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No question about it…. Eating healthfully is a major part of a mindful lifestyle. Let’s face it: as much as we’d looooove to survive on a diet of mashed potatoes and butter cream frosting, we simply cannot attain wellness without a healthy style of eating. Plain & simple. Today, we are dealt an obscene amount of temptation to contend with! Fast food ‘restaurants’ are endlessly popping up, enticing us with the aroma of their deep fried sinfulness. Gluttony lurks around every corner with portion sizes nearly tripling in the last 15 years alone!! Not to mention the fact that careers, families, & our all around fabulousity don’t leave us with much time to sit still and actually ENJOY our food! Instead we are forced to quickly grab something wrapped-slash-packaged and scarf it down at stoplights on our way to [fill in the blank]. Life is a veritable obstacle course preventing us from wellness! How can we possibly fight back against such formidable foes as the Big Mac and the “To Go” meal? ? Well, I’ll tell you!!! By making a conscious, mindful effort to embrace a few small lifestyle changes that not only help us rediscover our ideal waistline, but might even lead us to learn a few things about ourselves along the way…..
Get Fit Fast by Slowing down! Let me guess: you’re “too busy/ too rushed/ too tired/ too fierce to cook a healthy meal”. Whaddaya know!?! Me too!! But an important part of a wellness-based lifestyle is balance. And that means balancing the chaotic madness of your life & responsibilities with time for YOU and your family. The internet is absolutely brimming with recipes for healthy, inexpensive, 30-minute meals that couldn’t be easier to concoct. In less time than it takes to devour 3 Krispy Kreme donuts, you can sit down to a well BALANCED meal. (did I mention we need balance)?? Whether it’s just you & some Vivaldi by candlelight, or you have a houseful of kids, sitting down to eat without distractions or television or conference calls (or stoplights!!) is a great way to appreciate your meal, savor your food, & reconnect. Mindful eaters tend to consume FAR fewer calories because they acknowledge their intake, rather than haphazardly reaching for food without consideration. Remember all those “just one bite”s, or “handful of candy coated honey roasted peanuts” you consumed without even thinking?? Yeah. Those. They add up. Fast. Need another good reason?? In addition to combating childhood obesity, studies show that families who sit down to dinner together share much more than food… they share their thoughts, ideas, and lives.
Less is More! If you’ve ever given in to the dark side & gulped down a McMeal, you were more than likely asked if you wanted that meal “supersized”. If you had said yes, you would’ve gotten Idaho’s share of French fries, and enough soda to rival the volume of Niagara Falls! As a society, we have completely gotten away from the idea of eating to simply nourish our bodies, and replaced it with the notion of eating because we are bored, depressed, celebrating, giving in to peer pressure, or just because it plain tastes good. Now I am in NO way suggesting we take a page from the Matrix & live on barely enough gruel to maintain our motor functions, but we do have to find a happy medium. Forget those childhood nightmares where you aren’t allowed to leave the table until you “clean your plate”. A quick & easy way to take a giant step toward wellness doesn’t even require that we change the foods we love to eat! We just have to cut down on the portions. Put less on your plate at the start of a meal. Savor each bite. Enjoy the flavor sensations. Take time to TASTE your food. Relish the quality of your meal, rather than the quantity. The brain takes TIME to register fullness, so we often scarf down SO much food before we realize we are satiated, that we end up feeling nauseous & bloated. If after 15 minutes you are still hungry, go back for seconds with an emphasis on the veggies & salad… the high fiber content will help you feel fuller longer. Cutting down portions of the very same foods can save us hundreds of calories a day! SO… don’t eat to pass the time, or drown your sorrows. EAT to THRIVE!!!