Mary Ann (Wallace) Iyer, M.D. is a licensed physician, whose awakening led her to understand that the way to health involves waking up to our True Purpose. Full wellbeing includes attending to both our outer and inner selves.

Dr. Mary leads workshops which invite individuals into deeper awareness of their path in life. Her gentle, astute Presence leads participants into the safety of their own precious Hearts, where answers to perplexing problems lie.

Under the name, Mary Ann Wallace, MD, she has published several books and CDS. Visit http://www.maryanniyer.com/ for more details.

To bring Dr. Mary to your area, email: DrMA@maryanniyer.com

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Eating with Care

I am often asked for advice about "how to" change eating habits. Below is a short list of suggestions:
1) Slow it down
- Notice what you are eating, and that you are eating
- Pay attention to how your body feels as it is satisfied with just the right amount of food
- "Fast foods" is an oxymoron
- Stop eating when you are satisfied. Boxing up leftovers is OK - even at home
- Be sure to notice if you're actually thirsty - try water first
- Brush your teeth right after you eat
2) Make it special
- Sit down. Prepare the meal for a guest (you qualify as a guest)
- Use smaller plates and serve yourself only the food you need - with care
- End a meal with a ritual - whether it be a dab of dessert, tea, an after meal mint
3) Notice what is driving the eating
- Ask yourself if you are really hungry - or feeling anxious or some other charged emotion that you are uncomfortable with
- Have a list handy of other things you can do to meet the actual need. Make it easy
- Know your difficult times and act preventively
- Enlist the help of a friend
4) Focus on gratitude
- Thankfulness is just what it says: being full of thanks. It is the fast track to not feeding an emptiness that doesn't really need food
- Expressing gratitude before a meal helps the mind engage in the right framework for eating in the most nourishing way possible

Above all else - be mindful. If you are stuck in a pattern of eating you don't like, chances are that either: a) it's just a mindless habit, or
b) there is a recurring inner anxiety (be it from loneliness, stress or whatever that is "gnawing" at you) - and you are feeding it with food instead of dealing with the underlying root.
In either case, increasing the capacity to notice - or be mindful - will help to open up the space to deeply and authentically make change.
Please note: There is a list of suggestions in Appendix D of my book, "Mindful Eating: Mindful Life"

Friday, July 2, 2010


June, 2010

Last year was one of those harrowing times designed to make us better characters – or squash us in the process. My husband and I moved. Twice. Then, before we could see the end of the row of our own boxes, we got an urgent call from my parents. In their 80’s, Mom and Dad were not able to handle Idaho winters any more. Moving to balmy Oregon seemed like just the right retirement plan, so they had put their place on the market earlier in the year. There were apparently no hordes of folks lined up for the opportunity of backwoods living, however. Just as they were giving up hope of a sale and hunkering down for another few months of strenuous snow plowing, a buyer suddenly appeared and they needed help to get out in a hurry. Since our last home was recently vacated and not yet sold, could they stay there?

So, off we trucked to Idaho to gather folks and their 56 years of accumulations. They arrived just in time for us to rush Mom to the hospital for emergency surgery. It was a grim cluster of days, during which we resigned ourselves to saying good-bye to our beloved mother and wife. And then one day, Mom opened her eyes, bright blue and very much alive, and said simply, “Hi”. Five grueling weeks of rehab later, we finally settled them in to their new home.

This spring, it was truly time for US to settle in to OUR new home and experience the joy of seeing our pictures on the wall, and finding the clothes we were looking for in drawers. We turned our minds to planting a garden with the sigh of relief of being deeply rooted in one spot. We envisioned gardening here for the remainder of our days. I decided, as part of the “big move” of the year I would empty all old seed containers – sort of as a symbolic gesture of starting anew from all we had accumulated before. It seemed fitting.

Every true gardener knows a garden begins the year before – and so it was with this garden. Last year was, in keeping with the general theme and tone, wet and cool deep into the summer months. It was the year of the clammy clay that stuck to boots, fingers and hair, the drizzly gray skies that circled over June and even stretched into July with their perpetual arc. The year in which only 6 of the 20 squash seeds I planted came up – and even those sort of petered out in the yucko weather.

I should say here that I save seeds. I simply cannot bring myself to throw away any living or potentially living thing. Or old tools, clothes or kitchen towels, for that matter. (This also explains the 23 tomato volunteers tenderly lifted and given their own spot in this year’s garden.) So these seeds I had planted were the cumulative collection of the innards of every kind of squash we had eaten the fall before.

I also usually don’t mark what I put where in the garden, enjoying the bit of mystery when the seedlings announce themselves. (There may be some laziness factor in there, too.) Anyway, of the squash seeds I had planted last year, I had no idea which were the duds and which might produce, maybe, given the right climatic conditions. They all deserved a chance, in my book. So, just to provide a sense of completion to all of the former year’s happenings, I scattered all the squash seeds throughout our new garden plot.

Imagine our joy when we first saw two little squash heads popping up to wave hello at us. And – the elation when 6 more raised their lovely bonnets. And then another four. And, another, and ---
It became my husband’s early morning delight to stroll through the garden beds and then announce to me at the breakfast table the latest victorious number. “Yup.”, he would grin triumphantly, slathering a dollop of butter on a piece of toast. “46”. And cackle.

Let me explain a bit more about my husband. He loves big. He’s a sucker for any seed packet that boasts some gargantuanly dimensioned cucurbit or other fruit. This explains the six pumpkin seeds we put in that will, if they live up to their forbears’ portentous reputation, be bearing 200 pound pumpkins at garden year’s end. This is the man who, when I first introduced him to the delights of gardening, wanted “big zucchini”. As we pored over the latest seed catalogue, with me extolling the virtues of first this, then that zucchini option, I had watched his face getting ever longer. Finally, I closed the magazine and asked what was wrong! His mournful answer? “But – I want a GIANT zucchini. All these descriptions say to pick them when they’re only 8 inches long.”


Back to our winter squash patch. They ALL came up. Really. Every single seed that went into the ground poked up as a little plant in its due time. So far, 86 winter squash, 7 zucchini and 3 of the giant pumpkin plants are up and dancing in the balmy spring air.

It’s too bad that every friend to whom I’ve related this story has their family vacation in fall this year. I think we ARE better characters - we certainly feel generous and would gladly share if they were only here!