HEALING HOLIDAY MEALS By Laura Cipullo, RD, CDE, CEDRD, CDN The signs are just about everywhere…from the broadcast media to all the stores. Our biggest annual holiday season is fast approaching. And along with the holidays come family…and with family gatherings come feelings. So how do we handle the holiday season knowing that its venues provide the perfect atmosphere for family quarrels…especially the dinner table? Don't fall prey to this annual recipe for family angst and dilemma!
Do you consider yourself to be an emotional eater? Do you often emotionally overeat because of your feelings of anxiety and frustration about your relationship? Or, do you feel so frustrated because you keep meeting and dating the "wrong men" and you turn to food for comfort because of this?
Wouldn’t it be fun to combine two of the things you love most, good food and sex? Food has been used for thousands of years to enhance our love lives and spice up our erotic play. What you eat (and of course, where and how you eat it) can have a direct impact on your sex life, affecting your hormones, brain chemistry and energy and stress levels. Some foods affect our moods, others arouse us because they are psychologically suggestive, and some can actually increase blood flow to the genitals.
Clair prides herself on being really good when she diets ... until she isn't. Then she is really, really bad and can't seem to help herself. The moment she gets derailed and succumbs to food she knows she shouldn't have, she is taken over by an insatiable desire for all the foods she's been denied the past few weeks. The pattern is always the same, as it is for millions of people who diet every month.
Do you binge, but don't purge? Do you overeat at night on a regular basis? Do you eat when you are stressed or eat to cope? Do you eat in secret? Do you feel like a sugar or carbs addict? Do you eat a lot of junk food? Do you constantly crave food? Here are six signs you may be heading for an eating disorder.
If you’ve ever tried to lose weight, then you’re probably familiar with or have tried a number of diets. Growing up, I remember my mom going on the cabbage soup diet several times as well as the grapefruit diet and the “eat only bananas and milk one day, then only hot dogs the next day" diet. My personal favorite was the “chocolate milk for breakfast and lunch” diet.
You may want to dance like nobody’s watching but eat like you may end up on YouTube. Have you ever pulled up to a traffic light - wiping Big Mac sauce from your cheek – only to see a snot-nosed kid in the backseat of your Honda laughing at you while you lick the fallen pickle from your cleavage?
Steve came to see me when the physical discomfort of carrying around extra weight was worse than the pleasure of overeating all of his favorite high-fat, high-calorie foods. My promise of no dieting or deprivation was especially appealing to him because he had never had to deal with losing weight earlier in life and was at a loss on managing it alone. He was in a busy, high-stress career and had never taken the time to shop for food or cook.
With one holiday under our belt, may I remind you that we have a couple more to go - Christmas and New Years! Ugh. If I had a dollar for everyone who told me this past week that they’ll “start their diets after the holidays,” I’d be a richer woman! The truth is you hear this statement all the time. Maybe you've even found yourself saying this lately.
If you tend to struggle with food, weight and body image, holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas can be particularly challenging, because they revolve so much around food and mealtimes. For the food addict*, it can feel like there is no escape. Unlike other addictions food is not something you can simply go cold turkey (pun intended) especially this time of year.
Jennifer* came into my office and tearfully announced that she has tried every diet, spending a lot of money on special food plans and meal replacements, only to gain it all back, plus some extra after she stopped the programs. She was only 32 years old and did not want to be overweight her entire life. Shopping for clothes was a nightmare but thank goodness for online ordering, where her friends couldn’t see that she needed plus size clothes.
My husband and I went away recently and while the destination was relaxing and fun, it was also full of triggers. You know, the kind of triggers that set you off running in the wrong direction and it takes every thing within you to rein yourself in again. For those of you familiar with Michigan’s beautiful Mackinac Island you know you can’t go there without indulging in what they’re famous for - fudge!. So for me, just the environment alone can trigger eating urges.