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The End of Overeating

Submitted By: Machelle Lee

Certain foods are powerful.


They cast a spell over the most well-meaning dieter, and cause logical people to overeat until their sides hurt.


They occupy your thoughts to the point of obsession as you try to ignore a plate of cookies.


And when it's all said and done, they accumulate on your body in the most obtrusive way as a result of dozens of unused calories.


Why does food hold such power? And, most importantly, how can you control your eating?


The End of Overeating

David A. Kessler, MD set out to answer these pressing questions in his instant bestseller, The End of Overeating. Despite being a pediatrician, a former FDA commissioner, and former dean of the medical schools at Yale and the University of California, San Francisco, Dr. Kessler struggles with his weight.


Observing the current obesity epedemic, he knew that he wasn't alone.


Dr. Kessler, with the insight of some of the brightest minds in medicine and science, discovered the following three reasons that most of us are compelled to overeat.
An Irresistable Combination Rewires Your Brain: Think of your favorite treat - most likely it can be broken down into the basic building blocks of sugar, fat and salt. This combination is known of as the ‘three points of the compass', a combination that has been shown to literally alter the biological circuitry of your brain.


Sugar, fat and salt give food a high hedonic value which gives you pleasure. This pleasure reinforces you to return to your favorite foods time and time again.


The Food Industry Targets You: Everywhere you go you'll see the clever work of the food industry, tempting you with highly palatable creations. Food has become a science, and your taste preferences the guiding light.

The food industry has one goal - to get you hooked. By constructing food items that are high in sugar, fat and salt they know that you will come back time and time again.


Conditioned Hypereating Becomes a Way of Life: Humans are conditioned to seek more reward. When readily available, hyper palatable food become our reward a pattern of hypereating quickly emerges. Dr. Kessler describes the cycle:

"Foods high in sugar, fat, and salt, and the cues that signal them, promote more of everything: more arousal...more thoughts of food...more urge to pursue food...more dopamine-stimulated approach behavior...more consumption...more opioid-driven reward...more overeating to feel better...more delay in feeling fulll...more loss of control...more preoccupation with food...more habit-driven behavior...and ultimately, more and more weight gain."


Breaking the Cycle

The good news is that you don't have to remain trapped in a cycle of overeating. The following three tips will put you back in control.

Set Your Rules: In order to resist overeating in today's tempting food environment, you must eat by a set of self-imposed rules. Predetermined rules take away the need to make food decisions in vulnerable moments.


Dr. Kessler thinks these rules should be, "simple enough to fit with your busy life, but specific enough to remove uncertainty from the food equation."


For suggestions as to what rules you should adopt, let's turn to another authority on eating, bestselling author of ‘In Defense of Food', Michael Pollan:


Don't eat anything your great grandmother wouldn't recognize as food.
Pay more, eat less. Look for quality of food over quantity.

Eat meals. Cut out snacking, stick with structured meals.
Don't get your fuel from the same place your car does. Gas stations are great for fueling your car, but the food they sell are not suited to fuel you.

Try not to eat alone. Eating can become mindless when alone, leading to overeating.
Eat slowly. Eat foods that have been prepared slowly - that means no fast food.

Make Negative Associations: When was the last time you peeled a lemon and ate it whole? Probably never. That's because your taste buds have a negative association with the sour taste.


Our taste buds have traditionally been our guide when it comes to food selection, but this must change for you to successfully avoid overeating. Since the food industry purposely crafts food items to please your taste buds (not waistline) what tastes good can no longer dictate what you eat.


It's up to you to create negative associations with unhealthy food - despite their pleasing taste. Here are some negatives to focus on:

Those extra calories will accumulate around your waist.
Your health will suffer.
You will become more disspointed with your appearance.
You'll feel sluggish.

Give Yourself a Real Reward: The bottom line is that we eat unhealthy food as a reward, even though it causes more harm that good. It's time to give yourself a truly benificial reward - exercise.


Exercise is a healthy reward that will not only release endorphins into your system, but will also give you the benefit of weight loss and improved health.

I truly believe that you can overcome your pattern of overeating with healthy eating and regular exercise. Call or email today to get started on a program that will truly change your life.


