Archive for the ‘body’ Category

Swine Flu and Vaccination information

October 27, 2009

Please please, read and listen to this information on this website before you vaccinate yourself or your family

Swine Flu Update

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Part 2: Practical Food Ideas for Social Situations Away From Home

September 3, 2009
Green Smoothie

Green Smoothie

 

There is a food faster than “fast food!” It’s fruit! How easy is it to run into a grocery store for instant gratification with a bag of grapes, a bunch of bananas or a pint (or two) of blueberries?

This is a very simple solution to eating healthy that we forget to take advantage of. We’ve been misled to think that you have to leave fruit for a treat or dessert, that it can’t be a meal. Well it’s true that one piece of watermelon or a handful of grapes is not a meal. But a half watermelon is quite satisfying. A pound of grapes are also satisfying. A four pound container of fruit from Costco is quite enough for two to share.

I’m often asked if fruit causes diarrhea or stomach upset when too much is eaten. When this happens, it is not the fruit that is the problem, but what is already in the stomach and intestines. Eat fruit on a completely empty stomach. Wait at least three hours after your last meal before you eat fruit. If you’ve eaten meat, I’d wait even longer.

Fruit digests very quickly. Melons digest the fastest, about 10 minutes, so eat them alone. Most other fruits take about 10 minutes except for the heartier fruits like bananas and durian, which can take an hour to digest. Always eat fruit before you eat other food.

It may seem like you have diarrhea when actually, your stools will be looser than what you are used to eating fruits and vegetables. Don’t be alarmed. You will have to visit the bathroom more frequently than eating cooked food. Cooked foods can stay in your intestines from 3 hours to 3 days. Impacted food in the intestines is one cause for constipation and colon cancer, among other problems—keeping your intestines clear is good for your long term health.

Mixing fruit with other foods can really upset your stomach, although you have to be in touch with how your stomach feels to know this. Have you paid attention to your stomach after a meal? What is your body saying to you? Your body is trying to communicate with you all the time! Listen.

Road Trips and Camping

  • Here is a quick list to bring along to make it easy for eating all kinds of fruits and veggies on a trip:
  • 1 large knife
  • Flexible cutting board
  • Regular cutting board (for the lap of the passenger)
  • salad bowl
  • Small jar with lid for mixing salad dressing
  • Eating utensils
  • Plates or bowls
  • Cooler and ice
  • Dish towels

Bonus item if you have access to electricity:
Blender

Foods to bring or pick up along the way at grocery stores or fruit stands along the way:

 

  • Bananas—Keep them in a box or container so they do not get smashed! Buy them green because they will ripen very fast in the car!
  • Romaine lettuce for Green Smoothies
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Grapes
  • Cherries
  • Celery—Cut it up into bite size pieces
  • Watermelon—Eat it all up! It doesn’t last long unless you keep it in the cooler but it takes up valuable space

These are suggestions for the Pacific Northwest in the summertime. Of course you’ll have to see what is available where you are travelling and whatever seasonal fruits are available.

What is great about this is you can completely avoid all the fast food available on the road!

Eating with Family and Friends

When eating dinner with family I tend to keep it very simple by bringing a huge salad that I enjoy. I eat it all myself! They look at it with curiosity and envy. Sometimes I’ll let them taste it. If they’re nice!

Since I eat a lot of fruit all day a salad full of tomatoes and cucumbers and peppers is filling. I use low-fat or no-fat dressing without any oil. Since I can finish off a big bowl of salad on my own quite easily I will make another one for everyone to share.

If I’m visiting for lunch and they insist on having food for me I tell them I love all fruit. I recently visited my friend Leslie in Bend, Oregon and she surprised me with a huge watermelon shell bowl filled with delicious berries! I hope she didn’t mind that I ate it all! She also made use of the watermelon in another fruit salad. I have to say it was the most fruit offered to me in a cooked household besides my mother’s house!

You might ask about the combination—that it goes against what I said about fruit combinations earlier in the article—it’s ok to make exceptions in times like this.

I was so grateful at the loving offering and I didn’t have any problems with the combinations. I tend to eat fruit as mono-meals (one fruit at a time) but this was quite a treat for me to be served with so much fruit as a meal. Thanks Les!

