Weight Loss and Mindfulness: Why Did You Buy and Eat That?

When discussing goals with my clients clients, none of them want to be overweight or face chronic diseases because of their food or lifestyle choices.  It is very difficult for most people to avoid eating too much given the bombardment of advertisement and marketing strategies placed before them in supermarkets and at restaurants. It goes beyond willpower. Education,planning  and being vigilant about being aware can help more than you think.

Most peopFrazzledle are overwhelmed with all that has to be done on a day to day basis and are not mindful of the choices they are making, especially when shopping.  It is difficult to be on top of your game when you are tired, stressed and have ti
me demands.  Most supermarkets take advantage of our ‘decision fatigue’ through strategic placements of various ‘food’ choices.  Ever wonder why candies,chips and non-foods are at the cash register? Or the healthier choices are on the higher or lower shelves? The stores rely on your impulse buying of items that are at eye level or  posting  blasting signs about ‘limited quantity’ or  ‘special today’.  You end up buying more, resulting in consuming more items you probably didn’t need (or want) in the first place.  Studies have also found that changing the shapes and variety of foods increases our desire to buy them.  Think about pasta shapes, mini- chocolate chip cookies, different shaped crackers, chips or novelty ice creams.  The variety offered often tempt you to try them.  In actuality it is the same food, but the different variety makes us think it is something new and attracts us to it, therefore eating more. We need variety to keep our food interesting and help us get proper nutritional needs. Different vegetables and fruits are suggested to help us avoid monotony as well nourishing out body.  However, five different shapes, brands or seasonings of potato chips – are still potato chips. Focus on variety of your real foods, fruits, vegetable and grains.

When entering a grocery store, it is a known fact that you never go in hungry.  Make a list on paper, your smartphone or send yourself a message ahead of time. If you saw a recipe you wanted to try, take a picture of it so you have the ingredients you may need to get.  Don’t get sucked in to the ‘comfort foods’ we know sabotage our efforts to take better care of ourselves.  Skip the fast foods unless it is the salad bar, some roasted turkey or chicken, pre-grilled wild salmon or the fresh roasted veggies. Try roasted parsnips or carrots, instead of potatoes.  Farro is a delicious whole grain with a nutty taste that works well in most recipes, substitute it for rice or pasta. Grill peaches or plums and serve them with chicken for a taste treat. These are fast and easy.Go for frozen fresh fruit bars, or low fat frozen yogurt instead of the chocolate chip, caramel swirl full fat ice-cream. I just found some almond milk ice-cream, I was thrilled to see an alternative for those who are sensitive to milk.  However,it was loaded with chocolate peanut butter chunks and salted caramel- so much for the health benefits.

If you are looking to ‘do your body good’, spend the money on foods that will serve and nourish your body well. Treat ‘treats as treat’, eat real food.  There is no mystery. Don’t be lured in to buying foods that are gimmicks or pull at your weaknesses.  Try and be smart, leave with more unpackaged foods than packaged and I can almost guarantee you will have mo9re money left in your wallet too! If it isn’t in your food pantry- you aren’t going to be tempted to eat it. When do you stop eating something? …..when it is all gone.

In Great Health!,

  Mary

 


 

For further support or guidance around sound nutritional habits and choices, call me for a complimentary

 

 

Wellness Coaching: Self Acceptance

As an Am I Hungry Facilitator, I want to share this piece from founder, Michelle May. So Simple, but so true.  We can use this in so many aspects of our lives, beyond dieting.  We are almost always our worse enemies.

 

Self-Acceptance Step 1: Become Aware

By Michelle May, M.D.

“My yoga teacher said, “Whatever you practice, you get good at. If your habit is to compare, judge, and criticize yourself, then you’ll get better and better at it. You will strengthen your habit.”

That really resonated with me. I had subjected myself to 25 years of yo-yo dieting fueled by rejection of my Self.

Wishing I were somehow different and focusing on numbers like calories and pounds only distracted me from living my life fully. Unfortunately, many of us have been convinced that this is the only way, and that we somehow deserve a life focused on what we eat and what we look like instead of living our lives. We waste a tremendous amount of energy beating ourselves up—energy that could otherwise be poured into building relationships, accomplishing other meaningful goals, or simply enjoying life.

