Supporting Our Local Artists 🎨 Screen Doors Body Image Exhibit

Allison and Anna were super excited to support Traci Martin, local artist and one Allison’s clients, at the opening night of her newest art series “Screen Doors”. The theme of this series is the pursuit of self-love and acceptance, told through portraits of women from many walks of life. 

“The primary focus in all of my artwork is representation. I want others to feel seen and to relate to the content in my paintings and drawings” said Martin.

In the series, “Screen Doors”, the theme is the pursuit of self-love and acceptance, told through portraits of women from many walks of life. 

“Like so many people in our culture, I have struggled deeply with body image and acceptance. I am making work in this series that highlights the journey many of us share in order to provide a point of connection. It is my hope that every viewer will feel a sense of encouragement through this exhibit and perhaps the confidence to take another step forward on their own road to self-love.”

– Traci Martin

Traci’s studio is at The Bank Building Studios in The Village of West Greenville and her exhibit goes through June 3, 2022. You can see more on her website https://www.tracimartinstudios.com/about

Giving Back to Our Community: Volunteering at Jasmine Road

Jasmine Road is South Carolina’s first two-year residential program for adult women survivors of human trafficking, prostitution, and addiction.

Their mission is to offer women who are trapped in a cycle of sexual exploitation and addiction a path to freedom, a haven for healing, and the opportunity to flourish, leading to generational change and the betterment of our Greenville community.

Brittany Jones Nutrition Group is thrilled to be donating our time and expertise through a 4 week series on “Gentle Nutrition” for the residents at Jasmine Road beginning in April 2022.

This series will be led by Registered Dietitian Anna Jensen, RD, LD and will cover the following topics:

  • A weight neutral approach to nutrition care
  • Rejecting the all-or-nothing mindset
  • Nutrition myth busting
  • Meal planning

As a volunteer, Anna will work alongside the Jasmine Road Staff to support the residents on their unique journey of healing, and to further their growth, and development. Our goal is to work with the residents as they move out of the cycles of addiction and sexual exploitation and to empower them to fuel, move, and accept their bodies along their journey.

We are very excited to be partnering with such an incredible organization and to give back to our Greenville community that we love so much!

Learn more about Jasmine Road and their social enterprise lunch café Jasmine Kitchen.

How To Eat Vegetables Without Feeling Like You’re On A Diet

What do you think of when you think of vegetables?

Does “eating diet food” come to mind, or is it one of your favorite foods?

Does it sound like something you “have to” or “should” eat, or just another part of your meals?

There is nothing inherently diet-y about vegetables, but diet culture has really taken advantage of them! 

It might feel a bit simple to write a whole blog post about vegetables, but we have found many clients associate them so closely to diets that their relationship with them can be disordered – so we thought it was worth talking about a little further.

You can enjoy vegetables how YOU like them, not how diet culture says you are supposed to eat them (i.e. with dressing on the side, or raw without dipping in ranch)!

Keep reading to see how your view of vegetables might be altered due to your dieting history, and how you can eat more vegetables without dieting. 

Dieting and Diet Culture Can Distort Your View of Certain Foods

Diet culture has created us to believe that some foods are “good” while others are “bad” – pitting the two against each other. Brittany Jones Nutrition Group dietitians teach food freedom, which allows unconditional permission to eat all foods, and can help us be more attuned with our body. 

Remember that “Force-feeding” yourself vegetables will move you in the opposite direction of trusting your body. 

As we learn to trust our body and its choices, we begin to strike a balance between functional and fun foods and it becomes a much more natural process. 

We have also seen how all-or-nothing thinking with vegetables can sneak in. If you have heard in a past diet that you can only have steamed, bland vegetables, low fat/low sugar dressing (or even worse- no dressing!), it is understandable how that would not satisfy you! If you have used vegetables to cover up a craving because they have little “points” (etc), you probably have realized this does not work and will only make your craving more intense. These experiences are common, and know that vegetables don’t have to be consumed in this way.

