A Bowl of WTH: Diet Idols and Your Diet

A Bowl of WTH: Diet Idols and Your Diet

This can become a charged discussion and topic. I am going to handle this with care and truth. Up front, I do not believe Modern Western Medicine is everything as I tend to follow eastern dietary guidelines such as Ayurveda. I do not believe in total food group eliminations or eating mostly from one group on an extended basis. You can disagree with me respectfully and your opinion has value. It’s important to address the misconceptions surrounding what we should eat or not eat, especially fad diets. Hang with me till the end.

Diet Idols

AKA as fad diets or diet trends. This isn’t completely unique to the United States but runs rampant with damage. The damage of diet trends can be your health, weight management, and body perceptions. Your health and weight management may take a toll with eliminating necessary food groups in your daily food connections and yo yo weight loss and gain. Constant weight loss and weight gain can cause stress on your heart and psyche. The reason that yo yo weight happens is extreme changes are successful for a time period and cannot be maintained. Thus completely eliminating carbs, going total protein, or high amounts of fat may be too challenging. This also puts your body function and flow into over drive or dysfunction. You need the right carbs to fuel. Too much protein can tax your kidneys and adrenal systems to the point of creating kidney stones plus more. High amounts of fat over time can create acid reflux/heart burn and heart problems. The true issue with many diets and fads are the extremes which impact you and your ability to believe in making sustaining healthy choices.

However….

These trends are not wholly bad. Low carb diets have brought to light that much of our American carb consumption has been unhealthy and too much grain carb as opposed to needing fruit and veggie carbs. So yes, you need to reduce or eliminate white, bleached wheat products and aim for whole grains. The right carbs in the right amount is what is needed. Other diets have highlighted our over involvement with sugar and needing to lower sugar consumption. Some diets push more whole food and less process foods. There are times where you may need more of a certain group of food more than another. When my iron was low, I ate mostly lean proteins and vegetables. When my reflux acted up, it was half whole grains. Right now I am balanced and my food relationship reflects that. Temporarily doing a food more over another can be necessary but rarely beneficial in being permanent. Following diets of extremes are harmful. Take changes with a grain of salt and keep balance of proteins, fats, grains, and veggie/fruit.

Your Diet Choices

You need to keep balance in mind. I have been watching so many people and health professionals in these trends. Those who find balance and keep that “rainbow” vegetable and fruit food relationship are maintaining success and health with some of these diet trends. It is possible but balance is the key. They do not take extremes. A while ago, for kicks, I took a nutrition course from an Australian university. It was enlightening with global student involvement and instruction. From this and researching other countries dietary guidelines, I learned our government guidelines compares well in understanding (USA dietary link below). It is important to keep an eye on what changes in guidelines. Old enough to remember the food pyramind? Chuck that out the window. It’s more about the lean protein and veggies, while lowering (not eliminating) grains. Plus variety. And balance. Am I repeating myself? It’s that important. If you want more specific guidelines thus choosing a diet or point plan, know this needs to be a long term or permanent change. It’s not going to work long term if you go back to what you were doing before. Take note of why something is working. More often than not, its due to removing foods that were never met to be in your daily relationship to begin with and more of the good stuff. Take note when it’s not working. It could be your body needs something different. Something medically is going on. Or mental health and/or stress needs more attention. You are not a set of systems, you are a person with a soul. Your mental care affects your body’s function and ability. Your habits for your physical lifestyle affect your mental state. It’s all connected and needs to be viewed with equal importance.

I do whole heartedly believe, within reason, it’s okay to splurge every once and while. Self participation a couple of weeks ago. Certainly, semi splurge on a once a week basis (as in one meal). The reason for once a week, one meal has little to do with weight but more with it affects in how you feel afterwards. It sucks, trust me. Going to far in splurges impacts your over all emotional and mental health quicker than physical health.

