Three Ways to Avoid Overeating at Meals

Three Ways to Avoid Overeating at Meals

Three Ways to Avoid Overeating at Meals

Sometimes those holiday feasts are just amazing. It does not matter what holiday it is, we love to eat on these special occasions. Right? I am not alone on this one, am I?

 

And it’s not just the abundance of delicious food but also the people, the decorations, and the ambiance.

It is way too easy (and common) to indulge on those days. But it doesn’t always stop there.  Sometimes we overeat on regular days, or at a regular meal, or All The Time!!

 

Here are three tips I have found to be helpful to avoid overeating at meals.

(Psst, turn these into habits and ditch the willpower!)

 

water

When your stomach is growling and you smell amazingly delicious food it’s too easy to fill a plate (or grab some samples with your bare hands) and dive into the food.

But did you know that it’s possible to sometimes confuse the feeling of thirst with that of hunger?  Your stomach may actually be craving a big glass of water rather than a feast.

Some studies have shown that drinking a glass or two of water before a meal can help reduce the amount of food eaten.  And this super-simple tip may even help with weight loss (…just sayin’).

Not only will the water start to fill up your stomach before you get to the buffet, leaving less room for the feast but drinking enough water has been shown to slightly increase your metabolism.

Win-win!

 

  • Tip #2: Try eating “mindfully”

You’ve heard of mindfulness but have you applied that to your eating habits?

This can totally help you avoid overeating as well as having the added bonus of helping your digestion.

Just as being mindful when you meditate helps to focus your attention on your breathing and the present moment being mindful when you eat helps to focus your attention on your meal.

Do this by taking smaller bites, eating more slowly, chewing more thoroughly, and savouring every mouthful.  Notice and appreciate the smell, taste and texture.  Breathe.

This can help prevent overeating because eating slower often means eating less.

When you eat quickly you can easily overeat because it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to know that your stomach is full.

So take your time, pay attention to your food and enjoy every bite.

Bonus points: Eat at a table (not in front of the screen), off of a small plate, and put your fork down between bites. Mindful eating can change your digestion and so many other things.

 

salad

You may be yearning for that rich, creamy main dish. But don’t start there.

(Don’t worry, you can have some…just after you’ve eaten your salad).

Veggies are a great way to start any meal because they’re full of not only vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and health-promoting phytochemicals but they also have some secret satiety weapons: fiber and water.

Fiber and water are known to help fill you up and make you feel fuller.  They’re “satiating”.

And these secret weapons are great to have on your side when you’re about to indulge in a large meal.

  • Summary:

Have your glass of water, eat mindfully, and start with your salad to help avoid overeating at meals.

Recipe (Water): Tasty (and beautiful) Pre-Meal Water Ideas

If you’re not much of a plain water drinker or need your water to be more appealing to your senses here are five delicious (and beautiful looking) fruit combos to add to your large glass of water:

  • Slices of lemon & ginger
  • Slices of strawberries & orange
  • Slices of apple & a cinnamon stick
  • Chopped pineapple & mango
  • Blueberries & raspberries

 

Tip: You can buy a bag (or several bags) of frozen chopped fruit and throw those into your cup, thermos, or uber-cool mason jar in the morning.  They’re already washed and cut and will help keep your water colder longer.

References:

 

http://summertomato.com/the-science-behind-mindful-eating-what-happens-to-your-body-during-a-mindful-meal

 

Sleepy times tips

Sleepy times tips

Sleepy times tips

This time of year I get bombarded with questions from my clients about sleep. I think we are getting slammed with stuff year round but during the holidays it seems to be on steroids. There is nothing more frustrating then not being able to get a good night sleep. Do you struggle with sleep? Sometimes no matter how much we dream of a good night’s sleep, our bodies have other plans. Let me share some of my favorite tips and see if they help.

I’m sure you are well aware of what NOT to drink to disrupt your sleep… like a big, hot, delicious cup of coffee or a mega glass of wine or beer. ( For most of the population alcohol disrupts their sleep but there are a small percentage of people where a glass of wine helps them fall asleep. Know which one you are but make sure you do not use that as an excuse to tie one on 🙂

But do you know what you SHOULD drink to help you catch some Zzz’s?

Here are some of my favorite drinks that are helpful for drifting off to sleep:

Sleepytime Tea. There are many different brands to choose from that you can find at any grocery store, so pick one up and give it a try.

Sleepy time tea

Golden milk. It’s also great for your health overall, too! Golden milk is so versatile and can be easily made vegan by using plant-based choices, which I prefer to do myself.

– Tart Cherry Juice. Naturally a source of melatonin which helps promote healthy sleep. I actually make tart cherry ice cream. Literally just take frozen tart cherries then blend them up with 1/2 frozen banana. Dessert and help with falling asleep. SCORE!

– Magnesium. Helps to promote great sleep, and is also helpful for digestion. I like the sprays vs the pills because those pills are hard to digest for many. The only thing you have to be aware of is you might experience some tingling when you use the spray the first few times. It is normal I promise. I also like to drink CALM which is loaded with magnesium.

