I was dying for a hamburger last Friday and decided to try a local hamburger place called The Habit. They didn’t have wheat-free buns, but they did have an option to swap the wheat buns for wedges of lettuce. This was actually really good! I also had a side of sweet potato fries. Yum! It was really nice to be able to get a wheat & dairy-free option virtually on the go after hours of running errands.

I also ate some chips and salsa over the weekend, but this was the first processed food I had eaten in a weeks, and I didn’t feel great afterwards. I used to like this certain brand of organic chips and would have them on occasion, but my body is now saying a very clear NO. I will be putting that on my “Do Not Buy” list and skipping that purchase from now on.

The Do Not Buy List is something I made up a long time ago to remind myself of the foods my body doesn’t like, or new items I tried but didn’t like the taste of. Months could go by and I won’t always remember what those items were, or I’ll forget how I felt the last time I ate them. The Do Not Buy List makes it easy to skip those purchases when I’m in the store.

I keep a written list on a page in my journal, and I consult it when I make my shopping list. Another option is to keep a running list on your phone and consult it while you are in the store.

To be clear, this is not a list of foods that are “forbidden.” This is not a good foods/bad foods thing. In the Love Yourself Lighter method there are no foods that are off-limits. This takes the charge off of food in a really effective way, especially when your mind has been conditioned to judge certain foods as “bad,” and then you judge yourself as “bad” for eating it.

Instead, this is a tool to remind yourself of the feedback your body gave you the last time you ate it. If you felt crappy, why put it in your body again?

If your child had food allergy symptoms, got a stomachache, or a skin reaction after eating certain foods, would you keep feeding it to her? No, right? I invite you to apply that same level of care and concern to your own body. Like a child, your body relies on you for its care. When you care for your body the way you would care for a child’s body, making food decisions is easy.

To apply this week’s lesson, I invite you to get out your journal or a piece of paper and make your own “Do Not Buy” list by asking yourself these questions:

What are the foods I already know my body doesn’t like?  Examples: I burp up bell peppers hours after eating them; Ice cream gives me the runs (sorry for being graphic, but your body is very specific in its feedback, so I’m just going to keep it real here).

What are the foods I think are suspect? Examples: I notice I always feel like taking a nap after I eat bread; When I eat dairy foods, I notice I have to clear my throat a lot; My skin always itches after I eat chicken.

What are some new items I tried, but didn’t like? (Trust me, this list will save you money down the road when you’re standing in the store and forgot that you already bought that item or brand and hated it).

Keep your list handy and add to it as you begin to listen to your body’s feedback. Notice how much better you start to feel as you consciously decide to skip the foods your body reacts to. Feeling great is definitely a welcome side effect of honoring your body in this way.

To wrap up, I want to check in and see how your Practice Project is going. Are you still going strong? Awesome! If you feel inspired to, please connect with me on my Facebook page (here) and let me know what helps you to stay committed. Sharing what works for you may help another person.

If your commitment has lapsed a bit, no worries! Just pick up right where you are and start practicing again. As with learning a new language, a musical instrument, or any new skill, it takes practice to get good at it.

Use can use these thoughts to motivate you:

Each time I practice, I am training my brain to do this automatically. 

I strengthen the new pattern in my brain every time I follow through.

I am becoming a person who has a peaceful relationship with food/exercises regularly/sees her own value and celebrates it.

Have a beautiful week!