Attention Yo-Yo Dieters: Please READ THIS before going on another diet this year!

Submitted By: Jennifer Brewer

If you are like millions of Americans, losing weight tops your list of New Year's Resolutions and chances are, you are thinking about starting some kind of diet. For years, losing weight was a top resolution of mine and January was when I would start my diet. You know the drill: "I won't eat any sugar, I will stop drinking wine, I will stop eating all bread products, etc, etc. Does any of this sound familiar?


And I would lose weight. In fact, I am probably one of the only people who think this but, DIETS DO WORK! Yes, you read that right. Think about it: a diet is designed to help you lose weight quickly, and most of the time, you do. However, the keeping the weight off part is where diets fall short. And year after year, I would typically gain the weight back and find myself making the same resolution again come December 31st. It took me a long time to figure out what Albert Einstein meant when he said so brilliantly, "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."


Looking back, I realize that I NEEDED diets to give me direction because I simply did not trust myself to make good food decisions. The reality was I felt that I had to restrict bread because I did not trust myself to stop eating it once I started. But, the thing is, I love bread and when I wasn't eating it I felt like I was on a diet and that was always a temporary situation in my mind. I mean, I never actually thought I would have to live my whole life without bread (oh, the horror!), I just thought I would "get" to eat it once I reached the "magic weight" (you know, the weight where all of your problems go away in a poof!) and became "enlightened" enough to stop eating bread after one or two slices.


When I sadly realized that food enlightenment wasn't going to come knocking on my front door, I had a choice to make: I could ride the diet rollercoaster for the rest of my life or I could learn to trust myself to make healthy food decisions. This meant opening my life up to all foods I loved, not counting calories or restricting my foods. It took a leap of faith (what if I gained 100 pounds?!!) but in learning to trust myself, I was able to lose weight without dieting and keep it off for good.

Since then, I have been on a mission to change the way people lose weight. I really feel the key to getting off the yo-yo dieting rollercoaster is learning to trust yourself to eat the foods that your whole body wants (not just your taste buds) and listening to your body when it tells you when it is hungry or has had enough.


Instead of resolving to just lose weight this year, why not resolve to lose weight without dieting, keep it off for good and NEVER go on another diet again? The process of losing weight without dieting isn't a simple formula and each person has their own process but the following steps worked for me:


Focus on what you GET to eat instead of what you cannot eat: Add more healthy foods, like fruits and vegetables to your diet and fill up on those foods first. You shouldn't have to give up anything to lose weight when the majority of your diet is healthy, unprocessed foods. With no more off limit foods, you can begin to change the notion that foods are either Good or Bad, and in doing so, remove the idea that you have "broken your diet" when you eat an off-limit food.


Plan your meals: Take 30-60 minutes each week and plan out your meals and snacks for the week. Think about it: if you had a plan for the week and there was healthy food waiting for you in the refrigerator, wouldn't it be SO much easier to eat well and nourish yourself? A plan will make it easier to make healthy food decisions, and the more healthy decisions you make, the better you feel and the more empowered you are to keep making those healthy food decisions.


Warm Your Kitchen: Does your kitchen feel like the heart of your home or the appendix? As a happy chef I may be a bit biased, but I truly believe that cooking at home is one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself and your family. And I am not talking about warming things up in the microwave. Cooking, you know, from scratch--with amazing smells! Cooking at home allows you to eat fresh, less processed foods, which in turn can help you lose weight and have more vitality. Cooking also allows you to feel more connected to your food, and in my experience, much more satisfied with the entire process of eating.


Eat When You Are Hungry: Sounds simple, right? But how many times have you thought to yourself, just one more errand, meeting, phone call...then I will stop and eat?" When we repeatedly ignore our body's signals we lose touch with our inner signs of hunger and fullness. In my opinion, eating when you are hungry is the best way to STOP eating when you are not hungry.


Trust your Instinct: Traditional weight loss and dieting tend to be left-brained activities-this food has this many calories, grams of fat, etc. Add some right-brained intuition to the mix. Start by simply asking yourself, "how does this food make me feel when I eat it?" Generally, we want to feel good (right?) so you will find yourself naturally gravitating towards healthier foods because you are in tune with how they make you feel.