And of course one of my very favorite things to do is meditation and breathing techniques. For me my body responds to a calming meditation right before dinner and then some deep breathing exercises when I hit the pillow. If I am feeling tense then I might do a body scan meditation in bed but normally I like to meditate before bedtime.

So tell me, what do you do to get a great night’s sleep?! I would love to hear from you. Hit reply or post below and let me know.

Salt in our food- WHY WHY WHY?

Salt in our food- WHY WHY WHY?

Lets talk about salt all the salt in our food can we? WHY WHY WHY do they put so much in?  I am probably one of the rare ones that does not cook with salt very much. In all honesty it has nothing to do with my education of salt and food it has more to do with I just never used it when I first started baking and cooking for some reason. Whenever I make soup Mike always says it is good but that it needed something. He asked me one day if I added salt and I was like ” hmmm no, I don’t even own any”  Of course this was a few years ago, now one of my favorite things is popcorn with truffle salt. The issue with salt in my opinion lies in our packaged/processed foods.  I am not a scientist so I really can’t say why there is so much salt in our packaged foods. This is an interesting article on one persons perspective. I am 100% in belief that there is an addictive component to it. I would love to hear what you think of this article. Here is another great resource for you on salt. One of my readers gave this to me.  I have not looked over it in detail but it looked great so I wanted to pass it on to all of you.

In addition to the packaged and processed foods there is also the whole eating out thing. Salt has the magic way of making foods taste better and as we read in the article above it can play games with your brain. Restaurants want their food to taste yummy and they want you to come back again and again. Trust me they will do whatever it takes to achieve this even though it can be harming your health. Next time you are out to eat  ask the server to prepare your food without added salt, no they will not spit in your food lol.  The more they hear this request the better chances we have of them making the needed menu changes. Some restaurants are now posting the sodium content on the actual menu. It is kinda scary, kinda like when they started posting the calories of meals, OMG wasn’t that scary??????????

salt in our food

I think one of the reasons I am so grossed out with processed foods is their ability to be so shelf stable. If you have a processed food in your hand you can almost be certain you also have a bus load of salt. Salt works by drying food. Salt absorbs water from foods, making the environment too dry to support harmful mold or bacteria.  I know this sounds like a great concept and I cant tell you why it grosses me out but it really does. I struggle with shelf stable milks and things. If you have to mess with my food by adding things into it so I can eat it then EWE I just cant, I really cant. However I must say I am blessed that I do not have to worry about having to consume these products. I know there is a big need for products like this around the world and I am thankful we have the ability to add salt and create shelf stable items for these needs.

How much sodium/salt is needed for our body is a much debated topic. I think salt has a place in our diet. It contains lot of trace elements that we need. Our cells need it, our tissues need it, our organs need it but how much is something I think depends on your own individual body. Besides using truffle salt on my popcorn, I am getting better at using  “some” salt with cooking but I still prefer to use other herbs. I think it is just the way I am use to cooking/baking. I will occasionally put salt on my poached egg. 🙂

Here are some tips on how you can reduce your sodium/salt intake at home:

  • Reduce your use of packaged foods
  • Purchase packaged foods that say no added sodium and/or reduced sodium
  • Rinse your canned foods like beans and veggies before you use them
  • Use spice swaps such as dried and fresh herbs, and salt substitutes- Go visit your local spice store, it is an amazing experience
  • Choose frozen over canned
  • Taste your food before you add in any extra salt. Often you do not even need anything more.
  • Avoid sauces- they are usually filled with sodium. Make your own. This is one of my favorite go to sauces. I do add in 1 /4 cup of non fortified nutritional yeast.

When I do buy salt I pick it carefully. Again, I am not a scientist but I do have a lot of clients with autoimmune conditions so I have studied it a little and I can say how much salt you ingest does matter. There are even some studies out there that show a direct link between salt and autoimmune conditions.  Remember the Morton salt we all had on our table as kids? Well most of that salt has added iodine and for people with autoimmune conditions that is not normally a good thing so I avoid all table salt or any salt that has added iodine. I hate anything fortified actually, why the hell do we mess with food??????? Do not get me started!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

salt in our food

Back to salt- I like to use unrefined salt. Unrefined salt without an added anti-caking agent also tends to clump over time as it absorbs moisture from the air – so it can‘t be put in those dainty salt-shakers we all have at home. I buy it from the spice store. I get grey, pink, purple and just buy in small doses and keep it in a small mason jar and just use a tsp to dispense it.( I dont know if the colors matter but they are naturally occurring and I think they are pretty ) I use a fine grind pink for baking. Your local spice store will be able to educate you on the different kinds of unrefined salt.

The problem with salt is it is in freaking everything so it makes it so hard to monitor how much we are consuming. If we only used unrefined salt in our homemade meals and our baked goods than I would say bring it on lets enjoy this amazing mineral. However the restaurant world and the prepackaged food world do not seem to get my drift.

