Mindfulness: No More “Why Did I Just…” Moments

mindfulness

Please tell me I’m not the only person who has eaten half bag of trail mix or half dozen (or more!) mini Reese’s cups and then stop and say “Why did I just do that???”  Can anybody relate??  It’s like I lose my mind for a minute only to realize (too late!) that I just made a poor choice!

 

Mindfulness.

 

Let’s start with a dictionary.com definition:  “a technique in which one focuses one’s full attention only on the present, experiencing thoughts, feelings, and sensations but not judging them.”  

So first of all, WHEN do we have time to focus full attention only on the present???  Aren’t we usually doing 3 things or more at once?  

AND, what’s this “not judging” business?  I’m bad or a cheater if I eat half bag of M&Ms right??  I need to punish myself.  I need to verbally beat myself up.  

I’d like to propose that we can begin to take some steps towards mindfulness to reduce (and eventually rid ourselves of) “Why did I just….” moments!

I find that I have these out-of-control, mindless  moments most often when I’m tired, stressed, overwhelmed.  I’ve had it.  I’m over it.  I have no willpower or self-control left.  My tank is empty, and I think my tummy is too!  So I go on a spree before I realize what I’ve done.  

 

Mindfulness.

 

I believe that when we slow down, even a little, and take care of a few areas of our lives, we become more mindful.  It’s what we do in the other 23 hours and 55 minutes of our day that will save us from ourselves in those 5 minutes of losing our minds.  And it boils down to taking care of ourselves.  

Earlier this week I posted a picture of me getting a mani/pedi while reading a book and said that this is something that helps me stay mindful.  Now, how is that?  Those things (even though that mani/pedi was the first one I’d had in 2 months) provide some relaxation.  I took about an hour out of my day for some self-care.  I have a half marathon on Saturday.  I had PMS.  I was starting to feel a little overwhelmed with a few things.  I needed to take care of me.

Girls, it’s okay to take care of yourself.  You are better for everyone when you take a little time for you.  Because this is how it goes otherwise…..back to our scenario of “Why did I just do that?”  If one of those moments happen, then it leads to feeling bad about yourself, the negative chatter in your mind, and it all spirals out of control.  

So a key thing to help you stay mindful is self care.  It could be in the form of mani/pedi, a massage, bubble bath.  Whatever says “pamper me” to you.  

As I mentioned, when I’m tired it’s easier for me to have those out-of-control moments.  I think I need “fuel” and not in the form of lean protein or my superfood shake.  It’s usually in the form of chocolate!

When we’re well-rested and feeding our bodies proper fuel, it’s easier for us to practice mindfulness.  We have energy.  We’re not dragging in the mid-afternoon grabbing for a quick pick-me-up.  

Here’s the thing, when we have more energy and mental focus, we can Experience the signals we’re getting from our bodies and then properly Assess them as to whether to Take action.  

We’ll call it the EAT strategy 😉 When we begin to condition ourselves to slow down in other areas….taking the 5 minutes for quiet time, a bubble bath after the kids go to bed, a 10 minute walk before everyone else wakes up, scheduling an hour once a month for a mani/pedi….we can slow down in response to our hunger and craving signals and begin to assess what, if any, action we need to take to satisfy that urge.  

It’s a practice.  I still have moments.  In fact, a common phrase I use is “I need a moment”.  My son knows it’s like a “mom time out”.  I need to get my head right and my attitude right before I respond to anything or anyone.  

If you want more on mindfulness and exclusive content, sign up for my weekly email here.

Additionally, I have a free group starting on Monday April 11.  We’ll be talking about mindfulness and a whole lot more as it relates to your faith and fitness journey.  If you need some support and encouragement, reach out to me.  I’d love to have you in the group!  

 

I wanna hear from you….

When do you feel most out of control?  

Do you have a key word or phrase that lets your family know you “need a moment”?

How do you stay mindful?

Boring Menu: Ways to “Healthify” Your Favorite Recipes

healthify

Do you feel like a healthy diet consists of a daily grilled chicken salad?  Rabbit food anyone? Carrots?   

I remember my son asking me one evening “What’s for dinner?”  And my husband sarcastically replied, “Chicken, chicken, or chicken?”   

Ok, so I could get by with eating the same thing everyday.  I don’t mind that my daily meals are pretty much the same, but my family wants a little variety.  So how do you keep some variety and stick with healthy choices?  

 

Protein and Dairy Options

Besides chicken, you have turkey, pork, and lean cuts of beef.  Starkist tuna has so many different flavors of tuna in their ready-to-go packets.  I love the new buffalo flavor, and the sweet and spicy has been a longtime favorite of mine as well.  My husband and son deer hunt, and we enjoy venison.  Bacon, anyone?  You haven’t had bacon until you’ve had deer bacon…just sayin!  We get most of it ground, so I use that in meatloaf, chili (well, my husband makes chili, not me!), tacos, spaghetti, hamburgers.  

