Words to the Wise: Sharing Life, Lessons, and Observations

Words to the Wise is a collection of stories, observations and insight drawn from my own experience both in the past and in the present, together with my perspective on what I may have learned in the process. Occasional poetry and astrological insights will be included when appropriate. I welcome comments, suggestions and thoughts of all kinds and am happy to respond.

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When Less Is More


Many of us believe we need to lose weight. Even people who are in relatively good shape will believe they need to lose that last five pounds—and lose and regain it in an endless loop. Articles on weight loss dominate the newsstands, especially in January but pretty much all year long. Eating disorders can arise from the belief that one needs to be thin to be attractive. Fashion models are a terrible example of what is healthy for the average person. Fortunately, there are growing numbers of healthier-looking models of all sizes and shapes these days.


A long time ago I read an interesting book about how someone successfully lost weight and kept it off without depriving herself of the foods she enjoyed, like ice cream, pie or cake. She practiced what she called the three bite method. She allowed herself three bites or spoonfuls of any treat she craved. For the rest, she ate moderately of a healthy range of proteins, vegetables, fruits and healthy carbohydrates. It has been my experience that portion control plus the three bite method has helped me lose excess pounds and then kept me at a healthy weight.


Little tricks like reducing the amount of oil when stir frying and then adding water instead of more olive oil helps lower the ultimate total of calories. Drinking water when hungry is a good way to put off snacking, too. Another trick is to drink some water before eating; you begin filling your stomach as well as hydrating yourself. Nuts make a good, healthy, satisfying snack. I try to avoid sugar because when I indulge in it, it makes me want more. I know it's not good for me, so I allow myself only a small amount and try to avoid eating sweets, especially at night.


When I do have a little of some tasty treat I satisfy my desire. I also avoid taking more just because it had tasted good. For me, the best taste experience is in those first three bites. When I was a child, I was always encouraged to finish what was on my plate. The so called "pity the starving children in China" was one of the trite and certainly specious statements used to encourage me to do so. Finishing my plate today might mean eating more than I need to. I try to pay attention to how much is enough when I eat a meal, and I'm not ashamed not to finish if my body says not to.


Less food can be more satisfying, especially when eaten slowly and chewed well. The old adage to "chew your liquids and liquefy your solids" while sounding extreme, is an important reminder to slow down. It also helps my digestion to incorporate more digestive enzyme bearing saliva into what I am eating or drinking.  I try to remember to put my fork down between bites as well, so as to finish chewing before taking in more food. In addition, I feel it is important to be grateful for good food and to honor the source of it with gratitude.  When I take the time to taste my meals and to savor them, not only do I eat less, but I also enjoy what I am eating more.




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Practical mystic and poet Tasha Halpert writes a column called Heartwings Love Notes for a Joyous Life, as well as a monthly astrology column for the internet. She writes a weekly perspective column for the Grafton News called Good Earthkeeping.  Her poems and essays have appeared in Quest Magazine, For the Love of Life, Heart and Wings, The Unicorn, and other publications. She is staff poet and storyteller for the Unicorn, and a regular part of Granny Moon’s Morning Feast. Her book Heartwings: Love Notes for a Joyous Life is available; She has another in preparation: Up to my Neck in Lemons, as well as a poetry chapbook: Poems and Prayers. With her writings she hopes to be of help and comfort and perhaps even entertaining.  With her husband Stephen she lives in Grafton and is the mother of 5, grandmother of 7, and great grandmother of 2.  


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