Do you really know
why your diet story
always begins and ends with "I'll start tomorrow"?
What if instead of being antagonized by food — 
you became the herione in a new food story?
A Truce with Food®
can be the plot twist
of a lifetime.

The choice is yours...
Enrollment runs April 21-28.

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WITH FOOD® TODAY

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(Download or listen to an audio version of this post here.)

Truce with Food opens for registration today! If after reading this program page you still have questions about whether Truce is the right fit for you, grab a 20-minute session for us to chat (promise, no hard selling).

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Over the last two posts, I’ve addressed the mental and emotional landscape responsible for drawing the battle lines between “good” and “bad” foods (that ultimately leads you to rebel) and how you won’t be navigating your way through these “mind” fields with shopping cart lunges.

Today I will focus on the top four mistakes people make that keep them stuck in a “battle” with food and themselves. But before I get to that, let’s linger for a moment on this word: Battle.

Before coming to me, my clients often have internalized these battle and war stories. Through our process-oriented work together, they realize these are not just words. What kind of behavior do you expect if food is treated as an enemy that needs “tracking” and “monitoring”?

What else happens in this war?

In order to inflict damage we dehumanize “the enemy.” If we become “our own worst enemy” in our “battle of the bulge” then we feel it’s okay to “beat ourselves up.”

Okay, I know that’s a lot of quotation marks, but the point here is that how you frame something—the often unconscious ways or stories— is important not only because it determines the path you take, but the type of information you will seek out. 

And, more often than not, we get stuck in these “trenches.” Why? Because if we are honest with ourselves, we are usually more concerned with being right (about the stories we’ve been telling ourselves) than happy. 

I’m here to tell you it doesn’t have to be this way. It is possible to call a Truce with Food, as past participants have discovered

Without further ado, here are the top four mistakes people continue to make in trying to lose weight. 

1.    Believing Self-Acceptance = Resignation. 

I’m here to tell you not to accept yourself (well, not in how we traditionally talk about this). Let me explain before the body image police chase me down. This topic arose in my last Truce with Food group. One participant explained that numerous therapists had told her she had to accept her body. But she just couldn’t. And in Truce with Food, I definitely believe in self-acceptance because paradoxically what you embrace often dissolves.

But, I define self-acceptance differently than most experts and traditional advice.

When most people hear “you have to just accept yourself,” what they feel is resignation. Ugh. I have to just be happy with this weight. I’ve been defeated. I might as well eat whatever I want. There’s no point in overriding these honest feelings with mantras. Saying, “I accept myself” while feeling completely different only leads to further lack of self-trust in the GPS system of your emotions.

What to do instead?

Own the body dissatisfaction and frustration. To me, this is the opposite of resignation. This is when the real work begins. Work that starts with a careful, non-judgmental exploration of the conditional statements like “once I lose weight, then X” or “I’ll feel confident when my clothes fit better.”

I guide my clients in these explorations, in figuring out if these statements are true. More often than not, clients cling to the story they’ve told themselves for years because they’d rather be “right” than happy.

I challenge you to replace the idea of self-acceptance not with resignation, but with bravery.

2.    Assume Your Weight Is Something that Needs Fixing. 

Holding onto this belief implies you’re somehow “broken,” deficient, or less than. My clients and group participants often arrive with years of shame in their body image confirmed (they believe) by their failed dieting attempts. Shame is about being wrong. And if you are inherently wrong, how can you make things right?

Your weight is not a deficiency. Your body is not your enemy. It’s a symptom that a lighter life is waiting. You don’t need something outside yourself (i.e. a new diet or guru). What you need is someone to coach and gently guide you in becoming the heroine of your adventure. Anytime you sense you’re striving to find THE ANSWER, the magic bullet, remember there isn’t one.

This is a process. In an era of detoxes and “quick” fixes, process may not be popular, but it gets results.

3.    Thinking Your Weight is a Logic Problem. 

You’re smart, you aren’t missing anything. If weight were a logic problem, you’d have solved it a long time ago. Life is not logical or linear. It’s full circle. It’s holistic. It isn’t your duty to track calories or read yet another nutrition article (although reading these posts is always a good idea ;-).

It’s okay to not know. Not knowing is often the first step in making you open to going deeper.

I challenge you to entertain that maybe, just maybe your weight loss goal is immune to the willpower, problem solving, and discipline that makes you successful in all other areas of your life. What would that mean for you and how you see yourself?

