Rheumatoid Arthritis and the Gut Biota

In the last several months, I have developed swelling and discomfort in my hands and wrists as well as some swelling in my feet. The swelling later turned to numbness and tingling in my fingers. I have been told I have carpal tunnel syndrome and need to see a hand surgeon to determine if surgery is necessary to relieve the tension in the median nerve in the wrist which innervates movement in the fingers. I am in the process of being worked up by a rheumatologist to determine the cause of the swelling and tingling. She thinks that these symptoms are consistent with mild rheumatoid arthritis, yet wants to do a bit more testing to be sure.

My functioning has been seriously impacted by these new symptoms. Even lifting a glass, making a fist, and brushing my teeth are painful. When I sleep, pulling up the covers and re-adjusting the pillows causes me pain, which awakens me several times each night.

Research from the Cleveland Clinic and the Mayo Clinic suggest that rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory process and an autoimmune disease, meaning the body stages an attack on itself. In this case, the attack leads to swelling and bone erosion and deformity. Rheumatoid arthritis can also cause difficulty with the skin, the lungs, the heart, the eyes, and the blood vessels.

Dr Taneja (2016), an immunologist, has uncovered the link between rheumatoid arthritis and gut bacteria. By treating leaky gut, rheumatoid arthritis can be avoided. Leaky gut is indeed the culprit of many autoimmune diseases. So it all really comes back to what you put in your mouth!

I am rather astounded by the fact that the old sayings are true “we are what we eat”, and “our bodies are our temples.” It is our job to fix ourselves. The sooner we take on that responsibility the sooner we will begin to feel better and live better lives.

Given that I am not only doubly, but likely triply blessed with three autoimmune diseases, namely fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, and presumably rheumatoid arthritis, I really need to take care of my micro biota. Dr Mark Hyman told me that those with one autoimmune disease are likely to develop more over time. I am obviously displaying this pattern quite clearly. The only way to reverse the tide is to treat the gut by eating the right foods, avoiding the rest and consuming the supplements that are needed. I truly have my work cut out for me.

What about you? Do you have any autoimmune diseases? Do they run in your family? Are you willing to contact a functional medicine doctor and treat your gut micro biota as a means of disease management or prevention? What holds you back? This seems to be the hottest new tip in medicine and it puts all the control at your finger tips, literally!

What you eat determines the health of your micro biota. The health of your gut micro biota determines how well you feel day in and day out. It’s easy! Eat clean! Avoid processed foods and eat whole foods. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Skip the sugar, or at least consume it in moderation.

Think back to what your grandma ate. It was more than likely much more wholesome than the general fare most Americans eat today. Grandma likely ate better than you eat today. What was on grandma’s plate? Can you duplicate this? Are you willing to get back in the kitchen and prepare more of your own meals just like grandma did? If not why not? Are you really willing to sacrifice your health and your family’s health just because you think you don’t have the time to cook? Make cooking a priority.

How can you clean up your own micro biota? What three changes are you willing to commit to today? Now make sure you don’t short change yourself! What can you do today that you are willing to duplicate tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that, and so on? Make a positive change today, and then make that change a habit!

Speak Soon!

Lisa

Lisa J Lafave, PhD, MBA, ACC, BCC
CEO & Founder of Coaching Rocks, LLC
The Wellness Coach at Building Better Bodies Rocks
Single Mom By Choice Raising Surrogacy Twin Boys
Written In My Little Brick in University Heights, Ohio

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Reset Diet to Detox Diet

All this time, I thought I was on the Detox Diet. Apparently, I was on the Reset Diet, which is far more restrictive, than the Detox Diet. Actually, I just learned that “Reset” is a new term, showing itself only in the last six weeks or so. There were always three different diets, with varying levels of restrictions from least restrictive, to more restrictive, to most restrictive. People were placed on one over the other depending on what types, and severity of medical problems they had.

Boy, oh boy am I ever thrilled! No one gave me an overview of the diet. No one explained that while you are on the diet, foods would be re-introduced back into the diet. So what does this mean for me practically? Over the course of the next few weeks, I will re-introduce apples, mangos, pineapple, and fruit and vegetable juices. This goes great with the additions that were made last week, such as steel cut oats, rolled oats, quinoa, brown rice, and wild rice.

