Ways You Can be More Mindful & Intentional With Your Meals

Counting calories, tracking macros, and restrictive dieting, for the most part, all lead to one thing —an unhealthy, negative relationship with food. Food is there to fuel our bodies and satisfy our taste buds. We should love and enjoy it, not dread it. However, in today’s busy world, we often eat mindlessly, ignoring whatever signals our body is sending us. Here are six tips to help you eat more mindfully.

1. Before you eat, take some time to breathe and check how you’re feeling
This is an important first step towards mindfulness and eating in the present moment. How are you feeling right now? Are you hungry, or are you just thirsty, bored, or stressed? Sometimes, we confuse different emotions or thirst for hunger and grab some food without taking time to reflect. Maybe instead you need some water, exercise, meditation, or just some time to destress. Taking a few minutes to breathe deeply can help you stop and reflect on what your body needs at this moment.

2. Evaluate the food you’re eating
Before you take your first bite, take some time to look at the food on your plate, and evaluate its properties. What colors are on your plate, and what textures do you notice? Are they healthy, whole foods, or processed foods? Where did this food come from? Instead of focusing on the quantitative properties (i.e., number of calories, carbohydrates, etc.), focus on the experience of the food. This will help you enjoy it more and be more appreciative of the healthy foods you’re eating.

3. Eat slowly!
Eating slowly is not only crucial for mindful eating, but also for aiding digestion. Often, we eat so fast that our brain doesn’t even have time to register that we’re full before we’ve already finished two plates. Put your fork or spoon down between each bite and take your time. This will not only help you better assess when you’re full, but it will also help you enjoy your food more.

4. Halfway through your meal, stop and assess your hunger levels
Often, we only stop to consider how full we are once we have finished all the food on our plates. However, the amount of food on your plate might not be the amount of food you need. Halfway through your meal, stop, and assess whether you are still hungry or whether you are still enjoying the food you’re eating. You don’t need to finish your plate.

5. Chew your food thoroughly
Digestion begins in the mouth. When we chew our food, important digestive enzymes are released with our saliva. Thus, taking time to chew our food is not only important to keep us mindful of the different tastes and textures that we’re eating, but it also improves digestion. When we take time to chew our food, we are also subconsciously slowing down our eating and enjoying the entire  experience.

6. Enjoy your food
This is so important—eating should not be a chore, nor should it be something that we only do because we have to in order to live. Eat the foods that both your taste buds and your body enjoy. The more you restrict yourself from what you actually want to eat, the more frustrated you will get, and you will probably end up eating it anyway. You might as well just eat it and enjoy eating it!

Every decision we make plants a seed in our lives. Every thought that runs through our minds, every story we tell ourselves, every habit we take up…

All of these things plant seeds in our hearts, minds, and lives.

What are you harvesting in your mind?

What needs to be shifted first in your life for a bountiful harvest in the coming months?

What is Intuitive Eating?

If you’ve never heard the phrase “intuitive eating” — listen up, because it’s life-altering.

Intuitive eating proposes breaking free from the on-and-off cycle of dieting and learning to eat mindfully and without guilt. There’s no calorie counting or restrictions on certain foods — alternately, you learn to make peace with food and use it for nourishment instead of comfort.

At its core, intuitive eating is learning to tap into your intuition and honor your body.

–  Eat nourishing foods when you feel hungry without overdoing it.

–  Learn how to feel satisfaction from other areas of your life, without using food for comfort, satisfaction or a feeling of belonging.

–  Learn to respect your body for all it does for you, and you’ll naturally become more gentle and mindful with your choices.

It’s quite radically different than the yo-yo dieting our society is used to, but learning to eat intuitively is a lifestyle that will carry you through your years with ease.

What self-help books have been on your bookshelf lately?

I’m a big fan of reading, especially inspirational, motivational, and self-help books. I’m always looking for new recommendations, so let’s create a great resource here in the comments below.

Let me know what your favorite inspirational/motivational/self-help book(s) are!

Ways to Manage Your Smartphone Addiction

and be more present

Looking for New Year’s resolutions that will change your life? I invite you to consider making a promise to yourself to be more present in your life and put your phone down. Look, I totally get it that smartphones have made life much easier for us all. You can’t get lost thanks to GPS, you can find exactly what you need in the palm of your hand and shop smarter at the supermarket, and you can be more efficient.

