fall things to do with kids in miami

It can be difficult to get into the fall spirit in Miami because the only temperature we have all year round is HOT. But thanks to all the different family-friendly events in Miami-Dade County, you will have plenty of options to go to experience fall, pumpkin spice, and everything nice. Here 5 things to do this fall in Miami:

1) Pumpkin Patch at Pittman Park, Coral Gables, on Saturday, October 16th from 2 pm – 6 pm.                          Celebrate fall in the City Beautiful! Hundreds of pumpkins of all sizes will take over Pittman Park.
Enjoy live music, pumpkin decorating, face painting, food and beverages for purchase,
and adorable picture-perfect fall portrait areas.
The event is FREE.
2) Pumpkin Patch at Pinto’s Farm on Saturdays and Sundays until October 31st. Admission includes 1 pumpkin, unlimited rides, photo ops, hay maze, magic show, and petting zoo.

3) The Little Farm Fall Festival on Saturdays and Sundays from October 9th until October 31st. $12 admission includes a pumpkin patch, animal interactions, hay maze, children’s playfield, butterfly garden, local food vendors, and pony rides.

4) Walkthrough Spooky Safari Tour & Covid Safe Pumpkin Patch at Animal EDventure & Safari, Boynton Beach. 2nd Spooky Safari (walkthrough) with private Covid safe pumpkin patches. Tours have to be scheduled via text at 561-350-6948.

5) Tinez Farms Fall Festival: Pumpkin Patch & Fall Shows from September 10th thru November 7th, 2021. Enjoy pop-up vendors, photo ops, kids’ activities, live music, hay bale castle & maze, animal barnyard, and more.

 

For more suggestions on things to do with kids (or without) in Miami, follow me on Instagram here.

Brickell City Center Gather

One of the many reasons I love being a mom in Miami is that there are so many fun activities to do for the whole family. This Friday, we went to the Brickell City Centre to participate in the Trousseau Paint-A-Pillow event at their pop-up Gather playground. Gather is BCC’s community and family programming platform dedicated to bringing unique, safe, and fun interactive experiences for all ages in and around the Brickell community. Brickell City Centre, in general, is a very family-friendly place as there a several dining options, kids’ stores, a movie theatre, and a lot more. Gather playground is a nice addition where the whole family gets to take a break and play. This playground offers both locals and tourists opportunities to play, explore, and dwell as they enjoy activities such as hopscotch, crawl tunnels, jump steps, Connect 4, life-size Jenga, and cornhole. Located at Brickell City Centre’s Garden Deck on Level 2.

Brickell City Centre Gather

Painting a pillowcase at Gather BCC

The Trousseau Paint-A-Pillow event

On Friday, we took part in one of Gather’s special events: Paint-A-Pillow in partnership with Trousseau. Parents got to decorate a pillowcase together with their kid(s). Brickell City Centre’s Trousseau store provided the pillows. Since it was the first week of school, these pillows were meant to become the child’s personalized school pillow. After my son was running around the Gather playground, he had a blast painting the pillowcase with his mommy. Together we created a very Miami pillow with a palm tree, flamingo, pineapple, and sun. Afterward, we strolled around the beautiful Brickell Centre to get some toys for our little painter and to grab dinner at one of the BCC Eats restaurants. 

Brickell City Center Gather

Gather Playground – check it out now until September 15th

If you missed this event, don’t worry! Gather playground will still be open until September 15th and there are more family-friendly events to come. On September 10th at 4 p.m. and on September 11th at 12 p.m., Gather will be hosting Family Game Days. The afternoon activities will include interactive games, live music, sweet treats, and giveaways prizes. 

Brickell City Centre Gather

See you at BCC!

Birth defects and injuries bella behar the miami mami

What Causes Birth Defects and Injuries?

Birth defects and birth injuries are caused by a variety of factors. Before going to the hospital, you should take time to learn about what causes these defects and injuries and what you can do to prevent them. Birth defects are issues that occur while the baby is developing in the womb. Some common birth defects are Down’s syndrome, sickle cell disease, cystic fibrosis, clubfoot, spina bifida, cleft lip/cleft palate, and heart defects.

