Fave Reads Friday #15 – Devoured

Things I write about from time to time are the food that I eat and the books that I read and occasionally books about about food. Back in March and April when I was traveling a ton for NETA I was able to get some serious reading done. One book I completely destroyed in a single weekend was Devoured: How What We Eat Defines Who We Are by Sophie Egan.

 

Continue reading “Fave Reads Friday #15 – Devoured”

Wellness Wednesday #5 – Food for Thought

Last week I was only able to crank out a Wellness Wednesday post on the topic of Sensing. I had hoped to also sneak in a Meditation Monday post and a Fave Reads Friday about a book I’m reading….and then I didn’t even write a travel post about my time in Sheboygan! Isn’t that just fun to say? Sheboygan. Try it. Anyway…..Six inches of snow and below freezing temps and now, here we are again at Wednesday and it’s time to talk about EATING…. Continue reading “Wellness Wednesday #5 – Food for Thought”

Breaking Up with Dairy in the Toilet Bowl of America – A Happiness Project Reset

So, it’s technically three months into this Happiness Project of mine and I’m kind of at the point of starting over. In the first month of my project I focused on getting myself well. Because the whole point of this project is to make me happy by giving me My Best Body, that included getting things right with my health. But, oh did that ever change for me in the last week?!

If you’ve read the blog at all, you know that I’m a big fan of documentaries…..I’m also a great proponent of eating what fuels you and not subscribing to restrictive eating plans. However, a shift has occurred within me that’s been coming for awhile. For a long time now I’ve felt on the verge of making a big change; something inside of me wasn’t quite yet defined, but I felt like the way I was eating was wrong for me. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it until I watched What The Health.

Now, before you stop reading, let me put this disclaimer out there….

I still believe that each and every person has to make their own decisions based on what they feel is the right food for them and their body (diet). This decision can be made for health reasons, ethical reasons, financial reasons, cultural reasons…whatever. And I am not a Registered Dietician, so I will NEVER tell anyone what they should and shouldn’t eat.

With that in mind, I have made a choice for myself to slowly cut out animal products. Why? Because for some time now I’ve felt that they didn’t benefit me in the way that they used to. The food didn’t make me feel as good (hence the reason I went mostly meatless on travel weekends), it didn’t taste as good, it felt like a crutch. After watching many of the disturbing and disgusting facts presented in a wide variety of food documentaries, after always being informed about the secret funding behind our food guidance systems, and after my own experiences with dietary intake, I decided that dairy and meat aren’t really for me.

So, because I didn’t make this decision in an instant and I didn’t do it for ethical reasons (although I wish I could say that I did), I am making a slow transition away from these foods. I’m just not buying more dairy as it gets used up. I’m just not buying more meat as it gets used up. I am going to allocate more of my food budget toward whole fruits and vegetables. I enjoy almond milk and am going to try making my own cashew milk. I am going to try some alternative dairy products and eat more whole grains. I am going to explore different snacks and flavors. I’m rethinking what breakfast means. I am exploring and giving myself until the end of 2017 to see how this experiment goes.

The only expectation I have at this point is to try. I want to live happy and free from disease. I want to love the body that I’m in and feel that I am taking care of it. I am resetting my Happiness Project to have My Best Body in 2017!

Have you seen the documentary?

How do you make your food choices?

What is your favorite meatless meal?

New Foods

We’re now on the backside of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. It’s something that I think a lot of people I know struggle with from time to time and I thought it pertinent to mention. Also of importance is this great post I read over the weekend:

I was looking at my calendar the other day and planning out meals through the end of March and into April. I like to rotate things, especially our staples: Mexican food, something grilled, something seafood, something pasta, and breakfast for dinner. We usually eat something from each category each week because I try to bring a balance of what my kids will already eat to exposing them to a little something new and also a dash of what I WANT from time to time. Continue reading “New Foods”

Limited Choices and Holiday Eating

My son’s school sent out this article that I think you all should read. At the bottom I have some thoughts related to the article and the upcoming holiday season and specifically eating during the holiday season.  This article is super applicable if you have children, work with children, interact regularly with children, or know adults that are like children….Enjoy!

LIMITED CHOICES

By Chip DeLorenzo, M.Ed.

