Archive of ‘Holidays’ category

Season Change, Food Change

Well it’s officially winter. If you have the privilege of living in a place where the weather changes in extremes according to the season, you are also blessed with the body’s desires changing, as well. Here in New England it is cold. The lightness of summer’s raw veggie and juicy melons are long forgotten. I am eating more available foods like root veggies, meat, beans, and greens that are cooked down and warm. Warm food makes us feel better, more nourished in this raw weather. So how do we stay on track with our weight goals when what we want to eat is heavier? What does it mean to eat with the seasons while still remaining true to our weight goals? Even so, what does it mean to be on a cycle of eating even when it’s not affected by the weather but is more internal…say, from hormones?

In Peaceful Weight Loss we often focus on how we can bolster ourselves or lifestyle in order to make choices that leave us feeling our best. The ways in which we do this are with self care, yoga practice, sleep, good company, etc. When we have these other pieces of our lives wired, we are able to ride the waves of temperature change, hormonal change, life changing all around us.

We have constancy in other ways so even when we change what we eat here and there it does not mean that we are off track. It may be just the thing to keep us where we want to be. And, when we are nourished in ways other than food (a good movie, a pedicure, yoga class, a walk outside) our food changes don’t seem so wild or ground shaking. We are able to breathe and remember, even with some shifting around, what we need to do. So after the ground thaws, we won’t wake up, we will already be awake.

May we nourish ourselves, so we may nourish the world.

Happy New Year!

We are so grateful for YOU! Being able to offer Peaceful Weight Loss is a dream for us. This work is helping so many and we are truly blessed that you are a part of it. If you have participated in Transformation, our online 9 month course, a BIG thank you! This community is growing stronger by the day and we are honored that you have all chosen this path to find a little more clarity and peace in your life. If you read our newsletters, have participated in our seminars, or simply observe our work from afar, we look forward to implementing new ways for us to stay connected so that we may all experience our fullest potential.

This year we will also be expanding the ways we can connect and serve our community. The first new offering is our free online event “Ending The Battle Within” January 12th. We look forward to offering more in the upcoming year including small group live sessions several times a month with Transformation and webinars for all. Let’s keep the conversation going about how we make peace with our bodies and matter what that looks like for each of us.

Below is a 10 minute meditation for the new year. Enjoy a few moments of contemplation on how to best serve yourself in the months ahead…

May we all find clarity and intention this new year,
Brandt and Anna

Let’s Not Binge This New Years

Here it is! New years again. A time for reckless abandon where we swear we will do things differently in the coming year so that we can eat whatever we want now.

What a perfect recipe for low self esteem. Waking up onJanuary 1st and saying to ourselves “I should not have done that”. “I really shouldn’t have eaten like that”. I’m going to humbly suggest that we look at this new year’s differently.

Let’s ask ourselves a question. What do we really want out of the new year’s holiday? Do we want to celebrate with friends? With family? Do we want to feel less alone in the world? Do we want to feel more alive? Do we want to skip it this year and go to bed early?

All of these are really legitimate ideas. There is probably a way for you to move towards any of these goals. Make dinner plans – go to a candlelight yoga class – go to church or temple – take a hot tub – invite someone over and watch a movie – go to the movies by ourselves – take a hike – you get the idea.

What we don’t need to do to move towards our goal is binge eat. It doesn’t take us anywhere. It doesn’t solve our problems, or connect us to the world around us. Wherever we are this new year’s eve, let us allow it to be pleasant. Whether that’s going out all night because it’s fun, curling up with a movie because it’s relaxing, or anything in between. We can eat what want but let’s not do that eating as celebration leading to despair thing this year.

That’s my plan—join me!

As always comments and intentions are welcomed. Share on our facebook page, or email me back!

May we all be held and happy this new year’s and in the coming year.

Anticipating Weight Loss After The Holiday Madness

As the holidays approach we often find ourselves in anticipation mode. We ponder the difficult terrain ahead: holiday parties, food based gifts, new year’s, with sugar, flour, and alcohol everywhere. We can’t even go to the grocery store without a free sample of that creamy, cheesy, sugary thing being thrown in our face (by our own hand). It’s a free for all!

