Truth time – I don’t always like to cook.

I love making healthy meals for my family and myself, but I often run out of motivation and ideas for meals.  I can get into a rut just like everyone else.

So – I’m listing my best “fun” cooking tips for you!  (And also for me…because I need to remind myself of these, too!)

Fun Cooking Tip #1: Check Out New Recipes

Sometimes, just seeing the beautiful food photos and reading recipes can spark some inspiration and get your motivation going again.

Recipes can be found online or you may prefer to invest in a quality cookbook found at your favorite bookstore.  Did you know there are websites where you can put in the ingredients you have and it pops out a recipe??  AMAZING!  This is my favorite website for that very thing.

Super-Pro-Tip!!!…..  Set a timer!  Going down the recipe rabbit hole can easily burn an afternoon.  Before you know it, you’ve spent a lot of time looking…with no time left for cooking!

Here are a few of my favorite cookbooks to browse:

  • Jimmy Moore’s Keto Cookbook
  • Danielle Walker’s Against All Grain (If you’ve not read her story – it’s amazing!)
  • Thug Kitchen – Eat like you give a f*ck  (Sorry…no offense intended here…but this is one hella cookbook!)

Fun Cooking Tip #2: Make Grocery Shopping Fun and Inspiring

When planning your trip to the grocery store, try to think of things you haven’t had in a while.  Think back to a time in your life that felt less hurried and stressed – is there a food or dish that you remember enjoying during that time?  What about something you haven’t had since childhood?  Has someone served something at a get-together that you particularly liked?

You can also browse around the store for something you’ve never had if you are feeling daring!  Being adventurous can go along with way with keeping things fun in the kitchen.  Buy the ingredient and then go home to find the perfect recipe to match!

Fun Cooking Tip #3: Keep It Simple!

Seriously, y’all….I can NOT stress this enough!  Not every meal has to be a production.

There are those rare times when I’m inspired and feel like getting fancy, but on regular days…. I have a 4-5 ingredient limit (including spices!).  The second I see the ingredient list, I already know to scroll on past depending on how long that list is!

There are a few ways to keep things simple:

  • Search for recipes with fewer than X ingredients (you can decide your limit)
  • Search for recipes that can be made in one pot or pan
  • Search for recipes that are exclusive to crock-pot cooking (set it and forget it!)
  • Buy ingredients that are ready to be used such as pre-washed greens, diced vegetables, frozen vegetables, etc
  • Cookbooks with simple recipes:  5-ingredient Keto Cookbook, Trader Joe’s Cookbook

Fun Cooking Tip #4: Put on some music and have some company!

You should already have a “feel good” playlist – if you don’t…stop reading this and go make a playlist of songs that get you up and hopping!  Put on that playlist when you are cooking.

If you have kids that need to learn the critical skill of cooking, or have friends that would like to come over for a visit – invite them to join you in the kitchen.  Use the time to flirt with your partner or have a mock competition to see who’s better at chopping vegetables.

You could even have a party where everyone contributes one ingredient to the process.  Obviously…give them the menu unless you want a Frankenstein of a meal.  🙂   But that could be fun and interesting too!

Fun Cooking Tip #5: Buy some swag

Having proper kitchen tools makes cooking so much easier and faster.  When’s the last time you sharpened your knives (or just bought a new set)?  Is that dull, crummy blender taking the fun out of your smoothies?

Here’s a list of my favorite kitchen things and why I like them.