Low fat cottage cheese is a good source of protein as well as nonfat plain greek yogurt.  In a recipe calling for cream cheese, you can use lowfat or nonfat cream cheese or greek yogurt.  In a recipe calling for sour cream, you can use plain greek yogurt.  

When it comes to milk, you can gradually switch from whole to 2% to 1% to maybe even skim eventually.  And now there are several alternatives.  I use unsweetened almond milk in cooking a lot.  Again, big reduction in calories and the lactose in regular milk can have negative effects on some tummies.

 

Salads

You can do so much with a salad.  After your lettuce, you can toss in all kinds of cut up veggies, maybe even some fruit (grapes, strawberries, or oranges), low fat cheese, lean protein, a few nuts (slivered almonds or walnuts).  

 

Baking Options

I love baking with oat flour these days.  There’s also almond flour and coconut flour as well as whole wheat flour.  (Be sure to read about measuring adjustments if you use a different type of flour.)  For sweeteners there’s stevia.  Honey and pure maple syrup can be used in some recipes.  Coconut oil is very popular these days in both solid or liquid form to replace oils or butter in a recipe.  Protein powder is also an option to add a little flavor (vanilla or chocolate) in the place of the sugar and/or flour.  

These are just a few quick ideas to get you thinking about how to make small changes to recipes to either add nutrition or lessen the fat, calories, and processed stuff.  

 

Here’s one I make often….it’s a healthy alternative to rice krispy treats.  My son often eats them for breakfast.ricekrispy

1 cup nut butter (I use natural PB (Kroger brand is great!), but you can use nut butter of choice)
1 cup honey
Melt on stove over low heat
Add crisp rice cereal (or cheerios or maybe even a Kashi cereal) 4-6 cups depending on the cereal you choose.  Stir together to coat.  
Press into 9×13 pan.  Let set.  

This week in my closed Facebook group, I’ve been sharing some recipe ideas like this one with the girls.  If you’d like one of those recipes, sign up here to be added to my weekly email list, and I’ll send you one (or two!) of the recipe ideas.  

 

What is one of your favorite recipes that you’d like to healthify?
What is one of your favorite healthy recipes?
Let’s share some ideas and help each other with some new ideas!  

3 Responses to Stress and Simple Solutions

food&stress

This week I’ve been posting on various social media channels about this concept of Temple vs Trash Can.  It’s not an original idea.  You’ll hear it on several faith and fitness platforms.  But the idea here is how do we treat our bodies?  Do we treat them like the temple that they are?  Or do we treat them like a trash can?  

 

Let’s talk about food intake for a minute.  And more importantly how we use food to deal with stress.  I find that in those times when we are stressed and need our bodies to function even better is when we treat them the worst.  

To be sure, stress happens.  We have deadlines to meet.  We have to be at school and work on time.  We lift weights or run marathons.  These things, and countless others, cause stress in some form or another.  It doesn’t necessarily indicate something bad.   You can’t live life and make decisions without some stress.  When we let it take over is when it becomes a negative thing.  And it seems that more times than not, the way we deal with stress is food.  

 

3 responses to stress and simple solutions

  • We get in a hurry.  Stress makes us feel rushed.  And one of the first things that suffers is our mealtimes and the quality of food we consume.      

Solution:  Plan ahead.  Make meals you can freeze.  Have protein bars available.  Drink a superfood shake.

  • We wear ourselves out.  We get tired.  We lose sleep.  We grab something like sugar or extra caffeine to give us a jolt of energy.

Solution:  Make rest a priority.  Stick with a bedtime and wake up routine.  Consume foods like nuts and lean protein that will give energy that sustains.  

  • We lose our focus.  We become mindless when it comes to what we put into our bodies.  We grab ‘n go.  

Solution:  Take time to breathe.  Take five minutes in the morning to focus your day and pray and meditate.  Take another five in the evening to count your blessings or read a devotion.  

 

When we rush and grab or load up on sugar and energy supplements, we trash our bodies.  And when we trash our bodies, the stress on them only becomes worse.  Not only are we dealing with stressors outside but now our bodies are fatigued and low on energy, our mindset is negative and we lose confidence in the task at hand.   

But when we take some time to plan, get some rest, get our focus, we treat our bodies like the temples they were meant to be.  We honor them by filling them with good things.  We honor them with rest and time to breathe.  And when we do this, then those things that are demanding our time and our attention…..our schedules, projects, family, sporting events, etc…..we can show up for them healthy and present and ready to give our best and face the challenge before us.  

 

How do you deal with stress?  

