Wednesday, November 30, 2016

3 Tips for Sanity with Food in December

With so many holiday food events looming in December, now’s a great time to plan your strategy for staying faithful to your chosen food program. Here are three ideas that can help keep us sane.
 Stick to your food schedule. One of the smartest things I’ve done for my food recovery is commit to three meals a day and no snacks. While my meal schedule isn’t rigid, it’s consistent. I eat 3 meals with 4-5 hours between breakfast and lunch and between lunch and dinner. Each morning I check my calendar and set my times for the day. So if I’m going to a holiday event between 5 and 7, that will be my dinner. But if the event is between 3 and 5, that’s not going to work for me and I either don’t go or don’t eat while I’m there. Whatever your meal schedule, make sure events work with it and not against it. Being in charge of when we eat is an important part of our journey.
 Bring something you can safely eat to any event. A raw vegetable platter is always a welcome addition, whether it’s a potluck or not. Every dieter there will thank you. Want to put in more effort? Roast a pan of mixed vegetables with a cup of vegetable broth, cumin, and basil. They’re delicious warm or at room temperature. Bring them in a pretty dish you can leave as a gift for your host/hostess (most Goodwill stores have a wonderful selection of quirky pieces) or bring them in something disposable that they can discard.
It’s all right to say no to invitations. Last year when I was new to sane eating, I turned down every invite for holiday gatherings that weren’t from family. I didn’t feel safe around tables full of demon foods. Instead, I invited the person who was inviting me to have tea together after the holidays and catch up then. It was much more fun for this introvert to do that and no food was involved. This year, with 14 months of sane eating under my (smaller) belt, I’m going to a few more gatherings but only the ones at a meal time. And I’m taking something I can eat.

One last thought: I didn’t explain to anyone why I wasn’t coming to their party. I just said I had other plans. I did have other plans. I was planning to stay abstinent! 
More holiday tips for the journey are included in the Support for the Journey program. Check it out at

Saturday, November 26, 2016

I love this post from a wise artist

The one constant thing.
By Nicholas Wilton

The changes this year seem much bigger than other years. The political landscape has suddenly shifted. The absence of such luminaries as David Bowie, Prince, Robin Williams, Sharon Jones, and Leonard Cohen to name just a few, hasn’t even settled in yet. On a personal level, the passing of my father, Clifford Wilton, this year has profoundly changed the fabric, the routine of my life. The Sunday calls between us, now absent, have left an open patch on that day that can’t seem to be filled with anything else quite as meaningful. When I look beyond my life, I see a planet that is powerfully signaling monumental change in her shifting patterns of extreme rain and drought.
I am not sure of many things as this year comes to its close.  
The only thing I am sure about is that things will continue to change.
And in a way, it is this idea that leaves me feeling grateful.
Oddly, I feel on terra firma with many aspects of change. Art making is the practice of Change. It is where I have learned to take what is in front of me, even if it is not something I desire, and move it towards something I do. It offers us all the possibility to take an outcome and repurpose it into something far better than we imagined it could ever be. 
It just takes Faith. And Art making is the practice of this Faith.
In art, and in life, if we are faithful, and willing to risk a little, we can pivot. We get a re do. We can take a challenging outcome, whether it is political, social or personal and use it. It is possible to harness the momentum of a change, a new reality and use it to renegotiate, to re purpose it into something more in alignment with who we are and what matters to us. 
This very act of choosing how to frame our reality based on any outcome is a creative one. Regardless of the shifts and changes in our lives, we do ultimately, have tremendous choice. It can, of course, feel daunting and overwhelming to proactively try to change a situation. It often takes energy that, at times, we don’t feel we have. 
However, in my life, in the times that I have felt that deadening sensation that the possibilities for myself were growing less, I have discovered that the root cause of this had to do more with the smallness of my own thinking rather than the lessening of my opportunities.
Thankfully your own pattern of thinking can be changed. Time and time again I have learned it takes barely a push on any door to realize that most of them have been unlocked the whole time. 
This year, possibly more than any other year in my life, I am so thankful for those who are in my life who remind me, who teach me of this fact. 
It helps keeps my head up instead of down. And when looking up I can see more clearly, my art, my life, that is the practice that almost daily reminds me that change can be pulled off with grace, creativity and joy.
And for this, especially today, I am tremendously grateful.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

My Live between Meals website is live

I'm thrilled to announce the launch of my new website: 

In conjunction with my new book, Candy Girl: How I gave up sugar and created a sweeter life between meals, I'm offering additional online assistance through 52 Support Conversations to folks who are struggling with food and sugar obsession. I'm also doing phone and email coaching and I have a few spots open.

