Day 4- Andrea

I really needed the advice about what to do when there are temptations. I need to have more self-control during those moments, and definitely the tools that Dr. Albers recommends are great. I didn’t try any of them today, because I didn’t have much temptation. However, I thought that the trick about mints could help, because many times I just want something sweet after lunch or dinner and that could help me avoid some cookies or coffee cake.

I also think that having a plan ahead of time would make things easier. Today, I was coming home at 5 pm from work (I stayed too late at school getting things ready for the next day) and I was starving. My husband had my baby and he was tired too. None of us wanted to cook, so I suggested fast food. What!? Yes, I did. My husband was shocked! I mostly don’t want fast food, but today for some reason I thought it was ok. I had a chicken sandwich and fries (NOT GOOD CHOICE, I KNOW) but I ate it slowly and mindfully. Before we started the dinner, we again smelled the food and I asked my husband and daughter to find two adjectives for the food. While I ate, I thought about the crunchiness of the chicken in the middle of the soft bun. Making a plan for healthy food would avoid these last minutes choices.  Hopefully, my husband and I can work on that soon.


Tina’s Day 4- Take a Paws

After dinner I found myself thinking about the seasonal Gingerbread Cookie ice cream we had bought for the kids. I’m full and satisfied from a well rounded nutritionally adequate dinner. I’m not hungry. Why am I craving ice cream? For one thing it tastes great and secondly, I’m still feeling a bit emotional. I decided to try the Elaborate Intrusion Pause method.  I looked around the room for something to focus on. The lamp? No. The photo album. Nah. Coat rack? Laundry basket? Awe … My cat. Sure; why not?

For two minutes I focused on the color and shape of my cat. My cat has a shiny black coat of fur, from this view he’s curled up in the fetal position and my cat has no tail. I watched as he bathed himself & blinked his eyes repeatedly. Similar to mindful eating, I took in the sight, sound and feel of him with all my senses. I promised myself that I can have ice cream in two minutes if I still want some. I gave myself permission to eat it after two minutes and reminded myself that no food is off limits or forbidden.
Two minutes passed. I reminded myself that if I’m still craving ice cream, I can take another pause with a hot bubble bath. I’m okay ….I’m okay for tonight.


Sara’s Day 3 – Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

Breakfast. Lunch. Dinner.

One would think these are the only food choices we make. That’s why I was intrigued to learn from Dr. Albers that we make over 250 food choices each day.

Coffee – black? cream? sugar? in my favorite blue ceramic mug? to-go thermos? Ben’s Stanley?

Breakfast cereal (which?)? with almond milk? fat-free milk?

Or oatmeal? brown sugar? maple syrup? walnuts? raisins? milk? apple? banana? frozen blueberries?

All these choices invade my thoughts, and I haven’t even climbed out of bed yet! Okay, so the research from Cornell is probably true – but 250+ food choices a day? WOW.

Yesterday I was listening to a news interview with a guy who was wrongfully accused of murder and spent 10 years in prison. This week he was acquitted and released. He was explaining the luxuries of making his own decisions – like having a variety of things to eat instead of whatever is served cafeteria-style that day. It makes me appreciate how fortunate I am to have 250+ daunting choices to make each day.

I take comfort in routine and know I make my best food choices when I have a plan. So many of my food decisions are made on Monday nights when I make my meal plans for the week. To you it may seem boring, mundane. To me it means control, satisfaction and security. And I know I can build flexibility within the basic framework.

Dr. Albers’ info sheet on “How Do You Decide What to Eat?” was interesting to me. I never gave much thought to the process of making food decisions until now. I guess I’d conclude that the majority of my foods are PLANNED from HABIT (for example: I often eat the same foods on Tuesdays because of my routine – with the exception of dinner, which varies. But this plan is comforting and satisfying to me, and keeps me on track).

I have also observed over the years with my Weight Watchers Members and now my Health Coaching clients that those who take the time to plan ahead (and stick to the plan) are most successful in their healthy pursuits. It’s always an added challenge to counsel those who don’t have skills or desire to plan ahead, and make consistent choices.  But it can be done – with tenacity, dedication, support and encouragement – folks can make a healthy lifestyle of turning off the autopilot decisions or feeling ‘victim’ to careless food options. Instead, consider making and owning your decisions – one thought at a time – and take the opportunity to make a mindful choice – as Dr. Albers advises.

