Why Mindful Eating is Your Secret Weapon against Cravings

Have you tried pretty much everything to kiss goodbye your food cravings and had no luck whatsoever?

With mindful eating, you don’t need to spend heaps of time and energy on crushing your cravings completely.

Telling yourself that you absolutely can’t have a particular food can work against you in the long term.

Think of it this way: if I tell you not to think about a pink elephant, guess what immediately pops up in your mind? No matter how hard you try, it’s super hard to shift the mental image of the pink elephant!

Your cravings can be a little bit like this too. Denying yourself completely often means that they don’t magically go away, even if you take tons of action to distract yourself. It’s pretty common for them to actually get stronger … a lot like the thought of the pink elephant.

It can also encourage a “now or never” way of thinking if you do give in to the craving. Often, this means that you’ll eat far more than you intended. After all, you’re not supposed to be eating it again since it’s off limits, right? In reality, it will most likely happen again and you’ll carry on feeling super bad about it.

There’s another problem with craving ultra-processed food: according to research, it affects hunger hormones called leptin, and makes it harder for your body to recognize when you’re genuinely full. Unsurprisingly, this means eating a lot more calories than you would otherwise … usually involving other unhealthy foods.

Another finding from the study involved the speed at which food was being eaten. The group eating the ultra-processed food tended to eat more quickly, leading researchers to question whether this was a big factor in the brain being able to recognize signals that they were full.

How mindful eating turns the tables on cravings

Mindful eating can really come into its own in several different areas. In a nutshell, it puts you back in control of your food choices, which can often feel impossible when you’re constantly trying to beat your cravings into submission.

A few reasons why mindful eating can work so well:

You’re not giving into your cravings and letting them take control but you are allowing yourself a little bit of what you enjoy and taking the opportunity to relish it. Your mind knows that there will be other chances to satisfy the craving so the “now or never” mentality isn’t a big issue. The end result? It’s a lot easier to bring your cravings in check.

The trick is to be super mindful with how you eat. When you take that first bite of something you’ve been craving, resist the urge to dive straight into the next one. Put your fork, knife or spoon down in between bites or keep putting your food down if you’re eating with your hands. The more you can chew each bite before swallowing, the better.

Take the time to really notice the taste and texture as you chew. This might surprise you, especially if you’re used to eating quickly on autopilot. If you’re eating junk foods, being more mindful with your eating might help you realize how salty, sugary or just plain processed the taste truly is. And chances are, it’s going to be a whole lot less appealing once you get clued into this.

Even if this doesn’t happen, taking more time to savor your food helps you to enjoy it more and sometimes, you’ll realize that your cravings weren’t quite as strong as you thought and feel satisfied after just a few bites.

Getting to the bottom of emotional eating triggers

What makes you crave junk food? Often, it’s nothing to do with hunger and everything to do with emotions. Being more mindful with your eating can get to the bottom of what is triggering your cravings and the emotions that may be a factor.

It’s not always easy to get used to mindful eating, especially if you’re used to eating quick and not tuning into your body’s hunger signals. Over time, it gets a lot easier to overcome unhealthy relationships with food, including cravings, overeating and emotional eating. According to the results of a 2014 study, a mindful approach to eating can help to build a healthier relationship with body image and curb “disordered eating” such as binge eating. And from a cravings perspective, many of the women who took part in the study also reported that they spent less time yearning for high fat and sugary treats.

Once you can get to grips with mindful eating, you can have a whole lot more trust in your ability to make healthy food choices, even when there are some not-so-healthy options in the vicinity. It’s about building a better relationship with food in the long term.

Over time, it becomes a lot easier to satisfy yourself with just a few bites, rather than overeating in super quick time. Sometimes, you’ll just lose the appetite for junk food altogether!

If you’re struggling with cravings, mindful eating could be the lifestyle change that helps you to get back in control of your eating habits and spend more time enjoying what you eat.

12 Benefits of Keeping a Journal

Some people find journaling appealing while others think it sounds like an incredibly boring activity. If you don’t currently write in a journal regularly, you might want to reconsider. There are numerous benefits to recording your thoughts, life, and aspirations on a daily basis.

