My RD Retreat with the Beef Council

Soooo, I meant to post this in the middle of last week. But as per usual, life (trip to Austin) got in the way and I wasn't able to get around to creating the post. A few months ago, I got an email inviting me to a three day retreat for dietitians with the Beef Council in Kansas City. Um, that was a no-brainer--YES!!! Several RD beef council representatives from Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri put the trip together. They were so gracious to pay for my travel and lodging, as well as incredible speakers. The purpose of the trip was to inform dietitians about beef preparation, nutrition, processing (from cattle to food on your table), and media representation so that we could form informed opinions around beef. (I'm hoping to write a blogpost on common beef misconceptions in the near future)

The conference started Tuesday at 11:00 am, so I decided to make the 5 hour drive Monday night after work so that I didn't have to wake up super early Tuesday morning, and also so that I could take advantage of some free time Tuesday morning to explore Kansas City. I got in around 10 Monday night, got settled in my room, and went to bed.

Tuesday morning, I woke up and did a short workout in the hotel gym since I figured I would be sitting most of the day. 

 
My RD Retreat with the Beef Council
 

I got cleaned up and headed out for some coffee and breakfast. The hotel we were staying at was pretty far north, so this was one of the closest places I found. I LOVED it and am so glad I decided to go there. Super cute atmosphere and delicious coffee/food. I went with a vanilla latte and breakfast burrito with chorizo.

 
My RD Retreat with the Beef Council
My RD Retreat with the Beef Council
 

While there I responded to some emails and then read She Reads Truth and a devotion on the IF:Gathering.

I headed back to the hotel, finished getting ready, and then met with the rest of the group to start the retreat/conference.

 
My RD Retreat with the Beef Council
 

We first headed to a large Sysco distribution center, where we had a lunch consisting of several different types of lettuces/kale/ruffage, bread, and my first cut of beef for the trip. I appreciate veggies/lettuce, but I also really appreciate my carbs (I went back for another piece of bread), so I was a little unsatisfied with this meal. You win some, you lose some. Thankfully, I won a lot on this trip 😉

 
My RD Retreat with the Beef Council
 

After lunch we had a food demonstration on how to cook certain cuts of beef, as well as how to get kids involved in the cooking/eating process.

Afterwards we divided into several group and did a Chopped competition with various cuts of beef and ethnic cuisine. Our group got a round tip and Mexican theme. We made chipotle and lime steak tacos with roasted poblanos, grilled cabbage, avocado, cojita cheese, and mango salsa....we didn't sample it so I have no idea what it tasted like 🙄 🙈

My RD Retreat with the Beef Council
 
My Retreat with the Beef Council
 

Afterwards we took a quick tour of the facility and then headed to dinner at Brio. Holy moly...this meal was absolutely incredible. I took pictures of the dishes, but the lighting was so terrible that the pictures looked disgusting. You're just gonna have to trust me that this was the best beef I've ever had 😍. Oh, and that mousse....🙋

 
My RD Retreat with the Beef Council
 

Wednesday morning I woke up for a short walk before breakfast and then we all headed to a historic barn for two breakout sessions--one on protein's role in satiety and the other on taking a non-weight approach to improving health. I was super excited about the second session because the speaker, Leslie Schilling, had recently spoken at a conference I attended. She did such a great job....aaaaand we all got a copy of her new book!! 

 
My RD Retreat with the Beef Council
 

For lunch we had a buffet of several different burger sliders (holy cow, [literally] so so good!). I got a thai inspired one with mango salsa and another that I can't remember. But I did get some bacon and tomato to add to both because bacon makes everything taste better. I had it with some fruit and a roasted beet and carrot salad. It was fun because we got to eat lunch while talking with several ranchers from the area.

After lunch, we all headed out to a cattle ranch to see what one really looks like and then to ask questions to a panel of cattle rancher/producer experts. 

 
My RD Retreat with the Beef Council
My RD Retreat with the Beef Council
 

I really appreciated being able to ask the panel tough questions about issues that get brought up around beef and health, environment, etc. It's important to be able to wade through fact and fiction when it comes to food production and nutrition, so I'm super grateful for this time. 

After the panel, we drove back to the hotel, had free snacks at the hotel happy hour and then had the evening to ourselves. The Beef Council was super gracious to give us all gift cards to a nearby shopping center for dinner on our own. I wasn't really hungry after the hotel snacks and was in a funky food mood, so I ended up getting froyo for dinner (which I had a coupon for!) and used the gift card for a little bit of shopping. 😉

 
Side note, I totally came up with the divider concept for an entrepreneur class my sophomore year of college.... 

