Feeding the Fluff

Feeding the Fluff





Today is Friday, May 16th   (Happy Anniversary to my husband, Ron!)

The topic or question of the day:

Are you feeding yourself fluff?

     When my daughter and I have ‘one of those days’… we will text each other and say, “I feel fluffy today”. After talking a little about it, we decided both of us ate too many “fluffy” type carbs that day. We did not heed what we know and did not eat those foods that mak us feel better. We were not thinking intelligently.

     Fluffy carbs are those carbs that contain practically zero nutrition. A person can eat calories, but not receive any good nutrients. A few “empties” here and there are not so bad, but a day full of fluffy carbs can really drag you down. Examples of fluffy carbs that are often found in offices or homes are: donuts, bagels, cereal, refined crackers, Doritos, pop, flavored coffee creamers, chocolate kisses, flour tortillas, cookies, and birthday cake. When you have one of those days, the very next day you ought to plan your day and stick with it.   Commit to a day full of nutritious foods, avoiding all those you ate when you felt fluffy.

Tip or quote of the day:

Stay away from an abundance of fluffy carbs!

Take Action Today:

I’ll say it again. Plan, plan, plan.

Have protein foods available at all times such as:

  • hard boiled or devilled eggs
  • nuts (any kind)
  • mini cottage cheese
  • plain Greek yogurt
  • beef jerky
  • mini container of tuna or chicken salad
  • hummus and carrots





Jell-O vs. Creme Brule

Today is Wednesday, May 14th

The topic or question of the day is:

Remember the line in My Best Friend’s Wedding: “You’re never gonna be Jell-O?

     For those of you who did not see the movie, My Best Friends Wedding, Julia Roberts, who was from a modest upbringing said to the upper class girl (Cameron Diaz) engaged to Julia’s old best friend…”You are Crème Brule, you’re never gonna be Jell-O. I am Jell-O.” This line always struck me, especially when it comes to body types. I have seen all body types in the past 33 years of practice and I keep telling everyone, we are all as different as our fingerprints. Each person is beautifully and wonderfully made, some with very large frames/bones several with medium and a selected with very slight frames and everything in between. People expect they somehow will look like they are 18 years old again when in reality their hormones have changed, afflictions occurred, and life had its twists and turns. Many people are living unrealistic lives with naïve expectations when it comes to their weight. I see so much unhappiness with “dieting,” causing unnecessary hardships and it makes me sad. I encourage people to just stop the fire! Either lose a realistic amount of weight 10-25 pounds in the next 6 months to a year, or make a commitment to not gain anymore weight.  Small changes make a difference.

     To the younger generation I would say: Pick a weight today that you never want to go over and when you get close, begin making changes or you will keep gaining weight. If you have gained 10 pounds this past year, the chances that average will continue and in one decade, (only 10 years), another 100 pounds will be added to your frame.

Tip of Quote of the Day:

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb”

–      Psalm 139:13

Take Action Today:

  • Be thankful for the life and breath you have been given and make the best of your circumstances.
  • Commit to a realistic kind of weight loss if needed or wanted.
  • If you are young, pick a weight you never want to go over.
  • Don’t go through life wishing it were different, you will be miserable.
  • Look into your heart, and examine it carefully.



“Free Fall” Weekends

Today is Saturday, May 10th

The Topic or Question of the Day:

Do you typically “Free Fall” on the weekends?

     I often find that many people trying to drop a few pounds are very organized during the week.  People may drink a protein shake or eat a small bowl of yogurt with cereal for breakfast.  Lunches are planned and packed, or a TV type dinner is brought to work for a quick heat in the microwave. Snacks are portioned and planned and then Friday arrives!  All control departs and mega calories are consumed over the weekend. These extra calories will upsurp all the good choices made during the week and most people will only maintain their weight at best and never lose.  This is one reason I found that people give up because they refuse to change their “Free Fall” Weekends and they “over celebrate” weekends.

