Be empowered to shift your perspective around food and your body!

woman cooking in the kitchenAs the summer months quickly approach, the buzz around diets and weight loss become more and more prevalent. This summer, try shifting your focus from deprivation and that elusive “bikini body,” which you already possess, and take the opportunity to slow down. It’s so easy to get caught up in the “shoulds” and “wants” that you may forget to glorify the little things that make your life rich on a day-to-day basis. Be empowered to shift your perspective around food and your body! When you breathe, slow down and harness food gratitude, you’ll be pleased to learn that eating can be an extraordinarily joyful experience.

Eating requires that you engage all your senses, which cause your brain to release feel-good chemicals, elevating your mood and evoking feelings of trust, enjoyment and relaxation. Let’s try it!

Take in and embrace what you see. From vibrantly colorful produce stacked at the market to a beautifully plated meal, our eyes act as a gateway to appreciating the food we eat. This is a great time to consider where your food came from and how it was grown, and if you’re eating a meal, you can reflect on the work that went into preparing it.

Try this: Hold a pear or two in your hands. Note the differences that are present between one pear and another from shape and texture to size and color variations. Currently in season are the Red Anjou and Green Anjou, which have been taking a nice long rest in cold storage since late last fall (they don’t ripen on the tree) and are now ripening perfectly!

Savor each bite. We often choose our foods based on the way they taste and the flavors we enjoy, but we rarely take the time to truly savor each bite. Chew mindfully and pay attention to the experience and the way the flavor and texture of your food changes. By savoring each bite, you can enjoy less quantities of food – and still feel satisfied.

Try this: Take a bite of a ripe pear. Note the texture, level of sweetness and juiciness this particular pear possesses. There are ten varieties of USA Pears, each with its own distinctive features – from taste to texture to color – so have fun to trying the different qualities that each variety embodies.

Inhale. Scent evokes memories and emotions, which you can use to enhance the enjoyment of a meal. How a food smells is directly related to your perception of how that food tastes.

Try this: Cut into a juicy pear and take a moment to embrace the sweet aroma. Does this evoke any emotions or excitement? Take note of your thoughts.

You may give this a go once in a while or incorporate a few of these tips on a daily basis, but either way, the act of engaging yourself in all that your food is offering will allow you to celebrate your plate in a way that takes the emphasis off dieting and deprivation. Happy Summer!

Emotional Eating

emotional eatingWe’ve all done it… You had a bad day and before you know it, you’re reaching for a pint of ice cream or bag of chips. We’ve been raised to react to emotions this way, from the first time your mom gave you a cookie when you fell down or earned an A on a spelling quiz. It’s so common that I have never met a single client, student, or friend who does not emotionally eat sometimes! So, how do we combat it?

The best way is to resolve the problem. Why are you sad? Why are you stressed? Some things we can’t correct, such as a death or divorce, but we can solve how we respond. If you can’t resolve the problem, the solution is how you respond to the urge to binge. The best methods may be talking it over with a friend, exercise, rest, or calming activities, such as yoga, massage, or meditation. Exercise releases endorphins, natural mood boosters, and sleep, yoga, and meditation can decrease stress hormones. No matter your vice for when the going gets tough, you can handle the binges. Stock your fridge with yummy, healthy snacks that you’re drawn to, maybe pear and banana slices plus peanut butter, low-fat popcorn, or a single serving of your favorite ice cream. The good news is that this, too, shall pass and you’ll be back on track in no time!