My Guest Post: 4 tips on encouraging your child to have a positive attitude toward food and their body

Recently I was given the opportunity to share a Guest Blog Post at Head Over Heels In Health!  Laura Prevost is the founder and is a fellow Health Coach!

I wrote about ways we can encourage our child with the way they approach food.  I believe all children are naturally intuitive eaters but that somewhere down the road, certain patterns at home may have triggered their relationship with food or with how they see themselves.

I shared 5 tips on what we can do as parents now to encourage our children in this area!

If you have not yet read my post and want to read it, as well as check our her website, please click on THIS LINK.

Happy Reading! 🙂

3 Tips on teaching your CHILDREN to eat mindfully



5 Tips for Busy Moms on Slowing Down and Savoring Your Food

Take a moment to think about your absolute favorite food.  Close your eyes and imagine you are eating it. Okay, open your eyes now so you can read this blog, lol.

I bet you can taste it in your mind, right?  Now think about the texture of the food.  Is it creamy? Crunchy? Now imagine feeling peaceful after eating it.  You are totally satisfied because you ate exactly what your body needed.

Was that difficult to do?  Imagine if we actually did that while eating our food.  If we slowed down and really savored the taste of our food.  If we paid attention to what our body is telling us and stopped when we feel satisfied.  If after we eat, we  felt grateful for the food instead of guilty for eating it.

What I just described is what experts call, Mindful Eating.

Mindful Eating is certainly not a new trend.  Before Fast Food restaurants and TV dinners, I’m sure it was much easier to sit down, slow down, and savor our food (hey, the “3 S’s!).

Now is the time where I may start to lose some people.  You may be thinking, “yeah right…this is the real world. I can’t always slow down with my food.”  Or, “I am not sure that I would even know when I am ready to stop eating.”

Those are both valid points.  To which I would say, it just takes PRACTICE.  Like with anything, if we condition our body and mind to think/behave a certain way, it’s not going to change over night.  Just like with exercising to increase strength, we need to “exercise” our mind by forming a new ritual, so to speak.

Before I go on, let me clarify what Mindful Eating Is and what it is NOT.

Mindful Eating Is:

1. A way of life

2. For every one- even kids!

3. Dependent on your own body wisdom (not the latest diet guru)

4. About providing a PLEASURABLE experience with food

Mindful Eating is NOT:

1. A typical “diet”

2. only for Buddhists

3. an excuse to eat whatever the heck you want all the time

4. a weight loss plan (though some have used it to aid in weight loss)

Mindful Eating is..

So what are some quick tips for busy moms (and anyone really!) to incorporate Mindful Eating into their lives?

1. Sit down and eat with your family as often as possible (I know, sports events make it hard.  Start off with even just 2 or 3 times during the week)

2. Take 3 deep breaths before eating.

3. Even if you are not the praying type, it helps to say a word of gratitude toward the food you will be eating.

4. Pause to take deep breaths BETWEEN bites.

5.  Half way through your meal, pause and ask yourself how full you are from a scale of 0 to 5, with 0 being stuffed and 5 being ravenous.  The aim is to stop at a 1, 2, or 3, depending on what our body needs.  Will you always be using a rating system the rest of your life?  No, of course not, but this is a good tool to get you into the habit of paying attention to your body.

The bonus? This is a good example for your KIDS to follow as well!  In fact, I wrote an article about teaching mindful eating to kids (last year) click HERE to read that one.

Still feeling overwhelmed?  As a Holistic Health Coach,  I can personally guide you and give you the tools to be able to start paying better attention to your body, so you can find a peaceful relationship with food.  Click here to learn more and to sign up for a Breakthrough Session! ($37).

In Peace,

Kellie McGarry

Mummy Dogs and an Apology

I am a holistic health coach.  I am also a regular mom.  I have my struggles with my body.  I have my struggles with feeling guilty over eating food that I have been conditioned to thinking are “bad”. (ie. – not healthy)

Many of you who have talked with me know that I am not extreme.  I do not care  to focus solely on nutrition when I work with clients.  Being healthy is not just about eating healthy food.  Sometimes being healthy means eating that piece of dessert that you have been craving.

I didn’t always think this way. I must admit that for a time, I was pretty extreme in my eating and in my thinking.  Still, not as extreme as some, yet I was still pretty rigid.  I started off my training at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition ready to learn how to become a health coach.  I didn’t quite know what that meant, yet I knew that if i could help someone learn to eat healthy, they could feel so much better.  They could lose weight without a fad diet, they could possibly reduce chronic pain, and  they could prevent sickness and disease.   I was on a mission.   Meanwhile, as a student, we were taught about 200 different dietary theories, ranging from Raw Food to Macrobiotic,  to South Beach to everything in between.   In the end, we learned that ” no one diet works for everyone”.

