Day 11

  • Afternoon Refocus
  • Shift Breath 

Day 11 - Stimulus Control


I enjoy supporting myself by keeping my environments set up for success.

Welcome to Your Thin Thinking Practice Day 11

Good morning! FYI your second thin thinking weekend is coming up—how exciting!!

How are you feeling? I hope you are proud of the fact you are well into the second week.  Those neural wires are forming and you should feel your personal weight mastery structure starting to take shape.  If you are not there yet—that is okay, remember it takes 21 days for habits to change and you are just over half way there.

Something that is part of my thin thinking weight mastery lifestyle is taking a pause around Thursday to think my weekend through. I may have prepared for the week, but in a way, the weekend is even more important to think through.  My Inner Coach and I consult, “What are my plans to have healthy things to reach for on the weekend?”

So, I challenge you to try planning your weekend to make it a healthy one. One way is to make sure that any trigger foods and refined carb foods get out of your environments if they have crept back in. Just throw them away or give them away. Once they are gone, you will not miss them and you will have taken back your power!

Trigger Food Exercise here

In today's coaching session: Out With the Old and In With the Green (below) we are going to look at how to use the skill of Stimulus Control to help shift us into being more consistent with our healthy eating habits, both on the weekend, and during the week. I also give you some awesome ideas for swapping high-carb foods like pasta and with tasty and nutritious low-carb “im-pasta-ors”.

Today's Shift From Fat To Thin Thinking: I enjoy supporting myself by keeping my environments set up for success.

Rita’s Coaching: Out with the Old and in with the Green!

Nights and weekends are big weight challenges because we are at home with all of our snacky "trigger foods" lying around, crying out for to reward ourselves by eating them. One of the biggest keys to long term permanent weight release is discovering what foods are challenging for you to have in your environment. The next step would be to get rid of these trigger foods so that they no longer try your limited willpower.

After a few weeks of consistent thin thinking habits and weight release, our fat thinking Inner Rebel may begin to creep in with thoughts like, “since I am doing so well, I can bring Ice cream into the house again…” Do not fall into this trap!

The sooner you put permanent but “loving boundaries”  around the trigger foods that challenge you, the sooner you will consistently release the weight and keep it off.  That doesn’t mean you can never have those beloved favorites that you cannot eat just one of—but it means you know how to be in control.

In With the Green

One way Weight Masters inserts positive Stimulus Control into their lives is that they learn to bring more fruits and veggies into their environment and eat more of them in place of the refined trigger foods. Why?

  • Veggies are a food you can eat a lot of for very few calories
  • The fiber and water in veggies fill you up
  • The nutrients in veggies nourish you.
  • Studies point to the fact that the more nutritiously you eat, the less the fattening trigger foods call your name.

Think about this:  If there were a drug that was proven to extend your life 14 years, would you take it in the recommended dosage?

The New England Journal of Medicine published an article recently regarding a study that showed that people who ate 6-7 servings of fruits and veggies a day could live up to 14 years longer!  That’s a long time! That’s 14 more birthdays, summers, and American Idol seasons!

Shifting your View on Veggies

I am a big veggie person today, but this was certainly not the case in my weight struggling past.  My finite veggie vocabulary used to be salads with lots of blue cheese dressing on top or asparagus topped with mayo. The vegetables on my plate were always dwarfed by a high pile of starch. In my mind, dieting meant having to choke down the standard celery and carrot sticks (which I actually like now that they aren’t associated with a diet) in order to “do good” and be perfect.

A big breakthrough for me on my journey to weight mastery was to substitute vegetables for the starch in dishes that called for rice, potatoes, or even bread.  (I will share some ideas with you below).

Also, I became a frozen vegetable fanatic because they are so easy and fast. Nowadays, frozen veggies taste great and sometimes are even healthier for you because nutrients leech from fresh veggies that languish in the grocery store waiting for “healthy types” to buy them.

Shift Practice Challenge:  This week, challenge yourself to get 8 servings of fruits and veggies every day.  This is called over practicing.  When you do a lot of anything, later, when you do less, it seems easy.  Athletes over practice so that when they compete it doesn’t feel so tough. One over practices studying for exams, and performers over practice before going on stage. When you stretch yourself, you will definitely find some new ways to make veggies a regular part of your day.


Here are some good ways to get veggies in your diet in place of the refined more calorie-dense pasta (no offense, spaghetti, but sometimes you’re just too much).

