I can't believe I ate the whole thing

February 17, 2019

I didn’t initially intend for this blog to be an homage to the 1972 CLIO Hall of Fame Alka-Seltzer ad but hey, I used to be an advertising exec so if you’re unfamiliar with it, go ahead and take a moment to watch…I’ve always thought it was HYSTERICAL (and still quote the spot whenever opportunity presents!)

See that didn’t take long and it REALLY was funny, right? So here’s this week’s true (and slightly related) story.

One of the local service organizations I belong to is composed exclusively of women. And one of the fun things the group does internally every year is something called Secret Pal: we each fill out a sheet describing our likes and dislikes, then the young lady who's in charge of the program puts them all in a big pot and we each pick one…all year long we give little gifts to our secret pal based on what they really enjoy. The reason I enjoy participating in this program so much year after year is because I think it’s a great way for me to really get to know and like the person I'm “gifting” (and they've done studies on how people, especially women, are capable of growing fonder of someone when they're caregiving for that person but that's a whole other blog.)

So a couple weeks ago I was in my local dollar store picking up a few items for the goodie bag I was putting together as a Valentine’s Day gift for my secret pal and I grabbed, among other things, a small bag of chocolate hearts...I didn't have my little cheat sheet with me that day so I was just going by memory on what my pal enjoys. (And it’s important for me to back up a bit and give you a little additional information on my pal: she’s spoken with me on a couple of occasions about her concerns re her weight and health and has also expressed that she’s always wanted to attend a couple of my classes but to date her busy schedule simply hadn’t allowed her to do so.)

So now back to my story: after I got home that night I pulled out my pal’s sheet of preferences just to make sure I’d selected things she likes and noticed that she'd indicated she actually doesn't like candy. "Hmmmmmm" I thought, “I wonder if perhaps I shouldn't give her that chocolate...giving someone chocolate when they specifically say they don't like candy (and especially in light of what I know about my pal) doesn't really seem like something you do for someone you care about!" But then I put the whole project on hold until Wednesday the 13th when I was assembling my pal’s gift bag in anticipation of our meeting the next night at which point I looked at the chocolates one last time and came to the conclusion I should omit them from her bag (there were more than enough fun little items in there that I was sure she’d still feel as if she'd been thoroughly “gifted” even without the chocolate LOL!)

So here's where things turned really interesting. As I'm finishing up her gift bag it occurred to me that I’d had a particularly long and challenging day and, to quote my favorite silly old bear, “a little smackerel of something sweet” might taste really good...”I'll just eat one of those chocolates" I said to myself and proceeded to pop one in my mouth.

Needless to say (and I bet you can all hear this next part coming a mile away), that chocolate heart tasted so damn good, I immediately popped another one. Oh and by the way did I mention the TV was on? So without giving it more than a passing thought I ate another piece, and so forth and so on…I’m sure you can all easily imagine that in just a few minutes that entire a little bag of chocolates had gone right down the hatch. Then all of a sudden (even though right before I ate the chocolate I was starting to feel kind of sleepy and wondered if maybe I ought to call it a night) I got this huge burst of energy and figured “WOW I feel a second wind coming on! Why don’t I just sit down and try to hammer out a few of those little tasks that have been hanging around on my to-do list a few days too long?!” (this was about 9PM, mind you.) Long story short, I was amazingly productive that night, working steadily till about 1AM even though I had to be up at 6 the next day, so I did indeed clear a lot off my plate…that’s a good thing, right?

When I woke up the next morning, however, I kid you not when I say I literally felt HUNGOVER!!! And by the time I sat down to write this blog at about 3PM on the 14th I was still feeling like absolute $%&# (for the benefit of my younger readers I'll spare you the foul language but I’m sure you all know what I mean...the word I would normally insert here rhymes with "sit" LOL!)

Now generally speaking I don't keep food like that in the house (hey let's call a spade a spade…I'm a human being just like everybody else and if junk food is in the house at some point – usually when I’m overtired or overhungry or both – I'm probably going to crave it and may very likely eat it!) And this is not me being a Food Nazi...I don't generally avoid garden-variety chocolate just because I think I should, I avoid it because I've discovered over the years it's simply not "my food."

And perhaps this is a good place for me to tell you that what I like to call “good-for-you food” (no matter what that may be…it’s different for different people) always does four things when you eat it:

  • it makes you feel mentally well,
  • it DOESN’T cause wild hormone fluctuations,
  • it keeps your digestive tract healthy,
  • and it supports your immune system.

All that being said, I’m sure you can see that this week’s chocolate binge certainly didn’t satisfy my good-for-you food criteria…it did indeed make me feel happy and energetic AT FIRST but the next day was a whole different story: not only was my blood sugar swinging all over the place, I had a rumbly tummy, a few funky bathroom visits, and a headache, plus I was EXHAUSTED and crabby as hell because I simply didn’t feel well AT ALL!!!

