The Holiday Hangover

it’s here today and it’s real. You probably feel sluggish at your desk right now reading this. You may feel sluggish as you go about your daily routine. I know I do.

And if you’re like me, you wish you stopped the holiday eating on Thursday night instead of continuing with leftovers through Sunday.

And frankly, that’s the problem with the holidays, they feel longer than they are. Thanksgiving felt like 4 days instead of 1. But remember, the worst thing you can do today is start a crash diet. It’s only going to lead to binging at your next holiday party or event. It’s going to make the holiday season feel like a rollercoaster of perfect days and cheat days. That will only add to the chaos of the holiday season. It will add to the stress and mood swings that often accompany this time.

You can cut back today, say goodbye to the leftovers, but ease into healthier eating. Think today I am going to be healthIER. Then think, this year I am going to be healthy-ISH.

Remove the pressure to be super strict to undo the holiday eating and and you already feel lighter.

Tis the season, for a happy, healthy-ish, holiday!

Happy Monday!

4 words that will help you and your waistline survive Thanksgiving tomorrow.



  1. Don’t
  2. Talk
  3. About
  4. Politics


Seriously, don’t talk about politics. I’m literally not even saying this to have a political debate. If you know me you know I rarely speak about politics. My point is, know your triggers. Politics is of course one, they bring out the strongest of emotions in people. But its more than politics. Any topic or conversation that makes us feel uncomfortable or sparks a certain emotion can affect our eating. We often think we gain weight on holidays like Thanksgiving because of the food. When we wake up Friday morning feeling overstuffed, we think we ate too much because we have no self control. I don’t believe that’s the case.We don’t gain weight because of 1 piece of pie and a heaping scoop of mashed potatoes. We gain weight when we have triple that amount simply because we’re emotionally eating.

We emotionally eat during the holidays because every holiday and family gathering brings emotions. (unintentionally) family members and friends say things to us that triggers us emotionally. They don’t mean to, but it happens. But we can save ourselves from emotional eating by going into every situation aware of your emotional triggers. Make a mental list of certain people or conversations and  steer clear of them. An cousin starting to question your life choices, time to head to the living room to watch football with the brothers. A sibling passive aggressively commenting on your latest dieting trend. Know when to walk away, when to change the subject and when to simply consider the source before you take something very personally. Thinking about this before hand will GREATLY affect the amount you eat tomorrow. I promise.

And because I love you so much, here are 8 things you can talk about if you find yourself in the need of a conversation change.

  1. If 46 things happen, the 0-10 Cleveland Browns can make the playoffs. Talk about all 46 things.
  2. It’s called “Alvin and the Chipmunks,” BUT Alvin is also a chipmunk so what’s that deal with that?
  3. Why are the peanut butter cups shaped like Christmas trees ten times better than the actual cups? is it because of the edges? more peanut butter? not sure but fact.
  4. What was life even like before Starbucks had the mobile order option? I can’t remember.
  5. Do Toby and Kate from “This is Us” have jobs? Still unclear.
  6. Mariah Carey’s “All I want for Christmas is You?” or NSYNC’S “Marry Christmas, Happy Holidays” hardest call ever on which is better.
  7. Is anything more stressful than having to describe the exact location you are at to your Uber driver? I’m between two oceans near a stoplight. Find me.
  8. Why no matter how many times I’ve filled out a W9 do I not know what number to claim? Is it O, 1? Mom answer the phone.

Feel free to text me or reach out if you need more. Happy Thanksgiving. I am personally VERY thankful to all my readers.


Who are we without cookies?

brooke.jpgWe’ve all had relationships we regret. Jobs we regret. Conversations we regret. We’ve all acted a way we regret. We all have times or situations in our life that we wish went a different way. We all feel like we’ve been given the short end of the stick in some area of our lives. And if you’re reading this, weight may be the area you feel slighted in.

I often wish things were different when I step on the scale. Ugh, If I didn’t have emotional eating issues I wouldn’t be this weight. I often think  of this when I rush to midtown to make a 4:45 therapy appointment. If I didn’t have eating issues I’d be home right now and not stressed trying to get out of work to make this appointment. I often think of this on Saturday mornings at brunch when I choose an egg white omelet instead of Belgium waffles. If I could eat whatever I want life would be better.

It’s so easy for us to go down that deep dark rabbit hole. Wishing things were different. Wishing we didn’t have flaws.  Wishing we made different decisions.

