overflowing plateSmart busy women all over the United States, from professional women to busy moms to college students are too overworked and over-scheduled to have the time to eat right. It is not just a question of realizing that the pair of pants we wore last winter is now too tight to comfortably wear this fall. We have to stay healthy! by Jane F. Collen

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In A Quandary About Healthy Eating? Figure out your triggers to help you avoid gaining stress weight:

*stress makes you seek instant gratification
*lack of time makes you chose pre-prepared foods, and fast food
*lack of sleep makes you crave more sugar
*all of the above clouds your judgment for food choices
When there are warm cookies at a meeting – how do you pass them up?

– Prevention magazine says – think of something that makes you smile, that you like even more than cookies putting that image in your head can actually get you to turn away from something deep-fried and covered in sugar. This seemed like a stretch to me — but it works!
– WE are programmed to be negative – THINK POSITIVE — I DON’T EAT doughnuts!
– Take a scent with you in your purse that you can sniff to avoid the tantalizing aroma of melting chocolate
– Have your 1 oz. of dark chocolate with you and eat it when everyone else is eating cookies
– Try to get some sleep! – if craving something before bed, try a bedtime tea – to fill you up and help you fall asleep –the different herbs will be tasty

My daughter and I read Melissa and Doug Hartwig’s book THE WHOLE 30 and meticulously followed their regime for the entire 30 days. If you want a good, informative primer on the effects of our American diet on our body this is a great place to start. I have to warn you, trying this regime was a pretty extreme diet change for me. Actually the thing that seemed to have the biggest effect on me was forever giving up sweetened beverages. I used to have more honey than tea in my cups of tea. But Prevention Magazine concurs — sugary drinks, especially soda are just terrible for you for many reasons.

If a radical diet change will be just one more stress in your life then:
My daughter is able to can count calories — just a 200 calorie reduction or a 10 extra minute expenditure of energy (even if it is not formally exercise) can have you lose 2 pounds in a week
My easy small step? Substitutions! When I want a bag of chips, I know that means I need to crunch, so I reach for a bag of baby carrots – already clean and peeled, and just as ready to eat — and I don’t worry about how many I have.
My loudest mantra — I will NEVER give up dessert so:
ice cream sunday— substitution — fruit smoothie — frozen banana, any kind of fresh berries frozen (cherry is the sweetest) canned coconut milk and a dash of vanilla – blended till ice cream texture — YUMMY!
beer – herbal tea — sure, not the same buzz effect (but that mellowness can actually prevent you from sleeping well at night) and the herbs of the teas have lots of flavors that can satisfy your craving for hops!
SOMETHING WARM AND COMFORTING— make your own French Hot Chocolate! — it is almost as easy as ripping open a packet of SwissMiss® — just a few more steps — buy some unsweetened cocoa powder, the fancier the better, but Hershey’s will do perfectly well — 1 tablespoon of cocoa in hot water, 1 tsp of honey and a dash of coconut milk from the can — thick and creamy and you have a liquid dark chocolate treat — that CAN satisfy the craving for something decadent and won’t overload you on sweet.
We are being sabotaged You faithfully stick to your “low fat lunch” of deli turkey, tomato and lettuce on a roll? Guess what? The roll now has more sugar and more preservatives in it (whatever happened to dark bread?) and the deli Turkey has sugar in it! The tomatoes and lettuce could be genetically modified. We have to rethink every choice — our new mantra — go as unprocessed or raw as possible.

– NO SODA – IN addition to the excessive amounts of sugar in soda, all kinds of studies show that the carbonated water and the preservatives are not good for you either.
And Sugar-free SODA is even worse! in fact ALL SUGAR substitutes ! new research shows (again, see Prevention Magazine or read THE WHOLE 30) that most people do not lose any weight by drinking diet soda. In fact, because all sugar substitutes are 20 times as sweet as sugar –when we eat them we raise the amount of sweet it will take to satisfy our sugar cravings. — times 20!!! No wonder 1 brownie is not enough!
– If you grab the brownies at the party — try to stop at one
I can take one so i don’t feel deprived and force myself to nibble ala French Women Don’t Get Fat and I feel like I had a dessert and I was part of the party.
My daughter advises that she just can’t nibble — it’s all or nothing! So after the brownie party she tries to work out for 10 extra minutes the next day.

Remember – tomorrow is another day — or even later today — figure yourself out — Is it the morning lull after breakfast that lures you to the doughnuts in the break-room or the candy bar next to the refrigerator when you come home fatigued?
What do you have to guard against? Do you crave the sweet? (think fruit) or the fat (think coconut milk) or the salt? (think celery — naturally salty).

sources: Prevention Magazine, Hart THE WHOLE 30

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