Today I Faced The Marshmallow Fluff, and I Lost

This story came from Linda.  She said that she was tired, frustrated, and irritable after her difficult day.  As any good food addict will do – she turned to food.  She wasn’t proud of it, but that day she had faced the marshmallow fluff and it won.  Here is the way we started tapping.  Feel free to tap along.

illustration for karate chop point

Setup: (tapping the karate chop point) Even though I gave into temptation and ate marshmallow fluff by the spoonful today, I deeply and completely love and accept myself anyway. Even though I ate marshmallow fluff in response to being tired and frustrated, I choose to view myself with love and compassion. Even though I ate marshmallow fluff in secret so nobody would know, I choose to get back on track right now.

Eyebrow…I ate marshmallow fluff

Side of Eye…First I put some on my brownie

Under the Eye…Then I ate some on a spoon with some peanut butter

Nose…Then I just ate it off a spoon without anything else

Chin…Knowing that I still have these behaviors makes me feel so defeated sometimes

Collarbone…I wasn’t really hungry, but I was craving something sweet

Under the Arm…It was here, easy, and easy to hide

Top of Head…I didn’t eat enough to do a lot of damage to my diet

Eyebrow…But I did damage my confidence

Side of Eye…I also know that once I start, it is sometimes hard to stop

Under the Eye…It’s good to know that I can tap on that issue too if I need to

Nose…I am angry with myself for eating the fluff

Chin…I’m disappointed with myself for eating the fluff

Collarbone…I feel like a failure

Under the Arm…I feel like a fraud

Top of Head…The fluff won, and I hate that

In this case we just started where she was at the time.  The words of the setup statement state the truth of what happened, but also state where she wanted to end up –acceptance and able to get back on track. It wouldn’t have been beneficial to pretend that it didn’t happen.  During the rest of the tapping the behaviors were described but also some of the negative self talk about eating the fluff.  This part can be expanded to cover all of the feelings that come up.

For Linda it didn’t really take more than this.  As soon as she acknowledged the behavior and expressed her feelings about it while tapping she experienced considerable relief.  She told me later that she did additional tapping on the specific feeling of being a failure at another time and was able to get clarity and relief there too.

As you can see, the tapping doesn’t have to be complicated.  You just have to get started.

Book Review – The Third Plate

What do Eight Row Flight, worms, foie gras, mullet, and soil all have in common? They are all things that I couldn’t have imagined in a million years that I would read about or even care about. But, since reading The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food by Dan Barber I do care.  And frankly, I wish I could go back to my state of ignorance is bliss.  Reading this book will forever change the way you look at food, farming, and consumerism.

I received this book as an advance uncorrected proof through a www.goodreads.com giveaway. Like many of the giveaways, I’m not sure what drew me to the book. When it arrived in the mail I put it on the shelf for later, mostly because it was visually intimidating. It isn’t a small book and there are very few pictures or diagrams. It just felt overwhelming. Fortunately looks CAN be deceiving. It reads quite easily and although it contains a great deal of technical information it didn’t really cause the book to bog down for me. I have already passed it along to a friend.  It was really that informative and good to read.

After finishing the book I made some life changes and have continued to incorporate the information into my life.  The book confirmed what I already knew – fresh produce from an organic garden tastes better than the store-bought produce (even the organic stuff).  Now I know why, companion planting and crop rotations. I also have suspicions about the origins of my food allergies and gluten issues.  I found it difficult to read about the corn, wheat, and soy because, in my mind I have vilified these substances as culprits in my own health issues. The realization that the grains I have consumed have no real resemblance to REAL corn, wheat, and soy and that this imposter phenomenon is what has made me sick actually makes me quite angry. I’m pretty sure that my consumption of meat will continue to decrease and change.

The book speaks to the conceptual and global issues related to farm-to-table eating and sustainable agriculture; however, it leaves me feeling very challenged about how to put this knowledge into practice.  Short of growing my entire food supply myself (not feasible), I don’t know the best way to move forward on some of these issues. Imagine the look on your grocer’s face when you ask not only how fresh the fish is, but also where it was caught and how it was killed. Or better yet, ask what was grown in the field along with my tomato.  And by the way, what crop was grown in that field the previous year?

I highly recommend that you read the book. Maybe your food habits will change. Maybe they won’t.  But I am certain that your view of food WILL change.

Tapping Video: How To Deal With A Chocolate Craving

person's face covered in chocolate to symbolize chocolate cravingCravings can be intense.  Sometimes I’ve been successful with willpower to resist a craving.  More often than not, I haven’t.  That picture really says it all.  When I want chocolate I want it now, I want a lot of it, and I have had fantasies of swimming in a vat of it. Join in with me while I use meridian tapping to address a strong craving for chocolate and a feeling of resistance about even doing the tapping – because I know it works.

