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The Art of Mindful Eating

March is National Nutrition Month and this year the theme is “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle”. The truth is, “diets” will come and go and with it weight goes up and down. This “yo-yo” dieting of losing weight and regaining weight actually lowers your metabolism and makes losing weight harder. Typical diets are very restrictive and may exclude favorite foods or even whole food groups. Restricting foods and having a strict diet sets you up for failure. When we tell ourselves we cannot have something we want it even more, so instead of eating just one piece of candy we eat the whole box! And with this comes feelings of guilt and negative thoughts, which starts a vicious cycle of dieting, bingeing and guilt.

Ready to ditch the diet? This month I would like to inspire you to bite into a healthy lifestyle instead of spending more money on the newest “diet”. Build a better relationship with food and learn to become mindful of what you are putting into your mouth.

Happy National Nutrition Month!
 

~ Miranda


The Art of Mindful Eating

 

Large Family Group Enjoying Meal On Terrace Together

Mindful eating is practicing awareness. Being aware of what you eat, why you eat and when you eat is the key to staying mindful. Mindful eating is a lifestyle not a diet. When you start to eat for your health it is easier to stick to healthy eating habits. Remember that looking and feeling good comes along with it. Working with a registered dietitian can help you learn how to transform your eating habits and behavior from a "diet" mentality to a more mindful approach to weight loss.

Start with these easy tips below to begin eating mindfully:

Build a better relationship with food. Learn to enjoy food and be mindful while doing it. Instead of just eating an apple, think about where the apple came from, the people who grew it, the way it tastes and the nourishment it is providing to your body.

Listen to your hunger cues. Ask yourself are you really hungry? You may find that you are eating because you are bored, stressed, anxious, or sad. Whatever the reason, find out what’s “eating” you? Understanding your triggers for emotional eating is the first step in changing behaviors. If you tend to eat when you’re stressed, find an activity to do to combat the stress rather than eating for comfort. Call a friend to vent, take a brisk walk, listen to music, do a yoga video, etc. Have an action plan in place so that you are not tempted to reach for that tub of ice cream.

Avoid distractions. Try to avoid distractions such as watching TV, reading or driving while eating. When you eat without distractions you are fully aware, in the moment and can focus on how it tastes, how it feels in your mouth, how your body responds to it, etc. Without distractions, you can pay closer attention to your satiety cues and know when you’ve had enough versus mindlessly eating through a bag of potato chips during your favorite TV show.

Take time during and after meals. To avoid eating meals too fast, try putting your fork down in between bites and chewing food thoroughly. Slowing down during meal time will allow your body to know when it is full. Have a planned activity right after you finish a meal to get your mind off of eating and avoid the temptation of eating further, such as taking a walk, washing the dishes, reading a book, etc.

Mindful eating takes practice to achieve. Remember to eat for your health, savor and enjoy your food. With time mindful eating will become a way of life. Diets are temporary and so are the results, but a lifestyle change will have the most beneficial impact on your health and well-being.

 

Easy, Healthy Chicken Cassoulet

Ingredients:
 

  • 2 Italian turkey sausages
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs - cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 4 chicken drumsticks
  • 1 leek - sliced into 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick coins
  • 2 medium carrots, scrubbed or peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 medium parsnip, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 Tbsp dried mixed herbs - sage, rosemary, thyme, oregano (or 3 tbsp finely chopped fresh)
  • 1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken stock - or enough to cover diced veggies
  • 1 can Cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • Fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
     
Preparation:
 
  1. Heat oven to 350 F
  2. Heat 1 - 2 tsp olive oil in the bottoms of a Dutch oven pan and begin to brown sausages
  3. Meanwhile, slice leek, peel and cut carrots and parsnip
  4. Remove sausages to a plate or cutting board and brown chicken drumsticks
  5. Remove drumsticks to plate and brown cubed chicken (thighs)
  6. Remove chicken thighs to plate and add leeks, carrots, parsnip and garlic to pan and cook ~ 2 minutes
  7. Add herbs, bay leaf and enough chicken stock to just cover vegetables
  8. Slice sausage into 1/2 - 3/4 inch coins and layer over vegetables
  9. Add layer of drained Cannellini beans
  10. Add layer of cooked chicken thighs
  11. Top with browned, chicken drumsticks
  12. Place on lid and cook in 350 F oven for 1 hour
     
    Serve in shallow bowls with a side of green beans, crisp green side salad, slices of crusty baguette (for soaking up any broth) and garnish with chopped parsley and a sprinkle of breadcrumbs


 

When Walking...

"When walking, walk. When eating, eat."

-  Rashaski Zen Proverb

News and Events: March is National Nutrition Month®! "Bite Into A Healthy Lifestyle"

 

What’s a bite worth?

Bitten milk chocolate bar



It may seem that a bite here and there won’t do any harm. Let’s see how the calories stack up on bites of common food items below:
  • A bite of chocolate cake = 23 calories*
  • One French fry = 13 calories*
  • One coconut Bon Bon = 78 calories*
  • Bite of a glazed donut = 31 calories*
  • Bite of a chocolate bar = 30 calories*
  • Spoonful of ice cream = 15 calories*
  • Handful of M&Ms (10 pieces) = 34 calories*
  • A spoonful of icing = 31 calories*
  • One peppermint candy = 20 calories*
  • A spoonful of cookie dough = 36 calories*


Although this does not seem like a lot of calories for just one bite, if you are mindlessly nibbling on these foods throughout the day the calories can add up. An extra 25 calories a day equates to an additional 2-½ pounds a year. Multiply that number by 6 years and that is an additional 15 pounds. Mindless eating can lead to gradual weight gain over the years. Remember before you take a bite, think twice!

*Calories are only estimates of typical bite size servings
About Miranda Monroe: 
 
Miranda is your go to nutrition advisor committed to providing Prevention, Performance and Recovery through personalized nutrition plans and coaching for individuals, families and teams.  
 
She has a Master’s Degree in Nutrition, is a Registered Dietitian (RD), Certified LEAP Therapist (CLT)*, and Nutrition Coach / Consultant in her own Private Practice, Grand Traverse Nutrition, LLC.  She has extensive experience across a variety of areas in clinical dietetics, sports/performance nutrition, the pharmaceutical and food industry, and corporate health and wellness promotion.  
 
Areas of specialty for Miranda include sports/performance nutrition, weight management, food sensitivities and culinary arts.  She has a particular interest in sports nutrition and is currently completing the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Diploma of Sports Nutrition.  Translating current nutrition science into personalized, practical, every day advice, Miranda thrives on working with both individuals and teams to create personalized nutrition plans for training and competition performance goals.  Consulting regularly with endurance athletes (running, cycling, swimming and triathlon/IRONMAN), strength and power sports, she is successful in helping them achieve results and in many cases complete the event of their dreams.
 
Realistic and down to earth, Miranda is passionate about enjoying food to the fullest and nourishing a healthy, balanced, lifestyle through real foods.  She uses Michigan grown foods and local ingredients whenever possible for whole foods with the freshest taste and highest nutritional value. A home “chef” with training in food science and culinary arts, Miranda provides back to basics, hands-on cooking classes for creating delicious, nutritious “fast” food for busy people.
 
*A specialist in addressing inflammatory conditions caused by non-IgE food sensitivity, such as IBS, migraine, fibromyalgia, arthritis and more.


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