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Sara’s Day 9 – Eating My Feelings

Ahhhh….my old pal Emotional Eating….

Today’s challenge invited us to make lists (LISTS!) following the 5-5-5-5 pattern. List 5 ways to relax, 5 people to comfort you, 5 activities that provide soothing, and 5 places that are comforting.  All in an effort to be prepared when emotions threaten our good eating intentions.  Like many folks, I eat when I’m happy, sad, bored, anxious, fearful…you name it – I’ll eat my emotions. Every time.

An old Weight Watchers trick that has stayed with me over the years taught me to pause before kitchen cabinet surfing, put my hand on my stomach and ask myself if I’m physically hungry, or emotionally hungry.  If I’m not physically hungry (which, truly, is rare), I refer to my 5-5-5-5 list, GET OUT OF THE KITCHEN, and distract myself for 15 minutes. In my case, I always gulp a big glass of water and get my hands busy (there is always a load of laundry to fold somewhere, right?), take the dogs for a walk, flip through a magazine, read a book, etc.  Generally this does the trick for me and the craving passes.

Fortunately for me, I’ve never been an evening muncher, but my health coaching clients often list this as a primary complaint. I encourage them to plan ahead for an enjoyable evening snack, eat it, then brush their teeth. I also recommend preparing a cup of hot water with fresh-squeezed lemon after dinner to cure the sweet-tooth longing (also great for your complexion, cleansing your liver, etc!).

I recently read the book SHIFT, written by Tory Johnson, of Good Morning America Deals & Steals fame,  (which I highly recommend). It’s a quick, easy read about her journey to lose significant weight and I found it appealing because I sometimes forget that behind all the glitz and glam of morning television, that she suffers with weight and self-image, just like the rest of us.  Anyway, in her book she describes a munchy night, and her cure became painting her fingernails. After all, she couldn’t reach into the bag of chips while her topcoat was drying. GENIUS! 🙂

One of my best tricks – especially with Thanksgiving coming up next week – is to place a piece of gum in your pocket, and when you feel satisfied, but tempted to keep refilling your plate (or snack all afternoon), pop the gum in your mouth to satisfy the need to nosh.

Works. Every. Time.

Be Well,




Sara’s Day 8 – Eating for Nourishment

Today’s challenge is to notice how each food impacts your mood and stress levels.  While training to become a Health Coach I’ve spent many days experimenting with how my body reacts to different foods. Over the last year I have become super sensitive to the outcomes. One of which, to my surprise, is my dearest friend Diet Coke.  I have learned the (gasp!) dangers of Diet Coke (and other soft drinks) and have s-l-o-w-l-y weaned myself from my one-a-day (you know, like a vitamin!) habit to an occasional treat.  This was not an easy habit to come to terms with. But this is what I’ve learned about my body’s reaction to Diet Coke over the last few weeks:

  • I began to notice a tiny headache at the bridge of my nose after I drank the soda.
  • My hips and joints don’t ache in the morning
  • I definitely sleep better
  • I don’t have that morning slimy nastiness in my mouth when I wake (I know, gross, but true)
  • Cravings are significantly less when I stay away from pop of any kind

I’m still experimenting with Diet Coke and I quit bringing it into the house, which has been a BIG help. Now, I only enjoy an occasional Diet Coke on Saturday night when we are out to dinner.  But I’m learning that water with lemon is just as satisfying – even with pizza! And I walk away from the table feeling satisfied (not stuffed – from the carbonation?) and not crabby from another failed food choice.

Today’s challenge encouraged us to eat and notice our mood and stress levels. I’m a recent fan of almonds. This has become my go-to snack. I have found that 6-8 almonds in the late afternoon will satisfy me until dinner.  Other items on the list? Spinach (which I mix with romaine in my salads, and aim to eat one salad each day). The Energetics of Food teaches us that eating leafy greens, by nature, lifts our mood (because they ‘spring up’ out of the ground – therefore, we take on that energy when we consume it). Really! Google ‘Energetics of Food’ for more fascinating facts and further explanation.

Oranges and oatmeal also made Dr. Albers’ list. They leave me satisfied and proud that I made a good healthy food decision, which elevates my mood and confidence.  My body also benefits from the vitamins and minerals, and *ahem* digestive regularity.

