Patriotism on a Plate

"Patriotism on a Plate" is a must-see talk given by Robyn O'Brien that she presented at Tedx Austin 2011. She shares her amazing journey with her own child's food allergies, her type-A personality to find out why so many of our children now have food allergies, why our food industry is affecting the health of our nation, and why organics cost so much. This is brilliant, informative, eye-opening, and inspiring to all of us to make big or little changes to move ourselves, our families, and our country, patriotically, into a healthier, happier, and more economically sound future.

Our Love-Hate Relationship with Sweets

Oh those sweets! We love them. We hate them.

We love the taste of sweets. We love the feeling of sweetness in our mouths. In fact, we love the "feeling of sweetness". Oh but the guilt that follows the bite down is enough to spoil that love affair with each swallow.

I can hear it now... "this is bad for me, I will gain weight, my face will break out, where is my will power, this causes inflammation, this causes addiction, this causes disease..!" * Gulp! * You just ate that, all that. The guilt is punishing enough to make you never eat another sweet again. That is, until the next bite tempts us. "Oh, hello my sweet love!"

Sweet food is, for many of us, a love-hate relationship. We crave sweetness for many reasons. One reason people eat sweets is that we have become "programmed" unconsciously to do so. We have become mindless when it comes to putting something inside our bodies based on triggers that aren't the hunger triggers. How many times have you had a bowl of sweets while you were at the computer or watching TV, and magically, it disappeared without you realizing it! Do you procrastinate by eating sweet food? Do you shove emotions inside with sweet food? Do you eat sweets because some emotion or part of your life is missing? Do you eat them because they just somehow magically find their way into your mouth?

Mindful Eating with Sweets:
The next time you find yourself about ready to put a sweet in your mouth...
  • Push the "pause" button. If you can, put the food down for 10 minutes. This gives you a mental break in your actions (that may not be conscious or mindful).
  • Be curious about your actions. Ask yourself: Are you hungry? If so, is this the best choice? Why this and not something healthier? Does the activity I'm doing now usually trigger me to eat sweets? Don't be judgmental or harsh on yourself. Just be curious, interested, and obtain some conscious information.
  • Conjure up some wonderful, "sweet" feelings. This can be happy memories, people, pets, things you love, or something you are appreciative and grateful for. Sometimes we crave "sweetness", and the easiest way we give it to ourselves is through food. After all, grabbing a cookie might be easier to some than digging to find that "sweet-self-love" we all truly want.
  • Check back in 10. After the 10 minutes is up, see if you are hungry. Do you still want the food? Is there something else you want that is better for you? Just observe. Don't guilt yourself if you do eat the sweet.
  • Learn and enjoy. This was a lesson in mindfulness. See how you feel while you are eating it. See how you feel afterwards. Remember that how you feel is nourishment too. Be as kind to yourself as you can.

Beyond the mindfulness of eating, there are other factors to look at with our relationship with sweets. Another main reason we crave sweets is simple enough... because like attracts like. The more sweets you eat (even if they are artificial), the more we are begging for more.

When eating sweets, aim for whole foods made and packaged by Mother Nature herself. Fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds are great choices. Try to make sure you are also having fiber and protein while eating sweets, as it slows the sugar release down in your body.

Here is a great article (link below) on some great ideas on how to Tame Your Sweet Tooth.

Tame Your Sweet Tooth

When it comes to sugar, it helps to be strategic, says Jacob Teitelbaum, MD: “I’m not saying you can’t have pleasure in the form of sugar, but it’s time to start making informed choices.” Here are some tips:

* Put protein, healthy fat and fiber in the mix. All of them slow down the digestion process, averting blood-sugar spikes. Get creative by adding slow-digesting nutrients to your favorite sweets. If you’re going to have jam on your toast, make sure you’re also having an egg, some nut butter or other fat with your breakfast. If you’re going to eat cereal, put some walnuts on it. Top pear slices with crumbled Gorgonzola. Choose dark chocolate, which contains some fat, over fat-free candies.

Read more:

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