Does Binge Eating differ from emotional eating and over eating?

I GET Asked this question quite often, so i wanted to answer it for you Here on my blog. As we navigate our relationship with food and heal any disordered eating tendencies, it’s easy to get caught up in what is “right” versus “wrong.” Truth is there is no black and white answer, or perfect relationship with food. But learning how to differentiate between normal and disordered eating will help you along the way. Because we all should be enjoying our food and creating a safe space for ourselves to have a loving relationship with what and how we eat.

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The answer to this question is simple. YES. There is a difference between the following:

 

1)    Binge eating

2)    Emotional eating

3)    Eating when you are not hungry/past the point of being full.

 

It is important to know the difference and separate them. They can also go together, so it is important to know that too.

 

Binge eating, as many of you know, is damaging to both your physical and mental health. Binge eating is tied directly to the urge (not the emotions) to binge. Bingeing feels out of your control and usually is "emotionless" and results in you "blacking out" and eating to the point of not being able to stop so that you feel sick and physically ill afterwards, often until the next day. Binge eating is often followed by feelings of guilt, shame and sadness which can often continue the cycle of binge eating.

 

Emotional eating can be categorized as normal eating behavior. But it is important to note only if this is separated from and does not lead to a binge. We eat when we are sad, lonely and also when we are happy and feeling joy. It is ok to eat when you are emotional if you are AWARE in the moment and is consistent with present thoughts that might say something like "yes I am aware I am eating because I am emotional, and I can stop when I want to." It is also important to be aware that binge eating is emotionless. When you binge eat, the urge is strong and present but your emotions then fall way during a binge and you are not aware or present. 

 

Eating when you are not hungry or eating past being full can also be categorized as normal eating behaviors. The difference is that you have control over the urge and you can stop if you wanted to. These can also be defined simply as "mindless eating" and not binge eating. We often eat when we are not hungry because we are bored or to fill the time. We can become mindful of this by mentally checking in with ourselves when we are bored, and ask ourselves "Am I hungry, or just bored? What else can I do to fill this space?"

 

Eating past being full can also be categorized as normal eating. When this takes place we are able to identify that we over ate and also listen to and trust our body that it will balance itself out. We aren't able to intuitively listen to our bodies all the time because of well, life and all it's wonderful distractions, and therefore we normally overeat or under eat. When eating past the point of being full or eating when you are not hungry leads to a binge (as explained above), this is when it is categorized as ED behavior.

 

I work with clients on separating these three behaviors and overcoming the binge/restrict cycle. It is important to note that the journey to full recovery is difficult and working with a health coach like me to form new habits with food will be beneficial for your mental, emotional and physical health in the long run.

You can book a consult call with me here. 

Pricing for all my programs is found here.

 


Molly AllimanComment
The Best Places for Healthy Food in Australia - Sydney + Melbourne

I AM SHARING my guide to the best healthy restaurants in both Melbourne and Sydney, Australia. My taste buds are still buzzing from all the fresh and delicious food we ate on our trip down under.

David and I made a bonus trip to the Great Barrier Reef and stayed on Hamilton Island between city-hopping, where we ate some of the freshest seafood and most delicious meals. We just returned LAST weekend and I am already missing the pristine beaches, friendly people and amazing food on this beautiful continent! If you have an upcoming trip to Australia, or are just looking for an excuse to book one, here are my not to miss places to eat.

The yogurt and granola bowl from Porch & Parlour in Sydney.

The yogurt and granola bowl from Porch & Parlour in Sydney.

So let’s get down to it in the down unda! First stop was Melbourne. I absolutely loved Melbourne, it’s kind of a mix of Vancouver and San Francisco with a European flair and amazing food. My list of places to eat food was so long, I thought about having 8 meals a day. But for the sake of my stomach, we settled on a few gems which I share below with photos and what I ordered. I am also sharing my list of the places I wanted to go but sadly didn’t have time to make it. We will need to go back!

MELBOURNE

ARCHIE’S
This was our first stop for breakfast and luckily was just down the street from our Airbnb in the warehouse district of Fitzroy. Fell in love with the menu on first glance. Could have ordered everything on it. David got their homemade cashew milk yogurt topped with house made granola. I was extra hungry and went with their avocado toast - sourdough topped with major avo chunks and dukkah with a side of the most amazing smoked salmon I have ever had. Topped with a big squeeze of lemon and I was feeling it. We also both had chai lattes with their housemade cashew milk. So good!

