Category Archives: Nourishment

13 Tips for Transformational Wellness

13 TIPS FOR TRANSFORMATIONAL

“All transformation begins with an intense burning desire to be transformed.”
~Wayne Dyer

Do you have this intense burning desire to transform a part of you life that isn’t serving you? Are you looking for a little less stress in your life? Are you desiring to feel more love? Do you want to feel really, really well?

These 13 Tips for Transformational Wellness will take only 13 seconds to read. Then you can choose one to practice–and of course practicing them will take MORE than 13 seconds–but they are all capable of adding to your well-being. And all of them are filled with love.

We get to take one step at at time on our wellness path. Which one will you choose for your next step?

  1. Intend to be well
  2. Listen to your body
  3. Nourish the body/mind temple
  4. Live in the present moment
  5. Pray and/or meditate
  6. Seek balance and pleasure
  7. Speak your truth with kindness
  8. Reframe worrying
  9. Cultivate forgiveness
  10. Practice peace
  11. Love radically
  12. Don’t complain
  13. Magnify gratitude

If you would like suggestions for implementing each of these tips, you will enjoy learning more in my book, Wellness Wisdom: 31 Ways to Nourish Your Mind, Body, & Spirit.

Buy Into the Mouths of Babes on Amazon

Please let me know which one you picked to play with today! Please leave a comment here or come on over to my SusanTateCommunity Facebook page and share your thoughts.

©2016 Susan Tate

The book I didn’t write in 1985

As many of you know, my first book, Into the Mouths of Babes, was published in 1984. But it seems a year later I had another book in mind.

IMG_0908My daughter recently came across this piece of yellow construction paper with a list I wrote in 1985 of 14 things I could do every day to find good health and keep it. (We still can’t figure out how it ended up in her treasure box of memorabilia.) As you can see, the first line reads: The – I Want to get Healthy Book by Susan Firkaly, (my former name). I chuckled when I read the list since so many of the things I wrote then have become part of the wellness work I have been sharing for the past 45 years!

For those of you who didn’t know me in the 80s—I was a 30-something mother of two children, teaching high school full time, and generally knocking myself out attempting to take care of my family. Although we were vegetarians, I could have metaphorically been described as one of those women who could “bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, and never, ever let you forget you’re a man!” (A jingle from an old perfume commercial showing a super competent take-charge woman who represented the feminist “superwoman” of the time.)

In my picture of myself as a modern mother of my generation, I was probably wearing a Wonder Woman cape. Well, underneath the cape was a woman with a constant flow of stress-related illnesses. I had colds, sinus infections, the flu every year, a stomach ulcer, IBS, anemia, and had tubal ligation surgery in 1983 that almost killed me when the doctor hit an artery.

On top of all of that, I had a series of whacky accidents. I totaled my car a half-mile from our house on December 24. No, it wasn’t icy; I just went off the one part of the beautiful country road–actually actually attempting to avoid an accident–and hit a cement culvert rather than just dirt. It caused my car to flip over, smashing it as it landed sideways across the two lane Virginia road. I had a serious neck injury and minor bruises. Angels were with me, truly, and I shall take this opportunity to remind everyone “seat belts save lives!” And, oh yes, you might want to know I was on my way to the DMV to get my driver’s license renewed.

Then there was the time I slipped on some soda that someone spilled on aisle 12 of the supermarket and I ended up with torn ligaments in my right knee and had to have knee surgery to repair the damage. (I sometimes told people it was a skiing accident since sliding down the aisle in the grocery store wasn’t nearly as fun to say.)

In the early 90s I began working at the University of Virginia. But the Wonder Woman cape offered no protection from several years of uterine problems. I ended up having a hysterectomy—the surgery complicated by a blood clot in my lung.

That was the old me.

So you can see, I was not the vibrantly healthy and happy dancing woman you know today! Why am I sharing this now? Because I don’t want any of you to attempt to take care of everyone else but yourself—the way I did then. The only way I felt I could get taken care of was through illnesses and accidents. It was TOTALLY subconscious.

Feeling in a rather reflective mood lately, I just wanted to let you know my wellness path had quite a few twists and turns (think knee twisting and a car turning over) and your path may have had–or be having–some bumps too.