4.    No “show hands” or why drama isn’t the answer. 

The April issue of The Atlantic had an article “Hoop Dreams” on how NBA teams are doing something called “tanking.” Why? The way drafting works, the worst scoring teams get first dibs for their top draft picks. These teams are operating under the false assumption that one supremely talented player can save them.

So, what’s the problem?

History shows this never works. Instead, a mediocre team that builds upon their strengths and targets their weaknesses has a much better shot at the championship. The article says this also happens in business when a tanking business brings in a “savior” CEO. Inevitably, this practice backfires. The sought after CEO loses his reputation as a high-performer.

Instead, these teams and businesses should realize that making the tougher, “smaller” decisions leads to success. 

It took me years to realize that whenever I would say “diet starts tomorrow” and overeat at night, I was tanking myself because I assumed that it took “gearing up” and lots of drama to lose weight. That one thing—a diet, a supplement, a new juicer— was going to come along and save me.

But in actuality, my long-term results were always the result of more subtle, less dramatic decisions along the way. I paid attention to my blood sugar, healing my digestive system, and exploring where my true passions were.

Whether you are guilty of one or all of the above mistakes, the more you course correct now, the more you will understand the magnitude of this difference. It’s a difference that needs to be embodied to be fully understood.When you do, true and lasting results occur.

This is the heart and soul of Truce with Food.

Take it from Pat, a recent Truce with Food participant:


Truce with Food is such an insightful program and (so far) I’ve lost 44 pounds that I know won’t come back. Ali leads you through the steps in such an encouraging way that it doesn’t feel hard or scary. It just fits! She gives you the tools and understanding to pick the path that works best for you. There’s no one way to do things or rules. It’s the best time and dollars I have ever invested! —Pat P.


Truce with Food, my comprehensive nutrition and behavior program starts again May 1. Registration begins today (April 21) and runs through April 28 (Monday).

Over the course of this four month group program, participants not only learn, but unlearn and untangle what is keeping them stuck. Imagine being able to pivot when your nutritional and emotional needs change because you no longer have rules to rebel against.

Check out the trailer or share it with someone you think may benefit from this approach.

Philly-area folks can get a taste of Truce with Food by taking my “Make Healthy Habits Stick” workshop on Saturday, April 26. Only 2 spots remain!

In the meantime, I’d love to leave you with a quotation that may help new stories emerge:

“It may be that when we no longer know what to do,
we have come to our real work
and when we no longer know which way to go,
we have begun our real journey. 

The mind that is not baffled is not employed.”

― Wendell Berry

Be well,

Ali

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(Download or listen to an audio version of this post here.)

In an episode of Live Big with Ali Vincent, Ali (the first Biggest Loser female winner) not only guided her guest through making “healthy” selections at the grocery store, but demonstrated how this guest could enlist her shopping cart to perform lunges down those shiny grocery store aisles.

Killing two birds with one stone?

Eeek!

 Image Credit: “clearing out” by schizoform

Okay, these lunges can make for (arguably) good TV, but can you really imagine performing such acts in the middle of your grocery store?! Besides being uninspiring, these lunges are brought to you by fear. Anyone who has lost and then regained weight knows how hard it is to “enjoy” a new body, it’s as if you are haunted by visions of an old body waiting for you in the frozen foods aisle (no worries, you can plow it down with your power lunging cart).

But seriously, these fears aren’t completely unfounded with dieting failure rates at 95%.

In last week’s post, I discussed how labeling foods as  “good” or “bad” ultimately leads to rebellion and a roller coaster of stress and guilt. While your hair may have shifted during the ride, you end up right back where you started, gripping the safety bar (often a little worse for wear).

Unfortunately, in the collective U.S. psyche the best you can hope for is to lose the weight and then settle into a life filled with fear of food and your body. In the same way our culture often defines “healthy” as simply being free of disease instead of fully alive, I want to suggest an alternative. Instead of swinging back and forth between these limiting binaries, start to imagine your relationship to food on a continuum. On one end you have deprivation, guilt, dread, fear, and shame, but why not hang out on the positive end filled with less rigidity, enjoying foods, no worry about “slipping up,” and motivation to make healthy choices?

