How a phone app can decrease junk food cravings.

Even though during the week I normally delve into such complicated topics as molecular organization and quantum chicken keeping, I like to keep Fridays light.


A way to rev up for the weekend ahead.

So today I’d like you to all join me in discussing the virtues of wasting time. Relaxing. Loafing.

I’m not talking about professional relaxing like meditation or yoga.  Or working for the government.

I’m talking about putting your feet up and calming down.

How many times did you get sick this winter?  A little?  A lot?  It could have to do with how you deal with stress and whether or not you relax.

Obviously relaxing reduces stress.  It doesn’t take a quantum chicken expert to figure that out.   But you may not be completely aware of just how important relaxing and reducing your stress is to your overall health.


You’re probably wondering about the junk food cravings aren’t you? In a nutshell, stress makes your body produce the hormone cortisol. Cortisol increases your appetite and has been said to specifically increase junk food cravings.

So. If you’re constantly eating junk food and can’t figure out why, you may not actually be addicted to it. You may be under constant stress.

You want to stop this of course, right? Or maybe you don’t. Twix bars are pretty good. But if you do want to reduce your junk food cravings,  your blood pressure, improve your memory and decrease your risk of breast cancer among other things … relax.

Just relax. Read a book. Stop fretting and make yourself sit and relax. Your body gets used to being a frantic, whirling, ball of stress, and sometimes you just need to force it to stop. Of course there are some stresses we can never get rid of. But for those of us who just can’t seem to relax, who always need to be doing something, just calm the hell down.

And here’s how you’re going to do that this weekend.

Download the latest phone app that’s been making the rounds. 4 Pics, 1 Word. It’s based on the most ridiculously simple premise ever.

The game shows you four pictures with one thing that joins them all. You have to look at the four pictures and figure out the word that applies to them all. Yeah. It’s Sesame Street simple.

Here’s a tester for you followed by the answer. Try to figure out the answer before you scroll down.


photo copy


Some of them area easy … some of them are not. The answer to this particular one is …

photo copy 2


It’s the kind of mindless, relaxing entertainment you need for the weekend. So go download it, and commit to relaxing with it for 15 minutes. Preferably without a big bag of corn chips.

Have a relaxing weekend.



  1. Kate says:

    Installing now! Thank you! I needed something new to waste time, I mean, relax with. I just quit playing Farmville after YEARS of relaxing with that!

    LOVE the way you write, I just read this post out loud to my husband and he laughed, too! Hope you have a great and RELAXING weekend!


  2. Julie says:

    Fantastic – thanks Karen


  3. Rondina says:

    This was very interesting. I have a cortisol shortage and take a supplement twice a day. I stop working on the house or my ‘pay the bills’ work, and I start snacking. (Hooked on mild, of all things.) Maybe I’m getting TOO MUCH cortisol now. One plus about getting older is that your body can’t keep up and you are forced to take a load off. I’m learning to accept that.

  4. Diane says:

    I’ve played that game…it stresses me out not being able to figure out the answer. There is no cure for me! I’ll be the one in the corner eating peanut M&M’s….

  5. I get really competitive when I play games. This really stressed me out. Thanks…I’m heading off to stuff my face with Doritos.

  6. LaDodd says:

    My husband, kids and I all downloaded this game a couple of weeks ago. It is very relaxing until you become frustrated by not being able to guess a word – which invariably turns out to be something so easy you can’t believe it! Even more frustrating when my 12-year old has to give me the answer – lol.

    But it was the only thing that kept him distracted when he was rushed to the hospital last week to have his appendix out!!!

  7. Jrn says:

    I can only see 2 comments but am only posting this for newbies because all the comments eventually show up. It just seems to happen – at first, early on- that only a single one does. Of course, if anyone but Karen sees this comment it probably means they are all showing up by now.

