Habits When Traveling and Hosting Houseguests

On a Zoom call recently, I was asked a very compelling ice-breaker question about my habits during this time of COVID. It made me think of a question I want to ask YOU. For the first time ever, I want to invite you to start a conversation in the comments below the vlog because I know we can learn from each other. Watch to hear the question and join the discussion.


Comments

  1. Virginia Cole

    When I travel I abbreviate morning and evening routines. I also do a lot of planning ahead.
    I don’t have house guests but when someone comes to visit I talk to them about what I eat and I claim alone time when I need it

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  2. Nancy

    My night time routines when having houseguests stays much the same. Mornings are different since my time is spent with hosting processes- breakfast creation for company, sensitive to their time needs for food or to get to an appointment. My exercise goes lacking usually. Menus change for guests- catering to their desires or expectations. I go back to my routines and eating habits once they are gone and can do so rather easily. I think it is the desire to be the most accommodating host that causes my changes.

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  3. Sally Zelonis

    Don’t have house guests, but will start having friends for dinner–socially distancing. I will prepare a Bright Line meal and weigh and measure mine. Probably will make NMF for dessert and my husband and friends will have this and I will enjoy the conversation.

    When I have traveled before COVID, I abbreviated morning and evening routines, but now that my morning and evening routines are so much more a part of me, will probably want to continue them traveling and will find a way to do that–especially meditating in the morning before breakfast–this might be hard because my husband loves to eat breakfast right away in the morning…not so much for me–that is when I meditate and then exercise. It will be interesting to see.

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  4. Pamela Tomassetti Hulbert

    I want to keep my daily habits. COVID and sheltering in place has helped. Getting back to regular life is bringing back old habits.

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  5. sandy

    I travel approx. 7k miles during 3 months every summer. I head out with my tent and my companion puppy Louie. We camp and occasionally stay with friends. This year I won’t travel until August, and am only staying at a friend’s vacant house or camping in my own tent. I will be carrying bathroom cleaning supplies with me while traveling, mask wearing of course and staying healthy in the sunshine, alone.

    I strip my daily practices to my top 3, meditation, movement and gratitudes. If I stay somewhere longer than one day, I get out weights and yoga mat and will also add in journaling. Instead of reading books as much, I switch over to lots of books on audible so that I can listen while driving. I’ve also added my two favorite blogs to my downloaded list so that I also have listening material without needing wifi.

    Bright lines are new to me this year — my plan is to stay clean, and I may have to replace a lot of the fresh veggies with canned, and I’ll be doing a lot of those salad in a bag from the grocery store.

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    1. Harriet Warner

      Sandy, this sounds really focused and balanced. I love that you have been able to travel like this in the past while keeping a routine, and am sorry for the disruption this year.

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  6. Joanne Lee

    I took a month long sabbatical on the road in my new van in February — right before lockdown. It was blissful with solid morning and evening routines. Food was easy and much simpler than when I’m at home and want more variety. Mornings were feeding and walking the pup, meditation, my CREATE! writing process, usually followed by creating art on my iPad, then a latish breakfast for me. Evenings were usually simpler — after dinner and clean up, some reading, maybe more drawing, early to bed. I haven’t had house guests since Covid-19 but when I have in the past, it impacted my routines more than my food. I might stay up later, but since I always wake up early it means getting by on less sleep. When I’ve traveled in the past and stayed at airbnbs, it’s also been relatively easy to stay with BLE meals. It’s only if I’m visiting kids or friends in their homes that food can be trickier. Everyone who knows me is used to me eating healthy, in general, and possibly having some new regime, so they usually ask and try to accommodate. I love to cook — still — so when it’s comfortable for me to pitch in, I can be assured that there will be food I want to eat. Morning and evening routines can be harder, although being a very early riser helps — I’m often up and through my routine before others stir.

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  7. Cheryl Cromwell

    If you eat all 3 meals on the go, how do you handle the food journal and committing your meals?

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    1. Debi Winchester

      I always carry a little 3×5 notebook with me all the time. I plan and write my meals in it and then when I eat my meal i put a check mark. If I will have a refrigerator I cook beans portion them into travel containers and stick them in the fridge. (1 like 2 oz of salsa on my beans). I buy a box of triscuits and portion 6 into a containers, one for each breakfast. I take what ever fruit is in season so that I have my breakfast complete. If I am staying at a hotel that has a brunch I will grab my fruit from the buffet, but eat my beans and triscuits. I am often out for lunch. I carry a small can of tuna that says 4 oz drained, I also carry a two ounce bag of nuts and a one ounce bag of nuts ,a can opener and an apple. I also carry a small scaleI there is a Fresh Market around I can usually find everything I need. I get my salad and veggies weighed with my scale. Dinner may be with a group so I check their menu to make sure I can stay bright. I call them prior to going there and ask if they can cook 4 ounces of chicken or fish for me with no oil or 2 hard boiled eggs. And I ask them for 10 ounces of raw veggies. Sometimes my morning routine is abbreviated so I will try to get as much walking in as possible. Meditation is a must for me. I need that so I get up early enough to do it without distractions. My 5 year journal goes with me. I pen a few lines and find my gratitude. Night routine is usually just fine. I usually stay in a room by myself unless my husband is with me. I usually tell restaurants that I need to eat a certain way for medical reasons.

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    2. Coleen Sterns Leith

      Plan and commit your meals ahead of time like at home. When I travel I usually take my breakfast with me and bring fruit for lunch.. Apples and oranges travel well and don’t need refrigeration. I can always find a salad with protein for lunch and a protein and veggies for dinner eating out. I’ll usually review the menu and choose my meal before going so decision-fatigue at the end of the day doesn’t have me making poor choices. Like Susan, my night time routine stays pretty much the same except for I typically don’t get enough sleep while traveling.

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    3. Ellen

      Hi Cheryl!

      You can journal in a note in your phone. If you don’t know exactly what you will eat, you can write “BLM” for Bright Line Meal. Then you’re covered if you look up the menu online and plan what you’ll eat but they end up being out of something you planned to order. “BLM” covers those types of changes.

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    4. Bright Line Eating

      Hi Cheryl! There are multiple ways to handle this, such as scoping out restaurant menus beforehand, calling ahead to conference/event venues to speak to the caterers or cooking staff, or–when all else fails–writing down “BLE Meal” in your food journal and sticking to that once meal time comes. 🧡

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  8. Sandra

    I am gluten intolerant…When I fly I always pre-order gluten free meals. I notice they tend to be healthier than what the people around me get.
    I get fruit, veg, salad, maybe rice and meat. People around me are getting things like lasagna with rich gravy and cake.

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    1. Lisa Rowe

      I also find gluten free meals can be healthier, though I’m not gluten intolerant.

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  9. Tina

    I am able to stick with my bright lines especially during covid. I luv breakfast! I don’t have house guests yet but I am planning my meal for them. And my meal in July.
    It is key that when you do go out to eat that you preview the menu. When you get to the restaurant it is so much easier to order. I will be visiting my sister in Michigan in September. I told her I’ll be bringing my own food. Takes pressure off of her and puts me in control of my bright lines as well. Thank you for saving my life. I went from a size 14 to a 6. Glad I kept my sixes. All old big clothes are being donated
    I started Bright Line Eating Jan 28 . It is now June 24. I have lost 45 pounds. No acid reflex. No heartburn. Loving life. I am happy, thin and free!

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    1. Mariah Perkins

      Lovely! All good tips. Thank you, and congratulations. Prayers for steadfastness.

