“One of the major keys to overcoming Mindless eating is AWARENESS.”
Welcome to the Whole Body Beautiful Summer News letter. It is good to be back and connecting with you all at a time when spirits are lifted, Summer is coming, and a lightness is in the air, and hopefully within your body. As much as we all want to feel the energy of Summer, its fantastic foods, the relaxed attitude, for some it can be challenging. This Newsletter is about just that. Becoming aware of just what are bodies truly need and recognizing, educating, and creating that intent.
Summer is here already and this means its time to fuel, nurture, and listen to that summer time body. It is a time where our energy and our food is at its highest point of all the seasons, (or at least it should be). Fresh produce, greens, vegetables and fruits that grow up towards the sun are regarded as high-energy foods and the balance between what to eat, when and how often will be key to managing your high energy appetite, weight, and lifestyle so you can enjoy your health and body all Summer long.
Summer, for many is a time to recharge and rejuvenate, but for some it is a time to eat and drink a bit more than usual. BBQ’s, Summer parties, vacations, beach days, all fun, but this doesn’t have to be a 3 month food and fitness vacation. Many great options and opportunities to try some new and rejuvenating foods, adjusting attitudes, fun and exciting activities, and confirming our commitments to our health and happiness.
Sitting by a pool?, watching a game?, going to the beach? or a BBQ? Are there healthy foods to support you and your family’s fun summertime activities? or senseless planning mindless eating? Yes, we all do it at times. Are we really hungry or are the chips, wine or chocolate just calling our name?
Between the time we are born to the age of three we rely on our internal instincts mostly to determine when and how much we eat. After three the outside influences start taking over. Adults and older children start relying on social influences in regards to food.
When it comes to managing your appetite there are a few things to practice and consider. Matt Fitzgerald a health expert, sport nutritionist, author, coach has laid out some effective ways to help manage our appetites. Even if you are not a sports buff, athlete, or going in that direction, these TIPS really help you become aware of how to not overeat this summer and tune into your “real” hunger….
- Learn the difference between BELLY hunger and HEAD hunger. Some symptoms of belly hunger are gastric pangs, hollowness or a feeling of emptiness, mental and physical weakness. HEAD hunger is the mindless eating caused by stress, triggers, boredom, cravings and spontaneous food temptations ( those darn chips) This appetite management is a good test for you to become aware of what your body( and mind) is really needing. Really eye opening and effective.
- Clean out that kitchen. People’s laziness is actually more powerful than there desire for low quality foods. When you are hungry, how easy is it to just grab what’s in front of you. Get cleaning that pantry, refrigerator and kitchen of all low quality, sugary, processed temptations. Keeping a clean kitchen makes our appetite temptations and management much easier to stick to. Once you have “cleaned out “ stock up with healthy options and resist the temptation to buy again the “comfort zone” foods you were use to buying.
- Keeping healthy foods handy. Out of sight, out of mind! is key to keeping that commitment to a healthy Summer (and beyond). Listening to that belly hunger and filling it with high nutrient dense, lower calorie food will keep you less likely to grabbing that high cal, low energy foods that tend to sneak up on us. Have fresh fruits, vegetables, small amounts of raw nuts, jerky, some real food bars ( maybe even homemade ) available and on hand in your kitchen, car, or travel bag. Stay away from those vending machines, fast food joints, and “HEAD” hunger temptations.
- Put a dent in your appetite. Yes, we have always heard “Don’t spoil your appetite” but in this case we want to put a dent in it. Fill that hole a bit with some food or liquid that has a low calorie density such as a glass of water or broth. If you are having a salad with a meal, try eating that first, then the veggies and then the meal. Remember it takes about 15-20 minutes before your stomach knows that something is on its way.
- Temptation planning. Sometimes our HEAD hunger takes us by surprise and we mindlessly end up eating half a bag of cookies through the market, or someone offers us a taste of something and next thing you know we have finished the whole thing. So what can we do to intercept these mindless patterns of temptations? What psychologists recommend is a technique called “Implementation intentions”. It is the practice of making specific plans before a temptation arises. For example, if your Mother in Law offers you a few cookies she has baked when you come over, say you just ate and you’ll bring them home for later( not that you need to eat them later) or you can make your own broader Implementations such as saying to yourself “Every time I am tempted to have a second drink at home or away, I will have a glass of water w/ lemon instead. Simple planning ahead is what will help you through temptation.
- Avoid distracted eating. Much of todays eating is in front of television, computers and in the car. Research has shown that we consume at least 10-20% more food while distracted and also up to 25% more later on in the day. If we were more attentive while when we eat that first meal we would of realized that we were satisfied and remembered the actual process of eating.
- Savoring your food: “Mindful Eating” is based on the Buddhist concept of “Mindfulness”. This approach involves being fully aware with what’s happening within and around you at that moment. In terms of eating it is making us present to the tastes, smells, colors, textures, and feelings and getting rid of distractions like TV, computer, or reading. Being mindful has proven to help in weight loss, GI issues, and even has helped Binge eaters learn how to enjoy their food and have less sense of struggle about controlling their eating.
So enjoy your Summer and your healthy food choices. Take the time to be mindful, chew slowly (releases the digestive enzymes) and let yourself have that moment of choice between that “head” hunger or that “ Belly” hunger.
The choice is yours.
Happy Whole Body Summer
Summer is warmer, more active, and maybe less hectic for most. So lets live it with all good intentions that can bring us to a higher level of health, energy, weight, and happiness. Setting your intentions is an important part of living your life with a higher awareness. Rather than avoiding the problem of too much food, wrong choices, stress and negative emotions, become aware and listen to yourself and your body. Belly hunger or mind hunger? Boredom? Stress? Distracted? Obligations ? Notice your thoughts and emotions and when you truly become AWARE, that is when you will begin to shift into that Summer (and beyond) intentional eating and living fully, happily, and healthy all seasons long.
Blending frozen fruits like papaya, banana, mango, strawberries, or any of your Summer fruits in a powerful blender (like a Vitamix) is a healthy, lite, and fast way to enjoy those hot Summer days.
Click here for this “Nice crème” recipe. It is one of our favorites.