Do you often feel stressed?
If you’re like millions of us in America, Great Britain, and Australia, you get stressed, which may often “make” you do such unhealthy things such as eat (or, more likely, overeat) processed carbs and sugary snacks and do other unhealthy things.
Today is the first in a series of blog posts in which I help you discover Simple Ways to Shut Down Stress. No need to rush anymore to processed carbs and sugary snacks to unwind, calm down and soothe you.
Now, let’s find out which stresses are now applicable for you.
- Does stress strike when you’re dealing with the sudden or slow terminal illness of a loved one?
- Does stress hit hard when you’re going through a divorce or you’re having marital or relationship difficulties?
- Does stress become unrelenting because you need to move?
- Does stress comes on strong, because you’re worried about money, discrimination, your family or the future of our nation?
- Does stress attack you because of you feel walloped by information overload and overwhelmed by social media?
- Or is your level of stress high for another reason?
Admittedly, the inspiration for writing about stress grew out of my own massive, seemingly endless, overpowering stress in the past four years, ever since I moved across country for my dying Mom; helplessly watched for a year while she lost the battle to lung cancer; moved several times (now for the fifth or sixth time); got walloped by carb cravings, overate carbs (which was initially quite embarrassing), gained 21 pounds (which I’ve now lost); recovered from PTSD, started a new life in another part of the country, etc.
Admittedly, I haven’t handled this persistent stress the best on many occasions, so I decided to get tips from fellow health experts on How to Shut Down Stress. I got many ideas from a number of amazing colleagues, who are active in the health and wellness Mindshare Summit Facebook Group, created by JJ Virgin, bestselling author of The Sugar Impact Diet, and most recently, Miracle Mindset: A Mother, Her Son, and Life’s Hard Lessons.
Now I’m stressed out (that’s a joke) about how to write about stress, because these fabulous health experts had so many ideas that I just couldn’t put all their tiips into one blog post. Because they shared so many brilliant suggestions, I decided to turn this into a series of blog posts about stress.
To begin talking about stress, let’s turn to health psychologist and Stanford University Kelly McGonigal, who offers a revolutionary look about stress — that it’s not necessarily bad.
“…maybe all you have to do is not be stressed about your stress,” Alan pointed out. “Those who see it as excitement seem to bypass the physiological damage.”
He then suggested that you and I watch McGonigal’s 2013 TED talk, “How to Make Stress Your Friend,” which is one of the 20 Most Viewed TED talks of all time, with 10 million views. The author of the Upside of Stress points out that the goal is not to get rid of stress but to get better at understanding, embracing and using it.
Join the Conversation: So what was your biggest takeaway from McGonigal’s TED talk?
Sorry, but I just can’t post for today’s Cravings-Crushing Monday (Your Motivating Monday).
The room is spinning! Will post later about my current health challenges — that is, when I get the guts to share it.
Copyright: <a href=’https://www.123rf.com/profile_yeletkeshet’>yeletkeshet / 123RF Stock Photo</a>
Tired of having aggravating cravings for processed, sugary, salty, fatty sort-of foods or processed carbs? To get to the other side of your huge cravings, the first thing you need to do is listen to them, because your cravings can be your teachers.
You may be thinking, “Huh? Why would I want to listen to my cravings? They’ve only taken me down a dark path to bingeing desserts and processed carbs.”
But here’s the thing: To get to the other side of your cravings, you need to give them both the respect and attention that they deserve.
Here’s what’s interesting about cravings. They’re often smart—that is, if they’re not activated by environmental cues such as a brightly lit, enticing fast food restaurant, donut shop or fresh popcorn at the movie theater.
These days, I’ve come to respect my cravings now that my unhealthy cravings for processed carbs have vanished. (My sugar cravings have been long gone.)
Nowadays, the cravings I get are healthy so I listen to them. And that’s what I want for you, too. For instance:
- Sometimes I eat at strange times. For instance, today, I craved a lunch-like snack at 10 am. (My body evidently needed lunch early.)
- Then, from time to time, when I’m at Whole Foods, I crave Mom’s Chicken Soup—that’s actually the name—but I want no other foods. No salads. No vegetables. All I want is the soup. (I’ve come to respect this craving which I’ve gotten a lot since losing my mother. Clearly, this is a huge emotional craving, which strike around various holidays or birthdays.)
