Browsing Category: why we eat

25 Ways to Nurture Yourself

woman walking outdoors for self-care

One of the main reasons we do emotional eating is because we’re feeling stretched to the breaking point. One of the best ways to combat that is with regular, intentional self care.

But many of us don’t know how to do that. And in fact, we may be used to thinking of food and drink indulgences as “self care.” Yeah, it can make you feel better in the short run, but it doesn’t help turn your heart and mind in a more positive direction.

We often think that the most efficient way to fix our disordered eating is by attacking the eating part of the cycle. But in reality, the most effective way to turn the tide is to begin to practice regular self care, which helps even out our emotions and stop the cycle of self-punishment. (I’ve written about this before: 5 steps to address emotional eating; How emotional eating keeps you stuck.)

Here are 25 ways to practice self-care — and only one of them involves food!

self care tip; schedule a date with the sunset

  1. Schedule yourself a daily appointment to watch the sunrise or sunset.
  2. Go for a goal-free walk at your favorite time of day.
  3. Wander a flea market, book store, garden center, or hardware store. Your choice.
  4. Put your phone on airplane mode for an hour or two.
  5. Add to your gratitude journal – or start one.
  6. Play with your favorite child or pet.
  7. Take a guilt-free nap.
  8. Organize something. foliage in vase
  9. Wander a garden.
  10. Meditate.
  11. Re-read old journal entries.
  12. Write without expectations or self-criticism.
  13. Read an old favorite book.
  14. Forgive someone. You might start with yourself.
  15. Make found poetry.
  16. Watch inspiring videos. Or funny ones, that just make you laugh.
  17. Dance to your favorites.
  18. Cook something that pleases your soul and nourishes your body.
  19. Spend time in a hammock or lounge chair (weather permitting). Tune into the sounds of nature around you.
  20. Go stargazing; get out of the city, if necessary.
  21. Harvest some flowers and/or foliage from your yard, if possible. Arrange them.
  22. Schedule time with an authentic friend.
  23. Read some Psalms and pray.
  24. Take a soaking bath while listening to a favorite book, podcast, or music. (With favorite scents in the water or in a candle, if that’s your thing.)
  25. Get to bed in time to get eight hours of sleep.

What are your favorite ways to practice self care? Have you seen it make a difference in your health?

25 ways to practice self care

Thanks to my Instagram friends for adding to this list:  @afreshattitude, @cheesegirlpa, @corinnescleanjourney, @lynettesart, @my_crazy_low_carb_life

 

Photos:

Woman outdoors: by Alexandre Croussette on Unsplash

Kansas sunset: by Jana Snyder

Foliage in vase: by Heather Mount on Unsplash

2 things you gotta change for permanent weight loss

2 things you gotta change for permanent weight loss

For years, I had only temporary success at weight loss. I’d exercise for a while, lose some fat, then stop exercising and gain it back. Or I’d cut out some foods, lose a few pounds, then gain them back. Usually the cycle ran less than a year.

I’m not alone. Nearly 65 percent of dieters return to their pre-dieting weight within three years, according to Gary Foster, Ph.D., clinical director of the Weight and Eating Disorders Program at the University of Pennsylvania. (source)

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From grouching to gratitude

Oscar the Grouch - grumbling vs. gratitude

If you’re like me, as you begin to make changes in your diet and other health habits, you’re bound to encounter some thoughts like these (thoughts I may or may not have had at some point):

Boy, some {favorite junk food} would taste really good right now! Why can’t I just eat whatever I want? This sucks!

I do NOT want to work out today! I hate taking the time, I hate feeling inept, I hate feeling out of breath.

These complaints may seem harmless, and we think we’re just “letting off steam,” but you might be surprised at just how destructive these kinds of thoughts are.

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How emotional eating keeps you stuck

today, me will live in the moment. unless the moment is unpleasant, then me will eat a cookie.

Yesterday morning, I was doing a writing exercise that asked me to think about painful places I don’t want to return to, and how that relates to my current writing. As I mulled over possibilities, one that came back to me was late 2009, when my dad was dying. At the same time, my mom was slipping deeper into the grip of Alzheimer’s, and our kids were either away at college or soon to be there.

So many exits, all at once. All that loss brought out something in me I hadn’t experienced since my teenage years: eating because I just wanted to stop hurting — even if it was just for 30 minutes.

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Your four hungers. And why you should stop feeling guilty for every craving.

your 4 hungers

You are a four-part person: heart, soul, mind, body; and each of these parts has its own hunger.

Your heart hungers to be known and loved, and to love in return.

Your soul hungers to be filled with truth and peace and to be awed by something bigger than you.

Your mind has a hunger to be challenged by learning, discovery, creativity, or problem solving.

And your body has a hunger for food and water.

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Why some foods are more addictive than others

why this food is so addictive

A new study has assessed which foods are more addictive to humans. The authors argue that, like drugs, foods that are highly processed and unnaturally combined start to become more “potent,” and, therefore, addictive.

Following are excerpts from the original article on Forbes.com:

 For instance, chewing a coca leaf doesn’t give a very strong high, but condensing it into cocaine and making it snort-able sure does. So too with foods whose elements are refined and combined in various clever ways – food labs spend lots of time on these calculations – until they become very “high-potency.”

“Addictive substances are rarely in their natural state,” the authors of the new study point out, “but have been altered or processed in a manner that increases their abuse potential. For example, grapes are processed into wine and poppies are refined into opium. A similar process may be occurring within our food supply.”

The ranking [that the study produced] suggests that it’s really the combination of fat and carbs that makes food addictive. And this is probably because our brains are not used to coming across foods that are both high in fat and high in sugar – natural foods are usually high in just one or the other.

So putting these two ingredients together into some wondrously unnatural and magical combination makes the brain go wild. “It is plausible that like drugs of abuse,” say the authors, “these highly processed foods may be more likely to trigger addictive-like biological and behavioral responses due to their unnaturally high levels of reward.”

book: it starts with food

So, maybe your struggle to eat well isn’t just about willpower! Maybe that junk food has a built-in addictive quality.

Want to know more about addictive foods? This book — It Starts With Food — by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig delves into it, also giving you the tools you need to break free from what they call “food without brakes” — amped-up foods that trigger cravings for more, more, more.

Find this and other informative books here.