Chances are you already have someone in your life that embodies this positive end of the spectrum. Hint: Look to the friend that can seemingly “eat anything and not gain weight.” While we may secretly avoid such carefree friends, more often than not they aren’t blessed with a roaring engine of a metabolism. So, what’s going on? Chances are this friend probably eats moderately because food isn’t dominating her mind and behavior. Chances are she isn’t caught in the extremes of “good” and then the (inevitable) “bad” eating (i.e. bingeing).

What does this look like on a daily basis? For starters, you think about food a lot less. Every encounter with your plate doesn’t feel like a moral challenge. You easily forgive yourself when you have a  ”slip-up.” Your moods are no longer a projection of your latest “weigh-in” or tracking “points” in your weight loss “progress.”

Here are a couple of snapshots of what this looked like for recent Truce with Food participants: 

  • Now that she knows which foods work best for her body, this participant feels confident making the healthy choice. Prior to Truce, she was running away from the judgement of the scale, not towards a life she wanted. She lost five pounds and her previously tight “goal” shorts now fit.
  • Another client stressed about an upcoming vacation. We redefined what moderation would look like on this vacation, a definition that was embracing enough to include “homemade wine and pasta and sometimes luscious greens.” Without the constant stress of monitoring and guilt, this client returned from her trip not only with fantastic memories, but without gaining a single pound.
  • By getting to what her body insecurity was really about, this participant grew confident not only in her body, but her life. With this new found self worth, she negotiated a higher fee for her business services—and got it! 
  • Another client realizing that making “it all look easy” and “taken care of” by always being there for everyone else, finally let down her guard, asked for help and felt deeply connected to her friends and family. Feeling deeply accepted in this new authenticity, her weight loss suddenly accelerated.

What all of these participants have in common is that as they moved toward the positive end of the relationship to food continuum (sans shopping cart lunges) weight loss became a natural side effect.

Life changing = When you experience weight maintenance or loss without the constant vigilance.

Take it from Tina Boogren, a participant in Truce with Food this fall:


Before Truce with Food, I found myself bingeing while I was on the road for work. I knew what healthy habits I needed to follow—I’d been trying for YEARS. Truce with Food was eye opening and enabled me to figure out what was sabotaging me. Since Truce, I have not binged at all—not once! I now recognize and honor the challenges of traveling for work and rather than binge, I find other ways to take care of myself. I am much more kind, gentle, and at peace with myself. I am on a quest to bring my own radiance to life and this program brought this need and desire to light. Ali and the whole group have helped me find my radiance that had been buried for years and years. I am forever grateful.


So what food path do you want to be on? More importantly, what life do you want to live?

In one of Ali Vincent’s latest episodes, she’s struggling with a significant weight gain post-Biggest Loser. The camera zooms in on her tears as her face registers the scale going up, then down, then back up…This breaks my heart not only because I’ve been there, but because it doesn’t have to be this way.

What sabotages most of us is that we don’t know we have another choice. We don’t know realize we have become unwilling victims in a story of how “it has to be.”

While I haven’t followed every nuance of Ali Vincent’s story to offer a complete analysis of what is going on, I’m fairly certain that (on a physical level) she’s dealing with metabolic rebound from losing so much weight so quickly. But, more importantly, what needs to be addressed is what’s happening on the inside, once the show’s spotlights have flicked off.

If it was just about food, exercise, and discipline, then she would be sailing free.

The same is true for you. You might not be on TV, but it’s the darkness—that mysterious mix of fear, guilt, and sabotage—that needs examining. It’s what happens in the dark that determines the behavior in the spotlight.

But when you compassionately and methodically bring those feelings out of the dark, then you can have your cake and eat it too, without registering it on your guilt meter or scale. As it turns out, a piece of cake can be a nourishing ritual in something worth celebrating: a more light, confident, peaceful, and beautiful life.

Truce with Food, my comprehensive nutrition and behavior program starts again May 1. Registration is from April 21-28. Over the course of this four month group program, participants not only learn, but unlearn and untangle what is keeping them stuck. Imagine being able to pivot when your nutritional and emotional needs change because you no longer have rules to rebel against.

Check out the trailer or share it with someone you think may benefit from this approach.

Philly-area folks can get a taste of Truce with Food by taking my “Make Healthy Habits Stick” workshop on Saturday, April 26. Only 4 spots remain!

I’ll be back shortly to show you common mistakes you maybe (unknowingly) making that are preventing you from moving towards the positive end of your relationship with food.