Loved the curbside tables and vibes

Loved the curbside tables and vibes

From Archie’s, check out that sunflower and pumpkin seed dukkah though!

From Archie’s, check out that sunflower and pumpkin seed dukkah though!

CHIN CHIN
So many people recommended this place, and we were so glad we went! The menu was insane and everything was made with the freshest and tastiest ingredients. The only two drawbacks was the noise (the old lady in me likes more quiet restaurants) and the location. Chin Chin is located in the CDB (central business district) which is touristy and nothing special. If you are from San Francisco, think of Fisherman’s Wharf and Union Square combined. No thanks! Come here for the food and then walk it off through one of the many surrounding parks instead of the CBD. Back to the food! We ordered the do it yourself veggie wraps, salmon tartare and their pad thai. I also enjoyed a delicious local sour beer and David had a good local kolsch. NAILED IT.

MARION
This gem of a place came highly recommended by our Airbnb host. We went here for dinner on a night with nice weather and sat outside. Al fresco dining at it’s finest. The menu here is made up of mostly small plates which allows you to mix and match to your heart’s desire. The food was amazing and the service was exceptional. When it started to get dark and the temperature dropped, they kindly moved us inside and made a spot for us in the already crowded restaurant for our dessert. Loved that!

VACATION
Came here when craving a green smoothie and David wanted a chai latte. Cutest interior and menu of fancy toasts, smoothies, teas and coffees. Just what we needed.

CHIN CHIN veggie wraps

CHIN CHIN veggie wraps

Marion al fresco dining

Marion al fresco dining

Kale and Date smoothie from Vacation

Kale and Date smoothie from Vacation

OTHER MELBOURNE PLACES TO EAT AND SHOP
Since we ran out of time to go to all the places, here is the rest of my list if you wanted to check these restaurants out too! I also highly recommend shopping in Melbourne. My favorite stores were Assembly which is an Australian version of Everlane, and Bul which has amazing well made basics with an edge.

Burnside - Coffee
South of Johnston - Breakfast
Cibi - Cool Japanese place
Bar Liberty - small plates
Gertrude Street Enoteca - small plates
Madras Bros. - Indian
Ladro - amazing pizza
Shop Ramen - in-house made noodles
Rice Paper Scissors - Vietnamese (highly recommended)
Aka Siro - japanese

Whitehaven Beach

Whitehaven Beach

Took a break between Melbourne and Sydney on Hamilton Island in the Whitsunday Islands near the Great Barrier Reef. If you follow me on Instagram (@balancebymolly) you can check out this part of our trip in my story highlights. We stayed at Qualia Resort for David’s birthday and ate lunch daily on their deck looking out on the water. The quinoa salad with roasted carrots, fennel, greens and feta was a staple for us along with the fresh catch of the day.

Qualia Resort Quinoa Salad

Qualia Resort Quinoa Salad

SYDNEY

BILL’S
We only had two nights and one day in Sydney so time was short but our appetite’s were not! Bill’s was so good that we ate here for breakfast and also for dinner. Hey, when it’s good it’s good. They make their own kimchi in house which I added to my avocado toast and eggs (the fluffiest I have ever had!) and their dinner was incredible and a low key and unstuffy environment. Favorite place for sure.

PORCH & PARLOUR
This restaurant was on the other side of Bondi Beach from Bills and such a little gem. I loved the decor, the drinks and delicious food. David got the veggie burger, I took a bite and it was the perfect texture and taste. I heard the green pea pancakes are delightful too.

MOMOFUKO SEIBO
Made a reservation here (I am a big David Chang fan) and then cancelled because we were so tired that night and not that hungry to splurge on a fancy dinner. Back to Bill’s. hahaha.

OTHER SPOTS
We didn’t make it to these but were on my list:
The Nines - Bondi Beach
The Paddington
Yellow
Anason - open-air and waterfront
UMU - Bondi Beach
Lox, Stock and Barrel - Bondi Beach

Breakfast at Bill’s in Bondi Beach with housemade kimchi

Breakfast at Bill’s in Bondi Beach with housemade kimchi

Molly AllimanComment
Creamy Banana Zoats

If it’s raining or below 50 degrees where you live, I have the cure for your seasonal blues. I am eating a warm bowl of these right now as I type this, while looking out the window at rain here in San Francisco. There is nothing better than a warm bowl of oats when it’s cold outside. It’s like slipping into a cozy pair of socks, but for your tummy. Oh yeaaaahhhhh.

