January, 2016
Archive

  • Dealing with Emotional Eating

    Emotional hunger starts in your mind, not your body.

    When you’re happy, your food of choice could be steak or pizza, when you’re sad it could be ice cream or cookies, and when you’re bored it could be potato chips. Food does more than fill our stomachs — it also satisfies our feelings, and when you quench those feelings with comfort food when your stomach isn’t growling, well that’s emotional eating.

    Emotional eating is the practice of consuming large quantities of food — usually “comfort” or junk foods — in response to feelings instead of hunger. Experts estimate that 75% of overeating is caused by emotions.

    Many of us learn that food can bring comfort, at least in the short-term. As a result, we often turn to food to heal emotional problems. Eating becomes a habit preventing us from learning skills that can effectively resolve our emotional distress. When we are able to identify what triggers our emotional eating, we can substitute more appropriate techniques to manage our emotional problems.

    How to Tell the Difference

    There are several differences between emotional hunger and physical hunger:

    • Emotional hunger comes on suddenly; physical hunger occurs gradually.
    • When you are eating to fill a void that isn’t related to an empty stomach, you crave a specific food, such as pizza or ice cream, and only that food will meet your need. When you eat because you are actually hungry, you’re open to other food options.

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    • Emotional hunger feels like it needs to be satisfied instantly with the food you crave; physical hunger can wait.
    • You’re more likely to keep eating, even when you are full, if you’re eating to satisfy an emotional need. When you’re eating because you’re hungry, you’re more likely to stop when you’re full.
    • Emotional eating can leave behind feelings of guilt or shame; eating when you are physically hungry does not.

    Identifying Triggers

    Businessman eating lunch at desk

    Stress – When stress is chronic, which happens a lot in our fast-paced world, it leads to high levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. This hormone triggers cravings for salty, sweet, and high-fat foods—foods that give you a burst of energy and pleasure. The more uncontrolled stress in your life, the more likely you are to turn to food for emotional relief without even realizing it.

    Stuffing emotions – Eating can be a way to temporarily silence uncomfortable emotions, including anger, fear, sadness, anxiety, loneliness, resentment, and shame. While you’re numbing yourself with food, you can avoid the emotions you’d rather not feel.

    It’s important to keep in mind that while most emotional eating is linked to unpleasant feelings, it can also be triggered by positive emotions, such as rewarding yourself for achieving a goal or celebrating a holiday or happy event.

    Boredom or feelings of emptiness – Do you ever eat simply to give yourself something to do or as a way to fill a void in your life? emotional-eating In the moment, It fills you up and distracts you from underlying feelings of uselessness and dissatisfaction with your life.

    Childhood habits – Think back to your childhood memories of food. Did your parents reward good behavior with ice cream, take you out for pizza when you got a good report card, or serve you sweets when you were feeling sad?  Or maybe some of your eating is driven by cherished memories of baking and eating cookies with your mom, or gathering around the table with your extended family for a special home-cooked meal.

    will not eatSocial influences – It’s easy to overindulge simply because the food is there, everyone else is eating, or out of nervousness. Maybe your family or circle of friends encourage you to overeat.

     

    To identify what triggers excessive eating in you, Keep a food diary that records what and when you eat as well as what stressors, thoughts, or emotions you identify as you eat. You should begin to identify patterns to your excessive eating fairly quickly.

    In order to stop emotional eating, you have to find other ways to fulfill yourself emotionally. It’s not enough to understand the cycle of emotional eating or even to understand your triggers, although that’s a huge first step. You need alternatives to food that you can turn to for emotional fulfillment.

