HEALTHY LIFESTYLE NEWS October, 2013 Issue #97


  • Promotion of the Month
  • Healthy Quote for This Issue
  • The 3 Key Components to Any Successful Change
  • Eight Simple Ways to Reduce Stress and Improve Your Health
  • How to Change Your Conditioned Responses to Certain Foods
  • Healthy Recipe: Pineapple Salsa Chicken (crockpot recipe)
  • A Touch of Humor: A Mary Poppins Tale

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“Your anger is like the bubbles in a can of soda. The more you’re shaken, the more you want to let it out. The longer you keep it in though, the greater the size of the eventual explosion – and the flatter the drink at the end.” — Nisandeh Neta


By Mary Ann Bailey, MC

We live in a world that is constantly bombarding us with changes. One would think that with all that practice, we would be fairly adept at navigating the change process. But the truth of the matter is, making any kind of intentional change in our life can be difficult.

When we decide to change something in our lives, we make the decision to swap out the old and familiar for something new and unknown. This upsets our equilibrium and can be frightening and somewhat disorienting. But we can lessen these feelings of uncertainty, and ensure ourselves a greater chance of success, if we initially take the time to address the 3 key components necessary for any successful change. These components are: commitment, competence, and structure.


Most of us believe when we decide to make a change in our lives that we are fully committed to doing what it takes to make that change happen. But commitment can be a tricky thing. There can be part of us who is truly committed to the change, while there may be other parts of us who have no desire to change. This phenomenon is known as having “competing commitments”. Competing commitments create resistance; and having to deal with resistance is what often causes us to give up before we reach our goal.

Example: Megan wants to start an exercise program to lose weight and increase her energy level. She signs up for a class at health club and is excited about getting started. The first few mornings go well, but then she begins to notice that her enthusiasm is waning. Megan begins to sabotage her progress by skipping classes and telling herself that her instructor isn’t really sensitive to her needs. She feels that she is still committed to losing weight and does not really understand where her resistance is coming from.

Resistance is the red flag for competing commitments. In Megan’s case the competing commitment turned out to be her desire to spend time with her friends. She had a weekly get-together that she assumed she no longer could attend because she had to get up early in the morning to exercise.

Megan saw her dilemma as an either/or situation. She believed that she would have to give up one activity in order to have the other. Once she realized that that wasn’t actually true that her friends would be willing to change their meeting time Megan began to relax and her resistance disappeared.


The second key element is competence. Competence means having the skills necessary to make the change happen, or having the time, energy, and ability needed to acquire the skill.


Lucy was having trouble at work with one of her workers, Kris. Every time Lucy would try and talk to Kris about her negative attitude, the conversation would end up very heated and both women would leave feeling upset and unheard.

Lucy was committed to finding a way to try and help Kris see how her attitude was affecting her team and the whole organization. After several less-than-satisfactory attempts at trying to solve the problem herself, Lucy realized that she was not as skilled at having these kinds of conversations as she needed to be. At this point she had to decide whether or not she wanted to commit to strengthening her ability to have difficult conversations.

Lucy knew she was capable of learning what was needed, and she was committed to seeing her problem through; so she decided to hire a consultant to help her address the situation.


The last element is structure. Structure is the most important element in making change happen, but it is very often overlooked. Structure is what holds the change process together. It refers to any resources you might need, such as Megan’s exercise class or Lucy’s consultant. It also refers to the systems needed to support you as you are working through your change.

Structure provides the safety net. It allows you to share the burden of change with others, therefore lightening your load. It also helps ensure success, as a team effort is usually more successful than one person going it alone.

Who do you call when you are feeling stuck, discouraged, or you want to quit? Who do you celebrate with when you are successful? Who will be there to prod you, encourage you and remind you how great you are and that what you are doing is wonderful?

However, we often forget to put this piece into place and then we are left to face the struggles by ourselves. We can become overwhelmed and give up feeling defeated and discouraged. Making sure you have a strong structure in place to support you through your change can keep this from happening.

Although the process of change is often described as difficult, it also can be an incredibly exciting journey. Change is the source of energy that keeps us moving forward and allows us to discover new things about ourselves and our world. But, as with all journeys, the better you prepare for it, the smoother your trip will be.

So, the next time you are faced with a change, make sure you are clear about your commitment, realistic about your competence, and that you have taken the time to create a solid structure to support you. I think you will be pleasantly surprised with the end results.

Author Profile: Mary Ann Bailey, MC, is a life coach who specializes in helping professional women successfully navigate the challenges of midlife career transitions.


