For the Love of Food

by | Mar 7, 2014
For The Love of Food

For The Love of Food

Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.

This week celery is an aphrodisiac, chewing cuts calories, and kids love meditation (so you should too).

Want to see all my favorite links? (There’s lots more). Be sure to follow me on on Delicious. I also share links on Twitter @summertomato,  Google+ and the Summer Tomato Facebook page. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you. (And yes, I took that pepper heart pic myself).
Read the rest of this post »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

For the Love of Food

by | Dec 6, 2013
For The Love of Food

For The Love of Food

Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.

This week cavemen actually did eat beans, dairy fat is surprisingly healthy, how God can help you lose weight and so much more. I found an abnormal number of fantastic articles this week, so definitely don’t skip this round.

Want to see all my favorite links? (There’s lots more). Be sure to follow me on on Delicious. I also share links on Twitter @summertomato,  Google+ and the Summer Tomato Facebook page. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you. (And yes, I took that pepper heart pic myself).

Read the rest of this post »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

10 Simple Ways To Eat Less Without Noticing

by | Oct 14, 2013

Photo by Idle Type

What you eat is important, but even healthy food can stop you from losing weight if you eat too much of it.

I never recommend extreme calorie restriction (most people aren’t very good at it anyway), but there are some tricks you can use to slightly reduce the amount of food you eat without feeling deprived, or even really noticing.

Your brain is easily fooled by shifts in perspective. It’s also more responsive to external cues like an empty plate, than internal cues like a full stomach. Understanding these influences can show you how to tilt them in your favor.

Read the rest of this post »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Too Many Vegetables? How To Prevent Gas and Digestive Problems Caused By Healthy Eating

by | Sep 30, 2013

Photo by toehk

Maybe you’re embarrassed. Maybe you’ve been too polite to ask me. Whatever the reason, know that you’re not alone.

Read the rest of this post »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

How to Kill Cravings, Reduce Your Appetite and Lose Weight Without a Magic Wand

by | Jul 31, 2013

Photo by charliebarker

Last week I received a comment on an older blog post that really took me off guard. The post was about 9 Simple Tricks to Eat More Mindfully and Kelsey, a recent foodist convert, had one of the strangest problems I’ve ever heard after implementing some of the tips.

Read the rest of this post »

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

For the Love of Food

by | Jul 19, 2013
For The Love of Food

For The Love of Food

Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.

This week a huge jump in life expectancy for NYC, chewing affects nutrient absorption and the chemicals in cosmetics.

Want to see all my favorite links? (There’s lots more). Be sure to follow me on on Delicious. I also share links on Twitter @summertomato,  Google+ and the Summer Tomato Facebook page. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you. (And yes, I took that pepper heart pic myself)

Read the rest of this post »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Foodists

by | Jul 8, 2013

Photo by 55Laney69

Have you ever searched all over your house for your phone or your keys then realized they were in your pocket (or worse, your hand) the entire time?

Sometimes we are so focused on solving a difficult problem that the simple, obvious solution eludes us. This is how I felt when I discovered the solution to my life-long battle with food and body weight.

Since food caused me so much stress I assumed it was the primary cause of my problems. It took me nearly two decades to realize that since I couldn’t fight it, my only choice was to embrace it.

Now that I’ve spent over six years as a foodist the way I eat and deal with food seems so obviously correct that it feels like commonsense. Still millions of people struggle with these issues daily, searching desperately for a fix that’s right under our noses.

A foodist knows that food is the answer to, not the cause of our health and weight issues. Eating is essential to our survival and our innate drive to do it is too strong to override for long. The solution lies in constructing habits that work with us, not against us, balancing our needs for both health and happiness through food.

While there are many different paths a foodist can take to optimize our healthstyle, the most successful rely on seven core habits that have the biggest impact on our long-term success.

You might notice that none of these depend upon a specific food or nutrient.
Read the rest of this post »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

9 Tips to Eat Without Guilt This Holiday Weekend

by | Jul 1, 2013

Photo by rushdi13

For many newly minted foodists, the upcoming long holiday weekend will be the first real test of your new anti-dieting healthstyle that embraces real food and enjoyment.

Although it can be a little challenging to get started, switching from a dieter’s mindset to a foodist’s mindset is fairly straightforward when we’re in the comfort of our normal lives. But when confronted with a situation where we have multiple days of sun, fun and celebration, fear of sugar, fat and binges can easily seep in.

Can we really handle all this freedom?

Read the rest of this post »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

10 Reasons You Aren’t Losing Weight When You Think You’re Doing Everything Right

by | Jun 17, 2013

Photo by EverJean

Weight loss can sometimes be very elusive, even for a foodist. You already know that dieting will never give you the long term results you want, so you focus on eating real food and going to the gym.

So why are you still overweight?

