The Vida Mindful Eating Method

Let’s take today’s challenge of mindful eating one step further. Today for each meal try using the “Vida Mindful Eating Method”.

 

 

  1. Serve yourself a well-balanced meal that is a reasonable portion.
  2. Either mentally or physically, separate this portion in half and slowly enjoy half of the meal.
  3. After you have enjoyed the first half of the meal, pause for 5-10 minutes while enjoying water.
  4. After 5-10 minutes, check in with yourself and your feelings of fullness. Are you still hungry? Or do you feel satisfied?
  5. If you feel satisfied, you can end your meal now.
  6. If you’re still hungry, divide what is remaining on your plate in half again and eat half of what is there.
  7. After you have enjoyed this half, pause again for 5-10 minutes while enjoying water.
  8. Again after 5-10 minutes, check in with yourself and your feelings of fullness.
  9. If you’re still hungry, repeat the process by dividing what is left on your plate in half and eating that half.
  10. Repeat this process until you feel full and satisfied.
  11. What do you notice about eating in this way? How did the amount that you ate differ from the amount that you typically eat?

Change your Language and Unlock your Creativity

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Now that you are fully attending to the meeting or task at hand, you may begin to realize that your language is less varied than you would have expected.

Do you often feel like you’re stuck in a rut, and unable to connect to your inner creativity? Do you notice that you often repeat similar thoughts and phrases throughout your day? Often we get stuck using the same language and words to describe and think about experiences, using it as a shorthand to allow us to process other things at the same time. However, using that same language can then keep us stuck in the same patterns of behaviors, and is allows our minds to try to wander and not stay in the moment.

Today, focus on and notice the language you use when you’re interacting with friends and colleagues. Try to catch these rote phrases and replace them with different words. By simply changing the language you use, you can force your brain to unlock fresh ideas and thoughts that you may not have realized were there.

Create Your Mindful Space

 

We have so many spaces in our homes that are defined by what we do in them (e.g., eating, sleeping) or by what is in them (e.g., bed, TV, etc.) but do we have a room where we can just be? It can be helpful to encourage more mindfulness in your life to create a space for just “being” in the present. The important part of creating a mindful space is that it feels calming and helps you feel really present and in the moment. Think about what the function of your space will be for you and use this to guide you in setting it up.

  • What does this space look like?
  • What is calming and inviting to you?
  • Is it a comfortable chair with no distractions around?
  • Is it a grouping of pillows facing a beautiful and inspiring piece of art?
  • Is it a space for you to meditate in peace? Or is it a space for you to have quality time with your partner without the distraction of TV, to-do’s and/or other family members?

Often a more minimally decorated space will be the most conducive to being mindful. When you’re creating your space, make sure to make it visible so you’re reminded to use it and, make sure it is sacred and that you only use it for it’s intended purpose (i.e., your work computer is not allowed in your mindful space).

3 Minutes of Listening

 

The art and skill of listening is so often overlooked in our busy day-to-day. Though we hear our family, friends, partners, colleagues, and bosses throughout the day, how much do we actually listen and internalize what they say? How good of a listener are you really? If you were to rate your listening skills on a scale of 1-10, where would you fall?

Try this experiment with your partner or a friend:

  • Take turns being the listener and the talker for 3 minutes at a time
  • When it’s your turn to listen for 3 minutes, you’re not allowed to say anything. Your job is simply to focus on your partner and what they’re saying, not prepare your comment or response
  • How difficult is it for you to listen without talking for 3 minutes? How difficult is it for you to not have something that you would want to say every 10 seconds? What does this tell you about your listening skills? When it was your turn to speak for 3 minutes, how did it feel to be listened to without interruption for that time?
  • Discuss with your partner what each of you noticed in this experiment and how this may have been different from your typical interactions

This is an important lesson in just how powerful listening without interruption can feel as both the listener and the person who is sharing!

30 Minute Power Workout

When time runs low you can still get your exercise in. This 30 minute workout will burn approximately 256 calories and leave you feeling great.

What you’ll need: A set of 3 to 5 pound dumbbells, a step (optional)

1. Run-Up: Stand in front of a low step, holding a dumbbell in each hand (optional), elbows by sides and bent 90 degrees, palms facing each other. Quickly place left foot, then right foot, on step as you pump arms (as if running). Do 25 to 30 reps, alternating starting feet.