One of the first classroom management tools that many of us learned, to redirect or set limits with children, is limited choices. This month, I’d like to explore this topic in some detail. I have found that the term limited choice is used frequently among Montessori educators, but just as often, it is used without an understanding of the principles behind the discipline tool that make it a respectful and effective way to interact with children and set clear and appropriate boundaries. Without an understanding of the principles, a discipline tool simply becomes a technique. Techniques fail because they are focused on the adult and the adult’s priorities, rather than on the child. The child becomes an object rather than the subject when the adult tries to employ a discipline tool as a technique. Let’s first explore the principle behind limited choices. Using limited choices is a respectful way to set limits with children while honoring their right and capability to make appropriate choices for themselves, while respecting others. Limited choices let the child know that they are part of plan, but that there are limits that are developmentally appropriate and respectful to everyone involved. Next, let’s explore what a limited choice is. A limited choice is simply a decision, given to a child by an adult, between two or more alternatives. The alternatives should be developmentally appropriate, reasonable, respectful and acceptable to the child, the adult and for the situation. Some examples of appropriate, respectful and acceptable limited choices: “You may eat the lunch your mother packed you, or you may make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for yourself. You choose.” “You may put away your yogurt first, or your cracker first. Which one do you choose?” “You may scoop the beans off the floor with your hands, or with a whisk broom and dustpan. What would you like to use?” “You may finish your math now, or after you eat snack. You choose?” “Would you like to bring him the Peace Rose, or put this on the class meeting agenda?” “You may write a report on any of the fundamental needs of the Ancient Romans. Please make your decision by tomorrow before lunch.” “You have four overdue assignments. You’re welcome to do them after school while I’m preparing my lessons, come in early and work on them in morning care, or bring them home for the weekend. Which would you prefer?” Adults, without realizing it, can find themselves in power struggles with students when they misunderstand the principles behind limited choices. This happens when an adult gives a student choices that are not developmentally appropriate, reasonable, respectful or acceptable to the child, the adult or the situation. Here are some examples: “You may put your lunch away or go sit in the office.” (This is a threat, and not acceptable to the child.) “You may come inside with the group, or stay on the playground by yourself.” (This is also a threat, and most likely an empty one that the adult cannot follow through with. It is not acceptable to the adult or the situation.) “You may put your lunch away, or leave it on the floor to be stepped on.” (This is not acceptable or respectful to the situation and the community.) “Would you like to do your math now, or during recess.” (This may not be respectful or acceptable to the adult who has other responsibilities after school, and not respectful to the student who needs time outside.) “You may write a research report on anything that interests you.” (This choice is most likely too broad for the student, and therefore not developmentally appropriate. Some children may choose topics that are not acceptable to the adults, or the situation, and this will lead to rejection of the idea later by the adult. It’s not a choice in the end.) Limited choices for younger children will be more concrete and limited, based on their developmental readiness. As students get older their choices will, appropriately, be broader. For instance, an adolescent may be given a much wider range of time to complete an agreed upon project, because they hopefully have developed the executive functioning to allow them to manage their time, make choices and experience the consequences (positive and negative) of those choices. Sometimes, children will push back, with a response to a limited choice, like, “I don’t what to do either of those.” If this occurs, we can simply respond with a statement like this, “That’s not one of the choices,” and then just remain silent, warm and present! If the child persists, just remaining silent and waiting for them to respond, without reacting, sends a powerful message: I care. I trust you to follow through with your responsibilities, and I will do the same. Until next time…
********************************************************************

Each year we head into this time known as the HOLIDAY SEASON and everyone panics about food. I hear so many people go on diets, start restricting, and demonizing foods because of the holidays and the massive amount of comfort foods/sweets that go along with this time of year. I say, forget the stress! This time of year is about celebration and if you celebrate with food, so be it.

How does this apply to the document above?

Well, since we don’t want to go crazy and eat until we’re stuffed, but also don’t want to give ourselves a million rules about eating so that we feel so restricted and set up for failure (you know you’ll eat the pie no matter what…). What if we gave ourselves limited and appropriate decisions?

I’ve written a lot about Mindful Eating in the past and I think that this approach goes along with Limited Decisions. So, let’s look at it this way:

I am eating Thanksgiving dinner and I’ve tried a little of everything…but I’m still hungry and I’m really digging the mashed potatoes and, yet, we haven’t hit dessert time yet. What limited decisions could I give myself?