Sometimes I opt to forgo the meal altogether and eat before I arrive. Try this sometime! See how much of a meal eaten with friends is spent on actually eating the meal. The real joy of sharing a meal is the company, isn’t it?

Eating in Restaurants

I generally don’t enjoy eating in restaurants. Fruits and vegetables are extremely overpriced. I can make much more delicious and satisfying meals myself for far less. Try this: Take the money you have spent at a restaurant, and see how much fruit and vegetables you can buy! You’ll be amazed.

If I really want to join in, bringing my own salad dressing and special ordering a salad (very carefully!) seems to work the best. Talk directly to the chef for best results.

I have also told the restaurant staff that I am on a special diet given to me by my doctor and ask them to prepare my fruit. Most restaurants do not mind if I bring in a container of fruit or simply decline a menu completely.

Make Your Mind Your Friend

Once again, your mind is what will make a situation difficult. What you imagine could happen out of fear of hurting someone’s feelings is far worse than what happens in most cases. If you let your friends and families know immediately upon invitation that you are on a special diet, they will be very happy to accommodate.

I have not had one problem from others doing this—and you can always bring your own food. Think of it as another opportunity to show that there is a way to eat healthy in all situations.

You don’t have to speak one word of why you are doing it. As mentioned in my last article, you can always mention that you would rather speak about the reasons why at a later time.

Find a way to make it work for you instead of thinking about how it will go wrong. Anything is possible!

Check out my next workshop:
Parenting Ourselves: The Foundations of Process Coaching with Cathy Breshears

Wednesday, September 23, 2009 at 6:30 PM – Wednesday, October 28, 2009 at 9:30 PM (PT)

For more info and registration:
http://processcoachingwithcathybreshears.eventbrite.com

How to Thrive Eating Differently Than the People Around You and in the Fast Food Culture We Live In (Part One)

July 22, 2009
You’ll notice when you change your diet, one of the challenges that comes up very quickly is the social aspect of eating. We are social creatures and most of our social gatherings revolve around food. Of course, we have to eat wherever we go!
I’ve been a vegetarian for 19 years now, so I’ve been experimenting with this a lot. However, this article is not going to be about eating vegetarian. It’s going to be about eating differently than the people in your life, wherever you go, regardless of what you are choosing to eat. Most of my examples however, will be vegan or low fat raw vegan.
Choice
We often forget this:what we put into our bodies is absolutely, as adults, our individual choice. I am often asked, “Is it OK for you to eat (fill in the blank)?” My response to this question is, “I can eat whatever I want!” Whatever I eat or do not eat is based on what diets or lifestyles (I consider yoga, vegetarian, raw foodist, etc., lifestyles rather than diets) I’m exploring. So here is another reminder for you: Different diets are not dogmas! Anytime you create a dogma for yourself, your whole being will resist and/or feel deprived.  Use the diet as a guideline, and feel what your body feels when you make changes. I find it useful to track the changes in writing so I can look back. When you start feeling good, you forget how you felt when you were eating the foods you don’t eat anymore.
I’ve definitely kept my family on their toes with all my dietary changes and experimenting over the years. But I do not feel deprived because I’m choosing foods that are healthy for my body. What is loving to remember, is that they also have a choice. So I don’t get up on my soap box and preach about what I eat. I’ve had to teach my daughter to be compassionate about others’ choices about eating meat. She hasn’t eaten meat her whole life, so to her it was a shock when people would “eat her friends.” To her, meat is not food! Most of our loved ones do eat meat, and we often eat together, so I had to quickly teach her not to exclaim, “Disgusting!” Rather, we explain why we don’t eat meat.
Defense
You don’t have to defend your choice to anyone, but it does help them to be compassionate with you. But first you have to be comfortable with it and compassionate with yourself.  Why are you eating the way you are?  Are you eating that way because someone told you to? Or is it because of something you learned? Educating yourself is the best defense if you want to have that conversation. But you don’t even have to have that conversation. Most of the questions I get are based on old food education (Basic 4 food groups or the food pyramid) or the media. The most common question I get is, “Where do you get your protein?”
Generally, if someone is asking questions, they are more open to discussing new ways, so this can be an invitation for learning. However, if someone is eating unconsciously, you might trigger some guilt they have about what they are eating.  Dr. Douglas Graham suggests a couple things you can say when you are asked about your way of eating during a meal: 1) Let the person know that you would love to talk to them after the meal. 2) Tell them a doctor prescribed the diet for you.  I generally will answer questions because it’s a subject that I love to discuss. But sometimes I would rather discuss other things!  It can be quite fascinating to people when you only eat raw fruits and vegetables, so it’s a hot topic!
Judgment
If you are having a hard time, or finding yourself defensive or upset, the easiest way to work with it is, as always, with yourself. This can go both ways. You can become angry that you are being judged or attacked (which could mean that you believe what they are saying to you on some level), or you may feel angry or upset about the way they are eating (which could mean you are angry or upset about the way you are treating yourself, generally speaking.) To break from this pattern, when you start to feel these feelings, allow them to be just as they are.  To do that, pause and reflect before you react. If you need to step away from the situation triggering you, do that. Imagine a small child is feeling the feelings and be receptive and loving to the part of you that is upset and angry.  If it is an emergency, you can imagine you’re holding the child and say, “I love you” over and over. If you have more time, ask “What is the judgment?” and follow these steps. Judgment Release Practice.
Next month: Part 2: Practical Food Ideas for Social Situations