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  10. Grace Crumley

    I would put money on it that people who are higher on the susceptibility scale get totally wonky when family/friends come visit or when on vacation. I know I do! I’ve just always “let myself go” when on vacation. My mom, however, loves to eat but has a very strong foundation and exercises each day No Matter What. During Covid, I have eaten and drunk my feelings of stress and uncertainty, and NOW I’m realizing that this pattern cannot continue and it’s time to put ME first.

    Do what YOU need to do to feel well while your family is in town. If that means continuing your morning meditation, then let the girls hang out with the family while you’re exercising and meditating. It’s okay! Do what keeps you sane! 🙂

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  11. Richelle

    You have very little cleavage showing…not your issue. It is an issue Nancy may need look into.
    I don’t want covid to end.. Food so easy when staying at home! My sister (who is not a people pleaser like me) Taught me to let guest do their thing and let them join you with your thing, if they would like, then we always meet for a evening meal I prepare. We have an activity scheduled if they want. Easy Peasy!!!!!!

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  12. Margaret Hafner

    So glad you asked. In Covid it has seemed easier to stick to routines and lines. To not have guests and not be out and about traveling or dining with others has made life simpler.

    My evening routine when we have guests or travel doesn’t change a lot. I still have a bright dinner, plan my food and share it with my buddy and do some minimal prep for breakfast, get myself ready for bed and zero out my day – recording it in my journal, clearing out my email box, tidying my space. The difference when I travel is that I don’t usually have the pups to take care of.

    Morning routines get modified though. I still do the physical therapy stretches and some deep breathing before I get up (the other stretches and sun salutations etc are often skipped). I read my inspirational pages on my kindle and greet the morning in my journal. I do my grooming and eat breakfast. If I’m home, even with guests, the pups still get their meds and food, etc. Whether I have my morning calls, use my light box, prepare my lunch and dinner for the day, check the garden, and study my duolingo depend on where I’m traveling or who the house guests are.

    It really does make a difference who the guests are. Usually it is a sister so I just open the kitchen and she fends for herself or we prep and eat together since she is BLE too. And it really does make a difference how stable I am and have been when the guests arrive or travel begins. The length of time of the trip or the stay makes a huge difference as does the people involved and the amount of privacy available. My most successful overseas trips have been when I’ve packed no food other than my plane meals. I’ve also found that road trips with my non BLE husband are more successful with restaurant meals than grocery stores because of the grocery food choices we/HE make(s).

    Want to piggy back another consideration while I’m here. What about the time slot between lunch and dinner? AM and PM are pretty dialed in with these routines in place. The most hazardous time of day for me seems to be those hours that sometimes stretch on before my return to the safety of evening habit stacks. Don’t want the entire day to be automated repetition; spontaneity and surprise are essential but am not consistently navigating those hours From noon to five very well..

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  13. John S. Barry

    Boot camp might well be interesting BUT I live in Northern Ontario. Easy to find on the map, really. Follow the border between Ontario and Quebec up the Ottawa river to Lake Timiskaming and where the border follows the meridian North that’s across the end of the lake from Haileybury. The closest city is a two hour drive from home. In Northern Ontario we always talk trip times not mileage. Also I’m on a fixed income. I get by nicely but that’s it.
    I bought your cook book a couple of days ago and am looking forward to having it arrive at the post office. That will have to be my introduction to Bright Line Eating. You have o start somewher.

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    1. Lisa Rowe

      I smiled thinking of you starting BLE from your rural area. So many different locations and cultures in BLE, and somehow it all works. Congratulations and welcome!

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    2. Bright Line Eating

      Wonderful, John! Welcome! We hope you enjoy the cookbook. 🧡

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  14. Gabrielle Pozzuoli

    I haven’t travelled since starting BLE in February because of COVID. However, a friend from England came to visit me the first week in March. I’m a crystal vaser, and a 9 on the SS, so I was determined not to stray. Since she had never been to Los Angeles, she was eager to try the cuisine here. Easy Peasy!! I ate before her meals out! Always got an iced tea to drink while our group ate. For breakfasts I had food here and she helped herself! I’m interested to see what everyone does when they travel!

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  15. Jeri Robins

    One of my strongest tips is bringing components of my food with me when I travel – instant oatmeal, packets of almond butter and pre-measured bags of nuts so that I know that I have my breakfast grain and protein with me. I can then round that out with coffee with milk and fruit. I also tend to travel with dried chickpeas and, depending upon the trip, plan ahead by looking at restaurant menus or speaking to the conference organizers about what will be available. When it’s possible, I also bring fruit and vegetables with me, depending upon how I’m getting to my destination, as well as scoping out where the nearest grocery store is.

    When I have company at my home, I make and measure my food as I would without company. I have not had to deal with people who are coming and expecting there to be things I don’t eat. When my daughter was with us during part of the stay at home period, she bought things for herself and put them away. It was not an issue for me; it was her food and not mine.

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    1. Bright Line Eating

      Great tips, Jeri! Traveling with some food components and scoping out grocery stores … genius! 🧡

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  16. Vicki James

    Guests: I ask what routine they would like to follow: some will do outdoor activities. ( southern Cali is great for good year round weather)
    I express what is important for me to maintain ( meditation, etc)
    Then we decide what is our communal time and activities!
    We are all accustomed now to taking space during the day!!!
    Food? I prepare extra of my food and add something fabulous from Trader Joe’s that I wouldn’t eat!!!
    Today is my FIRST DAY ON THE 14 day challenge

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    1. Juli.

      WOW! Sounds and your family are wise and loving. I am inspired that you include meditation as as a priority. I may join the 14 day. I am in San Diego in assisted living, so my happiest walks in our rose garden which is lovely. I start watching the buds and how they open. Believe or not, I talk to the plants, and thank them for blooming for me….in that soft little voice that we use talking to babies.
      As I write this, I am realizing how much I get from the rose garden walk and will add it to my daily morning habits.
      I am writing so close to when you wrote. judithfmandel@gmail.com You helped me remember when
      a friend, said “I would go crazy if I didn’t talk to myself. ” Have you ever talked to plants or flowers?
      I also hug trees; seems I feel nice energy there. And I leave loving, supportive messages to myself on the phone.
      With COVID I have seen suggestions to reach out to old friends, i.e. old address books. Do you maybe remember
      saying to a friend, “I got so much just from talking with you!” Reading yours and responding did that for me.

      soundss

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  17. Louise

    I am a snow bird; winter in Florida and summer on Cape Cod. As you might imagine I host LOTS of company year round. When I have company I find it very challenging with both the food and the routines. Mornings are very busy because I cook a much heartier breakfast than I normally do, And I also try to vary the breakfast for my guests rather than make the same thing every day as I do for myself. Then I have to clean up so the kitchen is ready for preparing the next meal. The day then transitions into whatever activity is planned, and I often have to hurry and herd people to get out the door in order to arrive on time. Then later it is go home and prepare a meal with many dishes because we all have different eating preferences. By the time I have the kitchen cleaned it is late and I am usually too tired to tend to my night routine. Unlike you Susan I even skip brushing my teeth! I think I need to take a lesson from Richelle’s sister, and let my guests do their own thing or have them join my thing. That would allow me to go to the gym or get some “ me time” regardless of whether or not I have guests.

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  18. Janet Robinson

    2 take-aways…
    1. Dinner execution has hit a sweet spot because I know that we won’t be going out or ordering out and all of our evening activities have been eliminated. So, I hope to continue the dinner at home habit, although with a growing family I cannot expect to not have evening events.
    2. My morning routine has had a boost, including adding back exercise, after trying to go without for a year to get to goal weight. For me, the exercise is critical. It just gives me energy and makes me so darn happy. I love my strong body!

