"I'll start tomorrow!"
The beginning and end of most diet stories.
How about today?
How about losing the weight & freeing
your mind?
Not with another diet...
Truce with Food is a plot twist and you are the heroine.


Experience the power of subtle changes.



In my dieting days, every year around this time, I’d curse the end of February while also anxious about wearing my spring clothes. This was proof I had failed my “new year, new you” resolve. Why hadn’t I been able to fix my weight?

Because I didn’t realize I wasn’t broken, I’d tune into all the advertising and magazines that operated under the same premise: that I had failed but they had this “one thing” that would be the answer.

And then 12 years ago at the end of February, I felt like I was stewing in a crock-pot of depression, sadness, frustration and anger over my winter weight gain.

And so I gave up. On dieting. On the hope of my different, thinner life.

Me. The little girl my dad nick named “jackhammer” because I would pound away relentlessly till I broke through whatever barriers to get what I wanted (including his nerves!).

Ali "Jackhammer" Shapiro circa 1984

Ali “Jackhammer” Shapiro
circa 1984

Giving up didn’t feel like a choice. It felt like resignation. I remember telling myself, “well, you’re going to have to figure out how to like your life being fat.”

What I didn’t know then was I wasn’t giving up. My constricted feelings were signaling that I was ready to break loose of doing the same thing of fighting food, my cravings and body. My breakdown was a breakthrough.

I was finally ready to consider that self-acceptance could be about appreciating my current body and still wanting to improve it. For example, it was about doing the work to understand the root cause of my supposed love of carbs (I had never bothered to understand blood-sugar beyond reading about it in the South Beach Diet).

About half my clients come to me under these same circumstances. They know my work is very different than what they’ve tried. And, they candidly share I am their last hope. That yes they want to lose weight but they will “settle” for internal peace.

What I tell them is that seems like resignation to you, feeling lost and uncertain, tells me you are open. To real change.

Contrary to motivational speeches everywhere, being ready for profound change isn’t about feeling inspired. This can get you started. But what gets you through the middle, which is most of any journey, are the choices you make when you don’t know which way to turn.

Will you go around in circles, learning “more” from the media that keep this painful yet familiar battle story going? Or will you consider a different path, even if you’re skeptical in the beginning?

As humans, we narrate our lives in reverse. In other words, things only make sense after the fact. That is when we can see how “oh, this led to this.”

So if you’re feeling lost, confused and really not sure where to turn next with this “food thing”, it’s not winter, spring or your body you are rallying against.

It could be that you’re ready to stop being against yourself and for a breakthrough.

Like me, my clients are persistent. But now it’s time to persist in reading and writing a different story.

As one of my favorite poets Rumi says, “Don’t think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It’s quiet, but the roots are down there riotous.”

So sit with what possibilities are stirring within you.

If you do feel ready for a breakthrough, I’ll be back shortly with a great next chapter to create a plot-twist in your tired dieting story.

Be well,


Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Email

Be the first to comment


Get your name on the list!
Plus I'll email you some tasty treats!

In my dieting days, I tried everything. Even charcoal, a “2015 wellness trend.” I tried that in 1999 (hat tip to my maternal lineage who gifted me with being ahead of one’s time!).

Being on the other side of that hell, it’s clear what I was doing wrong.

I thought I was trying “everything” but in reality, I was doing the same thing: fighting my body and food. One thing my clients often believe they have to fight, as did I, is their hunger.

So they “arm” themselves with control tactics: eating until 80% full, mindfully tasting every raisin, and on good days, chewing as slowly as one can in a life going at 90 miles an hour.

But still, they overeat. Or need something sweet after lunch and dinner. Salty tater tots are their best friend after a stressful work week.

“Why am I weak?” they wonder.

That’s not the right question, but that’s a post for another day.

Unraveling this personal mystery starts with understanding how your hunger shows up for you. You may not feel hunger in your stomach. In fact, by the time your stomach is growling (if it does), you’re beyond hungry. You’re hangry.

Here are ways hunger associated with blood-sugar appears:

1. “Crashing”: feeling the sudden urge to take a nap
2. Craving something sweet after a meal
3. Dizziness/lack of focus/spacey
4. “Needing something more”
5. Headaches or migraines
6. Feeling a sudden craving for carbs
7. Feeling like life is worse than it actually is
8. Racing and continual thoughts, usually about food.

Blood-sugar regulation has nothing to do with how full you feel or how many calories you eat. Part of blood sugar hunger is about the right amount of fat, protein and carbs on your plate. This visual below is a great starting point of what these ratios should look like (it’s part of my Curb Your Afternoon Cravings program which I’m currently updating for a 2.0 version).plate2Now that I intimately understand my own blood sugar, I find I don’t need to feel even 80% full. I intuitively know what I need to eat to feel satisfied and in a portion that won’t make me tired after I eat.

