Category Archives: Health, Nutrition

Health, Nutrition

Ways to Avoid Overeating and Drinking during the Christmas and New Year Seasons

With Christmas and New Years upon us, I wanted to give you some ideas to outsmart overeating and over drinking.  Let’s face it, we snack, we eat dinners, we drink cocktails, and before you know it, you are suffering with a stuffed belly and a headache from too much alcohol.  There is always an assortment of food and desserts that we have to try.  Don’t get caught up in the moments and suffer for it later.  

Things you can do to outsmart overeating:

  • Never show up to a party hungry.  Do not “skip” a meal to “leave room”.  This is self sabotage! Always eat a hearty, healthy meal before attending any get together.  Chances are you won’t be eating very healthy the rest of the day, so start off strong. 
  • Don’t use large plates or bowls.   Make mindful decisions to serve small portions of everything you want to try.  We usually eat many different dishes, so smaller, bite sized portions are the best way to go.  You can always go back for more later.
  • Slow Down!!!!!  When you eat fast, your “fullness” doesn’t show up until after you have eaten too much.  Eat slower, hold discussions while eating, and be mindful about it.  Put your fork down between bites.  Check out this previous blog on snacking tricks.
  • Eat soup and/or salad before eating main meal.
  • Be polite to “food pushers”.   Tell them you will have more later when your fullness declines.  Don’t fall for peer pressure when it comes to food.  Recognize it for what it is, and find a way out of the situation.
  • Stay hydrated; It helps the “full” feeling kick in. Check out this previous blog on how being thirsty causes us to overeat. 

Things you can do to outsmart over drinking:

  • Stay hydrated.  I like to drink a glass of water with every beer I drink.  If I am drinking heavier alcohol, I like to drink 2 glasses of water for every drink.
  • When drinking wine, Sip slowly, enjoy the taste, let it linger on the tongue and put the glass down between sips.  If we hold our drink, we tend to sip more and finish the drink faster. 

Activities to keep from overeating and over drinking:

  • Move away from the food area
  • Get out in the yard with the kids; toss a football around
  • Take a group walk after eating
  • Dance
  • Have fun!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Catherine Bares

*I am not a nutritionist. You should consult physicians when feeling ill after a day of too much indulging.  These are tips that I like to incorporate in my holiday gatherings but may not be a good fit for everyone.  The water to alcohol ratio works for me with light drinking.  Don’t overdo it.   


 

Facebooklinkedinyoutubeinstagramby feather
Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

Why Do We Eat Too Much At Night?

I don’t know about you, but I am an emotional, night time eater.  I find if I follow the Circadian Rhythm, and hit the sack earlier in the night, I do much better and experience less urges. (Click here to read my blog on  the Circadian Rhythm)

I have a good understanding of what triggers my night time eating but, I  still fight it when I do not go to bed by 9:00 pm.

Findings from the International Journal of Obesity

The International Journal of Obesity conducted a study to better understand why evening hours pose a high risk for overeating and unhealthy snacking.

Blood tests were used to measure stress and hunger  hormones, but participants also related their subjective levels of fullness. 

Researchers discovered that the time of day significantly influenced hunger levels, with stronger perceived appetite in the evening than in the morning.  Eating the test meal later in the day also reduced blood levels of peptide YY, a hormone linked to smaller appetite. Additionally the findings suggested that stress may increase hunger hormones more in the evening than earlier in the day and that hormonal influence on  appetite appears to be greater for people prone to binge eating.

July-August 2018 ACE Fitness Journal

One of the suggestions that the article made for people who are vulnerable to late night eating, should be counseled on strategies to overcome the sensations.

What  else can we do?

  1. Perform light, evening, cardio exercises to reduce stress: walking, bike ride, etc.
  2. Consume more calories during the day 
  3. Eat high-protein, fiber-rich foods at dinner to suppress hunger 
  4. Avoid late night screen time: television (lots of late night fast food commercials can increase cravings), phone time, computer time
  5. Shut down all electronics 30 minutes before bed
  6. Block all light coming into your sleeping area

Remember: I am not a licensed Nutritionist or Life Coach.  Any information I share are from 3rd parties.  You must do your research and seek direction from your doctors/nutritionists before you make drastic changes in your exercise routines, eating habits, vitamin and mineral intake.  

Catherine Bares


 

Facebooklinkedinyoutubeinstagramby feather
Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

Seattle/Emerald City Charm

On the Road

I’ve been on the road for the past couple of weeks and have been quiet on the blog side; my apologies.  Although I am still out of town, my last trip to Seattle has inspired me to write this blog.  I am finally ready to publish it and send it out.  Please leave a comment about your favorite spots in Seattle. If you haven’t had the opportunity to experience Seattle charm yet, what would you do if you were to end up in the Emerald City?  Any bucket list wishes?

