… Brings Wellness Your Way!
I’ve written about a couple of my favorite kitchen tools before (Spiralizer, Ninja blender). Now it’s time to turn the spotlight onto some of my favorite apps and resources for improving overall wellness. These are tools that I recommend to clients to help them relax, de-stress, and cultivate more mindfulness about their relationship to food and body.
If you are a person who eats quickly, or even at a moderate speed, one of the most impactful changes you can make to your relationship with food and body is to slow down. When you eat quickly, you put your body into a stress response, which leads to poorer nutrient absorption, decreased metabolism, increased appetite, and a preference to store fat. We also don’t fully experience the meal, we don’t derive the pleasure or satisfaction from the meal that our brain desires, nor are we able to honor our fullness, so we often end up overeating.
If you need to slow down, this app can help. What does it do? It allows you to time your meals and keep a history so that you can see over time how your eating speed changes.
What I like:
- The list of meals you can time is customizable: breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner come preconfigured, but you can define whatever you like (for example, afternoon snack, dessert, coffee break).
- You can set different target times for each meal.
- The app records and saves your meal timings, allowing you to view your timing history and observe variation.
- When you time a meal, you can also store a picture of your meal.
What I suggest to clients who are beginning to use this app is that they first establish a baseline, that is, time their meals as they would normally eat them so that they know where they’re starting from. To do this, start the timer and then turn your phone upside down so you can’t see it, eat your meal, then stop the timer when you are finished. That will be your baseline, your starting point. Then over time, try to increase your meal length bit by bit.
What are some strategies to help you slow down? Well, that’s a topic for another blog post (or for a coaching session).
There are a number of meditation apps and lots of meditation audio tracks and videos, but this one is my favorite. I recommend it to all my clients who are open to starting a meditation practice.
What I like:
- Its 10 free guided meditations provide the best instructions for new meditators that I have come across. Additional mediations are available to paid subscribers (of which I am one!).
- The instructional animations and graphics are engaging and entertaining, without feeling “over the top”.
- You can configure the app to provide you with up to 5 mindful moments a day. These are daily messages designed to keep you mindful throughout the day.
- App is free to install and comes with 10 free meditations
- Subscriptions available at $12.95/month, $95.88/year, $149.76 for 2 years, $419.95 forever
- Special: Use coupon code “Yourheadspace” to get 25% off an annual subscription [update: this code has expired – try searching for one, though]
This is not an app – it’s a set of mp3 audio meditation files that I have loaded on my phone.
These meditations use special brain wave sounds to help shift you into a state of deep relaxation. The program consists of 12 different levels, where each level is designed to take you a little deeper into relaxation. The audios in levels 1-8 are all 12 minutes long; the duration then increases in the higher levels, up to 20 minutes at level 12. At each level, you have 4 different “flavors” to choose from: guided, nature sounds, relaxation, and white noise.
What I like:
- These audios really relax me.
- They are generally short in duration but also provide some variety in length so I can meditate for a longer time when I have the opportunity to do so.
- Often I want to engage in unguided meditation. These audio tracks fit that need perfectly – they allow me to relax and help me achieve a peaceful meditative state.
- There is no recurring subscription fee – you buy it, you own it.
- Get 1 sample audio for free
- Full package is $87
- Special: Save $50 with code VZ54YTD6 – final cost $37!
This is another mindfulness meditation app. It provides both guided and unguided meditations. I admit that I haven’t really investigated the meditation feature fully (I use Headspace or Zen12). This app provides an additional feature that I really enjoy: relaxing visual scenes with sound.
What I like:
- App provides over 30 relaxing scenes, with both audio and visual. It only takes about 10 seconds for me to relax after I start up one of these.
- If you have difficulty sleeping, you could use the audio portion of the relaxing scenes to help you fall asleep and stay asleep (similar to having a sound machine, but you are using an app instead).
- App is free.
- Premium meditations are available by subscription: $9.99/month or $39.99/year.
You can sample some of the scenes right on their web site. Play them in your browser and experience the calm that they bring.
I encourage all my clients to keep a gratitude journal. Recording thoughts of gratitude before you go to bed is a great way to put you into a positive, clear mindset that will help promote sleep. Noting things you are grateful for when you wake up can help you feel more energized and ready for your day. While I prefer to keep a paper journal, there are gratitude journaling apps out there for those who might gravitate to that mode. The one I am familiar with is Gratitude 365.
What I like:
- You can list a number of gratitudes a day
- You can link a photo to a day
- Because it is an app on my phone, it is easily accessible wherever I am, so it encourages me to log gratitudes throughout the day.
YouTube can be a doorway to wellness – yoga routines, meditations, and more. Almost every morning, I do my favorite wake-up yoga routine: “Morning Yoga for Flexibility” by Tara Stiles. Find something that resonates with you!
So those are some of my favorite apps and resources. What are some of yours?
*Note: Mind Body Nutrition Coaching has an affiliate relationship with Zen12. This means if someone purchases the Zen12 program using our affiliate link (http://zen12.com/homepage/a/mbnc), we receive a commission. I established this relationship because I have been using their meditation audios for several years and I truly believe in their effectiveness. I have no such relationship with any of the other resources discussed in this post.