You’ll notice when you change your diet, one of the challenges that comes up very quickly is the social aspect of eating. We are social creatures and most of our social gatherings revolve around food. Of course, we have to eat wherever we go!

I’ve been a vegetarian for 19 years now, so I’ve been experimenting with this a lot. However, this article is not going to be about eating vegetarian. It’s going to be about eating differently than the people in your life, wherever you go, regardless of what you are choosing to eat. Most of my examples however, will be vegan or low fat raw vegan, which is how I eat presently.

Choice

We often forget this: what we put into our bodies is absolutely, as adults, our individual choice. I am often asked, “Is it OK for you to eat (fill in the blank)?” My response to this question is, “I can eat whatever I want!” Whatever I eat or do not eat is based on what diets or lifestyles (I consider yoga, vegetarian, raw foodist, etc., lifestyles rather than diets) I’m exploring. So here is another reminder for you: Different diets are not dogmas! Anytime you create a dogma for yourself, your whole being will resist and/or feel deprived.  Use the diet as a guideline, and feel what your body feels when you make changes. I find it useful to track the changes in writing so I can look back. When you start feeling good, you forget how you felt when you were eating the foods you don’t eat anymore.

I’ve definitely kept my family on their toes with all my dietary changes and experimenting over the years. But I do not feel deprived because I’m choosing foods that are healthy for my body. What is loving to remember, is that they also have a choice. So I don’t get up on my soap box and preach about what I eat. I’ve had to teach my daughter to be compassionate about others’ choices about eating meat. She hasn’t eaten meat her whole life, so to her it was a shock when people would “eat her friends.” To her, meat is not food! Most of our loved ones do eat meat, and we often eat together, so I had to quickly teach her not to exclaim, “Disgusting!” Rather, we explain why we don’t eat meat.

Defense

You don’t have to defend your choice to anyone, but it does help them to be compassionate with you. But first you have to be comfortable with it and compassionate with yourself.  Why are you eating the way you are?  Are you eating that way because someone told you to? Or is it because of something you learned? Educating yourself is the best defense if you want to have that conversation. But you don’t even have to have that conversation. Most of the questions I get are based on old food education (Basic 4 food groups or the food pyramid) or the media. The most common question I get is, “Where do you get your protein?”

Generally, if someone is asking questions, they are more open to discussing new ways, so this can be an invitation for learning. However, if someone is eating unconsciously, you might trigger some guilt they have about what they are eating.  Dr. Douglas Graham suggests a couple things you can say when you are asked about your way of eating during a meal: 1) Let the person know that you would love to talk to them after the meal. 2) Tell them a doctor prescribed the diet for you.  I generally will answer questions because it’s a subject that I love to discuss. But sometimes I would rather discuss other things!  It can be quite fascinating to people when you only eat raw fruits and vegetables, so it’s a hot topic!