Journaling can help your:

Memory, Problem-Solving Ability, Achievement, Emotional Health, and even your physical health.

Consider these benefits:

  1. A journal serves as a record of your life. Have you ever thought back on your high school or college days and thought, “What was his name?” Or have you ever wondered if a particular event happened in 1996 or 1997? A journal is a useful way to record the significant events in your life.
  2. A journal can be cathartic. When you get the tough stuff out on paper, you feel better. Journaling gives your emotional health a quick boost.
  3. You view your challenges in a new way. Things look different in your head than they do on paper or on the computer screen. It’s a little less personal when you can see it. You might find that many of your challenges aren’t as challenging as
    you first thought.
  4. You can see your progress. When you record your thoughts and your life,
    they’re right there in front of you. It’s easy to see how much your life is, or isn’t, progressing. Just looking back at your old entries can tell you a lot
  5. You will progress. When you record the most important happenings for the day, you’ll start to make new things happen. You’ll be embarrassed or annoyed with yourself if you keep recording the same old boring stuff each day. You’ll do new things in order to have something interesting to write about.
  6. You’ll achieve more. Studies have shown that just writing down goals significantly increases the likelihood of increasing them.
  1. Journaling organizes your thoughts and improves your problem-solving
    abilities. You can clear some of the clutter out of your head when you journal, and your subconscious can begin working on a solution to a challenge.
  2. Your memory will improve. If you reflect on your life at the end of the day, and record it, you’ll be much more likely to remember it. It’s a great workout for your brain and an effective way to remember more of your life.
  3. You’ll be in good company. Many famous people kept journals. John D.
    Rockefeller, George Patton, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison, Winston
    Churchill, Marie Curie, and Mark Twain are just a few that believed in the power of journaling.
  4. You learn about yourself. When you keep a journal, you quickly see your
    behavioral patterns and tendencies.
  5. You can leave them to your children. Depending on the types of things you
    choose to write about, you might want to leave your journals to your children or other family members.
  6. Journaling can lead to improved health. One study at the University of Auckland showed that writing in a journal can lead to faster wound healing and minimize the symptoms of several ailments, including asthma and irritable bowel syndrome. Consider using pen and paper instead of a computer for your journal. While using a computer can be more convenient, writing engages your mind at a higher level. There are so many benefits to keeping a journal, not giving it a chance would be a shame. Try journaling for a full month and then make an evaluation. Decide for yourself if you want to continue. A journal is a great way to organize your thoughts and record your life.

Happy journaling!

Things Your Dr. Won’t Tell You About Health

I want to help as many people as I can to get out of the rut of unhealthy eating habits and lifestyles that have caused unprecedented incidences of obesity, diabetes, and cancer, and autoimmune diseases in this country.  I am NOT a doctor or a nutritionist, but I currently work in a medical office as an LPN. I see, first hand, how many health complications arise and spiral out of control as a result of poor lifestyle choices.

I have learned a lot about the human body processes and how amazing the human body is when everything is working properly and after witnessing the decline of so many patients’ health,  I’ve developed a deeper appreciation and gratefulness for my own health and how precious our time here in the physical world is.

We all need to take responsibility for our own health.  Don’t look for a pill to solve your problems. The human body is an amazing thing.  It is an intense structure that has the ability to HEAL ITSELF!!  As long as your body is in good physical condition and fueled with the proper nutrients and stress is properly managed, and your chakras are balanced and aligned, it can and WILL heal itself!

I work for a doctor who is much more forward thinking than most practitioners of internal medicine who is also a licensed acupuncturist and utilizes a lot of different natural supplements to help keep her patients healthy and strong well into their 80’s and 90’s.

