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Mindfulness & 4-Letter Words with Darya Rose

Ph.D, Author & Founder @ Summer Tomato  | New York, NY

You know you’re in for a treat when you ask someone to explain who they are and they reply with, “sometimes I describe myself as a Vulcan.” Darya Rose authored the popular healthy-living book Foodist, created the digital content platform Summer Tomato, and recently launched the Mindful Meal Challenge, a 5-day challenge that helps you develop a mindful eating habit through daily emails and video lessons.  As you can probably tell, she leads quite a busy life.

Adopting a Healthstyle

Darya is a scientist at heart and she uses her background in neuroscience to help readers understand her concept of healthstyle. Healthstyle is a very personal set of all-encompassing healthy habits that include things like eating, exercising, and being mindful. But one thing it is not is that nasty four-letter word diet.

“I use it as a bad word,” explains Darya. “It’s a scientific term, but in pop culture it means restrictive food intake for the sake of weight loss.” Healthstyle isn’t just about weight loss, it’s about optimizing your quality of life in both body and mind. And one of the ways Darya teaches people to adopt a healthstyle is by developing a set of habits that help your mind feel just as good as your body.

'Healthstyle is about optimizing your quality of life in both body and mind' Click To Tweet

One of the ways Darya helps explain this notion of healthy habits is through her idea of putting the fork down. When eating a meal, we typically prepare the next bite as we’re chewing the first. It’s natural, it’s instinctual, and it’s a trigger our brains use to help save energy. But as soon as we become aware of this trigger, we become more mindful of how much and how fast we eat. “We live 90% of our lives on autopilot,” explains Darya. “Being aware of your triggers is incredibly powerful.”

 

The Value of Meditation

Darya has been practicing meditation for years. She admits it wasn’t easy getting started, but after going on a silent meditation retreat in 2015, her life hasn’t been the same. “I work better, I concentrate better, I’m slower to anger, I’m less reactive in general – I wish everybody could experience that,” she says. “But,” she continues, “mindfulness is not your brain’s norm, it’s like learning a language, you have to practice.”

Journaling Brings Meaning

Currently Darya doesn’t journal, but she fully supports those who do, especially those who have experienced trauma. The act of writing down thoughts can be extremely therapeutic because it can help bring meaning to a traumatic event. Getting started with journaling can be difficult because as Darya puts it, “confronting your own brain is terrifying,” but it’s a beneficial habit that can be developed over time.

'The act of writing down thoughts can be extremely therapeutic' Click To Tweet

Daily Reflection

Obviously, Darya isn’t actually a Vulcan, but we understand why she’s proud to describe herself as someone who takes pride in logic and reason. Her scientific background and ability to understand the value of mindfulness has helped her focus on what is important in her life. “I take time out of my day to cook, work out, spend time with my dog and my husband – those are things that are important to me,” she explains.

Darya’s Questions for the KYŌ App:

  • What are you doing today that has meaning?
  • How will you focus on what is important to you?
  • What are you grateful for?
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