benefits of mindful eating

How to Practice Mindful Eating

Benefits of mindful eating

Self-Care Series #4


Hey Everyone! 

Hope you are having an amazing weekend! Happy Father’s Day to all the amazing fathers out there 🙂 The weather today is perfect in Boston and a great day to enjoy the day with your loved ones!

Can you believe we are at the end of the self-care challenge? Only one more after todays self-care challenge!

If you are feeling up to it or want to catch up with us, here are the series 1- face mask, 2 – self-love meditation and 3 – gratitude.

For this week’s challenge, I want you to join me in eating mindfully. What does that mean? It means, for today and rest of the week, I want you to pay attention to what you are eating. Don’t eat in front of the T.V., in front of your desk at work, looking at your phone or doing anything else. 

I want you to sit at a table by yourself and enjoy your meal. With each bite, I want you to notice the little things about it. For example — what does it smells like, what does the texture feel like, how it feels going in your stomach, etc. Have you ever even noticed what a tomato smells like or how green lettuce can be? Too often, we rush through our meal which tends to lead us to overeating. Another instance that happens quite too often is we don’t notice how a particular food makes us feel and we ignore it. This, then leads us to not notice what our body is telling us about that particular food. It could be that your body is screaming for you to stop eating something that is not making you feel good and you’ve become so immune to it. I don’t want you to take any food groups out of your diet, but I do want you to eat less of things that don’t make you feel your best.

Ditch the over-eating habit….

Did you know by kicking your over-eating habit, you can improve your memory and reduce cognitive impairment? Yep, just by avoiding to feel overly full all the time, you can improve your health in ways that you did not think was affecting you. Why not take preventative care of yourself to avoid diseases such as Alzheimer’s now? Why wait till later? I think that is the best motivation to take care of yourself and your eating habits.

The best thing about mindful eating is you end up eating healthy without really even trying. Your body knows what’s best for you because it truly cares for you — stop ignoring it! Mindful eating allows your body to understand what is being put in it and therefore is able to better process/digest what you eat. Mindful eating also allows you to eliminate stress eating or emotional eating.

Some benefits of mindful eating:

  • Aid in staying at your healthy weight
  • Decrease excessive snacking
  • Stop emotional and overeating
  • Stop fast eating — which can lead to type 2 diabetes
  • Reactivate your hunger “cue”

Your instincts and satiety level know exactly what your body needs to feel nourished and knows exactly when to stop. Our ancestors were really good at this because they didn’t have distractions while eating nor did they have overly-processed options. Over time, we stopped listening to our “cue” and overeating became a habit. Our natural “cue” of eating allows us to eat when hungry and stop when full. Those signals, when ignored, become less active and you are not able to listen to it as much. This in turn, leads us to other types of cues to eat. Whether that is because you are bored, or you want to treat yourself, or a habit of eating exactly at 3pm (or whatever time) that cookie that you are not sure why you wanted it in the first place. The positive thing is you can rewire your brain to know how to stop eating when you are full. It’s pretty cool and it only takes a few practices. Don’t beat yourself up in the process. It’s going to take some time to get into a habit of it. If you are someone that suffers with emotional eating — don’t worry, you can do this! Mindful eating is the best way to get in touch with your soul and your body. 

How to Practice Mindful Eating

I highly encourage everyone to try this because I’m pretty sure all of us have been victims of overeating in front of the T.V. or any other time. Just keep being persistent and keep being mindful of what you eat for each practice. It’s amazing how you can stop when you are fully content and pretty amazing how you stop “craving” the not-so-healthy options. This in any means isn’t a “diet” you should be following. You shouldn’t be doing anything that doesn’t make you happy. This is only a way to nourish your body the right way and to take steps into incorporating self-love practice into your daily routine. 

Here are some steps you can take:

  1. Leave your phone in another room and shut off your T.V. or any other distractions.
  2. Sit at a table and look at your food – notice all the colors.
  3. With each bite, think of one word that you notice about that one bite.
  4. When you’ve reached about 80-90% fullness – get up and do something else. This will allow you to give you sometime to help you differentiate if you need to keep eating or if you are satisfied. More often than not – you are satisfied and don’t need to eat anything else. If you are full then you can get rid of anything else that you didn’t eat or if you are still hungry then listen to your body and do that.
  5. Eat slowly, and chew as much as possible.

