7 Tips for Emotional Eaters


Does this sound familiar? You’ve worked a long day, picked up the kids and a few 7 Tips for Emotional Eating from The Kicking Kitchen, thekickingkitchen.comgroceries, and finally arrive home at six o’clock to a pile of laundry and several bills to pay – and you still need to get dinner started. All you want is to find some comfort in a mentally and emotionally exhausting day. That’s when curling up in a blanket on the couch with the carton of Ben & Jerry’s in the freezer starts looking like the perfect end to a horrible day. It will probably make your life better, even just for a few moments.

Have you ever been in this type of situation? Um, yeah – every day! We know, we’ve been there too. Haven’t we all?

Consider this: “Our relationship to food is a perfect reflection of our relationship to life itself.” This statement was made by Geneen Roth, author of New York Times bestseller, When Food is Love, and it says a lot about how people often eat and think about food.

People often turn to food not because they are hungry, but because they don’t know what else to do when feeling bored, sad, angry, guilty, stressed or unfulfilled. Food is an easy target for unbalanced or resisted emotions. Emotional eating means eating when you’re not hungry or not eating when you are hungry. Unfortunately, one’s daily diet doesn’t work when built on guilt, punishment or shame, and this is commonly the result of emotional eating.

Think about the way you eat. Roth believes that how we eat is the way we live – it’s how we spend our time, love, energy and money. Do you sneak your food when no one is looking? Do you eat on the run? Do you sit down in front of the television and hardly notice what you are putting in your mouth? Next time you eat, be aware of your surroundings, your emotions and the food you are consuming.

Roth recommends these guidelines for eating. Try them out and discover how your relationship with food and your life changes.

1. Eat when you are hungry.
2. Eat sitting down in a calm environment. This does not include the car.
3. Eat without distractions. Distractions include radio, television, newspapers, books, intense or anxiety producing conversations and music.
4. Eat only what your body wants.
5. Eat until you are satisfied (and we recommend eating slowly to recognize this).
6. Eat (with the intention of being) in full view of others.
7. Eat with enjoyment, gusto and pleasure.

Do you sometimes eat for emotional reasons?



10 Festive and Nourishing Weekend Recipes

10 Festive and Nourishing Weekend Recipes, thekickingkitchen.com

Photo: Stevelegato.com

We know the weekend often includes dining out, takeout and extra sweet treats. Hey – we’ve been working all week long, and now we just want something easy for dinner! But making home-cooked meals on the weekend can be very enjoyable, fun and create family rituals that you will cherish.

Jazz up your weekend with a couple of these festive (but easy!) recipes that will still nourish your body. Get family and friends involved and create healthy weekend traditions that everyone will love!

  1. Scrambled Eggs and Greens – Integrative Nutrition
  2. Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie – Kicking Cancer in the Kitchen
  3. Banana-Pecan Pancakes with Chocolate Coconut Drizzle – Kicking Cancer in the Kitchen
  4. Loaded Nachos with Cashew Cheese – PETA
  5. Quinoa Three Ways (3 recipes here!) – Jill Shah, Jill’s List
  6. Cuban Blackbean Soup – Happy Herbivore Abroad, Lindsay Nixon (on Forks Over Knives)
  7. Fast Pizza – Forks Over Knives
  8. Baked Stuffed Bell Peppers – Integrative Nutrition
  9. No-Bake Oatmeal Raisin Balls – Kicking Cancer in the Kitchen
  10. Creamy Banana Cacao Pudding – Chloe Park (Mind Body Green)

Strawberry Mango Sorbet – for Your Kiddo and You!


[Kendall] As a mom to a 19 month old, I’m finding that I have to be a little tricky when it comes to getting good, whole foods into that little belly of his. He loves food, but there are certain things that he doesn’t want to eat as a toddler – like carrots, zucchini, beans and avocados! – he loved these as a baby. The only veggies I can get him to eat these days without hiding them in something else are peas, squash, sweet potato, and sometimes cherry tomatoes…and that’s about it. Of course, being a huge fanatic of leafy greens, I’m always finding ways to sneak those in. I also want to make sure he gets plenty of healthy fats (so important for adults too!), and of course, proteins.