Guidelines in You Daily Food Relationship

There are health professionals who can guide and help create specific plans if you find that route enhances your success. These things you need to keep in mind when making choices

  1. Am I eliminating a necessary food group? Am I eating too much of a food group? Carbs (grains & veggies & fruits), Proteins (nuts, beans, meat, and some veggies), or Fats (unsaturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated)- You need some kind of presence of these in your diet (also known as macros). Then as you go along, is it impacting your health negatively? I must watch my fat levels and keep it low but for others the recommended or slightly higher levels of fats are fine. Raw diets are not for everyone. It could impact your digestion. Too much protein and side pain? Get that checked out. Lower proteins or opt for more veggie based proteins.
  2. Is there appropriate portion control or can I achieve appropriate portion control? More than likely, Americans eat too much in a sitting but some diets call for too little and don’t accommodate for stepping down into appropriate portions. It’s okay to work into a life style change and it not happen immediately. Most likely small changes will lead to better success.
  3. How is my mental health? If you feel defeated and deal with self doubt then there is some soul/mental work to be done along side your diet changes. A counselor, wellness coach, life coach, spiritual coach, or trusted friend needs to be a part of your plan. Success in your food relationship is not wholly dependent on what you put or don’t put in your mouth. Its part mind set too. I love Louise Hay books and Mirror work she describes. EFT tapping is amazing (Tapping Solution, Donna Eden). These are two things you can invest in easily and right now. Additionally, don’t compare yourself to others. The steps you make are yours and they count. Baby steps are still steps. Concentrate on you then celebrate with others.

This is all to inform and caution you for your health and best success. No judgement on what you decided to do. With the exception, DO NOT go to the extreme unless a medical professional states it is necessary for you and you are being monitored. I cannot understate how important balance is.

Namaste in Your Food Relationship

JRiley

Here is the current link for American Government Health Agency guidelines (2015-2020) https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/.  

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The New Year’s Resolve

The New Year’s Resolve

For some, New Years Resolutions has the true power to bring change. For the rest of us, there are just too many memes making fun of New Years Resolutions and it holds some serious truth. Under those phrases of superficial hope is lack of trust in newness and the potency change can bring in our lives. To claim that power of purposeful change, it often takes mental shifts of how we see ourselves. Then its pulling that dream down to you in a tangible and achievable way.

Be Willing

Change is mental and mentality needs will to drive it. The monster of an impact we want in change is to train our brains into being willing. “I am willing to change” from Louise Hay’s publications is a simple yet potent phrase. You may be as surprised as I was at what little whispers come up when saying this phrase. Those whispers of doubt and mistrust are powerful blocks toward making outward growth. Commanding your willingness daily, if not hourly, is powerful in retraining your mental state. That retraining may mean tackling some deep issues. Seek help and support whether is professional, family, friends, life or wellness coach, community group, self help book or course. Let your brain know “I am willing to change” so that the rest of you follows.

Digging, healing, and retraining takes time. You can set mini goals in the mean time. Make sure they are achievable for you and enhance your process. Any way you want to be active works. Any step towards a healthier diet, not dieting, works. Do not beat on yourself or let any one do so if these changes are small or take time. Baby steps lead to bigger steps. As long as your stepping, your stepping up. Unless a professional says it’s an emergency, work with in your time frame and abilities.

I Choose

Claim you, “I choose to.” Set a tangible, you cant smell it and touch it, it gonna happen because you can choose. Set a goal. Resolution is to do and goal is where you’re headed. Know where you’re headed. If you don’t like the goal analogy then set a target, finish line, achievement, or fairy dance. It doesn’t matter what you call it, it’s the understanding you are set for a personal destination. Once you have that goal you need to gather what it takes to get there. Elementary my dears: who, what, where, when, and hows. Who can help you? What resource do you need? What time investments? Where is this needing to take place? When do this need to happen by or not? When should certain achievements take place before you can advance? How long should this take? Or not? Then write it. Vision board it. Make a video to your future self on how this got done. A reminder, a map is extremely helpful. It my be helpful to add your why? why do you choose to do this? for you? for a desired life style? for family? a person? to overcome? Your why can be your reminder to drive. Add that in your visuals.

There is a disclosure I must share. Initially I started with a goal and then went back to dig deeper. Goal setting may lead you to something incredible. For my personal advancement, it’s been a cycle of dig deep, know myself, and goal. Over and over and over. If a goal needs to be set first to ignite those first steps, then light it up. Trust your process.

Whatever it is you want in this newness of 2019, be gracious with yourself. Set what works for you and know it doesn’t have to take full steam right now. You have a full year! If not more! Be willing, make your choice, and be victorious.

Namaste JRiley

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Hit. The. Brakes.

