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!


Sara’s Day 5 – Practicing Presence at the Plate

Today’s challenge was all about staying present at my plate. I have been practicing living in the moment instead of allowing my mind to race ahead of me.

My boys (ages 8 and 12) didn’t have school today so we made some returns then spent the rest of the day lazily perusing the aisles for Christmas ideas (read: Legos and electronics).  We stopped at Qdoba for lunch and sat down just before the lunch crowd started. I really enjoyed focusing on our conversation while practicing everything we have learned in the challenge so far this week. I took time to be grateful for our food, ate slowly and mindfully, noticing each individual taste of my lunch – especially the fresh lime I squeezed over it – YUM-O!

I couldn’t help but notice people around us that were eating alone and numbly shoving food in their mouth or sucking on giant soda cups, while scrolling on their phone or reading a book. That would have been me a few months ago. It reminded me of the small, but consistent changes I’ve made as I’ve become more aware of my mindful eating habits. I’m thankful for all I’ve learned thus far and look forward to the lessons of the second-half of this challenge.



Tina’s Day 5- Pull Over

At breakfast, my husband politely turned his PC monitor out of my line of sight and I minimized distractions so that I could focus on my meal. I’m thankful to have such a supportive husband. I do have to admit that I’m SO used to multi-tasking and felt guilty and bored focusing on one task only, but I mindfully enjoyed my eggs and ham.

For lunch, I had a small personal victory. Leaving work at 1:45 and heading to a doctors appointment, I realized that I hadn’t eaten lunch and wouldn’t have an opportunity until after four o’clock. So, I actually took the time to pull over at the beach to mindfully eat lunch. I walked along the shore, picked up a few shells and took one mindful bite at a time before finishing my journey to the doctor’s office. I actually pulled over to eat instead of eating while driving. V for victory:)

Dinner included an anxiety filled but necessary discussion with our 21 year old child about rules and responsibilities while returning home as a grown adult. That DID NOT lead to a mindful meal.

Life does sometimes present challenges. I’ll take my victories and aim to do better tomorrow.



Sara’s Day 4 – Stop! Think! Feel!

Day 4 of our challenge focused on Stopping Yourself by using our mind and psychology to cool our cravings.

It was a very busy day for me so I didn’t spend any time thinking about my cravings but I did notice – for the first time ever – that it’s natural for me to pair things together automatically without pausing to consider whether I am hungry or not.  This was a new (exciting!) thought for me.  I realized I have always paired my salad with crackers. Yesterday, I finished my salad and made a mindful gut-check – and realized I didn’t need those crackers! I was satisfied for the moment.  I didn’t panic, I told myself they would be available later in the day if I got hungry. And I moved onto my next project. BAM! An Aha moment and learning experience.

Then I began thinking about how many pairs I put together without stopping to consider my satiety (hunger/fullness) level.  Eggs and toast, Diet Coke and pretzels (a FAVORITE snack back in the day), two poptarts (they are packaged together so they must go together right?), soup and a big hunk of homemade crusty bread (Mmmmmm!), sandwich + crackers + applesauce + cheesestick + yogurt. Wow.

So I feel like a new woman with a new tool in my tool purse. Stop! Think! Feel! and know when I’m satisfied.




Day 4- Tactical Plan

Just as any strategic response unit, police force or military department would prepare for entering a tricky situation, we too need to come to all our meals with an arsenal of tactics to keep cravings contained! The 3 tips in today’s challenge are a great place to start! I was personally intrigued by Tip #3! I have always been fascinated by the human brain and the numerous automatic responses it performs every second. But, I have never really spent much time thinking about the positive or negative effects it can have on our cravings!

Two situations today afforded me the opportunity to not only ponder the role of the brain in our food cravings but to also put into practice Tip 3! After a long evening of conferences, I sat eating the dinner I brought while others ate the buttery croissant sandwiches that were provided! I stared at the sandwiches thinking about how buttery and flaky the crust tasted. I thought about the slight chewiness of them and how well it pairs with ham and Swiss. I liked my meal very much but, as I thought more and more about what I was not having the craving became stronger because I could practically taste it! I turned away from the sandwiches and stared at the napkin holder while I ate. I couldn’t believe how quickly the thoughts were turned off! It’s amazing how the brain can allow us to do so many things at once but can only imagine 1 thing at a time!

The other situation that I think we all have encountered are those menacingly vivid food commercials! You sit down after a long day and satisfying meal only to watch a juicy flame broiled burger being flipped into the air and topped with perfectly sliced tomatoes and the crispiest lettuce known to man kind! Commercials like this seem to trigger a full blow food fantasy even though you have just eaten! It is absolutely criminal!!! My new solution to this…change the channel! All senses are cut off when the channel changes and your mind shifts to what is now on the tv!

Stare down food confidently, use Tip #3! Come to a meal armed, prepared and ready to outsmart your senses-…and your brain!