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  • The affordable workshop is here!

    Let's do this.

    Oh you guys. You have been asking for an affordable class for some time now, and you deserve one. Let’s not wait any longer. Let's do this ASAP!

    We will cover all the Most Important Stuff:

    • How to start eating immediately - so that you feel good now, binge urges go away on their own, your hormones and weight start regulating themselves and your hunger calms down and life gets much, much easier.
    • How to quit bingeing NOW and/or overeating QUICKLY so that you never have to feel like crap about your eating ever again
    • How to make an identity shift so that the first two changes are comprehensive and permanent
    • How to handle eating in tricky situations like: restaurants, holidays and in the presence of nosy people who we all know should be minding their own business 

    That doesn’t hit everything we cover in Body of Knowledge, but I can promise you you’ll get everything you need to make a permanent change for the better: an end to bingeing, easy weight and hunger regulation, and whole lot of headspace back for living life without shame, obsession, self-hate and calorie-counting.

    I haven’t delivered this material in seminar form before. I’ll literally be workshopping this workshop! As such, it’ll cost less - probably in the neighborhood of $200 total - than I would typically charge for such a class.

    Here is how I imagine it happening: 

    1. one session of about 3 hours (with a couple breaks)
    2. by video conference (privacy / anonymity available)
    3. supplemental materials available before (and after)
    4. recording available afterward

    So! I want to know when you’d like to do this. Choices are between a midweek day, and a Saturday morning. Please vote here, and we’ll get this on the schedule in the next few weeks.

    That link again >>> VOTE HERE / VOTE AQUÍ

    Thank you all for pressing me to do this. We’re going to have fun! As I always say, getting your eating sorted is SO MUCH EASIER than they tell you.

  • How to retrain your palate

    It's possible to retrain your palate. And to reset your comfort strategy.

    Some of you may recall that I have a long history of tooth trauma - what one dentist gleefully calls “extreme architecture” and what I call “extremely bad luck.” I’ve got Post Tooth Stress Distress, where “post” is a condition that’s always possibly “pre.” Ugh, you know: one of those repeat situations we cycle through that makes us wail, as my pastry hero David Lebovitz says, “I want my Mommy!” For you it might be parent-teacher night. Or even just laundry day.

    For me, teeth. So when I broke a filling recently and had to get two emergency appointments, I very strongly desired a cup of hot chocolate afterward. 

    My dentist is in Harvard Square, right near Burdick’s Chocolates, what I used to jokingly/not joking refer to as My Spiritual Home. They make a dark hot chocolate concoction there, a tiny cup of which weighs as much as a black dwarf star. 

    However, I am retraining my palate away from the sweet end of the spectrum and more toward the bitter. So I went to the cafe right next to the dentist instead, and got myself a green tea. And declared to myself, very deliberately:THIS TEA WILL BE A COMFORT TO ME.

    (Those intention statements are like magic spells. Very important! Quite, quite effective.)

    Note: In Habit Reform School, they tell you to concentrate on one habit at a time. And that’s pretty good advice. I’m working on two “habits” here: 1. replacing one “comfort” food with another and 2. retraining my palate. Sometimes you can kill two birds with one stone. Plus I like to break rules.

    To be clear, you cannot talk yourself into retraining your palate or replacing your go-to comfort food if you don't want to. If you want the dark Bolivian hot chocolate and NOTHING ELSE WILL DO, very well then! Nothing else will do. And trying to scold, guilt, shame, harass, threaten, punish or publicly* "challenge" yourself out of it is ... most likely going to fail.

    But know that it’s possible to retrain your palate, at any age. Even if you justwant to want to eat less sweet or rich food, push in there a little. Experiment. Allow yourself the experience of disliking something, even, without trying to talk yourself into liking. 

    It’s also possible to reset your comfort strategy, if you’re willing to tolerate a little discomfort for a while.

    Do you have a comfort strategy you’d like to upgrade, maybe because it’s causing too much discomfort on the back end? Tell me about it. Just hit Reply.

    Also this! The smart and funny Sarah Bamford Seidelmann interviewed me aboutthe fastest way to get your eating under controlYou can watch the video here.

    *Because of the high odds of failure with "stick" methods, I would especially stay away from any methods that will leave a lot of witnesses. Who needs it? As any kind person will tell you, shame-based change strategies don’t actually produce change. 

  • Woman: Greatest untapped resource? 😡

    A woman cannot get her fire going when she's consumed with what she should and shouldn't eat. 

    When a person claims that women are the greatest untapped resource on the planet, we understand they’re saying something meme-able. Something suitable for Instagram tiles, annual International Women’s Day tweets, and mugs made in factories staffed by underpaid workers of all genders.

    Because we all know that women, as a resource, have been tapped and tapped and tapped and tapped and tapped and tapped for millennia. Often for purposes other than our own.

