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Meal Planning vs. Emotional Eating Binge

Meal Planning vs. Emotional Eating Binge


Stop Emotional and Binge Eating

You can do this by planning your meals.

Emotional and binge eating is often a train wreck waiting to happen. Maybe it has been a few days that things have not been going your way. You come home drained. Meal planning didn’t happen as planned over the weekend. Therefore it feels like there’s no time to look at what you have been eating. You go for the easy option, the lift-your-mood option, the convenient catastrophe. The week started out with your willpower at a 100, and you were all set to climb the elementary school food pyramid. Somewhere mid-week, your energy tanked and your cravings skyrocketed.

How do you prevent a crisis like that?

You prevent it the way you prevent all crises: a crisis management program or, in this case, meal planning. It’ll keep you on track toward your objectives. It gives you easy plans to fall back on. When energy and willpower are running low, there’s a plan in place. A meal plan provides breadcrumbs to guide you back to the healthy, balanced lifestyle you wanted when life was sunshine and rainbows.

Meal Planning

Benefits of Meal Planning

Still not convinced that meal planning can really make your life easier and keep you on track for your health goals? Let’s look at the advantages of at least giving meal planning a try. Energy Like many of the resources that play an integral role our survival, our willpower fluctuates. We start out our days and weeks with a certain amount of willpower that gets used up rapidly in small decision-making tasks, everything from what we should wear to what we should say. Relying on habits is a way to conserve our willpower energy. When it’s time to eat, if we do not have a good store of willpower, we fall back on our habit of fast foods and unhealthy meals. Meal planning prevents you from crashing midway because you have plan A, B, and Z to rely on to when you’re too tired to figure what to make for dinner that is easy and healthy. Meal planning takes off one thing of your daily to-do list, freeing up time for you to treat yourself no matter how hard the day has been going. Portion Planning Meal planning allows you to give all the important things the appropriate place in your menu. When you plan a menu beforehand, you get to choose what goes in there. Meal planning gives you the opportunity to stick to your New Year’s resolution of treating your body right and having your doctor’s recommended portions of fruits and vegetables. Even on days when you feel like putting no effort into cooking or like eating whatever your first craving is, a meal plan reminds that there is an alternate meal that will not only gratify you in the moment but will keep you on the right path toward a healthier you.

Mental and Emotional Benefits of Meal Planning

Treat Yourself Some days you will want to piece together any and every crumb you find to just get through the day and eat for the sake of survival. With meal plans, you get to go the extra mile and plan for yourself a meal that you know you will like. This preplanned blessing might just be the meal that turns your awful week around because you planned a meal that was nutritious and a treat to pick you up. The Tension Lack of planning and prepping often leads to more stress. Too much structure can make like predictable and boring. With a meal plan, you get the best of both worlds. You can avoid the dreaded question, “What do I make for dinner?”, but you can also allow yourself some freedom to experiment. For example, you had planned to make pizza tonight, so you have all the basic ingredients, but you see you also have fresh spinach and some roasted chicken left—let’s throw it on! Because you planned the big stuff ahead of time, you have a little extra energy to spice up a trusted staple with some little pizazz. Sometimes it’s that little things that make all the difference!

To make this super easy for you I’ve planned a week of meals for you!


Join my FREE clean eating challenge with meal planning done for you and start reaping the benefits today!

Ultimate Reset Day 1

How honest should I be? I mean I’m only on day 1 of the Ultimate Reset. Should I share my experience thus far, or hold off and gain some perspective? Nah. I’m not a perspective taking type of lady. I’m going to tell it just like it is! My motivation to lose weight, get healthier in general and gain more control over my chronic urticaria (hives) is just enough to keep me going right now.

Today SUCKS! DAY 1 is AWFUL! Let me tell you all about it. Yesterday was my first day as an employee of the YMCA, teaching mindfulness at my daughter’s school. I volunteered and did it last year for free so getting a great check to do it now is fab! Anywho, I went in and did my 8-3. Being a devoted mom I let Miss M go to afterschool and came back to get her. She begged to stay for a program they were having so that meant I didn’t leave the school until 7 pm last night. I was exhausted when I got home. EXHAUSTED. Way too tired to do the prep work for today…You see where this is heading don’t you?

