Put your mind where your mouth is … Eating mindfully – not mindlessly – is even more important as you age
Special to Nevada Appeal
MINDFUL EATING VERSUS MINDLESS EATING
Savoring each bite
Focusing on the meal
Listening to hunger cues (noticing when you’re hungry, satisfied, or full)
Grazing without tasting each bite
Eating on schedule whether you’re hungry or not
Ignoring hunger cues
Multitasking (watching TV, driving, etc.)
Binging then feeling guilty
Source: Carson Tahoe Health
Mindfulness encourages people to notice their thoughts and everyday behaviors, without judgment or anxious thinking. By improving mental well-being, you can revitalize physical health, which often leads to a better quality of life.
Part of maintaining a healthy mind, body and soul is being mindful of what you eat. Creating a healthy relationship with food can free you from chronic dieting and allow you to rediscover the pleasures of eating.
Enjoying what you eat enables you to celebrate food while at the same taking notice of the way different foods affect you mentally and physically.
“Here at Carson Tahoe, we like to think one of the best ways to treat patients is to care for them before they get sick,” says Kim Mason, Nutrition Care Manager at Carson Tahoe Health. “Paying more attention to what you put into your body and how it makes you feel can make a huge difference in finding the motivation to eat well, and in turn, live well.”
ASK YOURSELF SOME QUESTIONS
With this concept in mind, here are several questions to ask yourself when eating:
Why are you eating? Are you feeling hungry, stressed out, sad and/or celebratory? One idea to tap into and track these feelings is to keep a food journal and watch for trends in your eating habits. You may discover that you eat more high-fat, high-calorie foods when you are stressed. The first step in correcting this cycle and creating healthy habits is to be aware of them.
What are you eating? Pay attention to food labels, ingredient lists, and sourcing. Avoid foods that trigger an anxiety-inducing response in your body such as refined sugars or carbohydrates.
When are you eating? Avoid skipping meals, if possible. Instead, try to space your meals and snacks throughout the day so your body can process food better.
Who is producing your food and where does it come from? Several factors affect nutrition content such as variety, production method, post-harvest handling, storage, and transportation. Most often, local food will be higher in nutrition simply because it has traveled a shorter distance and the assortments are chosen for taste, not shelf-stability.
Lastly, how are you eating? This is arguably the most critical puzzle piece in mindful eating. Engage your senses and slow down to truly appreciate and savor the experience. Often, you won’t overeat if you’re taking the time to enjoy each and every bite.
ENHANCE YOUR KNOWLEDGE, TAKE A CLASS
Carson Tahoe Health’s mission — to ensure the community is a healthy place to live, work, and thrive — inspires the provision of educational resources and proactive wellness solutions.
“Intuitive Eating,” a revolutionary 5-week program designed to help you create a healthy relationship with food, is offered several times a year through the Carson Tahoe Health & Wellness Institute.
Carson Tahoe Health also offers an 8-week nutrition course called “Eat Like A Greek,” where you can dive into the flavors and health benefits of Mediterranean cuisine.
Additionally, Registered Dietitians are available for-one on-one nutrition consultations.
Visit carsontahoe.com/nutritionalfacts for more information about Carson Tahoe’s Nutritional Services. Further, visit carsontahoe.com/calendar to sign-up for future health & wellness classes.
This article was provided to Peak NV on behalf of Carson Tahoe Health. Visit carsontahoe.com to learn more.