After I have begun to recover from my knee replacement surgery, 6-12 weeks out or by mid April, I will be permitted to incorporate products like sour dough bread and some of the ancient grains like Teff, Amaranth, Spelt and Sorghum. Sounds like an interesting journey!

So it will be interesting to see how my body responds to the re-introduction of various food types. Given what we know about carbohydrate consumption causing fat to accumulate, it will be especially interesting to see, if I can lose weight on a regimen like this. I think I will lose weight, owing to keeping junk food out of my life, and concentrating on eating whole foods, without preservatives, sweetners, and other non-essential ingredients.

How about you? Are you ready to re-introduce any foods to your diet? Let me explain how you do it. Start out by not eating the food for 30 days or more. Next, consume no more than a half a cup of the food between meals. For many people this will be around 11:00 AM and then again around 3:00 PM. Then, document how you respond, over the course of the next 24 hours. Note feelings such as sluggish, gassy, bloated, diahhrea etc. Then skip a day, and repeat on day 3, noticing symptoms through day 4. If the food does not cause too many problems it can be back in the diet. If you have cramping and major discomfort caused by any of the symptoms you should stop consuming that food and try the procedure again in 30 days. Do not try to introduce more than one food in any 4 day period.

Best of luck!

Lisa

Lisa J Lafave, PhD, MBA, ACC, BCC
CEO & Founder of Coaching Rocks, LLC
The Wellness Coach form Building Better Bodies Rocks
A Single Mom By Choice Raising Surrogacy Twin Boys
Written in My Little Brick in University Heights, Ohio

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I’m Having Total Knee Replacement

Several years ago, my rheumatologist told me that within 10 years time that I would require double knee replacement. Well, the first one will occur within the next week, and will be performed by Dr Peter Brooks at the Cleveland Clinic.

The surgery scares me a bit. They have this “Rapid Recovery” program, with an emphasis on education. Personally, I think they share too much. I nearly ran away and said, “Forget it!” Somehow, I pushed through and am having it done next Thursday.

So what scares me is the notion of a systemic infection causing damage to the unit, necessitating removal. In extremely rare causes, amputation has been the end result. Most people seem to do fine with the procedure, and most seem much more comfortable with the new joint, than their original knee. Our knees wear out and the replacement units do too. The average lifetime of the replacement units is 15 to 20 years, but some people keep them for 30 to 40 years. Holy moly do I ever hope mine lasts a long time.

The other thing that creeps me out is you have to take your advanced directives to the hospital just in case. That’s always unpleasant!

After my back surgery, my doctor, Elena Boruhk, MD, told me that many of her patients are too frightened to do a big surgery like this one. She told me, I was brave! Apparently, it is my bravery that allows me to push through.

Do you have any surgeries that you are putting off? Is there any cost to putting it off? What causes you to put it off? Do you think the surgery is in your best interest? Do you want to have it? What could make it happen for you, if you do indeed want the results that are likely with the surgery? Who needs to help you with this decision?

Best of luck, if you do decide to push forward.

Lisa J Lafave, PhD, MBA, ACC, BCC
CEO & Founder of Coaching Rocks, LLC
The Wellness Coach at Building Better Bodies Rocks
A Single Mom By Choice Raising Surrogacy Twin Boys
Written in My Little Brick in University Heights, Ohio

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Total Knee Replacement Yikes!

I am having my total knee replacement, in a little more than 48 hours. Part of me just wants to hobble away and hide. Frank running has been out of the question for some time. This surgery seems so barbarric! I hope not to live long enough to learn that this surgery was definitely not the way to go, with this type of problem!

Every group of people, in every society, throughout time has had notions about how we should deal with various health concerns, and most clearly not all of them have been correct. My bones are telling me to run! They are screaming at me. However, state of the art surgery suggests this is the way. Seems like I am between a rock and a hard place! If I do nothing, I will continue to suffer, and there will be a point when the surgery will be much more difficult to perform. If I move ahead, there is reason to believe that I will feel better and lament not having moved forward sooner!

