I understand why ideas like “detoxing” and “eating clean” have gotten a bad rap. I’m not a big fan of vilifying any particular food, even processed or fast food- moderation in all things works best for me, personally. That said, after the holidays, vacation, or birthday indulgence(I’m looking at you, cheese cake and fudge!) I feel and look a lot better when I practice a week or two of concentrated, mindful eating. For me that means taking it easy on grains, dairy, coffee(my best friend!), and sweets. But I prefer to think about what I can eat more of rather than what is “forbidden,” so I also challenge myself to get as many vegetables in each meal as I can, and make a special effort to drink enough water. That way it is a fun challenge to come up with delicious, satisfying menus that put an emphasis on nutrient dense, fresh foods. This week, as I work on hitting the reset button for myself, I’ll share a few of my favorite mindful eating meals and strategies for making good food easy when you have lots of other stuff that needs doing!
For me, success eating mindfully comes from focusing on a few things
- Protein at every meal- helps me feel full and happy. Beans and soy don’t agree with me, so in my world that means lean animal protein and nuts/protein rich veggies
- Healthy fats at each meal- olive oil, nuts, and avocados are a go.
- Real food only- no artificial sweeteners, shakes, protein powders etc, just stuff that is made of actual food.
- Variety- no eating the same thing more than one meal a day, eggs once, nuts once, animal protein once. My gut and brain are both happier without too much repetition.
- Eat every 2-3 hours to keep level blood sugar and avoid craving quick, sugary food.
- Planned water breaks before and between meals.
- Preparation- lots of seasonal vegetables cooked and ready to eat or warm up in the microwave, so even when my kids are distracting me or I’m in a rush, I have no excuse to down buttery toast crusts and leftover brown sugar oatmeal for breakfast.
- Eat with the sun- breakfast first thing and last meal before sunset to let my digestive system rest overnight and avoid sleepy-time snacking.
This is not the advice of a health expert or registered dietician, just a busy mother’s way of eating mindfully for increased health and energy (not to mention glowier skin and less jiggle around the middle, though those aren’t the main objectives). Let’s go!