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Wellness Wednesday: The Mindful Eating Challenge
April 2, 2016

Eat this, not that.  If it’s derived from the ground, it is most likely a go-ahead.  Everything in moderation.  High carb, low fat.  High protein, low carb.  Gluten-free.  Juicing…you can drink more vegetables and fruits then you can chew.  Improve your mood, concentration, coordination, sleep, and energy while treating or preventing migraines, acne, ADHD, leg edema, heart disease, colon cancer and more with the simple removal of one thing:  wheat.   No eating past 8:00 pm—even if you are physically hungry… drink water and you will suddenly cure your hunger pains.

Now combine our own monkey chatter with the “eat this, not that”, “everything in moderation”, “not eating past 8:00 pm” and more media or “nutrition expert” derived food phrases and we are left in complete confusion on deciding what to eat; thus, leading to anxiety, stress and fear.  Instead of looking at the big picture, we find either excuses or reasons why we should or shouldn’t eat something—we can focus on small details, like avoiding apples because there is too much sugar, and miss what is really going on behind our food choices.  I want to encourage everyone at home to go back to the basics.  Think about when you were a kid or think about a time in your life when your food choices were not as complicated or confusing:  parents made sure breakfast was never skipped; food was eaten when you were physically hungry; family members encouraged us to try a particular vegetable at least once before it was dismissed as the worst food created on the planet (I used to think my parents were trying to poison me with green beans); portions were reasonable.  In some ways, we need to go back to how we were eating as children…

  1.  Listen and honor your hunger ques.  Before your meal, rank your hunger on a scale of 0 to 10.  Ranking yourself at a 0 would mean you feel completely empty or “starved” and you could be at risk for overeating.   A neutral state would represent neither being hungry nor full.  Before your meal, being at a 3 or 4 is ideal as this is where hunger has awakened.
  2. Train your palate.  Guests come here all the time trying new things they never would have tried at home.  Continue to do this in your everyday life.  If you used to hate tomatoes as a child, you may find that you really enjoy them now.  In fact, you can train yourself to enjoy foods you never used to—for example, change the way you prepare certain foods and you may find this becomes a new weekly staple in your kitchen.
  3.  Be your own researcher.  If something sounds too good to be true, it is probably too good to be true.   Start asking yourself the “why?” question when you hear media regarding fad diets, super foods, etc.  Make sure you are looking at scientifically based sources and the information is backed by solid research.
  4. Whole Foods > Highly Processed.  Whole foods including non-starchy vegetables, starchy vegetables in proper portions, fruits, whole grains, low fat dairy, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, healthy fats such as olive oil and omega-3 rich salmon, healthy protein sources, herbs, salt-free seasonings, water, water and more water.
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