A Media Holiday: Can It Help With Food Allergies and Emotional Eating?

This week is Yom Kippur. A time when the Jewish community fasts from sunset to sunset. It is a time to ask for forgiveness, and a time to forgive. It is a day of atonement and abstinence. The act of seeking forgiveness and forgiving others has many emotional and psychological benefits (religion aside).

During these 24 hours-conversative Jews also refrain from touching electricity/fire (no t.v., computer, phones, driving) no reading anything except prayer books. It is a time to reflect.

Here are things to reflect upon (even if you are not Jewish):
1) Is your life where you want it to be?
2) Is your health optimal?
3) Are there things you could be doing to improve your health but aren’t?
4) Are you creating extra drama and stress for yourself or others?
5) When you look in the mirror do you like what you see? What do you see?
6) Are there people in your life that you are hurting? Are you letting others hurt you?
7) Is there something you need to forgive yourself for?

Many experts, when discussing emotional eating suggest taking a “media holiday”-a period of time in which you refrain from watching t.v., listening to the radio, and reading magazines. In my work with people who struggle with self esteem or body image, they are frequently bombarded with media messages of what they should look like, eat like, dress like, and things they should be doing. Somehow, if we do all these things, have all those possessions, and look a certain way-by some miracle we become happy and confident.

Wondering if a media holiday is right for you?
Consider the following:

  • Do you ever feel depressed reading other people’s Facebook status?
  • Do you feel inadequate when you compare yourself to others on Twitter?
  • Do you flip through magazines wishing you had more hair, less hair, a smaller waist, bigger breasts, more muscles, etc?

If you answered yes to any of these, then you may want to seriously consider taking a media holiday. Not sure you can last a week? Try a day-just 24 little hours.

Leave us a comment and tell us how you did!

Do The Numbers On The Scale Define Your Self Worth?

Our Founder, Elika Kormeili, was recently talking with a group of women discussing their bodies, their weight and the size of their self esteem. Often times, when you have food allergies, the foods your substitutes foods like rice bread is more fattening than regular bread. This can often lead to weight gain and frustration. Even people with food allergies worry about their weight and struggle with confidence.
Here is what was discovered:

60% are on some sort of diet
50% are doing an “intense” workout program such as “Insanity” or PX90
100% are struggling with their confidence in some capacity

This is heartbearting. For so many women, their confidence is directly related to the numbers on the scale. Elika admits that she has been guilty of letting her self-confidence be determined by the scale at times too.

So why do we put such a big emphasis on our weight?
We are bombarded every day, every second of the day, by what “society” has determined to be sexy or beautiful. Ever magazine, T.V. show and gym has pre-determined what it looks like to be “fit” or ‘beautiful”. The modeling and fashion industry have determined that we should all be very tall, slender women, with little to no hips, and either small breasts or big implants. Now aren’t most designers gay men? And aren’t gay men attracted to other men? So, are they not trying to conform women into their idea of attractiveness? Which is not very feminine looking.

Four Tips to boosting your self-esteem
1) Find activities you enjoy or are good at and engage in those activities regularly.
2) Find your power color. For some it is red (it symbolizes courage, strength and power) for others it may be blue. Discover what color you feel good in and wear it.
3) Make a list of attributes you like about yourself that have nothing to do with your appearance. For example, “I am a good friend”, “I am reliable”, “I am a great cook”.
4) What would you be doing if you had higher self esteem? Do that NOW!!

BONUS TIP: Give to others. When Elika was in graduate school, she read a study about a group of students who failed a test. Naturally, they all felt bad about themselves after their grade. Half the group, volunteered to tutor others and give of their time. The other half didn’t. Guess what? The group the provided help to others rated higher on self confidence in a standardized measure.

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.  ~Eleanor Roosevelt

Give these a try and leave a comment with how it works for you-I would love to get your feedback. There is no “one size fits all” and there is no “one treatment for all”.


Having Fun and Food Allergies

That’s right-FUN! Three little letters that mean so much!

We live in a fast-paced world where we wanted everything yesterday. With so many demands for our time, is possible to have fun?

Are you guilty of saying any of the following? “I don’t have time for fun, I have work to do.” Or, “I have too many things on my plate. I can’t make time for fun.” Our personal favorite-“I am just too stressed to plan anything fun”. The truth is when we have so much going on we get burnt out and the idea of adding anything else does seem overwhelming.
Fun means letting your guard down, kicking off your shoes and relaxing. It means letting go of your problems and worries for a short time. Consider it a temporary vacation from your worries.

Make a list of 30 things you find fun and enjoyable (for all you people with a “to do list” add this to the top of the list). It could be something as simple as going for a walk to spending a day at Disneyland (the happiest place right?)

Give yourself a time frame in which to do the activities on your list. Try to at least do one a day. If time is very limited then come up with things that are reasonable like receiving daily jokes. I receive daily tweets which makes me laugh daily. If you don’t have time to watch a 2 hr movie then perhaps call a friend that you enjoy talking to (disclaimer: calling the wrong person may be hazardous to your health).

If you have family obligations (kids, parents, siblings) or limited time to spend with your significant other then perhaps you can enroll them into doing fun activities with you. Elika and a group of recently each made a list (aka the bucket list) and each week as a group they do something from our list. You get the perk of spending time with my friends and enjoying an activity or learning something new.

Elika says “since implementing bucket list, people are getting excited about the things that I do. I find that I laugh more and get over emotional upsets more quickly”.

Pay attention and notice things that make you happy that way you are more likely to repeat them and more likely to succeed at having fun in your life!

What’s on your fun list?

Feeling Blue? Tips to Help Manage Stress, Anxiety and Depression

Everyone feels sad sometime. Question is what do you DO to feel happy?

When you’re lonely, when you’re sad, when you’re feeling blue-here is Elika’s favoriate things to do!

1) Reach out and touch someone. You know that expression “misery loves company”? Well, call and talk to people and better yet make plans to go out!

2) Go for a walk. It’s a proven fact that exercise releases endorphins which improve your mood.

3) Stop and smell the flowers. Cliche but scientists have conducted studies showing that floral scents make you happier. If nothing else-they are pretty to look at!

4) Bring on the bubbles. You know that cheesy movie scene (the candles, tub full of bubbles, the music)? Go all out!

5) Pay it forward. Studies show that helping someone when you are feeling down actually makes you feel better!! Why not kill two birds with one stone and help your favorite charity?

6) Fake it till you make it. Stand in front of the mirror and make some silly faces, if nothing else you will feel silly enough that it will perk you up!

 Try it out and let us know how it worked for you!