Eating Healthy Part 1: Mindfulness & Habits
by Dr. Shelese Pratt ND @ Flatirons Naturopathic Clinic
There are so many different ideas about how to live a healthier life. I understand, it can be a confusing road to go down. There are a lot of articles online that give advice and it’s hard to know what to believe. Over the next 6 weeks you will be getting my 12-step program to eating healthy. These 12 steps have proven themselves over the last 11 years of my practice. If you take the time to work on them, one at a time, it will pay off in a life-changing way. Spend one to two weeks on one area and make changes gradually. Rome was not built in a day. These strategies take time to integrate into your life. I am here to coach you when you need support.
When you eat your next meal, slow down and be more conscious of what you put into your mouth. Take your time and mindfully chew every bite. You’ll be amazed how much more you enjoy what you eat. Reconnect with the sensual pleasure of food. Scan your senses and see how you feel. What does your food smell or look like? What does the food feel and taste like on your tongue? What does the food sound like when you eat it? This technique will help you slow down and savor your meal. You can also count how many times you chew to slow down and be present when you eat. Expressing gratitude for your meal, to the farmers who grew your food, and the plants and animals that are providing you nourishment will also help you stay more connected when you eat.
Eating healthy can feel like creating a new habit or neurological blueprint. On average, it takes 66 days to form a new habit. So take it one step at a time. Set realistic goals. Be specific about what you would like to accomplish. Sometimes we can make short-term goals that turn into life-style changes for the better. Once, I had a patient who needed to give up dairy to cure her chronic sinusitis and eczema. We set a goal to eliminate dairy for 3 months. After 3 months she was allowed 1 cheat day every week. Within 9 months she no longer wanted the cheat days and no longer had any issues with her allergies, sinus infections, or skin problems.
Sometimes it’s also encouraging to look at how far you have come in your goals. I would also recommend that you share your goals with your friends and family. They will love and support you. Update them on your progress so they can celebrate your success with you.
Staying mindful and present will help you change your habits and enjoy you food.
If you have any questions please call my office. I am here for you.
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