Mindful EatingHow about adding some mindfulness into your new year’s resolutions for 2016? Being mindful and present, especially with the food you eat, can help you alter habits, perceptions, and attitudes. Research has shown even our blood pressure and health status can be positively influenced through practicing mindfulness!

Practice mindfulness while eating at your table or on the go, alone or with others. It is so important to savor the texture, aroma, taste, appearance and flavor of the food you eat. When we use all our senses when we cook and eat, we are nourishing both our bodies and minds.

A great way to infuse some mindfulness into your cooking or food choices is through spices or herbs. Try recipes and foods with standout flavors from cinnamon, clove, rosemary, garlic, thyme, vanilla bean, or turmeric. Play around with new herbs and spices in your cooking, which can add variety and flavors to help keep you aware and paying attention to the flavor and aroma of your food, and help curb mindless overeating. Added plus: we now know that certain herbs and spices like cinnamon, garlic, and turmeric have health benefits!

Other mindful eating ideas: Drop the pre-packaged  foods and work on more whole food combinations. Not only will the act of chewing leafy greens, whole fruits, and whole grains slow you down and help you practice mindful eating, digestive and immune health benefits begin in the mouth, nurturing your natural gut flora and exercising the GI tract. Find new ways to prepare chewy, whole-food plant based foods like bean dishes, lentils, vegetables and whole intact grains like bulgur, buckwheat, sorghum and farro.

Need a quicker mindfulness fix? Steep your favorite tea or coffee and linger over it before taking your first sip, taking 3 deep inhales and 3 exhales. Try a nice chamomile or lavender tea at night to promote ‘calm’ or use peppermint or citrus teas to help you feel ‘awake or alert’ before the day begins.

Pick up the latest issue of Kiwi magazine where I was interviewed along with other natural-health experts to share top tips for making 2016 healthy and happy!

The Mindful Eating Plate featured above is from Dr. Susan Albers, a clinical psychologist at Cleveland Clinic who specializes in eating issues, weight loss, body image concerns and mindfulness.

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