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  19. Willy

    I’ve been living with very Bright Lines for 55 days. I’m low on the susceptibility scale. My beloved grandkids come over every week, many times spending the night. They know that when they arrive, I don’t make the flour based food I used to. I make to order eggs and lots of fruit. Lunch with them is a smorgasboard of only Bright Line foods. I weigh my food at the table. They enjoy the game of perfect 6oz. If they spend the night, I retire to my room to do my nightly routine except for gratitude, I give them 3×5 cards to write or draw their gratitude. For morning, I skip mediation but go for a walk and invite them to go with me. My morning routine is fairly quick so I can do this when people are staying here. I have a lovely patio and sit outside to do my morning routine journaling, yoga and reading out there when possible. Sometimes guests join me and sometimes they don’t.

    My evening routine is longer BUT I know my time with grandkids and beloved guests is so precious that I can use the routine as a touchstone and do everything with great intention and still maintain the satisfaction of completion in 10 -15 minutes instead of the usual hour.

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    1. Dee Fay

      I love this Willy! I want to be the same kind of grandma when I have grandkids.

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    2. Christine Edwards

      Best response I read in all of them! You have a beautiful heart and attitude!

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  20. Amanda Kay Creighton

    I travel quite a bit as well as host guests, so have looked deeply at this over my year of BLE.

    Food-wise I’ve needed to look at my Pleaser part and clearly state what works for me when I’m not solely with my partner or myself. This is a growing capacity.

    For morning routine I’ve found it adapts to the local area, such as when I’m near the ocean I wake up and walk the beach at sunrise, whereas when I’m home the meditation comes first, then outdoor time. But the components don’t seem to change. And I now have over 500 consecutive days of daily meditation so I don’t intend to “break” from that or imagine a scenario where I would want to.

    Evening routine basics don’t change, but the full on evening routine including my evening check-in sheet tends to start strong when I’m first arriving in a new place, and then it gets wonky over time and I find myself fitting into whatever routines are the flavor of that household.

    I’d like to keep my evening routine next time I travel as I’m curious how that getting off contributes to wonky lines. The living experiment continues…

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  21. Mani Chawla

    The biggest challenge when I travel is that the option to weigh is simply not there; alsp I have to watch out for salt / sodium. Breakfast is usually easy because you can limit it to coffee, oatmeal and/or eggs easily. Salads are generally an option during lunch. Dinner can get interesting. If I am eating by myself, then I go with the familiar brands; if it is a team/customer dinner – I usually skip alcohol – or limit to a glass of red wine and try to order carefully.

    Salt intake becomes an issue, but this is why I always take a little bit of ACV and water at night – and never travel without it.

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  22. Terri

    New routines have emerged, and some have tightened, during COVID-2019. Even with the lock downs easing, I prefer my COVID home life, and continue on, with errands as needed. Instead of a daily checklist, I write in a spiral notebook: meals and “To Do” activities (gratitude, journal, 5 year journal, reading, walk dogs, watch BLMind, Zooming Ukuleles, grocery store, etc.), and check off each thing when complete. Meals are so special now since BLE, and eating s-l-o-w-l-y with mindful chewing has become a sort of meditation. I sit outdoors with my eyes facing into the early morning sun during breakfast. I have added what I now call a “sun meditation” each morning after breakfast. I walk gently for 20 minutes as I say lovingkindness for me and then others, then shift to gratitude. This sets up the day with peace, awareness and thankfulness. The days fly by! No company yet, and no visits elsewhere, a s BLE days flow peacefully.

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  23. Genell Mikkalson

    I’ve found that with guests that I need to heighten routine, not relax. These routines help me maintain my center and grounding. I prepare by communicating the importance of my routines with food as non-negotiable for my health & well-being (sanity). Meditation is also non-negotiable but I don’t have to tell them that. I include them on my exercise. I prepare BLE food for all guests and if they want NMF, they are welcome to buy & prepare it for themselves. I also need to spend more time alone when guests visit to process all the emotion that comes up with those visitors so I don’t eat NMF due to unprocessed emotion.

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  24. Laura H

    Right now because I need to stay on BLE and get some time under my belt on it, I am extremely sensitive to eating out or take out on the road. It tends to set me off. Unfortunately, I have been able to access it even during lock down with all the delivery services. I know this sounds so technical, but I even have to watch the brands of some raw fruits, such as blueberries, because certain cultivars and hybrids produced over the years are way sweeter to me than others that are sold side by side. I have to remind myself to always read labels because of slight variations in a low salt product may have more sugar than its counterpart from the same company, or the product has recently added a filler and/or sugar to it’s ingredients that weren’t previously in it. I’m a 10+ on the sensitivity richter scale so everything is a slippery slope. Fighting off 50 years of bad habits and some seriously deep neural tracts. I so appreciate Susan and her story, because food is an addiction. I need to get up out of the cycle like she did with the drugs, except mine is food. I guess adaptation is key, both to the internal saboteur and external circumstances.

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    1. Judith Mandel

      Hi Laura, Thank you for writing and your great food label tips. I have learned to use some phrases that are really good habits for me now.. If I am talking i.e., about not having enuf good habits, I add, UP UNTIL NOW, and push my arms gently back, over my shoulder. To me it opens up the future as being new and different. To me, you are already “off the former cycle”! YOU REALLY ARE!

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      1. Pamela

        I love that imagery Judith. I’m going to adopt your “up until now” method! Helps with the ANTS (Automatic Negative ThoughtS)

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      2. Laura H

        That’s really interesting that you mention that Judith. I was working on self-talk wording last week and got frustrated because I didn’t see the immediate effect. Your wonderful post has just reminded me it is a process and to be patient. Thank you.

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  25. Kathryn

    I’ve never had any trouble traeling or having guests. I fix meals for my guests that I can partake of as well, or take them out to favorite restaurants and order accordingly. My one issue that I might have traveling is amounts if I don’t have my scale…but after 3 years one gets pretty good at
    eyeballing same stuff, or using the one plate method. I can most always order a salad. If sandwiches are the only option, I’ll order one plus fork and knife and take off the bread. Cafeteria’s are a delight. Hospital cafeterias are no problem, hotel breakfasts are easy to transverse. Even oriental restaurants have all veggie dishes if needed. As far as activities my meditation is my sunset gratitude walk, sometimes I have to forego them. But I always have my morning and night prayers which suffice for me. I try to take my journal with me if traveling and my scriptures. BLE is not a pain to me…it’s now pretty much my life style and fits right into my faith and subsequent routines and beliefs. Love you Susan and am so grateful for BLE.

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  26. Anne Greenwood

    I have been doing BLE since 2015 and am low on the SS, 3ish, have been on maintenance since Jan 2016. I have traveled a fair amount, some internationally and did the one plate rule, and no SF, but no measuring. Journaling has always been maintained, along with the checklist. Exercise suffered the most, and meditation was intermittent. During COVID I have found some new meditation apps that have upped my time from 10 min to 20-30, and I hope to maintain that. Daily walking is better, along with zoom exercises classes, so I hope to keep up that. I only have dinner guests…live alone now, and now room for overnighters. So they get to eat my diet, except for a birthday dinner, when I made a pie from the blackberries in my garden. Otherwise, it’s fruit. I find, lately, that I have broken my lines when having dinner at my son’s house if he has ordered take out to eat…Thai food, Chinese….with sauces and some NMF. But since it is not there when I go home I have not had trouble Rezooming. My nightly habit stack has gotten stronger and I think that will continue. My morning routine is stronger, too, since there is less to have to rush for to start the day. I hope to keep that more routinezed feeling, and think I will limit some of my commitments as things get rebooted.

