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The Ultimate Mother’s Day Gift

Is your Mother’s Day already planned out from start to finish?  Do your plans include going out for brunch and ending with a nice dinner and dessert?

 

Are there any plans not around food? Maybe going for a walk or just spending time with family?

 

If your plans only include food, you are not alone.  It is very common to celebrate Mother’s Day with food. Food is often associated with celebration.

 

What if I told you there’s another way to celebrate Mother’s Day…

 

The ultimate gift you can give yourself (or another mother) is the gift of self-care!!

 

When’s the last time you took some time for yourself?

 

By taking time to care for yourself, you are actually helping to be more present for your loved ones.  It may seem like your needs are not as important as those around you, but again, if your needs are not met, how can you be the best you can be for everyone in your life.

 

Here are 3 ways you can engage in self-care this Sunday for Mother’s Day:

 

  1. Schedule Relaxing Activities. Make a list of activities that make you happy and help you relax. Pick one or two that will make you smile and laugh and allow you to truly enjoy your day.  This could be soaking in a warm tub, going to a movie with your loved ones, or taking a walk along your favorite path.

 

  1. Sleep In. For some, sleep can be a luxury. Stress can get in the way and affect the quality of your sleep as well as getting up early or staying up late to take care of others.  On Sunday, sleep in!  Let the family know ahead of time that you plan to get some extra zzz’s in the morning.  You never know, maybe they’ll greet you with breakfast in bed when you wake up!

 

  1. Recite Positive Affirmations. Maybe your day is already jam-packed and you’re excited about it and don’t want to change anything. That’s OK! You can still engage in self-care even when your day is busy. Start your Mother’s Day with positive affirmations.  Look in the mirror and spend a few minutes thinking about things you like about yourself or something you excelled at this past week that made you proud.  Keep these affirmations in mind throughout the day and repeat them to yourself as you go about your day.

 

Engaging in self-care will make you feel happier and fulfilled and allow you to be the best YOU. You will be more present for your loved ones and enjoy the little things a bit more.

 

If you need help engaging in self-care as part of your journey towards changing your relationship with food, schedule a strategy session with me on www.TalkWithBonnie.com.  I am here to help you!

 

Happy Mother’s Day!

Mindful Eating During the Holidays

The holiday season is here and if you are concerned that you will gain weight like in past years, let me assure you that it doesn’t have to be that way.

 

Holiday weight gain often comes from mindless eating such as eating fast without even tasting the food, munching mindlessly on hor d’oeuvres before dinner or having that second piece of pecan pie because you felt pressured by the host.

 

In contrast, when you eat mindfully, you are more aware of your eating habits and the sensations you experience when you eat, such as the taste, texture and aroma of the food.

 

Here are 5 easy ways to get started.

 

  1. Slow down. Are you the first one to finish your meal or the last one? Before you begin eating, think about how you will proceed to eat your meal.  Consciously decide that you will slow down, and allow at least 20-30 minutes to eat.  Take the time to appreciate the food you are eating.

 

  1. Sit down at the table. Eating while standing in front of the refrigerator, buffet table or while walking around will decrease your attention and satisfaction with your meal. Instead, plan to sit while eating, even at a buffet party.  Fill your plate appropriately with food, and find a table to sit.  Friends and family will likely join you and you can enjoy nice conversation while being more mindful of your eating.

 

  1. Savor your food. Focus on each bite of food that you put into your mouth. Experience the taste, texture, flavors and aroma of the food.  Is it sweet, salty, sour, crunchy, or smooth?  Do you like it, dislike it, or it’s just okay?  If you aren’t fully satisfied with it, don’t finish it.

 

  1. Be in the moment. Are you fully present when you are eating?  Be sure to turn off the television, and avoid reading or talking on the phone while eating.  These activities take away from the mindfulness of eating.

 

  1. Put your fork down periodically throughout the meal. Observe what you do with your silverware during the meal. Do you keep it in your hand?  Are you preparing the next bite of food on the fork while chewing what’s in your mouth?  When you turn your attention to the next bite, you are not being mindful and completely miss the food that you are currently eating.  Instead of enjoying the food in your mouth, you are focusing on matters beyond the present.  So this year, put your fork down on the table while you are chewing and give all your attention to the food in your mouth.  When you finish that bite, pick up the fork and take another.

 

Another possible contributor to your holiday weight gain: food pushers.

 

If you have family or friends that are food pushers, it can be difficult to stop eating when you are full.  But it is OK to politely say “No thank you, I am full, but I will take a piece home for later.”  Many people will not push you any further, since you will be taking some home.

 

It is important to listen to your body and know when you are full.

 

Taking the time to listen to your body and following these 5 easy tips will get you started on your journey towards mindful eating and help you avoid unwanted holiday weight gain.