Accept who you are and the types of foods you love. One of my favorite go-to diets in my early years was the low-carb diet, mainly because it worked so well for me (since it eliminated like 75% of what I would typically eat-I LOVE CARBS!). I could lose weight like crazy on that diet. But, I was seriously neglecting a part of me that loves bread and starch. Now I realize that I just can't eliminate an entire group of foods that I LOVE and expect to feel peaceful about it. And I also know that I feel better (trusting my instinct) when I choose carbohydrates that are whole and minimally processed, like brown rice or sprouted grain breads. Find a way to have the foods you love the most be a part of your life.

If you have resolved to make changes to support a happier, healthier, more vital you this year, then congratulations! Knowing you want a change is a crucial step, and isn't making changes always easier when we feel supported? I would love to make the process of eating healthy, satisfying meals easier for you. That's why I created my Healthy Meal Planning Service. Every week, I send you healthy recipes, a shopping list and a dose of inspiration to support you on your journey to eating healthier. You also get weekly coupons for New Leaf Community Markets valued at twice that of the cost of the subscription! The best part is you can try it absolutely free for an entire month at


Here's a sample of one of my most popular Meal Plan recipes:

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili
Serves 4-6

Let's hear it for comforting and nourishing foods that make our kitchen smell great!

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 anaheim pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 sweet potatoes (1 1/2 lbs), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 28-can whole plum tomatoes
1 cup water or vegetable stock
2 15-ounce cans black beans, drained
1 dried chipotle pepper (smoked jalepeno), seeded and chopped (easiest to do with scissors)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves, washed and dried

Warm the oil in a large pan over medium heat and add the onion, pepper, garlic, and sweet potato chunks. Saute, stirring often, until onions are soft, about 5 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, breaking them up with the back of a wooden spoon. Add water or stock, beans, chipotle, cumin, and chili powder, bring to boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover, and cook for 30 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are tender. Stir in cilantro and serve.


Jennifer Brewer is a nutritionist and natural foods chef who is on a mission to change the way people lose weight. After years of yo-yo dieting, Jennifer found that by eating REAL food that she LOVED, she could finally stop dieting and start living! Through cooking classes, interactive workshops and her online Healthy Meal Plan, she educates and inspires individuals to prepare healthy foods that unlock their body's optimal potential AND taste amazing. Jennifer's recipes have been featured on numerous websites and in publications and books, such as Free To Eat: The Proven Recipe for Permanent Weight Loss. She is a graduate of the Chef's Training Program at the Natural Gourmet Cookery School in New York City and has a Masters Degree in Nutrition. Meet her at



Play, Then Eat: Shift May Bring Gains at School



"Kirsten Luce for The New York Times SWITCHED


Children playing before lunch at Sharon Elementary School in Robbinsville, N.J. "Kids are calmer after they've had recess first," the school's principal said.


Can something as simple as the timing of recess make a difference in a child's health and behavior?


Some experts think it can, and now some schools are rescheduling recess - sending students out to play before they sit down for lunch. The switch appears to have led to some surprising changes in both cafeteria and classroom.


Schools that have tried it report that when children play before lunch, there is less food waste and higher consumption of milk, fruit and vegetables. And some teachers say there are fewer behavior problems.

"Kids are calmer after they've had recess first," said Janet Sinkewicz, principal of Sharon Elementary School in Robbinsville, N.J., which made the change last fall. "They feel like they have more time to eat and they don't have to rush."


One recent weekday at Sharon, I watched as gaggles of second graders chased one another around the playground and climbed on monkey bars. When the whistle blew, the bustling playground emptied almost instantly, and the children lined up to drop off their coats and mittens and file quietly into the cafeteria for lunch.


"All the wiggles are out," Ms. Sinkewicz said.


One of the earliest schools to adopt the idea was North Ranch Elementary in Scottsdale, Ariz. About nine years ago, the school nurse suggested the change, and the school conducted a pilot study, tracking food waste and visits to the nurse along with anecdotal reports on student behavior.