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If you follow me on Instagram you know I have been making these Zucchini Oats with Banana for the last month again and again. They are just that good. I make mine with a secret ingredient that makes these zoats even more delicious and creamy.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup forager cashew milk

1 small zucchini, shredded

1 small and ripe banana, sliced

1 tbsp. of butter, this is the secret ingredient. If you are dairy-free, omit and they will still be amazing!

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract (worth it to buy real vanilla without alcohol)

pinch of good sea salt

Method:

Place all the ingredients in a pot and stir to combine. Heat to a boil and then simmer until the banana literally melts into the oats (drool factor is way high) and the oats are creamy without sticking to the bottom of the pan. From start to finish this takes about 10-15 minutes. I like to stir every few minutes or so with a spatula so that nothing sticks to the bottom. Top with walnuts, nut butter*, hemp seeds, yogurt... the world is your bowl of zoats!

*Use my code BALANCEBYMOLLY20 for 20% off of all Georgia Grinders nut butter. I personally like to top my banana zoats with their creamy cashew butter.

Easy Healthy Dairy-Free Turmeric Latte

Want to get in on the turmeric trend? I’ve got you covered with this creamy and delicious turmeric latte that is dairy-free and oh so delicious. I have had this warm drink on repeat since the temperatures have dropped and I ain’t mad at it. Seriously, it’s like sunshine in a cup!

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I technically can call this a “double” turmeric latte, as there is twice the dose in this frothy drink. So if you usually like an extra shot in your espresso, maybe you can think of this as the same. Except without the espresso… oh wait and without the caffeine. But I was close!

This latte is best enjoyed on a mellow afternoon or in the evening to wind down and soothe your tummy. Turmeric boasts some major anti-inflammatory properties due to the active compound curcumin. Read below for the recipe and how to get your latte extra creamy and frothy!

INGREDIENTS:
1 bag Numi Turmeric Tea
1 scoop Further Food Turmeric Tonic*
1 scoop collagen peptides
1 tbsp. coconut butter
8 oz. hot water
4 oz. coconut milk

METHOD:
Brew an 8 oz. cup of the turmeric tea for 8-10 minutes. Cover to keep hot. Remove the tea bag and pour the tea into your blender. Add the turmeric tonic, collagen, coconut butter and coconut milk. Blend on high for 5 seconds until frothy. Pour that liquid sunshine into a glass and get cozy!

*a 10% discount is automatically applied for the Turmeric Tonic and collagen peptides. Woo Hoo!

Molly AllimanComment
My 6 Tips To Stay Regular And Avoid Constipation When Traveling

We have all been there. Day 4 into vacation and you haven’t been able to go to the bathroom. It’s uncomfortable, embarrassing and just plain awful. When we travel or go on vacation, our natural rhythms are thrown off by air travel, time zones and being out of routine. Many off us struggle with digestion and regularity when we travel, but it doesn’t have to always be a thing! Staying on our normal routine can be helpful, but I have 6 of my top tips to “keep things moving” below so that you can relax and enjoy yourself.

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1. HYDRATE! Probably the most important but one we often forget about. Drinking enough water starts the day that we go to the airport and get on our flight, not just on the airplane (although that is very important)! Be conscious of how much water you drink the day of your flight. My rule of thumb is drinking enough water on a travel day so that I am using the restroom every two hours beforehand. I bring a bottle of water with me to the airport and drink half on the drive there and the other half while checking in/in the security line. I bring a stainless steel SWELL BOTTLE with me so I can immediately refill again before boarding my flight.

Don’t be shy to ask for as much water as you want on the flight, select an aisle seat and maintain every two hour bathroom breaks (except if overnight flight so you can catch some Zzzz’s). I always ask flight attendants to refill my stainless steel water bottle and I also ask for hot water for tea. This is my go to GINGER TEA to drink on flights and also while traveling to help with digestion.

