July 9th Edition
How MINDLESS is your eating?
By Angie O
Have you ever thought about the way you think about food? I know it sounds like a paradox but here is what I mean. Food only has one purpose and that is to fuel our bodies. That's all it needs to do. But in our culture, we use food for more than survival, as it was intended, and that is why the majority of our society is overweight.
We eat to celebrate.
We eat when we’re sad.
When we are with friends we go out to eat.
If we go to a movie, we must have a lap full of popcorn, candy and soda.
We reward our kids with food (usually junk food.)
People eat because they like the way food tastes.
People eat when they are bored.
We have got to become "food conscious" instead of "food un-conscious". We walk around and grab things just because they are on our counters and in our cabinets without thinking about our level of hunger. It's an un-conscious thought. Our body didn't need that food for fuel. We tend to grab those things when we are bored, unaware, stressed or we are craving sugar. We have got to STOP and THINK before we just grab. And then make the choice based on fuel and not just want.
By choosing to learn and grab the "iEATfit" concept you will become intentional about what (and when) you eat and how you feel. You will think of different things to do to celebrate and entertain yourself. Once you complete your first 90 day tracking journal it will become a habit to choose "right" and "healthy" over fatty, sugary foods. After 90 days you will feel better, look better have more energy because you gave your body food for fuel and not food for pleasure. It clearly is a mind set. I am not saying that we can't enjoy what we eat. I do enjoy what I eat! I have great recipes I have created that satisfy just about every craving I used to have from unclean, unhealthy foods. For crunchy I eat air popped corn, for sweet I slice apple, put oats, spray butter , walnuts, cinnamon and bake. YUM! Tons of great options.
This past weekend I was traveling with family to New Orleans for the Essence Music Festival, and my sister after the 2nd day said "if you order another salad I am going to fall on the floor". You know, I didn't realize it. I now crave salad. I throw great things on top of salads to make them different. The old me LOVED to eat out and just EAT! Now, I LOVE to eat out, but I love picking great things off of any menu. It's a Mindset!
In all we do, whether eating, drinking, walking, exercising or even resting, when we do it mindfully, the benefits will escalate way beyond doing so in an indifferent or unaware state. And when you do this mindfully, repeatedly, you create a NEW HABIT! This conscious focus must characterize all our thoughts and actions if we are to live intentionally and be a winner in the game of life.
The attitude and awareness you apply to eating and nutrition will have a huge impact on your health. Mindfulness empowers you to take control of your health, while mindless eating brings negative emotions that come and go, sapping your power in the process. So that when an event comes up, the dress is tight, or the bathing suit is out of the question, you return to the self defeating messages that create a downward spiral of repeated failure. You can win, but you have to win ONE decision at a time, one snack at a time, one meal at a time--- food spaced out every 2,5-3 hours in your day, clear, well-thought-out choices.
Your attitude of universal gratitude and eating with mindfulness will nurture your body, mind and spirit. Love your body, feed it with loving mindfulness, and you will live a healthy life. You always have a choice, so make a conscious vs. unconscious choice!
Tip from Pam
My son likes to eat at O’Charley’s, a chain restaurant that serves a ‘typical’ menu--- lots of fried foods, sauces, butter brushed on all the ‘grilled’ chicken before grilling, white bread and butter placed on the table before you can say ‘no thanks’. (In my case, I just restrain because Thomas does like it L) It IS a convenient food option for us, so I have altered a feature on their menu--- the Tortilla Salad. It is designed with a large bed of dark green lettuces mixed and has black beans, a little loose corn, cheeses, grilled chicken and taco strips with a TEX dressing. I order it with Grilled Salmon (which has no butter put on it before grilling), no taco strips, cheese on the side and SALSA instead of their creamy dressing. IT IS DELICIOUS, filling, and healthy! Ordering mindfully while at a restaurant! You CAN!
April 5th Edition
On the Road Again!
One of the most frequent questions we get on email, facebook, and on www.itsmynow.com surrounds how to STAY in the zone of eating clean and ItsMyNow principles when eating OUT or TRAVELING! We’ve given a few tips here and there, but we haven’t really taken a stand on EXACTLY how to do it. Why? Because we kept fumbling it up ourselves! (with accountability comes honesty- LOL). WE KNEW what to do! We PLANNED each trip with good snacks. We’d even occasionally take shakers and protein mix on the road when we were gone for more than a week at a time. But we’d either UNDER eat and shake our metabolism (negatively) or overeat a good snack (nuts) or just cave and roll back into old restaurant habits then come home for ‘recovery’. Recovery from a sugar-sweet binge or a few days of travel with poor choices is a TWO WEEK RECOVERY! Just to get BACK to where we were before leaving. SO FRUSTRATING! Talk about two steps forward and four back. We’d had the setback so many times, we have known that we HAD to capture success in this area. What does that mean? Well, in essence, it means KNOWING and DOING!
Success on the road has FIVE ELEMENTS!!
1. KNOWLEDGE-- understanding the BIG 5 and putting that knowledge into daily menu choices
2. TRACKING – even on the road, (ESPECIALLY on the road) so that the old habit of mentally downplaying reality of numbers doesn’t repeat
3. ACCOUNTABILITY- Yes, the ‘A’ of ABC--- Breaking the habit of checking in when on the road is almost like ‘permission’ to ‘get away’ with something.
