Fat is Okay

By Laura Cipullo, RD, CDE, CEDRD

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The comedian Nicole Arbour has it wrong—as do many people. Fat shaming is not helpful. It makes people feel worse about themselves, not better! Smart people recognize that putting people down is counterproductive to self-care, which ultimately leads to wellness. Our culture needs to refocus and promote positives specifically around food and body. Moms, dads, and friends—we need to get it right. As adults who influence children and their health, it is in our hands to prevent fat shaming and, just as important, to redefine the word “FAT” and the word “DIET.”


Using the Word “FAT”

When my children were born, I avoided the word “fat,” making a rule—it was not to be used in my house and guests could not call my kids fat. I even skipped the “fat caterpillar” part in Eric Carle’s book The Hungry Caterpillar. Fat was and is demonized in the public. Most who are/were called fat internalize the word, leading to poor body image, eating disorders, and low self-esteem.


Neutralize the Word

Things are changing. I have learned with my clients that focusing on wellness instead of weight loss are without a doubt a better way to achieve health—and even weight loss if needed. The Health at Every Size (HAES) movement has introduced the concept of neutralizing the word “fat.” This means, as parents and especially as health professionals, we should be redefining “fat.” The word should connate neither a good nor bad vibe. HAES recognizes that people may be overweight but that it doesn’t have to be a negative thing. Rather, size acceptance and body acceptance is most important when trying to pursue health.

With this, I have in my practice and even at home begun to change the use of this word. I use the word “fat,” and along with the HAES’s influence, I encourage others to do so as well. Let’s face it, we all eat foods with fat, all have fat on our bodies, and all need both dietary and body fat.


The Science on FAT

Body size and fat are different. Body size and body fat are partly determined by genetics—actually about 50 percent. Body fat, stress, and even the way in which we eat affect how we gain, lose, and maintain weight. Excessive body fat is part of the cause and the result of metabolic snafus. Basically, think of it like this: your car is filled with gas, but your gas tank erroneously reads it as empty. You continue to pump gas into the tank and it spills out causing a mess. This can happen to expensive cars and used cars. There is no discrimination. Rather, miscommunication between bodily systems can happen in both thin people with a high fat mass as well as larger people with a high fat mass. That’s right, even thin people can have a high fat ratio and put themselves at risk for heart disease, diabetes, and more. (1) In other words, thinner as well as larger people can hold greater amounts of fat. It is not an appearance thing, so please stop judging the book by its cover. It can be quite deceiving.

Recognize that health is not determined by the number on the scale, the size of your pants, or someone calling you fat. Health is much more complex. Fat is not bad or good. Fat is fat. Like anything else, too much of one thing can become unhealthy. And while we are on the topic of redefining “fat,” let’s also redefine the word “diet” and practice the All Foods Fit philosophy!


To support this message, start using the hashtags #HAES, #AllFoodsFit, #AllBodiesFit, #redefinediet #BodyLove…


To help create awareness, I have also created tanks and totes that voice this message:

  • for totes with the All Foods Fit and All Bodies Fit, click HERE
  • for tanks with the All Foods Fit message, “Eat Kale and Cupcakes,” and more, click HERE

10 percent of all proceeds will be donated to Project Heal NYC!



International Journal of Obesity (2006) 30, S23–S35. doi:10.1038/sj.ijo.0803516

The thrifty ‘catch-up fat’ phenotype: its impact on insulin sensitivity during growth trajectories to obesity and metabolic syndrome

A G Dulloo1, J Jacquet2, J Seydoux2 and J-P Montani1

Eat Like A Baby

By Dina Cohen, MS, RDN, CEDRD


Photo Credit: Mait Jüriado via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Mait Jüriado via Compfight cc

My girls are confident self-feeders by now, and it’s a lot of fun to watch them eat. When I put a new food on their trays, they curiously examine it, poking and prodding with great interest, and finally cramming it into their little mouths. By the time they are done, their noses, ears, eyebrows, and hair have all had a share in the meal, and naturally, the floor is a disaster, but it’s great fun for them, and for me! The babies are fascinated by new colors, textures, and tastes. While they recognize their favorites and will grin and gurgle at each other in appreciation when I serve something that they think is fabulous, they’re still very open-minded, and I take full advantage. It’s so entertaining to see their expressions after I shock them with an entirely new texture or flavor. I love that they are so curious and will always try at least a bite or two, no matter how different a new food looks, smells, or feels. I don’t know how long this will last, but I hope it always will! I’m certainly appreciating it for the moment.

