Five Reasons To Eat Slowly And Enjoy Your Food

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Five Reasons To Eat Slowly And Enjoy Your Food

I’ll be the first to admit that I can eat way too fast at times and I have to remind myself to slow down and enjoy my meal.  When you are busy and eating to fuel your body, meal time can turn into a chore or a forgotten moment in time.  In today’s fast paced lifestyle where sit down meals are becoming more rare, inhaling our food can be easy.  However, current research suggests that eating at a slower pace can give the body a better chance to feel satisfied and enjoy the food which leads to less mindless overeating.

Slow eating can also help control blood sugar and have a positive impact on one’s overall health. If you are like me , and have to remind yourself to eat a little slower from time to time,  here are five reasons to give you some incentive.

1. Your body needs time to tell you that you’re full.

It takes approximately 20 minutes for your body to signal that you’re full, so people who eat at a faster pace can overeat before they even know it’s happening.  When you eat slower you give your body a chance to let you know that you’ve eaten the right amount of food.   This works as a great motivator for most people because none of us like feeling “stuffed”.  It’s uncomfortable!

2. Eating fast can cause indigestion.

When we start to eat, our body goes through a multi-step digestive process.  If you eat too quickly, your body isn’t ready for the incoming food which can lead to indigestion.  Ugh!

3. Slow eaters are less likely to develop metabolic syndrome.

People who eat fast are more likely to have the conditions, known as metabolic syndrome, that can lead to future cardiovascular disease. Those conditions include increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol.  While eating slower alone doesn’t make you bullet proof, it can certainly help contribute to better health.

4. Eating slower can positively affect your weight.

By slowing down when we eat, we become more aware of when we’re full, and are more likely to stop eating when our bodies have had enough.  This helps limit overeating and consuming more energy than your body may need.

5. take a break to enjoy your food.

Eating should be an opportunity for all of us to take a moment and enjoy the food in front of us and the company around us.  I always eat great food, but sometimes I eat it so fast that I don’t really appreciate all of the great flavors and textures.  If we treated most of our meal times like fine dining experiences, I believe we would be more likely to savor every bite even when you’re eating something as simple as a bowl of soup or a sandwich.

Slowing down to eat a meal helps us to become more present and to take a break from the busyness of the day which can lower stress and improve your overall sense of well being.  There is a reason why sitting down for a long meal is one of the top ways that we relax and connect with one another.

Please remember that everyone eats too fast and even overeats from time to time.  Don’t ever beat yourself up or feel guilty about anything food related, ever.   Guilt can stress you out which is NEVER  helpful.  Taking care of your health is a long term effort and it’s all about balance.  None of us are perfect.  🙂

Here’s to a happy, healthy, and mindful week!

Shared with love,

Jennifer

 

 

Meal Planning The Easy Way

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Meal Planning The Easy Way

I’m a big fan of keeping things simple,  especially  when it comes to weekly meal planning and cooking.    This is why I love recipes!  Why reinvent the wheel when someone else has already done the leg work?  And, thanks to the internet, you don’t even need to store a bunch of cookbooks anymore.  You can find recipes on the internet for free.

When it comes to using other peoples’ recipes I like to use them as a starting point and then tweak it to meet our dietary needs and what I believe to be the best nutritional choice.  For example, I replace low fat dairy with full fat and canola oil with something like avocado or peanut oil.  I also cook with cast iron so if a recipe is light on the oil I will add more to keep food from sticking to the pan.

If you are just getting started with meal planning I suggest you pick recipes that can be cooked in under thirty minutes.  And,  unless you absolutely LOVE cooking and have the time to invest, I do not recommend cooking labor intense “project meals”  on a busy week night.

Below are seven sample recipes that I would use on any given week.  I include the links to the recipes (click on the name of the dish) and my recommended tweaks to make them even more fabulous and balanced.

Mu Shu Pork Wraps. 

Skip the takeout and make your own Chinese food.  Instead of canola oil, I would use peanut oil.  We like to eat this one over rice instead of making them into wraps.  If you like the wrap idea, then I would serve rice on the side for a carb.

Vera-Cruz Style Red Snapper.   

The only thing I would substitute in this recipe is olive oil instead of cooking spray.  I might use different white fish depending on what is available to us that week.  I usually stick to wild caught.  I grew up on the Pacific Ocean so my taste buds prefer wild to farmed. 🙂  A good side for this dish would be rice or corn tortillas and a side salad.

 Tex Mex Rice Bowl.         

This quick recipe is a favorite at our house.  Serve it with a side salad as well.

Turkey and Mushroom Bolognese.

Swap out cooking spray with avocado, olive, or grape seed oil.  Half -n-half can be used instead of light whipping cream if you don’t have any on hand.  I like whole grain pasta with this dish, however polenta would be really good with it too.