(c) 2013 Carol James, Founder of

Your health and well-being is determined to a large extent by the care you give your body, mind and spirit. It’s your responsibility to treat your body in ways that nourish and enhance it — wholesome nutrition, movement and exercise, pampering, clean, fresh air, healthy environments, pure water, exposure to nature, etc. You feed your mind by focusing on thoughts that feel good and are uplifting. You nurture your spirit by taking care of yourself and following your heart. These can pay big dividends to your well-being and joy of life, because when you feel sick, weary, drained, burned-out and unhealthy, the quality of your relationships, productivity, attitude and motivation suffers.

Here are eight ways to take charge of your health and well-being:

  1. Nurture yourself with kindness and love instead of abusing your body with excessive amounts of food, alcohol, drugs or overwork.
  2. Rest when you are tired instead of pushing to exhaustion.
  3. Eat nourishing and wholesome food instead of bingeing on junk food.
  4. Get fresh air as often as possible instead of spending inordinate amounts of time in stagnant, artificial environments.
  5. Breathe deeply and fully instead of shallowly and weakly.
  6. Seek activities that bring pleasure and enjoyment instead of activities that are boring, tedious or exhausting.
  7. Take frequent breaks to exercise and move your body instead of spending long hours glued to the desk or computer.
  8. Seek an optimistic attitude (what’s good and right) toward life instead of a pessimistic attitude (what’s bad and wrong).


By Caryl Ehrlich

When trying to lose weight, there are certain foods that each person is more attracted to than other foods. Some find the morning cup of coffee quite addictive. To others it is bread. Many cannot have dinner in a restaurant without having an alcoholic beverage. With me it was always something sweet.


A good first step is to tally the number of times you consume each category of food in a seven-day period. Then, after the next seven-day period, do it again. Making a list of foods such as bread, salad, starch, dessert, beverage, and alcohol is a good idea. You can compare each week with the previous to see if you are achieving some of your goals.

Addiction Model

You’re not only trying to lose weight and to feed the smaller person you are becoming, you are also trying to reverse the progression of the addiction model here. In a progressive addiction, the portion-size and frequency of usage keep escalating each time you build a tolerance for a particular food. The amount you need increases and the usage becomes more frequent. As you begin to lose weight, the portion-size of food and frequency-of-usage diminish in size, and number of hits.

Diminish Number of Times Each Day

The most frequently chosen items are bread, beverage, dessert, and alcohol. Some items may tally anywhere from zero to 15 and even 20, each week, or, anywhere from one to four times each day. If, for example, you choose any one item four times a day, cut it to three, then to two, then to once a day.

One of Four Or None

Strive to achieve having either Bread or Beverage or Dessert or Alcohol, picking only one of four or none per meal. If you are trying to eat a wide variety of foods, much of this will happen naturally.

Mental Repatterning

Talking to yourself is helpful as you choose each item less and less frequently. Think: “instead of another piece of bread, I’ll have a vegetable.” Or, “Instead of another cup of coffee, this time I’ll have a cup of hot water.” Remind yourself, hourly if necessary, “I want to weigh __________ pounds.” Remember some of the action steps you can take to help you get there. The moments do pass. A helpful goal: Be pro-active rather than re-active. If you weren’t thinking of an item two minutes before seeing it, you’re responding to a visual stimulus rather than an actual physical hunger.

Portion Size

Get rid of that oversized mug and pour your coffee into a regular-sized cup. Perhaps you’ll feel fine with a few segments of grapefruit; a few bites of coleslaw. As you lose weight and your stomach shrinks, you should be filling up sooner and will require less of everything than you did when you were a bigger person.

Pick One No-Coffee Day

As item usage diminishes to once a day, the next step might be to pick one no-coffee day and/or, one no-bread day and/or, one no-alcohol day and/or, one no- __________ day. (Fill in your most frequently chosen item.) Writing your intention into your agenda book (or calendar) will be a reminder of what you’re trying to accomplish. If there are many items you choose more than three, four, times each week, pick one at a time and practice not having it one day a week before moving on to the next item. For example, Sunday could be a No-Coffee Day, Wednesday a No-Bread Day, and so on.

No Multiples

Another technique to aim for is No Multiples no second cup of coffee, no second drink, not another piece of bread after the first, and no second or third helpings, even if it is Thanksgiving. Remember, in a restaurant, you’d never say to the waiter: “Maurice, is there another chicken leg in the kitchen.”


As you lose weight and become smaller, your food requirements will be smaller, too. The next level would be to Skip-A-Day. If you had one category of food yesterday, don’t have it today. And if you have it today, don’t have it tomorrow. Skipping days will force you to seek more variety and ultimately lessen the hold some items have on you. Choosing any item three or four times a week works out well for most people, but for good health, red meat (beef) or cheese should be your choice no more than once a week.