Some of the most common supplements that she recommends to her patients are:

  • Vitamin D3
  • Turmeric
  • Fish Oil (Omega 3 Fatty Acids)
  • Bergamot (helps some people with cholesterol levels)
  • Probiotics
  • Vitamin B12 folate

Vitamin D3

Vitamin D3 is such an important powerhouse vitamin that most of America is extremely deficient of .  You need to have this level checked at least once a year through blood work ordered by your doctor with a 25OH Vitamin D test because it is a fat soluble vitamin that can cause problems if the level becomes too high.  The standard that most labs and doctors go by is a level of 35 being “normal”. The Dr. that I work for likes to see it much higher than that – more like 50-60ng/mL  A dose of 1000 iu of D3 a day is a very minimal dose to start with. Just make sure you get D3 not D2.

Vitamin D3’s role in immune health has long been established; vitamin D receptors are found on a number of immune cells, including lymphocytes and macrophages, supporting healthy immune cell activation. Vitamin D also supports cardiovascular function in some individuals and is now believed to help prevent cancer, it supports bones with calcium absorption and dozens of other health benefits.

Essential Oils

One of my favorite things to use in place of medications is essential oils.  There are endless uses for them. You can apply them topically (when mixed with a carrier oil), you can diffuse them, you can use them to make non-toxic cleaning supplies and even just as a room deodorizer.  They smell amazing!

The effects of these oils provide a lot more benefit than just smelling nice.  They actually provide:

  • Pharmacological changes (when absorbed through the skin or inhaled)
  • Psychological effects (when inhaled)
  • Physiologically (giving you a sense of relaxation or invigorating you)

When applying essential oils to the skin, I recommend mixing them together with some kind of carrier oil such as:

One of the most common illnesses that we see in our office every year is Sinusitis and upper respiratory infections. Almost 40 million Americans suffer from sinusitis each year. Sinusitis is inflammation of the tissue lining the sinuses sometimes causing an infection that creates mucus build up, pain and tenderness, cough and sometimes fever.

Anytime a patient comes into the medical office that I work in, they are prescribed an antibiotic for a sinus infection.  Although recent research shows that your body should be able to naturally overcome mild or moderate sinusitis without medication¹.  Certain essential oils can help with your sinusitis symptoms, the key is to start using them as soon as you start feeling any of the symptoms. The best oil to use for helping to clear out mucus and open the sinuses is Eucalyptus.  It can also ease symptoms of respiratory conditions by dilating the blood vessels and allowing more oxygen into the lungs.  Peppermint helps to reduce swelling of the nasal passages and helps with headaches, and Lemon also supports clearing out mucus in the nasal passages and sinus regions.  You can use them topically by combining with a carrier oil like coconut oil, to rub on your chest at night or diffuse them in water with a diffuser so that you can inhale the oils while you work or at home. Inhalation of essential oils is an effective way to treat nose, throat and lung ailments.  The properties of the oils are absorbed into the blood circulation faster by inhalation than by oral application. The diffuser also humidifies the air and helps prevent your skin from getting dry. You can also try a roll-on application of Peppermint for your forehead and temples. This helps relieve headache symptoms.

Dairy products cause you to produce more mucus and so does sugar. Sugar and alcohol suppress your immune system.  You need to do as much as possible to support your immune system. Drink plenty of water, preferably lemon water (the lemon helps to loosen the mucus) or hot tea with lemon and get plenty of rest.

Visualization

Visualization is a very effective technique when trying to make a change in your life. Our mind is a very powerful tool and can sometimes work against us.  Your thoughts are one of the only functions of your body that you have 100% control of. From the minute you wake up, until the minute you go to sleep, your brain  processes tens of thousands of thoughts. Some of them you aren’t even aware of. Most of us have a constant stream of negative thoughts. We all have that voice inside of our heads that says we can’t or shouldn’t do something.  We think we aren’t good enough or we don’t deserve it. This is just your ego trying to prevent you from stepping out of your comfort zone. It is imperative that you make a conscious effort to become more aware of and change your thought patterns.   Don’t focus on what you don’t have, or what your problem is, instead focus on your health or financial goal as if you have already achieved it and try to keep your mind in a state of appreciation and gratitude.