I hope when it’s all said and done, I am happy about my surgery, and have more functionality, as a result of the knee replacement. I so want to move about freely, with less modifications! I have had to change how I get along in the house, and out in the world! Although I can walk significantly further, than I could before my back surgery, I still cannot walk for long periods of time. Things have not been easy. I hope that the total knee replacement surgery, and recovery go well. Wish me luck!

Is there any health procedure you’ve been avoiding? How do you make decisions about procedures like these? Can you learn about the cost associated with forgoing the procedure, versus moving ahead with it? What factors keep you from moving ahead with it? Are these sound reasons for not pursuing the procedure? If yes, by all means, stay the course. If no, talk it over with your physician, and loved ones.

All my best to you and yours!

Lisa J Lafave, PhD, MBA, ACC, BCC
CEO & Founder of Coaching Rocks, LLC
The Wellness Coach at Building Better Bodies Rocks
A Single Mom By Choice Raising Surrogacy Twin Boys
Written in My Little Brick in University Heights, Ohio

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How We Got Fat and How We Can Reverse the Tide

Everyone and their brother is obese in the United States. But it seems just 50 some years ago, this was not the case! Even 30 years ago, most of us were not obese. If you are old enough think back to when you were young and remember how people looked. Few people were fat. Most were average size and some were thin. How did we all get so fat, in such a short period of time?

What accounts for this massive weight gain? Yeah, yeah, we all know the prosperity theory, that as a community prospers, they have more dispensable income, and can spend more on food. But has that really been the cause of our epidemic of obesity? Is it the times in which folks play computer games and watch TV, drive, as opposed to walk? Is our frank laziness the cause of this epidemic? It’s really crazy to think that we have caused so much destruction in ourselves, due to refusing to get out there and move. I know, meals in restaraunts have gotten larger and more accessible, but is this the real culprit?

According to Gary Taubes, the calories in greater than calories out theory of obesity is untrue and meaningless. He posits another theory for how we got fat. Taubes contends, eating more calories did not cause the problem, and eating less calories, or eating a restricted number of calories will not correct the problem of being overweight. Similarly, exercising less did not bring obesity on, and exercising more, or expending more calories will not result in weight loss.

Instead researchers have suggested that we overeat, because we have excess fat! Some suggest our fat stomachs are hungry and must be fed! Taubes points out that Rosalyn Yalow explained that insulin controls fat metabolism. Anything that causes fatty acids to enter the fat cells causes us to get fatter, and anything that causes fatty acids to leave fat cells causes us to get thinner. Insulin reduction in the system causes fatty acids to leave the fat cells. Thus insulin reduction leads to leaner bodies.

Taubes points out researchers know that insulin is released when carbohydrates are consumed. Thus carbohydrate consumption causes fatty acids to enter the fat cells, as well as the overall accumulation of fat. Taubes contends excessive carbohydrate consumption is the cause of the obesity epidemic.

Taubes suggests not all carbohydrates are created equate. Foods like rice, bread, and pasta, as well as, sugar are the ones that cause insulin to be secreted and fat to accumulate. This is why Paleo type diets, like Atkin’s diet, are so effective in creating weight loss. Paleo diets are heavy in animal protein, fruits, vegetables and seeds and nuts, yet restrict dairy and cereal grain consumption. These diets limit carbohydrate consumption and cause weight loss.

Taubes suggests further that when we began to see fat, as the cause of weight gain, we changed the food pyramid and recommended that 6-11 servings of starchy foods should be consumed daily. People who followed this schema, subsequently became fat. Taubes suggests that restricting carbohydrates is the solution to obesity. Taubes points out that we were well aware of this fine fact back in the fifties and sixties, but got led astray.

We used to cook our food ourselves, and not consume all of this prepackaged, chemicalized food. By doing so, we had much more control over what we put in our bodies. We all need to get back to those pots and pans out, and stop relying on fast food. We really did become a fast food nation, in the last 50 years, and it hasn’t been good for us.

So with this knowledge, about restricting carbohydrates leading to weight loss, front and center, the question remains, what are you going to do about it? If you are fighting the battle of the bulge, can you devote yourself to restricting carbohydrates, and possibly giving up the concept of restricting fat? After all, research shows that fat accumulation is not caused by fat consumption, but by consumption of excessive amounts of carbohydrates.

