, I’m always blessed by freedom in my mind and peace of my body when I do. If you have something that repeatedly causes you stumble, I would encourage you to seek the Lord in prayer to ask if that’s something you need to abstain from as an offering of sacrifice for His blessing. In return He will give you amazing peace and freedom.
1 Corinthians 10:23 (AMP) ” All things are legitimate [permissible—and we are free to do anything we please], but not all things are helpful (expedient, profitable, and wholesome). All things are legitimate, but not all things are constructive [to character] and edifying [to spiritual life].”
I don’t know many people that don’t enjoy pizza in some form or fashion! Here are 25 ways to enjoy it in a healthier way! Simply click on the picture to take you to the recipe!
Cauliflower Pizza Bites
BBQ Chicken Pizza for One
Skinny Layered Pizza Dip
Pizza Fritata for One
Skinny Pizza Rolls
Pizza Chicken Salad
Greek Pita Pizza
Mini Deep Dish Pizzas
Pepperoni Pizza Zucchini Bake
No-Noodles Pizza Lasagna
Sweet Potato Pizza Crust Pizza
Cauliflower Crust Buffalo Chicken Pizza
Personal Pan Cauliflower Crust Pizzas
Grain Free Pizza Puffs
Pizza Stuffed Peppers
One Skillet Pizza Pasta Bake
Flourless Pizza Crust
Spaghetti Squash Pizza Bake
When someone has decided to start living a healthy lifestyle, I always suggest making small changes over time in order to develop new healthy habits that will stick. One of the first places I suggest when it comes to cleaning out the pantry and fridge is to get rid of everything that has white sugar and white flour in it. There are so many reasons that white flour and sugar are bad for your health, and I highly suggest you do some research for yourself if you don’t already know why that is. Personally, I have found that my weight, my energy, my health, and my overall well being has been dramatically improved since I removed all products with sugar and flour in them years ago.
The purpose of this post however is not necessarily to discuss why sugar and white flour are bad for our health, (although I have done so in various places on Dashing Dish), but rather it is to help you learn some easy ways to detox from sugar, and still enjoy sweets!
Where Do I Start?
One of the first places that I would suggest detoxing from sugar is to toss your processed and sugar packed foods and start filling your fridge and pantry with natures sweets! I personally love fruit, because it is naturally sweet, and it is packed with nutrition! I know that it can be tough to think about ‘getting rid’ of some of your (or your families) favorite treats, but once it is out of sight, it will eventually become out of mind! It is so much better to not even have the temptation for sugar in your house!
But what about those days that you are craving chocolate, cookies, cake, etc!?! Well, let me be the first to say that I am a ‘sweets’ girl, so I totally get that! So, instead of cutting out your favorite sweet treats all together, I suggest you replace them with a healthier option…Which is what I provide here at Dashing Dish!
What are Some Swap Outs for Sugar?
We all know sugar is not the best thing for our bodies, but all those artificial sweeteners aren’t good for our health either. So what is a good option that won’t spike your blood sugar, or add unnecessary chemicals to your diet?
After much experimentation in a quest to find a natural no-calories sweetener, I found a couple of great options. And the great news is, many grocery stores are starting to carry these products! So here are some different options to swap out with sugar, with a little review about each one! (Note: There are more options than the ones listed below, but these are the ones that I have personally tried.)
Stevia: This is by far the best natural sweetener I have found. It is derived from a stevia leaf and has been used for years in other countries. It is starting to be used more and more in things like diet soda and drinks. In my opinion, the best brand by far is NuStevia (found at many health food stores, and on Amazon). You can find stevia in the form of powder, a baking blend, packets, or liquid stevia. They even have made flavored liquid stevia, which is great for coffee!
Truvia: Truvia is made from the stevia plant and is mixed with another natural sweetener, erythritol. Erythritol is the naturally fermented sugar alcohol found in fruits such as pears and grapes.
Xylitol: This is a natural sweetener found in the fibers of many fruits and vegetables. You’ll find that most of your sugar-free gum has xylitol in it.