But for many of us, we get sucked into the mindless stuff we can use on our smartphones too. From endless newsfeeds to time-wasting  apps, it can cause us to be glued to our phones instead of living in the moment with friends, family, and our kids.

Be honest, do you have a phone addiction? Let me know in the comments below where you fall on this spectrum.

Take control in 2019 to be more present and enjoy more of life through your eyes, not the lens of your phone. Here are 5 ways to make that happen.

Watch how much time you spend on your phone
It might help to keep a log as we often use our phones for business too. If you’re an iPhone user, the latest iOS update now includes a screen-time breakdown where you can see how much time you’re spending on your phone, and where. You’ll be shocked by the amount of time you’re spending. Thankfully, you can use settings to kick you off your phone if you’re using it too much, to retrain yourself.

Turn off useless notifications
Go to your notifications and turn them off for apps you don’t need. There’s no reason to be notified every single time one of your photos gets a like. Set a time of day where you’ll go to those apps and catch up, and set a time limit for how much time you’ll spend. When the time is up, close the app until tomorrow.

Do something more meaningful
Not all apps are a waste of time. Some of them can inspire you to do other things. One called Giantgood provides suggestions for how to add more meaning while putting your phone down. You might be told to go for a walk after dinner, call someone you love, or do something kind for a complete stranger.

Spend time outdoors
When was the last time you spent an afternoon outdoors? And no, walking from the parking lot to your office doesn’t count! I mean when did you last connect with the outdoor world? You don’t need to be a rustic outdoorsy person to benefit from nature. Just get out there and do something you enjoy, and ignore your phone while you’re there.

Say “no” to devices at dinner
For the family, enjoy more time together at the table by leaving devices off of it. Enact the rule that no one is allowed to use their smartphones or tablets, or even watch TV while you’re at the dinner table. This helps you reconnect in the real world. Find fun dinner conversations online to print off and have on hand to engage in an enjoyable discussion each night at dinnertime.

Start with one of these tips and gradually adjust to create a balance between the real world and the glossy virtual world we create and you’ll find you’re more satisfied with your life. And, who doesn’t want that?!

Do you think it’s easier to create a new habit or break an old one???

That can be a tough thing to answer, I know.  But really think about it today and see what comes up for you.

The thing is, the thought of breaking a habit seems difficult and uncomfortable.  We put it off and put it off, and sometimes never get around to it.

Starting a new habit can be exciting, filled with hope and newness.

See the difference?  Sometimes a shift in perspective and way of thinking is all we need to tackle that hurdle that’s been holding us back.

When’s the last time you disconnected from your phone for a bit?

It can feel like an impossibility — what if someone needs you? What if you get an important phone call? They’re all valid questions, but the answer is — life will go on, and you’ll find out soon enough. You likely don’t even know what it feels like to not have your phone within reach if you’re anything like me.  It’s become such an integrated part of our lives that we don’t even consider going without it.

Starting to break the invisible chain between you and your phone can feel awkward, uneasy and uncomfortable at first… but the rewards are amazing.

Start small today by taking a walk outside without your phone. Notice how you feel, how you notice things differently, and what your mind is thinking about.

Come back and let me know how it went, I want to know!

 

You know yourself better than anyone.  You know what tempts you, what you struggle with most, what you NEED the most, and how to achieve all you hope to accomplish.  It’s already inside of you, and you have this profound wisdom already.

Think about your biggest struggle when it comes to your health.

You know what tempts you to fall into this trap.  How can you alleviate this temptation to avoid giving in to your struggle?

 

 

It’s essential to take a few minutes out of our day to sit and be with ourselves and our thoughts, so we can learn the challenging art of quieting the mind.  If we never slow down, we will certainly never get to that point.

Meditation doesn’t have to be for the pros; you can do it yourself with just an app on your phone and ten minutes a day.  Fitting it into your morning or night routine does not take much effort, and the reward will be worth it.  Download an app onto your phone such as Headspace or Calm and give it a try.

Whatever situation you’re in right now — whole and happy, or journeying through a tough time — are you looking at it with a proactive mindset about how to continue?

If you’re struggling, have you brainstormed ways to get yourself out of the quicksand?  Do you know what step to take first, and the subsequent steps that come afterward?  A plan of action takes an immense amount of stress off of your shoulders, seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

Evaluate what is and isn’t working in your life and what the next steps are.  Your happiness is important and is a crucial part of your overall health.