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.

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Why are you in such a Hurry?

 

 

Do you push yourself to meet every deadline?

Do you consider every task a top priority?

Do you multi-task every thing?

Do you feel guilty when you have free time?

You quality for a new group  of behaviors called excessive- time- urgency.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why are you in such a hurry? Because you excessively worry about schedules and rush as a habit even when it is not necessary to hurry.

 Why hurry up no matter what?

I realized that my father was rushed and rushing us when going places because he was worried about the appearance of being late. He was stuck on the idea that if you cannot get there on time, don’t bother showing up. That created a lot of stress in the getting ready to go anywhere for all of us.

You might have a friend that is constantly in motion. If there is not enough activity, this friend will make a new project and attempt to pull you into the activity. If you want help cleaning out your closets, invite this friend over. However being around constant high levels of energy can be exhausting when you just want to sit quietly with a cup of tea. So consider your needs and activity levels when you plan your down time. Do you allow yourself down time? Time with nothing in particular planned for you to do?

What are the consequences of getting stuck in this pattern of hurry up no matter what?

You will have high stress levels based on your constant whirlwind of activity. Part of your rush is based on getting everything just right. This perfectionism creates unrealistic expectations and more stress. When you hurry you are more likely to make mistakes which leads to rework. Rework adds to an already busy schedule.

You will miss out on the everyday joy around you.

There is no time for self-care and playtime when you life is in hurry up mode.

Why are you in such a hurry? What are you missing out on?

Check yourself  Take why are you in a hurry assessment

How do you break this pattern of hurry up no matter what?

  1. Focus on one thing at a time. Give your full attention to one thing; see how that feels for a change.
  2. Rethink, reflect and prioritize your tasks. Not everything is high priority.
  3. Separate work from play. Allow time to be flexible with your recreational activity
  4. Plan ahead. Planning avoids the rush because you did not think ahead. Set up planning time so you can think ahead without the pressure of instant decisions on what is up next.
  5. Get realistic about your expectations of time. Are you trying to do too many things in too short of a time?
  6. Slow down. Pay attention to life and people around you. Listen first before you jump into action. That alone can save you time by having all the information first.
  7. Allow down time everyday just for you. Start with 10 minutes. Take that time for doing nothing. It might be uncomfortable. Try it and see what happens.

Hurry up no matter what is a pattern of activity that leads to burnout and overwhelm. When you slow down to recognize that you have choices, time can be a gift instead of another stress factor.

Water up: The hidden benefits of drinking water

 

 

Water is an essential nutrient that your body needs on a regular basis. Fluid losses occur daily through sweating, exercise, normal bathroom habits and breathing. Dehydration occurs when your water intake does not equal your output. High altitudes, hot days, strenuous exercise or too busy to pay attention are all reasons that people don’t get enough water in their system. Roughly 60 % of your body is fluid. Here are some of the hidden benefits of drinking water.

Water can be really helpful for weight loss.

It is 100% calorie-free, helps you burn more calories and may even suppress your appetite if consumed before meals.
The benefits are even greater when you replace sugary beverages with water. It is a very easy way to cut back on sugar and calories.

Muscle Fuel
Sweating with exercise causes muscles to lose water. When the muscles don’t have enough water they get tired. Water reduces the tendency for muscle cramps.

 

Drinking water helps your brain function

Fatigue and low energy
Water can help with fatigue, as tiredness is a common symptom of dehydration. Your brain is part of your system that needs adequate fluids; so consider adding water when you reach those afternoon brain drain times.

Flushes out toxins- Kidneys are responsible for processing and sifting out toxins in your system, they need enough fluids to clear out what your body needs to pass out and get rid of.

Improves skin complexion
Think of your skin as a sponge. When your skin gets dry, it contracts and gets flaky. When the cells in your skin are plump and elastic they are less susceptible to irritation.

