diet disasters in disguise.

by Janetha on October 26, 2011

in body for life,deep thoughts,recipes

hola amigos. how was your wednesday?

mine was full of a protein shake, work, lots of spaghetti squash, a lower body workout, some new and fun supplements i will have to tell you about, grocery shopping, halloween costume accessory purchasing, an orange dream bar and a (super late) tasty dinner that is perfect for this week’s cooler temperatures and can be made in thirty minutes flat…


turkey noodle soup

serves four side dish sized servings or two entrée sized servings



  • 8 oz turkey breast (you can sub chicken)
  • 6 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 5 stalks of celery, diced
  • 10-15 baby carrots, diced
  • 1/2 of a medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 tsp trader joe’s 21 seasoning salute (or other all purpose seasoning)
  • 1 tsp minced garlic (i used jarred)
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 oz no yolks wide noodles
  • lots of fresh ground salt & pepper
  • parmesan cheese for garnish (optional)
  • whole wheat saltines to crumble and sprinkle on top (recommended)


  1. place turkey breast in a medium pot and cover with water. bring to a boil and until turkey is cooked through.
  2. meanwhile, combine broth, celery, carrots, onion, garlic and all seasonings in a pot. bring to a boil for 10 minutes.
  3. remove turkey from heat and shred with two forks.
  4. add noodles to the broth pot and stir to combine. bring back to a boil and let cook through until noodles and vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.
  5. remove from heat, stir in shredded turkey and season with copious amounts of salt and pepper. just add, taste, add, taste.. you get it.
  6. serve with a sprinkle of cheese and a sleeve of saltines. enjoy!

based on four servings, here is the nutrition information per serving (before cheese or crackers): 180 calories, 22g carbs, 20g protein, 3g fiber, 5g sugar, 1g fat.  this was calculated on

balanced AND body for life friendly.

since this was our dinner, marshall & i split the pot of soup and split a sleeve of saltines and called it good!

who needs canned soup when it’s so quick and easy to make homemade?


don’t worry, i haven’t forgotten about the pumpkin sage pasta recipe i still have to post. i’ll get there!


so, about the title. i recently came across an article on the fit stop that listed five healthy habits that may actually be keeping you from reaching your weight loss goals. i thought the article was pretty accurate and interesting, so i wanted to post the five habits here.

written by JJ virgin, taken from the fit stop:

  1. You eat too much healthy food. “When it comes to your calorie intake, you have to think of your body as a bank account,” Virgin says. “Just because strawberries are healthy doesn’t mean you can eat 4 pounds of them. The same goes with nuts — yes, they are healthy but eat too many and they’re not. People I work with often experience the halo effect — they know they are eating something healthy so they eat more than they should, which counteracts eating healthy in the first place.”
  2. You’re eating healthy foods, but they might not be healthy for you. Your body has an inflammatory reaction to hold on to weight when you eat some staple items such as eggs, dairy, and soy. “When my clients pull these foods out of their diet, they lose 5 to 10 pounds almost instantly,” Virgin says. Try swapping coconut milk (she likes So Delicious Coconut Milk) instead of soymilk and start to see a difference in your middle.
  3. You skimp on breakfast. Not having a big enough breakfast sets your metabolic tone for the entire day. In a recent study, people who ate a larger breakfast (approximately 600 calories) lost more weight and kept it off than people who only had a 200 calories breakfast. Virgin recommends starting the day off with a shake for a healthy start. “Having a latte and a muffin will send your blood sugar crashing by 10 a.m.,” she says. “I tell my clients to make a pea rice protein shake with berries to keep your blood sugar stabilized and help you stay in fat-burning mode.”
  4. You’re snacking. Though many experts recommend snacking every few hours, Virgin believes in a different school of thought. “You should eat within an hour of waking up, and every four to six hours throughout the day, stopping three to four hours before you go to bed. This means you’ll eat a total of three times, with maybe one snack in between. If you find yourself snacking, then you didn’t eat the right combination of foods for your meal, and that’s the real issue.”
  5. You use artificial sweeteners. If you need a sweetener, Virgin recommends the tiniest bit of raw honey. “Artificial sweeteners cause calorie dysregulation, and you’ll end up overeating because your body can’t correlate the level of sweetness to calories. Plus, if you eat sweet, you’ll crave sweet. You might have been born with a sweet tooth, buy you can retrain it to crave healthier options, like blueberries, or almond butter with cinnamon.” Virgin also warns against using the latest sweetener craze,  agave. “Agave is a huge halo effect food,” she says. “It has the highest level of fructose over any other sweetener, and is a straight connection to insulin resistance (making it more difficult to lower your blood sugar).”