The list I made in 1985 was a pretty wise one! In fact, I just realized that although I didn’t write that book back then, much of it was poured into my fourth book, Wellness Wisdom: 31 Ways to Nourish Your Mind, Body, & Spirit (2007, 2009).

So, here’s the list of the 14 things I wrote on the yellow construction paper on January 26, 1985 along with my comments from today in italics.

1. Think positive ~ I still do this but would add a note of how important it is to also honor the painful feelings first and then letting them go and THEN thinking positive. I used to skip that other part—and the pain had to go somewhere–for me, it got stuck in my uterus . . .)

2. Meditate and pray ~ Today I would move this to number 1.

3. Eat well ~ But of course.

4. Take iron

5. B-complex

6. C

7. Multi-vit    ~  4 – 7 cracked me up, as I am the vitamin taking (and selling) queen! Nine years ago I wisely partnered with a top-rated global nutrition company, USANA Health Sciences, and now I share these supplements with those who are a good match for them. I am a good match—as my last 9 years have been my healthiest years ever!

8. Sit ups  ~ I haven’t done sit ups in years! But I “play” with my abdominal and core muscles all the time through my Nia practice. It’s much more fun than sit ups.

9. Aerobic dance ~ Now, Nia friends, doesn’t this just make you smile?  In 1997 I discovered the joyful, somatic, and yes, aerobic, dance/fitness practice of The Nia Technique. Nia has been a vital part of my vibrant health and in-shape-not-sore-anywhere-strong-65-year old body!

10. Drink juice instead of Coke ~ Yes, I was a Coke (Coca-Cola!) addict for 2 decades! Yikes! It was my drink of choice. I loved the caffeine, I loved the sugar, I drank more than you could every imagine me drinking. Then, one day, on my way back from Portland after attending my Nia Blue Belt Intensive Training, I just stopped. And today, I advocate water instead of juice—there’s just too much sugar in the juice. I enjoy eating the whole fruit (with the fiber still in tact and no added sugars) instead.

11. Do Kegals ~ Oh, yes, and so many other pelvic floor strengthening exercises too!

12.  Read ~ I know I put that on that list because I was only reading non-fiction, professional research-based books and articles at the time. Now I also, finally, read purely for pleasure.

13.  Write ~ Doing that, loving writing, will stop only when I’m dead.

14.  Think healthy  ~ Oh, the research on this one is another book in itself! (I recommend any books or YouTube videos by Bruce Lipton or Mario Martinez on this topic.) Our beliefs control our health way more than our genes do!

BACK TO YOU: What’s on your list? Is there anything you’d like to put on your list to add to your self-care and expanded wellness? I’d love to hear from you–you can leave a reply below.

I’d also love to support your wellness path through coaching or through answering your questions about what vitamins you might want to take.

Email me to schedule a telephone coaching session: susan@susantate.org

Possible topics:

nourishment/nutrition*
stress reduction
relationships
life transitions
sexuality
business/career planning

* I offer a 15-minute FREE phone consult
if you want guidance on selecting vitamins.

 Here are just a few of the possible side effects you can expect:

More inner peace
Overwhelming episodes of gratitude
Expanded reverence for yourself and others
An overall sense of joyful well-being

Email me to schedule: susan@susantate.org

 

 

 

 

8 (Free) Wellness Video Resources for You

Here is a sampling of my favorite wellness videos and meditations. I wanted to share some of the exciting research and offerings that are emerging in the areas of science and spirit. Just click on the titles you find appealing and enjoy!

For the past five years I have become fascinated by the study of epigenetics–the concept (now scientifically proven) that our genes DO NOT predict our destiny. You’ll also be able to tap into (did I really write that?) a few tapping videos (Emotional Freedom Techniques) that can be so supportive in healing the subconscious thoughts that often rule our everyday actions. If you haven’t experienced this technique yet, Nick and Jessica Ortner provide a loving introduction.

The first video on the list is a profoundly powerful “letting go of old stuff” meditation by Tosha Silver. No need to watch it, just listen to the 10-minute audio when you want to experience some sweet peace.

You’ll note that I put the length of the video by the title, so you can decide when to sit back and how long of a wellness break you’d like to take to enjoy this information and inspiration. You will know what to watch and when.