Be Well,




Tina’s Day 9- Finding my ZEN

I thought today would be easy.
Make a list of 5 Ways I relax, 5 People who comfort me, 5 Activities that soothe me, 5 Places that are comforting and find my ZEN on my day off. No problem:). Then I realized I had to shop for a birthday gift that would be hard to find. Four stores and three hours later mixed with early holiday shoppers, I had ZERO ZEN. Finding my zen or being able to self soothe is CRITICAL for me!! My emotions can definitely spin me in a circle and lead to poor food decisions.

After arriving home and cooking a huge Family Pasta Bar dinner (cooking ahead for the rest of the week), I mindfully ate a moderate plate of Pumpkin Gnocchi with Butternut Squash Sauce and slid into a candle light bubble bath. Afterwards, I brushed my hair 100 strokes, took 5 deep breaths, sipped hot tea and there it was ….. my zen.

The good news is that I CAN self soothe, but then again, today was a good day. Can I self sooth without food after a bad day at work or when I make an embarrassing mistake? In the meantime, practicing finding my zen is …. well…. AHHH



Day 8-Andrea

After the absence of yesterday, due to the storm and the loss of internet, it was great to receive the tips for mood boosting food today.  As it turns out, today was one of those days that the tips really were helpful.

This morning, I received a visit from the principal of the lab school where I am doing my master’s in Montessori. She came to observe my practice, help me to assess the arrangement of the classroom, and to suggest some techniques to improve my practice as a teacher. Well, even though I was very relaxed, and I felt very confident in what I was doing, I could not avoid a little bit of anxiety after the morning was over. I talked to her to discover her point of view of how the morning went. Shoo… after that was over, it was my turn to drive my 3 hours to the university. While I was driving I started to crave something sweet! I wanted a coffee with a muffin, or with a pastry, or with cake. Mmmm I had to stop for gas and I went to get a coffee. Right there, when I was going to pick up a muffin, I remembered that chocolate works better for mood boosting so I bought one bar of chocolate instead. I started driving, and even though I hate driving and eating, I took the time to smell the chocolate for a little bit before biting it. It smelled delicious. I also took the time to enjoy the first bite. I just decided to eat half the bar and save the rest for the way home that night. I was surprised that I was able to do it, because before I would have just eaten the whole bar without even thinking about smelling, savoring, and stopping when I had eaten half.

The list of mood boosting foods came in very handy today and I am sure it will help in the future.


Day 8 – Sue: Yum Yum!

Ah, the list of healthy stress-reducing foods makes my heart sing!

Since giving up sugar, I have really learned how to love foods that fuel my body.

For breakfast,  I had a nice bowl of steel cut oats (the coarser kind than regular oatmeal, they really stick to your ribs!) with a few raisins, some slivered almonds and skim milk.

For lunch, I had a trip to the cafeteria salad bar. Raw spinach was one of the greens, so onto my salad it went.

Mid-morning and mid-afternoon I like to enjoy a cup of tea … no sugar, no artificial sweetener.

Now, the only thing on the list that is hard for me is chocolate.  I know that everyone stresses the health benefits of dark chocolate … and that at least 80% cacao is most beneficial.  I have tried this … but it triggered my sugar cravings 🙁

I have found, however, that I CAN enjoy cacao nibs (they are the ground up bits of the actual cacao seed).  They aren’t sweet at all, but deliver the flavor of chocolate without the addictive sugar.  If I put them into a smoothie or sprinkle them on fresh fruit, the fruit delivers the slow, non-triggering sweetness and the cacao nibs deliver the chocolate flavor … works for me!

And now, for my bedtime snack.  I have a bowl of fresh fruit on the kitchen counter and the oranges are calling my name.

I am enjoying this challenge so much!  Having a daily tidbit to think about is just enough to help keep myself aware and mindful throughout the day.


Day 7 – Sue: Teachable Moments and Just Say No

Ah, the food pushers.

Early in my weight loss, I ran into this a lot.  “Just a bite won’t make you fat,” they would say, not understanding that I wasn’t avoiding the calories … I was avoiding the battle I had with sugar addiction for my entire life! And I hadn’t read any of Dr. Alber’s books … so I wasn’t very well prepared with what to say.

