Click here for the SHiFT Strong Online Meeting Schedule

REMINDER: Q & A October 17 – What will you get out of an ACORN Intensive!?

Wednesday, October 17
at 7:00 p.m. EST. 

Did you miss the last Q & A? Mark your calendar. We have just scheduled another Q & A for Wednesday, October 17 at 7:00 p.m. EST. This MAY be your first step to Recovery!

In this session, we will give an overview of what to expect at an ACORN Primary Intensive and leave time for your questions toward the end.

This session will be no cost to you and best of all you, will receive a 10% discount for your first ACORN Primary Intensive.

Amanda Leith is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Q & A with ACORN
Time: Oct 17, 2018 7:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:

Or iPhone one-tap :
US: +16699006833,,367083987#  or +16468769923,,367083987#
Or Telephone:
Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
US: +1 669 900 6833  or +1 646 876 9923
Meeting ID: 367 083 987
International numbers available:

Thank you and I hope you will join us!

Please, forward to anyone you think may be interested learning more about our programs!

Why Can’t I Get This?

Wow, what a couple of weeks it has been!  We had an amazing inaugural Acorn Intensive in San Diego. Beautiful weather, an amazing home, delicious home cooked meals and participants desperate for answers to the age-old questions “what is wrong with me, why can’t I get this?” These questions are so familiar to me as I asked myself the same questions for over 35 years.

Some of the comments we received after the event were:

“You MUST do your best to get involved in SHiFT. It is so different. You will be blessed”

“SHiFT has completely changed how I view my food addiction as a disease and helped me realize it isn’t my fault and allowed me to dive deeper into comprehending my powerlessness. I am leaving abstinent and beyond grateful.”

“Best program and it works!”

“Full of gratitude for everything that happened all week. The process is awesome and I felt totally safe.”

One of the participants said to me that he had “never felt joy in his life as he had for the last 5 days” (keep in mind he said this while giving up sugar and flour, which had become the most important things in his life.) This is the same participant who now has 17 days of following a food plan specifically designed for food addicts and who has never been able to follow any diet in over 20 years. He was pre-diabetic and the doctor had prescribed metphormin for him…he is already off of this drug. Another participant said simply, “thank you for providing me with hope.” My experience with this program it provides HOPE and a SOLUTION that so many of us (me included) never thought was possible. I see over and over people walking through our doors completely hopeless and defeated and literally five days later walking out with a belief that they too have finally found a solution to their devastating food/weight/emotional issues. People please hear me…WE DO NOT HAVE TO LIVE WITH THIS FATAL DISEASE!! There is a solution and we can help.

We can help you whether you are brand new to the idea of food addiction, in and out of abstinence or in a major relapse. You do not have to keep suffering alone. I just don’t believe there is such a thing as a hopeless food addict or a hopeless relapse prone person. I have seen way too many people recover, coming from a huge array of backgrounds and levels of food dependency to believe anything other than all of us can recover from this brutal malady of food dependency.

Our first Acorn Intensive will begin on January 10, 2020.  Click here for more information.

What an amazing way to head into the New Year, I could not think of a better gift to give yourself, your family and your friends. Remember we cannot do this alone, together we can and do recover.

Wishing you peace, joy, and abstinence,



Do I just overeat or am I a food addict?




Do I just overeat or am I a food addict?

We get asked this question a lot, or more to the point “how do I know if I’m a food addict?” Unfortunately, there is not a simple blood test we can give that says, “Yup, you are an addict” or “Nope, you just need to eat less and exercise more.”

The questions below are a great place to start…ask yourself honestly if any of these seem like you.

  1. Am I thinking about food or my weight all the time?
  2. Do I eat large amounts of food in a short period of time?
  3. Do I eat differently in front of people than I do when I’m alone?
  4. Have I done serious work in psychotherapy only to find my “food problem” was unaffected?
  5. Do I eat when I’m not hungry or not eat when my body needs nourishment?
  6.  Do I go on eating binges for no apparent reason, sometimes eating until I am stuffed or even feel sick?
  7. Do I have feelings of guilt, shame or embarrassment about my weight or the way I eat?
  8. Is my eating affecting my health or the way I live my life?
  9.  When my emotions are intense – whether positive or negative – do I find myself reaching for food?
  10. Do my eating behaviors make me or others unhappy?
  11. Have I ever used laxatives, vomiting, diuretics, excessive exercise, diet pills, shots or other medical interventions (including surgery) to try to control my weight?
  12. Do I fast or severely restrict my food intake to control my weight?
  13. Do I fantasize about how much better life would be if I were a different size or weight?
  14. Are there certain foods I can’t stop eating after having the first bite?
  15. Have I lost weight with a diet or “period of control” only to be followed by bouts of uncontrolled eating and/or weight gain?

If you answered yes to any of these, your issue may be related to having a food addiction. For more clarity on this please reach out to me.

