Is Mindful Eating Stressful for Busy People?

Mindful eating as a practice is great.  Mindful eating can reduce stress by slowing down to pay attention to what you eat. Is mindful eating stressful for busy people?

If mindful eating just another goal that you are too busy to attempt it can create more stress.  How you approach mindful eating makes it simple or stressful.

Why is it so difficult to slow down and pay attention to your food?

Grab and go has become the standard when you run out of time. Fast food has drive through windows for the busy person who can eat while driving to the next appointment. Schedules are hectic, so you are busy doing other things while you eat. Feeling bad about what and how you eat just creates another stress factor.

What is Mindful eating?

Mindful eating is simply paying attention to the food that you eat. Treating your meals as a specific activity that requires your full attention.  Paying attention to how you feel, how food tastes and how you react to specific food choices.

What are the benefits of Mindful eating?

You slow down your eating time. That allows your brain to catch up and signal you when you are full. You give yourself a break by avoiding multitasking for a short period of time each day.

  • You learn to eat when you are hungry and stop when you feel full
  • You learn to appreciate the taste of food, which leads to thoughtful choices about what you eat.
  • You pay attention to how you feel based on the types of food you just ate.

Consider taking just one small step towards mindful eating. Pick a meal or time that you can commit to paying attention to your food. Be consistent even if you only choose one meal a week. This will lead to success instead of stress.

  •  Eat only when you are actually hungry
  • Listen to your body and stop eating when you feel full
  • Give eating your full attention: Avoid eating in front of the TV

Mindful eating can help you make better choices for healthy options. Pick one aspect of mindful eating to focus on at a time. Be consistent so that you develop the habit of  food awareness. Keep it simple. Enjoy what you eat.

Contact Coach Gwen for more tools.   Schedule a coaching call

Your first strategy coaching call is free.

 

 

 

Join the 10-day Healthy Eating Challenge

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is a 10 day Healthy Eating Challenge? It is a 10-day commitment to be mindful of your eating habits and focus on healthy eating. It forces you to read labels and be mindful of your daily choices. The value of evaluating what you are eating on a regular basis supports making a few changes that will improve your habits as a lifestyle change. This is not a diet. Diets don’t work. This is a wake up call to pay attention to how you fuel your body.

 

Why take this 10-day Healthy Eating challenge?

Joining a group effort gives you motivation to make changes. 10 Days is long enough to increase your awareness and let you feel a difference in energy levels, sleep patterns and how you feel overall.

The rules are simple. For 10 days you only eat real food. Eat nothing that has added sugar in it. Drink lots of water. Fruit has natural sugar, fruit juice has added sugar, so eat the real fruit. Fruits, vegetables, protein, grains, anything that you can buy in it’s natural state. That means, nothing that is processed or comes out of a box. No drinks that have added sugar. Start by reading labels. You will be surprised how many of your normal food choices have added sugar in them. You will have to plan ahead. Many of our choices are based on time, so grab and go makes life easy.

Why am I doing this? I am doing this because I need to reset my habits. Life has been hectic and stressful lately and I feel like I am off track. I feel better, my skin is looks better and I sleep better when I stick to real food. Pick a date to start, plan ahead with your menu and food choices. If you need some help, reply below and I will send you meal plan for ideas.

So join me this April in a 10-day Healthy Eating Challenge. You will reap the benefits from this simple challenge that creates mindful eating as a lifestyle change.

Got questions?  Contact Coach Gwen below.

Sugar – What you don’t know about added sugar can Hurt you

 

What you don’t know about added sugar can hurt you

The average person takes in 22 teaspoons of sugar a day. Yet the recommenced amount by the American Heart Association is just 6 tsp for women and 9 tsp for men daily. This is added sugar, not counted is the natural occurring sugar in fruit or foods with fiber. A typical soda has 8 tsp of added sugar. What you don’t know about added sugar can hurt you.

How does this added sugar hurt you?