Until then, life is too short to spend it lunging through your grocery store aisles.

Outside the store, there’s a whole world, waiting.

Be well.

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We all do it: eavesdropping. Waiting for tea to steep at a coffee shop last week, I overheard two women.

“You look amazing! Wow! You’ve definitely lost weight.”

“20 pounds!” (followed by a satisfied pirouette)

“Oh my God! How? You have to tell me.” (hand clasping the other’s shoulder, wide-eyes, expecting Holy Grail of dieting secrets)

“A juice and vegetable cleanse!”

“Email it to me right away, like right now.”

Below the surface of these pleasantries was a panicked buzz that had nothing to do with caffeine. As the pirouetting woman took out her iPhone to forward the cleanse, there was some lip biting by her friend. Turns out the Holy Grail seeker has rented a beach house with friends. The summer is just around the corner, breathing down her neck, and well, it shouldn’t matter, but she wants to look hot.

I’m sure identical scenes are playing out all over the city as you read this.

Zoom out on these women’s lives in three months (which is still summer!) or this time a year from now. Will they be having the same conversation but about a “different” plan? Following statistics (95% failure rate) and most diet narratives (battle of the bulge!), both will be more or less playing the same roles next time time we check-in with them.

Or perhaps something like P90X is substituted in the above interaction. While it appears different, it’s really the same theory of absolutes and rigid structure. Nutritional studies, cleanses, or even 30-day reboot plans hook you with inflated promises and don’t account for context. Because they are made for the masses, they can’t meet you (an individual) where you are, which includes your mental and emotional state around food.

Think of your body as a orchestra, where different sections—or systems like digestive and blood sugar health—come together for the resonant experience of a symphony, i.e. feeling fully alive. Now, diet plan X, Y, and Z can tell you why the string or brass sections sound off and, with an educated guess, how to get them back in tune. But that same plan and possible solution won’t tell you how to get other  sections (or the mental and spiritual piece to food decisions) to play along  or how to attain that magical blend that bring audiences to the edge of their seats.

Now imagine the audience is filled with hecklers and sporadic clapping. The audience is so loud and distracting that the conductor can’t concentrate and the symphony now sounds like a bunch of clanging pots and pans.

This is what our panicky minds especially do during this time of year. The clanging chatter inside our heads and allure of a quick fix add to the usual “I shouldn’t” or  “I must” internal monologues. The rigid rules that help us during the first 10 days of a reboot, that have us following the story of  “good” and “bad” foods will now sabotage us.

The result: Your experience of food and being in your body is ruined.

So, the question is: Are you guilty of “musterbating?”

This term, coined by cognitive behaviorist Dr. Albert Ellis, is the idea that beliefs like “I must,” “I should,” “I have to,” are irrational and create an inordinate amount of tension and stress. Ellis didn’t mean our desires don’t matter, only that making any single event or achievement the linchpin of all happiness ultimately leads to disaster.

So what does musterbating look like?

Think about a nutrition belief you hold so dear that the only thing that would convince you to act otherwise is going against it and still losing weight. Let’s say you believe that you must never eat full-fat ice cream.

Here’s musterbation in action:

I must not eat that ice cream. I should eat really well, especially since I skipped my workout  Look at the fat grams, how sinful. But I really want that ice cream. I can almost taste it. Maybe just one bite. But I shouldn’t. I can’t. I just can’t.

You know where this leads….You get worn down and the craving wins. Then guilt ensues and it’s: I shouldn’t have done that. I must get on the scale tomorrow to hold me accountable. I’ll must get back on track tomorrow. 

Enter: A second serving of ice cream (and maybe grazing on some other foods in the vicinity). Tomorrow I’ll do better.

And of course, tomorrow never comes.

Remember this: What we resist persists. 

It’s as if you are standing on stage with the clacking of the pots and pans, too close to make sense of what you are hearing. What you need to do is to head up to the balcony.

What does it look like from up there?

Curiosity, not judgement.

What if your mental conversation ran more like this?

Wow. I do love ice cream. And on special occasions, it’s totally worth it. I’m not really hungry, but it does look good. I wonder what’s really going on with me wanting this ice cream? Am I just tired and looking for a quick energy boost? Can I sneak in a power nap?

Feels like a lot less pressure, right? Getting there, understanding that food as “good” and “bad” is relative (yes, ice cream is healthy at times!) and understanding why in that moment you want these “bad” foods requires sinking below the clattering labels to a deeper intelligence.