You’ll know your blood sugar is balanced when you feel energized, optimistic, focused and thinking about possibilities beyond your food for stretches at a time (until you eat in a way that doesn’t honor your body’s blood sugar).

So this week, get curious about how your hunger appears. When you feel the hunger signs listed above, work backward to what you ate 3-5 hours prior. How we eat at one meal sets us up for the next 3-5 hours. Did you eat enough fat? Protein? Vegetables?

And avoid the charcoal.

Be well!

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Email

Be the first to comment


Get your name on the list!
Plus I'll email you some tasty treats!

My clients tend to be overachieving and type-A. When we first start to work together, the most frequent question is  “is X food healthy?”

What clients come to realize in my Truce with Food method, is that “healthy” is a relative term. It all depends on your current health, lifestyle and relationship to food.

One way you can begin to understand what healthy means for you is to flip the “healthy” dictatorship in your mind and mainstream media sideways. This evolves the idea of healthy into a continuum, rather than a single end-place. Here, healthier choices keep you moving forward, guaranteeing you will eventually arrive at feeling your best.

For example, the other week, I thought I brought two hard boiled eggs to mash with half an avocado to work for breakfast.

Turns out, I didn’t hard boil them at all (not all YouTube videos are created equal!). While I’m not normally a fan of using microwaves, I knew without a protein and fat rich breakfast, my morning would be unproductive, I’d be crabby and hunting down carbs by 11 a.m. (that’s what poor blood sugar balance feels like for me).

So I put two eggs in a mug with a bit of water and microwaved them for a minute. I added my avocado and voila! My morning was full of creativity and feeling good. Exponentially, it set me up to make healthy choices for the rest of the day.

Choosing “healthier” prevents a downward eating spiral because you realize good and bad choices are relative. (Tweet this out!) Everyone loses their footing on a staircase that doesn’t really exist.

The most exciting part is that with each better choice, you’ll start to believe you can occupy the healthiest space, moderation. Moderation is the new radical!

As I tell my clients, being realistic about your food choices allows you to remain optimistic about reaching your health goals.

To loving the great paradoxes of life!

Be well,

P.S. If you’re like me and just discovered you could microwave eggs, here are more easy  “you can microwave an egg?” recipes I’ve since discovered for next time I’m in a pinch.


Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Email

Be the first to comment


Get your name on the list!
Plus I'll email you some tasty treats!

Because I’m a health coach, people assume that my health routine is much more complex than reality.

I stick to the basics: lots of sleep, water, eat home-cooked meals the majority of the time, stay pretty active, have amazing people in my life and spend my days doing meaningful work. And, Carlos and I laugh at least 10 times a day.

This daily lifestyle enables me to consume minimal sugar, never emotionally eat or be pre-occupied with food. Simple doesn’t mean easy; I had an 18 year battle with food and my body to work through (but the view from here was worth it).

As I was unlearning the trendy, expensive and unnecessary ideas of health over the years (anyone else have spirulina powder in their cabinet?) one habit didn’t fall away. My after dinner sweet treat!

As my clients come to learn, “bad” habits fall away as a side-effect of getting to the root cause, not by addressing the habit itself. For me, this nightly ritual occurs when either I don’t have something to look forward to or I’m dreading a stressful morning.

Then in November, after our move out of Philly, I wanted a nice health reset. My Mom, Carlos and I decided to go sugar-free for two weeks. To do this, I took inspiration from the Keto-diet and decided to up my fat intake to about 40-50% of my diet.

I used half and half in my coffee. I added extra grass-fed butter to our potatoes, soups and vegetables. I added these guacomole packets to lunch or ended lunch with macadamia nuts. In tandem with the excitement around our New York City adventure, my after dinner sweet fell away.

Even after the two weeks were complete, I kept the added fat/no-sugar up because I slept better, awoke feeling optimistic and had an increased sense of calm. And I lost the bloat from eating out due to our kitchen being packed away for the move.

So if you’re struggling with an after dinner sweet or sugar in general, don’t read more about how bad sugar is for you. This is unproductive. Try adding more fat into your diet. Connect this change to the positive outcomes you experience. This puts inspiration back into your life instead of the fear-based motivation that ultimately drains you.

99.9% of my clients don’t eat enough fat. Sticking your fork in your salad dressing and ordering egg whites are not doing you any favors. Rather than counting how many extra calories you’re ingesting, pay attention to how much better you feel with more fat. You won’t crave sweets after your meal and won’t need to snack every two hours because you are hungry again.

Other ways to add more fats:

  • Easy on-the-go options in this short video (the last one is my favorite during winter, except with a warm beverage):
  • At home, I’m loving this 5-minute recipe from Elana’s pantry. I added whatever nuts we had in our cabinet, used grass-fed butter instead of olive oil and used vanilla instead of the pods.

