The New Buzzword Around Dieting “Mindful Eating” But What Is it?

When you see the term Mindful Eating you might have an idea what it means. I thought I did when I first saw it. I guess I did in a simplified version but the more I learned about it, the more it really opened my mind. It also opened a new door regarding the way I eat.

Over-simplified, mindful eating is being aware of what you’re eating and being aware of what your body actually wants. – Angie Beechan LuvSavingMoney.com

If you’ve tried to follow just about any app, diet plan, or “lifestyle change” program recently you may have heard things like “Are you really hungry or are you actually thirsty?” or “Do you really want that chocolate cake or are you eating it just because it’s there?” Things of that nature. That’s part of it.

If you think the opposite way and think about “mindless eating” one might picture someone sitting in front of a tv throwing down a whole bag of chips. Or grabbing a cookie from the cookie jar every time you go past because it’s become habit. They might not even realize they’re doing it all the time, it’s almost become automatic.

I’ve been learning about mindful eating through Noom but I’m seen it mentioned in several places recently. So mindful eating would become more aware of your habits, your surroundings, and your triggers. Learning to slow down and appreciate your food without preventable distractions such as cell phones and televisions. Learning to appreciate the flavors in your food, the textures, the sources and ingredients. If you’re wondering about lunch with friends or dinner as a family, it’s actually beneficial. Sitting around a table eating and talking rather than sitting wherever you land while playing on your phone. Taking in the atmosphere, the smell from the foods, etc.

So maybe that’s an extreme example but it does help me to slow down and enjoy the food more and appreciate it. It’s not inhaling Doritos while writing a blog post (cough cough I have no idea who used to do that).

Sometimes it’s catching yourself when you mindlessly grab for the cookies on the table and you say to yourself, “ok Ang, you’ve already had a cookie but you’re not really hungry” or “I think I want it because it’s sweet and crunchy, l’ll eat an apple instead.”

So I hope this post has helped you understand the mindful eating buzzword a little better.


Penn State Extension Offering “Dining With Diabetes” Course

If you or someone you care about has recently been diagnosed with Diabetes, it can be hard to wade through all the information rushing at you. Medication changes/additions, diet changes, lifestyle changes, can all be overwhelming. Talking to your doctor or a dietician can definitely help. Penn State Extension wants to help with their “Dining with Diabetes” course.

Pictures used with permission of Penn State Extension via PR contact


“Dining with Diabetes” is a nationally accredited diabetes education program that is geared toward anyone who has type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes, has a family member with type 2 diabetes, or is at risk for developing diabetes. Trained extension educators, in consultation with registered dietitians and diabetes educators, lead the discussions.

Each class offers information on healthy food and physical activity choices, food demonstrations and tasting, and guidance on important numbers to know for managing diabetes. In addition to program-related booklets, participants will receive the Dining with Diabetes cookbook and have the option of having their A1C tested at the first and follow-up classes. A1C is a nonfasting blood test obtained by a finger stick. Results show a three-month average blood glucose level.

For more information or to register, visit the Penn State Extension website at extension.psu.edu/dining-with-diabetes or call 877-345-0691. You can search the courses by county to find one near you.

Individuals who want to learn how to better manage diabetes are invited to participate in a course offered by Penn State Extension from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. on November 1, 8, 15, and 22 at the Ross Library, 232 West Main Street Lock Haven, PA. This class will be offered for free. Reference the link above to find more availability at other Penn State Extensions.

When it comes to your health, classes like these can be a fun and valuable way to learn from experts on what to do. It’s a great venue to ask questions. Why would this choice be better than that choice? I love (insert food) what can be a good substitute? What exactly is A1C? Etc

If you know someone who could benefit from these courses, please share this post with them.


Living with Moderate Ulcerative Colitis – My Story

If you’re reading this you’re either curious, effected by UC (the short way of saying Ulcerative Colitis), or know someone that’s effected by UC. Any of these reasons are ok. Not everyone wants to hear about it. Not a lot of people even know what it is. The truth is, talking about Ulcerative Colitis is not a glamorous topic. It involves talk about managing not curing which is not always appealing to the sufferer or a loved one. It involves bathroom talk which ….let’s face it, not a lot of people want to hear. It involves having to plan every outing, just-in-case. It involves figuring out how to deal with people when the ask “what’s wrong?” but don’t actually want to hear about what’s wrong.

When I First Started Realizing Something Wasn’t Right

I started my path to my ulcerative colitis diagnosis roughly 10 years go. This is where I talk about things that people don’t want to hear. After the birth of my youngest son I started noticing I was getting “gassy” a lot. I constantly felt bloated. I started taking things like Gas-X , Pepto-Bismal and trying to change my diet a bit, but it didn’t help. I noticed I was having more need to excuse myself to the restroom. Even when I did, the relief was only temporary. I started to become uncomfortable in a lot of situations not knowing about what would happen. I was afraid of putting myself in embarrassing situations so I’d shy away from things. After about a year or so of dealing with it, I finally decided to see a GI doctor.

