Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Try this Tuesday: Make decisions for your future self!

As we all know, willpower is a limited resource. I work with my clients on setting up routines and healthy lifestyle habits so that they don’t have to rely nearly as much on willpower to achieve their health goals. However, there are situations that we find ourselves in that are unplanned or outside of our norm, and sometimes, in these situations, we find it difficult to make good choices.

In these situations, I would encourage you to visualize making decisions for your future self, instead of your current self (the one that is currently being tempted).
Your future self will likely have a better perspective than your current self on the situation, and is more likely to understand the consequences and rewards of the choices on your goals that your current self is making.

Try it out! Your future self is often pretty wise!

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Try This Tuesday: Identify the Cue and the Reward

Today’s TTT is all about habits. Let’s begin by examining a habit loop:

First, there is a CUE (a trigger that tells your brain to go into automatic mode and which habit to use).

Then there is the ROUTINE (which can be physical, mental or emotional).

Finally, there is a REWARD (which helps your brain figure out if this particular loop is worth remembering for the future).

Over time, this becomes more and more automatic: I am bored, so I wander to the pantry to see if there’s anything exciting that I can eat; I see chips. Yay, I eat them and temporarily I receive my reward. Crunch! Sometimes you may not even be aware you are doing this until you’re halfway through a bag! Yikes!

But what if you want to change this routine? Charles Duhigg says that we need to keep the CUE and the REWARD but provide a new ROUTINE. He gives excellent examples of this in his book “Power of Habits” and explains that sometimes finding the actual reward requires self-experimentation. Watch this short video about how he addressed a chocolate chip cookie habit he had: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1eYrhGeffc

In order to change any habit though, you must be aware of it. Once you’re aware of it, spend some time trying to identify what the cue is and what the reward is, and then you can work on changing your habit to better suit your wants and needs.

My favorite authors on habit are James Clear (Atomic Habits) and Gretchen Rubin (Better than Before) and Charles Duhigg (The Power of Habit). What habit do you want to change? If you need help changing some of your nutrition habits - reach out!

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Try This Tuesday: Call it Something Fancy!

“Pureed nut butter with a grape relish reduction on a soft brioche bun” (AKA PB & J) 

“Al dente elbow pasta in a fromage cream sauce” (AKA kraft dinner) 😜

You get the idea. The description is what often “sells us” on something when we eat in restaurants or buy packaged food at the grocery store, and the same can be applied to the healthy food we make and eat!⠀

As Darya Rose writes in her book “Foodist”: “Would you rather eat a ‘healthy salad’ or a bowl of ‘crisp baby greens tossed with a cilantro-lime vinaigrette, salmon, sweet corn and heirloom tomatoes’”? I know what I’d choose! 

Changing the way we use language around healthy eating choices can have an effect on the way we view them. “Most people will choose tasty over healthy” but guess what? You don’t need to have to make a choice between the two! Healthy isn't at all synonymous with boring or bland! If you’re wanting to adopt (and stick to) an overall healthier lifestyle, start viewing and talking about healthy food in a different light! 

Caramelized, Citrusy, Creamy, Crisp, Delicate, Fresh, Fiery, Fruity, Hearty, Infused, Marinated, Nutty, Rich, Roasted, Robust, Sautéed, Smooth, Spicy, Sweet, Tangy, Tender, Zesty... 

So many options!

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Try This Tuesday: Ask for Help

Taking care of our mental health is just as important (if not more) as taking care of our physical health. There are so many factors that can affect our mental health, and anyone at any age can suffer from mental health challenges, problems, and disorders. (Just look at all the issues of childhood anxiety these days).

It’s so important to reach out if you need help. I personally have reached out for professional help a couple of times in my life. As hard as it was to do, I was so glad that I did.  

Help can look different for everyone. Sometimes, it’s a friend lending an ear and you feeling completely heard and understood. But could also be the help of a professional, or a team of professionals. There are many resources out there, but you have to keep asking if you’re not finding the help you need. Whatever it looks like, asking for help is not at all weakness. It’s the greatest strength of all: being vulnerable and knowing you cannot do it alone.

Some mental health resources here in Alberta:

What makes something better is connection. I love this very short film on “Empathy” from Brene Brown: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Evwgu369Jw

Tips for Managing Stress & Anxiety (plus a smoothie recipe!)

Read my latest blog post on You Ate:  https://youate.com/tips/september-stress-autumn-anxiety/ And my smoothie recipe!