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Published on March 29, 2018

7-Day Vegan Diet Plan: Eat Healthy with Under 2,000 Calories per Day

7-Day Vegan Diet Plan: Eat Healthy with Under 2,000 Calories per Day

Most people that follow a diet plan do it the wrong way.

They either lack the knowledge to properly structure a diet plan or make the diet plan unnecessarily hard. Following a diet plan should be helpful in reaching your goal, not a hindrance.

I’m generally not a big believer in “one size fits all” diet plans, as diet plans work best when customized. This is because there are plenty of variables that need to be considered when structuring a diet plan. These variables include: age, gender, physical activity level, goals such as weight loss, maintenance or muscle build up, food preference or distaste.

All these factors can heavily affect a diet plan. The best diet plan is the diet plan that works for you–one plan that suits your goals and is structured in a sustainable way.

Therefore, the following diet plan is not intended to be followed strictly. Keep the meals and ideas that you like and disregard the other ones. Individualize the plan by yourself using apps such as MyFitnessPal or with the help of a knowledgeable friend or coach.

But let’s first address the basics:

Can’t I just listen to my body?

I know a young woman with a meal plan that consists of bland noodles, literally. The only food that this person eats is noodles. Therefore noodles are on her dining table nearly 365 days a year.

This is incredibly unhealthy for obvious reasons. One food alone doesn’t provide you with the necessary nutrients to sustain a healthy existence. The reason she’s eating only one food and isn’t looking to change anytime soon is because noodles are the only food that she likes.

This is what the nutrition industry doesn’t want you to know: your taste buds can change. Taste is extremely variable. Have you ever eaten a food, hated it, but after continuous exposure to the thing you’ve become accustomed to it? Maybe you even started to like it? This happened to me multiple times.

I just recently started eliminating added salt out of my diet. In the first week every food tasted completely bland. But after 2 weeks, unsalted food tasted completely normal as though it had been seasoned with salt just seconds before.

The truth is, that you can’t listen to your body these days when it comes to your food intake. The nutrition industry is making you addicted to its products by using artificial sweeteners, aromas and colors. The healthiest foods are the ones that you can find in the produce aisle.

But remember that healthy is always relative.

A healthy diet is always relative. – Dr. Michael Greger MD

What is a healthy vegan diet plan?

I remember talking to my mother a couple of years ago. Back then I used to eat McDonalds; after one time I had eaten there I realized that I was not performing at my usual level. This was also the time when I was usually eating about 1 kilogram of meat every single day.

Back then I thought that my diet plan was ‘healthy’. I didn’t realize that there was plenty of room for optimization.

Now I know that healthy is always relative. A pack of donuts is healthy when the alternative is pure sugar. Pancakes are healthy if the alternatives are donuts. Whole grain vegan pancakes are healthy if the alternative is traditional pancakes.

Healthy is relative. The healthiest diet plan for you is the one that fits these two premises:

  • It improves your current situation
  • It can be followed in the long-term

The benefits of a healthy vegan diet plan

A couple of my friends tank their cars with premium gasoline, yet don’t pay attention for a single minute to the foods they put in their bodies. Their flats where they choose to live in are decorated by designers. Yet they don’t take care of the place where they necessarily have to live in: their bodies.

Your body is renewing itself every 7-10 years. This is pretty astounding. A couple trillions of cells get replaced in that period. And where does your body get the building blocks from? Your diet.

You have to set your priorities straight. Don’t be penny wise and pound foolish.

The 7-day vegan diet plan

This plan is suited to reach an average goal of about 2,000 calories per day (1942cal to be exact). This is the ideal calorie intake of an average women, or for an average man who is looking to lose weight (500 calorie deficit per day, resulting in about 0.5kg weight loss per week).

The amount of fiber is around 50grams, which is nearly double the amount of the minimum daily intake and three times the amount in the average american diet.[1]

This means that the meal plan is extremely healthy in comparison to what you’ll find on the market. You might feel a big increase in your energy.

This meal plan is ideally for people who want to start eating a vegan diet. The meals are diverse, so you’re able to see the full range of what you can expect on a vegan diet.

Note:  This plan is not meant to be followed 100%. Take all the positive things that you want from this plan and eliminate the negative ones. If you want to have a fully customized plan, you can visit my website (Hint: There’s a free gift for you).

Important: Drink 3-4 liters of water every day and add green tea / coffee to your diet, as these are antioxidant-rich and healthy beverages.