Read the rest of this post »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

9 Simple Tricks To Eat More Mindfully

by | Mar 6, 2013

Photo by Orin Zebest

Whenever anyone tells me they eat healthy but still can’t lose weight, I ask them if they practice mindful eating. Most people just stare back at me blankly, wondering what on earth I’m talking about and whether there’s a chance I’ve traded in my lab coat for some new age crystals and incense.

No, I’m not a hippy. Far from it in fact. But I do think that just about everyone could benefit from adopting some principles of the Buddhist practice of mindfulness, particularly when it comes to your eating habits.

There is a wealth of scientific data that eating quickly, not chewing thoroughly and not paying attention to what and how much you’re eating can result in substantial overeating—and even healthy foods can cause you to gain weight if you eat enough of them. Though sometimes this mindlessness can be used in your favor, more often than not you’ll be lulled into a false sense of security and eat more than you intend.

The good news is that these mindless habits can be overcome with practice. The bad news is that like most bad habits, it is difficult to change your behavior without concerted effort. But if you’re committed to the practice, mindfulness does become easier and you’ll learn to enjoy your food more and naturally eat less.

Keep in mind as you’re reading through this list that different things work for different people, and some of these will be much easier for you than others. My goal is to present you with as many options as possible that have worked for myself or others so that you can pick and choose those that fit best with your habits and lifestyle.

9 Simple Tricks To Eat More Mindfully

1. Chew 25 times

Chewing is probably the simplest and most effective way develop the habit of eating mindfully. There used to be an entire dieting movement, led by the late Horace Fletcher, based on the idea that chewing more helped you eat less. Though Fletcher took this idea a little far (and was arguably a little crazy), there is reliable scientific data that extra chewing results in less overall food intake.

I recommend 25 chews per bite here, but likely anything over 20 chews will provide a benefit. The most important part is that you choose a number and count your chews until you reach it. The number itself is less consequential.

To help myself remember to chew thoroughly I’ve used iPhone apps such as Reminders! to ping me a few minutes before my usual mealtimes with a simple Chew 25 Times reminder.

2. Feed yourself with your non-dominant hand

Making things more difficult is a great way to force yourself to pay attention to what you’re doing. One simple way to do this is to force yourself to eat with your non-dominant hand, which for 90% of us is our left hand. It might be too much to do this for every meal, but trying it for breakfast and snacks is a good place to start.

Be careful though, if you get too good at it you can slip back into your mindless habits.

3. Eat every thing with chopsticks for a week

Even if you grew up with chopsticks as your primary utensil, you’ve probably never used them to eat a sandwich or a bag of chips.

I once heard a story about a local tech company that asked a bunch of their employees to use chopsticks exclusively for a week as a mindfulness exercise. Although weight loss was not the goal, everyone in the office lost weight and several reported life changing realizations as a result of the project.

One person dropped his morning bagel habit when he realized that the chopsticks prevented him from experiencing the part of the ritual that he enjoyed the most. Apparently the taste of the bagel was not as appealing as the act of ripping it apart with his hands. Once he realized that actually eating the bagel wasn’t important to him he decided to give it up.

4. Put your fork down between each bite

Putting your fork down between bites of food is an excellent complement to the chewing habit. The act of setting your fork down forces you to focus on chewing your food rather than letting yourself mindlessly pick at your plate for your next bite. It also encourages you to slow down and attend more to the taste of your food, instead of just shoveling it down your throat as quickly as possible.

5. Take your first bite with your eyes closed

I once went to a restaurant where the entire dining experience, including being seated at our table, occurred in the pitch dark. The idea was to focus exclusively on the experience of eating, without the distraction of vision. Unfortunately the food at this restaurant was terrible, and focusing on it only made this point more obvious. But it was a good lesson, and I was certainly not tempted to overeat as a result.

While eating all of your meals in the dark, or even with your eyes closed, is not very practical, taking the time to taste your first bite with your full attention can help you eat the rest of your meal more mindfully. Focus on all the flavors in your mouth and how they interact, as well as the smells and textures. This will help you both appreciate your food and eat more slowly.

6. Try to identify every ingredient in your meal

Trying to taste and identify all the different ingredients in your meal is another great way to focus on the present moment and eat more mindfully. This is particularly fun at restaurants, when you didn’t make the food yourself. An added bonus of this technique is it may also help you become more creative in the kitchen.

7. Put your food on a plate

It may sound obvious, but eating out of a bag is not a very mindful practice. Get in the habit of placing even small snacks and desserts on a plate before you eat them. This will force you to acknowledge exactly what and how much you will be eating.

8. Sit at a table

Once your food is on a plate, you may as well go the extra mile to sit at a table. Formalizing your dining experience can help draw your attention to your food and your eating habits.

9. Eat in Silence

Put away your phone, turn off the TV, hide your kids, hide your wife. Any sensation that you experience outside of taste and smell while you’re eating can distract you and make mindful eating more difficult.

While going through an entire meal in pure silence may be a bit much for most of us, designating the first 3-5 minutes of a meal for quiet and mindful practice can be an effective strategy.

What are your tricks for eating more mindfully?

Tags: , , , , ,