By incorporating this into your daily routine, you will notice that you are more mindful in general. Mindful eating doesn’t end at what you put in your body, you start to notice other things about your body and how to do what your body is telling you to do. Like I’ve said, you’re body knows best, and being able to be more in tune with yourself is the most amazing experience.

Alright, guys that is all. If you have any questions or need any help, please let me know

xx, Ozzy

For full disclosure of this site, please read this.

“You are imperfect permanently and inevitably flawed. And you are BEAUTIFUL.” – Amy Bloom

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Self Love Meditation Practice & Benefits of Meditation

Self-care Series #2


“Take Control of Your Mind and Meditate”

Do you constantly forget to take care of yourself? I know it can be hard when you have a busy schedule or have children to take care of. I think sometimes being too busy is a sign that you don’t have enough self-love for yourself, and if you can’t love yourself, how can you truly love others with all of your heart? I want you to start treating yourself like the most intriguing and most amazing human being that you are. You, out of anyone, deserve your uttermost affection and love. Once you have all the love you can give to yourself, watch and see how that love multiplies onto others.

For this week’s self-care series, we are talking about meditation. Meditation is a way to connect with your most inner and truthful self. The part of you that actually cares and loves you. It is your center. The part of you that is always there when you need a moment. The most magical thing about meditation is that you can reap the benefits even with only a one minute practice. Moreover, a multitude of studies have suggested that mindfulness is a near-miracle cure for everything from anxiety and depression to heart disease.

Meditation and mindfulness go hand-in-hand. It’s crucial to stay mindful throughout the day, but it is just as important, maybe more, to take time away from everything and to center yourself with a 5, 10 or 20 minute meditation. I started with 10 minutes in the beginning. I used an app called HeadSpace, which was really good and gave me a good idea of how it all works.

I want you to know, just like anything else in this life, you need patience with meditation. You won’t be great your first time, and that is perfectly okay. You’ll still feel the difference and it may take you a while into building it into a habitual everyday routine. I also don’t want you to feel constrained to having to do it every morning, or blaming your bad days because you didn’t meditate that day. It shouldn’t feel like a punishment, but rather a more peaceful moment to yourself.

In the rush of modern life, we tend to lose touch of each moment and have become totally unconnected to this world in so many ways. It’s become so easy to not even look at the people you see most, like your parents, in the face and not even notice their features — like their eye color or the face expressions they make. We are in auto-pilot mode more so than ever. Technology has our heads down looking at our phones all day or staring blankly at screens, which tend to take us away from our precious time of enjoying each moment as a beautiful miracle. Mindfulness along with meditation is one of the key ways to have more peace on this earth and it is truly life changing – I can attest to that.

Meditation IS NOT about:

  • Fixing you
  • Escaping reality
  • Stopping negative thoughts
  • Being part of a religion

Rather, meditation is a way to:

  • Reduce everyday stress of life
  • Train and rewire your brain
  • Strengthening neural connections
  • Connect better with others
  • Reduce the chattering voices in your head
  • Focus on your mind
  • Understand your pain/yourself
  • Bring calmness to your everyday
  • Combat whatever your day may bring
  • Increase your concentration skills

There’s a growing research showing that when you train your brain to be more mindful, you’re actually remodeling the physical structure of your brain. We’re constantly on autopilot everyday and our brains wonder/not pay attention around 40% of the time. That is a big chunk of our time that is being wasted.

Self Love Meditation Practice:

So this week I challenge you to meditate with me for 10 minutes or more! I am aiming for 20 minutes, which is something I’ve never done. No pressure to do the maximum amount. Like I’ve said, meditation takes time to get better and to understand. I am going to set my timer to 20 minutes and listen to this background music, while I focus on my body, breathing, and surrounding noises.