Healing Meditation for Letting Things Go (9:45) 
Tosha Silver’s 10-minute meditation (Very healing and tenderly powerful–I have listened to this over 20 times.)

Tapping Meditation for Financial Anxiety & Overwhelm with Jessica Ortner (15:58)
This one made me cry big the first time–okay, and maybe the second time too!

email-quoteBruce Lipton, Ph.D.  A very powerful video from the 2011 Tapping World Summit (34:22)
Dr. Bruce Lipton, is an internationally recognized leader in bridging science and spirit. I love his work (and I have a crush on this man’s brain!!!). I have read all of his best-selling books: The Biology of Belief, Spontaneous Evolution, and The Honeymoon Effect.

Bruce Lipton, Ph.D. Epigenetics: The science of Human Empowerment (42:40)
If you want to go deeper into looking at epigenetics, (our DNA is not our destiny–our thoughts and beliefs override our genes . . . ) you will enjoy this presentation. “Our health is not controlled by genetics,” states Dr. Lipton.

Dr. Christiane Northrup on Graceful Aging – Interviewed by Jessica Ortner (39:19)
In this interview, Dr. Northrup talks about aging gracefully, how tapping reduces cortisol levels to create weight loss, and trusting the sacred processes of our bodies. To watch the video, you will need to provide your first name and email address.

Louise Hay on Tapping – Interviewed by Nick Ortner  (19:52)
If you respect the work of Louise Hay, you will love this very touching video. One of my favorite lines is when she says, “In order to clean your house you have to see the dirt first!”

Embodying The Four Immeasurables with Dr. Mario Martinez
(almost 2 hours but worth every second)
This is such a healing body of work. He adds to the research of epigentics with his studies on what he calls “cultural portals.” It seems our cultural beliefs are far more powerful than our biology. If you have old, deep childhood wounds that need some healing salve, this may be helpful.

Ho'oponoponobutton
Ho’oponopono Forgiveness Meditation (7:01)

If you have any forgiveness work to do . . . the resources and video on this page may be of tender support.

 

7 Ways I Spread Wellness

You may have heard me mention that wellness is communicable! As each day passes, I am even more excited to share my work in its many forms. Recently, I became aware that some of you may not know all the things I offer. Please let me know how I can serve you!Well-2

1. Nia – I have been teaching Nia since 1999 and it has been a source of healing for me and so many others. READ MORE

2. Wellness coaching – I LOVE supporting people via phone coaching or in-person sessions. READ MORE

3. Vitamins – Did you know I sell vitamins? Yes, I do and they have been such a huge support for my health and the health of my clients over the past nine years. I am proud to partner with USANA Health Sciences, a 22 year old global wellness company backed in science and steeped in integrity. Need help sorting out all those vitamins on your shelf? Contact me. READ MORE

4. Nutrition advising – You must know how much I love nourishing the body, mind, and spirit. READ MORE

5. Books and articles – My high school English teacher would be proud. I have written eight different editions of health and wellness-related books. READ MORE

6. Business mentoring – This isn’t for everyone but you’ll know if you want to work with me after reading this. I am currently seeking four qualified people. READ MORE 

7. Wedding officiant – I “do” weddings! I’ve been a wedding officiant since 2004 and love the sacred honor of holding the space for couples to marry each other. I hold the space for them to do this in profound love. Check out the photos here! READ MORE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thoughts on turning 65

THOUGHTS ON TURNING 65
or
Things I know now that I wish I had known then . . .
HB2meI love being 65.
Here are 20 things I know now that I didn’t know then.
I’m still learning–so there could be another 20 things coming soon.

1. I am whole and complete and deserving of all good. So are you. What a relief.

2. I am responsible for my own happiness.

3. Self-care is a gift I give myself and it supports me in being able to support others, if that is my task to do.

4. I am not waiting anymore–for anything, or anyone.

5. Love is a profound and sacred force.

6. Gratitude is a powerful prayer.

7. I never let anyone silence me; that is, I will not “contain myself”!

8. My parents were perfect for me; and my children and grandchildren are my greatest teachers.

9. If I want peace in the world, it must begin with me.

10. I make my decisions based on love, not fear.

11. I would rather be happy than right. (For years I chose being right over being happy.  Geez . . . what was I thinking?)

