What’s Your Diet Vice?

Hello Friends,

A few weeks ago I reconnected with my old pal Bobby through his very informative and inspirational website. Bobby and I met 14 years ago in Silicon Valley at a start-up tech company. He took care of the money (thankfully!) and I took care of the marketing communications. Working with young, eager, and energetic innovators, we managed to have a great time in the workplace; and, because we didn’t have children or many responsibilities outside of ourselves, we found plenty of time to stay fit and healthy.

That life may have very well belonged to someone else. Who was that person? Somehow, I worked all day, and then taught group exercise classes at a gym in the evening. I found time to run and compete in races, including a few marathons. I even worked on my strength in the weight room—not Mr. Bluford-style, of course, but I did my share. And, most importantly, I consistently stoked the fires burning at home with the hubby, managed to be a staunch supporter of Girls Night Out with my peeps, and was a smiling presence at all family holidays, births and birthdays. A skilled juggler!

Cut to the real world, real responsibilities: a home with too many toilets, a hardworking husband who appreciates and deserves a home-cooked meal, two tween kids with endless energy and interests and appetites, two rescue dogs (one undergoing chemo), a personal fitness training business and a part-time writing/copyediting business. How do we do it? How do we busy, working parents fit in the most important pillar of our existence—our wellness? That’s physical AND spiritual wellness, by the way—not simply jumping on a treadmill for 30 minutes every time a vapid new episode of The Bachelor is aired.

I certainly don’t claim to have all the answers, but my hope is that my contributions to Bobby’s site will move you to take a deep breath, honor yourself and your body, cut out that processed snack or soda, hug your loved ones and pets for no reason at all, truly connect with an old friend, and schedule YOURSELF into your weekly routine. If these ideas, meditations, tips and inspirations help you to accomplish just one of these goals and therefore improve or simplify your busy life, then we will collectively be moving toward a more peaceful universe.

Here’s my challenge for you this week. For the next 10 days beginning NOW, as you read these words, commit to refrain from all soda (regular and diet), and stay away from your “diet vice.” What? Your diet vice is your “go to” stress reliever, which in many cases becomes a daily habit. For some it is chocolate, for others it is potato chips, candy, fast food, bread and butter, ice cream (just one spoonful for me while I scoop a bowl for Junior!), cookies (the Girl Scouts WILL find you!), wine (a little more complicated, but alcohol is a diet vice too, if you find you pour a glass when your stressors activate).

You know what your diet vice is, so be honest with yourself. Now, think of a whole organic food alternative to your diet vice. I know this is not going to be as much fun as tortilla chips or Peppermint Patties, but you can think of something to have on hand—organic blueberries, mini Roma tomatoes, grapefruits, raw almonds (known to annihilate sugar cravings!) pure organic cranberry juice mixed with a little sparkling mineral water (it’s not wine, but it is full of antioxidants, fiber and phytochemical nutrients).

As for soda, do I really need to go there? Alright here it is: soda is toxic, lethal, poisonous, and venomous (too far?). You get the picture! However, I will tell you this for certain: you will age faster if you ingest soda regularly. The alarming amount of sugar/aspartame, harmful dehydrating additives like phosphoric acid (known calcium inhibitor) and sodium have linked soda to osteoporosis, obesity, tooth decay, and heart disease. If reading this you find yourself shocked by discovering the havoc that soda will wreak upon your body…well, you’re welcome. Now, stop drinking it!

Finally, make a list of 3 benefits you hope to enjoy once you have accomplished this goal of refraining from all soda and your diet vice for 10 days. Post this list of benefits in plain sight near your whole food alternatives. Some of you may find you are more energetic and less bloated. Or, you may find you have better mental clarity, you’ve lost a few pounds or you are sporting a more serene exterior. Whatever you hope to accomplish with this challenge, write it down, visualize it and make it happen.

Julie Manriquez


25 Responses to What’s Your Diet Vice?

  1. Kristi Christenson says:

    I love this article! I am so inspired to give up the soda and ready to schedule me into my busy life! Looking forward to reading and being inspired by the next posting! Can coffee be considered a diet vice? I think I will start with giving up the soda.

  2. Curt Frederick says:

    Well written post Julie. I love the ideas in this website and plan to visit it more in the future! I accept the challenge because it involves improving myself and should help make my family and friend relationships stronger. Tea in place of coffee and soda along with no fried foods. Bye Bye Wendy’s 😦 but know it’s the right thing to do and will visualize results I’m looking for. I’ll let you know how it’s working Julie.