2. Magnesium. My go-to supplement for traveling because it helps to reduce water retention (with the help of compression socks too), is a natural sleep aid and also relaxes your intestines to keep you regular. Triple threat! I like to take Magnesium nightly (400-500mg) and will start this ritual 1-2 days before my travel in the time zone I am traveling to. For example, if I am traveling to New York from San Francisco and my usual bed time is 11pm, I will take magnesium at 7pmPST (11pmEST). This help to get me on schedule so my natural biorhythm catches up quickly. Here is the magnesium supplement I take which is the best for regularity and constipation relief, in my opinion.

3. Digestive Enzymes. When we travel we tend to try new foods that we don’t typically eat at home and also eat our a lot more than usual. Add this on to any time changes, plus eating outside of your normal routine, and this can cause digestive upset and backed up pipes. Here are the digestive enzymes I take when I travel. I keep a few in my purse and take two right before each meal with a glass of water. I notice such a big difference.

4. SLEEP. Getting proper rest and good sleep while you travel is important. Start the night before you depart with at least 8 hours of restful sleep. When you are traveling across time zones on long flights, time your sleep on the plane for the place you are going to. This will help you adjust better when you get there. I always use a sleep mask to block out any light. This is the sleep mask I have used for years and love for travel and using at home too.

Using magnesium for sleep on the plane as well as melatonin can be helpful. For melatonin I recommend no more than 3mg to 5mg as your body naturally doesn’t promote more than this on it’s own. Here’s a good quality melatonin I use.

5. Move! Sitting on an airplane for more than 5 hours at a time will slow down any “movement” on the inside. Take breaks to walk up and down the aisles. On larger trans-atlantic planes I have always found a little nook by the doors of the plane where I can do simple squats or jumps to get my blood flow going without the whole plane seeing me! Upon arriving in your destination, rather than going straight to the beach or to sleep, I suggest going on a 15-20 minute walk to get things moving. It’s also a great way to explore the new city you are in and check out what is near your hotel or Airbnb!

6. Drink a Smoothie. Yup, if you know be by now you know I love smoothies. They work wonders for digestion as well as constipation. Check out my tips on How To Make A Perfect Smoothie. I suggest having one the morning of your flight using a tbsp. of chia seeds or ground flax for added fiber. You can also bring a blender bottle with you to make your own smoothie. When you get to the airport, order a steamed cup of almond or coconut milk from a Peet’s or Starbucks. Add this to your blender bottle with an individual packet or prepacked scoop of chocolate protein and an individual packet of coconut oil. This will melt right into the steamed milk and lubricate your intestines for regularity. Plus it tastes like hot chocolate! I love these two chocolate protein powders: collagen protein and vegan protein.

Last but not least, remember to enjoy yourself on your vacation and to not stress about the small things. It’s not always about choosing the healthiest thing on the menu, but rather enjoying yourself and trying a few new things! Balance this out with one veggie heavy dish daily, or find a local smoothie bar and grab a green smoothie for breakfast!

Molly Alliman Comment
72 Hours in Palm Springs Guide

I get a lot of questions on how to travel healthy and choose/find restaurants when taking a trip or vacation. Therefore I always try to put together a guide for each of the cities I visit.

This time around it was a weekend trip to Palm Springs! My mom retired to, and now lives in Tucson, AZ so we try to link up for girls trips by meeting in the middle. October is the perfect time to visit the desert and surrounding areas of Palm Springs. I equally love Palm Desert, Joshua Tree and Yucca Valley but this post is just about Palm Springs proper. I’ve got the goods on where to eat, relax/sleep and hike. ENJOY!

Museum Trail Hike

Museum Trail Hike

Natures Health Food and Cafe Veggie Wrap

Natures Health Food and Cafe Veggie Wrap

FOOD

Breakfast
We stayed in an Airbnb so brought our own ingredients to make smoothies in the morning. Although the first two lunch places I recommend have great breakfast options and amazing juice and smoothie menus.  If you are craving a croissant, Peninsula Bakery is amazing and everything is baked from scratch with good ingredients. For an incredible sit down and fancy brunch, check out The Holiday House. 

Lunch
Palm Greens Cafe. This place has a menu packed full of nourishing ingredients - whole wheat, quinoa, veggies galore, hummus, free-range chicken, etc. It’s a sit down restaurant but also has prepackaged salad samplers (with their delicious yam salad).

