Viktor E. Frankl
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”-Viktor E. Frankl

Food Articles Q2 2012(3)

Mindful Eating as Food for Thought

Mindful Eating as Food for Thought

May 15, 2012

TRY this: place a forkful of food in your mouth. It doesn’t matter what the food is, but make it something you love — let’s say it’s that first nibble from three hot, fragrant, perfectly cooked ravioli. Now comes the hard part. Put the fork down. This could be a lot more challenging than you imagine, because that first bite was very good and another immediately beckons. You’re hungry. Today’s experiment in eating, however, involves becoming aware of that reflexive urge to plow through your meal like Cookie Monster on a shortbread bender. Resist it. Leave the fork on the table. Chew slowly. Stop talking. Tune in to the texture of the pasta, the flavor of the cheese, the bright color of the sauce in the bowl, the aroma of the rising steam. Continue this way throughout the course of a meal, and you’ll experience the third-eye-opening pleasures and frustrations of a practice known as mindful eating. The concept has roots in Buddhist teachings. Just as there are forms of meditation that involve sitting, breathing, standing and walking, many Buddhist teachers encourage their students to meditate with food, expanding consciousness by paying close attention to the sensation and purpose of each morsel. In one common exercise, a student is given three raisins, or a tangerine, to spend 10 or 20 minutes gazing at, musing on, holding and patiently masticating. Lately, though, such experiments of the mouth and mind have begun to seep into a secular arena, from the Harvard School of Public Health to the California campus of Google. In the eyes of some experts, what seems like the simplest of acts — eating slowly and genuinely relishing each bite — could be the remedy for a fast-paced Paula Deen Nation in which an endless parade of new diets never seems to slow a stampede toward obesity. Mindful eating is not a diet, or about giving up anything at all. It’s about experiencing food more intensely — especially the pleasure of it. You can eat a cheeseburger mindfully, if you wish. You might enjoy it a lot more. Or you might decide, halfway through, that your body has had enough. Or that it really needs some salad. Consider These: WHEN YOU EAT, JUST EAT. Unplug the electronica. For now, at least, focus on the food. CONSIDER SILENCE. Avoiding chatter for 30 minutes might be impossible in some families, especially with young children, but specialists suggest that greenhorns start with short periods of quiet. TRY IT WEEKLY. Sometimes there’s no way to avoid wolfing down onion rings in your cubicle. But if you set aside one sit-down meal a week as an experiment in mindfulness, the insights may influence everything else you do. PLANT A GARDEN, AND COOK. Anything that reconnects you with the process of creating food will magnify your mindfulness. CHEW PATIENTLY. It’s not easy, but try to slow down, aiming for 25 to 30 chews for each mouthful. USE FLOWERS AND CANDLES. Put them on the table before dinner. Rituals that create a serene environment help foster what one advocate calls “that moment of gratitude.”

Source: New York Times

The Great Vitamin Debate: Your guide to taking vitamins

Apr 27, 2012

More than half of American adults rely on at least one supplement to become—or stay—healthy. But recent research suggests the practice may not do a body good after all. In a study of nearly 40,000 women, a slightly reduced life expectancy was reported for those taking multivitamins, folic acid and iron. However you should not change your behavior based on one study. Instead, create a customized plan with your doctors before you stock your medicine cabinet. The article gives expert advice on various supplements regarding what you need to know, who should take what, what to watch out for and how to get the benefits naturally.

Source: Family Circle Magazine

Habits of Highly Successful Dieters

Habits of Highly Successful Dieters

Apr 27, 2012

Eat less, exercise more. That's the recipe for losing weight, and we all know it by heart. So if we want to get slimmer, and we know the formula, then why can't we do it? Commitment is important—in fact, it's essential—but it's only the beginning. The key to successful dieting is bridging the gap between what you want to do and actually doing it. The desire is there; you just need a plan. Get slim strategy overview: 1. Be very specific - Being specific gives you clarity because you've spelled out exactly what success looks like. 2. Create an OK-to-eat plan - Studies suggest that coming up with safe-to-eat plans makes you two to three times more likely to reach your diet goals. 3. Track your success - When you think about the progress you've made, stay focused on how far you have to go, rather than how far you've come. When we dwell too much on how much progress we've made, it's easy to feel a premature sense of accomplishment and start to slack off. 4. Be a realistic optimist - Believing you will succeed is key, but believing you will succeed easily is a recipe for failure. The successful dieters put in more effort, planned in advance how to deal with problems, and persisted when it became difficult. 5. Strengthen your will power - Hang in there, and sticking to your diet will become easier because your capacity for self-control will grow.

Source: Health Magazine