Keep your mind in a state of appreciation and you will attract more of what you want. When a negative thought creeps into your mind, try to stop it and change your thought process. Just tell yourself to stop thinking that way and “think positive”.  Say it out loud to yourself. No matter how much you want to complain about someone or something, just let it go and think positive. A great little exercise to help with this is to keep a gratitude journal. “The One Minute Gratitude Journal” by Brenda Nathan is a wonderful example of one to use. Writing down daily positive experiences is a way of training your brain to become more positive and to stop focusing on negativity, which attracts more negativity.  Once you learn to fine tune your thoughts to gratefulness for what you have and being happy about where you are right now, not worrying about the past or the future – being as present as possible – then you will be in a state that welcomes harmony and healing both physically and spiritually.

Meditation

Builds skills to manage your stress.  It increases self-awareness, reduces negative emotions, increases patience and tolerance and helps you focus on the present moment. Some research suggests that it may help manage symptoms of:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression      
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Chronic Pain
  • Effects of Chemo
  • Insomnia
  • Tension Headaches

Meditation is not a replacement for traditional medical treatment, but to be used in conjunction with it.

Acupuncture

Traditional Chinese medicine explains that health is the result of a harmonious balance of “yin” and “yang” of the life force known as “qi”, pronounced “chi”.  Illness happens when there is an imbalance of these forces. Qi is said to flow through meridians in the human body. These meridians are accessible through 350 acupuncture points in the body. Inserting needles into these points with appropriate combinations brings the body back into proper balance.

Reiki

is a holistic Japanese hands-on healing technique that uses life force energy to help the body heal itself. The origin of Reiki can be traced back to ancient Tibet, thousands of years ago. It was then re-discovered in the mid 1800’s by Dr. Mikao Usui of Japan.  It’s a gentle, non-invasive technique that promotes relaxation and stress reduction. The practitioner guides their hands along the body, sometime a few inches off of the body, to scan for any feeling of blockages in the body. The practitioner is very in tune to this and can feel heat or sometimes coolness and will just hold their hands in that spot as long as their intuition tells them it is needed. The hands become hot as the energy flows through the practitioner’s hands. It brings your body into balance, harmony and wholeness, which is necessary to achieve optimal health and wellness. It also provides a sense of emotional wellbeing as well as physical.

Chakras

These are metaphorically referred to as “the gateways of consciousness” and literally means “wheels of light” (the sanskrit meaning).  Tapping into these through meditation is a great way to connect with your spirit. There are 7 commonly known energy centers that follow up the body from the base of the spine up to the top of the head:

  • 1st – Root
  • 2nd – Sacral
  • 3rd – Solar Plexus
  • 4th – Heart
  • 5th – Throat
  • 6th – Third Eye
  • 7th – Crown

Each chakra has their own purpose and connection to your spiritual being.  They control different emotions. When they are blocked and not flowing freely, they create physical manifestations of illness and disease and emotional disturbance.  This is usually brought on by our negative thought processes.

Once we are able to get our body back into balance and get the positive energy flowing freely through our body, we are less likely to get sick.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

The information contained herein is for informational purposes only and does not establish a doctor-patient relationship. Please be sure to consult your physician before taking this or any other product.

Disclaimer – This guide is in no way a replacement of medical advice. It is not intended to treat any medical conditions.  Please consult with a physician before adding any new supplements to your diet.

I am an Amazon affiliate and will get a small commission if you purchase through my link at no cost to you.


How To Use My Favorite Essential Oils

If you decide to try anything new to improve your health, please try using essential oils. There are endless combinations and applications, they are safe and natural (when used properly) They smell amazing and can improve your mood and overall sense of well-being as well.

They can be used to:

  • Clean the air and your home
  • Care for sick children
  • Use on pets
  • Help with insomnia and anxiety
  • Help with sinus/respiratory conditions
  • Improve concentration
  • Reduce stress
  • Boost energy and mood

If you’d like to learn about the origin of Essential Oils, then you need to purchase Dr. Josh Axe’s book, “Essential Oils, Ancient Medicine” It is packed with gorgeous photos, very thorough, detailed, scientific information. It gets into the history of essential oils, the chemistry of essential oils, safety guidelines and then goes through dozens of oils individually giving its properties, key benefits, therapeutic compounds and research studies.

