Mindful Nutrition for a Gut-Friendly Healthy Feast
Hello, everyone! Welcome back!
You've probably heard of the term mindful eating or mindful nutrition before. However, if you're not familiar with these practices and how they can benefit your overall health—specifically, your gut health—and help you enjoy the holiday season without feeling guilty, this video is an excellent starting point.
Mindful nutrition is a lifestyle approach that encourages you to be fully present and engaged during meals, paying attention to how the food makes you feel. The holiday season is an ideal time to adopt a mindful approach to eating as it can counteract overindulgence and feelings of guilt.
It enables you to enjoy holiday favorites without feeling overly full and positively impacts not just your overall health but also your gut health.
I'm Katie Bailey, a gut health dietitian at Oswald Digestive Clinic. If you're interested in learning more about gut health, we've linked our free guide "5 Ways to Improve Your Gut Health" in the description box below!
Alright, let's delve into today's topic!
What does it mean to eat mindfully?
Eating mindfully entails being present and listening to your body's signals, eating for nourishment and enjoyment, and fostering a healthier relationship with food.
It encourages you to choose foods that feel good to your body while allowing indulgence in moderation—a particularly helpful practice during the festive season.
How does mindfulness encourage the principles of healthy eating?
Mindful eating helps you avoid overeating by heightening your awareness of hunger and fullness cues. It teaches you to eat when genuinely hungry and stop when satisfied, rather than when uncomfortably full.
This practice also promotes healthier food choices as you become more aware of how food affects your body, leading to a preference for whole, nutrient-dense foods.
Three mindful eating principles
Awareness and Respect for Your Body's Signals - Fully engage in the moment, paying attention to your food, hunger and satiety cues, and how food makes you feel. Limit distractions like TV or your phone to prevent mindless eating and adjust your food choices as needed.
Non-judgement - Eliminate the notion of "good" or "bad" foods. Make choices based on what your body needs and appreciates. Enjoy all foods without guilt or shame.
Balance - Mindful eating isn't about deprivation but finding a personalized balance. For instance, if you plan to indulge in dessert, consider having a lighter, nutritious meal beforehand, including plenty of vegetables, quality proteins, and healthy fats.
Maintaining mindful nutrition during the holidays
The holiday season often means an abundance of food, making it easy to overeat and lose track of consumption. This can stress the gut and lead to discomfort and regret. Mindful eating helps slow down and enjoy meals, aiding proper digestion and promoting a healthier gut.
Three Mindful Eating Habits
Pre-Meal Calming Rituals: Take deep breaths to tune into your body's cues and create a calm atmosphere for the meal. Box breathing (inhaling for 4 counts, holding for 4 counts, exhaling for 4 counts, and holding for 4 counts) can help achieve this state.
Limit Distractions: Avoid mindless eating by paying attention to what you're eating, taking small bites, chewing slowly, and putting your fork down between bites. Savoring your food aids digestion and prevents overeating.
Healthy Plate for the Holidays: Mindful eating isn't about restriction but balance. Indulge in holiday favorites while adding nourishing options like quality meats, healthy fats, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, promoting a healthy gut.
In conclusion, adopting mindful eating may seem challenging at first. However, once you grasp the principles and start practicing, it becomes a natural part of your routine. You'll notice improved relationships with food and see meals as opportunities to nourish your mind and body.
By slowing down, relishing every bite, and truly enjoying your food, you'll enhance digestion, reduce overeating, and improve overall health.
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If you'd like to explore any of this information further or obtain an individualized nutrition plan, you can schedule an initial appointment at our clinic. We also take insurance and some of our clients get full coverage, which is great.
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