• “Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple. Dr. Suess

Monday, January 16, 2012


First - I need to say I LIKE cabbage.
Really ... good sweet cabbage is always delicious.
I like it cooked.
I like it as coleslaw.
I like it raw and plain.

I also like how it helps me stick to diet resolutions.
I have resolved to eat less food this year.
I resolved the same thing last year.
I did it too.

I lost 12 pounds.  I intend to do the same thing again.

On a cold day there is nothing better than a bowl of hot soup. And the smell of baking.

If I could eat only one thing forever,
it would be soup.

I likely don't need to point this out but January IS a cold month.

Last week I pulled out the crock pot - cabbage soup coming up! And the butter shortbread recipe - I keep it taped inside a cupboard door.

I needed some cookies for my Visiting Teaching routes - I was feeling a little 'sheepish' so I baked these.

And I also needed treats for my co-workers (last Saturday) so I made an old January standby - melting snowmen cookies.

So snowmen have been melting at my house again this January. Good thing - since we haven't had any snow this year.

OK - there was the day a skiff was on the driveway.

That's it - our total snow accumulation
and we had to shovel it to collect the evidence! 

OH YEAH - and the one other day we actually shoveled it just in case more came but those tiny piles along the lawn edge are our sum total evidence that it is winter - well, those and the biting cold.  Brrr - it would be warmer if it would snow! Those have been there all month!

So back to the cookies - and the cabbage. When I bake I have some tools and tricks to keep myself from mindlessly putting things in my mouth.

I do not really like sweets - not cookies, or cakes, or candies etc. Nonetheless I do eat them when opportunity presents itself. And then I like them even less and wonder why I have a mouthful of whatever it is.

I know I don't like it and that after I eat it I will regret it but I still discover that it somehow makes its way into my mouth!

Sometimes I even spit it out. Only if you can't see me though - but when you are watching I don't need to because I usually behave and don't eat junk - I ask you to taste it for me ...

That is one of my strategies -
  bake with someone watching,
  and tasting ...

I have a few others too -
   tricks and tips for such times.
I bet you have a few of your own.

First in my repertoire - never mind - I don't tell anyone my first trick! And if you know and tattle I may never bake for you again!!

Second in my 'tool kit' is a snack - or even two.  They have to be little, and it has to be healthy and it has to be something I like.  Blueberries top the list. I love to savor a berry - eating them one by one - minutes apart. Blueberries are expensive BUT not as expensive as being sick, or as diet and gym plans.

Celery cut into bite size pieces works.

Cabbage works well also - it is sneaky. *SNICKER* It tastes OK with sweets.  (This allows for occasional slip-ups...)

I chop cabbage into bite size pieces and while I bake I eat a piece or two of cabbage (or bite a berry) each time I even think about tasting cookie dough or licking a spoon.

 I chew it, chew it, and chew it, and really thoroughly enjoy it one piece at a time. My rule is that each piece must be completely gone before anything else can enter my mouth.

That does not apply to sweets.  If I eat something sweet I like to get the feel and taste of it out of my mouth as soon as possible. Cabbage is wonderful for that!! I don't have to wash my mouth out. It is almost like eating a salad with a sweet dressing ...

My third tip is hand washing. I wash my hands a lot. Since I don't like the effects of sweets in my mouth I don't lick my fingers - I wash them. I keep a wet paper towel or clean wet face cloth nearby and constantly wipe my hands on it and also rinse it out often.

And when I am all done -
I can enjoy eating a cookie if I want one.
That is my most important trick.
I never deprive myself.
I eat what I want, when I want it.

AND I strategically do NOT eat
   when I would rather not.

AND when habit or hunger impel me to eat I have tools and tricks to help that eating to be healthier, in more appropriate amounts - more satisfying AND more enjoyable - while I am eating it and especially after I have eaten.

If I am not going to feel good after I have eaten something I need to make a better choice. Making better choices is empowering.  THAT feels good. Knowing I can control my habits, and choices feels terrific.

Do you have some good, better and best strategies?
What are your tools and tips?