Then there is a whole section of alphabetically categorized conditions, with the oils that can be utilized to help the symptoms of those conditions as well as supplements that can also be used to complement a natural protocol .

Theres more! There’s a section on reflexology and massage, remedies for pregnacy discomfort, and oils for pets. No one is left out with essential oil uses!

Next is a recipe section for foods that you can make with essential oils, and lastly a section on DIY household and beauty product recipes.

It’s worth every penny. I refer to this book on a regular basis. It is jam-packed with tons of information and well-cited research.

You can purchase your copy HERE


Plant Therapy

My favorite brand of oils to use is Plant Therapy. They test every single batch of oils for in-depth information on each chemical constituent with GC-MS testing, as well as evaluating each oil’s color, consistency, and general appearance to give you the most accurate information possible.

There are many factors that can affect the composition and quality of an oil, including where the plant was grown (country of origin, latitude, elevation) soil and weather conditions, time of day and time of year of harvest. 

The video below is by one of their certified aromatherapists and it will give you some great tips on which oils to get started with. I highly recommend you to check it out:

They offer single use oils, combinations or “synergies”, sets and even roll-ons. They also offer high quality carrier oils and empty bottles or roll-on bottles if you’d like to mix your own combinations. †

My absolute favorite oil is Lavender. It has such a relaxing sent. I love to diffuse it in the evening when I’m trying to relax and wind down. I also use it when I’m giving Reiki treatments. It helps the person receiving the treatment to relax and feel comfortable.

It also smells great diffused together with Peppermint. They work well together to help sinus congestion and coughs.

Organic Lavender 30ml bottle

Botanical Name:Lavandula angustifolia Country of Origin:BulgariaExtraction Method:Steam distilled Plant Part:Flowering tops Strength of Aroma:StrongAromatic Scent:Sweet, dry, herbaceous-floral scent

$20.95

Here I am buying dried lavender from the farm
Freshly harvested lavender!
Essential Oil bottles with dried herbs
Lavender By the Bay
East Marion, NY

Sets

The Relaxation Synergy Set

 a set that will help you unwind, relax, and promote personal reflection. This set contains 10 mL each of the synergy blends of: “Meditation”, “Relax”, and “Tranquil”.

Relax Synergy Set

$26.99

This 7&7 Set is perfect for someone just starting out with essential oils. This makes a great gift – perfect for kids who are off to college to help keep their dorm rooms clean and free of germs! Or even as a bridal shower gift or housewarming.

7&7 Essential Oil Set

This set contains their 7 most popular singles and 7 most popular synergies.

$59.95

7&7 Essential Oil Set – 2

Or Buy 2 at a discounted price and give the individual bottles out as gifts!

$109.95


Diffusers

Every diffuser is pre-tested and guaranteed to work right every time – so you never have to worry about going without your oils. This is my favorite way to use the oils. They are ultrasonic , so you use some water and add a few drops of your favorite oil and plug it in. They have several settings for the time that it runs and different colored lights. These are great to diffuse when you feel a cold coming on or have sinus congestion. Most oils have antibactierial and anti-viral properties so they are great for warding off germs.

The Diffuser/Breathe Easy Set includes:

  • Aroma Fuse Diffuser
  • Lemongrass
  • Lavender
  • Eucalyptus
  • Orange Sweet
  • Peppermint
  • Tea Tree

Diffuser with Breathe Easy Set

$49.95

This Wood Grain diffuser features five different timer settings, a dimmable LED light and a large water reservoir that holds up to 380 mL. The large tank means you get up to 10 hours of continuous diffusion time and can diffuse covering an area of 500+ square feet (50 square meters). 

Aroma Fuse Wood Grain Diffuser

$57.95

Carrier Oil

Organic Fractionated Coconut Oil absorbs very quickly into the skin, making it ideal for use with any essential oil or blend. This wonderful carrier oil can be used to moisturize the skin, remove makeup, and keep hair lustrous and smooth. It readily penetrates skin, making it perfect for rollerball blends, creams and lotions. It leaves no greasy feeling on the skin.