    • Karen says:

      Jrn – I put my post up, then I go to bed. So whatever comments come in between me going to bed and waking up don’t get approved until morning. That’s why you might see “25” commnets but only see 2. They’re the 2 I approved the night before and the other 23 are waiting for me to wake up and approve them. 🙂 ~ karen!

      • Jrn says:

        Thanks Karen. Now I understand! I may forget and post the same thing again ( my memory wavers now and then, especially when I’m out of chocolate).

  8. LaineyDid says:

    Seven Little Words is fun also 🙂

  9. Lisa says:

    Obviously I suck at this because I could not think of a 4 letter word that had anything to do with ladybug sex… well, not THAT 4 letter word, anyway.

  10. Emily says:

    I love that game..and you are right, some are really easy, some are a stretch. I did get so frustrated with one that I found the answers on the internet ! lol

  11. Mary Werner says:

    Now I know why I play solitaire or do zentangles or just stare into the woods. I am self medicating on the cheap.

  12. Nicola says:

    Thanks to you we put up 10 maple taps a couple of days ago and will be spending tomorrow relaxing and boiling sap! Looking forward to a sunny Saturday! Thanks Karen!

    • Karen says:

      You’re welcome! So glad you’re doing it. It’s the weirdest thing to take basically water from a tree and make your own syrup! Have fun. ~ karen!

  13. says:

    Tomorrow a post on addictions?? What to do when you can’t put down the iphone? 🙂

  14. Janet says:

    I want to be a government worker! Lol!
    Thank you! Coolio!

  15. Lynne says:

    I played the game. I feel as dumb as a stick. I couldn’t figure out PAIR. Now, I’m stressed. I hate getting hit with the stupid stick. It may be hopeless. I’m craving TWIX now.

  16. Barbie says:

    I have long ago figured out for myself that “cortisol” is what my muscles/joints have been stripped of. From a bad reaction to a drug for cholesterol called Lipitor. So I’ve been trying this entire year to find a way (other than prednisone) to replace it! I have been doing nothing but relaxing for almost a year! Because I “can’t” do anything else much! Hmmmmmm…..this makes me think…wonder…..ponder.

    My business + retirement + loss of stress = loss of cortisol???? could it be????

  17. Jaimie says:

    LOL I just downloaded this one a few days ago when I got my replacement phone. Most are really easy but there are some that are baffling. I’m on 107 right now.

  18. Donna M says:

    I have been playing this for just over a week and will be flying along until BAM….one comes along I cannot figure out at all! Have you found checkout 51 yet??

  19. Linda says:

    first game app I have ever enjoyed. thanks!

  20. Natika33 says:

    I don’t have any sort of device to which I can download apps. (I know… I’m a dinosaur) so when I need some electronical (maybe not a real word…) de-stresser, I look at random pictures on imgur. It has restored my faith in humanity… inhumanity?Whatever works for you!

  21. Gloria says:

    I got hooked on this game last week…but it is anything but “mindless”. Sometimes the connections between those 4 pictures is very obscure. But I love it. It’s addicting. And fun. And it’s a game you can share with your family…like when you get stuck and have no idea what the pictures have in common. I have even recruited my 8 yr old grandson’s help! lol He loves being included so it’s a win/win for me. Glad you are enjoying it too.

  22. those lady bugs are doin’ it!

  23. Anemone says:

    Looking for this app on windows phone but I guess it’s not available yet. Hey, how are your fishes? Do you still have them?

    • Karen says:

      I *do* still have my fishes. It looks like one of them didn’t make it through the winter, but it could just be “sleeping”. ~ karen!

  24. clotile says:

    oh I’m a government worker, a RN for a federal hospital ER, 12 hour shifts, my feet are damn practically bleeding right now, I HATE goofing off government worker jokes.

    Except when I tell the jokes, like when you tell a patient, “I’m pretty sure it’s in right. Well, anyway, it’s good enough for government work.”

  25. I need this badly.. considering I tagged this post to read later.. because I am to frantic to do it now!!!

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