Tag Archives: wellness

Deer, Wild Turkeys, Cardinals, & Vitamins

deer-wild-turkeys-blog

My driveway, January 8, 2017

I am sitting in my new country bedroom looking out into the snowy woods as I write. Seven, yes seven, deer are gently grazing outside my window. (The deer is my spirit animal!)

As many of you know, in 2016 my Nia classes were few and far between because The Dance Space closed, other studios closed, and I didn’t have a regular place to teach. Then I had the extraordinary opportunity to live in Austria in September and October so I could help care for my 2-year-old granddaughter while my daughter prepared to give birth to her second child.

In November I packed everything and prepared to move from one coast to the other. I flew from Seattle to Charlottesville on December first and stayed in four homes before landing in this sweet place in the woods.

It’s now the second week in January. I have Nia classes in place for Sunday mornings and I will be teaching once a month in a few other studios in the area. I have two wellness mini-retreats on the calendar and two special New Year’s Intention Setting Nia classes scheduled. My holistic health coaching clients can reach me by phone even though I’m in the woods! It feels good to be here.

Last year, I mindfully put my USANA Health Sciences business (the global nutritional company I partner with) aside while focusing on other aspects of life and business. It’s an important part of my income and after making such a big move, it’s now time for me to focus on USANA again.

I have questioned and asked God many times over the past year if partnering with USANA is still my path or I am doing it just because I need the residual income. I repeatedly get the answer to continue to offer these nutritional products to those who are a good match for them. I believe deeply in their quality and effectiveness. Otherwise I wouldn’t put my name by them or want to educate people about them. And as this is part of my income, in full disclosure, I get a commission on products I sell.

So with that said, I really want to tell you about VITAMINS! (You’ll hear more about wild turkeys and cardinals in a bit.)

I’ve had a Word document entitled, “Vitamins, who needs them?” in my files for about four years. The file includes well-researched citations from many third party sources about the quality of various supplements. I planned to write an article with that title but I felt compelled to entitle this one “Deer, Wild Turkeys, Cardinals & VITAMINS”. (You’ll understand the title more once you read to the end!)

I am now ready to share with you what I know about vitamins. I want you to feel nourished by what you read. And, as always, I invite you to let your intuition guide your way through, what could often be called, “The Vitamin Maze”.

Here’s what I really, really want you to know about vitamins:

1. I sell vitamins! And I have the knowledge to help you choose the ones that best match your needs.*

2. I want you to know what I didn’t know ten years ago about vitamins but what I know now. I’ve been working under the guidance of Dr. Christiane Northrup for over a decade and have learned SO much about this aspect of nutrition. Believe me, I have sorted through the vitamin maze.

3. I want you to know how essential (little pun here, as our multivitamin is called “CellSentials”) high quality supplements can be for your health.

4. I want you to know how supportive USANA’s supplements have been to me, my family, and to my customers/clients/friends who use them to support their health.

5. I want you to know what to look for when selecting a vitamin–because all vitamins are SO NOT ALIKE! And I want you to know why USANA’s vitamins are just so darn good:

They use pharmaceutical grade GMP, Good Manufacturing Practices. That translates to stringent manufacturing processes NOT required in the supplement industry. USANA’s vitamins are also certified by NSF International; an independent, non-profit organization that helps protect food, water, consumer products and the environment. And USANA voluntarily tests its supplements to make sure they meet trusted United States Pharmacopeia (USP) standards.

USANA’s vitamins have consistently received the highest rating in the Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements, a distinguished publication that compares over 1,500 nutritional products in North America for quality, bioavailability, potency, purity, and safety.

USANA supplements are used by athletes around the world, including: the Women’s Tennis Association, Speed Skating Team, Speed Skating Canada, Cross Country Canada, and USA Luge. USANA offers Olympic athletes a one million dollar guarantee that they will not test positive for any banned substances as a result of taking USANA nutritional products.