For me, the thing that really made me believe that I was an addict was when I realized I had tried everything suggested to me for a “NORMAL” eater struggling with weight issues (diets, exercise, weight loss surgery) and everything suggested to me for someone struggling with “EMOTIONAL” eating (therapy, intuitive eating, eating disorder groups, eating all foods in moderation). NONE of these worked for the long term.

If you are struggling and not sure if you are a food addict, give us a call or join us at one of our upcoming events. We still have space in our Primary Intensive in San Diego, CA – September 21 – 26 and in Bradenton, FL October 9 – 14. Click here to register!

Talk soon,




Join me and world renowned food addiction expert Phil Werdell on Thursday Sept 6 at 7pm EST for a chat about all things food addiction.

Got questions about:

  • Why you can’t stop eating
  • How I lost 140+ pounds and am off all diabetes, cholesterol and blood pressure medications
  • What is food addiction
  • How do I know if I’m a food addict
  • What’s the solution and how do I stop my crazy eating behaviours
  • What’s the upcoming 5 Day retreat in San Diego all about

Join us and ask us anything! For more information you can email me directly at and to get  the link for the calls please email

There is no cost to you and best of all, you will receive a 10% discount towards your first ACORN event.



REMINDER 7:00 PM EST. TODAY: Don’t miss session “2” of the Q & A with Phil and Amanda! 

Thursday, September 6 at 7:00 p.m. EST.  Session 2 Q & A with Phil and Amanda (click the highlighted link below to join us)

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:
Or iPhone one-tap :
US: +16699006833,,7776123099#  or +16468769923,,7776123099#
Or Telephone:
Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
US: +1 669 900 6833  or +1 646 876 9923
Meeting ID: 777 612 3099
International numbers available:

Thank you and I hope you will join us for one or both of the sessions!

Please, forward to anyone you think may be interested in either of the sessions!

5-Day Food Addiction Retreat comes to San Diego

“Summer freedom” – I’m not sure if prior to my recovery I would have included those two words in the same sentence and really meant them.

Summer means sunshine, warmth, outdoor fun, beautiful flowers filling the air with exquisite scents, daylight lasting until after 9 p.m., swim suits, shorts and tank tops.  For me, before recovery, my “summer freedom” equaled profuse sweating, with perspiration rolling down my neck and face and my hair sticking to my forehead–a very sexy look!  Added to that was an uncomfortable heat rash, meaning major chafing between my legs and under my stomach roll … painful, and often smelly, not to mention amusing!  When I thought no one was looking, I walked as if a beach ball were stuffed between my legs so my thighs wouldn’t rub together and exacerbate the rash. “Summer freedom” also meant avoiding the beach and pools at all costs–or going only when I was basically the only other human being there because if people saw me in my bathing suit, they would know I was overweight (Ummm, I think it was pretty obvious fully clothed, Amanda). “Summer freedom” also meant lying to my friends when they invited me to places like the beach. It meant camping, which I actually really enjoyed until the sadness crept in, mainly because camping included eating junk food all day and night. As the rest of the world became excited and energized, connecting with others in the picturesque outdoors, I stood on the sidelines watching–sad, lonely, and ashamed–and all the while desperately trying to portray that all was good and that my life was great.

The truth was my life was far from great as I was tethered to my obsession with food, body and weight. No, freedom was not a word I would use to describe my life, and certainly not a word I would use to describe summer.

Today “freedom” is exactly the word I would use to describe the feelings I’ve been experiencing this summer. I have the “freedom” to take my niece, Georgia, hiking up Grouse Mountain and know that when she gets tired and “can’t walk anymore,” as is almost a guarantee with any four-year-old, I have the ability to hoist her onto my shoulders and keep going. (I know Georgia doesn’t look too impressed in this picture, but I promise we had a super fun day–this was just after her dramatic experience of “being cold, wanting to go home, and not being able to take one more step,” which was followed two minutes later by her “having so much fun!”)


I have the freedom to hop on my bike with my Dad and go for a spin around beautiful Vancouver.




And I’ve saved the best for last:  I have the freedom to snuggle with my niece and feel the pure contentment, peace and utter joy that this little human being is in my life. Yes, I could have done this before, as well as all the other things listed above.  However, they would have been far more physically challenging–I didn’t really have a lap that my niece could sit on!  More importantly, I would not have been truly present, as my mind would have been hijacked either by obsessing over how I looked or what I was going to be able to eat next–or even more devastating, how much I hated  myself and my life!

Yes, recovery has brought me freedom to live a life beyond my wildest dreams, including all the ups, downs, and in-betweens that make up life in our magnificent world. It has allowed me to show up for my niece and for everyone else in my life in an authentic, integral way.

Today I am truly grateful that I can honestly say “summer” and “freedom” in the same sentence and know they truly fit together.

Join me in beautiful San Diego September 21-26 for five life-changing days. 

5-Day Food Addiction Retreat
Date:  September 21-26
Includes: 4 delicious, home-cooked meals a day, lodging in a beautiful San Diego home, daily yoga, and the tools needed to begin your journey of food freedom.

For more information please email me directly at or visit our website at