If you are sensitive to refined flour most often found in bread and pasta, choosing it once every third or fourth day might work best. Choosing a baked potato, corn, or a yam every other day in lieu of pasta might be a better choice still.

Some days having a dark vegetable instead of another salad may be exactly what is needed and will help you achieve the Skip-A-Day suggestion.

If you select the same category of food every day, you’re eating it 365 days a year, and at the end of the year you’ll have eaten loaves of bread, vats of coffee, pounds of chocolate, gallons of soda, troughs of salad. By choosing these items every other day, you’re only having them 182 ½ times a year. That shows up as a noticeable loss of weight and inches. Choose an item every third or fourth day and the results will be obvious that much sooner. Choosing the same foods all the time cheats you out of valuable nutrients you’d find in a wider variety of food.


Shake it all up. If you have coffee at breakfast one morning, select it for lunch or dinner the next time, or not at all. This reduces your reliance on coffee to get you up in the morning. By Skipping and Scattering, you’ll get in the mind set of sometimes I have it, and sometimes I don’t. This helps prove that the opposite of “I love this food,” is not “hate,” but rather indifference.

* * * * *

When I drank alcohol regularly and frequented a restaurant near my apartment, the bartender actually knew my usual drink. I was embarrassed to know that someone was watching what I was eating and drinking, that my compulsive, ritual, behavior was noticed by someone else. More embarrassing was that the cashier in a local health and beauty aids shop knew my usual choice of candy.

I remember deciding to have a no-dessert (candy for me) day, and as I stood at the checkout counter, the cashier reached down to my favorite candy. He put the foil-wrapped bar on the counter, and said: “You forgot your candy.” I was so embarrassed that I meekly paid for it along with my other purchases and left the store. Charting these foods might show this type of behavior but it might also show that you’re not having enough salads, starches, or dark vegetables, and those items might need to be increased.

Yes, I ate the candy, but the next time there’s always a next time I had repatterned enough that I was able to leave the store sans unplanned food. I kept reminding myself (mental repatterning): “I’m not hungry, I only eat when I’m hungry, and besides, I want to weigh __________ pounds.

Author Profile: This article is an excerpt from the book Conquer Your Food Addiction authored by Caryl Ehrlich. Caryl also teaches The Caryl Ehrlich Program, a one-on-one behavioral approach to weight loss in New York City. Visit her at to know more about weight loss and keep it off without diet, deprivation, props, or pills. Caryl welcomes questions or comments about this article and the behavioral methods she incorporates into her weight loss program. Contact her at or call 212-986-7155.


Crockpot Recipe By Joan Elder


  • 3-6 skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 can tidbit pineapple (drain the juice) (or use fresh)
  • 1 can black beans (do not drain)
  • 1 32-ounce jar of mild to medium chunky style salsa


  1. Place the thawed chicken breasts in the crockpot and add the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  3. Serve with warm tortillas and some rice.

Makes great leftovers served in a tortilla with fixins “¦a great chicken burrito.


Mary Poppins was traveling home, but due to worsening weather, she decided

to stop at a hotel for the night. She approached the receptionist and asked

for a room for the night.

“Certainly madam,” he replied courteously.

“Is the restaurant open still?” inquired Mary.

“Sorry, no,” came the reply, “but room service is available all night.

Would you care to select something from this menu?”

Mary smiled and took the menu and perused it. “Hmm, I would like
cauliflower cheese please,” said Mary.

“Certainly, madam,” he replied.

“And can I have breakfast in bed?” asked Mary politely.

The receptionist nodded and smiled.

“In that case, I would love a couple of poached eggs, please,” Mary mused.

After confirming the order, Mary signed in and went up to her room for the night.

The night passed uneventfully and the next morning Mary came down early to check out. The same guy was still on the desk.

“Morning madam…sleep well?”

“Yes, thank you,” Mary replied.

“Food to your liking?”

“Well, I have to say the cauliflower cheese was exceptional, I don’t think I have had better. Shame about the eggs, though….they really weren’t that nice at all,” replied Mary truthfully.

“Oh…well, perhaps you could contribute these thoughts to our Guest Comments Book. We are always looking to improve our service and would value your opinion,” said the receptionist.

“OK, I will…thanks!” replied Mary….who checked out, then scribbled a comment into the book. Waving, she left to continue her journey.

Curious, the receptionist picked up the book to see the comment Mary had written.


[super cauliflower cheese but eggs were quite atrocious]

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