     I urge anyone trying to lose weight to plan your weekends a little better and make a commitment to go on a very long walk if possible.  I once read if a person walked 2.5 hours on a Saturday, it could positively affect your health in many areas.  Time is a problem for most people, but like my friend Bill says, you’ll find time if you want to.  I also heard about a new book called Crazy Busy by Kevin DeYoung.  I have not read it yet, but plan to soon.  I find myself saying and hear others saying, “I am so busy”. It is sad when the “world” gets too busy for real people.

Tip or quote of the day:

Let’s not get too busy. People are important and we all need each other in this world.

Take action today:

Review your schedule. What can you adjust to make room for someone needing your friendship or help? When can you go for a long walk? For quiet time? Can you have someone to dinner instead of going to a restaurant that serves too much food anyway?

Re-evaluate your busy-ness.  

Sweaty Days and Sundays

Today is Wednesday, May 7th

The topic or question of the day:

Sweaty days and Sundays

In the heat of summer, appetites can wane.   Heavy high fat meals full of meat or creamy hot soups are not what most people seek after. Cold salads, protein shakes, fresh fruit, crisp vegetables and gazpacho are all popular during summer scortches. A good summer plan is to wake up to a protein shake.  At mid–morning munch on some cold, crisp, summer vegetables with an herbed Greek yogurt dip, followed by a chilled summer salad at the noon hour. Examples may include a chicken or tuna salad, egg salad, lentil salad, pea salad or some type of bean salad over lettuce and a few hearty crackers. Fresh fruit would make a nice after noon snack with lemon basil infused water. Dinner might be left-over grilled chicken out of the icebox with BBQ sauce, with a cold orzo and vegetable salad made mostly of vegetables.  Our bodies don’t like to have to digest a lot of food when we are hot.

Sundays can often throw people off their schedule. Most people fail here because free food such as donuts are offered at their church, or they only eat one big meal on this day.  Remember that food that does not digest (because it is too big of load), cannot nourish us, but rather harms us!  If a person goes out to eat every Sunday for a large meal (more calories than they require), and find they cannot lose weight, the culprit may be that Sunday meal.  Try walking away from the free food, and planning what you will order at your Sunday dinner.  A good idea would be a nice “Creation Walk” enjoying God’s handiwork about 40 minutes after you eat to help move “food” into your cells.  Remember food breaks down into glucose, fatty acids and amino acids.

Tip of the Day

If you choose to take a donut, remember the 1st three bites taste the best, give away the rest!

Take Action Today

* Decide today what your will eat Sunday and what schedule you might plan.

* Decide today to take a walk Sunday after your meal




Travel Days and Late Nights


 Today is Tuesday, May 6th

The topic or question of the day is:

Travel days and late nights

      There are days when you may be traveling a distance and will be in and out of an automobile.  Dinner will be late due to this travel schedule and often times fairly large once your reach your destination. Even though you are very busy, you ought to have a plan. Here are a couple ideas for busy travel days and late night schedules. When you are on the run, it is good to know places you can pick up some healthy food. Quick Trips and Walgreens are two places I would send my clients. You can find individual Cracker Barrel sharp cheddar cheese squares, cheese sticks, Greek yogurt, nut mixtures, bananas, clementine oranges, apples, zone protein bars, balance bars, peanut butter, whole grain crackers, beef jerky, hardboiled eggs, milk, and chopped, prepared vegetables.

     I suggest bringing along a smaller cooler with ice and stock it with your QT or Walgreens goodies. Make a decision to eat 150 -200 calories every 2-2.5 hours for 8 hours for a total of 600-800 calories and drink unsweetened beverages. Dinner will probably contain 800-1000 calories, and that is quite a nice meal once you get to your destination.

     This is also a plan that can work for golfers, and works nicely in hot weather. Your breakfast should be light, only 200 calories. During your golf game you can eat nuts, a protein bar, and dried fruit in your 200 calorie increments throughout the 18 holes along with water. Once you get to the clubhouse, you have 800-1000 kcal left for the day! Try to eat a low fat, balanced dinner. Of course, a taller, larger person would need more daily calories, and shorter, slight persons would need less. 1400-1800 daily calories are the average calories needed for the average person.