Book Review – The Tapping Solution for Weight Loss and Body Confidence

Book Cover of The Tapping Solution for Weight Loss and Body ConfidenceOK.  I’ll admit it.  It was hard for me to read The Tapping Solution for Weight Loss & Body Confidence: a Woman’s Guide to Stressing Less, Weighing Less, and Loving More by Jessica Ortner.  It was even harder for me to like it.  But honestly – its great.  I feel the need to explain, I had just written and published a book on tapping and weight loss too when her’s came out called Don’t Diet: Reprogramming Your Weight With Meridian Tapping. I was definitely feeling defensive and book cover for Don't Diet Reprogramming Your Weight With Meridian Tappingbelieved that the release of her book would have a negative impact on my book.  Actually it might have, but that’s not really the point.  I did what I try to always do when I have negative emotions – I started tapping.

Once I had tapped enough to feel comfortable that there is room enough in this world for two books on tapping and weight loss I dove in.  You might even say that I “devoured” it.  It is written in the same charismatic style that all of the materials from The Tapping Solution are written in.  It would be hard to resist smiling at the all-too-honest accounts of self-doubt, overindulgence (food and guilt) and insecurity that Jessica shares.  I definitely could relate.

The tapping examples were fantastic, although I would have preferred a few more. The book design and page layout are enviable. The quotes were inspirational and the stories of real women and their struggles were motivational. If there are any negatives (and I’m not sure that there are) one would be the title. There are so many words on the cover that it was difficult to know what the title was without turning to the copyright page. Also, the topic of self-sabotage or psychological reversal was not highlighted as much as I might have expected given the type of challenge being addressed.

Will I read it again?  Already did.

Will I recommend it to others? Absolutely.  Have even bought copies for gifts.

The book is attractive, informative, inspirational, and potentially life changing.

Tapping Exercise – I Just Ate 3 Brownies: I’m such a failure

Have you ever eaten something you had decided you weren’t yummy chocolate brownie with chocolate drizzlegoing to eat or eaten more of them than you had intended?  Sadly, it happens to me more frequently than I would like.  What usually happens next is the thought “I might as well eat whatever I want because I already blew it.”  The tapping exercise below is a good way to help minimize the damage. These words will work for you, even if what you ate or when you ate it is slightly different.  Or, you can substitute your own words.

Say this statement and rate the intensity or how true it feels to you on a 0-10 scale (10=very true).  “I’m such a failure.”  Now say this one and rate it “I already blew it.”  Write down your numbers.

Tap on your karate chop point and use the setup statements.  Even though I just ate 3 brownies, and they definitely weren’t on my food plan for this afternoon, I choose to love and accept myself anyway.  Even though I ate 3 brownies while waiting for my lunch to cook, I choose to love and accept myself anyway.  Even though I feel like a failure since I ate those brownies, I choose to love and accept myself anyway.

Eyebrow…I just ate 3 brownies

Side of Eye…I can’t believe it

Under the Eye…I had been doing so well

Nose…This seems like a huge setback

Chin…Its not like I was really hungry

Collarbone…I am actually cooking lunch right now

Under the Arm…I’m nervous that it won’t be good

Top of Head…I’ve made two dishes that I’ve never made before

Eyebrow…That always makes me anxious

Side of Eye…But I’m also excited to see what happens

Under the Eye…I know that I often eat when I am nervous

Nose…But I’ve already blown my food plan

Chin…So I might as well eat whatever I want

Collarbone…There’s no point in controlling my food now

Under the Arm…I’ve already pointed the finger of guilt my way

Top of Head…I’m already wallowing in blame

Eyebrow…So I might as well eat.

Side of Eye…I already blew it

Under the Eye…I already ate something that is on my forbidden list

Nose…I ate way too much of it too

Chin…I might as well go ahead and eat whatever I want

Collarbone…That’s what quitters to

Under the Arm…I’m a guilty and shameful quitter

Top of Head…Ouch! That hurts!

Eyebrow…Sometimes I do give up

Side of Eye…Sometimes I don’t

Under the Eye…I don’t have to give up just because I made a mistake

Nose…I have options

Chin…I have choices

Collarbone…I already blew it might not be totally accurate

Under the Arm…I wouldn’t tell anyone else to give up just because of a simple error

Top of Head…I’m not going to tell myself that right now either

Eyebrow…I can start back on my food plan whenever I choose

Side of Eye…Including now

Under the Eye…This is just a setback

Nose…I can get back on track right now

Chin…In fact,, I am back on track right now

Collarbone…And I can stay back on track if I choose to

Under the Arm…I’ve been back on track for several minutes now

Top of Head…I am feeling better already.

 

Take a deep breath and let it out gently.  Say your original statements again and rate them.  Notice any shift you may have made.  If the intensity is still higher than a 3 or 4, keep tapping with the above examples or better yet, use your own words.  For many people there will be a shift to a slightly different thought, feeling or belief.  Feel free to continue tapping on the new thought or write it down for later work.

Happy Tapping!

Tapping Exercise – Nothing calms me down better than food

Start tapping on your karate chop point.  Say these words aloud: Nothing calms me down better than food. Even though nothing calms me down better than food, I don’t like what it does to my body. I am open to learning new ways of calming down.  I’m also open to learning more about the things that upset me so that I don’t even need to use food to calm myself.

Eyebrow…When I get upset, nothing calms me down better than food

Side of Eye…When I get upset, nothing calms me down better than food

Under the Eye…When I get upset, nothing calms me down better than food

Nose…When I get upset, nothing calms me down better than food

Chin…When I get upset, nothing calms me down better than food

Collarbone…When I get upset, nothing calms me down better than food

Under the Arm…When I get upset, nothing calms me down better than food

Top of Head…When I get upset, nothing calms me down better than food

Eyebrow…Food calms me down

Side of Eye…But it also is making me fat

Under the Eye…Food calms me down

Nose…And I often need to calm down

Chin…I get upset pretty often

Collarbone…And I use food to calm me down

Under the Arm…It is quick, easy, and painless

Top of Head…Well, maybe not painless

Eyebrow…Being overweight is definitely painful

Side of Eye…It is painful physically and emotionally

Under the Eye…I probably need to learn new ways to deal with my emotions

Nose…Food is quick, but the side effects are long

Chin…I can learn to manage my stress another way

Collarbone…I can learn to calm myself another way

Under the Arm…Even though I have used food to calm myself in the past

Top of Head…I am excited about the possibility of learning a new way

Take a deep breath and let it out slowly.  What do you notice in your body?  Did anything shift or change?  What do you notice in your emotions?  If new thoughts and ideas popped up, keep tapping.

Lea’s Rules – Avoid Corn

Picture of fresh corn with husk pulled back exposing the beautiful yellow kernelsAnyone who knows me very well knows that I need to avoid many common food items because they make me very sick.  It is not a casual “I think I’ll stop eating snails” kind of thing.  Perhaps the hardest for me has been corn.  Sure I like the taste of corn bread, corn on the cob, and creamed corn.  Giving it up isn’t without some severe nostalgia; however, the real difficulty lies in the pervasiveness of corn in the American diet.

Because of my relative success, many people have asked me for the guildelines I follow in eliminating corn from my diet.  Beward – purging your diet of corn is not for the lazy or faint of heart.  It takes an abundance of dedication, research, and perseverence.  I believe it is worth it.  In response to the questions, I have prepared for you my short  list of corn avoidance rules.  While written with a bit of humor to counterbalance the bitterness of the task, I am also being serious about what can be involved.

  1. Do not eat processed foods – not ever.  If you feel you absolutely must eat something that comes in a package, don’t eat it if it contains an ingredient you cannot read or do now know what it is.
  2. Make everything from scratch so that you know what is in it.  Even your common spice containers may be suspect.
  3. If you don’t have to peel it, chop it, or core it – eat with great caution.
  4. Put manifacturer’s phone numbers on speed dial. Plan to call the company before using almost anything in a box, can, or frozen food section.  Remember, corn does not have to be labeled.  The fact that it isn’t listed as an allergen on the package doesn’t mean it isn’t there.
  5. Never assume you know what is in the product you are ready to eat.  Even powdered sugar has corn starch.
  6. If it is something that could stick together, but isn’t sticking, it probably has corn starch to prevent the sticking.
  7. If it comes in a pill/tablet – assume it has corn in it until proven otherwise.  It should be listed on all medication package inserts and your pharmacist should be able to check it out as well.  Unfortunately all of the ingredients in your medications don’t simply say corn.  They will be called something else most of the time.
  8. Only buy supplements or vitamins that specifically state NO CORN.  “No corn added” is not sufficient and is a real give away that there is probably corn. If it is supposed to be chewable it has to be sweetened with something.  That something is often corn.
  9. Bottled spiced and herbs, condiments, sauces, and gravy are all suspect.  Call the company or make your own.
  10. Deli meats almost all contain corn.  Roast your own turkey, beef, or chicken at home and slice it thin.  Think like a pioneer woman. Convenience does not exist.  You need to pre-plan everything.  If you do the planning, it can almost feel like convenience on some days.
  11. Buy a very nice insulated cooler/lunchbox and carry most of your meals with you.  This is a place to make a good investment.  If you happen to go somewhere that is corn safe, count your blessings and take your food back home for another day.
  12. Always carry corn-free snacks in your car, purse, briefcase, or pocket.  Don’t be caught unprepared.
  13. If you are going to eat out, skip the condiments that are on the table.  Tell your server that you would like to speak to the kitchen manager because you cannot eat corn.  I have found most places to be very knowledgable and willing to feed me safetly.  I carry a laminated card with me that lists my food allergies so that the kitchen can have it while preparing my food.

