My Fave Paleo Sunscreens

My Fave Paleo Sunscreens

I am sitting here typing this sitting outside, with an awkward “V” shaped sunburn on my chest, and a splotchy sunburn on one, yes, I repeat, ONE arm.

Unfortunately (read:fortunately) it was beautiful outside this weekend, and the first warm day in a while. I cannot recall the last time my forearms were bare outside, and I was so ready for them to be free in the sunshine.

Welllllllllllllllllll.

It was about 70-75 degrees outside, and because it was the first nice day, I had completely forgotten to pack any sunscreen to my Italian friends graduation party. Her olive skin does a fabulous job welcoming the summer sun, and I sat next to her and burned to a little crisp without even realizing it.

Every summer I make the same promise to myself, to be extra cautious with the sun and to always wear a level of sunscreen to protect my fair skin. Y’all know I want to be forever young, and it starts with a good SPF.

Sometimes I’m not the best about being on top of my sun skin care. And there are so many crappy toxic gross sunscreens out there. Luckily, for you, I have been testing a wide variety of brands trying to find the most perfect paleo sunscreen ever, if it is out there.

Check out my fave sunscreens, below.


1.
 Beauty Counter Protect All Over SPF 30 :

So if you haven’t heard of Beauty Counter then you may be living under quite a large rock. This company is striving to create skincare that makes our skin better, not worse. Beautycounter is a women owned enterprise too, you know how much we love supporting our female bosses out there.  And their sunscreen is legit. The fact that this is a solid slide on stick makes it easy to keep in my purse or backpack without worrying it will leak.

paleo sunscreens

2. Primal Life Organics Sunscreen :
We at PfW have been fans of Primal Life Organics for sometime. The main ingredient in their sunblock is red raspberry seed oil, which naturally has a high SPF content of about 28-30. It also has coconut oil in it which makes the product sun protective humectant. The container is a bit small and the product is a little difficult to apply, but other than that it is a great sun protection option.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Badger Sunscreen :

This unscented sunscreen is a fave of mine, sourced from a small business owner in New Hampshire. There is only five ingredients, one being zinc oxide. The other ingredients include seabuckthorn, sunflower oil, and Vitamin E oil.

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Juice Beauty Sunscreen :

Juice Beauty is a brand I used a lot back in the states. Their ingredients are pretty transparent and the effects they have on my skin is minimal. You can also get it on Amazon Prime which is a mega-bonus.

I really hope you can avoid making the mistake I did, and take preventative measure when protecting that glorious skin of yours.  We put a lot of money into the beauty industry; what would happen if we backtracked and invested in our skin from the get-go?

I know a tan can make us feel amazing, but I promise there are some legitimate spray on tan companies out there too….

Happy warm weather!

 

Could You Be Getting Too Much Sleep?

Could You Be Getting Too Much Sleep?

Have you ever experienced a groggy haze coming out of a long sleep? I used to think that if I went a few days with inadequate sleep that I would easily be able to “catch-up” on sleep the following days after I met whatever deadline I was trying to meet. This cycle of saving my “sleep days” seemed to work well with the need to be consistently producing.

And, it’s a pretty well known fact that students are typically overworked and known for undersleeping.

So, naturally, I adapted to this bizarre sleep schedule..

Take a few days and sleep 5-6 hours, then bounce back and sleep 12 hours. it seems like it should work, right?

Well, it is true that sleeping for a long period of time feels like it may be restorative, but it has been proven this is not the best for our brains or quality of life in our waking state.

While I try not to do this anymore, it still occasionally happens.

I recently have been tracking my sleep quality and REM cycles using my Fitbit. My sleep schedule typically ranges from 5-8 hours and I tend to keep the same circadian rhythm pattern, AKA waking up at the same time and aiming to go to bed at the same time every night.

I am human though, and sometimes this just doesn’t work. Recently I have noticed that if I get more than 8 hours of sleep a night, I end up being pretty groggy the following day. I have ruled out my food intake and physical activity as a contributing source to this grogginess.