The quote or tip of the day is:

For intelligent eating remember that coolers work and will promote healthier eating. Try it, your body will like it!

Take Action Today:

Next time you play a game of golf or have a travel trip, try this method of eating.



Food vs. Schedules

Today is Monday, May 5th

The  topic or question of the day is:

Does your food intake reflect your daily schedule?

When you happen to have a late dinner and a few too many calories, do you stay on your “normal” eating schedule the next day or do you adjust and eat breakfast a little later?  When you know the day will be busy and you will be “on the run,” do you have a plan or do you wing it?  Do you pack food for the day or rely on fast food?  When your day is uniform, do you eat at the same times and with the same content of nutrients?  Brian Wasink (Mindless Eating) says we make over 250 decisions a day about eating.  Thinking is important and I believe most of us struggle because we don’t think.  I have witnessed many clients who are successful in managing their health by experimenting with various methods of eating.   It takes time.

Life was more “uniform” back in the 50’s and 60’s and it was easier to stay on a good eating schedule for most people.  Today, more people work long hours, night shift or swing shifts, so our routine must be planned and adjusted accordingly.  I like what Sara Josepha Buell Hale says about eating and encourage people to stop and consider their days and how they should eat.  This week we will discuss some different modes of eating for crazy schedules so stay tuned.

Quote or Tip of the Day:

“Nature has no mixed or particular hours for eating.

  1. When the mode of life is uniform; adopt fixed hours of eating.
  2. When the mode is irregular; be guided by real wants of the system dictated by appetite.
  3. A strong laboring person, engaged in hard work will require more food and more often then an indolent sedentary person.”

– Sara Josepha Buell Hale

Take Action Today:

Think over your schedules, especially on the weekends and discover how you might improve your energy by intelligent eating.



Today is Tuesday, April 29th

  The topic or question of the day is:

What should I do with cucumbers?

Cucumbers will be in season soon and my garden usually pumps them out like rabbits.  Last year we made a lot of pickles:  very time consuming.  Of course cucumbers are good with vinegar, and a touch of sugar or with a sour cream and red wine vinegar dressing, but my favorite summer dinner is a cold grilled and Greek seasoned chicken breast cut up on ice cold and crisp lettuce green smothered with tzatsiki sauce.  Tzatsiki sauce can be easily made by blending 1 cup of fat free plain Greek yogurt with 1 tsp. lemon juice, 1 clove of garlic, 1 seeded cucumber, 1 T dill weed and lots of cracked black pepper.  Chill well and use generously.

Tonight I will try tzatsiki sauce with our delicious leftover Easter lamb  (I sliced thin and froze) that our son so meticulously prepared by marinating it for over 24 hours in wine, dijon mustard, garlic and rosemary.  He then grilled it to perfection!  Served on a pita pocket topped with tzatsiki sounds good!  Tzatsiki is versatile and can even be used as a low calorie salad dressing.  It is full of protein, fat free, and refreshing!

Tip or  Quote of the Day:

In the 1930’s, “cucumber” was a slang word used for a one dollar bill.

Take Action Today:

Try making tzatsiki sauce for a salad, Greek Chicken or Lamb (Gyro)

Season cucumbers with mint, garlic or dill

Fruit or Vegetable?

Today is Monday, April 28th

The Question or Topic of the day is:

Did you know fruit and vegetables meant the same thing for awhile?

In the book “On Cooking and Eating” by Harold McGee, he brings us some interesting facts about fruits and vegetables. The Latin “Frui” means to enjoy or delight in, and the word vegetable comes from the Latin verb “vegere,” meaning to animate or enliven.  The word fruit was originally used to mean, any plant used as food which included vegetables too.  It wasn’t until later that “vegetable” was defined and said and decided that such plants should be eaten with a meal.  Fruit was usually eaten as a dessert thus distinguishing fruits from vegetables.  Another funny distinction is that fruits are often used in language in a positive manner, more so than vegetables.  “Apple of my eye”, “Peachy or peach of a …”, “Life is a bowl of cherries”, and “Going bananas” to name a few.