My First GI Doctor Visit

The doctor was nice. He seemed to listen to me. He decided to do a colonoscopy. Honestly the prep was the worst part. I did a follow up visit after the test. Basically he said that he didn’t see anything unusual except maybe some mild inflammation. He gave me some pills that I don’t even remember the name of anymore. I took them for a couple months but they didn’t help. If anything, they made me feel more bloated. I told him this and he told me I didn’t have to take them anymore. It was disheartening to hear that he really didn’t have an answer.

I felt like the pills were just thrown at me because there was no other answer. I wasn’t real confident in going back to see this particular GI doctor so I just didn’t. I tried to manage my symptoms myself. Cutting back on carbonated drinks. Virtually eliminating spicy foods. Staying away from greasy foods. Continuing to take things for bloating and indigestion. Eventually my symptoms got worse.

My Symptoms Started Escalating

I was not having diarrhea along with the bloating, and gas. I was also starting to get abdominal cramps and discomfort in my left side. Still I tried to manage it myself. Trying calming teas meant for digestive health. Drinking more water. Now taking anti-diarrheal medications as a daily med just to make it through my work days and other obligations. So I started asking around about GI doctors. I finally got a recommendation that seemed trust-worthy. I called and made an appointment.

About a week or two before this appointment with the new GI doctor though something happened. I was standing at my sink doing dishes when I got terrible abdominal cramps. They hurt to the point that I couldn’t stand up straight. I sat down in my computer chair in the dining room. I had a strong urge to use the bathroom. I ran upstairs as quickly as I could. But I didn’t make it. I was horrified, how could I have not made it. Until I actually got into the bathroom. I realized I didn’t “have an accident” I was bleeding. It was a lot of blood in my pants and still more in the toilet. I called my dad to come watch my kids so I could go to the emergency room. My husband was at work.

They did a test and confirmed I was bleeding “from that area” and they told me to make sure i keep my appointment with my GI doctor.

THE Diagnosis

So I meet with the doctor. I seem to have a lot more confidence in him. He also schedules a colonoscopy along with a couple other tests. When I woke from the colonoscopy I was still back in the testing room. The nurse told me “Yea there’s definitely something there. You’re fire engine red” So they wheel me back out to a cubicle area where my husband is waiting and the doctor tells us I have ulcerative colitis. It was evident in the colonoscopy. I honestly felt some relief. At least I knew what was wrong with me and we could start treating it. I had high hopes of feeling better soon.

My Disease Progression

I started taking a pill. It began with an “A” I can’t even remember anymore. It helped for a while. After about a year though, it seemed like it wasn’t helping as much. I was having flair-ups. Bleeding, cramps, pain, frequent bathroom visits, etc. So he doubles my dosage. Again, I feel pretty good for a few months, ok for several more months, then eventually it felt like it wasn’t working again. So my doctor moves me up to the next “tier” of drugs. A stronger drug. It requires me to get my blood drawn every so many months. Again worked great for a year, stopped working doubled dosage, yada yada yada. Until now where I was again moved up to the next tier of drugs. I need to give myself a shot every other week. Routine blood work is required again. This one has a risk of causing liver cirrhosis which is why the blood work is necessary. After using that for so long….you guessed it, it seemed like it wasn’t working as well so increased it to weekly shots. When that didn’t work infusions were suggested. I’ve yet to jump on that train though.

Daily Life

I have 4 kids, I work part-time in a hospital. I’m only 39 years old. I’m not stopping. I can’t stop, I won’t stop. Anti-diarrheal is a daily medication for me. Humira shots weekly. Gas-X or something similar occasionally. Always mapping out and planning for restroom visits or the day that “I just don’t make it”. I keep a change of pants, underwear, and a pad in my car. I’m always reading about the newest treatments and progress with Ulcerative Colitis treatment. I’m always considering looking at a new doctor or even alternative treatments. I’m hoping for something to help to avoid surgery or ostomies in the future.

Standing in line at the pharmacy is almost impossible. I’m grateful for mail delivered shots. I’m thankful for public restrooms along my commute to work. I’m thankful for generic anti-diarrheal meds at Walmart. I’m thankful I have an understanding husband. A deciding factor upon going somewhere is if I’ll have access to a bathroom.

My Hopes and My Helps

I’ve realized over the years that, people that aren’t effected by UC in some way really don’t want to hear about it. So it can be hard. People don’t understand why you seem flaky about going out or need to cancel because of a flare up or a bad day. There are several resources and communities out there though.

The Crohns and Colitis Foundation has both support groups and an online community. I’ve found the online community helpful in talking and asking questions to other people dealing with the same issues.

It’s hopeful to see some of the new treatments, new research, and new break through with the treatment of Crohn’s and Colitis.

Educating yourself is half the battle. Preparation is the other half. It’s possible to keep on living your life the way you want to. Maybe you just have to make some adjustments.