my thoughts/experiences:

  1. this was my DOWNFALL back in 2009. i lost a bunch of weight on body for life and i was in the best shape of my life! i continued my healthy habits, started this blog and ate waaaaayyyy too much food. not necessarily bigger portions—just more to the meal. instead of having a bare bones bowl of protein oatmeal, i added fruit and peanut butter and flax and glitter to the bowl. gotta make things sparkle, right? for the blog! lame. no. don’t do this. just because something is healthy doesn’t mean it’s calorie free, and it’ll still make you gain weight if you eat too much of it.
  2. this is one i am dealing with right now… well, one i should be dealing with, but so far i have done nothing because i am lame. it’s obvious my body hates certain foods and these foods cause me to be bloated, gassy and in lots of pain. however, i haven’t hopped on the elimination diet train just yet. i am waiting to see if the prescription medication my doctor put me on fixes my woes. i wouldn’t eliminate ANYTHING from my diet if i didn’t absolutely have to.. but i realize that i might be forced to give some things up if i discover they are giving me a problem. we are all SO different—i think this point is a very important one. it is so often too easy to look at a blog, see that the blogger is fit and healthy, eat like them and wonder why the hell you’re gaining weight. well, chances are that specific diet isn’t cut out for your specific body. it happens. trust yourself and eat for you.
  3. well i have no problem here. i agree with it 100%, though. on days i miss breakfast (that happened to me on monday because i was SO late for work and ended up with nothing at the office. it blew) i am definitely more ravenous and end up eating way too much the rest of the day. it’s funny that the author recommended a pea protein shake with berries—that’s exactly what i had today! raspberries and pea protein along with carrot juice, spinach, almond milk and ice. kept me full for hours and i ate like a normal person the rest of the day.
  4. i am on the fence with this one. i am a firm believer that eating every 3-4 hours is necessary to keep my metabolism running like a well-tuned furnace. there’s nothing wrong with a snack if you are truly hungry and need a snack. however, if you are snacking just for the sake of snacking because you are bored, sad, happy, tired, awake or breathing.. then i agree—stop the snacking and go for a walk.
  5. i definitely agree with this! i never have been big into artificial sweeteners, i think they taste bad, but i do know lots of people who are addicted to them and the more they consume, the more they want. that is an interesting bit about agave.. i didn’t know that prior to reading the article.


what do you think of this list? what other healthy habits can be diet deal breakers in disguise?

xo. janetha g.

p.s. happy birthday to my sister, suni!

Print Friendly
Ashley B October 27, 2011 at 4:19 pm

Fat free. That’s a deal breaker. People forget we NEED fat in our bodies. No fat, no brain function.

I drink raw, whole milk from a local dairy. I eat egg yolks. I eat avocados. All of this obviously in moderation. My hair looks better, my skin, my nails. I FEEL better. Now my gym rat friends look down on me in disgust, but hey, I don’t gotta fake bake to have a healthy glow.

Jessica Corbin October 27, 2011 at 5:04 pm

1. You eat too much healthy food. – My Answer: I definitely do agree with this because many people will just eat more of the healthy food because its either organic, natural, whole grain, or whatever the case is. You have to keep track of what you eat and sometimes that requires a food journal. All in moderation.