Notice how your own after meal sweets decrease and how much better you feel. Use that energy to plan something to look forward to or to ease into your mornings. Notice how this subtle, emotional change ties into your own after meal treat.

Remember, reading more about nutrition rarely leads to long lasting changes or results. Adding fat is a great start to further your understanding of what works for you. If you feel good now, you have a better chance of feeling great in the future.

I’m working on a graphic to help you better understand what other actions you are doing that are keeping you stuck in your pursuit of healthy, however you define it.

Be well,

P.S. Find the topic of healthy fats a little confusing? Have a question for me? Pop on over to my Facebook page and ask away!

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Email

Be the first to comment


Get your name on the list!
Plus I'll email you some tasty treats!

The high cost of New York City living means Carlos and I are cooking at home more often. Even with those tried and true tips like cook once eat five times, I still wanted to simplify. Could I find a way to eliminate the step I hate most, finding recipes?

Enter my colleague, health coach and personal chef, Brigitte Theriault of White Apron Chef. I knew that some of you, like me, were looking for a way to elevate and simplify your cooking. I interviewed her for some workarounds to even those tried and true tips like spending all day Sunday cooking. 

Here’s my interview with Brigitte.

For those of you who want to skip to the highlights, below find the minute marker where you can hear the key takeaways:

2:40: One of the biggest beliefs that makes cooking more complicated than it needs to be

4:54: The first step to simplify cooking

7:25: The three (simple) tools that makes cooking easier. One we talk about helps you get out of the “let’s keep it simple but I don’t want to be bored of what I’m eating” conundrum!

16:30: If you’re looking for permission to end the Pinterest time suck, you’ll love Brigitte’s ideas on how to stop wasting time there and outline some cooking basics that eliminate the step of even following a recipe! This includes her current favorite spice rub that will mix up multiple meals.

28:05: How to cut corners without cutting flavor

39:00 What foods freeze best

43:15: The surprising side-effect benefits of cooking

48:00: How to save money eating healthy (guess what? You don’t have to shop at Whole Foods!)

Our conversation about Pinterest recipes being, in the words of one of my clients, a “time suck”, got me thinking. There are plenty of actions those committed to losing weight take yet, unknowingly, are counter-productive. For example, does thinking about food more help you make better choices?

There’s this idea that if you constantly monitor yourself around food, you’ll make the right choice. But in reality, that monitoring mindset also makes “bad” food more tempting. You inevitably end up eating more. I’ll be sharing more about what actions and measurements matter in the coming months. And most exciting, how to get out of this hard-to-crack mindset.

Be well,

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Email

Be the first to comment


Get your name on the list!
Plus I'll email you some tasty treats!

Happy New Year.

While it seems the rest of the world is ready to start writing on a clean slate, I’m still centering myself after a wild 2014. This past year made me appreciate how important it is to have a Truce with Food. Without this understanding and “skill-set”, I’d have gained 20 pounds instead of losing six!

One of the most profound lessons of my own Truce with Food journey is to trust my quiet inklings. While I’m a pretty analytical person, my most magical life decisions have been intuitively based.

For example, and on a personal note, Carlos and I moved out of our Philly home recently to New York City. After 9 years! I love Philly and my life there. Yet, I needed a change. I’ve felt an incredible surge of inspiration in my new environments, following the inkling that I needed a geographical change.

As promised in last week’s how to break the eating cycle of all or nothing, my surge of inspiration led me to refine my super successful reboot plan to help you gently and profoundly reset from the holidays.


Sue Boehm, who did this plan last year, remarked:

“On Ali’s refined detox plan, I lost weight and more importantly, felt amazing during and afterward by eating real food, not shakes, juices or broths! Everything feels healthy: my skin, hair and nails. I’ve now integrated many of the foods and recipes into my regular diet. When I have made some of the dishes for friends and family, they have no idea the meal was a part of a detox program. They just compliment me on the wonderful flavor!”

For those of you like Sue who did this plan last year, here are two new recipes to liven things up. First timers can, of course, use these recipes too.

You’ll see the bonus recipes are compliments of my friend and personal chef Brigitte at White Apron Chef. I interviewed her a few weeks back on how to set-up your kitchen and think about recipes to make cooking simpler and taste good. I’ll be sharing that interview here shortly.

In the meantime, try my reboot plan. If you have any questions, email me. I’m happy to help!

And if you’re like me just yawning and stretching out of the year of the Horse, don’t worry, the Chinese New Year on February 19 is our chance to come fresh out of the gates.

Be well,


P.S. I will have a few private health coaching openings in the coming weeks. The first step is to sign-up for a consult. If you’re in New York City, we can meet at my Soho office. If you’re around the world, we can do phone or video chat. I have current clients from Germany to Sydney, Australia to California, so distance isn’t an issue.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Email

Be the first to comment


Get your name on the list!
Plus I'll email you some tasty treats!