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Healthy Eating

Healthy Eating

- Wellness Articles
Healthy Eating

Healthy eating begins with self-reflection and self-awareness. How you eat is just as important as what you eat, whether you are looking to control your weight or simply live a healthier lifestyle. Here are some tips and techniques to adopt to begin your journey. 

Eat with awareness: Note how hungry you are before and then after each meal. If you are stressed, take five minutes to relax before you start eating. Stop eating when you are almost full, and reflect on whether you really need to eat more (it takes approximately 20 minutes for our brains to receive a signal of satiety). Just the act of being fully conscious and connected to yourself while you eat is beneficial, as it causes an increase in metabolism.

Nothing added, nothing removed: This is a great general principle to abide by. Food should be as close to its natural state as possible, without preservatives, colours, flavours or undue processing. In other words, whole food!

Home cooking: Prepare as many of your meals yourself as possible. Touching, tasting and smelling food before you eat it will prepare the body for digestion, prevent overeating and improve your psychological relationship with food. Conversely, a store-bought meal is more likely to result in overeating.

Gratitude: Take a moment to thank anyone who cooks for you, or who helps you cook, or shares a meal with you. Thank God and Mother Nature for the abundance of food that surrounds you. Reverence for your food and the energy that created it is a way to maintain your connection with others and the universe.

Digestion starts in the mouth: This must not be underestimated. Not chewing food properly greatly impairs digestion. Proper chewing, conversely, initiates digestive enzyme secretion, increases the surface area of the food, and results in improved nutrient absorption. Eat slowly, chewing each mouthful approximately 20 times.

Eat regularly: Eat at least every 4-5 hours. Our bodies need regular fuel to maintain blood sugar levels and a steady metabolism, yet enough time to complete digestion before more food is consumed. Try to avoid skipping meals as much as possible. When you think you might not have time to eat, have balanced snacks on hand. Remember, hunger is a sign of low blood sugar and will lead to poor food choices and overeating if ignored.

The perils of overeating: Overeating occurs when we skip meals, eat too quickly or don’t satisfy our taste buds. Overeating is a major cause of obesity, and stresses the liver and the digestive tract. To reduce the risk of overeating, spread your meals evenly throughout the day and don’t leave the largest meal until the evening. Our digestive fire is at its peak around noon, when it is most efficient at converting food into energy rather than storing it as fat.

Maintain fluid balance: Avoid drinking excessively during a meal, as this can reduce enzyme activity. One glass of fluid is adequate. Drink at least two litres (eight glasses) of water between meals each day.

Eat positively: It is vital that we enjoy eating, rather than see it as a chore or inconvenience. Share meals with others, explore new foods, and mindfully relish each mouthful. We are in a fortunate position to enjoy a great variety of quality produce. Take back control of your diet and health by making your own choices, and stop allowing the processed food industry to dictate what you eat. Remember, food should be prepared, and eaten, with joy!

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