Inappropriate decision making would say:

I have to stop eating all together because I’m trying to be good this year and I really shouldn’t have eaten as much as I did already.

or

I can wait and eat pie, but tomorrow I will have to hit the gym for at least an hour of cardio in order to make up for it and I definitely have to skip lunch.

Limited decision making with Mindful Eating tactics might say:

My two choices are that I eat the mashed potatoes because they are good and then maybe have dessert later when I am hungry again

or

I choose to wait for dessert because that’s what I really want anyway

or

I am here to celebrate and enjoy this moment, so I will have a small helping of more mashed potatoes and then a small piece of pie, enjoying the best of both worlds without feeling guilty, overly full, or caring what others think.

I think the whole thing about limited decisions is to give yourself appropriate choices. Choices that feed your body, your soul, your preferences, and the moment you choose to be in while being aware of the forces guiding the decision making process. I’m not choosing to wear “Thanksgiving Day Pants” and stuff myself to the max, but I’m also not denying myself the enjoyment of celebration and the good taste of food!

 

How do you eat on Thanksgiving and during the holiday season?

TOLT – 3…2…1….Read!

I’m doing it! I’m going to start reading another book that is not on my 2016 Book List, but I haven’t read a book for me in a few months and it’s time!

Tuesday I was putting together our book list on my library mobile site and I came across this little gem and decided to throw it on hold. I picked it up later that afternoon and used some of my afternoon time yesterday to crack it open. I’ll write more about it when I get a little deeper in, but it spoke to me with all that I’ve been thinking about the last week (You can read about that in yesterday’s post The 300.) and the choice I made earlier this year as part of my 30 Days resolutions.

I wanted to write a little more today about my trip this weekend and some things I’m thinking about in a little TOLT fashion, so here’s my top 3 list for this Think Out Loud Thursday with a HUGE THANK YOU to Amanda for hosting! Continue reading “TOLT – 3…2…1….Read!”

Yoga is Not for Men and Other Yoga Lies

Like I said in my last post, Yoga is an over 5000 year old tradition that began with men….however now you see mostly women in the practice. Yoga is marketed to women as a weight loss tool, something fashionable to do, and a lifestyle of “Clean Eating”. I call BS on a lot of it!

My friend Sarrah sent me this link recently and I am sometimes so jaded about the fitness industry that I actually spent the first few minutes thinking that this guy was serious and not a spoof. What does that say about the quality of info out there?!

So, today I want to accomplish two things:

  1. Get rid of some of the myths about yoga
  2. Give the guys out there some yoga

Continue reading “Yoga is Not for Men and Other Yoga Lies”

Why Numbers Matter Part Two

Back in June I wrote about some measurements that I’d recently had done. I had intended this post to follow it the next day, but I dropped off the blogosphere for awhile right after that. You can read about that here if you’d like.

The previous post spoke about how those measurements could tell me somewhat about how my body was made at that time. Some other measurements that I had done back in the beginning of April tell me another part of the story.

I had a health screening done for our insurance both last fall and again this spring. Here’s how the numbers looked: Continue reading “Why Numbers Matter Part Two”

My Dunkin Donuts Strategies

This post was inspired by a few things I’ve been reading on other sites and a discussion I had on the phone yesterday with my bestie Sarrah.

I was telling her about how I wrote yesterday about yoga saving me from really falling into a real depression and how it also helps me to deal with being a mom and handling my kids. We were talking about how it’s okay sometimes to lose it with your kids….in a sane way….because they have to learn how to deal. I was also talking about the need to stay engaged with the fitness industry so that I don’t swing too far one way. Continue reading “My Dunkin Donuts Strategies”

What I Made Wednesday: Cupcakes, Applesauce, and the FDA

I’m currently in the middle of reading The End of Overeating (Fave Reads Friday coming soon) and have been watching documentaries (like I always do, most recent was Sugar Coated) on Netflix and it’s been making me think a lot about food. I’ve written many times about Mindful Eating and I posted an activity for you to try with the experience as part of the May Meditation series How to Meditate. In the news of late we’ve had stories from the FDA about wanting to redefine the term HEALTHY (you can read why I hate that term here) and new information regarding GMOs. My big take away from all of my “research” is that I still want to eat more seasonally and more whole foods. But how do you do this when it comes to a family of four and two adults with very different takes on food? Continue reading “What I Made Wednesday: Cupcakes, Applesauce, and the FDA”