I also find it helpful to pause and ask myself “is this bite taking me closer to my healthy goals, or further away from them?”. This can be a powerful (and empowering) thought too.

The future is yours to decide. Go to it – one bite at a time!



Day 3 – Sue

Today’s challenge is near and dear to my heart … decision-making around food.

If you’ve been following my posts, you know that I lost 52 pounds in 52 weeks when I was 52.  That’s an accomplishment that I’m proud of.  But you know what?  The even LARGER accomplishment is that I’ve kept off every single pound for seven years!

I’m a member of the National Weight Control Registry (you can Google it for more information).  It is a research project of people who have lost at least 30 pounds and kept it off for more than a year.  They study is being done to help understand what contributes to successful weight loss maintenance.

One of the key findings is that most of us successful maintainers eat pretty much the same foods most of the time.  Why? Because when we discover what works for us, it is easier to remove some of the decision-making from the process.

For me, I eat approximately the same foods at approximately the same time for breakfast, a mid-morning snack and lunch (at least during the week).  It’s not a hard and rigid thing, but rather an act of simplicity and pleasure.  I know what I like and what fuels my body well. For dinner, there’s more variety because I find myself in a wider variety of situations … but even then I have a few “go to” foods and choices that I know will work for me.

Today was the third busy, stressful day in a row … putting me pretty much at my limit! I don’t like this much stress.  I facilitated a workshop this morning, which was a little stressful and required that I get up early and arrive at work early to prepare the room.  Luckily the meeting went extremely well, but it went longer than expected.  That meant that I could only get outside to walk for half an hour at lunch, and I couldn’t walk with my friends because they were done by the time I started.  I missed their friendship today.

When I got home from work, my husband offered to take me out to dinner … because he knows it’s been a difficult week for me!  We went to Chili’s.  They have a wonderful entree in their “2 for $20” special: Mango Chile Tilapia.  It’s one of their “light” dishes and I think it’s wonderful. It comes with broccoli and rice (but they let me substitute corn on the cob for rice because I find that an extra vegetable keeps me full better than the rice).  Yum yum!  This is an example of me having a few favorite foods that I know are good “go to ” choices for me.  That way, when I am stressed and tired like today, I don’t have to struggle with making a decision.  (After all, if I was good at making food decisions I wouldn’t have gained so much weight!) I already know a few choices that will please me and work for me.

So, I am now ready for bed.  I am proud of how I have handled this difficult week so far.  All of the big meetings are out of the way, and I’ve stayed the course nutritionally speaking.  Looking forward to a more peaceful day tomorrow.



Day 3- The Power in Choices

This morning I walked confidently into this challenge of choices!  Having been detoxing from sugar and processed food for 19 days now, I felt fully prepared to stare down any obstacle that crossed my path! I was a little worried though that I would not really have any food choices to make today. I prepare every meal the night before so it is planned, set and ready to go! Well, whenever I feel I am on the straight and narrow I somehow find myself on a detour! Boy was the road riddled with potholes today!!

Many may not know this, but the teacher’s lounge is a dumping ground for kind and caring people to generously donate any fat laden calorie loaded food! FREE food that is!! The kinds of foods that most women stop at gas stations or convenient stores to pick up when they have had an unbearably stressful day! Cookies, donuts and CHOCOLATE,oh my!! Now, I have not walked into a teacher’s lounge other than lunch time since I started this sugar detox! Today I was feeling like the warm fuzzy feeling of a hot cup of chamomile tea! Before I knew it, my senses were on overload as the table of junk was sitting there looking very enticing! I paused for my one minute…took it all in with my eyes, took a moment to smell the donut holes, though about how sweet and powdery they would taste……made my tea and walked out!

I owned those choices today! I though about how they would not nourish my body, how horrible I would feel after the sugar high and of course how it would derail my plan!

The greatest satisfaction (even greater than eating the foods that I once thought were delicious) comes when YOU make the food choices rather than allowing the foods to choose you, being the confident decision maker rather than the guilty victim, and leading yourself instead of following momentary visually triggered cravings!

Show up equipped and prepared! Keep your chin up and feel EMPOWERED by your right to choose!