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2. Dumbbell Plie: Stand with heels together, toes slightly turned out and knees slightly bent, holding a dumbbell in each hand, arms straight out to the sides. Jump feet out to sides, landing with feet wider than shoulder-width apart, knees soft. Jump back to start. Do 25 to 30 reps.

3. Weighted Jacks: Stand with feet together, holding a dumbbell in each hand, elbows bent so weights are in front of shoulders, palms facing each other. Jump feet out to sides, landing with feet wider than shoulder-width apart, as you press dumbbells overhead (directly above shoulders). Lower weights as you jump back to start. Do 25 to 30 reps.

4. Lunge, Lift, and Press:


Targets: Shoulders, abs, hips, and legs

  • Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand, elbows bent so that weights are directly in front of shoulders, palms facing each other.
  • Lunge backward with right leg, bending both knees 90 degrees.

5. Single-Leg Deadlift


Single-leg-deadlift

Targets: Back, butt, and hamstrings

  • Stand on right leg, knee slightly bent, with toes of left foot on floor slightly behind you, holding a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing fronts of thighs.

Recipe: Paleo Strawberry Coconut Ice Cream

A delicious treat to try this summer! What a great excuse to eat as much ice cream as possible and a great excuse to binge on this sweet, creamy goodness every time the temperature hits 70 degrees.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans (13.5 oz) coconut milk
  • 16 oz frozen strawberries
  • 1/2-3/4 cup equivalent sweetener (I used Swerve–sweeten to taste)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh strawberries (optional)

Instructions:

  • In a blender combine all the ingredients, except for the fresh strawberries, and blend until smooth. Place the mixture in your ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturers directions.Add the strawberries right before the ice cream is done to combine. Serve immediately or place the ice cream in the freezer for 1-2 hours to harden. (If you do not have an ice cream maker that is ok. This ice cream is delicious straight out of the blender.)

This is Your Brain on Exercise

Regular workouts are worth a lot more than a six-pack. Getting physical can also help your mind. According to new research exercise has a hugely positive impact on your brain. Exercise is linked to reducing inflammation, as it stimulates the release of new blood vessels in the brain, amongst many other benefits for the brain and body. Simply fitting an exercise routine into your day can help you in numerous ways. Here are four things exercise can do for your brain:

      1. Exercise increases dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine, which influence attention, perception, motivation and happiness.
      2. Exercise improves your memory.
      3. Exercise reduces anxiety and depression.
      4. Exercise lowers stress and increases productivity.

You don’t have to be an exercise fanatic to train your brain! Just 10 minutes a day of light to moderate cardiovascular exercise is enough to have a positive effect on your brain. In fact, two 10-minute exercise sessions have an advantage for brain training over longer, more intense workouts. Next time you need a pick-me-up reach for the gym shoes instead of the coffee!

A Great Reason to Invite Your Partner to Join Vida

 

Couples who work together to change their unhealthy habits appear to have more success, a new study suggests. Researchers in the U.K. found that men and women were more likely to stop smoking, exercise more or lose weight if their partner joined them in becoming healthier. Team players will have the advantage to achieving a healthy lifestyle. Being part of a community of people with the same goals as you will help you with support, accountability and motivation. Do you have a family member who keeps you accountable? If so, invite them to join Vida for free!
 

Here’s why:

  • Your social circle often reflects your body type. For example, if your friends are overweight, you are more likely to be overweight yourself. Your friends are literally more of a predictor of your weight and health than your grandparents!
  • Humans are created for community and connection. Having a support network in place is just as important to good health as the food you eat and the physical activity you participate in.
  • Any group works. Whether it’s a community of supportive people at your church or mosque, a parents’ association at school, or an online group you found through your social media network, that association is important and valuable.

Alcohol and Hypoglycemia

Alcohol can interact with different hormones in your body to cause low blood sugar shortly after drinking and for up to 24 hours afterwards. If you want to drink alcohol, check your blood glucose before you drink and eat either before or while you drink. You should also check your blood glucose before you go to bed to make sure it is at a safe level – between 100 and 140 mg/dL. If your blood glucose is low, eat something to raise it. This is especially important for those on insulin and diabetes pills such as sulfonylureas and meglitinides (Prandin), which lower blood glucose by making more insulin.

The symptoms of too much alcohol and hypoglycemia can be similar – sleepiness, dizziness, and disorientation. You do not want anyone to confuse hypoglycemia for drunkenness, because they might not give you the proper assistance and treatment. Because of this, remember to always wear an I.D. that notes you have diabetes!