But now that I’ve maintained my 52-pound weight loss for seven years, I don’t find that any more … my success dis-arms any food pushers!

I do try, however, to use Teachable Moments. On behalf of myself and all others who consider themselves sugar addicts, I think it is important for people to know that some of us just can’t say “No” to sugar once we start.  I believe that my relationship to sugar is the same as an alcoholic’s relationship to alcohol.  Without sounding self-righteous, I explain to people that it’s best for me to just stay away from sugar because once I start eating it I can’t stop.  Most people will respect your will-power and the boundary that you draw for yourself.

I also believe in the power of “No, thank you.”  We have a lot of celebrations at work that involve cake 🙂  People are used to me just politely saying “No, thank you” when it is offered … and I just continue chatting with my friends who have gathered for the celebration.

P.S. I recently celebrated my 30th anniversary at work.  My boss went to at least three grocery stores to put together a magnificent bowl of exotic fresh fruit for everyone to enjoy! We had donut peaches and black velvet plums …  a treat for everyone!



Day 8- Rediscovered Power

I have come to the realization, and I guess acceptance, that battling temptations and facing food triggers are now becoming part of my everyday life! In the past, you see, I gave in to every food whim, every craving,every desire! I never told myself NO, and if I did I always found a way to persuade myself in the other direction or justify the food choice! I am the person who has never seen 100% weight loss success and have never made myself faithfully stick to any health ventures I set out on! I have always been driven by momentary emotions. Food has been a friend, a void filler, a soother, an anxiety easer, a place to drown my sorrows or celebrate my successes! It has been all these things, but only for a short period of time…before it turns on you and stabs you in the back and makes you feel ashamed, guilty, unworthy and a down right failure!

Today though, food was none of those things! Food wasn’t even given the opportunity to make me feel powerless! I walked into lunch feeling mediocre about the Italian Chicken Stew I made for lunches this week! I know I am weird, but I hate the taste chicken has after a day or two. Anyway, I was dumping my stew into my bowl and another teacher walks to the fridge and takes out a giant Chipotle bowl. My whole insides (mind, heart, stomach) all sank at the same time. Why? Why? Why, couldn’t I have Chipotle today!!! I began leading my mind on a sensuous journey through the many tastes of a burrito bowl. And I stopped! The food I have is sufficient, it is whole and nourishing and I can be satisfied with what I have! I looked across the table at her a few times, but for the most part I focused on my hearty meal. When I finished eating, 35 min later, I was full, satisfied and no longer thinking of the Chipotle I couldn’t have.

I am not sure if you ever recover from the thoughts and tastes of foods you choose not to eat, much like a recovering alcoholic or drug addict can pull up the same thoughts about their substances. The difference is, it is more important now to focus on the satisfied and nourished feelings that whole sustainable foods can bring us.
Empowered, proud and worthy of the very best!


Tina’s Day 8- Know Thyself

Today’s challenge is a learning experience for me. When I was first introduced to the idea of mindful eating, my biggest fear was that I would eat nothing but junk food 24/7. It took me a while to embrace and incorporate the concept that I could eat what I desired and often my body will naturally desire “feel good” food instead of just “comfort food.

As I learn to eat mindfully and tune into hunger, fullness and how food affects my body, I tend to want antioxidant rich, fiber filled foods chock full of vitamins and minerals. Wait! My big fear was that all I would want was pizza, pie, chips and chocolate. I realized that when I remind myself that there is NO “good food”, “bad food” (food has no moral value) and give myself permission to FUEL my body with what it needs, my body naturally wants to strike balance and feel energized. While junk food tastes great, it makes me feel foggy and sluggish like a post Thanksgiving tryptophan slumber whereas quality fuel leaves me feeling vibrant, alert, clear headed and filled with energy.
Signing off to have my mindful evening snack: an orange.


Day 7- Find a Helicopter

Even though we are older and probably not feeling the the strong holds of peer pressure, we are still subject to  the habits of those around!  At times, we can even be our own worst enemies by the situations we place ourselves in, the thoughts we think and the sensory stipulations we are subject to!