12. I no longer care what other people think of me. (Learned this a few years ago when I was concerned about that a dear friend kindly said, “Susan, people don’t really think about you that much!”

13. I no longer absorb pain from those around me. Rather than absorb, I observe. I hold a space of healing and love when it feels right to do so.

14. I live in the present moment. (Okay, not ALL the time . . . but that’s the plan!)

15. Money is not the root of all evil. I can’t help others by being poor. Money can be spent and shared with generosity.

16. I have given up judging other people. We are all doing the best we can with what we have to work with at the moment.

17. The most important thing I’ve learned about forgiveness is that it is not for the other person. Forgiveness is for me, when I’m ready. I often have asked myself, “Do I want to heal it or hang on to it?”

18. I love aging. Each morning when I wake up, I think: “I get to live another day!” How cool is that?

19. Dancing feeds my soul. I love my Nia practice, my students, and my teachers.

20. I nourish my body with healthy food; my mind with joyful and expansive thoughts; and spiritually, I align with the Divine. And sometimes I forget, and that’s okay.

What are you learning as life offers itself to you? I’d love to hear!

 

Photo credit: Roberta Nelson

 

Tate’s 10 Tips to Reduce Stress and Enhance Relaxation

Tate’s 10 Tips to Reduce Stress and Enhance Relaxation
humming bird:flowers
Excerpt from chapter 16 “Revel in Relaxation” from
Wellness Wisdom: 31 Ways to Nourish Your Mind, Body, & Spirit
by Susan Tate

1. Awaken with ease

Does your alarm clock jolt you from the serenity of sleep? Harsh buzzing noises can ignite the fight or flight response, secreting cortisol into your bloodstream—not a good way to start your day. Cortisol is a chemical often referred to as the “stress hormone” since it is involved in the response to stress. It increases blood pressure, raises blood sugar levels, and has an immunosuppressive action.

One way to reduce stress from the moment you wake up is to choose a pleasing alarm clock. There are many alarm options these days, including clocks that can awaken you with music, sunrise simulators, nature sounds, aromatherapy, or my new favorite, a Zen-like gong. On the days when I need to rise at a specific time, I now awaken to a digitally reproduced recording of a Tibetan gong bowl. It’s delightful! I was so excited to hear it that for the first week I kept waking up long before it was set to go off. For me, this peaceful sound generates a sacred feeling to the start of the day.

If you intentionally create a reasonable bedtime and plug in just a bit of extra time in the morning, you have the opportunity to start your day with ease. If you awaken to a baby’s cry, children squealing, or if you are the caregiver of another family member, it may be all you can do to take a deep breath before bolting out of bed. When possible, take a few gentle breaths before allowing your feet to gently step into your day.

2. Meditate and/or pray

Plugging in five minutes of quiet meditation or prayer right after you awaken has the ability to profoundly affect the direction of your day. Fifteen minutes is even better, but starting with five minutes will create amazing results. You can do this before getting out of bed or find a place where you can sit quietly without being disturbed. If other family members require your attention at this time of day, set aside some time during the day when you can just pause. It’s cheaper than a latte and can be deeply satisfying. (Or you can totally enjoy your morning coffee as a meditation dessert!)

3. Eat a nourishing breakfast

It’s so easy to grab the first “meal” of the day on the run or even wait until mid-morning to gulp down a muffin while you stand by the kitchen sink or sit in front of your computer. There’s a reason breakfast is known to be the most important meal of the day. It breaks the “fast” from dinner and is absolutely crucial in providing essential nutrients for your day. If you don’t eat breakfast, that cortisol kicks in and your body thinks it’s starving. Then, when you do eat at lunch time, your stomach still isn’t ready to digest your food because the cortisol is supporting your stressful fight or flight mode by preparing the body to be chased by a bear (or a grumpy boss). So, your lunch just hangs out in your stomach for an extra amount of time and eventually creates extra pounds around your middle, causing more stress. We don’t let our car get to empty before we re-fuel. It’s equally important to keep our body’s fuel supply steady for our best running condition and to reduce stress.