Honey and Agave Nectar: These are both natural sweeteners made in nature. Agave is a natural sweetener made from the plant from which tequila is made. It has a similar texture and consistency to honey. So for those that love honey in their coffee or recipes, this is great for you.
Sugar in the Raw and Coconut Sugar: Sugar in the Raw is sugar made exclusively from sugarcane.The juice is extracted from the sugarcane and then crystallized through evaporation to maintain its natural molasses, golden color and distinctive flavor. Coconut sugar is a sugar produced from the sap of cut flower buds of the coconut palm. Coconut sugar has been used as a traditional sweetener for thousands of years in the South and South-East Asian regions where the coconut palm is in abundant supply.
How to Swap Out Sugar for Stevia in Recipes:
When it comes to sweeteners, I personally like to use baking stevia and stevia packets like I mentioned above. However, all of these recipes call for a sweetener that measures like sugar, which includes any sweetener that can be measured the same as sugar, or you could use sugar if you prefer.
If you prefer to use stevia or another sweetener, you will have to alter the amount based on the conversion table below, or according to your desired taste. This can take some experimenting, but once you get a feel for baking with different sweeteners, it is very simple to know how much to use. To get you started, I have provided a simple conversion table that works with stevia.
Please also note, that the amounts listed below may vary based on the brand of stevia you are using. The following chart pertains to NuNaturals stevia, which is the brand I personally recommend. If you are using baking stevia, simply use 1/2 of the sugar the recipe calls for. I also provide a ‘sweetener of choice that measures like sugar’ in all of my recipes, and if you do choose to use sugar in the raw, coconut sugar, or regular sugar, you can use this for determining the amount to use in the recipe.
I hope that this information helps you on your journey to health! To find sugar and flour free recipes that still allow you to enjoy your favorite sweets, be sure to check out the Dessert section on Dashing Dish, and my new Cookbook 100 Simple Recipes for Clean Eating, which is packed with sugar and flour free sweet snacks and treats!
Spring is such a beautiful time. It represents awakening, renewal, and life. Where once lay a dormant seed, life and beauty begin to spring forth. A seemingly simple seed is such a profound visual for understanding the power of God’s word in our lives. A seed unplanted doesn’t provide much inspiration or beauty. But, when that little seed is planted deeply into fertile ground, watered, cared for, allowed to have light shine upon it, and waited for patiently, gives birth to breathtaking beauty and nourishing fruit. It transforms barren landscapes into glorious panoramas.
The Word of God refers to itself as a “seed” more than 40 times in the New Testament. Why? Because the Lord understands that we can imagine the process a seed goes through, we can observe it because He gave us a real-life, visual understanding of it. Just like a flower seed, the Word of God must be planted in our fertile hearts, fed and cared for, spoken for light to expose darkness, and persistently and patiently pursued to produce the fruit and beauty we desire in our lives. In Mark, Jesus taught three parables about this very concept. The word of God is to our experience of God and His plan for our lives what a physical seed is to spring blossoms and rich harvests.
Unfortunately, lies can also be planted and produce fruit. What we feed grows. If somewhere along the way in our lives, a lie is accepted as truth, planted and fed, it produces fruit of doubt, anxiety, fear, anger, etc. The good news is that those lies can be plucked by the root and replaced with seeds of truth!
As you enjoy the physical splendor of spring, I’m inviting you to begin preparing the soil of your heart for awakening and renewal as well. We can experience a true spring in our spirits by digging up the weeds that entangle us and begin to replace them with the beautiful bouquet that comes from planting God’s truth into our lives.
Beginning April 1st, I invite you to join the Facebook Group “Renewing Your Mind with Seeds of Truth”, where there will be daily posts with some of the most common lies we accept as truth. Accompanying this will be your opportunity to dig up that lie and replace it with truth. To replace each common lie, there will be a scripture to declare over yourself as you plant new seeds of truth in your heart.
There will be a printable version of every post so you can print and post God’s word to be seen and declared over and over. Remember, a seed doesn’t blossom into a daisy in a day, and neither does replacing truth for lies. But, keep declaring them over yourself and you will reap a rich harvest! It’s not just my promise, it’s God promise!!!