Instead of the rinse-and-repeat cycle of “starting tomorrow,” this could happen:

I can’t believe the progress I’ve made in Truce with Food compared to 10+ years of unnecessary dieting. This program can help people with different issues (overeating, over-exercising, over-analyzing, or people who need more nutritional guidance) using relatively the same method. On the other hand, there was no one-size-fits-all approach and that was welcomed.—Adrienne

Truce with Food, my comprehensive nutrition and behavior program starts again May 1.

Registration is from April 21-28. Over the course of this four month group program, participants not only learn, but unlearn and untangle what is keeping them stuck. I promise to show you how to become the conductor of your life. Among many lessons contained in this program are learning how to contextualize what foods work for you and how to adopt a healthy mindset so you become immune to the peer-pressure of conventional diet stories with their clearly drawn battle lines of “good” and “bad.”

Truce with Food quiets the distracting audience inside your mind so you can listen and understand what your body and emotions are telling you. Imagine being able to pivot when your nutritional and emotional needs change because you no longer have rules to rebel against.

When this happens, you are able to discover that perhaps you stick with cleanses and diets at the start because you feel excited about the possibilities and novelty inherent in new experiences. Maybe, just maybe it’s new and challenging experiences in other areas of your life that will keep you motivated for lasting results, not another hard-to-stomach juice.

Truce with Food is a process, one that includes dispelling long cherished myths about dieting and nutrition.

I’ll be back in the next few days with what this can look when you are willing to learn your body (yes, I’ll show when ice cream is healthy!) and understand what works for you, right now and into the future.

Until then, don’t be caught musterbating! The next time you have a healthy decision to make like working out or taking a nap, try replacing “I must”, “I have to”, “I should” with questions like: What feels healthy at this very moment?

Perhaps, after your nap, you’ll feel motivated to head to the gym and discover healthy doesn’t have to be an either/or proposition.

Philly-area folks can get a taste of Truce with Food by taking my “Make Healthy Habits Stick” workshop on Saturday, April 26. Space is very limited to ensure an intimate experience and 1-on-1 attention.

Be well,

Ali

 

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I’ve received such inspiring feedback about the past three posts as I’ve given you a small taste of my Curb Your Afternoon Cravings program. Many have told me that you’ve already started making some pivotal changes to the design of your plate and have noticed reduced cravings.

Today’s post is the final plate reveal!

But before we get to the drumroll, if you haven’t been following along, this intro video will give you a quick overview of the program. If you like what you see, forward to a friend or purchase here. You’ll get video lessons, a guidebook, and Facebook support to ensure your success. The pioneering participants who took the program last fall can testify to getting results.

Last week we focused on the role veggies (1/2 of your lunch plate) play in balancing blood sugar. This week, we continue designing our blood sugar balanced lunch plate by focusing on… drum roll…please….

Carbohydrates and fats.

Don’t run for the hills!

If you make sure 1/8 of your plate is carbohydrates and 1/8 is fats (the right kinds) you will have the final components of your blood sugar balanced lunch plate. Please email me a picture of your beautiful plate once you do and tell me a bit about your experience so far.

Now that we’ve covered each component of your lunch plate, I believe a diagram is in order:

I know the use of diagrams and ratios suggest a clear cut process. Of course, curbing your afternoon cravings is not. In order to plug directly into your motivation to continue with these healthy changes, you’ll need to figure out why those M&Ms in the company’s candy dish continue to speak to you (like those that star in the commercials) even though you aren’t really hungry.

Discovering your own answers (they are different for each person) will be integral to your success. It’s a process that can’t be taught in the usual, worn out “Top 5″ lists so popular in crowded magazine stands and online (hey, they get clicks!).

Instead, this program teaches you how to become an expert on your own body by learning how to listen to its messages. This isn’t a skill set that you learn overnight, but it can be taught with time and practice. You’ll get a significant taste of this liberating skill set in Curb Your Afternoon Cravings.

