Ammunition for the Food Battle

How can food have such a hold on us, even when we feel determined to achieve our goals?

There are so many times when I feel terrific and don’t plan to eat any unhealthy food. Then suddenly…WHAM!


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I’m down for the count. I’ve lost the food battle, again!

We might not be able to win every battle, but is there a way to prepare for these struggles with food? It helps if you know what you are up against. Then we might have a fighting chance.

Food is Comfort So much of the unhealthy food out there gives us comfort: pizza, chicken wings, potato with butter and sour cream, creamy pastas, popcorn with butter. It makes us feel good!

How to Fight Back? Ask yourself: do you want to rely on food to make you happy? Or, are there other things in life to focus on that give you joy (hobby you love, spending time with friends/family, pursuing goals and dreams)?

Food is Celebration All cultures seem to have food as a focal point of celebrations. Whether it’s cake at a birthday party, a buffet dinner at a wedding or drinks and dinner out to celebrate a promotion, we eat when we celebrate.

How to Fight Back? This one is tricky. I say enjoy the food at celebrations and try to focus on eating healthy at home. Indulge when you are celebrating, but remember to indulge with limits. You don’t have to have three cupcakes…have one.


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Food is Addictive Many of the foods we grew up with, and find tasty, are the ones that have addictive qualities. Processed foods that include high levels of fat, salt and/or sugar are some of the culprits we find hard to put down, or that we crave. Foods like potato chips, salted nuts, cookies etc. Even foods like cheese and meat have addictive qualities.

How to Fight Back? If you give up a certain food, you may be able to beat your addiction to that food. If you binge on cookies, maybe cookies should be off limits, period…no weaning off period. Of course, this is easier said than done. But, it is possible.

Food is Social Even when we feel determined to eat well, and have had success for a period of time, it’s difficult to eat healthy foods when we’re in a social situation where everyone else is eating chicken wings and pizza.

How to Fight Back? Eat a healthy portion of food BEFORE you head out to your event. You may not totally stick to the healthy approach, but at least you will have less room in your stomach for the bad stuff. If you are caught off guard and cannot plan, have a healthy salad first, and then indulge.

Food is Everywhere Even aside from social settings, food that we know is not nutritionally abundant is all around us: grocery stores, advertisements on television or radio or in magazines, recipe postings on social media, billboards as we’re driving, restaurant signs etc. It’s difficult to turn away from all that!

How to Fight Back? Try to look at all the images and words around you as annoying advertisements. Healthy food doesn’t need big billboards. An apple is healthy: you know it, and I know it. Try to look at all the other stuff as an annoying advertisement, calling desperately for you to eat it. It’s desperate because it has little to offer that is good.

Restaurant Outings Even if we eat well at home, it can be very tempting to eat the less healthy choices when we dine out. It is possible, but it means examining the menu and asking your waiter for dishes with substitutions or asking for special requests. Sometimes we don’t want to draw attention to ourselves. Sometimes, we just aren’t sure how to get a healthy meal at a restaurant without ordering a boring salad without dressing.

How to Fight Back? Look at a menu and see if you can come up with something that will be tasty, but also healthy. You can ask for a pasta in tomato sauce (most restaurants can cover that one), or you can have a salad with dressing on the side. Enjoy the dressing, but in small amounts. You control how much you consume. If you enjoy potato or rice, try to get that with some vegetables. Instead of focusing on your food for your entertainment, focus on the company.

Food as a Treat When we’ve eaten well for a period of time we deem successful (a morning, day, a week, a month) we feel proud of our efforts and reward ourselves with food. We justify eating unhealthy food when we feel we deserve it as a treat or reward. Unfortunately, this can put us right back where were started and keep us on the diet cycle.

How to Fight Back? Choose something other than food as your reward, such as time to yourself to read, get a manicure or have a nice hot bath. Maybe a walk in the park can be a reward or a new piece of clothing.

Need more ammunition?

Educate yourself about food. Learn what companies do to make it addictive. Find out more about what’s in your food and about different ways of eating.

Connect with others who also battle with food. Support each other. Learn from one another. You can connect with people you know and also with people online.

Ultimately, we can’t let food win. Stay on guard and keep fighting!

Wishing you a healthy journey.

The Power of Friendship

I wanted to share a lesson I learned this week.

A lesson about friendship and the power it holds.

I have a close friend who is actually quite different from me in many ways. But she we also share many things in common and have come to know each other well over the years.

We feel fairly comfortable sharing our thoughts with one another, but lately, it seems that we have been able to share some of our deeper thoughts.