So how do you know you are getting too much sleep?

 

Are You Sleeping Too Much?

When I hit that annoying snooze button too many times I notice I am tired throughout the day. And I am not alone in experiencing this repercussion. While we think we are prolonging the amount of sleep we can get by hitting snooze, we are actually letting our bodies fall back asleep but not hitting the sought after REM cycle that our brains need to restore for the upcoming day. Think about it like slamming on the brakes every quarter mile and expecting to go as far as if you weren’t hitting the brakes but traveling the same speed.

When we wake up with the following symptoms, we may be getting too much sleep:

-Headaches

-Feeling dehydrated

-Having stiff joints, or pain in the joints

-Feeling lethargic or fatigued despite getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep

These are just a few of the common side effects of oversleeping. And it is important to note that a small percentage of the population suffers from hypersomnia, which is a need for 10 hours of sleep, at least, a night.

Hypersomnia and Narcolepsy can be ruled out with the assistance of your doctor.

 

Why Are You Over Sleeping?

There are a lot of environmental and physiological factors that could be contributing to oversleeping. Maybe you are caught in the same student sleeping cycle I was, catching up on sleep every few days. Or, maybe you are sleeping more than 8 hours every single night.

If you are sleeping more than 8 hours a night and you are not having negative side effects, then I commend you! Keep on doing what works best for you.

However, if you fall into the other category, there are a few things we can look at to determine the cause of an overactive sleep schedule

  1. Depression –  This would make our bodies relationship to sleep a secondary condition, and the depression would be the primary condition. Depression works hard to deplete us of our energy and ambition to do anything other than sleeping. This is a serious mental disability that shouldn’t have to be handled alone, so please reach out to your doctor if you think you may be suffering from depression.
  2. Anemia – The responsibility of iron in the body is to shuttle oxygen around to the cells. If you are low on iron, then the body may not be receiving enough oxygen, prohibiting our bodies ability to function best.
  3. Thyroid Issues – If you have any underactive thyroid, your body could feel sluggish and tired a lot. check out this extremely helpful and informative book on thyroid health to see if this could be causing you to oversleep.
  4. Sleep Apnea – This condition literally stops oxygen from making its way to our brain, decreasing the effectiveness of sleeping overall.
  5. Hypersomnia- This is the condition I referred to earlier. Those with hypersomnia need to get more sleep than the average person to feel alert the following day.
  6. Alcohol – Sometimes we feel like we sleep like a rock after drinking alcohol, but that is not the case. Alcohol also impairs our bodies ability to get a restful night’s sleep, so if you are looking for true beauty sleep, I would eliminate the night cap.
  7. Restless Leg Syndrome – This condition could be keeping you up at night, causing you to feel like you need more sleep because a lack of quality sleep. RLS can be caused by side effects from medication, too much caffeine, or anxiety.

 

Ways to Maintain Balance and Consistency With Your Sleeping Schedule

I recommend eliminating any nightcaps that you may be consuming before bed. Sometimes I will eat a little fat in the form of peanut butter and jelly (no, this isn’t technically paleo but it works for me) because it helps me maintain a consistent sleep schedule.

Exercising throughout the day can improve sleep quality as well. I know it seems contradictory, because if you are super tired from not sleeping then the last thing you may want to do is exercise. But this is a tried and true method to increase energy levels.

I will often do 20 squats in the bathroom if I am starting to nod off at the library. It definitely sucks at first but it wakes me up much more than a coffee could. If squats aren’t your thing, you can take a brisk walk to help get your blood flow going.

To start from the source, take a couple smart moves to improve your bedroom environment

  • Use white or brown noise
  • Make sure your space is as dark as possible, use blackout curtains like these ones, or a sleeping mask
  • Keep your bedroom cool
  • Put those devices away! Seriously! They have an impact on our sleep quality

I have a pretty extensive blog post on other things you can do to destress and sleep like a pro, here.

We all know how important sleep is to function properly. But sleeping too much really is a thing. If you have eliminated all the conditions that may be causing you to oversleep that I mention in this blog, then I would recommend talking with your doctor to narrow down any other causes.