Day 1

Total: 1614 calories, 231g carbs (66%), 50g fat (14%), 71g protein (20%), 45g fiber

Breakfast

Banana-Ginger-Pear-Bowl

(734 calories, 98g carbs, 27g fats, 32 g protein, 20g fiber)

Ingredients

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  • 1 banana
  • 1 pear, stoned
  • 1 date, stoned
  • 3 tablespoons almonds
  • 1 tablespoon flaxseeds
  • 1 tablespoon hemp flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon carob powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh ginger
  • 250ml soy milk

Steps

  1. Cut the banana, pear, dates and almonds into pieces (size to your personal liking).
  2. Put all the ingredients in a bowl. Add the soy milk.

Lunch

Amaranth-Hemp Seed-Salad

(250 calories, 27g carbs, 11g fats, 13g protein, 8g fiber)

Ingredients

  • 1 Nori leaf, chopped
  • 4 handful of mixed salads
  • 10g of amaranth
  • 1 handful of sugar snaps
  • 2 tablespoons of hemp seeds

Steps

  1. Put all the ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Add some dressing, I recommend an Italian dressing.
  3. Make sure you use only a little bit of oil.

Snack

Banana Ice-Cream

(210 calories, 54g carbs, 1g fat, 0g protein, 6g fiber)

    Ingredients

    • 2 Ripe Bananas

    Steps

    1. Peel and slice the bananas, place them in a container and freeze them for 1 hour.
    2. Remove the frozen bananas from the freezer and let them thaw a little at room temperature.
    3. Place the bananas in a food processor and process until smooth and creamy, like soft-serve ice cream.
      You can vary the recipe by adding a little cinnamon, vanilla or cocoa powder.

    Dinner

    Healthy Greens Plate

    (420 calories, 52g carbs, 11g fats, 26g protein, 11g fiber)

    Ingredients

    • 100g brown rice (cooked)
    • 200g firm tofu
    • 2 cups broccoli

    Steps

    1. Cook the brown rice and the broccoli in a medium-sized pot.
    2. Add the tofu in a pan with a little bit of water.
    3. When the ingredients are ready: Drain the water.
    4. Add flaxseeds for extra crunchiness and health.

    Day 2

    Total: 2219 calories, 295 carbs (67%), 56g fat (13%), 87g protein (20%), 74g fiber

    Breakfast

    Breakfast Bowl

    (787 calories, 107g carbs, 31g fat, 26g protein, 18g fiber)

      Ingredients

      • 1 banana
      • 1 pear
      • 1 date, stoned
      • 3 tablespoons of almonds
      • 1 tablespoons of flaxseeds
      • 1/2 cup of millet flakes
      • 1/2 tablespoon of grated ginger
      • 250ml soymilk (low-sodium)

      Steps

      1. Peel the banana.
      2. Stone the pear.
      3. Cut the banana, pear, almonds and the dates into tiny pieces.
      4. Put all the ingredients into a bowl.
      5. Add the soymilk.

      Lunch

      Spaghetti with White Bean Tomato Sauce

      (373 calories, 66g carbs, 10g fats, 15g protein, 11g fiber)

      Ingredients

      • 2 ounces uncooked whole-grain spaghetti
      • 5-ounces low-sodium tomato sauce
      • 3-ounces low-sodium cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
      1. Cook the spaghetti according to the package directions; drain.
      2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine the spaghetti sauce and beans, cover, and warm over low heat.
      3. Serve the spaghetti topped with the tomato-bean mixture.

      Snack

      On-the-go Smoothie (385 calories, 76g carbs, 4g fats, 10g protein, 22g fiber)

      Ingredients:

      • 1 very ripe banana
      • 2 cups frozen raspberries
      • 1 cup soy milk

      Steps

      1. Combine all the ingredients in a blender.
      2. Blend for about 2 minutes.

      Dinner

      Bean-Kale Madness

      (674 calories, 106g carbs, 11g fat, 36g protein, 23g fiber)

      Ingredients:

      • 100g amaranth (cooked)
      • 200g kale
      • 2 cups kidney Beans

      Steps

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      1. Cook the amaranth and the kale in a medium-sized pot.
      2. Add the kidney beans in a pan with a little bit of water.
      3. When the ingredients are ready: Drain the water.
      4. Add a tablespoon of flaxseeds (approx. 50 calories) for extra crunchiness and health.