Judgment

If you are having a hard time, or finding yourself defensive or upset, the easiest way to work with it is, as always, with yourself. This can go both ways. You can become angry that you are being judged or attacked (which could mean that you believe what they are saying to you on some level), or you may feel angry or upset about the way they are eating (which could mean you are angry or upset about the way you are treating yourself, generally speaking.) To break from this pattern, when you start to feel these feelings, allow them to be just as they are.  To do that, pause and reflect before you react. If you need to step away from the situation triggering you, do that. Imagine a small child is feeling the feelings and be receptive and loving to the part of you that is upset and angry.  If it is an emergency, you can imagine you’re holding the child and say, “I love you” over and over. If you have more time, feel the feeling,  ask “What is the judgment?” and follow these steps. Judgment Release Practice.

Next month: Part 2: Practical Food Ideas for Social Situations

Mental/Psychological attitude and Heart Health (responding to Dr. Nick Friedman’s “Naturopathic Notes”)

June 3, 2009

Rather than talking about positive or negative thinking, I like to think about focusing on what I want, instead of what I don’t want. That is where choice does come in, as Dr. Nick mentioned in his blog. One of my mentors described it to me as choosing from a great feast, only the things I truly want—whether that is about food or what I want for my life. (I also try to steer clear of good and bad judgments, which includes using the words “positive and negative.” The feelings and expression of feelings have been judged as negative or lesser than what is in the mind, but mind and feelings are equally important.)

On the subject of heart health, how loving are you to yourself will effect you physically. You can eat a raw vegan, low fat diet, exercise daily and do everything recommended for heart health but if you do not pay attention to the emotional aspect, you are not working for the “Wholeness” that is you. Your whole being needs to be nurtured and cared for, including your emotional heart. What that means varies for each of us though.

How do you practice loving yourself? It does take practice, because we’ve been taught to love and serve others above ourselves. I have to practice myself. When I feel the urge to pour love into someone, when I am feeling unhappy or uncomfortable, I look at where that urge is coming from. Is it coming from an expression of love for another? Or is it coming from a desire or need to be loved in the way that I am expressing it?

If it is coming from a need, rather than a true expression of love, I turn it inward to myself. I buy the flowers for my own home, take time to do something that really nurtures me (instead of trying to make everyone else happy), or simply take time to sit with myself with all my attenion inward. I fulfill my own needs. From there my heart opens and I have much more desire to express love and joy to people in my life, in fact its boundless!

Affirmations, positive thinking and mantras help to focus the mind to retrain it to be supportive to the self, but they are not the end-all to well-being. It is also important to listen to all parts of the self, including the feelings and the body. When they are all integrated and coming again, from the Whole, true well being and health can be attained.

Process Coaching classes will begin in September. Please let me know if you’d like to attend a demo or come to the classes.

www. CathyBreshears.com

CathyBreshears@gmail.com

Changing your way of eating…

January 24, 2009

The words I hear all the time when I suggest a change of diet are “It’s so hard!” When you think it is hard, it really is hard! I will come back to how we work with changing mind with PC. But even shifting perspectives or changing frames can help before the PC work begins.

I started with the title, “Changing your way of eating…” because I don’t really like to refer to it as a diet. When a diet is mentioned, it’s generally considered for weight loss. What I am talking about and encouraging is Optimal Health, so it’s more of a lifestyle change than a diet. But even a lifestyle change can be daunting to think of because it seems like your life could change in ways you’re not willing to change. For example, changing the way you eat can be quite tricky when eating out. I’m going to talk about a low fat raw vegan diet though it can apply for any change in diet. There are only two raw food restaurants currently open in the Seattle area, so as a raw foodist, if you want to eat out, you have to get creative! (The fact that low fat raw is harder to find on a raw food restaurant menu is another subject. I suggest the produce section!)

I learned from my favorite raw foodist experts, Roger Haeske, Dr. Douglas Graham and Frederic Patenaude, how to do this eloquently, so I’ll pass it on to you here. First, consider that eating out is more for the pleasure of company than the food. It is divine to be served and catered to when eating out. But really we eat out to enjoy the experience of eating out. It is the reason why so much effort and art are put into décor, ambience and presentation. So there are a couple things you can do to prepare for a dinner out.

Remember that it is your choice and you are the one that is making the decision to eat in a new way. The reasons can vary, even when life threatening in cases of cancer and disease, and even if recommended by your doctor, but it is ultimately your choice. So when people ask you if you “can” eat this or that, kindly let them know that you can eat whatever you want!  You are choosing to be more conscious of what you are putting into your body. 

