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Wellness Watch - Mindful Eating & Good Nutrition

A healthy diet helps maintain a healthy body. Unfortunately, many of us don’t spend a lot of time thinking about what and how we eat. Mindful eating is a strategy that can help you improve your overall health by improving your nutrition. Here are some tips to help you be a mindful eater.

Start at the grocery store. If you fill your pantry and refrigerator with healthy foods – and stay away unhealthy items you know are most tempting to you – you will usually prepare well-balanced and nutritious meals. Make a conscious effort to look for products you enjoy that are also good for you, and try to include lean proteins, vegetables and fruits, and grains or starches in most of your meals. 

Come to the table with an appetite, but not when you’re starving. When you skip meals, you may end up filling your stomach with whatever is available when you do get around to eating. If you eat on a regular schedule and set aside time to prepare your meal, you’re much more likely to eat healthy and truly enjoy your meal. 

Eat with others. Mealtime can be a great social time, and that can help you avoid overeating or undereating out of emotion. 

Don’t be a distracted eater. When you eat at your desk or in your car or while you’re watching television, you may not realize how much you’re eating or even exactly what you’re eating. 

Appreciate your food. A delicious meal can be one of the life’s great pleasures. When you can, take time to plan a well-balanced meal. Pay attention to how things look and smell while you’re cooking. Use herbs and spices that bring out flavors without adding a lot of extra calories. 

Don’t rush through a meal. When you take small bites, chew thoroughly and eat slowly you keep yourself from overeating. You’ll also probably enjoy the meal a lot more.

Here are a few simple nutrition facts and tips that can help you eat right.

Of all the junk foods, sugary drinks may be the most fattening. Be leary of any products with added sugar. Sugary beverages have extremely high levels of sugar and calories, but they don’t fill you up. Cutting your intake of high-sugar drinks is the easiest way to cut calories.

Fruit juice isn’t much different than a soft drink. Fruit juices often contain just as much sugar as soft drinks. You’re better off eating your fruit, rather than drinking it.

Low-fat doesn’t mean high nutrition. Many products labeled “low-fat” are processed foods loaded with unhealthy ingredients. Stick to foods that are naturally low-fat like fruits and vegetables.

Don’t aim for perfection. Be practical when you’re thinking about improving your eating habits. Don’t beat yourself up for taking small steps or occasionally indulging in a guilty pleasure.

Eat the rainbow. The next time you’re in the produce aisle, make an effort to buy fresh items in a variety of colors. That’s an easy way to ensure you’re getting a diverse mix of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Need some help planning nutritious and tasty meals?  Here are a couple of links to websites that have lots of great ideas and recipes.