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How to Rapidly Improve Your Life Through Self-Experimentation

by | Feb 8, 2017
Photo by Alex "Skud" Bayley

Photo by Alex “Skud” Bayley

John Fawkes is a fitness expert who helps people lose weight and get into the best shape of their lives by gradually changing their habits. His sustainable approach to fitness allows people to look sexy and feel great about themselves, on fitness programs that are easy to follow.

In the movies the mad scientist works in his lab developing an experimental super-soldier serum. When he thinks he has the formula right he injects himself with it, and lo and behold he becomes superhuman.

As a kid I always wanted to do that. And as an adult, I learned that I can––minus the needles, experimental steroids, and insanity. Running experiments on yourself is totally possible, and very very effective for improving your habits and quality of life.

Unlike traditional scientific experiments, self-experiments don’t have a bunch of research subjects. They just have one: you. That means they aren’t very good at finding out what works for people in general, but they’re great for finding out what works for you specifically.

In fact, I’ve run over a dozen self-experiments lasting one or two weeks each, and many of them have produced massive improvements in my life and health. If you want to learn how to do this for yourself (or copy a few of my most successful experiments) read on.

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Is It Possible Your Healthstyle is Working Too Well?

by | Feb 6, 2017

Amy has been working on her healthstyle for over a year. Slowly she has changed her eating, exercise, sleep and mindfulness habits, and she finally feels like she’s in control of her health.

Now she’s waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Amy is a natural worrier, always ready for something to come along that negates all the hard work she’s done. She knows this is a tendency of hers, yet it’s hard not to feel like there’s some truth behind her fears since even successful diets have always left her in a worse place.

Her question for me today is what: does success look like from here now that everything is great?

This is an educational episode whether you’re a seasoned foodist or a newbie finding your path, since it will give you an idea of what the endgame looks like. Your brain judges success by what it expects it to look like. One great way to know this is by listening to someone who is already there.

Wish you had more time to listen to the podcast? I use an app called Overcast (no affiliation) to play back my favorite podcasts at faster speeds, dynamically shortening silences in talk shows so it doesn’t sound weird. It’s pretty rad.

 

Related links:

Mindful Meal Challenge

The Worst Thing You Can Do if You’re Trying to Lose Weight

 

Listen:

Listen on iTunes

Listen on Stitcher

Listen on Soundcloud

 

If you’d like to be a guest on the show, please fill out the form here and tell us your story.

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FOR THE LOVE OF FOOD: A smack down of The Case Against Sugar, how to read animal welfare labels, and how to talk climate change with deniers

by | Feb 3, 2017

For the Love of Food

Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup. 

A quick reminder that next week’s Mindful Meal Challenge will start again on Monday. Sign up now to join us!

Also if you’re a food blogger and are grateful for the international cuisine brought to this country by immigrants, please join our #ImmigrationIsTasty recipe round up on Feb 21. More details here.

This week a smack down of The Case Against Sugar, how to read animal welfare labels, and how to talk climate change with deniers. 

Too busy to read them all? Try this awesome free speed reading app to read at 300+ wpm. So neat!

I also share links on Twitter @summertomato and the Summer Tomato Facebook page. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you.

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When To Be Mindful (And When to Stop Worrying About It)

by | Feb 1, 2017

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of mindful eating. Research has repeatedly shown that mindful eating helps people make better food choices, stop bingeing, enjoy meals more and naturally eat less.

It can help you break unhealthy eating patterns and replace them with healthier ones.

And it is often the last piece of the puzzle for healthy eaters who still struggling to lose those last few stubborn pounds.

But mindful eating is hard to do. Your brain naturally rejects mindful awareness and desperately seeks to follow your impulses to think and/or judge your current situation rather than simply observe it.

These impulses are STRONG. And fighting them to bring your attention back to the present moment can feel exhausting, especially in the early days of your practice.

This is usually when people start to question if mindfulness is even worth it. Enjoying your food more and eating less sounds great and all, but at what price?

How can you enjoy your meal when you’re in a tug of war with your own mind?

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How to Put Your Healthstyle Back Together After Having a Baby

by | Jan 30, 2017

Rachel knew that having a baby would make it harder to maintain her healthstyle. But it’s now been 18 months and she still hasn’t found a way to regularly make the best choices and ends up eating out 2-3 nights per week.

Her issue is that her old healthstyle––which she loved––required an amount of time and energy that simply aren’t realistic for her anymore. She and her husband love to cook elaborate meals, but trying to fit it into their new baby life just isn’t working.

We also identify a few other invisible barriers that are blocking Rachel from fully utilizing her tiny New York kitchen. Subtle barriers can derail any well-intentioned healthstyle, but when you’re exhausted and every single part of your life feels new and overwhelming, identifying and eliminating those barriers is extra hard.

Together, Rachel and I come up with a few ways to simply her meals and make weekday cooking more practical.