Eating with my girls is showing me how enjoyable a meal can be when you involve all your senses and approach it with a sense of discovery and adventure. Watching their active participation in their meals reinforces how valuable it is to eat mindfully. Mealtime is about more than simply filling your stomach and moving on to your next activity. Eating is a much more satisfying experience if it involves noticing and appreciating the color, texture, and flavor of your food. Is it as good as you expected? If you were brave enough to try something new, how much did you enjoy it? Is it worth going back for another bite? Not everything you eat is always going to taste super-amazing, but once you’re eating, your food should taste good to you! My girls aren’t finicky, but they don’t compromise, either. They enjoy a variety of textures and flavors, but if they aren’t impressed with a particular food, they’ll abandon it after a few bites. They listen to their stomachs and will leave over food when they are full.

I try to vary their menu to keep them curious and so that we don’t get into a Cheerio rut. It’s important to me that their meals are stimulating and fun, as well as nourishing and tasty. But I’ll admit that my own meals don’t always receive the same level of attention. As moms, even dietitian moms, it can be easy to put ourselves last and eat the same thing day after day just because it’s easy, and, well…mindless. How different might our eating look if we ensured our meals included a variety of colors and flavors? When did you last try a new ingredient or a unique recipe? How much time do you take for your meals, and how much do you enjoy them? Are your meals enjoyable? Satisfying?

Eating mindfully is something we were born knowing how to do. Noticing how food makes us feel while we’re eating it and how satisfied we are afterwards is not a special talent. We all started out with this ability. Somewhere along the way, though, most of us were socialized to focus more on external signals as opposed to what’s going on internally. We eat in a hurry. We eat past the point of fullness. Sometimes we might finish a meal barely noticing what it was we just consumed. None of this is a crime; sometimes, when life is busy, it’s a necessity. But there’s no question that it’s a less-than-ideal way to eat. The good news is that mindful eating is something that can be relearned. You’ve done it before, and you can do it again. If there’s an opportunity in your day (or even a day in your week), when you can slow down enough to enjoy a meal that’s appealing to your senses and satisfying to your body, you’ll be eating the way it’s meant to be done. So as I amusedly watch my babies’ gleeful faces as they squish and smash their way through their gloriously messy mealtime, I can’t help but think, “Hey…they’ve got a point!”

Suiting Up For School

By Christie Caggiani, RDN, LDN, CEDRD

Photo Credit: adwriter via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: adwriter via Compfight cc

School shopping. Two words that come with a bundle of emotions, not the least of

which include excitement, frustration, anxiety and anticipation. As parents, it can

give us pause, as we stop for a moment and notice the speed at which our kids are

growing up. It’s amazing how quickly a school year flies, and more amazing still,

how fast summer seems to evaporate. And now it’s time to shop for school

supplies…..and new clothes.

Clothes shopping is one time when we have an amazing opportunity to dialogue

with our children about the normalcy of growth, bodies and change. While our

bodies as adults can fluctuate and continue to evolve, our kids’ bodies are

transitioning at a pretty rapid pace. It’s vital that we know how to support them

when they have questions, and it’s important that they understand we love them as

individuals, not based on any aspect of their physical appearance. And while that

may sound extremely logical, we need to be aware of the subtle messages we send

our kids. Don’t be surprised when they have grown out of their clothes, in many

cases needing new duds from just a few short months ago. Catch yourself before

commenting, “I just bought that. How come it doesn’t fit anymore?” implying that

she’s done something wrong simply by growing.

One of my very favorite articles discusses how to talk to – or not talk to – our

daughters about their bodies. Read on for some inspiration and reinforcement as

you work to support your own growing kids!

How to Talk to Your Daughter about Her Body

Step one: Don’t talk to your daughter about her body, except to teach her how it


Don’t say anything if she’s lost weight. Don’t say anything if she’s gained weight.

If you think your daughter’s body looks amazing, don’t say that.

Here are some things you can say instead:

“You look so healthy!” is a great one.

Or how about, “You’re looking so strong.”

“I can see how happy you are — you’re glowing.”

Better yet, compliment her on something that has nothing to do with her body.

Don’t comment on other women’s bodies either. Nope. Not a single comment, not a nice

one or a mean one.

Teach her about kindness towards others, but also kindness towards yourself.

Don’t you dare talk about how much you hate your body in front of your daughter, or talk

about your new diet. In fact, don’t go on a diet in front of your daughter. Buy healthy

food. Cook healthy meals. But don’t say, “I’m not eating carbs right now.” Your daughter

should never think that carbs are evil, because shame over what you eat only leads to

shame about yourself.

Encourage your daughter to run because it makes her feel less stressed. Encourage your

daughter to climb mountains because there is nowhere better to explore your spirituality

than the peak of the universe. Encourage your daughter to surf, or rock climb, or

mountain bike because it scares her and that’s a good thing sometimes.

