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Words of Nutrition Wisdom for 2015

Submitted by Marilyn Gordon Ed.D. RDN CSSD LDN

Skip the restrictive diet! I challenge you to eat with attention and intention.

As we journey into another new year and make promises to exercise more and eat better, take time to ask yourself if you have made that promise to yourself before? Then ask yourself, what was the outcome? Restrictive diets have not improved the weight status of the nation. Currently 65% of the population is classified as either overweight or obese. A different approach is needed. How often do you mindlessly make your way through a meal not really recalling that you had eaten? Our multi-tasking world is hurting our health, weight, and nutritional status.

So I challenge you to be fully awake when you eat; take the time to smell, thoroughly chew, taste the flavors, and savor your food. The practice of mindful eating takes time so it will slow you down. You will derive more satisfaction from less food. You will feel energized and light enough to take a walk after your meal rather than taking a nap or reaching for caffeine to get an energy boost.

Set an “intention” prior to your meal. Some examples are: “I will eat slower”, “I will take smaller bites”, or “I will chew my food more thoroughly”. Another “intention” to consider for this New Year is to improve the quality of foods chosen to eat. Good nutrition is really simple; we need a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein sources, whole grains, nuts and seeds, and plant oils. If that is the bulk of our diet, we will enjoy good health. When we practice eating with “attention”, our natural hunger and satiety instincts will decide how much we need to eat. There will be no need to weigh and measure our food, count calories, or follow restrictive diets.