Get What You Really Want In 2018 – Without a Diet

Please don’t do a “reset.” There is nothing wrong with you in the first place.

do what you want instead of what you should

Fresh starts feel good, so I understand you want to participate in that challenge, do the reset, make the resolutions, commit to a diet, and shell out the dough for that promising program. However, as someone who works with people suffering from disordered eating, I urge you to challenge the challenge, not your well-being.

Ask yourself why you want to join in. What is drawing you toward this?


?: Why do I want to join that xyz challenge?
A: I did SO BAD over the holidays, and I need a reset to eliminate toxins. (Side note, your body does this for you, not a diet.) (Double side note, you’re not bad.)

?: What feels good about a New Year’s resolution?
A: A fresh start, a brand new year, a shiny new calendar, a blank slate.

?: What is so wrong that I feel needs correction?
A: I have no will-power. I started 2017 with the right intentions, but life got busy. 2018 WILL BE my year!

?: What was so wrong with 2017?
A: Well, nothing really, but I didn’t focus on me.

?: Why did you lose focus?
A: Well, my goals really weren’t clear enough, the diet was too restrictive, and I got busy.

?: So what if you work on these things, to really make lasting change, instead of adding one more challenge to your already-busy life?
A: You’re right… My diet really isn’t to blame. It’s my schedule and the fact that I say yes to everyone but myself. If I wasn’t so scattered, I would have the emotional energy to eat better instead of emotionally eating.

Does this conversation sound familiar? In all likelihood, it does, because I – along with many of the people I counsel – have had it. Probably more than once. Maybe even every year.

What if we flip the script? What if we change our goals and language toward something we actually want to do, something that makes us shoot out of bed, excited to tackle? Chances are, that diet that eliminates carbs, causes funky-smelling breath, or makes you feel like a cavewoman won’t be so exciting. Anything that includes restriction will likely end up in a binge of that very thing. And anything you feel like you “should” do, really isn’t something you want to do if you’re being honest with yourself.

2018 will actually be a dreadful year if I anticipate all the things I can’t do or should do. Let’s not do that to ourselves. Life is too darn short. Instead, ask yourself what you want to do.


Instead of: I should go to the gym because I need to lose weight.
Think: I want to go for a walk outside with my friend/spouse so we can catch up on life and get the kids outside.

Instead of: I need to eat less sugar.
Think: I would feel a lot better if I ate fruit when I craved a soda.

Doing this keeps you in a more positive mindset, which is much more likely to keep you on your goals and happier while doing them.

What do I want out of 2018? I want more play and fun, so I’m researching trips we want to take, local activities to do with our boy, and just more open free time. When I think about doing these things, I can see 2018 possibly being my most favorite year yet. That being said, although 2017 was a tough year for me with my struggle with anxiety, an awakening helped me see that it actually was for my benefit. Read about that here.

I love this article that just came out with ideas for things to focus on instead of weight loss or dieting for the New Year. And there are SO many good reads out there for rewiring negative thoughts towards the positive. I’ve been into this lately, for my own well-being and to (prayerfully) instill positive emotional health for my son. A few good reads are here, here, and here.

What do you think? I would love to hear what your non-diet goals are for 2018. And if you’re interested in learning how to break free of dieting forever, contact me. 2018 deserves a lot more than a diet.


Babymoon for the Books: A Dreamy Antique Treehouse

Treehouse. Babymoon. South Carolina. Games. Simplify. Love.
Rest. Reconnect. Dance parties. Magic.

These are the words that come to mind when I recount our babymoon last year in the most enchanting treehouse in the woods. I often remember this scene: waking up to the light pouring in through the two-story windows, watching birds get to work, and feeling oh-so-cozy by the heat of the fire.

It couldn’t get better.


But it did.

Right there, lying in the queen of all vintage beds, soaking in the feels of this magical place, I felt our tiny baby dance more than I ever had before.

It’s as though he was wanting to join in the dance parties we had had the previous night.


I soaked every bit of it up.

 Even though kids technically aren’t allowed in the treehouse, I enjoyed sneaking him in. 😉

We played games like Shut the Box (which we have since added to our home game collection!),


enjoyed all of the finishing touches and attention to detail (like chocolate),

hid away from the cold weather (myself parked right in front of the heater 90% of the time), and felt the freedom to goof off (well, that’s him 100% of the time!).

We enjoyed old records spinning tunes for us, walks through the woods with friendly dogs, recalling old memories from our past, and dreaming about the future with this new child of ours.

Then we discovered the rope swing bed below.


Complete with a romantic banner and fluffy blankets, it was the perfect place to hide from the chilly winter air, finishing our scheming and dreaming.

enjoying our babymoon at the treehouse

This guy. My love. The guy who made me a mother.

Forever grateful.