Help your daughter love soccer or rowing or hockey because sports make her a better

leader and a more confident woman. Explain that no matter how old you get, you’ll never

stop needing good teamwork. Never make her play a sport she isn’t absolutely in love


Prove to your daughter that women don’t need men to move their furniture.

Teach your daughter how to cook kale.

Teach your daughter how to bake chocolate cake made with six sticks of butter.

Pass on your own mom’s recipe for Christmas morning coffee cake. Pass on your love of

being outside.

Maybe you and your daughter both have thick thighs or wide ribcages. It’s easy to hate

these non-size zero body parts. Don’t. Tell your daughter that with her legs she can run a

marathon if she wants to, and her ribcage is nothing but a carrying case for strong lungs.

She can scream and she can sing and she can lift up the world, if she wants.

Remind your daughter that the best thing she can do with her body is to use it to mobilize

her beautiful soul.

Sarah Koppelkam

How to Talk to Your Daughter About Her Body

The Power Struggle: Kickin' and Screamin' About Food

By Mommy Laura Cipullo RD, CDE, CEDRD

Now it is always a RD’s recommendation to never have a power struggle around food. But what happens when your kid is the one who is running the show? I have seen this with clients, where the kid becomes so picky with the food, the parent obliges. A few weeks ago, I was thinking to myself, was this happening in my home with my youngest son.

School was out. We moved homes on the last day of school and literally left one week later for South Carolina. Billy just seemed off. He had heat stroke one day and as a result hadn’t eaten much or well for a few days. Then when we went on a Pirate Ship tourist trap kind of cruise and the employee commented on his height. Now this is something I am sensitive about. I do wonder if his shorter stature is just him or is it because he is a picky pescatarian. He eats one fish and only some of the time. With all of the emotional change he was definitely being pickier. I got to worrying.

Billy wasn’t even willing to try any foods. I made him a veggie burger with cheese on both sides while I served Bobby his chicken. This was the Bell and Evans Chicken Tenders. Meanwhile at the restaurants, Bobby and I share steak and other normal foods. I thought a veggie burger was a very nice compromise for Billy. Of course he did not agree.

The power struggle began. But I really didn’t want to give up. I hate that it had to come to this but I was legitimately worried about his health. I was not asking him to eat the veggie burger; rather I was asking him to try it. The fact that he would not try it, really got to me and I decided I was not giving in. I was ready to sit with him until he tried the veggie burger.

At first this was a game for him, until he realized I was serious and 45 minutes later still sitting with him. He would leave the table and I would bring him back. The night before he had refused his fish sticks so I was without options. Soon Billy was crying to me. I explained I was concerned and as a parent I would irresponsible to not feed him adequately. Plus I was really worried for his health emotional and physically without proper protein. And that is when he said it!

He said, “Mommy, I will eat chicken.” He whispered it. I said, “Really, you rather eat chicken than a veggie burger?” He was on board with eating Billy’s chicken. So I made him a chicken tender and he ate it. It was a small tender but he was cool with it. And guess what, her ordered chicken tenders the next night at the restaurant. And on Saturday night he ate chicken parmesan at a very fancy restaurant.

Just last week, I retuned from the South. My sister was watching my boys and gave all of the children chicken nuggets. Guess who ate them? Yeah, my Billy. My husband who had not been privy to the power struggle form the week prior told me Billy ate the nuggets without hesitation but later told my hubby that this chicken was not good like ours and was different in texture. He didn’t prefer these. But he did eat them.

Now call me crazy, but Billy grew. This could be coincidental or potentially the result of his new diet. I am grateful for both!!! The growth whatever the reason is timely, because Billy now thinks eating protein means growing tall. It is no longer mommy and daddy just saying it.

I have no idea if he will continue with the chicken. I have no idea if the chicken initiated the growth spurt. I just know that the power struggle was necessary in order to get my very strong willed child to eat something with all 8 essential amino acids. So while I hate that it had to happen, the end result seems to be okay.

I guess I won’t know until he is older and comes home to tell me that I ruined his relationship with food per his therapist. This is a joke of course, but at the same time, my worst nightmare ever. I hope my sharing of this situation can help you to set boundaries around feeding and eating with your own child. I hope you learn from my mistakes and benefit from our successes. Raising kids to have positive relationships with eating and neutral relationships with food is super hard but super necessary for our future generations.

Please let me know if you find this helpful and if you do, please share with your friends. I work with many clients who suffer from eating disorders and this is the last thing you would ever want for your child. Please spread Positive Nutrition and #AllFOODFITS!

And He Eats!