Organic Fractionated Coconut Oil produces a barrier on the skin, but will not clog pores. Easy to use by itself or with your favorite organic essential oils, Organic Fractionated Coconut Oil is a definite must-have!

Organic Fractionated Coconut Oil

$19.95

They offer cases to store all of your oils in as well. Believe me, you will need this because once you get into using oils, you will quickly accumulate a lot of bottles!

Pink Storage Case

$8.95

Raise Your Vibe To Feel Alive!

Our bodies are made up of energy meridians, frequencies and vibrations. Every cell in your body vibrates. Every object and thought has its own vibration. This lifeforce energy is what keeps us feeling healthy, vibrant, and full of life and happiness. When we are bogged down with negative thoughts, and spending time in negative environments, being exposed to toxic ingredients and toxic people, we start to lower our vibrational energy and attract more negativity and our body is less able to heal itself.

Thoughts are vibrations and whatever vibrations you are creating, will attract more of the same vibration.  So the more you complain about something you don’t like or don’t want, the more it will keep showing up in your life. I’m sure you’ve heard of “The Law of Attraction”.

Raising your vibration is the crucial step that will make a difference in your health and well-being.

Signs That You Need to Raise Your Vibrational Energy:

  • You are unhappy at your job
  • Haven’t found your true purpose in life
  • Getting sick all the time
  • Suffering from anxiety and/or depression
  • Short-tempered/irritability
  • Frequent fear/distrust/paranoia
  • Delusional
  • Overly controlling
  • Chronic lying
  • Being too rigid/unable to be spontaneous
  • Low self-esteem
  • Can’t express yourself/feel invisible
  • Feeling tired all the time
  • Judgmental and jealous of others
  • Fear of intimacy
  • Holding grudges
  • Difficulty following through with promises
  • Poor communication skills

Disease is the result of a lack of harmony in your body – a blockage from the natural flow of healing energy that is naturally there from the day you are born – known as lifeforce energy, believed to radiate through all life forms.

Once we are able to get our body back into balance and get the positive energy flowing freely through our body, we are less likely to get sick. This sense of well-being begins to compound and your body is now in a positive state which raises your energy vibration, which attracts others who are in this same vibration and attracts other circumstances and situations in the same vibration: “Like Attracts Like

Balancing your Chakras with Reiki is a great way to raise your vibration. Deep breathing exercises and meditation are also great ways to clear your mind and to be in the present moment, making room for positive healing vibrations.

One of the best ways to raise your vibrational energy is to listen to upbeat, inspirational music with a positive message.

Music has always been one of those things that I’ve enjoyed, counted on and appreciated my whole life. I think most people take it for granted. They don’t realize what an important role it plays in our lives and how deeply it affects us.

“Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.”
~Plato

Physical Benefits

It doesn’t matter what genre you prefer or what instrument you might play, music is a universal form of therapy. Listening to it:

  • increases dopamine,
  • lowers blood pressure,
  • reduces pain
  • improves mood
  • reduces anxiety and depression

Studies have shown music therapy to be beneficial in the treatment of autism, learning disabilities, dementia and autism and even with pain management during labor and delivery!

Obviously, the lyrics in the song will have a tremendous impact on how it makes you feel because of the emotions it can evoke. Unfortunately, a lot of popular music that is on the radio is filled with either negativity or just empty lyrics that really have no meaning. I felt compelled to write about this song by Lauren Daigle , a Contemporary Christian Singer Songwriter – called “You Say”. She has a powerful voice and message that reaches down deep into your soul. The lyrics to this song are so moving and inspirational and will help lift anyone’s spirits that might be struggling with a feeling of loneliness or hopelessness. It’s very spiritual and a reminder that we are all beautiful and perfect and accepted by a higher being (God, The Universe, or whatever higher power you may believe in) leaving you with an overall sense of love and well-being.


“Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.”

-Confucius