Life On Purpose

Day 24 : Hunger or Craving? July 30, 2013

Most of us, myself included, eat for more than one reason. Not just because we are hungry, but because we are empty, lonely, sad, tired, bored, or craving something. We don’t do quiet well. It is hard to be alone with your emotions because they are raw and powerful. But here’s the thing: emotions are a gift from God meant to give life passion and excitement. However, negative emotions can be so very strong and controlling when we don’t consciously make them work for our benefit. Practice acknowledging how you feel in a moment when you are next tempted to eat something you will later regret. Acknowledge it, let your soul sit with it a moment. Put it into a sentence in your mind. “I feel lonely.” Okay. So now how will eating cookies help you deal with it? It won’t. It will make you feel like a failure. What you really need are coping skills. Some people journal, others exercise, or even read books. Find a coping skill that relieves your stress and practice it regularly.

I encourage you to find some Scripture that speaks to your weaknesses and emotions that you dislike. Memorize them. When you are tempted, recall your verses and ask God to help you accept the negative emotions and ask Him to lead you to a way of handling them that honors Him. He has all the answers even when you do not.

Not everyone struggles with emotional eating. However, I think everyone knows how it feels to crave something. Sugar, chocolate, cookies, etc. Learn to listen to your body to decipher whether you are truly hungry or just craving something.

1. If you are irritable, shaky, dizzy or lightheaded, you are way past hunger. Your blood sugar is too low and you should have a meal.
2. If your stomach is aching and you have “hunger pangs” it means you need a meal.
3. If you are thinking about a certain food or see a food that looks appealing and then want to consume it, you are experiencing a craving. Train yourself to recognize this and do not allow it to control when you eat.
4. If you just ate a meal and still feel hungry, try waiting 10 minutes. Then, if you still FEEL hungry, you need more food. Sometimes, you don’t really need more, but your satiety is trained to eating too much and tricks you into thinking you want more.

Take control of your emotions and cravings. You are in control of what goes into your mouth!

 

Day 23 : The Voices July 29, 2013

It always seems like when you make positive changes for yourself, there’s always Negative Nellie there to remind you that you are weird, unlikely to succeed and crazy to boot. The way you think greatly influences the way you behave. What you believe about yourself is often how you live out your life. It can be a challenge to drown out the discouraging voices, especially if they are in your family, or even in your home. When meal time comes, there’s usually someone there to remind you that what you have on the table is different. When you put on your running shoes and head out the door there are comments about how your version of fun is different than theirs, you’re too worried about your looks or maybe even that you are selfish for taking that time to yourself.

Not everyone experiences these types of negative remarks, and count yourself blessed if you don’t. But the reality is that most of us do. Here are some suggestions for drowning out the negative voices you encounter:

1. Recognize that the time and effort you put in now will make you a more energetic, content and happy person all around. It will make you better for every work God calls you to.

2. Tell them you’d love to share recipes or even a workout sometime so they can understand why you love living a healthy lifestyle. (That’ll shut ’em up!)

3. Accept that not everyone in your household may be willing to change. But you have control over yourself alone. So channel your energy into becoming the best YOU can be and leave the rest to God.

4. It’s okay that your plate looks different than everyone else’s. But know when to give on your diet: don’t let it interfere with relationships outside home. For example, if you go to a friend’s for dinner, eat whatever they make joyfully and make no comment-relationships are more important than one meal out of your week! If your friend doesn’t easily take offense and doesn’t mind your healthy habits, then stick to them.

5. Go back to your goals. The sum of your choices will either add up to accomplishing goals or not. Remind yourself why you started your journey.

6. Give the Negative Nellie articles, links and research. If they’re really so baffled by you’re choices, a little knowledge is a lot of power. Who knows, maybe they’ll join in!

7. Be sensitive to the insecurities of others. Making a lifestyle change is daunting. Most mean or negative comments are made out of jealousy. Remember when you wanted to change, but didn’t know how? Maybe point them to my blog in a neutral, calm moment.

The mind is powerful, and you have to make a conscious effort to overcome negativity. Next time someone makes a smart comment, invite them to learn more and share your journey with them!

 

Day 21 : Carbs Kill July 22, 2013

By now we have eliminated the worst nutritional offenders: high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils. It’s time to tackle another painful truth: carbs are making you fat and sick. I’m not just talking about bread, I’m talking about all the pasta, juice, and sugary sweets we love as well.

The worst carb offenders are:
Bread
Corn
Rice
Juice
Sweets
Alcohol
Soda
Pasta
Cereal

Here’s how it goes:
1. You think about carbs>
2. You make insulin>
3. You get hungry>
4. Your blood sugar gets higher>
5. Digested carbs enter your blood stream as glucose (sugar)>
6. You make more insulin>
7. You eat>
8. You make more insulin>
9. The fat in your meal stays in your cells in the form of triglycides>
10. Fat cells get fatter>
11. You get fatter

When insulin levels rise we get fatter. When insulin levels drop, we use excess fat for energy. Carbohydrates drive insulin levels. The quantity and the quality of carbs you eat determines how much fat you store and burn. A study comparing a high fat/high protein diet low in carbs (Atkins) to a calorie restrictive/low fat diet. The participants on Atkins lost an average of twice as much weight, decreased their triglyceride levels by twice as much and decreased their diastolic blood pressure by twice as much.

What I think we should glean from this is NOT that the Atkins diet is the way to go, but rather a more conceptual lesson that carbohydrates are dangerous when consumed too often and in poor quality forms. They make our blood pressure high, our waist big and our cholesterol panels dangerous.

Focus on eating high quality protein and fat for most of your calories. You will find your self satiated for longer periods of time and more full of energy than ever. Insert disclaimer here: if you are used to eating a high carb diet, you will feel like crap for several days when you quit carbs. Tis is normal and will pass. Flush your body with water to aid the process.

The challenge for today: let your plate be high in protein, veggies and fat. Let carbs be your afterthought. Your body will thank you.

Creative carb alternatives coming soon!

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Credit to the info graphic pictured and its cited sources at the bottom.

 

Day 17 : Pantry Raid July 12, 2013

I saved this for a Friday because you will need time for this. It’s also likely going to require you to go to the grocery store to restock with whole foods. I’ll be extra nice on Monday-I promise!

I’ll make this short and sweet. Today’s challenge is going to be painful for many of you. This is a huge step to healthy living. It’s time to reject the SAD diet. Raid your pantry. Let’s keep this simple. We are going to focus on the two ingredients that I believe are probably the worst offenders of health: high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oil.

Read each label in your pantry and fridge and throw out any item containing “high fructose corn syrup” or “hydrogenated” anywhere in the ingredient list. Hear your body shout for joy as it hits the trash! That’s where it belongs! Let yourself enjoy the excitement of a new beginning!