Food and mood  was the theme this week at my Recipes & Strategies class at Gilda’s Club Westchester.

In addition to discussing the fact that sugar is an addictive substance, we dug even deeper to the role that refined sugar plays in our food and mood.  We covered some Western and Eastern approaches to this problem.

From the West, I included the work of David Kessler. This MD was the former FDA commissioner who was best known for exposing the tobacco industry. His book, The End of Overeating explains how we lost control over food: why can cannot “just say no” and how food scientists paid by the big food corporations have  conditioned us to “hypereat”. Click here for some points from his book that will give you the knowledge and motivation you need to make better informed decisions about what you eat and why.

Hip Chick's Guide to Macrobiotics

From the East, I brought Macrobiotics into the discussion. Some of my early training as a holistic nutritionist included good amounts of Macrobiotic theory, and I continue to utilize it in my work.  Looking at food in another way beyond fat, carbs and calories can be very refreshing and enlightening. Macrobiotics puts  food into a yin/ yang framework, I prefer to see yin/yang as expansive and contractive.  Sugar is very expansive, putting you on a  blood sugar and mood roller coaster.

One of my favorite Macro books is Jessica Porter’s Hip Chick’s Guide to Macrobiotics. This book is very readable, filled with recipes and will open your eyes to another way of looking at food, mood and life in general.

Christina Pirello, a spunky redhead macrobiotic cook who also happens to be a cancer survivor is another great resource. Her TV show, Christina Cooks has been on PBS and other networks.

You can likely catch Jessica and Christina and much much more  at the yearly  Macrobiotics Summer Conference offered by the Kushi Institute  You’ll also meet numerous cancer survivors who utilized macrobiotics in their healing.

Energy Medicine

Donna Eden, an energy medicine expert, has a five minute daily energy routine that incorporates meridians and helps to unscramble our energy. These simple strategies, used regularly, can help to calm sugar cravings.  Her Crown Pull is one of my favorite exercises. Donna’s book, Energy Medicine, is brilliant. I spent a weekend in one of her workshops and I’d like to go on to become an energy medicine practitioner someday soon.

In addition to Eastern and Western strategies for food and mood, here are a few of my own favorite strategies to keep the sugar beast under control:

1. Eat more real food and less food products. Products have long ingredient lists, real food doesn’t.

2. Never leave your house hungry. Make sure you eat breakfast, bring along healthy snacks like nuts and fruit so your blood sugar doesn’t plummet.

3. Plan ahead. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Know what’s for lunch and dinner early in your day. If you haven’t planned it out, you’re far more likely to be at the mercy of the toxic food environment that is all around us.


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