Being mindful of what we eat and enjoy it

Published 7:01 am Sunday, March 27, 2016

What does it mean to eat mindfully?

Mindful eating means paying attention to your actual eating experience — while at the same time enjoying it. It means submersing yourself fully into your meal, without multitasking. This can be tough especially in today’s fast-paced world.

Many studies have shown that eating while watching television or doing other activities at the same time can lead to an increase in calories consumed.

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The overall goal of mindful eating is to base your food intake on physical cues (i.e. hunger) versus emotional cues. Finding time to slow down during meals and enjoy the food you are eating is very important to developing a healthy lifestyle. What are some important tips to incorporate mindful eating into everyday life?

Eat slower: Take time to enjoy the food you are eating. Chew your food a little bit longer than you normally would. This will give your stomach time to tell your brain that it is full, and you might even taste new flavors.

Enjoy silence: Eating does not necessarily have to be social hour. Meal time can be used as a time for reflection of the day or the upcoming week. Eating in silence may not work for families with children, but it can be a time to slow down from an otherwise fast-paced world.

Shut off electronics (i.e. cell phones, television): Life as we know it can be very hectic at times. Make an effort to turn off the TV and put cell phones down. You may even learn something new from a family member or friend from engaging in conversation.

Take pleasure in the flavor of your food. When people are in a hurry, they tend to not notice what or how much they are eating. Take time to notice all the different flavors in food. This is the perfect time to try that new recipe that you have been dying to try.

Start today by trying mindful eating in your everyday life by preparing nutritious, delicious meals and then taking the time to sit down and enjoy your hard work with family or friends. Start thinking about how you eat, and that might even change what you want to eat — for the better!

Pecan-Chocolate Chip Whole-Grain Blondies

Pecan-Chocolate Chip Whole-Grain Blondies

Pecan-Chocolate Chip Whole-Grain Blondies

Serves 24 (1 blondie each).

 All you need

•8 tbsp unsalted butter

•1 cup packed light brown sugar

•1 1/2 cups white whole-wheat flour

•1 tsp baking powder

•1/2 tsp salt

•2 large eggs, lightly beaten

•2 tbsp vanilla extract

•3/4 cup toasted pecans, chopped, divided

•3/4 cup chopped semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips, divided

All you do

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with parchment paper or foil, allowing it to slightly overhang opposite edges. Coat with cooking spray.

2. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook, swirling often, until fragrant and starting to brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Whisk in brown sugar; let cool for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.

3. Whisk eggs and vanilla into the cooled butter mixture until well combined. Add the flour mixture in two additions, gently folding until just combined. Reserve 2 tablespoons each pecans and chocolate chips; fold the remaining pecans and chocolate into the batter.

4. Evenly spread the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the reserved nuts and chocolate on top.

5. Bake the blondies until light brown around the edges, 18 to 22 minutes. They will appear slightly underbaked in the center; but will firm up as they cool. Let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack, about 2 hours. To cut, grab the overhanging parchment or foil and transfer the whole batch to a cutting board, then cut into 24 bars.


The information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.