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Get (& Stay) Sane About Food & Your Body- Part Two

In last week’s ZIED GUIDE blog, I reviewed Food: The Good Girl’s Drug by Sunny Sea Gold. The book chronicles Gold’s escape from binge eating disorder and charts a healthful path young women can follow, based on Gold’s experience and expert recommendations, to overcome their food-related struggles.

In this week’s blog, I wanted to answer the following question by a ZIED GUIDE reader, Mindy B., mother of 3, from New Orleans, Louisiana:

“How can we raise our growing daughters to overcome the media messages they’re bombarded with to feel good about their bodies?”

I think the best way to raise daughters to feel good about their bodies is to treat our own bodies with respect and speak positively about them. We also need to speak in a positive way about other people’s bodies, especially those around us and those in the media. Most importantly, we need to find a way to focus more on the inside of growing girls than on the outside so that they see there’s more than meets the eye and that what’s most important about a person is the kind of person you are, and how you treat others. I’d also like to answer Mindy B’s question by making a recommendation for a great new book. While this book is meant to be read by young girls, I think it would make for a great read for women everywhere who raise daughters. They can read it on their own to get a sense of how to speak to their young daughters, but they can also read it with their growing girls as a point of reference and as a way to start a discussion about what many girls are likely thinking and feeling as they grow up.

Diet Drama is a timely new book penned by Nancy Redd, a New York Times best selling author of Body Drama, Harvard graduate, and former Miss America contestant (and winner of the swim suit competition, no less). It takes young readers on a journey towards accepting their bodies, and ultimately learning to feed and use their bodies in a more positive and healthful way.

In Part 1 called “Feed Your Body,” Redd provides an overview of why girls may feel badly about their bodies, and how pressure to conform to so-called “ideals”–being thin and beautiful, for example–contribute to the problem.  Redd discusses 5 common ‘love your body’ dramas and provides suggestions for how to deal with them. For example, for readers who think “I can’t enjoy my life until my body is better,” Redd suggests you to stop blaming your body for all your woes, to start saying yes to social events and invitations (like going for a swim where you’ll have to bare all in a bathing suit), and to be positive about your body instead of bashing it and being overly critical about yourself.

In Part 2 called “Move Your Body,” Redd discusses the importance of movement in helping teen girls have energy and feel good about themselves. She provides tons of practical tips about what to do, how to do it, and how to sidestep excuses that prevent girls from exercising. I especially love that throughout the book, Redd used photos of teen girls with different body shapes and sizes as a way to illustrate we all look unique and different and should feel good about whatever skin we’re in. Redd also outlines 5 ‘move your body dramas’ to help girls become and stay active and feel motivated to continue no matter what time of the month it is or how busy they get.

In Part 3 called “Feed Your Body,” Redd outlines the basics of a healthy, balanced diet. She highlights why it’s critical to eat regularly and to not skip meals, and why girls should never ever take diet pills. She also provides descriptions of common eating disorders and provides helpful references at the end of the book.

Overall, Diet Drama is refreshing, inspiring, and motivating. It provides great guidance and information about food, body image, fitness, and so much more. Redd has done a great job delivering wonderful, sensible, real-world advice and wisdom to girls, and her voice throughout is sure to resonate with girls everywhere. Diet Drama makes a wonderful, empowering gift for any tween or teen girl.

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About The Author

Elisa Zied is a nationally recognized and award-winning health and nutrition expert, author, speaker, and spokesperson. A trusted source of food, nutrition, and health information, Elisa has garnered millions of media impressions, lending her expertise and real-world perspective to dozens of TV shows, web sites, news organizations and magazines. She’s the author of four nutrition books. An avid walker, she loves motivating others to #moveitorloseit. A book lover, she recently earned a certificate in children’s literature from Stony Brook Southampton and is currently working on several young adult novels. You can find her previous Food, Fitness & Fiction posts here and connect with her on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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