Posts tagged ‘meditation’

Basking in the glow of the refrigerator

As you know, I’ve started to tackle cutting out sugar, which hasn’t been as difficult as I feared. I haven’t had dessert or sweets in about three weeks now, and I’ve never felt better. Truly.  I don’t even MISS chocolate, which is utterly mind-boggling to me.  While I know how cliché the saying “If I can do it, so can you” is, nevertheless it’s true.  I never thought I could go without chocolate for even a few days, let alone 3 whole weeks.

However, I find that I’ve been relying on “quickie-carbs,” or refined carbs that you might not think of as sugar.  Refined carbs are carbohydrates that cause a rapid, high spike in your blood sugar, giving you a high at first and ending with a crash. Examples are white bread, pasta, cakes, cookies, crackers, and basically anything “white” and not a whole grain.  So, while I’ve been disciplined in nixing the chocolate and sweets (and I don’t really eat much of the other stuff)  I HAVE been eating crackers.  And lots of them. If you’ve ever had a Mary’s Gone cracker, you’ll understand why I’ve been addicted. They’re incredible, super crunchy, and healthy as far as crackers go, but only in limited amounts (you can find them at many supermarkets and health food stores) I’ve realized that it’s gotten a bit out of hand, and I’ve replaced one addiction with another (sweets for crackers),  so I’m working this week to cut down on my cracker and dip intake.

No, that is not me.

No, that is not me.

That’s one issue. But, on top of the crackers, I’ve got another problem. I’ve noticed in the past month that I’m eating standing up in my kitchen quite often. I’ll pop a few blueberries into my mouth while preparing my oats for breakfast. Or, I’ll get home from work/gym/school and go straight to the pantry, whip out my Mary’s crackers, and stand in front of the refrigerator and eat them with humus. Or, I’ll taste and taste and taste while I’m cooking and by the time I’m through, I’m no longer hungry for dinner, yet I end up eating dinner anyway (However, I do come from a long line of “noshers,” so I’m fighting genetics on this one.)

Do you find yourself eating standing up? You might not realize you’re doing it, as it’s a mindless activity.  We can get ourselves into trouble because usually while we’re standing we’re doing something else, like talking on the phone, watching TV, or about to rush out the door. In my case I’ve been feeling very rushed and a bit overwhelmed in my life with so much on my “plate” that standing up has just become easier.  Sometimes when I come home from school, I’m so hungry that I can’t even wait to make a plate of food…I just head straight for the refrigerator and eat basking in the glow of the fridge. Which, of course, leads me to eat way more than I needed or even wanted.

When we don’t eat at a table, we’re not mindful as to what we’re putting in our mouths. In fact, if we’re doing ANYTHING while we eat, such as watching TV, we’re not paying attention to what we’re eating, probably leading us to eat much more (we’re creating a disconnect between our brain and our mouth)  It’s also been said (as my wise mother likes to remind me) that when you stand up to eat, your brain doesn’t register the calories or that you’re actually ingesting food so you don’t feel full and you eat more.  Whatever the reason, the end result is usually the same: eating more than you had planned.

So, you ask, what am I doing to combat my eating-while-standing plight? For one, I’m trying to slow down. This morning, for instance, I was cutting my banana in the kitchen and I had to STOP myself mid bite to recognize that I had just snuck that bite.  It’s such a subtle gesture that my brain barely has the time to register what I’m doing. So that’s where the slowing down and being mindful comes in.

I’m also making sure that I ONLY eat at my dining table.  It’s now a rule. If I’m not sitting down at the table, I can’t eat.  Mealtime should be an act of enjoyment and gratitude, a kind of meditation and concentration, and you just can’t do that while you’re talking on the phone, reading a magazine, and eating food all at the same time. How can you truly taste your food if you’re not paying attention?

And lastly, I’ve started keeping a good ol’ fashioned food journal where I’m writing down everything I eat. Every bite, even if it’s just a taste of something. A journal is a wonderful weight loss tool (I owe my 25 pound weight loss in college to my food journal). You’ll be surprised at all the extra food you eat during the day.  I’ve realized that I’d been eating about 2-3 servings of crackers with 3-4 servings of hummus (at 60 calories per serving) and that REALLY begins to add up.  So, I challenge you to try keeping a food journal for a week and see what pops up for you.

And for a funny, great read with a VERY appropriate title, pick up When You Eat at the Refrigerator, Pull up a Chair by my very favorite author on emotional eating, Geneen Roth.

July 21, 2009 at 1:41 pm Leave a comment

This Week’s Nibbles

Happy Friday!

I’m inaugurating a new weekly Friday post–articles, blog posts, and stories I’ve come across on the web that I feel are worth sharing. Read them all now or savor them to read throughout the weekend. But I’ve done all the work for you and found this week’s best reads (in my humble opinion).  Just a disclaimer about this week’s picks: a few involve food safety, such as chicken and salmon farming. I’ll let you know which ones they are in case ignorant bliss is for you (I promise not to hold it against you)  Enjoy–and have a fabulous weekend!

For all those “almost” vegetarians or “pescatarians,” this one’s for you. **Graphic**

Dr. Weil enlightens us on the best time of day to take your vitamins

Are you eating the 12 healthiest foods on earth? If not, add ’em to your diet!

No time in the day for your daily “ohmmmmm?” How about meditating while eating

Your kitchen is dirtier than you think-take it from this microbiology student! This video is worth the watch, even just to see what a nut Kathy Lee Gifford is!

You might not ever want to eat at the Cheesecake Factory again (or at least, order the seafood)

In a follow up from the above article- a closer look at where our salmon is coming from. A must read for the salmon lovers out there (ignorant bliss comes into play here–but this issue  is VERY important)

What’s the new diet trend among the trendy (and stupid, in my opinion) in Los Angeles?

And to end the list with an homage to our incredible Mother Earth:

National Geographic’s most incredible pictures of the year–guaranteed to inspire you and develop even more love for mother nature

July 17, 2009 at 1:47 pm Leave a comment

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