Restricting carbohydrate intake is the key to reducing obesity. Are you up to the challenge? Are you interested in reducing consumption of the “bad” carbohydrates that cause the release of insulin, and thereby make you fat? If the answer is yes, you are really doing yourself a favor! Not only will you look and feel better, but you will avoid a great deal of suffering, owing to diseases you will not have to manage.

Remember you can eat carbohydrates found in most fruits, and vegetables. You have to avoids sweets, and starchy vegetables, as well as, breads, cereal, rice, and pasta. Can you forgo pasta with marinara sauce, and replace this with spaghetti squash and marinara sauce? Can you eat more salads, with dressing that has no sugar?

Sugar will cause insulin to release, and fat to accumulate. By avoiding sugar, you can avoid fat accumulation. Research demonstrates that after avoiding sugar for several days, your body stops craving it, if you just stay away from it, in the same manner in which a heroin addict must stay away from heroin, and other drugs, to get clean. Handling this sugar addiction is hardest at first, and gets easier overtime. Initially it’s a bear!

We know that a whole host of illnesses, such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, osteoarthritis and Alzheimer’s are affiliated with being obese. By avoiding obesity, you can avoid many illnesses. We now know that excessive carbohydrate consumption causes obesity and disease. How are you going to use this information in your wellness plan? Write down three things you can start doing today that will head you on a path to wellness!

Lisa J Lafave, PhD, MBA, ACC, BCC
CEO & Founder of Coaching Rocks, LLC
The Wellness Coach from Building Better Bodies Rocks
A Single Mom By Choice Raising Surrogacy Twin Boys
Written in My Little a Brick in University Heights Ohio

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Why Drink Filtered Water?

Did you know that drinking tap water increases the heavy metals in your body? According to the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), most tap water in the USA contains containments such as bacteria, pesticides and other chemicals. The cause? Pollution in our lakes and streams, as well as, aging plumbing, dating back to the pre-war era are to blame. When the pipes corrode, metal and chemicals end up in the tap water we consume at home, at work and in restaraunts. The primary metal and chemical contaminants include lead, arsenic, percolate and chlorine by products.

We as a country need to aggressively seek out higher standards to protect our water supply from carcinogens and toxic waste. We need to demand higher standards for drinking water.

You can avoid some of these foreseen dangers, by filtering your water, before you drink it. Sure, you can drink “fresh” water out of a plastic bottle, but is it really fresh, after the plastic leaches into it?

The NRDC warns that those with compromised immune systems, the elderly, the young, (especially infants), and pregnant women need to be particularly careful of the quality of the water they consume in order to remain free of illness that can be acquired through drinking contaminant laden water.

Consider purchasing a filtering system today!

Lisa J Lafave, PhD, MBA, ACC, BCC
CEO & Founder of Coaching Rocks, LLC
The Wellness Coach at Building Better Bodies Rocks
A Single Mom By Choice Raising Surrogacy Twin Boys
Written in My Little Brick in University Heights, OH

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My Modified Detox Diet

I switched from functional medicine practioner, Dr Hyman to Dr Aunna Herbst and from nutritionist, Trisha Howell to dietician, Kylene Bogden. Trust me it’s traumatic enough to switch one, much less two at a time! I loved Dr Hyman, but left Dr Hyman, because my wallet was making complaints! Trisha Howell, on the other hand, left me, to move back home to Florida, after her husband was offered a promotion, so I had to move on to a new food advisor. I will clearly miss Dr Hyman and Trisha Howell. All I can say is onward and upward, the new team awaits me!

After the kidney stones, I was very afraid I would be told I could no longer be on the Detox Diet. Just not so. Dr Herbst was helpful and supportive. She modified my Detox Diet. Dr Herbst is pleased that I am eating a variety of raw nuts and seeds, including sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, pecans, almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts, and cashews, but asked me to eat as few cashews as possible, and to keep the total amount of nuts that I eat daily extremely low, just a few, because nuts cause kidney stones! I told her I felt I was consuming too much flesh protein and probably needed to be on rice and beans, in addition to a largely reduced amount of animal protein. This is right on, because my research suggests that animal protein does cause kidney stones!