Since the holiday landscape consists so much of this, we look ahead — right past the holidays to the  a world of healthy eating, weight loss, and a less difficult environment. It’s called “a new year’s resolution”. This anticipation would be fine except our minds tend to take this as an opportunity to store up for the impending fast. We become bears eating as much as possible before the long winter ahead. Sound familiar? The problem is that we are not bears. We aren’t going to starve for the next 3 months. We are going to gain a few pounds and then go back to the regularly scheduled program.

So what to do? How about really looking at the holidays instead of avoiding them? How about seeing where and how we can practice during the month and being ok if and when we can’t. How about moving out of anticipation, fear, and agitation and into a place of looking forward to those 1 or 2 or 3 meals that allow us to enjoy what this season has to offer. If we do this our mind is happy to pass on the crummy office cookies. We are in the present knowing that we will not miss out on anything with no pending doom. We can remember that the new year is simply an opportunity to continue our work of evolving ourselves into the person we wish to be.

May we all be present this holiday season.

5 Reasons Not To Worry About What You Eat On Thanksgiving

pumpkin pie

Let’s keep it simple this year with 5 reasons not to worry about what you eat on Thanksgiving.

  1. It causes you stress and stress causes you to gain weight and eat more.
  2. The chances of worrying about what you eat changing your eating behaviors is minimal.
  3. Thanksgiving is not the reason anyone is overweight.
  4. It might actually be one of the few times this year that overeating is a reasonable thing to do. (you are not alone)
  5. Giving yourself permission to just be yourself and eat in a way that is pleasurable, might make your day easier.

This Thanksgiving cut yourself some slack. Try to be in the present and enjoy the day. On Friday, return to whatever part of your process you’re working on. And you may find you never left it in the first place.

May this Thanksgiving bring joy and peace.

New Year’s Message

First a big Thank You! 2014 was a really amazing year here at Peaceful Weight Loss. Our 9 month course Transformation was launched, adding a new avenue for this work to be accessed by people in their homes. I am personally grateful for all of you who have participated and provided us with feedback to make this offering a truly beneficial experience for everyone. I look forward to implementing new ways for us to stay connected and transform so that we experience our fullest potential.

Like so many people at this time of year, I am thinking about what I would like to happen in the year to come. Much of these thoughts are based in my mundane worldly concerns – work, family, cleaning my kitchen more, etc… but I always try to reserve a space in my thoughts for self betterment. How do I want to expand myself this year so that I am more connected to my better self? And – how can I implement this? The latter is as important as the first. Do I need to set aside time? Do I need some set of information or instruction? Do I need to seek help outside myself to grow and shift?

These questions can seem overwhelming when examined in the middle of what might seem like the chaos of our daily life. This year let’s take the time to sit quietly with these questions. Let’s spend a few moments together contemplating how we can best serve ourselves. I’ve included a short contemplation below – may it help each of us find clarity and intention.

Thank you always for supporting this work and please don’t hesitate to contact us – we’re here for you.

With great respect and love,


Our Annual Thanksgiving Issue

Here it is again! The annual tradition of gathering together and overeating. This is a non-religious holiday so it effects more people than any other here in the U.S. In my practice I see no other subject as difficult as the holidays. Thanksgiving in particular.

So let’s just say that our collective goal is not to gain weight over the holidays. Losing weight may be a bit trickier but it would be nice if Thanksgiving comes and goes and we are left in the same place physically. What would need to happen to make this so? For starters we probably need to stay in our bodies, grounded and sane-ish for the whole Thanksgiving weekend. It will probably help if we don’t abandon any useful habits we’ve been working on. So, if we’ve been practicing asana or conscious breathing in the morning, we may want to continue that. It may also help to sit back and realize that it’s just a meal, or a series of meals, and we have the ability to make choices at each one.

I get it – with all of the family and food triggers swirling around us sometimes it seems like we are being attacked!

