Is Instagram helping me lose weight?

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As I mentioned in my last post, I am very open to new experiences.  The most recent new experience has been with Instagram. My cousin loves to cook and so do I, but cooking was one of the things I stopped enjoying when during my season of unfortunate events.  Fortunately, with some inspiration from the culinary artistry of my cousin, I revived my joy of cooking.

Recently, my cousin  has also been challenging me to learn more about social media.  I had opened several accounts in the past, but rarely attended to them.  One social media outlet neither of us  had tried was Instagram.  So, we both opened accounts and began learning what it was all about.  I can’t speak for him, but I was hooked. He suggested that I post some of the food I was cooking on Instagram.  I couldn’t wait.  So I posted my first dish.  I made sure that every morsel was placed perfectly, that the lighting was just right, the plate was attractive, but not so much that it over shadowed the food.  Then I posted my culinary masterpiece. The whole staging process took about 15 minutes.  It was beautiful and I was so proud of it.  The portion was adequate, but not too much.  There was a lot of greenery to make it pop and the presentation was lovely.  Then I ate it and was satisfied.  Now the amazing thing was the portion size.  The portion I staged for the photo was about half the size I would have chosen for myself had I not planned to photograph it.  Also, from plate to mouth there was at least a 15 minute time span. As I mentioned, the portion was adequate and I was satisfied after eating it.  I took time to really savor the food before I ate it.  I took in the beauty of the creation before consuming it. Taking that time quelled my appetite and I was able to enjoy and be satiated with a much smaller portion.  I supplemented part of my desire for the food by taking the time to prepare and admire it.  Additionally, the need to add color and visual interest to the dish caused me to add more vegetables.  In a sense, Instagram is helping me eat healthier.

So far I have only posted two dishes to Instagram, but I have still been preparing my meals as if they are going to be posted to Instagram.  I take time to prepare it, admire it, and eat it.  Taking to time to truly enjoy the experience satisfies me. A larger portion of food only filled my belly, but savoring the experience fills my soul.

I would like to challenge all of us to stop, admire, and savor all of our creations. Use all of your senses. Allow your soul to be fed.

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Seven Myths of Meditation

Meditation has entered the mainstream of modern Western culture, prescribed by physicians and practiced by everyone from business executives, artists, and scientists to students, teachers, military personnel, and – on a promising note – politicians.

Source: DeepakChopra.com •  Article | Blog | Posts

Me time

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I absolutely need “Me” time.  It is a necessity and I grab it any way I can. Sometimes I just go to the bathroom for about 15 minutes and just stand there.  It sounds crazy but, I need that time throughout day.  I will take a 10 minute walk outside, or I will just close the door of my office just to stare at the ceiling and just enjoy the silence.  I encourage my employees to do the same.  On a nice sunny day it is part of their jobs to spend 10 minutes outside if they choose to.  If they do not want to go outside, they must find something non-work related to do for 10 minutes.  Allowing this “me” time is very important for anyone to be productive.

I would like to encourage all of us to find that time.  If you are an employer, offer the same to your employees.  They will be thankful and more productive.

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R&R – Replenish and Renew

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Growing up Christian Scientist, I have always looked to natural and/or spiritual solutions for any health problem.  Fortunately, all of my health problems have been minor and short-lived, but there were issues nonetheless.  Aside from my religious beliefs, I have always remained conscious about what goes in and on my body.  It has always been my understanding that any health problem I may have is a result of something in my body that needs to be repaired or replenished.  So, it is logical that there is nothing artificial that can replenish or repair my body.

I have been a long-time believer in natural healing.   I only seek natural/spiritual cures for anything that threatens my physical and mental well-being.  I have often been questioned about my methods effectiveness.  My answer has always been that my goal is to prevent the problem from happening as much as possible by taking care of yourself as a whole.  I focus on not only my body, but also my mind.  I feel that it is important to replenish and repair your body with what my body is lacking and not bombarding it with artificial chemicals and pollutants.

