Sunday, October 27, 2013

Defeat negative thinking

I know that negative thoughts are part of our life no matter whether we want it or not. Life is a little bit more complicated than just being happy and positive. Negative thoughts are normal — everyone has them, but, left unchecked, your mind may pull you into a self-amplified process.
The danger with negative thoughts is that the more you have them, the more they stick around. Our negative thinking leads to inaction, which leads to no results, which confirms and reinforces the negative thinking.
You can redirect the energy you spend on negative thoughts into planning and setting goals for yourself. Rather than telling yourself “I can never give up the foods I love” turn those thoughts into something positive instead. Think about how losing weight will contribute towards something you desire or help you experience life better. Instead of thinking, “I don’t have the discipline or the willpower” or “I tried that and it hasn’t worked”, redirect that energy into planning something positive and put that energy into taking action. When you take daily action, you’ll find that things more often go your way.
It can also be helpful to remember that thoughts are different than facts. Just because you have a thought about something doesn’t mean it is automatically true.
This may sound like a small step, but it opens up big possibilities. It introduces the potential for success, which can help keep us motivated to continue trying. In the future all things are possible. Where is it written that this is impossible? Others have made these changes. Why can’t we? Sure it will take work, but that doesn’t mean we won’t be able to eventually.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Guest Post: Finding Your ‘Why’

There are countless factors in play when it comes to how we eat. Making a change to diet or lifestyle can be daunting; so much so, in fact, that most of us elect to remain inactive, opting for ease and familiarity rather than challenge or change.

For many, the desire to make a change is rooted in “what things will be like” on the other side. Inaction is the paralyzing fear that the sacrifice, the work, the effort won’t be worth it. That we will fail, or worse, miss out on something good — and that won’t be worth it either.
If these worries are holding you back, consider instead the impact of making this change across our entire life. What will making this change mean for you? What will you gain from it?

Do you want to lose 10 pounds? Do you want more energy? Do you want to prevent disease? Do you want to be able to run up the stairs or pick up your kids or finally rid yourself of digestive upset? You can. You just need that ONE CLEAR REASON in mind to push you forward. What will that change mean for you? What will it add to your life? Moments of envy, frustration, doubt, or desire will be far more bearable when we have a big-picture motivator to keep us moving in the direction we intend.

In my practice, I work a great deal with people looking to overcome emotional eating and rebuild their relationship with food. Changing food habits means we need to get in touch with why we eat the way we do. This means considering why we associate certain foods with certain situations, looking at the connection between food and mood, and tuning into the signals our bodies provide. It can be overwhelming. There is a lot of information there, both physically and emotionally. When we start to look closely at our choices – really give ourselves space to think about why we make the ones we do – we begin to find opportunities hidden in our patterns that will permit us to break through. The key is taking a step off the ledge, acknowledging that we wish to make a change, and choosing to actively do so.
Keeping that goal in the forefront provides constant motivation and a rubric against which we can assess our choices: is this in line with where I want to go and who I want to be? Will this choice guide me closer to that goal? Know that you can make any change you want to, and that your reasons for doing so are valid, strong, and impactful.

If you’re looking for a clear place to start, these five ideas may help to stay motivated when it comes to making changes to your food patterns:
- identify your trigger foods: these are the things you can’t turn down and the ones that usually leave you feeling less than great. Start to make the connection between mind, body, and food.

- find substitutions you enjoy: the more good stuff there is in your diet – and your life in general – the less room there is for the more undesirable stuff. ‘Crowd out’ foods that don’t fuel your body with a variety of ones that do (and ones you enjoy).
- keep your big picture goal in mind: post it somewhere you will see it often (perhaps the wallpaper on your smartphone)

- don’t deprive yourself: when you choose to partake in a treat, allow yourself to enjoy it fully.
Guilt only exacerbates feelings of deprivation – and that’s not what we’re after! Flexibility and balance will serve you far more effectively.

- surround yourself with people and situations that support you: again, ‘crowd out’ negativity with as much positive energy as you can find. How do these interactions nourish you in ways food cannot?
- be open to new things: embrace adventure and exploration with your food.

- remember that there is not one diet that works for everyone: be open to tapping into your body’s intuition. It will tell you what it needs.
Every action begins with two decisions: the decision to act, and the decision to act in a specific way. Set that big-picture intention, keep it in mind, and let it guide the decisions you make. Then let things unfold as they will and revel in how great you feel for doing it.

Guest post provided by Amy Height.
Amy is a Holistic Health Coach and founder of From the Ground Up Wellness. She works with individuals and families looking to reestablish their relationship with food and build a strong foundation of lasting, healthy habits. She specializes in plant-based nutrition, weight loss, nutrition for children and young families, and managing food intolerances.

A graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Amy combines a breadth of nutritional training – and the concept of ‘food as fuel’ - with her own weight loss and fitness journey to provide motivation and resources to empower personal transformation.
She is certified by the American Association for Drugless Practitioners.

Try out a ten-day plant-based eating plan.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Make eating apples part of your routine

Whole apples are convenient snack. The fruit is low in calories. A medium-size apple has only 80 calories. Apples keep you hydrated: 84 percent of an apple’s content is water. This means apples not only satisfy your hunger but can satisfy your thirst as well.

Apples have long been associated with a healthful diet. Fresh apples are high in fiber and immune-boosting Vitamin C. Vitamin C is important for the growth and repair of all body tissues. Vitamin C also helps to heal cuts and wounds and keeps teeth and gums healthy.
When I eat apples, I keep the skin on. Eating whole apples with the skin is the most nutritious way to enjoy the fruit. A significant amount of the nutrients and beneficial compounds in apples are located just under the peel.

Apples are loaded with the powerful antioxidant, but is found predominantly in the skin. It has anti-inflammatory and heart-protecting qualities, and may reduce the growth and spread of cancer cells. Google “quercetin” to find out more. In addition, most of the fiber in apples comes from the skin and the pulp. When you remove the skin, you remove about half the fiber.

Apples are good for you. Numerous studies confirmed that apples have disease-fighting nutrients. Make eating apples part of your routine.  Be cool and bring apples to the office. After a few days you are likely to notice that you’re not the only one.