Empowered Eating Part 2
Empowered eating is exactly that, empowering. When given a choice of a processed food item versus a whole item, I can not think of a single time I have regretted choosing the healthy, whole item. By making that choice, I always feel stronger, more confident, and healthier. On the other hand, choosing the unhealthy item will always leave me feeling the opposite.
When you take a look into your pantry and refrigerator, what do you find? Is it packaged items that have an ingredient list so long and hard to pronounce that you don’t finish reading it? Or is the list simple and easily understood? The former usually means very processed and not good for us, and a simple list usually means whole and healthy.
While a lot of people consider packaged food items to be easy and convenient, whole items are much more empowering. What is easier than grabbing that beautiful apple that has crunch, satisfies a sweet tooth and hunger, especially when eaten with a spoonful of all natural peanut butter or almond butter? Or for on the go, the apple with a serving of almonds? Making the choice of the apple and nut butter or nuts provides complex carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fat, which are all necessities. Additionally, an apple is fiber rich and hydrating, both of which help to keep us satisfied!
The processed item is more than likely loaded with preservatives and added sugar or artificial sweeteners. Just a short time later, hunger will probably set in due to the lack of protein, water soluble fiber and healthy fat. The processed item also lacks benefit of hydration.
Companies have done a masterful job of appealing to us through creative packaging, and of course, advertising. What is really more beautiful and appealing than a bowl full of apples and other fresh fruits on the counter? Or a refrigerator filled with colorful bell peppers, celery, carrots cut into grab and go servings in a nice glass container just waiting to be eaten with some hummus?
As you look at the endless choices for your holiday meal, consider the ingredients. The very best ingredients are simple, naturally sweetened, colorful fruits and veggies, and yes, an oven roasted turkey versus a fried one. A bonus on the oven roasted turkey is that you don’t have to worry about it exploding!
The holidays are upon us and the opportunity for making empowered choices is limitless. The key is to be mindful with each decision and to consider your whole self. Is your body going to be truly nourished? How are your decisions going to leave you feeling? Are you going to feel weighed down and physically miserable? Are you going to create additional stress for yourself due to the guilt of an unhealthy choice? Who needs or wants extra stress? I certainly don’t!
According to www.1and1life.com, “A huge part of learning to eat mindfully is being present in the moment. In order to do that, it’s important to minimize anything that takes your attention away from what you’re doing. Put away your smartphone, your newspaper or magazine, and mail, and give your undivided attention to eating.”
1and1life also notes, “When you do sit down to eat, take a few deep breaths and give your attention to the experience. Take note of how good everything looks and smells. Eat slowly, taking time to appreciate the texture and flavor of each bite. Monitor yourself for any negative talk and try to release it. Pay attention to how full you’re growing, and make the call to put down your fork before you feel stuffed.”
I encourage you to make empowered choices that truly nourish you and leave you feeling great physically, mentally and emotionally. Who knows…. you might feel so empowered that you take a brisk walk for pure enjoyment rather than forcing yourself to do a hardcore workout as a punishment for a choice you made the day or week before. I promise you will not have any regrets for making mindful and empowered choices, and your body will thank you!
Cheers to empowered eating!