Tag Archives: healthy

The Numbers Tell the Story

A few days ago my client emailed me her lab results. In 5 short months she has turned her life around. She has lost 23 pounds and 24 inches off her body (2 WHOLE FEET GONE)!!! The weight loss is great as she is no longer obese, but what her blood work shows is she has actually changed the trajectory of her life by lowering her odds of diabetes, heart attack, stroke and overall disease! I never cease to be amazed by the power of real food.

I asked her if she would be willing to share a little about how the process has been for her. Today I received this wonderful testimonial and account of her journey thus far. The best part is we are not done!

“On December 19th, 2016, I read Jennifer Joffe’s blog post that Sheryl Sandberg shared on Facebook.  I sobbed, because I could have written it. And then, I sent her an email before I could chicken out, and it was the best thing that I could have done, because Jennifer changed my life. I was a binge eater and a sugar addict. I had been on every diet known to mankind.  I was 55 years old, 5/2″ tall, and weighed just under 170 pounds. I had gained and lost the same 20 pounds countless times over the past 30 years, but the older I got, the harder it was to take them off, and I had been stuck at this high weight for quite some time. I was sick of dieting, and I knew that it didn’t work. I knew that I needed a lifestyle change, not another diet. I had tried vegetarianism and even veganism, and I liked eating that way, but I was still bingeing and eating sugar, and the weight was still piling on.
One of the first things that Jennifer told me was that I had to give up Diet Coke (another addiction). I knew she was right, and I did so. She also said that I wasn’t eating enough.  That seemed counterintuitive at first, but, she was right! As part of the Happy Body Project, I learned that I needed to be eating fat and protein, which I had been severely restricting. Again, bingo! The Happy Body Project has taught me to eat like a healthy, normal person. I am no longer addicted to sugar – I don’t eat it and I don’t crave it. If I have a bite of something sweet once in a while, it doesn’t set me off to want more. I have not binged once since starting the Happy Body Project. This is truly monumental –  before that, I had been consistently binging since I was 10 or 12 years old. My whole attitude toward food and my body has changed:  I no longer worry about being skinny, about losing X amount of pounds before a certain date; I just want to be healthy. I have lost 23 pounds and that feels amazing. My BMI was in the obese range, and now it’s “overweight” and in another 10 pounds it will be normal. I feel great, I look great, my clothes feel great, I have a lot more energy, and I’m healthy.
Here’s the proof:
bloodworkcw
The best part about this is that the Happy Body Food “formula” for eating is super easy. There’s no weighing, there’s no measuring, there’s no counting calories, there’s nothing that you can’t eat, you’re never hungry. It’s all about eating good, healthy, clean food that you want to eat. You don’t want to eat the bad stuff. Once you’re eating the good stuff, you stop craving the bad stuff. That’s the beauty of it! People keep asking me how I’ve lost weight, what diet I’m on? I tell them that I’m not on a diet; I’m just eating clean and healthy and I love it!
Karen

I am so proud of this woman. From obese to healthy, she saved her own life…she chose HER! It is never too late to live your best, healthiest life. Karen, you ARE an inspirtation!!!

 

If You Want to be Healthy, Align your Goals and Values

My latest piece for Thrive Global!

If you want to be healthy you must find a goal that your values support, and that is authentically YOU! Look at what is driving you to change your current situation, because if you are honest…skinny isn’t it.

Enjoy!

alexandre-chambon-140031

Photo by Alexandre Chambon

https://journal.thriveglobal.com/if-you-want-to-be-healthy-align-your-goals-and-values-b635ddbd24ee

 

 

Prevent Portion Distortion

 

IMG_8644

Do you know how much an ounce of something is?

No one wants to go through life measuring out everything they eat as that would not be sustainable, and certainly NOT enjoyable. However, it is really important to understand what a portion is. Often we are just bystanders in the foods we consume, we are served an amount and we simply eat that amount. Unfortunately, this is an easy way to let your health get away from you.

Here are some tips for keeping your portion sizes in check:

Read Labels

When you purchase snacks from a to-go counter, or convenience store, always do a quick check to see how many servings there are. Many beverages are actually two servings per bottle, not one. This is also true for snack foods. Do not assume a package of chips, beef jerky, or sunflower seeds are one individual serving, take time to look.

Use Your Fist

Our stomachs are roughly the same size as our fists. For some of us this is not going to be very big. That means each time you eat you need about that much food (chewed, not whole) to fill you up. Making a fist creates a good visual, especially when eating out where portions can be two to four times what we actually need.

