Marcia's Blog is a lifestyle change and dieting blog written by a beloved and respected nutritionist/weight loss counselor/lecturer Marcia Bodenstein. She has helped thousands of kosher consumers achieve and maintain weight loss.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Good Sunday morning. When I walk outside in my neighborhood (Flatbush) it is so apparent that this is a 3 day-summer-beautiful weekend. It seems like everyone's away. How peaceful! Of course, this is IT. By tomorrow night everyone will be back and the new season will start all over again. (Where did the summer go?) We will be thinking about school starting, fall clothes, Yom Tov. It will be a whirlwind of "re-entry", unpacking, shopping, planning, cooking. This is what I call a "transition period" - don't be surprised if it is accompanied by unusual hunger and feelings of "I need something good to eat" - it's just that displaced, not-in-routine-yet feeling masquerading as hunger. Lots of feelings masquerade as hunger (you know, anger, boredom, celebration, depression, stress, frustration, fatigue and overwhelm - how many do you have each day?)But it's not hunger, and it WONT go away with that sugar-laden binge - it never does!!
Sweet nailed it - when you overdo it, GO RIGHT BACK to what you know works. I'll also bet, Sweet, with your history, you didnt let exercise go by the wayside even though you were on vacation. That's the key - do what you CAN do, what you are WILLING to do. Just because your eating gets a little sloppy doesnt mean you throw out all the positive behaviors.
I dont often go to a huge supermarket - I prefer to shop at a smallish one in my neighborhood that carries everything I need. And even if I do go, I usually go with a list, am in a hurry, run around, get what I need and make a hasty exit. The other day I had some time, needed some things (starting to shop a little for Yom Tov as well) and I went to a mega-size store. No wonder 65% of Americans are overweight.
I counted 45 (that's not a typo) - 45 cold cereals and EVERY ONE OF THEM HAD SOME FORM OF SUGAR IN THE FIRST 5 INGREDIENTS! There was an ENTIRE aisle devoted to cookies. What's wrong with this picture? As we "swear" we believe that what we eat affects our health, we are mass producing and mass eating processed, unhealthy, fat-laden, full-of-sugar-and-artificial-ingredients foods. And without a demand, they wouldnt be produced - so what message are we sending? We are playing a game of "russian roulette" - we are killing our bodies and hope we dont get caught. It doesnt seem like such a smart game to me.
Who out there will pledge with me that MOST of our food for the day will be in it's natural form (fruit, veggies)? Who will pledge to be more cognizant and aware of ingredients? Who will commit to reading labels and limit those products loaded with fats and sugars and dyes and chemicals and additives and preservatives? Any takers?
Let me know!! Have a great week and WELCOME HOME.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Good morning to you all (?) on this beautiful sunny Sunday morning. Where is everyone? On vacation having a good time I hope, and I hope to hear from you - sometimes I feel like I've been talking to myself! I need your support as much as you need mine! Let me know if you're out there.....

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Good morning - I hope you are all enjoying this beautiful day. With all the rain we've been having here "no rain in the forecast" is truly a gift. Unfortunately, I have to be in the office today - too much happening here for me to be able to relax at the beach (which would be my first choice).
Last Wednesday night the van we depend on to take us from class location to class location was involved in a pretty serious accident. No one was badly hurt (BH) anbd that's the bottom line. Everything else can be repaired (it will be weeks) and costs money (quite expensive) and aggravation (how will we keep our classes running upstate?)and long-term consequences (insurance rates increase), but seeing the airbags deployed,the front end of the van smashed, 2 frightened teens (who hit our car)puts everything in perspective. We were so so lucky - if it can be solved by money it is not a problem. By the time I got to the scene (no, I wasnt in the van at the time)everyone was standing, calmer and grateful.
SO HOW DO ALL THESE THINGS TRANSLATE INTO HUNGER??? Amazing that our reaction after it was all over was "what can we eat?" Another example of using food as a tranquilizer. Knowing that it doesnt work we were satisfied with fruit and yogurt - and felt much better for not giving in to something we really didnt want anyway but looked good at the moment!
Times like those really make me think of what is important in life - taking care of yourself as best you can - physically and emotionally - so that I can be "present" for whatever I need to do. Simple? yes. Easy? No way. It involves thought, effort concentration, preparation and prioritizing. It involves not only food but sleep, physical activity, hydration, and dealingwith stress in an appropriate way.Those things will determine the quality of our lives.
Wishinhg you good quality...and a good week.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Good Monday morning to all - I hope you all had a good (?) fast. I am also glad the 9 days are over. I know many of you are going on vacation now - sometimes that can be such a trigger for overeating. Think of days that are not the usual routine (Shabbos, for example) and how that can lead to unplanned eating. Somehow vacation seems to signal freedom, relaxation, no schedule and no routine - but it shouldnt mean "I'm going to ignore my health" or "I'm going to do something I am going to regret". I know that I can't enjoy anything - certainly not a vacation - if I am angry about what I ate or am groggy and angry from eating too much sugar. I remember those times that I returned from a "real" vacation - one that I ate right, exercised and took care of my needs- and came back feeling wonderful and ready to take on the world.There are certain "non-negotaibles that we do takewith us(do you bring food with you? Kashruth is one of those non-negotiables). Healthy living is another non-negotiable, right?
So, think of what consititutes FUN!! Swimming, hiking, boating, conversation BUT NOT OVEREATING. Overeating takes away the enjoyment - IT DOESNT ADD TO IT!
So remember YOU ARE AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE VACATION - have fun,stay healthy!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Good morning all, and yes, Optinosh, where is everyone? I know the summer brings with it vacations and weekends away, but I miss all the "commenters" on this blog - we are all such good support for each other. Also, Optinosh, it sounds like you are really "getting it" - this isnt about dieting - we all know how to do that very well - but about living, makig appropriate choices about food, and in general, taking care of ourselves in a way that says "I count!"
The 9 days is not my favorite time of year - in fact it's the time I like the least. It always brings with it a certain measure of fear - anyone else feel the same way?
No, not about eating - I dont ever eat fleishigs (no, not even chicken) so that isnt an issue, but it's more of "I can't wait till it's over and everyone's safe" kind of thing.
Also, the Tisha B'Av fast is so long and I am such a bad faster (thirst, headaches)that I am already starting to think about it.
As far as food, I continually hear in my classes "what can I eat?" As if meat were the only thing we live on. First of all, this 9 days includes 2 Shabbosim, so it's really like 5 days. There are at least 5 different kinds of fish to try (in addition to the old staple, salmon) - tilapia, sole, flounder, halibut, snapper, grouper, fresh tuna...and it's a great time to try tofu. Beans are also a great source of protein, and in this heat, some cold salads and simple omelets make some delicious meals! Be aware of how much lighter you feel.
If you want to make your fast a little more comfortable (and who doesnt) start about Thursday to de-caffeinate and to drink loads of water (which we all should be doing anyway).
Look for next week's blog on Monday - after Tish B'Av.
Have a good, safe week and an easy fast.