Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Immediate Gratification

I'm all for the immediate gratification that food provides! Whole food, that is.

I've noticed that, just like a high-balance credit card account, the amount of sugar and carbs you eat can inch up during the day until the scales are tipped away from fruits and vegetables.

This can happen to all of us if we're not being mindful, moment to moment. In every aspect, that's the way we need to live in this world in order to thrive. But I found by paying closer attention, that I, too, have veered off the path.

I just wasn't noticing.

But I noticed last night. I wasn't craving an evening snack (like carbs!). I was over at Barnes & Noble later in the evening, and as I wandered over to the coffee bar and the pastry shelves as I usually do, I stopped and realized I didn't need any of that. I was satisfied.

How come?

Well, I had focused yesterday on eating lots of vegetables and fruits. I had apples on my oatmeal at breakfast, and for lunch had packed some homemade vegetable soup with plenty of high-fiber beans to microwave (had there been a stove, I would have heated it). Along with that, I had also prepared some coleslaw mixing shredded cabbage and carrots, some rice vinegar and olive oil, and some cilantro. Mid-afternoon, I ate an apple.

Dinner was a few ounces of baked chicken thighs, some more of that coleslaw, and a small helping of penne pasta with peppers and onions.

Sound like a lot of trouble. Not if you make a batch of soup and coleslaw that you can pull from the fridge. It's easy if you just think ahead and prepare a few simple dishes every few days.

This morning, I started again with oatmeal and chopped apples; and I have some more of that soup to take for lunch. For dinner, I'll make a large garden salad that I can eat over several days, and saute some portabello mushrooms to add to the rest of that vegetable pasta.

The benefits in how I feel provide great motivation!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

I'm Back!

I took a hiatus this spring. I decided I had to take time and notice how well I was "walking the talk."
I'm glad I did because sometimes when I'm saying a lot, I don't stop to notice how well I'm following my own advice.

Most of us are that way, I think. It's so very easy to spot all the areas where the rest of the world needs to improve, often the same areas we ourselves are neglecting.

There's a lot of truth in the phrase: "You spot it, you got it!"

I gained some awareness these past few months. The most valuable "aha moment" gained from slowing down and being more purposeful ~ or mindful ~ was that the more you truly nurture your body, the easier it is to make healthy choices.

Prior to that, the pace of my days was pretty ramped up, and I found that I was racing to complete whatever tick list was in front of me. I was totally in my head, and during that time the foods I was eating were more acidic than alkaline. It's the recipe for inflammation, and I found I was trying to think my way past it.

I write this because most of the time, this is how we are. We rely on thinking. I loved that arena. However, from that spot there's not much forward movement.

Instead, we have to rely on the intellect of our bodies. I found it's a pretty dependable vantage point if I'm getting enough sleep, enough water to drink, and enough fruits and vegetables.To do that, I had to be purposeful and I had to slow down.

Healthy eating truly is about residing in the moment, with one very simple question to answer every single time we make a choice: "Does this give me energy, or does it take away energy?"