  • Immersion Blender – a must if you make soups.  I used to have to use the regular blender then transfer liquids to a pot.  Not any more!  I can put everything into one put and use an immersion blender to take care of it all.  Faster…AND less mess.
  • Silicon Baking Mitts – my husband thought I was nuts buying these, but I couldn’t keep my oven mitts clean.  Now, he loves them too and I can even use them to open jars because they are a bit “sticky.”
  • Instant Pot – OMG…if you don’t have an Instant Pot…you are missing out!  I steam my eggs (poached) in my IP each week, we can do ribs in less than 45 minutes (no grilling for hours), frozen salmon in less than 5 minutes!  The link shows the exact one I have, but there are bigger ones and ones with more technology as well.  Of course, be sure to read all the safety info….it is a pressure cooker after all!
  • Air Fryer – We’ve had 2 air fryers.  Our first one worked just fine but wasn’t big enough.  Last year, we upgraded to the one in the link.  We use the air fryer at least 3-4 times per week cooking fries and tots, wings, and steak (surprisingly good!). I’ve even cooked a whole chicken in the air fryer with great results.  I really want to try scallops in it, but haven’t had a chance.
  • Ulu Knife – I use my Ulu Knife to chop veggies, chicken, and even to slice pizza.  This is not the one I have, as my husband bought mine as a gift from a local knife shop.  But, I do have the bowl that comes with it and love it for chopping veggies.  It’s great for cabbage for my tacos!
  • Small Ninja Blender – I am NOT a big fan of traditional blenders. I’ve just not found one that can withstand ice cubes and frozen vegetables for smoothies.  But, I bought this little guy years ago and still use it a ton.  It’s a small blender that is super easy to wash.  I use it to shred chicken, vegetables, and even put burger in it when I want the burger small so it lays flat inside my lasagna.
  • Spiralizer – This is not the one I have.  Mine is almost 10 years old and I’m not even sure of the brand.  But, they all look similar and work the same way.  Zoodles anyone??  My favorite is to use this to make sweet potato ribbons that are baked and then I put them on super-spicy chili.

We don’t get too crazy around our house – but the items above are a few that we’ve found very useful and fun to use.  Not to mention time-saving…like the IP and the air fryer.  We’ve also switched to silicon utensils (spatulas, etc).

Conclusion…..

You know that cooking is key to healthy eating.  But, yes, it does get boring at times.

Try one, or all, of my fun cooking tips to inspire you to get back into your kitchen and cook yourself some great dishes.  Your body and mind will thank you!

Check out this recipe!

ONE-Skillet Fritatta

Serves 4

8 eggs
¼ cup almond milk, unsweetened
1 tsp olive oil, extra virgin

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 handful baby spinach
1 small zucchini, sliced into thin coins
1 clove of garlic, minced

1 handful cherry tomatoes, halved
1 dash herbs and spice to taste (parsley, sage, paprika, turmeric, etc.)

1 dash salt and pepper

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375F.

Whisk together eggs and almond milk.

Heat an ovenproof skillet (e.g. cast iron) on the stove with the olive oil.

To the hot skillet add garlic, spinach, and zucchini. Cook for 1-2 minutes until the spinach wilts and the zucchini starts to soften.

Add the tomatoes, herbs, spices, salt, and pepper.

Pour in the eggs.

Place the skillet into the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes, until eggs are set.

Serve & enjoy!

Tip: Feel free to substitute your veggies and use what you have on-hand. Try diced pepper instead of tomatoes, or chopped kale instead of spinach. Have fun with this!

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Did you know there are 4 things you’ve probably NEVER THOUGHT OF that can rapidly destroy your weight loss efforts?   Yep – sure enough…just when things are going well these things can sneak up and you are suddenly fighting for your dieting life.

Well, I guess I shouldn’t use the phrase “sneak up”…because all of these are things we actually invite into our lives.  We simply may not realize their impact in our lives.

Your Diet is Not Only What You Eat

I’m talking about general CONSUMPTION…not what we eat per say, but all the things we consume as humans in today’s society.   In other words, what we allow our energy to be spent on and where we place our attention.

We are bombarded with nonstop INPUT from all directions nowadays.  Our subconscious minds are constantly trying to filter out what’s important and what isn’t.  Yet, we tend to focus on topics that are relevant to our lives at this moment.

So, here are 4 things that can sabotage your weight loss efforts before you even realize it.

1. What You Watch

What are you allowing yourself to watch?  Are you stopping to watch the gooey goodness on that Facebook video highlighting double chocolate brownies?  Do you find yourself drawn to IG photos of people with body types you’ll never have (because..um…genetics!).

Being mindful of the video content we are exposed to is extremely important….video is THE way to get a message across nowadays!  Why is it so popular??  Because it works!

