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Archive for the ‘Awareness: Tuning In’ Category

I’m big on making To-Do lists, but even those can get overwhelming at times. One of the best stress-busters I know is to sit down first thing in the morning and set priorities for the day.

I like to do this first thing, with a cup of tea and while I’m waking up. When it’s cold I wrap up in a warm shawl and feel cozy in the early morning.

I’ve heard it done in different ways. A good approach is to list the 3 top things you hope to accomplish for the day. They should be realistic. Sometimes they will be a single task, or they can be an amount of time spent on a larger project.

For example, I work on my newsletter for an hour a day for several days. It’s not something I expect to do all at once, so I specify the amount of time I spend on a given day.

I have trouble limiting myself to the 3 items, so I tend to look at my available unscheduled time and list morning activities and afternoon activities. When I’m really worried about fitting everything in, I make a timeline.

I get stressed because I usually expect to get more accomplished in a day than is possible. By organizing my time and priorities, I can be more realistic. Then I can relax and enjoy what I’m doing, knowing how it will fit together.

Some days the plan won’t work at all – things come up that take precedence. That is fine. That’s life. Still, it gives me something to come back to when things settle down.

Since stress affects both our food choices and our health, it’s helpful to have a variety of tools to help tame it!

Find more nutrition information, my Mindful Eating CD, and my monthly newsletter on my website:  http://healthyhabitscoach.com.  Eat well!

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I get great tips from my clients, and a here is a tip that I thought could be especially useful.

If you want to lose weight, it can be really helpful to visualize yourself at the weight you want to be. It is a way of providing your mind with a roadmap.

The only problem is that it is often difficult to do. If you have trouble conjuring an image of a slimmer you, try this tip from my client.

She is looking through magazines for clothes she likes. She cuts them out, creating a collection of what she wants to wear.

She said the first time was pretty hard – her mind kept censoring the process, reminding her that she wouldn’t look good in that.  She didn’t give in to the critical inner voice, and as she has persisted in collecting her pictures of fun clothes, it has gotten easier. And more fun.

And it’s beginning to shift the possibilities that she can see for herself.
What I love about this approach is that it is like using the back door! She couldn’t directly picture herself differently; yet by using pictures of fun new clothes, she can shift towards this new way of seeing herself.

This is a fun and creative way to see yourself in a new light: as a person who makes healthy food choices, lives a healthy lifestyle, and loses weight if needed.

Find more nutrition information, my Mindful Eating CD, and my monthly newsletter on my website:  http://healthyhabitscoach.com.  Eat well!

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Guest Post by Haley Drexler, Windsor high school student

Recently, Kathy has let me into her work life for a chance to job shadow a Registered Dietitian. My name is Haley, and I am very interested in the field of nutrition and dietetics. I am job shadowing Kathy as part of my Junior Project at Windsor High School.

I lived a healthy life before I began shadowing Kathy, but I feel that now I have learned more ways to optimize every choice I make. I can think of many examples of how Kathy has changed my point of view, and there are two that really stand out.

One important lesson that I have learned, is that my health is more important now than ever; there are many things that I can do now to minimize medical complications later in life. I enjoy hearing Kathy’s tips and suggestions to her clients and realize that I too can incorporate them into my life.

Kathy taught something new about reading the labels of pre-packaged foods. I know that it is best to eat foods that are not pre-packaged, but because I am constantly on the go, I need quick and easy snacks.

I thought I was doing a pretty good job of reading the labels, but at one of Kathy’s client consultations, I realized that I was not getting the full facts.  I would mainly read the nutrition information, but I discovered that there is much more to reading labels.

I noticed that Kathy was relating the nutrition information to the ingredients list, something I had never thought to do.  I realized that when I link the nutrition information to the ingredients (such as hidden sweeteners adding to the overall sugar content), I can make better snack choices.

 I feel that now I have a better understanding of the foods that I am eating, and I feel good about that.

Find more nutrition information, my Mindful Eating CD, and my monthly newsletter on my website:  http://healthyhabitscoach.com.  Eat well!

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When you don’t feel well, you may not feel like exercising. But it really could help you feel better.

In a small clinical trial, people with IBS (Irritable Bowel Disease) who exercised had the most improvements in cramps, bloating, constipation and diarrhea.

The people in the exercise group got 20 to 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise, like brisk walking or biking, for 3 to 5 days out of the week.

If you have a cranky gut it’s worth remembering that exercise can help ease symptoms. You don’t have to be diagnosed with IBS to see benefits.

Find more nutrition information, my Mindful Eating CD, and my monthly newsletter on my website:  http://healthyhabitscoach.com.  Eat well!

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Is it challenging to get up and exercise? Shift how you look at it!

I just got off the phone with a client who wants to go for a walk in the middle of her work day. She loves being outside. She needs to get a break. And yet it can be hard to actually do.

She just realized that if she thinks of it as physical energy, it is so much more inviting. What a great use of language!

What speaks to you? What feels joyful instead of duty? What would invite you into action?

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You probably are a healthy eater, or at least think so. According to a new survey from Consumer Reports, 90% of Americans think they have a healthy diet.

Most of the clients I see tell me that they eat healthy foods; and usually they are both right and wrong. They are making a lot of healthy choices, and yet there are healthy foods and habits missing.

You can eat a “healthy dinner” and then snack all night. You can eat healthy at home, but then eat out frequently. Even if you avoid fast foods, restaurant foods still tend to be much higher in fats and calories than their homemade counterparts.

Just the fact that you are reading this says that you care about what you eat, and that is good.

I like to think of eating well as a continuum with extreme bad choices at one end and extreme good choices at the other end. Being “too good” is a type of eating disorder called orthorexia; so there is no value in being perfect.

A good target is to be somewhere between the middle and the good end of the eating well continuum, hopefully more towards the good habits.

The general American way of eating is not very healthy at all. It takes conscious awareness to make good food choices. So keep paying attention and remember that it is human nature to think we are either doing better or worse than we really are.

A good way to check in with just how healthy you’re eating really is, is to write down what you eat for a few days or a week. It can be a good reality check – even for me!

Something interesting from the Consumer Reports study:

58% of those surveyed said they ate the recommended 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day. But Consumer Reports has its doubts. When presented with a list of 33 vegetables, 15 of them were consistently described as “rarely” or “never “eaten.

Find more nutrition information, my Mindful Eating CD, and my monthly newsletter on my website:  http://healthyhabitscoach.com.  Eat well!

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Our lives can shift in a heartbeat, in good or bad ways. I’ve just had a reminder of how precious this moment is.

Yesterday morning I got a call from the Healdsburg Emergency Department. I was told that my husband was “okay” but that he’d been in a car accident and I needed to come.

I was too stunned to think of the questions I could have asked, so I rushed to the hospital not knowing what had happened or what to expect. “Okay” can mean a lot of different things.

He really was. Someone crashed into the driver’s side of his car in an intersection – he calls it T-boned. The next thing he remembers is being removed from the car by ambulance drivers. But as far as we can tell, the only injury was minor scratches to his hands from the broken glass.

He is feeling pretty beat up this morning from the airbag, and has to buy a new car now – an expense he hadn’t planned on or prepared for.

I’m not complaining. These are just hick-ups, a little short term disturbance. We can live with that. I’m just thankful on this cold, grey morning that I still have a husband and that his bones and internal organs are all intact.

Yes, I feel pretty lucky.

This was a dramatic reminder, but really every day is something to be thankful for. No matter what else is going on, I want to remember to be thankful for being alive!

Find more nutrition information, my Mindful Eating CD, and my monthly newsletter on my website:  http://healthyhabitscoach.com.  Eat well!

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