If you are following my Facebook page (link) then you may have caught the theme. A Giant, gargantuan passion in becoming an integrative wellness coach is mental health. One of the barely mentioned importance of getting, maintaining, and individualizing a “health nut” life-style is YOUR MIND. Yes. The one that your are about the loose or has already walked right out the door. That one.  Your and my activity, food relationship, self care, boundaries, spiritual/ritual practice immensely impact our minds. Good or bad. 😇 😈 There isn’t a one and done cure that applies to all. We are created uniquely with common threads. It may work for a few, many, or one. The following goes in the “many” box with the “one” options for you. 

It is more than put on your mask first. Mask first is survival. Yes, put on the mask first and then take a deep inhale. And let it go. The goal is to gain ground past survival to joy.

The basics of braking 

  1.   STOP    I mean press hard so everything slams to the front.  It might hurt at first.  Yet, this gives you the option to see what is before and make step two simpler.  
  2.  Prioritize  Name it. Write it.  Chant it.  Sing it.  Whatever it takes.  What are the Top Five of Right Now?  Then that’s all that matters.  Your list will shift and change over time and through out the day.  Continually prioritize.
  3. Draw Boundaries  When priorities are set, it  becomes clear lines need to be drawn.  When is TRULY,  I mean truly your responsibility and in your realm of control.   Can you do it? Yes. No.  Can you do it right now? Yes. No.  Can it wait? Yes? Yes! When the lines are drawn, don’t go preschool scribble.  Stay in the lines as long as they serve you and other’s within reason.  Not an eh or maybe.  I mean say there’s the line and that’s the way it is. Right now my line is: kids have their work and I’ve mine.  For the next thirty minutes, if you, the dog, or the house isn’t on fire or dying- deal.  

Putting the wheels back on and stay in neutral

The basics are grasped.  Every thing is on hold.  My kids are freaking out. Your life is freaking out.  Inhale allllllllll the way down to your hips.  I mean deep AF.  Then push slowly until you are empty.  What is it you need? Pick it. Rotate it.  Make your “in neutral” yours.

Re- prioritize

Break from tech

Be there with loved ones as in pure engagement and nothing else

Binge watch, Netflix and chill, or recapture fav classics

Read! Book, magazine, or article

Sleeeeepp or veg

Do nothing

Color, paint, sew, draw, tear paper

yes. tear paper. try it. 

Write.  Everything. Prompts. Bullet. Dear diary. Dear inner child. Jibberish.  

Walk. Run. Ride. Hike

Dance. Listen to music.  

Warm bath

Bake.  Cook. With in reason Comfort Food.

Scream

Make your joy intentional and pick something just for funsies.  You don’t need to be productive every second of the day. 

U turn and get back to basics of  Fundamental of self care

  • Bath regularly
  • Take time for hair and face as whatever that may look like
  • Clean, not intentionally torn clothes
  • Mindfulness practice.  So many apps- mindfulness and meditation. SO. MANY. APPS. Find one and take five minutes daily for your mental well being. 
  • Eat breakfast tech-less.  No T.V. No Phone. No tablet. No Google home. Etc.  Bless it and eat it.  
  • Eat lunch dinner tech-less.  Talk to those around you or yourself.  Don’t talk.  Have a chat with your cat.  My crazy won’t judge your crazy.
  • Exercise frequently.  A few days a week. Yoga, Walk. Zumba. Step in place.  Kick-boxing.  It’s necessary. 
  • Read something for growth a few times a week or daily.  A few minute article counts!

My self worth was and sometimes is tied up in productivity and perfection.  My floors need to be swept.  Eh.  Yoga pants today? They’re clean.  Meet all my goals and to-do-list.  Not exactly.  Hit the Brakes. Prioritize. Lines Drawn. 

Namaste and watch your head

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Seeking Warm Fuzzies Part Two

Certain senses will have more of an impact on your body and mind than others when in sensory seeking endeavors. For me it’s all about smell and food.  Naturally.

Smell it

My sense of smell is insane. When something is pleasant, it’s amazing. If it smell bad, it’s everything I have not to vomit.  Smell is powerful.  I’m ever grateful my children are potty trained.