But then I remind myself, if I didn’t have these flaws would I even be me?! No seriously, would I be?! Nope. My eating issues make me empathetic. My eating issues have helped my career. My eating issues have given me Monday Dieter!

It’s the same as the  failed relationships that brought you the person you are supposed to be with today. It’s the same way a failed job brought you a better opportunity. The same way bad situations have taught you a bigger lesson. All these things we view as negative all shaped us in positive ways. The number on the scale, the size of our jeans, our struggles with food, it’s shaped us to be the person we are today. The amazing person. And today, I decided to be thankful for that, instead of frustrated. And I encourage you to do the same:)

Happy Monday!

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One genius thing to do with leftover Halloween Candy

Eat it.

If you know me well, you knew that would be my answer. Now, hear me out. I feel like every ounce of our beings are conditioned to NOT eat Halloween candy. From the minute the candy hits the shelves in late summer, we’re trying to resist every temptation to buy it, eat it and enjoy it. There are a million tactics online to help you NOT eat the candy. And in the interest of full disclosure, last night I was sitting in my living room trying to come up with suggestions to help you and me with leftover candy. I said things like, “make an advent calendar!”  And my husband rolled his eyes. I suggested making a trail mix with all the M&Ms to balance out the calories and add nutrients to the candy. Again, he rolled his eyes. I said, “bring it to the office,” but reminded myself I work there.

I too, felt unsettled with all of my suggestions.  They felt like a cop out, what I SHOULD be saying. He actually said to me, your readers deserve more from you. And you do. That’s why I truly think the best thing we can all do with our leftover Halloween candy this year is eat it. Not in one sitting of course. But there is nothing wrong with leaving your Halloween candy in the cute bowl in your house and having 1 piece a day. Maybe even having 2 pieces. We have to remind ourselves that we don’t gain weight because we eat 1 fun sized Snickers bar. We gain weight because we eat 10 fun sized Snickers bars.

I also used to think I was created with only two settings, severe restricting and excessive  consuming. I’d either eat Greek yogurt, a kale salad and grilled chicken or 9 muffins, 6 slices of pizza, 13 cookies and a bowl of leftover Halloween Candy.

The ALL or NOTHING mentality has done more damage than 1 mini bag of M&Ms ever will. I have spent my whole life restricting. ESPECIALLY around the holidays. And let’s be serious the Holiday season is Halloween through New Year’s Day. It’s counter-intuitive but when we release the weight of needing to restrict, we’re lighter.

We have to spend the whole holiday season talking to ourselves. Figuring out if we’re eating Halloween candy because it’s our 1 or 2 pieces a day and we’re really enjoying it or if we’re eating it because we’re numbing our emotions.  And here’s another thing, if I am allowing myself to keep my Halloween candy, then I’m going to make sure I’m enjoying it. I don’t have time for Smarties & DumDums when what I really want is a Snickers & Peanut Butter Cups. Don’t eat around what you really love in an attempt to save calories, it never works. We’re unsatisfied. I personally plan to pick out all the candy I love that’s leftover from trick-or-treaters and throw it in the freezer. Dessert time!

There is so much joy in holidays like Halloween. Just seeing the candy hit the shelves brings a sense of happiness and nostalgia. Relish in that love for the holiday, not in the hate for what you ate.

Happy Halloween! And Happy Monday!



Registered Dietitian Toni Marinucci shares her 10 SIMPLE strategies to commit to a healthy life.

Toni is a registered dietitian nutritionist who motivates women through her personal story and professional experience. She has put together 10 tips, exclusively for the Monday dieter readers, that have helped her break free from dieting . If you’re looking for extra inspiration today…take a look!

Thank you, Toni!


10 Simple Strategies to Commit to a Healthy Lifestyle


Why do we “go on a diet”? To feel better? To lose weight? To gain more energy? To clear our skin? To prevent having to purchase new clothes? There are numerous reasons why people go on a diet, but I am going to challenge you stop, no matter what the reason. Why? Because anything you do temporarily will only provide temporary results. If you are trying to lose weight and want to keep it off for good or simply want to live a more energized and nutritious life then committing to a healthy lifestyle will be the best way to do so. This commitment rids the feeling of restriction, which stops the pattern of over or undereating and allows you to achieve a healthy body and mind. Losing weight and/or eating healthy on a consistent basis can be a challenge but when done the right way, the challenge becomes easier. As a Registered Dietitian, I help people do this by using the ten effective strategies below. My challenge to you: start with 1 out of 10, make it a habit, and then try another!