Maintains regularity in your digestive system and bowel habits
Adequate water and fiber keep your digestive system flowing normally

Natural headache remedy- Dehydration can trigger headaches and migraines in some people. Drinking extra water can reduce those pesky hangover symptoms

Tips to drink more water:
Keep a bottle or glass of water near by.
Eat fruits and vegetables: about 20 % of your fluid intake comes from food.
Drink water will every meal or snack
Choose plain water over soda or high calorie energy drinks that contain sugar

Contact Coach Gwen Schedule a time to talk

Simple ways to Reduce Stress

 

 

Thinking about stress relief can relieve stress in reality. When it comes to simple ways to reduce stress, what we think about matters.

 

 

When you engage in positive thinking, visual relaxation and affirmations, you could lower the levels of stress. Because stress is usually resulted by over-thinking, if you change your thoughts, you can get an instant relaxation.

Change your attitude can change your stress level. True or false? True.

This is particularly true for those pessimists, perfectionists and “type A” personalities. Those people with the features above usually have certain behavior and thought patterns that cause their body to have too much to deal with.

What can you do to reduce stress?

Simple ways to reduce stress. Even those simple things like dark chocolate, music, meditation, laughing, exercise or even sleeping can help you reduce stress effectively and leave you feeling bright, fresh and rejuvenated.

Laughing can lower the stress hormones such as epinephrine, cortisol, and adrenaline, and strengthen the immune system by producing health improving hormones.

Playing with your pets can reduce stress. Pets offer non-judgmental companionship, which is a big plus to your mental outlook. Playing or petting an animal can increase levels of the stress-reducing hormone oxytocin and decrease production of the stress hormone cortisol.

Exercise can reduce stress

Exercise increases your overall health and your sense of well-being, which puts more pep in your step every day. But exercise also has some direct stress-busting benefits. It pumps up your endorphins. Physical activity helps bump up the production of your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins.

Does it matter what type of exercise? No. Anything that you enjoy will decrease stress. Getting outside in natural sunlight can be the most enjoyable activity and easy to do.

Simple ways to reduce stress starts with your thoughts and attitude. Look for one easy thing you can do. Make that new habit part of your daily self-care plan.

Contact Coach Gwen Schedule a time to talk

 

 

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

Momentum Creates Motivation for a Healthy Lifestyle

 

 

What is your reason to create a healthy lifestyle? If you don’t understand why you want to make a change, it is difficult to start. Without any momentum you quickly lose motivation because you don’t see any results.
Because you are supposed to eat healthy or exercise, is a weak basis for creating lasting change. Consider instead internal motivation. Here are some examples that may give you a stronger starting reason.
I want to have more energy. I want to feel better. I want to be able to play with my kids or grandkids. If you are unsure of why change is important to you, try asking yourself better questions.

Momentum creates motivation. Take time to understand why. This will increase your motivation

Here are some questions to ask yourself about why you are making time for self-care.

• What to I expect from making healthy changes?

• Why is it important to me to feel good?

• What has stopped me in the past from sticking to healthy goals?

• Who can I ask to support me in these changes?

• What behavior or habits are hurting me?

• What are my sources of joy?

Once you have an idea of why you want to feel healthy, the next step is how to get started.

Create a strategy or road map for change.

Planning ahead for meals and snacks is the number one thing you can do to create success. Consider how to fit more activity into your day. Look for ways to move that you enjoy and can do with family or friends. Momentum begins the day you start making small changes. Motivation comes with doing things you like and enjoying the process. So no matter how small your first step, use that momentum to build motivation to feel good about your life again.

Contact Coach Gwen for a coaching 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

Work Life Balance made Simple

How to make work life balance simple:

  • Everything is not equally important. Do fewer things and do them well.
  • Decide what your values are — and which ones take precedence.
  • Do the things that get results.
  • Focus on the things only you can do.
  • Do the important things, which must be done now.

Work life balance can be simple over time. It won’t be resolved tomorrow but you can get much, much better at this with practice.

Five Key concepts that make work life balance simple:

  1. Learn to say no.

Say no to requests that are not your highest-level priority. Ask your self: am I being helpful or I am doing someone else’s work for them? Is this the best use of my time right now?

You can do anything once you stop trying to do everything.

When you say yes to one request, stop to think what you are saying no to at the same time. You can only spend your time on one thing at a time.

  1. Plan ahead.

Planning out your schedule makes sure the important things get done. Setting up a list for each day, helps you stay on track.