If you’re just figuring all this out yourself here’s some things that helped me.

  • Stick to trustworthy sites like Crohn’s and Colitis foundation, Mayo clinic, and other trustworthy medical sites. It helps to seek out other sufferers online via blogs, social media, and online forums like the one on the Crohns and Colitis foundation site.
  • Keep a food log. There are some foods you’ll find you just can’t eat anymore if you don’t want to suffer the consequences. As much as I love popcorn and corn on the cob I know I have to abstain from it lest I pay for it the next day.
  • Talk to your GI doctor, dieticians, other dealing with Ulcerative Colitis, and your pharmacist.
  • It’s ok to try other things in addition to your regular treatment. You may find that a certain diet may help you. Maybe a certain tea seems to help. If you want to try some alternative thing like accupressure, massage, etc most time it won’t hurt. I’ve personally been reading about research with CBD.

This is a journey. What may work wonders for one person may not work for the next. It’s easy to get frustrated but keep educating yourself . Eventually you’ll learn what helps and what doesn’t help for your body.


I’ve Changed My Attitude About Summer School Work Packets, Here’s Why..

I have so many mixed mommy emotions about my kids in school. My kids attend public school in a small town. The school has consistently had high ratings in the state. Most of the teachers are either teachers I had myself or were people I grew up with that became teachers. I feel like the odd ball out though when I say I don’t look forward to back to school. See, I LOVE having my kids home for the summer. Having them home for the summer means I feel like I have more leisurely time with them. There’s no mad rushes to get off the bus, do homework, eat supper, and run out the door for a practice or school event.

I always cringe at the end of the school year posts of parents dreading summer vacation. Teachers with post saying “tag your it”. I felt like there was something wrong with me counting the days down until I can spend all day with my kids. Yes my kids can drive me crazy, yes my kids can be loud, make messes, and get into mischief. But I realize one day all of it will be gone and I’ll miss it. Now as we prepare for another school year, I’m sad that my kids will have to go back to school. Sure they don’t seem to mind. Yes it’s necessary. Yes I’ve considered homeschooling but it just doesn’t seem right for us.

More than once my kids have brought home a thick envelope filled with school worksheets, journals, and lessons the teacher felt they should do over the summer. More often than not, I tossed it to the side only to be forgotten about. My kids got bogged down with homework during the school year I’m not going to do that to them over the summer!

But, this year my daughter brought home the ole summer packet and again I considered tossing it to the side and forgetting about it. But initially, it became used strictly for unplug time. Worried about brain drain I’d have them read or do the school work packets. I found my daughter actually enjoyed doing hers.

Then as I observed her and oversaw the activity, I realized what concepts she had already become rusty with. One that we struggled with today was counting by 2’s (she just finished Kindergarten). Then I realized the value of these packets. She had a journal to keep for the summer and she couldn’t wait to write about her trip the the movies, her time at soccer camp, and the fireworks on the 4th of July.

I realized my youngest son hadn’t brought a summer packet home so I searched for a summer reading program for him that would give incentive for him to read. He’s already read 6 books this summer. Another 2 books and he gets a free book with this program. It gave him a goal, a purpose. My son honestly enjoys reading anyway but there seems to be a new motivation with the program.

We also add in our own hands on and education activities like our trip to the National Aviary, learning about local history, crafts, and more. If I’m to be honest, I think the summer school work packet has given me a new found interest in finding activities that correlate with what she need to review. I realize it gives my daughter a good start to the school year. While I still dread sending my babies away for 8 hours a day, at least I’ll know I did the best I could to make it a smooth transition.


Why Every College Student NEEDS Amazon Prime

My oldest son will be a senior in high school this year. We are getting ready to book our first college visit. All of this just seems too real. Two years after that it will be my middle son. I feel so lost when trying to wade through all the new experiences with SATs, ACTs, driving, college applications, etc. So I really appreciate it when there is a one stop shop to make some things easier.

Amazon launches their Off To College Store for 2019. It will have everything you need to make the transition to college a little easier. This includes discounts like 50% off select Levi’s styles, 30% off Tommy Hilfiger adaptive clothing, save on dorm furniture, and more. There’s even a whole, college deals section so you can get the best prices on pencils, pens, dorm decor, water bottles, post-its, and much more.

Don’t forget as a college student you qualify for Amazon Prime Student where you can get 6 months of Amazon Prime for 50% off!

Did you know that Amazon also offers a way to rent, buy, and sell textbooks? It’s true. With your Amazon Prime Student membership that can be big savings on those way-to-expensive textbooks in the student bookstore!

With Alexa Skills Blueprint you can create and share personalized Alexa skills in minutes including custom flash cards, create and access personalized list of facts on any subject, listening quizzes to listen and recall, all perfect for study for test, quizzes, and reminders.

From needing last minute materials for a project to helping college students study, Amazon Prime has become a college essential.

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