Cheers to getting your beauty sleep!

<3

 

Why You Should Be Putting Probiotics On Your Face

Why You Should Be Putting Probiotics On Your Face

It’s no secret that probiotics can have a positive impact on our happiness, health and wellbeing. Leading industry professionals advocate that a balanced gut microbiome can lead to a healthier life overall. And even more recently, balanced gut bacteria has been studied in cases revealing a reduction in insulin resistance,  better overall mental health, reducing effects of autoimmune conditions, and even weight loss.

These studies have been conducted using oral consumption of probiotic supplements or eating probiotic foods. Think kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir, unpasteurized milk products and kombucha, or an actual probiotic supplement like this one.

I am no stranger to using probiotics to improve my gut health. I frequently use probiotics to improve my skin health too. I have been using topical probiotics for years as a way to combat my incessant acne.

I know it seems weird to use probiotics topically, but intradermal consumption is one of the fastest and most efficient ways for probiotics to penetrate our skin barriers.

Medical professionals argue that acne is caused by bacteria. If you have ever experimented with an elimination diet or eliminated foods like dairy (or any other inflammatory food) for a period of time and immediately been the victim of a breakout shortly after, you know that facial bacteria may not be the sole cause.

And usually we have a gut feeling about what is causing our acne, at least to a certain extent. If you are still unsure what may be the root cause of your acne, check out my program, Clear Skin Unlocked for additional ways to narrow down the acne causing culprits, like a true detective.

If you already have a clear idea of what may be causing your acne, and you have eliminated the culprit but are still having breakouts, then an imbalance of facial bacteria could be in effect.

And that’s where topical probiotics come in.

Are They Necessary?

If you are consistently struggling with breakouts but have had absolutely no luck in treating them, I really recommend giving topical probiotics a try. We already know about the insanely amazing benefits that probiotics have on our gut, and these benefits occur because a balance is being restored. Which points to an important clue to why we may be having breakouts.

Everyday we are frequently being subjected to toxins and bacteria and a combination of external things that shouldn’t be on our face. This is well known amongst my city dwelling friends who experience pollution particles, often on a much broader scale. All of these foreign particles can cause an imbalance of bacteria on our face.

It’s pretty disgusting to think about so I try not to stress myself out obsessing over it. One thing I changed was correcting my habit of touching my face frequently.

To bring it all in – Topical probiotics allow our skin to continue to cultivate its natural microbiome and remain balanced.

Added Benefits of Topical Probiotics

I know from my own personal testing that probiotics can have a positive impact on my skin. I am able to maintain a healthier glow and a better grasp on keeping my skin acne free almost all of the time. Topical probiotics can have the following additional effects according to one of our favorite, no-nonsense beauty scientists at AnnMarie:

—Naturally calm skin that is reactive to environmental stressors

—Strengthen the skin’s lipid barrier, combating dryness

—Balance skin pH, restoring a healthy complexion

—Improve overall skin hydration, enhancing skin suppleness

—Eliminate harmful impurities that disrupt the skin’s defense mechanisms

—Reduces the appearance of temporary redness and other skin burdens

Bonus Ingredients

I recently have been using this probiotic serum from AnnMarie, and it has been stabilizing any acne on my face while also not being harsh on my skin (Y’all know I have very sensitive skin, so this was a great relief knowing that it worked well for me). This particular topical probiotic has only a few ingredients, including Tremella mushrooms. Tremella is known for its medicinal properties, and its use dates back centuries. Read more on everything awesome Tremella Mushrooms can do for us, here.

We recently discussed the properties of adaptogenic herbs including mushrooms. It is enthralling how a fungi has existed for so long and continues to benefit us in so many various, unexpected ways.

A few other bonus ingredients in the Probiotic Serum with Tremella include:

Bio-ferments – Biofermentation means that fermentation occured to increase the stability and nutrient availability. Basically, it is mimicking the fermentation process in nature.

Plankton Extract- this extract has been thought to delay the aging process (Yay!)) Plankton is an excellent moisturizer and humectant to boot.