How much salt is OK? I can’t answer that one because I do not know all your details. What I can say is stay away from the processed foods and sugary drinks and follow some of the tips above and you should be golden. If you have a health condition, talk to your practitioner on what he or she recommends you do in regards to your salt intake.

What are your thoughts on salt and how do you use it?

PS this is my favorite truffle salt

Trader Joes Cauliflower Corn Pizza Crust- Gluten Free

Trader Joes Cauliflower Corn Pizza Crust- Gluten Free

Let me just get right to it. GO NOW! Get in your car and go grab at least 2. These gems are going to be another one of those things that Trader Joes can not keep in stock.

At first I was not intrigued and did not purchase the crust when I saw it a few weeks ago. I am so over soggy cauliflower items. I have not been able to find any crust like recipe I like better than these bread-sticks and I did not want to be disappointed. As most of you know I am a Trader Joe fan and am there a few times a week,  yesterday I decided to just go for it. Like I said – “Get in your car now and go grab some”

Each box has six servings and each serving is 80 calories each ( naked crust ). The gluten-free crust is made of cauliflower, corn flour, water, cornstarch, potato starch, olive oil, and salt.   I topped my crust with Trader Joes marinara sauce, organic mushroom, organic zucchini, shredded mozzarella cheese and diced onions. For seasoning I added a pinch of salt, pepper and garlic powder. Keep in mind those calories creep up quick when you add lots of toppings.

Trader Joes Cauliflower Corn Pizza Crust

Before cooking

The directions advise you to cook it at 450 degrees, I agree with this however I would cook it for 5-10 minutes naked first,(no toppings).  For those of you that know cauliflower,  it has a lot of water in it so cooking it till close to crispy helps make it less soggy.  If you are expecting Pizza Hut crust do not even attempt this. This is a healthy alternative to pizza NOT your typical pizza. I have had some tell me they were disappointed with cauliflower crust things because it did not crunch up. I get that but I have now done it enough that I have some tricks and I do not try to duplicate actual pizza but yet make a new low carb yummy dish. Make sense?

Trader Joes Cauliflower Corn Pizza Crust

After Cooking

The other trick to this pizza is use a pizza pan with wholes in it. This is a flimsy crust and can buckle easy ( even when it buckles it still taste yummy ) I picked mine up at Amazon

Trader Joes Cauliflower Corn Pizza Crust

Do not go super heavy with the toppings, it can create a soggy crust. Mike LOVED it, I LOVED it. We had a lovely lunch, cauliflower corn crust pizza, organic peaches from our favorite CSA, and we watched a great documentary on PBS, The Buddha.

Wash, Rinse, Repeat another FAB day in paradise  🙂

Increase Your Awareness Meditation

Increase Your Awareness Meditation

Please enjoy this beautiful meditation by one of my teachers Sarah Mclean. There is so much noise out there in our world right now. I know it is hard to ignore and stay present. I also know that with effort, with awareness and with practice we can get better at letting the ugly, the annoying and the unneeded pass us by. Each day is a new opportunity. Enjoy this meditation.

Created using Visme. The Easy Visual Communication Tool.

Flourless Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

Flourless Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yep its time for yet another cookie from All in the Balance. I recently asked some friends what their favorite cookie was and a lot of them said they wont eat cookies. I was in shock! Everyone needs cookies right? I love biting into a warm cookie on a cool day with a cup of steaming hot tea. I can not imagine not feeling comfortable eating a cookie.  These are super yummy, easy and should be eaten guilt free. Now you do have to temper your expectations, these are not going to taste like bakery cookies that carry a 350 calorie count to them. I do not know the calorie count of these but I guarantee you that they are made from good for you ingredients.

 

Flourless Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

1 cup of natural peanut butter

2 eggs

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp baking powder

 6 pitted dates

1/4 cup dark chocolate chips

Dash of salt

Directions

I like to make a date paste with my blendtec twister jar. All you do is take the pit out of the dates and put them in the jar and blend a few seconds.  I use 6 dates for any recipe that calls for sugar and it is the perfect sweetness for me. These jars make it so easy. You need to have a blendtec blender to use the jar. Do not get me even started on how much I LOVE my blendtec and how often I use it each day. Blendtec Twister Jar

Add the date paste and all of the other ingredients into your food mixer and get it all blended up pretty. Place the mixture in your refrigerator for about 30 minutes. Preheat your oven to 350. Once the oven is ready and the dough has been chilled drop small cookies onto a prepared pan. I like to line all my cookie sheets with parchment paper. Using this paper makes clean up a snap and the cookies seem to always cook even when on the paper.

Depending on how your oven cooks I would leave these in the oven for 8-10 minutes. They will be soft not crunchy. Once they are done let them cool on the pan completely before you take them off.

Now grab that coffee or tea and enjoy these guilt free cookies. What the heck grab two!

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