Update 10/18/2016 – Mariann’s book is now available! Eat Less, Get More: Achieve Health Through Mindful Eating
Our friend Mariann could not have come to us a better time as we have felt like we have slowly been falling off the healthy bandwagon. July was the month of Pescatarian diet and we were able to be mindful and cut out red meat significantly, but processed foods kept seeping into our diet and lifestyle because they are easy. Emily was out of town for 10 days this month and Matt was on his own to fend for himself so the kitchen was not used much. Had we been mindful, planned ahead, and made better choices maybe this past month would have been different. But guess what?! – next month is only a couple days a way and it is time for a new diet and a new mindset. Coincidentally our long time friend Mariann is publishing her first book which just so happens to be about mindful eating.
In her book, Mariann begins by explaining the secret to losing weight and getting fit is to be less focused on the future and more mindful. “Mindfulness basically means devoting your full mental attention to the task at hand, whether that task is self-reflection, doing homework, daydreaming, or making the bed. Mindfulness is awareness of the present moment, and accepting what you feel and think in that moment. We can be mindful; we can also be mindless. And we can eat mindlessly.” We sure could have used this mindset for July however part of this adventure is to have struggles and not to get discouraged when we get off track but rather to document our slips and to learn from them.
Each section of her book is broken out into different topics for each week so that you can implement these ideas slowly and really think about them with the reflection questions she provides. Some of the tips and guidance that really hit home for us was get to know when you are hungry, eat food that makes you feel good while you are eating and when you are finished eating it, be in the moment, and love yourself. The world is a busy place and we are all trying to find balance. She also suggests breathing exercises which help you be in the moment. Emily has downloaded the app suggested “Calm” and has used it and it has really helped her be more centered and in the moment.
This month we took to heart the section on getting started with a little exercise. We found an activity that we both enjoy and has been in the news quite a bit – Pokemon Go! Matt has walked over 25 miles since the release of this new game. It has given us the opportunity to get out and about. Mariann explains, “Find some kind of exercise you like at least some part of, and keep doing it. Don’t go jogging “because it’s healthy” if you don’t like anything about jogging. If you dislike eating kale, it doesn’t matter if it’s “healthy”—you aren’t going to be very motivated to eat it. This same logic applies to the exercise you pick. Enforcing some kind of exercise is important, because regular exercise, even after you finish your diet, is going to help you maintain your weight loss.”
Great recipes are also included in this book and we have gotten to try a few. The chicken a la crockpot is great for a busy week at the office or a slow rainy day at home. The coconut flax bread is a great bread replacement when you are craving breads. Theres even a salsa which was delicious and seved on fish tacos. Even desert gets a showcase in her new book with watermelon ice pops which were light and refreshing on a hot summer day.
The combination of us reading this book and us not feeling so great has resulted in us deciding to do a reboot with the Whole 30 diet for the month of August. On this diet we will eat, meat, seafood, eggs, tons of veggies, some fruit, and plenty of good fats from fruits, nuts, oils and seeds. We will cut out dairy, legumes, grains, sugar, alcohol, and processed foods.