Thursday, August 15, 2019

Key Reasons to Eat Mindfully with Tips to Succeed

Most of us know it’s unhealthy to overeat and gain extra pounds or skip meals to shed weight. Yet when stressed or rushed, we may reach for comfort foods, eat on the go, or veto a meal entirely.

This post offers tips to help us become mindful eaters and ideas to help us do it.

Updated 10/24/2022

Mindful eating is the practice of bringing open-minded awareness about our food choices, and observations about the taste, texture, sound, aroma, and sight of the foods we are eating. 

Eating mindfully is also a way to pay more attention to why and how we prepare and eat certain foods.

When we notice details of the eating experience and the effect food has on our body, emotions, and thinking, we're better able to identify problem times and situations we eat to compensate for feelings including loneliness, anger, boredom, and fear.

Mindful eating studies show those who eat mindfully are more successful at sticking with a meal plan that supports wellness. The example is from Michael Greger MD.

Research about mindful eating also suggests that being present while eating assures full digestion as well as optimal nutrition benefits. 

The initial phase of digestion begins with the brain seeing, smelling, and anticipating food. 

If you are tense or distracted any place in the process, food may not be fully absorbed. See more at Mindfulness Helps Us Digest and Enjoy Our Food.

Additional studies indicate mindful eating may help reduce body mass index (BMI), reduce anxious thoughts about food and body image, and help those with diabetes get a better handle on managing symptoms.

Word of warning: Posts on this site are offered for informational purposes, and not offered as medical advice.

Tune into your body’s signals to identify real hunger. With practice, you’ll be able to discern “when,” “how,” “where,” and "what" to eat for nourishment, health, and to create a sense of well-being in you. 

Just understand, one size does not fit all. Make your goal  "progress." Through trial and error you'll develop a meal plan and follow through with methods that fit your lifestyle. See this for more tips.

Mindful Eating Can Evolve 
Spontaneously When you Do 

Before you begin preparing a meal...

Clear clutter from table and kitchen counters. Mail, keys, papers, and work stuff detracts from the physical setting for an enjoyable meal. When junk blankets the dining table, it makes it tempting to eat on the couch or eat standing up. 

Take a moment or two to breathe deeply, and put aside any cares or concerns you felt during the hours before this meal. Perhaps even take a moment or two to say a thanks for the abundance in your life.

Then, gather brightly colored ingredients, lay them out, cut them up, and place them in the appropriate pot, pan, or on or in the stove.  

Notice specific details about what you’re doing in each moment. Are you following a cookbook recipe, winging it, opening a package, or cutting off the tops of radishes or carrots? 
Do you hear anything as you cook, feel air or lack of air around you, etc. How does the sauce you are simmering smell, look, taste, feel?

For fresh menu ideas, see Colorful Whole Food Plant Based Meal Ideas to simplify meal planning. 

You’re not cooking food to be eaten, you’re simply cooking the food, and you’re doing it with all of your being.

Before you actually sit down for a meal, pause to consider everyone involved in bringing your food to the table. 

Think of the loved ones or yourself who will prepare it, those who planted it, the water, soil, and other elements that were part of the creation, those who harvested the ingredients, to those who transported it to markets or will deliver it to your home. 

When you go back to the origins of the food you are eating, you’re likely to breathe easier, feel grounded, grateful, and sense you are interconnected.

Listen to physical hunger cues and distinguish between true hunger and non-hunger triggers for eating including boredom, loneliness, anxiety, sadness, joy, fatigue, and craving for love or comfort.
Set the intention to be mindful for at least one meal a day. Then branch out to two or three mindful meals a day. Expand your practice and include meals at home, with family and friends, and in restaurants.

Remember to engage all your senses and take in the colors, smells, sounds, textures, and flavors of the foods you are going to eat. 

Here's food for thought. Ask yourself whether the food you are choosing to eat contributes to your physical, emotional, spiritual, mental, community, and planetary health.
Keep your eyes on your table mates and the food. Take part in conversation. 

See this tip from Etiquette Expert Candace Smith:

“Have you noticed that table settings only include the tools necessary to assist you during dinner with others?  There are plates, glasses, forks, knives, spoons, and napkins.  Add humans and food, and you have a complete dining experience.  
This is why the table etiquette rule is: No items other than those included in the table setting are appropriate on the dining table.  Ergo, phones and other electronic devices should not make an appearance during a meal.” See more at  Using Your Phone at the Table.

When you are eating a meal solo, sit down at a table to eat without a book, electronic device or busy work. This will direct your attention where it can do the most good.

Notice the feelings, thoughts, and ideas that surface when you eat slowly, and without distraction, Give your full attention to the food you eat, and you'll be better able to notice when you feel satisfied, but not overstuffed. Stop eating then.

Eyeball your food to determine portion size, and be mindful about selecting quality rather than quantity. 

Use a luncheon sized plate instead of dinner plate, if you have a problem gauging portions. 

Keep fresh, whole food on hand. You'll be less tempted to munch on junk food and have more say about what is in or isn't in your food. 

After a mindful meal, notice how you're feeling. Are you tired, alert, grateful, hyper, or relaxed. 

