Mind Body Class #2

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I went to my second Mind Body session last night.

We started with a mindful breathing exercise leading into a “body scan.”    A body scan is basically relaxing each part of your body starting at the head down to the toes in sync with the breathing exercise.

Then we spent the rest of our time discussing some of the physical things we can do to reduce stress and live more healthfully.  We discussed how foods affect moods with a focus on the dire effects of caffeine.   Yes, I drink way too much coffee  and I eat crap when I’m unhappy or stressed out.  This I already knew.

We also discussed the necessity of slow and mindful eating.  To illustrate her point, the facilitator passed around some raisins and instructed us to each take ONE raisin.   We were told to close our eyes and smell the raisin first, then slowly take a tiny nibble of the raisin.  She was trying to drive home the point that we need to eat more slowly and actually savor and enjoy the taste of each bite.   She suggested that at least once this week that we eat a “mindful” meal — not watching television while we eat, sitting at a table (not the coffee table like I do), and to taste everything.    Good point.  Actually, that may be one of the hardest things I do this week.

Then we went over the USDA’s “new and improved” food pyramid.  That brought forth quite a bit of discussion.  It seems that the feds want us to drink more milk — 3 cups a day.  THREE CUPS?   One man spoke up and pointed out that many people are lactose intolerant (in fact, nearly half the class appeared to be lactose intolerant).   The facilitators seemed surprised at that.  I’m not a nutritionist but even I knew that.   This gentleman pointed out that the government food pyramid changes every few years depending on which food manufacturers have sway in Washington at any given moment.  The milk producers must be in town right now.  I’m inclined to believe him.    I noticed that the participants seemed more knowledgeable about food and nutrition than did the facilitators.

We spoke at length about sleep problems.  I do everything wrong.  I don’t have a set bed time, I eat too late, I have a computer in my bedroom (electromagnetic waves will disrupt sleep).   And again with the caffeine.  Alright already.  I promise to cut back.

My action plan of last week was to walk at least 20 minutes 3 times per week and to meditate at least 5 minutes every night.  I managed the meditation, but I only walked about 10 minutes three times this week.   In light of that, I decided that I would not increase my walking commitment for this week’s action plan.  Instead I would stick with 20 minutes three times a week and make a better effort to do it.  I did manage my first 20 minute walk today at lunch.   I will try to increase my meditation to 10 minutes every night.  I will cut back on caffeine.  This morning I reduced my coffee from a grande to a tall.   And I am going to try to do a short yoga routine at least once this week.  The mindful eating thing?  I dunno about that.    Each week we are supposed to predict on a scale of 1 to 10 if we think our goals are achievable.  Last week I put an 8.  This week I put a 7.

I’ll give you a progress report next week.

Lori G. (c) 2010

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4 responses »

  1. With the milk thing, it is definitely whoever has the ear of the government and the longest pockets. It’s like when they decided that eggs were bad for you because of the cholesterol in the yolk. I tend to ignore all these constant revisions of what is good for you this week and what will kill you. I think you should eat as much unprocessed food as you like. It’s the hidden sugar and trans-fats in processed food that’s the killer. Rats won’t eat sugar.
    I read somewhere that human beings are unable to digest milk properly after about three years of age. When you think about it, no other animal drinks milk after they’re weaned, but I do enjoy a drink of milk now and then.

    • Indeed. Milk was designed to turn a 50 pound calf into a 1200 pound steer in about six months. And we feed it to our kids? I do consume milk but only in small amounts in my coffee and in baking. I could not drink three full glasses of milk.

      I agree with you about eating unprocessed foods. Not only are there hidden sugar and fats, but the sodium content in most foods is literally a killer.

      I did not know this about rats, but it is said that rats are one of the more intelligent creatures on this planet — more so than some humans, it would seem. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. This sounds like a good course…not an easy one. It’s difficult to break bad habits. Tell me about it…I struggle with it every day. I love to walk in nature, but exercising for exercise sake, like on the treadmill, etc. That’s hard, but I gotta do it. I do drink a glass of milk every day. I’ve managed to get down to low fat, but that’s as far as I’m willing to go. Forget that blue milk stuff. And I need to slow down my eating…I’m always thinking of what I’m going to do next.

    You’re doing good…keep it up.

    Vi

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