Author’s note: For those of you interested in the herbal tea, it will be in the MarketPlace sometime next week in the “Health and Wellness” category. In the meantime you can see it at . Wonderful stories continue to roll in and if you have questions, I urge you to get on the company call on Tuesday nights where doctors (who use the product themselves and have prescribed it for years) are there to answer questions. Surprisingly, it’s relief from hay fever and headaches that are the stories I’ve heard this week – in addition to the dynamic duo of increased energy and lowered blood pressure. Details and the conference call info are at a special page just for Meridian readers: Click HERE )

Today’s quote: “When you chip a china cup or saucer, don’t throw away the set.” (Anonymous)

Have you been watching “American Idol”? Although I don’t enjoy the harsh criticism and unkindness of the early stages of the competition, it’s a ton of fun to watch the final ten compete – especially when two of them are fabulous Mormon kids! The goodness in their lives is reflected in not only how they look, but also in the purity of their voices and delightful onstage personalities.

If you were watching last Tuesday night, the singers had worked with Andrew Lloyd Weber, and they were singing his songs. In an absolute first at this stage of the competition, Brooke White, a beautiful young singer from Arizona, forgot her lyrics to “You Must Love Me” from the movie version of “Evita.” The orchestra had paused for her to start when she quietly said “I’m sorry” then the orchestra started again.

Clearly devastated, she managed to get through the song, then listened quietly to the judges discuss it. The next morning, it was the talk of every pop-radio talk show across the country. As the show began on Thursday night, the discussions among the judges and Andrew Lloyd Weber himself were still not over on what she should have done. Andrew Lloyd Weber commented that she had performed flawlessly at the dress rehearsal, and that sometimes these things “just happen.”

brookeBrooke White, after her painful performance. Artwork provided by the Fox Television Network.

As the show progressed, footage from the night before highlighted everyone else at the peak of their performances – and Brooke’s failure as she quietly said, “I’m sorry,” and had to start again.

The look on her face said, “I’m going home tonight.” Surprisingly the results were presented quite quickly. Instead of going home, she was immediately put in the safety zone and the other two women were left as the bottom two!

Her fan base of millions of voters had come through. No doubt others had also voted for her, verifying what Simon Cowell had said – “This has made you very human.” How very true! It also made her all the more loveable, all the more lovely, all the more a true winner.

Is there one of us that does not relate to her at various times in our lives? We’ve prepared and ready. We’ve prayed and done absolutely everything possible for success, but inexplicably something happens. We forget, lose our instincts and our way. We’re left to pick up the pieces.

For me personally, it was a flute duet in sacrament meeting with my sister. Our mom was playing the piano. We all lost each other somewhere in the middle of the piece. How embarrassing! My sister, such a cutie, put her flute down and announced to the congregation, “We will now start at Measure 30.” Which we did. There have been equally embarrassing situations since, as there no doubt have been for you. It’s part of life.

Athletes use the word “choke” for experiences like Brooke’s on Tuesday night. Others may use the word “panic.” Regardless of what word you use, there’s no denying that you have to do something .

Is there anywhere this type of “choke” happens more often than in following through with healthy living behaviors?

We know what to eat and what to avoid. We know the results from the choices. We’ve vowed that this time will be different, yet, like Brooke on Tuesday night, there we are with the food in our mouths, put there by none other than our own betraying hands.

Though previous articles have talked about being flexible and forgiving, here are some easy ways to quickly pick up the pieces. (Please note that I’m not saying we should never have our indulgences! They have their important, planned place and should be enjoyed, enjoyed, enjoyed – at appropriate times and in appropriate amounts.) But if you make a dietary mistake, big time, look here for piece-picker-uppers:

  1. Apologize. Quietly say, “I’m sorry.” Brooke did it beautifully, and we can too. We’re saying it not to a waiting orchestra, judges and an audience of millions, but to our own spirits and our own bodies. They, like Brooke’s fans, will both appreciate and forgive our mistakes. In many, many circumstances, these flawed choices are made when we’re alone. We can actually say, “I’m sorry” out loud. It’s easy to spit whatever it is right into the trash. When with others, say “I’m sorry” to yourself. Then quietly swallow that bite or use a napkin to spit it out, and no one will notice. Then, as Brooke did – move on!


  2. A big drink of water is often the answer. After just a bite or two, and recognizing where your at, dilute it all both literally and figuratively with a 16 oz. glass of water.
  3. A toothbrush with some minty toothpaste works wonders.

    With genuine compassion and self-understanding, it’s important to recognize that all behaviors, even negative ones, stem from a positive and worthy need. Food has become a habit and whether it’s relief from stress, a need to feel loved, a need to be occupied, or a need to feel worthy or valuable, we’ve made food the be-all and end all solution, or at least a quick “fix.” Quickly creating a fresh, minty feeling in your mouth will buy you some time to replace the habit of turning to food as the be-all-end-all solution and to find another way to respond to the mini-crisis.
  4. A quick check on the nutrition label. Did you watch the old “Dragnet” TV series? The hero of ” Dragnet” was a detective sergeant named Joe Friday, who started every investigation with the comment, ” Just the facts, Ma’am .” A calorie check is always an eye-opener and often enough to help us literally move away from the tempting food.
  5. Get out the M&Ms – not the candy ones, but the words “most” and “moment,” as you say to yourself, “I do not give up what I want most for what I want at the moment .” Then, hear the voice of Dionne Warwick singing “Walk on By” – and do!

Well, our sweet friend Brooke is good for another week … and so are we!

P.S. Read Maurine Proctor’s fascinating article about both Brooke White and David Archuleta here.

Today’s Empowerment: “When I forget my goals and plan, I do not dwell on my mistakes, but quickly say I’m sorry'” and move on.

Today’s Journal Prompts and Discussion Starters:

  1. Go back and remember several times when you “choked” and then recovered quickly. Save those thoughts for the next time you find yourself with unplanned food in your mouth.
  2. M&M! Memorize the mantra! “I do not give up what I want most for what I want at the moment .”

Today’s Recipe: Texas Fries (Serves 4 at 93 Calories)
It’s the vinegar that make these taste like eating fries on the boardwalk in August.  We make these to eat with fish or baked chicken.

2 large baking potatoes (about 1 pound)
2 1/2 tsp. olive oil
1 Tbs. red wine vinegar
Dash of salt

  1. Peel potatoes and cut lengthwise into 8 wedges.
  2. Preheat oven to 375.  On a baking sheet sprayed with Pam, spread the potatoes in a single layer and brush lightly with 1 tsp. olive oil.
  3. Bake, uncovered for 5 minutes.  Brush with another tsp. of the oil and bake for another 5 minutes.  Brush one more time using the remaining oil and continue baking another 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are crispy and golden. Brush with the vinegar.

Serve with a little catsup and vinegar.

(2 g Fiber; 93 calories; 3 g Fat; 15 g Carb)

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