Birth injuries occur during pregnancy or delivery. A common birth injury is when the brachial plexus is damaged. This injury is sustained when the nerves stemming from the spinal cord to your shoulder, arms, and hands are damaged. Some other common birth injuries are subconjunctival hemorrhaging (broken blood vessels in the eyes), bruising, cephalohematoma (broken blood vessels under the scalp), asphyxia/hypoxia (oxygen deficiency), and fractures.

Birth Defects

While birth defects can change the way you carry out your life, you might wonder what causes birth defects and birth injuries and how you can lower the risk of them occurring. As explained by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), birth defects can occur at any stage during the gestational process, but most defects occur within the first three months of a fetus’s life. Genetics, environmental factors, and lifestyle choices may all be determining factors. Controlling genetic birth defects can be extremely difficult and should be discussed with a medical professional if you are concerned.

 

birth defects and injuries the miami mami bella behar

Lifestyle Choices and Environmental Factors

People have control over environmental factors and lifestyle choices. Consumption of harmful chemicals or drugs can lead to birth defects in a developing fetus. Understandably, kicking an addiction is not always an easy process, and adding pregnancy to the formula can add more stress to the mother’s life. Sometimes when a mother, and in some cases, a father, use illicit or prescription drugs, the healthy development of their child can be impeded. Again, consulting with a doctor or medical professional regarding the addiction and how it may affect a developing fetus is recommended.

Environmental factors such as family members using drugs, working in a factory where harmful fumes can be inhaled, dangerous work environments, and more, can all affect the baby’s well-being. Many people are single parents and rely on their job(s) for the financial support of their families. If you believe you are pregnant and that your work environment could cause issues with the development of your child, speak with your management to coordinate a safer work environment during your pregnancy. While pregnant, you should ensure your work and living conditions are keeping you and your baby’s development healthy.

Birth Injuries

Brain injuries, when sustained during pregnancy or delivery, are usually the result of a handful of reasons. The baby could have a lack of oxygen at birth, which could occur if the umbilical cord becomes wrapped around the baby’s neck, the child gets stuck in the birth canal, or the baby presents in the breech position. Improper use of delivery tools, like forceps, which are used to extract a child from the birth canal, can cause bleeding in the brain, skull fractures, and serious damage to the facial nerves. Fetal distress can occur if a mother requires a cesarean section (c-section) and the procedure is delayed.

Another reason could be that the mother has untreated infections. Having untreated infections increases the risk of brain damage and premature birth. Undiagnosed high blood pressure also referred to as preeclampsia, can result in seizures, brain damage, and in extreme cases, death. Severe jaundice (yellowing skin and eyes), due to untreated liver failure can cause cognitive disabilities. If medical tools or the mother’s birth canal puts prolonged pressure on the skull, fluid build-up and brain swelling can occur.

preeclampsia bella behar the miami mami

How You Can Reduce the Risk of These Injuries

Preventing genetic mutations can be a very difficult, sometimes impossible, task. Working closely with your doctor every step of the way can help keep a close eye on the development of your baby. Some birth defects caused by the intake of harmful drugs or chemicals during pregnancy can be prevented by adjusting some daily choices and abstaining from these activities.

Preventing birth injuries might seem like something out of your hands however, you can have a part to play in keeping your child safe. It’s difficult to keep the umbilical cord from getting tangled or wrapped around your baby until the time of delivery but it’s important to make sure your doctor checks for this when your child is born. Regular check-ups with your doctor help keep a real-time update on your baby’s well-being in the womb. Working with your doctor on healing any infections you may have can help keep your baby healthy as well. It’s important, to be honest with your doctor about infections or other diseases you or your partner may have, as these can directly affect your baby’s development. Speaking openly with your healthcare provider about the tools they will use and the proper use of those tools can help ensure the doctor stays alert and aware during the procedure.

