Posts tagged mindful eating
Food Life Lessons: What Cheese and Bread Making can Teach us about Going Vegan or Starting Something New

After our previous episode and post all about the gratitude we can feel for the plate in front of us, I found myself thinking about food in and of itself. Since food and our relationship with it is at the core of what we help you through here at Brownble, sometimes I forget all about the big lessons making specific foods has taught me. Whether you’re here because you want to improve the way you relate to food, or you’re beginning a practice of mindful eating, making more vegan choices or learning how to trust your inner signals of hunger and fullness, or you’re simply here to find community, support or simply to learn how to cook vegan, so many of the lessons cooking has brought my way can help in many of these areas. It’s like I always say, the way we do one thing, is a reflection of the way we do most things, whether that’s how mindfully or mindlessly we eat, or making a layer cake.

Looking back to my past, I can now see that I probably got interested in cooking as a teen because it was such an escape from anxiety for me. In a way, I could step out of the anxious turmoil going on in my mind and I could walk into the kitchen, open up a recipe book and immerse myself in the process. Cooking was an escape, but now, looking back, it’s also a powerful way of practicing little life lessons whether consciously or not.

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Ease

Every time I sit down to write one of our posts and episodes for what we’ve informally called the little word series, I think of 2 or 3 more I’d love to talk about. I can now confidently say that this series of posts and episodes will definitely be back after we’re done with the last two I had in mind for this time around. We’ve already talked about patience, excess, change, fear, and one of my favorites, labels, and we’ve got just two more to go. Today, we’ll be talking about what has possibly been denied, repressed and pushed back in modern society and in our lives and formative years in the biggest way, and that is the pursuit of ease. Ease will be our little word for today as we discuss eating, our stress levels, time, mindfulness and the emotional aspects of ourselves that have an impact on the way we eat, the choices we make and our general well-being.

Is it just me or is anyone else noticing a serious busyness epidemic in our world today? “Busy” has become the new “fine” when we ask people how they are, not as a complaint, but more often than not as a little badge of honor. Everywhere we turn, and especially in social media, it’s all about the hustle, the getting things done, the systems and ways in which we can do more, using time to an inch of its life. In last week’s podcast episode I answered a listener question from one of our Sams (our gender-neutral pseudonym for all our listeners and readers who send us questions). Sam had asked how Carlos and I manage to have Brownble up and running with its constant flow of content that is released weekly AND also have our day jobs. You can listen back to last week’s episode to hear my full answer, which had mostly to do with getting organized and sticking to the plan so it becomes a habit (especially in terms of the content we create).

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5 Reasons Why Food Matters that Have Nothing to Do with Nutrition

In this wellness era that we’re currently living in, it can be a bit challenging to be a blogger who talks about the great change that veganism could create in the world, and who also talks about improving your relationship with food, leaving dieting and restriction behind AND also be someone who is a trained cook. We’ll have a post soon in which I’ll talk about which of these aspects of me came first, and which followed, but one thing is for sure, nothing has preceded my love of food and cooking, my passion for ingredients and flavor combinations, or my undying love for reading cookbooks like they were novels in the New York Time’s Bestseller list. If there’s one thing you can be sure I am, and always will be, it’s a cook.

Food is so important to me, it makes up such a huge part of my day, and once upon a time we had an unhealthy relationship, sure, but it was precisely my issues with food that brought me where I am today, and gave me all those big aha! moments that made me understand why food is so important.

I get questions from our readers and listeners almost every single day, and so many revolve around nutrition, weight, and the fear we’ve developed over certain foods. It’s common in this wellness era, and especially within the vegan arena, in which making a switch to a kinder alternative has sometimes gotten mixed up with so many rules of “shoulds” and “shouldn'ts”.

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Anxiety and Me

Hello my lovelies! So much has happened around here since last Thursday that I feel I’ve been away forever and it’s only been a week. As you probably know by now, our brand new course The Roadmap is going live in just three days (three days! Eeek!). What’s even more shocking than that, and why Carlos and I keep pinching each other, is the fact that our early bird students and members are already enjoying the course and loving it! It’s no longer our little baby safely tucked away in our little home anymore. Now it’s out there, for almost everyone and soon to be everyone to see and be a part of. It seems crazy to me that for over a year we’ve been at this non-stop, and now a whole new chapter in Brownble begins.

This journey has been amazing, exhiliarating, fun, eye-opening and full of lessons, and I can’t thank you enough because without you it wouldn’t be possible! To top things off, we’re getting ready for a big kitchen remodel around here, which you’ll all get to see in action of course, and that has meant filming round the clock so that all our content can continue to come out in spite of our house looking like the Hulk came to visit and suddenly got really angry. Add to that the normal and sometimes challenging things of daily life, and situations that have had to be resolved as they pop up, and we honestly feel like a whole new stage of life is ahead. It feels just like when you finish something really big, and now comes the calm and a new adventure we can feel coming, but can’t quite tell what it is yet. The roadmap in and of itself was a huge breakthrough for me in particular. I went to places I hadn’t been to when it comes to the way I share content and my personal views, not to mention the fact that it challenged everything I thought I could and couldn’t do.