Natural Herbs – this probiotic contains a medley of herbs to provide a natural scent and powerhouse of nutrients. Ingredients include plantain, dandelion, comfrey and nettle.

I also want to note that AnnMarie advocates that the product is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin. I obviously only have the skin I have, so let me know if you try it and have similar or different results. I have tested a few different kinds of topical probiotics and would love to get feedback on the types that are working for different skin types.

How to Use Topical Probiotics

I typically use this serum after I have washed my face and before I apply moisturizer. It carries a scent that I like to think it the AnnMarie signature scent…It is woodsy and almost slightly smoky but in a refreshing, satisfying way.

 

So, do I have you convinced that topical probiotics could really benefit you? If not, check out this bonus blog post discussing in more depth the reasons why topical probiotics are here to stay.

 

Non-Toxic Dry Shampoo Does Exist…

Non-Toxic Dry Shampoo Does Exist…

If you have been living without dry shampoo in your life you may have been living under a very, very large rock.

Let me take a second and tell you, dry shampoo is THE BEST.  

Surfacing a few years ago in the form of baby powder, dry shampoo gives us the ability to extend the time between shampooing our hair. Baby powder worked for a while for me until I researched the content and side effects of putting this supposedly non-toxic powder on my head. The science behind the toxicity isn’t fully there, but there are some argumentative cases that it can be carcinogenic. After being spoiled by the ability to not wash my hair every single day, you can believe I was going to find a non-toxic dry shampoo to replace the baby powder.

I am going to be real with y’all, sometimes it is not easy to shower every single day. Not only is it a cumbersome task but it strips the natural oils from your skin and hair, causing imbalances that can lead to over producing oil or grease on the scalp. I know all the PfW followers are moms or working women, or are in general taking on a lot of things at once. Dry shampoo is the best because it lets us extend the time between the boomerang task of showering/shampooing. (don’t know what a boomerang errand is? Check out Gretchen Rubin’s philosophy on this here.)

A Non-Toxic Dry Shampoo Alternative

One of my fave dry shampoos right now is Morrocco Method Oil Volcanic Dry Shampoo. (they have the best, most badass names for their products!) The main ingredient in their dry shampoo is bentonite clay. Sound familiar? I recently talked about how much I love putting bentonite clay on my face. Check out that post here.

Cleaner Ingredients

Bentonite Clay binds to materials like dirt and toxins. So you can see how this would be great for a face cleanser and as a dry shampoo. The bentonite absorbs the dirt and grease in your hair. Bentonite is also a natural exfoliant and moisturizer in one.

The Volcanic Dry Shampoo also contains aloe vera and prickly pear oils, which protect your follicles from being stripped of their own natural oil. The aloe vera and prickly pear also deliver nutrients to the follicles and help maintain the natural pH balance of your hair.

The Morrocco Method team clearly put some research into what they were using to create this compound.

Their dry shampoo also contains a few other delicious well-known ingredients like basil, cinnamon, cloves, dandelion root, fennel, garlic, thyme and turmeric. I know what your thinking – this probably smells like a pressed turmeric juice from your Whole Foods smoothie counter. It actually doesn’t smell at all though! The blend of these ingredients with arrowroot powder and the bentonite clay really absorbs any weird smells that could come from the dry shampoo. This is great for me too; anything I put on my head needs to be really neutral and sensory balanced or I could suffer a migraine.

How to Use It

Morrocco Method has a great how-to PDF located here. It is super easy to use though. I just shake a little on my roots where I typically part my hair. It can leave a white residue so unless you want to look like you’re trying to start a new white root trend, brush through your hair using a comb. I find if you tousle your hair with your fingers instead of brushing it, it can take less dry shampoo to have the same effect, and the whiteness of the powder disappears and is distributed evenly.

