Emotional eating and peanut butter banana sammies

This topic hits really close to home. I crave food the most when I am sad, stressed, nervous, made, or anxious. Basically it hits when I “just can’t deal”. For many years, emotional eating derailed me from succeeding on whatever diet plan I was on at the moment (we need to discuss the word diet at some point. I really hate that word. It’s a lifestyle change… once I realized the difference between diet and lifestyle change, my world changed).

Cortisol is a stress hormone that triggers cravings for foods that give immediate pleasure like high fat foods, foods that are salty and sweet. My go to foods were always pasta and breads and if I wasn’t home, man oh man, the most comforting food to me was Wendy’s #6- spicy chicken sandwich. Eating that food gave me such a temporary high. It reduced all my stress and made me feel like everything was ok in the world. But then I would get so mad at myself for eating those bad foods. What a vicious cycle from sadness and stress to anger and around and around we’d go.

Emotions are sometimes hard to control, BUT, we can control how we consume foods. I have my moments of weakness but not as bad as before and I definitely don’t beat myself up over it anymore because guilt is just another negative emotion.

Here are ways I’ve been able to help myself and I hope my experiences can help you too.

 Know yourself. Know what sets you off and be prepared.

Example: Work stressors. Keep healthy, satisfying snacks around. I always make sure to have something laying around like nuts (I love Emerald’s 100 cal packs of Cocoa Roast Almonds), apples, bananas, protein bars, or my recent favorite, banana peanut butter sandwiches (see recipe below).

 Find ways to cope.

Examples:

-Take your lunch break and go for a walk. Get the blood flowing, get some fresh air and relax. Enjoy the world around you.

-Keep a journal; sort out your thoughts, word vomit all over those pages!

-Take a breath! Breathing is a powerful tool that can prompt relaxation. Check this link out for some useful breathing techniques: http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART00521/three-breathing-exercises.html

Get a hobby!

– I’ve had an on again off again love affair with Cycling. It’s back on and we are strong as ever and determined to make it work.

-How about art? Coloring? Check out these adult coloring books: http://www.amazon.com/Adult-Coloring-Book-Relieving-Patterns/dp/1941325122

-Watch animal videos on you-tube. I promise, this helps.

Talk to someone

There are a few people in life that can make me feel better- my husband, my parents, and my besties. Thanks guys, I love you!

If you have a moment, let us know what coping techniques you’ve used.

Banana and peanut butter sandwiches to the rescue:

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What you will need:

1 Banana

2 tablespoons peanut butter

Freezer safe Tupperware

Directions:

Cut banana into dime size pieces, you should be able to make 8-10 “sandwiches”

Spread thin layer of PB on a slice and top with another slice of banana

Put your sandwiches inside a freezer safe dish and freeze at least an hour before eating

Enjoy!

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When life gives you lemons…

When life gives you lemons, squeeze em into your morning water!

Let’s explore the benefits of lemon water, shall we?

  • Lemon water helps the process of eliminating waste products from the body easier. Isn’t being backed up in morning traffic bad enough? Don’t back dem bowels up also.
  • Your liver is asking to be saved after last night. I know what Thirsty Thursday is… Lemon aids your liver in releasing toxins.
  • It benefits the skin: helps to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Where my ladies at?
  • Lemons help reduce inflammation. If you are planning to shovel your car out today, try preventing a sore throat by drinking a glass of warm water with lemon. #winterstormjonas
  • If you are a workout enthusiast, lemon water helps restore body salt and helps reduce joint inflammation.
  • Lemons are a good source of Vit C which is vital for a strong, functioning immune system.
  • Lemon contains potassium, potassium aids in brain function. Feed-your-brain!
  • Helps lower blood pressure, fight diabetes, and helps fight against eye problems.

I know some of you are just getting up…put down that cup of coffee and grab yourself some lemon water.

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Have a beautiful day,

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Caribbean Jerk Shrimp and Sweet Potato Avocado Mash

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No offense to Paula Deen or my Russian ancestors, but we do not need to use butter in everything! “What do you mash with your potatoes to make them moist and flavorful?”
::insert heavy Russian accent::

 

Say hello to my little friend, Avocado.

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I promise I will get to the recipe in a second but first lets see the difference between avocado and buttah:
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Ingredients for one serving:

  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1/2 avocado
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cayenne pepper optional
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 1 tbs minced garlic
  • 1 tbs evoo or coconut oil
  • Walkerswood Jamaican Jerk Seasoning
  • Lemon juice for the avocado and shrimp
  • 3 oz shrimp (I used Target’s Market Pantry small shrimp): 60 cal/13g protein

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 F
  • Pierce holes around sweet potato and bake for 45-1 hour or until soft or microwave for approx 10 min turning sides once
  • Soak shrimp in cold water for about 15 min
  • Once shrimp have defrosted place in ziploc bag and mix with jerk seasoning. Cook on pan for about 3-5 minutes or until translucent
  • Chop onion and garlic, saute for approx 3 to 4 minutes until translucent
  • Drizzle half avocado with lemon juice, salt and pepper
  • Mash baked potato and avocado together and mix in onions and garlic
  • Serve with cooked shrimped and lemon wedge

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Weekend + free time = wanting more food

Ahhh, Friday. Sweet, sweet, Friday. We impatiently wait for the weekend to come and while it’s awesome that we get two days to do whatever, I have a huge problem when it comes to food! Over time, I’ve learned self control (only took about 27 years), but I am human and I still love food and the temptation is always there.