- In addition, sometimes I really crave free-range, organic meats. Or I may crave the reverse—I want is a nutritious vegetarian shake with half an avocado, protein powder, chia seeds, carob powder, cinnamon and no fruits. (That was my strange dinner tonight. Well, that and a sugar-free turkey stick.)
So here are 3 Easy Ways to Listen to Your Cravings and to determine if they’re unhealthy or healthy.
- First, when you get a craving, ask yourself: “Is this a real bodily craving or an unhealthy, environmentally activated craving?” If it’s the former, then you can act on it. But often, especially if you’re out and about in our junk-food jungle, you’re just being triggered by seeing candies, cookies or chips, then you’re having an unhealthy craving.
- Next, consider the consequences of acting on your cravings. Ask yourself, “Will eating this [fill in the name of the food] nourish and energize me or diminish and deplete me?” Then go a little further. Ask your inner guide, “Will eating those chips, crackers or candies make me angry or upset with myself?” You’re smart. You know exactly what will happen if you let your dangerous cravings rule you.
- Now’s the time to act on your craving, but in a good way. Ask yourself, “What do I really crave?” Your inner guide is smart. It knows. So ask yourself, “Do I crave a walk outside near nature? Do I crave a conversation with a good friend? Do I crave sleep because I’m tired?”
See how your cravings can be your teachers?
Share your thoughts. Let me know how this worked for you.
Today, it’s my pleasure to announce an easy way for you to share beautiful images and inspiring words of wisdom with your favorite people.
Welcome to my new curated Shareable Images and Cartoons section on my blog, which has been years in the planning.
You’re invited to get inspired, encouraged or amused here one or more times a week.
So here’s how to use this Shareable Images and Clever Cartoons section.
- First, every Thursday and some Mondays (for Your Motivating Monday or Cravings-Crushing Monday), you’ll get a motivating Shareable Quote or a Clever Cartoon on my blog. See one of my favorite cartoons, Sugar Killing You? (It illustrates Sweets in a Coffin!)
- Plus, at any time, visit the Shareable Images and Cartoons section on my blog to see motivating quotes from gurus (both living and long gone) about how to overcome your obstacles. See your challenges as stepping stones to a better place and embrace vibrant health. You’ll also find my quotes on how to Crush Your Cravings. And you’ll get provocative Sugar Shock Cartoons from cartoonist Isabella Bannerman. Then spread the image love to your friends, colleagues and loved ones.
Of course, images, especially in this day and age, grab us like nothing else. In fact, did you know that our brains process visuals 60,000 times faster than text? No wonder we say that a picture is worth 1,000 words. (It’s actually worth more than that.)
So let me tell you how this fun, motivating, entertaining Shareable Images and Clever Cartoons section came about.
- For the past two to three years, I’ve been admiring how other inspiring experts and colleagues were posting spectacular shareable images with motivational quotes.
- Then, I got inspired by the brilliant way the guru Michael Hyatt offers quotes in the amazing Shareable Images section of his blog. (My blog already uses Michael’s awesome Get Noticed theme, which is ideal for authors, speakers, leaders and others, who seek to build a platform and share helpful information to their peeps. So I decided to create such a section. Thank you, Michael, for the idea!)
- I also began investigating to see how other experts using the Get Noticed theme were also using images. That led me to admire blogs by Ray Edwards and Chuck Minear.
- Soon I became fascinated by the power of Shareable Images That Have Won Our Heart and The 100 Greatest Shareable Images of All Times.
- Then, always the journalist (that’s my background), I became driven to learn more about the power of shareable images. For instance, I became fascinated by Social Media Examiner’s advice on 5 Ways to Make Shareable Images that Drive Traffic and How to Create Shareable Social Media Images.
- Next, I learned from influencers such as Mari Smith and Kim Garst, who offer valuable tidbits on this image phenom.
- Meanwhile, I became excited about the value and tremendous power of humor and comics to make you chuckle or, at the least, smile about potentially painful or challenging subjects. That led to my coming up with the idea for Sugar Shock Cartoons, which first made their debut on my blog nearly two years ago, thanks to a collaboration with the talented cartoonist Isabella Bannerman. My goal was to urge people to find amusement in their unhealthy, life-shortening habits, which led to such cartoons as The Exercise-Soda Conundrum, The Sugar-Addicted Hamster and The Pouncing Cravings Lion.
- Next, with Isabella’s help, we began to tackle other unhealthy habits like sticking your cell phone in your bra or wearing high heels.
- But since ultimately I seek to bring people hope, help and solutions, Isabella then created One Fast Way to Shed Stress and Shower Yourself with Compassion. (Get a complete list of Sugar Shock Cartoons here.)
- Ultimately, I became intrigued by how humor could help people chuckle, rise above their challenges and improve their health. So I then began to scout out laugh-out-loud quotes from well-known comedians and humorists.
All of the above steps led to this curated Shareable Quotes and Cartoons section.
So now the time has come to motivate, encourage you and spur you to humor, self-reflection and positive transformation using the image-sharing revolution, which I can do now, thanks to valuable members of my team.
Ready to share yet?
- First go to the Shareable Images and Cartoons section on my blog.
- Then click an image you like and when a box pops up, just share the picture on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter or LinkedIn. That’s it.
I’m determined to help you not only to Crush Your Cravings but to create a life of joy, fun and optimal health, no matter where you are or what you’re facing.
Make sure to stay tuned every Thursday morning for a new inspiring, encouraging, insightful Shareable Image or Cartoon.
Check out my new Shareable Images and Cartoons section now. Then pick one or more images to share them with your friends and fans.
Together, let’s inspire thousands, if not millions.
Share Feedback. I’d love to hear ideas you have for this Shareable Images and Cartoons section.
Is sugar killing you?
It’s time to be dramatic. This cartoon dishes the facts — admittedly, bluntly — that sweets and processed carbs, including licorice, cookies, chocolate cake, ice cream, popcorn, soda and French fries can, in fact, send you to an early grave.
Think I’m exaggerating in this cartoon from the talented Isabella Bannerman?
Unfortunately, I’m not.
When you eat too many candies, soft drinks, and processed carbs, you could get:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Heart disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
- And an early death
Does your diet look like the question mark to your left or the one to your right?
Now, take a guess… What percentage of your diet do you think comes from processed breads, pizza, donuts, buns or chips?
So what’s your processed foods figure?
If you’re like most Americans, more than half of your diet comes from ultra-processed foods. So found a study in the peer-reviewed medical journal, BMJ during which 9317 were surveyed, more than half of people’s foods (57.9 percent) are “ultra-processed.”
The researchers, who were from the University of São Paulo in Brazil and Tufts University in Boston, defined “ultra-processed” foods as: “Industrial formulations of several ingredients, which besides salt, sugar, oils and fats, include substances not used in culinary preparations, in particular additives used to imitate sensorial qualities of minimally processed foods and their culinary preparations.”
Why is it so troubling that 57.9 percent of your diet comes from ultra-processed foods?
- First, ultra-processed foods account for almost all added sugars that Americans eat—almost 90 percent.
- Second, as this study points out, ultra-processed foods “displace more nutrient-dense foods” — meaning, bye-bye, real foods such as cucumbers, celery and avocados, hello, nutrient-poor, unreal junk foods.
- Third, ultra-processed foods make you “overfed and undernourished,” as the study observes. That’s not a recipe for good health.
- Then, all those processed carbs you’re eating quickly metabolize into sugar so you’re getting far more sugar than you realize.
- Then, your high intake of both sweeteners and sugars from processed foods can — as I shared in my books, Sugar Shock and Beyond Sugar Shock — increase your risk of weight gain, obesity, type 2 diabetes; higher serum triglycerides, high blood cholesterol; higher blood pressure; stroke; coronary heart disease; cancer; and much more.
Now for less-obvious conclusions, which come from my new insights into cravings:
- The more processed foods you consume, the more you’ll get cravings for sugar, carbs, fat and salt.
- Then, you’ll eat more processed junk foods.
- And you’ll gain more weight….
- The alarming result: Hello, disease, bye-bye, good health.
So what’s the big takeaway?
Eliminate or drastically cut out processed foods, and you’ll cut your cravings, take back your power and peel off your excess weight.
What can you do when your cravings are making you want to gobble an entire package of cookies or crackers?”
“Delay, Distract & Detach to Crush Your Cravings.” – Connie Bennett, The Cravings Ninja
One of the most simple, but powerful strategies to prevent yourself from overeating, gaining weight and then regretting what you’ve done is to Delay, Distract and Detach.
Almost anyone (even your kids, under your guidance) can master this process. And always, an hour or two later and the next morning, you’ll feel so relieved that you didn’t cave into your cravings!
I first learned the magic of Delaying, Distracting and Detaching in 1998 when I kicked sweets and simple carbs on doctor’s orders. I used this remarkable technique again in 2012 when I got Crazy Cravings after the death of my mother. And to this day, I love this powerful process, because it’s so super-simple, effortless and darn effective.
Now discover 7 ways this Delay, Distract, Detach Strategy can become your remarkable ally to pull the plug on your cravings.
- When that bag of cookies or chips calls out to you, first delay and distract for 5 minutes, then 10 minutes. Soon, you’ll be able to detach from your craving and realize that you really don’t want to stuff your face with cookies or chips; you’d much rather lose weight.
- This easy technique allows you to temporarily ignore and then focus on what you’re really craving. Ask yourself: “Am I just thirsty? Do I need protein? Did I get enough fat today?”
- Think about how doing nothing will make you powerful and in control. While you Delay, Distract and Detach, realize that you’re taking positive, health-promoting action by taking simple inaction.
- Talk about a great time to do chores around the house or office! When you Delay and Distract for 5 to 15 minutes, you can Detach while you wash the dishes, hang up clothes in your closet or organize papers on your desk.
- When a craving hits, instead of caving in, you can take some vital me time. Go for a brisk or stroll in nature or around the block. Talk to a co-worker or loved one. Or watch a fascinating 18-minute TED Talk. (Make sure no sugary, salty, fatty carb nibbles are on your desk.)
- This simple Delay, Distract, Detach Process invites you to get in touch with your true feelings. What the heck is really going on that makes these quickie carbs so tantalizing to you? Are you stressed out, angry, nervous, hormonal or sad?
- Remember that this easy simple Delay, Distract, Detach Process will help you take back your power and take pride in yourself within minutes! You’ll be so glad that you put off a short-lived, self-defeating, immediate gratification in favor of a long-term positive outcome. Trust me, it’s really exciting and exhilarating to feel in control of your cravings!
Now learn how to Delay, Distract and Detach.
Millions of people are craving sweets and processed carbs and suffering from a blood sugar condition that just doesn’t get enough press.
I’m not talking about pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes.
Rather, if you feel moody, tired, or confused, you may have low blood sugar or hypoglycemia.
The good news is that, unlike diabetes, in most cases, you don’t need insulin or other medication.
What’s so easy about hypoglycemia is that it’s very easy to manage, as I’ve discovered. (My condition is why I quit sugar in the first place.)
So, take a look at the list below to discover if you have any of these symptoms.
Which, if any, of these symptoms of hypoglycemia or low blood sugar do you have?
Irritability & moodiness
Waking up with a “hangover”
The shakes (when hungry)
Mental confusion (“fog” on the brain)
You know how almost everywhere you go, temptations lurk in the form of sugary, fatty, salty, creamy junk foods and processed carb snacks?
There’s no need for you to feel frustrated, anxious or frazzled when you’re out and about in the junk foods wasteland.
Click here to get help in the exact moment your craving strikes.
I’m pleased to announce that you can now get a small, portable Cravings-Crushing, Quick-Start Guide to rely on when you’re tempted on the go.
Here’s how to use my gift:
- The next time you venture out into the junk-foods jungle, put this 4 1/4-by-6-inch PDF into your handbag, briefcase or fanny pack.
- Then whenever you’re at a supermarket, drug store or work cafeteria, you can pick one of three fast tactics to Crush Your Cravings On the Go™.
- Just take at least 30 seconds — or maybe as long at 3 minutes — to ditch your urges for junk foods.So why did I create this small Cravings-Crushing, Quick-Start Guide?
Think about it. Most cravings pounce on you when you’re out and about and on the go, right?
So right then and there, when processed, fattening cookies, chips or crackers beckon, you need to get fast, quick, super-simple support at your fingertips — especially if you can’t reach your best friend, sweetie or cravings buddy.
So let me help you now.
FYI, you’ll be sent to a special sign-up page and then you’ll get a link to a portable document (see sample on your left). Then, print out your Crush Your Cravings On the Go Guide to take with you in your bag and to rely on while you’re enticed by junk foods.
Remember, if you haven’t already, you also can get your free larger, 8 1/2-by-11 download here.
Now, when you’re on the go, just bring along your smaller Cravings-Crushing gift.
Join the Conversation: Which of the three tips that I share did you like best? Why?