Cissy Brady-Rogers
Cissy Brady-Rogers Cissy Brady-Rogers Cissy Brady-Rogers

Tag: mindful eating

Mindful eating is simply eating with attention. But in our fast-food, eat-on-the-run world, just paying attention to what you are eating and how you are eating can be challenging. For overall wellness, nourishment and digestive health, how we eat can be as important as what we eat! Join us for an evening of slowing down, savoring each bite, honoring your body and celebrating the abundance we’ve been given.

SAVOR

SAVOR

WHAT’S INCLUDED?

In addition to meal and beverages, our time will include teaching on mindful eating principles, guided experiential learning on hunger awareness and engagement with five senses and five primary tastes, personal reflection on how you eat and facilitated conversation.

WHY MINDFUL EATING?

In our diet-obsessed but food abundant society, rather than being a joyful and nurturing experience, eating is often fraught with anxiety, distraction and guilt. While we may know that eating with attention could be helpful, deeply engrained patterns of relating to food and the hectic pace of life can undermine our efforts.

In addition to providing a delightful evening savoring a meal with a welcoming and compassionate group of women, this workshop will help you:

  • Strengthen your capacity to listen to your body’s signals about hunger and fullness
  • Understand the interplay between physical, emotional, spiritual and other hungers
  • Expand your awareness of the multiple levels of satisfaction possible through mindful eating

Dinner takes place at a private home in Pasadena. Space is limited to 12 with only 10 spots still open. More information and registration at Alive and Well Women.

Take a break from busy! Make space in your life to deepen your connection to God’s love while learning to recognize and release physical manifestations of stress in your body.

take a break from busy

take a break from busy

Join me at Hollywood Presbyterian Church on Saturday, April 25th from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. for a time of praying, reflecting, mindful movement, art making and mindful lunch.

Only $20 with continental breakfast, lunch and childcare provided.

Download brochure with details.

Online registration.

 

I’ve spent hundreds of hours sitting with women who’ve invested immense time, money and energy trying to find a way of eating that works for them.  I advocate intuitive eating, learning to listen to and trust your own body. In all my years I have never recommended self-help diet books to anyone. The way to optimal health doesn’t come from outside sources. It comes from listening to your life and becoming your own health expert. The “dieting mindset”‘ and behaviors must be replaced with mindful awareness.

So why now?

eat in alignment with your body

eat in alignment with your body

Unlike diets, The PlantPlus Diet Solution doesn’t tell you what to eat, but offers facts, guidelines and resources for listening to the wisdom of your own body and becoming your own expert as to what will best serve your overall health and well-being.

I’ve learned through twenty-five years of psychotherapy and health coaching with clients struggling with food and weight that, as Joan Borysenko demonstrates through research and examples from her own personalized nutrition experiments, “there is no one-size-fits-all diet.” The key to finding the “right” diet is through paying attention to the impact different foods have on our physical and mental health. Joan does an exquisite job providing tools and information that empower readers to become experts about what best serves our own unique biological blueprint for optimal energy efficiency.

In addition to providing extensive practical support, The PlantPlus Diet Solution explains why willpower alone fails to help people find a life-giving way to eat. Research on the impact of dietary composition and weight loss continues to reveal the importance of metabolic differences in finding the optimal combination of foods for any one person. When asked about the role adherence played in the effectiveness of any particular diet Christopher Gardner, Professor at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, stated: “We think some people have a harder time adhering to a diet because it’s the wrong one for them metabolically.”

Everybody is different!

I’ve been waiting for years for this material to become available at a popular level. Little did I know it would come from the amazing brain and big heart of my dear friend!

The PlantPlus Nutrition Webinar starts Tuesday, January 20th. For those who signup for the course and would like additional support, I’m offering coaching and weekly mindful awareness conference calls along with the Webinar.

And for those who just want to start with the book, the Kindle version is on sale for only $1.99 at Amazon.