Look at who you follow on social media – if you find you are constantly exposed to negativity, violence, sub-optimal foods, etc – maybe consider an “unfollow” here or there.  The same is true for the programs you choose to watch….  If you are left feeling lonely, empty, or depressed after watching a program or movie – maybe opt for comedies, documentaries, etc.

2. What You Hear

Did you hear about Sally?  She lost 30 lbs in a month and did literally nothing except eat lettuce topped with ice cubes.  She’s the happiest she’s been in years and feels great!  Obviously, you should do exactly what Sally did!

The ability to filter out BS comes with age and experience – but, to avoid exposing oneself to worthless content we must fine-tune that skill!  People will pay attention to whatever is an emotional topic in their lives at the moment.  For example – want to lose weight?  You’ll subconsciously pay attention to anything you hear about weight loss. It’s just how we work.  Another example – if you discover a car you think you may like, you suddenly notice them everywhere.  You’ll fixate on that car and turn your attention to it every time you see one on the road.  That car will consume your attention and energy even if it’s a complete LEMON!

Recognizing when a conversation has no value to you, and could actually cause you harm, is a powerful skill.  Being able to tune-out the static and focus on what really hits our ears is essential to avoiding content that does nothing more than use up our precious, limited energy!

3. What You Read

When I was traveling a lot for work, I always had to have something to read or watch on the plane.  One afternoon, I was looking for something to read in an airport shop and was browsing the magazines.

I took a step back, suddenly realizing that there wasn’t one single thing on that magazine display that would bring me any sort of joy.  In fact, every one would likely leave me with more thoughts of how I wasn’t good enough, thin enough, or rich enough.  I’ve not bought a magazine since!

Given we have this little do-hickey called the “internet”…we can read about any topic under the sun any time we want.  We can search a topic and read countless articles until we find one on page 43 that tells us what we want to hear.  All the while, we’ve spent time and valuable energy consuming information that likely has very little value – if it’s not straight up harmful!

4. Who We Hang Around

I’ve always said there are two kinds of people:  Energy Givers and Energy Suckers.  Are you hanging out with people who make you feel energized and vibrant?  Or, are you finding yourself exhausted and spent after socializing with certain people because they’ve sucked the life out of you?

Obviously, we can’t just get rid of everyone that may provoke some negative feelings in us.  Chances are, those are people we love and we simply have to learn how to set boundaries.  But, if you seem to keep having to explain over and over to your friends why hitting Dunkin’ Donuts in the mornings isn’t great for your weight loss plan – yet they aren’t willing to try a new place – maybe it’s time to reconsider your people or your routines.

It is incredibly common for people who undergo major life changes, including getting healthy, to be forced to find new friends and hangouts.  If your friends or loved ones aren’t willing to grow with you and the changes you need to make for your health – these relationships need to be reconsidered.  Or, at the very least, they need to be limited to specific times and places.

Your Diet is Not Only What You Eat

Your “diet” is the sum of all that you consume – physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally.

Taking a good, hard look at the content and influences surrounding you is a great way to find hidden motivation, time, and energy thieves.  Be mindful of the content you invite into your life – and we truly do INVITE these things into our lives if we are not eliminating them.  We all have only 24 hours in the day and we have a finite amount of energy. Protecting those valuable assets is essential to have the time and energy required for your priorities and success.

If you are ready to get serious about weight loss and want to stop the endless cycle of dieting, check out my book and online program.

Click here to get a FREE 7-day KETO Meal Plan!

Those of you who know me already know that I get excited about stuff that’s…well….not usually exciting. One thing I get super pumped about is food prep. I like planning. I like spending a whole morning cooking and organizing my meals for the week. I like knowing that this few hours will save me a ton of time throughout the next several days. Not only is the food prepped and ready to go, but I also don’t have to spend time THINKING about it.

You know what I’m talking about…. You are either at work at 4pm wondering what’s for dinner and remembering the fridge is bare. Or, you open the fridge and it’s full…..but everything requires actual cooking and it’s already 7:30pm. The kids (and you) need fed NOW.