I am so over that.

Along my personal and professional journey, I’ve learned that self-acceptance breeds self-care. While it may seem counterintuitive, I also discovered that self-acceptance is the starting line for change. Now I choose to practice loving my Self gently, compassionately, mindfully, and persistently.”

 

Drop me line with your thoughts or awakenings.  If this sounds like you, maybe a little intervention would help.  Pick one small thing that you beat yourself up about and become aware, and how can you stop the vicious cycle that may be driving  you down. With you new found energy do something extraordinary- for you!

 

Be Well,

Mary

Nutrition News: The MIND diet.

Have you heard of the MIND diet? It’a a way of eating that protects you from the risk of Alzheimers. What I like about it is that it is a combination of the #1 healthiest way of eating, the Dash Diet and the #3 leading plan,the Mediterranean Diet. The MIND diet stands for Mediterranean-Dash Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay. In a recent study, those who followed the MIND diet showed a 53% reduction for the risk of Alzheimers. Even if you ‘cheated’ once in a while, you can still rack up rewards for prevention. Some of the concepts are pretty simple.

  1. Leafy greens– eat 2 of more servings a day and you will develop a level of brain function equivalent to that of people five years younger. Leafy greens have more vitamin E than other veggies.  Add some EVOO and it helps in the absorption of the fat soluble vitamin.
  2. Berries– blueberries and strawberries are the star players.  The anti-aging effects may be attributed to anthocyanins, which are antioxidants that help protect the neurons in regions of the brain associated to learning and memory.  Have at least 2 servings a week to delay cognitive aging by 2.5 years! Easy enough!!
  3. Fish – no surprise here! Even once a week can help lower the risk of Alzheimers.  A recent study also showed that eating fish 1x a week (not fried) increased the gray matter of your brain.
  4. Wine- studies have found that drinking 1.5 glasses of red wine per day experienced the least amount of memory loss and cognitive delay. It is also good for your heart. So pour and enjoy.

Here are the top 10 foods included in the MIND diet.

Daily– whole grains (not processed), leafy greens, other veggies, glass of wine.

Most Days- nuts(almonds, walnuts), olive oil, legumes, blueberries/strawberries,poultry, fish.

Limit– butter, fastfood and fried food, full fat cheese, red meat, pastries and sweets.

Ask yourself what you are already doing. Where is one area you can improve upon? For support and a plan, contact me.

Be Well, Be Better,

Mary

Mindfulness: What Does It Mean To Feel Good

Dear Friends,

I received this newsletter from a colleague and felt the need to share.  Her words are to the point, perfect.  Self care, self love, self acceptance does not mean being selfish.  It means acceptance of yourself at all levels, which allows you to be more genuine with others in your life. I hope you find this fulfilling.

What Does It Mean To Feel Good?
 
by Dr. Kate Siner
 
We hear the words “feel good” all the time. We even say them to ourselves. “ I just want to feel good” “I just want to feel better.” Or, maybe we say, “I just want to be happy.” One way or another we are saying the same thing. But, what is this “better” that we are reaching for? 

Overtime, I have come to realize that self-love is the key to “feeling good.” Self-love is based in self-acceptance and results in self-care. If you want to feel good, you must first be willing to accept every part of yourself, then love yourself including the parts that you do not like so much.  As a result you learn to care deeply for your self on every level. 

Self-Acceptance: Self-acceptance means being able to be on your own side regardless of where you find yourself emotionally, mentally, or even physically. For example, if you find yourself criticizing yourself, being negative about your progress, or saying the way that you are doing things is wrong, you are not on your own side. 

Self-Love: Self-love means that you are willing to maintain a loving state of being towards yourself at all times. For example, even if you do not like the way that you are acting or you did not get the results that you want you still know that you have value and are worthy of deep unconditional love. 

Self Care: Self-care is your ability to put self-love and self-acceptance into practice. Self-care is any and every act that affirms and honors the completeness of who you are. It is not about doing something that is supposed to be healthy as much as it is caring for yourself in the most basic and intrinsic ways. 

These three key ingredients create a level of health, fulfillment and ultimately success that is exceptional. They are dependent on each other and moving forward in one area propels you forward in another. 

