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Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Here we are again, at the start of the end-of-year Holiday Season. Beginning with Halloween, then weeks until Thanksgiving, with a barrage of parties until the celebration of Christmas and then New Years. Once that New Years hits though, there is a renewed interest in self and health.

Ironically, there is almost a multiple personality approach to the holiday season that many adopt. This can be equated to the three-legged stool. One leg is the victim approach to the holidays where we are simply subject to the pressures of the season. Another leg represents the desire to just be present allow ourselves to enjoy this time with family, or this point in our children’s lives. …


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Photo by Abigail Miller on Unsplash

I realize that kids can be the literal worst when it comes to trying new foods, being in food jags (ruts), and not finishing their foods. But a child is not counting calories, wondering if they should step on the scale now or later to see if their day is going to be ruined, or fearful of GMO’s and nitrates.

With kids going back to school across the country, virtually or physically, it might be a good time to consider what that return can mean to their dietary habits. …


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Photo by Filip Mroz on Unsplash

In the health world, there are the two relatively new kids on the block. They’ve been around for a few years but they’ve been gaining popularity recently. The two that I am talking about are body positivity and health at every size.

While often spoken of together, Body Positivity and Health at Every Size (HAES) are two separate approaches. As the name implies, with body positivity the focus is on making peace with your body and focusing on the positives it has rather than the negatives. …


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Photo by Daniel Salcius on Unsplash

Let me start off by saying that I am not a vegan. I eat plants. I prefer soy milk, though I am not against cow’s milk. And I eat meat when I want. While that may make some of you question my credibility that is part of the concern we should have with food extremism. Here is where I should make some clever joke about being a vegan, or becoming a “televeganist” spouting the benefits of a plant based lifestyle to decrease health risks. But let’s just have a little talk about the reality of eating plants.

We like to complicate health. We want potions, lotions, pills, powders, and miracle lasers. We argue about organics, nut milks, oils, GMO’s, clean eating, and keto but the crux of all of health is just eating more plants. We all know that,…right? …


When you were young, maybe you were the pizza kid, the chicken nugget kid, the pizza bagel kid, the french fry kid or any number of designations given to children in food jags. A food jag is a rut, or habit, that an individual gets into where they limit their consumption of foods to a few select items. Hence, the kid that only eats cheese sticks despite the consistent begging of parents to just try something else.

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Photo by Miguel Andrade on Unsplash

While it can be frustrating to a parent when a child will only eat pop tarts, or bananas, fish sticks, or peanut butter (straight out of the jar) it is important to recognize that many adults are doing the same thing, just with a little broader scope. …


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Photo by Jonathan Gallegos on Unsplash

If you were on social media from March until June it was nearly everyday that you saw jokes about beach bodies after quarantine, weight gain, mindless eating, etc.

Some even refer to quarantine weight gain as “gaining the COVID-19” like it is a right of passage, expectation, and movement that we all are aware of and bitter about. Jessica Zucker and Sara Gaynes Levy wrote an excellent article on how fat shaming is harmful, discussing why we should potentially consider avoiding that conversation.

In the midst of relaxed quarantine procedures, re-opening the economy, and the Black Lives Matter discussion on change, the light has been pulled away from what we were eating at home. That is why I am discussing it now. Discussing the battle in the trenches leads to a different conversation than post-war reflections. When you are in the throws of it, it is just something everyone relates to and no one see’s a problem with it. It’s either not a big deal or too big of a deal to tackle. But taking the time to reflect on it afterwards affords you the opportunity to take a less-involved look at it. …


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Photo by henri meilhac on Unsplash

Men don’t have friends.

Or at least, typically, not the way that women have friends. If they do have friends, they may only talk to one another every few months. Those friendships can take place around a variety of things such as, sports, location, interests, travel, video games, and so on. Men could probably count on one hand the men that they have had heart-to-heart conversations with. But what is the conversation that men have with their friends, colleagues, and acquaintances surrounding health? …


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Photo by visuals on Unsplash

Currently, we are in a world where many of those cultural norms are changing. Perhaps, we are not going to work, or we are working from home. Maybe we are running out of essential toiletries. It could be that we are being quarantined to our home and as a result have lost access to food. Maybe your coworkers have been replaced by smaller, slightly less self-regulated office mates that offer no assistance once clocked in. Regardless of the reason, your environment is likely to change and as a result your behaviors change.

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Socio-Ecological Model — Credit “Figueroa’s Framework”

In the health world there is something called the Socio-Ecological Model. This behavior change model demonstrates how our actions are influenced by our knowledge and beliefs, our community, city/state/federal laws, and the cultural norms that are around us. …


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Photo by Melissa Walker Horn on Unsplash

Have you ever considered that your rewards could potentially be your own self-inflicted punishment?

When you are beginning to make changes, and you are succeeding, when you get a new job, on your anniversary, for vacations, after your kids dance recital or sporting event — we celebrate. And, typically, we celebrate with food.We had Valentine’s day and the token gifts are a fancy dinner, a box of chocolate, and flowers. With Thanksgiving, our celebration is centered around food and family. With Christmas, with have all of the traditional cakes, cookies, pies and parties. For Independence Day we fire up the grill and cook out. For Mother’s Day it is breakfast in bed. …


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Photo by Crazy nana on Unsplash

So, this is February.

After the year-that-was January, we have reached the new month and our health goals… well… there is always next year, right?

A time-honored tradition that is part growing into adulthood is that many of us reach the realization that New Year’s Resolutions are meant to fail. We get excited, we set these new goals, then we go back to work, try it out, and then everyone we know decides to just give up on that hope for change.

Changing our eating habits and establishing healthy habits are two of the biggest resolutions, year after year. …

About

Zach Cordell

You might not like this story, so just try another! They’re free like that. Good ole’ information buffet. Dietitian, Professor, Author www.cordellnutrition.com

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