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  27. Margo Stewart

    Food and everything else. Hmmm… I bring minimal food – oatmeal, baby carrots, possibly roasted chick peas. I find restaurants relatively easy to manage. After decades of traveling for work and eating alone in restaurants, I am skilled in asking for exactly what I want or need.
    Everything else: there is a “compact” version of everything.cant get a full hour of exercise? Do 10 minutes of yoga or other restorative stretching. Need that cardio? Take the stairs as many times as you have time for before your shower or whatever is next. Deep reading and journaling? Read a short paragraph And write three thoughts or questions you have about it. And so on… if there is any one thing that is much more important for you to do, like you simply would never skip hhor shorten it at home, then do that as full out as you can and do even more abbreviated versions of the other habits. Conversely, rather than do your habits “half-assed”, in an attempt to check all the boxes, if that is how it feels to you, then pick the most important few and leave time to do those things as fully as possible.
    If you want to get something done, give it to a busy person.
    You are creative and resourceful. Write a brief plan and say “No” when a phone call interrupts or someone knocks to ask you something or you have the impulse to check on something and you didn’t leave time for that. Make a plan. You know how. 😘😘😘

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  28. Teri Kneppar

    I am away right now in a 4-day trip to visit my daughter, son-in-law, and 3 grandchildren (an almost 6 year old, 4 year old, and 22-month old). I’m staying in an area of their house (like a mother-in-law suite) with its own refrigerator, small kitchen sink (not big enough for a dinner plate), a bathroom and a kitchen table and chairs. I traveled 5 1/2 hours by car to get here (6 1/2 if you count meeting up with them first to go to a butterfly world). I am a crystal vaser on day 340 so I write down all my meals for this tune and packed all my food. I had a sizable cooler with several ice packs, plus a box with my scale, favorite eating dishes (huge bowl for salad, large cereal bowl for breakfast, etc). I have my 5-yr journal, food planner, nightly checklist, reading material, and computer (I actually had time to listen to BLM #4 while the baby was napping and older kids were at a camp). My mealtimes have been close to normal times (my daughter is accepting of what I’m doing and because her home is a strictly kosher one and this area I’m in is NOT, it’s perfect for me). I generally wake up around 5-5:30 am so can get my spiritual reading and meditation in before the 6 year old is knocking on my door (around 6:00 am). I have had to be flexible with my workouts. I’m not able to keep up with Marco Polos. I don’t have a Master Mind Group right now, so that helps. I also have not been into live phone calls so no impact there. I am an 8 on the SS. I have had to handle the kids’ NMF and see it all over their fridge and kitchen but I’m managing. I’m going somewhere with my brother tomorrow and will pack my lunch. Prior to this trip we’ve had some family over for a whole day a couple of times but I eat my normal BLE food. They’re used to me by now, but even if they weren’t if still do my thing. It’s crucial to my wellbeing.

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  29. mary

    An hour of exercise in the morning ???- please will Susan, or someone who knows, tell me what this consists of.

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    1. patty

      Hi Mary – I do an hour Bootcamp class at my gym.

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      1. Judith Mandel

        I was taking chair Zumbba..to lively Spanish music; I UTUBE ZOECORDWELL.
        i LOVE HER ENERGY ! She does fast parts and then slower parts. I started probably with Part 1.
        I add Part 1 or..in search lime. Has anyone found fave regular exercises online, or on cable ?

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    2. Shelley Cull

      I go to an exercise class in my development, or if I don’t like the offered class at the right time for me, I walk the complex for 3-4 miles while listening to BLE calls or my audible book, if I am not doing either, I will go to the pool and swim.
      The key to success in moving your body is to do what you like or love- when, what and where and with whom- all are important to me. If I HAD to exercise after 6 pm, it would not happen. It’s important to do what is fun for you! Alone time? Buddy up? Outside? Inside? Morning? Evening? Hope this helps you to enjoy the process. Also Mary, you don’t have to kill yourself, just do what feels right. You will be ahead of those home on the couch, right?

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    3. Bright Line Eating

      Hi Mary! Susan does strength training for an hour on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, she does mobility training for an hour. She also does swing dancing twice a week and yoga classes once or twice a week.

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  30. Debi Winchester

    I am going to an 8 day quilting retreat with a class from my favorite teacher, Bonnie Hunter. We are staying at a retreat house that is 134 years old. Beautiful Victorian home. There will be 12 of us and we have decided on Brunch and Dinner. For those two meals we take turns preparing them. I know for certain that there will be dinners and brunches that are not Bright so I am planning ahead. The meal I cook will be marinated chicken breasts, lots of spice but not hot, steamed carrots and steamed fresh green beans, and a side salad. We are cooking in sets of two so I am still thinking about my brunch Yogurt and fruit and fresh veggies with NMF for the others or maybe baked oatmeal. It will all work out fine. I’m taking more food than clothes in my suitcase. 🙂

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  31. karla Freeman

    I think in terms of my nervous system, as I am a trained trauma therapist. anything that feels like too much, can be de stabilizing.
    I am happy to give some tips for how to re ground.

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  32. Lisa Cain Hammerman

    I’m actually thriving during this time. I’ve a general structure to my day which really has served me well. My food is almost carbon copy from day to day, almost complete automaticity. That’s really helpful, and as a consequence I’ve been, if not squeaky, very clean. However, life being what it is, I’ve adopted an attitude of willingness to let go of my charted course when things come up, which is generally not my nature, but suits my image of a “better me”…. and move on to plan B. At times, this means moving through the alphabet a few times! But I usually have in my mind, and at times in writing, what a plan B would look like. That really helps. It also helps to let go of any sense of entitlement which can make me flare up with resentment if things aren’t going my way. I’v been doing this amazing program without taking boot camp, etc. thanks to: the book, the vlogs, a buddy, the FB groups and a local group with WhatsApp and monthly zoom meetings. I feel that this allows me to pace myself without becoming obsessed or overwhelmed with commitment to the plan, as I believe that the boot camp might do to me…. my life is very full and the chunk of time I devote to my food plan, etc is just right for now. I’m so grateful for the weight loss, and the feeling of normalcy I have begun to feel! Thanks to y’all!

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  33. Chana Gorenstein

    Hey Susan and Tracy 🙂

    So I’m just gonna suggest what you taught us and works for me… Can your “floor” for your morning routine be in place when traveling or with guests? Your calls (can be pushed to later if need be), meditation (can u bring down the time a bit?), and the same with the exercise. So when I’m traveling or have guests, the “floor” idea for exercise is called tabata, or HITT, you accomplish in even 4-10 minutes what u can in an hour and your exercise goals are still met, whether cardio or anaerobic with functional type of exercises. I can send Tracy videos if u want 🙂 also very easy to find on YouTube. Good luck! U got this Grit style;)

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  34. Liz

    As a recovering alcoholic of 17 wonderful years I keep my routines whenever I have guests. Morning meditation, prayer and handing my day over are very important to me. Addiction doesn’t take a holiday. Blessed because it’s usually my sister who visits and she is a healthy eater and also understands my routine And my reason for it. Will be back out working from Saturday onwards and it is my intention to stick to my routine and lines Evening routine so far have been good and I would hope to continue those too. Bedtime has been an issue for me throughout lockdown. I gave myself a break from rigid bedtimes and that didn’t work well for me. Sitting on the couch watching tv and binge eating developed at a rapid rate causing me to gain a lot of weight. On day 10 of the challange now and breaking that cycle. One day at a time. So I haven’t a whole lot of experience to inform you on BLE but thought I would respond anyway in case it will help or inform anyone else and to reinforce my commitment to myself. Thank you Susan yours is an amazing programme and the only one that would work for this food addict.

