Eating meals. It’s become rare in our culture. All-day grazing or “forgetting” to eat can have negative consequences on our energy and productivity. And, our digestion. In this video, I make the case for why I want you to sit down to eat meals.
In a podcast that I was listening to recently, the speaker suggested starting each day by setting an intention for the day. I’ve been doing it myself and LOVING it. The rest of the day, when I’m making choices about what I get up to, I think back on my intention and decide if my action would fit with that day’s intention or go against my intention.
This idea is amazingly simple and easy to do. When your alarm rings in the morning, before you get out of bed, before you check your phone, or check on your kids, or whatever else you do, take a moment to set an intention for the day. Complete this statement: My intention for today is _______________________.
Here’s why I’m recommending it to you. Most of our day is spent racing from activity to activity. Especially us women. We spend the entire day taking care of others. Being a mother, sister, friend, employee, boss, volunteer, etc. It’s incredibly valuable to have the very first thing you do in a day be something you do for you. You’re signalling to yourself that you’re putting ‘you’ on the agenda. The chronic stress that is our modern reality runs havoc on our hormones, leading to cravings and weight gain. Taking this brief moment is a powerful way to wait a beat before that stressful day starts.
To combat the chronic stress (and the impact on their hormones), I always ask clients who participate in my 40 Days to a Happy Healthy You program, to integrate brief mindfulness practices into their day – a brief daily practice and evening practice. I’ll be adding a morning intention-setting practice to their action plans from now on so that they can get the benefits. Why not start your intention-setting practice tomorrow so that you can start experiencing the benefits?
It’s been unavoidable this past week. Every newscast seems to be talking about how the low Canadian dollar is going to mean increasing food costs. Ugh. Not exactly the news that we want to hear after the expensive holiday season. But, in looking for the silver lining, I’m choosing to see this as one more reason for you to plan your meals. Why? Because when you plan your meals and shop for the food that you’ll need to make those meals, you end up wasting less food. Less food in the garbage means more money in your pocket. Period.
Not convinced yet? When I suggest creating a meal plan, often people respond something like:
“I’m already crazy-busy. How am I supposed to add one more thing to my life?!”
I agree that at first it seems like making a meal plan is adding more to your already overly full schedule.
But, in reality it actually saves time and stress.
A good portion of the stress of making dinner each night is figuring out what the heck you’ll make. Many parents admit that this thought (and it’s stress/ worry/ fear) starts creeping into their minds at about 4pm.
Not having a plan leaves you multi-tasking to come up with some idea while you’re finishing up your work day, rushing to pick the kids up from daycare, and fighting the traffic to get home and/or to extra-curricular activities. Not having a plan likely means creating an extra task of running in to the grocery store, with kids in tow, when the store is at it’s busiest. Not fun.
While it does take time to sit down and create a meal plan, doing so will save you hours of stress each week.
Does the structure of a meal plan make you feel constrained? Remember that it’s your plan – change it whenever you want! Did you plan to make a complicated, new recipe tonight but you had an awful day and all you want to do is order pizza? Order the pizza! And revise your plan so that the ingredients that you bought for that new dish are used up before they go bad.
Not convinced? Give it a try, just for this month. What do you have to lose?
It may be Tuesday September 8th, but for me it’s the first day of a new year. It’s the day after Labour Day. For many kids it’s the first day of a new school year. And while it’s been 12 years since I was in school, I can’t shake the itch to start fresh at this time of year. Regardless of how long it’s been since you went back to school, this week is a fantastic time to start something new. I mean, any day is the first day of the rest of your life. Why not start a new healthy habit today?
If you’ve been connecting with me on Facebook or Instagram you’ve seen that 2 weeks ago I started a new daily meditation habit (that picture above is a shot from 1 of my meditation spots). I started meditating sporadically many years ago. Over the winter I increased the frequency to several times a week. I liked what it was adding to my life. So one random Sunday I decided to pick up my game and meditate daily. I’m aiming for 365 days. I admit that I’ve been tempted to skip days. But so far I’m proud to let you know that I’m 15 for 15.
What new habit will you start this week? Here are a few ideas to spark your inspiration:
- Pack a lunch. Not only is this a healthier habit than eating out every day, but you’ll save money too.
- Turn off the screens during meals. It’s a simple way to enjoy more pleasure from your food. And, by being more in-tune with your body, you’ll likely eat less (or should I say, over-eat less).
- Buy a water bottle to stimulate yourself to drink more water.
- Meal plan for the week.
- Make a point of trying 1 new vegetable each week.
Share you’re new habit in a comment below. Articulating your commitment increases the likelihood that you’ll do it!