Friday, June 21, 2013

The Experts Weigh In: Adding Little Forms of Pleasure To Your Life!

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Food is freakin’ good, we all know that. Whether we are eating frozen yogurt on a summer day, butternut squash soup on a rainy evening, or a grilled burger at an outdoor get-together, food brings us pleasure. It tastes good, it smells good, and it looks good.

But when food becomes one of our only sources of pleasure and excitement, we can rely too heavily on it, and that’s when our jeans start to get tight. That’s why I tell my clients that a vital component of their health and well-being is to include as much pleasure, relaxation and enjoyment into their daily lives as they can.

Think of pleasure as its own food group. You have your veggies, your protein, your carbohydrates, and your self care (i.e. pleasure). Don’t forget the self-care!

I like to incorporate pleasure in little ways throughout my day. With everything that I do, I try to ask myself, “how can I make this more pleasurable for myself”? That may mean bringing headphones and a kick butt playlist along with me during my morning commute, or getting a 10-minute chair massage from the nearby nail salon during my lunch break. Sometimes it’s plating my dinner on a beautiful funky plate, or adding lemon to my water with a bright straw. It may mean sending a handwritten card to a friend via snail mail (who does that these days? So underrated!) or making sure I have an enticing book in my bag to read during my down time.

The little moments like this add up to a greater sense of fulfillment in our day to day lives so that we don’t rely solely on food to fill that area of our lives.  When food becomes just one among many sources of pleasure, we don’t find ourselves gorging on Ben and Jerry’s pints as often, mindlessly snacking at night or feeling the need to have dessert after every meal.

One of my favorite little sources of pleasure - the thing that makes me feel luxurious, like I'm at a leisurely spa in my own home - is what I call “Spa Water”.  Lately, I’ve been taking a few minutes to make this and keep it in my fridge all week. It makes me so happy every single time I drink it, and it reminds me that I am worth going the extra mile for.

I hope you give this recipe a shot and that you keep in mind the idea of showering yourself with a lot of little sources of pleasure, relaxation and enjoyment throughout your day to day life. If you are someone who feels like you rely too heavily on food to satisfy your inner needs, then give my pleasure food group a shot! Let me know how it goes!

Jamie Mendell is a Certified Holistic Health Coach who helps women end their struggle with food. She specializes in teaching people how to eat intuitively, get back in touch with their bodies, create beautiful food, and live a full and exciting life. Having struggled with her own weight during college, Jamie learned how important it is to live a life that fills you up from the inside out so that food doesn’t have to. She enjoys ice cream just as much as she does kale, and believes that our bodies can teach us more about how to live a healthy life than any book can.  She lives in New York City and cooks healthy, wholesome food out of her Studio. Her blog and coaching website can be found at You can also follow her on Facebook at and on instagram and twitter @studioeats14.

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