And I’ve read about how if you start your kiddos on good whole foods, real veggies, etc., they’ll want to eat them. They won’t be picky eaters. While I’m sure that’s true to some extent, I think that when you’re dealing with a toddler who just wants to declare his independence, you may just be SOL (sh*t out of luck) sometimes. I’ve also heard that it often takes eight times of trying a certain food before your child will like it and want to eat it. I’ve found this to be true in some cases, but there are just some foods that he doesn’t like. At least, for now (or just on certain days).

I’m sure this will change in time. I don’t want mealtimes to create any pressure for my little guy or me, so I give him the healthy whole foods he will eat, try some others at different times (the majority of which get spit out and tossed on the floor), and then sneak in the rest.

I also don’t make a separate “special” meal for my kiddo. He eats what my husband and I eat with some modifications, mostly to make it easier for his little hands and fewer teeth. We aren’t a strict vegan or vegetarian household, but do eat a plant-based diet, so he is exposed to some quality animal food. Interestingly, he isn’t much of a meat-eater (but neither am I).

The result of all of this is a mama who has turned into quite the creative toddler food chef! Interestingly, many of these concoctions I’ve come up with are things I enjoy quite a bit myself. It’s also gotten me to make raw veggie juice every day. I used to juice maybe a few times a week. Now, its daily because it’s the easiest way to get some good veggie nutrients into my little guy – he gulps down my juices! I also make smoothies packed full of healthy stuff: avocado, hemp seeds, chia seeds, nuts and nut butters, kale, spinach, carrots, coconut, and a banana or some applesauce to make it more palatable for picky little taste buds. I hide pureed veggies in sauces or scrambled eggs, make chia pudding (he loves it!), and hide good stuff in pureed soups.

My latest concoction turned out to be super yummy, mucho easy to make and of course, Healthy 4 ingredient Strawberry Mango Sorbethealthy-healthy: Strawberry-Mango Sorbet! The little guy loved it! Only four ingredients in the food processor: avocado, strawberries, mango, and hemp seeds. I would say that next time, I would also add a little baby spinach or kale to get some greens in.

Avocado: Considered to be one of the healthiest foods on the planet because they contain in excess of 25 essential nutrients, including vitamin A, B, C, E, & K, copper, iron, phosporus, magnesium, and potassium. Contain fiber, protein, and several beneficial phytochemicals, which may protect against various disease and illness. Anti-aging properties, fight cancer, anti-inflammatory, regulate blood-sugar levels, help maintain a healthy heart and much more!

Hempseed: According to Nutiva, hempseed “is considered by leading researchers and Strawberry Mango Sorbet ingredientsmedical doctors to be one of the most nutritious food sources on the planet. Shelled hempseed ispacked with 33 percent pure digestible protein and is rich in iron and vitamin E as well as omega-3 and GLA.”

Strawberry: Rich in vitamins C, B5, B6, K and have been found to increase anti-cancer agents in the body. Adds some sweetness for Mr. Picky Eater.

Mango: Aids in digestion, helps improve concentration and memory, high in antioxidants, iron, fiber. Also sweet.


1/2 cup frozen mangoes

1/2 cup frozen strawberries

1 avocado, peeled, pit removed strawberry mango sorbet in food processor

2 tablespoons hemp seeds

Allow strawberries and mango to soften and thaw a bit by setting out at room temperature for 30 minutes. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Add water, a teaspoon at a time to help ingredients blend, if necessary. Serve sprinkled with hempseeds on top if desired.