And He Eats!
By Laura Cipullo, RD, CDE, CEDRD and Mom

Photo Credit: sean dreilinger via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: sean dreilinger via Compfight cc

Six years later, Billy finally eats. As many of you know, my two boys challenge my feeding and eating expertise on a daily basis. I think from all the Mommy RD stories here on Mom Dishes It Out, you now know that RDs have their fair share of food and nutrition conundrums. But like you, we need to separate our emotional-selves and work with our child. This is probably the hardest part. Being an objective feeder is quite the challenge. Don’t despair, your kids may surprise you..


I constantly have to remind myself to lighten up around the food and sometimes set more food boundaries. Just the other night, I bought chicken apple sausage and potato rolls for my oldest son. Bobby loves chicken apple sausage. However, it seems he only likes the sausage from Brooklyn. Anyway, we tried two new brands just yesterday. Bobby was trying it as a side to his dinner of rotisserie chicken with mashed potatoes and spinach. Billy excitedly comes into the kitchen declaring he will have a hot dog bun with peanut butter, two cheeses and a yogurt with a side of strawberries.


Here is conundrum number one. Do I allow him to dictate his meal? Conundrum two is whether he should try the chicken sausage. Because of my work with food phobias and eating disorders, I never want to force the boys to eat food and prefer exposure therapy. I let Billy know, he must first try chicken sausage on the hot dog roll. Of course, he verbally refuses. I have yet to understand if this is an animal thing, a chewing thing, a control thing or perhaps just a taste preference. I feel my blood begin to boil.


It is so hard to be objective. I proceed to make the sausage and set it on Billy’s plate. He is of course performing a song and dance. I also make Billy his requested dinner. I serve him both the sausage in a bun and his dinner preferences on the same plate.


Amazingly, he tries the sausage with one small bite. Not shockingly, he doesn’t like it. He eats his dinner. He doesn’t complain nor does he remove it from his plate. These are signs of his progress.


So, in the end we both faired well. I still feel defeated because he only took a small bite and he didn’t like it. But then I think back to March. The boys and I were eating dinner together. It was a simple dinner of tortellini. Bobby and I were eating it. I made Billy something else. All of the sudden, Billy says I want tortellini. I almost fell off my chair. Really??

Photo Credit: quinn.anya via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: quinn.anya via Compfight cc

Well, he did want it. He tried it and said it was dry. He wanted to try it with marinara sauce. He loved it. He basically had marinara soup with tortellini. Wow, that made my night and my month for that matter. The point is, after seeing us eat tortellini a million times, he tried it and liked it. Just like he has done with most fruit, breads and salsas. He typically tries food now without an issue. As long as it is not of animal origin. Well, the majority of the time.


In the end, Billy eats tortellini. We can go for Mexican and Italian food as a family and Billy can order off the adult menu. What a relief!! It has taken him six years to find a pasta he enjoys. I can’t wait to see what he likes over the next 6 years. Thank you Billy for teaching me patience is key while a little push is necessary, too.


Moms and dads, keep up your efforts to expose the kids to all foods and encourage trying foods. The act of trying is the most important thing. I know six years seems like a long time, and it is. But each child has his/her own process. Find what works for you and your child. Share with us your trials and tribulations. We can all learn and support each other. If you find yourself having a hard time keeping your feelings out of the kitchen, consult a registered dietitian or even a speech and language pathologist.


Looking for more tips? Check out our 7 Steps to Progress Your Picky Eater.

Intentionally Living the New Year

Intentionally Living the New Year
By Christie Caggiani, RDN, LDN, CEDRD


The New Year naturally ushers in an urge to do things ‘new’.  We may have a surge of energy to re-new many aspects of our lives:  our organization, our sleeping patterns, our cooking talents, our parenting skills.  And just as quickly, our intense expectations overwhelm us, creating a feeling of failure before we even begin!  So how can we make improvements in our lives without setting ourselves, and our families, up for disappointment?

Photo Credit: kevin dooley via Compfight cc

Start by moving out of a goal-driven mindset, shifting instead into living with more intention.  Many goals are number driven, putting the focus on reaching a set number, rather than making manageable and implementable changes.   Not meeting that goal creates a sense of inadequacy, even if there was truly improvement.  If, for example, we stress our kids eat at least three veggies / day, they quite likely will meet us with more resistance than if our overall intention is to include more color in their lunchboxes and on the dinner table.   Some days they may have 1 veggie; other days they may try 4!  Neither makes them a failure or a success.


Being intentional includes being mindful.   We can’t make any changes if we aren’t aware of what is and isn’t working for us.  Take note of how many nights a week you eat dinner as a family.   Be aware of how hungry your children are after school.  Notice how repetitive your grocery shopping feels.  Once you tune into the eating rhythm in your home, you can begin to identify areas you’d like to consciously and gradually improve.