Use spaghetti squash—Have you ever tried this humble gourd?  It tastes nothing like spaghetti, but if you cut it in half and bake it cut sides down until soft (40 minutes at 325 degrees), and then fluff the innards with a fork, you end up with spaghetti-like strands of a nutty tasting squash that you can put veggies over or marinara sauce, and it is only 25 calories per ½ cup plus lots of nutrition.

Low cal / high nutrient fettuccini—Okay, so Mama Mia is probably turning over in her grave, but if you cook ribbons of carrots and zucchini until tender, drain and pile them on a plate with any Italian sauce and add a touch of parmesan—you’ll swear to never go back to the other white pale and slimy noodles.  The carrots and zucchini impart mouthfuls of flavor to tomato sauces and don’t leave you stuffed and sinking the gondola afterwards.  A half cup is again a caloric bargain at 25 calories versus the real pasta at 110—YIKES!

Shikori tofu noodles—I admit these are not so hot in Italian mode, but these noodles made from tofu and available at Whole Foods and Sprouts Markets are really great as a substitute for the starch in stir-fries.  I will stir-fry a bag of frozen asian veggies in soy sauce and a bit of sesame oil and add in a bag of these noodles and stir fry some more and serve either as is or with chicken or tofu or shrimp. The whole pan full of Low Cal Lo-Mein is about 200 calories (without the added protein) versus the 800 calories a serving of Lo-Mein you get from Chinese take-out.

Pasta substitution: When dining out, ask the waiter to substitute 2/3 of the pasta for veggies. This will cut the calories in the usually huge restaurant portion by half, or just ask for a side of pasta.

Whole wheat pasta is obviously better than white. There are also some low carb ones out there that are lower in calories per serving—check the labels.

Comfort Toppers

Instead of Mac and cheese, try broc and cheese. Put a lite cheese topping on top of a bowl of broccoli or just sprinkle parmesan on top of the florets.

BBQ:  I love BBQ and used to only associate it with hunks of meat, but I realized what I liked about BBQ was the sauce.  Now, I put BBQ sauce on veggies to jazz them up. Do check labels because BBQ sauce can be caloric and full of sugar.  I cut mine with tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. This is great with steamed greens and black eyed peas.

Bread Substitutes

Lettuce Wraps:  I have seen some of you doing this trick, which is to take romaine leaves and make them the base from which you build a green sandwich.  Put veggie burgers, turkey slices, egg white salad, or tuna between leaves, add mustard, a sandwich pickle, tomato, and enjoy at least 2 servings of veggies. What a great way to eat veggies and not even know it.

Low-carb tortillas:  Not a veggie, but a no-brainer for sandwiches at 50 calories per tortilla.

Eggplant Pizza: Slice eggplant, lay it in a layer on a cookie sheet with some spray and bake for 10 minutes on each side, then top with marinara, low fat mozzarella and veggies like mushrooms and peppers.  It’s like a plate of low cal mini pizzas.  My kids love these.

Mashed Potatoes:  Hey, nothing against the spud, but here broccoli and cauliflower, when cooked in water or broth, become very mashable (especially in a food processor).  Sometimes I sauté a little onion or garlic and toss them in. This is a great thing to prepare when you make dishes that have some sauce.

Roasted veggies instead of potatoes:  Everyone raves about frozen veggies and again it’s as easy as spraying a pan, putting the veggies in a shallow layer on the pan, and then putting the pan in the oven at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes or until the veggies are caramelized.  Frozen veggies work well here, too, they just take a bit longer to cook.

Rice Substitutes

Rice usually comes with everything ethnic—Mexican food, Chinese food, Cuban food, Thai food.  One way I cut calories, and actually enjoy myself more, is to avoid rice and substitute instead with steamed veggies, steamed spinach, or even a side salad.  If you like rice--cool, but even just making the veggies the base of your meal and then having rice as a condiment is a wiser choice and cuts huge amounts of calories.

“Riced” Cauliflower: You can now get packages of “riced” cauliflower in both the freezer and fresh vegetable sections at Trader Joes. Steam or stir-fry the teeny bits of cauliflower and top them with more veggies or your favorite rice toppers. To make your own, place cut up cauliflower in a food processor and chop the cauliflower into little rice size bits. Place in a pan on the stove with a little oil and stir fry it until it’s cooked the way you like it.

Remember that brown rice is healthier but just as many calories as white. There are a lot of heavy health food nuts out there!

I hope you enjoy exploring new ways of empowering your environment with healthy choices.

ox Rita