Author Archives: Brooke Randolph

About Brooke Randolph

A private practice therapist in Indianapolis, Brooke encourages, equips, and empowers parents and individuals to make changes that strengthen their lives, their careers, and their families. She believes physical health and emotional health are interconnected. Brooke stays in shape by walking, lifting, and biking with her family, and she spends much of her free time cooking for her family.

Once a Cheater, Always a Cheater Can Apply to Healthy Living

One thing I noticed on my journey to eating a wheat free/gluten-free diet is that consequences matter. For me, the decision to restrict my diet in this way is mostly about health. I do not have celiac disease, and I don’t believe I have a gluten allergy. For some of my mom friends though if their child got ahold of a single Cheerio or Teddy Graham they could have serious health issues as a result. “Cheating” on the gluten-free diet does not even occur to those moms, even if they are away from their children, but the consequences are less severe for me. We see the same thing on the Biggest Loser over and over when someone is motivated to lose weight after a medical professional tells them their weight is killing them. What are the consequences for you for not sticking to your goal?

If you are good at self-talk and rational (REBT) thinking, you can use the consequences to your advantage. Maybe it won’t hurt me to try the famous sugar cream pie, but how will I ever really track the effects of gluten on my body if I don’t eliminate it entirely for at least two to three weeks? If you are tempted to skip a workout, you probably won’t see a reverse in your progress, but you can remind yourself that you could feel guilty or lethargic or even lose the habit entirely since every time we “cheat” we are practicing the opposite of the habit we want to reinforce. (more…)

Lessons from Kathryn Budig’s Backbends Yoga Workshop

I want to thank City Yoga here in Indianapolis for inviting me to the special workshop weekend with Kathryn Budig. Kathryn teaches yoga all around the world and wants to make yoga practice fun for each of her students. She is also scheduled to release The Big Book of Yoga in December.

I attended the Sunday backbends workshop because it was the only one that I could fit into my busy weekend schedule. I was not sure what to expect since I have only attended a few yoga classes, and I have not done backbends much since I was a kid. However, I utilize and love the Authentic Yoga iPhone app when I travel and some days at home, so I feel pretty familiar with yoga in general. I find I am able to complete the intermediate routines, so I went into the class with an open mind. (more…)

30 Things to Do During Screen Free Week

April 30th through May 6th is Screen Free Week, originally known as TV-Turnoff Week starting in 1994. As we have grown more and more dependent on technology for entertainment with the growth of the internet, smart phones, and apps targeting children and even toddlers, TV-Turnoff Week became Digital Detox Week in 2008 and Screen Free Week in 2010.

Screen Free Week is supported by more than 70 organizations including the American Medical Association, the American Heart Association, Big Brothers Big Sisters of American, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the YMCA. Screen Free Week is a great opportunity to save money on electricity, build family relationships, and get a few other projects done around the house. It may be tempting to think that a technology-free week will be impossible and you will run out of things to do, but here are 30 things you can do that do not require technology and may even make you a little fitter.

  1. Take a walk
  2. Go camping
  3. Climb a tree
  4. Re-paint your kitchen
  5. Catch up on your laundry
  6. Get a massage
  7. Mow the lawn
  8. Try a project (or twenty) you found on Pinterest*
  9. Take a yoga class
  10. Take a dance class (more…)

Overweight Children Need More Than the Slimkids Program to Find Health

Childhood obesity has become a major problem in the United States and around the world. It is a problem being taken seriously by public figures like Michelle Obama and Jamie Oliver, athletes, athletes like Shaquille O’Neal and Shawn Johnson, Biggest Loser contestants like Mike Ventrella and Bernie Salazar, Biggest Loser celebrities Jillian Michaels and Alison Sweeney, and even the NFL through their Play 60 campaign. Childhood obesity has been blamed on snacks and even late bedtimes. It has even been called child abuse. Changes in school food, breastfeeding, and even advertising campaigns are being used in an attempt to fight what has been called the childhood obesity epidemic.

Putting children on a diet has been controversial. While Slimkids is technically a program, rather than a diet, it does still deserve critical review. Slimkids appears to primarily utilize the USDA Food Pyramid for the nutritional aspect of the program. The positive aspects of Slimkids include promoting physical activity and decreasing screen time. Slimkids also offers a year of support for those who have purchased the program, although it is unclear what that support entails. (more…)

Diary Of Making A Healthy Change

Sometimes the best way to analyze how the stages of change work is to look at a real life example. In this example, I will tell you a bit about my journey from using whole wheat flour several times per week to a diet that is mostly wheat and gluten-free.

Pre-contemplation is generally easy to understand. I had never considered giving up wheat or going gluten-free. Like most people I thought that using whole wheat flour was much healthier than using white flour.

Right before the Super Bowl I transitioned into the Contemplation stage as I learned more about wheat and gluten from two respected friends. Michelle had shared an article from which I learned that all wheat in the United States is genetically modified. I paid attention as Hazel ordered and asked questions of my friends about the ins and outs of a wheat-free/gluten-free diet. I slowly started making more wheat-free/gluten-free choices as I transitioned into the next stage. This could also include pinning new wheat-free/gluten-free recipes and maybe even trying a few.