 

Medical Negligence and Malpractice

What is medical malpractice? Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional or healthcare provider fails to properly perform their duties and in doing so, causing harm, injury, or even death to their patient. This can be with simple check-ups, medical prescriptions, surgeries, and more. A report from 2016 by the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) reported 3,075 adverse actions occurred in the state of Florida. This refers to the number of measures taken against healthcare professionals. In total, there were 1,161 medical malpractice payments in 2016, which is an increase when compared to previous years.

 

When a medical professional prescribes medication you must be sure the medication is safe to take while pregnant. Not all medication is safe for pregnant women to take. If a healthcare provider incorrectly recommends and prescribes a medication that can harm the mother or the fetus, they may be held liable for those actions if birth defects arise. Another action a healthcare provider could be held liable for is not properly monitoring the mother or the child during the course of her pregnancy. For instance, a diabetic mother needs to be monitored closely by her healthcare provider because diabetes increases the risk of birth defects in the child if not properly monitored.

A third example where a healthcare provider could be held responsible for birth injures or defects is during the delivery process. As mentioned above, improperly monitoring the child’s or mother’s vitals can put the child, and mother, at risk. Performing an unnecessary c-section, excessively forcing the child out of the birth canal, or breaching the medical standard of care can also cause injuries to occur.

 

Holding Negligent Parties Accountable

All mothers and fathers want a healthy, strong baby to expand their family and the reckless acts of a medical professional should not stand in the way of that. In the instances mentioned above, it’s important to know that you can hold those at fault accountable for their negligent actions.

Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein, LLP’s South Florida birth defect lawyers have the necessary skills and experience to help you seek the full extent of the losses your family has suffered and could suffer down the road. These losses could include hospital expenses, future medical expenses related to your child’s care, pain and suffering, disfigurement and disability, lost future wages, and other economic or noneconomic losses your or your child could experience.

This article is a guest post written by the law office of Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein, LLP.

 

 

 

Bella Behar Stay fit on vacation

If you have read any of my previous articles, you know that I am all about a good balance in life. I do not deprive myself of anything. So far, this approach has worked out for me. Clearly, I am a firm believer that living by strict rules and restrictions will eventually lead to splurging. Ever since the Garden of Eden, humans have tended to want things, even more, when considered a “forbidden fruit.” Thus, I do not ever restrict myself and do everything in moderation. When it comes to diets and nutrition, I do not believe in “cheat days.” When I feel like eating something sweet, I eat a bit of it to curb the craving. I do not deprive myself all week to pig out on one day. It makes zero sense to me. Evidently, this method has worked for me as I have maintained my weight despite having given birth and being a big-time foodie (my Yelp account is the living proof of that). I am not a huge fitness fanatic and clean eater. Hence, this way of life makes it easy for me to do moderate, shorter exercises every day and eating fairly balance. 

Now that summer has arrived, we love going on weekend road trips in our home state Florida. While I thoroughly enjoy this quality time with my family, it also means getting my normal routine out of whack. While I normally try to get on 7-8 hours of zzz’s per night, there is usually no chance of that happening when sharing a hotel room with my toddler who decides to crowd surf on top of us in the middle of the night. Also, I simply cannot say no to the amazing Pina Coladas and coconut fried fish from Florida. I do believe that a family vacation is a designated time to enjoy life so going to the gym or missing out on scrumptious food is just not on my agenda during that time. However, I sincerely enjoy how balanced my life is. Therefore, I try to not fall too much off the wagon during vacations. If you share that sentiment, here are some tips on how to stay on track during your vacation while still having fun.

1) Eat what you want but implement nutrients

As I said, there is no way I am going to say no to my favorite fried foods and frozen drinks on my vacation. However, there is a way to enjoy them in moderation. During my last vacation, I would usually order a small salad upfront (I actually like salads). The veggies would not only nourish my body, but they also prevented me from eating too much of the “fun” food. Try to eat the rainbow by implementing fruits and veggies when you can. Your body and your overall well-being will thank you later. You will see that you will transition a lot easier into reality once the vacation is over when you maintain a balance. 