Dr. Myron Wentz founded USANA Health Sciences 25 years ago. Dr. Wentz is an internationally recognized microbiologist, immunologist, and pioneer in the development of human cell culture technology and infectious disease diagnoses. In 2007 he was honored with the Albert Einstein Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Life Sciences. And he is a devoted humanitarian and philanthropist. I have met this man and have enormous respect for his brain and his heart.

6. I want you do know that the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowances (RDA’s) are so outdated. The RDA is the lowest level of nutrient intake necessary to prevent deficiencies rather than a level that promotes optimal nutrition.

7. I want you to know that even eating organic foods doesn’t give us the vitamins and minerals that they once supplied back in the 1900s. For example, you would need to eat eight oranges today to get the nutrients in an orange you would have eaten years ago. Our farming practices, soil depletion, and environmental changes have been detrimental to our ability to grow nutrient dense foods.

8. I want you to know that if you live in a world with stress (pause here to take a deep breath) that our cells get bonked around, causing free radical damage–the technical term for oxidative damage. This makes it more important than ever to support our cells with antioxidants (vitamins) and minerals to support ongoing cellular repair. (And this combination of vitamins and minerals needs to be in a specific form. Randomly taking B vitamins, calcium tablets, and other combinations may result in a relative deficiency rather than optimal support.)

9. I want you to know that all vitamins are NOT alike. Yes, I said that before, but I really want you to hear it. I have found such value in these vitamins and I wouldn’t be without them. They have supported my health (which has been excellent) for ten years. Sometimes I want to shout this from rooftops but instead, I thought I’d write it here for you to see. I am passionate about eating well, getting pleasure from food, AND taking good supplements.

10. And I want you to know . . . About a week before I was to leave Austria in late October, my daughter, Molly, asked if I might be able to stay a week or so longer. Of course I never wanted to leave these two precious little granddaughters–the little one just a week old. But when Molly asked me to consider staying, my first thought was not about how crazy it would be stay when I needed to go home to pack up and move a month later. I didn’t even think about the cost of the change fee for my plane ticket. My first thought (and I didn’t say this out loud . . .) was, “Oh no! I can’t stay! I don’t have enough vitamins!”

These vitamins are not magic pills, they don’t make me fly around like Super Woman, but they sure have supported my overall health and energy in a way that is truly measurable. I want this for you too.

purple-banner-1*Please let me know how I can serve you in answering your questions about what vitamins you need. I offer a 15-minute complimentary phone coaching session to help you sort through the vitamin maze. Just email: susan@susantate.org and I’ll be in touch.
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As I close this writing, seven wild turkeys are now prancing by my window, scrounging for food amidst the snow. Oh, if I could just see a cardinal (my spirit BIRD)–I would be over the top with joy.

Divine support has been everywhere as I have made this transition to the East Coast. Thanks for letting me reach out to you to let you know more about this part of my business.

OMG, there’s a cardinal outside my window!

Not the end–but the beginning.

purple-banner-1 Oh, yes–if you prefer to shop online, here’s the link (and please share this):
www.susantate.usana.com. But PLEASE let me send you the discounted price list so you can see the prices you will pay if you choose to become a Preferred Customer. As a Preferred Customer on Auto Order you can enjoy saving up to 20% savings off the retail prices listed on my site. Email me: susan@susantate.org and I’ll assist in saving you money while happily supporting your health and wellness. And if you’d like to work with me on Team Northrup and partner with USANA, you can learn more here.purple-banner-1

©2017 Susan Tate

Copyright 2017 Susan Tate

 

 

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 Space In Between

spaceinbetweenA few days ago, the management of the beautiful dance space where I have been teaching Nia for nine years gave us a week’s notice to cancel further classes and return our keys. My last class there will be Saturday morning, December 20. When I read the email notification, I immediately went into a very spiritual mode of thinking. “Ahh, everything will be okay! I wonder what’s next?” Within five minutes my mind took me to incredibly human thoughts (not so spiritual) and then I circled around to the spiritual view again. I’ve gone through shock, anger, acceptance, confusion, sadness, and denial. My grief is still present. But I am settling pretty deep into acceptance. I am keenly aware that, if this is one my biggest problems of the year, I’m very lucky.

