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Gain Weight During Lockdown? Here’s How to Regain Control

Gain Weight During Lockdown? Here’s How to Regain Control 1920 1080 Chase Jennings

weight gain kanika chadda gupta weight loss

Gain Weight on Lockdown? Here’s How to Regain Control

Over the last two months, much of the country has been in a state of self-isolation, and many of us have put on a few extra pounds. This unwelcome quarantine has led to stress, and, as we all know, stress can lead to overeating.

What Can I do?

If you’ve noticed the scale inching up as the days trudge on, remind yourself that lockdown is not going to last forever. Someday soon, you’ll be back out into the real world, and you’re going to want to look and feel your very best.

Fortunately, there are many ways to reverse the bad habits you may have picked up over the last 60 days. One of these is to adopt healthy stress-busting habits. This is especially important if you are a caregiver since, as Community Home Health Care points out, stress weighs heavily on those that care for others.

Look for new outlets, which might include blogging, exercise, or meditation. Note that none of these suggestions involve cooking or put you in a situation where you would eat as part of a social setting. When you learn to remove food as a comfort item, you won’t be tempted to ingest excess and unnecessary calories.

Next, reframe how you dine. Make a rule that food must be consumed in the kitchen or dining room, so you’ll be less likely to eat in between meals. You’ll also want to make a point to utilize the food you have in your pantry in the most healthful ways possible. A few great examples of healthy recipes you can put together without having to go to the grocery store include spinach tortellini soup and quesadillas made with untraditional ingredients, such as legumes. You also likely have a great base for soups and sandwiches as well as healthy casseroles.

Once you do begin to venture out again, prioritize nutritional foods, such as salads, fruits, and lean proteins. As far as vegetables go, you already know you’re supposed to be eating the rainbow. But if you are one of the many people who can’t stomach the earthy taste of greens, you’re going to need to put in some work retraining yourself on how to eat healthily. According to Precision Nutrition, there are three basic steps to make this happen. These are to challenge yourself to try things you don’t normally eat, pair them with something you do, and then look for ways to cushion the bitterness, which is likely your biggest turn off when it comes to things like kale and asparagus.

Finally, if you’re still having trouble mastering your food intake, it can help to hire a nutritionist. This is an individual, who may post their services on freelance job boards such as Upwork, who can work with your tastes and preferences to help you manage your caloric intake.

Diet and Exercise

Fitness buffs are happy to tell you that the only way to lose weight is to hit the gym and hit the gym hard. This is actually not the case, although exercise is crucial and can help bolster your weight-loss efforts. Even if you’re not used to working out, make a point to add at least 30 minutes of exercise to your day every day. Running, jump roping, and even activities such as kickboxing, are all great ways to lose weight, and come with the added benefit of letting you expel pent-up stress.

If you’ve gained a little weight, don’t worry. We are in the same boat. But if your ultimate goal is to waltz out of your house wearing your pre-pandemic pants, the time to take action is now. Remember, managing your weight starts with what you eat, so start in your pantry. When you reframe the way you look at food, you can make healthy and delicious meals with what you’ve got. And as quarantine comes to a close, remember to prioritize vegetables and other healthy options at the grocery store.

 

Guest post by Jennifer McGregor

Photo Credit: i yunami on Unsplash

049: Tejal V. Patel — Kids Can Meditate

049: Tejal V. Patel — Kids Can Meditate 1024 512 Chase Jennings

Tejal V Patel JD, is a former divorce attorney turned mindfulness, meditation and Ayurveda advocate for moms and kids. She’s the host of the Time-In Talks Podcast, speaker and author of the book Meditation for Kids: 40 Activities To Manage Emotions, Ease Anxiety and Stay Focused.

It’s Tejal’s mission to support moms in their journey to become mindful parents and raise the first generation of mindful children and next generation of peace leaders.
Her fun, practical and simple way of infusing mindfulness and meditation into the lives of modern families in a way that is understandable to kids truly sets her apart from the traditional self-help crowd and makes her a go-to expert for modern moms seeking to raise calm, confident, and compassionate children.

Tejal lives in South Jersey with her husband, sons, and parakeet Skye.

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Mom Haul:

Simple Changes for Moms To Connect With Their Mind, Body, and Soul

Simple Changes for Moms To Connect With Their Mind, Body, and Soul 2560 1709 Kanika

 

For busy moms, healthy habits can be difficult to incorporate into your day when you already have your routine down. For example, you may feel intimidated by the thought of a new workout, especially if you have a tight schedule. Or maybe you want to eat healthier, but this can be expensive, which is hard if your family is on a strict budget.

However, having healthy habits isn’t just about how you stay active or the way you eat. Everything about your life matters, including having a living space that is clean and free of clutter. You also have to pay attention to your sleep patterns and that you’re getting enough, both in quality and quantity. When you treat your body well overall, you’ll feel better in just about every aspect of your life.

If it’s not already the case, getting your family on the same routine can help since everyone will be on the same page. You already know how hard it is to try and make meals for four different people with vastly different tastes and schedules. If possible, make sure your loved ones are ready to make some healthy changes right alongside you so you can all get focused together. Having moral support will help you maintain these habits and work toward new goals.

Here are a few things for moms to consider when making changes to live healthier.

Clean Home, Clear Health

You may not realize how much clutter you’ve accumulated until you start going through each room with the intent to clean things out, and all that clutter can wreak havoc on your mental health, as well as the air quality in your home. Dust, pet dander, bacteria, and other debris can live on your belongings, making it difficult to prevent allergies and other breathing issues. Not only that but also living with mess and clutter can be detrimental to your mental health, leaving you feeling stressed and even affecting your sleep.

