Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Identifying Friends and Enemies in Food World

The most successful diets are ones that are tailor-made for each individual. Photo from Dreamstime.

By JANET COOK, NYC Healthy Chick

was after attending a health counseling school that I was able to stop fighting with my food and lifestyle.

Once I made the connection between my depression, weight gain and out-of-balance lifestyle it was apparent that I needed change.

There are hundreds of dietary theories. Each way of eating is right and can be scientifically proved to make sense. We are bio-individuals, which means one person's food is another person's poison. It is important that we understand that we are depressed and gaining weight because our food and lifestyle are out of balance. Prioritizing to prevent these outcomes isn't as complicated as it may seem. Not only will it reverse weight gain, it will change moods, relationships and the future for the better.

Of course, making the decision to change was the first action step for me, as it is for everyone. Sometimes, the hardest part for most is to create a realistic gameplan, then to consistently implement healthy new habits.

As we all know, life and bad habits undermine the best intentions. Believe it or not, NYC Healthy Chick still has some challenges with living in balance. Every day I have to look at what is causing the imbalances that adversely affect my mood, energy, relationships and daily life.

A red, white and blue salad might be just what the body needs for breakfast. Photo from Whole Foods Market.

Last week, I attended an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting with a friend whom I was visiting in Virginia. In the past I would have declined the invitation graciously, but my inner health coach said, "Yeah, I'd love to go." The hour I spent listening to the group-shares was truly inspiring. Hearing about their daily struggles with sobriety while achieving balance in their lives gave me a greater awareness and insight into human behavior. Interestingly enough, there were several cups of Starbucks Coffee and packs of cigarettes within reach of many. This is a common practice in recovery programs, I learned, to replace one unhealthy habit with another kind of addiction.

After attending that meeting, I began evaluating my current and past use of alcohol. I humbly asked my friend, who is both an AA sponsor and health coach, whether she thought I had a problem with alcohol. We both agreed alcohol wasn't an issue, rather I may have an addictive personality that is triggered by emotional and physical imbalances. In turn, these cause me to overeat. Whew! This was a relief or was it really? Some days I feel like the women in the commercial having an internal dialogue while standing in front of the fridge. Ever have this internal fight with food? (

A few weeks ago I introduced my health coaching principle, Joy Begins at H.O.M.E. ( Practice this principle daily and you will become mindful of what's missing in your life and what is causing imbalances. When these areas are unbalanced they don't sustain our energy; chances are food and beverages are used improperly to spike sagging energy levels. The result is an adverse effect on the mood, relationships and destiny. Not sure of the culprits? Use the 12-Step Program as a guide; in the steps replace the word alcohol with food or anything suspected of causing an imbalance. The 12-Step Program may be a path to stopping or unlearning compulsive or addictive behaviors. (

Trying to find the proper balance is the key to healthy living. Photo from Glycointl.

Tony Robbins is a favorite life-mastery guru. In the video below he recounts what happened when he hired a golf pro to help him improve his game. On the first day Tony hit the ball all over the place, displaying a lot of power if not accuracy. The next day the instructor showed Tony how to make some slight, yet critical changes in the way he hit the ball. These minor shifts quickly improved Tony's game. Within minutes he sent the ball sailing out onto the green. Just as Tony’s golf game improved with minor adjustments, so can one’s relationship with food – from waking time until bedtime. Imagine the impact this can have on all areas of life. (

One such adjustment is NYC Healthy Chick's Breakfast Experiment. Eat a different breakfast every day for a week. (See a week of my favorites below). Jot down what you eat and how you feel, both right after eating and again two hours later. Sit quietly in reflection after you eat. Note how your energy level, moods and physical being are affected by the food. You may discover from this exercise that you are unusually sensitive to certain foods. A food sensitivity or allergy may be the body’s way of telling you to eating foods more appropriate for your general well-being.

Quinoa Egg Bake is not only a different way to enjoy eggs, it is hearty. Photo from Whole Foods Market.

I've discovered that my body responds best to a breakfast protein shake, eggs, fresh vegetables and oatmeal. My favorites such as pancakes, French toast, bagels, box cereals, muffins and fruit cause my mood to elevate, then come crashing down shortly afterward. Now, I stay away from them. Keep in mind that every body is different. Our bodies are high-tech computers that are good at telling us what is wrong if we really take the time to listen.

With that in mind, try my seven-day breakfast plan and make adjustments after the seven days where needed.
Day 1: Eggs any style – Quinoa Egg Bake
Day 2: Scrambled Tofu
Day 3: Oatmeal or any grain product
Day 4: Boxed breakfast cereal with milk
Day 5: Muffin and coffee
Day 6: Fresh fruit – Red, White and Blue Fruit Salad
Day 7: Fresh vegetables

What about scrambled tofu for breakfast? Tofu is a good substitute for those with egg allergies. Photo from All Recipes.

Imagine life – living in balance every day, feeling happier, healthier and more joyous. What if one conversation could change your life for the better? Struggling with imbalances that are both emotional and physical? Perhaps it's time to speak with a health coach like me. Let's have a chat about how you can start making changes.

Remember, in the words of Virgil, "The greatest wealth is health."

Contact NYC Healthy Chick at or 347-306-8864 to set up a free consultation.

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