Day 3-Andrea

Making food decisions today was tricky. Being a super busy mom, many times I eat whatever is at hand. I want to pick that is healthy, but I end up choosing what everyone else likes at home or what sounds tastier. Since I eat lunch while I am at the school, I pack my food early in the morning and most of the time that is a good choice. My problem is when we have dinner at home. I have a hard time having just one serving or stopping when I am full. Tonight, my husband made some pasta. Yummy! I had a plate, and I asked to my 3 year old daughter and my husband to think about the two adjectives. We smelled the food, enjoying how it looked on the plate and I ate it slowly. When I finished, I still wanted some more, but I didn’t get any. Tonight, while my husband and my daughter had their second serving, I was still enjoying my first one. I definitely ate less than other times when we eat pasta and that made me happy.

My problem was during lunch time. It was really hard to focus and eat mindfully when having lunch with my students.  Hopefully, with practice that won’t be an issue in the future.


Tina’s Day 3- Autopilot .. No; wait

Today has definitely been one of those times when coming home from a long, tiring, anxiety filled day at work means shifting into autopilot. The grab and go, convenient microwaved meal after downing a few handfuls of chips would be fair game. After all, it’s been a long day and ugh … “I deserve it”.


“I deserve it”? My decision making skills have definitely gown downhill. NO; wait!! Okay, here’s the pause Dr. Albers recommended. Here’s an opportunity to choose my meal based on what my body needs and wants. No matter how tired and frustrated I am. My mind shifts, reluctantly at first, to self care. What fuel does my body need? What fuel do I desire? Thank goodness I have a great compromise. As I set my potato and chicken to bake, I mix up a pre-washed ready to eat salad mix and dressing. It’s convenient yet healthy and tasty. A moment of pride and satisfaction wash over me. I could have easily gone for chips and ice cream with the kind of day I’ve had. If I ate them mindfully, that would be one thing, yet after a trying day, I would have stuffed them down mindlessly. What a victory. Pilot at the controls:)


Day 2- Andrea

During these two days, I have been trying two tips to eat mindfully. I discovered that when I eat more slowly, and I try to be present in the moment, the food tastes different. While having my coffee this morning, I thought that it tasted better than other days. Was it because I was paying extra attention to the smell before drinking it? Was it because I was feeling the temperature with my hands before I brought the mug to my mouth?

At breakfast I did the same ritual as yesterday, and I ate at a slower speed. It went pretty well!

I like the idea of focusing on one skill at the time. It just reminds me of when I am teaching at the Montessori school. We believe that it is hard for children to concentrate on both our movements and on our words when teaching a lesson. So, if I am demonstrating some work with my hands, mostly, I do it without speaking. If I want to explain something about the lesson, then I keep my hands still so children can focus on my words. I thought about this as I was trying to be present while eating. When my husband was talking to me, it was hard to eat and think about the look of the food, the texture, flavors, smell, etc. I had a moment of realization that if I want to be mindful while eating; I need to focus on it without distraction.  I need to be present!

Today again, I had classes at the university. During snack time it happened the same way. I was trying to eat and be in the moment, but also with my classmates. Unfortunately, it didn’t work very well for me.  I guess I need to learn how to balance both things. I think practice is the key, just like many other skills we learn.


Day 2- Awake at the plate

As I contemplated today’s challenge on my way to work today, I thought about the many hats most of us have to wear throughout the day.  These “hats” require us to do many many things, often within a very short time period!  No wonder we have become such a microwave, to go, drive through, processed food laden society. We  have so much to do, so many places to be, and so many responsibilities to answer to that it has become, not only convenient, but almost necessary to work and accomplish things with one hand while eating a meal with the other!

My intention was to arrive at school, print report cards and sit down to have my natural yogurt parfait! Sounded like a sold attainable plan! Well I planned and God laughed!! I accomplished most of my plans, but was bombarded by many other questions! Before I knew it the bell rang, the kids walked in…more questions were asked and many stories were shared! I looked down at my unbeaten yogurt and realized I had 10 min to go through notes, take attendance, and INHALE my yogurt before we had to go to mass! out of all the bites I took I only remember tasting the first and last ones!

Today’s challenge goes hand in hand with yesterday’s challenge! Just like Dr. Alber’s said..this really is harder than it looks! I tried again at lunch and found my mind drifting to all the things I needed to get done! This time when I found myself “off task”, I put my fork down and tried to refocus myself. Like most things, this will take practice in order to become a habit!

It is possible to stand in a rose garden and not smell the roses. It is possible to be alive and not live. And it is possible to be awake at the plate but not fully aware!

Practice brings progress! We are worth taking the time to practice in order to make progress!

Onward EatQ challengers!!


Sara’s Day 2 – Snooze I Lose…

My mother taught me to be honest, so…..today was a total ZONK.