  3. Tammy Collins says:

    Well done Julie! Really love what you have to say but hate it at the same time… OK fine no diet Pepsi!!

  4. Lyn Denend says:

    Really? No soda? Diet Coke is my main source of caffeine so giving it up with be tough. But, for you, Ju, I’ll give it a go! Thanks for the inspiration. I look forward to following your posts….!

  5. Julie Manriquez says:

    Kristi, I did a couple of years without daily coffee (had an occasional latte here and there). I did feel better as I replaced my “habit” with hot green and black teas, which have less caffeine and are less processed. I will say I felt more…”even” and calm. But the good news is that organic coffee is full of antioxidants, nutrients and is heart healthy, especially coffee beans from Africa, where soil is volcanic-rich and plants are grown in the shade to preserve nutrients. Some experts even consider 100% organic coffee to be a healthy diet aid as it increases vasodialation, which is excellent for circulation and increasing bodily fluid production as it cleans toxins from your system. The problem most people have with coffee is knowing how to use it in moderation. One mug of organic coffee is fine, 3 Venti mochas from Starbuck’s per day….probably not a good idea! 🙂

  6. bbluford says:

    I think my biggest diet vice is night-time snacks. Partly because I couldn’t gain weight in college, I became accustomed to eating late, sometimes even setting my alarm to get up and eat. To this day, I still get hungry at night. Do you have any healthy substitutes to cereal you could recommend?

  7. Amy Porche says:

    Julie, Ok you challenged me! I’m going to try to cut out chocolate for 10 days.
    Also, I’d like to try organic coffee. What kind of organic coffee is tasty?

  8. julie ryan says:

    you paint a very good and clear picture – an excellent message. i am forwarding this to my mom immediately who drinks 3 cans a day at least!

    • bbluford says:

      I’ve also found that small changes are very helpful. I’m not sure if Julie M. subscribes to the ‘cold turkey’ method–in which case I defer to her expertise– but I’ve found that building small successes is very beneficial. It’s almost like a bank account. Starting with ‘no cokes for dinner’, for example may build in your mom confidence that she can use to eventually get over the hump.

  9. Julie Manriquez says:

    @Bobby….I don’t subscribe to any diets that are mass marketed, but I do like the philosophy behind the Zone diet (Jennifer Aniston’s lives by it!). Zone suggests a that the late night snack be a protein and fiber rich snack with some complex carbs. So, a tablespoon of peanut butter and a glass of skim milk, or a handful of raw nuts and some grapes or a grapefruit are some examples.

    • bbluford says:

      Got it. I’ve also tried drinking a protein shake, too. Casein Protein at night seems to work a little better than Whey at keeping the cravings at Bay. I’ll try those other suggestions, too. Getting older and having to watch what/when you eat is for the birds. LOL.

    • Kayt says:

      Hey guys,
      I found an “alternative” to icecream that can satisfy late night cravings!! It’s part of the South Beach Diet, you whisk up part skimmed ricotta with either almonds or grated lemon rind and freeze it for a little bit, it’s yummy and full of protien! 🙂

      • bbluford says:

        I think I’m going to try that, Kayt. I have always gotten up in the middle of the night to eat something. In college– when I was actually trying to gain weight, believe it or not– it was cookies. Then, it became cereal. I think if I have something healthier on hand, it might help. Thanks for the idea. I have a VitaMix and thought I’d check on their site for recipes. And found several more. I also found a good recipe for “Peach Almond Ice Cream”. (http://www.food.com/recipe/peach-almond-ice-cream-383693). If you sign up at food.com, you can even text the recipes to yourself, which comes in handy. I’ll let you know how it goes.

  10. Julie Manriquez says:

    @Amy….Bird Rock Coffee Roasters has a great variety to choose from. I like the Ethiopian and Guatamalan varieties. I know Starbuck’s has an organic Indonesian option and I believe Pete’s Coffee has at least one organic choice, too. They tend to have richer roasts. Good luck!

  11. Dean Antonelli says:

    Enjoyed the article Julie. I always suspected that carbonated sugar water with artificial additives wasn’t good for you – now thanks to you, I am sure.

    We are beholden to sugar. You will notice that even a box of Morton’s Salt has dextrose listed in the ingredients.