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  35. Sharon

    …following….learning about BLE from everyone’s comments and the videos.

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  36. Donna

    I am a recovering alcoholic and drug addict, and have remained clean and sober for 31 years. I have not been shut down during the past few months because I was working from home and went into the office two days a week. While it has been somewhat more relaxed, it also took some getting used to.

    My routines have changed over the years and depend on where I am at mentally, physically and emotionally. I like to spend mornings quietly and alone. I need that time to have my tea, read, go for a walk, pray, meditate. I was doing well with meditation and prayer but that has been slipping and I’m not feeling good about it. I was watching tv and checking social media while having my tea in the morning and am not doing that anymore because it did not serve me well. I might turn on the tv while I’m getting dressed but that’s it.

    I am currently in the Bright Lines Mind course and sometimes my evenings are spent catching up on the coursework. Mainly they about eating dinner, cleaning up, taking care of the animals (2 dogs, 2 cats), spending some time with my husband when he is not working, speaking with friends or our son on the phone, going to meetings whether it is online or in person. Sometimes I feel like it’s too much during the week. My routine for bed is the same but it is the one thing that I want to change and incorporate (again) is to write notes of gratitude and the positive things I did during the day. It’s a simple exercise but by the end of the day, I’m exhausted and it just seems like it is one more thing to do, even though it would serve me extremely well.

    The struggle comes in with wanting to do too many things and balancing all of that out. So, when that happens, I have to prioritize by deciding what will serve me the best in that moment. What do I need to nurture myself most in that moment? Is there a commitment I made that needs to be addressed or can it wait until I take care of my mental, emotional or physical need first?

    As much as routine keeps me balanced, sometimes it gets boring and I need a change.

    With regard to travel, preparation is key. I have brought food to hotels with me; have told waiters in restaurants how I can have my food cooked so that I stay as close to the plan as possible. If the portions are too big, I save half for the next day but usually they are ok. If I have a deviation, I am able to jump right back on plan so that is usually not a problem for me.

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  37. Sally Peace

    I haven’t been away much since starting BLE but I will always have quiet time and meditation in the morning. Evening ritual will stay the same wherever I am as have done the same for decades but now journal too. So it would be shortened both ends of the day if need be but will do all I can to have my normal process. I haven’t had houseguests that have changed my routine and would keep it going. Hopefully all houseguests would know we well enough to know I take this time for me.

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  38. Sarah Katzin

    Thank you for this topic that is so timely for me! And throwing the question out to us is a great opportunity for me to express what is swirling in my head. Long answer. (Apologies.)
    I’ve had two periods of the lockdown and am about to embark on a journey so I am trying to think what to take with me from both types of experiences. Also, I am traveling to spend time with my family, so that sort of encompasses both variations of Susan’s question.
    Lockdown period 1) With my married son and his kids and a new baby was born. Emotionally healthy family. Had a lot of pleasure and was also helpful. I kept my food pretty well in order except for quantities and my schedule was not entirely my own. It was hard to find time and privacy to connect to my support system.
    Lockdown period 2) Mostly on my own. Upped my adherence to all four Lines, committing, and connection. I am also in a 12 Step Program (Al-Anon) so with Zooms galore and time to do my Step work, PLUS starting the Bright Line Mind program, it has been pretty transformative. (Not so careful with timing and scheduling of supporting habits, but get most of the components included in each day.)
    Journey back to NY (from Israel, where I am now): Physically and emotionally needy family, who in the past I have allowed to sap me of most of my strength. BUT, first of all, they have managed without me for a while now and second of all, I feel that I myself have changed.
    My plan:
    1) Talk to G-d and my Sponsor and reach out for connection.
    2) Set in place the possibility to maintain my strong spiritual growth and self-care focused program.
    3) Be prepared to be flexible and change my “demands” of myself and others to “preferences.”
    4) Focus on joy, gratitude, blessings and love for all beings.

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  39. Margaret Hafner

    One more item in my morning stack that I do before I get out of bed (and sometimes when I awaken during the night and can’t get back to sleep) is to bring each of my loved ones to mind – my husband and each of our kids and their families and each of my siblings and their families and just sorta hold them up. If I find any resentment in myself toward one of them or anybody else,, I say the resentment prayer for them. Sometimes this is a long process and other times it’s all very quick so I can adjust it to my circumstances, traveling or entertaining or not.

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  40. Constance Joy

    Although it is probably too late to cancel now, I hope that you will consider in the future not having house guests during the virus time. I won’t have guests at all actually, but especially not house guests. And travel is out too. Until a vaccine is effective. Too much extra care needs to be taken now for everyone’s safety. Please be very careful and keep distancing. I am glad that you received lots of help here from others. 🌸💗🙏

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  41. Mary Etta Hartwick

    So glad you are doing this. I started BLE just as Covid-19 started so I have not had company nor have I traveled but I have wondered about this. This will be so helpful.

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  42. Roxy Rust

    My morning quiet time stays the same daily but I get up early with company. Had a house guest for approximately 6 months who also came prior to my completing the Boot Camp which did mess up my schedule for that. Have maintained the weight that I lost up to stopping the Boot Camp but would like to continue. Made different breakfasts and lunch for my husband and guest during that time but made dinner so I could participate and still following BLE. My evening routine stays much the same except I make things a little shorter if I am tired and need the sleep. Trips generally are to visit family and have requested to weigh and measure food plus go to the grocery stores to follow BLE. Adjust to what refrigerator space is available plus pack what does not need refrigeration just in case. Have definitely appreciated being on lock down as it has helped to keep me focused on bright lines. The most difficult challenge that I have had to face are restaurant meals (do my best but still need help with handling this aspect of BLE) . Fortunately, am eating less meals out now which helps. Am grateful for the BLE program because it has helped me lose 50 pounds and keep it off.

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  43. Linda Weber

    My morning routine – if that is what it is – is pretty simple as is my evening ‘routine’. ( BTW I am a 5 on the SS….). Oh and I am 71 so fully retired. Been on maintenance for 3 yrs.
    When I travel I take foods with me to fall back on if needed….When guests come they eat a protein/ veggies/ fruit/ and I add starches like bread/potatoes at night. Desserts are not offered except on Sundays when the grands are here…I have a mommy bring dessert for them….and for any adults who wish to indulge.
    Mornings: get up whenever (somewhere between 6-7:30) let the dog out, plug in the coffee pot…use the bathroom. Wash my face and use moisturizer. Let thw dog back in…hubs is now up so make our bed. Go into the kitchen and make us a latte…..we sit and drink it in our room or deck. Thursdays we fast….all other mornings I then fix a BLE breakfast for us both. Brush my teeth and get dressed for the day. Then the day begins…..exercise is 11-12. I read mornings and afternoons at various times. Evenings: (10-11) let dog out-brush teeth take makeup off…use bathroom (I shower nights)….then go to bed.
    Evenings: ( between 10-11) let the dog out

    Mornings: get up

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  44. Judy Dalluge

    Baby steps for my very addictive personality; this means different grains are measured in baggies and kept in beautiful green glass jars on the counter. There is always a good supply of fruit, cottage cheese, yogurt or eggs for breakfast. I do best helping someone else ~ so I screenshot my measured breakfast each day to a friend who needs to learn how to eat breakfast! It helps me to help her. I’m 73 and have a severe tremor; it difficult and painful to write.
    Susan, I know this is different than you teach, but that breakfast screenshot to a needy friend makes me accountable. I need to eat by 8:30 every morning. This is pretty major for me because I can get busy and the rest of the day will fall off the wagon. For now, I work at subjugating my will until after lunch. I can feel confident that for half a day I am in complete control of what I eat, especially if I am helping a friend.
    Someday soon, I will be in control of my afternoon food choices. I can be confident in at least half of the day. It’s been a slow and steady weight loss of 22 lbs in 10 months. Thank you for teaching me a lifelong plan that will keep me healthy and happy!
    .