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When Life Gives you Lemons: Ramblings on Self Care and Opening Up Time for it + A HUGE ANNOUNCEMENT!

Today we’re having a little informal conversation in the podcast as a kind of follow up to our Overwhelm City episode in which we discussed self care, the stages in which it leaves us when we’re under stress, and how to bring it back. Today I’m sharing a very big lesson that came to me in the most unexpected situation.

So often we’re under stress and feeling overwhelmed and we know that something’s got to give. We know we need to rest, we know we need to slow down, we know we need a high dose of self care as soon as possible, but we just can’t find the time for it.

Last week something happened to me that forced me to stop on my tracks (almost literally), and find the solution, space and time I had been waiting for.

In the episode I also share a pretty big announcement, something that has us so excited we can hardly stand it!

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The Mindfulness Episode!

As I mentioned in last week's post and episode, we received a question from one of our reader's about how my mindfulness practice is going. Since we've been talking about lots of great self care habits and tools like reframing our relationship to exercise, cultivating a better body image, etc., I thought it was the perfect time to give you an update on mindfulness and talk about what this practice is really all about.

Because mindfulness is all about presence, moment to moment awareness, and going with the flow, I didn't want today's episode to be scripted, which means you won't get our usual written version for this post, but we'll have a blast together talking about mindfulness in audio! That means you can listen to the full episode by clicking play above, or download or stream through your podcast app via iTunes or Stitcher

In this episode I'll be sharing lots of personal stories including my struggles with anxiety, how I got started with mindfulness, I tell you all about what mindfulness really is, I bust some myths and misconceptions about the practice, and I tell you all about my practice, how mindfulness has changed me and all of the benefits it has brought into my life. I also talk about how to keep up with the practice, the difference between mindfulness and meditation, whether yoga can count as a mindfulness practice, and how to bring this into your day to day life and why that's the goal, not the practice itself. I'll also be sharing some funny stories about my relationship with time, and much more.

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Mindful Eating Basics

You've hear me talk about mindfulness and mindful eating a lot. It's because just as some people always place a pitcher of water or a salt and pepper shaker at the table, mindful eating is always a main character at ours. It wasn't always that way though. For most of my life, and even for most of our marriage we ate full of distractions, many times in front of the TV, and how much we ate depended on how much I, or the person making the meal, would put on our plates. While I was on the many diets I tried, it was the restrictive diet du jour which told me how much I should eat. Making it so that everything that was "allowed" was eaten, no more, and no less, regardless of hunger, of satisfaction, and even regardless of whether the food was enjoyable or not.

You've heard this little dichotomy I was so fond of before, right? If the diet du jour told me 1 cup of this or that, I followed it with rigid perfection. Then, when I couldn't anymore because, well... diets!, I would pile on the food, gobble it up mindlessly, feel overly full, and only if a second helping wasn't offered would I stop there. If seconds were even mentioned, or if it was a particular favorite of mine, or if serving platters were on the table and still had food on them, I would eat until plate, ladle and pot were squeaky clean. Not because I was really hungry, or because the food was giving me so much pleasure I just had to dig in, but because....well, diets. 

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Why We Fail at Healthy Eating When We Only Focus on Food

There's something amazing that has been happening in recent years when it comes to the media and our quest for health. For the first time, there is an acknowledgment that we can be active participants in getting healthier. For the first time, concerns abut food, our activity levels, stress levels and lifestyle are at the center stage, and we are finally getting the message that we can actually make a huge difference in our lives and our own vitality. The downside to this health focused media frenzy, has two main issues I believe need to be discussed. The first is that health is sometimes confused with the quest for being skinny, having a "perfect body", fitting a certain societal ideal (for both men and women), seeing any body type that doesn't fit this ideal as the thing we need to fear and steer clear from. Make no mistake, health and fitting society's body ideals are two very different things. The second issue when it comes to this focus on health that I feel needs to be talked about, is that it has made us focus so much on the food itself. It has created not only food fears, but it has made us step away from the many different aspects of our lives that are behind our choices at the table. It's just not as simple as knowing what you need to know about food and nutrition and making sure you follow that to a tee. If it were only up to that, we'd be a society without diet related health issues, based on the amount of books, experts and diets out there. The truth is we are complex human beings, and when the focus is all on the food, trying to isolate it from all the other aspects of ourselves, it's a lost battle. Health, and healthy eating specifically, is much more than just the food on our plate.

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