I have subsequently learned that too much salt causes kidney stones, so a reduction in salt is in order, as well. Avoiding caffeine, carbonated beverages, processed foods, sugar, artificial sugars, genetically modified foods (GMOs), like corn and soy, as well as, dairy is all part of the Detox Diet. Likewise, it is important to avoid these foods to prohibit the formation of kidney stones. Moreover, it is important to maintain appropriate levels of calcium in the diet or through supplements to avoid kidney stones.

I am now eating brown rice, mixed with black rice, and quinoa. I am also eating steel cut oats, or gluten free extra thick rolled oats by Bob’s Red Mill. I sprinkle a tablespoon or so of milled flaxseed on the steel cut oats, which are cooked with almond milk. I feel so entirely nourished as a result of eating this way.

So basically, I can now incorporate many of the tricks I learned, when I was vegan, with this modified Detox Diet. This was simply not possible before. You see, the vegan way and the Detox Diet are nearly in direct opposition with one another, save for the fact that they both encourage the consumption of non-processed foods, with heavy reliance on fruits and vegetables. That said, few green leafy vegetables like collard greens, kale, rhubarb, Swiss chard, or spinach for this girl, because these plants cause kidney stones! Beets, okra, chocolate, and tea should also be avoided to prevent kidney stone formation.

I spoke with Dr Herbst about how I can increase my HDL, or good cholesterol level. I have never had a high LDL (bad cholesterol) level, but I have struggled with the ratio between the two, owing to having a low HDL level. She recommended oatmeal or steel cut oats, coconut water, ground flaxseed, or flaxseed oil, avocados, walnuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, and fish. Although EPA & DHA or a fish oil supplement, are often recommended, to increase HDL, I have taken these for years.

All in all, I had a good first meeting with Dr Herbst. I am so happy to be on this modified Detox Diet. It makes great sense for me! I feel confident, with these adjustments, that I can lose the next thirty pounds, without too much trouble!

So what types of adjustments do you need to make, in your eating regimen? Have you scheduled your appointments with specialists, who can advise you on changes you want to make? Have you begun to do your own research, to see what makes best sense for you? If not, why not?

Now it’s simply time to embrace the new changes. Just dig in, to get to the next step of your journey! Best of luck to you!

Lisa J Lafave, PhD, MBA, ACC, BCC
CEO & Founder of Coaching Rocks, LLC
The Wellness Coach at Building Better Bodies Rocks
A Single Mom By Choice Raising Surrogacy Twin Boys
Written in My Little Brick in University Heights, Ohio

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A Curve Ball in the Form of Two Itsy Bitsy Kidney Stones!

The jury is still out on how I shall proceed, but it is pretty certain that I developed two kidney stones (one confirmed on cat scan and the other unconfirmed, i.e. I didn’t even bother going to the ER) as a result of following Mark Hyman’s Detox Diet. Can you believe it? Everything was going so well. The weight was coming off, I was in the groove, and then Bham! Kidney stone one arrived, and I felt like someone suddenly kicked me in the back. Flank pain, they call it. If that wasn’t enough, kidney stone two arrived at 4:35 AM, one week later, and was impossible to ignore, or even simply treat at home.

While at the hospital, I learned that there are more kidney stones, laying in wait in my kidneys, that will come out, at an undetermined time, in the future, if no corrective action is taken. Never fear, I am following up with my stone doctor, Dr Arthur Porter, a urologist, for further evaluation and treatment.

Luckily, prior to leaving the hospital, a minute or two after being given a screen to catch the stone with, by a nurse, I caught the darn thing for further analysis! Sometimes they take a week to pass. It would have been a real pain in the neck to carry that screen around with me everywhere I went to try and catch that stone! Once it took me 6 weeks to pass one. The pain was so bad, all I did was crawl around the bed in a circle, like a monkey chasing its tail.

This all caused me to remember the protein sparing fast I’d been on some twenty years ago to lose weight, which caused a whole rash of kidney stones (13 confirmed, and likely another 13 unconfirmed). At one point, I had 25 stones counted on scan in my kidneys.

According to my endocrinologist, Dr Robert Zimmerman, a protein sparing fast and Dr Hyman’s Detox Diet have quite a few commonalities. He further confirmed that both can cause kidney stones, and therefore require supplementing several electrolytes, while on these regimens.

Now, I am concerned about just what about this diet, and my consumption, while on the diet, caused the kidney stones to form. What do I need to do differently to be sure that I don’t form anymore kidney stones? Did I overdo the protein? Am I eating too many nuts? Is it due to one or more of the supplements I am taking? Is there a supplement or two, or three that I am missing, and need to take?

I have an appointment scheduled with the nutritionist, and a doctor, at the Center for Functional Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, in the next week. So what I need to do is figure out if there is a way that I can safely stay on the diet, or if some modifications must be made.

I actually asked not long ago, if I could resume eating rice and beans a few times a week, to reduce the amount of animal protein I was consuming. I safely added back in black beans and kidney beans. Unfortunately, I was told to hold off on adding the rice back into my diet. I wonder if rice and beans might be the ticket for me! However, I am willing to hear them out.

What I know for sure is that nothing in this Detox Diet is there by chance! Everything has been carefully thought out. There are reasons why certain foods are a no go and there are reasons why other foods are encouraged.

What I do know about myself, and my lab work is that I have no sensitivity to gluten, whatsoever. Consequently, I wonder if a little beans and rice might be okay, in my particular case.

However, it is all about the gut microbiome and what is healthy for the gut. This Detox Diet, at its essence, is about healing the gut microbiome. Thus, if rice is unhealthy, it’s just unhealthy for the gut microbiome. What do I know? I will have to rely on the experts!

When it’s all said and done, what I hope to do is go back on the diet to lose the next thirty pounds, and then revisit the question about whether or not I can safely stay on the diet.

I like the Detox Diet, because I can use it to drop weight, without being hungry. That right there is a big deal. In the past, in my case, dieting has always been about being fairly miserable, and sick with horrible migraines, while losing weight. Not so, with the Detox Diet. Until the kidney stones, I felt really well on the Detox Diet. The Detox Diet seemed to really agree with me. So I’ll fight a bit and try to work the kinks out for this diet.

Have any curve balls been thrown your way? What form have those curve balls taken? Have you come into any stumbling blocks on your diet? Has your body been knocking on your brain, and trying to get you to pay attention? Are there any modifications you need to make in your regimen? Is there any research, or investigative work, you need to do, to get some of your questions answered? What questions do you have? Be specific. Write those questions out, so you don’t forget what they are. Who could help answer your questions? Are you willing to take time out of your busy week to schedule an appointment with one or more of these people? How much are you willing to invest to get those questions answered?

Remember, Joshua Rosenthal, of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, preaches bio-individuality. He suggests, “One person’s food is another person’s poison.” No matter what regimen you are currently following, you will need to check in with your body regularly. You will need to be aware of how your body is responding to the regimen you are currently on, and then make adjustments accordingly, if you are having some difficulties.

Best of luck in tuning into the ongoing, and ever changing needs of your body! Never forget to be a scientist, about your own body’s response to the foods you are feeding it. Finally, if you have questions, either research the answers yourself, or find a specialist, who can help guide and direct you.

This is all about your quest for greater health, through the choices you make in nourishing yourself, with the food you choose to eat. You are worth the struggle, and you know it! Only beautiful things can arise, as a result of this journey! Are you ready to re-double your efforts?

Lisa J Lafave, PhD, MBA, ACC, BCC
CEO & Founder of Coaching Rocks, LLC
The Wellness Coach at Building Better Bodies Rocks
A Single Mom By Choice Raising Surrogacy Twin Boys
Written in My a Little Brick in University Heights, Ohio

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Do You Eat To Nourish Yourself or Is It More Complicated?

So just exactly what is it that you are seeking as you eat that next bowl of pasta, that next ice cream sundae, that next peanut bar, that next piece of cheesecake? Do you really think you will get that fulfillment, for lack of a better word, out of something you put in your mouth? The sad fact is you most likely won’t. Other, non-eating, behaviors are the ones that will scratch that itch.

Is it just a bad habit, this eating and seeking something beyond nourishment that we’ve learned from this rush rush society, in which no one seems to have any time to connect?

