2018 is…. It’s coming. Soon…. So soon.
The new year tends to stir up a desire for change. Whether it’s something as drastic as a career switch, or something as simple as painting your room a different color, simple changes make most people feel new and invigorated. And when that change is something you have controlled or sought out to achieve, you feel, for lack of a better word… awesome!
Buuut… often times, we set goals for the new year with great intention and so much motivation. We tell all of our friends “This year, I’m really going to __(fill_in_the_blank)__” and by April, you’ve lost track of your goal, your timeline is nonexistent, you have no motivation, and you feel ashamed and embarrassed that you’ve come up short.
This most likely is NOT because your goal was too hard or too high, but because the methods you used to try to achieve those goals were not sustainable. Meaning, the changes you implemented became difficult to maintain, so you gave up. Which, doesn’t feel very good.
I know. I’ve been there. Several times!
But this year can be different! I chose some of the most common goals: “Eat Healthy Food”/”Lose Weight”/”Develop Better Eating Habits”, and came up with a few SUSTAINABLE and simple practices that you can implement daily.
Sustainable practices are things you can do for a long period of time without getting tired of doing them or running out of time for them. These are lifestyle changes that are easy to implement, and once you get into the habit, you can continue to do them even when you’re tired or lacking motivation.
You don’t have to do them all or all at once. The key to a SUSTAINABLE practice is incorporating them in a way that’s SUSTAINABLE. So if you can only do 6 or 4 or 1 of these things, then you can only do 6 or 4 or 1 of these things. And that is fine! Like my mom says, “All you can do is all you can do, and all you can do is enough.”
Soooo, without further ado, here are my 8 tips for Mindful Eating in 2018!
WHAT IS MINDFUL EATING?
Defined by the Lexicon of Food:
- “The practice of cultivating an open-minded awareness of how the food we choose to eat affects our body, feelings, mind, and all that is around us.”
Defined by ME!:
- “Eating with your mind, not just your mouth.”
- “Considering how what you eat will make you feel in the following minutes, hours, or days.”
tip #1: keep healthy food readily available
When we are feeling hungry or under-carbed, our brain tells us to grab something quickly and put it into our bodies. So suddenly, that muffin that you weren’t going to eat seems like a pretty good idea because you’re SO hungry. If you keep something quick (less than 2 minutes to prepare, or can be eaten raw) and nourishing with you, it’s a lot easier to opt out of that unhealthy choice and eat the snacks you have mindfully chosen beforehand!
tip 2: eat what you feel/need, not what you see!
It can be quite difficult to eat mindfully if you are surrounded by unhealthy food options. If your roommates, or parents, or spouse purchases things that aren’t so nourishing and keeps them readily available to you, you can easily find yourself reaching for that pancake mix, frozen dinner or chocolate bar. I was able to get out of this trap by doing two things (continued in tips 3 & 4. Haha.)
tip 3: Crowd out
The first thing that I did to curb my cravings for the cake and cookies my friends had offered me or the pizza my Mom purchased before coming home was implement the “Crowding Out” technique.
This means I don’t leave room in my stomach for any of the junk that is lying on the table or sitting in the fridge. I eat nourishing meals full of Whole Foods and packed with nutrients so dense that I don’t even crave or want anything else. Often times, just the IDEA of eating that scoop of ice cream or slice of cheesecake after having such a nourishing meal makes me feel sick. If you’re satiated, you won’t want another bite! No matter how amazing that other food may have looked or sounded before.
WHAT IS A WHOLE FOOD? 1. Foods that have been processed or refined as little as possible and are free from additives or other artificial substances.
WHAT DOES SATICATE MEAN? 1. To satisfy fully. 2. To provide with more than enough
tip #4: change your view and your vocabulary
The second thing I changed to curb cravings and say “no” to the often FREE and SWEET things around my house, was changing the way that I looked at those foods and changing the words I used to describe them and how I feel about them. Instead of saying “I love those gummy worms. I could eat the entire bag!” Say “That candy is pretty good. I used to eat an entire bag in one sitting, but now I can just look at them on the table and not even be tempted!!” I know you think I’m crazy and you think that just saying that is not going to make any difference, but your words are so much more powerful than you think. Just try it!