What I want to share with you is the feeling of peace that is coming to me (in spurts) now. It’s similar to the feeling I had when we sold my parents’ home in the late 90s. My mother had died in 1996, two years later one of my younger sisters died, and then my dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and could no longer live alone. It was time to sell the family home and pack up 53 years of a household.

As I wrote in chapter 25 of my Wellness Wisdom book, I vividly remember the feeling of sitting by myself in the family living room as I gazed at all that was around me. There was the family Bible on the table by my dad’s favorite chair, my mom’s music box collection, a small bust of Jackie Kennedy, family photographs on the dining room wall, and the old maple stereo console we’d had since the sixties. Anticipating the next four days of packing and removing remnants of our family’s life together in my childhood home, I began to cry. It seemed like a task I was too young to be doing and nothing seemed to make any sense. How would it feel to never come home again?

After praying for a few minutes, I felt a deep sense of peace wash over me. Spirit was clearly at work here, as I felt I was receiving a profound gift that enabled me to move through this passage with grace, strength, and trust. This gift proved to be more valuable than any household item in our lovely family home. I realized that it wasn’t the stuff, it wasn’t the dishes, and it wasn’t the doors or the walls or my old bedroom that was important at that moment. It wasn’t the living room where I stood for photos in my prom and wedding dresses or groaned when mom wanted to take one more family picture. It wasn’t the things—it was the space in between that was important. The gift was the realization that the space in between all this stuff was where I had learned to love. And that love was something I was able to safely pack with me and keep for the rest of my life. My tears stopped and I thanked God for the gift of this peaceful insight, and for the gift of such loving parents.

And now after nine precious years, I am leaving The Dance Space—unexpectedly. This space was like a home to me and to many students and teachers in our Nia Seattle community. It seems that here too, it was the space in between where we danced and laughed and played and cried and expressed joy and love. It was the space in between where we connected as dancers, friends, supported each others’ life events, and sometimes danced and donated to send healing and resources to places throughout the world.

I notice the similarities with leaving my family home and leaving The Dance Space now. It was the space in between where I found a loving Nia family that was always there for me as I celebrated birthdays and holidays without my children and grandchildren at my side. I will take all of that with me and I don’t even have to pack it!

I will take with me the feeling and energy of the love that we generated there. I offer gratitude for every student who walked through that door. I offer gratitude for each of the (over 1,000) classes  that I had the honor of teaching there. I offer gratitude for all the workshops held there. I offer gratitude to each of my Nia teaching colleagues for sharing their gifts there. I offer gratitude for the experience of teaching a Nia class in April with my daughter and granddaughter in the class–three generations doing Nia together, I offer gratitude for the space and for the neighborhood. I will leave the studio free and clear to serve the next people to enter. I will clear the space and take all my personal energy with me. That will leave my body, mind, spirit, and emotions free to embrace the next dancing steps; and lead me to the perfect studio space so I can continue to share my beloved Nia practice. My wish is for my students and our Nia community to be open to doing the same.

Are you in a time of life where you can see the value of the spaces in between? I’d love to hear about it here or over on my Susan Tate Community Facebook page.

Posted 12/17/15

 

Affirmations for Your Wellness Path

Affirmations for Wellness

We have over 60,000 thoughts a day and most of them were also bonking around in our heads yesterday. These thoughts most often reflect our subconscious beliefs. So, the power in a positive affirming statement is that it can slowly but surely become a welcome part of those repetitive thoughts and eventually become a belief. You can affirm something peaceful or affirm something to create worry or suffering. You get to choose. And although most people find daily affirmations make their lives feel better, they do not “work” simply by saying, “I am getting healthier every day” while you are sitting on the sofa eating bonbons. There’s a saying I love, “Pray and move your feet!”

Here are the “Affirmations for Wellness” I share in my Wellness Wisdom book.  At the end of these affirmations, you’ll find resources to support you in reprogramming your subconscious beliefs, which are about 95% of your thoughts. I think of affirmations as a way of “recording over” the old beliefs. Have fun in your own personal recording studio!

