It's National Nutrition Month — time to take stock of your eating habits and make a few improvements. This year's theme is "Savor the flavor of eating right." How, when, why and where you eat are just as important as what you eat.
Savoring the flavor connects to mindful eating. This practice encourages you to slow down, reflect on the foods you're eating and their flavors, and develop gratitude for what you're putting in your body. Mindfulness also helps break the cycle of mindlessly eating that often occurs in response to stress.
Developing a mindful eating pattern that includes nutritious and flavorful foods is a great way to savor the flavor of eating right. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Include healthier food at each meal. Fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables. Relish their colors, flavor and texture.
- Swap white, bland bread and grains with their whole counterparts. Whole-grain breads, cereals, rice and pasta are more savory.
- Appreciate protein. Smaller portions of lean meats, poultry, fish and shellfish should be valued over super-sized servings. Smaller portions are better for you, and eating smaller portions is better for the planet.
- Enjoy breaking bread with others. Miss your mom's roast chicken? Dig out the recipe and make it. Share the meal with your family and friends. Sharing the meal and the memory is worth it. (Don't forget to serve it with plenty of veggies.)
- Take time to enjoy your food. On average, how long does it take you to eat a meal? Add 5 more minutes, then add 5 more. Use this time to appreciate what you're eating. Really taste each bite.
How will you take time to enjoy the traditions, flavors and social experiences that good food adds to your life?
March 23, 2016
- National Nutrition Month. http://www.eatright.org/resource/food/resources/national-nutrition-month/national-nutrition-month. Accessed March 21, 2016.
- Mindfulness. Supplement to Mayo Clinic Health Letter. http://healthletter.mayoclinic.com/health/pdf/283/201310.pdf. Accessed March 21, 2016.