I usually apply before I go to bed too, that gives my hair time to naturally produce a little more oil and combine with dry shampoo to give a voluminous, easy way to make my hair look cleaner. And it is one less step in the morning routine.
I find dry shampoo extremely convenient when :

  • Camping – This is great if you’re at a super rustic site and cannot shower but still need to occasionally go out in public while camping.
  • Working out with no time to wash hair– Sometimes when I lift weights I don’t work up the most intense sweat, but still need to wash my body. My hair isn’t typically dirty though. It is really challenging to blow-dry and style your hair in a hot locker room in the morning, so I will wash my body and use a little dry shampoo and throw my hair in a ponytail to call it a day.
  • Obviously, after dancing – Do I need to say more?
  • To boost volume – The bonus side effect of dry shampoo besides cleansing your hair is giving it a little more texture and volume. This is especially fantastic for those of us with thin or fine hair that used to have to wash our hair EVERYDAY to maintain and oil free look. This makes thin or fine hair look flat though, so bam—- dry shampoo is perfect.
  • If you just don’t have time or the desire to shower – No shame here ladies, we have all been there. Give yourself a break and use some dry shampoo to save you some time.

So – hopefully you have heard of dry shampoo before. And if not, I hope I have shed some light on how awesome this product can be.

By awesome, I definitely mean gold.  

I have tried many brands and this one is my favorite right now. It may be a little light for those with darker hair. If you are a brunette and choose this kind, I would definitely recommend applying at night or tousling a little more the next morning to eliminate any white residue.

If you are interested in trying the Volcanic Powder Dry Shampoo you can get it here, and their team is offering us 15% off the price with the code volcanicpaleo (no spaces).

Cheers to showering less and living more!

<3

 

The Gut Health Boosting Probiotic Your Diet Has Been Missing

The Gut Health Boosting Probiotic Your Diet Has Been Missing

The gut microbiome is far from a foreign topic these days. Every credible (and non-credible) health based website advertises articles on how to “heal the gut”,”improve gut health”, or “reverse gut damage”. The less credible articles offer details on “quick fixes” to repair the gut, but we know that gut health takes a combination of measures and constant management to be a happy gut. Some of these measures include stress management, proper sleeping patterns, and elimination of gluten and other anti-nutrients.

I share a few more helpful ways to maintain gut health, here.

One key method to helping and maintaining a healthy gut microbiome is eating fermented foods. Did you know some pickled foods are produced allowing probiotics to cultivate in a similar way as fermenting? I love kimchi, sauerkraut and kombucha as much as the next person, but sometimes the powerful vinegar taste of these fermented foods can leave my palate overly saturated. Or, I can get tired of eating the same probiotic foods every day. While supplementing can solve this problem (check out my fave probiotic here) I really prefer to ingest as much as my nutrients through the food I eat versus supplementing.

 

So How About These Pickled Foods

 

Did you know there is a huge variety of pickled foods available for our consumption? People seriously pickle everything, and have been for centuries. Some pickled foods sound pretty disturbing to me, but most of them that I have tried have been delicious. Some examples include:

  • Apples
  • Artichokes
  • Beets
  • Capers
  • Carrots
  • Daikon
  • Ginger
  • Prunes
  • Prawns
  • Pigs Feet
  • and Watermelon, to name a few.

It is so important though that we recognize the difference between the pickling process that kills the good bacteria and the pickling process that preserves it.

 

Pickled vs. Fermented

Fermentation produces a sour flavor in foods and beverages. This is a result of the natural reaction from combining bacteria and natural sugars with the base food or liquid. Pickling is when an acid, like apple cider vinegar, creates the sour taste instead of naturally produced bacteria. Vinegar is combined with heat and sugar to produce this taste, but this process kills off the natural probiotics and bacteria. To get the most optimal nutrients out of your pickled foods, make sure vinegar is not an ingredient used in production.

 

Important Note Regarding Pickled Foods:

Like sauerkraut, pickled foods can be found in the non-perishable section of your grocery store. If these items aren’t in the refrigerated section, they ARE NOT full of probiotics. Acid has been used to pasteurize and kill the good bacteria off for a longer shelf life. Make sure you are buying pickled foods that are found in the refrigerated section. Or, make your own, as the pickled veggies and proteins found in the refrigerated section can be expensive.  

