Posts Tagged ‘healthy eating’

body apologyThis has been my meditation lately and my question for myself.

 

(I am down weight wise 115 pounds which is not important, it is just a number but it does mean one thing, I have a lot more free time as I am not eating all the time, but doing other things like meditating on things like this, lol)

 

I recently read something somewhere (not sure where) this premise or idea:

We are either eating for health and to nourish our bodies or we are eating for our disease.

 

Think about it? If you pondered each bite that went into your mouth and ask this question, what would the answer be?

Is this piece of fudge, fad laden chips (or sugar and salt laden baked chips) or sugar candy going to feed and nourish my body with great nutrients or feed the high blood pressure, the diabetes, the coronary artery disease (etc etc)?

Does the sweetness of good and nutritious things full of wonderful body healing antioxidants, vitamins and minerals say in a piece of fruit, fresh vegetables (that aren’t cooked to death or laden with fatty sauces and butter) or lean protein sources lead to my long life, my vitality, my body’s happiness and weight control?

Am I eating to nourish my Life and my body or am I eating what will cause my body’s disease?

What would your answer be?

It takes awhile possibly to start tasting the mouth coating greasiness of fried foods (that somehow tastes disgusting to me now honestly) when the mouth has become accustomed to eating this way. I know because I was that person. I loved fried foods, fatty Poor Boys full of grease soaked fried seafood! (I live in New Orleans after all!) I recently tasted a bite of fried food and I hated it! (It was 15 months since I had dared to try it) I couldn’t take another bite! I am not complacent though. I have been on the weight loss/weight gain dance for a long time, like most of my life, and I know I would “get over” that initial grease repulsion if I slip back into my bad habits and the weight would pile back on again! Same with sugary, over salted foods. I had to wean myself off of some of them or quit cold turkey like a bad habit. It wasn’t easy. No one said this was easy but I have found out, if I look around and read out within the human world around me hundreds and thousands (even) of people are contending with this each and every day!

 

I don’t want to go back there.

So, I ask myself eat day in my mindful eating way, what do I do?

Do I eat for nutrition and to nourish my life and body or am I eating my disease?

I think, for me, the choice is easy…….. Just for today, it is health I crave like water in the desert………..

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http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/08/dining/mindful-eating-as-food-for-thought.html?pagewanted=all

I wanted to write about Mindful Eating and ran into the article in The New York Times that says so much to me and thought I would share…

 

So what is “mindful eating”? It is a zen/buddhist or like zen practice of being fully away of eat bite of food you eat. Chewing slowly, savoring the bite and having little distractions while you do so(except soft music or maybe a light conversation).

Anyways, it has been on my mind for about a few months to write on this topic. I have been in a lifelong struggle with good eating habits. I am not alone as it seems like there are more books out there on diets than there are on topics like this that support maintenance and healthy nutritional eating habits.

 

In the old days and when I relapse into bad behaviors and choices, this is one that rears its head for me. (Watching TV and eating dinner or any other meal for that matter. Ever sit in front of the TV munching away and are not even aware of how much you have eaten? Me too, or used to be me…)

When I sit down at the table, eat slowly and taste things with relish as opposed to gulping it down in a hurry because I am on the run or worse, because I have waited to long to eat and “feel” like I am starving, I overeat. Always always make bad choices. When I savor the food, actually chew it, enjoy it and relish it for its taste and nutritional beauty as nourishment for my body, I do much better with weight loss and weight maintenance. I was often not aware of what I ate, how it tasted or how MUCH I ate because I barely even chewed it.

I am down 109 pounds now, that’s a lot and this is one of those things that made me NOT feel like I was starving. When I grab something on the go, shove it down my throat as quickly as possible while talking on the phone, or driving or 100 thousand other things, especially television, am I indeed nourishing ALL my senses and feeding my being? No, I am not and suspect if you are reading this and nodding your head (and trying to find inspiration on how NOT to regain weight, how to be successful and to not feel like you are deprived), this is probably and issue with you too.

I want to add something for GREAT TIPS  I read on Huffington Post written by Jenni Grover at the  Mother Nature Network. The link is here http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/12/mindful-eating-tips_n_3941528.html and this is a great excerpt from that article on Five Tips to Eat Mindfully:

Here are some of my favorite tips to introduce mindfulness to mealtimes in an easy, accessible fashion.

Eat slower
Eating slowly doesn’t have to mean taking it to extremes. Still, it’s a good idea to remind yourself, and your family, that eating is not a race. Taking the time to savor and enjoy your food is one of the healthiest things you can do. You are more likely to notice when you are full, you’ll chew your food more and hence digest it more easily, and you’ll probably find yourself noticing flavors you might otherwise have missed. If you have young children, why not try making a game of it — who can chew their food the longest? Or you could introduce eating with chopsticks as a fun way to slow things down.

Savor the silence
Yes, eating in complete silence may be impossible for a family with children, but you might still encourage some quiet time and reflection. Again, try introducing the idea as a game — “let’s see if we can eat for two minutes without talking” — or suggesting that one meal a week be enjoyed in relative silence. If the family mealtime is too important an opportunity for conversation to pass up, then consider introducing a quiet meal or snack time into your day when you can enjoy it alone. The NYT article, for example, noted that one dietitian simply savors a few sips of tea in complete silence when she is too busy for a complete mindful meal.