It is important to also note that your view toward vegetables might be altered from your experiences as a child. If you were forced to eat certain vegetables or if you were rarely exposed to them, this will also have an impact. Have compassion on yourself if it feels like you are “picky” when it comes to vegetables. It is never too late to just start trying and experimenting. 

Shift To An Abundance Mindset

Another reason people might avoid eating vegetables is that it is often used as a replacement for things when dieting. You can eat a lot of vegetables without having to make it a replacement for something else in the meal! By all means if you like cauliflower rice – go for it – but we would still love to see you add some carbs to your meal such as corn/peas/beans or some bread/crackers. If you love rice, eat the rice and have some vegetables on your plate as well.

It can be helpful to think how we can ADD to a meal or snack, not replace it. As you begin to try to incorporate vegetables in new ways, know that there might be some vegetables that you like and some you don’t, and that is okay! 

How To Make Vegetables Tasty 

Here are some ideas to incorporate more vegetables from a place of abundance, not restriction: 

  1. Start with a list. Think of the vegetables you like and the ones you have not tried or want to try making differently. Sometimes it can be helpful to think of something you have had before at a restaurant (like those crispy brussels sprouts or interesting salads) and want to try to recreate it! 
  2. Branch out in the kitchen. If you like steaming, go for it! But sautéing, roasting, and grilling can bring out amazing textures and flavors. If you have an air fryer (or convection oven), this can make vegetables really crisp. 
  3. Experiment with seasonings and marinades. Just like you marinate your meat for the grill, try marinating your vegetables! Think beyond salt and pepper- we love all the spice blends at Trader Joes! For those that find vegetables bitter, try using maple syrup or honey in a marinade or when roasting to cut the bitterness. 
  4. Don’t be afraid of oil. Not only does the oil help with satiety and in enhancing taste, it helps you absorb all the fat-soluble vitamins in vegetables. Also, you will thank yourself when cleaning the pan!
  5. Think beyond a side. Sides are great, but you can also enhance whatever you’re making by throwing some extra vegetables in the mix. Making a breakfast casserole or omelet? Maybe add some peppers and onions. Your favorite pasta dish or soup? Think about some throwing in frozen spinach or fresh mushrooms.
  6. Sauce it up. There are so many different things you can do in this area. Maybe it looks like a balsamic glaze, hummus, chimichurri drizzle, or some other dipping sauce. 
  7. You don’t have to order salad dressing on the side! You would be surprised how much more satisfying a salad is when it’s tossed nicely WITH the dressing. 

Check Out Some of Our Favorite Brittany Jones Nutrition Group Vegetable Recipes

We hope this gets you started on how you can be adding vegetables to your diet coming from a place of abundance. If you would like some ideas to get you started, check out some of ours below: 

Eating without Hunger Signals: Exploring Practical Hunger

Have you ever gone to the bathroom before heading out on a road trip, even though you didn’t really have to go? You preemptively use the bathroom just in case there isn’t one available when you need it, which would leave you feeling very dire and uncomfortable.

Most people will answer yes to this question – because this is a practical thing to do.

Guess what? The same thing applies to hunger! It is OK to eat when you aren’t feeling physical hunger signals (i.e. stomach growling, low energy, etc) if you anticipate you won’t be able to eat for a longer than normal period of time.

This is called practicing practical hunger and it prevents us from getting to a point when we are overly hungry, thus creating a dire and uncomfortable situation – just like having to use the bathroom and not having one available. 

Intrigued? Keep reading.

It is incredibly valuable and important to learn our hunger and fullness cues, but we often see diet culture creep in when it comes to eating outside of these cues.Sometimes, listening to our body means eating when we are not physically hungry. 