So often we seem to eat for entertainment, or enjoyment, or even boredom. We eat, even stuff ourselves, when we aren’t truly hungry, but looking, searching for something to calm that longing. Maybe it’s time to investigate that longing, or desire. What is lacking in your life and what are you filling with food that could be more appropriately filled by something else? Do you have any sense of that? Does that speak to you, or simply fall on deaf ears? For some of you, nothing is lacking and you are not eating for emotional reasons. For others, you are, and are not even in tune with it yet. Still others, and you know who you are, you’ve been eating for emotional reasons for years, with full knowledge of this behavior.

Your boyfriend breaks up with you, and you hit the grocery store, and by three kinds of ice cream, 3 kinds of cookies and comfort food for an army. You then go home, with the concrete plan to assuage your feelings of abandonment by eating cookies and ice cream. Or perhaps you got passed over at your job, and you know the person who got promoted is a lawsuit waiting to happen. Again, you seek solace in food. Likewise, you are fighting with a sibling, or a good friend, and can’t even figure out how the damn thing started. Food is your friend, waiting to provide comfort, as long as you seek it. The house you really wanted to buy after four years of searching got purchased right out from underneath you. Food is there. You’re pregnant after five years of trying. A celebration with your spouse at your favorite restaraunt sounds perfect. You are sales person of the year in your division, and a trip to the Bahamas with your spouse is your reward, complete with reservations at a five star hotel, with fine dining included.

Food is used to provide comfort when you are sad, anxious, distressed, or angry. Food is something you can control in a way you can’t control other life events. But it’s complicated, because it’s also used to celebrate in joyous occasions. Food is used in every culture, on the planet, as part of our rituals. Food plays a role in engagement parties, weddings, graduations, baby showers, sweet sixteen parties, birthday parties, retirement parties, Christmas parties, Hannukah parties, and Thanksgiving. The list goes on! We never cease to find reasons to celebrate. Eating occasions are everywhere!

So what type of emotional reasons do you eat for? Try to be specific. Can you remember a specific time when you ate, or overate, or consumed foods you wouldn’t have, had you not felt overwrought with emotion? What emotions seem to be triggers for you? Are there several, or just two, or three. Again, the more specific you can be about it, the better handle you’ll have on it, and the more likely you’ll be to be able to watch out for those behaviors to rear their ugly heads, under particular circumstances.

This investigative work could really help you out. You are changing your eating regimen, and when life hands you something you really have to grapple with, you need to know exactly where your Achilles’ heel is. If you know your weakness, you can set a plan in place to handle any obstacle, so you don’t get weigh laid from your new eating lifestyle. Preparation really helps perseverance!

For those of you still having trouble grasping this, let’s look at it from another vantage point. Do any emotions cause you to actually lose your appetite? We are all individual and different things affect us in different ways. For one person, the thought of a feared object, say spiders, or maybe flying, could cause them to first blanch, and then completely lose their appetite. For someone else, it could be some vulgar talk at the table. Just simply not for them. Their appetite is gone for the time being, and their meal spoiled. Given enough time, and the right circumstances, their appetite will resume, to be sure. For another person, illness or the change of season could bring on poor appetite. For me, the one sure fire way I will lose my appetite is when I first fall in love. Food just tastes how I imagine cardboard would taste. No flavor whatsoever and absolutely not of any interest to me! I literally have to get away from the person to eat, and sleep, so I won’t get sick! Go figure! But this is the flip side of eating for emotional reasons. It kind of conveys the picture in a sneaky way, for those who aren’t quite in tune with eating for emotional reasons.

If this has still all alluded you, please watch yourself, and your eating, with specific plans to notice what seems to precede episodes of overeating, or eating the wrong foods. Then specifically ask yourself, “Was I feeling sad?” Lonely? Distressed? Anxious? Angry? Bored? Fatigued? These questions will hopefully give you some insights, as to how you are using food, and what you hope to accomplish, by eating various foods. As you notice connections, please keep tabs in writing, so you can review it overtime.

Did you know that some people eat specific foods to put themselves in a specific state? They will eat pasta, or something heavy to calm down, and sugary foods to temporarily pep themselves up? Do you do this? Are you sure? Please watch your behavior, and record it over the course of the next month, to look for clues to ascertain whether you too use food in such a fashion.

