Sunday, March 27, 2011

Learning to Eat Mindfully

I am an emotional eater. When I get stressed out, which is rather often, I bury myself in food. I can just eat and eat and eat, no matter how full or sick I feel. Junk food was my drug that could put my mind at ease.

But not really. After binging, there was always the terrible guilt and shame. Junk food gave me a high, but it also came with hideous side effects. And I was addicted. Since I have been binging for so long, I didn't listen to my body's hunger cues, and I have to re-learn how to eat.

What is so complicated about eating? You eat when you are hungry, stop when you are full. You crave something, eat it, and the craving is satisfied. Simple? Maybe, but my wacky brain just didn't get it.

So I am trying to avoid denying myself, or putting temptation in my way. If I had a bag of potato chips in my room, my brain will hone in on those potato chips, distracting me from unimportant things (like homework), until all those chips have been stuffed into my mouth. I am trying to eat more often, and not waiting until I am ravenous at the end of the day, when I feel like eating everything in sight.

Everyday, I have been eating a yummy bowl of oatmeal to help keep me full. I like my oats half oat bran, half rolled oats, cooked in the microwave with water. I have also recently added chia seeds, some chopped mango, and a splash of vanilla soy milk.
Oatmeal with Chia and Mango

I have recently "discovered" chia seeds, and bought a bag of them on Amazon (they were on sale!). Chia is a superfood that is actually pretty amazing for you. In my opinion, they don't have a strong taste, just a mild nutry flavor. The little, black seeds are packed with protein, antioxidants, omega-3's, fiber, and is easily digested and absorbed. Add chia seeds into your diet to promote weight loss and stabilization of blood sugar. They have magical properties when added to water. If you mix a couple of tablespoons in a cup of water and let it stand for about 10 minutes, the mixture will gel. This thickened liquid can help you feel fuller, longer.

Chia can be added to more than just oatmeal and water. Add them to your smoothies, salads, yogurt, granola, soup, pizza, ice cream, on top of a s'more, etc, etc, etc. Haha, you might not want to use my last few suggestions, but my point is that they are very versatile and easy to incorporate into your diet. See, being healthy is easy! So what are you waiting for? Get your chia on, pronto!

More info on chia seeds here
Bought these on Amazon (raw, organic, and on sale!)
But then I found, which is probably a better deal (great website, btw). Wait, I take that back, the shipping is pretty pricey, while I got free shipping on Amazon. Nutsonline has great products, anyway, so I think it would be a better deal if you buy a lot or in bulk.

Mango Chia Oatmeal

  • 1/4 cup oat bran
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 chopped mango
  • soy milk (optional)
Place oat bran, rolled oats, and water into a microwave safe bowl. You can add more or less water, depending on how thick you like your oatmeal. I like mine pretty thin, so I add more water. Microwave for about 4 minutes. Stir in chia seeds and chopped mango. I also like to pour some cold soy milk for some sweetness. Eat!