 

AFFIRMATIONS FOR WELLNESS

I accept balance in all aspects of me; including my mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional self.

I am enough.

Every cell in my body vibrates with health.

I forgive myself and I forgive others for any behaviors or beliefs
that have caused pain.

I release and bless all thoughts and beliefs that no longer serve
my highest purpose.

God (or whatever you call the Divine) is at home in me.

I am filled with gratitude for the abundant blessings I constantly receive
from Spirit.

I allow myself to love greatly and be greatly loved.

I am constantly discovering my joy and it is powerful.

I am surrounded by feelings of harmony and peace.

I accept and receive all of my good now.

I lovingly accept joyful health to flow in and through my body.

I accept radiant health and wholeness.

I am a generous giver and a gracious receiver.

I commit to taking more time each day to be silent and still.

I know that now is the God moment.

I express my emotions with authenticity and clarity.

I speak with kindness, truth, and compassion.

I joyfully live a life full of integrity.

I mindfully choose my response to any circumstance
or condition.

I am grateful for my body.

I revel in wholeness.

Affirmations from my book: Wellness Wisdom: 31 Ways to Nourish Your Mind, Body, & Spirit by Susan Tate

Resources, affirmations, and support for re-writing that old script in your head!

Become What You Believe: Free 21-day meditation series from Deepak Choprak & Oprah Winfrey (started 11-2-15)

The Surrender Experiment by Michael Singer

The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer

Louise Hay’s 101 Power Thoughts

The Honeymoon Effect by Bruce Lipton

The MindBody Code: How to Change the Beliefs that Limit Your Health, Longevity, and Success by Mario Martinez

The Tapping Solution by Mark Hyman, MD  and Nick Ortner

 

 

Practice Peace

Practice Peace

ARE YOU READY FOR MORE PEACE TO ENTER YOUR HEART AND LIFE?

It seems like a good time to share an excerpt from the “Practice Peace” chapter in my Wellness Wisdom book to offer you a generous helping of nourishing peace.

Peace begins at home, home within the center of each of us. Our peaceful state of mind can then be extended to our family, friends, community, and the world. It can even be extended to people who don’t believe as we do. If we each take steps to promote this harmony, we could eventually see peace reach epidemic proportions.

It is often easy to condemn groups of people who are at war with each other. We may shake our heads wondering why “they” can’t live in peace. But are we living in peace? Are we at peace with ourselves? People creating terror hold a grudge against people who do not think like they do. Do we harbor grudges against family, former partners, coworkers, or neighbors? I believe if each of us takes the steps necessary to truly practice peace “at home,” within our bodies and souls, then it will be easier to sustain a peace consciousness throughout our entire planet.

EVERY DAY, YOU CAN CHOOSE TO CREATE PEACE
WITHIN YOUR OWN HEART.

When listening to the radio or watching the evening news, you can take deep breaths and a moment to pray for peace. You might even choose to create a ritual of peace-thinking in your daily life. For example, every time you stop at a red light, it could be a signal to think peace and be peace. I love the peace bumpers stickers I see when I’m driving too. And I giggle out loud every time I see the one that says, “Envision Whirled Peas”!

I invite you to join me in mindfully taking time to pray for peace, within ourselves first and then throughout the world. Whether you walk through the doorway of your own home or through the metal doorway in airport security, dare to be the carrier of peace.

peace doveP E A C E

“Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is
no noise, trouble, or hard work.
It means to be in the midst of those things
and still be calm in your heart.”  ~Unknown

PRACTICE PEACE

When we practice peace in all parts of our daily life, we could actually begin to upset the condition of conflict and turmoil in the world. Practice peace. Think peace. Be peace. Touch peace. It’s communicable.

OVER TO YOU

What one thing will you do today to create more peace in your heart and mind? Feel free to leave your comments on my Susan Tate Community Facebook Page.


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

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.