Let’s  take a look at the 4 types of hunger in intuitive eating: 

  1. Physical hunger: This is what we typically think of when we think hunger. It comes from our biological need to eat and presents itself as a growling stomach, low energy, headache, fatigue and difficulty concentrating.
  1. Taste hunger: This is simply eating something because it sounds good. It can look like finishing off a nice meal with a dark chocolate or sharing a basket of fries while watching sports with your friends because it adds to your experience. This type of hunger is often demonized but we are here to say that taste hunger is an important part of food freedom! 
  1. Emotional hunger: Emotional hunger occurs when there is an unmet emotional need that presents itself with a desire to eat food. People are often fearful of emotional eating especially if they lack other coping mechanisms. Food CAN be a comfort but it is important that we learn how to process our emotions and develop other coping tools as well.
  1. Practical hunger: This is not necessarily a hunger we can feel or explain, but rather preparing for an anticipated need to eat. It’s very similar to using the restroom before you leave for a road trip because you don’t know when there will be another bathroom available. It’s planning ahead for a need you know will arise.

We take a deeper dive into practical hunger below.

Examples Of When You Might Use Practical Hunger

I am sure you can think back to a time when you had gone too long without eating and found yourself overly hungry, uncomfortable and irritated (aka “hangry”). While some might be in this situation because they intentionally decided not to eat, we find that many clients find themselves here unintentionally because the day just got busy! 

Here are some examples of how practical hunger might come into play: 

  • You are going into a situation where you might not have access to food for the next 1-3 hours (a meeting, appointment, class, busy work day, etc)
  • You find yourself stressed or emotional which has suppressed your hunger
  • You have a job that only allows for specific meal lunch breaks and at times when you may not be physically hungry (i.e. being a teacher and only being able to eat during planning periods)
  • After a strenuous workout or sport and you know your body needs fuel 
  • When you are following a meal plan or schedule (eating disorder treatment, diabetes management, GI protocol, etc) 
  • If you are pregnant, breastfeeding or pumping and your body requires more energy 

Why It Is Okay To Eat When You Are Not Physically Hungry

Diet culture likes to twist intuitive eating to mean eating when you are hungry and stopping when you are full- this is FALSE and just another rule! The goal is not to live our lives revolving around food. Wecan’t always stop what we are doing when we begin to feel physical hunger. Practicing practical hunger will prevent us from getting to a point when we are overly hungry and do not have access to food. This not only affects our mood, energy and concentration, it can lead to feeling out of control or binge eating once we are able to eat. 

For those that need to follow a specific meal plan for medical conditions or those that require extra energy, only listening to physical hunger might do more harm than good. For example, those with an eating disorder likely have altered hunger and fullness cues and being on a schedule can help begin to regulate those cues. Or in diabetes management, going all day without eating because you are not physically hungry will cause your blood sugar to drop and peak when you do eat. 

Putting It Into Practice

In these situations, we are typically looking for something functional that will keep you full, balance your blood sugar, and keep you concentrated. 

If you anticipate it will be 1-3 hours before you will have access to food, it is a good idea to have a snack containing a combination of carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Such as:

  • Cheese and crackers
  • Apple and peanut butter
  • Trail mix with nuts and raisins and/or chocolate chips
  • A nutrition bar (examples: kind bar, Rx bar, lara bar)
  • Yogurt with cereal/granola
  • Beef jerky and fruit/ crackers

If you anticipate it being 3+ hours before eating, depending on when you had your last meal, it is probably a good idea to have a meal. Again, we are looking for something that has carbohydrates, protein and fat but in a larger quantity. 

Lastly, meal planning is incredibly helpful in determining times that practical hunger might be used. When we talk through meal planning with clients, the first step is “What events or things do we have going on this week that might affect our meals or snacks?”. An “event” can look like a long lab, a specific lunch break pre-determined, or simply knowing that Mondays are insane! Our goal is for you to learn your hunger and fullness cues and use them as a guideline, but realize they are not a rule and sometimes we need to eat when we are not hungry!

Want to learn more about the different kinds of hunger, and how they apply to having a healthy relationship with food?

Click here to set up a free 15 minute call with one of our registered dietitians today.

Quiz: Do you have a healthy relationship with food/body?

It can be hard to understand what is considered a healthy relationship with food and body when we’re living in a culture that celebrates diets. It becomes so engrained in us, and sometimes we don’t realize that our relationship has become an unhealthy one.

That’s why the dietitians at Brittany Jones Nutrition Group came up with this quiz! It by no means should be used as a diagnostic tool – it is simply a quick 2 minute check in that you can do yourself.