1 Peter 1:23 “23 You have been born again [or anew], and this new life did not come from something that dies [a perishable seed], but from something that cannot die [an imperishable seed]. You were born again [or anew] through God’s living message that continues forever [the living and abiding/enduring word of God].”
Prioritizing exercise is challenging at any point in life, but it can become even trickier after having kids. However, exercise is an important part of caring well for yourself and when scheduled as a priority into your day makes you feel better and sets a great example for your kids. Here, I’ve shared some of the ways I’ve learned to make exercise a daily habit even with kids. I hope it blesses you.
Get up early
Getting up early to make exercise a priority is easier at different stages of our kids’ lives than others. I remember after my little girl was born, I would get up at 5 a.m. to work out after having been up 3 or 4 times during the night to nurse her. I was choosing that for the wrong reasons. I was exercising out of panic and not out of a desire to treat my body well. I strongly believe the season of infanthood should be more about self-care than running yourself into exhaustion (literally)! If that’s your season, be kind to yourself, the time to exercise will come! For those of us with older kids though, early mornings are the perfect opportunity to get a workout done for the day. Making the decision to get up instead of hitting the snooze button can be a challenging one, but it always worth it. I’ve come to cherish that quiet time while everyone is asleep. By the time my family is waking up, I’m filled up from some quiet time with God and feeling great physically. It’s good for all of us!
Have the Kids Join You
Last summer I was having a hard time prioritizing exercise myself. Our routines were off. Too many late summer evenings and too few regular early morning work outs were becoming the norm. I was working to find a healthy balance between restful home days and busy fun days. Despite my attempt to strike a healthy balance, my exercise routine was suffering. About three weeks into summer break, I decided to institute “home-days” boot camp. After breakfast while it was cool or in the evening after dinner we would all put on our gym shoes and get to it! We would run laps around the yard, have sprint races, jumping jacks, and do push-ups. We would each take turns calling out an exercise and try to do it for two minutes. Can I just tell you that I not only got a legitimate workout, but we had a blast! The kids loved it and it was a great way to burn off some of their energy.
Let them Watch
I’ve discovered from my own journey, and from speaking with many moms that one of the hardest challenges of prioritizing exercise when you have kids is often based on one common factor – guilt! It’s taken me eight years, but I can finally say that I am able to exercise with my kids guilt-free. I’ve settled into the peace of knowing that it’s really ok for them to entertain themselves for an hour or to watch an hour of TV while mom gets her exercise done. I think not only is it ok, but actually sends a really healthy message. It tells them that I value my health and that I’m choosing to care well for myself. I’ve also discovered an added bonus. Because I only listen to worship music while I exercise, they see me worshiping and spending time with the Lord. I overheard my daughter playing “mommy” one day and realized she was pretending to go for a run and I saw her praying and worshiping. It was a wonderful confirmation that it’s ok for her to just hang out and watch while I work out.
I’m so incredibly blessed to belong to a gym. If you get to enjoy that blessing as well, I would encourage you to take advantage of the childcare they offer. This was another source of “mommy guilt” I unnecessarily carried for years. I felt so guilty taking my kids to childcare at the gym. I was certain they were miserable and that I was being selfish. Thankfully the Lord used my sons’ words to release me of that last summer. About half-way into summer I asked him what he was enjoying most so far about summer break. Without hesitation he answered, “I love going to play with new friends at the gym.” I vowed to take off mommy-guilt that day over using childcare too.
However you choose to prioritize exercise, I pray that you always choose it as an act of worship and self-care.
Prayer: Lord, we thank you for our children and for our bodies. We thank you in advance for showing us how to balance caring well for both gifts. Lord, please reveal to us “hidden” times in the day when we can enjoy a workout. Release us of guilt over taking time for ourselves and remind us of the truth that our bodies are a temple, a dwelling place of the Most High God, worthy of care and blessing. We thank you ahead of time for faithfully providing the time, the resources and the ability to make exercise a priority in our day. In Jesus name, amen.