Pikes Place Market

There are many things to do and see in Seattle.  One of my favorite things to do, when I make it downtown, is to venture into Pikes Place Market, a public market that opened in 1907, overlooking the Elliott Bay waterfront. (one of the oldest continuously operated public farmers market in the United States) If you make it into the market, be sure to check out Pike Place Fish Market, where flinging fish from the display cases to the scales for cutting and packaging has become one of Seattle’s most well-known landmarks.  It is quite entertaining to watch the flying fish and the delighted patron’s reactions, especially those seeing it for the 1st time.

Along with flying fish, the market showcases many businesses; seafood, fresh produce, fresh flowers, crafts of all kinds, art, specialty foods, and an abundance of bakeries, cafes, diners, restaurants and sweet shops.  There are 3 floors of unique shops, specializing in collectibles, comics, jewelry, books, art and more.

Street performers have long entertained shoppers which adds to the Market’s ambiance.  You will be surprised by some of the talents that linger in and sets up to perform.

Other attractions that I felt were well worth the time and investments

  • Seattle’s underground tour (learn about the Emerald City’s strange and quirky history)
  • Museum of History and Industry (one rainy day we ventured into this museum and was engrossed in Northwest history, innovation growth and much more)
  • Mt. Ranier (Wilderness hiking, camping, and climbing)
  • Space Needle (Amazing views of the water, city, and mountains.  Newly added, floor to forever glass floors that are calling me back to check out. Maybe on my next trip)

Restaurants

There are many restaurants in the downtown area that provide a unique dining experience.  Some come with amazing views of waterfronts, marinas, or the city. For the wine lovers,  you may want to check out the Purple Cafe that features a unique, circular, staircase wine rack system.

What are your favorite adventures in Seattle?  Where would you go if you went to Seattle?  Leave a comment, I would love to hear about it.

Catherine Bares


 

I’ve been there and done that many times.

Facebooklinkedinyoutubeinstagramby feather
Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

Does your child have any Intense Interests?

I came across an article, on psychology-spot.com, that I found interesting and I wanted to share.  “Being obsessed with dinosaurs enhances kids’ intelligence”.

The article explains that the incredible knowledge of children on a specific subject is called “Intense Interests”, a strong motivation for a specific topic. “In fact, a third of children develop at some stage throughout their childhood, as a general rule between 2 and 6 years of age…”

In some cases, that interest is not extinguished in childhood but accompanies them for a large part of their lives.  They are those people who have always had a passion that, in a certain way, has served as a guiding thread and refuge over the years.

In reality, it does not matter what the object of that passion is, what is really important is the effort that children dedicate and the passion they experience.

An investigation carried out at the universities of Indiana and Wisconsin proved that intense interests are very beneficial for the intellectual development of children.

In practice, this type of interests, especially those that demand a conceptual domain as is the case of dinosaurs, not only make that the child have more knowledge about a certain subject but also enhance perseverance, improve attention and enhance skills of complex thinking as the processing of information. It has also been proven that linguistic skills are significantly improved and are an indicator of high understanding.

In fact, these psychologists explain that the way in which some children study dinosaurs or any other object of interest, in reality reveals the strategy that they will then use to face new situations and problems throughout their lives.

The wall against which intense interests clash

An Investigation carried out by psychologists from the universities of Virginia and Yale, revealed that the intense interests in childhood do seem to be mediated by the interests of the parents, since they usually appear during the first year of life without the parents having encouraged them.  In fact, some of those interest are rare for the parents themselves.

The bad news…Only 20% of children are still passionate about the same issues as they grow up.  In most cases the end of the  passion comes with schooling.

Apparently, when children start studying, they have much less free time to devote to their “investigations”.  To this is added that they understand that school requires a broader knowledge but also more superficial and often their interests do not fit within the school curriculum, so they just end up abandoning them.

Click on the link (the article title) to read the article in it’s entirety. It has suggestions on how to nurture these intense interests.


 

Facebooklinkedinyoutubeinstagramby feather
Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

#Determination Quote & Video of the week


 

“You’ve got to get up every morning with Determination if you’re going to go to be with Satisfaction.”-George Lorimer

Determination Definition: 1. Firmness of purpose,  Resoluteness  2. The process of establishing something exactly, typically calculation or research.

How often do we wake up with determination?  Do you ever think about it?  Is it automatic with you or do you take a few moments in the morning to plan our your day?  Use the voting  buttons to answer!