2. You’re eating healthy foods, but they might not be healthy for you. – My Answer: Yes, this is true. People typically think that certain milk is better for them or may thing that whipped butter is healthy, which it is healthier than regular butter, but I guess again in moderation. I don’t usually remove things from my diet often. I keep alcohol during the weekends only, I don’t eat ANYTHING white, and I generally stay away from starch and carbs.

3. You skimp on breakfast. – My Answer: Yes, EAT BREAKFAST people! When people tell me they do not eat breakfast, this is my face –> “o.O” You have to eat breakfast so your body gets the fuel to keep you going. And no, not a blueberry scone from Starbucks that costs you about 490 cals and like 6 tablespoons of sugar. Make smart choices when eating and do the research to better understand what is smart. I do disagree about the 600 calories or so for breakfast, thats way too much. Your lunch should be the most caloric because you have all day to burn it off, but giving yourself too many calories to start the day can end up in a crash and can make you feel pretty full for longer than two hours, which should not happen. You should be hungry every two hours.

4. You’re snacking. – My Answer: I disagree with this completely. Sorry, but if I didn’t eat 3-4 hours before bed, I would get NO fuel after my evening workouts and want to eat each of my legs in the mornings. Each person has a different schedule so its not fair to assume one should not eat 3-4 hours before bed. 1-2 hours? Sure. I am hungry about every couple hours, but this is because I am a lean mean fat burning machine that requires food every 2-3 hours. It has nothing to do with not having the right combination for my meal. For example, mid-morning I have a two-egg omelet w/ a handful of spinach, an ounce of ham, a light laughing cow wedge in the middle with some cherry maters. Not the right combination? It totally is! I just get hungry every 2 hours so I eat. There is a difference of snacking for the hell of it and eating to give your body what it needs.

5. You use artificial sweeteners. – My Answer: This is the number one thing I always tell people to stay away from. There is Stevia, Agave Syrup, and raw honey that will be just find for sweetener. This article mentions Agave, which I have at my desk and I put it in my greek yogurt along with other things like granola and organic coconut. The ingredients? Just one – Organic Light Agave Nectar. No warning is necessary to this syrup unless you choose one that HAS fructose or other crap. Just pay attention to the nutritional information, educate yourself, and understand that everything truly is in moderation!

Steph October 27, 2011 at 5:52 pm

Number 2 is something that I know deep down but have a hard time following up on.

When you posted about your colonoscopy and “lazy colon” I thought I was reading about myself. I too start the day with a flat stomach and on most days I can count on looking pregnant by the afternoon. I figured out essentially what types of foods do cause me to react by doing a pseudo-elimination diet a few years ago. Yet sometimes I eat things that I know my body doesnt like (anything with dyes or artificial sweeteners) ridiculously hoping for this to be the one time that I wont have a reaction. Sometimes too I try to convince myself that it’s a quantity issue – like a few weeks ago when I had a handful of candy corn and still ended up in pain (damn the dyes!).

After seeing this post I am going to try to stick with number 2. Even in cases when I dont necessarily feel as bloated/affected by my trigger foods I will try to remind myself that there is probably some amount of inflammation happening, and no amount of inflammation is going to help me attain a healthy body

dana @ my little celebration October 27, 2011 at 6:36 pm

Great discussion and article. I think the thing I struggle with most on the list is eating too much healthy food.

I am a quantity eater in addition to being a QUALITY eater. I just like a lot of food and I have a hard time putting down the fork even if I’m full and there’s a couple bites left. I HATE wasting food, that’s the other problem. Sigh…

Something else I’ve been struggling with lately is eating too much PROCESSED foods, even though they’re healthy-ish. Like, for instance, the organic mini cheese crackers from Trader’s. SO GOOD! I’m addicted. But it’d be better for my middle if i ate an apple or some veg instead….

