Dr. Grimes’ 20-1-7 CHALLENGE:
- For the first TWENTY weeks of this year,
- Pick ONE healthy change every Sunday, and
- Commit to that change for SEVEN days.
Candy Day: 20-1-7 Challenge Week #17
Growing up, Sunday was “Candy Day.” Mom lined up her brightly colored glass jars and bowls filled with assorted hard candies and fun-sized Snickers and Milky Way chocolate bars along the counter, while my siblings and I impatiently lined up to fill our little sandwich bag with treats. We were never allowed to eat candy during the week, but on Sunday afternoons we indulged. This tradition worked on many levels, including providing a great incentive for kids to behave well in church, since Candy Day participation was limited to family members in good standing. The truth is that our family dentist suggested this rule after one unnamed family member ended up with a mouthful of cavities in his or her baby teeth.
Fast forward to my first private practice. Although by this time I certainly no longer rigidly restricted candy to Sundays, I was surprised to see that it was a social norm for most of the staff in our building to keep candy on or in their desk. In fact, I confess to enabling this habit by replenishing the communal chocolate stash in the break room fridge. However, having candy within easy reach can lead to an unhealthy mindless habit- grab a mini-Reeses cup between patients, or “reward” myself with another handful of peanut M&M’s when I finish each chart…and the list goes on, as do the empty calories (not to mention the assault on my teeth).
In the United States, grocery stores happily provide a revolving season of candy…Halloween candy shows up as soon as school starts in late August, then December Candy Canes, Valentine’s chocolates, chocolate bunnies, marshmallow peeps and more. Summer doesn’t seem to have a designated candy yet- which our bikini bodies might appreciate. None-the-less, my point is that candy seems to be far too available and visually promoted.
So- going back to my wise parents’ idea- this week’s challenge is to remove candy from your daily routine. Either replace the candy with a nutritious snack (apple slices or a small handful of raw nuts) or skip it all together, whatever works for you.
BOTTOM LINE: Eliminate candy as a mindless habit or convenient reward, starting with removing candy completely for one week.
20-1-7 Challenge Week #16: Old School Keyboarding FEEDBACK: Loved the stress relief of playing the piano again. Whether it’s “muscle memory” or finely tuned neural pathways (yes, pun intended!) my hands seem to take on a life of their own when I jumped back to playing my favorite songs, and without a doubt, even playing two or three songs on the piano proved to be a wonderful way to clear my brain and eliminate all other thoughts for a few precious minutes.