4 am this morning, I’m up and in the shower because I have to make Quinoa salad. O_o I know quinoa and kale are the darlings of everyone who ever heard the word healthy right now, but I hate both. Yet I made it this morning to stick with the Ultimate Reset. It was not too bad since it was somewhat warm. I actually liked it! Therefore, I was anticipating a good, HUGE lunch. The recipe was enough to feed 3 people, I thought. *Side note: My acupuncturist has banned cold foods, cold liquids, and raw veggies so I couldn’t have the huge salad that was actually on the menu for lunch on Day 1* I took the quinoa to school put it in the fridge and forgot about it until I tried to eat at 12:30. I was eating very late as it was, because I forgot to take the supplements and I had to wait 30 minutes after taking them to eat. I would swear it was a comedy of errors except I was SO not laughing. I picked at the freezing cold, nasty, quinoa and could not stomach it. I forced down less than ½ a cup and was DONE. But it looks delicious doesn’t it?!?!


Beginnings Are Tough

Here I am at 5:00 pm on Wednesday, January 30, 2013, writing a blog post so I don’t go stick my face in the peanut butter jar. LOL I am going to have a snack of peanut butter and celery. It is Reset approved. I posted my unhappy state in my challenge group and one of the amazing participants who dove in early and has finished, advised that my frustration and hunger will die down in a couple of days. I read all the warnings in the Reset guide that I might be emotional, cold and hungry, but I just figured it wouldn’t be me. Lemme tell you, I’m unstable, shivering and starving. So I guess it’s kind of isn’t me, I’m WAY past whatever they were describing. I’m also sticking with it. I’m committed to myself and this cleanse.

When everything is said and done, I am sharing this for those who will go through the Reset without the support of a challenge group.

Day 1 can be a beast.

The beginning is always the toughest. Do not let it throw you.

Stay strong and earn the fabulous results that will be yours in the end.

If you need some support on your health and wellness journey, use the contact form or connect with me on FB. I’d be thrilled to help you out.

Best to you Darlings!

Ana María

Confessions of a Serial Cheater

I confess. I’m a cheater. I’ve been a cheater for most of my life. I don’t like rules and limits. I’m only slightly ashamed of my errant behavior though. Most people I know are cheaters. Everyone gets comfortable in a routine and starts taking things for granted. I know I’m not alone. It begins when you get away with little cheats, little flirtations (with cheesecake) and then, before you know it, your self control is blown! Hopefully you’ve figured out that I’m talking fitness and diet infidelity here. 😉 But in 2013, I am committed to being a better woman.

I think back to when my fitness journey began. I still have the calendar that came with Slim in 6 at that time. I didn’t miss a single day! I have my diet logs. I was obsessively mindful of every morsel. I wrote down EVERYTHING and not a stray carb passed these lips. I continued these behaviors to the tune of a 40+ pound weight loss. I kept up *most* of the behaviors over the years and gained enough knowledge and experience to make it my livelihood. Funny thing happened along the way though… I got too comfortable. I got comfortable in my success. I got confident in my ability to skip a workout here and have a treat there. I modified myself back up to my starting weight.

Have you ever worked really hard to achieve a goal and then gotten inexplicably lazy?

In life we are often focused on a set point. The wedding. Getting the job. Achieving goal weight. There is a tendency to forget that these events mark the beginning of a different kind of work, not the beginning of resting on your laurels. After the wedding, comes the marriage. Marriage is constant work. When you get the job you are no longer selling your self, the time has come to show and prove you were the right choice. Reaching goal weight marks Day 1 of working to maintain. This reality why it’s important to focus on BEHAVIORS and not NUMBERS.

If you are mindful about what you eat and increasing your activity levels, the by-product will be healthfulness. You may or may not lose weight, depending on where you are starting out and what your goals are, but you will be healthier. By focusing on creating healthy habits, you will be less likely to be unfaithful to your new, healthier lifestyle when you reach milestones. It’s the difference between taking pride in your skills in your profession versus simply working for the check. 