Strong Determination Video

Facebooklinkedinyoutubeinstagramby feather
Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

The Cutest Wishes Ever

Thanksgiving Day

Part of my family duties at Thanksgiving is carving the turkey. It’s usually an uneventful part of my day. My encounter with 2 curious girls would change that uneventful part into an experience that I felt compelled to share.

Curiosity

I was wearing my blue crab apron and armed with an electric knife. Curiosity took over and a little girl stops and asks me what I was doing. It appeared she lost interest quickly when she turned and ran off. To my surprise, she returned quickly with her cousin who was just as cute and curious.

They watched me as I cut the turkey and asked questions, one of which was “can I have a piece?” With a smile, I said sure and handed them a piece. Sharing in this moment, my beautiful niece, who was helping me and adding to the cuteness of the moment. My adult niece shared the same first name with one of the little girls, which piqued her interest.

Making a wish

I am a master at deboning a bird and reached the wishbone quickly.  I held up the bone and asked the girls if they wanted to make a wish on the wishbone. The look on their faces when I was holding the bone out to them, clearly expressed they have never heard of the wishbone before. The look said something like “I am not touching that thing”. By this point, their parents have gathered around us to see what the girls were up to.  I began to tell them about the wishbone tradition and watched their expressions change to delighted with an “I’m in” look.  So they each grabbed a side of the bone, went silent working on their wishes as their parents are enjoying and capturing the moment with snapshots.  

Well, turkey bones aren’t quite as giving as chicken bones so we had a little disappointing outcome.  I assured them that it was okay and that meant both wishes would come true. A few moments later when it was just the four of us again, I asked them what they wished for.  One immediately said she wished for butterflies, which I thought was one of the sweetest wishes I had ever heard.  Then I asked the 2nd little girl what she wished for and she said, “I wished that I will have a friend forever”.  At that point me and my niece looked at each and simultaneously let out an “AWWWW” and then we both laughed.

 

Adult wishes put into perspective

That sweet moment made us put our adult wishes into perspective. I forget how simplicity can be so joyful. Yes, I walked around and shared that story all day. I hope you enjoyed reading about my experience and that you had some great experiences at Thanksgiving as well.

Please, feel free to share your stories with me in the comments. I would love to hear about them.

Facebooklinkedinyoutubeinstagramby feather
Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

#GivingTuesday 2018


 

Happy Thanksgiving!  How do you give thanks?

There is Black Friday, Cyber Monday and #GivingTuesday.  Be a part of a Global Giving Movement!  Give to your favorite Charities Nov. 27, 2018.  Some of my favorite Charities:

#ThePeaceFund – Donate link

#CatholicCharities – Archdioceses of New Orleans Donate Link

#SecondHarvestFoodBank – New Orleans Donate Link

Not sure what your community needs?  Click here  #GivingTuesday or  Google it!  You know Google; right? (Always verify that your choices are truly a non profit organization with proper paperwork.  It’s unfortunate but there are many scammers out there.)Facebooklinkedinyoutubeinstagramby feather
Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

Happy Thanksgiving

In observance of Thanksgiving, I wanted to take some time to reflect on 2018.  There were some tough times and some tragic moments but there are also many things to be thankful for.  As emotional, human beings, we tend to focus on the bad stuff, the things that hurt us the most, the things that leave a scar.  Pushing those moments aside; take a few minutes to reflect on the things that made you smile and made you feel good in 2018.  Think about those fleeting moments that were special.  Close your eyes, hold onto those memories, and focus your energy right there.

Tomorrow, during your family and friend gatherings, step out of the center of it and watch the interactions for a few moments.  Enjoy watching the children run around and play, appreciate the elderly that are still with us, soak in the laughter.  Look for sadness and spend some time with that person who may be struggling with something.  Think about the things that you appreciate about each person and share it with them.  This is such a powerful experience when done in a group.

Remember, everyone you know may not have family close by, so invite them to spend the day with your family.  Holidays can be rough on the lonely.

I hope Thanksgiving 2018 will be a wonderful, treasured, day that you can carry with you until Thanksgiving 2019.

Leave a comment if you like:  share a special moment that came to mind during your reflection, share an intention that you will plan to put into action tomorrow.  I would love to hear your feedback

A reader asked if I could add more content and examples, so, with pleasure, I am updating this story:

I shared a story from Thanksgiving day that everyone can read called “The Cutest Wishes Ever”   Click on the link and it will bring you to that blog.

This story is a perfect example of how I interact with children to share their joy.

