Posts

How Do You Handle Food-Related Stress?

Food is supposed to be enjoyed. Yet, when speaking with so many clients, and potential clients, they tell me that food is stressful. All aspects of food, whether its deciding what to eat, shopping and preparing food for meals, or even the thought of going out to eat food.

 

Stress, stress, stress!

 

Do you feel the same way?

 

If you have had a difficult relationship with food for some time now, then you can probably relate.

 

I know you probably want food to be a non-issue in your life. And you know what? It can be.

 

Let’s first start with 3 strategies that you can put into place immediately to help you minimize the stress around food.

 

Strategy #1: Set up your environment for success.

While I’m all about teaching you how to be intuitive in your eating (of course…I teach intuitive eating!), I am also very practical. It is important to be mindful of your eating and one way to do that is to reduce your external eating cues. That means put all food away after you’ve eaten and don’t leave food on the counters or table. If food is left out, it can very easily lead to mindless munching which then leads to feelings of guilt and frustration for eating when you weren’t hungry.

 

Strategy #2: Seek assistance from your family members.

Food shopping and meal prep doesn’t have to just be your responsibility. Get everyone involved in the menu planning. Even better, assign everyone a night to prepare the dinner. This way the whole family is involved, the kids will more likely eat what they help to prepare, and you get quality family time too.

 

Strategy #3. Start to use meditation and visualization. Meditation can be a powerful tool to help keep your mind clear and stress-free. You can use meditation as a way to visualize yourself being stress-free around food and, by visualizing that, you can start to believe it will happen too.

 

These strategies are a good place to get started and you can use them as a way to figure out what works best for you.

 

But I have more!

 

Come join my 3-Day Challenge – Managing Food-Related Stress.

 

It starts TODAY, August 30th and runs through Friday September 1 and is happening in my Private Facebook Group.

 

Download your free e-Book “How to Manage Food-Related Stress” (which we are using throughout the challenge) as a tool to teach you ways to manage your stress around food.

 

Head over to our Private Facebook Group to see what Day One of the challenge entails!

 

See you there!

 

Are You Feeding Your Stomach or Emotions?

Emotional eating quoteIf you are having one of those days where nothing seems to go right and all you want is something to make you feel better, what do you reach for?  Are you reaching for food?  If so, is that bag of chips really making you feel better?

 

“I had a long day and the only thing that will make me feel better is my favorite junk food!”

 

Does this sound like something you would say?  I have many clients that come to me seeking help in dealing with their emotional eating.  They find themselves eating when they are stressed, upset or bored, and they don’t feel satisfied afterwards. In fact, they feel guilty, ashamed and desperate.

 

I help my clients to realize they will not feel satisfied when they are feeding their emotions.

 

I want to help you understand this too.

 

Emotional eating is eating in response to feelings, not because you are physically hungry.

 

Eating away your emotions may make you feel better for an instant, but when the bag is empty you’re left with the same feelings of guilt, the discomfort of overeating, plus those original emotions you had in the first place.

Whether you are eating as a way to reward yourself for a job well done or trying to make yourself feel better after a rough day, this form of emotional eating can affect your mood and health long after the bag is empty.

 

To identify if you are emotionally eating, you should figure out what is driving your desire to eat.  Are you experiencing physical hunger or psychological hunger?

 

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • “How am I feeling? Am I upset, angry, tired or even happy? Could this be causing me to crave a certain food?”
  • “Do I usually use food for comfort?”
  • “Do I associate rewards with food?” Maybe you just received a promotion, is your first thought “I’ll celebrate with dessert tonight?”
  • “When was the last time I ate?” Natural hunger cues start to occur a couple of hours after you last ate.  If you just ate, you might not be experiencing physical hunger.

 

These habits can be hard to break and you will need to dig deep inside of you to figure out what you are truly feeling.  This isn’t always easy as sometimes it’s uncomfortable to feel your emotions.  I get it.

 

One way to deal with your emotions without food is to distract yourself.

 

Here are some tips you can try today to help you regain control over your emotions:

  • Go for a walk to get endorphins going and help you clear your mind.
  • Do yoga or meditation to clear your mind and help you relax.
  • Call or text a friend to talk about your day or vent, if needed.
  • Watch your favorite show for a good laugh.
  • Read a book to get someone else’s point of view.
  • Take a nap to regain energy.
  • Write how you are feeling in a journal.

 

Distractions may work for a short time.  Ultimately you must dig deeper to understand why you turn to food in hard times.

 

I am here to help you.  I can help you work out your emotions and teach you ways to deal with them that do not involve food.  I can teach you to listen to your body’s hunger cues and eat only when you are experiencing physical hunger.  Take care of yourself by being in tune with your emotions. Dealing with them now instead of letting them build up will benefit you and your overall health.

 

Contact me here if you’d like to chat.

Being Intuitive and Mindful in Your Morning Routine

If you are like most people, your morning is one mega rush! Quick jump out of bed, shower, get dressed and run out the door! You’re lucky if you grab a coffee and muffin to eat in the car as you head out to start your day. Or, you stop at the local convenience store and pick up a bagel with butter and ginormous cup of Joe. Worse yet, you don’t eat any breakfast and your first meal of the day is lunch.

 

Sound familiar?

 

If so, you are probably not stopping long enough to figure out how your body feels when you treat it like this. You are on autopilot, doing the same routine day after day and wonder why you crash by the time you get home from work.

 

Nourishing your body from the moment you open your eyes in the morning is key to a healthy mind, body and soul. I recognize it may take some time for you to change your morning routine, so focus on slow changes over time, at your level of comfort.

 

Here are some suggestions to get you started.

  • When you first wake up, take some time to meditate, even if it’s for just 3-5 minutes. It will allow you to connect with yourself on a deeper level as you start your day.
  • Set your intention about how your day will be, for example “Today will be an incredible day. I feel positive and alive”.
  • Spend 30 minutes to get your blood flowing and heart pumping through an enjoyable exercise routine or body movement activity.
  • Shower and get dressed in clothes that you feel comfortable in. Respect your body at the size it is now, no matter what size that is, and wear clothes (including undergarments!) that fit you well and comfortably.
  • Sit down and enjoy a balanced breakfast that includes wholesome food that you enjoy. Savor each bite, noting the taste, texture, temperature and aroma. Appreciate the food on your plate as you stay fully present in the eating experience without any distractions (avoid reading the morning newspaper or watching the news as you eat).
  • Pack your lunch and get ready to leave.
  • Hug your loved ones (for a boost of “feel good” hormones) and head out the door.

 

True, this morning routine takes some time, which means you will have to wake up a bit earlier than you are used to. And, that likely means that you will have to go to sleep a little earlier too.

 

But let me ask you, aren’t you worth it?

 

Your turn to take action: Practice incorporating this morning routine into your life and let me know how you feel in the comments below.