Declutter each room, starting with the bedrooms, and give every space a thorough tidying. If you can swing it, hire a cleaning service to help out. In New York, homeowners spend an average of $116-$228 for a good deep clean. Even if it’s just once in a while, it’s a worthy investment.

Say Sayonara!

Stress and anxiety can really take a toll on the way we feel, and sometimes the best way to combat those feelings is to get away for a bit. Whether you need a full-on vacation or just a short road trip (yes, even if it’s solo or with a girlfriend!), it’s important to get a change of scenery sometimes to get the blood flowing and find inspiration again. If you’ve been feeling like you’re in a rut with your career or are having trouble sleeping due to anxiety, consider taking a trip. If you can combine an activity with it, like hiking, all the better.

Improved Gut Health = Better Mood

Scientists are continuing to find that the flora of our gut have a considerable effect on our mood and overall well-being. If a nurtured microbiome can lead to happiness and improved overall wellness, all the more reason to amp up healthier eating habits. For an easy gut health boost, look for ways to incorporate probiotics daily, whether it’s through fermented and cultured foods like yogurt and pickled vegetables or adding prebiotic and probiotic supplements.

Meditate and Melt Away Stress

When life begins to feel overwhelming, sometimes the best way to get through it is to go inward. Meditation is a wonderful way to de-stress because it allows you to focus your concentration in order to relax and push away the stressors of the world. When done in conjunction with yoga (a class usually costs between $12 and $16), it’s the perfect way to feel better overall. Find a quiet, dimly lit spot in your home and give it a try.

Healthy living might necessitate some changes on your part, but they don’t have to bring on stress. In fact, when done correctly, these changes will help you eliminate those negative feelings so that you can focus on your family, job, and personal projects while keeping your mind and body in check.

Contributed by Jennifer McGregor, publichealthlibrary.org

015: Jackie Stewart — Teaching Kids Mindfulness & Meditation

015: Jackie Stewart — Teaching Kids Mindfulness & Meditation 1024 512 Chase Jennings

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) encourages parents to share meditation with their children and teachers to incorporate mindfulness training into their lesson plans. The simple act of teaching children how to stop, focus, and just breathe could be one of the greatest gifts you give them.

My guest, Jackie Stewart, is fascinated with the human mind and understanding how our perceptions impact our present experience. Inevitably, through studying the mind, she began to understand the interrelated nature of our shared humanity and need for connection. With an MA in Media, Culture, and Communication from NYU, a background in the fashion and entertainment industries, as well as being a certified meditation instructor, she works at bringing mindfulness to everyday life in a practical and approachable way. She can be found teaching meditation at MNDFL, NYC’s premier meditation studio; Journey LIVE, the first live stream meditation app; Alo Moves, Alo’s online training platform from the world’s top instructors; and as a contributing writer for Rose & Rex on intentional and mindful parenting.

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Show Notes:

  • 03:00 – The benefits of meditation
  • 06:57 – Our inner narrative
  • 07:18 – Difference between meditation and mindfulness
  • 12:55 – Checking in ourselves
  • 19:02 – Breathing
  • 29:01 – Improving attentiveness and impulse control
  • 33:00 – How to guide your child through meditation (wave breaths exercise)
  • 42:15 – Taking deep breaths
  • 47:15 – Quote to live by
  • 47:58 – Mom Haul

Mom Haul:

Meditation Clears the Clutter

Meditation Clears the Clutter 2000 1333 Kanika

A year ago, I came across an article on a Harvard medical study highlighting the biological benefits of meditation. Of course we all know the positive effects including reduced stress, anxiety, and overall clarity of the mind, but I was surprised to find that meditating can actually alter the brain. The study states, “it’s well-documented that the cortex shrinks as we get older — it’s harder to figure out and remember things. But in this one region of the prefrontal cortex, 50-year-old meditators had the same amount of grey matter as 25-year-olds.” During a second study, researchers found that the amygdala, “the fight or flight part of the brain which is important for anxiety, fear, and stress” is reduced in size. Here are three easy ways I incorporate meditation in my day to day.

  1. Surya Namaskars. During my stint working as an Anchor/Producer for CNN in India, I hired a private yoga teacher who was incredibly authentic and knowledgeable. He taught me how to do surya namaskars (sun salutations), which are a combination of 12 asanas (postures) including back bends, forward bends, and controlled breathing to help the body in a variety of ways. Surya namaskars can help you lose weight, strengthen your muscles and joints, promote better digestion, combat insomnia, keep anxiety levels at bay, and can even yield glowing, youthful skin. I start my day with 10-20 surya namaskars. Watch this video to learn how to maintain an ideal pace and good form.
  2. Guided meditations. Guided meditations are great when you feel like shutting off and simply following along. Headspace has an excellent UX and UI and features various meditations based on your mood, duration, and challenges you’d like to overcome. There are other such apps on iOS and Android and tons of YouTube videos out there. Give it a try!
  3. Breathing exercises. I do a series of my own breathing exercises when I pump. Since I’m free for 20 – 40 minutes, I feel this is a good use of my time. Celebrity physician Dr. Andrew Weil advocates the 4-7-8 rule where you breathe in through your nose for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds, and breathe out with a long exhale for 8 seconds. Sigh.

Meditation is exercise for the mind, and just like our physical health, we need our mental state to be in tip-top shape to truly feel healthy and happy.