Here are some steps you can take to create more of these primary components of fulfillment in your life. 

1.    Find the benefits of supposedly problematic parts of yourself. Every part of us has a purpose and value. Sometimes, we might wish that we did not get angry or feel hurt in a certain situation but if we learn to listen to why we are upset or acting the way that we are, we can start to see how that part has been beneficial even if we are ready to let it go moving forward.? 

2.    Practice loving others even if you do not like their behavior or beliefs. Loving someone does not mean tolerating bad behavior or having no boundaries. Loving someone includes boundaries and even getting upset when someone has wronged you. You do not need to let go of love if someone’s behavior conflicts with your beliefs about what is right and what is wrong. ? 

3.    Love yourself like you love others. There are some people like your children or your partner that you love despite their flaws. Pay attention to how and why you are able to do that and then apply those principles to yourself. ?
 
4.    Do what feels really good.  You might say, “If I always did what felt good, I would be fat, get nothing done, or some other association with indulgence. However, indulgence and feeling good are not always the same thing! Pay attention to how you to feel to learn what really makes your feel good and do more of it.
Take a moment to let the words settle in.  Make a choice on how you would like to pay attention to create some time to focus on the various aspects of your life.
Happy Spring!  Be Well,
                                             Mary
If you would like to take the next step in creating a balanced lifestyle, contact me for a complimentary session to discuss your goals.

Holistic Nutrition: Address Anxiety Naturally

If any of you are from the Northeast, you can attest to the fact that Mother Nature has packed us a wallop! It has been hard in so many ways.  The cold, the snow, the physical demands of shoveling, the ice and fear of injury, isolation, disruptive routines, loss of work, loss of money – need I say more?  There have been some times that I just didn’t know what day it was or where I was supposed to be IF I could get there.  Needless to say, this causes a lot of worry and fear, enticing us to call our doctor for some prescribed drug to help us cope.  Before you do that, try going natural first. It is easier on your system with no side effects and is not addictive.

Here are a few ‘chill pill’  plants that can be taken as teas or supplements to help you deal with your anxiety.  A growing number of studies are showing the following to be promising options.

L-theanine – This is an amino acid that is found in black, green and white tea, which helps promote alpha brain waves linked with relaxation, boosts levels of brain calming dopamine and may help lower blood pressure.  100-250 mg is the typical dosage range recommended for anxiety. (Journal of Nutrition 2012)

Lemon Balm – This plant has long been known for its calming properties.  There is now a supplement of lemon balm extract sold under the name Cyracos. Lemon balm boosts the levels of the brain chemical GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) which promotes relaxation.  Taken in the morning and at night, a 300mg dose of Cyracos  reduced the signs of anxiety,18%, and insomnia,42% in adults with mild to moderate anxiety disorders.(Mediterranean Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism 2011)

Kava– This plant is the most researched herbal remedy for anxiety.  Supplements of standardized kava extracts (50-400mg daily) significantly alleviated anxiety compared to a placebo. In rare cases, kava can harm the liver.  This is likely due to poor quality have or other risk factors such as high alcohol use. (Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology 2013)

In all cases , you should consult your doctor before using these products especially if you are pregnant, breast feeding or have other health conditions or taking medications. 

Lifestyle can always assist in regulating anxiety.  Regular exercise, whole foods and stress management or meditation support calming the nerves.

Alcohol, caffeine, nicotine actually promotes anxiety.  At first these may seem to appear to help with the anxiety, but over time and withdrawal, actually increases anxiety levels.

So take a moment, sit back, take a deep breath,look out a window and find the beauty in all that white stuff outside, and sip your tea, it all works wonders.

 

Be Well,

Mary

 

To get in touch with incorporating a healthy lifestyle to improve your health and wellbeing, call for a complimentary introduction session. 

 

Lifestyle: Your True Health

I came across this very inspirational description of true health and I was compelled  to share it.  I could not rewrite this into my own words therefore I am passing this on.  This struck a chord with me and what I am striving to convey to those around me in my life and in my work .  We have a choice.

This is from a newsletter written by Doran Libshtein.

“Total health or wholeness is the ability to realize our full potential in every area of life. We need to be done with a compartmentalized approach to health. We need to approach health in an expanded and integrated manner. The expanded definition of Health is to be fully functioning, have healthy relationships, healthy careers, and healthy finances. All these areas are essential in the creation of a healthy and long life.”  