Weekends in my house are the easiest days for me.  I am not exposed to people making food choices different than mine or smells of foods that I choose not to eat!  If I go to the mall… The sights and smells at the food court are killer!!  Even though I tell myself I do not want that food..I can visualize it, I can taste it and of course I can smell it!

School days are often the most difficult! People bring in candy, donuts, pastries and junk food they empty out of their own cupboards! Lunchtime brings it’s own challenges! Fellow teachers bringing in McDonalds, pizza, Arby’s…pretty much any fast food you can think of they bring it in! I should be excited that my meal is happy, but instead I find myself looking longingly at what they have knowing it is so unhealthy but tastes so good!

In the midst of these daily eating challenges, I have been able to identify people who help me stay on track when the struggle is staring me in the face!
My cousin Melissa and my psychologist Rich both encourage and walk me through the valleys. I found the following image helpful when I ran into a bump in the road last week. I emailed Rich last week to ask for some tactics to get past the thoughts I was having! He seemed to know all the right things to say to get back on track! He said to “Think of me as the helicopter flying over the traffic jam. I look at the big picture.”

It is sad but a few of my good friends asked my why I would give up sugar and claimed it was crazy and they would never do it! I never expected this kind of response from them. I even know some that would walk into my classroom eating a cookie and say “oh I would offer you one but it has things you can’t eat.”

I often wish people would be a little more gentle and a little less crass. But at the same time, gentleness doesn’t always provide the opportunity to build strength! I pray that each person can find their own “helicopter” to help identify bumps in the road, ways to work through them and positive encouragement on days when things are flowing smoothly!


Sara’s Day 7 – Be Strong

Today’s challenge was interesting for me. Dr. Albers makes a good point about dining companions having a significant impact on how we eat.  It’s important to be conscious of the way others change the way we eat.

Sundays are always a difficult day for me; everyone is home, relaxing, and often mindless munching. Sometimes I think eating is contagious. We see others grab a snack, and automatically we reach for one too.  I try to keep junk out of our house, to help all of us make better choices. If we have a “treat” like soda, cookies, etc. I try to keep it off the counter and out of sight.  On the other hand, I try to promote healthy snacking by keeping a fruit bowl brimming with fresh fruit (this time of year – fresh Michigan apples – red and yellow – yum!).  I also make time to clean, chop, prepare my vegetables when I get home from the store. So fresh, ready-to-eat options in clear containers meet us front-and-center when we open the refrigerator.

Truly, this Sunday, we were under serious storm watches for the afternoon and evening (high wind warnings, tornadoes, hail, sleet, thunderstorms, etc.) so the stress of watching the weather reports had me wishing for a snack. I watched my husband grab crackers, a granola bar, then he made coffee with flavored white chocolate mocha creamer, which almost send me out of my tree for an indulgence.  Very often, if I feel I can’t trust myself to make good food decisions, I will take a Sunday afternoon nap. My logic? while I’m not burning calories, I’m not eating calories either!  Besides, it’s a perfect opportunity to rest and recharge for the week ahead.  It’s been an effective tactic for awhile now so I headed to the couch, cuddled with Piper – my poo-chi terrier, and zonked out while the Lions football game droned in the background.

Very often on Sunday evenings, I lay out a spread of finger foods and we “graze” on things like veggies and dip, apple slices and peanut butter, chips and salsa, crackers and cheese, popcorn, lettuce salad, etc.  This is the one night a week when we fill our plates and watch television. The kids like choosing what they want to eat, I like the simplicity of the meal, and minimal clean-up.

So that was my Sunday. Throughout the day, I remained mindful of my choices, my companions, and my food options.

Oh, and I read the Social Eating chapter in Dr. Albers EatQ book – and found it very helpful with tips for eating over the holidays, at parties and restaurants. Special occasion eating is always a challenge.  Thanks for your pointers Dr. A!



Sara’s Day 6 – Voices In My Head

Boy, it is so easy to criticize myself for the choices I make. Yet I find when I am kind to myself, making the best choice comes easier.