    I am training myself to love sour, by drinking lime juice from Marlene’s tree with carbonated water. Yum (with a pucker)

  12. Love the post! Very inspirational and fun to read. I am giving up wine…I don’t drink because of stress but I do drink regularly. Unfortunately, for me, it is a gateway drug and leads to eating more than I planned. I have more energy and resist chips and cheese if I stick to water at night! Thanks, Julie!!

    • bbluford says:

      That is so true, Lisa. When we drink, we are less able to resist temptations of all sorts. And foods– the wrong ones– are certainly part of that. In a great book I just finished reading, The Power of Full Engagement, the author talks about a limited capacity we have to apply discipline and will power to our desired habits. Because we cannot always be strong against these temptations, it’s important to build rituals into our lives, setting ourselves up for success. Julie provides great advice when she says think of something to “have on hand”. That is the how we make it through our changes into positive habits. Thinking and hoping you’ll be able to resist cravings for your favorite “diet vice” will only get you so far. So you’re not caught with and vulnerable because of a depleted self-regulatory reservoir, you should always set up replacements for your vice– such as Julie’s suggested organic blueberries and mini Roma tomatoes. Best of luck.

  13. Marie Hemming says:

    Thanks Julie, I’ll reach for the mineral water and cranberry juice instead of cookies for the next 10 days and a few almonds to stave off the sugar cravings!

  14. Mio Hood says:

    Thanks Jules…..very interesting read. I was just PMS-ing so I could have used this article last week! 🙂 I need to give up on the chocolates and the wine. Gave up coffee a couple of months ago and have been drinking carrot juice instead, which is now my new habit. Had a diet Pepsi the other day and it made me so anxious, I hated it. But I can stand to lose a few pounds as well as just plain feel better so I have the energy to have some ME time…….being a single mom working full time with kids in sports, i find it hard to carve that out and get to the gym or even for a run/walk on the beach, which I would like to do more often….reading this is just reassuring that this is all possible…will see how the next 10 days goes! XX

  15. Pingback: Is Stress Making You Fat? The Cortisol / Belly Fat Connection « BobbyBluford.com

  16. vic's says:

    Are you watching me? I gave up soda years ago so that parts easy BUT… the Girl Scout Cookies are sticking to my waist and butt so that is the first vice I will give up! NO MORE COOKIES!!! Let Day 1 begin… look out waist and butt I’m on a mission to shrink you!!! THANKS FOR THE INSPIRATION!!!!

  17. Cecelia Vickers Trimble says:

    I am on a very strict but healthy diet – First Line of Defense – by my Dr’s office – so I am already giving up my vices -deep fried anything! And pie.
    Had already given up carbonated beverages as I found they made osteoporosis worse! I do believe I need to use less salt so that is my current challenge!

  18. Jen Mercer says:

    Hmmm…..so many vices…. which one to choose! Okay, so I don’t drink mochas or much soda, but I do love my coffee, and we’re talking one or maybe two larges per day. I realize I could do with decreasing my coffee intake but I always have either half or all decaf (Peet’s decaf is especially strong so who needs regular?) My question is, is there a reason decaf may be bad for you? I heard something about the chemical process blah, blah, blah. Any thoughts? Next ,instead of giving up my chunks of 72% dark chocolate or my occasional glass of wine in the evening (not to be confused with the occasional night of full-blown drinking!), I think I will concentrate my 10 day commitment to night-time snacking. A troublesome little stinker of a vice. I am going to try to abstain, but going to have raw almonds and organic whatever on hand in the event of “an emergency”. Thanks for the reminder about the protein and complex carbs at night. I’d love to hear more about the benefits of organic vs. non-organic. To be honest, never been a firm believer. Convince me!

    • Julie Manriquez says:

      Jen….thanks so much for your comments. In some cases there is very little difference between organic and non-organic. what you are attempting to stay away from is process. The few steps between the whole food and the delivered food, the better. With fruits and veggies, you want to avoid preservatives, pesticides and/or all chemicals used to grow food. If you read above to my comment (5th comment down) for Kristi regarding organic vs. non-organic coffee, you will find some information to address your coffee ‘habit’. Good luck with the late night munchies……herbal tea with soy milk or nonfat milk and little honey or agave is another ‘cheat’ that gets you through.

  19. Sissy Nasri says:

    Love the post! My vice is “getaway drug” which makes me less in control of my portions. I eat very healthy but with some “getaway drug” I eat too much of the healthy stuff. Great reminder. Thanks Julie.

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