The Happy Type One

Anapanasati exercise to foster a good relationship with food (#46)

25 May 2021

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About the episode

This week’s podcast features an awarness exercise with Nicole Harrington. Nico is a type one diabetic, empowering women to embrace their illness and thrive with the help of yoga, mindfulness & meditation practise.

She prepared an breathing exercise for us, this week. A meditation style fostering awareness of self. This technique is easy to learn and its goal is to develop concentration and calmness of the mind. She told me, that it further enables us to train our brain to expand our capacity to resist temptation to stimulus around us.

We offer all listeners this meditation practise in connection with a mindfulness eating theme. Becasue diabetes is interferring in our relationship with food so much and actually enjoying a meal can be challenging. We are constantly forced to look at food in a mathematical way to do our carb counts, evaluate it with its macros as if it is a science project and inject medication for it every single time. Although this relationship gets easier for most of us with time, it is never as easy than just dulging in without any direct consequences. And to get off the rollercoaster of blood sugar levels, some of us try to stay away from sweet temtations, which otherwise easily mess with our blood sugars. No matter, how you eat with diabetes, very day is a balance act of decicions and that adds stress to our lives.

Therefore, we made this meditation, to ease off stress and returning to the present moment, letting go of our worries. It is here to empower you to foster a good relationship with yourself and the way you nourish your mind and body by focusing on the breath.

Mindfulness eating booklet

In connection with mindfulness eating Nico and I developed a small booklet with a vegan lowcarb recipe and mindfulness practise, which we are giving away for free in a giveaway. We will be running the giveaway in the next days on instagram via our profiles thehappytypeone and the thatveganyogi. Make sure to follow us there to get a chance to win the mindulness eating boocklet!

And if you want to dive deeper into mindfulness eating prcatise, check out episode 1 of season 5 of this podcast with Petra Hanson, called: 7 Principles to Mindful Eating. Where she talks about how mindfulnes practise is being used with diabetics in the hospital where she works and what difference it can make in your life.

What is Anapanasati?

I like to give you a quick introduction to this specific type of meditation Nico chose for us. Anapanasati actually means “mindfulness of breathing” and is commonly called this way.

It is one of the most popular techniques used in Buddhism. It is said, that Buddha initially taught it more than 2.500 years ago. The original instructions are found in the Anapanasati sutta.

Today, Anapanasati meditation technique is not just a Buddhist practice but a medical and scientific practice too. Science has proven that there are many benefits of Anapanasati meditation technique.

For example can it benefits us by activating the parasympathetic nervous system. This produces feelings of relaxation and wellbeing. Plus, mindful breathing helps keep the brain young and fit by affecting levels of a neurotransmitter called noradrenaline, a stress hormone that positvively enhances formation and retrieval of memory, focuses attention and is involved with the formulation of new brain cells. More general speaking, the Harvard Medical School confirms that deep breathing reduces the “fight or flight” response and therefore stress levels.

Scientific benefits

More scientific benefits of Anapanasati Meditation are:  

  • Stops “Monkey Mind”

  • Increases serotonin (happiness hormone)

  • Increases relaxation

  • Improves energy flow

  • Improves communication between hemispheres of the brain

  • Improves airflow to lungs

  • Increases focus

  • Decreases muscle tension

  • Reduces headaches and migraines

  • Lower risk of cardiovascular disease

  • Lowers heart rate

  • Helps balance blood pressure

  • Anti-again for body and mind


Reach out to Nico on insta:

And you?!

Wanna improve your well-being by running flatter blood glucose lines,
reducing your HbA1c, having less hypos and more time in target range?
If yes, then we need  to   talk !
Drop me a message 👇🏽

As a nutritionist and T1D myself,
I am excited to share how I easy overperform diabetic guidelines
and how we can tackle your individual challenges together!

You are a gift to this world, now go out and shine!


Yours Julia

P. s.: To support this show, please review it on apple podcasts! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
This helps me massively to run and improve this free podcast for you!

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