Let them know that you can talk to them about the reasons you are changing your diet after the meal. It’s much more enjoyable to visit than talking about your diet for the __th time! Plus it can be received as a criticism of their own choices, especially if they are not happy with them.

Before you go out, prepare a favorite salad dressing and bring it in a small container that you can fit in your pocket or purse. You can let the server know that you are on a special diet and even ask them to put the dressing on the salad for you.

Eat a large amount of fruit before you get there. This can be as decadent as eating a fancy meal at a restaurant. When you satisfy your appetite before going out, your resistance against foods you no longer want to eat will be stronger.

Or bring your own fruit when eating out. Once again, let the server know that you are on a special diet and ask them to put the fruit on a plate for you. You can always call in advance and find out if it’s OK, in order to allay any fears or concerns that might come up. I have not been denied my requests yet. 

Prepare your own meal at home and invite guests to try your new fare.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve surprised and educated family and friends by eating the way I want to and inviting them to join me.

Another more expensive option is to order from a chef that delivers, although they also tend to be fatty (high in nuts, seeds, oils and avocado). There are all kinds of delivery services available, even raw meals.

These are just a few examples. I’m sure you can come up with more ideas! 

As far as the mind goes, you can either fight it or ask it to help.  There are a couple exercises in PC that we use to shift mind into helping gear: 

 

Judgment release helps a lot, as always. Is it really hard to change your diet? Try one thing at a time. You don’t have to do it all at once.

 

Asking the question, do you really, really really want what it is you are craving or feeling like you’re missing out on? Get to the Core Desire of what you want once you have that thing you think you want so much, before you eat it.

Talk to your Body! Direct Dialogue with Body is an excellent exercise. 


You have all the answers to your health questions. You might need a little practice to distinguish mind from body at first, but your body is talking to you all the time. Start listening. Eat one food at a time and see how your body responds. Remember that our bodies are generally severely out of balance. I am not talking about running after food cravings we know are not healthful! I’m talking about the stomachache after eating a meal!

 

Be patient. Body changes don’t happen overnight. Your current body form is the response and reflection of what you have been eating and how you have been exercising and loving your body. Be consistent with your new way of eating for at least 30 days, and even better, for 90 days to see your body remade.  

Be kind to yourself. When you slip up from eating in new ways, remember how long you’ve been eating in old ways!  Old patterns are only broken when they are finally broken!  You are the only one who can break your own old patterns, and they will pull you in until you do. Resist!  Every time you strengthen yourself in the direction of how you want to eat, you will find yourself even stronger to make other changes, and your Body will thank you. When the thought, “It’s too hard,” comes to mind, change your mind.

How to Stop Cravings in 30 seconds

October 10, 2008

I read a great blog by Roger Haeske which is actually “How To Stop Cooked Food Cravings in 30 Seconds”, but as he mentions in the blog, this can be applied to any habitual thought pattern you want to change. I invite you to read this article and more from Roger. Roger Haeske’s Blog Here

Food and Emotions

August 1, 2008

Did you ever wonder why it has been difficult to change your diet? (If it hasn’t been difficult for you, consider yourself blessed!) No matter what we know to be the ideal way for us to eat, we still gravitate towards “comfort” foods and cravings.

It may seem the body is calling for these foods, especially with cravings, but our bodies are too out of balance to trust that cravings are right for us. Most of the time, it is the unconscious mind and unconscious body calling out for theses foods.

Most of us are emotional eaters and don’t realize it. We start to associate food with love at the first suckle as a baby. From there on out, especially in old parenting paradigms, with love comes food.

 

Food has been used for comfort and to pacify in many ways. For example, when the baby cries, we wonder first, is s/he hungry? What if we considered that the baby might just have something to say, with a very limited vocabulary? “I’m angry, I’m scared! Hold me!” Instead of letting them be and holding them we try to ….make…it…..stop!!!, as our own uncomfortable emotions are triggered.

