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The #1 Thing to Ditch From Your Diet Right Now

[EXCERPT from: The #1 Thing to Ditch From Your Diet Right Now] Take a guess at what the #1 thing to ditch right now from your diet is. Is it gluten? (Surely, since it damages the gut lining.) How about sugar? (Must be it. It’s the one thing we know we should limit.) Dairy? (Inflammatory for so many folks.) Legumes? (Lots of carbs with less nutrition.) Alcohol? (All the calories with none of the stuff that makes us healthier.) While I’d argue that the food listed should be avoided from your nutritional approach on a daily basis, there’s one that’s worse. The #1 thing to ditch from your diet right now is…. STRESS!

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Sandra Aamodt: Why dieting doesn't usually work

In the US, 80% of girls have been on a diet by the time they’re 10 years old. In this honest, raw TED Talk, neuroscientist Sandra Aamodt uses her personal story to frame an important lesson about how our brains manage our bodies, as she explores the science behind why dieting not only doesn’t work, but is likely to do more harm than good. She suggests ideas for how to live a less diet-obsessed life, intuitively.

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Eating Mindfully While Traveling

Eight Tips for On-the-Road Wellness

As holiday traveling becomes more commonplace and in many people’s lives, more frequent, I thought it might be helpful to offer some suggestions for maintaining wellness while on the road. Whether traveling by car to a destination or taking a holiday trip of some sort, here are eight tips to help you to navigate your holiday travel experience.

  • Restaurant wisdom

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  • Thanksgiving – A Mindful Look at a Traditional Meal

    In the year 1621, the pilgrims who had settled in the United States set time aside to gather together, reflect on the past year, and give thanks for their fortunes, blessings, and plentiful harvest. This day became known, over the years and decades, as Thanksgiving. As it is defined, Thanksgiving is a day for giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year. Today, many Americans celebrate Thanksgiving Day, which is a time to gather with friends and family for a holiday celebration. And, as we know, nearly every holiday or celebration includes food.

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    The Silent Meal

    In today’s busy, oftentimes frantic and noisy world, eating in silence is usually thought of as something to be experienced on a retreat of some sort or in a monastery somewhere. And eating in such a manner is usually regarded as difficult to imagine and a bit weird: who, after all, wants to feel restricted, limited and uncomfortable while eating a meal? In Brooklyn’s trendy Greenpoint neighborhood, at a restaurant called Eat, the head chef and the owner have created an opportunity for patrons who wish to really taste their food and savor the experience of a meal. During a trip to India, head chef Nicholas Nauman, spent time with Buddhist monks who eat their breakfast in silence, exchanging no words. He decided to bring his learning and appreciation of truly mindful eating back to the U.S. Now, according to Jordan Colón, the owner of Eat, folks can partake in a silent dining experience that otherwise may not be an option. Occasionally, the restaurant offers silent meals to people who choose to experience eating in silence. As Chef Nauman says: “It’s just an opportunity to enjoy food in a way you might not have otherwise”, while commenting on the “strong energy in the room.”

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    Mindful Eating: A Pocket Planner

    Much is being written on eating mindfully and, for sure, it is a path that brings healthy results that are sustainable and lifetime oriented. It might be helpful to have a one-page guide…a pocket resource that summarizes the principles of mindful eating. A quick glance can remind you of ‘what to do next’.

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    Change Your Mind – Change Your Brain – Change Your Body

    The ancient practice of Mindfulness and Mindfulness Meditation – pausing in the midst of life and welcoming stillness, awareness and purposeful attention – affects the entire body, mind and spirit. Learning to be aware of the present moment and how we’re experiencing each moment allows us to look at our lives with new lenses. We realize our thoughts are merely made up constructs of words and have very little truth, if any. We are able to see “what is” more clearly and rather than “react” to life, “respond” to it. The brain changes with each response, becoming more integrated and healthy.

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    Are You an Emotional Eater?

    Emotional eating plays a large role in the epidemic of obesity in our country. We eat mindlessly most of the time. In addition to contributing to missing out on one of life’s most enjoyable pleasures, mindless eating can lead to many health problems. Mindfulness practice offers an alternative. When we bring mindful attention to the process of eating, we tend to notice experiences that otherwise pass undetected. We are able to see relationships between thoughts, feelings and eating.

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    Make Eating Mindful

    It is very normal to feel uncertain when first embracing mindfulness at the table. Creating a mindful eating practice means simply becoming more curious and aware while eating ~ yet the whole concept can appear overwhelming at first. Considering awareness in three distinct areas can make creating a mindful eating practice much easier.

