When it comes to eating habits, most of us can likely admit we could do better. The challenging part is putting the actions needed to improve into practice. Let’s explore a concept designed to help ease this challenge called Mindful Eating. You might be thinking, “Mindful eating? It sounds like just another dietary trend.” Mindful eating isn’t a diet trend, but rather specific tactics that can easily be applied to help improve your overall health and wellness. It all starts with making conscious decisions around how and when you are fuelling your body.
Because of how important fruits and vegetables are as a source of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, they should always be a priority to include in our daily meals and snacks. Most of us are fairly aware of this already, but we can be more intentional with putting plants first. When considering our meals, not only should at least one portion of veggies be included, but that should be what you eat first on your plate. The consistency of vegetables and fruits allow for a quicker digestive process than meats and starches. Your digestive system will thank you if you start with the food that breaks down the fastest.
You will further benefit by making sure that the plant portion of your meal is a hefty size. By filling up your plate with what’s best for your body, you’ll eat less of what is not as healthy. Practicing this tip will help you feel lighter on your feet and more energized afterwards. In short, make your plant portions are the hero of your meals. Pure Flavor® offers flavourful, fresh, and nutrient-packed greenhouse grown produce so having the veggies you need will never be a problem, no matter the season. If you’re looking for some ideas of veggie heavy meals, you can’t go wrong with Stuffed Sweet Potatoes, Mediterranean Poutine and Winter Kale Chicken Salad. They are full of flavor and sure to please everyone around the table.
Traditionally, we’ve been taught to make sure we eat three square meals a day in order to make sure our bodies have the fuel they need to function. Eating three times a day is definitely okay, but, eating smaller meals 5-6 times a day is even better. This tip may come across counter-productive for healthy habits, because how could eating more food be better for our health, but if you really think about it, it makes perfect sense.
Rather than three primary meals per day, decrease the portions of your traditional meals and add in small, healthy snacks between those meals. Doing this will keep your digestive system active all day long. Being active on the outside is not the only way to burn calories. Your body burns calories from the inside as well. So the more your digestive system works, the more calories you burn, even during the times you’re being still. With all the calories you’ll be burning, your metabolism will also get a boost. Pure Flavor® proudly offers a full line of healthy and convenient snacking vegetables. With a selection of Tomatoes, Cucumbers and Peppers, there is something for everyone’s taste and packed for easy, on-the-go access. Trust us, once you start a pack of Cloud 9® Tomatoes, you’ll be downing the last one before you know it.
TAKE YOUR TIME
Life is busy and we often find ourselves squeezing in meals for a few minutes between the chaos and we eat our food like we’re racing. The tip of taking your time to eat will require you to be a bit more intentional, as many of us eat too fast. But, you will find that taking your time to eat will benefit you in many ways.
The primary benefit is to your health. If you are eating a meal in five minutes or less, it is likely difficult to gauge if your food portion is what your body needs. It is easy to over-eat when eating fast. Eating slower allows you listen to your belly when it tells you it’s full. Eating slower is also good for your digestive system. The food you’ve eaten will travel through your system much smoother when its not passing through in a huge clump. Another added tactic to help you slow down is to ensure you’re chewing your food well.
Taking advantage of these tips to slow down also have secondary benefits that naturally occur as a result. Think about it, if you are eating slower, won’t you be able to enjoy your food more? And if you are taking your time, you’ve created an opportunity to strengthen relationships with those you might be eating with. The pros outweigh the cons by far.
DRINK MORE WATER
Considering the human body is mostly made up of water, it should be plain to understand that water consumption needs to be maintained in order for our bodies to function as intended. Most people will drink a few glasses of water in the day, but the majority of people walking around are likely a bit dehydrated. The average person should consume a minimum of 2L of water everyday to be properly hydrated.
Often we misinterpret hunger for thirst causing us to eat more when really, we’re just thirsty. If you’re starting to feel hunger coming on, try to drink a glass of water first before defaulting to eating. You might find a glass of water will satisfy you and keep you from consuming food your body didn’t actually need. Aside from preventing over-eating, you’ll also gain more energy, boost your metabolism, improve quality of sleep, and increase clarity of mind by staying properly hydrated.
Other than drinking water, there are foods we eat that can also contribute toward hydrating the body – Cucumbers are a great example as they consist of upwards of 95% water! Working cucumbers into your daily diet will boost hydration, along with providing many other nutrients your body needs. Make sure to check out some delicious cucumber meal recipes like Garlic Cucumber Salad, Salmon Sushi Bowl and Cucumber Pico Tostadas for your next meals.
When trying to live in a way that is mindful of our health, it is usually easier to maintain accountability with a friend or partner. Having someone to hold you accountable will help you think twice before making food choices, rather than be impulsive or fall into old habits. Plus, as with most things in life, it’s usually more enjoyable when you don’t have to go it alone. Being able to share recipes, progress reports, and future health goals with someone can help keep us on track.
It is also motivating to have someone to celebrate both small and large victories with. A sense of accomplishment can be a strong motivating factor to continue with healthy choices, and it only grows stronger with every achievement and benchmark reached.
It is important to stay mindful of how we are fuelling our bodies on a daily basis. By practicing these, and another Mindful Eating techniques, you may find yourself not only more aware of what you are eating and drinking, but also how much better certain foods make you feel. By choosing always in season, greenhouse grown vegetables as part of your meal planning it is the first step in making lasting, healthy habits.
For more great recipes to help support your mindful eating and healthy way of life, click here.
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