Exploring eating mindfully

There’s something to be said about being in tune with your body.  You’re not alone if  it feels like a long time since you’ve felt hunger pain or felt fullness.  It may take you some time to get back into your natural rhythm.  Start by taking a few days and only eating when you are hungry, despite what time of day it is.  Then you can start to adjust your natural hunger to normal eating hours,  by lightly snacking when you’re hungry in between meal time OR drinking water until your next meal time.  Personally I like to eat at 8am, noon and 6pm.  I just like the routine of it.  Besides I have a family my husband and I cook for and it’s nice to have a schedule.  When it’s noon, it’s lunch time dang it!  But, if I’m hungry at 9pm or 3pm I’m not going to deny myself food either.  I usually start getting hungry about 30 minutes before I typically like to eat.  That I can manage.  I was reading a really great blog http://roninoone.com/oneblog/ by Roni Noone and she was talking about how she has a list of foods on her snack list.  I may not be exactly quoting her, but I loved the idea of having a list of snacks in your head you can go-to when you are starving.  Mine are popcorn, salted almonds, apples and peanut butter, any fruit, carrots and hummus OR leftovers from your previous meal.  Enough to get me through hunger and still healthy.  And I like not having to put too much thought into it.

Pushing your plate away with food still on it may be a foreign concept.  I get it.  Sometimes food is just so tasty, it’s tough to just leave it there.  But, I love the idea of wrapping it up and getting to eat it again the next time I’m hungry.  You’re next snack!  Perfect concept.

What about dessert?  Everyone loves dessert, especially me.  But, what I realize is that I’m not going to have dessert every night.  Sometimes it’s hard to “eat just one” of dessert AND it’s really nice making dessert a special treat.  So, once a week, have a great dessert that you truly love!  There are a lot of dessert recipes made with whole ingredients and I like exploring these.

Whole foods.  I work to eat whole foods as much as possible, but I said before I struggle when it comes to tortillas, chips and bread.  What guidelines I do like following are keeping foods to 5 ingredients or less.  This is a tip I got from the blog I love http://www.100daysofrealfood.com  I love her and her cookbooks.  Read about the rules her family followed when they took the 100 day challenge.  https://www.100daysofrealfood.com/real-food-defined-a-k-a-the-rules/  For me, I try not to eat chips, bread and tortillas every meal.  If we’re having Mexican I’ll have chips or tortillas and that day I’ll make sure not to have chips for lunch.  It works!

Share your tips with me!

Six strategies launching you into your Happy Healthy life

My journey has been and will continue to be a long one.  I hope I get to move closer to Happy Healthy and I hope I get to meet a lot of you through the process.  I have a long way to go.  But, like any journey, the first step is always the hardest.  For me, it’s like I’ve been on the verge of “figuring it out” my whole life.  The last 7 years I have especially struggled maintaining a healthy weight and that’s what I’m here to change.

Here are some things I’ve learned.  Diets don’t work.  They keep you in an unhealthy state of starvation and most often whatever weight was lost is then gained back plus some when you go off the diet.  You would think I would figure this out after this happening twice to me in the last seven years.  And those were not my first diets, by any means.  I remember girls talking about dieting in 7th grade, and that’s when I went on my first diet.  I did not need to lose weight, but I still managed to lose 5 pounds.  Our society and culture has supported deprivation dieting for decades.  In the last few years it seems that revolution has started to change.  I’ve watched several documentaries and read several articles supporting nourishing your body with whole foods, walking daily and having positive self talk.  What a concept.  I’ve talked to several professionals who always address weight management and overeating with mindfulness eating.  Be intentional.  It sounds so easy, but I knew the old way of dieting wasn’t going to work for me anymore.

One of the most influential articles I have read lately further inspired me to write this blog about my journey.  I went searching for tips that really work in losing and maintaining a healthy weight and as I read the 10 tips Dr. Hyman lays out I realized that I’ve heard these before.  I’ve watched documentaries on eating whole foods and followed blogs about cutting out processed foods.  I’ve seen that mindfulness and journaling helps keep you in check.  Some of the tips seem so basic, but they are truly the foundation for taking care of ourselves and supporting a happy healthy life.  Here’s a link to his original article.  It’s such a good read.  http://drhyman.com/blog/2015/02/19/overeating-doesnt-make-fat-2/    To summarize, here are his 10 strategies to stop overeating and lose weight.

  • Eat real, whole foods
  • Eat breakfast
  • Eat mindfully
  • Moderate or eliminate alcohol
  • Become aware of trigger foods
  • Keep a journal
  • Get sufficient sleep
  • Control stress levels
  • Exercise the right way
  • Supplement smartly

Aren’t they brilliant?  I already manage a few of these tips, so in my journey I’m going to be focusing on the 6 I need to pay more attention to.

  1. Eat real, whole foods
  2. Eat mindfully (including eating when hungry and stopping when full)
  3. Moderate or eliminate alcohol
  4. Become aware of trigger foods
  5. Keep a journal
  6. Exercise the right way

Lets start off talking about eating real, whole foods.   The challenge of overeating all makes sense when you realize that the heavily processed foods most Americans consume everyday are actually addictive.  It’s not a matter of willpower.  These foods are engineered to keep you coming back for more.  That’s right, I said engineered.  What’s processed?  What’s not.  How do you cook and feed a busy family without processed foods?  It does take planning and cooking BUT, it’s not hard to find incredible recipes and create substitutes for old standbys.  I own and use the following cookbooks which are fabulous tools.

  • 100 days of real food.  https://www.100daysofrealfood.com/  A wonderful story, an amazing blog and perfect challenge.  If you want to launch yourself into cutting out processed food, take her 100 day challenge that started it all for her.  Her cookbook has so many easy family favorites.
  • Oh She Glows.  http://ohsheglows.com/  She’s a Vegan blogger and author and her cookbook is simply amazing.  I have not had a bad meal.  I’ve eaten things I never would have eaten.  I have found replacements for things like chicken salad and beef burgers and have loved every soup I have made.

I still have challenges eating whole foods all the time.  I struggle with breads, tortillas and chips.  I dread meal planning and often tire of cooking.  These are challenges I’ll be facing.  My husband loves to cook and loves so many of the recipes I’ve made from these cookbooks.  It’s helpful to sit down together and talk about what works and what doesn’t.  How do we balance what the kids love to eat (burgers and spaghetti) with what we want to eat (stir fry and soup)?  But, the more real whole foods we eat the more our overeating will normalize.

I’ll be writing about the 6 strategies a lot.  What works, what doesn’t and how they are going to help shape my journey.  For me, it’s not about constantly complaining about the 40 pounds I need to lose or dwelling on how I got here, it’s about moving forward and finding what’s going to work for the next 40 years of my life.  I want real tips and tools that are realistic and achievable.  I want to get it right and say goodbye to the shame associated with the struggle.  We all want to be happy and healthy, but lets set ourselves up for success, not failure.