Reviews, Activia Desserts, & Eating To Feel Good

The other week Ashley over at CSN Stores (they sell things like dining room tables) contacted me about doing a review. It will be coming shortly. I’m very excited because I really need this kitchen item that I’m going to get to review for you. So stay tuned. Unfortunately I can’t review dining room tables because our apartment is too small to have one.

In case you want free things too, here is your chance: I have an unlimited supply ofΒ $1 coupons for Activia Desserts (courtesy of Foodbuzz). Click the image below for the coupon. (You can only use one at a time, I think, but you can print out as many as you like… hence they are unlimited.)

I looked at the ingredients and nutrition facts and they look fine by me – there are 140 calories in one serving, which includes some healthy fats (4 grams) and some protein (6 grams). Yes there is sugar, but at least it’s real sugar (no HFCS). Dessert isn’t dessert unless it’s sweet anyway. Β Some other ingredients besides sugar are: milk and strawberries. It also has the star ingredient of this fabulous dessert. (You get a gold star if you figure out which ingredient I’m talking about.)

Just FYI, by posting this I get an entry into a contest hosted by Foodbuzz and Activia. And YOU get $1 off dessert. It’s win-win, no?

Speaking of win-wins (or maybe just regular wins) I am loving these comment plugins. Some other people left plugin ideas in the comments so if you want more suggestions definitely check those out. **Note: I updated the post as Ozh’ Absolute Comments is not working. You only have to install the other one.**

And since this post is already turning into a massive collection of coupons and free things that have been sitting in my inbox, I’m just going to continue…

Another company contacted me recently too – Stonyfield (who is sponsoring the US Open) is hosting a contest where you pick your favorite flavor (out of two) each day. Each vote gets you an entry to win a year of free Stonyfield yogurt. So if you are a yogurt person make sure to vote every day to get lots of entries. I voted yesterday (Strawberry Oikos v. Cherry Vanilla – I chose strawberry).

Onto more thoughtful things.

The other week I talked about how French women (Europeans in general really) don’t eat emotionally and they’re not emotional about eating. But this comment made me realize that I might be wrong about that. French women are actually very emotional about food – but in a good way!

Eating to Feel Good

Here are some things I eat to feel good – to feel happy – that make me emotional about food in a healthy, positive way:

  1. Ice cream cake on my birthday.
  2. Dessert with my husband even when I’m already full.
  3. Street meat (don’t knock it til you try it) at a street fair.
  4. My dad’s French toast. (Any of my dad’s breakfasts, really.) (And my own French toast, because it reminds me of my dad’s.)
  5. Anything my husband makes. (This might be because I didn’t have to cook.)
  6. Tasti D Lite. Anytime, anywhere.
  7. Ice cream sandwiches shared with my hubby. (Our first summer together we shared ice cream sandwiches in Disneyworld, so I’m always reminded of that day.)
  8. Sharing food in general. I like eating with people. I like feeding people and being fed, and sharing. (When I was eating lots of salad, I hated it.)
  9. Eating ice cream in the kitchen standing up, at midnight. (Only if I’m really hungry. It’s a perfectly satisfying late night snack.)
  10. Foods that remind me of people in general. (For example, mashed potatoes with creamed corn reminds me of my late Grandma.)
  11. Soft serve ice cream with sprinkles on a summer day after a softball game.

(Hm. I’m a dessert person I guess. You already knew that.)

So yes, I attach emotion to these things, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing at all. Sometimes you should enjoy food not just because it tastes good, but because it makes you happy. Sometimes to eat intuitively you have to eat when you’re not hungry just because it’s appropriate. If you’re eating with other people you compromise. If you are about to work out and you’re not hungry (or if you finish a workout and you’re not hungry), you still have to fuel. Sometimes you have to wait an extra hour and you get hungrier than normal. It’s not the end of the world! The key word here is sometimes. You can’t plan everything before it happens, so just let it happen and worry later.

My point is… sometimes eat to feel happy, sometimes eat to be healthy, and sometimes forget it all and stop thinking about eating so darn much. Now:

What foods make you happy?

Later (this week I hope) I think I’m going to do a post about skincare. Does anyone have any skincare questions for me? Anything you want me to research or summarize? I learned a lot from my facialist last week and I want to share it.

20 Replies to “Reviews, Activia Desserts, & Eating To Feel Good”

  1. Hi Maggie,
    I have really been enjoying your posts about intuitive eating! I am finding some freedom from SO many food rules through intuitive eating and I LOVE it! No more counting calories, fat, carbs etc. πŸ™‚

    Ice cream makes me HAPPY! I can’t eat it often due to allergies, but I am more than willing to suffer the consequences every now and then!

  2. @Kimberly: I’m so glad! I’m finding freedom too. Isn’t ice cream awesome? I’m somewhat allergic to it too, but… sometimes it’s worth it πŸ˜‰

  3. I love your approach of sometimes!! it summarizes exactly what I feel about food in the last few months (since I went back to China) and it’s just a great feeling to finally finish the war against food and make it our friend! πŸ˜€ Sharing food is my # 1 happy things related to food!
    skin care question? I have one. How to deal with stressed caused acne? i’ve been breaking out a lot lately because of work stress.

    1. @Coco: Yay! Okay – I think I can definitely give some good tips for stress-induced acne. I had that a lot this summer πŸ˜‰ But my skin is much better now.