If you answer “yes” to 5 out of the 15 questions or more – it might be time to explore your relationship with food/body in a little bit more.


Take our quick 2 minute quiz to check in with yourself and your attitudes about food, nutrition, and body image:

Meet our newest dietitian, Anna!

We are SO excited to introduce you to our newest dietitian, Anna Jensen, RD, LD!

Anna has been working with Brittany Jones Nutrition Group clients in our nutrition counseling and eating disorder/disordered eating programs since August 2021, and our clients have really enjoyed working with her! She is a joy to work with, and we are so grateful to have her on our team.

Get to know Anna!

Q: You were an intern for Brittany in the past, what made you want to be a part of the team?

A: Nothing else felt quite right. When I interned with the team, I got to see the Brittany, Allison, and Christie build relationships with the clients, really listen to them, and create an individualized plan. I decided that is what felt right – helping individuals find food and body freedom in a world of diet culture. – rather than the traditional weight centric approach.

Q: Where did you get your Bachelors in Nutrition and complete your dietetic internship to become a Registered Dietitian?

A: I went to Clemson University and I would not change a thing! I completed my dietetic internship through Be Well Solutions Distance program. I LOVED doing a distance program, because I got to choose my own schedule – that’s how I was able to choose my “emphasis” rotation with Brittany Jones Nutrition Group!

Q: You have a clinical background in dietetics – how does that help you with your clients?

A: This has shown to be helpful in helping both nutrition counseling and eating disorder clients. In my time in the clinical setting, I learned about chronic diseases, interpreting labs, consequences of malnutrition, and the importance of preventing of malnutrition. I also learned how to work on an interdisciplinary team/communicate with other medical providers, and how to teach individuals to advocate for themselves.

Q: What kind of clients do you enjoy working with?

A: I love working with those ready to ditch dieting and take a full dive into intuitive eating! I also love when clients trust me to be completely transparent, open and honest with their past and current struggles. I use motivation interviewing in our sessions, and meet clients where they are at.

Q: What are you most excited about in this new position with Brittany Jones Nutrition Group?

A: Of course I am excited to take on more clients, but I think I am most excited to be on a team that is so supportive and personally invested in your success!

Q: What’s your favorite holiday tradition?

A: I grew up making Christmas cookies with my grandma and it brings back so many memories. Even if I do not get the chance to bake with her, I try to make the same cookies. Food is so much more than fuel- it can bring back special memories and create future ones.

Are you interested in working with Anna? Click here to set up a FREE 15 minute call today!

TD Saturday Market Peach Panzanella Salad

I can’t believe it’s been 10 years since I moved to Greenville, SC! I moved here for a job with a start up company after graduating from the Medical University of South Carolina Dietetic Internship, and never looked back.

A LOT has changed in the last decade. I met my person and married him, traveled a ton, had a baby, bought a house, and held several jobs before finally starting and growing my own business!

I was honored to be asked by the TD Saturday Market to participate in their Kitchen Series as it has always been one of my favorite activities in our city!

SC peaches are my absolute favorite, and I had so much fun combining them with ripe tomatoes, fresh cucumbers, meat, cheese, and of course delicious sourdough bread! My recipe features produce from Beachwood Farms, Hyders Farm, and Great Harvest Bread.

Check out my full TD Saturday Market experience and the recipe below!

Farmers Market Peach Panzanella Salad

Serves: 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Cup White Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard
  • 3 Medium Ripe Peaches, sliced
  • 2 Tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 Small Red Onion, Peeled and thinly sliced
  • 4 Cups Cucumber, sliced into half moons
  • 12oz Fresh Mozzarella, cut into small pieces
  • 4 Cups Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread, 1 day old & cubed
  • 6 Slices Prosciutto, sliced

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, honey, and Dijon mustard. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, add the peaches, tomatoes, red onion, cucumber, mozzarella, cubed bread, and prosciutto. Gently toss with the dressing.
  3. Arrange the salad on a large platter and top with fresh ground pepper.
  4. Enjoy!