This is an area I have really been working on over the last few months.  Becoming aware of my own harsh thoughts and judgments is just not helpful in loving myself.  It has become so important to change the direction of these thoughts, forgive myself and look for a positive way to acknowledge my efforts.  This learning has been HUGE for me over the last few months. I find when I cut myself a little slack, but continue to be responsible, I am a much kinder person, mother, co-worker, friend, coach.

I loved today’s challenge of writing down five encouraging phrases, sayings or quotes and using them for motivation.  Being a former Weight Watchers leader, I kept several encouraging quotes in my mind and often used one to close my meetings.

Lately, as I’ve shared in a previous post, the mantra that keeps me focused on making healthy choices as I prepare for a meal (or bite-by-bite on tough days) is pausing and thinking “Will this bite take me closer to my goals, or further away?”

9 times out of 10, this simple thought slows me down, keeps me in control, and guides me to my choice.  For example, before I reach for another piece of pizza, I pause and ask myself “will this piece of pizza take me closer to my goal, or further away?”. Powerful! Effective! And an opportunity to praise myself for a choice well done.

Another classic mantra? “Nothing tastes as good as healthy feels.”

Healthy blessings,



Tina’s Day 7- I said “No Thanks”!

Today’s challenge is REALLY important with the upcoming HOLIDAYS. Being mindful of how others’ eating habits and comments effect my eating and also making a list of those who help versus those who hinder was helpful. I definitely noticed how quickly and mindlessly my lunch companion was eating and the huge bites they took. So, I did the opposite. I slowed down, took smaller bites and put my fork down between bites. I said an intention, recited my mantras from yesterday’s challenge, considered the origin of my earthy sweet potato and silently expressed gratitude for my meal.

As I made my list of those who help versus hinder I thought about Dr. Susan Albers’ advice on “food pushers”. I know it sounds harsh, but around the holidays sweet Aunt Sally suddenly “pushes” her Pecan Pie like a dealer pushes a drug. “Oh come on. A small slice won’t hurt. I worked hard to make it especially for you. You’ll hurt my feeling if you don’t eat some.” Guilt and peer pressure are two tactics at play by the food pusher. Worse than the food pusher is the “food police”.
My favorite strategy Dr. Albers mentions is to “Divert & Deflect”, by asking for the recipe for example. Brilliant. Of course a firm solid “No Thanks” should do the trick.

I struggled yesterday, but I worked on adding structure & savored every mindful bite at my mindful table. So fully experienced was my turkey burger that I picked up on the spicy flavor on the first bite. Turns out it was a Jalapeño turkey burger:-)



Day 6 – Sue: Positive Self Talk

Phew!  This one I’ve got nailed!

I’ve worked 30 years at one company, currently in the IT Department.  It is a job that I love!

But when I lost weight, I went back to school at night to become certified as a Holistic Health Coach.  It is my goal to help other sugar addicts gain freedom from sugar and I wanted the knowledge and tools to help me — and others — be successful. (You can follow me on Twitter @simplysugarfree.)

At work I am also our Wellness Champion (a volunteer position).  I give a number of workshops, or hire people to speak on topics that I’m not an expert in.  I’m always telling my audiences: “You have a choice with each bite.  To improve your health, or make it worse.”

And I have a number of sayings like that I use on myself (and sometimes my husband!) Another favorite one is “Pay the farmer.  Or pay the pharmacist.” Because sometimes it seems like I might be spending more money on “healthy” food.  But the cost of a cup of coffee and a donut really isn’t less than a hot bowl of oatmeal with some raisins and walnuts … at least in the long run.  Because I have my health … which is priceless!

I have some other mantras that I use … usually when I walk each day.  But they’re too private to reveal here 🙂

Suffice it to say: “If you don’t love yourself, who will?”  And “If you don’t take of your body, where will you live?!”




Day 5 – Sue: Epic fail!

Ok, here’s the truth about today.  It was an EPIC FAIL.  In terms on Mindful Eating.

But, you know what? I’ve learned over the past seven years (during which I’ve maintained my 52-pound weight loss) that life happens.  And failing doesn’t matter.  What matters is picking yourself up, learning from the situation and carrying on.  After all, life is a long time.  And I choose to spend each day TRYING to get better instead of giving up.