 Doran Libshtein works with world expert on total health, Dr Prudence Hall and she states; ” that the entire practice of medicine in the western world is based on the treatment of diseases, once they have occurred. It is assumed that once those diseases or symptoms are treated, the patient will be restored to “health.” But how do we know what health is? Is it simply the absence of disease? What does “Health” actually look like? And we need to know this, because if we don’t know our destination, it is going to be very hard to get there.” 

Dr Hall’s definition for true health is: “Unbridled energy, complete absence of disease, a beautiful strong body, balanced blissful emotions, self knowledge, a passion for life, advanced longevity.” 

Therefore, true health is not just a lack of disease. True Health is the whole package; it is the physical body, as well as the emotional, and spiritual aspects of each person, with the goal of achieving nothing short of pure radiance.

What I am finding is that many people are starting to wake up and realize that prevention is truly the best way to take care of one’s health. With prevention you may just slide right past the diseases others have as obstacles.  Wake up and take a moment to ask yourself – am I using all my inner and outer resources to take really great care of the being I am?  If not- what can you do differently? Start small, but be consistent.  Need assistance, give me a call.  It is an ongoing process, there is never an ending to getting to the next level of feeling great. I hope this has left a small impact on you to empower yourself with the knowledge and motivation to find your True Health.

Be Well, Mary

Weight Loss: Immunity to Change.

One of my required books for my advanced professional coaching certification is Immunity to Change by Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey.   This is not a light read or a light topic!  I started reading this on my own after a conference a year ago and I just wasn’t ready.  Now as required reading and almost eight months into the program, I now ‘get it’.  Since I support individuals in making behavioral changes for improved lifestyles (usually starts with weight management issues), it makes perfect sense to understand why it is so damn difficult to make changes that stick, and how to overcome what ‘holds us back’.  It is not about just changing some behavior, but adapting to the new behavior.  it takes time and an understanding of your own beliefs.

I found this one statistic rather interesting, one that I often discus with clients.  Diets do not work, becoming mindful does.  Here is a quote from Kegan, ” For most of us- since research shows that the average dieter regains 107% of the weight he or she takes off- losing weight is not a technical challenge; it is an adaptive one.  Solving it with a technical means- dieting- will not work.”

If you have been trying to lose weight through a technical means, you might want to try a different approach.  Creating goals, understanding behaviors, being mindful and having someone to support you in the highs and lows may be your answer .  If you have any questions, contact me.

Be Well,

Mary

 

New Class! Mindful Weighs- join us.

Mindful Weighs: a lifestyle and small group coaching program for lifelong and sensible weight loss and behavior change 

Wellness by Choice with Mary Grazen-Browne MEd. RHNP, CWC

  Where:   Arts and Wellness Center     222 Eastern Ave. Glouc.  Mass. **

Join us for a small group (4-6 ), eight week class to change your behaviors around food and lifestyle choices.   Have you ‘hit the wall’ with how to get your weight/exercise/emotions in a balance that you can live with?  A diet is a beginning and an end.  A lifestyle change is a way you can live for the rest of your life.  You will leave with ideas about obtaining your goals for more energy, less stress and feeling better about your possibilities.

What this course IS:

–  an opportunity to ditch diets and become empowered through education and coaching

–  learn your emotional triggers around food

–  making choices that work for you

–  become educated around healthy eating, balanced exercise and ‘me time’.

–  a step by step process for long term behavioral change

–  individual goals for your success 

What this course is NOT:

–  a diet

–  deprivation

–  a weekly weigh-in

–  counting calories

When:    Starting Tues  April 8th    4:30- 5:45 *

*time may be slightly adjusted according to group

What Else?

Fee includes –  7 group sessions and 2 half hour individual phone coaching   sessions.   unlimited email,   2 workbooks

 Your Health Investment:  $365

 

                                  Please Contact me if you have any questions.