Have you ever considered the concept that your body can be a temple or a trash can?

 

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Training Tips To Get At Those Goals

 

training tips (1)

It’s the end of January.  How are you doing with your January 1st goals?  What about those resolutions? It’s not too late.  Don’t throw in the towel!  

If you’ve signed up for a spring race, it’s likely time to get started on some focused training.  

If you’ve had trouble with motivation given the cold weather and recent snows, that’s okay.  The weather is giving you a break.  Take advantage of it!  

 

I’ve got some tips to get you going!

 

  1. Make a schedule.  Plan your week.  When are you going to run?  How far?  What about cross training?  What workout DVD are you going to do?  Rest days?  Put them on the calendar.  You’re more likely to stick with it.  
  2. If you don’t know where to start, find a plan.  If it’s running, Runner’s World has some good links to training plans.  If you’ve signed up for a race, the race’s website is likely to have some links to training plans.  Do you have “runner friends”? Reach out to them.  Do you like DVDs?  I can hook you up with a good workout.  Do you have a gym membership?  Check out their class schedule.  
  3. Get a friend.  Invite someone to meet you at the gym.  Get together at your house and put a DVD in and get moving.  Meet up with a running group.   I can get you connected!  Take the dog for a walk.  Dance with the kids.   
  4. Decide on your goals.  Finish?  Set a PR?  Lose weight?  Get off the couch?  Unwind?  Fresh air?  Set the goal and then do whatever it takes to reach it.  

 

Still struggling?  I’m here to help!  Email me and let’s get moving!  

 

Tell me…

What goals are you working towards right now?  

What tips do you have to get at your goals?

Tips to Survive the Cold and Snow

winter

Winter has finally arrived in Shelbyville, Indiana.  Last Thursday, I was out on my bike with a friend, but since then we had rain that went to snow that went to ice that went back to some snow, high winds, and very cold temperatures.  It’s resulted in school closures and delays.  I was so hoping that winter had decided to skip us this year, but I guess that’s not the case.  

That’s okay.  Snow, ice, and cold may cancel school, but it doesn’t have to cancel our plans for living a healthy lifestyle.  Following are some tips to keep you safe and warm and full of a sunny spirit.  

  1. Attitude – In all things, we need to be grateful.  The beauty of the snow.  Spending an unexpected day home with the kiddos.  An excuse to stay home.
  2. The right gear – Layers!  Yes, there are definitely fabrics that are windproof, waterproof, etc.  And some of those come in very handy and can be necessary on extremely cold days.  But the bottom line is to layer up.  Wear a base layer that will wick away the sweat and then layer over with something that is preferably wind and waterproof.  cold
  3. Cover all the extremities – Hands, feet, ears, head.  You may need 2 pair of gloves and socks if you don’t have any heavy duty wool, especially if you’ll be outside very long.  You may need a facemask.  There are some special ones that will cover your mouth and nose but still have tiny holes in that area so you can still breathe!  (That’s pretty important!)
  4. Drink hot stuff!  I love my coffee every morning, but on cold wintery days it becomes even more of an essential.  And what about an evening cup of hot tea?  Before you go out, warm up with something hot and have something hot when you come in.  This will get right to your core and get you warming up quickly.
  5. Enjoy a hot shower or bath – This may warm your body, but it can also be relaxing and put your mind at ease if you’ve been tensed up driving on icy roads.  
  6. Moisturize – I don’t know about yours, but my skin gets so dry in the winter.  My hands are cracking.  I love Bass Farms lotions and especially their Triple B Hydrating Cream for extremely dry skin.  
  7. Be flexible with your exercise plan – There’s a reason the racing season doesn’t ramp up until April or May.  January and February can be hard to get those long runs in.  There will be time to up your mileage.
  8. Split up your workouts – If 6 miles was on your schedule, but it’s just way too cold or the snow and ice are making it difficult, maybe do 3 miles inside and 3 outside. Or do a short run in the morning and another at lunch or in the afternoon.  
  9. Workout inside – Maybe hit the weights.  Ride your trainer.  Surely you can survive a couple miles on the treadmill???  When I’m inside on a bike or treadmill, I use that time to do intervals.  It keeps me focused and gives me some variety and makes the time go faster.  And we know intervals are great for stoking that metabolism! 
  10. Play – For Heaven’s sake, if you have snow, go play in it!!!  Be a kid!  I see snow in the forecast, and my reaction is “ugh”.  My son sees snow in the forecast, and he’s whooping and hollering!  It brings us back to the first tip…..our attitude!  

Do you like winter?  How are the winters where you live?  How do you handle winter weather?

Please note:  My email is going out tomorrow only to those who have signed up!  If winter has gotten you down, and you need a jump start, you need to get my email!  I have a free opportunity coming up that will provide encouragement and a supportive community of women!  Get signed up today!