So where am I getting at with this?  As I went through training,  I became so focused on eating the “right” foods that I had become judgmental of those who were not eating what I deemed was the “correct” way.   I started eyeing those who were overweight, wondering what they were eating and how I could help them.  They became my targets.  I assumed that they were eating junk food.

Friends may have seen me eying them as they gave their kids such “horrible” foods as Goldfish crackers and kool-aid.   I wonder if  the disapproving look was obvious?   I wonder if I made them feel guilty or “less than” as a mom?

Going to the school was like being a happy Newlywed.  I was elated with how I felt when I ate  healthy.  I had found a way to manage my Fibromyalgia symptoms, I had more energy and I just felt better all around.  Therefore, I was overly zealous about converting others to  a healthy diet.

It’s interesting what can happen over time.  If you have followed me ever since I started as a student, you may have noticed a bit of a shift.  I started off only talking about food and nutrition, then I talked more about stress and why we have cravings, and the concept of Mindful Eating.  I still talk about those things, but I now focus a lot on how we feel about our body, and reducing stress so we can enjoy life.  I don’t even make weight loss the most important goal.  And my clients are still very happy!  I even encourage eating the occasional junk food.  I have NOT thrown in the towel in regards to healthy eating…. heck,  everyone knows me at my near by Whole Foods Market…. yet, I don’t fret if my kids bring home candy from school, of if they are eating too many gluten filled pretzels.  Life is all about balance- listening to our body and enjoying the moments as they come.

I had the ultimate realization about how much my mind set has changed when recently I decided to make “Mummy Dogs” for Halloween. (inspired by an online search for Halloween meals for kids)

I wanted to do something fun for the kids.  So I decided instead of taking the time to make gluten free crescent rolls , I bought Pillsbury Crescent rolls to wrap around the hot dogs.  Guess what ingredients are in the crescent rolls?  F’*#*#ing  Hydrogenated Oil, Red 40 and Yellow 6 for damn’s sakes.  In that moment, in the grocery store,  as I read the label as a good, health conscious person does, I hesitated.  Do I put the thing down in the name of all that is healthy and good, or do I keep my promise to my kids, because, after all, it’s just one day?


Obviously, I bought the Pillsbury crap.  But… instead of continuing to think of it as crap, I looked at it as “fun food”.  Fun, because …well….it puts the “Mummy” in “Mummy Dogs”… I knew that my kids would get a kick out of it.

So I want to conclude this post with an open apology to all those who I may have hurt in the past.

–I apologize for the disapproving looks.

–I apologize for coming on too strong regarding “evil” ingredients.

–I apologize for subconsciously keeping you at arms’ length because you did not fit my world.

When it all boils down to it, yes, eating  a lot of crap will possibly make you feel just like that….. like crap.  It may make you gain weight.  It may contribute to heart disease or cancer.

Yet, stress also does that.  Stress plays a HUGE role in how we feel.  Heck, some people eat super clean and still cannot lose weight.  These super clean eaters even get diseases.  Obsessing about healthy eating is also stressful.

This does NOT mean that I encourage anyone to say, “I give up.  Who cares about spinach and kale and quinoa?”  However, I don’t think many of you are saying that.  I feel like many of you DO know what to eat.  But, you also know that eating the occasional junk food is not going to kill you.

My kids ate the Mummy Dogs.  Maybe eating scary ingredients was fitting for Halloween. They are still here. They survived.  And we made some really good memories together.

HalloweenPicMonkey Collage

What did you do for Halloween? 

By the way, Happy November!! October seemed to fly by!


Certified Holistic Health and Body Image Coach

Foods To Help Eczema

Jamie, from Flagstaff, AZ asks:

Are there any foods that help or foods to avoid with 

children with eczema problems?

Answer:  Eczema can be such a frustrating problem! The dryness and itchiness can be bothersome, especially for children.  So, if your child suffers from that, then I am sorry to hear that.

First, for those readers who don’t know, eczema is a type of skin rash that is characterized by itchiness, redness and scaliness. 

I, personally, don’t have a lot of experience with this condition, but I do know that diet does play a big role. 

Many times, eczema can be triggered by food allergies.  So the first thing I would recommend to you, if you haven’t already done so, is to order a blood test for the major allergens, such as wheat, corn, soy and eggs. 

If you don’t want to go the testing route, you could always do an elimination diet for one month.  You could either completely eliminate all the possible offending foods at once, and then slowly add them back in, one week at a time, or you could eliminate one food at a time.  It’s important to stay consistent with this and to jot down and changes, either positive or negative, especially once the food is introduced back into the diet. 

Also, dairy can be a major culprit, either in triggering eczema, or in making it worse. Many people have found relief once they eliminate dairy from their diet.  My personal belief is that cow’s milk is not necessary for anyone’s diet, regardless of age or condition. 

