Birthday = Food?

How do you celebrate your birthday and stay on program? My family always celebrated birthdays in a big way - with tons of food and of course, the birthday cake with ice cream. As a child, I was conditioned to believe that you needed all of this food to have a happy birthday. My birthday is this week, so how am I going to celebrate my birthday this year?

How do you celebrate your birthday and stay on program? My family always celebrated birthdays in a big way - with tons of food and of course, the birthday cake with ice cream. As a child, I was conditioned to believe that you needed all of this food to have a happy birthday. My birthday is this week, so how am I going to celebrate my birthday this year? 

Now that I am on my journey to wellness, things have dramatically changed. I am taking the focus off of food and replacing it by treating myself to a day at the spa. A day of pampering and relaxation is exactly what I need.


In the past, I went out for dinner and of course had my birthday dessert. A lot of restaurants as a birthday gift to their patrons send out complimentary dessert coupons, so last summer I must have celebrated my birthday at 4 different restaurants and ate my complimentary dessert at each of them. This is something that I am not proud of, but it's exactly what I did. The focus of my birthday celebration was food, and II made some really bad food choices. 

My family is taking me out for dinner this year, and I have decided to use my P&P plan to ensure that I stay on program. P&P is my Prevention and Planning plan. You can apply this plan in various situations. In this situation, I will download the menu from the restaurant which will enable me to apply my P&P plan. This prevents me from making bad food choices and also allows me to plan what I am going to eat for dinner before I get to the restaurant, thus enabling me to stay on program and allowing me to enjoy my dinner with my family. Well, that was easy! 

Now comes the hard part. What is a birthday unless you have birthday cake?! Will I opt to have my complimentary dessert? No! I have decided this year to make my own birthday cake so after we enjoy our dinner at the restaurant, we will come back to my home and do the ritual singing and eating of cake. There is a delicious chia banana cake recipe in the book You: On a Diet by Dr. Roizen and Dr. Oz. This year I am choosing to serve this delicious cake for my birthday. Instead of putting frosting on the cake, which will only add sugar and wasteful calories, I am going to serve it with a mixture of fresh berries on the side. 

Who says you can't have your cake and eat it too?! Please share your thoughts with me at Riare43a@aol.com.

Weekly Menu:

Sunday: Happy 4th of July! Chicken burger, salad and grilled corn on the cob brushed with olive oil

Monday: grilled chicken breast with salsa sauce

Tuesday and Friday: brown rice pasta with sauteed veggies

Thursday: (birthday dinner!) seaweed salad, grilled tilapia and 1 serving of banana chia cake

Wednesday and Saturday: baked boneless chicken thighs with white beans

4 Steps to Shedding Your Pandemic Pounds

Forgive yourself, and start walking toward a healthier you.

For those of you who have put on the Pandemic Pounds or added several new COVID Curves, you are not alone. Alarmingly, the American Psychological Association has recently published that almost half of all adults in their survey now have a larger physique. In fact, 42% of people reported gaining roughly 15 pounds (the average published was surprisingly 29 pounds but that included outliers) over the past year. Interestingly, 20% of adults in this survey lost about 12 pounds (I am surely not in this group). Clearly, there is a relationship between stress and weight change. In addition, one in four adults disclosed an increase in alcohol consumption, and 67% of participants distressingly revealed that they have new sleeping patterns.

This past year has brought about what has been called the 'new normal.' Social isolation and inactivity due to quarantining and remote working have sadly contributed to the decline in many people's mental and physical health, as demonstrated by the widespread changes in people's weight, alcohol consumption, and sleeping patterns. Gym closures, frequent ordering of unhealthy takeout, and increased time at home cooking and devouring comfort foods have had a perceptible impact. In addition, many people have delayed routine medical care and screening tests over fear of contracting Covid-19 during these visits. Unfortunately, the 'new normal' has now placed too many people at risk for serious health consequences, including heart attacks and strokes.

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