Sheet Pan Red Potatoes, Veggies, and Sausage

I’m excited to share another EASY weeknight meal for you to try! This recipe has only 4 main ingredients and makes for great leftovers. Be sure to share your photos on social media and tag @brittanyjonesRD and @greenvilledietitians!

Sheet Pan Red Potatoes, Veggies, and Sausage

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds baby red potatoes, cut in half
  • 1/4 Cup Olive oil
  • 16oz bag broccoli florets
  • 2 Red Bell Peppers, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons dried Italian seasoning
  • 2 Cloves garlic, pressed
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 8 Precooked chicken sausage links of your choice

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425
  2. In a large bowl, toss the potatoes with half of the olive oil, Italian seasoning, 1 clove garlic, and black pepper to taste.
  3. Roast the potatoes for 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, add the bag of broccoli florets and chopped red bell peppers to the mixing bowl bowl and toss with the remaining olive oil, Italian seasoning, garlic clove, and black pepper t taste.
  5. Add the vegetables to the sheet pan with the potatoes, and roast for 20 more minutes.
  6. While the veggies are cooking, reheat the precooked chicken sausage links according to the package
  7. Serve 1/4 of the potatoes and veggies with 2 sausages, and enjoy!

Note: this recipe is gluten free and dairy free

Not Seeing Progress at the Gym? Why you may need to eat more.

It may surprise you to know that I spend the majority of my sessions with clients telling them to eat MORE and not less. When I say recommend eating more a very typical response is “but if I eat more, I will gain weight, right?” This is not always true.

Diet culture praises hunger, and shames fullness (read more here). It tells you the key is “calories in calories out” – that’s all there is to it, right? Wrong.

Our bodies are not robots. They are not a static machine that requires the same number of calories each day. Energy requirements vary based on activity level, gender, stress and sleep, illness, phase of life, and so much more. That is why listening to our bodies hunger and fullness cues is always the best indicator of our needs.

Unfortunately, diet culture takes you away from these natural cues, praising undereating and making consumers believe that being hungry all the time is a good thing. This puts us at risk for going into starvation mode which ultimately takes us AWAY from our goals. Undereating can also have serious health consequences. 

risks of chronic undereating:

  • Breakdown of muscle (including your heart!)
  • Gastroparesis (slowed digestion causing symptoms such as stomach pain and bloating, nausea and vomiting, blocked intestines, and constipation)
  • Development of eating disorders such as binge eating disorder, anorexia nervosa, and bulimia nervosa
  • Obsessive food thoughts and difficulty concentrating (your brain consumes 1/5 of the body’s calories – without enough intake it cannot function properly!)
  • Lowered sex drive 
  • Loss of menstrual cycle
  • Reduced resting metabolic rate
  • Dry skin, brittle nails, and hair loss
  • Decreased bone density (osteopenia and osteoporosis)
  • Anemia

We find that undereating is particularly common with our clients that are athletes or people with a regular exercise routine such as HIIT workouts, group exercise classes, cycling, or running. This comes back to the calories in calories out philosophy of diet culture. Diet culture teaches us to burn as many calories as we can while taking in as little calories as possible.

Exercising while under fueling has additional risks including:

  • Reduced muscle mass
  • A slower metabolism and an increase in body fat
  • Increased cortisol hormone (stress) – this can lead to insulin resistance and leptin resistance (leptin is the hormone that indicates you are full)
  • Increased risk of stress fractures and decreased bone density 
  • Loss/decrease of performance
  • Reduced T3 (active thyroid hormone)

In addition, under fueling for workouts can hinder your progress towards your strength and endurance goals. When calories are too low, the body prioritizes keeping you alive – meaning its focus is on essential functions such as breathing and regulating body temperature. It is not focused on rebuilding muscle tissue.

Working out without proper nutrition makes it nearly impossible to increase muscle strength or size. 

Under fueling also makes recovery from workouts more difficult. During a workout, your muscle tissues break down. Without adequate calories, carbs, and protein, your muscles will not have the materials they need to rebuild. Instead, that muscle will just be burned for energy. Under eating also disrupts your sleep cycle which is an important part of the recovery process as well.