Lara October 27, 2011 at 6:59 pm

I am also up in the air about snacking. I used to be 100% NO SNACKING, 3 meals a day believer. Now I know that if I am truly hungry, a snack is a good thing. However, sometimes one snack leads to two snacks, which leads to three snacks….you see where that is going ;)

Kait October 28, 2011 at 4:13 pm

Lara I hear you! To help counter this, I keep no food at my work and just pack enough snacks for my day along with my lunch. So a bag of celery and carrots, a handful of nuts + dried fruit, etc. Depending on how tough the previous day’s workout was determines how much food I bring. :)

Chels October 27, 2011 at 8:16 pm

There has been many times where I have noticed weight gain and I get so upset because I always say “but I eat so healthy.” It all comes down to how much of that healthy food I am eating. I still have to remind myself day to day that calories count no matter what I eat, even if it is good for you.

Mary Legare Whaley October 27, 2011 at 9:54 pm

I agree with most of that. But I use artificial sweeteners (Splenda or stevia specifically, I know they’re not the greatest for my health) with my plain Greek yogurt, baking, and in my coffee every morning. It doesn’t leave me hungry because I make a point to balance it with a lot of protein and fiber. I think it needs to be consumed in moderation for sure. Snacks? Critical. As long as it’s an apple or a handful of nuts, I think you need to break the starvation wall when it hits, that’s only if you’re actually hungry—not just bored. And as far as over-indulging in healthy foods, I think eating massive quantities of fruits and vegetables (sans added dips/sauces) is fine, since fruits and veggies are all fiber and water for the most part. But foods like nuts and avocados…both very healthy…are calorically/fat dense, and I usually avoid both except as a main course. I’ll use half of a big avocado and a small handful of walnuts over a salad. People are misinformed, and it’s too bad. The message needs to be sent the right way. Same goes with dark chocolate vs. milk. It is not okay to eat a whole bag of dark chocolate chips. It’s like the fat free/low fat craze of the 90s. People were ignorant to the fact that “fat-free” wasn’t the same as “calorie free”. It’s a good thing we have food blogs these days. People need resources.

Angie October 27, 2011 at 10:29 pm

I am “guilty” of #1 and #4 and used to be for #5. Snacking when I get home from work is definitely an issue I am working on. As for #2, I have switched over to almond milk in the last five months, but I don’t think I could ever give up yogurt or ice cream.

Katie October 27, 2011 at 11:22 pm

I completely agree with your point about everyone needing different things. I pretty much know what works for my body and what doesn’t – but it’s easy to be tempted to eat like certain people/follow diet plans because you think they will work for you, too!

dani October 28, 2011 at 3:29 pm

i made that delicious looking turkey (chicken, for me) noodle soup… smelled soooo glorious and looked WONDERFUL! however, as i was added a bit of salt at the end my sea salt grinder came in half and dumped about a cup of salt all over the masterpiece. saddest of days :( i’m trying again tonight and keeping all salt granules away from the pot!!!

Kait October 28, 2011 at 4:10 pm

“i am waiting to see if the prescription medication my doctor put me on fixes my woes. ”

Just some food for thought re: the above quote: if your body is having this bad of an immune response in your gut now, the meds likely aren’t going to do much more than cover up that response. Most likely the inflammation will manifest itself elsewhere (e.g. your joints, your lungs, etc). I’m going through this right now and it royally stinks. Unfortunately, most doctors either aren’t trained to or don’t have the time (this is nothing against docs, mind you, our healthcare system is just broken) to look at the bigger picture and see…so if something else pops up, you get another script.

Everything in the body is connected and since inflammation and digestion are influenced primarily by hormones, if something is out of wack, continuing to eat foods that aggravate it are only going to make it worse! :( I’m in the process of doing hormone testing now…it means I’m going off some meds and most likely will be eliminating something from my diet. I’m not looking forward to it but if it a) save money (RXs are EXPENSIVE) and b) saves my health, then I’m willing to do.

GOOD LUCK, whatever path you choose. Health issues are a major downer and I wish it wasn’t even an issue for you!