Here is a list of some of the things I do to stay healthy:

  • Meditate  Quieting the mind allows you to open yourself to many of the answers you seek in life.
  • Eat whole food  I make a conscious effort to eat what is natural and what I can consume without processing.  I steer clear of processed and refined sugars.  I do this by eating things that closely resemble how you would find them in nature.  For example, I can’t find pasta growing on trees or planted in the ground so I have chosen to delete it from my diet (this also includes bread)
  • Journal  I keep a daily journal.  The journal helps me identify any changes to my lifestyle that may have influenced my health.  By keeping a journal I can pinpoint when a problem started and what was going on that may have caused it.  I could have been a food I ate or an upsetting incident, etc.
  • Exercise  I try to exercise at least 30 minutes a day.  I usually exercise more, but I make it mandatory for me to exercise at least 30 minutes each day.
  • Find something you enjoy  It could be listening to music, daydreaming, or reading a book.  The main thing is to make it happen at least for part of your day.  We need to put something in our everyday lives that uplifts us and makes us happy.

This is my list.  I would like to encourage all of us to come up with a plan for a healthy life.  Your list may be different from mine as we all have different needs, but the best way to start is to identify those needs.

Is Eating Healthy Making You an Oddball?

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I pack my son’s lunch for school.  When he started kindergarten and I became acquainted with some of the other students’ mothers, I got several questions about my son’s eating habits.  Many of them wanted to know if there was a reason for such a healthy lunch and if he had some sort of digestive problem.  What was really perplexing to them was my son’s declination of candy and other sugary snacks.  I simply told them the reason for my son’s healthy choices was preventative so he would not develop any problems in the future.  I could not believe the comments I received after.  Some of the mothers said that although it was fine that I was giving my son healthy food, I should also allow him to be a kid.  Some felt that I was depriving my son of something just because was not given food that is known to be harmful.  Of course I didn’t care and neither did my son.  My son loves food – real food.  I made a decision early on that I did not want to get him accustomed to eating junk.  I also did not want my son to feel like an outsider for being healthy.  So I had to make another decision and that was to find other moms like me.

The wonderful thing about finding healthy people is that they are very easy to spot.  They are best looking with the clearest complexions and shiniest and healthiest hair.  I began striking up conversations with these people and sharing my experiences with them.  Then I began to develop a community of people that understood my family’s health decisions and did not see our lifestyle as one of deprivation.

What I would like to challenge all of us to do is to place yourself in the company of those who understand and appreciate your choices.  Making positive decisions in your life can be difficult.  Not everyone has come to a point in their lives where health is a priority.  Sometimes, in an attempt to justify their choices, they will try to make what you are doing seem unnatural.  All we have to do is look at the evidence of our healthy lifestyle and its benefits.  Just tune them out and surround yourselves with those who support and encourage you.  We hope that the rest of those in the world will realizes that we all reap what we sow, but until then we can’t let negative comments and judgments pressure us into fitting in with a group.  Find a new group or create your own.

Pick Your Battles Not Your Nose

I took my son to a movie.  We sat down and waited for the movie to start.  In front of us came a group of women with an even larger group of children.  They sat in front of us, but before they sat the children and women stood in front of their seats while their mothers first, thoroughly wiped down each child’s seat with a lint brush, then dolled out a generous squirt of hand sanitizer to each child.  I along with the other parents in the theater glanced at each other with looks of both annoyance and inadequacy.  One woman even said, “I wish had done that”.   I thought to myself  “Who does that?” Then I wondered if I should have done that.  My son, husband, I just plopped down in ours seats without a second thought about lint or what ever else a lint brush removed from theater seats.  So as I began to second guess my parenting skills, I watched the same group of germ-fighting moms pass out jumbo packs of candy to each child.  Immediately I sat a little higher in my in my lint infested seat because inside my over-sized purse were zip-lock bags of raw almonds and bottles of distilled water that I could not take out until the lights were turned down because I smuggled them in.  Instead of worrying about what may possibly get on my child from the theater seats, I was more concerned what was going into him.

So I felt a little better about not lint rolling our seats.  I chose to make sure my child was not only enjoying his movie experience, but also getting a healthy snack.  My son loves raw almonds and he gets a kick out of Mommy sneaking snacks into the movies.  I picked my battle that day.  Although I feel that the other mom’s were also doing a great job of protecting their kids, I was also doing the same in a different way.

Once the movie started and I noisily removed the zip-lock bags and water bottles from my purse under the cover of darkness,  I judged that my purse was big enough for a lint roller and hand sanitizer.  Maybe I will bring them next time and I hope that the moms in front of me will take a tip from me and chose a healthier snack option.  We can all learn from each other.