4. Take high quality supplements

Supporting our cells with vitamins and minerals is crucial these days. The American Medical Association (AMA), previously saying little about the need for vitamins, now encourages daily vitamin supplementation. (Learn more from the 2002 Journal of the American Medical Association resource listed in the bibliography.) When we nourish our cells at the most basic level, we give our bodies the opportunity to thrive, increase our ability to handle the daily stressors of life, help to prevent degenerative disease, and control damage produced by free radicals.

5. Be in the present

I cover this topic in Chapter 29, but if you don’t get to it today, here’s the gem: the present really is a gift you give yourself. When we let the concerns of the past or fears of the future enter into this precious second, we create stress. Stop. Breathe in. Breathe out. Be.

6. Provide service

When we provide service to others, we also support ourselves. Being of service is a real stress-buster if we are doing things we love, in a passionate way and without expectation of return. I have a little Post-it note on my computer that says, “What do you have for me to do today God? How can I be of service?” It is a guide for each conversation and each task I assume.

Engaging in providing service doesn’t mean I “help” people, because that would put me on a higher plane and others below me. Rather, I offer service from a realization of oneness, as a fellow human traveler offering the best of who I am at this moment. It doesn’t mean giving unsolicited advice or telling people how they can make their life better when they didn’t ask you. It may simply mean listening—being fully present—to what someone is saying. Service may mean sharing your music, art, or other talents with others. It may mean volunteering or working in a soup kitchen. It may mean working as a grocery clerk and offering a kind word to someone whose nasty behavior indicates he is having a really bad day. (I have heard that the amount of pain a person inflicts on others is directly proportional to the amount of pain that person feels within himself.) It may mean being all that you are, in whatever work you do, so that you can make a difference in this world. Provide service, release stress!

7. Seek pleasure

Be a pleasure-seeking arrow, always on the lookout for a great, joyful target. Awaken with pleasure, work with pleasure, love with pleasure, pray with pleasure, provide service with pleasure, work out with pleasure, eat with pleasure, breathe with pleasure. Or, you could concentrate on searching for things that aggravate you or cause tension and stress. It’s your choice.

8. Breathe

Taking three breaths before you begin to eat is quite a quick entry into a more relaxed state. It relaxes the digestive system, so you can better receive the food you are feeding your body. Are you feeling tense when stuck in traffic? Come back home to your breath. Breathing in—and breathing out. Getting ready for an important meeting or potentially challenging conversation? Breathe. Our breath is such a treasure if we choose to simply call upon it with mindfulness and awareness.

9. Tell the people you love that you love them

We can do this in person, on the phone, in e-mail, on Facebook, or by sending a silent message to a special heart. Be sure to be unattached to any expectation of reciprocation, as that can add stress rather than dispel it. Love is a vital nutrient that can gently melt away the stressors that sometimes surround us. Don’t forget to send some loving messages to yourself too.

And out of the mouths of babes: “You really shouldn’t say ‘I love you’ unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget.” (Jessica, age 8)

10. Be grateful

Calling attention to gratitude is a magical tool for reveling in relaxation. When we call to mind the people and things we are grateful for, we may discover that the dramas of life are temporarily placed aside, the loneliness is put on hold, the fear dissipates, and our focus rests on extraordinarily simple pleasures. As you’ll read in Chapter 31, nighttime is a great time to bless the day with thoughts of gratitude. Or don’t wait until bedtime; feel free to take a moment and think of just one thing you are grateful for right now.

We all relax in different ways. You can listen to music, read, watch movies, walk, garden, feed the birds, sew, work in the garage, or create art. Pick your way and plug it into your daily life whenever possible. Relaxation is a wonderful way to enhance your wellness wisdom.

Thank you for reading this excerpt from chapter 16 “Revel in Relaxation” from Wellness Wisdom: 31 Ways to Nourish Your Mind, Body, & Spirit by Susan Tate.

Wellness Wisdom by Susan Tate

 

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Susan’s Favorite Nourishment Resources

poppioes

Many of you have asked for a list of my favorite resources so I thought I’d offer them here! You’ll find extensive lists in the bibliography sections of my Into the Mouths of Babes and Wellness Wisdom books. There is a collection of inspirational quotes at the end of this post for you too.

May the perfect nourishing resource appear for you right now! Enjoy . . . 