I’ve learned over the years to be transparent when leading Weight Watchers meetings – and not pretend or presume that when one gets to weight goal, life is peachy.  Today, life for me was the pits.  Here’s why:

Contrary to what I have believed in the past, having PMS is not a ticket to eat endlessly. Today was a crabby day for me. The good news is I have recently become aware of these girl-cravings (chocolate, grease, Diet Coke) and have made valiant efforts to ignore these cravings only to raid the refrigerator and all cupboards and cabinets in search of a suitable substitute. The unfortunate lesson has been that all efforts to substitute still left me searching for THE craving. Needless to say that over the years, I have prowled all kitchen surfaces and eaten a whole lot of things that didn’t meet the need, then ended up overindulging (read: borderline abusing) the craved item anyway. I seem to make progress little by little each month since I’ve been practicing mindful eating. So today I ate the craving but made a few small changes and am satisfied with the compromise.  It was meeting night for my husband and I so (because I didn’t plan ahead) we ordered pizza and breadstix from our favorite local pizza hot spot. But here are a few changes I made:

  • I enjoyed cream and sugar in my morning coffee (instead of my typical black) to indulge my sweet tooth
  • I ordered a medium pizza to go (instead of the all-you-can-eat buffet) which limits the consumption by sharing between four of us (and saves us $$$)!
  • I had half-glass of soda (instead of 2-3 glasses) and finished the meal with water
  • I cut my pizza slices in half (instead of mindlessly gulping down two big slices and reaching for more)
  • I took the time to TASTE and SAVOR each bite of pizza, breadstix and soda.
  • I listened to the excited chatter from my kids about their day at school and my hubby’s work day (instead of being focused on shoveling in the carbs and missing the conversation).

I’ve also learned to acknowledge that days like this aren’t ideal, but are also far-and-fewer between too. I have already forgiven myself for the slip ups, and acknowledged the learnings and adjustments I’ve made.

I started the day with Yoga (a new thing for me), and plan to end my day with a few minutes of peaceful prayer and meditation. I’m learning to be kind and patient with myself, even when the day didn’t go as planned. After all, a little kindness goes a long way in learning to love oneself again.

Kindness, forgiveness, encouragement. Three things I practice each day for better health. You should too.




Day 2 – Sue

Well, so much for hoping today would be less stressful and busy!

My life really isn’t usually this busy … it’s just that a lot of projects at work are getting busy all at once (probably because our year-end performance reviews are coming up and people are scurrying around trying to meet their goals … including me!)

I had to get up early so that I could be ready to lead a meeting with IT people in France, Singapore and China.  I didn’t sleep well because I was worried about having to wake up early so that I’d be at work early, so I was tired on top of stressed this morning.  But I ate my standard breakfast and the meeting went well.

But because I had to get up early, I got hungry between breakfast and lunch.  Luckily, a friend had brought a new kind of tea into work and gave me a bag to try.  I used my new “slow down” skills to thoroughly savor the tea.  It was Chrysanthemum tea that she had purchased at an Asian market.  It was WONDERFUL! I enjoyed every sip.

I was able to go outside for a walk at lunch, which has been part of my daily routine since losing 52 pounds seven years ago.  I enjoy how the walk breaks up the day, and then I eat at my desk when I return. I usually pack my own lunch (a large salad with some kind of lean protein like tuna, salmon or chicken).  I find that I have better portion control when I pack my own lunch.  When the bowl is empty, lunch is over! I enjoyed the time at lunch, because I was texting with my daughter at college.  She was creating her first website, and it was fun to be in communication with her.

When I got home for dinner, I was VERY tired … so I took a quick nap.  My husband and I are recent empty nesters, so there is less urgency around when dinner is prepared.  I usually get home a little bit before him and start dinner, but tonight I knew the best thing to do was to take a little nap.  I knew that if I didn’t, I would just snack my way around the kitchen, confusing fatigue with hunger!

After my nap, I realized that I really WAS hungry and it would be about an hour before we would be ready to eat.  So I prepared a snack of two rice cakes with half an avocado and a little sprinkle of sea salt. It’s one of my favorite snacks.

When he came home, we enjoyed preparing dinner together.  And then we ate. I ate slowly and deliberately, savoring each bite.  The snack had taken the edge off my hunger, so I was able to slow down and enjoy each bite.