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    1. Bright Line Eating

      Sounds like you are helping a friend AND helping yourself to stay accountable, Judy. That’s wonderful.

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  45. Dee Fay

    This is my motto now, after years of doing lots of people pleasing, for both travel and guests. However, I must say that I do not plan to do lots of this even after Covid. I’ve enjoyed the change in my entire direction of life, as a result of this past few months–lots of reflection. Here’s my mantra:

    KEEP IT SIMPLE
    KEEP IT BRIGHT
    KEEP IT FILLED WITH MY OWN INNER PEACE AND LIGHT

    I hope we can bring love and encouragement to the comments. As always, Susan, thank you, thank you, thank you.

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    1. Shelley cull

      Amen Dee!!!

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    2. V Fi

      Beautiful!

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  46. Amy Lambert

    I struggle with settling into a routine in the summer. As a teacher it has been really hard figuring out a routine that works because it seems the moment i settle in my schedule changes. One thing that works and thst i always do is go to bed at the same time. I struggle to check the checklist to see what I need to do. I do try to reflect most mornings but have struggled since being at home for so long. Looking forward to diving into what keeps me from my routines over the next few weeks.

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  47. Susan Finkleman

    I absolutely never let go of my morning meditation and other practices . Without them I feel at loose ends all day. They ground me and remind me of my priorities. Evening routines are inherently more flexible since there are so many external influences on them, especially when traveling. I pare my evening routine down to the bare minimum.

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  48. claire

    We’re traveling today in our van conversion, which has a refrigerator, bed, toilet. I pack my food, especially veg so that if I try for a BLMeal at a restaurant, I’ll have enough veg. Guests don’t disrupt because my kitchen is still mine with my food. In airplane love having my food with me, which is even more normal now with Covid limitations on what airlines will offer. Now adding consciousness of not being in enclosed space for dining out, washing hands after any contact outside house.

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  49. Kimberly

    I have learned that I get quickly into denial when traveling, and must weigh myself or I fall off the wagon. Normally I don’t weigh myself because it’s not about my weight, it’s about my eating. But the stress of travel or company really throws me for a loop. I use the scales for a reality check.

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  50. Pamela

    Please be sure to tell us what you learn once your experiment is completed! I’m on Day 11 of the 14 day challenge and a 9 on the susceptibility scale, so I’m still looking for how to create more patterns in my day. With COVID-19 I’ve moved work home, which simplifies things, and I’ve started a Qi Gong practice to help my spirit. It’s been great to have the time and “excuse” to really be focused. Unlike many of my friends, I’ve found myself gravitating toward wellness activities in this difficult time. BLE is part of that approach. Love you too, Susan. Thanks for all the support.

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  51. Debbie

    We’ve had a house full of people since the stay-at-home order started. My kids came home before it was enforced in their area so we could be together. What a madhouse! I have had to be “rude about my food” to stay on track. I take my veggies before everyone else and ignore their comments. Mealtimes are o my schedule and we don’t deviate from that. I’ve been BLEing for 8 months and am NOT going to mess that up!! I go to bed early so I have time to write in my journal and I wake up early for alone time. It has worked…crystal vaser for 8 months!!!

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  52. Ed

    Well, I couldn’t put up with my mom for a day never mind for a week and my family so dysfunctional and so mentally abusive cause I am too old to be hitten cause I can now defend myself hard to do when your 8 and older up until I moved out of the house and abused still occur on several levels and this my family is too toxic I decided to protect my boundaries to the point where I won’t allow them to stay in the same house. I prefer to tell them to visit and eat over but, please stay at a hotel while visiting. I even refused to let my Dad who came to visit me who was STONE DRUNK not enter my apartment I told him please come back when your sober meanwhile, your not welcome here. So, Susan, I say protect your boundaries if these people are going to sabotage your food plan which my own mom did while I was attending O.A. where she was trying to pick food off my plate cause she told how jealous she was that this program is working so well for me Soyea susan protect your program and set boundaries for family.

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    1. Bright Line Eating

      Sounds like you have overcome a lot, Ed. Sending you love and strength to keep holding your boundaries strong. 🧡

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  53. Marcia Corenman

    When I have guests I prepare a bright line meal For lunch or dinner. I don’t serve any NMF but will offer wine.
    When people stay at my home, I will have bread in the house and some nmf snacks and beverages. I stay out of it.
    When I travel I eat off the menu one plate rule and order double salad without extras (nuts, cheese,croutons etc) dressing on the side plus a side of protein. Plus any veg side they have steamed or grilled dry.
    For domestic and international flight days I always bring several meals and eat every four hours anchoring in my home time zone. This is a lot of food but it keeps me out of the snacks, alcohol and airport fast food places.

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  54. Laura Nickerson

    My successful trips were keeping to at least the floor routines for both AM and PM habit stacks. I pack all the books, journals, etc. I rarely go out to eat. Shop and prepare my own meals and stay connected to BLE buddies. My unsuccessful trips were when I decided to do a bit of “vacation” from BLE, but tried to eat on plan and went to lots of restaurants. By day 3 this was unraveling and I ended up back to my “normal” vacation eating and I believe I gained 8 pounds in 8 days.

    House guests are made aware of my eating plan. I ask them to keep any NMF out of sight to support my efforts. No problem with the houseguests. All very supportive. I make BLE meals and if they want NMF (or NMD for that matter), that is up to them. They buy it and keep it out of sight. The times I have messed up in this realm was when I purchased or prepared the NMF for the guests – I always end up having some. Lessons learned. I generally go to bed and get up at the same time. On average later to bed, which has impacted how much sleep I am getting when houseguests are here. (less) But am managing that. Naps and what not,

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    1. Bright Line Eating

      So great to gain that self awareness, Laura, and then create the associated boundaries. 🧡

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  55. Chantal

    When my guests are vegetarian I cook vegetarian. / bright line. When my guests are vegan, I cook vegan./bright line. When my guests don’t Care I simply cook an amazing Bright Line meal. And that is as simple as that.

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  56. Faith L'Heureux

    I do not change the morning QiGong, mediationn (always) or walking before breakfast, I might shorten if really needed or walking a lot site seeing. I might do a shorter routine of those but still do them. This has served me well and keeps me grounded. I still do the routines when traveling, even getting up very early to get them in.

    Having guests in my house I cook what I can eat and maybe add some NMF, in general I try not to “play with the devil” and might purchase these items. I do still weight my food out and most people who know me know this is just a fact of life. If eating out I use my best guess on measurements or one plate rule. Flying internationally it tough as I cannot bring fruit or veg, generally I can find some small (expensive) items in airports. I might bring oatmeal and add water and eat cold or rice cakes. I find boiled eggs are good to travel with or meat slices made into sticks, easy to eat and not need silverware for national flying. I also bring an empty water bottle to get water in the airport too.