Make use of the oil popularity.  A couple of days ago I was walking in a store and noticed a section dedicated to essential oils.  It’s not for parties anymore.  What you buy is important and needs to be a pure form.  However, the more readily available essential oils make scent seeking easier.  Rarely is an essential oil on it’s own safe.  For safety sake, mix oils and blends (more than one oil) in a carrier oil.  Grapeseed oil is my favorite choice but fractioned coconut, almond, jojoba oils all work too.  Putting these oils in a diffuser or a few drops in running water for a bath are excellent ways to disperse the scent quickly.  In a bath it will absorb in your skin for more potent results.  A few oils I blend with oil in a dark glass roller bottle.  A 10 mL bottle 80-85 % filled with carrier oil and few drops of each essential oil will do.  When needed, I roll the blend on the palms of my hands then rub hands together.  Then I cup my hands over my mouth and nose then breathe.  From hand to brain, it does the job.  Take this quick guide to a few essential oil options and make the most of your smell sense.

essential oils and benefits

Before we leave the sense of smell there are a few incredibly simple ways to find the warm fuzzies.  It’s as simple as a memory.  Find your comforting scents from the fall arena to floral,  woodsy, coffee, or clean.  Whatever it is that promotes a positive moment past or now, have it on hand.

From Mouth to Brain

Food! Yay!   There is so much my mouth can do other than a sarcastic or off color comment.  From taste bud to texture to temperature, our oral senses can be an amazing way to find those fuzzies.

Like your sense of smell, your taste buds have memories too.  Feeling down or any similar emotion, comfort foods are not called comfort foods for nothing.  It’s okay to indulge in indulging every once and awhile.  Bring those memories to the plate, bowl, or cup to trigger happy moments.  I would encourage you to create new moments and invited friends and family in those culinary endeavors.  Your taste buds will associate with that gathering time for a powerful multi-sensory punch you can draw upon later.  Don’t let those comfort foods sabotage you.  If your comfort food involves high fats, over processed, too much sodium, and not enough nutrition- eating it more than a day within a week or two  it will back fire.  They impact your brain and emotions along with nervous system in dreadful ways.  Then your comfort food becomes your enemy.

When feeling heavy emotionally go for lighter meals.  Less or barely cooked.  Reduce your fats.  Your fats should primarily focus on monosaturated fat, polysaturated fat, and omega 3 fatty acids on a daily basis.  In food forms this is coconut oil, avocados, eggs, fish, nuts, nut butters to name a few.  These fats help you but take in just what you need.  Cool foods and drinks help wake up the brain.  So does caffeine, but too much can over work the nerves.  Careful, please.  Bitter and spicy tastes aid in uplifting and stimulating your nervous system and brain as well as crunchy foods.  An nut has great brain fats, crunchy plus with a spicy seasoning, it will be an alarm system to your senses.  A warm fuzzy of the jolting variety.

When finding it difficult to calm, anxiety, or an unsettling condition go the opposite direction.  Padded in a couple extra servings of the good fats.  Avocado, egg, and a high protein cheese is my breakfast.  I have difficulty waking up but quickly switch to jitter mode.  I need my nourishment to help out.  Warm foods and drinks soothe and give literal warm fuzzies.  Sweet in its appropriate forms lend a hand too.

Days and moments are vary so should finding those warm fuzzies when using your senses.  Mix it up.

Namaste in your sensory seeking endeavors.

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Health Foodie Seeking the Warm Fuzzies

I am a sensory nut. I need to see, smell, taste, and touch. Then, I birthed two sensory seeking, sensory repulsed people. When we love a taste, it’s on until we absolutely hate it. Except tacos. Never touch our blankets. Tag are out. If it’s too loud, forget it. What is that smell??!!! May I touch that? I probably should’ve asked before touching it. We are seekers of a sensory buzz.

Finding the warm fuzzies is a fairly universal desire for us human beings. Most often we do it unconsciously, being categorized as preference or like.  Some of us are more aware of sensory issues by living with exceptional needs. We are looking for the balance of avoidance versus those warm sensory fuzzies. But what if your awareness in positive sensory behavior could enhance your daily wellness? From mental acuity to de-stress plus possible weight help, social bonding, and more- our sensory endeavors have potential benefits for everyone.

Before we submerge our senses we need to precede with caution. If therapy or medical care is a part of your life or someone in your care, then these may help as “in addition too.” However, ask your professional first.