If you do eliminate dairy and are wondering about calcium intake, rest assured that there are many other ways to get calcium, such as leafy greens, (especially kale), sunflower seeds, and oranges.  There are many great alternative milks that contain added calcium, such as almond milk and coconut milk.  (I don’t recommend soy milk on a daily basis, as it can mess with your hormones and possibly cause early puberty for girls, or breast cancer for women). Speaking of hormones… cow’s milk does the same thing! 

Based on my research…. it seems like the general consensus is to eliminate or at least greatly reduce fried foods and processed foods, to help eczema.  Basically, having a diet that is as close to 100% whole food as much as possible, is ideal… for anyone, but more so, for those who suffer from certain conditions, such as eczema, as the preservatives and additives could worsen it.

As far as what to take to help with it, studies show that many are deficient in certain vitamins, such as magnesium and vitamin B6.  In this case, supplementation may help. (look for a whole food supplement, such as Juice Plus+

 Taking omega 3 supplements have also been shown to work, as well as a good quality probiotic, to help heal the gut. 

Let me know if you need recommendations for children’s products!

As far as actual foods that could help:

1. Salmon– contains loads of omega 3s which are great for the skin. Aim to serve fish once or twice a week (but no more than that because of the mercury content) 

2. Foods that contain quercetin, which is a bio-flavonoid that contains antioxidant, antihistamine, and ant-inflammatory properties.  Foods that contain this are, apples, broccoli, red grapes, cherries and cranberries.

3. Foods that contain zinc, such as eggs (if not allergic) and oats and pumpkin seeds. (oysters are highest in zinc, but most kids don’t normally eat them!)

I would also say to try adding avocados, and coconut oil to your child’s (and the whole family’s) diet. 

Foods rich in monounsaturated fats, such as these, are great for skin health.  

Coconut oil is a fabulous, all natural moisturizer!!

It hardens in the refrigerator, so if you need it in liquid form, make sure and keep it out on the counter, in a cool, dry place.  Just a little dab will do ya! 

Of course, making sure to drink plenty of fresh water will help too!!

I hope this helps. Please let me know what you try and if it works!

Have a great Labor Day!


Nourished And New

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Listening to our body

Do you listen to your body?

If you sit with my family and I at the dinner table, chances are you might hear  my 7 or 8 year old say, “I’m full. I can’t eat another bite. I”m listening to my body!”

How many of you listen to your body when you are eating? I know many of us grow up being taught to finish what is on our plate.  Or when visiting a family member or friend, it is only polite to have seconds or even thirds.

How about when we go out to eat and we are given that huge plate of pasta? Do we feel obligated to eat it all?

I am reading a fantastic book called “Intuitive Eating” by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, both in the nutrition field.

In this book, they list 10 principles, such as Honor Your Hunger, Feel Your Fullness and Challenge the Food Police.

Intuitive Eating basically means trusting your body in regards to food.   If it is telling you to stop eating, then stop.  If you are hungry, don’t ignore  your hunger because you feel you are not supposed to eat at that particular time.

Really stop and think, “why am I craving this food?”  Is this something my body is telling me to eat?

Next time you sit down with your meal, stop half way through and really feel what you are feeling.  Assess your hunger level from 1-5.  Five would be completely stuffed and 1 would  be ravenous.  I would suggest eating until you are about a 3 or 4.

Is this something you are aware of when you eat?  Do you feel like you “listen to your body?”

I welcome all comments! Let’s hear from YOU!

Kellie McGarry, Certified Health Coach

Healthy Snacks Workshop

Healthy Snacks Workshop!

We had a lot of fun on Saturday– I had 9 kids at my house (with their parents) and we did a lot of learning and sampling tasty, healthy treats. First, we played a game called “Traffic Light Eating” where we learned about Green Foods, Yellow Foods and Red Foods. Green foods would be those that are fine to eat as much as you want of, such as broccoli and kale. Yellow foods means foods you can eat every day but you need to slow down with- they are foods that are not normally in their whole state such as pasta and applesauce. Red foods are foods that make you stop and think  if you really need this right now- such as ice cream or cookies. I made sure and told the kids it is fine to have those treats once in awhile but as nutrition detectives we can learn to make better choices. Choices that give us energy and “super powers”. 🙂

We also sampled a “green smoothie” which the kids LOVED…. .they asked for seconds and thirds! It didn’t matter to them that it contained spinach! Moms, this is a great way to get your kids to eat extra veggies… and for you, moms as well!  Most people aren’t eating raw spinach and kale every day.  For a video of my daughter and I making a green smoothie, check out this video.

We also made kale chips, raw chocolate bars and granola energy bites. Stay tuned for the next workshop!