 Spring Vegetable Carbonara

If you are using turkey bacon, I would add some olive oil to create drippings.

 Quick Chicken Curry

I’m not a huge fan of chicken breasts so I would use thighs instead in this dish.  That’s totally up to you

 Lamb Burgers. 

Lamb burgers are nice way to change up from traditional hamburgers.  I like to serve them with a simple side salad and will make some frozen garlic fries to go with them.

The recipes above come from Cooking Light magazine.  It’s one of my favorite resources for meal planning.  There are loads of great recipes available on the internet so I encourage you to explore what is available.

Here’s to good food!

Shared with love,

Jennifer

 

How To Worry Less And Enjoy More Peace In Your Life

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How To Worry Less And Enjoy More Peace In Your Life

It’s normal to be concerned from time to time. Everyday life can throw us challenges and some of them can be serious.  However, constantly worrying can drain your energy,  negatively affect your health, and kill productivity.

I’ll be the first to admit that I can worry occasionally.  Especially when I am walking through unfamiliar territory.  However, over the years I’ve learned to worry less and less. Here are ten of my top tips to help keep worry away and live a more peaceful and healthy life.

1) Pray.  The more I survive the tough times in my life the more I learn to trust God to deliver me through anything else that comes my way.  I’ve learned that worry doesn’t change anything, and that prayer combined with belief, has the power to change EVERYTHING.  This is especially helpful when the issue is totally out of my control.

2) Don’t worry about things you can’t control.  It does no good to worry about things you cannot control.  Ask yourself if there is anything you can do to change the situation.  If the answer is no and you are spiritual, I highly recommend you pray and turn it over to God.  This especially applies to situations involving other people because the only person on the planet you can change is yourself.

3) Take action. Worry and stress can be a signal that something needs to be addressed and/or changed.  Once you’ve figured out what you can do to eliminate the worry and/or stress it’s time to take action.  Things may not change overnight, however there is great satisfaction in knowing that you are moving forward and that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

4) Write about it.  Journaling is a great way to put your thoughts on paper and objectively look at the situation from the outside.  After you read your thoughts back to yourself, the problem may become smaller and the solutions can begin to pour in.

5) Say no. Learning to say no has been life changing for me.  Saying yes to too many things can lead to over-committing, over-promising and sometimes even compromising our values and priorities. Being able to set boundaries and protect your time and energy can eliminate huge amounts of stress in your life.  Most people won’t mind if you say something like, “Thank you for asking.  I don’t have the time in my schedule right now to commit to something new.  However I appreciate you including me.”  If you’d like to leave the door open you can always ask them to ask you again in the future.

6) Set priorities. Worry can pop up when our “to do” list seems out of control.  When I start to feel overwhelmed,  I like to do a “mind dump” and write down every thing that I believe I need to do.  This allows me to clear my head, focus, and prioritize what needs to be done immediately and what needs to be scheduled for a future date.  It also reveals what you may need to hire someone else to help you with.  Do it yourself has become so popular these days that sometimes we bite off more than we can chew.

7) Tell worry to take a hike.  Your words have power.  When worrisome thoughts begin to race through your mind, tell them to  “stop.” If you can, say it out loud. If that’s not possible, do it mentally or just move your lips without making a sound.

8) Expect to succeed. Instead of imagining how badly things might turn out, imagine yourself succeeding. Picture yourself waltzing through meet and greets, family events, evaluations, or any other events that typically cause you anxiety. Hear yourself performing well at presentations or while guiding your children. Feel what it would be like to overcome obstacles, accomplish goals, and achieve peaceful outcomes. Expecting success can increase the possibility that it will happen. It can increase your confidence, decrease your worry and set up an expectation that things will turn out well.  It’s also helpful to remember that success doesn’t always show itself right away.  For example, that  break up you experienced was actually a door that led you to the spouse you were meant to be with.  🙂

9) Focus on others. It’s easy to get wrapped up with what’s going on in our own world.  One of the ways I relieve stress is by serving other people.  When I focus on helping others solve their problems or reach their goals, my own issues seem to get smaller and more manageable.

10) Most things we worry about never happen.  Current research shows us that most of the time the things we worry about never happen.  A recent study researched how many of our imagined problems never happen. It turns out that 85 percent of what the people in the study group worried about never happened, and with the 15 percent that did happen, 79 percent of the people discovered either they could handle the difficulty better than they thought, or the challenge taught them a lesson they were glad they learned. This means that 97 percent of what you worry over is not worth sacrificing your health and your joy.

There is no such thing as a problem free life.  However, when you make the decision to let go of worrying about the things you can’t control and focus on the things you can control you are bound to have more peace in your life. And, as an added bonus, It might just make you look a bit younger as well. 🙂

Here’s to a happy, healthy, and peaceful week!

Shared with love,

Jennifer

Photo by Ana Gabriel on Unsplash