By the end of the year, nurse visits had dropped 40 percent, with fewer headaches and stomachaches. One child told school workers that he was happy he didn't throw up anymore at recess.

Other children had been rushing through lunch to get to the playground sooner, leaving much uneaten. After the switch, food waste declined and children were less likely to become hungry or feel sick later in the day. And to the surprise of school officials, moving recess before lunch ended up adding about 15 minutes of classroom instruction.

In the Arizona heat, "kids needed a cool-down period before they could start academic work," said the principal, Sarah Hartley.

"We saved 15 minutes every day," Dr. Hartley continued, "because kids could play, then go into the cafeteria and eat and cool down, and come back to the classroom and start academic work immediately."

Since that pilot program, 18 of the district's 31 schools have adopted "recess before lunch."

The switch did pose some challenges. Because children were coming straight from the playground, the school had to install hand sanitizers in the lunchroom. And until the lunch system was computerized, the school had to distribute children's lunch cards as they returned from recess.

In Montana, state school officials were looking for ways to improve children's eating habits and physical activity, and conducted a four-school pilot study of "recess before lunch" in 2002. According to a report from the Montana Team Nutrition program, children who played before lunch wasted less food, drank more milk and asked for more water. And as in Arizona, students were calmer when they returned to classrooms, resulting in about 10 minutes of extra teaching time.

One challenge of the program was teaching children to eat slower. In the past, children often finished lunch in five minutes so they could get to recess. With the scheduling change, cafeteria workers had to encourage them to slow down, chew their food and use all the available time to finish their lunch.

Today, about one-third of Montana schools have adopted "recess before lunch," and state officials say more schools are being encouraged. "The pilot projects that are going on have been demonstrating that students are wasting less food, they have a more relaxed eating environment and improved behavior because they're not rushing to get outside," said Denise Juneau, superintendent of the Office of Public Instruction. "It's something our office will promote to schools across the state as a best practice."

And for a seemingly simple scheduling change, it can create some daunting logistical problems. Children often have to return to hallways and classrooms after recess for bathroom breaks and hand washing and to pick up lunch bags. The North Ranch Elementary School regularly fields calls from schools in colder climates with questions on how to deal with coats, hats, galoshes and mittens. "In Arizona, we don't have to deal with that," said Dr. Hartley, the principal.

Many school districts say such problems make them reluctant to switch. A 2006 study in The Journal of Childhood Nutrition & Management reported that fewer than 5 percent of the nation's elementary schools were scheduling recess before lunch.

But at the Sharon Elementary School, the principal, Ms. Sinkewicz, says the challenges have been worth it. In the past, children took coats, hats and mittens with them to the lunchroom, then headed outside. Now they have time to return coats to lockers so they don't have to carry them to the lunchroom.

"For some reason, kids aren't losing things outside," Ms. Sinkewicz said. "The lost-and-found mound has gone down."


Choosing A Dentist

Submitted By: Cory Kemp

How to Find a Dentist

Choosing the right dentist for you and your family should involve careful consideration. As with anything, do your homework before jumping into the dentist's chair. You wouldn't select your family doctor without proper research, and the dentist should be no different. To make the process of finding and selecting the right dentist a little easier for you, the American Dental Association(ADA) has offered the following suggestions:

* Ask family, friends, neighbors or co-workers for recommendations.
* Ask your family physician or local pharmacist.
* If you're moving, your current dentist may be able to make a recommendation.
* Call or write your local or state dental society. Your local and state dental societies also may be listed in the telephone directory under "dentists" or "associations."
* Use's ADA Member Directory to search for dentists in your area.

Questions to Ask Prospective Dentist
Once you have found a dentist you believe you can trust and develop a good relationship with, ask yourself the following questions:

* Is the appointment schedule convenient for you?
* Is the office easy to get to from your home or job?
* Does the office appear to be clean, neat and orderly?
* Does the dentist explain techniques that will help you prevent dental health problems? Is dental health instruction provided?

For the remainder of the list please visit the ADA Website.

Some of these questions can't be answered before visiting the prospective dentist for a check-up, Consider it a trial run, then answer the questions. If your answers are not satisfactory to you, keep looking for another dentist until they are satisfactory. Remember that your dentist is your partner in helping to maintain great oral health, so choose wisely.