  4. I’ve discovered though the practice of “EATING IN THE PRESENT MOMENT” (being totally mindful, not allowing my attention to wander off into any form of thought) opens the door for genuine happiness no matter what the food. Then, there is no happiness in the food, there is just…well…happiness. The food is ‘gravy’ (pardon the pun). In the practice of mindful eating, I work at keeping attention and perception in the here and now; centering my attention – detaching it from whatever thought may have been going on and bringing it back into the room with me so that I know that I know that I know where I am and what I am doing. Once I’ve shaken myself from mental slumber, I slowly sit to table, breathing deeply, letting go of any physical tension by allowing my attention to move about my entire physical form in order to detect tension, shallow breathing, anxiety, etc. Once I discover any such, I breathe deeply and release them purposely, and do not commence to chowing down until I’m ‘right’. Once I’m in the centered, near-meditative and utterly alert state of mind, quieted (so to speak), I slowly take in the sight and aroma of the food, slowly, fully, as though that were the only thing that exists in the moment for me. I give it ATTENTION, so that I may experience the richness of it. Then, slowly, I reach for the utensil, and, slowly, put the first bite of food on it and bring it toward my mouth. The entire time, I hold my attention in the present moment, declining the tempting invitation of any thought (bearing content of past, present, or future – “NO THANKS, I’M BUSY NOW!”). When the first bite goes into my mouth, I give it a moment before I start to chew. I allow the flavors of the first bite to paint my tongue and my senses as I breathe in slowly. Sometimes that can be a staggering experience, to finally realize the effect of a food’s flavor on the body and how your physiology truly reacts to it. Often, you can sense things in your body that give a glaring clue as to why we overeat, or why we hurry. Keep watch for the sudden onset of tension or impatience or the temptation to drift of into thought, the state of which causes us to eat in ways that deprive us of food’s genuine enjoyment, and also deprives us of the body’s natural signals of fullness and satisfaction. The reason why so many of us overeat is because we’re lost in mechanical thoughts and don’t listen to our bodies. As I continue to eat in this way, my body tells me clearly when it has had enough of so rich an experience, and I often find that I have food left over (of course, not being a tiny fella, I have plenty on the plate initially). The benefits go way beyond merely immersing one’s self in the experience of the meal, but has to do more with the expansion of self-awareness, especially in noticing and dealing with thoughts and impulses that affect nearly everything we do throughout the day. It’s a door to letting go of a lot of hidden pain, and through that door, in the moment one walks through it sitting there at the table, lies happiness. Thanks for the wonderful post!

    1. @T. Lavon Lawrence: Thank YOU for a wonderful comment! I enjoyed reading it very much. You are absolutely right – self-awareness is critical to finding happiness in not only intuitive eating but in everything we do. Loved your description of how you sit down to and eat a meal. Very inspiring.

  5. soft serve with sprinkles make me happy, its just so pretty!
    my mom loved caldbury fruit and nut chocolate bars, so much so that when she was in the hospital before she died, she begged my dad to sneak her some (i dunno, they had this weird no outside food rule). I think of her when i see those bars. Ice cream cones remind me of my dad cause he would take my out for ice cream every sunday as a kid. And there is something about challah bread that makes me feel good inside. maybe its cause I’m a jew, but I think its such a special looking and tasty bread.
    All i can say im blessed with good skin, and i never wash my face (except in the shower).

    1. @Eden: so actually, one of the tips is to *not* wash your face a lot. I haven’t washed my face with anything but water and lemon juice since Friday and my skin has never been so clear!

  6. I loved this! I think there is too much overthinking about eating choices. Sometimes, I eat because I’m hungry. Sometimes, I eat because my logic tells me it’s meal/snack time (whether I’m hungry or not). Sometimes, I eat because of nostalgia or something makes me feel good. I loved your list of happy foods. Mine would include:
    -Soft pretzels with salt
    -Frozen malts (with those little wooden spoons) at baseball games
    -Ice cream cake on my birthday (yes!)
    -Dessert on Friday and Saturday nights, even if I’m full
    -Oranges cut in wedges like my mom used to do for us
    -Mashed potatoes — reminds me of my dad
    -Homemade quiche — also reminds me of my dad

  7. maggie! really? not wash your face very often? I have oily skin so i can’t get away with that… what did the facialist say about the scrubs?

    1. @Pearl: You would be so surprised! My skin is *very* oily. What happens though with oily skin is that when you try to dry it out it just makes even more oil and then gets clogged and that is how whiteheads happen. She said do NOT use anything drying at all; you need to actually moisturize (but with oil free lotion). I will definitely go into more detail. I thought she was crazy but it’s actually working. The first day it was weird to not want to put stuff on to get rid of the oil, but after a day or two my skin stopped being quite as oily. The other thing is that you have to NOT touch your face at all. That is a bad habit of mine that I’m trying to break.

  8. Fruits make me REALLY happy; like, I would jump over the rainbow and skip right past that pot of gold to get to the fruits, hehe. But I think my favorite fruit as of right now is the persimmon. It used to be the mango, but I think the persimmon has won a place in my heart over the years. πŸ™‚

  9. Oh yes- sometimes I indulge because it’s an occasion. Yesterday a co-worker made cake because it was her birthday. I ate a little bit because I know she put the time into and it was a cause for celebration.

  10. Eating out makes me happy … a good steak @ the Outback or a slice of pizza and Caesar side salad from my favorite pizza bistro … even a juicy burger and fries.

    I need to work on discovering joy through eating at home. I’m trying. One thing I’ve been enjoying a lot lately is Banana Ice Cream: Just a frozen banana blended with 3 Tablespoons of milk and some walnuts or peanut butter. Last night I mixed in both peanut butter and cocoa powder. Yum!

  11. I love your list, but for God sake, beware of street meat!!!! lol I really eat whatever I feel like eating, whenever I feel like eating it. That is the very definition of intuitive eating… I never over eat or under eat that way. I’ve actually even steered away from the “lite” ice creams (Tasti-D-Lite, etc.) because I prefer the real thing and find it WAY more satisfying now. πŸ™‚

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