 

My Fave Pickled Foods

 

  • Pickled Eggs I know this sounds gross, but you’ve trusted me on things like liver and other offals before, so trust me on this one. Pickled eggs are delicious. Depending on where you are purchasing them from, or if you’re making your own, the recipe can vary from garlic pickled eggs to pickled beets and eggs, each having a particular flavor. There is a reason pickled eggs have been a well known snack amongst bargoers and European farmers for years. They are a quick protein rich, probiotic full snack that is easy to make and keep on hand.
  • Pickled Herring I recently have gotten into this vinegary, protein rich snack via inspiration from Diane Sanfilippo. There was something off-putting about eating pickled fish raw, but pickled herring is savory and salty, and rich in nutrients. Pickled herring goes great by itself on a cracker, or with a non-dairy cheese spread like kite hill. Get it here.
  • Pickled Onions – If you have ever had a legitimate mediterranean salad or dish, you are probably familiar with pickled onions. They are usually bright pink and have a strong vinegar taste. Pickled onions pair well with romaine or arugula and olives on a salad, and this is an easy way to create a delicious amount of flavor with only a few ingredients. These can also be made at home in a quick pickling way- check out this efficient and delicious quick pickling recipe on Cassy Joy’s website, here.
  • Pickled Vegetables – The variety is unlimited when it comes to pickled veggies. Things like the most known pickled food, cucumbers, and olives, jalapenos, pearl onions, carrots and broccoli can all be pickled the same way as the other foods above to maintain their probiotic content and a strong pickled taste. You can even batch pickle things like eggs, beets and carrots in the same container to give you a variety of veggies to eat.

Personally, I want to try the pickled watermelon but haven’t been able to find it locally. I want to hear from you if you have tried this though! Seriously- Please drop a line and let me know if it tastes as weird as it sounds. Is it salty? Sweet? Just pickle-y?!

Anyways, pickling is an easy way to switch up your method of getting probiotics in your diet. If you get sick of kimchi, kefir, sauerkraut, or kombucha, or are just looking to try something new, give the world of pickled foods a shot.

I am going to go snack on some pickled herring in the meantime. Catch ya later, loves!

 

The Tool You Need to Manage Disordered Eating

The Tool You Need to Manage Disordered Eating

I would say about ⅓ of the questions that come through for our podcast or email have something to do with understanding why our eating patterns are restricted. Or, questions regarding restricting and really, deep down knowing restricting is harmful to our health, but being unable to reflect or accept that fact without the feedback or acknowledgement of others. Which is OKAY. I have been there so many times before, too.

For example, when there is a question along the lines of, “I exercise “x” times a week and eat 1200 calories a day, but have “x” health problems, could this be originating with my calorie deficit?”. A lot of these inquiries  are answered by the person asking in the question, but sometimes we need to hear confirmation from others that these things are affecting us negatively.

That is also why referring to ourselves as third person is a common way to gain perspective and insight on things that may be troubling us or if we are looking for insight on what we really need.

I too, have reached out to doctors, research, and my friends or family to understand why my body responds the way it does, or more importantly, why my body isn’t responding the way I want it to. We need to understand why our bodies don’t want to shed weight, recognizing that things like stress and inflammation can cause our bodies to enter a state where shedding weight isn’t the priority in keeping our body functioning. In a way, our bodies have a mind of their own and will make decisions to take care of themselves, even if we think we already are.

Processing and challenging our disordered thinking is not an easy task; in fact it is one that requires consistent work. I have to be mindful daily to make sure I am not falling into my past negative restrictive habits. This journey is a long one, and may often feel like you are taking 8 steps back and only a half step forward some days.

As with most people, I find that there is an ebb and flow of my moods and habits, and surrounding myself with positive people, eliminating negative social media outlets, and incorporating techniques like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy into my daily life can be grounding.

So – how can we use CBT to manage disordered eating?

What is CBT?

