November 2008

Thanksgiving and Holiday Diet Tips from the ‘No Guilt’ Fairy

Okay, I need to start with my peeve about all of the usual tips we get from the experts this time of year. They tell you all sorts of tips on how to not ‘blow it’ and gain too much weight over the holidays.I try to digest these bits of information, and my inner diet rebel comes out: “Can’t we ever have a time when we can enjoy our food without over thinking the whole thing?!”

So many people spend their waking moments thinking about what they have, haven’t, should, and shouldn’t have eaten. This lands people in one of two places: A structure that works and they are content with their weight, or a constant on-off eating style, on-off guilt, and tremendous dissatisfaction and preoccupation.

If structuring yourself through limitation works for you, do it. But, for those of you who ‘do well’ throughout the party and meal and then find yourselves standing at the fridge eating the leftovers, try these tips:

1) Make a conscious decision to put that voice in your head, the one that tells you: “No, you really shouldn’t have that additional piece of pie, or that helping of stuffing”, and STUFF IT.

2) Repeat this mantra: “I CAN eat my food. I CAN decide what I want to eat, and I am charged with the MISSION TO SAVOR IT. To taste every morsel and bite. To enjoy the textures, the variety of tastes, and to GIVE IT TO MYSELF.”

3) NO GUILT ALLOWED. Have I said that enough times? NO GUILT ALLOWED. If you don’t believe me, I can promise you that it will boost your metabolism. There, have I caught your attention now?!

4) No complaining: “I ate too much!” You can feel proud and say it with a smile. In fact, you probably should eat a lot when there is fabulous food around. Your mouth and senses deserve and demand it. If it is crappy food, don’t bother.

Being able to stop eating when you are done, or full, is not just physical, obviously.

Teach yourself a new trick.

Happy Thanksgiving, and Happy Eating!

HEALTHY EATING OBSESSION Gets Red Alert on the Today Show

Good news to me.  Finally, some attention paid to the fact that so many people think that the goal of ‘healthy eating’ can turn into an obsession and is an eating disorder. 

The Today Show interviewed their health news editor and a blogger of I Village who spoke eloquently on the subject.  Same day as the National Eating Disorder Association has their annual benefit this evening, to raise funds and awareness about eating disorders.

So many people struggle with guilt or with preoccupation with eating healthy, or on losing weight, that it has become a part of our culture.  Although there are headlines screaming about the eating disorders in the celebrity world at times, it is rare that we really examine our cultural preoccupation and how much an obsession about eating is woven into our daily life.  This news segment affirmed what I have been talking about for some time now, that people’s preoccupation with ‘healthy’ eating can also be an eating disorder. 

I am happy to see this beginning to be talked about, as I have gotten people in my office over the last five years particularly, worried about their concerns about healthy eating taking over their lives, and turning them into rigid, tense individuals, who can’t enjoy food that is ‘off’ the healthy eating plan. 

I commend anyone out there who is able to questions their own behaviors and rigidity.  That is always the start. Despite the proven success of programs to help people lose weight like Weight Watchers, which focuses on helping people stay away from depriving themselves, we will always see one fad diet or another hit the newsstand and our imaginations. 

So pay attention if your wish to ‘eat healthy’ turns into too much guilt.  There is always a path back to freedom with food. 

Happy eating! 

For more information on NEDA, visit their website at:

Book Review from a Nutritionist

This week I am pleased to publish the review on my book done by a nutritionist and published on her website.  (see below link)  
I promise to get back to all of you soon on the usual issues around food, kids and eating! 


Get Rid of Child Eating Problems Once and For All
This month’s book review we are focusing on books dedicated to child eating problems and solutions (and one on Omega-3 Fatty Acids which also affects kids).

Take the Fight Out of Food: How to Prevent and Solve Your Child’s Eating Problems by Donna Fish, MS, LCSWThis book begins by encouraging parents to examine their own relationship with food. Fish says everyone has a “food legacy” that is all too easily passed down from one generation to the next. Fish also explains how the developmental stage and individual eating style of children affects eating. When the reader understands these important components of child eating problems, they are then taken through four steps for “eating for life.

”Taking the Fight Out of Food is more complex (which you may like or dislike depending on your preferences) thanSecrets in how it deals with feeding children – and the focus is more on the psychological aspects. I was really impressed with Fish’s strategies on how to resolve various eating problems in children – and it really opened up my eyes. The nutrition information is outdated because the book was published in 2005 right as the new dietary guidelines came out. The book is perfect for families with “problem eaters” whether they be finicky, controlling or overeaters – Fish will help you diagnose the problem.