How to Ensure You Found a Good Dentist

In this post, I'll reference tips provided by the guys over at Quack Watch for evaluating your dentist - to ensure that you have found a good one.

Those of you who selected a dentist based solely on your proximity to them, or based on who sent you the prettiest postcard in the mail can especially benefit from this post.

Positive Signs

The following are signs that the dentist you chose is a good one. Please note that these are generalizations, no a litmus test for determining the quality of a particular dentist.

* They are prevention-oriented
* Chart their findings in detail
* Clearly outlines maintenance and recall schedule
* Takes their time - paying close attention to detail - as opposed to a Henry Ford-style assembly line approach
* Clearly outlines treatment options and risks and benefits associated with each

Negative Signs

The following are signs that you may want to find another dentist - or forever hold your peace.

* Distributes flashy or flamboyant advertising
* Routinely use risky intravenous sedation
* Sell vitamins or other dietary supplements
* Automatically recommend replacement of amalgam fillings or removal of teeth that have root canals
* "Specialize" in treating headaches, backaches, myofascial pain, or TMJ problems
* Practice "holistic" or "biological" dentistry
* Attempt to diagnose diseases other than those of the mouth, gums, teeth, and associated tissues

Additional Selection Criteria

The Consumers Research Council of America has listed a number of tips for choosing the right dentist. Their first recommendation is ensuring that your dentist is properly qualified to be practicing dentistry:

...Make sure your new family dentist has completed the necessary requirements to be a dentist. For instance, dentists must be state licensed and recognized by the American Dental Association (ADA). Also, their training must include three or more years of undergraduate school and an additional four years of dental training at a dental school.

These are the minimum requirements needed to obtain a dental degree. Make sure your dentist has completed these requirements, or begin looking elsewhere.

Ask Yourself These Questions

The Consumers Research Council of America has also assembled a series of questions to ask yourself after being treated by a dentist to judge their quality level.

* How does your bite feel?
* Is any of the dental work irritating your gum?
* Does the treated tooth look like a tooth?
* Does dental floss or your tongue catch on the tooth?
* Did the dentist take time to polish your fillings?
* Do you feel pain when drinking hot or cold liquids?
* Was any debris left in your mouth after treatment?
* Does the dentist use a water spray to cool your teeth while drilling?

Sources: Quack Watch

Hi, I'm Cory - the guy behind Dental Heroes. I'm not a dentist, but I do love everything dental care(call me crazy). I strive to provide oral health information and news in a way that lay people, such as myself can understand.

3 Soups and Soup #4

Submitted By: Parmalee Taff

Make sure you have a dozen quart canning jars on hand for storing soups.  Make three soups, store in quart jars and if you like, make Soup #4 by combining some of all three together.


Vegetable Soup

Toss with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and roast every favorite vegetable 45 min. at 350. Add cooked veggies to either vegetable or chicken broth and simmer.  Season and salt to taste.


Black Bean with Ham Soup

Soak a quart jar of black beans all day or night, rinse and add chicken broth.  Meanwhile simmer in water a hamhock and ham several hours until the ham is falling off the bone and you can scrape out the marrow into the soup.  Cool and skim off fat.  Combine beans, ham juice and extra water or chicken broth as needed and cook until beans are soft.  I like to take out a cup or two to run through the blender, then add back for thickening.  Saute a whole minced onion and add it and the ham to pot.  Season and salt to taste. I use a teaspoon each of curry and chipotle pepper.


Butternut Squash Soup

Bake two butternut squashes at 350 on a cookie sheet for about an hour or more depending on size.  Be sure to stab them so they can vent without exploding. Bake 3-4 apples also.  Peel and boil 4-5 yukon or white potatoes.  Cut out the seeds and combine squash, apples, potatoes, a minced onion sauteed in olive oil and vegetable or chicken broth.  Simmer until well blended.  Then, take your hand blender and mash the lumps into mush.  Season with a little nutmeg and cinnamon.


Soup #4

Add equal parts of all three together. Yum!