Now bearing in mind all that I just said about exactly what qualifies as good-for-you-food, let's switch gears for a moment. When walking into any big box grocery store it APPEARS as if a huge variety of food options are available to us but if one looks closer at what's really on the shelves a lot of what's available today is literally flying under the radar DISGUISED as food. Indeed almost anyone would have to agree that MOSTLY what’s available in today’s grocery stores are “foods” that simply don’t exist in nature.

Food manufacturing in this county has become a HUGE business especially in the last few decades, and Big Food* isn’t about to risk creating items that will go bad on the shelves before they’re purchased so about 75% of what’s for sale is packaged, processed, bagged, boxed, or canned and contains A LOT more than five ingredients including various sweeteners and chemicals plus, worst of all, tons of stuff you can’t even pronounce.

It’s also the case that any packaged item available in stores today should be considered an advertisement (and I know this firsthand…remember long ago in a galaxy far far away I was an overweight, sedentary, Advertising Art Director…click here to learn more about my journey towards optimum health.) And all of the Big Food companies have “healthy” food departments now as well, which is why we have such a plethora of “natural” items on the shelves these days…even the PERCEPTION of healthfulness can be key to driving a consumer to purchase certain foods! But what REALLY gets under my skin is the fact that food labels are deliberately misleading (which actually causes me to wonder sometimes if there’s a hidden agenda in this country to make and then keep us all sick?! Think about it…there sure is a LOT of money riding on us NOT getting well, right?)

I could definitely dedicate SEVERAL blogs just to the last three paragraphs alone but I realize I’m getting off track…I promise to land the plane soon, though, ok?

Where I’m going with all this is to say that we all know how when we eat junk food we crave more junk food and my experience with the chocolate the other night is a perfect example of that…even with all that I know about not just nutrition but my own body and how it will react to poor food choices, the minute I put that first chocolate in my mouth it was as if a switch got flipped and I simply kept going until the bag was gone.

So let’s say you’ve been in my shoes and have, on occasion, really “overdone it” one day (or, like MANY people in this country, have really overdone it MANY days in a row) and you want feel better FAST…what’s the best course of action? Why eating more vegetables, of course (and I bet you also heard that one coming a mile away!)

And eating lots of whole fresh produce every day isn’t just good for a quick detox, it seems to be one of only a couple of keys to overall health as well…did you know that EVERY major world health organization (including THE World Health Organization) now claims we should be eating AT LEAST 9-13 servings of fresh whole produce EVERY DAY just to MAINTAIN our health?

 

So be honest now: how many of you are actually eating 9-13 servings EVERY DAY??? (And to watch a all of my Sculpt Your Life videos on various aspects of nutrition, fitness, and relaxation, click here.)

Because if you were to somehow begin eating 9-13 servings of fresh whole produce every day you’d also be:

  • balancing your blood sugar (which drastically reduces cravings)
  • improving your mood, your sleep, and your energy
  • eating less calories (so weightloss is often not much more than an easy side-effect)
  • eating LOTS more vitamins and minerals (did you know there’s over 10,000 vitamins JUST IN AN APPLE ALONE?)
  • and therefore potentially ELIMINATING the need for synthetic fiber, vitamin, mineral, and enzyme supplements altogether!

And believe it or not, there’s even a growing body of evidence to suggest that consuming MORE than the daily recommendation of vegetables and fruits improves health WITHOUT LIMIT…in other words, THE MORE VEGETABLES AND FRUITS YOU EAT, THE HEALTHIER YOU’LL BE, PERIOD!!!

So what if you really do want to eat more veggies but you just don’t like them? (Because remember the more junk food you eat the more you want it and if, over time, your tastebuds have become so acutely attuned to the super-stimulating taste of junk food it’s very possible you’ll simply lose your taste for veggies...under those conditions, how do you LEARN to like them all over again?)

Of course I’d be happy to show you a hundred ways but ONE way is to make them into smoothies! And I don’t just mean boring old super-sweet strawberry & banana smoothies…we’re talking VEGGIE smoothies that taste GREAT (even by kid standards!)

So don’t miss my next Detox deliciously with SMOOTHIES! workshop. You’ll get to taste-test a few YUMMY concoctions, probably feel healthier when you leave than when you walked in, and learn all about:

  • Which blenders are best?
  • Which veggies and fruits taste best together and why?
  • How to keep veggies fresh for days in your fridge (including AVOCADOS...now THAT'S a toughie!!!)
  • Which veggies should always be purchased organic? (And which organic veggies are possibly a WASTE of your hard-earned money?)
  • And (most importantly) how smoothies make “crowding out” poor food choices a piece of cake!

Think about it, in a culture where obesity and disease are out of control yet we still insist all our food should be “fast,” isn’t throwing a bunch of fresh whole produce in a blender the perfect solution? Participants can expect to walk away from this workshop armed with great recipe suggestions, knowing what to add and why they should add it, plus a whole lot more so click here for more info and here to register BY MARCH 6TH (SPACE IS LIMITED!)

*Can you believe there are only 10 major food manufacturers now? TRUE! Every single penny you spend in today's stores eventually flows into only 10 possible pockets…SAY WHAT?!

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