 

 

My friend and mentor Joan Borysenko begins her on-line PlantPlus Nutrition Program on Tuesday, January 20th.  Topics covered include:

– Understanding why the Standard American Diet (SAD) is creating an epidemic of chronic disease.

– Learning to eat the foods that are best suited to your own body’s metabolism, which changes across your lifespan.

- Harnessing the power of mindfulness to make shifts in your awareness and habits.

– Understanding how diet affects psychological and mood issues like depression and anxiety, and how to improve them.

eat in alignment with your body

eat in alignment with your body

As noted in my review of the book that you will receive as part of your registration, the personalized nutrition path Joan will help you discover isn’t for those who want a quick or easy solution to weight or health issues. But that is exactly what makes her such a valuable resource for those seeking a sustainable, enjoyable and life-giving way to eat! This isn’t about losing weight, it’s about feeling your best and having the energy you need to live your best life. She’ll provide facts, guidelines and resources to help you listen to the wisdom of your own body and become your own expert as to what will best serve your overall health and well-being.

If you can’t make the conference call classes on Tuesdays, no worries — all sessions are recorded for reviewing at a later time. In addition to all that comes with the program itself, I’m offering additional coaching support and weekly phone conference mindful awareness sessions for those who register through me. I’d love to support you in making 2015 the year you align more fully with the wisdom of your body.

To register through me and get extra support at no extra cost, use this link to go to the home page and register. Then follow up with an email to me to arrange extra support. Here’s to a new year of loving yourself by meeting the real needs of your body and letting go of old patterns that no longer serve you!

 

 

This is old news that our instant gratification conditioned culture doesn’t want to hear. So here’s the reminder as we begin 2015:

DIETS DON’T WORK!

When I first saw this Daily Beast article, I was hesitant to re-post on Facebook. I prefer to encourage rather than discourage. The negative spin of the headline “Why Your New Year’s Diet Will Fail” activated my resistance to generalizations and absolutes. But, truth is truth. All the research indicates that most often, diets offer temporary weight loss at best and in many cases contribute to increased metabolic efficiency — they train your fat cells to hold on tighter to that stored energy you’re trying to get rid of!

DIET = SLOWER METABOLISM = WEIGHT GAIN

Sure, some people begin their road to better health with a specific diet and eventually transition into permanent lifestyle changes. But they are the exceptions, not the norm.

The diet industry is profiting heavily off our discontent. Recent estimates indicate that in the U.S. alone $20 billion of our hard earned money goes into diets that don’t work. As nutritionist Evelyn Tribole points out, the diet business model uses our culturally induced shame to create a fail proof business model: “It’s the only thing we buy that, when the product fails, we all blame ourselves and then go buy another version.”

So, before you go waste your money on another diet program, I suggest you take time to reflect on the core issues:

How’s your relationship with your body?

– Do you honor your need for 7-9 hours of sleep a night?

– Do you drink plenty of water and stay well hydrated?

– Do you minimize the use of caffeine, alcohol and over-the-counter medications to regulate your energy?

Begin with the basics of self-care so your body will trust that you have your own best interest in mind.

If you aren’t already getting adequate sleep, start with that. Insufficient sleep disrupts the hormone cycles and metabolic functioning that support your body’s optimal energy efficiency.

If you aren’t drinking enough water, start with a commitment to hydration. Most of us need 9-13 cups a day minimum. More in some cases.

And if you’re using “legal” drugs (yes coffee and alcohol are drugs) to compensate for disrupted sleep and energy cycles, begin with getting that part of your energy regulation normalized.

If you’d like support in making these foundational changes in your relationship with your body, I’d love to be of service. Contact me about how health coaching can help you create a more loving relationship with your body that will support positive behavioral changes.

I look forward to journeying with you in 2015 as we love and enjoy living in our good bodies, just as we are.