Note: Best served immediately to maintain sorbet-like consistency. Can store in freezer and let thaw, then stir a bit before serving. Also, can store in the refrigerator for 2-3 days, but be aware that the color will change as the avocado loses its greenness due to exposure to the air. Still tastes great!

Healthy 4 ingredient Strawberry Mango Sorbet


Go Minty Green for St. Patrick’s Day!

photo credit: ilco

photo credit: ilco

Get your Green on and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in a delicious way this weekend with our delicious Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie.

Who knew something posing as a creamy, minty treat could be good for you? Enjoy – and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie

Yield: 20 ounces


1 frozen large banana, very ripe

1 tablespoon cacao nibs

10 drops pure peppermint extract

11/2 cups coconut milk

1/2 cup baby spinach, packed

1 tablespoon raw cacao powder

1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey

Mint leaf sprigs


Add all ingredients to blender and mix at low speed for 30 seconds, then medium speed for another minute until smooth. Add three to four mint leaves if desired and blend for a few more seconds. Pour into a glass and garnish with sprig of mint leaves.

10 Quick and Easy Ways to Relax

Photo credit: aristock

1) Just breathe! Simply sit and concentrate on nothing other than your breath for 10 minutes, making sure to take deep breaths in and out.

2) Take a warm shower. Nothing feels quite a wonderful as warm, steamy water running down your back.

3) Practice eye-gazing. Ask a friend to sit straight across from you and gaze continually in each other’s eyes with warmth and care.

4) Take a hike! Get outside and get some fresh air, even if it is just a trip around the block.

5) Say an affirmation. Find or create your own affirmation declaring your intent to be relaxed and stress-free. Write it out or repeat out loud for several minutes.

6) Listen to music. Usually we have music as background noise. Take a few minutes and – doing nothing else— listen to whatever music is relaxing to you. Need an idea: try Enya: Caribbean Blue

7) Cuddle your pet. Spending a few minutes with your fur baby helps you focus on something outside of yourself and is a warm and fuzzy de-stressor.

8) Stretch your body. Take a time-out and simply stand and touch your toes .Then turn your body side to side, raising your arms up in the air. If you aren’t in the middle of an office, do a few yoga poses or dance to music on the radio.

9) Brew some tea. One of these herbs or a mix of all are calming: chamomile, nettles, lemon balm, lavender, and mint.

10) Look in the mirror. Smile and tell yourself how much you love yourself and what a great job you are doing managing so many different tasks in your busy life.

Adding Acupuncture to Your Integrative Toolbox

Catherine Allen, LicAc, MAOM, MSc

Today we have a guest post from Catherine Allen, acupuncurist and owner of White Peony in Brunswick, Maine (read her bio below). If you haven’t tried acupuncture, it may be a wonderful tool to add to your integrative cancer-kicking and/or health-boosting toolbox! 

Chinese medicine does not treat cancer!  Whenever I talk to patients or groups about acupuncture and cancer, I like to get that out of the way first.  However, acupuncture can be extremely helpful in treating side effects from Western medicine treatments or the cancer itself.

While I am also a practitioner of Chinese herbal medicine, I generally don’t recommend taking herbs in conjunction with chemotherapy.  There is research to support the use of certain herbs to increase the effect of some chemotherapy drugs, but most oncologists are not open to that idea yet–and I don’t recommend going against the advice of your oncologist.

The foundations of health in Chinese medicine are diet, exercise and sleep.  Unfortunately, cancer treatments commonly cause side effects that interfere with your ability to keep those foundations strong.  What can we do with acupuncture?  There is a lot of research to support its use for common side effects experienced by patients undergoing chemotherapy and/or radiation, including:

  • nausea–acupuncture is particularly effective here
  • decreased immune system
  • dry mouth
  • pain–either due to the treatment or the cancer itself
  • neuropathy
  • constipation/diarrhea
  • fatigue
  • hair loss–acupuncture can’t prevent the loss, but the first re-growth will be healthier

Getting acupuncture before surgery can promote relaxation, prevent infection, prevent side effects and alleviate symptoms.  The optimal time to get acupuncture is two days before surgery.  Post-surgery benefits include reduced swelling, improved mental alertness, improved intestinal mobility, and promotion of healing.  Two days post-surgery an acupuncture treatment would focus on controlling pain and improving urinary and bowel function.  One week post-surgery we would continue to work on reducing swelling and pain control, as well as treat any symptoms from medications, such as constipation or nausea.

