Mindful eating: a perfect diet

If I could have a perfect diet what would it be?

Food would never an issue.
I would never feel obsessive about food and would eat when I was hungry.
I would recognize my body’s hunger signals and not get them confused with emotions, thirst, habit or boredom.
I would not swing between overeating or restricting food for the sake of ‘diet’.

My food would contribute health and wellness - not to health problems
My diet would be naturally good for me. Without even trying I would choose wholesome natural foods loaded with vitamins, antioxidants, phytochemicals, minerals, fiber, healthy fats, slow carbohydrates and appropriate amounts of protein.

It wouldn’t involve loads of complicated cooking and recipes.
I don’t have too much time for this. Cooking is fun, but not when it becomes a chore so my perfect diet would be easy to live with. I wouldn’t have to hunt for special ingredients or spend mammoth amounts of time in the kitchen getting things ready for dinner that night.

And I would complement my love of food – good food – with fitness
because I know that true health is not attainable without it. I would exercise for 30-60 minutes most days of the week- it would be a combination of aerobic and strength training . I would be maintaining muscle mass and not losing it as I age or because I had lost weight quickly through a silly fad diet. I would know that exercise was contributing to healthy aging by keeping my blood sugars, triglycerides, cholesterol levels within a normal healthy range, and the sweat that occurs from a good workout would be flushing out toxins, my bone density would maintain and I would be less at risk of osteoporosis. In addition, the endorphins that go along with exercise would help me to feel great and a sense of wellbeing would flood my body daily.

Eating would be an act of great enjoyment- each and every time.
I wouldn’t feel deprived nor would I feel guilty about what I ate. Food would be satisfying, rewarding and enough would be enough.

If you have heard the term mindful eating
you will recognize that this is pretty much an overview of how a person who eats intuitively or mindfully eats. There are a couple of other things thrown in, for my own idea of a perfect diet.

Mindfulness is a powerful tool to use in all areas of life
and the battle ground of weight and the constant mind fight about food that many of us deal with on a daily basis can become tamed by developing a mindful attitude.

What is mindfulness?
It’s paying attention to what you are doing in the moment. And when it comes to eating, so many times we are NEVER present. We are somewhere else……

When we eat in a mindful deliberate manner
we begin to break the bad habits that we have formed over a lifetime. Food takes on a different meaning, one where we use it to nourish our bodies and one where the taste, texture and satisfaction of food is many times more than what we are used to experiencing.

If you are having a problem with food
let me encourage you to take a moment to consider your current lifestyle and your food choices. Does your food sustain your health providing healthful benefits and actually nourish your body, or does your food make you sick, increasing your blood sugars, your cholesterol levels, your triglycerides. Does it leave you full of toxins with artificial ingredients, dangerous trans fatty acids, or does it add cleansing properties to your colon and blood stream preventing cancers and systemic inflammation. Is your food so well preserved by chemicals with names that no one but a scientist could pronounce that you could  leave it in your cupboard for a years on end and it still wouldn’t rot or decay, or is it as nature intended it to be – natural, whole and real?

A healthy diet is the one that is closest to nature.
The one where the growers nurtured the soil and the plants by enriching it with composted materials not chemicals; where the manufactures didn’t strip away the fiber or the natural fatty acids but left the food in as natural state as possible. The one where the food is naturally brimming with protective minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and healthy fats.

Becoming mindful is the beginning of a healthy attitude to food,
and will lead to a healthy diet all without the struggle. Begin to care what you put in your body and you will begin the process.  The very next time you put something in your mouth, become mindful. Think about that food, really think about it - how it was grown and tended, harvested, packed, transported, prepared. Think about the benefits the food will bring to your body from the rich source of nutrients within. Feel the food in your mouth, roll it around, taste it, pull the flavor from it, revel in the sensation, allow the eating process to be pleasurable. You will find that less becomes more and satisfaction is increased immeasurably over the mindless eating that occurs when we eat out of boredom, unhappiness, frustration or any other of the many reasons we use to hide from the moment.

A great place to begin your journey of mindfulness is a humble paperback called
The Zen of Eating by Ronna Kabatznick.

Also, I really like this site http://www.mindfuleating.org/links.html

Mindful eating is big on the agenda of nutritional professionals right now, and for good reason. Try it and see the difference it can make.

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