meditation

What I Ate Wednesday #132

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And here we are at another What I Ate Wednesday. Thank you as always to the lovely Jenn of Peas & Crayons for hosting the weekly link party. Take a visit to see more WIAW from other bloggers!

I’ve been sharing a lot of Saturday meals lately because during the workweek, it’s pretty routine: oatmeal at my desk; salad or soup & random veggies at my desk; Greek yogurt; something in a bowl for dinner…It’s not that I don’t enjoy good meals Monday through Friday—I just get sick of photographing stuff against the florescent-lit, fake-wood surface of my workspace. Weekends are a lot more colorful and I like recounting fun times.

I spent Saturday in NJ with my family. My mom had an open house at the space she shares with several other practitioners. Several different people discussed the work they do and there was a different kind of meditation every hour. The open house didn’t start until the afternoon, so I had time for a restorative yoga class and some lunch before heading out. Later on, I had dinner at Rosa Mexicano with my parents and sister. We had a really nice time.

  • Breakfast: Zucchini bread oats with PB
  • Lunch: Butternut squash red lentil soup over kale with a toasted pumpkin waffle and—yep—more tahini
  • Snack: A plain Chobani with cinnamon, a spoonful of instant oats I found at my mom’s, and a few strawberries that were surprisingly nice for October
  • Dinner: at Rosa Mexicano—a glass of cava; a few chips with guac (made table-side); salmon over black beans & roasted corn and mole sauce
  • Snack: (unpictured) half a sliced banana to keep my stomach from growling before bed

What’s your go-to dish at a Mexican restaurant? I’m all over anything with mole sauce. What was the best thing you ate recently? 

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Springing ahead for real

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Technically, anyway. It’s still a tad blustery in NYC, but spring just happened, so cheers to that…I may or may not have wandered into the makeup aisle when I went to stock up on allergy meds yesterday. Nothing like a seasonal impulse buy. I wish my insurance covered pick-me-ups like lip-stain. IMG_1926

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These boots are worn the f*** out

Even if the temperatures suck, the lighting situation is definitely improved. I love that it’s so much brighter out. While out running errands, I spied a few budding plants. Signs of life!

The start of a new season seems like a good time to check in with those new years resolutions and see which ones are worth keeping with, which ones to chuck, and which ones to get started on already. It’s also a good time to see if there’s anything you need to focus on that didn’t occur to you in January. Not that January 1st is the only time to make resolutions, but since so many of us do, it’s a good jumping-off point.  Read the rest of this entry »

Mindful Meditation Could Ease IBS

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I’m a new fan of meditation. In January, I began setting aside 5 minutes a day to breathe deeply and clear my mind, and I have to admit that it’s worked wonders for my stress levels. I’ve also noticed a significant decrease in the (stress-related) aches and pains I’d been dealing with for a long time, and my sleep has also improved. I am hoping to work up to 10 minutes, gradually—It amazes me to think that even 5 minutes seemed impossible just six months ago.

Another great thing about meditation: It doesn’t cost anything and can be practiced virtually anywhere. It’s already saved my ass/sanity more times than a cup of coffee or— who are we kidding—a glass of wine would have.

A recent study shows that mindful meditation may also be helpful in treating Irritable Bowel Syndrom (IBS). IBS  is a common chronic illness thought to stem from a genetic predisposition and can be triggered by stress, a gastrointestinal infection, or GI surgery. Symptoms, which can be mild to severe, include abdominal pain, cramps, diarrhea and constipation. IBS should not be confused with Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome, which is a more serious condition.

75 women between 19 and 71 years old (average age ~ 43 years) were randomly divided into two groups. One group participated in a mindfulness meditation training session and the other in a traditional support group, both for eight weeks. Participants rated the treatments’ potential benefit/”credibility” about equally.

At the end of the eight weeks, the meditation group had a 26.4 percent reduction in “overall severity of symptoms” compared to a 6.2 percent reduction in the support group. By the end of three months, the disparity persisted as improvement increased to a 38.2 percent reduction in symptoms for the meditation group vs. a 11.8 percent reduction for the therapy group, the study found.

You can read more about this study here.

It’s a small study, but the results are pretty striking. As a culture, we spend so much time and money on medications and invasive procedures without always considering alternative or complementary treatment options. Seriously, if we were taught to meditate each day from an early age, the world would be a very different place with, perhaps, very different health issues. Just some food for thought.

Hopefully not a taste of things to come

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I woke up in the middle of the night last night/this morning and could not freaking fall back asleep. My mind kept drifting and fixating on recall-memory sorts of things, like the classification of vegetables. It reminded me of when I was taking a high school anatomy & physiology course, and I used to lie awake counting the bones in my body or thinking about the different components of blood. Good for when it was time to take tests, but bad for sleep. 

Normally when I can’t sleep, I stomp around and get all pissed off and stuff, but last night I figured I might be better off going back to one of the guided imagery tapes I used to use when I had insomnia in college. It worked, go figure. I’d highly recommend Belleruth Nepartsek‘s stuff. She’s great. 
Hopefully, I won’t have to deal with this too often this semester, but it’s nice to know I have something I can turn to.