Additionally, acupuncture promotes healthy sleep and is extremely effective at alleviating anxiety, which is understandably common in patients with cancer due to the treatment and the disease itself.  Because no medication is involved and nothing is added to the bloodstream, acupuncture is an extremely safe and effective way to support your body–both the physical and emotional aspects–while still allowing your treatments to work. Click here for more information information on acupuncture and its use in cancer care.

Catherine Allen is a licensed acupuncturist and has a private practice, White Peony, PC, in Brunswick, Maine.  She earned her Masters in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine from the New England School of Acupuncture in 2007, and her Masters in Pain Research, Education and Policy from Tufts University School of Medicine in 2009.  Catherine’s post-graduate education includes training at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in using acupuncture for patients with cancer.

Baking Better

For years, anytime we baked we used either a mix from a box or if we did make it from scratch, we used refined,highly processed sugar and flour. Cakes, cookies, brownies, banana bread – it was always a sinful treat because the ingredients really were harmful to our health. But, how delicious it all tasted!

Now, we’ve definitely transitioned (notice we said “transitioned” – it happened in small steps) far away from boxed mixes and into healthier baked goods. It doesn’t need to be a huge overhaul you suddenly make in your baking. Instead, by adding in or replacing certain ingredients, you can come up with a much healthier treat that still tastes incredible. And now, we actually prefer sweet treats this way – the other stuff just doesn’t take very good anymore. As we start eating better, our taste buds change too!

Here are a few simple tips for beginning to bake better without sacrificing the yummy-ness.

  1. Stop using refined, bleached, white flour. Replace with whole wheat, spelt or any flour that hasn’t been stripped of all nutrient value. Or use half organic white flour and half of a better flour. Try garbanzo bean, coconut, almond and brown rice flours. They are heavier, but retain more nutrients. Try mixing one of those with whole wheat or white.
  2. Use organic eggs or eggs from a farm you know has happy chickens that have free range outdoors. The fresher you can get them, the better. Not only is this so much better for you, but it improves the taste. Your purchase of those happy eggs also supports healthy and humane farming practices. Look for “pastured.” Or try using flax eggs instead.
  3. Use organic ingredients whenever possible. This will help you avoid ingesting pesticides, GM (genetically modified) foods and supports sustainable farming.
  4. Avoid refined sweeteners. Swap refined white sugar for Stevia, pure maple syrup, honey or brown rice syrup.
  5. Sneak in your whole foods. Add nuts, seeds and raisins. Puree banana, squash, beets, pumpkin, beans, even spinach and bake it into your dish. Some of these foods can also help to sweeten.

Have fun with your baking and know that when you start making little changes like these on a regular basis, you’re making a big difference in your health.


Finding Gratitude in the Kitchen

Guest post by Debbie Woodbury, Founder and Editor WhereWeGoNow

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Melody Beattie

We’ve all been there … running around, a million things to do and dinner to make. It’s happened to me and I admit to throwing a meal on the table my share of times.  They weren’t the best meals I ever made, but they got the job done.

Or did they?

Sure, bellies were filled, but is that the only reason we eat?  Is putting a meal together just a job to cross off a list?

No and definitely not.  There’s a big difference between “throwing a meal on the table” and preparing it with love. And where does that love come from, especially when we’re overworked? It comes from gratitude.

When we approach cooking and eating with gratitude, everything changes no matter how much time we have in the kitchen.

