My path to health has been comprised of thousands of baby steps. I have never been able to stick to an “all or nothing diet” and choose to take the middle path of moderation. I still love donuts and I do not deny myself the occasional treat because while some things may not be good for your body, they are good for you soul! Mindful nutrition is about making conscious choices about the foods you eat and breaking habitual patterns of unconscious eating.
I also view food as medicine and believe that a healthy diet is a vital part of healing disease. Healing the body with food takes time, dedication and effort but the pay off is well worth it. I become addicted to how my body feels when I eat clean and I can practically feel it humming.
During my journey I have come up with some guidelines for mindful nutrition that help me stay focused on my health goals. I am sharing them in hopes that you will find them insightful in your journey as well! I would suggest starting out by choosing a few items on the list of focus on and then go from there.
Mindful Nutrition – Tips & Tricks
- Eat Mindfully – Chew food thoroughly and savor each bite as if it is the last little bit of dessert. Luxuriate in your meal and take the time to eat slowly and purposefully.
- Don’t Eat While Distracted – This point follows the previous one. The Chinese believe that when a man is eating he is a king… meaning that they should not be bothered while enjoying their food. Turn off any distractions such as TV and cell phones. Make sure the conversations during meals are light, positive discussions and leave any heavier topics for a later time.
- Eat 80% Clean – Focus on foods that are un-processed in any way such as fruits, vegetables, and high-quality meats. Clean foods are easier for the body to process and can lead to a healthier digestive system.
- Avoid Processed Sugar – Processed sugar hides in many different so-called “health” foods such as yogurt, granola bars, and prepackaged smoothies. This additional sugar adds up quickly through out the day and should be avoided if possible.
- Eat Organic/ Grass Fed/ Wild Caught Meats – The quality of meat consumed is very important because high- quality meats will contain more nutrients and less added hormones and antibiotics.
- Eat Vegetables at Every Meal – Aim to incorporate vegetables into every meal and it is easy to get around 10 servings per day. I am a big proponent of cooked vegetables and primarily eat them over raw vegetables but ultimately, eat whatever makes you feel best. Eating a variety of vegetables in important as well because they will contain different probiotics. (See #7 below)
- Eat Fermented Foods Daily – The gut biome plays a vital role in digestive health as well as mental health. The bacteria in our digestive system are responsible for assisting in the break down of food as well as producing serotonin. Eating fermented foods such as kombucha, saurkraut, and kim chi can boost our gut biome. The variety of probiotic strains are more important than the amount so adding different vegetables into your diet will help to vary the strains.
- Avoid Dairy, Gluten, and any other Inflammatory Foods – This suggestion should be based on how your body reacts to specific foods. Some people can eat dairy and gluten without any health issues. Try eliminating certain foods to find out what you are sensitive to and then avoid those specific items.
If you have any questions about mindful nutrition visit our website or contact us to see how Evenstar Acupuncture can help you on your journey to health and wellness!
Thank you for the reminders of important mindful eating. Life can be so busy but we do need to slow ourselves down and appreciate our meals.