As for me, I’m refocused. I’m in the middle of a carb detox right now. I needed to shake off my carb cravings and redefine my relationship with food. I started in earnest on 01/08/2013. On Monday, my cheating ways voided the day, but since then I haven’t cheated even a little. No ignoring the corn syrup on the ingredient list in my favorite coconut milk. No “this bit of Coffee-Mate won’t hurt”. My carb cravings have subsided, my urticaria isn’t flaring and my energy is up. But this carb detox is just the beginning of my refocused wellness mission. My challenge group is starting the Ultimate Reset on January 23, 2013. I’m very much looking forward to taking my body to an even healthier place. 

If you’re a recovering cheater interested in support, drop me a line!!

If you’re interesting in more info on The Ultimate Reset drop me a line!!! Or click here.  

 All the best to you!

Ana María

No judgment. No perfection. Please.

No judgment. No perfection. Please.




With every ending, there is a new beginning. Ending can be sad or a relief depending on your perspective. This week I am finishing a 90 day challenge I started in March. As I look back over the 12 weeks and look forward to my next challenge, I am taking stock of what I did right and what I will do differently next time. Can you guess what my biggest obstacle was? You guessed it, ME! I judged myself against my standards of perfection and my mind played many tricks on me.


Every time I judged myself, my failure grew exponentially.




When I set out I had the BEST intentions! I was going to work out 6 days a week and be back in the best shape of my life. I was going to eat perfectly clean for 3 months and blow myself away with my results. Then real life happened. There were days when I was exhausted from…I don’t know, work, motherhood, PMS whatever, and I missed workouts. I declared myself a slacker. Feeling bad about having slacked I reached for comfort food, which inevitably is not very clean. There were times that I was mindful of my emotional state and had some control. I wrote a post about it! Wanna read it? Here it goes!


However, during the other much more private times, I ate until I felt better. Everyone cheats and we all feel guilty after. However, my guilt as the leader of a fitness challenge and “fitness professional” was devastating. Having eaten, what I judged to be, terrible food I would resolve to work out twice as hard the next morning. The thing is, when you eat crappy food, you feel crappy. Hence, the morning after I was abnormally tired. Additionally, I was mentally out of the game because I believed I was a piggy slacker. Anyone know the feeling? My cheats allowed my horrible inner critic to judge me and pronounce me a complete and total fraud.


The mind is very powerful.


With our thoughts and breath, we control our emotions and our physical being. It is a power that can cut both ways. Our thoughts can lift us up or depress us. The more I negatively judged myself the worse I felt. That unhappiness would seep into every aspect of my life, just as the sense of confidence informed my existence when I stuck to my fitness routine. Negative self-judgment is a poison to the day. Has this ever happened to you? Let’s stick with health and wellness, but it could be any promise you didn’t honor. You feel bad about ­­­­­­­­­that cheat meal and your mood goes down. You have less tolerance for other people, kids, spouses and other drivers especially. Everything grates on your nerves because of the guilt about not honoring your agreement to stay away from cheesecake. All the irritability causes you to say things that make you feel guiltier and the next thing you know you are on the couch with Oreos and a empty pint of Häagen-Dazs. You don’t even remember eating it all. A 300 calorie cheat just turned into a 3000 calorie catastrophe! There has to be a better way! Right?




Perfectionism will bring your progress to a complete halt.


Far too often, we view fitness and nutrition in very black and white ways, when the reality is life is not black and white. Your food and activity levels are your life. There is no way you will work out 6 days a week and to stick to eating 1500 calories a day every day for the rest of your life. It is impossible to keep that agreement with yourself. Making that agreement sets you up for failure. Each day and week becomes and all or nothing proposition. If you are not perfectly on point then you are a failure. If you eat 1600 calories, your inner critic judges the day a flop and the cycle begins anew. Monday and Tuesday’s workouts did not happen because of a sick child and part of you feels your fitness week is a waste. You give yourself no credit for being a great parent/nurse. You solely judge yourself for not keeping to your routine. Perfectionism is the reason you take 2 steps forward, STOP and take 1.9 steps back.