 

If you would my help and support through the holidays and New Year, just go to www.TalkWithBonnie.com and we’ll set up a time to talk.

 

The Secret to Avoiding Weight Gain Over the Holiday Season

cookies-wrapped-in-bow-holidayYou love the holidays but dread the anticipated weight gain typical of the holiday season. Instead of stressing about how much weight you might gain and then setting your New Year’s resolution around finding a diet to drop the weight, why not try a different approach this year.

 

The secret to avoiding the expected holiday weight gain is to focus on weight maintenance.

 

Maintaining weight can be achieved by following a few simple strategies.

 

Three is key

This represents three meals, which means don’t skip breakfast and don’t overeat at the midday holiday meal in anticipation of skipping the last meal of the day. Skipping breakfast can potentially cause your blood sugar to drop, as well as your mood, and lead to overeating at the holiday meal.  The key is to start your day off with a healthy breakfast and have lunch and/or a snack before guests arrive or before heading out to the party.  Tune in when you eat and let your body’s internal signals guide you.

 

Indulge in your favorites

Don’t avoid your favorites that come around once a year. Avoidance can lead to caving in and then to overeating.  It is much better to eat a small portion of something you really want than to give it up entirely. Choose those treats that you don’t typically have year round such as Aunt Susan’s green bean casserole, Momma’s roast beef with gravy or Grandma Sarah’s holiday sugar cookies. Take one portion one time without guilt.

 

Survey the buffet

Take a walk around the buffet table and see what food offerings there are. Choose 3 to 4 items that you absolutely want, making sure that they include a protein, grain and vegetable at the very least so you have a balanced plate.

 

Keep hydrated

Drinking lots of water helps to keep you hydrated!  Ensure that you are drinking at least eight (8 oz.) glasses of water each day.  Start your day with 16 oz. before breakfast, have another 16 oz. with lunch and dinner, and one glass mid-morning and mid-afternoon.

 

De-Stress

The more you stress, the greater the surge in cortisol, you primary stress hormone.  This sets you up for sugar cravings and weight gain.  Commit to practicing deep breathing every morning before you get out of bed, every evening before you lay down, and any time during the day that you need it.  Include yoga, Pilates, meditation in your daily/weekly schedule to help with stress relief.

 

Daily Exercise

An important element in weight maintenance over the holidays is continuing with your exercise routine.  Incorporating interval training and strength training has been found to be just the right to help you keep your weight in check over the holiday season.

 

Weight maintenance throughout the holiday season is a realistic and smart goal.  These tips will help you enjoy the holidays without the worry of weight gain.  Start the New Year off with a new mindset.  You will feel the difference!

 

Are you looking for something to help you make it through the holidays and use these tips?  Come on over to our private Facebook group to take part in a 4 Week FREE Challenge “Enjoy Your Holiday Festivities and Sweets without Guilt.”

 

I’ll post a challenge each day, and ask you to post your action and results! Let’s shine through the month of December and enjoy all the celebration while feeling great!

 

Starting December 5, 2016

 

Week 1: Self-care during the holidays
Week 2: Navigating holiday parties
Week 3: Eat Your Sweets without Guilt
Week 4: Party into the New Year

 

This challenge will be happening in our Private FB Group! Join here!

 

A Happy and Mindful Thanksgiving

happy-thanksgivingThanksgiving is hands down one of my favorite holidays.  I love having the whole family over and a table full of good food.  It is the perfect way to kick off the holiday season!

 

But I do know it is easy to get lost in the chaos. Don’t let yourself feel out of control this year. Start your holiday season off on the right foot! Make this the year that you conquer your dieting habits and turn to intuitive and mindful eating for a body you love.

 

Mindful Eating

 

Engaging in mindful eating can be the perfect way to help you enjoy Thanksgiving this year.  Here are four tips to help you stay mindful.

 

  1. Stay fully conscious. It’s easy to lose yourself in all the food, conversation and football.  If you maintain an awareness of your food choices, amount of food you are serving yourself and eating, you can avoid overindulging.  This can be difficult in a social situation, but if you set your intentions out in the morning, you can do it!

 

  1. Serve small portions. With a holiday that only comes once a year, you can easily serve yourself large portions of your favorite dishes.  You may even fall prey to “my eyes are bigger than my stomach”.  Start with small portions to avoid overeating yet still satisfies your craving.  If you are still hungry you could always have more.

 

  1. Listen to your body. Do you belong to the “clean your plate club”?  This year commit to staying present and listening to your body’s signals as you are getting satiated.  Stop eating when you feel comfortable, you can always wrap up the rest of your food and take it home.  If you do this, you will be able to enjoy your favorites when you get hungry again.