Then resolve to focus on the positive.  When we have more of a ‘get to’ attitude, we demonstrate that healthful behaviors are not an obligation, or a ‘have to’.   The kids get to help with dinner, get to set the table, get to put away clean dishes, or get to pick out a new fruit at the store.  That even goes for trying a new food – they get to have at least one ‘no thank you’ bite.

Photo Credit: dr.coop via Compfight cc

Some general areas to consider as you intentionally move into the New Year:

  • Plan out some of your meals for the week
  • Plan to include leftovers
  • Jot down meal ideas as you see them on a menu, in a magazine, in your inbox (or download Plan to Eat, where you can collect any and all recipes found online), and keep a running list of your favorites
  • Move cut fruits and veggies into pretty glass containers, visibly in your fridge
  • Have your kids pick out a veggie or fruit to add to the week’s grocery list
  • Set the breakfast table the night before
  • Include your kids, as is age appropriate, in kitchen help
  • Have after school snack options ready to go


Wishing you a fun, mindful 2015, filled with learning and adventure!

“Fat Talk,” Body Image and Eating Disorders

“Fat Talk,” Body Image and Eating Disorders
By Julie Holland Faylor, MHS, CEDS


After consuming a high-calorie food, have you ever said “I need to hit the gym now!” or “I know that went straight to my thighs!”

Do you call your comfortable jeans “fat pants”?

When asked how you’re doing, have you ever responded with a quip like, “I’d be better if I didn’t have to squeeze into a bathing suit this weekend!”?


At one time or another, we have all been guilty of using disparaging self-talk related to weight, size, or shape. This tendency is so commonplace in today’s culture that there is actually a term for negative body commentary, used by the general public and clinical circles alike: “Fat talk.”

Photo Credit: Clover_1 via Compfight cc

Whether we say these comments aloud or just in our heads, “fat talk” can have a significant impact on the way we feel about our bodies and ourselves. For most people, disparaging self-talk just makes us feel inadequate or depressed. However, negative body image plays a significant role in the development and maintenance of eating disorders. For individuals that are predisposed to developing an eating disorder (in other words, if eating disorders run in their families), seemingly harmless comments about themselves—or unsolicited comments from others—can contribute to the development of anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating disorder, or trigger a relapse for those in recovery from these serious illnesses.


Because “fat talk” is pervasive in our society and has the potential to impact our—and our young loved ones’—body image and self-worth, it is important that parents understand this phenomenon. Below are five considerations to help combat “fat talk” and cultivate positive body image in our lives and homes:

Be aware. “Fat talk” is everywhere; if you pay attention, you will find that fat jokes and “fat talk” are speckled throughout movies, sitcoms and books, even those geared towards adolescents and young adults. It is the fodder of seemingly every comedian in the world, and it underscores countless ad campaigns touting products and services promising to make us thinner, prettier and more desirable. For women and girls in particular, “fat talk” has become a bonding ritual of sorts—we often connect with others over mutual dissatisfaction with our weight, shape and size. Awareness is the first step in any meaningful behavioral change, so consciously try to identify the ways you and those around you use “fat talk” in your daily lives.

Be kind—to yourself, and to others. Our body weight and shape have nothing to do with who we are as individuals, mothers, daughters, friends, and employees. When you feel the urge to insult yourself related to your body size, shape or weight, instead think about the value you bring to your family, friendships, workplace or community. Also, avoid drawing attention to others’ body and weight insecurities. Our comments may come from a good place—we may think we’re supporting or motivating others with these messages—but we can never know the true impact of our words on others. Err on the side of kindness and make it a practice to not talk about others’ bodies.

Model healthy attitudes and behaviors. The most important thing parents can do to help their children develop a healthy body image is model healthy attitudes and behaviors toward body weight, size and shape. Kids are behavioral sponges—they watch what their parents do, they listen to what they say and they develop their worldview accordingly. Rather than toning down the “fat talk” around your children, try to remove it from your vocabulary altogether. Adults in your life may benefit from this change as well—family members and friends may notice the absence of “fat talk” from your conversations and follow your lead.

Photo Credit: 27147 via Compfight cc

Normalize eating in your home. Our thoughts and behaviors around food and eating are often closely linked to how we feel about our bodies. With that in mind, don’t allow or encourage dieting in your home. Don’t stigmatize foods as “good” or “bad”—all foods are okay in moderation, and the goal should be to consume a diverse, balanced diet with as much real, unprocessed, natural foods as possible. Do help to cultivate the social aspect of meals by turning off the television, putting down cell phones and making conversation with loved ones at the table. Additionally, talk to your children about their meals outside the home—who did they eat with, what did they eat, what did they talk about—to help them think critically about their patterns.