Nature’s Health Food and Cafe. Taking up one side of a health food store, this small cafe packs an extensive menu of vegan food. Skip the fake meats and order one of the big salads, the Azteca Plate or the veggie wrap. The shakes and juices are stellar too. If you have time, browse the store, it’s pricey but has some goods that make great healthy snacks. 

The Barn Kitchen at the Sparrow Lodge. LOVED this place. They host Saturday night dinners outside at a communal table but we were too late on reservations, so we came the next day for lunch. Thank goodness we did, the menu was amazing as was the scenery. Tucked away in the back of the lodge it was a nice respite from the sun and hustle bustle of downtown. Every ingredient is sourced fresh and made in house. We enjoyed the little gem salad with green goddess dressing and chicken plus the hummus which was homemade and delicious. We heard chatter from other patrons that the avocado toast was to die for. We also ordered the fresh baked cookies and they were baked to order! So amazing. Go here!

Gem Salad and Hummus at Barn Kitchen

Gem Salad and Hummus at Barn Kitchen

Barn Kitchen Menu

Barn Kitchen Menu

Dinner
Counter Reformation at the Parker Hotel. A tucked away gem. It’s just a bar with 20 seats, but this Jonathon Adler designed hotel doesn’t skimp on the beautiful touches and atmosphere.

Counter Reformation Menu

Counter Reformation Menu

The best part is that there was no wait at 7pm on a Saturday night, we got a seat right away, and the food and wine menu was KILLER. I enjoyed a glass of white wine that was from an organic winery. The menu consisted of “small bites” although we ordered two and were stuffed. We had the short ribs as well as the prawns that came with a side salad and the most amazing dressing. Everything was absolutely delicious and made with fresh and organic ingredients. 

Azucar. The decor in this place alone is enough to put you in the mood to relax and enjoy good food. The octopus and guacamole then steps it up to another level. There are tables but as you can tell, I prefer to always eat at the bar for easier conversation between two people and a more mellow evening. 

HOTELS

If we didn’t do an Airbnb, I would have stayed in one of these places. I’ve been to the Ace Hotel twice before and will choose between one of these for next time:

The Sparrow Lodge. Expensive on the weekends but deals during the week. This place is build like a lodge in the mountains in the middle of the desert and is done really well. The ground are beautiful, the food is good and the rooms are spacious. I would splurge and stay here. The pool scene was amazing too. 

Arrive Hotel. We stopped here for the coffee for mom (which was the best coffee according to her), and stayed for the scenery. The pool area was beautiful with floaties to choose from for maximum chill, and connected to an indoor/outdoor poolside restaurant with healthy bites. Mom got friendly with the manager who showed us the ground which were lovely too. The price is also moderate if you were looking for a smaller but equally cool option to the Ace. 

Sparrow Lodge

Sparrow Lodge

Arrive Hotel

Arrive Hotel

HIKES

If you aren’t visiting in the summer months between May and September, then the weather allows you to explore the beautiful landscape of the desert on some hikes all within a 10 minute drive of the city center. Here are the ones we did:

Araby Trail: A 4-mile loop with a really scenic mountain trail and views of Bob Hope’s mansion. There was nice easy parking and clear signs marked for the trail. Although we bypassed the actual trail entrance, hiked up the paved street for a little more work on our buns and squeezed through the gate at the top. Not advised, but mom and I like to break the rules ;)

Museum Trail: Accessed via the parking lot right behind the Palm Springs Museum in town. This hike is a 2 mile steep climb right up the side of the mountain to the very top for stunning views of the city. Wear shoes with grips, there are some twist and turns that require holding on to a few rocks. 

Araby Trail and Bob Hope’s Home!

Araby Trail and Bob Hope’s Home!


Molly AllimanComment
Gluten Free Strawberry Scones

This scones were created by mistake when I was trying to make muffins one day. Best mistake I have ever made! These are perfectly fluffy, moist and laced with sweet strawberries. I bet these would be amazing with any berry you can find. They are also super easy to make, so if you have ever been intimidated to make scones then these babies are for you! Now grab a bowl and get baking, your mouth will thank you.

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Gluten-free, sweetened with just a bit of honey, flakey and perfect. You have to make these ASAP. They are my favorite baking mistake I’ve ever made. 