The extra fat living on my belly these days reminds me that in my sphere of reality over consumption is a way of life. While a large percentage of people on planet earth struggle for access to enough, I have too much.

I want to give thanks for the abundance.

I want to be grateful that my refrigerator and pantry are full, that I can drive my car a few miles and purchase mass amounts of consumables or dine on gourmet food at a restaurant where the portions are so large I take some home for the dog.

But this Thanksgiving morning I’m aware that the abundance of my Thanksgiving table, along with the month of consumption ahead, has come to reflect the too muchness of life in the USA. We have so much available that unless we are highly conscious about our choices we will end up consuming too much and storing that excess in our bodies’ remarkably efficient energy storage systems.

I want to be grateful for my body’s amazing capacity to survive potential famine by storing energy as fat.

I want to be grateful that I am so aware of my body that I notice even subtle shifts in my body mass composition.

I want to be grateful that I can take a rigorous walk this morning, get a little sweat going and seek to come into alignment with my body.

I want to be grateful that I no longer regulate my energy intake and output based on external guidelines or fears of weight gain.

I want to be grateful that when I eat our Thanksgiving feast this evening I will savor the love of family and friends around the table as I take in the delicious meal set before us.

But my mind is on those who don’t have enough. On the hungry and the homeless. And, on how ironic it is that many of the homeless and needy I’ve met when volunteering in local soup kitchens are also carrying extra fat on their bellies!

Current research on nutrition and fat storage indicate that the number of calories we eat as well as the quality and types of food we consume contribute to how our bodies metabolize and store energy. Much of the food served to those showing up at soup kitchens are high glycemic carbohydrates (breads, pastas, rice, potatoes, sugar) that increase the likelihood of weight gain in many of us.

I’m not sure what I can do about that today. But expanding my view of reality to consider those who don’t have a home to gather in, a table of their own around which to dine, or loved ones to share it with, gives me perspective that helps me love and enjoy living in my body, just as I am. Because ultimately my life is not measured by my level of fitness or my body mass composition, but by the degree to which I live in loving relationship with myself, my family and friends, my colleagues and acquaintances, my neighbors, as well as the “strangers” around the world who are my brothers and sisters here on planet earth.

For me it comes back to gratitude and living in the tension of celebrating the goodness of life that has come to me as I remember that while all is well in my world, much of the rest of the world suffers.

Today I will seek to savor rather than consume

Today I will seek to listen to my body not just for me, but as a reminder that over consumption of resources doesn’t just impact me and my health, but contributes in a small way to the unequal distribution of resources that leaves many homeless and hungry on this day of Thanksgiving.

It isn’t about guilt for having more than enough. Rather it’s about loving myself and my neighbor enough to pay attention to my consumption so that I don’t carry around more than I really need either in fat stores on my body or otherwise.

This holiday season I am going to work on compassionate consumption. Compassion recognizes suffering with kindness and non-judgement and comes alongside with intention to alleviate that suffering to the degree that I can.

Eating just enough is one way to do that today. And if I choose to eat more than enough, not judging myself for breaking my intention but kindly stopping when I recognize I’ve passed the point of satiation.

As we head into the holiday consumption madness begins tomorrow, may we consider what compassionate consumption might look like in our lives. What presents, decorations and other stuff do we really need? What is enough? What is too much? And how can we take our excess and use it to alleviate suffering in ourselves and others?

How can we choose to let go of our possibility of having it all so that all may have?

A humorous personal opinion piece from the NY Times reminds me why everybody needs to take personal responsibility for finding our own unique blueprint for optimal health.

Apparently, kale and other cruciferous vegetables must be avoided by people with hypothyroidism. These “super foods” that health gurus juice, powder, and encourage us to eat in mass quantities may actually be making some people sick. Wrap your head around that!

And those fruit and veggie juices you drink because of all the nutrients they deliver? When it comes to your oral health, you may as well drink cola and eat chocolate because to your teeth, sugar is sugar!