Visions of Sugarplums: How to Enjoy Without Overindulging

visions of sugarplums

I know Easter and Halloween are candy-filled holidays, but I’d have to think that Christmas tops them both with candy and cookies and all kinds of yummy treats everywhere you turn.  If it’s not the goodies, it’s the hot chocolate and cider and “mommy and daddy” drinks!  lol!  We’re bombarded with all kinds of yumminess.   They LOOK yummy!  They SMELL yummy!  And we know they TASTE yummy!  

 

How can we navigate the sweets and treats and all the Christmas goodies without feeling deprived and yet stuffed and blah?  I have some ideas!  

 

Make/Take an alternative

  • Katie at Dashing Dish has some great recipes, many even gluten free, that are super healthy and taste just as yummy as the real thing.  
  • Hungry Girl (Lisa Lillien) can give you an alternative to any dessert that is simple and less sugary but still tastes just as indulgent.  
  • Sign up for my newsletter and get my recipe for these healthy cookie dough balls.cookie_dough

Drink sparkling water or hot tea

totaltea

 

There are so many flavored no calorie waters and teas.  

(I’ve written about how much I love Total Tea and Celestial Seasonings Candy Cane Lane.)  This keeps you hydrated and gives you some flavor.

 

 

Brush your teeth

After a meal and small treat, brush your teeth with some minty toothpaste.  This will leave   your mouth with a fresh and clean taste.  

Close the kitchen and savor lasting conversation

Once you’ve had your meal, clean up and close the kitchen.  Sit by the fire and be present with the ones you love.  

Eat mindfully  

If you’re going to have a treat, allow yourself to enjoy it.  Experience the taste and the smells of the dish.  If you’re standing and conversing and trying to eat all at the same time, you won’t enjoy your treat and will also tend to eat more than you may even realize.  

Taste Then Toss

It’s my number one go to tip on all things food.  Nothing is off limits….ever.  But you don’t have to indulge in an entire piece of cake, slice of pie, cookie, etc.  And at Christmas especially, there seems to be more than one option or thing you REALLY want.  So have a bite or two, then toss the rest.  (Or share it with someone.)  The point is, you don’t have to eat all of it.  And chances are, a bite or two gives you the satisfaction without feeling stuffed.  

What is your favorite Christmas treat?

10 Ways to Jingle All The Way Through the Holidays

jingle all the way

Ready or not, December is here!  I don’t know about you, but I want to enjoy every minute of it.  I love Christmas!  I especially love the lights and decorations.  I love my early morning runs through a quiet town and seeing houses lit up.  Instead of letting the month and all the activities overwhelm, I hope that you become overjoyed with the season.  

I want to share a few things I’m doing to jingle all the way through the holidays.  Maybe you’ll see something that will help you as well.

 

Let’s get to it!  Here are 10 ways you can jingle all the way through the holidays!December tips

  1. Daily quiet time.  I’m following an advent study, 2 actually.  One with She Reads Truth and another with Love God Greatly.  If you don’t have one, check these out.  They are great Bible studies.  If my heart is not prepared, nothing else will fall into place.
  2. Breakfast!  It’s key to a good day.  And I’m having #chocolateeveryday!  My daily chocolate Shakeology provides me with complete nutrition giving me energy, curbing my cravings, and keeping things “regular”.  
  3. Get enough sleep.  Keep to your schedule.  Anybody who knows me knows I’m an early to bed girl, but I’m also an early to rise girl.  (4:00AM anyone???)
  4. Stay hydrated….with water!  If you’re having a cocktail then drink extra water.  
  5. Move.  Participate in a fun 5K.  I’ll be doing Santa Hustle Half Marathon in a little over a week.  Don’t workout to punish yourself or out of guilt.  Just do it to stick with your schedule, to get some fresh air.  
  6. Manage stress with things like yoga, leisure walk, hot bath, hot tea (Check out Total Tea.*  It has a combination of natural ingredients that can increase energy and other ingredients that can act as a natural detox.  It tastes great too!), read a book, listen to Christmas music.
  7. Focus on protein.  Make lean protein a focus at each meal and snack.  
  8. Accountability.  Keep up with your running or walking partner.  May I suggest a challenge like the one you can find over on Clare Smith’s blog.  
  9. dec_challengeBe prepared.   Take along a bar or small snack so you always have something with you that’s a healthy option if you get caught in traffic or shop a little longer than anticipated.   
  10. Most of all, ENJOY this time of year!  The best way to do that is by practicing moderation and being present in every moment. 

What are you doing to thrive this holiday season?

Which of the above tips will you put into practice?

*I was given this tea to review, but my comments are my own.