    I kinda like this metaphor: Woman is a volcano, ready to blow. A volcano of ideas and dreams and projects and schemes and fury and indignation, of love and protective rage, generative action, creative energy, and all kinds of powers natural and supernatural. 

    A woman is a volcano capable of frying down the world that put her molten fire of genius and creativity in a little chamber underground and told her to sit on it. While counting calories.

    Now there are many ways to keep the top on a woman's volcano, from the ever-present threat of physical violence that we know often goes unpunished, down to unequal bathroom access that constrains our participation in public life. 

    (And yes, in my next life, I will probably wage war against institutions that still won't grant equal access to bathrooms for women and other non-male genders. Designers: It's 2018!

    In this lifetime, the battle I have picked is helping women break the spell of dieting and bingeing and shame and dissatisfaction that has so many of us transfixed. 

    Because a woman just cannot get her fire going when she's consumed by what she should and shouldn't be eating, and what she weighed this morning. And there are so many more gloriously on-fire things to do when we break this cycle.

    If this diet-binge-shame spiral is binding you, and you are looking for the way out, I can help you break that spell. Most of my clients stop bingeing permanently after one meeting, even if they've been out of control for decades.


    Here's a page that describes how I work: maxdaniels.com/bok. If this is what you've been waiting for, contact me, and we'll set up a quick chat - no cost, no pressure - to see if we're a fit. 

    It's all so much quicker and easier than they say. That's part of how they getcha.

  • What to do about sugar. (For sugar lovers and sugar haters.)

    A quick note this week to point you to New York Times columnist David Leonhardt's sugar cheat sheet, published yesterday. Lots of simple (though not necessarily easy) tips here in the Smarter Living section.

    Leonhardt also published this piece on Big Sugar; worth your while.

    These aren't exhaustive guides, but they're good places to start.

    If you're already doing everything Leonhardt outlines, or doing as much of it as you ever want to, here's a further suggestion: Cultivate a taste for sugar's opposite, the bitter flavors. Even our vegetables are being bred sweeter and sweeter, to match our tastes.

    (It's also why white grapefruits are disappearing, which is a serious threat to lovely low-alcohol cocktails like the Italian Greyhound. Sad!)

    But we can change that.

  • A good-enough meal

    The job of food is to ... well, do the job.
    To be serviceable.

    I have a nutritionist friend - a scary-smart and talented nutritionist friend who I respect- who once said “I don’t eat anything that isn’t fabulous.”

    Not me! So different. I eat lots and lots of non-fabulous things.

    The truth is her definition of fabulous is different from most. Hers: healthy, beautiful, exquisite, well put-together, colorful, digestible, required for fuel. 

    Others would say fabulous = extremely, dreamily palatable on account of the high sugar, fat and salt content.

    Which I think is fabulous, too, in a sense, but not a great way to avoid weight or other health problems.

    I like to think that fabulous food is available to me, but should not be part of everyday meals. Fabulous = feasting. The kind of food that, even just a couple generations ago, people use to have only a few times a year. 

    In some parts of the world that’s still true. In my part of the world, super-palatable, very energy-dense food is what nearly every restaurant serves and the only thing the convenience store offers (with obvious differences in price and quality).

    So one of the things I ask clients to consider is making most of their meals serviceable, rather than exciting.

    In fact, when I tell people what I eat for lunch every day it can sound really lame. It’s usually something like sautéed chicken breast - or actually, part of a chicken breast, not the whole thing - or chile-lime boiled shrimp and at least three servings of vegetables. With an emphasis on color, rather than flavor. 

    (I’ve written here before that I like to get my five a day by lunchtime so that I can eat a smallish portion of whatever fabulous Thai thing my husband is cooking at dinner. I’m sure the Thai people eat their 5-a-day, too, but just like restaurants, cookbooks tend to focus on feast food, not the plain stuff.)

    Serviceable, to me, means plain food. Simple food. Everyday food. Not fabulous, glorious food. Just something that will keep body and soul togetherwithout challenging the system and my health too much.

    The truth is that people who are thin eat like this more than those of us who struggle with weight do. It’s not because they have a magic gene that lets them eat cheeseburgers and French fries all day with impunity. And it’s not because they’re willing to wrestle themselves to the ground avoiding the fries, either. 

    It’s because either

    • they were born with a taste for simple food
    • or their their parents imposed it on them
    • or they deliberately cultivated it when they figured out that cheeseburgers and fries all day are incompatible with good health and lower body weight.

    So that’s the bad news: If you want to change your body, you’ll have to change what you eat. And if you want to change what you eat, you’ll probably have to change your tastes.

    The good news is there’s kind of a shortcut to doing that.

Stop bingeing and overeating. Immediately.

Download your free cheat sheet now.