** ask me about teleconference options

 

Lifestyle Changes: Reward Yourself

A good new year to all of you.  Many of us are forgoing the New Years’ resolutions for more mindful solutions.  Instead of getting on yourself for some poor behaviors why not start rewarding yourself for some good behaviors.  If you completed a project, why not get up, take a walk down the hall, put a smile on your face and get a glass of water.  If you were able to get the kids out and clean up the kitchen and do the shopping then reward yourself with a big bowl of strawberries, tea and  10 minutes of quiet.   Reward yourself in small ways-  a stretch at your desk, a 5 or 10 minute mediation break ( I love the app. Headspace), a snack on something that will make you feel nourished and not weighted down.  (Although we think a donut will make us feel better , in the short and long run it zaps your physical and mental energy.)  Try a new quick asian influenced recipe and  change the pace of the week, take in an early movie, go to bed an hour earlier than usual with a relaxing book.  Add enjoyment to your life in small ways.  Look at these as mini rewards, a way to build some positivity into the day.  You may be amazed how it will add up and make you feel happier.  Soon some of the old habits may no longer be desirable.

Invest in Your Health and focus on some positivity in your life.  Be Grateful, Be Mindful, smile more.

Happy and Healthy 2014

Be Well,

Mary

Interested in some lifestyle changes?  Contact me for a complimentary session to discuss your wellness goals.

Weight Loss: What about Self Discipline?

We all live with a diet and some of us are always trying to eat differently by dieting. Our diet is meant to be composed of a balanced array of fruits, vegetables, whole grains lean protein and healthy fats. Many of us have heard this a multitude of times. When we over consume and eat outside those perimeters too often, we have then gone off the ‘healthy diet’ and balanced eating. We then fall into the idea of needing to ‘diet’ or  trying to get back into balance.

In order to achieve that sense of balance we usually restrict various foods in our food choices to achieve the goal we want- (weight loss, healthier heart, decreased blood sugar and others). Our challenge is in how we restrict and how committed we will be in staying on course to reach our goal. Planning and the sense of feeling like you have a choice is key! A central reason you may not be reaching your goal may be due to the lack of self-discipline. Are you willing to sacrifice short-term pleasure for long-term goal achievement? Keeping your focus on the goal and pulling back from a favorite nightly dessert, or ‘unhealthy’ food choice may appear difficult at first, but the end result will leave you with more energy, smaller clothes and a healthier heart. Keep in mind that we usually did not put on the extra pounds over night, they accumulated over time.  The same time it may take you to lose the excess weight.  Also, evaluate what type of stress you are dealing with.  That can be a big area of challenge.

I have many clients who claim, they have no ‘will power’. I see that as lack of self-discipline, or not a good enough reason to stay focused for a specific amount of time. The goal that has been chosen has to be very clear and important. Especially around lifestyle changes, where you need to eat, sleep and move to exist , it is important to have a plan on how you will more forward in formulating a healthy “diet”. Dieting, being restrictive in your choices,  isn’t fun for anyone. Being a bit more self disciplined about your choices can make the process a bit easier.  You always have a choice. Having one cookie instead of four is a start, portion size always matters and being aware of your choice is powerful.   The other outcome is the sense of accomplishment, confidence and self-awareness that you have developed along the way. The sort of ‘I will try ‘ to “I did it!”.That sense of pride that proves you have self-discipline over things that really matter.  Small steps that add up will be less overwhelming.  A client who is dealing with high blood sugar made his first step by eliminating sugar from his coffee- still has the milk, and he said that after 3 days he actually likes the coffee better. So why not pick something that isn’t too challenging and start there. You want to have success, small or large.

Take a moment to see what you are having difficulty with in your lifestyle. Can you use a little self-discipline and planning for eating with a sense of being in charge? or for fitting in that exercise you promised yourself. Start small, make a commitment to plan on adding something good and healthy to your diet, as early in the day as possible. Add fresh berries or spinach at breakfast with whole grain toast and natural peanut butter or poached egg. Look at dieting, or your food plan,  as a way to enhance your living rather than restricting it. Use your self-discipline as a form of self discovery to explore possibilities. The goal and the results will be worth it.

Noticing that you may need support along the way is a sign of self-care. Your personal and professional  journey is all about making the most our of your life. Enjoy it, the challenges along the way create space for opening to a more confident you.

Be Well,

  Mary

 

Be pro-active and call to set up your complimentary wellness strategy session.