I’m participating in this challenge PRECISELY because I NEED mindful eating … so I can’t expect to get it all right the first time.  And I give myself permission to fail … as long as I keep trying!

Most of my success in weight loss and maintenance has been because I have learned WHAT to eat and, to a lesser extent, WHEN to eat to fuel my body and maintain a kind of homeostasis.

But it’s the WHY I sometimes want to eat when I’m not hungry and the HOW (like under want circumstances and the LACK of mindfulness … ) that I’m hoping to gain in this challenge.

I have printed out the Four S’s of Mindful Eating and I am going to carry them with me in a journal that I use.  That way, even though today was an epic fail in applying them TODAY, I will carry the thoughts forward with me and use them to guide my future actions and behaviors.

The good news is that the day was NOT an epic fail in terms of what I ate.  It’s just that I didn’t apply mindfulness to my eating.  Which is what I am committed to.

And I am grateful for the opportunity to participate in this challenge. Because I am learning … even if each day isn’t a complete success.




Day 6- Andrea

It is hard to be conscious and present during every meal you eat. Today for lunch, I went with my family to eat at a restaurant. I ordered chicken fingers to share with my daughter. I ate mindfully, and by the time my husband was done with his burger, I was eating my second chicken finger. I felt the crunchiness of the breaded chicken and even thought it was not the healthiest option, I was present while I ate. I enjoyed my food and I ate enough to be full, but not too much which I would have probably done before this challenge.

I like all the phrases that Dr. Albers sent today, but I especially like, “less is more,” which is about eating large amounts of food, but about enjoying and savoring the food we like, and in that way we eat less. I am definitely paying more attention and being more present while I am eating. Even though sometimes it is hard, I notice the change and hopefully this will get better with the practice.


Day 6-The Power of Positive Self Talk

I think most would agree that the power of positive self affirmation just might be the hardest habit to improve upon or even practice! We actually spend a great deal of time inside our own heads, listening to our own comments and playing the shoulda coulda woulda game! I find that when I am unhappy about my health/weight the self talk is filled with things that close friends wouldn’t even say to me! Why do we have the right to talk to ourselves in such hurtful ways when we would never tolerate anyone else addressing us in such a way?!

Today’s challenge is to identify 5 encouraging phrases, sayings or quotes! The 5 that I chose are sayings that I have collected from others…I by no means can take credit for them, but they are the ones that have seemed to make the most difference in my life!
1. Onward
2. I accept myself for who I am at this point in time
3. I am worth it!
4. This may be where I am, but it is now who I am. I am blessed!
5. I make good choices today. I choose health!

For me, these are all very easy to put down but very difficult to practice! I believe you, family and friends ALL deserve to be loved and spoken to in such a way that manifests that love. This is just not an activity that I have been able to conquer yet! I can read them silently and I can repeat them in my head, but my head and heart have not connected yet! I feel physically unable to look in the mirror and say any of these things out loud!

So how do you jump off the bridge of negativity and into the healing waters of positivity? I just happened to be talking to a dear friend who has managed to do just that. I was on the edge of my seat waiting to hear the secret…”you just DO IT”…were the words she uttered! Boy was I waiting to hear something more profound! JUST DO IT!

Won’t you start with me today?! Just do it! Leap off the bridge of negative self talk and let your heart and mind be healed by your positive affirmations! I am going to attempt it for at least a month to see what happens!

Collect your 5 favorite phrases and JUST DO IT!!!


Tina’s Day 6- Struggling

I wrote down 5 mantras for today.

1) Intuitively eating what my body
needs and wants is ED recovery.
(ED is an Eating Disorder)

2) Being grateful for food means
appreciating all that made the food
available and savoring each bite.

3) “Look at everything as though you were seeing it for the first or last time.”

4) “Be happy in the moment. That’s enough. Each moment is all we need; not more.”

5) “You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.”

I definitely struggled today due to the lack of structure since it’s my day off. I need to do laundry, study, clean and frankly I don’t feel well. This is exactly the type of mood that would normally have me reaching for sweet, sugary carbs. It’s a good thing there are none in the house.