You can find out more at my new website where you can sign up for the free weekly mailing of ideas, suggestions, and helpful tips.

As you know, I'm an alumna of Bright Line Eating and I highly recommend that program for getting started.  But if its cost is beyond you right now or you'd like a more personal approach, let's talk!

Hope you'll visit and let me know what you think.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

My favorite (safe) holiday dessert

This is what I'm taking to Thanksgiving dinner (along with a pan of roasted vegetables). It's always a winner.

Fruit Bake

2-4 baking apples (peeled and cored)
2-4 ripe pears (cored; peel if skin is tough)
1 package frozen mango chunks
1 package frozen blackberries, marionberries, or raspberries
1 T. vanilla extract
2. T. good balsamic vinegar (no sugar added)
1. cup chopped pecans

Chop apples and pears into somewhat large bites. Mix all fruit with vanilla and vinegar. Put in a glass backing pan. Bake for 30 minutes or so at 325 or until juice bubbles. Let cool but not too long. Sprinkle with pecans. Serve warmish.

Monday, November 14, 2016

From Debbie Ford

"You must have the guts to throw off the chains of modesty and mediocrity in order to be the light that the world needs."

Friday, November 11, 2016

On turning old

My birthday comes next month, and for the first time, in many years, I feel uneasy. Don't get me wrong. I'm glad to be having another birthday. I'm very glad to be still alive. But this year something's going to change. This year I turn old.

All through my 60s, I've allowed myself the illusion of remaining in middle age. Granted, it's been late middle age but still middle age. But in December I turn 70 and there's no way that 70 is middle aged. 70 is old.

It helps that my high school and college classmates are all turning 70 as well. I don't feel unique, I don't feel alone in the process. And yet it's a strange feeling, this getting old, this moving towards the end of a long life, for there's no denying that at 70, I have had a long life already. It doesn't seem that long sometimes but that's just the trick of time. 

I'm glad that I still have choices. I can be a youthful 70, flexible in mind and spirit, and somewhat flexible in body. I can remain open and curious and generous, instead of closing up and becoming cantankerous. I can make the very most of all the time I have left. I can hope there will be a lot of it. There's a lot I can control.

And there's things I won't be able to control. At some point, my body will give out. It's programmed to do that no matter how lucky I've been in the genetic lottery, and so far I've been pretty lucky. And I've made some good choices: sobriety, weight loss, steady exercise for many years. And I'm so grateful.

It's an adventure ahead of me. Time to shift from uneasy to curious.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

10 Things to Do No Matter Who Wins Today

1. Smile at strangers.
2. Pick up litter.
3. Eat healthy meals and not too much.
4. Drink a lot of water.
5. Be grateful for all you have.
6. Clean up any misunderstandings.
7. Open your heart.
8. Believe in the future.
9. Hug someone.
10. Keep becoming your best self.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

My newest addiction

It never surprises me to have a new addiction pop up. I seem to be wired in that direction, perhaps genetically, and at least through habit. But my latest addiction doesn't disturb me. In fact, it please me no end.

I've become addicted to walking. In late June, I went for my annual summer retreat up to Aldermarsh on Whidbey Island. My friend Pam and I walked every day, sometimes twice, both aiming for 10K steps on our Fitbits. It was fun to walk together and at the end of 10 days, I decided to keep that up when I got home.

So each morning I would either go to the gym with my gym buddy or walk a mile in the neighborhood. And then I began to lengthen my walks and by late August I was walking 2 miles each morning that I didn't go to the gym. I didn't listen to music to pass the time. I didn't need to. I was happy just to walk through the streets, looking at houses and yards, seeing what was going on, finding new routes.

Now I walk some days even after the gym. It's not about the Fitbit any more. It's about moving and thinking. Some days I'm writing a poem. Other days I'm solving a problem with a painting or a novel. Some days I'm not thinking much at all. I'm just moving and looking.

The last two really rainy days I began to see the addiction. I was angry that the weather was inclement and relieved when a drizzly space opened up and I could get out and walk. I had to laugh at myself. And I'm glad this is the new addiction. It's one of the best I've ever had.