I knew I had reached the Preparation stage, when I made a special trip to a new store. On my first visit, I spent a lot of time comparison shopping and reviewing suggestions from friends, but I primarily only purchased a general baking mix. As I have delved deeper into a wheat-free/gluten-free diet, I have left that store with several ingredients, some of which I had to ask for help finding. Determination is not always a separate stage from Preparation, but in this case Determination was evidenced as I slowly started telling people that I was trying not to ingest wheat products. By speaking it out loud, I was admitting my commitment to this change, as wells increasing my commitment.


Eating Healthy is Possible at Universal Studios

Health food isn’t the first thing you think about when planning to visit an amusement park, although you may plan on doing plenty of walking and maybe some major muscle contractions as you grip to safety harnesses. My vocal cords got quite the workout in the last two days. I practically never raise my voice, so screaming through a few roller coasters was quite a change of pace. It is possible to not eat junk food like turkey legs, cotton candy, and soda, even at an amusement park. Here are my top tips for sticking (close) to your diet at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida.

Mythos restaurant:  Mythos, located in Universal Studios Islands of Adventure’s Lost Continent, was voted #1 restaurant in an amusement park in the world 2003-2008. The menu is marked with gluten-free and vegetarian options to make ordering easy. The flavor makes me believe that the selections were made on site with more fresh ingredients. (We also ate at the Three Broomsticks in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. While it seemed like they were trying to make decent meals, like shepherd’s pie, it seems more processed and likely had been frozen at some point.) In addition, Mythos provided a very soothing atmosphere which both felt removed from the amusement park and provided views of rides across the lake.


Family And Friends May Be Unintentional Diet Saboteurs

Social gatherings can be difficult for dieters. Family food pushers like the grandmother who wants to care for you or the aunt who wants to be admired for a special recipe can make holidays and other family gatherings tricky. At other social gatherings it may be difficult to find things that fit within your food plan, friends may forget your diet, or acquaintances may not be aware of your goals. Medi-Weightloss Clinics recently commissioned a survey that they believe suggests that “it might be easier to lose weight these days if you live alone in a cave with no spouse, family, friends or colleagues.” As I look at the survey responses, though, I think there may be another interpretation.

The online survey was completed by 325 women between the ages of 25 and 55 who were currently dieting or had dieted in the past. It is unclear how these specific women were recruited or chosen. We are also missing further demographic information that might help us explain the results. When asked if they had ever felt others were not respecting their diet, 66 percent of participants agreed. Those most blamed for not respecting a diet were significant others, friends, and relatives; however, these are the people with whom we are most likely to have frequent interaction and most likely to share a meal. The more time we spend with someone, the more chance there is that person could disappoint us. Respondents were least likely (17 percent) to feel disappointed by their best friends.


Job Burnout Leads to Emotional Eating

Women who are fed up and burnt-out on their jobs are likely to eat more. This probably is not surprising to you, but it has been confirmed by research done in Finland and published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. While most of us want to stop stress eating, we are aware that we do it. Whether you know it or not, there are some good reasons why we do it as well.

Job stress is enough to cause stress eating for most people. Burnout is when job stress becomes a chronic condition and can lead to fatigue, loss of interest or concern, and often mistakes. Burn-out applies to men as well as women; however, this specific study was done with a group of 230 employed women between the ages of 30 and 55. Interestingly, 22 percent of the participants demonstrated some degree of burnout.


SpaFinder Presents Wellness Week Discounts March 19-25

Each year SpaFinder sponsors a Wellness Week during which spas and fitness studios around the country offer $50 specials or 50% savings for different services or classes.

This year, Wellness Week is March 19-25, 2012. It is a great opportunity to try a pilates for the first time, try out a new yoga studio, or pamper yourself a bit. Check for deals in your area here. In addition to all the deals, there are also events at several locations some offering free services. Search for events near you here.

This year there is a new addition to the Wellness Week celebration. SpaFinder has partnered with some of New York City’s top restaurants to offer “healthy gourmet cuisine at reasonable prices.” During Wellness Week March 19-25, 2012, you will be able to find a special three-course Wellness Week menu at participating restaurants. While this is not offered nationwide this year, they hope to expand to more cities in 2013.


Abercrombie’s Push Up Punishment Unlikely To Be Effective

As a therapist I have had to educate several parents through the years that their “creative consequences” were not acceptable to the state agencies that regulate children’s safety. These agencies are called different things in different states, but Child Protective Services or Department of Child or Family Services. Just some of the punishments that are prohibited in Indiana include physical exercise or requiring to take an uncomfortable position. I suppose the military is all about push-ups and running with packs, but I was surprised to hear that Abercrombie & Fitch store managers in Milan were using similar techniques. The Italian labor union wasn’t very impressed either.

For our children, using exercise as a punishment can teach our children to see exercise as a negative thing to be avoided. Using physical activity as a consequence will not promote health. For our children, we want to make fitness and exercise fun and something they want to do.