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5 Lessons About Exercise You Can Learn From Your Dog

by | Feb 23, 2015

The same thing happens every day. Whether it’s raining or the sun is shining. Whether we had a late night encounter with raccoons or we’re well-rested. Shortly after lunch every afternoon my dog Toaster wanders into my office and puts his little head on my lap.

It’s time to go to the park.

While it’s clear that Mother Nature plays a roll in his timing (potty time is a an excellent trigger), it doesn’t take more than a glance to realize that there is a deeper motivation under all that fluffy fur.

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For the Love of Food

by | Feb 6, 2015
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 the mirror makes you overeat, a huge supplement scandal, and the birth of “science milk”… mmmm.

Too busy to read them all? Try this awesome free speed reading app I just discovered to read at 300+ wpm. So neat!

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 and the Summer Tomato Facebook page. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you. (Yes, I took that picture of the pepper heart myself.)

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What it Feels Like to Have Iron Willpower

by | Jan 26, 2015

Photo by Kalexanderson

“I need to get motivated.”

“I need to stop being so lazy.”

“I wish I had her determination.”

“I need to just DO IT.”

I constantly hear people saying these things when they talk about eating better, exercising, or losing weight.

It’s also ingrained in the psyche of our culture. “No pain, no gain.”

Of course, these are all just different ways of saying you wish you had more willpower.

I get it. Willpower is an amazing thing sometimes. And having a strong reserve of it certainly has its advantages.

But there are also serious disadvantages.

I spend a lot of time here on Summer Tomato talking about how willpower doesn’t work for long-term goals. That our brains are built to run on habits, and that self-control should be used sparingly since it takes up so much mental energy.

Whether you agree with this premise or not (apparently this guy doesn’t), today I want to show you that even if you could get healthy through the strength of your iron will, you shouldn’t want to.

I know, because I have really strong willpower. And I used it ruthlessly for 15 years.

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For the Love of Food

by | Jan 23, 2015
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 getting over the resolution hump, how thoughts beget actions, and why cooking “light” is a bad idea.

Too busy to read them all? Try this awesome free speed reading app I just discovered to read at 300+ wpm. So neat!

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 and the Summer Tomato Facebook page. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you. (Yes, I took that picture of the pepper heart myself.)

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Wisdom Wednesday: You Never Regret a Workout

by | Jan 21, 2015

Photo by Randy Son Of Robert

It’s a common misconception that San Francisco is warm and sunny. It isn’t. At least not usually.

As locals know, Karl the Fog is a year-round resident of the City by the Bay.

Karl’s favorite seasons are summer and winter. During the summer he likes to roll into my hood around 4pm, which is why SF residents always bring a jacket when we leave the house. Always.

In the winter Karl doesn’t restrict his visits to evenings, but pretty much hangs around all day.

Born and raised in SoCal, this took some getting used to. It’s normally pretty easy for me to stick to my habits, but nothing saps my motivation like day after day of gray skies.

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The “I Don’t Feel Like It” Fallacy

by | Jan 19, 2015

bored-kitchen

Sometimes the subtlest thing can derail a habit.

Of all the Home Court Habits I maintain to keep my healthstyle on track, cooking food at home is the most important. When I cook regularly (4-5 days a week) I can eat practically anything I want, maintain my weight and energy, and almost never get sick.

I don’t love to cook, but I don’t mind it. And over the years I’ve developed a system of supporting habits to make sure I do it regularly. It works for me.

Then last week, it stopped working. Despite having attended two dinners at the homes of friends (when I notably didn’t have to cook), when Thursday rolled around I had zero interest in making dinner.

Just the thought of going to the grocery store, picking out one of the same boring meals and going home and putting it together sounded like torture. So I turned on the charm and convinced my husband to join me at a restaurant instead.

I was relieved, but the situation didn’t sit well with me. I had only cooked dinner once this week, the weekend was fast approaching, and I already had plans for the next two nights. Normally I would jump at the opportunity to control what’s on my plate for one additional meal.

Where was my resistance coming from?

The easy thing to do would be to ignore my disinclination to cook this evening or chalk it up to laziness or my general apathy toward the kitchen. But that would be a mistake.

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For the Love of Food

by | Jan 9, 2015
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 an easy way to slow aging, the secret to changing your life, and the importance of a personal mission statement.

Too busy to read them all? Try this awesome free speed reading app I just discovered to read at 300+ wpm. So neat!

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 and the Summer Tomato Facebook page. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you. (Yes, I took that picture of the pepper heart myself.)

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How to Eat Half a Donut

by | Jan 5, 2015

Photo by rpavich

Donuts are tasty, and foodists eat things that are tasty. I, therefore, eat donuts.

Although I’ve explained extensively what it means to be a foodist, people are often surprised to learn that I really do eat donuts and other indulgent foods. And I eat them whenever I feel like it.

But I’m so thin, how is this possible? If I can eat something so good at any time, why am I not currently lying in a pile of donuts and stuffing my face with glee?

This is an important question, because one of the most common concerns I hear from readers is that they feel out of control around snacks and other indulgent foods, and don’t know how to reign in their habit of overeating.

If you often feel helpless and out of control around certain foods and wish you could change your behavior but don’t know how, put away your phone and close your email. This one will require your full attention.
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It’s Not Shallow to Care About How You Look

by | Dec 8, 2014

Photo by Pavel P.

I had my first SlimFast shake when I was 11 years old and spent the next 15 years struggling my way through every diet under the sun.

Through all of high school and college I suffered from body image issues, fatigue, bad skin and thinning hair, all for a body I was embarrassed of.

If anyone knows how dangerous dieting can be for your mind, body and spirit it’s me.

At Summer Tomato my number one mission for the last five and half years has been to get people to stop dieting. Not only does it not work, it actually makes it harder to become fit and healthy.

Dieting also makes your life suck, and that is unacceptable.

I know this. But that doesn’t mean I believe you should give up on trying to look your best.

Far from it.

As strongly as I believe the word “diet” should be banished from our health lexicon, I feel equally that our bodies should be part of what makes life awesome. And that includes how we feel when we look in the mirror, and how others see us.

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For the Love of Food

by | Nov 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 high-fat diet protects the brain, age is a mindset, and how to control cravings like a Jedi.

Too busy to read them all? Try this awesome free speed reading app I just discovered to read at 300+ wpm. So neat!

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. (Yes, I took that picture of the pepper heart myself.)

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