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.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Ah - Thanksgiving! The one day a year set aside to express our gratitude. What happens to the other 364 days of gratitude? Oh well - let's concentrate on this one. where our gratitude is expressed once again by overeating. Wait! Not this year, you say? How many years did we say that? How many years have we "broken the diet" on Thanksgiving, or days like it? Not that we need an occasion, but this one just lends itself, as everyoe is overeating, and groaning, and vowing to "start" tomorrow, or after the four day weekend, or after Chanukah, or after, or after.....
But for those of us who REALLY want to stay in some control - here are some guidelines that I've found helpful:

First, timing of meals. Thanksgiving meals are usually served around 3-4 o'clock. I'll never understand this, but oh well. I think it's to give us the opportunity to eat a combo of lunch and dinner. It is crucial for us not to "save everything" for that meal. Eat breakfast at your usual time. Eat something every 3-4 hours (a fruit, a yogurt, a salad) so that you dont arrive to the big meal "starving", with your blood sugar on the floor and then eat everything in sight, too quickly and dont feel anything till you are too stuffed to feel anything.

Pace yourself. Take one plate, one time. Yes, put a lot on the plate and salad on the side and that's it. Seconds and thirds? You'll end up sorry!!

Eat slowly. Let your stomach and your brain be in sync and send the "full" signals to each other. Chew your food. Put the fork down between bites. Talk. Socialize.

Bring something to share if you are going to someone's home. YOU BRING THE SALAD! At least you'll have one thing you wont feel guilty about eating! it doenst matter if no one else eats it (and they may not), but you will have a filler - and you might need it.

Remeber anything that you dont make at home will be made with more oil, salt, fat, and sugar than you would use at home. DO NOT WEIGHT YOURSELF THE NEXT DAY! You dont need to see volume.

If you are on the "cleanup crew", don't pick at the leftovers - you will not be sitting down, and since WE ONLY EAT WHEN SITTING it is not conducive...

Make the Thanksgiving meal just that - a meal! Plan a small meal for when you come home - a day consists of three meals, not two.

If you want dessert - PLAN FOR IT!! Plan for ONE THING ONLY. Select something that is "worth it",PUT IT ON A PLATE, SIT DOWN, CHEW IT, TASTE IT and consider it part of a meal, the end of a meal and NO MORE!!

There's another name for Thanksgiving - it's called Thursday. It is only a day. We can be grateful (and should be)every day of the year. Overeating is exactly the opposite of showing our gratitude to Hashem for all of our blessings...consider another way.

May you be blessed with good health and all good things.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Hi all!
I just blinked and here it is mid-November. I meant to blog every week, but I didnt pay attention and it didnt get done. This is so like my food plans of the past - I didnt pay attention and they didnt get done. Did I think it would happen automatically with no effort? Or did I just push off what I didnt want to do? (Am I talking about the blog or the diets, or both?)
I could be so un-focused, paying attention to everything and everyone except what I need and then get resentful when it isnt done. So, what did I learn? I learned that no matter what, I will accomplish what I need to for everyone else in my life, so I'd better get what I need done for myself FIRST - before I get too tired or too busy.

So what have I been doing since August? Well, one of the most important things to me is that I spent the time doing some real self-care and reached a great, comfortable goal weight - one I havent been at in years. Have I been at a goal weight before? Yes. What's different this time is that NOTHING HAS CHANGED!!

Everything I did to get here, keeps me here - planning, preparing, writing it down, portion control, exercise (not enough, still working on that one), not weighing myself too often (so that I dont become a slave to the numbers) - basically continuing to get more comfortable with this lifestyle and loving it!!
Gave away all of my big clothes, or took them in - a friend of mine told me that if you keep the large clothing it's like making a reservation - and I am cancelling all of those reservations.

I also know that anything, ANYTHING can be a trigger to binge - so takethis morning, for example:
my new TV doesnt work (it's a week old)
my computer is crashing (not the one I'm on now)
our payroll service made (yet) another big error
a check that was given to me was returned for insufficient funds (it was a large one)
it rained the second I left my house (without an umbrella of course)
AND THIS WAS ALL BEFORE 10AM - boy could I have made an excuse out of that!!

But I realized that a danish was not going to fix my TV, computer or any of those other issues....big learning experience!!

I also know that everything will straighten out...but if I binge, nothing will be right, right?

So, now that I've caught you up on me, I look forward to hearing about what you've been up to....