Don’t forget that next forkful is unlikely to satisfy your deep seated desires. Working with a health coach may help you ferret out what would create more balance and less longing in your life. For the time being, I hope these clues will prove to be helpful to you, as you embark on your journey to solve what motivates your eating!

Lisa J Lafave, PhD, MBA, ACC, BCC
CEO & Founder of Coaching Rocks, LCC
The Wellness Coach at Building Better Bodies Rocks
A Single Mom By Choice Raising Surrogacy Twin Boys
Written in My Little Brick in University Heights, Ohio

Leap Into Action!

WHY Do You Want to Lose Weight?

So it’s the New Year, and you’ve decided to lose a few pounds. How are you going to do that? What exactly is your strategy? What has worked in the past? What has failed? Just exactly why did it fail? Can you re-double your efforts, and use that strategy again, or is it bound for trouble with a capital “T?” What else can you try?

Have you done any recent research on weight loss? As you likely know, nutrition is a fledgling science, with plenty of conflict regarding what’s the best way to go. If you find yourself feeling too confused to follow anything in particular, I recommend getting back to basics, and following three things you know in the bottom of your gut, that you should change, in order to eat in a manner that you believe would be consistent with healthier practices. Then follow those three guidelines, when grocery shopping, and as you prepare, and eat every meal.

How will this attempt be any different than all the rest? How are you going to stand out from the rest of the pack? I don’t mean to blow your mind, or burst your bubble, but only 5% of those attempting to change addictive behaviors, such as smoking, heroin usage, drinking, compulsive spending, gambling, over eating, or eating too much of the wrong stuff, fail. Sorry to say, but these are just the facts!

Are you ready to make a life long commitment to changing your lifestyle, or are you just bargaining for a little bit more time? If you are just prolonging the inevitable, the same problems will be staring you in the face next year, and you are likely to make the same resolution next year. All I can say to that is B-O-R-I-N-G. Don’t you want to make this year’s resolution a game changer?

What do you say? Is it time to make this problem vanish from your worry plate? If it is, then you are in for some hard work, and will have to make many long term changes. Most likely, one of the biggest changes will be about your attitude toward making these changes. Instead of focusing on feeling deprived, you will have to begin to ponder and think about what you will get in return. For each of us, it will a little bit different.

I guess it gets down to WHY you want to lose weight. What is really crucial to you? What’s in it for you? Generally, when you get in touch with your “WHY?” things get a little easier, and the tough tend to get going.

So let’s figure out your WHY! Do you want to look better? Are you into feeling better? Do you want to suffer with less disease? Live a bit longer? Get through more of your bucket list, before you move on to whatever after life exists in the cosmos? Do you want to move more, ’til the end of your days? Be less of a burden to others? Do you want to give back to the next generation? Do you want to spend more quality time with your loved ones? Do you want more fun, and less suffering? Are you trying to make a significant contribution to your field, before your time runs out? Do you want to run more? Ski more? Bike more? Fly fish more? Surf more? Explore more? Travel to the ends of the earth? What’s your thing?

You need to get in touch with your WHY, so that when you are in the thick of it, and temptation strikes, you can pull your WHY out of the back of your pocket, and look at it straight on. You’ll need to ask, “Is it worth it to give up this now, for that later?” Then you have a fighting chance at turning down the same old foods that got you in this mess in the first place!

Really and truly, if you know WHY you are doing this, you are more likely to be successful. So take some time right now to write down three of the top reasons you want to pursue this path. Then really think about the three options and rank order them in terms of importance. Write them out on a separate piece of paper, in the rank order, with the most important reason first. Now commit this reason to memory, and put the other paper, or document, somewhere safe, where you can refer to it, when necessary.

Without taking the time to really examine your WHY, failure is inevitable! So do your homework! It’s worth it, and so are you!

Lisa J Lafave, PhD, MBA, ACC, BCC
CEO & Founder of Coaching Rocks,LLC
The Wellness Coach at Building Better Bodies Rocks.
A Single Mom By Choice Raising Surrogacy Twin Boys
Written in My Little Brick in University Heights, Ohio

Leap Into Action!