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  57. Sherill

    I love my morning and evening routines. They have helped lower my anxiety levels at this challenging time. Keeping my Bright Lines strong has also helped. It all feels like a safety net holding me up.

    One change I will keep after the lock-down ends: We all have celiac disease, and I used to enjoy baking gluten-free treats for my grandchildren. However, since they have not been able to visit, I discovered how much I like NOT baking and NOT being tempted to sample the treats. I have given all my baking pans away, and announced that Grandmom’s bakery is hereby closed. Since one of my daughters is a professional baker (gluten-free) she can handle all the treats for the kids and leave me happy in my safety net.

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  58. Claire

    Oh my-I’m actually BETTER when I travel…TIME to actually read a book, take a wee nap, take a little walk or swim at a hotel. Focused time with the dog or whoever I might be traveling with….AND-I can think hard about what sort of place I might want to eat that would provide the “my food” sorts of things. It is SO nice to be cooked for and basically “taken care of” that I’m CALMER and there isn’t a full pantry and two freezers and two fridges and a garden and dairy goats and fresh eggs to deal with in my face all day every day! Travel is a BREAK of the highest degree…in fact-if I don’t have my dogs-and a book and a plan for activities of some sort-I have to go and make stuff up if needed-walk up and down the halls of the hotel-or whatever to keep myself occupied-but I don’t tend to think about food. If we are camping-I have my meals and the cooler all set. No problem
    However…having house guests is one of my bugger boos…Not that my peeps are the kind that would not just go with whatever I’m or they are into-and we usually cook together etc…but I get into or faced with the social eating, picking, snacking…and I tend to get them foods I know they enjoy…I don’t bake…I’m a real flexible person that is a 10+ on the susceptability scale…but-guests can give me the opportunity to go hiking more with them-or go be a “tourist” in my own home place etc…But-I can let go of just about anything and then try and get back on the bandwagon again…I’ve lost so many dear people in my life, so many wonderful pets over the years-I know I am overweight-but I am active and engaged and I just try not to get too bent out of shape about the possibility of having to let go of some things…I suppose one of my issues then is being too “kind” to myself! 🙂 I have always been a pretty “healthy eater”…my biggest problem is quantities, and binges…oh those darned binges! Being home can really be hard…there is always so much to do and so much FOOD…and no-none of it is NMF. The food diary, talking out loud to myself, asking the question LOUDLY…CLAIRE! WHAT is making you WANT to EAT right now? It’s a good thing I have such good friends! They think it’s hilarious!

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    1. Bright Line Eating

      Oh Claire, your approach to travel just sounds lovely and refreshing.
      And at home your “self talk” just sounds… priceless! We love it! 🧡

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  59. Tammy Palmer

    What has worked for me when traveling is 1) I bring my digital food scale 2) I stay at places with kitchens and will make my own breakfast that is weighed and measured; I pack my lunch (I bring an insulated lunch bag); I usually eat dinner in a restaurant and will weigh and measure most meals. 3) I have an electronic version of my Bible, inspirational material, Food Log showing categories for each meal for each day, and sheets for journaling on my phone/electronic device, and a meditation app. 4) Morning Routine: I read my inspirational material, at least a few verses in the Bible (I normally read a chapter at home), and do a meditation (it may only be 1 to 2 minutes where at home it is longer). 5) Evening Routine: I fill in my Food Log with what I actually ate as the night before I may have just put Bright Line Meal; I complete my Food Log for the next day; I type at least a few thoughts or things I did that day for my 5 year journal (if I have room in luggage I bring; if not I use my electronic version and print it out when I get home); do my personal hygiene routine. I check in with a BLE friend (phone, text, etc) or read a few posts in the BLE community.

    When people come to my house, I fix meals I can eat but have added a few NMF items I know do not trigger me (i.e., if I am making hamburger, patties, I will include items for how people traditionally eat them versus my lettuce wrap). If they bring NMF into the house, I ask them to keep it in their guest room or I give them a special spot in fridge. My house…my rule basically. Since we are usually sightseeing, we tend to eat out 1 meal but I only give them choices that I know I can eat or I have my food packed and with me.

    When I go to their house, I discuss my needs ahead of time and will go to grocery store and buy what I need. I have even purchased a styrofoam ice chest if necessary. My family has been supportive. I consider eating S&F and keeping my lines bright as if I am highly allergic and would die if I ate off plan. My program comes first.

    When I get home, it does take me awhile to get back into my full habit stack in morning and evening but my food stays strong because I at least continue to do the minimum. I may not have weighed all my food while away but I generally do a check every few days to keep my eyes in check. When I get home I plan for simple meals to help with the transition.

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  60. Diane

    When I travel or have house guests I stick to 20 minutes meditation and 30 minutes exercise In the morning. The exercise usually gets topped up with walking during sightseeing etc. I drop the two night time food commitment calls as I want to concentrate on who I’m travelling with or people who are visiting. I will also allow myself NMD, maximum of two but only if I am at goal weight and only if I feel like it. If I only want water, I don’t allow myself to be coerced into NMD. The food will always be BLE friendly, but sometimes I have to work with the one plate rule if I’m not comfortable taking my scales out with me. I don’t want to draw attention to BLE as I get stressed having to explain it, especially with people who just cannot comprehend that people like me are food addicts and think it’s just a “diet”. Oh if only they knew!

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  61. Flo

    Hope you can keep up the reduced travelling. I´d be feeling guilty about the contribution to the climate catastrophe involved in taking so many flights at your pre-covid level.

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  62. Richard Huffmon

    After just 8 months in BLE, being a 10 on the susceptibility scale; I want to say that I have little experience with traveling. The two trips I have been on were to San Diego for a weekend of live training and to visit family in Oklahoma for Christmas. For the most part, my family and friends know and accept that I’m the weird person who doesn’t eat sugar and flour. So that doesn’t become much of an issue, because they tend to be supportive of the “new healthier” me. When others come to visit, the biggest difference is that I limit quantities where they tend to eat more. Part of it, I think, is that it’s just a nice treat to eat someone else’s cooking; but the bigger part of it is that people are used to eating large volumes of food in a desparate, and ultimately futile attempt to get the nutrition their bodies need. Except on the days when I oversleep, I tend to keep my morning routine pretty much the same. What some refer to as meditation, I consider prayer and study. Life is. We learn to accept what is, or is not practical for us. Avoiding NMF or NMD, is non negoitable for me. The last binge I was on got started from a sauce on a side dish that turned out to contain Sugar. It doesn’t take much, just a mouthful to get me going on the wrong track (aka in the ditch). I have found lately that I’m feeling a bit too full after lunch. Uncomfortably so, and have reduced the amount of fruit by about 25%. This feels better for me. So that’s what I have been doing. If people around you are uncomfortable with what you eat, you have to decide whether or not to accept the consequences of continuing that relationship.

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  63. Alice Osborn

    I HAVE to get up earlier than everyone else and do my morning prayers, meditation, AA meeting and exercise BEFORE hosting duties or the day does not go as well for me!