But, back to the carbs and fats. Here are some points to keep in mind:

  • Healthy carbohydrates include: 100% whole grains like rice and quinoa, beans, or starchier vegetables like sweet potatoes.
  • Healthy fats include: avocados, nut butters, olive oil, coconut oil, and nuts and seeds (like sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts, cashews)
  • Fats might not actually take up 1/8 of your plate, but rather aim for about 150-200 calories
  • Mind your oils: Even the healthiest of restaurants are guilty of using vegetable oils like soybean and canola oils—these are not your friends. You’ll certainly absorb the calories, but not the nutrition.
  • Fat helps you feel satisfied from lunch, not just full. A subtle, but important distinction is sailing through 3 p.m. without M&M fantasies!

Ah, isn’t it satisfying to read bullet points!

But, here’s where we often stumble with these suggestions. We usually feel okay about adding a little bit of carbs because we connect this addition with how much more energy we have a couple hours later. Alright, we think I’ll allow myself this. 

But the mental negotiations seem to breakdown when I ask clients to add about 200 calories of fat to their lunch plates. Great in theory, but often terrifying in practice. I suggest they grab full-fat yogurt and…

GASP!

“But that’s 200 more calories!”

I’ve learned this fear goes beyond their immediate choice. This is often about not feeling in control of your future food choices. The mental math suggests that by adding these calories, there’s less you can eat later. And that fear is compounded by the thought, What if I can’t do that later because I don’t trust myself or my willpower around food? 

I get it! I spent way too many years thinking I could not control myself around food—saving the majority of my calories for the evenings. It felt safer to eat once the sun was down because I had made it through all the day’s minefields of temptation— this is my reward! And, the thinking went, No one is around to judge me (even though we’re often our own worst critics).

The first step in feeling comfortable with having as much fat as you need in your diet is to notice how your physiology (i.e. your body) informs your feelings around food. Notice how adding that much fat makes you feel in control of your eating because your appetite diminishes….and—because your blood sugar also controls the pace of our minds—how your racing thoughts about food and food choices start to slow or vanish altogether.

Eliminating all this doubt and temptation is often enough to catapult people over the extra caloric hump.

When it comes to getting trim, remember lunch is in many ways the most important meal of the day because of how high your metabolism runs at lunch time.

So, get out there with your well-designed lunch plate and let me know how it goes. So many of these changes really do need to be experienced in the body to be believed (unfortunately, reading about these changes won’t do it). If you’ve been able to surmount your getting-fat-on-your-plate phobia, I’d love to hear what helped. Please leave a comment here.

If you want to go deeper and have the support while doing so, consider joining this Curb Your Afternoon Cravings program.

Ready to get started? Purchase here.

Remember, 3 p.m. could feel so good.

Be well,

Ali

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As promised in my last post, I’m back to offer another small sampling of my self-guided Curb Your Afternoon Cravings program. Haven’t been following along? This intro video will give you a quick overview.

If you like what you see, forward to a friend or purchase here. You’ll get video lessons, a guidebook, and Facebook support to ensure your success. The pioneering participants who took the program last fall can testify to getting results.

Last week we focused on the role protein (1/4 of your lunch plate) plays in balancing blood sugar. This week, we continue designing our blood sugar balanced lunch plate by spotlighting veggies (1/2 of your plate).

Ugh…

Was that a groan I just heard?

You had to know veggies would make an appearance. Trust me and read on (hey, someone has to be a PR person for our often neglected veggies).

Veggies often get a bad (w)rap because we haven’t learned a tasty way to prepare them or associate them with bland (and crunchy) iceberg lettuce. Availability is often a factor too. At least here in Philly, few grab-and-go spots serve collard-wrapped sandwiches.

Among the top benefits of veggies are:

  • Volume: Simply put, they makes you feel more full
  • Sweet craving knockout: The bitter flavor (especially in green veggies) curbs sweet cravings
  • Strong bones: Veggies are among the best sources for fortifying your bones
  • Glowing skin: As a bonus, you will radiate naturally without products

But, I have a feeling I could continue this list and many would still throw their hands up in exasperation (when will she stop talking about veggies!).

So, here are some quick tips for getting in those veggies conveniently. Again, make sure veggies make up 1/2 of your lunch plate, whether you’re eating out or staying in.

For eating out:

  • Repeat: ”Everything in life is negotiable.” I have a friend with a Wharton MBA and she said this was one of the first lessons she learned. Keep this in mind next time you are scanning the menu and don’t see many veggie options. Don’t be afraid to ask for what they have in the back. Being gluten-free, if I see a sandwich that sounds good, I simply ask for it over a bed of spinach. Don’t hesitate. I’ve never been turned down.
  • Always pick the spring, arugula, or spinach mix when considering a salad base. Also, don’t be shy to ask for extra.
  • Go beyond salads. Broccoli, green beans, Brussels sprouts, and asparagus (in season soon) not only count, but are often prepared simply and deliciously in restaurants.