Bella Behar The Miami Mami Marco Island

2) Drink plenty of H2O

I know you have heard this a million times: you have to drink more water! Water can be a bit boring especially when you can have drinks instead. But, ESPECIALLY when you consume alcohol, it is the time to make sure you stay hydrated. Alcohol combined with the sun is no Bueno. People tend to drink more without noticing while having fun in the sun. But that can lead to serious dehydration and a nasty hangover later. So try to drink plenty of H2O during the day. You’ll be happy you did!

3) Bring healthy snacks 

In order to control your hunger, you should never go too long without eating. By the same token, overly hungry people tend to lose all self-control and eat whatever is in front of them and too much of it. I like to bring healthier snacks such as nuts, protein or granola bars, and fruits to snack on in the morning or during the day. Also, I do not really like to start the day with a heavy breakfast that will have me sluggish for the rest of the day. Hence, I like to bring individual oatmeal packages. I usually heat up the water in the coffee maker provided by the hotel and use disposable cups! Voila, A healthy breakfast that will you keep you full until lunchtime!

4) Implement exercises into your activities 

Obviously, vacations are meant to be fun! Most people do not consider going to the gym fun. However, if you are one of those who cannot live without the gym, you can take advantage of the hotel gym to mix it up a little bit. Or you can go for a run in the surrounding area for a change of scenery. I usually like to soak up every minute of my precious vacation time. But I sneak in some exercise-like activities every here and then. My go-to is going for long walks at the beach right in the water. The resistance from the water is one of the best calf and booty firmer for me hands down! And as a bonus, I always come back from my beach power walks with a nice tan. Not only that, it gives me a much-needed break and some me-time that mommy needs! Speaking of being a mom, when my son was still a baby and wanted to be carried a lot, I used to do squats while holding him in my arms on the beach. Now, he is WAY too heavy for that but now, I have to run after him all day which is a workout in itself.

Thank you for reading, mis amores! Hope you are all having a fabulous summer with lots of vacation time! 

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World Ocean Month The Miami Mami

World Ocean Month is here! Since I live and breathe all things Miami, every day is Ocean Day in my books! Without a doubt, Miami is famous for its beautiful beaches and its blue ocean water. The Atlantic Ocean merges with the Caribbean Sea in Miami. The part of the ocean that you can see in every movie or TV show in Miami is called Biscayne Bay. It is the heart and soul of Miami. Unfortunately, in recent years, this lagoon has become more and more polluted.

Background story:
In August 2020, the biggest fishkill ever recorded occurred as a result of years of massive pollution and dumping into Biscayne Bay. Thousands of fish were gasping for air and eventually suffocated. Many activists have already warned that the water is at a tipping point and worked to preserve the idyllic lagoon. At the end of 2020, Governor Ron DeSantis and Miami-Dade County mayor Daniella Levine-Cava finally announced that $20 million would be invested in protecting Biscayne Bay.

It is not only fish that suffer but most of the marine life in Biscayne Bay. All too often plastic single-use utensils, plastic straws, or bags are being used at the beach and land in the ocean. Poor little sea turtles cannot differentiate between plastic bags and jellyfish, one of their favorite foods. Even tiny amounts of plastic can be fatal for baby sea turtles.

Here are a few ways how you can help save Biscayne Bay and its marine life:

  • Ask your Senators and Representatives in Congress to support policies that reduce single-use plastic and drastically increase recycling in the United States: Take action
  • Donate to Ocean Conservancy or Surfrider Foundation
  • Report Pollution on Miami Waterkeeper
  • Look up if there are any beach clean-ups in your area or get together with some friends and clean the beach up together
  • Try to avoid using plastic when enjoying Miami’s beautiful beaches. Try to stick to reuseable bags, paper straws, and reusable water bottles.