Books/Audio Resources

Wellness Wisdom: 31 Ways to Nourish Your Mind, Body, & Spirit (2nd ed) by Susan Tate

Into the Mouths of Babes: A whole foods nutrition guide to feeding your infants and toddlers (3rd ed) by Susan Tate  (http://intothemouthsofbabes.com/)

The Slow Down Diet: Eating for Pleasure, Energy, & Weight Loss by Marc David

The Tapping Solution for Weight Loss & Body Confidence: A Woman’s Guide to Stressing Less, Weighing Less, and Loving More by Jessica Ortner

The Tapping Solution by Nick Ortner

Women, Food, & God by Geneen Roth

A Course in Weight Loss: 21 Spiritual Lessons for Surrendering Your Weight Foreverby Marianne Williamson

Sweetness Without Sugar: A Resource Guide for Delicious Dairy-, Egg- and Gluten-Free Treats Made with Healthy Sweeteners by Wendy Vigdor-Hess

Outrageous Openness: Letting the Divine Take the Lead by Tosha Silver

Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom (4th ed.) by Christiane Northrup, MD

You Can Heal Your Life by Louise L. Hay

Beautiful Girl by Christian Northrup, MD (this appears to be for little girls but the tenderness can be enjoyed by females of any age . . .)

Cooking for Fertility by Flynn, Kathryn Simmons. 

Mama Glow: A Guide to Your Fabulous Abundant Pregnancy by Latham Thomas

Ask and It Is Given by Esther and Jerry Hicks

Wherever You Go There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn (Mindfulness)

Create the Body Your Soul Desires: The Friendship Solution to Weight, Energy and Sexuality by Karen Wolfe and Deborah Kern

Heart Steps by Julia Cameron (Blessings is also good!)

The Healthy Home: Simple Truths to Protect Your Family from Hidden Household Dangers by Myron Wentz, Dave Wentz, and Donna K. Wallace

The Power of Joy (CD) by Christiane Northrup

The Soul of Healing (CD) by Deepak Chopra

Mindful & Mindless Eating (CD) Robin Maynard-Dobbs

Forgiveness song on iTunes: Ho’oponopono Song by Aman, Hanyo, & Susan Osborn.

Vitamins/Supplements

www.susantate.usana.com

Note: These are the science-based, pharmaceutical-grade nutritional products I have been using since 2007.

http://a-ma-ta.com/

For support during menopause

Web Resources

 University of Sydney – Glycemic Index:
http://www.glycemicindex.com/

Ho‘oponopono forgiveness Hawaiian meditation:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lil63u-xB70

World Service Institute – Diving Love Healing
http://worldserviceinstitute.org/

INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES/AFFIRMATIONS

“(Your Name), I love you completely, and I accept you exactly the way you are.” (Look in the mirror each morning and say this five times.)

I acknowledge that this choice to eat is a fundamental act of love and nourishment, a true celebration of my existence.
~Marc David

I expand in abundance, success and love every day as I inspire those around me to do the same.”
~ Gay Hendricks

Love. You are not meant to search for it. You are not meant to wait for it. You are meant to generate it.

~Rev. Dr. Michael Beckwith

God, help me to believe the truth about myself—no matter how beautiful it is!
~Macrina Wiederkehr

The Lovingness Petition (from www.worldserviceinstitute.org)
“I release my (name one symptom) to the Creator and ask that the condition be healed.”

VISIT MY NOURISHMENT PAGE

Creating Your Nourishing Story

Your storyThis nourishing story was inspired by an interaction I had at the grocery store a few years ago. I was standing in the check-line behind a woman who was asking the clerk which bag of candy she should buy. She had a bag of Weight Watchers candy in one hand and strawberry Twizzlers in the other. The woman then turned to me to ask my advice, hoping I might add insights on calories, sugar, and grams of fat. (This totally cracked me up because she had no idea I have such a passion for nourishing others!)

I simply asked her, “Which candy would you REALLY enjoy?” The hand with the Twizzlers shot high in the air. “Then buy those,” I said, “And take three breaths before you begin eating them, say a little prayer, and then absolutely enjoy each bite!” I then gently suggested she might consider buying blueberries or (real) strawberries too so she could have healthier options when the sweet cravings hit.

Are you happy with your food choices at this point in your life? Or do your food choices sometimes cause you agony, guilt, or confusion? You may want to consider creating a more nourishing story around food as you answer the following questions.