Gratitude for our families, food, kitchen and the roof over our head brings us into a state of mindful awareness. It slows us down after a busy day and brings us back to center, literally and figuratively.  As we chop, mix, stir, braise, sauté and create a meal in our kitchens, gratitude brings home the only reason we are there – for the love of our families.

As gratitude slows us down, it gives us time to think. We take the time to plan healthy meals, rather than reaching for the same old stuff. We sit and read cookbooks encouraging us to serve foods we’ve never tried before. We learn to simplify and yet, somehow, we expand.

Every day, we have the chance to make meals which inspire healing, wellness and live out loud joy! As we enter the holiday season, let’s focus on bringing gratitude to the table.

Survival > Existence,


PS: Don’t miss The WhereWeGoNow Gratitude Gems Series starting November 1st. Sign up today and, as a member, you will get an email each day of November with an inspirational gratitude quote and a note from me. Make gratitude and a little time for yourself a priority this holiday season – sign up to be a member of The WhereWeGoNow Gratitude Gems Series now!

ABOUT: Debbie Woodbury is a volunteer with the Cancer Hope Network, a patient educator with The Connection’s Pathways Women’s Cancer Teaching Project and a member of the Carol G. Simon Cancer Center Oncology Community Advisory Board at Overlook Medical Center, Summit, NJ. She is the founder and editor of WhereWeGoNow, an interactive online community for survivors creating inspired healing, wellness and live out loud joy. Join her today at WhereWeGoNow and sign up for the WhereWeGoNow Newsletters and your FREE copy of the “WhereWeGoNow Manifesto – 20 Intentions for Your Inspired Survivorship” and the WhereWeGoNow Gifts & Losses List Workbook. You can also find Debbie on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.


Copyright 2012 (c) WhereWeGoNow, LLC


Picture Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos

Buttercup Squash Chocolate Chip Cookies

Kendall: So I’m still on a pumpkin, chocolate chip kick (check out my post last week for Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pancakes). There’s something about the fall – I want to bake more, and I love that we have pumpkin, squash and carrots so readily available because they are fabulous in so many ways, but especially perfect in baked yummies. I have a couple pumpkins and a ton of squash from our local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) share, so I decided to go with the squash for this one!

This recipe happens to be vegan – no eggs and no dairy.

As always, I try to use minimally refined/processed ingredients, so you’ll find real maple syrup instead of white sugar, and spelt and oat flours instead of white flour. I tried not to make these too sweet, and you may wish to add more maple syrup (just taste the batter!). These came out great – moist and tasty. I didn’t think the squash flavor was very strong (which you might be happy about), but buttercup squash is quite sweet, so I was hoping to taste it more. I also added coconut – why not? Anyway, these were a hit with friends and family, and I had a hard time stopping myself from eating them all. I ended up freezing half for later.

Yield: 4 dozen

1 cup maple syrup

3/4 cup unrefined coconut oil, softened or liquid

2 cups buttercup squash, cooked (also try butternut or pumpkin)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

4 cups flour (I used 2 cups oat, 2 cups spelt)

1/2 cup raw shredded coconut, unsweetened

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

12 ounces chocolate chips

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Cream the maple syrup, coconut oil, squash and vanilla together. Mix until well combined.
  • Mix the flour, coconut, baking soda and cinnamon. Stir the flour mixture into the creamed mixture. Mix until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  • Drop by heaping teaspoons onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 12 to 15 minutes or until set. Let cookies cool on a rack.


We’re In This Together: A Caregiver’s Story

For anyone caring for someone with cancer (or any devastating disease), please check out this video by Rob Harris.

Rob Harris, a two-decade caregiver to his wife who continues her fight against cancer, shares his experiences as a caregiver in his poignant love story, We’re In This Together: A Carevgiver’s Story. This book is filled with caregiver tips and resources for caregivers, physicians, nurses, patients, and family members and friends. For more information, visit www.robcares.com.