Both of those scenarios often have the same outcome – heading out to get something to eat. Ugh. Going out to eat is fine, but throwing your hands up and heading to the drive-thru because you’ve not planned well is the last thing you want. When we make rushed, frustrated decisions like this, rarely are they decisions that benefit us long-term.

So, I’m going to take you through my food prep from yesterday – where I cooked and/or prepped the following:

  • One whole chicken
  • A pot of paleo chili
  • A pot of beef-cabbage soup
  • An entree of chicken, baked sweet potatoes, and asparagus
  • Snacks consisting of fresh cut veggies, hummus, and salmon
  • Boiled eggs

One thing I always thought was lacking when I read about doing all this was the “little” things that truly made the tasks easier. Once prepped enough, I came up with some of these on my own so I want to mention those to you along the way.

Soups Need Time

The first thing on my agenda was to get my soups going. The paleo chili wasn’t for me, but it needs to simmer most of the day before being ready for my family. I’m not lying when I say this is the best chili I’ve ever had. It’s “paleo” so there are no beans. The other soup was on my assigned meal plan for the week from my trainer, a beef-cabbage soup. I started my morning by browning all the ground meat for these two soups, as well as cooking the vegetables that will be put in the chili.

Two crockpots later – they are both well on their way!

TIP: For the chili, I end up getting two pans dirty: the skillet that cooks the meat/veggies and the crock pot. That’s it. My whole tomatoes, sautéed veggies, and spices go into the crockpot where I then use an immersion blender to liquify it all at once. No transferring liquids between pots = no splatter.

I Ain’t No Chicken

I then set out to cook my whole chicken. Normally, I just do chicken breasts but the dark meat has some nutritional benefits, so I did the whole chicken this time. One of my favorite kitchen gadgets is my Instant Pot. We use it 3-4 times a week, and it’s always used on prep day. I have the 6-quart pot and it’s plenty big for what we use it for. I had to search for a recipe to do a whole chicken because if it comes out too dry – I won’t eat it. So, I did some searching and settled on this one. It came out PERFECTLY!! I had more than what I needed to do my own meals for the week, so the extra will be used for whatever is cooked for the kids on night.

TIP: One of the things that the recipe calls for is to let the chicken cook in a bit of oil at high temps before starting the pressure. Obviously you need to do both sides. In the past, I’ve had one helluva time getting the chicken back out of the Instant Pot to turn it over. It’s hot! However, a few months ago, I bought these nifty little things because our oven mitts kept getting super gross and washing them never seemed to get them clean. (Okay, full disclosure – I’ve gone the silicone direction for a ton of things in the kitchen lately!) With these babies, I was able to simply reach down and removed the chicken, flip it over, and gently set it back inside the IP. I then just washed off the gloves!

Veggies & Hummus & Salmon

My veggies were then cut up while all that was busy cooking. This week, I chose zucchini (yes, I eat it raw), red bell peppers, sugar snap peas, green beans, and asparagus.

Nothing fancy here – I just cut them up and measured out 2 cups and put them in containers with a small soufflé cup of hummus. One thing I’ve noticed since I’ve been eating hummus again (besides the fact that I love it) is that many brands are super thick. Hummus is expensive!


TIP: Use a good quality oil to dilute your hummus if you find it’s too thick. I like mine with a lighter consistency and the additional oil will not change the taste at all. Also, always read the label when you purchase hummus! There should be NO SUGAR!

As for the salmon…I eat salmon nearly every day. Three ounces in the afternoon with some veggies. I’ve discovered that my Instant Pot can take frozen salmon and have it done in 4 minutes! (Obviously, there’s the additional time to bring it up to pressure.) FOUR MINUTES! I put the frozen salmon fillets on the trivet, set the timer for 4 minutes, and walk away. I use a bit of lemon pepper seasoning for the salmon.

The Dreaded SCALE!!!

Calm down!

I’m talking about a food scale.

I used to have a plastic dial-type scale but recently upgraded to a digital scale since I started measuring and weighing nearly everything I ate. My meats typically get prepped in 3-ounce serving sizes…..MUCH easier to do with a digital scale. (The scale I’ve linked about has over 14K reviews on amazon. I don’t own this one – I got mine at Target.)