Ten reasons why sugar is bad for you

  1. Sugar is the biggest cause of obesity- sugar intakes drives insulin, which is our fat storing hormone. Sugar is addictive and stimulates our appetite to eat more.
  2. Sugar is the biggest cause of Type 2 diabetes- changing lifestyle and eating habits can help someone in the pre diabetic stage to avoid the life long consequences of diabetes. (Type 2 diabetes only).
  3. Sugar is related to cardiac health and high blood pressure. The extra insulin in your bloodstream can affect your arteries or circulation system in a way that adds stress to your heart
  4. Sugar gives you tooth decay. Snacks and sweets that are loaded with sugar contribute to tooth decay and tooth lose at any age
  5. Sugar crowds out nutritious foods. When you fill up on junk or sugar packed food, you are eating more food with less nutritious content. Creating a lifestyle of being over fed and undernourished.
  6. Sugar is linked to depression. The state of having high and low blood sugars impacts our moods and energy levels.
  7. Sugar is linked to inflammation- this extra sugar can worsen joint pain
  8. Sugar makes your skin age faster. Sugar attaches to proteins in your blood stream and creates harmful molecules that age your skin faster than normal.
  9. Eating sugar gives your brain an immediate boost with a chemical called dopamine. So you feel good immediately, however you start to crave more sugar to keep that feeling. This is the cycle of sugar addition.
  10. Extra sugar at night means you are more likely to wake up in the middle of the night.

Pick any one of these reasons as good enough to start changing your sugar habits.

Reading labels is key. Eating real food and avoiding processed or fast food will help more than anything.

 

https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/how-sugar-affects-your-body

 

The Truth about Exercise

Do you love to exercise? Are you motivated to exercise? Or do you dread exercise as something you should do? Do you think if you exercise you can eat anything you want? Guess again. Here are the hidden truths about exercise you need to know.

 

 

The truth about exercise: Your current motivation is based on your past

It turns our that your past relationship with exercise has everything to do with what motivates you to exercise now.

Michelle Segar has made a study of the science of motivation with exercise. Her simple advice makes sense. ” Take any and every opportunity to move, in any way possible, at what ever speed you like, for any amount of time. Do what make you feel good; stop doing what makes you feel bad.”

 The truth about exercise: You cannot outrun your fork.

No amount of exercise will allow you to eat junk food, high processed foods and sugar filled drinks. So give up the idea that exercise will allow you to eat anything you want.

The truth about exercise: Exercise has to be something you like to do

When you think of exercise as a chore or something you must accomplish it becomes easy to avoid it or give it a low priority. What motivates people is to choose things we like to do, that make us feel good.

Exercise is just the way you keep you body in shape so you can enjoy all the things you want to do in life. You only get one body. You cannot trade it in like a used car.

Exercise is not running on a treadmill until you are miserable. Exercise is any activity that elevates your heart rate and gets you moving. If you don’t like exercise, find an activity that you do like. Here are some ideas:

Dance at a club or in your own home to favorite tunes

Take a class – try something you have never done before

Hike/ walk. Walk to do your errands

Gardening or yard work-

Play ball or catch with your dog, kids or friends

Clean out a closet or your garage

Play outside- remember how we did that as kids?

Shoot baskets- you don’t have to be good at it

The truth about exercise is to be creative and have fun moving.

Contact Coach Gwen for a complimentary call

In Search of a Healthy Lunch

 

I did a quick search on the Internet to find  simple healthy  lunch ideas.  The options and menus that had multiple ingredients which appeared to be beyond my ability to recreate very quickly overwhelmed me.   I was tempted to fall back to recommending that childhood school lunch of packing a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and call it good.  However I think we can do better by using what you already know to make your own lunch choices.

So what are your best options for healthy lunches that keep things simple?

Start with why you need to eat healthy. Food is good fuel. Healthy fuel gives you energy for the whole day. Put junk fuel into you body and your energy level will suffer. Fresh fruit and vegetables are the original fast food.