I said my mantras. I socialized with family. I soaked in a soothing hot bubble bath to relieve stress. I might make a placemat with my mantras on them. I think that would be helpful for me. I definitely need to work on my to do list mindfully & add structure to my weekends.


Day 5- Andrea

Today was a super busy day. I didn’t teach today, because I had to take a class at the University. So, I woke up at 5 am and I had a coffee and some grapes, even though the night before I baked chocolate chips cookies with my daughter (we needed some fun girls time together). I felt good about that and even thought I ate them while I was driving, I could enjoy the crunchiness of the grapes’ skin and the juice when getting to the soft part.

I had dinner at my husband’s parent’s house. I always have a second serving because the food is always delicious. Tonight, we had burritos. I made one and I felt good when I was done. I enjoyed it and I ate slowly, however I was not as focused because we were chatting. There was ice cream for dessert and I ate it slowly as well and enjoying each cold and creamy bite. I know that I could have said NO to the ice cream. However, I feel that since the Eat.Q. challenge started I have been thinking and being more present while eating. This has helped me eat A LITTLE LESS. I think it is a good start.

For the coming week, my husband and I plan to think about healthier menus to have as ideas for dinner. Hopefully, that will help to change the quality of the food we eat every day.



Day 4 Sue Stopping Yourself

I’m back after a one-day “pause” … I needed time to reflect on this.
When I stopped eating sugar seven years ago, a few things happened.
One is that, after about three months, I never “craved” food again. Really. Truly. I haven’t “craved” anything in seven years!
Now, sometimes I “want” to eat for some other reason … Usually because I am tired or am avoiding doing something that I don”t want to do …
The other thing that happened when I gave up sugar is that I added in to my diet healthy, unprocessed foods — Lots of vegetables and fresh fruit. That means that I rarely have trouble stopping once I have made a good choice, because fresh fruits and vegetables are self-limiting. I don’t have to MAKE myself stop. They do it for me :-)!
I do have two techniques I use, however, to delay the “starting” of eating to determine how real the “want” is.
Tea is number one. I’m not a natural fan of tea but I have worked hard to find a few that I LOVE … Sans sugar. I like Egyptian Licorice Mint and Chrysanthemum. By the time I make the tea and enjoy it, I have time to check-in with myself about why I want to eat. Also, the warmth of the tea in my stomach comforts and fills me long enough to pause and make a good decision.
The other technique I use is almonds. I ALWAYS have a 100-calorie pack of almonds with me everywhere I go. The almonds are a great anti-dote for low blood sugar, which can be fueling the “want”. Eating the almonds is enjoyable and satisfying. They stabilize my blood sugar so that I can delay eating until I’m able to make a better decision or find healthy food choices.


Day 5-Free from distractions

From the moment our eyes open in the morning, we are bombarded by technology, messages, emails, alarms, music, news, Facebook, spouses, children, to-do lists and even our own thoughts! All of these “things” have become a new norm in our daily lives, especially since we can do practically all of those distractions on the device that fits in the palm of your hand!

Today I found my lack of focus compounded by waking up sick! Yes…I have been infected with cooties!!! I just love it when my children share their germs with me. I really felt…maybe because I was not feeling well…that my decision making abilities were being compromised also!! I ran out to the store to buy things to make noodle less Italian Wedding soup. Of course I was distracted in Trader Joe’s and started shopping for my lunch this week as well. Needless to say, I spent more time there than I should have! My stomach was starting to grumble…I had two choices…to to Chop It and get a salad OR go to Michael Simon’s B Spot. I was afraid that I could not control the sugar in the dressings so I chose B Spot. This was my first time eating out since I stopped eating sugar. Not to mention I was alone. I could cheat if I want and no one would know. But…I would know! As I ate my bun less grilled chicken sandwich with avocado, tomato, and arugula, I put down my security blanket ( my phone) and sat by myself and enjoyed my nourishing choice! There were not many people there so there were very little distractions. I was fully aware of what I was putting in my mouth!

If we recognize that nothing(“NoThing”) will make us happy, it is much easier to turn off the devices and distractions and tune into the time and food we are choosing to nourish our bodies with! Easier said than done, but every small change towards personal awareness begins somewhere!
So TUNE out and TURN off the distractions and TURN on your mindful eating!