Bodies and fitness goals need to be flexible.




To avoid the poison of self-judgment and perfectionism, make realistic goals.


  1. Create fitness and nutrition goals that take into account your current lifestyle and habits. Go for gradual improvement rather than an overnight overhaul. ~Do not commit to eating clean 7 days a week when you currently drink 5 Cokes a day and eat lunch at Mc Donald’s 5 days a week. A more attainable goal would be cutting down to 2 Cokes per day by substituting flavored water for the other 3 cans and getting healthy salads 3 out of 5 days at Mc Donald’s
  2. Get an accountability partner(s) ~ You’ll do much better with people supporting and encouraging you to achieve your goals. They will be kinder to you than you are to yourself. They will keep you focused. Trust me!
  3. Be in the present ~ If you made a less healthy nutrition choice, let it go with the last bite. Do not guilt yourself into a full on binge.
  4. Keep a log of your progress ~ When the negative voice starts telling you there hasn’t been progress or it’s not worth it, look at your before and after pics, or the chart with decreasing measurements and be proud!


As we enter into summer I know there are a lot of challenges starting and people doing some last minute summer shaping up. I hope that these tips with keep your mind positive and focused. You never know, a get fit quick plan may lead to a lifelong love of fitness and good nutrition!



If you have any other ideas for staying focused, please take a moment to comment!



If you’d like the support of other women living their most mindful lives, join my FB group : 30 Days of Meditation and Beyond




Wishing you much success and happiness!


Ana María



Mindful Eating and Kettle Corn

I don’t know if you saw it, but yesterday I posted this comparison chart on Brooklyn Fit Mami.

This morning as I took my daughter to school I found myself DYING for some kettle corn. Instantaneously I was starving, and absolutely NEEDED kettle corn. I also immediately thought about the chart I’d posted and figured out my “need” had everything to do with my feelings about my beloved aunt being sick and very little to do with any physiological need for fuel.

While all that realizing and mindfulness is fabulous, it did nothing to quell my desire for some salty, sweet, crunchy goodness. I mean, isn’t that the reality of any form of cheating/bad behavior? You know it’s not good for you, but it would taste/feel/look SO good. Your mind’s telling you NO! But your senses are singing a different tune!

What’s a Fit Mami to do in the middle of an emotional eating craving?

I gave in! Yup. As I type I am munching on Orville Redenbacher’s Smart Pop kettle corn and drinking my favorite Yogi Revitalize Peppermint tea.

Mindful eating isn’t about always eating the “right” foods at the right times. It’s about being aware of why you are choosing to eat what you are eating. Taking a moment to make your decisions about food conscious can make the difference between reaching your goals on schedule or possibly not at all. It is the unconscious, auto-pilot snacking the can wreak havoc on your nutritional health and well-being. The fact that emotional eating does hit suddenly means we are less likely to make wise choices about what we reach for. Take my morning for example.

I was very tearful and stressed today, the perfect storm for mindless eating. I was distracted doing morning stuff for Miss M, thinking about making travel plans, today’s to do list for work and home and reminiscing on times spent with my aunt. Of course, in the middle of all that, what happens? *poof* The little impulse devil popped onto my shoulder and whispered “Some yummy kettle corn will make it ALL better….”  Then my lil mindful fit angel chimed in. “Yup. Kettle corn sure would make you feel better. Be sure you get the low fat healthy version at 30 calories a bag! Oh, and drink some tea with it so you don’t overeat and end up feeling worse.” Honest! That’s just how it went.

Listen, life happens. There are times when we need some comfort food. The goal is to take a moment to be aware of the influence of our emotions and make the effort to choose the healthiest form of feel good food available.

Do you have certain situations that consistently trigger your need to munch?

Are there any ways you can make your go-to comfort food healthier?

Leave a comment below and tell me about it.



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