Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love cooking, I love eating, and most of all I love having family and friends together. This year we have all of our children with us. They are grown now and we have two granddaughters six days apart. Our youngest daughter is single and lives in Boston and she is with us this year too. It's wonderful.
The books in the picture are on my Thanksgiving table. It's fun and full of joy.
My sister from Chicago and her family will join us and the house will be full.
I hope all of you enjoy your Thanksgiving.
Can you imagine a life of eating what you love, without struggling with your weight, and truly enjoying food. Well-tis the season.
Listen to my interview on Middle Way Health Radio with Michelle May M.D., Physician, author, and weight management expert who teaches how to let go of yo yo dieting forever. We discussed her latest book Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat: How to End the Eat, Repent, Repeat Cycle and her concept of getting in touch with the question Am I Hungry, the title of her first book.
In this interview Michelle and I share our similar journey with yo yo dieting until we discovered a way to get in touch with intuitive and mindful eating.
This is a perfect interview for the holiday season, because this is a time when we are surrounded by food and literally need to get in touch with the question Am I Hungry?
You wake up and notice throughout the day that you’re not feeling quite right. You wake up and still feel tired. You feel an odd sensation in your body. Your throat is a bit scratchy. You may even notice your glands near your ears are a bit tender or even swollen. I call this the eewy jeewies or that punky feeling. I know when I feel this way that my immune system is weak and I am at the tipping point for illness. My awareness of this feeling tells me I need to take care of myself with diet, exercise and stress management. I may need to rest, increase my Vitamin C by eating fresh fruits and vegetables. I may even crave oranges or foods with the vitamins my body needs. I notice I don’t crave my normal cup of coffee. Instead I want a cup of hot tea. At lunch I want hot soup. Our bodies are amazing. If we pay attention, we will get warning that our immune system wants to work for us.
What is it that prevents us from getting sick? And when we do get sick, what is this marvelous system that helps us heal. It is our immune system. This system is working all the time, whether we are sick or well. It is a system of specialized organs and cells. The organs are the thymus gland, lymph nodes, spleen, and bone marrow. The cells are white blood cells, T cells, called T helper cells and T killer cells, and B cells. These cells are smart and know when germs or foreign particles don’t belong. They all have a job and work together to fight organisms that cause disease. They are living breathing cells. Each cell has a job, much like an army.
To boost the power of your immune system you need to eat a healthy diet full of fresh vegetables and fruits, limit simple sweet sugary foods, and increase pure water and liquids. Your body needs to rest if you get sick, but to avoid illness and keep the immune system strong you need to keep your body strong with exercise and play. Most of all you need to do a mind check. There is power in positive thinking. Laughter, smiling and joy increase immunity. Conflict, sadness and pessimism weaken immunity. Daily meditation and listening prayer reduce the frenzy of thoughts in our mind and lessen stress, thus improving function of this powerful internal warrior. Funny that for this warrior system to fight illness, it helps to have a peaceful heart and mind.
(This is me chilling out(notice the snowman cup) I stayed in my PJs and worked the rest of the day)
CHILL OUT and Enjoy the Holidays
Preparing for the holidays can be mind boggling and stressful, or a time to remember what really matters, chill out, relax and enjoy the season.
A couple of years ago, my husband and I were returning from a November vacation and as I was thinking about all I had to do for the holidays, and about life in general, I put on my headphones to watch the in-flight
movie Evening, a wonderful film about a woman on her deathbed
going in and out of consciousness while looking back at her life and wondering
if she had made a mistake in her love life. Her best friend comes to visit
during her last hours. They reminisce about their memories and shed some mutual
tears. The dying woman’s daughter asks the friend if her mother was perhaps
reliving something in her life that was a mistake or regret. The friend says “We
are mysterious creatures, aren’t we? And at the end, so much of it turns out
not to matter.” On her deathbed the mother reassures her daughter by saying,
“there are no mistakes.” Both of these quotes suggest that perhaps we take life
too seriously and just need to CHILL OUT.
Chill out means to relax. There is
a whole genre of Chill Out music to help us along. I own a set of CDs called Chillout I and II. Songs like Instant Relieve, Transparency, Madhouse,
Cosmic Dance, and Holy Mountain are
some of the titles.
Listening to this music makes me want to dance and sway my
The holidays can be a time of joy
if we remember to CHILL OUT. When you are stressing about buying the perfect
gift or equaling all of your children’s piles under the tree, take a look at
what you are doing and laugh. The perfect gift is your loving thoughts and the
warmth of being around someone who can be a symbol of peace at this time of the
year. And if you are in a baking frenzy trying to make the hundreds of cookies
you do each year, relax and make less, enjoy baking those cookies more and
smile. Buy the dessert this year and spend the baking time with your family and
friends. If the house is just not clean enough, who cares? It’s the warmth of
the home and not its spotlessness that welcomes the glee of the season.
In this short human life, think
about what matters most. This is a time to focus on relationships, enjoy the
season, every snowflake and wind chill. I love the quote from A Course in Miracles that says, “It’s
all a silly mad idea, don’t forget to laugh.” Tis the season to be jolly, not
jostled. Have fun and smile more this year.
Below is a photo of some of the cookies baked in my kitchen this year.
I love food and I love life. I live for joy and enjoy
eating. The day I stopped dieting and I started eating what I wanted and living
to the fullest, was the day my weight stopped being an issue. I look forward to eating and enjoy
every bite. I also enjoy moving and dancing and using my body. I love the
feeling of health and life and love. I think about what I am going to eat from
the time I get up until I take my last bite of the day. I live to eat and enjoy
food and the pleasure of dining. I wonder who I am going to eat with, what new
restaurants or recipes I want to try. I have fun traveling and eating around
the world. I enjoy a variety of cuisines and love every minute of my meals. How
sad that we live in a world where people feel that in order to lose weight, get
healthy, prevent disease they have to deprive themselves of one of the greatest
pleasures of life food and eating.
I love these quotes:
“Eating is not merely
a material pleasure. Eating well gives a spectacular joy to life and
contributes immensely to goodwill and happy companionship. It is of great
importance to the morale.” Elsa Schiaparelli Italian designer
“Never fit a dress to the body but train the
body to fit the dress” – Elsa Schiaparelli –
The act of eating and dining out is a time not only to
satisfy your own hunger, but to share an experience with others. At a time when
the world is threatened by acts of terrorism and we live in fear, there needs
to be a time when you can let go of fear, yet mealtimes are often the most
fearful part of the day for many. Instead of enjoying food and the pleasure of
eating, this time is often filled with guilt and fear.
My work with weight management and lifestyle change examines
the underlying beliefs, philosophies, and motivations that affect our relationship
to food and whether food becomes a pleasure for the body or a poison creating
unhealth and unhealthy habits.
I ask my clients and readers four questions: What are you
eating? What are you drinking? What are you doing? And What are you thinking?
Thinking is most important.
I will be offering a series of classes and Blog Talk Radio
shows around the idea of food, focus, mindfulness, and liberated living for
peace and joy.
I hope many of you join me!
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