I’m not going to stop eating my cruciferous veggies and I don’t juice. I like my food as close to nature as God made it. No point in throwing out all that good fiber and having a mess to clean up. I prefer to just eat my fruits and veggies whole. But, that’s me. Some of my best friends swear by their juicing routines.

The next time you see someone touting their latest wonder remedy for whatever ails you, remember that you must be your own health expert. Know yourself. Know your body. And listen to your gut.

There are many well intentioned so-called “professionals” offering services, products and plans that aren’t regulated by any governing authority. The detox programs,  vitamins, supplements, and other regimens they offer may have value, but can also be ill-advised for some people.

Be a wise consumer. Know your own health profile. Listen to your body and trust yourself first of all!

Mark Bittman, one of our family’s favorite go-to chefs for healthy, easy to make recipes, posted a marvelous article in the NY Times last week about a meta-analysis of 72 studies which indicates there’s no evidence that saturated fats increase the risk of heart disease.

Bittman says you can go back to butter, if you haven’t already done so!

Butter for Breakfast

I never liked fake butters. I tried them when I was on my post-breast cancer anti-fat kick 22 years ago, but it didn’t take long for my body and taste buds to tell me to quit eating that nasty stuff.

The bottom-line, which many of us in the eating disorders world have been advocating all along: “eat real food” and “avoid anything that didn’t exist 100 years ago.”

So this morning for my second breakfast (tea and toast for pre-workout energy was first), I happily spread some butter on my bagel. I remember my mom saying that butter made your skin shine and your hair glow. She loved her butter. She didn’t eat processed foods and wasn’t big on sugar–the two current favored nutritional culprits that contribute heart disease. Apparently her decision to minimize the amount of sugar and processed foods in our family food supply was a smart one. In spite of our pleadings for Captain Crunch and Cocoa Puffs, the only cereal mom ever bought was corn flakes (the non-frosted ones). But she didn’t limit the amount of butter we spread on our toast!

Thanks Mom! Your inner wisdom about sugar and processed foods paid off. Thanks for listening to your instincts.

P.S. If you’re looking for a good way to add leafy greens to your diet, try spinach with your scrambled eggs. Spray a non-stick pan with olive oil, saute a little garlic, then throw in the spinach to cook until wilted. Put the spinach on your plate while you scramble the eggs in the same pan, and you’re good to go!

A recent encounter with a former classmate who has lost and gained the same 50 pounds multiple times on numerous diets and programs reminded me why I teach what I do and why diets don’t work.

Following someone else’s prescription for finding and maintaining a natural weight for your unique body–or for living your optimal life–isn’t sustainable. Eventually a crisis comes along, our best laid plans fall short of the demands of a given day, and we find ourselves facing decisions that the “program” didn’t equip us to cope with.

The energy and vitality you need to feel good in your body and enjoy your life comes from knowing yourself–heart, body, mind and soul–and making choices from inner guidance about what you really need in any given moment.

When fatigued toward the end of the day, do I really need a caffeinated diet soda, a cup of coffee, candy bar or bag of chips? Will any of those produce the energy I need to carry me through to dinner with a sharp and clear mind, peaceful heart and energized body?

Everybody is different. Maybe one of those options works for you.

My husband’s 4 p.m. cup of coffee really works for him. It doesn’t work for me. I’d be tossing and turning until the early morning paying the price at midnight for that boost of afternoon energy.  That diet soda may give you a caffeine hit and temporarily satisfy your sweet tooth, but in many people is linked to higher rates of weight gain and can contribute to heart and kidney problems. As for candy bars, composed primarily of simple sugars they’ll provide a quick boost of focused energy followed by a return to fatigue within a relatively short time.

One of the health professionals in my office building told me last week that when she’s in a depleted place and didn’t plan other options, she’ll pick up a bag of gourmet potato chips from our on-site cafe. Organic potatoes  fried in healthy oils and lightly salted, she says that gives her what she needs to get through to the next meal. But you can be sure it is not her “go to” choice for optimal nutrition!