Kaitlin With Honey October 28, 2011 at 6:10 pm

I want you to know that it is literally because of this post that I am considering trying to be a vegan for a few weeks. I think it might be good for me! Basically, I don’t eat much meat, but I eat a ton of eggs and cheese. Maybe if I cut those out (and a lot of sugar and snacking), my body would react favorably!

elise October 28, 2011 at 6:36 pm

i love glitter in my oats. thats not healthy??? haha. i love these tips.

ironically, when i started blogging i didnt care about photography – i cared about my health and my gi reaction to foods – but then my desire to make a meal look pleasing to the eye increased. how interesting that it could in fact have changed the outcome of it’s healthiness.

of course long before i started blogging i had editing issues with oats and salads anyways. i think ive always been a “the more the merrier” ingredients kind of girl :)

christine October 28, 2011 at 6:49 pm

Ugh. I hate the three-squares a day vs. snack question. Learning to snack smart keeps a lot of people from over-eating when they have a meal. And the reality is, we can’t expect every meal we have to be nutrionally sound/perfect and learning how to snack healthily to fill in the gaps is actually a good skill to have. Snacking as a behaviour is potentially healthy…it comes down to choices and portions.

Pure2raw twins October 28, 2011 at 6:56 pm

great topic here girl! and interesting to read some of the comments and hear what others say.
here is our 2 cents:
we agree but disagree.
#1 – yes just because something is healthy does not mean go over bored with it (we have done this in the past), and luckily for us we have learned our lesson, less is sometimes more in our case.
-with eating a larger breakfast I can see how that works for most people, the main reason why we usually have a very little breakfast is because we usually like to ‘eliminate’ before adding in food in and we tend to workout in the morning so breakfast is small.
and the artificial sweetener is a tough battle, because when it comes down to it sugar is sugar, and all kinds of their pros and cons, everyone just needs to learn to love less sweet things haha
and now to the agave, we knew about agave being bad a long time ago, we stopped using it last year. it was all over the ‘raw’ world and now we just stay away from it, and our bodies seem to be happy.
wow did we ramble on or what, sorry, guess you can say we always have our thoughts on these topics and dealing with them almost daily!

KaraHadley October 29, 2011 at 10:47 am

I think the thing I have the biggest concern with is the idea of no snacking. I have read that your body can only store enough carbs for 5 hours of energy, so I shoot for no more than 5 hours. Besides that, I eat when I’m hungry.
But I do fully agree that I need to reduce my soy intake. Soy is everywhere!

The Healthy Hostess November 3, 2011 at 5:53 pm

I love this article – it’s like a wake up reality check! I eat a lot of food and that’s why I pick healthy things – Ilike volume! This is such a good article because it just reminds you of the basics.

Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli November 4, 2011 at 11:47 am

Seriously? I could have sworn I commented on this post!

I have definitely been guilty of loading up a salad or bowl of oatmeal until all that “healthy stuff” is about the equivalent to eating a couple of candy bars for breakfast, but I think I’m finally starting to figure things out now. It’s about QUALITY not quantity.

I’ve recently made some minor changes to my breakfasts (like using water instead of milk in my oats and smoothies, and only adding 1/2 tablespoon of nut butter instead of basically dumping half the jar in there, and I’ve noticed that I’m much more satisfied. My breakfasts are probably around 400-500 calories on most days, but it works for me. When I used to eat smaller meals and a snack midmorning, I would almost always get into “snack mode”…you know, where you just can’t seem to stop nibbling on little things throughout the day and then by the end of the day you feel like a fat cow! :-/

I’ve also become more conscious of sweets in my diet…real or artificial. I’m actually not a fan of the fake stuff, but I won a giveaway a while back and have a crap-ton of stevia products. I like to occasionally use the liquid stevia in recipes, but as far as the powder, I can’t even use a half a packet in anything without noticing that fake aftertaste! The less sweets I eat, the less sweets I crave. Now that I think about it, I don’t think I’ve added sweetener to any of my meals in the past week! Wow, that makes me want to pat myself on the back! Haha!

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post:

FTC Disclosure. Disclaimer.