 

  1. Pace Yourself. During the meal, pacing yourself is key. Put your fork down and spend time talking to relatives in-between bites. This allows your brain to register the food that is entering your stomach. Your body will be able to signal when you are satisfied and have eaten enough.

 

The holidays can be a difficult time for someone who has just started on the intuitive eating journey.  Resisting the urge to overeat can be hard to overcome.  But you can do it! 

 

Recipe Modifications

 

While it’s great to eat your favorite traditional Thanksgiving dishes, consider modifying the recipes just a bit to better nourish your body.

 

  • Sweet Potato Casserole – Who doesn’t love sweet potatoes covered in marshmallows? But guess what… the marshmallows are not a necessity!  Instead, you can top the sweet potatoes with raisins, chopped pecans and a small handful of mini marshmallows.  This way you won’t miss the sweet melted topping, it is now just a lighter dish.
  • Mashed Potatoes – Do you normally take all skin off the potatoes and use whole milk when making mashed potatoes? Instead, leave the skin on and use low-fat milk or soy milk.  I promise you it will still taste delicious, but with less fat and more nutrients.
  • Salt – In many traditional dishes, salt is a staple. However, it isn’t the only seasoning that can be used to add flavor.  Try adding other herbs in place of salt, such as thyme or parsley.
  • Sour Cream – Do you serve baked potatoes topped with sour cream at your Thanksgiving dinner? Swap the sour cream for Greek yogurt and add a sprinkle of scallions for more flavor!

 

Still looking for more ways to have a mindful Thanksgiving?  Start your day off with a long morning walk to kick-start your body.  Also, don’t forget to eat breakfast!  This will keep you satisfied and help you avoid heading into dinner starving.

 

Check out this article from BRGHealth.com for tips on how to have a safe Thanksgiving.

 

How to Stay Mindful this Halloween

Halloween Pumpkins 2The month of October is synonymous with Halloween and spooky fall festivities. But along with trick-or-treating comes massive amounts of sugar.

 

Whether you’re out and about tricking or home dishing out the treats, these tips will help you stay an intuitive eater amidst all of the chaos.

 

Eat Before You Treat

 

Just before the trick or treating traffic is about to commence, have a late lunch or early dinner. A full stomach will prevent you from overindulging on candy to the point of sickness. If you are a chaperone for kids who are going trick or treating, it’s a good idea to have a little holiday meal before heading off on your trick-or-treating journey. Eating too much sugar will cause you and your kids to crash and become cranky before the festivities are over. Don’t unleash the monsters!

 

Fun Size It

 

Portion control is key. Cravings are natural and shouldn’t be ignored. If you are craving a chocolate bar, choose the fun sized option. Fun sized candies have a fraction of the fat and calories per package. The object is to savor each bite. The more you focus on the taste and texture of the candy, the more you’ll be happy with a smaller portion. Satisfy your sweet tooth with a fun size bar without missing out on the fun.

 

The Dark Side

 

Dark chocolate might be an acquired taste but it is certainly the way to go. Dark chocolate contains 70% or more of cocoa. Cocoa has been shown to contain antioxidants and has cholesterol lowering properties. The fat in cocoa is comprised of monounsaturated fatty acids as well as stearic acid which appears to have no effect on cholesterol levels. So if you need a little chocolate pick-me-up, dark chocolate is the way to go.

 

Healthy Homemade

 

Making homemade treats is a great alternative to buying prepackaged candies. If you have the time, make fun treats at home so you know what you’re eating. They can be fun and healthy for everyone. Let your creativity run wild.

  • Dip your apples in peanut butter and dark chocolate for a dark twist to candied apples.
  • Make some Petrifying Popcorn- air popped, drizzled in honey and sprinkled with cayenne pepper and salt for a kick.
  • Go ahead and decorate your fruit for an easy alternative! Tangerines can be turned into little jack o’lanterns or put mint chocolate chips on a banana to make boo-nanas.

 

Be an Intuitive Eater

 

There’s no need to call the food police while you’re out having fun. Celebrate the holiday by letting yourself have a little bit of candy here and there. Listen to your body- if you need that sweet vice, eat it. But if you’re past the point of fullness, that extra candy isn’t going to make you feel any better. Using your brain and stomach instead of your eyes will help guide you through this holiday season without a problem.

 

Halloween is the perfect opportunity to go out and get a good walk. Walking around the neighborhood even for just half an hour will boost your immune system and decrease your risk for cardiovascular disease. Not to mention, it feels good to get some fresh air.

 

Have some fun this Halloween by being the best intuitive eater you can be!!

 

Your Turn to Take Action: What creative homemade treats will you make for your little monsters?