Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Happy, lonely, angry, sad...many people are driven to eat based on their emotions. This is a pattern that develops early in life...when a baby cries...it is automatically assumed that he/she needs food, when they cry the pacifier becomes comfort, when a toddler gets out of control in public...the first response is to grab something to eat to quiet them down...when it's time for a reward...it generally is in the form of something sweet. As we grow to adulthood for many, food becomes the comfort when nothing else seems to satisfy thrusting us into a cycle of emotional eating that often can be hard to break. It becomes a process of learning to develop a health relationship with food and using food for the purpose it is supposed to serve...NOURISHMENT. Your goal is to learn non-food methods to deal with the emotions that are the triggers for the unhealthier behaviors.
It is important to recognize the true signal of hunger and only eat at that time. When you are driven you to eat emotionally try using some of these tools to gain control

Journal or use other forms to express your feelings such as poetry or art
take up a hobby that will keep your hands and mind occupied during periods of boredom
Have a network of friends that you can call when you feel lonely
Volunteer some of your time...it is amazing how helping others takes the focus off you
Go out for brisk walks to help clear your head
Take long relaxing baths (use essential oils to enhance your experience)
Be sure to get adequate rest
Reward yourself with things such as a day at the spa (we have one here in our area, Spa World, that is inexpensive) or try a home spa treatment
This will be a learning process so remember not to beat up on yourself because that can actually keep the cycle going. Take things a day at a time and soon there will be a healthier relationship between you and food.
Let me hear back on some of the ways your are changing the old relationships you had with food.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


At one point of the other in time I am sure you have envisioned the coming of the magic pill or something that could make weight gain a thing of the pass but sorry to say...it takes lifestyle changes for weight stability. Healthier food choices are one key to attaining and maintaining a healthy weight but there are also some simple and easy ways to shave calories from our everyday lives. These changes will make at least a 100 calorie difference...and we know it is calorie in/calories out that are really what matters.

Cooking vegetables in a low salt chicken broth instead of using meat to season
Cooking spray vs. cooking oils and/or butter
Drinking water instead of sodas and other higher calorie sugary beverages
Avoiding fancy coffee beverages..they are packed full of calories and sugar
Learn to use recipes that make substitutions...such as applesauce for oil
Portion control..portion control (a mini bagel vs. the regular sized one)
Skip the basket of rolls/breads when eat out (oh no...not the cheese rolls from Red Lobster..I have to admit in the pass I have been guilty of eating at least three before the meal arrived
Be mindful of the condiments...they do have calories...try switching to low fat whipped cream cheese for example
Don't turn something that can be healthier into a calorie filled nightmare..for example adding high calorie ingredients to a salad and loading it up with dressing
Use the power of healthier substitutions...yogurt vs. ice cream...multi-grain crackers vs. saltines, reducing down from whole milk to at least 1% (skim if you can)
Watch the alcohol intake...an evening out alcohol beverages included can greatly increase your total calorie intake
Making these a habitual practice along your pathway can be the difference between constant annual weight gain or reaching your goal to attain and maintain a healthy weight.
Join me bi-monthly on the "Let's Talk Health" teleconference where we discuss such tips and tools and share our challenges and success stories.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Yoga...an ancient spiritual practice viewed as a pathway to enlightenment. By definition yoga is the union or coming together of the mind, body and soul. It is the formation of a relationship with ones self and how one can live in harmony with the world. Through the practice of yoga one will gain strength in body, calmness of mind and renewal of the spirit.
There are four main yoga, Karma, Bhakti, Jnana and Raja Yoga. In the United States yoga is associated with the asanas (postures) of Hatha Yoga which many view as a fitness exercise. Yoga practice, in addition to asanas that are designed to help the body be fit, will include the spiritual philosophy, controlled breathing and quieting of the mind. One is able through their practice of yoga to reduce stress and tension in their everyday lives or help heal a structure and/or function of the body (the reason why I have begun the practice).
Daily practice of yoga will lead you to have an awareness of your body posture, alignment and movement. Yoga is another pathway to explore as you pave your way to living a healthier lifestyle.
If you live in the Washington, DC. area, join me at a free class held on Saturday mornings at 9am at the Penn. Avenue Baptist Church on Penn. Ave & 30th Street S.E. (all is required is you bring your own mat). Contact me if you have any questions or would like to be included on the instructors, Juneous Pettijohn email list (in the subject line just put YOGA).