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup fresh strawberries, chopped
2 cups GF flour blend (I used King Arthur Flour)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
3 eggs
1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
1 tablespoon melted ghee
Juice of 1/2 lemon (approx. 1 tbsp.)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup honey

METHOD:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Whisk the wet ingredients together in a medium bowl. Combine the wet with the dry using a rubber spatula. Lastly, stir in the strawberries gently. Lightly dust a surface with left over flour. Place the dough on floured surface flipping a few times to coat and then use your hands to shape into a circle. Mine was 9” across and scones are about 1 inch thick. Use a sharp knife to cut into 6 scone wedges (you could also divide the batter twice and make 12 smaller scones). Slightly separate the scones and cook for 20 minutes on a greased baking pan or a silpat on a baking pan. Remove, let cool and dive in! Best enjoyed with more ghee and honey. 

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Molly AllimanComment
72 Hours in Washington D.C. - Weekend Guide

I have never been more excited to write a weekend guide for a city. I am absolutely over the moon about Washington D.C. after returning from a weekend trip with friends. It is such an amazing city, with picturesque views everywhere you turn (and I am not talking national monuments), cool neighborhoods that each have their own charm, an eclectic mix of eateries to suit every craving, friendly locals, and a big score for walkability and getting around on a bike. So let's dive in! If you are heading to D.C. for the weekend, here are my recommendations for how to spend it.   

After our bike ride to Georgetown in the crazy heat + humidity, sweaty and happy!

After our bike ride to Georgetown in the crazy heat + humidity, sweaty and happy!

FRIDAY NIGHT

Explore the neighborhood you are staying in by going for a walk and picking a restaurant close by.  I arrived at 7pm, dropped off my bags in Adams Morgan and heading to Tail Up Goat. Highly recommend if you can get a reservation or don't mind waiting an hour or so.  Plenty of other places to explore nearby while you wait. 

SATURDAY

Wake up, grab a green juice nearby at JRINK then find the nearest Capital Bikeshare and grab a bike! We biked from Adams Morgan to Georgetown using the Rockway Creek Parkway. Most of the route was downhill and absolutely a beautiful ride with lots to see along the way. You can head directly to the Georgetown Waterfront Park to walk around and enjoy the sites, or if you didn't grab a green juice beforehand you can grab a massive smoothie bowl at South Block in Georgetown. If you are hungry for more, head to Shouk for lunch. 

After dropping your bikes off and eating to your hearts delight, take the time to wander around Georgetown, hike up the stone steps that were used in the filming of the exorcist to satisfy your inner 80s child (and also to work those buns, hun). Explore the campus, or if shopping is your thing, head over to M Street to get your fix. 

After taking a much needed rest after all that biking, eating and walking it's time for dinner and more exploring.  Head to Blagden Alley and put your name in as early as you can at The Dabney. This place was the best meal I had while in town. If there is a long wait, head to Calico Cat to enjoy their amazing outdoor patio in the meantime.  If you are looking for a place to go post dinner, grab an amazing craft cocktail at The Columbia Room or a tiki drink at Lost and Found

The Wharf and Navy Yard

The Wharf and Navy Yard

Smoothies and Waffles at Fruitive

Smoothies and Waffles at Fruitive

SUNDAY

Sleep in and head to DC Harvest or Sally's Middle Name for brunch along the H Street Corridor.  Afterwards walk up to the Union Market to walk around, explore and ooh and ahhh at all the goodies. 

After making your morning all about food, head over to the National Museum of African American History and make your afternoon all about culture. If the weather is not crazy hot, join the tourists and walk along the National Mall past the Washington Monument and to the Lincoln Memorial. 

In the evening head to Dupont Circle. Plenty of things happening here and a good time to rest your wallets and explore some of the amazing and healthy fast casual restaurants. Pick between CAVA and The Little Beet for a dose of nourishing ingredients without breaking the bank. You could even take to go if you need to head to the airport. 

MONDAY - BONUS DAY!

I was lucky to visit D.C. for the Labor Day Holiday weekend, so we had an extra day to explore. Head to Fruitive for smoothies and the most amazing GF and Vegan waffle you will ever have. Then head over to the Wharf and Navy Yard to walk around and check out the sites. Need a smoothie or matcha latte? Head to Toastique for some healthy goodness. 

If you have extra time (or if you flew in via BWI airport) head up to Annapolis, Maryland.  This historic town has so much freaking charm! Walk around, explore the sites and check out Fox Books to hang on their patio. Do yourself a favor while you are there and grab a lobster roll at Masons Famous Lobster Rolls. They also offer a massive lobster salad. 