This is why working on our practice is so essential to losing weight. If we develop the ability to stay present then each meal is simply a series of choices. If we don’t practice, each meal is an overwhelming flood of food triggers.

This Thanksgiving let’s all stay present. Let’s commit to our practice whether it is yoga in the morning, a few deep breaths at every meal, or a solitary walk in the afternoon. Let’s use the clarity and presence that will move us toward an enlightened Thanksgiving that we can fully enjoy.

May we all find clarity, peace, and presence today.

With great respect and love,


Peaceful Weight Loss in January

Okay – the holidays are over and we’re back to our regular routine, with New Year’s resolutions in place. Were they the same as last year’s? What have you changed? Have some been “broken” already?

May I suggest keeping this year’s resolutions positive, and adding the following:

I will nourish my body
I will nourish my mind
I will nourish my spirit

By focusing on these resolutions, other things you want to change may fall into place naturally and easily. Nourishing one aspect of ourselves feeds the others – so it is simpler and easier than you might think.

I will nourish my body
Simple food that makes us feel well. Eating to the point we are satified physically but not too full. Getting enough sunlight, light and fresh air so that we are energized. And exercising in a way that promotes health and the release of tension in our bodies. (might I suggest yoga asana smile

I will nourish my mind
Engage in study of a positive interesting subject. This can be anything from the yoga sutras to Spanish as long as it feels like your mind is becoming sharper, clearer. Interesting conversations with others also are good if they are done with the spirit of promoting greater understanding, peace and community.

I will nourish my spirit
A regular devotional practice is great. If that doesn’t suit you, activities that make you feel calm and positive can fit the bill. A daily walk in nature, sailing, helping others in need are all ways we can find our spiritual selves.

Weight loss can seem complicated, but I have found that focusing on nourishing these aspects of myself have great “side effects” The calm, happy, positive state it produces provides the perfect setup for your body to naturally let go of all that is unwanted.

Have a peaceful, joyful year.

Om Shanthi

Making Peace at Thanksgiving

Ah, Thanksgiving—our most food-centered holiday. If you are engaged in a weight loss process, it can certainly feel like an attack on your eating plan. But it doesn’t need to feel like that.

This day affords us an opportunity to work on our practice in a unique and focused way. This year, give some thought to these points and see if it helps give the day a new feeling.

Thanksgiving is a time of food abundance.

There will be food and lots of it.
You will eat food and lots of it.

Both of these statements may be true for you, and they are both okay. Our task for this day is to be conscious of the food you are eating by staying present while eating. If you catch yourself wondering if mom’s sweet potato casserole is going to put 5 pounds on you, you are not present.

Today is a day to enjoy and savor this food. Take a few easy deep breaths every time you find your mind wandering, and reconnect with the task in front of you—enjoying your meal!

Thanksgiving is a time to be peaceful with family, with friends and with yourself.

Most of us have both positive and negative aspects to our relationships with family—and with all that food around, it is possible to get negative emotions tangled up with our eating. This year, might I suggest a sankalpa—an intention or vow—to be peaceful.

Having a clear intention to keep the external environment (the dinner table) and internal environment (our thoughts) pleasant helps others to do the same. Slowing down our reactions to others often helps us stay in the present with this.

When Dad asks if you would like some more pumpkin pie for the 50th time—just like he always does— take a moment to remember that, along with anything else, he is being friendly. If he were someone else we would appreciate the offer and and politely decline.

When someone says, “I thought you were trying to lose weight” while you are having dessert, it is probably best to pause, gather yourself and say, gently, “Today is Thanksgiving.”

Thanksgiving is a time to remember the hungry.

Karma Yoga (selfless service) is one of the many paths to yoga. To give of ourselves without the intention of any gain brings us closer to a feeling of oneness with the world. This cultivates an inner calmness that translates into ease with ourselves. That ease and clarity allows us to make choices that benefit our mind, body, and spirit.

Dropping off some food; feeding a home bound person; donating time or money to a program that feeds people (such as—these are all ways to perform service. Sharing our abundance helps bring clarity in our lives.

I hope you all have a peaceful, plentiful day, and that you and yours enjoy each other fully.