      Day 3

      Total: 1872 calories, 244g carbs (61%), 71g fat (18%), 85g protein (21%), 59g fiber

      Breakfast

      Banana-Ginger-Pear-Bowl

      (734 calories, 98g carbs, 27g fats, 32g protein, 20g fiber)

      Ingredients

      • 1 banana
      • 1 pear, stoned
      • 1 date, stoned
      • 3 tablespoons almonds
      • 1 tablespoon flaxseeds
      • 1 tablespoon hemp flour
      • 1/2 tablespoon carob powder
      • 1/2 tablespoon fresh ginger
      • 250ml soy milk

      Steps

      1. Cut the banana, pear, dates and almonds into pieces (size to your personal liking).
      2. Put all the ingredients in a bowl.
      3. Add the soy milk.

      Lunch

      Green Salad with Edamame and Beets

      (271 calories, 30g carbs, 8g fat, 21g protein, 12g fiber)

        Ingredients

        • 2 cups mixed greens
        • 1 cup shelled edamame
        • 1/2 medium beet, shredded
        • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro

        Steps

        1. Combine greens, edamame, beet and cilantro.
        2. Top with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar.

        Snack

        Handful of Pecan Nuts

        (301 calories, 6g carbs, 31g fat, 4g protein, 4g fiber)

        Ingredients

        • pecan nuts

        Steps

        1. Put a handful of antioxidant-rich nuts in your hands.
        2. Then eat it. Simple.

        Dinner

        Rice, Kale and Beans Combination

        (566 calories, 110 carbs, 5g fat, 28g protein, 23g fiber)

        Ingredients

        • 1 cup brown rice
        • 200g kale
        • 2 cups Kidney Beans

        Steps

        1. Cook the brown rice and the kale in a medium-sized pot.
        2. Add the kidney beans in a pan with a little bit of water.
        3. When the ingredients are ready: Drain the water.
        4. Add a tablespoon of flaxseeds (approx. 50 calories) for extra crunchiness and health.

        Day 4

        A high calorie day. When you’re following a diet plan, it is not necessary to have every single day at the same calorie level. You’re allowed to splurge, just don’t forget to make up for it the next or the previous day. What matters is the calorie level over the week.

        Total: 2557 calories, 212g carbs (46%), 167g fat (46%), 82g protein (18%), 65g fiber

        Breakfast

        Breakfast Bowl

        (787 calories, 107g carbs, 31g fat, 26g protein, 18g fiber)

        Ingredients

        • 1 banana
        • 1 pear
        • 1 date, stoned
        • 3 tablespoons of almonds
        • 1 tablespoons of flaxseeds
        • 1/2 cup of millet flakes
        • 1/2 tablespoon of grated ginger
        • 250ml soymilk

        Steps

        1. Peel the banana.
        2. Stone the pear.
        3. Cut the banana, pear, almonds and the dates into tiny pieces.
        4. Put all the ingredients into a bowl.
        5. Add the soy milk.

        Lunch

        Almond-Flaxseed-Burger – combined with Sweet Potatoes

        (1520 calories, 78g carbs, 125g fat, 43g protein, 39g fiber)

          Ingredients

          • 2 garlic cloves
          • 1 cup of almonds
          • 6 tablespoons of flaxseeds
          • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
          • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
          • 1 cup sweet potatoes

          Steps

          1. Put the sweet potatoes into the oven.
          2. Blend all the other ingredients together. Form two burger patties.
          3. You can eat these vegan-meat-patties raw or put some coconut oil on them and put them into a baking pan at medium heat.
          4. Cook until they’re golden.
          5. Add the sweet potatoes.

          Dinner

          Amaranth-Hemp Seed-Salad

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          (250 calories, 27g carbs, 11g fats, 13g protein, 8g fiber)

          Ingredients

          • 1 Nori leaf, chopped
          • 4 handful of mixed salads
          • 10g of amaranth
          • 1 handful of sugar snaps
          • 2 tablespoons of hemp seeds

          Steps

          1. Put all the ingredients in a bowl.
          2. Add some dressing, I recommend an Italian dressing.
          3. Make sure you use only a little bit of oil.

          Day 5

          An extremely low fat and calorie day, as Day 4 had over 150+ grams of fat and over 2.5k calories. We’re making up for it at that time with low calories and fat. Our fiber is still high though, which means you won’t starve.