For staying in (when you have (a bit) of time to prepare):

  • It’s green smoothie season! The weather may still be fickle for awhile, but spring is the season for greens (they help detox winter phlegm). Add a cup to your lunch to feel extra satiated from your food. Here’s my tried-and-true recipe.
  • Pump up the taste of your veggies with simple dressings. A little drizzle and BAM! your taste buds will believe it’s an entirely new meal. Here are some of my favorites, which I store in mason jars for easy storage and access.
  • Try these chicken collard wraps and broccoli soup recipes, excerpted from the Curb Your Afternoon Cravings guidebook                               

I hope after reading this post, I’ve convinced you that veggies deserve 1/2 of your plate real estate.

Next week I’ll show you how to design the last quarter of your plate to finish off your blood sugar balanced lunch. What I’ll reveal is often the portion of your plate that brings up the most emotion. As I mentioned in the last post, there’s a lot more to curbing your afternoon cravings than a plate redesign.

Stay tuned for the big reveal and tips on how you can get over the fear (and guilt) of adding this next component to your plate. 

Ready to get started? Purchase here.

Remember, 3 p.m. could feel so good.

Be well,

Ali

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I’m so encouraged by the response to my last email. A BIG thank you to those who have already purchased Curb Your Afternoon Cravings! Before I get to the small taste of this self-guided program (promised in the last email) I’d like to remind you that this Friday (March 7th) is the last day for subscribers of my list (you!) to save 30% off the $97 price tag. Just enter the coupon code “relief” (no quotations) at checkout.

Get a clearer sense of the program by watching (and hopefully sharing) this intro video.

Curb Your Afternoon Cravings: 3 p.m. could feel so good! (Intro Video) from Ali Shapiro on Vimeo.

The pioneering participants who took the program last fall can testify to results ranging from energy surges and losing weight (after plateauing on Weight Watchers) to improved moods and no more 3 p.m. “hangry” (hungry + angry) attacks on the cookie jar. You get video lessons, a guidebook book, and Facebook support to ensure your success.

But onto the small taste of Curb Your Afternoon Cravings. The first act of this program is titled “Connect Body & Brain (Balancing Blood Sugar).”

Imagine stumbling onto a roller coaster every morning and not even knowing it. In fact, that’s what most of us are doing. We’re unsuspecting riders experiencing the peaks and valleys of our energy and moods, never guessing we’ve strapped into a ride known as blood sugar. What we often think is a lack of “willpower” is actually a lack of blood sugar control. Designing your lunch plate to be more blood sugar balanced is the first step.

How?

Start with focusing on PROTEIN as the first major design change to your lunch plate.

Here are some key points:

  • Make sure 1/4 of your plate is made up of protein (150-200 calories, for the counters among you)
  • Great sources of protein include pasture-raised eggs (with the yolks!), organic meats and fishes, and organic tempeh
  • For most people beans register as a carbohydrate, not a protein
  • Sufficient protein is key in smoothing out the peaks and valleys of your blood sugar that cause cravings
  • Whenever possible, cook your food at home to avoid unhealthy oils often used by restaurants (the program includes some suggested recipes)

Now, the catch is to notice some improvement. Why nutritional changes tend to be confusing and then overwhelming is because we bite off more than we can chew (ha!) and feel overwhelmed. Instead, we are better off making a series of bite-sized (I’m on a roll) changes so we can experience the benefit that will ensure we stick with new habits.

Two more key components of your lunch plate will be revealed over the next two emails. But, of course, there’s a lot more to curbing your afternoon cravings than a plate redesign. This self-guided program also includes unique activities to zero in on the emotional currents underlying most difficult changes (you know, the ones that aren’t bullet point friendly).

I’ll be back in a few days. But, in the meantime, don’t forget this Friday is your last chance to save 30% (enter the coupon code “relief” (no quotations) at checkout.)

Remember, 3 p.m. could feel so good.

Be well,

Ali

p.s. For readers of my last email, I’m happy to report Carlos and I are done binge watching House of Cards (and some macaroons have even survived the ordeal).

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