 

The foods we call “comfort foods” and have cravings for relate back to early years when love = food. So what are your comfort foods and cravings? Trace them back…

 

Another aspect of food that creates warm fuzzy feelings is community. Of course we celebrate everything with food and drink! And celebration is a pretty common reason/excuse to “live it up!” and forget all attempts at conscious eating. So when you try to make changes, there is a lot to wrangle with. How can you create new comfort foods and new cravings?

My 12 year old daughter has not been a big fruit lover in her recent years, but loves the effect eating raw has had on me. So she says to me, “Mom, you eat raw and I’ll eat a little bit later, when I’m older.”

Now since there is a lot of fruit laying around and I’ve been weeding out other choices in my kitchen, she’s getting more of an appetite for fruit. The other day she asked me to make her a fruit plate, so I decided to appeal to her aesthetic eye. I made her a mandala of fruit, with chopsticks! She was so amazed at the beauty of the colors and design she happily ate it and asked for more.

So now I’m spending some time getting real creative to inspire her. She knows she’s got me because I’m so happy that she’s eating fruit. Even the fruit she doesn’t like, she appreciates for art’s sake (and saves them for me). Inside, I’m more than happy, I’m ecstatic because I know I’m creating some warm fuzzy fruit associations. Love and fruit!

I have a few fruit rituals, like cutting up 3-4 raw mangoes and eating them with pure delight and joy, eating a pile of bananas one after the other, eating stinky durian with my friend Nadja, eating a monster mixing bowl of salad with my daughter (the only way she wants it), and smuggling grapes into the movie theatre.

 

So while you’re shifting your ideas and beliefs about food that you can live without, create new rituals with the food that you consciously want on your plate. Before long you will have unconsciously replaced the old comfort foods and cravings with new ones, and eating what’s natural for your body will come naturally.

 

Excuse me while I lounge and have grapes fed to me, one…by…one…

 

(I’d love to hear about your fruity rituals!)

Unconditional Love for Body

June 17, 2008

 

“How do I love my body unconditionally when I don’t like the way it looks and feels?”

 

First of all, I want to mention that asking a question is the first step to healing, and to discovering that anything is possible.  All you have to do is ask how, why, what or when?

 

I begin by asking this particular question because it is a common question among clients of mine. It implies a couple things that are misunderstood again, in healing.

 

Your body is not a thing separate from your Self, it is the physical manifestation of who you are. You are much more vast than your body can hold at this time—but your body is a manifestation of the aspect of yourself that you are concerned with at this time and place. Take a moment and breathe into your feet, feel the seat beneath you, feel your eyes focus as you read the words on this page (yes you can feel your eyes focus, if you take notice).

 

The other misunderstanding is about unconditional love. Unconditional love it not forced love. There is nothing forceful about it. It is love allowed, it is acceptance. Unconditional love of your body is loving acceptance for your body, no matter what your body looks like or feels like.

 

So now the question is, how do we begin to love our bodies when we have been neglecting body for so long?

 

This is the same work we do to heal our lives and our emotions. Realize that your present body is a result of the love, care and attention you have given your body and your Self up to this moment. This includes the beliefs and judgments on body.

 

You can realize what those beliefs are very easily. We repeat the statements about our body quite often. “I am fat. I am out of shape. I haven’t exercised for months. I don’t have time to exercise. I don’t eat very healthy. Etc. I don’t like my body.” And we perpetuate these statements in the way we treat ourselves and the cycle continues. Now when I say “ourselves” I am including our bodies in that statement.

 

Accepting that the health and condition of your body is a result of what your beliefs and judgments are is easier to do knowing this.

 

But what about genetics? I’m ready for this question!  Genetics is about collective and ancestral beliefs. Have you noticed how easily we have accepted that we are going to have the same conditions of our ancestors? It is true that the chances have been higher—but what if we choose to follow in a different path than the path of our ancestors in this manner? Can we learn from their mistakes and do things different? Make new choices?

 

So the health and condition of our bodies is the result of beliefs and judgments of ourselves and of our ancestors beliefs and judgments.

 

What is important to consider here is this:  if my body is a result, what can I do to change the result? Start accepting that you have been doing the best you can. Start by treating your body knowing that you are creating your body anew. Change what you do with your new knowledge without beating yourself up for your past. As difficulties come up, because change can be difficult (harder than staying the same) and be compassionate to yourself. Watch, wait and see the changes. I love you Body, I love you, I love you, I love Me.


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