4.2018

Zion Nat'l Park, Columbine

Mindful Living

Savor the moment to enhance your well-being.

Life is hectic!  Our days are filled with commitments, family, obligations, activities (hopefully exercise fits in here), shopping and cooking, reading, driving to and fro…it’s a busy day. Many of us live in a “hurry up and get it done” mode—either multi-tasking two or three activities at the same time, or while in the midst of completing one task, already thinking about what is next on the list to do.

When did we buy in to this mode of existence—getting as much done in one day as humanly possible? Don’t get me wrong; efficiency and effectiveness are important to our personal and business success, but what is the price we pay for life in the fast lane? And one thing is certain, this ramped up performance expectation that has become the norm in our society does carry a price.

I believe that in our rush towards completion, the richness of each experience becomes diluted, leading to the loss of a certain amount of depth and sensory awareness. A superficiality is attached to the event, minimizing its’ value and contribution to our quality of life. Regardless of how ordinary or extraordinary the task may be, our attachment to the experience is minimized, and to counterbalance, it is mindfulness that allows us to fully engage in the depth and detail of the event or task, however mundane it may seem to be.

This hurry up mode contributes to our perceived stressors and the consequent health compromise that results from stress. We all experience this chronic, low level, daily stress—from our personal and professional obligations, traffic, phone calls, and errands, just to name a few—which cause a cascade of physical changes. The physical response to stress leads to an inflammatory response that is linked to several disease states. In addition, the cascade of stress hormones ramps up the brain, affecting our decision making ability, and decreasing our brain’s receptivity to new information. The relevance of the brain being open to new information is essential when discussing optimal lifestyle management; behavior change is far less likely to be sustained when stress and/or chaos are the predominant emotional state.

Being mindful simply means being present in the moment. It means giving yourself permission to focus on what is happening right now, and staying with that focus until the experience is complete. Living in mindfulness does not necessarily mean that you will accomplish less throughout the day, but it does mean that each day will be filled with rich detail, that you will be more relaxed, and that your physical and emotional health will be enhanced.

Mindfulness has been the subject of much scientific study in the past decade. The research is absolutely fascinating—to understand that mindfulness can lead to the creation of neuropathways in your brain that allow us to make and sustain healthy behaviors for instance is just one of the many physical benefits of a mindful approach to our day.  Research also has demonstrated that blood pressure lowers, blood glucose normalizes, and inflammatory markers measured in the blood are lowered when mindfulness becomes a routine part of each experience.

The more often we practice being mindful, the more familiar that slowed down way of being becomes to us. Mindfulness is intention, it is purposeful, it is available to all of us, it is pleasant, it is free, and it is a gift.   To you, from you.

Robin Mallery

Robin Mallery

Robin Mallery is passionate about food! Starting from where and how it's grown, to how far that food travels to the dinner table, to how it is prepared and savored...Robin blends shopping, cooking, and eating tips with her unique Kitchen Zen and mindful meals approach to enjoying real food.

While you are waiting for her to finish the upcoming book, "Kitchen Zen: The Journey to Nourish Body and Soul in Our Changing World", you can find Robin's sporadic blog posts here or on FaceBook.
Robin Mallery

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"The Holiday Survival Cooking and Eating Class exceeded my expectations. It was so enjoyable to learn new ideas for healthy snacks and meals, taste the delicious treats we created and leave with an inspired hope that this will be my healthiest holiday season yet! I am impressed with the knowledge and care that Robin (and Wendy from In the Kitchen) both possess and I look forward to taking more classes in the future. Thanks again!"  --Rose M.   “What a wonderful, yummy class! Not only did we participate in creating several easy-to-make, delicious, nourishing dishes for the holidays and every day, we also learned strategies for surviving and enjoying the upcoming holiday season. Both Robin & Wendy were delightful and imparted their cooking and eating knowledge with love, humor, and enthusiasm. I highly recommend their classes to anyone who is interested in developing a better way to look at food, using thoughtfulness with mindfulness to learn some very valuable strategies for eating any time of the year!” --CAM   “I found the class delightful with great ideas for the holidays. In the Kitchen is a warm and welcoming place and you and Wendy were great teaching collaborators. Good new recipes. I appreciate your healthy eating information. I recommend this class to anyone wanting to enjoy the holidays without stressing over food. Actually, the information isn’t just for the holidays. I want to stay healthy all year and eat well.” --Pat B.   "I’ve participated in several classes at In the Kitchen, enjoyed them all immensely, but it is always a special treat when Wendy teaches a class. The recipes offered in The Holiday Survival class were easy to make and so delicious. And what a plus to have Robin co-teach the The Holiday Survival class with Wendy. Thank you, Robin, for all your great information on healthy eating, which was delivered so professionally, dovetailing beautifully into Wendy’s presentation. Hope you two team up again for more classes of scrumptious, healthy recipes. What a fun evening!!" --Carol B. _______________ I love this positive feedback! How gratifying it is to touch the lives of others in a meaningful way…and to be able to do so around a topic that is so dear to me, is just the icing on the cake (right—pun intended!). Wendy Van Wagner and I will continue to offer seasonal cooking classes in addition to the occasional specialty class…stay tuned!
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