CBT is an evidence based treatment model focused on how our thoughts, feelings, environments, and behaviors are intertwined, and that they can be restructured to support better habits and actions. This type of treatment has been used for anxiety and depression in the past, but more so has been used for eating disorders and disordered eating patterns recently.

There are three phases to CBT  – Behavioral, cognitive, and relapse/ maintenance. Each phase is targeted on different approaches to break down our existing thoughts surrounding restrictive or disordered eating. If you are interested in reading more on the specific phases, check out this book.

So How Can CBT Help?

  1. Understanding
    The first portion of CBT is understanding why we have developed the patterns that we have. This stage is to gain a grasp on why we have developed the patterns that we have, and educating ourselves on the science behind disordered eating. In order to proceed with healing, we must understand how and why our brain’s have become wired to restrict the way we do.
  2. Setting Meal Times
    This may seem counter intuitive, but it is an effective step in CBT. When we have regularly scheduled meal times at realistic intervals, we know when we will be eating again and as a result are breaking up the controlling binge restrict cycle that so often is in place.
  3. Challenging Our Dietary Rules
    This one is commonly discussed on our podcast, and I find so many women have some sort of dietary rules in place. A few of mine included : eating heavier meals in the morning in order to have the rest of the day to burn it off, not eating after 9 PM, eating carbs throughout the work day, etc. So with these rules we need to challenge them by reversing our thoughts on them. This can include eating a light breakfast and heavier dinner, in my situation. What dietary rules do you have that you are willing to challenge? Did you ever tell yourself a food was off limits, and if so, why? Try eating that food and really reflect on how you feel in that moment. This brings me to our next item.
  4. Confront and Expose Fear Foods
     After the above steps have been incorporated, the next gradual step is to give yourself the permission to expose our fear to food. Part of this is removing the fear from food itself, and understanding food is just food. There is no evil cookie out there, the reason we see the cookie as evil is because of the negative connotation WE place on the cookie. If we remove the fear of eating the cookie, it becomes just that again.
  5. Delaying
    This helps often with those that experience binging or purging. If we got caught off guard in the middle of an area that we are wanting to binge or purge, say by a call from a loved one, or an unexpected immediate deadline, we usually are able to push back our binging which can often lead to no longer feeling the need to binge after the stressor has passed. I would recommend creating a list of things to pull out of your back pocket that can intercept restrictive behaviors.
    This article has a great list to start with that includes doing your nails, playing with a pet, calling a friend, or listening to music. By allowing yourself to complete this task before indulging the negative behavior, we can catch and stop that negative behavior from happening.
  6. Continue to Self Monitor
    By journaling (
    this is a great workbook) and keeping track of consumed foods along with emotional feelings we can reflect on what ultimately is causing us to feel restrictive patterns in that moment. For instance, journaling at lunch time at work describing your current mindset and what your eating can allow you to see if you are stressed out about a project at work. Over time, journaling can show us what patterns we have surrounding our mindset. Maybe we only feel binging behaviors when we are stressed at work, or maybe the binging is at home before bed. This step is about maintaining self awareness and really “knowing thyself”.

Using CBT

By no means am I a registered, educated or licensed professional when it comes to CBT. I write purely from my own personal experience and research, and from my research working with women through PfW. All of these tips can be extremely helpful while navigating the world of CBT. However. CBT doesn’t work for everyone, especially when trying to complete on your own.

I was able to utilize CBT to manage disordered eating in the most effective way by utilizing a local mental health professional. CBT takes consistency to be fully optimized; by working with a professional you are more likely to have a successful experience with CBT. To locate a therapist that specializes in CBT, click here.

Additional Resources

This website is the holy grail of resources. It contains informative handouts on eating disorders and disordered eating habits, as well as handouts, worksheets and exercises. There is also an extensive further reading page.

This website has a series of in depth modules that walk you through the CBT process.

As always, let me know if you have any questions or concerns or if I can help in any way. Everyday we are one step closer to eliminating restrictive eating if we consistently work towards improving. Keep an eye out for a few future posts on additional ways you can work to eliminate disordered eating tendencies.