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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Design for Weight Loss

Protect yourself by knowing options for wise choices. 

A goal of intuitive eating is to enjoy food that fills us with nourishment. That way, we eat to give ourselves hours to be productive and enjoy our lives. Sometimes our eating goals are sabotaged by the environment. Some forms of distraction from goals are impossible to avoid. But when it comes to the design of your own eating environment, you can be in control.

Because we are sensual beings, our physical environment impacts how much we eat. Using our senses, including common sense, reminds us to balance internal messages with our external reality. It's always good to be curious, to ask yourself, am I really hungry for this? and choose to stay in sync with your physical needs by eating slower.

Ways ourdecorating choices impact our eating include:
  • Furniture is important. When we eat standing up or on the go, we are likely to eat more than we need. Sitting at a table in the chair helps us connect physically with our body when we eat. Additionally, not watching television forces us to notice how much food we are eating. Instead of TV, why not turn on some 'mood music' and use your eyes to see how much food you want to eat.
  • The size of dishes we use for eating manipulates the amount of food we eat. Choose plates that are 9"across and bowls that hold 17oz. These are the perfect size for smart eating. You will discover that you have enough to eat and that the visual of seeing these dishes full of food is satisfying. Just like when we shop for pair of jeans and we see a smaller size and think it would be nice to get the smaller size, eating from smaller plates will change how much food you naturally consume, and perhaps your pant size, too. 
  • Lighting effects how fast we eat. According to Dr. Brian Wansink, director of Cornell University's Food and Brand Lab, very bright lights make us eat faster. Dim lighting encourages us to be less inhibited and eat more desserts! Keep lighting bright enough so you can see what you're eating and be comfortable to eat what is just right for your needs.
  • We know colors impact our choices and dress every day with this in mind. In fact, color impacts more than our fashion sense. When eating, if the walls are painted red or orange, we rush. When walls are blue or green, this encourages us to linger and ultimately overindulge. The best color for keeping control of healthy eating choices is neutral shades like white, gray, or beige. The food on your plate should be colorful. They say we are supposed to eat a "rainbow" at every meal!

Blueberry Blossom, photo by RPC


Friday, August 22, 2014

Me, Myself and I

Three Ways to Change the Way You Eat

It's Friday night and time to think outside the box. Decide to co-create your healthy shape with your body. Benefit by eating less and getting more energy from the food you eat. The way your body responds to food is a "team" effort. Think it as "Me", "Myself" and "I". Think of your body as a co-creator of your appearance and health and tune in to what you sense. Relax when you eat and feel your food transmitting energy and vibrance. Listen to the whisper of your body.

Be your own best friend. (ME)
  • Commit to doing what you want.  Whether you want to lose weight or not, there is no reason why you can't still be your own best friend.
  • Sounds like a no-brainer, but how often have you overindulged for some momentary pleasure, only to regret it the next time you put on your favorite pair of skinny pants?  
  • "Me, Myself and I" is all you've got. Be your own best friend. You need a best friend who loves you. Look out for yourself by tuning in to what isn't obvious.
  • Use Dignity and Courage to be your own best friend.  Let ME feel some satisfaction.
Trust your 'new' best friend. (MYSELF)
  • When you commit to trusting that you want to eat to look and feel your best, you will discover that your appetite shifts. Once you commit, the next time that the huge portion of pasta with meat sauce beckons your taste buds, your heart and stomach will join forces to honor your commitment to eat less. They will rebel.
  • It's "Me and "Myself" saying to "I", "ENOUGH!"
  • This is Foresight. Foresight is looking ahead at the consequences before you do something.
  • You will notice this as a slight turning feeling in your stomach. You will feel a little 'off'. That's your body communicating with you. Work with your body to look and feel your best. Don't fight yourself. You will feel younger!
Put destructive habits on 'lock-down'. (I)
  • "I want" is the spoiled child who is tired, stressed, bored and self-destructive.  Reasoning doesn't work with "I". We all have an "I" who is emotional and spoiled.  Nobody likes a spoiled child.
  • Tough love is true love. Tough love is doing what is right, instead of what is easiest. That's what a best friend (ME) would do. 
  • Keep your sense of humor intact. Laugh at the old ways and manipulate your "I" with real love. Tune in to what you feel and listen to your heart.
  • When you put "I" in its proper place often enough, you feel a whole new level of satisfaction.
Every bite of food you eat is you co-creating your health, appearance and state of mind with yourself. Listen to the whisper of your body. Eat with your senses first.
  • Use your eyes to see what you feel like eating. 
  • Let your nose begin the digestive process so that it's more efficient. 
  • When you get that gut feeling, trust it. The gut feeling is your best friend. Together, you can do anything.
The payoff for being your own best friend is connecting with naked truths about who you are and what deeply matters in your life. When ME, MYSELF and I are in sync, all choices are easier. Get into the habit of using intuitive tools like Dignity, Courage and Foresight to keep the truth on the table. You will discover that you have amazing potential!


