Welcome to Mindful Monday. Each week I look at new or sometimes old things about myself on my journey to becoming more conscious about my life journey. I have found that being mindful encompasses the act of being watchful, aware, wary, heedful, alert, careful, or attentive, in whatever area in my life I feel it applies to, as I try to engage in the present.
Come and join me on my journey. You never know what you will learn about yourself.
The idea of mindfulness is simple: Focus on your present circumstance… whatever that may be. Too often we let our mind drift without focus. Not that a drifting mind is wrong, as everything has its place and time.
But achieving a mindfulness way of thinking is not as easy as you think. Close your eyes and try not to let your thoughts drift into the past or future, or the last show you watched on Netflix. Were you able to do it? I always end up dragging myself back to the present moment unless I go into the zone where I enter into a deep state of concentration.
Here is my favorite way to explain mindfulness. I love to crochet with thread and make doilies. Yes, I know it’s old-fashioned, but it is the act of the crocheting that really helps me to relax. I follow a pattern, so there is the counting of stitches to contend with and the rhythmic flow of the hook and the thread. When I crochet, I don’t think about other things because I am concentrating on making the stitch and the tautness of the thread. I literally zone out. I listen to the sound of my breath and watch the hook, and my hands create my art. Sheer bliss. Whenever I get stressed, that is where you will find me – crocheting.
Do you know why this concentrated effort on your part works? Because when we practice mindfulness we are grounded in our own reality. It also helps us tune into how we are feeling. We quit operating on autopilot and live with purpose. That is my aim in life. How about you?
Image credit: TinyBuddha.com
The Simply Filling Method of Eating
I love Weight Watchers and have found it to work for me. The new Smart Points plan is even better than the Points Plus plan was. In fact, I struggle to eat all the food they suggest I should eat each day. If following a meal plan is not right for you how about trying the Simply Filling Method?
I visited the Weight Watchers blog and grabbed this information. It is a quote. However, I would go to the site and download the PDF pictured at the end of the post so that you have a copy of the Simply Filling foods to eat.
“Don’t feel like tracking what you eat? Simply Filling might be right for you. You just eat from the list below of satisfying, nutritious foods in portions that feel right, so you’re not too full — or still hungry. (In the Weight Watchers Mobile app, look for foods marked with a green circle.) You can also have 2 teaspoons of healthy oils (olive oil, canola, sunflower, safflower or flaxseed) a day. No counting! Use your Weekly SmartPoints for foods that aren’t on the Simply Filling list. Follow Simply Filling technique for a day or two — or all the time, whatever what works for you.”
All individual or mixed fruits: fresh, frozen, or canned or jarred in water, without added sugar
Fruit canned or jarred in its own or another juice, without added sugar, drained
Fruit salad or cocktail: mixed fruits without added sugar
Juices, including the juice in which fruit is canned or jarred
Most individual or mixed vegetables: fresh, frozen, canned, or jarred, without added sugar or oil, whether or not it has a SmartPoints value per serving, including
– Corn: Whole kernel and on the cob
– Peas: Green
– Potatoes: white, red, sweet
– Salsa: fat-free and without added sugar, including salsa with fruit
Vegetables prepared with ingredients that are not no-count foods (such as corn in butter sauce, dried tomatoes packed in oil)
Cereals, cold, ready-to-eat, whole-grain, without dried fruits or nuts, with no more than 1 gram of sugar, and with 3 grams or more of fiber per serving
Cereals, hot, cooked, and without added sugar, dried fruits, or nuts, including
– 100% bran
– Cream of rice/cream of wheat
Brown rice and wild rice
Pasta, whole-grain, including
– Whole-grain macaroni, noodles, and spaghetti
– Whole-wheat pasta
– Gluten-free pasta, such as most brown rice pasta, quinoa pasta, and corn pasta*
Whole grains, such as
– Cornmeal (polenta)
– Popcorn: plain air-popped, plain or light microwave- popped, and 94% fat free microwave- popped
– Whole-wheat couscous
Flavored rice mixes
Dairy & Dairy Substitutes
Fat-free milk, and fat-free and sugar-free beverages made with fat-free milk, including
– Fat-free and sugar-free cappuccino
– Fat-free and sugar-free latte
Fat-free cheeses, including
– Fat-free cottage cheese
– Fat-free cream cheese
– Fat-free ricotta cheese
– Fat-free sliced or shredded cheese
Fat-free sour cream
Fat-free plain yogurt, and some light yogurts, regular or Greek*
Unflavored soy milk and soy yogurt
Fat-free evaporated milk
Fat-free sweetened condensed milk
Fat-free creamers (including half and half)
Chicken, turkey, beef, lamb, pork (including ham with less than 700 mg sodium per 2-oz serving, and some brands of Canadian bacon), and Veal: lean, trimmed, and with all skin removed.*