Everyone, knows vegetables are good for you these days, but fruit is without a doubt. sweet and tasty.  Because of this difference and our knowledge of the consequences of eating too much “honey” or sweets, fruits should probably be limited.  We can definitely eat too much fruit.

Quote of the Day:

“if you found honey (or something good), eat only enough for you lest you have your fill of it and vomit” – Proverbs 25:16

Take Action Today:

Try eating vegetables with meals and eat your fruit in limited amounts for dessert.

Wisdom of Sara (part 1)

Today is Friday, April 11th (Happy Birthday Joel)

One of my favorite nutrition authors is Sara Buell Josepha Hale.  In 1839 her book was entered according to Act of Congress into the Clerk’s Office of the District  Court of Massachusetts.  Her book was dedicated to Every American woman who wishes to promote the health, comfort and prosperity of her family.  The title is:  The Good Housekeeper:  Or, The Way To Be Well While We Live:  Containing Directions For Choosing and Preparing Food in Regard to Health, Economy, and Taste.

The next few blogs, I will be sharing some of the details in her book.  This woman was way ahead of her time in nutrition and brings us food for thought.  Today I will begin to share a some ideas she had on meat since meat is a hot topic today.  Sara believed back in 1939 that man was eating too much meat for bodily health.  She is not against meat at all, but encourages smaller portions at different times of the year depending on where you live.  For example, “colder climates allow for a larger intake of meat, while torrid climates only need a small portion.”  In temperate climates, more meat should be taken in the winter and less meat and more vegetables and bread during the summer (paraphrased).  Sara considers meat a brain food, and calls the brain, “the organ of the mind”.  She believes because even when one is satisfied with food, the taste of meat can often tempt one to eat meat to excess so she encourages caution when using meat in your diet. “Meat taxes the reasoning  powers, observation and reflection to decide when the proper quantity has be taken.”  “Let no one suppose that the more meat he eats, the wiser he will grow.  It is using animal food rightly, not in gross quantities, which shows that our reasoning is strengthening.”  She goes on to say:  “Remember good things spoiled corrupt to worst”   Monday I will share some of her rules for meat eating.

Quote of the day

“Physical health, vigor of mind and comfort of bodily feeling, depend in a very great degree, on the manner in which animal food is used” – Sara Josepha Buell Hale, 1839

Take Action Today

Pay attention to the amount of meat your are eating and the manner in which animal food is used in your diet.

Remember one man’s meat is another man’s poison, so if you are Vegan, glean from her quotes.  More to come!

Changing LIves

Today is Saturday, April 5th, 2014

The Food Thinkery was “out of service” for almost a month.  We moved unexpectedly, I started a new position and then contracted bronchitis.  It took time and energy to pack up a house, learn a new job, while trying to get the rest needed through it all.  Today I want to share three reasons why I am compelled to keep writing.

1.  To share lessons I learned during this move regarding stress, eating, movement and positivity.

2.  My last client’s comment on the last day of my job.  “Suzanne, you changed my life.”

3.  To continue sharing “thinking skills,” providing tips, good quotes and to encourage action!

I realize, I did  NOT change my client’s life.  God used me to give her the help she needed and she was willing to do the work.  Many people are sitting on the road these days for many reasons.  Some are frustrated, lonely, sad, angry, worried, or lack motivation to name a few.  It is time to get up and keep walking the trail.  Let us continue to encourage each other to practice intelligent eating, and also to live intelligently.

Quote of the day:

“We are all changing.  Either it is for the better or worse” – (Can’t think of who said this)

Call to Action:

Go back and read a few of the past Food Thinkery blogs to reacquaint yourselves with our desire for helping people either lose weight, eat better, improve their health and wellness and cook more.  Please tell your friends about The Food Thinkery, and continue walking….