    Alternatives to Emotional Eating  (If you would like more specific Essential Oil suggestions – email me, kathy@kathyskinner.com )Child-phone

    If you’re depressed or lonely, call someone who always makes you feel better, play with your dog or cat, or look at a favorite photo. (Elevation Blend, Frankincense, any citrus oil)

    dancing-girl-highresIf you’re anxious, expend your nervous energy by dancing to your favorite song, squeezing a stress ball, or taking a brisk walk. (Lavender, Wild Orange, Lemon, Serenity Blend, Balance Blend, Breathe Blend)

    If you’re exhausted, treat yourself with a hot cup of green tea, take a bath, give yourself a 10-15 minute break of meditation/zoning out. (Lavender or Ylang Ylang with Lemon or Sandlewood)

    If you’re boredread a good book, watch a Hikingcomedy show, explore the outdoors, or turn to an activity you enjoy such as gardening, playing an instrument, scrap-booking, etc. (Wild Orange, Lime, Clove, Ginger, Lemongrass, Vetiver, Peppermint)

    glass of waterWait 5 minutes before you give in to a craving. Emotional eating tends to be automatic and virtually mindless. But if you can take a moment to pause and reflect when you’re hit with a craving, you give yourself the opportunity to make a different decision. All you have to do is put off eating for five minutes, have a glass of water if five minutes seems unmanageable. Don’t tell yourself you can’t give in to the craving; remember, the forbidden is extremely tempting. Just tell yourself to wait. While you’re waiting, check in with yourself. How are you feeling? What’s going on emotionally? Even if you end up eating, you’ll have a better understanding of why you did it. This can help you set yourself up for a different response next time. 

    Learn to accept your feelings-all kinds. Many time we think that the core problem is that we’re powerless over food, when actually, emotional eating stems from feeling powerless over your emotions. 

    Allowing yourself to feel uncomfortable emotions can be scary. You may fear that, like Pandora’s box, once you open the door you won’t be able to shut it. But the truth is that when we don’t obsess over or suppress our emotions, even the most painful and difficult feelings do subside and lose their power to control our attention. To do this you need to become mindful and learn how to stay connected to your moment-to-moment emotional experience. This can enable you to rein in stress and repair emotional problems that often trigger emotional eating.Healthy Habits

    Your life will be richer when you open yourself up emotionally. Our feelings help us understand and discover our deepest desires and fears, our current frustrations, and the things that will make us happy. 

    Supporting yourself with Healthy Lifestyle Habits will  help you to better be able to handle whatever life inevitably throws your way. Get suggestions in my Back to Basics blog post.

    How do you deal with emotional eating? Leave a comment below.

    Blessings for peace, joy & laughter,

    Kathy

    January 20, 2016 • Essential Oils, Healthy Hints • Views: 1554

  • Sprouted Whole Grain Crackers

    Since I have become an avid ‘Ingredient’ reader (you don’t want to be grocery shopping behind me if you are in a hurry!), I have taken up making my own crackers. Yes, I do purchase them on occasions but because I want the ‘healthier’ ones they are a bit pricey.

    These crackers are really pretty easy to make, cheap and healthier too.  The hardest part for me is not getting myself distracted and missing the time on the oven. Then I end up with almost burnt crackers, fortunately I have a husband who actually likes them that way.

    You do need to do a little planning as they are sprouted, meaning that after the original mixing you need to let the dough sit for a least 12 hours.

    SPROUTED WHOLE GRAIN CRACKERS

    Makes about 175 crackers – about 6 crackers per serving

    Basic Ingredients:

    • 3 ½ cups whole grain flour (I usually use a mix of dark rye & stone ground wheat)
    • ¼ cup Sesame Seeds soaked for 20 minutes & drained
    • ¼ cup Chia Seeds
    • ¼ cup melted coconut oil
    • 1 ¼ cups water
    • 4 Tbsp raw apple cider vinegar

    Optional Additions (1/8 cup):

    • Coarse Ground Pepper
    • Dried or fresh Rosemary crushed
    • Italian herb seasoning
    • Rosemary essential oil – 1 drop (Note: Not all essential oil brands are safe for taking internally which is why I ONLY use doTERRA Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils. Check them out HERE)

    Directions:

    • Gently mix together above ingredients with fork until combined.
    • Knead dough gently in bowl until just comes together in a ball.
    • Cover with plastic and leave out overnight (12-24 hours) on counter. (This helps to break down the enzyme inhibitors and increase the nutritional value)
    • Then flatten ball out on floured counter
    • Sprinkle dough with:
      • 1 tsp sea salt
      • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
    • Fold in half and knead gently until salt and baking powder are evenly mixed in.
    • Preheat oven to 425 degrees (or get dehydrator ready – to make a raw food cracker)
    • Lightly flour surface
    • Divide dough into 4 parts
    • Roll one part at a time
    • For firm thick crackers roll out to about 1/8 inch
    • For light, more crumbly cracker roll out to about ¼ inch
    • Cut into preferred size with pizza cutter or sharp knife
    • Gently lay on greased baking sheets and prick with fork
    • Bake about 10-20 minutes (10 for soft, 20 for crispy)
    • Done when light brown around edges
    • (Dehydrator time varies, will be done when dry and crispy.)
    • Cool and store in air tight container

    Per Serving (6 crackers): 83 calories, 3.5g fat, 52mg sodium, 12g carbs, 4.5g fiber, .16g sugar, 2.7g protien

    I like that I can change up my seasonings (or essential oils) and grains for different tastes. Leave a comment below on what seasonings you like to use.

    Blessings for health, joy & laughter,

    Kathy

    January 7, 2016 • Essential Oils, Recipes • Views: 557

  • Up-cycling with Christmas Tree Tea

    Now that it’s time to remove the decorations from the Christmas Tree, the question arises as ‘What to do with the tree?’ There’s actually many ways to recycle or up-cycle it. From calling your local Boy Scouts who will haul it away and make chips out of it, to putting it in your yard with bird seed to feed the local wildlife, cutting it up to mulch your garden, cutting the trunk to make coasters or trivets (I’m doing this for future Christmas gifts), using the branches for plant stakes and the list can go on. But my favorite is making what I call Christmas Tree Tea. (If your tree has been sprayed with flame retardant don’t use it for tea. Go to the forest and get some fresh pine needles.)

    We live in Oregon and got a permit to chop down our own tree. If you haven’t done this, you’re 1208151431missing out on a lot of fun! We picked a Douglas Fir which is also the Oregon State Tree.

    So you maybe wondering why I would wan t to make a tea with pine needles. For starters they are very high in antioxidants, including flavonoids and vitamins A and C which is great help with winter colds and coughs. According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, you may benefit more by getting your antioxidants from natural sources rather than supplements. This is enough for me to brew a cup of tea, but there are many studies going on to learn more  about pine needle’s anti-inflammatory, antimutagenic, and anti-tumor effects.

    A word of CAUTION: Some pines are poisonous – DO NOT pick Yew, Ponderosa or Australian pine needles! Get a list HERE    Another Caution: Women who are pregnant, or who could become pregnant, are advised NOT to drink pine needle tea in general.

     

    Brewing a Cup of Christmas (Pine Needle) Tree Tea 

    0101161216Ingredients:

    • 2 cups of boiling water
    • 2 Tablespoons of fresh chopped pine needles

     

    Directions:

    • Wash your branches of needles
    • Cut off needles and then cut needles (this helps release more of the essential oil) 01031611400103161142
    • Place 2 Tablespoons of chopped needle pieces in to a teapot (if you don’t have a teapot use a small pot)      0103161153

     

    • Pour 2 cups of boiling water into pot and cover with lid. This keeps in more of the essential oils.

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    • Let tea steep for about 15-20 minutes or until the needles turn a dull green and most sink to the bottom. You might also want to cover the teapot with a cozy or towel to keep it warm.

     

     

    • Using a strainer, pour tea into you cup and enjoy. I like it just this way but you may want to 0103161221add a sweetener,  cream or lemon or even orange peel to change it up. You might want to consider adding lemon or wild orange essential oils to up the health benefits even more. Contact me for essential oils. Kathy@kathyskinner.com

     

    You could also make a couple cups of the tea and add it to your bath water to refresh your body.

    I am cutting off lots of needles from my tree and storing them in a container in the freezer so I can have this delicious and healthy tea all year long!

     

    So what do you plan to do with your tree? Leave a comment below.

    Blessing for a Healthy Year,

    Kathy

    NOTE:   The advice shared on this site has not been evaluated by the FDA. The products and methods recommended are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease, nor is it intended to replace proper medical help. Kindly understand that products and essential oils work to help to bring the body into balance – thus helping the body’s natural defenses to restore homeostasis.

     

     

     

    January 4, 2016 • Recipes • Views: 632