My containers, digital scale (to the far right), silicone oven mitts, crock pots, Instant Pot….

Putting It All Together

I wish I could say that assembly is easy, but I find it to be the most difficult part of food prep because I simply don’t have enough room in the fridge for every meal or snack to have it’s own container. I also wish I could say that I used awesome glass prep containers, but I don’t. I use plastic. These are the best I could find, and are also economical and easy to clean. If I’m just going back and forth to the office for the day, I use these. If I’m packing for night shifts, I use my 6-Pack Fitness containers with the actual cooler as these don’t fit as well in my cooler.

However, as I look up the links for you, I’m wishing I’d noticed THESE!!! How fun! I may have to order!

Time Spent Now = Freedom Tomorrow

I can’t stress enough how much time all this will save me this week. You guys know my schedule! It’s either commit to this, or I may as well not even try. I’d much rather commit!

I feel better. It’s much less stressful to NOT think about my food all week. Plus, if some of this can double for the family meals – it’s even better.

*My book – Weight Loss that Works: Secrets to Restoring Confidence and Reclaiming Your Body is now available on KINDLE! And, it will be available in paperback shortly! I’m overlooking the proof as we speak.

*Some of the links above are “affiliate links” – meaning I get a small percentage if you order the product. This does not cost you any extra! Please note that I do not endorse products that I’ve not used myself. If I’ve not used them, the text will say so.

Weight Loss

Time to come clean

The past few years have been a bit of a challenge for me. I had a job that wasn’t what I expected. My daughter had a health scare (she’s fine). And I traveled 2 weeks out of the month to work as a physician in underserved locations from 2014-2016, leaving my family and routine behind.

Everyone has challenges, I’m no different. But what was different for me was the fact that I was supposed to be an expert on diet, lifestyle, and generally taking proper care of oneself. I confess – I was barely hanging on. I won’t even go into stress or mental health – that’s an entirely different blog post! But, I will go into my struggle to maintain my own weight through all of this – and how it continues to be quite challenging…..despite all the knowledge in my head.

Traveling isn’t easy on the body

I’ll start with the traveling. I actually did relatively well for a really long time. I hardly ever ate out, I traveled with meal replacements, and I stocked my hotel with real foods. I generally did well with my eating unless I was working nights – then all bets were off and I made horrible decisions.

But, working out wasn’t what I was used to. Hotel gyms aren’t usually motivating and I struggled to find outdoor fitness in areas I didn’t know. I had to take long breaks from crossfit, which made it just not worth going as I’d get so sore when I “started again” when I got home. Still – I made it work. I found a place I loved to trail run and that lasted until I was informed there were rattlesnakes up there. I then stopped running there unless it was really cold outside. It was also challenging because I’d be homesick and very tired after working all day. Coming home to a hotel every night isn’t fun, and many nights I went right to bed.

Still, I didn’t do too badly. The real challenge didn’t start until I stopped traveling….and started working nights.

Working overnight takes its toll

I’ve now been working exclusively nights for over 2 years. As the time has passed, I’ve noticed that it’s getting harder and harder to maintain my weight. It’s actually been very challenging.

But, it’s not supposed to be challenging for ME! I’m the weight loss doctor! If I can coach other people, I should surely be able to handle my own weight, right?

Wrong.

Working nights, for me, works for many reasons. And someday I hope to not have to do them, but for now – this is the way that works for me and my family. However, as time has gone one, I find I don’t recover from the shifts as easily and it’s easier than ever to make suboptimal decisions….particularly about food.

Don’t get me wrong – I still eat very well. Just not as well as I used to. The thing is, night shifts set a person up for weight gain just by staying up all night and disrupting the circadian rhythm. This causes cortisol (your stress hormone) to be all out of whack and leads to an inherently higher risk of obesity, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes.

You guys…. I had my wellness check a couple months ago and, to my horror, my fasting blood glucose was….101!! It’s never been above 70 before.

And cue the reality check!

A realistic assessment & solution

So, I was forced to take a good hard look at what the heck I was doing to myself. I recommitted to a low-carb food plan, but it was far from “clean.” I knew I needed some help with this.