Eat Half

Leftovers are a wonderful way to have your next snack, or meal, already done for you! Eat half of your order and take half to go! To make your next meal more interesting think about what you can add to your leftovers to spice things up! For example, if you have some chicken and roasted veggies for dinner you can add the leftovers to a big plate of greens, maybe add some additional fresh veggies and create a wonderful, healthy salad in no time at all.

IMG_9203

I always use the small containers at salad bars, saves $$$ too!

Leave It

Maybe you were taught to clean your plate as a child, or you feel you need to eat all of your food because you paid for it? Try to flip your thinking when it comes to finishing meals. When your body signals that you are full it is time to put the fork down and let your body get to work digesting the nutrients you just provided. Do not be afraid to part with unfinished portions. Enjoy the foods you chose to nourish yourself with, and part graciously with those you do not need.

Eat Mindfully

Study after study has shown when we multi-task we overeat. There may be rare occasions where you must eat your lunch at your desk, but try to make eating while doing other activities the exception, not the rule. It is hard to keep track of how much you have eaten if you are not mindfully engaged in your meal. We also have a tendency to forget what we ate, and when we last ate, if we eat while multi-tasking. Give your nourishment your full attention and odds are you will eat less.

IMG_9084

Salad plates fit plenty of food!

How Does Your Kitchen Measure Up?

Open your cupboard and take out a dinner plate, a salad plate, a cereal bowl, a juice/milk glass and a wine glass. How big are your dinner plates? Could you eat your meals on a salad plate and still be satisfied? Are your cereal bowls 2 cups in size, even though most cereal boxes consider 1/2 to 3/4 of a cup to be one full serving? When it comes to beverages, most products consider 8 ounces to be a full serving, yet most of us have glasses that are 12 to 24 ounces in size. If you are wine connoisseur you already know a serving of wine is around 130 calories and 5 ounces, but do you know what 5 ounces looks like? Often we are served 9 ounces of wine, which is perfectly fine, as long as you realize your glass nearly doubled in calories.

IMG_8643

Know When to Measure

There are times that it does benefit you to simply measure out your portions. There are foods we all buy and often overindulge in; dried fruit, nuts, seeds, chocolate covered nuts and berries, trail mix. Bulk snack food items are the perfect foods to measure out. A serving size is small, often a 1/4 cup, and can easily be overeaten. These are the perfect foods to open and measure out into snack bags, or small mason jars. When you are on the run you can simply grab a pre-portioned snack and not worry about how much is too much!

IMG_8648

Here are some good visuals to keep in mind for controlling portions:

A Baseball = 1 cup/ A deck of cards = 3 ounces / 4 dice = 1 ounce

How do you keep your portions from getting away from you? Share your tips below.

 

Living My Option B


To tell people Sheryl Sandberg helped change my life sounds a little self-serving and hard to explain. Today, with the release of Option B, the entire world can now understand the powerful affect her ability to openly share her grief, and process her loss had on me. I lived her Option B real-time. I saw the pain, fear, courage, heartache, the waves of grief that brought her to her knees, and openness with which she dealt with losing Dave Goldberg, her best friend, husband and father of her children. As she shared her roadmap out of the depths of pain, I was able to step out of my own pain. She found a path, and I CHOSE to follow.

I had the great honor of reading Sheryl and Adam Grant’s book while it was being written. Each chapter left me processing years of grief I had not come to terms with, and helped me so clearly see that I was not a victim, I was a survivor. I had chosen to personalize my loss. My Mother found me in the sand box a few days after my father died and I asked her, “What did I do to make Daddy go away?” The script was set and it became pervasive in every aspect of my life. The personalization and pervasiveness of my loss, and other life circumstances that came with that loss, created a permanence that I carried with me every single day of my life. It kept me from believing in myself, from trusting people around me, and from really loving anyone, including me. It manifested in a lifelong struggle with food and addiction.

Sheryl and Adam included a small portion of my story in their new book, which is a great honor, but it is also a full circle moment. I am no longer defined by my past. I have immense gratitude for this journey I am on. I AM RESILIENT! Watching Sheryl persevere and fight for her own happiness and joy freed me from years of suffering.

I hope everyone will read Option B because we all live an Option B, and resilience is not something you are born with. Your ability to overcome life’s obstacles is a CHOICE, and resilience and gratitude are both traits you can build, expand and grow.

Today I am “kicking the shit” (as Sheryl & her friend Phil like to say) out of my own Option B. I went back to school graduating from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, and now have a successful coaching business, Happy Body Food, where I help other women build their resilience, learn to fight for their own happiness and understand that their life circumstances do not define them, but can be used to empower them.