4. PLANNING - When traveling, planning and preparation IS a critical key to Success.
5. DISCIPLINE - You’ll be around other people who ARE NOT on ANY plan. They’ll order yummie appetizers and decadent desserts and sugary beverages! The choice you make IN ADVANCE will be the choice you make. Because the choice you make in the moment (as with ANY choice) may be compromised by emotions, feelings, and environment.
Well, Angie and I both had upcoming road trips a week apart. Hers was to Orlando. Mine to Lexington, KY. Both a drive in the car. I have to say that her trip sounded harder as she was driving four 23-year-olds who had brought home-made brownies, bags of cookies and junk food for the ROAD TRIP! Fortunately, I was driving alone with NO tempting treats from skinnie, crazy eating, fun ‘kids’! LOL.
So... let’s take Angie’s trip. She HAS the KNOWLEDGE! She ALWAYS takes her TRACKING journal and writes it down! We are DAILY Accountable! She’d been on the road for about two hours, and I decided to text her “don’t you DARE eat one of those gross brownies’. She laughed (on text) and we continued the accountability through gas station stops (don’t YOU have major emotional connections to road trip stops!? Fulfill every need from gas in car to going to the bathroom to purchasing something to do for the next 100 miles, like EAT treats?) She had PLANNED her snacks. She TEXTED me to look up some fast food chili, salad options, etc. for the drive back. When AT the conference the ‘in house’ lunch options were not satisfactory, she went OUT OF THE ARENA and inconvenienced herself to choose a GOOD lunch... which really ties into DISCIPLINE. It took a lot of discipline to go to an ARENA parking lot, get in the car, driving in an unfamiliar city, find a good option, return to the conference. It would have been a LOT easier to have gone for the hotdog and nachos or the mayo-laden white bread sandwich at the stand!
My trip wasn’t as tempting, but Angie DID reciprocate the ACCOUNTABILITY with me. I looked at the schedule of the conference and calculated where I might need a snack. I took:
1/8 c. pre measured nut mix that I make (walnuts, pecans, almonds, pistachios and dried cherries—all with light salt and no added oils)
1 Jordan Rubin Power bar and 1 Gnu food Fiber Bar
I left the house @ 10 a.m. with a shake in the car for a 2.5 hour drive. When I arrived near 1, I ate the protein bar.
During rehearsal near 3:40, I ate one baggie of my nuts. Then at 5:45, the company provided dinner which included salmon (delicious, but I scraped off the sauce, cut it in half to be @ 3 oz, moved it off the mixed rice) and ate ALL the salad with squeezed lemon and pepper vs. the offered dressing and ALL my steamed veggies. That night there was a party with food. Normally I don’t eat at these events because I’m taking pictures or talking with people! And this was the case. When I got back to the hotel room, I was starving, BUT, I chose to go to bed on an empty stomach.
The next morning I taught at 9. I had coffee as I dressed. Although BREAKFAST is my largest meal at home, I don’t like to eat before I teach, especially at 9 a.m., so as SOON as I finished teaching, I went back stage where they had bagels, Danish, and melon! I selected 2 pieces of melon and ate my Gnu Fiber bar. Yummie. The Company prepared lunch once again had salad, chicken (removed covering and rice) and vegetables. (Does it go unsaid that I didn’t touch the bread basket or the dessert that sat 1 foot from my face the entire meal?)
I left Lexington close to 4:30 p.m. knowing that Thomas would want to go to dinner as soon as I hit Bowling Green, so I grabbed a Skinnie Latte from Starbucks on my way out of town for the drive, (there are 16g protein in the skim milk from that!). So, really a BREEZE! BUT, only because ... well because ANGIE had done it so successfully the weekend before. And because I really DID have the FIVE elements in motion. (PLUS I was on about day 25 sugar FREE and I am committed to going the distance!)
When you’re stuck, have some ‘GO TO CHARACTER TRAITS’ that you can feel proud of sticking to!
1. When you have an option, get the grilled, baked, broiled, poached or steam fish, chicken.
2. Choose vegetable based soups if they are an option. They’re filling, and low in calorie. AVOID ALL CREAM BASED sauces or soups.
3. Always order a salad and vegetables (dry) and/or with the dressing on the side. If you can order balsamic and olive oil, use a T of each to sprinkle on. OFTEN, I’ll use a squeeze of lemon and pepper! You GET used to it! And you actually taste the vegetable vs. the sauce!
4. Always order a salad and vegetables (dry) and/or with the dressing on the side. If you can order balsamic and olive oil, use a T of each to sprinkle on. OFTEN, I’ll use a squeeze of lemon and pepper! You GET used to it! And you actually taste the vegetable vs. the sauce!
5. Know some fast food options that are IMN friendly on the road when FAST is the only option. (I was able to give Angie the totals of WENDY’S small and large chili as well as the grilled chicken salad without dressing so she could add the TOTALS to her day). There are some iphone aps that are VERY helpful. Mine is called RESTAURANTS and it does detail the more popular fast food options.
You know, we are all about the business of living our lives FULL OUT! And that includes travel as well as other people who don’t eat the way we do (although there is ALWAYS conversation about it as others watch! Curiosity and Admiration!). For so long (and I still am tempted to stay grounded), I just didn’t want to travel OR go out to eat because it wasn't as ‘reliable’ as I was learning how to do the numbers and make a day effective. BUT, after 15 months, we are starting to ‘get it’ at new levels. AND, we are learning that we can TRUST ourselves in situations we would have failed in a year ago. What’s the difference? Well, you may get tired of hearing it, but ACCOUNTABILITY and TRACKING have truly brought us into a whole new way of looking at food in the course of a day.