So, I’ve hired a trainer that put me on a strict meal plan and training program. That’s right – I, the weight loss doc, needed help – professional help. I admitted to this woman who I was and what I did…and the fact that I just wasn’t being who I wanted to be from a health and fitness standpoint.

The exact day she handed me my plan, it was like a switch was flipped. I was all in. I drove to the store, bought what I needed. I ordered a few small additional pieces of gym equipment from amazon. And I started the next day.

My progress

I’m going to have to keep you posted on how this progresses. I’m already wearing my jeans more comfortably and I’ve lost a few pounds. But, even more than that – I’m having a feeling that I’ve not had in a long time…PRIDE.

That’s right – one of the things I missed most about myself was the feeling of pride I’d have when I had a good workout, or ran a good race. I’d always been able to self-regulate and make myself do all these things from intrinsic motivation alone. (I once ran 16 miles on the treadmill because the weather was just too bad to go outside and I had a marathon coming up!) But, stress, work, lack of sleep….it all affected my motivation. I kept telling myself that I’d get back on track “next week” or “tomorrow.” And, I did an okay job of attempting it. But, it was never to the degree that made me proud of myself.

Of all the benefits clean eating and a good training program can have, feeling a sense of accomplishment is a big one for me.

Feeling like a fraud

The other thing that has bothered me me throughout this struggle is my ability to identify problems and help others, but I wasn’t able to help myself.

I felt like a big, fat fraud.

I’m trying to think of this a bit differently because I know I’m being hard on myself when I say that. After all – there are plenty of athletic coaches who are geniuses, but never played the sport they coach. Some people just have the ability to motivate others or have an eye for technique. I’d like to think I’m one of those individuals.

But, the bottom line is…. I wasn’t doing what I knew I should be doing! And that’s the part that bothered me. It would be one thing if I was running 40 miles a week and eating strictly clean paleo 100% of the time, but I wasn’t.

Now, I am. (Well….not with running and paleo….but I am 100% on a strict plan.)

Why bother disclosing?

As I considered writing this post – I kept being reminded of how vulnerable people are with me on a daily basis. Thinking about that, I knew I wanted to be just as vulnerable to anyone who trusts me. I also know I can better serve others as a physician and coach if I’m at my own best.

We all have different bodies, chemical physiology, schedules, and mental hangups. And none of us are “on” all the time. I struggle…a lot. I know many of you do too. And, when it comes to needing help – none of us are immune to it. I resisted admitting this to myself for a long time. But, finally, common sense kicked back in and I knew taking better care of myself means I can take better care of others.

My promise

I’m not going to pledge or promise anything to you.

My promise is only to myself – that I will do what it takes to be the best possible version of me, that I will do things the make me proud of myself and give me a sense of accomplishment.

By extension – this makes me a better clinician for YOU.

Stay tuned for updates!

My ebook Weight Loss that Works: Secrets to Restoring Confidence and Reclaiming Your Body is now available here! Coming in 2019….an intensive, online program!

Food Gifts

Everyone loves to give

We all love to give during the holidays – we try to remember absolutely everyone with small tokens of thanks or appreciation….the UPS guy (yeah, first name basis here thanks to Amazon Prime!), the mailman, daycare providers, teachers, etc.  The easiest way to do this for so many people without breaking the bank is to give………..FOOD.  And one of the most beloved ways to give food is to give….. sweets and baked goods.  Especially this time of year.

Stop….and think

While your giving is certainly a thoughtful gesture, have you ever considered that maybe…just maybe…the recipient may be struggling with weight issues or food addiction?  There aren’t many of you reading this who truly don’t have to “watch it” to some extent – particularly around the holidays where we are bombarded with awesome, tasty stimulus (food).  You know what I’m talking about there.  Food is everywhere during the holidays.  And I’m not talking about veggie trays.

Your intentions are great, but….

As an obesity physician, I hear the angst that people experience when given or offered food as a gift.  It’s very common to give cookies, candies, etc during Christmastime.  As the baker/giver/hostess – I know you don’t want to be causing anxiety to the person you are thanking!  But, that’s exactly what it does to many people struggling with weight.   These individuals are trying as hard as they can to figure it out.  And, while some things are still a mystery within the obesity medicine field, it’s no secret that there are certainly things that we obviously don’t need to be eating to any great extent.

