Being mindful of what I eat during the summer months kinda fell off the charts. Patio weather meant more socializing over guacamole and chips. It also meant more mocktails (and the occasional cocktail), frappes, bubble teas, and ice cream. I did try my best to stay hydrated with water with a twist of lemon all day…everyday. I have no regrets and I’m not making any excuses. I recognize that I’ve made those choices! But as we wind down the laziest last few weeks of summer I am happily getting back on track.
One thing I’ve learned this past year is something called self-sabotaging and this term has stuck with me. I may be late to recognizing this but it doesn’t matter (mantra: life is not a race to the finish line). I am learning not only about how this mentality has limited me but also how I’m willing to change that pattern now.
Self-sabotaging. It’s that inner voice that gives us self doubt or excuses that limit what we do. We often don’t even realize that we are doing it to ourselves. No surprise that it can be a habit that’s hard to unravel. It can be intentional or unintentional.
I’ve heard friends say things about themselves and I know I’ve said them to myself. “I don’t have the time to dedicated to…” or “My life is so busy I can’t possibly…” These words are self-defeating and we need to stop. This also applies to everything in our lives whether it’s work our overall health including what we eat (or don’t eat), exercise, and even how we commit ourselves to the best laid plans. There are plenty of articles out there worth reading. Just search up the term… it’s a fascinating rabbit hole I’ve discovered as I’m continuing my quest to learn more.
There are ways we can help ourselves in re-training our mindset for a more productive and healthier lifestyle. If you’re health conscious (and it doesn’t matter where you are in the range) and, if you’re a fan of apps, something like the very popular MyFitnessPal can definitely help. I’ve tried several apps to help guide me mindfully in achieving and maintaining everyday goals and objectives. And with ease! I mean, how many of us are tethered to our mobile phones, anyway? *raises hands* I’ve noticed using apps help me stay on track. They also can serve as inspiration.
Mindfulness is something we hear a lot about but how can it apply to this transitional time of year? I recently had a chance to ask Canadian registered dietician and content creator, Nicole Osinga, about our lifestyle choices as we switch gears from summer to fall…
Enjoying the final weeks of summer and being mindful of what we eat and drink can be challenging at times. How can we still enjoy ourselves without that inner voice making us feel guilty?
Nicole: It is all about moderation. MyFitnessPal pulled together a wonderful list that I want to refer to for mindful eating here! But here are four easy steps to help …
- Pause – Ask yourself what is happening and acknowledge that you want a specific food.
- Accept it – It’s okay if you are craving that hamburger or pina colada! You do not need to beat yourself up over a simple (and delicious) desire.
- Choose – Having autonomy over your food choices means deciding whether or not to eat something based on the context of your day, your hunger level, and your progress toward your goals. Make a decision based on what you’re after––fuel or fun––and the success you’re seeing in balancing them both.
- Do It – Once you have decided, simply eat (or not!). Don’t overthink. You can easily log the food you eat as well with MyFitnessPal, that will allow you to understand your cravings later on.
Barbeque season isn’t over yet. What are the best options for us?
Nicole: Barbeques can be delicious, and nutritious. Lean proteins such as eggs, chicken breast, shrimp and salmon are fantastic options that can be made into burgers and skewers. Never forget a good salad to get your veggies in. For more inspiration, MyFitnessPal has an article on what a healthy summer barbeque platter looks like.
Staying hydrated is important for many reasons. What can you tell us?
Nicole: Keeping hydrated is life lesson 101. Drinking plenty of water is a must daily, but even more important during the summertime. We lose a lot of our body fluids through sweat. Especially if you are active in the summer, either playing sports outdoors or even walking around a new city while on vacation.
Dehydration becomes a threat to our bodies because our body is made up of more than 60% water. Heat exhaustion is real, and we want to avoid that at all costs. MyFitnessPal allows you to log your water intake and remind you to drink your water.
We can feel overwhelmed any time of year. If we can tweak three things daily?
Nicole: Going back to the previous point, drinking more water is the easiest and one of the best daily habits you can implement for yourself. There are so many benefits to drinking water, including (and not limited to): regulates your body temperature, boosts performance during exercise, and flushes body waste.
Snack smart: Whether you’re working at your desk or kicking back and relaxing in front of Netflix, it is easy to over-snack. The best way to avoid snacking too much is to serve yourself a portion of the snack, rather than eating directly from the bag. This will help you eat as much as you intend. You can log in your snacks on MyFitnessPal to see how you’re pacing in terms of macros or calories, depending on your preference.
Cut back on the time you spend sitting. Nowadays, most people work in front of their desk, averaging about 8 hours of sitting time, and sometimes more. Be mindful of how often you are moving your body–– a good goal is to engage in 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day.
What about road trips? As we head for the final few weekends at the cottage or taking a quick trip out to PEC. What are some of your favourite car snacks?
Nicole: My favourite car snacks are roasted chickpeas, protein bars and seeds crackers with hummus. Of course, I love fruit and veggies, as well.
We’re feeling these lazy days of summer. What are some of your favourite food hacks for better/mindful/easy this time of year.
Nicole: In the summer, we are able to embrace all of the fresh fruits and vegetables the season has to offer. Frozen fruit smoothies are a delicious treat for those long, hot summer days. They’re also a great way to sneak in extra nutrients by adding spinach or cottage cheese. If you have kids, they’ll never know the difference!
Tracking what we eat keeps us mindful but what else do you love about using this particular app?
Nicole: Tracking your food is an easy way to keep yourself mindful and accountable when you are enjoying your summer fun. It isn’t even all about calories – tracking fiber and protein is something I focus on. I also love the easy and accessible workouts that I can do anywhere with MyFitnessPal.
Thanks Nicole! Great tips! By the way, the app has great articles, recipes and fitness workouts to check out. Also, have a barbecue potluck to go to? Check out these recipes!
*lead in Photo by Lee Myungseong/Unsplash