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So, here’s what happened…

My friend and I often talk about our dreams, and we’ve both seen the other start something new that didn’t work out.

Recently, my friend was about to embark on a new direction in her journey, which at first glance, seemed to be a good fit. I supported her in her decision.

What I noticed, however, was that she didn’t seem to be truly fired up by this new venture.

Now, this friend of mine is what WaitButWhy calls a Tier 1 friend. So, to me, that means we’re close enough to be able to take risks with each other.


My gut instinct told me to share my thoughts with her and to give her my perspective.  Another part of me didn’t want to interfere with the journey she chose and to let her experience whatever it was that life was going to offer her.

So, I went with my gut. Why?

Because I felt it to the core, and I love my friend, and ultimately want to see her happy.

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So, I wrote out all my thoughts in an email, and guess what?

She didn’t disown me! The letter helped her to figure some things out.

I was so happy that I cried. Relief and joy.

So, the lesson here is to listen to your heart, and your gut, when it comes to matters of friendship.

Say what you need to say, through respect and love, and the power of your friendship will provide all you need (even if it goes the other way).


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Day 28 of 28 Day Raw Food Cleanse

Day 28 (Jan. 28)

Morning Weight: up .4 lb; with a total loss of 14.4 lbs since Day 1.

Today is the last day of my cleanse. I miss cooked food, like rice, chickpeas and potatoes. I will probably focus on eating mostly raw for the next few weeks; I haven’t decided what my next phase towards health will be.

Had three jars of smoothies as well as an apple. Again, I just wasn’t that hungry.

I ended the day by having a small salad, part of a salad my daughter couldn’t finish. It did have some chickpeas, so it was not part of the cleanse.

I drank about ¾ litre water today.

Wishing you a healthy journey.

Day 27 of 28 Day Raw Food Cleanse

Day 27 (Jan. 27)

Morning Weight: up .2 lb; with a total loss of 14.8 lbs since Day 1.

This morning I was back to work. Still tired and coughing but my energy is better.

I had 3 jars of green smoothies throughout the day, as well as a sliced up apple. I just wasn’t all that hungry.

Then, I came home to a precautionary, city-wide, boil-water advisory, so focused on boiling some water.

Hmm…what to eat?

I chose a big wonderful banana and cherry smoothie (my favourite lately).

I drank about ¾ litre water today.

Wishing you a healthy journey.

Day 26 of 28 Day Raw Food Cleanse

Day 26 (Jan. 26)

Morning Weight: down .2 lb; with a total loss of 15.0 lbs since Day 1.

Made a green smoothie to start the day, followed by another one later on.

Lunch was a bowl of raspberries and blueberries.

Dinner was a salad with tomatoes, cabbage and raw corn from the cob. Dressing was just half an avocado, mushed up.

I just wasn’t that hungry today. I am still not feeling well.

I drank over a litre of water today.

Wishing you a healthy journey.

Detox or a Wicked Flu?

I missed three days of work last week, due to what I thought was a flu/cold. If you’ve been reading my reports on my 28 Day Raw Food Cleanse, you’ll know about my complaints:

-no energy

-headaches (most of the time with some brief relief now and again)

-achy body, all over

-congested chest: this has been tough, with lots of coughing and bringing up phlegm. I will say though, that normally if I had congestion in my chest during a flu, the colour of the phlegm would be almost green. Not the case now. My phlegm is more of a neutral colour.

I know that there are a lot of different viruses out there, and there can be many different versions of how people symptomize, but this stuff happening to me doesn’t feel like anything else I have experienced before.

It is because of this that I decided to do some quick research, and see if other people have experienced the same symptoms as me, in relation to a detox.

I found an article with a title that caught my eye: 7 Ways to Avoid Detox Symptoms on a Cleanse from The Healthy Home Economist. I found some answers. Yes, other people who have gone through a cleanse have experienced flu like symptoms! Now, is this absolute proof that I do not have the flu, but am experiencing similar symptoms? No.

It does show me that it’s possible and reassures me that I have been listening to my body and that I am in tune with my body. Very powerful stuff!

I found another group of articles from Raw Food Explained. This one, What to Expect when you Improve your Diet, was quite helpful.

After readinng these articles, I am reminded of a book that I’ve read and found very helpful. I posted my review of Eating Alive in February, 2014, if you want to learn more.

I think I will have to give it a quick go-over or reread it to remind me about how the body deals with toxins.

Wishing you a healthy journey.