I’m having fun with this challenge.  Even though it’s been such a busy week, I’m enjoying a least TRYING to slow down. Tomorrow I have one more stressful meeting to be prepared for, and then the rest of the week should slow down to a normal pace.

Ta ta for now!


Tina’s Day 2 – Be Here Now

Before eating, I set aside all reading materials, electronics and sat at the dining table for the first time in months.  I laminated a Mindful Eating place mat & lit candles.  At breakfast, I noticed the shape of the diced ham & potatoes, and the golden brown hue of my toast with egg white scramble. The vibrant, festive red and green of the olives stood out in contrast with the egg whites. I tuned in to the crunchy crust and chewy center of of my toast, and the soft, fluffy texture of the egg whites. Also apparent to me was the squishy “mouthfeel” of the diced potatoes and dense texture of the ham. My pumpkin coffee was fully experienced including it’s rich aroma.
Flavors ranged from spicy to “earthy”. Textures ranged from gritty to crumbly. Realizing that I had finished all of my eggs and most of my toast, I tuned in to my hunger. Where would I rate it on a hunger scale of 1-10? Did I “need” to finish this half slice of toast? hmmm It was surprisingly difficult to be present enough to tune into hunger and fullness sensations. I took one more bite, another sip and listened quietly to my body. I felt full and satisfied. In the absence of comforting myself with food, I was was feeling a little bit “emotionally empty” if that makes any sense, and yet somehow I felt a sense of calm as well.

At lunch and dinner, I didn’t aim to eat the fat free, sugar free, flavor free fare that I try to live off of. I trusted myself with delicious favorites such as Tamales, Sweet Potato and veggie Soup & allowed myself a dessert.
I didn’t over eat. I didn’t stuff myself at a rapid fire, mindless pace.
I didn’t deny myself delicious foods because of calorie counts and fat grams.
I ate slowly, immersing myself in as many flavors, textures, aromas, shapes and sounds as my five senses could savor. I didn’t take on other tasks while I was eating.  On a hunger scale of 1-10, I’m at a solid, comfortable 7; neither famished nor stuffed.
I did my best to stay present.  My goal … Be Here Now:)



Day 1 – Andrea

Hi there! Today was a very exciting day. The first thing I did when I woke up was run to get my computer and see the challenge of the day. I printed the file to use every time I ate during the whole day. I also saved the file so I could go back and read it later.

As a busy mom, I don’t have much time. So, I read the tips carefully for the day, along with some other tips I found on Dr. Albers ’website, and off I went to fight my eating habits.

My first experience of timing my pace was during breakfast. In my home country, we don’t eat a big breakfast, so I always have a coffee with one slice of toast. While I was preparing the coffee I could smell the delicious aroma and I started to be mindful of it. When I sat at the table with my coffee and toast, I thought about the two adjectives to describe my toast (I like my toast with American cheese on top, weird!?)  I took a moment and observed the nuts and grains in the bread, and the color of the cheese. After smelling it, I took the first bite. I put the toast on the plate, and I paid close attention to the texture and flavor. Before taking my second bite, my 3 years old daughter was starting her breakfast, so I thought she could do the same exercise of finding adjectives for her breakfast. She was going to eat a piece of toast and an egg. The adjectives she picked were hot, yellow, and white. I thought that it would be great if from a young age we learn how to eat mindfully. While we were having breakfast, we were talking and I was sharing the tips to eat slower with my husband. I was surprised that probably took three times longer to eat than it usually takes me each morning. At the end, I felt satisfied and ready to take on the day.

I did the same exercise at lunch eating my sandwich, putting my sandwich on the plate and taking breaks between bites. I didn’t time it, but I know I ate slower.

Today was my day to drive to my university. I got a coffee for my 3 hour drive. Normally, by the time I arrive to the edge of the town where I live, I am almost done with my coffee. This time I took the time to smell it and savor the flavor. I had driven almost one hour from home and still had warm coffee in my travel mug. Between sips, I called my family in Argentina on the phone, my husband to check on my daughter, and I thought a lot about how eating slowly affected my humor today. I felt like I had power and control over my eating.

In the class I am taking at the university there are only 20 people. Since it is a Montessori class, the program is trying to create community amongst the students by having a snack break in the middle of the section where we all eat together. Each class, one student brings a snack for the rest of their classmates. There are always many delicious things like cookies, chips and dips, fruits, and chocolates. Today while I was eating, again I took my time. I put my hands on my lap and I stopped to watch how my classmates were eating. Surprisingly, I was the last one to finish eating and it was not because I had more food than them, but because of the techniques I was trying.