Frame exercise as fun and healthy. “Fat talk” often paints exercise as a punishment for eating too much or the wrong kinds of foods, or as a means to “fix” a perceived body flaw. Be sure to position regular physical activity as a fun and healthy habit for children and adults alike—in fact, it can be even more fun when families get active together. Exercise doesn’t have to involve a treadmill or weights—it can be walking the dog, building a snowman or playing softball with friends, family or colleagues.


Let me be clear—“fat talk” can adversely impact body image and self-esteem, which is a contributing factor in the development of eating disorders, but it doesn’t cause an eating disorder. Eating disorders result from a complex interplay of biological, psychological and sociocultural factors. However, it is important to understand the connection between “fat talk,” body image and eating disorders, particularly as it pertains to helping our children develop healthy body image and attitudes toward food, eating and exercise.

100 Thoughts While Shopping at Whole Foods

Photo Credit: ceiling via Compfight cc

We saw the Buzzfeed 99 thoughts everyone has at Whole Foods last month and thought it would be fun to try our own version! So here’s the 100 thoughts an RD and Mom has when shopping at Whole Foods:

1. Where is the largest grocery cart? I need the biggest one!

2. Fresh cider when it’s not even apple season.

3. But 100% juice is fortified.

4. Let me see the berries.

5. Price per pound, grown where and are they organic?

6. Organic, grown in Florida or Ca, yes will get.

7. Local, $3.99, not organic is okay as likely sustainable; get them.

8. Organic, grown in Mexico – nope.

9. Apples – organic and grown in USA.

10. Ugh they are so expensive.

11. Better to spend money in health promotion.

12. What veggies do I need?

13. What happened to making grocery lists?

14. I need to make a list before coming here.

15. I need to choose three dinners for the week.

16. Oh, I am not in the mood for planning dinner.

17. I will get dinner for tonight and send the husband back later in the week.

18. Will my kids stop climbing in and out of the cart.

19. I look like such an awful mom.

20. Why can’t they just walk next to me?

21. No, we can’t get muffins yet.

22. I know it is freezing in this section.

23. Where is my favorite kale?

24. What is this? No Swiss Chard, not Kale and not collard greens?

25. I will buy it and try it.

26. I wish I had someone to cook me delicious fresh diners every night.

27. Oh I do, that’s me.

28. I just don’t have the desire, time or energy.

29. Smells fishy today.

30. Let me see how fresh the fish look.

31. Yes, we can get flowers but only for 10 dollars.

32. Yes, those are pretty, but 20.00

33. My son is so cute picking out flowers.

34. Hold the flowers you just picked out.

35. Yes, we can get your favorite cheese.

36. Yes, get 3 of them.

37. I wonder how much this bill will be?

38. $400.00, $300., $200.?

39. Would my boys eat this?

40. The cheeses smell wonderful.

41. Don’t forget Bobby’s favorite chicken.

42. Yes, I can hold your half eaten banana.

43. Which chicken is trimmed and thinly cut?

44. Where is the white turkey meat?

45. Organic chicken tastes so much better.

46. Chicken sausage, yum.

47. With kale and pasta.

48. That will be dinner tomorrow night.

49. Greek yogurts.

50. I miss Chobani.

51. I wish Whole Foods sold Chobani.

52. Skyr yogurts – 3.00.

53. My son is worth it.

54. I will buy the Skyr.

55. Love the spoon.

56. Can any green company sell a package of eco friendly spoons?

57. I have so many forks and knives – plastic, corn, bamboo..

58. I just need spoons.

59. How can cereal be 6.99 now?

60. I am not eating that anymore.

61. I will let my son eat it.

62. I can eat something cheaper.

63. Yes, we can get mac and cheese.

64. Look for the sale.

65. Is there anything my boys would try?

66. I need to try some new recipes.

67. I hope we don’t knock anything over.

68. I am getting used to this new layout.

69. Which mustard, ketchup…

70. How does one food shop for their family if they are not a RD?

71. I wonder if they think they are buying something healthy?

72. I should have opened a store like this.

73. I remember Alfalfas, Wild Oats and oh, their delicious muffins.

74. Now Whole Foods Reigns.

75. Omg, the stuff is spilling over my cart and we have only hit half of the aisles.

76. Thank goodness I don’t have the double stroller anymore.

77. I am no longer a train conductor rather a referee.

78. Yes, yes,. Lets get your muffins.

79. I need them to calm down and be quite.

80. Should I let them eat it now?

81. It will spoil their appetite for dinner.

82. I am so tired, I don’t care.

83. They will get hungry later.

84. Let them eat their muffins and bagels now.

85. I know I will end up eating that muffin.

86. Okay back to the aisles.

87. I need to come back and look at these new food products.

88. The organic baby food business is crazy.

89. Do people realize these gummies are just like any other gummy?

90. Which line is shortest?

91. Can I carry all of this home?

92. OMG, stop hitting each other.

93. OMG, stop bumping into other people.

94. Such good little helpers when they are not misbehaving.

95. I think we should get more than ten cents per bag.

96. I should get paid by Whole Foods.

97. I am a walking advertisement for them.

98. Where is my delivery card?

99. Oh, I forgot the sparkling water.

100. Definitely doing delivery.


A personal blog on being a triplet…a triplet with an eating disorder!
A blog by Courtney Darsa, Dietetic Intern at the University of Delaware


I am a triplet.