A lot of women say they felt like a new person when they became a mom. And I share that sentiment. Having the responsibility for a tiny human who completely relies on you is quite a big deal. While you make not become a perfect human all of a sudden, you will definitely take that new responsibility seriously. When you become a mom you can’t just do whatever you want anymore. Each time you want to leave the house, you have to make sure someone will be watching your child. Being a mom means putting your little one’s needs first. Most moms do not only understand that but they take it to the extreme. Since “mom guilt” is a real thing, most moms think they have to dedicate every single second to their child(ren) and feel selfish when they do anything for themselves. This can in return lead to depression, anxiety, feeling unfulfilled, and a lot more. Ever heard the saying “You cannot pour from an empty cup?” It is so very true. In the beginning, when I had my son, I thought I would have to be the only one taking care of him and always be around him. I got comfortable with my reality of wearing the same PJs for days and sporting the dirty hair top knot indefinitely. But I learned to let go and find myself again. You can be a good mom without losing yourself. Here are a few tips on how:

Stay connected with the outside world 

Being home alone with your child 24/7 even if it’s only for the first couple weeks/months can be very isolating. A lot of moms feel like they have to do it alone. But it is so important to have a support network. Even if it is just asking a friend a question about baby-related issues. Some people think that so many moms turn into mom bloggers or mom influencers to chase clout. But I know plenty of mom bloggers and can attest that what most of them love the most about being part of this scene are the network and human connection. During the first weeks when you cannot leave the house with a newborn, it is a lot easier to connect with other moms online.

Meet up with other adults 

You might be an introvert and not interested in spending time with others. After all, what can be more fulfilling than yummy baby snuggles? Hear me out! I am the biggest introvert in the world and nothing sounds better to me than alone-time. When my son was born, I really did not want to see anyone and just catch up on sleep whenever I could. However, now that he is older, I do appreciate a mom’s night out from time to time. While I make sure that I still get enough me-time by going to the gym, working out, getting mani-pedis, etc, I truly believe parents need some child-free time every once in a while. It is so important to stay in touch with your friends and hear what they are up to. I made it a point to only surround myself with inspiring people. So each time, I hang out with friends, I feel refreshed, inspired, and learned so many new things. Even if you are super-duper anti-social, try to just have a grown-up night (or day) with adult conversations even if it is just once in a blue moon.

Have goals and follow your dreams

Most parents feel like their children give them purpose in life. And I concur! But it is also important to not lose yourself completely and still follow your own goals. Maybe you want to get in the best shape in your life? Go for it! Who says moms can’t look fabulous. Make sure you get in that healthy food and gym time! Maybe you’re pursuing a promotion at your job? Go get it! Or maybe it is your own business? You are never too old or too busy to follow your dreams! And it does not make you a selfish person when you do not dedicate every breathing second to your offspring. Remember: there will come a day when they will move out of the house to follow their own dreams and have their own family. And you do not want to look back at your life thinking you missed out on life.

This is me at a Mom’s Night Out event. Follow me on Instagram for more updates.

Social media detox Bella Behar The Miami Mami

I remember when social media first emerged, it was all exciting for me and many others. It was an interesting experience to create an online identity and communicate with your friends through this new medium. Who would have thought that, fast forward, social media would become such a big part of our lives? Quite frankly, you can almost say it has replaced actual life for a lot of people. Most people I talk to, tell me they rack up several hours per day on these apps. As a blogger, it is part of my job to use my phone and maintain a presence on these platforms. That is why it is even more important to me to give myself a break every once in a while. Not only are social media detoxes beneficial for my mental health but they also free up a lot of time that I can now spend on something useful. However, this does not mean that you have to be completely excluded from the fun. Here are some tips on how you can limit your social media use without going too radical:

  1. Create a morning routine that does not involve your phone

One thing that has helped me a lot to reduce my overall use of social media apps was to shorten the overall window that I use my phone during the day. I guess you can consider it to be like intermittent fasting – just for your phone use. Clearly, one of the best life changes I have made is to NOT use my phone first thing in the morning. I used to wake up turning my phone on immediately. Not only was this a waste of time but it would also stress me out to read a work email or see some due bill right after opening my eyes. Now I put my phone on airplane mode throughout the night and take some time for myself in the morning to meditate, stretch, and drink some strong Cuban coffee in peace before my family wakes up. This sets a whole different tone for the rest of the day.