Luncheon and deli meats, reduced-sodium, with 0.5 gram or less fat per 2-oz serving
Most fish and shellfish: fresh, frozen, and canned in water
Eggs: whole, whites, and egg substitutes
Beans: Dried, frozen, and canned, including edamame, fat-free refried, garbanzo (chickpeas), kidney, and white
Dried peas, including black-eyed peas and split peas
Meat substitutes, including vegetarian burgers and veggie “crumbles” with 2 grams or less of fat per serving
Game meats, including buffalo, ostrich, and venison
Organ meats from beef, lamb, pork, and veal
Canned fish or shellfish packed in oil
Meats or fish with breading or added fat
Processed meats, such as hot dogs
(Whole grains make the best choices)
Reduced-calorie (light) bread
Thin sandwich bread, including some wraps and flatbread*
Reduced-calorie (light) rolls or buns, including hot dog and hamburger buns
Reduced-calorie (light) English muffins
Reduced-fat corn tortillas*
Broths and soups, reduced-sodium and light*
Enjoy the following foods as part of your meal or snack without having to count SmartPoints:
Include 2 tsp per day (for additional servings, count SmartPoints)
Coffee (without added sugar)
Tea (without added sugar)
Seltzer (plain or flavored, without added sugar)
Seasonings & Condiments
Extracts and flavorings, unsweetened
Hot sauce (pepper sauce)
Nonstick cooking or baking spray
Salad dressings, fat-free
Soy sauce (short), reduced-sodium
Teriyaki sauce, reduced-sodium
If you can incorporate fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains into your diet, you will find the pounds slipping away.
My weight loss journey has been progressing well. I have lost close to 4 pounds, and as I said earlier, I have a hard time eating the 30 smart points I have allotted for the day. My progress might be slow, but I just keep at it. You lose weight with consistency. It is safe to lose one or two pounds a week.
Here are some winning strategies I have employed:
- More exercise. I average 70+ minutes a day walking on my treadmill at 2.0 MPH. The first thing I noticed was that my back stopped hurting. The second thing I noticed was that I felt stronger. I have walked 7 days a week for 3 weeks straight now. SCORE!
- I stopped having a glass of wine or a cocktail a day. Not only do I feel better, but I am now sleeping better. I think as we women age the sugars and alcohol are difficult for our bodies to break down. To tell you the truth, I don’t really miss the cocktails. I still have a glass of diet soda with my husband each night while we watch the news. SCORE!
- I have indulged in an original Rice Krispie bar (4 Smart Points each) at least five days during the week. Having this bit of sweets is something that keeps me sane. EXTRA SCORE!
I eat a HUGE breakfast, a medium lunch, and a smoothie at night for dinner. Here is a photo of my breakfast and the contents:
3 slices of turkey bacon = 3 smart points
2 slices of multi-grain reduced calorie bread (45 calories each) = 2 points
¾ cup original Egg Beaters = 1 smart point
Polaner Sugar-Free Preserves 2 TBSP = 1 smart point
¼ cup black beans (rinsed) = 1 smart point
4 TBSP Salsa = 0 smart points
Miscellaneous veggies: kale, mushrooms, carrot shreds, zucchini, green pepper, etc.
Total meal = 8 Smart Points
(I have NOT been hungry on this meal plan)
At lunch, I usually have a cup of veggie soup (homemade with fat-free broth), a salad and whatever lean meat (chicken, turkey, pork loin, etc.) and two Wasa Multigrain crackers. I love the Walden Farms salad dressings – ZERO fat and no calories.
Dinner is a smoothie made with two cups of unsweetened almond milk, 2 scoops of pea protein power (365 brand from Whole Foods), 2 cups of frozen fruit, a frozen banana, and a handful of kale. This smoothie counts as 6 smart points because the food is ground up and not chewed.
Now, throughout the day I snack on carrots, apples, grapes, etc. It is only when I settle down at night for some television, that I eat my Rice Krispie treat with gusto! You can make your own treats from this recipe. The serving size is 2 inches X 2 inches for 4 Smart points. I get exactly six small bites that I chew slowly savoring each bite.
I usually find that I have extra points to use. At lunch, I might add a ½ cup of brown rice to my soup, or if I feel like I still need something else, I will have an apple and a ¼ cup of oatmeal. The key is to eat protein at all three meals.
Image credit: 1001 Ways to Lose Weight Fast
Thanks for stopping by and offering your support. It always makes the path easier when we have friends along for the ride.
Remember… If you would like to join me with your mindful goals, please do. The whole idea is to start thinking about ways that you can get in touch with your own mindfulness needs and how it pertains to your life. Write about it. We all learn from each other’s experiences.
If you’d like, you can link to my post with a ping-back each week in a separate post on your own blog. I will add your blog to a list of Mindful Monday supporters that others can visit to gain motivation on each of my Mindful Monday posts. I’m happy to see you!
Until next week. Don’t forget to let me know how your week is going. Hugs. ❤