  1. Eat about 4-5 servings of non-starchy vegetables daily: Vegetables are low in calories, nutrient dense, have a high water content and are high in fiber, so you will be less likely to overeat when your meals/snacks include vegetables. One serving of vegetables = 1 cup cooked or 2 cups raw.


  1. Drink more water: Sometimes we think we are hungry but we are actually just thirsty. Oh, and did you know that when you are feeling thirsty you are already dehydrated? Staying adequately hydrated is essential for your health and can help you to lose weight as well. Aim for half of your body weight in fluid ounces. For example, if you weigh 180lbs, you need a minimum of 90fl oz. of water per day (about 11 cups). Don’t forget to add an additional cup of water for every 30 minutes of exercise!


  1. Eat more (of the right foods), not less: By selecting more foods in their natural form, your body’s metabolism will begin to regulate itself. Limit processed foods with a laundry list of ingredients you cannot pronounce or understand and limit foods with added salt, sugar, and fat. Quality of calories is more important than calories in general. Some people are hesitant to eat an entire avocado (about 300 calories of healthy, natural fats) but have no issue eating a pint of ice cream. Alternatively, they may choose to eat a 100-calorie pack of cookies instead of apple slices with a tablespoon of peanut butter (~150 calories). Although the apples with peanut butter is higher in calories than, the apples with peanut butter will provide your body with essential nutrients and fiber, which will curb your appetite more than the cookies would. The take away? Incorporate more whole foods first and then worry about portion control and balance later.


  1. Once you have strategy #3 down pat, then it is time to start calculating calories: Remember that every source of food contains calories and calories (kcal) are a measure for energy. We need energy to help us function and focus on our day-to-day tasks and we may need additional calories depending on our activity level, but we do not need too many calories if we spend a majority of our day sitting. The idea is to try to consume less calories than you are physically burning. On the other hand, be careful not to eat too little because your metabolism will eventually slow down to compensate. Additionally, consuming less than 1200 calories per day may mean you are not getting enough of the micronutrients and antioxidants, which help to prevent many chronic diseases and vitamin/mineral deficiencies.


  1. Sleep: Are you getting enough? Our bodies need to recharge and the best way to help us do that is by getting 7-9 hours of sleep per night. When we are tired, our bodies will look for energy (calories) from food or drinks and usually not the healthy kinds. For example, when you are feeling sluggish it may be hard to say “no, thank you” to the “junk food” offered by a co-worker or you may be more likely to hit up the vending machine for some candy to give you an energy boost!


  1. Get rid of poor dietary habits like skipping meals/dining out to eat more days than not: Although dining out to eat or ordering in fits in some cases, most of the time it is difficult to know how the food is prepared, thus challenging to know how many calories, fat, salt, or sugar is in what you are consuming. Cooking from home allows you to control portions, control additives/preservatives, and bring a sense of accomplishment, which is sure to lift your mood. Aim for three balanced meals per day with small snacks in between to increase the metabolism and decrease the probability of over-eating.


  1. Use scales and measuring cups or your hand to assess portions: Using scales and measuring cups may not be necessary or realistic long term however in the beginning it can be a useful tool to get a better understanding of how many calories you are actually consuming. It is important to read the nutrition facts label and note that the serving size is just a suggestion; your portion can be bigger or smaller depending on what else you had that day or what you are having with it.


  1. Get a tracking device for exercise: Find out how many calories you are actually burning in your Zumba® class! On average, how many steps are you taking daily? If one of your goals is to be more active then you can set these devices to those goals and it will send you daily reminders to keep you on track with your goals.


  1. Keep a food diary: “If you can track it, you can change it.” Just like tracking your exercise routine can be helpful, tracking your food and beverage intake can be helpful as well. Keeping a food diary will give you an opportunity to be mindful and aware of your food intake. It will keep you accountable and after about a week of tracking, you can look back on your dietary patterns and adjust to meet your goals/needs.


  1. Meet with a nutrition profession: To provide additional ideas and strategies to help you succeed!


Toni Marinucci, MS, RDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

(516) 864 – 1686

Tips With Toni