The time spent on your phone can be used more wisely

2. Set a bedtime for your phone

By the same token, I made it a habit to not use my phone anymore 1 to 2 hours before going to sleep. Back in the day, I would be on my phone until I would fall asleep. This usually led to poor quality of sleep and a fogged-up mind upon waking up. I rather calm down from the day now instead of reading some annoying news in bed that gets me all wired. I highly recommend using airplane mode at night as opposed to just putting it on silent so you are less exposed to the radiation from the device.

3. Break the habit

We are all creatures of habit. Once we are used to constantly and mindlessly opening our IG or Facebook throughout the day, it is difficult to stop this automated behavior. It takes about 21 days to break a habit so chances are that you won’t be able to quit cold turkey. But there a ways to transition away from it. I usually try to reserve some time where I get to check my social media apps. It is much more exciting to look at the app after a day or a few hours of not having checked it as supposed to be checking it non-stop zombie-style. In the beginning, I would still catch myself a lot opening and closing these apps. I slowly transitioned away by having other entertainment on my phone that does not require me to scroll or do anything, e.g. subscribing to interesting Podcasts that you can open when you’re bored and do something else in the meantime. Also, I really got into Audible and it helps me stay entertained without scrolling, liking, commenting, or otherwise being mindlessly entertained by the Zuckerberg universe. 

4. Shut off notifications for social media apps

This one is a gamechanger and goes hand in hand with what I mentioned above. You will constantly open these apps and get suckered into them when you see notifications pop up. Just carve out some time during the day when you check whatever comments, messages, and tags people have left you. Trust me – these things can wait and do not have to be answered the very second they are posted. 

5. Don’t take your followers’ engagement on your account personally

A lot of people take it very personally that some of their followers never engage with their content despite watching every single story. Personally, I think these are silly first-world problems and we should not waste any time on what other people do or do not do. I made it my own principle to NEVER check who views my story and/or who likes my stuff. Yes, of course, I have an idea of who is very supportive and who seems to be more of a hater. But life is too short to worry about why people are the way they are and I can find a better use for my time. 

If you have any more tips, drop them in the comments and talking about social media, give me a follow on Instagram if you like.

I remember there was a time when I religiously believed everything the billion-dollar fitness and diet industry tried to sell me. Especially the myth that carbs and sugar are BAD for you. After all, having a great body shouldn’t be easy, right? That’s why stunning physiques are purely reserved for those who put in the most work and restrict themselves the most, right? I lived a sad existence in which I could not any carbs after 2 pm including fruits and no foods whatsoever after 6 pm. I did that because some non-qualified fitness online advised people to do so. At night, I would be dreaming of food while chewing a whole pack of gum to curb my hunger. I would constantly think about food and was stuck in a vicious cycle of overeating every single day after my overnight fast. I broke out of this madness and am happier and healthier than ever. Here’s how I did it:

Get in tune with your body’s needs

I was restricting myself diet-wise to look better, feel better, and be healthier. But what really happened is that food was consuming my thoughts 24/7. Not only were these habits detrimental to my mental health but they also made me feel anything else but comfortable in my own skin. I was constantly over bingeing on so-called healthy foods like salads because these were the only foods I allowed myself to eat. After all, I had strict categories of good and bad foods. Also, I was just so hungry during the day since I would never eat after 6 pm. This led to me being bloated, full, and sluggish all the time. Hence, I was far away from my goal of feeling sexy. Without a doubt, what is going on in your mind can affect your physical health. But my mind and body were completely disconnected from each other. I would crave things like banana bread but instead, I would eat tuna and eggs and be completely unsatisfied. I took a look at other women who have a naturally lean physique and to my surprise, their diets often wouldn’t consist of mountains of grilled chicken breast. I would see a lot of them eating rather pleasant feel-good foods just not tons of it. I started to fantasize about that being me but I was way too deep in my oxic habit of considering some foods off-limits that it was difficult to make a change. Sometimes all I wanted was a cookie but since carbs and sugar equaled bad for me, I would instead eat a huge salad with triple the calories that did not hit the spot AT. ALL. This brings me to my next point.