The way I start is, I gently sit upright on a chair, sofa or bed. Then I softly close my eyes and start to focus on my breathing. Now the breathing part isn’t the whole idea of meditation, it is just a good place to focus and find your inner core, due to the movement and the gentleness of it. While I am centering my mind and focus on my breathing, I will start to focus on any outside noise. Maybe there are some birds chirping, or the noise of the cars passing by. If any other thoughts come to mind, which naturally, they will, I will gently let them pass and refocus on breathing and my practice. Next, I will scan my body starting from my toes and scan my whole body, being aware of any sensations, such as warmness, any tingles or sharpness. I will do this until I reach my head. I will then go to a place where I find happiness and am able to relax. This place is somewhere with a lot of sunshine for me, personally — could be different for everyone. There, I will look at myself (so at this point, there are two of me), and give myself some type of a loving gesture. It could be a hug, or a saying, or whatever feels right at the moment. Once, I am content and have experienced everything in my “happy” place, I will go back to the practice of scanning my body. Once I’ve gone through feeling any sensations from my head to toes, I will move to noticing any outside noise, and when I feel ready, I can finally open my eyes. This meditation, I usually only do for 10 minutes, but it will be interesting to extend it and also to do it with the background music.

You can either do the meditation I suggested above, which is for self love, or you can download apps like; Headspace, Simple Habit, Insight Timer, Stop Breath and Think or My Headspace.

Let me know if you have any questions, I’d be happy to answer anything you’re unsure of! And let me know if you try this meditation practice with the hashtag #MemoallureSelfCareChallange!

Thank you for reading and see you next week for series #3 🙂

XoXo, Ozzy

For full disclosure, please read this.

“And if I asked you to list all of the things that you love, how long would it take for you to name yourself?”

How to Unwind, Recharge and Increase Productivity

Living the “American Dream” usually means you live a busy, on the go lifestyle.

You tend to eat your breakfast on the go or out,  and work more hours than most European countries. You are always running around doing things and trying to stay productive.

It is important to realize that as a self-care routine, we must break this habit and recharge from time to time. Your iPhone or Laptop won’t work unless you recharge it and you certainly are no different.

Most of us are living a 9-5 (or more) type of job and rarely take any breaks in between. While it is crucial to take action of your life and keep going after what you want, it is also important to take regular breaks and unwind. You need balance in all parts of your life to live out your best self. It takes time to figure out the right balance for your own individual need, but if you keep taking small steps each day you will get there.

Taking regular breaks and getting present of the moment can help us:

  • Think more clearly
  • Clear our minds
  • Feel happier and more at peace
  • Be more productive and have more energy
  • Keep your blood flowing by taking a walk

It has been proven that human bodies were not meant to sit for eight hours straight and breaking your day by taking multiple breaks can increase your productivity. This doesn’t only apply to desk jobs, you could implement this with whatever type of work you need to accomplish.

So how do you take breaks?

17 Minute break:

There’s a study that suggests we take a 17 minute break after working 52 minutes. Seems like a lot of time off, but in reality this helps you crunch and use your time working more diligently. The break helps you refocus and recharge. You could take a walk outside, do little exercises at work, talk to coworkers on non-work related stuff, or if you do have to look at the computer perhaps you could look at funny pictures of animals – which has been proven with research that it increases your productivity.

Exercise:

One of the most effective ways to take a break is to take an exercise class or go to the gym during your lunch break. This, not only breaks up your day, but it allows you to be somewhat active for those of us working a 9-5 style type of job. It allows you to think clearly as you’ve taken some time off to yourself and to feel refreshed.

As much as you want to accomplish your goals and hustle, a human body cannot function working 100% every hour of the day. Think of concentration as a muscle and how you would treat each muscle going to the gym. You cannot work the same muscle for an extended amount of time and need to take breaks in between training each day. If 17 minutes is not feasible with your work, consider taking 5-10 min breaks to see the effects.

Stop looking at your phone:

Another interesting thing to note is that most of us check our phones first thing in the morning, then listen to music on our phones/ look at our phones on our commute to work, then we get to work and stare at a screen for 8+ hours, then head come with our phones on our hand then look at our laptop or watch Netflix and do it all over again the next day. To break this vicious cycle, I think it is important to be more mindful and take short breaks everyday. Look around you and your surroundings, talk to strangers, look at the clouds more often, journal, meditate, and most importantly take care of yourself more often.

This weekend take a moment to take care of you.

Thanks for reading. 🙂

xoxo, Ozzy

For full disclosure, please read this.

Sources:
Gifford, Julia. “The Rule of 52 and 17: It’s Random, But It Ups Your Productivity.” Free Career Advice. The Muse, 31 July 2014. Web. 19 May 2017.