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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Little Lies

Do you tell little lies to yourself about how much you eat?

The most important person in your world is you. That's who is going to protect and feed you and give emotional support when things don't go well. While nobody likes feeling they are 'overweight', returning to a healthier number only happens when we are honest with ourselves. Lies are abusive. If we cannot trust ourselves, who can we trust? 

Last night I had dinner with a friend who's trying to lose weight.  He told me that he hadn't eaten all day. When I reminded him that wasn't wise, he sheepishly listed what he actually had eaten during the day. While it wasn't much, it was nourishing foods.  People ignore what they see and hear and lie to themselves about how much they eat.  Don't ignore what you know!

  • When we don't eat all day as a weight loss technique, it backfires.
    • When we ignore food all day, our body thinks we're starving. It automatically goes into survival mode. This lowers our metabolism rate so that we don't 'die' from hunger. 
    • What happens when we do eat is that since our metabolism is slower, we don't burn our calories as fast and as a result, can gain weight.
      • To protect us from starving to death, the body instinctively 'helps' us store fat.
I explained to my friend that to lose weight, all he needs to do is eat smaller portions three times a day. This way, his stomach will naturally shrink while he maintains optimum energy and health. Importantly, he won't feel like he's starving.  So when the waitress came to our table, he ordered a cocktail and an appetizer. I made a mental note to mention the very high sugar content of alcohol the next time he mentioned trying to lose weight.

  • Ordering an appetizer for dinner when trying to lose weight - especially if we've had breakfast and lunch -- is a reliable choice to make.
His appetizer was a ragout leg of duck with two pureed servings, one white, one green and some pea sprouts on the side. It was pretty. It was also pretty fattening. Because he did not know what the green and white dollops were, I tasted them. They were very rich, full of butter and cream. At that point, I felt sorry for my friend. He, of course, ate his entire meal quickly.

  • If you are trying to lose weight and decide to eat less, don't eat a smaller plate that has more calories than a full portion.
    • Avoid sauces, candied vegetables, deep fried or rich choices.
    • Allow as many 'empty' nourishing calories as you want.
      • carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, etc - salad ingredients without the dressing
        • If you have salad, ask for dressing on the side. Be stingy with it. An alternative is lemon juice or a simple vinaigrette.
    • When we eat less, it's more socially satisfying  if we eat slower. Plus eating slower burns more calories and we are generally more satisfied. 
Just like unwanted pounds, little lies add up. When you lie to yourself about what or how much you eat, you are the victim of fraud.

  • Pay attention to what you sense. Enjoying what you eat means more efficient digestion and more fun!
  • Honor your truth. You will feel lighter and eat less.
  • Allow yourself physical and psychological satisfaction. Don't be a victim of self-abuse.
Learn to trust yourself by using intuitive tools that will never let you down. You deserve the best quality of life. Eat less, sense more.


Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Lucky Ones

We're the lucky ones. While in every country there are people who do not have enough to eat, we have such abundance that we choose what we want, and focus on what not to eat! If you're worried about having self-control so you look good in your bathing suit this summer, think about others before you overeat.

With every blessing comes responsibility. Our food abundance gives us the responsibility of choosing what to eat wisely. It also gives us the responsibility to help feed those who are hungry. One way to turn obsessing about food and eating into positive and productive choices, is to think about food needs of others.

It's as simple as pushing a button - or as involved as you want to be. We can volunteer in a soup kitchen or share on Facebook. Helping others feeds our own social and emotional hungers. Being aware of everyday hunger around the world beyond our own, leads us to recognize and celebrate how lucky we are.

Amazingly, there is always enough time to draw into our lives exactly what is right. When we value curiosity and dignity, there is always enough time to help others. Doing good widens perspective so that we know ourselves better. Perspective bringd feelings of balance and self-control. When we help others who are hungry, we reinforce and compliment the good within ourselves.

Where people are starving there cannot peace. Here are some ways to help by pushing a button:
"The day hunger disappears, the world will see the greatest spiritual explosion humanity has ever seen. " Federico Garcia Lorca 
For more ways to help the hungry, read: The Lucky Ones, in Am I Really Hungry?

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Caveman Diet or Intuitive Eating?

A friend of mine, who is uncomfortable with the words self-discipline and food in the same sentence, has been tricked into being an intuitive eater!  This happened because he tried a modified caveman diet option. He ate whatever he wanted five days a week. Then, on two random days, he fasted all day - only drank water - and then ate whatever he wanted for dinner. This worked for him because knowing he could eat whatever he wanted made him happy. The surprise is that he has stopped enjoying his favorite fast food items and his 'habits' are changing. The reason why is that he started tuning-in to his body differently.

He noticed that when he did eat fast foods - especially after a day of fasting - he felt lethargic. Also, his stomach started shrinking from the small amount of fasting. He's eating less and has been steadily losing weight. I googled Caveman Power Diet and the website is easy to read, understand and follow. What they say makes sense to me. Cavemen certainly trusted their intuition. The reason why intuitive eating works for us today is, it lets us take control of our own choices and eating habits. We each are on intimate terms with our bodies. This means we can recognize what we want and need and when we feel full.

The way, we eat is often a mirror of the way we approach living. When we are barreling through life, it's common go off in the wrong direction. It's helpful to pause and get our bearing. Living well and eating well i a balancing act. Connecting with what we want and getting what we need always makes sense. 

That's why, using our senses to notice what we notice and intuitive tools to connect with what feels good, is so easy. Life is complex; hunger is simple. We need to eat for energy and good health, but we don't need diet restrictions or eating habits. Our physical needs vary every day. We don't need to be cavemen to choose what we want to eat.



Sunday, June 8, 2014

Doing Dessert

Do eat dessert! Dessert is a celebration of good food & a good life.   

My grandmother always said, "Be sure to leave room for dessert." Because of this, I learned not to eat until I was stuffed. Saving room for dessert is a lifelong habit, with surprise benefits! Having an eye on dessert makes portion control of the entree sensible. Do eat dessert with a spirit of appreciation. Enjoying dessert sets a tone of appreciation that echoes in every relationship.
I never realized 'desserts' is 'stressed' spelled backwards. 
 Here's how to enjoy dessert without stress.

  • D --  Do the right thing. Eat with self-respect.
  • E --  Enjoy every mouthful. Use your tongue to satisfy the drive for flavor.
  • S --  Smile more when you are having dessert. Celebrate! Feel the goodness. 
  • S --  Stop between each mouthful. Put down your fork or spoon and savor the sweetness.
  • E --  Engage in eye contact while you're enjoying the sweet. Enjoy sensual syncing.
  • R --  Remember, it's fortunate to have dessert when there is so much hunger in the world
  • T -- Take your time. You may discover that you don't need to finish dessert. Dessert is a treat!