Mindful Eating Tips from Bronson's Nutrition Experts
What’s mindful eating, you ask? Simply put, it is when you learn to pay attention to what you’re eating and the feelings, thoughts, tastes and smells of the food you’re consuming. This is the theme of 2019 National Nutrition Month celebrations across the Bronson Healthcare system.
To help you become more aware of the foods you’re eating, as well as eat – and enjoy – healthy, balanced meals, our team of nutrition experts will provide you with six tips for mindful eating. New tips will be posted each week. So check back throughout the month for more ideas!
To decrease stress and overeating, connect with nature using all your senses.
-Karen Kipp, RD, clinical dietitian at Bronson LakeView Hospital
“Watch the birds at your feeder or the crocuses pushing up through the soil. Hear the birds chirping or the stream burbling. Feel the sun on your face and the earth under your feet. And smell the scent of the wind blowing spring closer to you each and every day!"
Pay attention to your breath while you eat. It can be a simple but powerful way to eat more mindfully.
-Cindy Philion, RD, clinical dietitian at Bronson Commons
“I often find myself telling my children and husband to ‘breathe!’ as they inhale their food during a meal. It’s like the food itself is a task – a job to check off their to-do list, or the quicker the better! I am guilty as well, especially if I am feeling stressed about the day.
Slowing down during a meal and taking the time to be mindful of your breath can help you to refocus. You become more open to savoring the aroma and taste of the food. In turn, it will likely slow your chewing and swallowing as well. Paying attention to your breath, or taking several slow purposeful breaths, can be a simple but powerful way to become a more mindful eater.”
Save time and money by using one versatile protein for a full week of meals.
-Karen Grainer, RD, clinical dietitian at Bronson Methodist Hospital
"Meal prepping ahead of time is a great way to stick to a healthy diet. Why? Because you won’t have to find time in your busy evening routine to make dinner. Instead of ordering takeout or going out to a restaurant, just take some prepared ingredients and make an easy, nutritious dinner."
Take it a step up and save money and even more time by using one protein all week-long. Try Karen’s plan below, using a rotisserie chicken for four meals:
- Prepped ingredients:
- 1 rotisserie chicken
- Grilled or roasted veggies
- Black beans
- Chopped onion and tomato
- Additional ingredients:
- Lettuce and your other favorite salad mix-ins
- Salsa or enchilada sauce
- Shredded cheese
- Night #1: Chicken breast with quinoa and veggies
- Night #2: Grain bowl
- Quinoa, shredded chicken, black beans, veggies, chopped tomatoes and onions, salsa or enchilada sauce, and shredded cheese
- Night #3: Chicken tacos
- Topped with veggies, black beans and your favorite fillings
- Night #4: Salad topped with chicken and black beans
- Topped with salsa or enchilada sauce instead of dressing
Start your morning with fiber
-Rhonda Toner-Treu, RD, manager of nutrition services at Bronson LakeView Hospital
“Start your day with a healthy, fiber-rich breakfast. It will help boost concentration, decrease stress hormones and regulate your appetite to prevent overeating later in the day.”
Meatless meals don’t need to be bland!
-Amy Getman, RD, clinical dietitian at Bronson South Haven Hospital
"There are many ways to make meatless meals satisfying. For a rich and satisfying meal, incorporate healthy fats like avocado, nuts or olive oil. To keep you feeling full longer, use proteins like beans or tofu. Add variety and bulk to your meal with hearty whole grains. And don’t forget nutrient-dense fruits and veggies to round out the meal."
Keep a food journal.
- Meghan Wilkinson, RD, clinical dietitian at Bronson Battle Creek
Watch the video below to find out why Meghan suggests using a food journal. She explains how tracking the food you eat, as well as how you’re feeling when you eat, can help you learn more about your eating patterns.