Healthy eating is not a complicated task. What makes it easy is creating a system that fits your schedule, needs and food tastes while keeping that system simple and easy to do.

Step one                              

Make a list of all the food that you like and that can be easily stored on a shelf or in the freezer.

These are your staples – things you can stock up on ahead of time and grab as back up.  My staples are soup, tuna, nuts, dried fruit, peanut butter, almond butter, left over meals

Step two

Make your fresh food list – things you need to buy on a regular or weekly basis that give you choices for lunch – mine includes all things for salad and snacks at work.  I keep yogurt, apples, cheese, raw vegetables, humus, wraps, eggs, roasted turkey, spinach, any other lettuce that looks good on my weekly list.


Step three

Pick one or two lunch options that you can make the night ahead and are likely to have the ingredients on hand.  Experiment until you have a lunch that gives you some protein, fruit, vegetables, light on the carbohydrates and you can eat easily at work.

Sandwiches still work just fine – you may use wraps or lettuce instead of bread.  I sometimes just roll up roasted turkey with cheese and make that a finger food.  My standard working lunch is a salad – with multiple chopped raw vegetables.  I find that chopping enough for two days, in one session the night before, saves me time in the morning.  I add protein to my salad using hard boiled eggs, roasted turkey, leftover chicken or raw nuts.  I keep a protein bar, some raw nuts and an apple on hand for days when I need something to snack.

 

The final simple step

You need to pack your lunch so it is easily accessible to you any time during the day. How often have you skipped lunch because it was too much trouble to leave your desk and go to the break room?  Find an insulated lunch bag and add a small freezer pack – that way your food can stay on your desk all day – ready anytime you need to grab and fuel up.

I confess to eating the same lunch every day I work away from home. Is this boring?  No. This gives me a routine that simplifies my life.  I never forget my grocery list or a key ingredient in the special recipe of the week.  When everything else in my life is hectic, I need a few things that are easy to do.  When you want variety, start snooping in your friend’s lunch boxes.  Ask other busy people what they pack and like for easy prepare ahead food.  Use leftovers as a change up for lunch when you are prepared to go heat them up.  A little bit of planning ahead is the key to getting a lunch that keeps your life simple. Your professional challenges of the day require fuel for the whole day.

Need more recipes?

Check out this free website that I use for my coaching clients:

Program downloads from Transitions Lifestyle weight management

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Be healthy out there,

Gwen

 

 

What you eat may affect your sleep

By Mark Lange, PhD( reposted from Market America blog)
Sleep researchers have found that sleep quality is affected by diet. Twenty-six adults who normally sleep 7-9 hours per night participated in this randomized crossover study. The participants first consumed a controlled diet for 4 days and then ate whatever they wanted on day 5. Low fiber and high saturated fat and sugar intake was associated with lighter, less restorative sleep with more arousals.
The researchers were surprised that a single day of greater fat intake and lower fiber could influence sleep parameters. The study emphasizes that diet and sleep are interwoven in the fabric of a healthy lifestyle. For optimal health it is important to make proper dietary choices to improve sleep and exercise regularly.
Source: St-Onge MP, et al. Fiber and saturated fat are associated with sleep arousals and slow wave sleep. J. Clin. Sleep Med. 2016; 12(1):19-24

So now this makes sense when you eat junk late at night your sleep may be disrupted. I know for me, the simple rule of closing the kitchen at 8 pm works great.  Other studies show that high stress is linked to poor sleep habits. What we eat does matter. Exercise lets your brain rest so it can relax at night.  Look at your system to get ready for sleep. Do you give yourself a space to unwind before bed? Here are a few ideas.  Shut off the electronics 30 min before you expect to go to sleep. Do a few gentle stretches.  Try 5 minutes of meditation.  Avoid the late night snacks. Figure out a routine that helps your brain relax before you close your eyes for sleep.

Need more help with your sleep patterns? Click for a complimentary 30 min coaching call