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  64. Richard Saalsaa

    Foundation is key. In the midst of COVID my brother had an alcohol crisis. He fell and hurt himself and we couldn’t reach him – his phone got cut off for lack of payment. I traveled 500 miles from Oregon to CA on a moment’s notice. Had to take him to the ER – he was in bad shape. And I brought him home with me to recover (he is here now after 4 weeks). So after no travel and no company I had both.
    I kept all my lines including my checklist. All my habits (exercise, prep, meditation) were kept, just rearranged to work in the changing environment. I had to clean my brother’s place, fix broken items, go back and forth from his flat to the hospital (he was admitted for 4 days). Packed him up, and got him home. All inside of a commitment to keep my promise to myself and my wife to be bright.
    I credit Grit, being a GG Team Leader, and my wife on this journey with me along with nearly 300 bright days as the foundation for workability. And as a firefighter being diligent in mask wearing and being safe at a time when the infection rates were climbing. When you are strong in your habits, you get unshakable. And when you put your mind on other’s well being, yours gets taken care of too. I’ve continued weight loss, and my brother gained 15 lbs. in 4 weeks eating BLE. He was in poor shape – but real Healthy food, consistency, and habit made a huge difference. He is 4 weeks sober and also off nicotine (chew and smoking). Now walking 2 miles with me every day.
    Strong foundation. Integrity. Commitment. Being true to your Self. Working the program as designed.

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  65. Marilyn Lowry

    I am on day 11 of my 2-week challenge and feeling full and well. I am losing weight very slowly, but it is trending down. My susceptibility rate is 1, so I don’t seem to have a problem with any cravings. In the past, I never had much of a routine at home, let alone when I traveled or when we had company. When I visited my son and daughter in law, I found that they followed their routines no matter what. At first, I found it to be a bit irritating, but then I realized that my people-pleasing self was rearing its ugly head and I did not understand why others were not changing their routines as I probably would have. Now that I have more of a routine and am enjoying the food plan, I will be better able to stick to my own plans, I think. We have our son and daughter in law coming down in December, so it will be interesting to see how it goes then after I have more practice. I really appreciate you, Susan. This is the first plan that doesn’t seem gimmicky and that I feel will work for me long-term. Thanks!

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  66. Mimi Hanzrl

    It depends on the guest or guests. Most often it will be our daughter and I eat my regular BLE breakfast. Shaw has not been here since Christmas as she and her family live in Ct. I am in Ca. But they are now moving back to Ca. Lunch is my regular as she will be with her friends. Dinner varies. I will have NMD with her, make good choices for dinner and then NMF after dinner.
    Since I am not allowed in the pool here and the public pool I use is closed I have not exercised since Covid-19 started and the pools are closed. Do no exercise. But I need a hip replacement which has slowed me down so am unable to walk outside.

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  67. Harriet Warner

    My morning routine begins with an hour of qijong, tai chi and meditation, and it is really challenging to do that when traveling because I need to have the physical space and quiet in order to do it — so I will adjust that, drop the tai chi and do an abbreviated version that I can do in my own room. Meditation has become the absolute key to my mental health and is even more important when surroundings are not routine. Evening routine re. journalling and checklist stays the same always — the things that I find disruptive are wake up and bedtimes. At home I have become an early riser early to bed person now that I have been following BLE for a year. With houseguests and when I am cooking meals for guests of any description I cook BLE meals for everyone — I have found that people are so interested in and curious about it that they enjoy trying it out.

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  68. Taylor

    House guests – ask ahead of time what foods they prefer and have them on hand if they mention any. If they are trying to be polite and say “none” or they’ll eat what I eat then I just carry on with what I have planned. I make a point to mention that I have no coffee because I don’t drink it.

    Traveling – just had an epic fail so I’m still learning.

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  69. Debbi

    Maybe this is the biggest thing wrong in my present life. I don’t t have routine in my life set up to nurture my soul and reflect and strengthen my identity. I aspire to BLE and know lots about it. I have a dreary night time routine of must do, which I dread. Well, being that original question had to do with travel or hosting guests changes I do note that I adopt their routines, esp rise and sleep patterns! Grateful for that. I hope to begin some routines and hope to get a buddy to implement. Meanwhile…..lost in space!

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    1. Mariah Perkins

      Hi there. I am a ‘5’ on the Susceptibility Scale, and you would think I could slack off on the routines. But they are what make me free. I am so much better off (years of experimenting and experiencing this) with a clear repeating list that I tick off daily in little boxes on a big grid sheet.. In between the committed things there are long hours in the mornings, ditto afternoons, ditto evenings when I am free to do and serve as I wish. No food, just water, herb tea, or decaf, and tons to do. The non-negociables on my list include many details—up at 6:30. Take thyroid med. Start water for tea, take fruit out. Prayers, Readings. tea, breakfast. Pills. Clean up and fix lunch. Commit a.m. activity. [………] Then before lunchtime, it’s Prayers, eat lunch, fix dinner, clean up, commit p.m. [………] Then it’s Dinner, commit tomorrow’s food, clean up, Readings. Free again! This way I am a servant of my own higher self. My higher self is truly my identity. I am efficient, clean, healthy, and not distracted (much…;-) ) by whims or neglectfulness. I am a 70 year old super healthy, energetic, happy-sized, retired gal.

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  70. Kolene Anderson

    I am a flight attendant and I am on the road from 3-9 days at a time. I am not a crystal vaser and I struggle in exciting new cities. My most important tip is I Never, Ever eat airplane food. Ever. I write out all food I need ,in day -columns, for the days I’m gone and I bring everything I need until I can get to a grocery store. It’s amazing how much food I can put into a travel lunch cooler. I usually can pack 2 1/2 days of food before needing to buy fresh. I pack all my dry food for the whole trip, ie: shredded wheat, nuts, chickpeas. Also, most hotels now have refrigerators to chill food. I hope this helps a little.

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  71. Julia Richardson

    In Lockdown and from doing the ‘Grit’ course with BLE I have really added to my morning routine and now it is something I really love but it definitely takes a lot more time! I do Morning Pages (Julia Cameron The Artists Way) first thing, yoga and meditation. The yoga practice and the Morning Pages are both things I have added with lockdown and I love them. I have breakfast and I write, I am working on my writer identity! I have been thinking about travel and visitors and I would hope to keep all of these routines. I am trying to keep my identity strong by being willing to have a minimum amount that serves me – so a couple of sun salutations or just a few words on the page of my writing. But the 3 pages of Morning Pages I want to keep. My evening routine stays much the same wherever I am, it is quite simple. I plan and commit my food for the next day. I make my breakfast for the next day and leave it ready. I write a gratitude list, usually 10 things but if I am very tired 3 is fine or even just one thing. I am always grateful for my bright lines and that comes top of the list. I clean my teeth. Done.

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  72. Alice

    As an RN I haven’t been able to “quarantine at home”, I’ve been working more then ever. I work at a large rehab, LTC, dementia facility where we have had a large active COVID outbreak. I work regularly with our COVID patients, our original positive pt had recovered and doing well, but they were a “healthy 90 yo”, while I have watched many unhealthy 60-70yo’s die from the disease. I work 3 12hr shifts at this location, and I just recently picked up a per diem position at my local prison. Even with currently working 2 full time positions for 3 weeks during orientation at the second job, my morning routine is dialed in. For the last 6-7 years I start my day with about 20 min of meditation (one incense cones worth), a little bit of yoga, then 20-30 min on my elliptical. If I miss a day or two due to not being home, car camping, or what ever, I’m right back to it when I get home. Right now I’m SUPER TIRED due to all the work, but I’m still up at 4am to get my morning routine in before the chaos of work takes over.

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    1. Bright Line Eating

      Wow, Alice! We so appreciate all the hard, hard work you’re doing. But wow is your commitment to your routine impressive! We love it!

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