The first reaction most people had when I told them I was a triplet was: “Oh my god, that is so cool!” Yes, being a triplet does have its perks and certainly makes for a unique experience. But for me, being a triplet came with its downfalls as well. I have a brother and a sister. It was particularly hard for me to have a sister the same age as I was. We had the same friends; we were involved in the same activities—and even worse—we shared a room! We were never apart. It felt like a constant competition. This was particularly true when it came to appearance. My “disordered thoughts” relentlessly told me that my sister was thinner and prettier than I was. I assumed everyone liked her better than they liked me. I felt as though I was living in my sister’s shadow and that I had to be exactly like her—“perfect.”

Photo Credit: Thomas Hawk via Compfight cc

This perfectionism caused me to become obsessed with losing weight because I wanted to be just like her. I started to run track in high school. I even took it to another level by running more than what was required—longer than the other sprinters. I was burning calories and that’s what mattered. I was a sprinter, but not for long. My coaches quickly saw my “love” for running and introduced me to distance running. And so began my career as a cross-country and long-distance runner.


I wanted to be thin and “perfect” like my triplet sister. So I asked my mom to take me to a registered dietitian early in my sophomore year. I wanted to come up with a regimented meal plan that would benefit my training—aka lose weight! Unfortunately, the RD provided me with a meal plan that helped me to lose weight and further my obsession with calories. This caused me to spiral in the wrong direction. Due to my obsession about wanting to be thin and never really feeling good enough, I found myself losing weight at a more drastic pace than ever. But I was accomplishing my goal and becoming more like my sister. To my absolute amazement, I was receiving compliments about my new appearance. I was finally getting the attention I had longed for! However, I was not healthy. I was obsessing and isolating.


This continued until my very close friends and, much to my surprise, my sister stepped up and told me that they were worried about me. They were concerned that I might have an eating disorder. Of course, I felt attacked and totally denied it. I even wondered: “How could they think such a thing?” I’m fine! Well, my friends and my sister didn’t think so! They went directly to my parents and told them how worried they were. They thought I had an eating disorder. Unfortunately, my parents, who in hindsight were obviously in denial, ignored the subject. I too, was in denial!


I soon found myself training very intensely for my upcoming cross country season, sometimes running up to 60 miles a week. My undiagnosed eating disorder became worse. I was severely underweight and always exhausted. I slowly started to see my performance decline, but chose to ignore the signs. My performance was negatively affected and my relationships with family and friends were compromised. I was irritable, moody and depressed. Being perfect and skinny like my sister was not all it was cracked up to be! Unfortunately, I had dug myself too deep a hole to easily get myself out. At the end of the cross-country season, my coach noticed my eating disorder’s effects on my running performance, pulled me aside and told me that I had to stop training until my weight was “stable enough to handle the training intensity.”

Photo Credit: Vincent_AF via Compfight cc

Running had become my whole life; I was utterly devastated. Slowly but with much resistance, I gained enough weight to start running again—but my self-esteem continued to unravel. I hated the way I looked and my disordered thoughts continued to tell me that I wasn’t good enough. I had achieved my goal of being thinner; however, I was far from perfect. I was still living in my sister’s shadow. For the remainder of high school, I was able to maintain my weight at a “stable/higher” level, yet I felt like an emotional mess. I restricted and binged. I realized I had no tools to express my emotions and that food had gotten intertwined. I was so obsessed with food that I decided to major in nutrition and dietetics in college. No one could convince me otherwise!


It didn’t take long for my new college friends to notice my unusual eating habits; they approached me in the fall of my sophomore year—and encouraged me to utilize the student-counseling center. With much anticipation and great fear, even though my friends accompanied me, I met with a psychologist where I discussed my personal issues with eating, body image and low self-esteem.


I was diagnosed with EDNOS—Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified. This roused so many mixed emotions—anger, relief, shock and fear—which I still had no idea how to express. After attending many sessions however, my thought processes began changing. I was determined to get better and to start developing a healthier relationship with food. I took more steps than ever to move onto my personal road to recovery.