Who is eating?

Is it a calm, relaxed being or a stressed out body in a rush? Is it a woman who remembers the voice of a family member criticizing her for food choices, or a person with loving awareness of how food can gently nourish the body and soul? You are the WHO. Bring your best, wisest, and highest self to the table.

What should you eat?

Michael Pollan, author of In Defense of Food, advocates, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” I would add: eat organic and locally grown foods when possible, enjoy foods in season, keep sugar intake low, and stay away from artificial sweeteners. (Did you know that Aspartame has been re-branded as Amino Sweet? Yikes!) Avoid fatty foods and genetically modified foods; eat foods that are low glycemic so your blood sugar stays stable (more on this later in the chapter); and choose a variety of color in each meal. Choose healthy protein sources. Supplement your diet with high quality supplements. Follow the 80/20 rule: Choose really healthy foods at least 80% of the time. Know what good carbohydrates are: whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and beans. I am not an advocate of counting calories, grams of fat, or constantly getting on the scale—unless you get on the scale and a delightful voice calls out to remind you of the precious and beautiful being you are. Lighten up. Stop thinking restriction and focus on creating healthy food cravings instead.

Where should you eat?

Or where shouldn’t you eat? Do not eat standing at the kitchen sink, in front of your computer or TV, in the car, at your desk, or at fast food places. When possible, sit down at a table, even if you are eating alone. Individuals and families who create sacred meal times reap countless benefits.

When should you eat?

Early and often! Start the day with a healthy breakfast that doesn’t spike your blood sugar (typical culprits are a latte and muffin, orange juice, sugary cereals, and pastries). Skipping breakfast leads to weight gain, a drop in blood sugar, and other adverse effects on the metabolism. Eating three healthy meals a day and having two low glycemic healthy snacks between meals keeps your blood sugar and mood on an even track. Going long periods of time without eating actually can add weight because your body goes into fight/flight mode, thinks it’s starving, dumps more cortisol in your stomach, and slows your digestive system—creating more fat. Eating after 7 p.m. can result in what’s been labeled the “sumo wrestler’s diet” since your food hangs out in your stomach while you sleep, eventually adding extra pounds in the process.

Why should you eat?

For health, energy, and pleasure.

How should you eat? 

Mindfully. Taking three breaths (and maybe saying a prayer) before each meal sets the tone for a nourishing break in the day. Setting the dinner table with flowers, candles, good dishes (what are we saving them for anyway?), and cloth napkins is nurturing and calming. People who ban complaining from mealtime conversations tend to digest their food better. Taste your food! Sprinkle it with the spice of love. Savor each bite. Bon appétit!

Adapted from Chapter 4, Into the Mouths of Babes, 3rd ed. by Susan Tate

 

Click here if you’d like more nourishing support from Susan.

The Seven Sacred Nutrients


Cathédrale 7 SACRED NUTRIENTS F

Deepak Chopra said, “The deepest nurturing you can give your child is spiritual nurturing.” And, I believe this  nurturing can be given to yourself too! How do you provide nurturing for YOU?

In my book, Into the Mouths of Babes, I created the concept of “seven sacred nutrients” that can be easily be added to create deeply nourishing meals. These particular nutrients can’t be purchased at the grocery store and you won’t find them on food labels, but I believe they are essential ingredients that can support an expanded level of nourishment. They can be given in unlimited quantities at any age. These sacred nutrients include, but are not limited to Joy, Wisdom, Respect, Quality, Safety, Pleasure, and Love.

Let’s define sacred and nutrient. When we hold something as sacred, we regard it with great respect and reverence. Your personal beliefs around what you call the Divine are also woven through the word sacred. A nutrient is defined as a substance that provides nourishment essential for optimal growth and development. A sacred nutrient, then, can be the perfect complement to the basic nutrients (proteins, carbohydrates, fats & oils, vitamins, minerals, and water). Adding the spice of these seven sacred nutrients can provide a high and holy level of nourishment and nurturing for anyone of any age. Enjoy!

Adapted from Into the Mouths of Babes, 3rd ed. Copyright 2013 by Susan Tate.

You’ll find much more about my book at www.intothemouthsofbabes.com.

Note: I welcome your comments on my Susan Tate Community Facebook page!