Getting Ahead of the Pleasure Trap

· Blog

We've talked many times about the Pleasure Trap, and how we get trapped into craving foods we get a hit of dopamine from. We get a hit of dopamine, the feel-good chemical in our brain, from foods with extra sugar, oil, salt and crunchiness. We often call these foods comfort foods because they change our mood and make us feel good.

There are numerous ways to deal with the cravings that come up around these comfort foods. One of them is called HALT. It's an acronym for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired. These are four classic experiences that can have us reaching for food to comfort ourselves. And there are dozens more these, aren't there? Boredom, having hurt feelings, feeling anxious or jealous to name just a few. The list is almost endless.

The strategy with HALT is, if you're craving some food for comfort, HALT for a moment, pause and see if you're exceedingly Hungry or feeling Angry, Lonely, Tired or any negative, uncomfortable feeling. Because most feelings only last for about 90-seconds, many find that by HALT-ing, that is, waiting for even a short period of time before reaching for the food, the craving goes on its own.

In this video we also talk about how there is also a way to get ahead of the Pleasure Trap. A way to reduce how often we feel the negative emotions that hijack our healthy eating into comfort foods. Join us to hear more:

When we discover that our feelings come from the meaning we give to the situations occurring in our lives, things begin to change. When we recognize that it's the way we're interpreting the situation and not the situation itself that creates our feelings, we stop making the situation about us so much, which takes the stress out of the experience. Give it a go and let us know what you think.

To your Amazing Health,
Connie and Bill

The recipe this week is a Breakfast Potato Medley, a fabulous mix of veggies and potato that can help start the day in a wonderful way.

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Breakfast Potato Medley(Serves 2 – 4) *Adapted from Mary McDougall

  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 Jalapeno, finely diced
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 4 large potatoes, cubed and cooked
  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1 tablespoon Coconut Aminos 
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon Chipotle Chili Powder or chili powder

Place ½ cup broth in large frying pan. Add onion, bell pepper, Jalapeno, and celery. Cook until soft (approximately 5 minutes).

Add the rice and potatoes and remaining ½ cup vegetable broth and seasonings. Stir well and cook another 5 minutes.

Add spinach and let soften slightly. Stir and serve.

NOTE: Serve with Green Sriracha or Salsa. Roll it up in a tortilla for something different.