I am extremely happy how the day went. I shared the tips with my sister from Argentina who already asked me to type everything in Spanish for her. Another friend of mine was going to try to sign up for the challenge although she hasn’t been speaking English very long. This seems to be an issue for people all over the world who have been dieting and being counting calories for years. Hopefully this way they too will learn to enjoy food at a slow pace and will help many of us alter those bad habits of eating that make us struggle with food.



Day 1 – Sue

I am an IT Project Leader … and today was just one of THOSE days! I had to lead two large meetings so I was literally racing through the day from breakfast through late afternoon. No chance to apply pacing at breakfast or lunch. But I knew this in advance. No surprise here.

I was in a better position at dinner time to slow down and set my pace. I was watching the evening news with my husband as we ate. Seeing the stories of people affected by the typhoon tragedy in the Philipines made it easy to slow down and appreciate each bite … to be thankful for what I have and to savor each bite.

Tomorrow will be a less hectic day at work, so I’m looking forward to a slower pace for the day … and for each meal 🙂

WIsh me luck!


Day 1- Racer or Pacer?

Are you a racer or a pacer?  That is the question. When I read that question this morning I answered rather quickly…RACER!  Everything we do these days needs to be done quickly so we can move on to the next activity. Eating slowly, easy life style change right?  Wrong!

On my way to take the children to lunch, I was going over in my mind how I was really going to take a moment and plan out how I was going to eat my lunch.  By the time I got back to the teacher’s lounge (only 5 min later), I got involved talking and unpacking my lunch and before I knew it I was sitting down eating!  My lunch was half gone before it struck me (like lightening) that I was supposed to take a moment and prepare.  I stopped and took a few breaths (I must have been eating so fast that I was out of breath) and imagined I was eating my eggplant at a small cafe in the Tuscan countryside. (I enjoy visualizing imaginatively)  I would certainly be slowly taking it all in if I were in Tuscany!    Once I slowed down, I was able to use the rest of my lunch time to finish.

I often find myself eating quickly and then looking around for what else I can eat, mostly because I ate whatever it is so fast that it’s gone!  I realize I am not even aware of each bite let alone the many different flavors that make up the meal.  I can spend hours eating a meal with a friend.  Eating slowly, chatting, savoring and nourishing my body and soul. I need to work on being my own best friend and eating similarly when I am alone!  After all, I am WORTH the time!  We are ALL worth the time!

New personal daily challenge: Slowly & Savoringly! (I love making up new words!)



Sara’s Day 1 – I’m a Recovering Racer, Learning to Pace

For the last several months I’ve been learning to be more mindful about eating so I laughed right out loud when the very first challenge is still something I’m trying to get a grip on. Our fast-forward culture emphasizes multi-tasking and efficiency. So becoming aware of eating and the process seems very counter-cultural to me. So it is refreshing to be reminded during this challenge to GET SLOW and stay slow. It’s intriguing to me to look at the way America eats – through fast food windows, convenience products – frozen, chopped, sliced or heat-n-eat – and now ‘speed dating meals’, to name a few. Did you know there is a movement to bring the joy back into preparing and cooking meals and bring families back together around a table for good, nutritious food and healthy conversation? On our busy days, we do rely on convenience foods and drive-thru’s, but I’ve made a bigger emphasis on home-cooked meals for my husband and boys (ages 8 and 12) in the last few months. We’ve noticed a difference in our wallets and in joyful conversation.

Today I enjoyed reading through Dr. Susan’s materials that came with our first challenge and on her website. For lunch I intentionally slowed down, said a prayer of gratitude for the farmer who grew my salad and fixin’s, then took a moment to take in the color and the beauty of the deep leafy greens, cucumber, green bell pepper, shiny grape tomatoes. I sought out different flavors with each bite – pinto beans, turkey pepperoni, Italian dressing, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. I tried chewing each bite at least 20 times and to identify the texture, flavor, temperature of each bite. I even tried to use my right hand to feed my self, as Dr. suggests, but that didn’t last too long! I must be very south-pawed. 🙂

I enjoyed this eating experience and will continue to slow down, savor, and enjoy my meal with intent and purpose. Until tomorrow….happy chewing! Sara


Tina’s Day 1 – Look down Slow Down

I was looking forward to today’s challenge since the prevailing theory is that it take 20 minutes for our brain to register satiety.  Despite the anxiety filled morning I’ve had, I set an an intention of 20 minutes and decided to take slow, deliberate bites. I’m so used to the having a distraction such as television or reading and rushing through my meals. Perhaps all to avoid emotions, because there are a few bubbling to the surface today.