Monday, August 11, 2014


What does satisfaction feel like? What does it taste like?

How do we know when it's real?

Inner dialogue sabotages satisfaction. That's when we confuse bad feelings with hunger, and overeat or binge to find satisfaction. Be curious about what's pushing your buttons. 

It's natural to experience dissatisfaction that has nothing to do with eating. It's good to know what's wrong.  Sometimes we are satisfied by a meal, but not satisfied with other things going on in our lives. That's when we confuse bad feelings with hunger, and overeat or binge. Be curious about what's pushing your buttons. Most important - be honest with yourself.

To find satisfaction with ourselves and eating, we have to tune-in to what we sense when we eat. Otherwise, we miss physical signals that increase stress, and that leads to cycles of binging. Intuitive eating is not about how much to eat or what we are 'supposed' to eat. It's about eating types of foods our body needs. That's where to find eating satisfaction. Think with your senses.

Every meal is a fresh start and a new chance to find satisfaction. Be flexible about what you eat because physical needs change. When a meal is not satisfying, be curious. Pause for perspective and examine options to recognize what's causing frustration. Life isn't fair, but that doesn't mean we can't be fair with ourselves!

Every kind satisfaction connects with self-respect. A person not honest with herself has lost her best friend. Be kind to yourself. Satisfaction is a feeling of achievement.

Inner dialogue is a trap that sabotages satisfaction. It's a glass half empty attitude that fuels defeat by creating fear or doubt. If you're not sure about where your dissatisfaction is coming from, the best solution is to pause for perspective. Perspective is a feeling that things are balanced. Find surprisingly easy ways to trigger your perspective in my book, Am I Really Hungry?, in the chapter called, Create Your Plan.

It's satisfying to protect ourselves from destructive eating. Be more sensual around food and eating. You will discover new kinds of satisfaction. The next time you're in a funk and need satisfaction, treat yourself like a celebrity.


Sunday, August 3, 2014

3 Little Tricks and Temptation

Because temptation is part of being human,

We all have little tricks.

 Temptation is an experience we may enjoy, but in the case of overeating, it's something we fear. 

Temptation is best managed with tenacity. Tenacity is making a commitment to be true to yourself when you eat. This will require making an effort. Decide that you are worth the effort. These three little tricks are a simple intuitive connection to maintaining awareness of purpose and confidence in our choices. The results are impressive!

At mealtime, some of us use these little tricks to remind ourselves how lucky we are to have food on the table. Here are ways this happens:

  • A silent prayer of appreciation before each meal.
  • Eating one bite at a time to savor the flavor and make the meal stretch out.
  • Sharing food with others by working at soup kitchens, helping the needy or inviting friends for dinner.
Some of us have these little tricks to remind ourselves to eat less. We do this because we want to see our body reflect a vibrant, sexy ideal we see in our head. Here are ways this happens:

  • A silent prayer of appreciation before each meal.
  • Eating one bite at a time to savor the flavor and make the meal stretch out.
  • Sharing food with others by working at soup kitchens, helping the needy or inviting friends for dinner.
Common challenges that can be overcome with these simple tricks include: rushed convenience eating and changing emotional eating patterns. If you are scratching your head right now because these lists are both the same, then start using the little tricks and you will learn secrets about who you really are.

Additional easy tricks to help maintain the body you want include:

  •  Have your main dish on a small plate.
  • Order roast beef instead of tuna or chicken salad for lunch. Tuna/chicken salad is often full of fattening mayonnaise.
  • Order fajitas without the butter poured on at the end. You won't miss the taste.
  • Eat dessert with a teaspoon.
  • Stop eating before you feel stuffed. The way to do this is to put your hands in your lap between bites. 
    • Doing this, you will notice your stomach with your hands. This will be a heads up.
    • You will give your system time to recognize how much you've eaten, and ultimately, eat less.
    • You will be able to maintain a clear perspective of your priorities and take pleasure in taking control of how you eat.
Tenacity is an intuitive muscle for beating temptation. The more you use it, the stronger you become. The result is, temptation won't taste so good.

"Food plays an important part in proper nutrition, but what you do to your foods and what your body does about them is the final answer." ~ Dr. Hazel Parcells
This flower will turn into a strawberry!