Hi friends! I can’t believe that February is already here. This year is already going by so fast. Better stay present :)
Last month we focused on gratitude & positivity. If you missed any of last month’s posts, you can find them here! This month, we’re focusing on holistic, mindful eating. February is a good month to focus on this goal. I feel like in January everyone has “goal fever” (starting new diets, weight loss plans, exercise plans, etc) and by February, some have lost focus on what should be the overall goal: slowly changing towards a long-term healthier lifestyle for disease prevention.
I know that bikini season is right around the corner and it’s hard to not get caught up in “prepping” for this, but lets stay focused on what is more important than looking good in a bikini!
What is holistic eating?
Holistic eating is consciously eating healthy foods that promote physical and mental health, while supporting an immune system, preventing disease and maintaining a healthy weight. The goal of holistic nutrition is healing with whole foods to maximize health and vitality. Choosing unrefined, unprocessed, real foods without preservatives and junky ingredients. The key word here is choosing. This is where mindfulness comes into play!
Basics of mindful eating
In order to eat holistically, we have to be mindful of what we are putting into our bodies. Eating is a natural, healthy and pleasurable activity (or it should be– sometimes eating is a huge stressor). Our culture is diet obsessed, food-abundant, and eating is often mindless, consuming, and guilt-inducing. When we eat mindfully, we eat with the intention of caring for yourself (holistic nutrition) and we also eat with the attention necessary for noticing and enjoying our food and its effects on our bodies.
Mindful eating is much more than “eating slowly”. It’s also:
- Paying attention to what we’re eating, non-judgmentally
- Being aware of physical and emotional bodily cues
- Knowing our non-hunger triggers for eating (stress, depression, celebration)
- Choosing foods for both enjoyment & nourishment
- Appreciating where our food comes from
Basic Guidelines for Holistic, Mindful Eating
- Shop the perimeter of your grocery store for fresh produce, meat & dairy, avoid aisles with canned, boxed and processed foods
- Select whole grains when buying rice, bread, pasta, tortillas, and cereal. Whole grains provide more nutrients and fiber.
- Try to buy locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables. Freshly harvested local produce will have more nutrients because it doesn’t have to be transported thousands of miles to the grocery store.
- If you choose to buy organic fruits and vegetables, stick to the Dirty Dozen (peaches, apples, bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, pears, grapes, spinach, lettuce and potatoes). When choosing meats and dairy, choose the hormone & antibiotic free, wild-caught, and grass-fed options.
- Be mindful of the fats you use in cooking– choose heart healthy options such as olive oil, avocados, flax seed, chia seed, and fatty fish such as salmon.
- To save money & help out the environment, make at least one of your daily meals meatless. Go for more if you can! Beans and legumes are much cheaper and environmentally friendly than meat.
- Drink plenty of water– at least eight 8-ounce glasses daily. Even mild dehydration interferes with normal bodily functions!
While you’re shopping for, preparing or eating your meals, focus on:
- What the particular food will do for your body: Is it fiber rich? Full of antioxidants? High in protein?
- Your mood: Are you feeling anxious, tired or depressed? Or happy and excited?
- Are you physically or emotionally hungry (there’s a difference!)?
- Your appreciation of the ability to purchase and prepare nutritious food (there are plenty in this world that cannot).
- The smells, texture, mouth-feel, and flavors of your meal.
Holistic, mindful eating is simply staying present & being mindful to choose healthy, whole, unprocessed foods that will nourish and heal our bodies. This month we’ll go more into detail about holistic eating habits, prepping our kitchens for holistic eating, and more mindful eating tips!
For more articles about holistic, mindful eating, you may want to check out:
For more information about mindful eating, check out The Center for Mindful Eating.
I’m excited for this month! I hope you’ll join me in the holistic fun! ;)