Self Negotiating and How it's Blocking your Progress

#foodeducation #healthyeatingmadesimple #healthyeatingtips #self-negotiating Sep 30, 2023

Our minds are extremely powerful. It’s scary just how powerful they are and how hard they work even when we aren’t “thinking” about it.

I know you might be thinking, “Shelley, isn’t this a blog about healthy food?” Yes! Yes it is. But, eating and cooking healthy is WAY more than just recipes.

I have said in so many of my past emails, blog posts, and social media content that food is an emotional experience. We eat with our hearts and sometimes our souls! 

Our mind remembers those foods we love and how they make us feel and when we love that feeling, our minds will do anything to convince us we need more of that. Dopamine hits hard when we eat those soul hugging foods. 

As we come into the holiday season (and really this is applicable any time of the year), all rationale goes out the window. Holiday party? Eat what you want. Game day? Eat all the cheese dip you can get on your plate. Thanksgiving feast? Heck yeah and then eat those leftovers for another week. Why not??



We think of a certain recipe or fast food and our brains go into action; telling us all kinds of things. I like to call them unconscious negotiating food tactics.

Here’s an example: 

You see a commercial for Chick-fil-a and you immediately decide you want to grab Chick-fil-a for dinner so you can dip those amazing waffle fries into that addicting Chick-fil-a sauce! I know. I’ve been there. You probably know that’s not the healthiest decision, but your brain immediately begins the UNFT (unconscious negotiating food tactic). It says something like this, “OH. I’ll be really exhausted Wednesday after that soccer practice, so I’ll get Chick-fil-a”. Or it may say “I do NOT have time or energy to cook tonight so Chick-fil-a it is”. Maybe your kids BEG you because they saw the same commercial and you cave into their persuasive ways. 

Here’s another example:

It’s Tuesday. You had 3 back to back zoom meetings and it’s now 12 pm. You need to grab lunch. Your brain may say, “Just call Uber Eats because I don’t want to cook lunch right now”. Or maybe your brain says, “You ate a healthy dinner so screw it. I can eat whatever I want for lunch”.

Our brains are so powerful. They negotiate with us. They have the power to talk us into things without even realizing it. 

So what’s the remedy? 

I call this part Non-Negotiating Habits. These are steps we do on repeat that prepare us for these moments. We do them without question. This is the sweet spot. This is where the magic happens. 

We we are able to create some non-negotiable habits in our kitchen with meal preparation and planning, we set ourselves up to say “heck no” to those negative negotiation tactics.

One example in our house: 

We eat a healthy balanced breakfast every single day. It’s a non-negotiable. We don’t have cereals, frozen pancakes, or even instant oatmeal. 

We keep fresh fruit at all times. I prep healthy recipes like chia pudding and overnight oats we can eat all week. I never run out of fresh eggs and we drink cold pressed juice every morning. 

These steps take a little bit of planning. At first, it’s a little more work and then…it becomes a habit. A NON-NEGOTIATING HABIT. And now, it takes me no time at all to create a healthy morning ritual. 

Don’t forget, healthy living is more than recipes or meal plans. We need to start at the root. We need to crack open what’s really going on. And I’m here to help.


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