Friday, August 14, 2009

Hello again! it's been a really long time since I've posted on this blog - summer is almost over and it's been both eventful and not (BH). I hope you are having a really good summer - enjoying the weather (finally!) and taking advantage of every moment until reality hits again (all too soon, no?)

Let's see - simchas, challenges, out-of-town company, weekends away - amazing how everything can be a food challenge, all learning experiences - all under the umbrella of LIFE!

Company can be challenging - lots of food in the house that is not usually there. People in my space (even though I love them), wanting to talk when all I want to do is go to bed with a book.

A few weeks ago,I came home to a broken window; a tree in the back yard fell and some of that tree was in my bedroom (also crushed my neighbors car and fell on that neighbor as he was barbecuing - he's fine, the car's not and my window is replaced).

One reason that I love the summer (besides the beach) is the opportunity to go away for a longer weekend. I've had the pleasure of doing that and catching up with some friends with whom I have had only quick phone conversations during the winter months. Sitting in the country under big trees, lazy un-interrupted conversations (especially on Shabbos) has been restful and spiritually renewing. And now that the weather is really summer-like, I will take advantage of my absolutely favorite thing -THE BEACH!

I also want to tell you how much i have been enjoying buying (and eating!) fruits and veggies at the various farmers markets around New York City. The fare is straight-from-the farms, and you can tell in the taste!! You can see the various chefs from restaurants all around town coming to shop there and you know that those are the ingredients for the meals at neighborhood restaurants. How very New York is that!

Business - wise this summer has been somewhat exciting as well. We have put some NEW PRODUCTS IN THE SUPERMARKETS!! Start Fresh LATKES and PIZZA. You can imagine my joy when I walk into a store and see the display of our beautiful boxes (and better yet, when I walk in a few days later and those boxes are gone!). We have been getting RAVE REVIEWS! I'd be interested to hear what you think!

I look forward to reading your comments, and I PROMISE TO BE BACK SOON!!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Unbelievable how much time has gone by since we "spoke" last - could it really have been 2 over two months? Isnt it amazing how quickly time goes? And if you agree that the time goes fast, think of those few seconds before that binge - those will pass just as quickly if we let them instead of attacking the food like it's going to be taken away.
So much has happened since then - nothing dramatic. My family was here for Pesach from out of town. They came a few days before - which means "where can we eat". This would have presented a challenge but I decided beforehand that if I "start" now, then Pesach was going to be a disaster. So, yes I went to all the restaurants and realized (once again) that you can get what you need in a restaurant, you can order it just the way you need it (see our subsequent newsletter "Your Restaurant Rights").
So I went into Pesach determined and it worked!! Fast forward to Shevuos..another challenge...another recipe for disaster. I realized it says DAIRY, NOT 'CHEESECAKE'. Farmer cheese is dairy, cottage cheese is dairy, yogurt is dairy - all guilt free.

So here we are today - a season full of simchas, coats coming off, thinking about the summer (barbecues, oy vay!) - more challenges!

It seems like the dcalendar is full before i can even look at it - every weekend there is something else, weddings almost every weeknight (BH) - it is very easy to get caught up in plans and forget to schedule "me time".

I think that the key is "one day at a time" - the minute I start thinking too far ahead i get overewhelmed and doomed, but I can do OK just for today.


Looking forward to hearing from you.....


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

It's getting closer...and the pressure's on. Every single day I think of yet another thing to do before Pesach. And that's BESIDES cleaning and cooking and planning and shopping. There's the cleaners (what am I going to wear?), there's a haircut (before Sfirah)there's packing (I'm going away early on the first day of Chol Hamoed after 3 days of Yom Tov with company in my house)and the various birthday cards (April is a big month in my family), paying all the bills before Yom Tov and vacation, closing the office properly for all the days of Pesach... the list is endless. The most important thing, though, is planning for my food and to make sure I dont fall victim to snack attack and chocoholism - because that would ruin everything, and i wouldnt enjoy this beautiful time of year - hectic, yes, but really nice, too. So with everything going on, i have to make sure that i have a Pesach vegetable soup, roasted vegetables, baked potatoes, salads, and everything I need - a Pesachdig scale, measuring equipment and water bottle. I am no longer surprised that these seemingly small preparations make THE difference in my Yom Tov. A good Pesach to all...