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    The heart and soul of why women eat…it’s not what you think

    Unfortunately, most women spend their days juggling many roles, conflicting commitments and the wants and needs of others. Often we come last, if there’s time. The temptation to reach for food as comfort or distraction can be overwhelming; although the issue is rarely about food — more times than not, the underlying force is emotion. Eating emotionally can become a way of life and extra pounds an unwanted result.

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    “Cheat Meals”: A Frightening Concept

    Is it okay to have a “cheat meal” when you’re dieting? Joy Bauer, featured nutrition “expert” on NBC’s The Today Show, addressed this question during a recent segment* of “Joy’s Diet SOS”. Shockingly, Joy gives a weekend meal of total indulgence “two thumbs up” for dieters. Her reasons being: preventing feelings of deprivation, providing staying power for continuing to diet and rewarding dieters for putting in “so much HARD work during the week”.

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    Eating Mindfully: An Introduction and Overview

    This year, National Eating Disorders Awareness Week is February 26-March 3, 2012. In recognition of this significant event, my thoughts are with both the individuals suffering from a diagnosed eating disorder as well as with the individuals who fall outside of the diagnostic box yet who suffer daily in many ways. As a medical professional treating people with eating disorders and related issues, I understand firsthand that these individuals long for a life of balance and wise nourishment yet find themselves eating in unhealthy ways, often causing weight gain and distress. Emotional eating can become a way of life, leaving a person feeling trapped and at the mercy of their thoughts, feelings and habitual behavior.

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    Food for Thought

    I found this quote from Winnie the Pooh, a book I read many times over the years to my now grown children, as I was cleaning out my desk and wondered: how many of you can relate to Pooh? How many of you eat for excitement? Does food break the boredom and add some “fun” into your day or evening? And how many of you would like to use food for nourishment and, yes, for enjoyment but not necessarily for “excitement”?

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    FAQs About Eating Disorders at Holiday Time

    It is important to understand that not all behaviors are created equal – meaning each behavior has a different meaning for each individual. One person may be counting calories to become more aware and intentional in the face of food portions and calorie content. Another person may be caught in food restricting and dangerously controlling behavior involving calorie counting and specific food groups. It is important to use your intuition and trust yourself in observing other people, such as a family member or a friend. Above all, bring patience, compassion and love to the situation before making any decisions or forming any opinions.

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    Navigating the Holidays Mindfully

    Often the holidays are approached from a “more on an already full plate” perspective. There is a cultural expectation for joyfulness and accomplishment. Family and social gatherings occur. Often more money is spent over the holidays than planned and budget concerns can dampen merriment. Time, energy and sleep patterns become altered, leaving a person tired and close to burnout as healthy self-time becomes less frequent. For some, the holidays are a time of sadness and depression involving grief, sorrow and loneliness. And for nearly everyone, eating mindfully becomes more difficult and challenging during the holiday season.

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    Eating Mindfully at Work

    When stress is experienced in the workplace, there is often a tendency to cope with this stress in the same way we cope with unwanted feelings, thoughts or experiences in other areas of our lives: by eating mindlessly. Bringing mindfulness into workplace experience can improve the quality of life ‘on the job’ regardless of what the job entails. Eating mindfully can become our path through work challenges and difficult situations on the job.

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    Why Diets Don’t Work

    Why Diets Don’t Work. First of all, a diet is a temporary experience: it does not contribute to a sustainable or a healthy lifestyle. Anytime a person goes “on” a diet, they will go “off” of the diet. More times than not, unhealthy habits will resume. In addition, over 95% of dieters gain the weight back ~ plus more.

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    Make Eating Mindful

    Practicing mindfulness at mealtimes can help break unhealthful eating patterns and tune into the pleasures that food has to offer. Here are a few of my suggestions to use as guidelines ~ giving your self time and replacing compassion for criticism and joy for judgment.

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    Ounce of Prevention

    National Eating Disorder Week is February 20th through February 26th, 2011. In honor of this significant week (in the U.S.), I am speaking out to parents and loved ones of adolescent aged girls or boys suspected of having an eating disorder. Early detection and treatment is critical to survival of and healing from an eating disorder.

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    How We Participate in Our Eating is How We Participate in Our Lives

    “There are some people who eat an orange but don’t really eat it. They eat their sorrow, fear, anger, past and future.”

    Thich Nhat Hanh

    Do you find yourself eating mindlessly and then regretting it? Would you enjoy a more mindful, intentional relationship with food choices and eating behavior?

    The key to changing the way you eat is not more willpower or discipline

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