The cutest little town of Annapolis

The cutest little town of Annapolis

Lobster Roll Heaven

Lobster Roll Heaven


Molly AllimanComment
Gluten Free + Vegan Curried Stuffed Zucchini

This dish is both vegan and gluten free, AND packed full of protein. I am using Millet which I refer to as a super grain because it has both 10g of protein and 8 g of fiber per half cup serving. I also feel like Millet is the forgotten grain next to its contenders brown rice and quinoa.  So if you are looking to mix it up, this recipe is for you with tasty curried millet with tender zucchini.

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This recipe turned out legit and was worth the extra time in the kitchen. This is a 30-minute meal and I’m more of a 5-minute meal girl  But sometimes it’s fun to cook and experiment and see what comes of it. I almost forgot how happy cooking a good meal feels, the therapy of chopping and prepping and plating. The magic that your hands can create. I’ve told you all before that July is my month to CREATE. So here is this recipe I created to share with all of you.

INGREDIENTS
Stuffing: 4 large zuchhinis (round or regular) // 1 tablespoon coconut oil or ghee // 1/2 can of white beans // 2 cloves garlic // 1/4 cup cilantro // 1/4 cup dried cranberries (I used @honestlycranberry since they are unsweetened!) // juice of one lemon

Sauce: 1/2 cashew milk or non-dairy milk // 1/2 tablespoon curry powder // salt and pepper // 1.5 cups cooked millet

METHOD
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Trim edges of the zucchini and scoop out seeds. Save the removed pulp and chop and set aside. Place zucchinis onto a baking sheet or a shallow baking pan and place in the oven while you prepare the stuffing.  

To prepare the sauce, heat oil or ghee in a skillet and add the chopped garlic and zucchini pulp. Cook for 2-3 minutes until juices start to release. Add in the cashew milk, curry powder, cranberries and white beans. Stir in for another 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and add lemon juice. Add cooked millet to the pan and stir to combine with the sauce. 

Take the zucchini out of the oven, spoon in the millet stuffing and place back into the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes covered until the zucchini is tender. Divide onto two plates and enjoy! 

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Molly AllimanComment
Are Bananas Really A Health Food?

About a year ago, and after much denial, I realized that bananas give me brain fog. The type of brain fog where I find it hard to concentrate with a very “heavy” feeling in my head for much of the day. Brought on by my lingering candida, symptoms like brain fog can creep in with too much sugar in my diet, even from fruit. If by all means possible, this is something that I like to avoid so I have reluctantly cut bananas out of my diet for the most part. This being said, THIS IS WHAT WORKS FOR ME AND MY BODY.

Alongside this personal realization about bananas, I noticed in the wellness community that there is an ongoing debate about whether or not this popular fruit is actually good for you. In the diet community, they are a big no-no.  A fruit that is high in sugar and must be cut out if your goal is weight loss. So much chatter about a piece of fruit, so naturally I wanted to know what was up. What is true and what are some of the myths about bananas.

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WHO SHOULD AVOID BANANAS?

If you have been diagnosed with candida albicans then it is best to avoid bananas while you work with a health coach to get your candida symptoms under control. Eating a banana is like opening the windows of a house during a fire, it'll greatly feed the candida. Not only does one banana contain close to 30g of sugar per serving, making it one of the highest sugar fruits there is, but it is also very high in mold content which needs to be avoided at all costs for candida sufferers.

If you have an imbalance in hormones (low thyroid, PCOS, etc.), then bananas should be avoided as well. To get your period back, clear your acne, stop hair loss, and balance your mood and hormone levels, it is wise to keep sugar (as well as dairy and caffeine) out of your diet. But you will also want to take a close look at the other foods and beverages in your diet that might be working against you with your health coach or nutritionist. Bananas will not be the cause of any diagnosis, but taking a break from them (along with other foods) for a short period of time may help with your symptoms.

WILL BANANAS MAKE YOU FAT?

Nope. Bananas will not make you fat. The myth comes from the idea that if you want to lose weight, you need to cut out sugar and bananas are high in sugar.  As I always tell my clients, any highly restrictive dieting should only be as a means to an end for symptoms of a diagnosis, never for weight loss and only for 6-8 weeks maximum so as not to bring imbalance to your microbiome by cutting out certain nutrients.

