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    ICON Meals Blog — mental health

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    Mindfulness

    Mindfulness

    From Michael Mastrucci (@themacrodiabetic)

    Through the use of technology in the workplace, our homes, and our general daily life, the world has evolved a society that thrives on chaotic schedules and instant gratification.

    We don’t often think of long-term rewards. In fact, our impulsive minds have been trained to desire a smaller reward up front than a better reward at the expense of extra time/effort. There’s no question as to why this occurs…look at the amount of people around you constantly glued to their screens, scrolling through endless pages of content just a click or press away. Everything is instant, and we’ve adapted to the “freedom” to overload our minds with subconsciously draining habits.

    Quieting the mind, practicing the art of NOT thinking, and being able to focus on one thing at a time is no easy task…but remember good practices make good habits.

    Whether it’s setting time aside each day for a healthy mental habit like meditation, reading, writing, yoga, etc., the art of concentration is a cornerstone of practicing mindfulness that can elicit stability and a calm state of mind.

    Just like physical exercise promotes the health and longevity of our bodies, mental exercise does the same for our brain. We think more clearly, plan more effectively, and have a much easier time grasping the concepts of the most efficient or optimal ways to plan things out to reach our goals.

    Eliminate distractions, avoid giving in to short-term rewards that rob us of enduring uncomfortable situations for what’s more beneficial long-term 🙏

    Stay connected with blog author Michael Mastrucci on

    Want to be featured by ICON Meals? Submit your stories to info@iconmeals.com or send us a DM on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook!

    Mental Nutrition

    Mental Nutrition

    From Michael Mastrucci (@themacrodiabetic)

    We often associate things like exercise and diet with physical improvement while mental-specific activities like reading keep our mind sharp. However, something I don’t see or hear enough of is how our food choices play into our mental state.

    At one point, we all learned how to track calories/macros and how this affected our physique. Through this, we discovered how to manipulate food choices to allow us the ability to fit “fun” foods into our diet plan. While I’m a proponent of flexible dieting, there’s plenty of people that take these “fun” foods (or more of an IIFYM approach) to an extreme.

    I believe it’s important to find a balance between both nutrient-dense and nutrient-void foods to allow you to truly enjoy your nutritional protocols…but if consistently leaning towards more nutrient-void foods begs the question; have you ever considered how food affects your mind?

    Whether it’s the ability to focus for long periods, processing information, or just clear-headed decision making, your brain NEEDS nutrients just as much as your body.

    While everyone runs on different wavelengths, and some can get away with a more “loose” sort of diet, it’s extremely important to pay attention to not only how our food choices make us feel or operate physically, but mentally as well.

    Enjoy that donut, cereal, ice cream, or whatever treats you love indulging in, but don’t rob yourself of proper fuel just because it fits your macros.

    What I Eat In A Day- The Mom Hack For Busy Meal Times

    What I Eat In A Day- The Mom Hack For Busy Meal Times

    ICON Meals helped me become more focused on my work. I stopped being hungry all afternoon  and lost the headaches I kept getting from only snacking. I started having delicious meals I enjoyed eating, and they gave me more energy to keep going until dinner.

    I noticed my mental and physical health improved, too. My body thrived as soon as I started using ICON Meals!

    Read more

    Todd Abrams on How To Develop Risk Tolerance

    If you want to be an entrepreneur, you need a high tolerance for risk. Full stop.

    It’s ok if you don’t have that tolerance yet — as our CEO Todd Abrams can attest, it is a mindset that can be learned. He didn’t start getting into the fitness and entrepreneurial headspace that led to ICON Meals until he was 35. 

    Check out the above video to hear Todd’s words of wisdom regarding risk tolerance, betting on yourself, and common traps to avoid when striving for a goal.

    Watch the full video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wg6uON2sp8E




    👱  Follow Todd Abrams on Instagram.

    🎤  Follow The Fitness Franchise Podcast on Instagram.

    8 Ways To Feel Full While Cutting Calories

    8 Ways To Feel Full While Cutting Calories

    From Michael Mastrucci (@themacrodiabetic)


     

    Two hormones have a major influence on energy balance: leptin and ghrelin. Leptin mediates long-term energy regulation and is responsible for decreasing hunger. Ghrelin is the yin to leptin’s yang, a fast-acting hormone that increases hunger.

     

    When you’re cutting, putting your body in an intentional caloric deficit, the body’s subconscious response is to increase ghrelin which leads to cravings and hunger pangs. This is true even in short cutting periods. And if you give in to these cravings, your cutting will have been for nothing! Here are eight ways to counteract the body’s hunger response:

     

     

    ICON Meals - Caffeine

    1. Caffeine

    Black coffee’s caffeine content can blunt hunger. However, it’s not a panacea and I wouldn’t recommend downing a pot later in the day.

     

    ICON Meals - Distractions

    2. Distractions

    There’s nothing like watching your favorite show or a movie during dinner to help you chill out after a long day, and mild hunger can fade when our minds are distracted with entertainment. Take care to fully enjoy your food — chew thoroughly, swallow, set your fork down, take a sip of water. It’s not a race.

     

    ICON Meals - Fasting

     

    3. Fasting

    Some people have no trouble pushing their meals until later in the day, and fasting can be effective for fat loss — but it is definitely not REQUIRED. Before jumping on the fasting bandwagon pay close attention to how it affects your energy levels. There’s no reason to force your body to take on additional stress when already in a deficit.

     

    ICON Meals Flavors

     

    4. Flavor

    If you’re finding your food a little bland, adding spices and other flavors can make it more palatable without adding excessive amounts of sodium or sugar — ICON Flavor Seasonings are a great example. Too much salt and sugar can numb taste receptors over time, leave you feeling hungry, and make lightly-seasoned foods less satisfying.

     

    ICON Meals - Hydration

     

    5. Hydration

    Drinking water is far better than eating more calories when maintaining a deficit. Most importantly, you need water to help regulate a vast number of physiological processes and stay healthy. Drinking water before and after a meal (and in between bites) helps to promote fullness and keeps your digestive system working properly.

     

    ICON Meals Grilled Chicken Lean Box

     

    5. Nutrients

    Whole foods are your best bet for overall health. 200 calories of potato chips are mostly empty of valuable nutrition —instead, opt for veggies or micronutrient-dense foods to get far more bang for your caloric buck. Additionally, nutrient-dense foods often provide your body with better energy levels and can be much easier on digestion.

     

    ICON Meals Mentality

     

    6. Mentality

    Going to bed hungry is a big pet peeve of mine, so I like to save the majority of my daily calories for the last meal of the day. This doesn’t agree with everyone, and that’s ok. After you’ve eaten dinner, it’s important to remember that you’re not going to starve. If you get those post-dinner cravings, drink water, stay occupied, and see how you feel in 20 minutes.

     

    ICON Meals Sleep

     

    7. Sleep

    Sleep affects hormone regulation, and lack of it will put leptin and ghrelin out of balance. To prevent cravings and dips in your energy, your body needs to get full, complete rest. This is doubly important when you’re intentionally depriving yourself of calories.

     

    ICON Meals Fork

     

    8. Utensil Size

    Psychological tricks can help us feel fuller without actually changing our food. Smaller silverware and dishes visually trick our minds into thinking our portions are larger and therefore more satisfying.