Category Archives: Conscious Eating & Living

7 Tips for Mindful, Conscious Living

driving2It is pretty shocking that most of us miss about half of our lives. That’s right. If you are 42 years old, for instance, chances are you have missed about 21 years of your life already. Your body has been alive but your mind has been disconnected. Your mind has been thinking about the past (e.g., what you did wrong, what he did wrong, things you are sorry for, things you are mad about) or your mind has been thinking about the future (worrying about what might happen, planning all of the things that you may or may not do, making your grocery list).   What’s more, when you aren’t living in the present you are more likely to be anxious and depressed (Killingworth & Gilbert, 2010). Continue reading

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Mindful Eating at a Hotel Breakfast Buffet–Hold The Sugar Please!

Sugar2I recently traveled out of town and found myself scanning a typical hotel breakfast buffet to find something I could eat. Imagine my horror! If you immediately know what I’m talking about then this blog will be old news for you. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then please continue to read, for your health’s sake. Continue reading

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Better Eating and Living through Mindful Self-Compassion

BE KINDWhat better way to start the new year than with a dose of self-compassion. Instead of letting the winter blues set in, find out how to warm the heart and shut out the cold.

What obstacles arise as you try to practice self-compassion? Find out how to overcome them in the latest issue of Food For Thought, a publication offered quarterly through the Center for Mindful Eating is now available.  Self-Compassion: Nourishing the Heart helps you to take a compassionate approach to your relationship to food and eating.

This article will help you

a) understand how a compassionate mind influences our brains, bodies and the way you relate to yourself  and others,

b)  try practical suggestions for a compassionate approach to relate to heart hunger in a way that allows true nurturing of the body,

c)  identify self-compassion as a key motivating factor for taking care of ourselves, including eating, and

d) learn four steps to adding self-compassion to your meals.



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Feast On Your Life At Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving celebration word cloudWe all have many memories of past Thanksgivings. If you are like me, some are fantastic and a few are not all that great.  When I was a little girl and life seemed much simpler, I absolutely adored Thanksgiving.  I loved playing with my cousins that I didn’t get to see that often.  Sure, the food was good, but it was the company that made it the most fun.

As I got older, some Thanksgivings had pieces of the usual family dramas that make the holiday more difficult—misunderstandings between family members, alcoholism, split family rivalries, and guilt trips.  Of course there were still many Thanksgivings filled with loving connections between friends and family and tables filled with amazingly delicious food.  Sometimes both of these types of Thanksgivings occurred simultaneously!

My best advice for facing Thanksgiving is this—make it the Thanksgiving you want it to be. Even if you find yourself around some people that you find a little irritating, you can make the day a success. The key is attitude, focus, and gratitude.  Let’s break those down.

  1. Attitude:  You can choose the attitude you want to have every day.  On Thanksgiving morning when you wake up, choose the attitude you want to have.  You can be happy or you can be upset.  It is totally up to you.  Remember to keep choosing your attitude all day long. Even in the face of sometimes difficult circumstances and people, you can be the person you want to be.
  1. Focus: Are you focusing on the things that you like or the things that you don’t like?  Our brains tend to focus on the negative and you have to rein it in to focus on the positive.  It can take some mindfulness practice to remember to focus on what you like, not what you don’t like.  Talk with your favorite Aunt Sally and don’t get into an argument about politics with your Uncle Harry.  Be present for the wonderful smells and tastes of Thanksgiving. Don’t worry if everything isn’t perfect. It’s called “life” and there’s nothing perfect about it. That’s okay!
  1. Gratitude: Since Thanksgiving is the holiday to give thanks, this is probably the most important point to remember.  Gratitude can help you have a better attitude and better focus.  By enumerating the many blessings you have in your life, you feel better and, the better you feel, the more you are able to see the positive instead of the negative.  When your mind shifts away from the problem and into what’s right, you can often find solutions to any problems that might arise during the day.  When you express gratitude to others and speak about gratitude, you might rub off on everyone else around you.  Positive energy is contagious and you might even get a grumpy relative to crack a smile.

For a little extra helping of gratefulness go to theses daily grateful living practice ideas.  Make your life a feast on Thanksgiving.  It can be a feast of right attitude, focus on the positive, and gratitude.  Then there is a lot to be grateful for.  The yummy food is just extra!



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A Mindful Halloween Meditation

Tick or treating is so much funYes, anything you bring your attention to turn it into a meditation—even Halloween! So, let me tell you a little story and share my meditation on Halloween.  Last year for the very first time I was struck by the irony of me giving out full size, sugary candy bars to innocent children as they paraded up to my door on Halloween.  I also was struck by the irony of me then thinking about taking the left over candy to work to perpetrate the sugary treats on my innocent co-workers.  These behaviors were ironic because I teach a mindful eating class which raises the awareness of the impact of loads of sugar on our emotional and physiological well-being.  And, here I was inflicting it on others because of Halloween. Continue reading

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