Brown Bag Success

Submitted By: Leah Diamond

Leah Diamond,


Ideas for nutritious lunches your child will eat


Perhaps one of the most challenging tasks for today's parents is the simple act of preparing and packing your child's school lunch. As parents, we want to prepare a lunch that is tasty, nutritious, and filling. A child's diet can have an incredible impact on their ability to focus and perform well in school. Yet as parents we are faced with the pressures of today's fast paced lifestyle. Face it-most parents are extremely busy, and despite our best intentions, we cannot escape the prepackaged chips, cookies, and other refined and processed foods that are on grocery shelves everywhere. Add to this mix the outside influences of peer pressure and junk food marketing, and it becomes clear why parents everywhere have thrown up their hands in frustration. The battle is far from over however, and the small steps and tips that follow in this article are excellent stepping stones to help you, your family, and your children make a transition towards a healthier "brown bagged" tomorrow.


Based on my experiences as a mom and as a teacher of kids cooking classes for the past 15 years, I have learned that it is very important to include your child in both the lunch-planning and lunch-making processes. Once a child is in the third or fourth grade, they can help to make at least part of their lunch. For instance, the night before they can help measure the ingredients for a recipe, mix something together, or even simply place their snacks into Ziploc bags or tupperware containers. I have seen many "picky eaters" eat more of their lunches when they were involved in the planning and the making of the meal. Including your child will allow them to feel important and valued, which can improve their self-esteem and confidence. Additionally, school lunch planning and making doubles as a fun bonding time for the whole family.


Organization and planning are crucial to making "brown bagging" a success for you and your family. Set aside a weekly time (Sundays work well) to sit down with your child before you do the week's grocery shopping. Together you can plan the upcoming week's lunch menus. As a parent, you can offer guidance about your child's suggestions, ensuring that the result is agreed-upon, nutritious menu options. If your child is younger and does not have concrete menu ideas, you can offer them three (or so) options and ask them what they would prefer.


Good communication is also essential to making "brown bagging" as success. How often have you opened your child's lunch box after school to find that they did not eat most of what you had packed? It is important to clarify what your child likes to eat, but also when they like to eat, and what portion sizes they prefer. For example, some children (especially five and six year olds) prefer to eat several snacks at school and have their lunch when they get home. In a case like this, leftovers from the previous night's dinner could be the next day's lunch. If your child does prefer multiple snacks instead of a full meal, just be sure that the snacks are nutritious (i.e. cut vegetables, nuts, dried fruit, tortilla chips, etc) and that they do not fall into the "junk food" category (i.e. greasy chips, sugary cookies, etc).


The loving effort you put into preparing your child's lunch today will continue to reap benefits far into the future. The tastes we develop for certain foods as a child stay with us into adulthood and influence our dietary choices. That is why it makes sense to prepare tasty and healthful foods and let your child help in the planning and preparation as much as possible.


Here are a few creative, fun, and new lunch ideas to help make "brown bagging" a reality:


1. Younger kids love fun and creative things, such as food in unusual shapes. Use cookie cutters to cut their sandwiches in different shapes. There are tools to cut fruit and vegetables in unusual shapes, too.

2. Include a love note in your child's lunch to remind him or her that you are thinking of them.

3. If your child will only eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, try using a spread of equal parts peanut butter and almond butter (or another nut butter) to create variety. Try using new jams or add banana to the sandwich. Or top the nut butter with grated carrots and raisins.

4. Sandwich fillings can include: Almond butter with honey and banana, egg salad, cream cheese with strawberry jam (low in sugar), meatloaf, sliced turkey, cheese, etc.

5. Non-sandwich items can include: Quesadillas, burritos, potato salad, spaghetti with red/white sauce, pasta salad, rice salad, chili, baked chicken, egg rolls, last night's casserole, etc.

6. Snack ideas include: Trail mix (mixed nuts and raisins), granola with yogurt, raw vegetable slices with humus or dip, pancakes or waffles with nut butter, string cheese, fresh fruit cut up in interesting shapes, healthy pudding, homemade dessert, etc.


I wish you the best in creating healthy lunches with your children. Enjoy!


For more information, call Leah @ 805-683-2525 or email her at

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