Say out loud “I don’t want to eat that. I would rather eat something with equal calories and more nutrients. I would rather eat something that’s going to make me feel and look incredible!” And walk away. Grab your mindful snack, and move on. Don’t give those foods power over you! You have all of the control, not the gummy worms…
In order to have that mindful option available to you, you need to follow tip #5!
tip #5: shop with intentions
5: Shop with intention! This doesn’t just mean making a grocery list. This means plan what you’re going to eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks for every day for the whole week or until the next time you’re going to the store again. This may seem like a daunting task or like it will take hours upon hours to complete, but it doesn’t have to!
Breakfast can be the same meal every day for the week with a variety of fruits or nuts on the side.
Lunch …the faster the better, Especially in the middle of a busy workday! I like to eat leftovers from dinner or prepare a lunch on the weekend that I can eat for the following 5 days (work days)
Snacks can be prepped ahead of time and put into ziplock baggies and stored in the fridge so they’re ready to go.
For Dinner, pick 2 recipes you are already familiar with or that take minimal effort to make. You can also try making a batch large enough to eat at least twice, or up to 7 times! I find that making large batches is easiest to do with soups/chilis and pasta!
If you have Tupperware, which most people do, you can pack up leftovers from lunch or dinner ahead of time so it’s ready to go to school or work with you the next day!
tip #6: Control your environment
The hardest part of eating healthy is being social. You make plans to go home and eat the meal you prepared when your long lost cousin calls and wants to catch up with hot wings and pizza! You want to go, but you don’t want to sacrifice your waistline, skin, diet, or progress! This is where step 6 can save you!
Whenever possible put yourself in a situation where it is easier to eat mindfully and intuitively. If your date lets you pick the restaurant, lean towards places that have healthier options, or find a restaurant that you know uses fresh organic ingredients. A green salad or even a veggie burger with fresh cut organic baked french fries are still a step up from that greasy burger or chicken platter!
You don’t ALWAYS have to do this. It is important to enjoy your time out and be social, but when you do have control or can add in your opinion or choice of restaurant, do it!!! Of course, if you end up getting something fried, or eating WAAAAY too many chips, or too much bread, don’t fret it. Planet Earth will keep spinning, I promise!
tip 7: Buy on a budget
Eating right and saving money is a great way to start the new year! Remember, the word of the year is SUSTAINABILITY. So even when you’re strapped for cash, you will still be able to eat mindfully. I save money every time I buy groceries. You can do so as well by buying in-season produce. Fruits and Veggies that are readily available and local will usually be cheaper than the items that were shipped from who knows where. And, it typically tastes better too! Going to bulk bins instead of the aisle is another quick way to save money on dried fruit, beans/legumes, and grains. Alternatively, if you see a sale going, stocking up on non-perishables when they’re on sale is another great way to save money.
At the end of the day, none of these shopping tips will matter if you’re not COOKING WHAT YOU ALREADY HAVE IN THE PANTRY! I am still working on this step for myself, but using ingredients you already have, or have been hoarding will save you money and time. You won’t have to buy as much, or it could save you a trip to the grocery store altogether. So pull out those dusty cans of beans, dry rice, and frozen veggies and have a taco night!
Tip #8: Sleep
Sleep… OMG. SO IMPORTANT! If you get nothing else from this entire post. Please, sleep more. Sleep enough!
While you are sleeping your immune system strengthens and you regain energy, which in return puts you in a better mood. When you are in a great mood, you tend to make more intuitive choices, including food choices.
There are also a lot of hormone production happening when you rest. Some of these hormones help regulate appetite, stress, and metabolism. One of the most important hormones produced while you are sleeping is called Leptin, and he controls your appetite. His job is to tell your brain “Stop Eating,” “You’re Full.” But when YOU are tired, Leptin is too, and he doesn’t do his job properly which causes you to overeat!
There are SO many other benefits to getting a full 8 hours of sleep, but that’s a whole ‘nother post. Haha, here are a few tips to help you catch some zzz’s.
- Turn off phones, TVs, computers, or any artificial light sources in your room.
- Keep your room dark and quiet
- Don’t go to bed on a full or empty stomach
- Reduce daily caffeine intake
- Limit beverage consumption before bed
- Maintain a consistent daily schedule
THAT’S ALL FOLKS!
If you have any questions, comment below or email me ( email@example.com )
I hope you enjoyed these tips and can put at least one of them to use. I practice all of these (not always all at once because nobody is perfect) and can swear by them all!
Please excuse this awkward conclusion, I’m new to this blog t’ing. Haha. Okay, I think that’s actually all, folks! BYE! Happy New Year and Good luck with all of your resolutions!
#Sleep #MindfulEating #Sustainable #Sustainable #Sustainable