Side note, I totally came up with the divider concept for an entrepreneur class my sophomore year of college.... 

 

The next morning I went for another walk before breakfast at the hotel. The mornings here were absolutely glorious!! It was nice and brisk outside, and I loved starting off the day with some movement and a podcast. 

 
My RD retreat with the beef council
Made to order scrambled eggs, a WHOLE pancake, and some watermelon.

Made to order scrambled eggs, a WHOLE pancake, and some watermelon.

 

We then headed to Kauffman Stadium, where the Royals baseball team play, for a session on food and video photography and then lunch. I was super excited for this session. I'm still taking pictures with my iphone, but maybe one day I will get a legit camera. It at least encouraged me to keep doing this blogging thing. 🤓

 
My RD retreat with the beef council
My RD retreat with the beef council
 

After lunch, we said our goodbyes and then I headed home for a full day of clients the next day. It was SUCH a great trip and I'm so grateful for the experience I had learning about beef, getting to know other dietitians, and eating good food :-) 

A New Habit + Breakfasts Lately

Heyo! I wanted to share with you all a new habit I've been practicing the last week and a half. I've recently gotten into the habit of watching tv while eating breakfast and/or lunch. I started watching Parenthood a few weeks back and now I just watch one episode after another! So addicting. The weird part is that I don't even know why. Their family makes SO MANY dumb decisions, they yell at each other all the time, and yet at the end of every episode, I want to watch another one. 🙄 (Is it even possible for Lauren Graham to play a character that doesn't screw up every relationship?!) And although this Parenthood marathon is fine at different times, it has really gotten in the way of me being productive while at home. It's also gotten in the way of me connecting with my food at meal times.

I decided that something needed to change. This desire for change wasn't born out of beating myself up, but out of the desire for accomplishing more, feeling more satisfied with my meals, taking better care of myself, etc. So I've started a new morning routine in which I oftentimes go for a walk around our apartment complex while listening to part of a podcast 😍 + breakfast out on our balcony + time in the Word while still sitting outside. I've LOVED quieting my mind through sitting out in nature and not being distracted with watching tv. The time outside moving my body in a gentle way, connecting to my meals, and then connecting to my Father has made me feel so much more grounded, peaceful, and joyful for the day. It has also helped me to be more productive while at home in the mornings. 

 
 

This is what I read for my morning quiet times. 

 
 

Along with a GREAT view, and peaceful environment, I've also had some really delicious meals. Here's a few of them: Overnight oats with oats, chia seeds, pb2, maple syrup, almond milk, topped with fruit and nuts.

 
 

Sweet potatoes on repeat for several meals. They have been so delicious and satisfying to me lately. I plan on sharing how I make my scrambled eggs so fluffy in a post soon. 

 
 

My doughy snickerdoodle oatmeal breakfast bake (+ iced latte) was incredibly delicious after not having it for awhile. 

 
 
 
 

So there you have it! My new habit plus a few breakfast ideas for you. Hope you are finding activities that allow you to take care of yourself-mind, body, and spirit; and that you are eating delicious, satisfying food! 

My body has changed, and I'm not freaking out about it

If you've followed me for awhile or listened to the podcasts I've been a guest on, you know that I've had a rocky relationship with food and my body. In high school I struggled with an eating disorder and throughout my college years I struggled with disordered eating, not knowing that there was any way out of the anxiety, shame, and guilt I felt around food. It wasn't until a little over a year ago that I stumbled upon Intuitive Eating. I actually blogged about the beginning stages of that learning experience here and here

Since then, my life has changed drastically for the better. I can truly say that I live life without the fear of food. I am able to walk in freedom regarding the choices I make around food and exercise. And I am so so grateful for the change that has occurred in my actions, and more importantly, my heart. I was a prisoner, in bondage to food and what it would do to the size of my body. My life revolved around controlling my food and punishing my body with exercise. Whew! What a relief that is no longer my life!

 
My body has changed and I'm not freaking out about it
My body has changed, and I'm not freaking out about it
 

As part of the intuitive eating process, I let go of the dieting facade. I stopped believing the lie that I could control my weight through "trying hard enough" and limiting my food choices. I realized that my constant thoughts about food, cravings for sweets, and episodes of overeating were a direct result of restricting the foods I wanted and not giving my body enough energy. I started to trust that my body would regulate its weight through regulating my appetite, cravings for food, and desires for movement. I didn't freak out when I overate because I knew my body would naturally compensate later during the day, week, or month (so I didn't have to). But I also let go of the idea of having a perfectly chiseled body with very little body fat. I had to, in a way, mourn the body that I had for so long strived to achieve. I came to realize that the only way to achieve that body was through severe restriction and agonizing time at the gym. I decided I would rather have a life and freedom over that elusive, perfect body. 