Wish you had more time to listen to the podcast? I use an app called Overcast (no affiliation) to play back my favorite podcasts at faster speeds, dynamically shortening silences in talk shows so it doesn’t sound weird. It’s pretty rad.

 

Related links:

Foodist Kitchen

How To Cook Perfect Rice Without A Rice Cooker (and store it for months)

 

Listen:

Listen on iTunes

Listen on Stitcher

Listen on Soundcloud

 

 

If you’d like to be a guest on the show, please fill out the form here and tell us your story.

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FOR THE LOVE OF FOOD: Smash the patriarchy with vegetables, “overfat” is the new “overweight,” and why cows are eating Skittles

by | Jan 27, 2017

For the Love of Food

Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup. 

A quick reminder that next week’s Mindful Meal Challenge will start again on Monday. Sign up now to join us!

This week smash the patriarchy with vegetables, “overfat” is the new “overweight,” and why cows are eating Skittles. 

Too busy to read them all? Try this awesome free speed reading app to read at 300+ wpm. So neat!

I also share links on Twitter @summertomato and the Summer Tomato Facebook page. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you.

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I Ate a Large Cheese Pizza and This is What Happened

by | Jan 25, 2017
Photo by joeb

Photo by joeb

All I remember is staring at the open box in shock. Did I really just eat 3/4 of a large cheese pizza by myself?

One. Two. Yep, only two slices left.

I was a sophomore in high school and my parents were out of town for one of my brother’s sporting tournaments. I was old enough to be left home alone to work and study.

Normally this meant a free pass for me to subsist on coffee and Frosted Flakes for a few days (remember when dieters were scared of fat instead of sugar?). But this evening something got to me.

Looking back on everything I had going on at the time it was probably stress and anxiety from juggling my daily ballet lessons, teaching at the studio to pay the bills, and getting up before dawn to start my rigorous course work at school.

Or maybe I was just hungry.

I didn’t know what to do for dinner so I called the pizza delivery place that my family loved. I knew this wasn’t good behavior for a ballerina and chronic dieter who still desperately wanted to lose weight, but something compelled me.

It took several minutes after I stopped eating before the sick, bloated, oily feeling took over. The lingering smell of cheese in the house made me feel nauseous, so I took the remaining pizza and box to the trash outside and pushed it as far into the bin as I could manage.

What had I done? I was so ashamed. I told no one.

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How Graham Lost 60 Lbs Without Dieting and Has Kept It Off for 4 Years

by | Jan 23, 2017

Graham started his foodist journey back in 2013 when he borrowed a galley copy of Foodist I had given to a friend. He had just decided to try and start getting healthy and by eating more Real Food, cutting back on processed foods, and being more active he proceeded to lose 40 lbs in a couple of months.

Four years later Graham is now down 60 lbs from his original weight, defying the odds of a dieting industry that has a 95% failure rate. Today we talk about how he got started and how is journey has progressed to allow him to maintain a foodist lifestyle for good.

I interviewed Graham back in 2013 when he first got started (link below), so this is a follow up to that success story and a look into what long-term weight loss maintenance looks like.

Wish you had more time to listen to the podcast? I use an app called Overcast (no affiliation) to play back my favorite podcasts at faster speeds, dynamically shortening silences in talk shows so it doesn’t sound weird. It’s pretty rad.

 

Related links

Losing Weight Like a Foodist with Graham Hancock

In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan

Salt, Sugar, Fat by Michael Moss

 

Listen:

Listen on iTunes

Listen on Stitcher

Listen on Soundcloud

 

If you’d like to be a guest on the show, please fill out the form here and tell us your story.

FOR THE LOVE OF FOOD: The Western Diet gives you the munchies (literally), when to expect fitness results, and vegetables trump pesticides

by | Jan 20, 2017

For the Love of Food

Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup. 

A quick reminder that next week’s Mindful Meal Challenge will start again on Monday. Sign up now to join us!

This week the Western diet gives you the munchies (literally), when to expect fitness results, and vegetables trump pesticides.

Too busy to read them all? Try this awesome free speed reading app to read at 300+ wpm. So neat!

I also share links on Twitter @summertomato and the Summer Tomato Facebook page. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you.

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In the Mood for Comfort Food? Read This First.

by | Jan 18, 2017
Photo by sand_and_sky

Photo by sand_and_sky

I just experienced my first East Coast blizzard and it was so exciting. While my dog Toaster frolicked in fresh powder and my husband tried to become a living snowman, I was on a singular mission to warm the house with an 8-hour braised pork shoulder seasoned with chilies and Mexican spices.

Of all the things that trigger cravings for comfort food, cold weather is pretty universal. Being cold is deeply uncomfortable, and our natural instinct is to want to warm ourselves both inside and out.

But while your instinct to maintain your core temperature may explain why you don’t yearn for salad and gazpacho in the dead of winter, it doesn’t condemn you to four months of pancakes and mac n’ cheese. If you understand what your brain is ultimately after, you can tend to your deepest needs without diving head first into the cookie jar.

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