Each day I am lucky enough to wake up I find a day full of moments where I get to choose. I choose me. I choose self-love, compassion for my journey, and I choose to be grateful. Life happens, and yes there are times where I do not get a say in what happens to me, but I always get to choose my response, and that is a powerful revelation.

To Sheryl, Adam, Nell Scovell and all the others who worked so hard to make Option B accessible for all of us, I am grateful.

Happy Body Project: New Group

HBF-wheels-words

Announcing the next Happy Body Project May 9th, 2017

Here is what you can expect when you sign up for the

Happy Body Project:

  • A small group of women with similar goals

  • Weekly group coaching –calls Tuesday, 12 noon to 1:30 pm PST (Next group begins May 9th, 2017) SOLD OUT! Please contact me if you would like to be wait-listed for the next class.

  • You will be matched with an Accountability Partner

  • Complete Health History with me, including personalized suggestions

  • Direct access to me via texting & email

  • Secret & private Facebook Group that will provide you with 24/7 support! A place for sharing thoughts, milestones, setbacks, tips, ideas. A place to just be YOU!

  • Recipes, food shares

  • Complete confidentiality

  • And so much more!

You have nothing to lose but weight, unhealthy habits & excuses! You will gain self-confidence, power, knowledge, energy and a renewed relationship with real, whole, healthy foods! Support, guidance, healthy habits and friendships are all right here in one place! Together we will bridge the gap between who you are and who you believe you can be.

Read Testimonials Here

This is not a diet, but an introduction to living and maintaining a  healthy lifestyle. You already know there are no quick fixes, so let’s stop looking for those and just get busy being healthy people, and we might as well have a little fun doing it together!

If you want change you must be willing to make changes!

The keys to succeeding are:

  1. Commit! Just decide it is time
  2. BELIEVE in yourself
  3. Hold yourself accountable. One day at a time, becomes one month, becomes one year, and before you know it you are eating clean and living your most optimal life, a healthy life, for the REST of your life!

The Happy Body Project is a 12 week program, join today and take charge of your health!

Email me if you would like more information, or if you are simply ready to commit!

Read Facebook Reviews Here

good food. good life.

Jennifer

HappyBodyFood@gmail.com

 

A Final Farewell to Shame

A few weeks ago I received the following email from a 23-year-old in Germany;

“Dear Jennifer, I am from Germany and came across your story one week ago and I think I read every article you have written. So touching and so inspiring and I can relate a lot especially with the “one day I will be the best version of me”, but actually the years go by and nothing changes but even gets worse…. This could be also the way I start to focus on self-love and not only on body image, healthy living and weight loss. Please keep sharing. I still don’t know how exactly you learned to love yourself from reading your articles but I hope that you will write it down one day. Thank you!” 

The past few months have been an amazing whirlwind. I wrapped up my first Happy Body Project then launched not one, but two more Happy Body Projects and took on some incredible individual clients as well. I am working harder than I ever have in my life with long hours and I am loving every minute of it.

I wrote about my compulsive overeating for myself. Then one day I got brave and put it on my blog. Then I got even braver and let Thrive Global publish my story on Medium. Each time my story was read by more people, I got stronger. I got stronger because I owned my behavior. I was telling the world my obesity was a result of my own actions. There was no blame, no excuse, and nothing I could hide behind other than admitting it was a series of choices I made. I released myself from the shame. I was free from the shackles that my abuse of food had kept me chained down with as I forged towards health and healing. Still, l had an escape hatch. In the back of my mind, I knew I could delete my blog post. I could quietly step back from my health, and health coaching…there was still room to be small.

Being small was exactly what I had spent my life doing by being fat. Ironic isn’t it? My weight was how I hid from my authentic self —my authentic voice. The voice inside me that would guide me towards change, urge me to speak my truth, share my emotions, apply for THE job, plead with me to challenge myself. The little whisper that would say, “You can do that. You are capable. You are worthy.” Every time I heard that voice, I would flood with emotions, with fear, and I would eat. No, I would binge. I wanted to quiet that voice down and make the noise in my head stop. I wanted to play it safe. Why? Because I didn’t love myself. I didn’t believe I was strong or capable. I did not believe I deserved to have success, happiness, or unconditional love.