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Wow!This month has gone by so quickly - and each day is so packed with thought and activity. Life is full. And it only gets more full and fulfilled if I take care of myself in the best ways I know how - eat in the most healthy manner I can, sleep at least 7 hours a night, exercise 4-5 times a week, drink 8-10 cups of water daily, and learn to deal appropriately with life's stresses. What a list!Who can do that perfectly? Certainly not me. But wait! It doesnt have to be perfect. It has to be MOST OF THE TIME,and that sounds more do-able. You see? That's the problem.If we cant do it 100%, then we retreat to "0",forgetting that the rule is DO MORE THAN NONE!
I also see that I am in this for the long haul,and if so, then I have to make my food interesting, tasty, with some variety. So, over the years I have bought "help" in the form of a Champion Juicer - put in a frozen banana and it makes banana ice cream, a vegetable cutter - to make making vegetable soup easier, various choppers, blenders, peelers and cutters. So, I would like to tell you about my new addition - an ice cream maker. Yes, you read right. But I have no intention of making high fat, full of cream and sugar confections. In this ice cream maker I put 8 oz. of milk (lowfat), 8 oz. blueberries, 1 egg , sweetener and 2 capfuls of vanilla extract. This machine has the compresser built in, so I set the timer for 45 minutes and VOILA - breakfast. It was amazing!! Imagine ice cream for breakfast.
Anyway if you are interested it is the GELATO and it is made by LELLO. I bought it at Zabar's on Broadway at 80th Street in Manhattan - and I am enjoying it immensely!
Have a great week!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

It's been weeks since I posted here - time goes by so quickly and the days are so packed that sometimes I neglect what is not a "squeaky wheel" - anyone relate?
Went to a big weddng last Thursday night - large hall, loads of people and it seemed like no one was eating at the smorgasbord, but then I realized it was all off to one side and it was packed over there!! And the lavish meal was devoured as well. It seems that the more fried, the more fat, the more creamy the meal is, the more people want it. We talk thin and we eat fat. We talk exercise and we drive everywhere. I will say, though, that the dancing was enthusiastic and everyone was up there!I love to look at the clothes and jewelry - I've seen all the food before!!

What are all of you planning for Tu B'Shvat? All that glorious fruit is so tempting. BUT we need to remember it's all sugar - especially the dried fruits and fat (the nuts). And we know about excess, right? So when I say to myself, "It's only fruit..." I am in denial about how much I am eating - I am SO capapble of doing that!!

I once read a piece about this beautiful festival. It said that although it is winter and it seems strange to celebrate trees now, we are actually looking at the promise of spring. In the earth, everything is becoming ready and we can be assured that even though we can't see it, each little change will bring us the long-awaited results. So it is with us. Each little change, even though we cant see them individually can bring us big, beautiful changes.

We've passed through one of the coldest Januarys on record and today the weather is beautiful. It reminds me that soon we will be taking off the coats and cleaning for Pesach - more food challenges to come!

Have a beautiful Tu B'Shvat and remember - Spring is just around the corner!!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

How many times have I binged over something that hasn't happened yet?

Good morning everyone. I hope you are all OK, keeping warm (or if you are in a place where it is currently warm, I hope your air conditioners are working). I learned something over these past few days that has really helped me. As I listened to the forecast, I got ready (in my mind and my fridge) for a lot of snow, stuck at home, hard to get around, prepare lot of reading material...etc. And I'm not alone - the supermarkets were packed, snow shovels and salt were in evidence, salt trucks were ready to go and alternate side of the street parking was going to be suspended. Six inches of snow, they hollered on Thursday, and by Friday they said maybe 1-2,and by Saturday night they claimed "only a dusting". I know it was much more severe upstate, but all of that angst for something that turnedout to be nothing. What a life lesson- how many times do we agonize and worry and then the situation either doesnt happen or works out much more favorably than we anticipated. How many times have I binged over something that hasnt happened yet, except in my mind, and then when it all worked out just fine, I was left with a few extra pounds. The lesson? If we cant do something about a situation,dont worry. And if we can do something, do it, and dont worry.
All that having been said, I slipped on the ice last night right in front of my house - today I REALLY FEEL IT!! Does anyone out there think acookie will make me feel better?
Lastly - Anonymous - your food plan is SO HEALTHY!! I understand your choices are limited because of health reasons, but there are so many possibilities with the foods that are on your theway,you dont mention eggs - do you eat them?
What does your daily plan look like? I'd be interested to know..
I'm sure that some members on the forum would be helpful too! What a great support system that has been...
Have a great week!!