So what do I do to control myself?

In my opinion, the most important thing to do is to keep ROUTINE.  Of course it’s ok to sleep in but I suggest staying as close to your daily routine as possible. The first thing I do when I wake up (besides brushing my teeth) is drink a bottle of water and about an hour later I have breakfast, usually a hard boiled egg with a serving of nuts or a Greek yogurt with a serving of fruit. Both options high in protein and not overly filling or time consuming to make! Let’s get real, time is precious and I don’t want to waste it.

Don’t graze. Grazing is the worst! Visualize this scenario… you are binge watching something awesome on Netflix, like, The Arrow (That Oliver Queen… isn’t he so dreamy?) and you want some popcorn. A cup or two is fine, but once you start, you can’t stop and now you binge watched a whole season of The Arrow and downed an entire bag of popcorn and life is sad because you finished the season and the bag and you feel guilt that you ate a whole bag of popcorn. My solution- keep a weight by you (kettle bell is totes my obsession right now) or a resistance band or even a chair.. wait, even better, you don’t need any equipment, just a wall (hamstring blasters, walk planks, wall squats). Your heart will be racing for more reasons other than Ollie… I mean, Oliver Queen aka The Arrow ::swoon::

I like to go to the gym first thing in the morning after my pre work out of walking my dog, Marty. He’s my best pal. And hey, if you guys don’t have a gym membership or don’t feel like going to the gym, go for a long walk with your four legged friend or take a shelter dog for a walk—adopt don’t shop! They will be happy and you’ve burned calories. That’s a win win in my book.

Anyway, if I work out in the morning, I am less inclined to cheat because that work out is not going to waste. No way, Jose.

Eat before you go out to dinner. “What do you mean eat before going out to eat… that’s what an appetizer is for!” No, no, no. You got it all wrong! Gosh, would you just listen to me! I think we are all visually hungry more so than physically. Those loaded cheese fries look appetizing, don’t they? Not anymore! Just stop, ok! Have a snack before you go out so you are just enough satisfied till the main course. Phew! look, we made it through the appetizer part of the dinner. I always lean toward the meats and substitute fries with veggies or a sweet potato but if you decide to indulge, upon receiving the food, cut your meal into 4 parts and have them doggie bag three out of the four parts. PORTION CONTROL!

I’d say you had a pretty successful weekend if you follow some of the pointers above.

Do you have any additional tips? I am always open to new suggestions.

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Take a pizza my heart

Let me preface this by saying dinner was so easy to make and Hubby approved ::two thumbs up::

I introduce to you my cheat clean dinner for the week…drum roll please!!!!

*Tortilla pizza*

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Be still our hearts… friends, our pizza days are not over…just modified.

As you get to know me, you’ll see I focus on high protein-low carb meals. Carbs have always been a big problem for me. Unfortunately they don’t go straight to my ass, more like my stomach and thighs 😦 Ok, less about me and more about this pizza.

One Mission tortilla= 6 carbs Trader Giotto’s Rustica sauce = 4 carbs per 1/2 cup (trust me, you won’t need to use that much for one slice) and zero carbs for cheese and Hormel turkey pepperoni. Max carbs for this meal is 10 grams.

Here’s what you got to do:

Preheat oven to 350 F

Spray your baking sheet with cooking spray

Lay your heavenly wrap on the sheet

Spread sauce, cheese, and pepperoni on top (remember, you can substitute with any topping or no topping at all…ain’t nothing wrong with the ol’ reliable cheese and sauce)

Pop it in the oven to desired crispiness. Personally, the crispier the better. I love the crunch! – This was about 10 min.

Serve with a side salad and I’d say you got yourself a gourmet Italian dinner 😉

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Sweet Tooth

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Loving sweets is such a terribly delicious addiction!

There are times when I am sitting at my desk and start salivating thinking  of caramel, sugar, chocolate, cookies, and cream, oh my! The list goes on and on. So what does one do when they are torn by their love of chocolate and all things sweet and wanting to be fit and fabulous ::sad face:: ?!

After researching healthy dessert recipes and substituting this and that and making myself crazy, I’ve discovered the wonderful world of protein bars! Quest, Power Bars, Mission, Crunch, OhYeah!, Combat… you get the idea.

Anyway, some protein bars are a major disappointment and others are pure bliss. Whoever came up with Combat chocolate chip cookie dough is my hero and if you are reading this, I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU. WILL YOU BE MY VALENTINE? MY SWOLEMATE?

I thought for a minute I was eating a twix bar or licking the cookie dough batter off the spoon… It’s an emotional roller coaster.

Peoples, the weekend is just around the corner and I hear there is gonna be a HUGE snow storm… go to your local GNC, pick up a box [or two] of some Combat bars and snuggle up by the fire enjoying the deliciousness. Your taste buds will thank you and you will continue winning the battle of the bulge. You-1 Scale-0

Final thought, courtesy of Charles M Shulz, “All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”

….I’m sure he would say the same thing about these delicious chocolaty protein bars 😉

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