Oh…a little won’t hurt…

I agree!  A little won’t hurt!  In fact, I want my patients to enjoy special times and special foods.  But, really – think about it.  When was the last time sweets, baked goods, candies, and goodies were scarce?  If these things didn’t exist daily in our lives, the holiday giving of treats would NOT be an issue!  But, this kind of food has become a normality for our society.  You no longer have to wait until Christmas to have fudge – you can buy it at Bass Pro every single day!  Frosted sugar cookies?  At the grocery store – just waiting to be purchased…every single day!

But, “they don’t have to eat it”

The majority of folks are still under the impression that weight issues are all about discipline and willpower.  While educating everyone on the science of this is an entirely separate blog post in itself, I will leave you with this:  leptin, ghrelin, adiponectin, insulin, NPY, orexin, AgRP, MCH, POMC, MC4R, PYY, dopamine, amylin, CCK, GLP-1, PP.  These are hormones, neurotransmitters, and proteins that are responsible for, and regulate, appetite and weight gain/loss.  (Here‘s a nice little summary of some of these.)

If you’ve never had a weight issue – congratulations….these chemicals are likely working just fine and are perfectly balanced within your body.  How much time did you spend disciplining these chemicals to all fall into place?  How much dedication and willpower did it take for you to get just the right amount of PYY release at just the right time?  What?  You’ve never heard of PYY?  You’ve not put one lick of time and discipline into perfecting your obesity regulatory hormones??

But, I thought weight loss was all about willpower and discipline??

You can’t argue with science

The fact is – we have very little control over many of these things.  If they are screwy – for whatever reason…genetics, mutations, etc. – a person cannot regulate appetite as effectively as others.  He or she may not be able to control the desire for the rush that comes with consuming sugar…Did you know the same receptors in the brain that respond to morphine, heroin, and narcotics are ALSO stimulated by sugar?  Yeah, so there’s your addictive tendencies!  (You can read more about this here….this phenomenon is the basis for the newer obesity drug Contrave – which blocks those receptors so you don’t get the high that comes with eating sugars.)

As you can see,  the recipient of your peanut butter fudge may genuinely struggle with not devouring all of it in one sitting.  And – I know causing anxiety was not your intention!  

Think of it this way – you wouldn’t give someone struggling with alcoholism a bottle of bourbon for Christmas.

Alternatives

So, how do you show your appreciation?

  • Charitable giving – if you know the name of the people you want to thank, make a donation to a cause in their name(s).
  • Gift cards – you can buy multiple gift cards for fairly low cost.  A set of $5 gift cards to a local coffee shop, for example.
  • Still want to have a kitchen project? – My daughter and I have taken to making homemade lip balmssalvessugar scrubs, and lotions!  We still have our bonding time in the kitchen, but no dough to munch on and no struggling to stay out of the goods.  (It’s kind of an investment, but the supplies last several years.)  A couple photos of our goodies are posted below, in addition to the featured image with this post showing how we dressed it all up.
Our salve is always a big hit for chapped hands
Our salve is always a big hit for chapped hands
Lip balms - various scents
Lip Balms – Various scents

I know you like to give, but…

In conclusion, please think before you give out holiday sweets and treats.  You really don’t know the struggles someone may be having with food and weight.

*Dr. Hodges has no financial interest in any of the websites linked above.  She does not sell these products in her office, they are purely for gifts and to spend kitchen time with her daughter.

*None of these recipes or products have been evaluated by the FDA.  Make and use at your own risk.

This, as well as other essential information for weight loss, can be found here in my new ebook!  This new ebook prepares you for your next weight loss program – to make it your LAST weight loss program!  Weight loss starts with your MIND….not with your BEHIND.  Get your mindset right and your chances of weight loss success SKYROCKET!  Pssst!!…  Use the promo code HOLIDAY for  $5 off!

Coming in 2019!….

An 8-week, online, intensive weight-loss coaching program that is equivalent to spending 6-8 months with Dr. Hodges in her private clinic.