Image by Nicole Atkinson
1. Eat from pretty plates:
Gone are the days of keeping our best plates for special occasions. Pretty plates make food look great and encourage us to take a few extra seconds preparing what we eat. Instead of just grabbing a handful of food between tasks we become mindful of what goes onto our plates.
Awareness of our eating habits through mindful eating is very important for creating healthier eating habits. Spending a few extra minutes preparing food causes us to slow down. Slowing down while eating aids digestion and, as ‘the first bite is with the eye’ it’s a lovely act of self care that doesn’t cost much at all. Charity shops are full of cheap and pretty plates.
2. Avoid the ‘lite’ option and add fat to your meals:
While the supermarket is full of items labeled ‘lite’ or ‘no fat’, I actually make an effort to add fat to my daily diet. When my diet is lacking in fat I start feeling depleted and start reaching for the quick-fix sugary items.
I’m talking about fats like the ones found in avacadoes, oils like olive or coconut, macadamia nuts, wild salmon etc. I find these types of foods keep me feeling nourished and satisfied. I stir coconut oil into my black tea and add avacado to everything.
3. Create a space for nourished eating:
Completely clear your dining room table, or create a clear space that you can eat at. For digestion to be at its best it’s important to relax while eating. If your eating space is covered in stuff or reminders of the things that you should be doing you can’t relax.
Start each meal with a little ritual that will allow you to switch from busy to relaxed mode. Light a candle, take ten deep breaths, say thank you, think of one good thing that happened today or find what works for you.
4. Get your greens with pesto:
Pesto would be my favourite way to get in those much talked about greens. It’s easy to make and delicious. I add to my blender: a bag of spinach or whatever greens are in the fridge, enough olive oil to get things blending, about half a cup of whatever nuts or seeds are in the cupboard (I use raw nuts and seeds), lemon juice if I have lemons or a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (the cloudy, unfiltered version, not the processed one.), garlic and some salt and pepper.
This recipe is completely flexible, it’s about using what you have and adjusting it to your taste, you will soon learn what you like. This pesto can be added to so many things, it tastes delicious with scrambled eggs, slathered on meat or vegetables, my daughter loves it as a sauce with gluten free pasta, on jacket potatoes as a quick and easy meal, in salads etc.
5. Visit a farmers’ market:
Nothing inspires me more to cook with fresh, locally grown produce than visiting my local farmers’ market. I like eating seasonal produce and shopping at the supermarket can make that a little hard, as food is imported and available all year round. There is also something really nice and natural about shopping for food outside in the fresh air.
6 Follow your instincts:
I spent years trying to figure out the perfect daily meal plan for myself. But what my body wants changes daily. Some days I need a large breakfast of leftovers and other days a few small mouthfalls of fruit and nuts is all I need. Sometimes I eat a lot of hearty meat-based meals and sometimes I prefer a lighter vegetarian diet.
It’s important to tune in to what works for us as individuals; we are all at such different stages of our health care journey.
7: If you are going to have it, please enjoy it:
Sometimes we have needs to be met, usually emotional ones and we do it with food.
Of course we would all like to eat that perfect diet of only foods that nourish us, but sometimes we are going to choose the ‘unhealthy’ option.
When you do, please get the full-fat, good quality option and enjoy it fully. No guilt, shame or self judgement. Remove all distractions and savour every single bite. Allow yourself the pleasure of this indulgence. You have chosen it, so own it.
Unless your guilt is bad enough to enable a permennt change then it will only keep you stuck in a negative eating pattern. Your guilt and self-judgement are probably what keep you reaching for the next bar of chocolate or piece of cake.
I hope these seven tips can help you on your journey to nourished eating. Share your comments and tips in the comment section below.
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