          Total: 1376 calories, 240g carbs (70%), 30g fat (9%), 71g protein (21%), 61g fiber

          Breakfast

          Blueberry-Antioxidant-Smoothie

          (237 calories, 66g carbs, 5g fat, 4g protein, 24g fiber)

          Ingredients

          • 1 ripe banana
          • 3 cups of cold water
          • 1 cup of blueberries
          • 1 tablespoon of flaxseeds
          • 1 tablespoon stevia sweetener
          • 1 tablespoon of mashed rooibos

          Steps

          1. Combine all the ingredients in a blender.

          Snacks

          Fruit platter

          (407 calories, 93g carbs, 1g fat, 6g protein, 8g fiber)

          Ingredients

          • 1 cup blueberries
          • 2 bananas
          • 2 oranges

          Steps

          1. Peel the orange and the bananas.
          2. Slice them both into mouth-sized pieces.
          3. Add the blueberries.

          Lunch

          Kale and Beans Combination

          (318 calories, 58g carbs, 3g fat, 23g protein, 21g fiber)

            Ingredients

            • 200g kale
            • 2 cups Kidney Beans

            Steps

            1. Cook the kale in a medium-sized pot.
            2. Add the kidney beans in a pan with a little bit of water.
            3. When the ingredients are ready: Drain the water.
            4. Add a tablespoon of flaxseeds (approx. 50 calories) for extra crunchiness and health.

            Dinner

            Tofu Scramble

            (414 calories, 23g carbs, 21g fat, 38g protein, 8g fiber)

            Ingredients

            • 1 teaspoon olive oil
            • ¼ cup onions, chopped
            • 1 cup red and green bell peppers, chopped
            • 1 cup spinach
            • 12-14 ounces tofu, crumbled
            • Salt and pepper, to taste

            Steps

            1. Heat oil in a pan, add onions and peppers.
            2. Sauté until vegetables are softened.
            3. Add spinach, crumbled tofu, salt and pepper.
            4. Cook for a few minutes on medium heat and serve.

            Day 6

            A great idea for someone that is interested in eating more, small meals per day. There are 2 snacks included.

            Total: 1599 calories, 283g carbs (78%), 20g fat (6%), 60g protein (16%), 47g fiber

            Breakfast

            On-the-Go Smoothie

            (385 calories, 76g carbs, 4g fats, 10g protein, 22g fiber)

            Ingredients

            • 1 very ripe banana
            • 2 cups frozen raspberries
            • 1 cup soy milk

            Steps

            1. Combine all the ingredients in a blender.
            2. Blend for about 2 minutes.

            Lunch

            Spelt noodles with BeyondMeat

            (523 calories, 79g carbs, 6g fats, 33g protein, 9g fiber)

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              • 85g of spelt noodle (uncooked)
              • 3-ounces of Chicken Free Strips by BeyondMeat
              • 5-ounces tomato sauce

              Steps

              1. Cook the noodles according to the package directions; drain.
              2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, cook the chicken free strips to your liking.
              3. Add the tomato sauce.
              4. Serve the noodle with the tomato and vegan chicken mixture.

              Snack

              Handful of berries

              (85 calories, 21g carbs, 1g fat, 1g protein, 3g fiber)

              Ingredients

              • Blueberries / Raspberries

              Steps

              1. Put a handful of antioxidant-rich berries in your hands.
              2. Then eat it.

              Dinner

              Green Salad with Edamame and Beets

              (271 calories, 30g carbs, 8g fat, 21g protein, 12g fiber)

              Ingredients

              • 2 cups mixed greens
              • 1 cup shelled edamame
              • 1/2 medium beet, shredded
              • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro

              Steps

              1. Combine greens, edamame, beet and cilantro.
              2. Top with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar.

              Dessert

              Fruit Pops

              (335 calories, 77g carbs, 1g fat, 5g protein, 1g fiber)

                Ingredients

                • About 3 cups unsweetened fruit juice of your choice, such as grape, pomegranate or orange juice (squeeze at home and use the pulp for more health benefits)

                Steps

                1. Fill an ice pop mold (set of 6) with the juice, put a wooden stick in there.
                2. Let it freeze for a couple of hours.
                3. To remove a frozen pop from the mold, run briefly under warm water.

                Day 7

                A diet has to be sustainable. Today we eat pancakes for breakfast.

