Sunday, May 26, 2013

Self-Love Lesson #5: E is for Eating

eat: 1. to take into the mouth and swallow for nourishment; chew and swallow (food).
Eating is essential to our survival – you don’t eat you die.  Eat too much you can die as well.  So much drama when it comes to food.  Every woman’s magazine has something about eating – in every issue. Every. Issue. And food is usually presented as something evil that makes you fat, well it does but not by itself. Stop the condemnation of food. Make peace with food. Enjoy food.

Yes some of us human beings eat too much, too little and/or the wrong stuff.  Full disclosure: I am one of the human beings, who eat and love eating the wrong stuff.
Enjoy the act of eating.  Not that- grab-something-on-the-way-out-the-door.  I’m talking about sitting down and consciously eating your food, be it a snack or a full-course meal.

Enjoy what you eat. Take your time. Savor it. Flavor it. Enjoy each bite. Inhale the aroma. Feel the texture of it on your tongue. Allow something melt-able to melt, something hard to shrink, something sweet to tickle, something tart to pucker!
Whatever the food has to offer; let it unfold, evolve, unfurl, and expand in your mouth and spirit! Let your taste buds feel the varied sensations before the chow slides down your throat and starts it journey to your belly.

Be it popcorn, chocolate kisses, steak, salad, ice cream, scrambled eggs with cheese, potato chips, cornbread, raw, cooked and all things crunchy, whatever it is: Enjoy it!

Accept your appetite and the consequences of what you choose to eat. It is that simple.

Mangia! Mangia!  (Eat! Eat!)

Self-Love Lesson #4: D is Dance

Dance your ass off! Be it stylized or completely spastic who cares.   I’m talking about putting some music on and letting your body do what it wants, which may or may not involve rhythm.  I know as I have gotten older I’ve started doing a particular move that reminds me of my Mom’s dance move when she was my age. And to further complicate the matter I’ve had a hip replacement so sometimes I have to have a talk with my lower body and it goes something like this: ‘Come on help a Sistah out!’ to no avail. When all else fails I just let the music move and lead me.

Depending on my mood I’ll turn up whatever is on my iTunes, drop a CD in my CD player, tune in to one of the TV Music channels or access my Pandora account on my phone and just have at it.  I’ve noticed I’ve starting saying and texting ‘have at it’ more and more, what’s up with that? Another post, another time…

So back to the uninhibited, let it fly, let loose dancing. Just be – you and the music.  Sure at first you may look around when you know damn well you are alone but keep it up and you will find you enjoy the process of just dancing. No worrying about whether or not you’ve got your moves down pat, just dance.  

Dance like nobody is watching! 

Now the young woman below is tearing it up in public – more power to her! I’m going to keep my ‘just-dance’ moves to myself, thank you very much.

Bob Nesta Marley had not time for choreography, nope not for him. He felt the vibe and let his spirit ROCK:

Or you can do the Soul Train line all by yourself!

So go on and get your dance on!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Self-Love Lesson #3: C is Chocolate

Eating chocolate falls under the indulgence category of Self-Love. Yielding to, satisfying or gratifying self without restraint.  Now all that is easy to do with chocolate because it is yummy and heavenly; literally heavenly since its botanical name theobroma cacao’s breaks down this way: theos (god) + broma (food) = ‘food of the gods.’   No surprise there because anything that tastes as good as chocolate can only come from the Creator of all.

And according to researchers chocolate may have some health benefits via flavonoids found in the cacao bean. Dark chocolate contains a higher percentage of cocoa than white or milk chocolate. Full disclosure: I prefer milk chocolate!   Solid dark chocolate is the best for you.  When part of a healthy lifestyle it can improve heart health, blood pressure, reduce LDL aka "bad" cholesterol, increase blood flow to the brain and it may also improve blood sugar and insulin sensitivity, reducing diabetes risk.  Woohoooo!!!!

Screech!!!!!! Suggested portion size is small like an ounce but ‘they’ say it will last if you eat it s-l-o-w-l-y, which is not a hard thing to do just let it melt ever so slowly in your mouth; I personally prefer good old-fashioned candy but other forms are:
·        Pure cocoa powder: (2 tablespoons): 40 calories, 1 gram of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat
·        Unsweetened baking chocolate (1 ounce):140 calories, 14 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat.
·        Semisweet or milk chocolate (1 ounce): 135 calories, 8.5 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat.
·        Dark chocolate (1 ounce): 142 calories, 10 grams of fat, and 6 grams of saturated fat

Then there is the feel-good aspect of chocolate!  It contains the chemicals phenylethylamine and serotonin, which are thought to be mood boosters and mild sexual stimulants.  

So let’s recap:  Tastes yummy, has healthy effects, is a mood booster and a mild sexual stimulant!

I say: Get your chocolate on!