I ate my breakfast at home and used a smaller spoon and a timer app to help slow my pace which was 23 minutes. As for lunch, it didn’t seem worth the harried drive home, so I stayed at the clinic. Hearing my co-workers bustling around wasn’t helping at all, so I went into the massage room, put my headphones on with slow relaxing music to set the pace and put my fork down between bites. While I did study a bit, 30 minutes later I was happy that I hadn’t rushed through my meal AND realized I was full, satisfied and there was no need to finish the rest just because it was there.
As I prepare my final meal, I’m feeling confident about a mindful dinner:)


Eat.Q. Blogger: Meet Sara!

Sara Wolfsen, 39, has struggled with weight since elementary school. The ups-and-downs of life have sent her weight in several directions. In 2006, she finally reclaimed her health, lost 80 pounds, and became a Meeting Leader for a popular worldwide weight loss program. During this time she became aware of her blossoming passion for wellness and nutrition and has recently become a Certified Health Coach in West Michigan. Through individual and group coaching she guides others to understand the powerful role that food has on optimal health while promoting positive body image and lifestyle balance.

Sara is a self-confessed peanut butter lover and has finally learned to enjoy this tasty treat in moderation. She does not care for seafood of any kind nor the ‘fishy’ smell.

Sara’s goal during the EatQ challenge is to learn even more about her own mindful eating so she can help others become aware of its benefits, better food choices and healthy body signals.

To learn more about coaching services by phone or Skype, visit Ideal Wellness Solutions on Facebook or www.idealwellness.org.


Eat.Q. Blogger: Meet Tina!

My name is Tina, I’m 47 years young and I work as a Physiotherapy Assistant.

I have struggled with eating, food, scales and calories since the age of 14. I am a Certified Fitness Trainer and I received my certification at my highest weight of 248. I was desperate and willing to do anything to lose weight so that I could fit into to tough fitness industry standards. I lost 100 pounds, developed an eating disorder and gained the weight back.

Realizing my struggle with food was serious, I sought treatment for my eating disorder 2 years ago. My diagnosis is EDNOS; an (Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified) and I was described as having anorexic thinking & bulimic behavior.

I’m glad to say that I’m no longer struggling at my highest weight. I’m hoping to regain health AND reach a place of recovery with food/eating. I hope to no longer define myself by a number on the scale. I know mindful eating will help me on my path to recovery, help me stay in tune with my body, be present and engage all my senses to savor meals and heal my relationship with food.

I plan to complete my 4th half marathon soon.

1 food I couldn’t live without is cereal.

1 food I hate is radish because of its sharp taste.

One goal for the EatQ Challenge is to set up a mindful table with place mates, candles and calm.


Eat.Q. Blogger: Meet Andrea!

I am very excited to be part of this challenge! I am a super busy mom (3 year old girl and 6 month old baby girl) and a Montessori Preschool-Kindergarten teacher. On top of that, I am pursuing a master’s degree which requires a 3 hour drive, one way, to reach my university. I must travel twice a week to take classes, and I do homework and readings when my daughters are sleeping until late at night. I couldn’t do it without the support of my wonderful husband. I have been struggling with food since I was 12 years old.

I came from Argentina and over there most people really care about being fit and looking skinny. I have tried all kinds of diets. In my home country it is very popular to go to a nutritionist. So, I have tried many of them. I know exactly what I need to eat to be healthy, but I believe eating issues relate to the psyche and that we need to learn to have self-control. I used to eat a lot of vegetables in my home country. When I moved to the US, I started adjusting my diet to my husband’s taste and he doesn’t like veggies much. I still enjoy vegetables so much but it is easier to cook and eat what everyone else likes since I like everything. I love exercising, but right now, I don’t have time. I plan to go back to exercising as soon as I finish my master’s degree.

1 Food that I Can Live Without: Things that I eat with my coffee like pastries, doughnuts, cakes!

1 Food I Hate: That is the only thing that came to my mind. I like everything!

One Goal for the EatQ Challenge: Start controlling the amount of food I eat and try to watch the quality and quantity again without being on a strict diet counting calories. I hate it! Of course, lose some weight.