Mindfulness vs. Multitasking

Minding your mind is an extraordinary thing you can do for your well being. In this current age of incessant digital dialogue we find ourselves overwhelmed, over-tasked, unmindful and unwell.

New research from Stanford University reveals that multi-tasking actually increases our distractibility, reduces our memory, efficiency, and performance.

Unfortunately the damage from multi-tasking isn't just temporary, a study at the University of Sussex suggests that multitasking lowers the density in our brain that affects our empathy, cognition and emotional control. This not only causes poor attention, but attributes to anxiety and depression and even reduces our intelligence!

Being able to focus on one task at hand will greatly increase your mindfulness, intelligence and wellness. But what happens to all those constant bings and plings from texts, instant messages, social media, emails, and the television? Give yourself permission to be mindful for lengths of times and plug in only during certain times (even if it's that last 10 minutes of every hour).

Be a Mindful Manager of Your Time
So what about that monster mountain of things you need to get done? I'll save you time and make this short and sweet...

  1. Get and use a planner (a store bought planner or a notebook, binder, etc)
  2. Create categories for your life (wellness, relationships, house & family management, business, spirit, fun, projects...) and write down your goals, ambitions, dreams, need-to-do's and want-to-do's
  3. Schedule time blocks in your planner for all the important things you want and need to do. (A block of time for organizing your time, work, play, family, cleaning, errands, projects, reading, plugging into the digital world...) 
  4. During each time block, focus on that activity only.
  5. When ideas or distractions come in (and they will) have a Catch-All notebook (or Google Keep note) and write it down, then refocuse on the activity at hand.
  6. When it's your "time management" time, collect your catch-all items and schedule the important activities and file the rest items in your category binders to revisit.
Practice Mindfulness
  1. Schedule time for mindfulness and meditation every day.
  2. Be a mindful eater -- it can even help you loose weight!
  3. While driving, try turning off (not only the phone) but your radio. Pay attention to the world on the street and around you. You might just be amazed at everything you've been missing out on.
  4. Go for a walk (without your device -- or at least mute it and tuck it away somewhere). What a world to behold. Notice the sights, sounds, smells, feeling. 


Resources:

Why Smart People Don't Multitask- Linked In
Brain scans reveal 'gray matter' differences in media multitaskers - Eureka Alert
Media multitaskers pay mental price, Stanford study shows - Stanford News

Kick Start the New Year with the Zero Sugar Diet



Over the past 20 years, I've seen a lot of diet/nutrition plans come and go... I've researched and tried some extreme nutrition regimens, including doing a raw vegan lifestyle for a year and a half along with throwing in juice fasts throughout the years. Whole foods have always been my motto - eat real, whole, unprocessed foods. Easier said then done in our modern culture.

The book Zero Sugar Diet by David Zinczenko landed in my hands last month, and I devoured it like it was my first delicious meal after coming off a week long juice fast! David has successfully integrated a long-term nutrition solution that melds with modern life... complete with a list of do's and don'ts for the grocery store trip and your meal out. 


I've summarized and used excerpts from David's brilliant plan below...




14-Day Reset Plan
1.      Eat foods with no added sugars... and no adding sugars like maple syrup, honey, etc.

2.      Never eat more sugar than fiber, this is your Sweet Spot, and helps you increase fiber, decrease blood sugar, and end cravings.

3.      Power proteins can be eaten freely —foods like grilled chicken, broiled salmon, sautéed shrimp, and cubed tofu (protein foods that have nothing added, except perhaps a minimal amount of fat for cooking).

4.      So can vegetables, fruits, and Flat-Belly Fats like olive, canola, avocado, and walnut oils, plant-fat rich foods like avocados and olives, and nut and seed butters like peanut butter, almond butter, and tahini. (But as with any packaged food, make sure you’re looking for one with less sugar than fiber.)

5.      Use appropriate portion sizes  -  to cut your dependence on carbs. If the prescribed serving sizes aren’t cutting it for you, increase your portions of whole vegetables, fruits, and pure protein. The fiber in produce and protein are both major factors in satiety, and getting enough at each meal will help you rein in your hunger. (Don’t go back for seconds… serve your plate instead of buffet/family style).

6.      Drink a lot of water. Unsweetened tea and coffee are fine to drink too. Ice water is even better.

7.      Salad Tips.  Avoid salad dressings unless you know it has no sugar (use olive oil and vinegar or citrus).

8.      Avoid Dried Fruit.  As most have added sugar

Zero Sugar Lifetime Plan

Follow the above plan, but you can now allow yourself…

1.      OKAY TO ADD A SMALL AMOUNT of maple syrup, honey, jam, or brown sugar to your food after the first 14 day is over, as long as you’re eating a fiber rich meal. MORE FIBER, LESS SUGAR.

2.      CHEAT PACKS. These are high fiber snacks (see book for a complete list). Anytime you are faced with a confusing meal, or fall victim to the song of sugar, eat a Cheat Pack first, preferably 20 minutes prior to the sugared food). This will not only contain your appetite but also keep your fiber intake in the health range.

3.      CHEAT MEALS. Eat whatever you want for two meals or snacks a week – yes, even ice cream.

4.      ALCOHOL. Enjoy – but no more than one glass a day, max.

Give yourself the kick start you need in 2017 and feast on his book Zero Sugar Diet... no added sugar in devouring those pages!