The day Sheryl Sandberg shared my story of being a compulsive overeater with the world, I knew I had been freed forever. I felt like someone had thrown the old me a farewell party. I woke up the next day, sat on the beach, and just sobbed. I let the ocean wash over my feet and take away my tears along with any remaining space where shame could grow. It was at the age of 43 that I said a final farewell to the little girl who felt so abandoned by her Father’s death, and the woman I grew into who chose to be a victim of her circumstances rather than the architect of her life. On that day, on that beach, I felt like I finally knew my purpose: I would spend the rest of my life helping people feel less broken. When I looked up a rainbow had appeared.


I had already begun the process with my Integrative Nutrition degree, but I am now more resolved than ever that this is what I am here to do, and that is exactly what I have been doing for the last 8 weeks of my life. Helping people feel less broken. I start after my kids leave for school and most days I end around 10 pm. There is so much I want to teach these beautiful women who have entrusted me with their greatest fears, their insecurities, and their absolute despair that perhaps they will feel “less than” their whole lives, broken and in need of repair.

This work that consumes me has been the most rewarding work I have ever done. I sit in awe each day and think how time really is our friend when we surrender the control and start to feel the world around us. Time is our friend when we release the fear, the shame and embrace empathy for our journey. It is hard to believe that somebody who sent me an email inquiring about working with me on the first of January is now 30 pounds down and it is only March 1st. Or someone who had a BMI of 32 now has a BMI of 29, and is no longer medically considered obese. In these short 8 weeks someone who is prone to binging on a weekly basis can tell me they’ve gone 4 weeks without a binge. Someone who hasn’t slept longer than two or three hours in a row for the last 15 years has now had some six and seven hour nights.

And then there are the emails and conversations where women actually thank me for saving their lives. Of course we all know that they are saving their own lives, but I understand what they mean. They are grateful for the roadmap out of a situation that has suffocated them for years. I know what it feels like to live in a body you don’t recognize when you catch yourself in the mirror. I understand the despair one feels thinking they may never feel normal-ish. I can empathize with them.

What I can’t find the words for is the immense gratitude I wake up with each day, and go to bed with each evening, knowing that I get to share my passion for health every single day. My gratitude toward each of them for trusting me when I said jump. For believing me when I tell them it’s okay to eat food, to nourish their bodies. For believing me when I tell them that they are good enough, strong enough. For believing me when I tell them that they already have everything they need right inside of them. For believing me that they are enough. For believing me that I will catch them when they fall. For believing me that when they feel they have failed they’ve actually laid one more stepping stone toward their ultimate success. I have no words to adequately explain what this feels like for me each day. Witnessing women learn to love themselves is an amazing miracle. I am overcome with gratitude for their trust.


I don’t know if everyone I work with will make it at the time we do the work, but I do know they will all have the tools when they decide it is the right time. That is the beauty of this process, ultimately we all decide when we are ready to choose self-love.

I have also gained so much strength from all the kind souls that read my story and reached out to tell me “Your story is my story.” 362 to date! 362 letters, emails, Instagram DM’s, and FB messages telling me it was like I had written their story and taken their truth, their thoughts, and shared them with the world.

In those 362 communications, one question prevails: HOW? How did you get to where you are today? The answer is simple, but it is far from easy. I look forward to sharing my roadmap with all of you who want to know. The opportunity to help others love themselves, feel better physically and emotionally, and to see that instead of looking for the light at the end of the tunnel, they actually ARE the light in the tunnel, they just need to decide it is their time to shine…and this is my “why”. Together we are better, we are stronger and where there is a conversation there is no place for shame to persist.

I am Jennifer. I am @HappyBodyFood. This is my journey from unhealthy to healthy…but more truthfully this is my journey from self-hate, to self-love.

Healthy Cookbooks I Use

I don’t usually use many recipes, but rather I combine the healthy foods I have in my refrigerator and create as I go. However, it took me time to get to this place. Like everything else it takes practice and repetition to learn what tastes good with what, and how to put it all together. These are all books I own, and use. It is great to flip through the pages and get ideas. Many of these I have owned for years. The new ones have been chosen by my kids. They want to make a list, walk to the store, and create what they see in the picture! Healthy cooking is a hobby I can get behind 100%. My Son loves the Alton Brown, Every Day Cook, and my Daughter chose The No Time To Cook! Book.

I will start sharing some of the recipes I love, and hope they help others as they have me!

I also included In Defense Of Food, those of you that have followed my journey know this was the book that began my “wake-up” call. Not a recipe book, but a reminder of what food is, and more importantly, what food is not.

Happy New Year! Happy cooking! Healthy life!

xo

Jennifer

               

              

              

             

New Books on my “wish list”:

       

Books for kids

    

Kindle