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Feed your Body, Feed your Mind

“Healthy eating is a way of life, so it’s important to establish routines that are simple, realistically, and ultimately livable.” – Horace

I'm amazed at how complicated people make eating. With all the crazy diets, fads and pills available to lose or gain weight, how about just eating sensible? I have friends and clients that consult with me on matters of diet, this is what I tell them. Stop eating fast food and processed food, start cooking!

Diet culture can be harmful and put you at risk for developing an eating disorder or form disordered eating habits. Diet culture is a pervasive belief that appearance and body shape are more important than physical, psychological, and general well-being. It is more of an idea that if you can control your body, and more importantly your diet, this is normal. Diet’s emphasize limiting what and how much you eat, it can lead you to count calories or choose low fat and low carb options. You can develop more attention towards weighing yourself frequently and if you don’t reach your weight loss goals or gain weight, this can negatively impact your mood and motivation. Diet culture normalizes labeling food as good or bad and thinking it is more of a transaction. This means, you either earn it or don’t deserve it depending on how much you have exercised or how you have eaten that day or week so far. Beyond this, it can extend to labeling yourself as good or bad for eating some of these foods.

Although the ideal mindful-eating food choices are similar to the Mediterranean diet — centered on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seeds, nuts, and vegetable oils — the technique can be applied to a cheeseburger and fries. By truly paying attention to the food you eat, you may indulge in these types of foods less often. In essence, mindful eating means being fully attentive to your food — as you buy, prepare, serve, and consume it. However, adopting the practice may take more than a few adjustments in the way you approach meals and snacks. In the book Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life and companion website,, Dr. Cheung and her co-author, Buddhist spiritual leader Thich Nhat Hanh, suggest several practices that can help you get there, including those listed below.

1. Begin with your shopping list. Consider the health value of every item you add to your list and stick to it to avoid impulse buying when you're shopping. Fill most of your cart in the produce section and avoid the center aisles—which are heavy with processed foods — and the chips and candy at the check-out counter.

2. Come to the table with an appetite — but not when ravenously hungry. If you skip meals, you may be so eager to get anything in your stomach that your first priority is filling the void instead of enjoying your food.

3. Start with a small portion. It may be helpful to limit the size of your plate to nine inches or less.

4. Appreciate your food. Pause for a minute or two before you begin eating to contemplate everything and everyone it took to bring the meal to your table. Silently express your gratitude for the opportunity to enjoy delicious food and the companions you're enjoying it with.

5. Bring all your senses to the meal. When you're cooking, serving, and eating your food, be attentive to color, texture, aroma, and even the sounds different foods make as you prepare them. As you chew your food, try identifying all the ingredients, especially seasonings.

6. Take small bites. It's easier to taste food completely when your mouth isn't full. Put down your utensil between bites.

7. Chew thoroughly. Chew well until you can taste the essence of the food. (You may have to chew each mouthful 20 to 40 times, depending on the food.) You may be surprised at all the flavors that are released.

8. Eat slowly. If you follow the advice above, you won't bolt your food down. Devote at least five minutes to mindful eating before you chat with your tablemates.

Well that's all folks, I hope you have a wonderful healthy & fun weekend! If your looking for more information on eating and living healthy, check out our online programs.

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