“Skinny Chicks Don’t Eat Salad”

There is one book in particular that inspired my transition into Intuitive Eating called Skinny Girls Don’t Eat Salad. A former swimsuit model and fitness junkie tells her story of how she went from restricting herself (which often led to overeating) to having a healthy relationship with food. The title in particular caught my attention. Like I mentioned before, I often observed women that are in shape and HEALTHY. I did not see them restricting themselves or obsessed with food. I grew up going on various vacations to the South of Europe such as Spain, Italy, or France. I saw a ton of beautiful healthy women who would not follow any kind of fad diet. French women would eat their croissant with joy, Italian women would enjoy their homemade pasta with a glass of red wine, and Spanish women would have really late dinners that go against any intermittent fasting rule. Notably, they all really enjoyed food AND life. In addition to looking stunning, I noticed that most of the women in the countries tend to live very long and healthy lives. 

My journey to food freedom and mental health

Now that I spent a good amount of time talking about what didn’t work, let me get to the part where I fixed it. I unintentionally did something that experts call “Going all in.” Fitness YouTuber Stephanie Buttermore has famously documented her All-In-Diet journey. To give you a very short and straight-to-the-point explanation: after you have spent a long time restricting yourself, you relearn to feel hunger cues, to stop full, what your body needs, and basically everything that intuitive eating entails. I went through something similar without noticing it. When I first moved to Miami, I thought that everyone here looks absolutely fabulous and put that same pressure on me. Plus, starting an intense MBA program as well as the hot weather all curbed my appetite. I was eating a very low-calorie diet plus doing cardio every day. Not only was I restricting myself but I was also denying my body the fuel it needed. There were times when I broke down because of that. After I graduated, I worked a very taxing job with lots of standing and often no breaks until the very end of the workday. At that point, I just couldn’t take it anymore. I turned into a bottomless pit when it came to eating. I would only have an unpaid 30-minute break where I would stuff myself with everything I could find in the cafeteria. Moreover, I had equally big breakfasts and dinners. The numbers on the scale started to go up rapidly. Eventually, I regulated this behavior when I got a less stressful office job and fell happily in love. 

The way through a woman’s heart goes through her stomach

Newly in love with a like-minded foodie, I would eat around town with my new boyfriend and explore all different kinds of restaurants. Funnily, this did not only restore a healthy relationship with food for me. But also bounced back to a weight I was very at without even trying hard. I was like I unintentionally died the All-In-Diet. I learned

1) what my body needs

2) when to stop eating when I had enough

3) that there is no such thing as good or bad foods

4) and that you can be in your desired shape without dieting and restricting yourself.

I pretty much ate everything I wanted. We would often order dessert (if not each time we go out). The key to intuitive eating is not the same as “everything in moderation” as it has nothing to do with restriction. Once you are in tune with her body, you will automatically stop at a few bites of the cake because you do not want to get in a sugar rush. Equally, you won’t eat too many fatty foods that make you feel sluggish. And you will most likely crave something fresh and light for dinner after eating a heavier lunch.

This beautiful woman knows what a good balance means and enjoys her life.

Forbidden fruit effect 

Last but not least, I like to conclude by saying that I believe that not restricting yourself, or not categorizing food as good or bad, makes less healthy food options less exciting for you. It is like the forbidden fruit effect where you really want something just because you cannot have it. If you stop giving chocolates so much importance, you won’t crave them as much. When I was in my dieting phase, I could never control myself around foods like that. Now, I peacefully co-exist in my house with all types of foods and mainly turn to the healthier option as they give me the fuel I need, make me feel better, and make my skin glow. When I want some chocolate, I just eat a piece and move on. Even the sound of the word “cheat day” makes me cringe as I find it extremely toxic to harshly restricting yourself and then binge on one day of the week.

Obviously, I am not a dietitian or nutritionist, so this article is purely an opinion piece. But if you want to get more information, you can find a lot of registered dietitians post useful information on the topic when you follow #intuitiveeating on Instagram.

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