My intent on sharing things that you appreciate about people came from a training class that is intended to help improve attitudes and gratification. In a group, you can take turns sharing something you admire about each person in the group.  This can be timely depending on the size of the group.  So, to avoid a long drawn-out exercise and to keep everyone’s attention, I would have each person express their thoughts (only positive thoughts) and admiration to the person sitting to the right of them.  Once they were done we would move on to the next person.  If you are sitting in a circle it helps keep the exercise in an orderly fashion and everyone gets to say and hear something about themselves.  This exercise can be done with small groups or large groups.  You could even do this at the dinner table instead of asking how their day was to change it up a little.

I hope this helps you, your family, and friends explore each other’s feelings of thankfulness.

 


 

Facebooklinkedinyoutubeinstagramby feather
Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

Room Atmosphere for Better #Sleep

Did you know that your room atmosphere can set you up for better sleep, or even sabotage it? According to an article I came across in the July/August 2018 issue of Health Magazine, you can “set yourself up for snoozing success by arranging the most restful room possible.”

Block Out Noise

“….Even if you don’t wake up, noise can disrupt your slumber and cause restlessness, increased heart rate and blood pressure, and changes in breathing patterns, explains Cralle.”These interruptions can lead to fragmented sleep, which makes it harder to reach the deeper, more restorative stages.”” 

Take A Whiff

“Create a bedtime ritual…….30 minutes before sacking out is a simple effective way to cue the body to rest, says Sara Panton, essential – oil expert and co-founder of Vitruvi. Not only are there certain scents that encourage drowsiness, but the very act of setting up a routine helps signal to your brain that it’s time to start shutting off.”

Blend of Essential oil Scents that Panton suggests: “7 drops of lavender, 4 drops of frankincense, 4 drops of cedar wood, 2 drops of bergamot.”

There are many different types of products you can buy that emit scents.  I am a big fan of natural sources such as plants and flowers.  This article suggest diffusing essential oils.  I am not making any recommendations on what to use. You do the research and choose a source that best suits you. If you have pets in the home make sure you do the research on essential oils.  I am not an expert on the matter but, I have come across some concerns online.  Whether there is any truth to it, I do not know.    However, I do not recommend any chemicals such as air fresheners, candles, etc.  Visit the American Lung Associations website to further educate yourself on common household products that contribute to indoor air pollution. 

Stay Slightly Chilled

“Body temperature regularly fluctuates throughout the day-it’s usually at its highest in the afternoon and lowest in the early a.m.  So if your room is hot, your body will work all night to cool down-and if your’re sweating, you’re more likely to wake up.  The sweet spot: 65 degrees, according to the National Sleep Foundation.”

Improve Ventilation

“Room Stuffiness can hike nasal congestion and hinder your ability to breathe while you doze.  Per a study in the journal Indoor Air, people who kept their window open overnight felt more alert the next morning than they did when it had been kept closed.  If you live in a city and opening your window exposes you to noise, crack it open for 15 minutes during the day instead.  No windows? No problem.  Invest in a plant like a peace lily, which naturally purifies air. ” 

Dim The Lights Early

“Not only does light send “stay awake” alerts to the brain, it also has an effect on circadian rhythm” (read my blog on When to eat, when not to eat to better understand the circadian rhythm) “which controls your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, explains Lawrence Epstein, MD, assistant medical director of Brigham and Women’s Hospital.  Brightness also stops the production of melatonin (the tired hormone), suppressing your sleep signal.  While you actually kill the lights when you get in bed, you actually need to dim them much sooner.  Switch from overhead lights to lamps around dinnertime to help your body wind down.” Facebooklinkedinyoutubeinstagramby feather
Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

Visualizing a Memory @ Travaasa

Visualizing a memory

Visualizing;

  • At times it’s empowering
  • At times it’s calming and relaxing

Today, it was calming and relaxing.  It started at the edge of the infinity pool when I closed my eyes and opened my ears.  My thoughts focused on the noise of the water while it was cascading over the edge and crashing down to the pool below.  The sound at the edge drowned out the voices around me.  Then I focused on the breeze blowing up over my back and my shoulders.  I decided to pick a memory that came to mind and invoked the visual of a moment in time.

I am suddenly transported to the beach; Maui, Hawaii.   The waves are rolling in, the water is refreshingly cold, almost shockingly cold which resulted in goosebumps.  The water is clear and vibrant blue.  I see sail surfers jumping waves, and parachute surfers flying sky high after hitting the top of the waves thinking how exciting and brave that must be. I soaked up the moment and cherished the memory.

While enjoying my relaxing, resort retreat at Travaasa, visualizing a memory added another dimension to the accomplished, high level of relaxation already achieved, and also raised the success level of my agenda and goal for this trip.

Give visualizing a try.  Let moments, sounds, and smells trigger memories and thoughts. Ride the wave!

Add that to my list of Been There Done That!

Facebooklinkedinyoutubeinstagramby feather
Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather