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November 10, 2019

If you’re like me, you might still be in shock that it’s November and that the holidays are coming up. Even though Thanksgiving is late this year, Christmas items are out in stores, holiday movies are playing, and people are making plans.

Those plans always seem to include food, which makes this a difficult time for mindful eating. To help get through it, I suggest planning to use the 3 Rs. These aren’t Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle, but instead a slightly modified version.

Reduce, Reuse, and Refuse...

November 3, 2019

I’ve recently started watching Grey’s Anatomy (only a decade or so late), and in the episode “Enough is Enough,” a man goes into the hospital after having swallowed 10 doll heads (!). 

At one point, Meredith Grey asks him, “Why does eating doll heads fill you up? What's the satisfaction?”

She doesn’t get an answer, but it got me thinking about how we often eat things we don’t need because we’re looking for something to fill us up. Most of us don’t go to those lengths, but even when we don’t,...

October 27, 2019

In a recent Pickles comic, Opal commented that she loved October because it was the one time of year when you can buy a big bag of candy without feeling like people are judging you.

I laughed, but it also got me thinking. 

Do you also indulge in bulk candy buying while you can? If so, you’re not alone. Americans are expected to spend $2.6 billion on candy for the season, or about $25/person. Interestingly, candy corn is the top seller, but it’s followed by chocolate in the form of Snickers, Kit K...

October 20, 2019

“[If] you hold fear in front of you, it doesn’t dictate your behavior. But I think, because we’ve lost our capacity for pain and discomfort, we have transformed that pain into hatred and blame. It’s like it’s so much easier for people to cause pain than it is for them to feel their own pain.” 

– Brené Brown

That quote came from an interview Brené Brown did with Krista Tippett in an On Being podcast called Strong Back, Soft Front, Wild Heart.

What I found fascinating in listening to the discussion...

October 13, 2019

Note: You can learn more about the Am I Hungry?® Mindful Eating Program at or on my website.

Listening to the kids in the documentary Fed Up was heartbreaking. 

Hearing them talk about trying to eat right and exercise and do all the things they’re “supposed” to do – and still not lose weight – brought me back to my first round at Weight Watchers. I remember doing a “Breakthrough Diet” for two weeks, and I thought it was guaranteed to make me lose weight.

Except I gained a little...

October 6, 2019

I’ve heard of slow food before, but I only recently came across the idea of slow thinking. This was a concept introduced in the book Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman.

I haven’t read the book, but after listening to an interview with Kahneman, and reading a little more about the concepts, I realized that to eat mindfully, you need to use slow thinking.

What’s the Difference Between Fast and Slow Thinking?

Kahneman separates our ways of thinking into two parts:

  • System 1, or fast thinking...

September 29, 2019

I’ve written before about food waste and the alarming fact that 40% of food produced in the United States ends up being wasted. 

This isn’t something I ignore, but it’s not always at the top of my mind. It came up again recently, though, when I went to a clean energy conference in Boston. 

One of the sessions focused on creating a circular economy, which is an approach dedicated to minimizing waste and making the most effective use of our resources. Composting is part of this approach since...

September 22, 2019

I have to admit, I haven’t been walking as much lately, and at least part of it is that it’s often easier and faster to drive somewhere.

For example, back when I took the bus to work, I had to walk to and from the bus stop, and if I wanted to go to Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods, I’d often walk down on a break during work.

Since I started driving, though, I can easily swing by either store in my car on the way home, and of course I’m only walking to and from my car, not a bus stop.

So last week when...

September 15, 2019

On September 6, Bill Maher’s New Rule was about obesity and eating behaviors, and how they contribute to the national healthcare crisis. He went so far as to say that fat-shaming needs to make a comeback, since “shame is the first step to reform.” He also said that while some people may consider fat to be beautiful, fat can’t be healthy.

To say this pissed me off would be an understatement. I generally like Maher, but on this, I have to disagree. 

That made it all the more interesting to then see...

September 8, 2019

Note: In case you’re not familiar with the Bechdel Cast podcast, which I mention in this post, it uses the Bechdel Test as a starting point to look at how women are portrayed in movies. The Bechdel Test is a way to evaluate the roles of women in movies (and other media). To pass, a movie needs to have two named female characters who have at least a short conversation about something other than men. It’s sad but not surprising that many movies fail.

For someone who writes about food issues as muc...

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