Archives for diet
The holidays are well under way and what comes with that is the inevitable holiday stress! It can be a not-so-merry time for parents--kids are out of their normal routine, hyped-up on sugar and grumpy after being up too late at holiday parties! Instead of soothing and calming your nerves this year with sugar cookies and candy canes, one of my favorite mindful eating experts and New York Bestselling author, Dr. Susan Albers, recommends these 9 natural techniques from her new book, 50 More Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food. Treat these following 9 techniques as an experiment and see what you learn along the way: 1) Ho-Ho-Ho Meditation: Holidays are stressful and a recipe for stress eating. Close your eyes and do 3 Santa Clause like belly laughs—this is a simple laughing yoga exercise. Laughing yoga has been shown to reduce your cortisol level, the stress hormone that makes you crave sugary, fatty, salty foods. Creating a moment of laughter can be as simple as googling "funny baby videos" or "viral videos" on youtube. 2) Tea Time. Bye-bye pumpkin lattes! Sip Cinnamon tea. Cinnamon is clinically shown to help regulate your blood sugar which can help to avoid sugary treats. Also, the scent of cinnamon is calming and a sweet, calorie free reminder of the holiday. 3) Munch Well. Does simply chewing on something make you feel better? Try gnawing on leftover pumpkin seeds that you dry and roast. Not only is this chewy and will satisfy your need to munch, it contains L-tryptophan which helps to naturally combat depression and the blues.
One of the greatest, most unproductive and destructive mind traps many of us face is self-blame. It's as if the brain doesn't know what to do with the uncomfortable feeling that's there and it projects it inward. I've never seen a single example where self-blame is constructive. We all make mistakes in life, some greater than others. But there is a simple truth in life that is worth understanding, we all do the best we can with what we know in any given time. It could never be any other way. There's a simple thing to practice that can bring us back to our senses with a bit more self-compassion. This inevitably will lead to greater ease, understanding and refocus us on a more constructive path of health and well-being sooner. Forgive yourself for not knowing what you didn't know before you learned it. No matter what you've done, it doesn't serve you or anyone else to stew in self-blame. What would serve yourself and others more is moving into a place of understanding and making peace with yourself. From this space you are better able to more constructively serve yourself and others. In Uncovering Happiness I share a very personal story where in my twenties I was incredibly destructive to my mind and body. I would be constantly caught in a web of blaming myself for the things I would do - only to do them again.
Eating – Some of us enjoy it looking for the greatest combination of ingredients to tantalize our taste buds, while others wish there was a food pill to just get it over with. Sometimes we can eat too much food out of stress or habit and at other times we have periods of eating well, being mindful of our food habits and caring about the body. No matter what your relationship to food, everyone has to eat. The question I continue to come back to again and again is how can we develop a more mindful relationship to food in order to cultivate better eating habits? My friend and mindful colleague Beth Mulligan who is founder of The Mindful Way has been working on this for years and enlightens us with an answer today. Beth is also teaching an 8-week series on Mindful Eating for Vibrant Living at InsightLA in Los Angeles starting September 23rd. Elisha: How does Mindful Eating help us create better eating habits?
One of most essential relationships in life is with the food we eat. What we bring into our bodies affects our level of energy, ability to pay attention, and general well-being. That is why being mindful in our lives has to integrate the food we eat. Brandt Passalacqua, author of the audio program Being At Peace With Food, is also a speaker who discovered yoga and meditation after struggling with his weight, food and substance addiction, and serious illness. Since founding Peaceful Weight Loss™ Through Yoga, his personal journey has served as an inspiration to countless others looking to make peace with food. You can also check out his webinar here. Today, Brandt talks to us about what our most impactful bad eating habits are, how he developed a healthy relationship to food, a meditation to get us started and a little advice at the end. Elisha: Hi Brandt, to get us started tell us what some of the most impactful negative eating habits are that affect us today?
Eating is something that is a part of all of our lives, and for some of us, it's a source of please and pain. Try as we might to avoid it, we get caught in unhealthy styles of eating in attempts to soothe discomfort. Unfortunately, this is followed by self-judgment, which takes all the joy out of eating. This is why I am thrilled to bring to you a true expert on the topic, Susan Albers, Psy.D., who has authored the latest book "But I Deserve This Chocolate!: The Fifty Most Common Diet-Derailing Excuses and How to Outwit Them," along with "50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food," and the classic, now in its second edition, "Eating Mindfully: How to End Mindless Eating and Enjoy a Balanced Relationship with Food." Today, Susan will talk to us about why we sabotage healthy eating, the mind traps involved and give us some tips to get started on a healthier mindful eating. Elisha: What’s behind our subtle drive to sabotage healthy eating?
There's a funny cartoon out there of some cows in a pasture eating grass. One cow's head is lifted up with a sense of horror on his face and the caption reads "Hey wait a minute! This is grass! We've been eating grass!" If I asked you, have you ever been sitting at a meal with someone or even by yourself and been halfway through the meal without having tasted the food? In my experience, the odds are likely that you'll be nodding your head up and down. Our heads are often simply somewhere else, worrying about where we need to be, watching television, or engrossed in conversation. This unawareness is the seed for making poor food choices, not to mention missing out on enjoying the food. This unawareness can also drive people to overeat as a way to cope with unacknowledged feelings and emotions. You may be in search of a "quick fix" that consists of caffeinated beverages and highly refined foods that burn very quickly and spike up the metabolism. Many people have learned to comfort and sedate themselves with food. Sadly our "super-size" culture not only supports these tactics but also capitalizes on it. Since preparing and eating food is such an essential component of our lives, why not bring mindful awareness to this?
A couple weeks ago I highlighted a therapist in Los Angeles named Stan Friedman who had a story of how he broke free from the auto-pilot of negative thinking and into a space of choice and possibility. I want to open this up as an opportunity for people to send me stories of mindfulness that can show the rest of us how it has had a practical impact on a particular event or their lives. I will choose from them from time to time to post on Mindfulness and Psychotherapy to help give insight to the rest of us of how mindfulness can be practically applied for our health and well-being. Of course those that get chosen can also send me a link that I’ll include in the post where people can learn more about them.
Recently, a new report came out in the Monday's Archives of Internal Medicine that stated that engaging in bad habits such as excessive drinking (more than 3 drinks/day), smoking, not exercising (2 hours/week) or eating our veggies and fruit can age us by 12 years. Well, it’s not really news that being unkind to our bodies over time can lead to an unhealthy state. However, here is a little anecdote that is interesting and might explain how it we can seem aged by 12 years. Read over the following progression from A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook a couple of times and take a moment to reflect on it: 1. Intention shapes our thoughts and words.
There is a tradition on the Mindfulness and Psychotherapy blog. Every Monday, I cite a quote or a poem that is related to mindfulness and psychotherapy in some way and then explore it a bit and how it is relevant to our lives. For me, quotes and poetry can often sink me into a state of greater understanding. This is a special day as it marks the release of A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook. So, I'm going to begin with something from the book. We open up A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook with a very appropriate poem by Mary Oliver, entitled "The Journey": One day you finally knew what you had to do, and began, though the voices around you kept shouting their bad advice— though the whole house began to tremble and you felt the old tug at your ankles. “Mend my life!” each voice cried.