Over the last year I've let go of the reigns when it comes to food and exercise. I've decreased the amount and intensity of what I do. I listen to it when its tired. I notice when something is hurting. I also listen to my cravings and eat food that satisfies my mouth, body, and mind. And as a result, my body has changed. I have gained weight and am less toned. For some of you, that idea is absolutely terrifying. It freaked me out too for 8 long years. But I've come to realize that there are more important things in life than what my body looks like. I don't even know if this current size is my body's new normal size. I'm not exactly sure where my weight is going to end up, but I am confident that it will stabilize and that whatever that weight is it will be healthy for me because I am taking care of my body. 

 
Not my original quote. I first saw this quote on Maddie Moon's instagram.

Not my original quote. I first saw this quote on Maddie Moon's instagram.

 

I'm not going to say it's been the easiest or that I absolutely love my body. I've definitely had to process through these changes. And there are times that my husband has to remind me to speak truths to myself rather than the harsh lies I'm buying into. Changing the way I see my body is something that I've had to work on and will continue to work on with regards to helping me to accept my new, healthy body size. A few of my thoughts as I've been on this journey?

The first is just that. My body (and mind) are finally healthy. For the first time since I was a sophomore in high school I am finally having a period without the help of hormones. A sophomore!! Physicians never seemed to think it was a big deal, but it's obvious to me now that my body wasn't spending energy on reproduction because I wasn't giving it enough food and was exercising too intensely. My Raynauds wasn't nearly as bad this winter and my toes were so much happier :-). Additionally, my body temperature regulation is SO much better. I actually enjoy it to be a little chilly now. These are things I have to remind myself of when I start to become dissatisfied with my new extra weight. I feel so much better physically in my body now. 

I've also had to come to the realization that it is unrealistic for me to expect to have the same sized body now as I did in high school. For goodness sakes! It's okay for me to have a woman's body, because that's what I am, a woman, not a girl. I refuse to feel ashamed or guilty for allowing my body to be the size it is supposed to be at this stage in life. Eating disorders often onset during adolescent years when our body's are changing and maturing. We need to do a better job of preparing girls for puberty and having different bodies and of letting them know that these new bodies are good

 
My body has changed and I'm not freaking out about it
 

When I look in the mirror and I see my now larger arms or slightly bigger love handles, I remind myself what it represents. It doesn't represent laziness, being out of control, being less valuable, a source of shame or disgust, etc. It represents my new life and all of its experiences. It represents cozy coffee dates with a friend (or by myself), spontaneous walks to braums for ice cream with my husband, going to social situations and not worrying ahead of time about the food or bringing my own, sleeping in on Saturday mornings, and trying new foods and new experiences. It represents LIFE. What a beautiful reminder to have with me all the time. 

I haven't had to buy new clothes yet, but I am definitely noticing a difference in the way that my pants fit. I've been wearing more stretchy pants or tights to work because jeans are less comfortable. I plan to buy new clothes to fit my body. Unlike what our society says, I'm not "giving up" or "accepting defeat" by being okay with my new size, getting rid of too small clothing, and buying new clothes. Instead, I'm choosing to respect my body by covering it with comfortable and stylish clothes that make be feel good both physically and emotionally.  

 
My body has changed and I'm not freaking out about it
 

It's okay that my body has gotten bigger--I forced it to be too small for far too long. And it's okay for your body to get bigger or softer too. Being healthy doesn't mean that we have to have a certain BMI or body fat percentage. I can tell you that I am the healthiest I have ever been physically, mentally, and emotionally, and that is all the result of easing up on food and exercise and gaining weight. Being healthy does mean that I feed my body the types and amounts of foods that is right for it in that moment, that I move my body in a way that energizes, strengthens, or relaxes me, that I connect with those around me, and that I have the freedom to do the things I truly want to do because my body is no longer holding me back. How about we pursue that kind of health together, regardless of what that means our waist size will be. 

P.S. Listening to Intuitive Eating podcasts such as Food Psyche, Nutrition Matters, or the Love Food podcasts and following body positive/HAES/IE people on instagram (rather than people posting pictures of themselves in bikinis 🙄) played a huge role as well!