But here is the thing, bananas are also high in fiber, potassium and magnesium. The high fiber content of bananas and the natural mineral relaxer, magnesium, are a natural remedy to ease and prevent constipation. Bananas can also be great for those who suffer from high blood pressure.   

What we should worry about is not whether a banana will make us fat, but whether or not a banana is actually a health food. Some people claim that bananas are as close at it comes to a genetically modified food due to the fact that the bananas we eat today are a result of cloning to always grow and look and taste a certain way as well as resist disease. Let me explain first by giving you the cliff notes on their history and how they are grown today.

SO MR. BANANA, HOW DID YOU COME TO BE?

When you do the research on bananas you will find that this fruit has a complicated past.  Bananas that we eat today, look totally different from the bananas that we ate 100 years ago.  Up until the 1940s, Americans ate a banana varietal by the name of Gros Michel or “Big Mike.”  Gros Michels were sweet, creamy, and sturdy. You could throw them in a ship's cargo hold and they would show up at their destination, perfectly ripe and unbruised. I mean, I used to put a banana in my purse to snack on at work and within 30 minutes of transport it would emerged bruised and browned. Hmph.

As Big Mike gained popularity around the turn of the century and into the 1920s, these banana crops also suffered from a fungus known as the Panama Disease and by the 1940s it was endangered. In 1947 a new banana called the Cavendish was introduced.  Though the fruit was more delicate (hence the typical purse bruising) and less tasty, it was resistant to Panama disease. Cavendish bananas replaced the Gros Michel as the world's most popular banana by the 1950s. But the Cavendish are sterile, meaning the only way to keep growing them is through cloning. This is the banana that buy and eat today. Only through genetic modification can we create a banana that can resist the fungus.

IS A BANANA JUST A “FACTORY PRODUCT?”

When you think about it, virtually all of the cheap foods we find in the supermarket today — think potatoes, eggs, or ground beef — are the products of finely tuned, highly industrialized agricultural systems geared toward mass production. And, as Dan Koeppel details in his excellent book, Banana: The Fruit That Changed The World, bananas were among the first foods to be turned into a commodity. Fancy that.  And fancy that a man wrote an ENTIRE book about bananas. Now that is dedication. Koeppel goes as far as saying “It's almost wrong to think of the banana as a fruit, as a product of a what we traditionally think of as farm. The Cavendish banana is a factory product in every bit the same way that a potato chip or a BMW is."

So hold up, is a banana just an industrialized fruit?  All those Cavendish bananas also look and taste identical. And that's largely due to the fact that banana plants reproduce asexually.

When a farmer wants a new banana plant, he or she removes a part of an existing plant (either a side shoot, called a "sucker," or an underground root-like structure called a "corm") and puts it in the ground. In time, it will develop into its own genetically identical plant. Without sexual reproduction — a grain of pollen fertilizing an egg, as occurs with most other fruit species — there's no random variation among plants that growers need to worry about. Every banana you've ever eaten is a clone.

This is how virtually all commercially grown bananas are produced worldwide, and it means that every banana plant behaves in the same perfectly predictable manner. Their fruits grow at the same rate, in the same abundance, and ripen at precisely the same time.

ARE WE BANANAS TO EAT BANANAS?

From a nutritional standpoint, bananas are still a cellular food, meaning that they have a low carb density (percent of the food mass that is carbohydrate minus the fiber component). Versus potato chips which are an acelluar food and have a very high carbohydrate density. The carbohydrate density increases as more non-fibrous carbs are packed into a given quantity of food. So even though an author and research such as Koeppel claims that the banana is the same as potato chips he is missing one key fact: nutrients. Bananas are full of fiber, magnesium and potassium.

True you can get adequate amounts of potassium from other foods such as sweet potatoes and avocados without eating a fruit that has been cloned to perfection. And that’s really the bothersome thing here – that we have been eating a cloned fruit for nearly 75 years. One that people have developed allergies and intolerances too as well as one that does have 30g of sugar (fiber or no fiber).

Although we are not bananas to eat bananas, educate yourself on the facts to make a decision that is best for you regarding the foods you choose to have in your diet. In terms of health, yes berries for example will be higher in antioxidants and lower in sugar. But eating bananas every once in a while, is not going to make you fat and surely won’t kill you either.


Molly AllimanComment