                Total: 2355 calories, 385g carbs (74%), 66g fat (13%), 67g protein (13%), 85g fiber

                Breakfast

                Banana-Chocolate Pancakes

                (1,375calories, 218g carbs, 47g fat, 47g protein, 65g fiber)

                Ingredients

                • 2 peeled and mashed bananas
                • 2 dried dates, stoned
                • 20g amaranth
                • 240ml chocolate hemp milk
                • 250ml water
                • 70g buckwheat flour
                • 4 tablespoons of linseeds
                • 4 tablespoons of hemp protein
                • 3 tablespoons of carob powder
                • 2 tablespoons of cacao nibs

                Steps

                1. Blend all these ingredients together.
                2. Pour very few coconut-oil (use an oil-spray) into a baking pan.
                3. Pour the ingredients into the baking pan until you have the right size of the pancake for you.
                4. Bake for 5 minutes, turn it to the other side and bake for another 5 minutes.

                Lunch

                Amaranth-Hemp Seed-Salad

                (250 calories, 27g carbs, 11g fats, 13g protein, 8g fiber)

                Ingredients

                • 1 Nori leaf, chopped
                • 4 handful of mixed salads
                • 10g of amaranth
                • 1 handful of sugar snaps
                • 2 tablespoons of hemp seeds

                Steps

                1. Put all the ingredients in a bowl.
                2. Add some dressing, I recommend an Italian dressing.
                3. Make sure you use only a little bit of oil.

                Dinner

                Mint Couscous

                (730calories, 140g carbs, 23g protein, 8g fat, 12g fiber)

                  Ingredients

                  • 3/4 cup hot mint tea
                  • 3/4 cup uncooked couscous
                  • 4 to 5 dried apricots
                  • 8 to 10 pitted dried black olives
                  • 1 tablespoon chile paste, preferably harissa sauce
                  • 1/3 cup cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed

                  Steps

                  1. Combine the hot tea and couscous in a medium bowl.
                  2. As the couscous absorbs the liquid, slowly fluff it with a fork.
                  3. Add the remaining ingredients, stir together and serve.

                  Reference

                  [1]United States Department of Agriculture: Average Fiber Intake

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                  Florian Wüest

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                  How to Control Your Thoughts and Become the Master of Your Mind

                  How to Control Your Thoughts and Become the Master of Your Mind

                  Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

                  Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality.

                  I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

                  You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

                  Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

                  When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

                  I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

                  Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

                  Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

                  Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

                  1. The Inner Critic

                  This is your constant abuser. He is often a conglomeration of:

                  • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
                  • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
                  • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
                  • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

                  He is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

                  Why else would he abuse you? And since “he” is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

                  2. The Worrier

                  This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

                  He is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it.

                  Occasionally, he is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

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                  3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

                  He is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

                  He can be set off by words or feelings. He can even be set off by sounds and smells.

                  He has no real motivation; he has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

                  4. The Sleep Depriver

                  This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

                  His motivation can be:

                  • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
                  • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
                  • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
                  • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

                  How can you control these squatters?

                  How to Master Your Mind

                  You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

                  Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

                  There are two ways to control your thoughts:

                  • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
                  • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

                  This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

                  The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

                  Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

                  For the Inner Critic

                  When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

                  You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

                  For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

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                  You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

                  “Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

                  If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

                  • He riles up the Worrier.
                  • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
                  • He is often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
                  • He is a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
                  • He is the destroyer of self-esteem. He convinces you that you’re not worthy. He’s a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get him out!

                  Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

                  Replace him with your new best friend who supports, encourages, and enhances your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

                  For the Worrier

                  Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

                  Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

                  You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

                  • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
                  • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                  • Muscles tense

                  Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

                  If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

                  Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

                  “Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

                  Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

                  If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

                  Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

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                  Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

                  For example:

                  If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

                  “I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

                  Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

                  “Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

                  Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

                  For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

                  Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

                  The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

                  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
                  • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                  • Muscles tension

                  I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

                  Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

                  Breathe in through your nose:

                  • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
                  • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
                  • Focus on your belly rising.

                  Breathe out through your nose:

                  • Feel your lungs emptying.
                  • Focus on your belly falling.
                  • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

                  Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

                  Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

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                  One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

                  Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

                  For the Sleep Depriver

                  (He’s made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

                  I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

                  Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

                  1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
                  2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

                  When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

                  From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

                  For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

                  If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

                  You can also use this technique any time you want to:

                  • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
                  • Shut down your thinking.
                  • Calm your feelings.
                  • Simply focus on the present moment. 

                  Becoming the Master of Your Mind

                  Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

                  You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

                  Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

                  Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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