Silence the phone. Shut off the TV.
Our daily lives are full of distractions, and it’s not uncommon for families to eat with the TV blaring or one family member or other fiddling with their iPhone. Consider making family mealtime, which should, of course, be eaten together, an electronics-free zone. I’m not saying you should never eat pizza in front of the TV, but that too should be a conscious choice that marks the exception, not the norm.

Pay attention to flavor
The tanginess of a lemon, the spicyness of arugula, the crunch of a pizza crust — paying attention to the details of our food can be a great way to start eating mindfully. After all, when you eat on the go or wolf down your meals in five minutes, it can be hard to notice what you are even eating, let alone truly savor all the different sensations of eating it. If you are trying to introduce mindful eating to your family, consider talking more about the flavors and textures of food. Ask your kids what the avocado tastes like, or how the hummus feels. And be sure to share your own observations and opinions too. (Yes, this goes against the eating in silence piece, but you don’t have to do everything at once.)

Know your food
Mindfulness is really about rekindling a relationship with our food. From planting a veggie garden through baking bread to visiting a farmers market, many of the things we locavores have been preaching about for years are not just ways to cut our carbon foodprint, but also connect with the story behind our food. Even when you have no idea where the food you are eating has come from, try asking yourself some questions about the possibilities: Who grew this? How? Where did it come from? How did it get here? Chances are, you’ll not only gain a deeper appreciation for your food, but you’ll find your shopping habits changing in the process too.

Like I say, mindful eating does not have to be an exercise in super-human concentration, but rather a simple commitment to appreciating, respecting and, above all, enjoying the food you eat every day. It can be practiced with salad or ice cream, donuts or tofu, and you can introduce it at home, at work, or even as you snack on the go (though you may find yourself doing this less often).

And while the focus becomes how you eat, not what you eat, you may find your notions of what you want to eat shifting dramatically for the better too.

Thought I would share this today and to remind ME when I need it, what worked for me……

 

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Bring your own snacks EVERYWHERE! Movies are a big place to get tripped up (it is like and unhealthy food minefield in most of them. REMEMBER you are going there to see the movie (or the football game or the concert or whatever it is AND NOT going there to eat) Eat ahead of time if you are hungry! Bring some little snacks until movie theater owners get more savvy and supply healthy options. I am fond of these going out and about but make sure it is pre-portioned:

  1. Protein
  2. 100 calorie almond packs
  3. string cheese or baby bell
  4. freeze dried lower carb fruit (watch the servings though). I like Brother’s Naturals Fiji Apple and Crispy Green cantaloupe (tastes like candy it is that sweet!) or mixed berries
  5. carrot sticks/carrot chips with 100 calorie guacamole (like Wholly Guacamole – they have several flavors including spicy)
  6. 3 ounce packs of prepackaged tuna
  7. raw cauliflower with that above guacamole
  8. Greek yogurt with any low carb raw veggie
  9. micro salads I prepare ahead of time in a sealed 3-4 ounce container. (I carry little plastic forks, spoons and knives with me everywhere!)

Going to a tailgate party, to meals with family or friends? Ask what is being prepared, ask with assertiveness. I ALWAYS have some stuff prepared in my fridge and cupboard that helps me when I am running around town, going to the movies or perhaps out on the town where there are TONS of unhealthy temptations. (and this includes especially visiting friends and relatives!)and you will succeed. I find from all my years on the earth plus.

First, it’s time to stop being so polite and eating just what the host(ess) prepares. Be frank (and friendly) and just tell the truth. “This IS for my health issues, I can’t eat this!” (it’s true right? sized humans are way too too polite and don’t know how to stick up for themselves!

The faulty pre-reclaimed life reasoning is like this:

          “They took all the time to prepare this with love or skill so I would insult them. ” (etc etc.) or “I will insult my host(ess)” “I don’t want to be rude” “they worked so hard preparing this!”

          (to be polite let them know way ahead of time what your healthy changes entail and I bet they will go great guns to be supportive and helpful, they need to plan though you know? as a hostess  myself who loves to cook I do want my guests to be happy with what I prepare. Stand up for your reclaimed life! You can do it!)

The mental and emotional adjustment that needs to go into place is this:

         “IF I continue to eat things that are unhealthy for me, I will land in a grave, I WILL lose all my friends and family because I will be dead. I will die from high blood pressure, I will die from a stroke, a heart attack, from diabetes (and diabetic complications).” (picture your grave, morbid but necessary)

        OR (picture how hard it is to walk, to climb stairs, how hard it is to play with your children or grandchildren, do your job, improve your career etc)

       Put a picture in your mind of how it feels to be this obese and sedentary.  It IS HARD!

       AND Mine that I use with all of this is this:

      “I want to live life with GUSTO, with passion, to walk the streets and museums of Rome, to climb mountains (and hills), to jetski, to do the things I feel cut off from to the best of my ability with joy and health!”

“I WANT to live and long and healthy happy life!”

“I want to run TOWARDS my life, not just exist!”

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MAKE a commitment to yourself, you deserve and so do I!