Rather than offering diets or plans, I encourage my clients to become experts on listening to physical cues about hunger and fulness as  well as noticing the physical and energetic impact of individual foods and combinations of foods. What does that look like? I can only tell you what it looks like for me because everybody is different.

Here’s an example from my own life. When it comes to breakfast, a cup of tea with half and half and honey combined with a bagel with cream cheese and smoked salmon produces a heavy, full, satisfied feeling in my stomach and gives me an initial boost of energy followed by steady, slow burning energy for up to four hours. If I’m heading into a morning full of commitments with no time to refuel, that combo is a good choice, for me, but it might not be for you.

If I’m heading to workout first thing in the morning, opting for tea and a slice of toast with almond butter is preferable.  That gives me a boost of energy,  with a lighter feeling in my stomach that makes for better short term energy to fuel my workout. Then I’ll follow up with a protein rich smoothie after my workout. I do drink tea of some sort most days, but I mix it up and don’t always splurge on the emotionally satisfying but nutritionally questionable additives!

But that is my body. It’s what I’ve learned from years of listening to my experience. I eat differently depending on the day and season.

You are the expert on your body. No one else can tell you what you really need at any given moment. Trained professionals can offer general guidelines about what works best for most people but they can’t fine tune that information to meet the unique demands and needs of your daily life. That’s why I believe that finding and maintaining an optimal weight depends on developing a positive working relationship with your body by aligning information about nutrition and exercise with your own inner wisdom.

What about your body? What works for you? I’d love to hear your wisdom and invite you to share it here so others can learn from your experience as well.

It’s been a long time since I ate a burger. I can’t remember the last time I ordered one. It’s just not something I eat, not something I crave.

Occasionally my body craves red meat, but I go for a grass-fed rib-eye or filet. “Hamburger” just doesn’t seem to be on my body’s database of what I need.

This week I’m playing roadie, chauffeur and traveling companion to my niece Caity as she returns for her senior recital as a jazz studies major at University of North Texas. When we arrived last night and wanted something to eat, she suggested “Whataburger.” She described it as the “In and Out” of Texas, “But the meat is better…after all, this is Texas.”

What? Me? A burger?

With that endorsement, I figured when in Texas, do as Texans do. I ordered a Whataburger Jr. and ate the whole thing–gluten filled bun and all!

Why did I eat a burger? Because I don’t want to be a food nazi!

After my breast cancer 21 years ago I became militant about food. I only ate vegetarian, low-fat, unprocessed organic foods because I feared the role animal products, pesticides, processing and other toxins played in the onset of my cancer.

For a few years, that was a necessary and important stance to take. But over time,  I began to listen to my physical needs and not my fears and found my way to a more balanced, loving and life-giving relationship with food.

For me, it’s about moderation, balance and choosing the best food. Today, that includes minimal red meat and limited gluten based foods. Yet, if there’s an Auntie Em’s dessert or a loaf of bread from Fiore Cafe around, I’ll say “Yes” and enjoy every bite of my gluten. If I’m going to eat the gluten that can sometimes activate rosacea on my cheeks, I’m going to make it worthwhile.

My remarkable niece Caity

My relationship with Caity is more important than what we eat. I enjoyed the burger well enough…for a burger. But even more important was how much I enjoyed being with Caity in her college town, going to the places she hung out and getting a taste of her last five years. Celebrating her success as a top-notch jazz saxophonist and experiencing the world where she’s honed her skills, met her boyfriend and matured into a remarkable young woman–that’s why I’m here.

When I was a food nazi (while hard to admit, at times even now) what I ate took precedence over enjoying the people, events and places around me. Thanks be to God for the love, grace and truth that have come to me over these past 21 years. I am free to eat burgers or not eat burgers. For this freedom, I am exceedingly grateful.