The food you eat and the mindset you bring to it, has a direct impact on your mood, outlook, health, and energy level. Make it a priority to eat mindfully one day at a time, and you're sure to succeed in increasing pleasure and health.

Do you want to eat meals more mindfully? 

Why do you think that's a good thing to do? 

What tips that I've written about can help you do more of it? 

Please comment below in the space provided. I read and appreciate each one, but will not publish comments if they contain links. Thanks for understanding. 💗

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Thursday, August 1, 2019

Awesome Reasons to Eat Celery with Prep Ideas

Benefits of Celery and Serving Suggestions

You may not realize it, but adding celery to your food plan is simple and healthy, and its wellness benefits are so awesome you'll be glad you saw this post.

Research shows celery lowers the risk of developing certain forms of cancer, and reduces the risk from a host of other diseases and health concerns. 

Updated 7/30/2022

Improved well-being is achievable, if you develop a healthy lifestyle that  includes exercise, stress reduction techniques, and a whole food plant-based eating plan. 

Celery stalks and leaves have numerous medicinal properties. Select celery fresh from a local market, your home garden, or farmer's market.

Celery is part of the "green" family of vegetables and a good source of vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E, potassium, folate, and vitamin B6.

Why is Celery Healthy?

Celery contains an anti-cancer compound (apigenin) that reduces risk of lung cancer and shows promising signs it may kill breast cancer cells as well.

Further investigation indicates celery may help reduce symptoms of Arthritis (RA).

To help lower high blood pressure eat celery. It contains a phytochemical called phthalides that relaxes the tissues of the artery walls to increase blood flow and reduce blood pressure.

A compound in celery, apiuman, can decrease instances of stomach ulcers, and improves the lining of the stomach. 

Some people ingest a therapeutic grade celery seed essential oil to enhance heart health and for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. 

Word of warning: Check with your medical professional before taking any new supplement or food. Go slow when changing your diet, and check with your provider before you begin. Posts on this site are offered for informational purposes, and not offered as medical advice.

Celery is 95% water. This makes it low calorie and hydrating, with only 16 calories per cup. 

It's cleansing as well. With a combo of soluble and insoluble fiber, each cup contains 6 % of the daily requirement for fiber. See more about the nutritional breakdown here.

It's interesting to note, as celery travels through your digestive tract, its fiber feeds good gut bacteria, and aids digestion and elimination. 

Fiber-rich vegetables including celery help reduce bloat caused by food that hasn’t worked its way through your intestines. 

Celery contains minerals, especially magnesium, potassium, and calcium that improve bone health.  

Celery contains a plant-based form of sodium, one that is easily absorbed and essential to good health.

Ways to Eat More Celery

One folk remedy suggests you eat a celery-based snack a few hours before bedtime. This may relax you and promote sounder sleep.

This writer makes it a point to consume at least 2 stalks of raw celery every few days. You can too. Munch on it au naturel or with hummus, guacamole, or nut butter.

Food Tips, Serving Ideas for Celery

Make sure to purchase and eat organic celery, since conventionally grown celery is on the dirty dozen list. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) reviews fruits and vegetables each year and lists those that contain the highest levels of pesticide residues.

Savor celery stalks, leaves, and celery seeds blended into your favorite casserole dish, stew, or roasted veggie medley. Cooking celery makes it taste sweeter, than when it's served raw.

Vary the way you prepare this veggie; chop, dice, slice, or cut into chunks and include it in sauces, chili, soups, and a crudités platter.

Check for recipes online or in cookbooks. Favorite ways I serve it are raw, steamed, or roasted. 

Try your hand at making a crisp, crunchy, fresh-tasting veggie salad with a rainbow of colors that's pleasing to the eye and palette. 

Recipe for Chickpea/Celery Salad on a Bed of Tossed Greens

1. Use the chopping blade in a food processor to chop celery, a drained can of chickpeas, carrots, red cabbage, zucchini, red pepper, onion, 2 T. lemon juice, and 2T. extra virgin olive oil. 

2. Grate 2 cloves garlic and a 1/2 slice of fresh ginger and add that too. 

3. Season with your favorite herbs and spices. Mine are parsley, oregano, basil, black pepper, sage, and thyme.

See Chickpea/Celery Salad on a bed of tossed green salad right below.

Salad that features celery

Top this salad with a vegan bean, garlic, and ginger salad dressing, and sprig of celery leaf. This combo shows off celery's subtle, but juicy flavor. 

Thinking of juicy? Multi-vegetable smoothies that include celery are loaded with vitamins and minerals and provide quick energy and satisfy thirst. 

Eastern medicine has used celery for thousands of years to treat bronchitis, skin disorders, nervousness, and the flu. 

Don't you think it's time for modern medical practitioners to recommend it and folks like us to eat more celery? 

Before you go, please comment below. 💓

Did you discover something new about celery? 

Are you willing to add more of it to your food plan? 

Do you have info about celery's health benefits I didn't mention? Please let me know.

I appreciate and read every comment, but do not publish them, if you add links. Thanks for understanding.

Spread the word by re-sharing on social media, and please credit me with a link back to this post.

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