How do you know if you are undereating?

Signs that you are not eating enough:

  • Low energy
  • Loss of performance in workouts
  • Insomnia
  • Mood swings
  • Brain fog/poor concentration
  • Depression or anxiety 
  • Hair loss and brittle nails
  • Feeling cold
  • Loss of menstrual cycle
  • Infertility 
  • Constipation
  • Low sex drive
  • Increased cravings (particularly for quick energy sources such as sugar and refined carbohydrates)

If you resonate with these symptoms, it’s likely you need to EAT MORE! Focus on eating regularly, every 3 -4 hours, using the balanced plate at meals and including balanced snacks of carbohydrate and protein between meals. 

Before you work out, have a quick source of carbohydrates for energy such as a handful of cereal, piece of fruit, or slice of bread. After working out, we recommend eating a snack with a 3:1 ratio of carbs to protein such as an 8oz glass of chocolate milk, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, or fruit with nut butter.

If you are having a hard time increasing intake or reaching your performance goals, we would love to help!

Contact us to set up a FREE 15 minute discovery call today.

Thanksgiving during COVID19: how much food to make

The CDC released recommendations today to reduce the spread of COVID19 to friends and family this holiday season. The full recommendations can be seen here, and they include:

  • Celebrating virtually
  • Celebrating with members of your own household (who are consistently taking measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19)
  • Celebrating with family members or friends from a limited number of households with socially distanced place settings (2-3 households who are consistently taking measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19)
  • Hosting an outdoor event (if possible), or opening windows to increase ventilation indoors
  • Washing your hands before eating!!

For a lot of us, these new guidelines mean a significantly smaller Thanksgiving Dinner – which is hard when you’re used to cooking for a big crowd! But how much should you actually make? I’ve put together some tips to help you plan out your more intimate Thanksgiving Dinner below!

Note: if cooking a small dinner doesn’t sound appealing to you – please support our local restaurants and community! Click here to check out GVLtoday’s list of restaurants offering dine-in or carry out Thanksgiving Dinners. It’s a great way to support our local restaurants who have been hard hit by the economic impact of COVID19!

Thanksgiving Dinner for 2

  • Appetizers/Salad: 1
  • Pounds of Turkey: 3 pound bone in turkey breast
  • Carb Sides (bread/rice/potatoes/mac and cheese/stuffing): 1-2 side dishes made for 4 servings (will have leftovers)
  • Veggie Sides (green beans, carrots, brussels sprouts etc): 1 side dishes made for 4 servings (will have leftovers)
  • Desserts: 1 (will have leftovers)

Thanksgiving Dinner for 4

  • Appetizers/Salad: 1
  • Pounds of Turkey: 6 pound bone in turkey breast
  • Carb Sides (bread/rice/potatoes/mac and cheese/stuffing): 1-2 side dishes made for 4 servings (will have leftovers)
  • Veggie Sides (green beans, carrots, etc): 1-2 dishes made for 4 servings (will have leftovers)
  • Desserts: 1-2 dishes

Thanksgiving Dinner for 6

  • Appetizers/Salad: 2
  • Pounds of Turkey: 9-10 pound turkey (defrost for 2-3 days prior)
  • Carb Sides (bread/rice/potatoes/mac and cheese/stuffing): 2-3 side dishes made for 4 servings (will have leftovers)
  • Veggie Sides (green beans, carrots, etc): 2 dishes made for 4 servings (will have leftovers)
  • Desserts: 2 dishes

Thanksgiving Dinner for 8

  • Appetizers/Salad: 2
  • Pounds of Turkey: 12 pound turkey (defrost for 2-3 days prior)
  • Carb Sides (bread/rice/potatoes/mac and cheese/stuffing): 3 side dishes made for 4 servings (will have leftovers)
  • Veggie Sides (green beans, carrots, etc): 3 dishes made for 4 servings (will have leftovers)
  • Desserts: 3 dishes (will have leftovers)

Looking for recipe ideas? Check out my Thanksgiving Recipe Round up here!