As a past participant of the Green Mountain at Fox Run program, I view the approach as a life-altering and lifelong way to look at food, health and wellbeing. By now, you may know that I look for the “learning” in every step along the way, the successes and the failures.
It begins with understanding all the tenets of the program – mindful eating, balanced eating, non-diet mentality, no self-loathing, enjoyable exercise, etc.
All of these things were new to me when I went through the program and I have spent the last 10 months working hard to make them part of my sub-conscious, to put them on “automatic” for my daily routine. Okay, so far so good. What now?
You can only absorb so much against-the-grain thinking, so it’s taken me this long to really digest the notion that “no foods are bad foods” and that you don’t need to weigh, measure or jump on the scale twice a day.
I feel like my brain has finally wrapped itself around the program and I’m ready for the next opportunity of learning. For me, that involves educating myself more about nutrition.
Using Practical Nutrition to Feel Great
While I was at Green Mountain last year, I remember raising my hand and feeling so stupid when asking, “What exactly is a protein? Or a carb?” It was all pretty confusing to me. I came home and dealt with moving forward with the knowledge I had and the foods that I like to eat. Now it’s time to up my game!
I’ve been reading some about the science of digestion – how foods are absorbed into the body and what happens to them along the way, from a nutritional standpoint.
I’ve begun reading labels. I’m even researching the value of organic, no-hormone, no-GMO foods on the body.
I’m weaning myself from too many added sweeteners and looking to vary what I eat (while still enjoying it!): sweet potatoes instead of white, sunflower seed butter instead of peanut, almond milk in my smoothie instead of apple juice, etc.
I’m experimenting with ways to cook and prepare food.
(On this note, I bought a Sansaire, which cooks food in a bag in water, retaining all the natural vitamins of veggies without having them leach into steam. And they taste better!)
I’ve been trying out new techniques to assess my hunger cues. My college roommate used to grab a children’s coloring book and color a page when she needed a brain-break or she was feeling stressed.
Naturally, I thought she was nuts but I’ve started doing the same thing when I feel what seems like a food-craving rather than actual hunger. I color the page for a few minutes with complete focus and then re-assess. Sounds ridiculous, right? That’s okay. It works for me.
Find what works for you. Learn what works for you.
Even if you learn that a food makes you feel groggy, for example, you can still go ahead and eat it, if you choose. Just know how you will react to it. Learn what to expect from your body if you put certain things in it and, more importantly, learn how your body feels if you stop putting certain things in it!
Try grabbing a crossword puzzle if you’re in the kitchen and obsessing, or run to the mailbox and back. (My daughter’s go-to solution when she was in elementary school and felt stressed out while doing her homework. With math, we usually had to run to the mailbox twice!)
Just keep learning.