I’m enjoying this throwback to our time at the treehouse, remembering those sweet days with my old and new loves. It’s not even a bittersweet feeling, it’s all excitement, BECAUSE WE’RE GOING BAAAACK!!! Next month to be exact. This was my Christmas present last year, and I can’t believe the time is already upon us. It’s not easy to secure a spot at this popular getaway (as you can see why!), and I’m feeling super lucky to go back. After devoting the last year to raising our boy, I’m looking forward to the time I’ll get to spend reconnecting with my love…

this time with coffee and wine. 😉


I’m Saying Thanks for Anxiety in My Most Difficult Year Yet

Happy Thanksgiving: Why I'm giving thanks for anxiety

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’m recalling what I am thankful for this year: Of course, my number one reason is my child, who is growing a love and joy in me like no other. It’s been a FUN year watching him grow, celebrating his first birthday, and achieving many major milestones, like walking. I’m also thankful for a wonderful marriage with my teammate; fun trips to Wisconsin, Texas, Atlanta and Oxford; good health for all my loved ones; and enjoying pretty much everything I have asked for. But one thing I didn’t ask for, what I would have told you 4 weeks ago was the worst thing ever handed to me, that I could never dream would be a blessing, has become what I am most grateful for this Thanksgiving: my struggle with anxiety.


2500 Calories: What This Dietitian Eats & Why Calories Matter [Example Diet]

In my professional work as a dietitian, I am constantly talking to people who are afraid of food and calories. Many are putting themselves on diets that are too low in calories, mostly because of misconceptions and bad information about weight management. When calorie needs aren’t met, the body conserves energy for essential functions – like keeping the heart beating and lungs breathing. This happens because calories, by their definition, are energy.

Not eating enough calories (energy) = the body conserves calories (energy)

It’s a miraculous process, really, but it can be frustrating for people trying to lose weight or for people demanding extra energy out of their body for things such as exercise or breastfeeding.

Greinke pitching for the Los Angeles Dodgers: Why Calories Matter

And new Moms are often attempting to do it all: Breastfeed while trying to lose weight postpartum and live in the busy-ness of newborn life. When I became a Mom last year, I was shocked to find myself going many hours before being able to get food in my mouth. Pre-baby life, I was eating around the clock. This girl loves her food, and skipping meals wasn’t a phrase in my vocabulary.


Your Peanut Butter Just Got Even Healthier [Recipe]

Are you a peanut butter lover like me? Is it hard to imagine that it can get any better? Chia seed makes it just that! (And chocolate. Chocolate and peanut butter for the win, amiright?!)

chia peanut butter on crackers

Chia is tiny but mighty. It’s SO easy to incorporate, and it boosts the nutrition factor by adding fiber, omega-3s, protein, antioxidants, and key nutrients such as calcium. Together, these nutrients can help digestion and gut health, satiety, heart health, bones, and nutrient stores. I buy this one from Amazon, because it seems to be the best price I can find. And, of course, because anything delivered to the doorstep is a huge win.

chia peanut butter ingredients

Adding chia seed to peanut butter is so simple. I recommend choosing the natural peanut butter – the one with the oil on top. Oil separation is natural, so this variety doesn’t have added ingredients that may be harmful to heart health (such as hydrogenated oils). Simply stir it up, add the chia, stir more, then refrigerate!chia peanut butter in jar

I have to make sure to mention that, because after my brother asked what kind of peanut butter to buy, he complained to me that his PB sandwiches were really greasy. He didn’t realize he had to stir the PB first! So, make sure you do that. 😛

chia peanut butter on spoon

Made this way, every time you reach for PB (which, for me, is daily), you can also get chia. From peanut butter sandwiches or crackers, stirred in oatmeal (delicious!), on fruit, or out of the jar, you will have upped the nutrition factor. Also made this way, it’s a huge cost savings! A jar of store-bought chia seed peanut butter can sell for TEN DOLLARS. Get out! This whole bag of chia seed costs less than that much and will last a whole lot longer.

Are you a peanut buttah lovah like me? What do you enjoy it on most? I’d love to hear to give me some more ideas! Simply comment, send me an email, or find me on social media! Facebook @ In Pursuit of Fruit, Instagram @rdn_alyssa


1 More Reason My Son Is My Role Model

Mother and son looking at each other with admiration. He is my role model.

Most nights (meaning the nights I remember), we answer a fun question from this Q&A A Day journal. I like these cheesy kind of things and taking a moment at the end of each day to reflect. And truthfully, sometimes it’s the only conversation I get to have with my hubby outside the normal day-to-day stuff.

A few months ago, we answered the question “Who is your role model?” Like most of my answers, I quickly wrote my son’s name. He has inspired us on a daily basis to become better people, for him and because of him. Watching the world through his eyes has made me appreciate the little things and has reminded me to slow down and enjoy life. What has been one of my favorite characteristics to witness is his resilience in learning. (In fact, that’s just what I wished for him before I even knew who he was.) Once he realizes that he’s beginning to do something new, he practices it ceaselessly.


An Open Letter to My Child: It Won’t Be Easy

Dear child,

Don’t you see how much I love you? I would do anything for you, my love. You are the most precious part of life. I created you – I suffered for you – and it was worth every bit of pain to give life to you. It is my greatest treasure to watch you grow. And when you express your love for me, oh my…I can’t even begin to explain the way my heart feels in my chest. 

Mom holding newborn child


7 Diet Principles You Won’t See on My Blog

7 diet free principles you won't see on my blog

As a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, I hear many assumptions people have of what they expect me to believe regarding food, health, and eating. Most of my nutrition philosophy would probably surprise you (like this article I was quoted in about how I feed my child). So, I thought I would outline what you can expect to see and not see in this space.