Schedule the important things on your calendar. If getting to your daughters soccer game is important, put that on the schedule.

Schedule some time for yourself as if it was an important meeting.

When you plan ahead for your high value activities, they happen. If you neglect to plan you end up dealing with what ever comes at you in a random fashion.

That feels like a lack of control and is exhausting to react rather than take action.

 

  1. Bundle chores or errands.

Check your patterns; be mindful of how you spend your time and the choices you make on a daily/ weekly basis. How many trips to you make to the grocery store?

When you have a plan for meals you can reduce time spent at the store and preparing meals. Plan ahead for errands and take once a week to do them.

Return phone calls in a batch at work. Save low priority tasks for when you need a mental break.

 

  1. Manage work time

Start each day with the high priority list. Plan ahead on what time you will leave work each day. Cut back on distractions by closing your door or asking questions when you are interrupted. Asking questions can save everyone time. Ask about time, priority and who else is involved before you take on another project.

What is the deadline for this? What do you need from me right now? If someone brings you a problem or needs help: ask first: What solutions do you have in mind? Or ask what have you tried first? Refer back to # 1. Learn to say no.

 

  1. Enjoy weekends and vacation time.

When you are home, really be home. Keep work out of your personal time.

Unplug from work emails, phone calls or texts. Don’t feel like you have to spend every spare moment on chores or tasks. Set up personal rest time doing something fun and enjoyable, even if it seems wasteful. It is not. Time for self-care is critical to enjoying your life and reducing stress.

My final few thoughts are about letting go of expectations and being perfect.

Give up on perfection. Good enough is good enough for many tasks. Other people can do things instead of you doing everything. You just have to let them.

Gaining a work life balance is a process. Reflecting on what is important to you is the first step to making changes that last. Feeling unbalanced? Contact Gwen for a grounding coaching session.

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Compassion Fatigue Are you at Risk?

If you find yourself emotionally and physically exhausted, easily irritated and blaming others for problems on a daily basis: you could be suffering from compassion fatigue.

There are many resources for how to recognize, prevent and treat compassion fatigue. I would like to focus on the coaching approach to dealing with this chronic and debilitating condition. Coaching is unique in starting with examining your personal operating beliefs.   Your beliefs drive your actions on a daily basis. Reflection and examining your beliefs is the key to changing your actions. If you believe that putting the needs of others first is important, then your actions will reflect that belief. If you believe that you are totally responsible for healing an injured animal than you will take on all of the pain and disappointment if that animal fails to thrive. If you believe that you must be perfect with every task at work, than you will consider any misstep a personal failure.

A strong identification with weak, suffering, helpless animals or people contribute to higher levels of compassion fatigue. Caring to much and taking on all the emotional blame for any outcome is part of a belief that you need to care more than any one else in order to help others.

So the reason that many people are attracted to a caring, helping profession is also the reason they are at higher risk for compassion fatigue.

Check your self against these common symptoms:

  • Emotional exhaustion
  • Reduced sense of personal accomplishment or meaning in work
  • Poor habits of self-care
  • Excessive blaming
  • Isolations for others
  • Physical exhaustion and chronic fatigue
  • Compulsive behaviors such as overeating, overspending or binge TV watching
  • Substance abuse to mask feelings
  • Pent up emotions
  • Difficulty concentrating or making basic decisions

How does Spiral Coaching help with compassion fatigue?

Coaching is based on self-learning, self-compassion and reflection to make adjustments in your normal patterns that support a healthier, happier you. Resilient people practice self-care, exercise regularly, eat healthy and have strong support systems. Do You?  Practicing self compassion is a way to recharge your emotional batteries. Using a journal with a coach gives you a guide for faster results

.Sign up for your free on line journal

How would you rate your stress level today? Do you have signs of compassion fatigue?

What are you willing to do about improving your life right now?

What beliefs drive your actions? Do those beliefs support a healthy lifestyle?

These are basic coaching questions that start the process of moving in a direction of creating positive changes for you.

If you don’t like where you are, you must be willing to take action before your life will change.

Take a step forward today. Contact Coach Gwen Veterinarian Services – go to your page

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