Each week on Engine 2 Extra we have a weekly challenge. Each challenge is different. Some involve what we eat, some involve working out, some involve new habits like keeping a clean sink. A couple of weeks ago part of the weekly challenge was to respond to an e-mail from someone who felt completely overwhelmed. We really loved E2X member, Anne’s response, and asked if we could share it with our entire Engine 2 audience.
Here is the e-mail and Anne’s great response:
“I feel completely overwhelmed, like there is no way I can do this. I start the day with good intentions, but every night on my way home I find myself at a fast food place or picking up a thing of cookies. I feel like a failure, I would really like to know how others did this. I need to change my life, I have type 2 diabetes and my Doctor said if I don’t get things in order I’m looking at an early death, I can’t do that to my daughters who are not even in middle school yet.”
Dear Completely Overwhelmed,
Ugh! I know how frustrating it can be to know what to do but then feel powerless in the face of hunger or cravings. It sounds like you could use help fending off evening snack attacks.
Willpower is not enough…here are a few simple ways to stack the deck in your favor.
1. Clean out your pantry of processed foods and re-stock your cupboards and freezer with whole grains, canned no-salt beans, and fresh and frozen fruits and veggies. Make your home a “safe zone” for eating with zero temptations.
2. For the ride home, pack a “panic bag” or cooler in your car. Here is a great one I use from Bed Bath & Beyond: PackiT Freeze + Go.
Fill your bag with more plant-strong food than you think you could eat. Here are a few suggestions that are easy to eat in the car & hold up well all day waiting to defend against an evening snack attack:
Whole Fruits: Bananas, Apples, Oranges, Pears, Tangerines
Vegetables: Celery sticks, Carrot sticks, Pea Pods, Steamed or baked potatoes/yams
Jeff Novick Bean Burgers:
- 1 Can Kidney Beans, Rinsed and Drained
- 1/2 Cup Regular Oats, Dry
- 1/2 Cup Cooked Brown Rice (or Quinoa!)
- 2 TB Canned Tomatoes (or no-HFCS Ketchup!)
- Spice of choice
Mash Kidney Beans by hand. Mix together all other ingredients. Divide into 4 or 5 equal size portions. Shape into patties. Let set in refrigerator. Grill (or broil) on each side till golden brown. Then freeze the cooked patties and throw them in your bag or cooler…instant snack ready any time!
Sandwiches or wraps: I use toasted Ezekial 4:9 bread (in frozen section of most grocery stores), put a bunch of no-oil hummus on it (you can use Oasis no-oil hummus from Whole Foods, E2 Hummus from Whole Foods, or make your own homemade), and veggies of your choice. For wraps, Ezekial 4:9 makes a sprouted grain wrap with no oil that also meets E2 guidelines; Engine2 also sells wraps at Whole Foods. Just be careful to always read labels on your breads and wraps as most are overly processed and contain oil and way too much salt and other crud.
3. When you feel like pulling through the drive-thru, instead pull out your panic bag, and eat! Eat everything in that bag if you feel like it, it will be better than eating anything that came through a small bay window and I promise you’ll feel full…of food and a great sense of accomplishment!
What advice do you have for “completely overwhelmed”?