For people with serious corn allergy it gets even worse from here since many other things are also made from corn products, including plastic bottles we drink from.  I have not become sick from a plastic bottle yet, but do try to stay away from them.

I know it sounds like a lot, but my philosophy is that it is a small price to pay to keep me feeling healthy.

Snacking versus Parenting: The Impact of TV Commercials

There has been a commercial on TV that makes me crazy.  The first time I watched it I felt annoyed, but thought I was just having a bad day. The second time (and third time) I saw it I was still annoyed so decided I should look a little bit deeper. The basic story is that here is a child who wants and snack and he whines through the grocery store until mom gets him one. I think the message is supposed to be that this produce it a good choice that can satisfy moms and kids. Nutrition aside – I understand the message.

Unfortunately, there are some other messages contained within this commercial as well.

  • It is acceptable for children to whine to get what they want
  • Good parenting involves giving in to whining children
  • Processed foods are better snacks than whole foods

From a public health perspective, what would happen if the images on television were of children eating healthy foods? I can think of only one commercial on TV that depicts children eating vegetables and liking them. I can think of many commercials and even more television shows that involve parents hiding vegetables to get kids to eat them, children hiding vegetables to pretend that they have eaten them, and other subtle messages to communicate that vegetables are bad and children should not like them.  While I would have still been offended by this commercial, it would have been less offensive if the mom had gone to the produce section of the grocery store and picked up a carrot for the young boy.

Even though the child was whining, everyone still appeared pretty happy. I was never happy when my children whined in public.  I learned very quickly that giving in to the whining only made them whine more often.  There was no correction for the behavior in the commercial.  The background message here is that giving in is normal or acceptable. This message, when viewed repeatedly, can’t help but desensitize us to this inappropriate behavior. Where are the media messages that show children behaving appropriately and parents dealing with childhood misbehavior calmly and rationally?

Many children and adults have viewed this commercial and I suspect that most never notice the messages that I did.  That doesn’t mean that the message doesn’t have an impact though.  Advertising works. In the past I’ve definitely purchased things based on the commercials and jingles. As may awareness has increased, I’m trying to do a better job of avoiding products that perpetuate negative attitudes and behaviors. As yourself these questions:

  1. Does this commercial communicate accurate information about the product?
  2. Does this commercial communicate life views that are consistent with mine?
  3. Does this commercial include people behaving in a way that is inappropriate or dangerous?

If you answered yes to any of these, please consider making a different consumer choice.  Children need to see images of other children behaving appropriately, not children behaving badly and getting away with it. Parents need to see images of other parents acting calmly and confidently with their children. Insisting on this change through our consumerism could have a significant impact on everyone.

I’d love to hear your views on this.  How do television commercials impact your consumer decisions?

I’ve Been Such A Good Girl

When I first published this article several years ago the title was I’ve Been Such A Good Girl – I think I’d like to poison myself today.  That title sounds very provocative doesn’t it? But that is exactly what I was doing almost every day.  I would reward myself for good behavior with substances that poison my body and strengthen the cravings for that poison.  If I was good I would reward myself with ice cream.  Although I learned to eat smaller portions, it was still essentially a poison in my body.  If I had been really good I would reward myself with a slice of carrot cake from my favorite gluten free bakery.  OK, it was gluten free, but it still had so many calories that it was bad for by body and my health.  In addition, once I would eat it I was out of control for the rest of the day.

While I no longer look forward to opportunities to hurt my body, I have slipped back into the habit of thinking of unhealthy foods as rewards or eating larger portions than my body can handle.  There are so many “diets” out there that build in opportunities for unhealthy indulgences.  While that may help to overcome the feelings of deprivation that derail so many eating plans, it still doesn’t address the obsession with certain foods and messed up priorities. (Such as ice cream being more important than health.)

Its not like I’ve ever been really hungry and am reacting to that memory of hunger with overindulgence. I’m not hoarding food because I am preparing for a day of famine.  Someday I hope to wake up from the nightmare of food addiction.  It would be so cool to just eat when I’m hungry, eat the food my body needs, and stop looking forward to opportunities for unhealthy food.

I did pretty well for the last several years until a period of very high physical and emotional stress knocked me out of balance and I found myself again craving foods that I know are not in my best interest.  I haven’t started eating foods that I am allergic to, but those unhealthy foods that I am not officially allergic to have crept back into my pantry and my body.  I fell prey to the “anything in moderation” wisdom that is so prevalent.

The truth – at least my truth – is that I can’t handle eating some foods.  They change how I feel, how I think, and how my body functions.  If you share this experience I’d love to hear from you.