For your eyes seek bright or soft colors, which one depends on what you need

Most of us have a favorite color and there may be reasons as to why, it’s color psychology.   Companies use the study colors to know how to entice your consumer brain.  For the purpose here, it’s a tool that may help engage your brain and mental well being.   In the general sense, bright/warm colors stimulate your brain.  If you feel sluggish, pick one bright color you like and wear it.  If you love it, paint a room with it.  Or, less commitment option is to paint a piece of furniture.  On the other end, if your are stressed, over stimulated, etc then aim for wearing, obtaining, painting with cool/soft/pastel colors.  Even a light pink can soothe and brighten.   Work towards an array in your closet and mix them up in your living space, different days or hours call for different colors.

Seek soft, weighted, warm, or cool to touch

Feeling sore or stressed? Find warmth  in a blanket; in my case, multiple blankets. Texture is important so go with that “gut feeling.”   If you tend to heat easily then go light and soft.  Personally, it’s fleece.   Light compression can be calming.  A heavier, but not necessarily warmer blanket may be of benefit.  A quilt can have some weight or as I discovered recently in a Yin Yoga class, that a tightly woven blanket (“Mexican Blanket,” “Yoga Blanket”) has a fair amount of weight.  There are weighted blankets that can be pricey and a professional would be the one to tell you what weight ratio you need.  A quilt or woven blanket have some weight but not enough to require a consultation for most people.  Another inexpensive option to calm is simply taking a bath.  Water is therapeutic.  Hot water with the door locked and kids on the other side is life altering.  On the other end, being active in cool water can help workout those nerves and add to positive stimulation.   It’s a great option for joint problems and children with lots of energy.

When you need to hear it

If your auditory sense is seeking those chills there are a few simple options.  To calm the nerves, slower (classical, jazz, etc), sound of nature, white noise are ear massage options.  Listening to a guided meditation can be an option too.  If heavy or dull is the feeling then go upbeat.  Then add dancing or something similar too it.  Movement and music are a powerful combo.  Another way to uplift is finding or recording affirmations that are meaningful to you.  It repeats to become a memory.  You may replay that “track” later when it’s not available but needed.  

From a “pick me up” to chill out, sensory seeking can go a long way to help.  Look for part two in the near future.   Subscribe for your convenience.  We still need to address our olfactory sense and of course, food! Check that out in Seeking the Warm Fuzzies Part Two

Namaste in your warm fuzzy endeavors 

It’s Okay to Slow Down: an Affirmation for Winter. | elephant journal

It’s Okay to Slow Down: an Affirmation for Winter. | elephant journal

I want to tiptoe into stillness. I want to learn what the trees know about seasons, about phases, about the steely force of change. Affirm. Affirm. Affirm the need to slow down and find balance.
— Read on www.elephantjournal.com/2018/11/its-okay-to-slow-down-an-affirmation-for-winter/

Curve balls and Making Boomerangs

Curve balls and Making Boomerangs

Our life is rarely quiet and recently was no exception. While I was pulling a late evening volunteer shift, my husband was putting a shift in the carpool and kids activity. Then our carpool collided with nature. Unfortunately for the deer it didn’t end well and the car took a beating. Over a year ago, the anxiety and stress would’ve undone everything then permeated every where.  Not to say it wasn’t present in the action of the accident, aftermath, tons of phone calls, waiting for the tow truck, logistics, etc.  We live in a world where conflict and stress happens. It’s what we do with it that impacts our bodies and minds.  From there it leaks into every else you are in contact with.  How did we keep the pieces together that night?

First of all, deep breaths.  Lack of oxygen to your brain and body affect your decision and coping ability.  Pause.  When you are in a place do this, acknowledge your emotions and take a gratitude inventory.  It was sometime after the event before I got to the accident and picked up the kids.  We discussed the event, how everyone felt.  We didn’t just name, we acknowledged, ” this is how I feel and it’s okay.”  It ends there.  We have emotions and they can guided us.  However, when we are emotions, they rule us.  The conversation shifted to gratefulness.  Everyone was safe, #hubby had the situation handled, we have great neighbors to check on the dog,  and our car was on it’s way to be fixed soon. Was this a blissful moment, absolutely not.  Yet, it was moment of growth and one was gained a bit more control over us.  It was an attitude shift in a curve ball that made a boomerang affect.  In situations, how we react comes back and we can benefit or hurt ourselves and others.  We still had the next day of tiredness and more logistics to get through.  Our attitude and perspective gave way to ability to cope, production, and even humor at times.  It’s not perfect, but steps in the right direction.

Breathe. Acknowledge. Take Inventory. 

Curve balls happen, what kind of boomerang effect do you want?

Namaste and I’m napping today