I began journaling everyday and confiding in my close friends. I was learning to express my emotions. To truly commit to recovery, I also had to do the hardest thing—tell my family what I was going through. This was not an easy task, but I readied myself by practicing during my therapy sessions. I told my family about my eating disorder and my feelings. Again, to my surprise, they were extremely supportive and understanding. Knowing that I had their love gave me the strength to continue through the recovery process. Most especially, having my sister at my side gave me even more courage to push through to recovery. During my senior year of college, I continued with weekly therapy and worked on separating my emotions from food. I learned to separate the eating disorder voice and my own real voice.


Being able to differentiate between “the two voices” allowed me to develop a much healthier relationship with food. I started to slowly take on the task of eating “fear foods.” This was a gradual and difficult process, but through much work and determination, my eating habits improved. I began to establish a neutral relationship with food. I learned that food is for nutrition and does not determine who you are as a person. Separating food and feelings was the key for me in my recovery. I was finally able to start to recognize my own voice!


Perhaps the best thing I discovered during my recovery was who I really was. For the first time in my life, I was no longer living in my sister’s shadow. I learned that the way you look has nothing to do with who you are as a person. What you have to offer to the world is far beyond your physical appearance; it’s who you are on the inside that truly matters. By finding out who I truly was, I was able to strengthen my relationships with my friends and my family. Most important, I was able to develop a close relationship with my sister.


I’m now one year out of college and finishing up my dietetic internship. It’s true when people say that so much can change in just a few years. I was lucky that I forced myself to major in something that I ended up loving. Learning how to have a healthy relationship with food was so important and crucial for my own recovery. Due to my own struggles and my eventual recovery from an eating disorder (and as a future registered dietitian), I’m determined to help individuals grappling with eating disorders to develop their own healthy relationships with food. I also know that it’s important for all dietitians to screen their clients for disordered eating and eating disorders. Being healthy is not about being a certain weight. Being healthy is a balance that honors your body.

Food Antics

Food Antics
By: Laura Cipullo, RD, CDE, CEDRD, CDN and Mom of two


Is there ever a dull moment in your kitchen? Well, there sure isn’t one in mine! My husband and I have noticed that our older son continuously asks for food all evening long—from dinner on until his bedtime. And he’s not actually asking for food; rather, he’s telling us that he’s hungry. Since Bobby has always been my famously “intuitive eater,” one might readily think: that’s terrific. Just feed the growing boy!


But of course, nothing is as simple as it seems when it comes to food. Bobby is most definitely growing and can easily consume an entire box of mac and cheese with spinach, an apple and a chicken cutlet—and still be hungry! This is completely fine with me if it isn’t every night just before bedtime arrives. What we have noticed, however, is that Bobby is responding to all statements concerning getting ready for bed, or even going to sleep, with “But I’m still hungry.”


Attempting to find out what Bobby is really “hungry” for, I ask him: Do you want more dinner? Would you like a yogurt stick? How about some ice cream? An apple? A yogurt? Maybe a smoothie?

We tried giving him larger dinner portions, serving dessert with dinner and even calling “last round” for kitchen requests. But it never fails to happen just like this…


Last night Bobby was in bed. The family had read books together and we even shared some “silly” time. Just as I was saying goodnight and leaving his room, he said: “But I’m still hungry.” By this point in time, I don’t want to care if my kid is hungry. Either he needs to learn to be more mindful and check in with his belly and brain before bedtime…or he’s really needing and wanting something else!


Now, as I sit here writing…an important concept leaps into my brain: I’m not sure if I ever asked Bobby if he wanted something else. Like a little more time with mom. Or to talk about a bad dream he may have had. Or perhaps he’s just trying to defy the boundaries his dad and I have set. There are so many possibilities in this scenario.


When I consider this difficult situation from an RD’s perspective, I know just what I would suggest to any of my mom clients dealing with this type of issue: “Have a real heart-to-heart talk with your son. Ask him during the day time—at a non-meal moment —what he’s truly feeling and wanting at night.”


There are a variety of life changes that may be affecting Bobby that he, along with his peers as well as adults, is not aware of feeling. Or perhaps he may just be hungry! The lesson for me and my readers is this: Consider creating an open dialogue at a non-food time to find out if the problematic situation is indeed about food—or about feelings. What you learn will surely help you to resolve the issue. Sometimes the answer may be serving more protein and fat with dinner…and sometimes the answer may be spending a special day alone together…just mommy and me.

I’m so glad I was able to give myself a free nutrition session!


And by the way, my younger son Billy told me he eats his fish sticks with his dad because daddy makes him. But he won’t eat them with me! Yep, that’s a whole other can of “gummy” worms! Maybe the subject of my next blog. Of course, don’t forget you can always ask us your questions by submitting them right here: