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Happy February! I am starting off in my usual pattern with another surgery and another secretary! I think this makes fourteen surgeries for me; can you count up the secretaries?  In our last snowfall I slipped on some mud in the driveway and tore the meniscus in my right knee; so that had to be repaired last Friday.

One of my new year’s resolutions – no more surgeries – has already gone by the wayside. What about you? Are you still on track for creating the life you really want? Last week we talked about reading labels, and about finding hidden sugars. How is that working?

One of my friends says, “I am an overachiever in every area of my life – especially in the chaos!” And I think that has been really true for me recently. And for people who are food addicts, when the chaos reigns, they turn to their drug foods to get a calm space in their lives.  And that doesn’t help because it leads down a path you don’t want to go.

This is Lunar New Year. If you have been having trouble, give yourself a fresh start today. Look at what you really need and want. Ask for the help and support you need to get back on track. Ask those who love you, and those skilled at helping. I have trouble walking because of the surgery, but no trouble talking. Call if I can help.

Last week I asked you to read the labels on every food you eat; this is one of the most important tools we have to control our food issues. How hard was that for you? Did you find yourself resisting, “oh this is silly” or “I don’t have time” or “Oops, I forgot!” And did you find a lot of labels that you did not really understand?

So, this week, I’d like to start from the top and help you read some of the box named “Nutrition Facts”.

You may notice that some things on your label are changing this year. The FDA has been working on changing the rules about labels for some time now; those companies with less than $10 million in sales are getting extra time to make the changes.  Some manufacturers are adopting the new rules now; some are not.

The first rule change is serving size. It first gives the serving size measurement, then the weight in grams. One ounce is 30 grams. Now the question is, are you going to eat the serving size it says on the label? I once found an 8 oz yogurt container whose serving size was 6 ounces. What will I be able to do with the other two ounces? Is it really going to be easy and realistic for me to stop with two ounces left in the container?  Manufacturers did this to make the other information like calories, salt, and sugar content look better than they actually are.

The serving size has now been changed to make the amount per serving more realistic; and the calories per serving are in a larger typeface. When the package contains between 1 and 2 servings, the calories are now required to be listed as for one serving. This Is really a good idea; no one is likely to eat half or three fourths of what looks like a single serving.

And making yourself read the label before you eat troublesome foods, can give you that moment of “PAUSE” and help you make better choices. If the label says that 14 pieces of a crunchy snack food are a serving, will you be able to easily stop there? Or is it likely to go on? And is that OK with you? Or can you put 14 pieces in a bowl and feel satisfied? Really?

Does counting calories help you? Most of my clients worry that the food plan will be too much food; this is important to understand. Real foods, whole foods, unrefined and unprocessed foods, may have more volume per calorie, and may be more filling to some of us. The diet foods, processed and man-made foods, always left us wanting more volume as well as more relief. I encourage my clients to count the servings of their whole foods, and leave the calories for me to count.

Self-care often means changing our plans; I had intended to write about fat and cholesterol this week, but I think I have babbled long enough. So, if you have read this far, thank you. I will talk more about fats and cholesterol and label reading next week.

Please send me your comments; what would you like me to write about? And check out the new programs at

Have a lovely week,

Blessings to you,


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