Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Choose to Eat Mindfully this Holiday Season

It’s already mid-November, which means finals week and the holidays are right around the corner. During this time of the year, the last thing we might be concerned about is proper nutrition. However, nutrition plays an important role in keeping our immune system strong to prevent us from getting sick. You may be thinking; how can I eat healthfully while still enjoying my favorite holiday foods? Here’s the answer: Mindful eating!

So, what exactly is mindful eating? Mindful eating is being aware of the amount of food you are eating, while using all your senses to choose satisfying and nourishing food, and acknowledging your responses to food (likes, dislikes or neutral), as well as hunger and satiety cues. Overall, mindful eating encourages a positive relationship with food.
During the holidays, we can become overwhelmed with the abundance of food served at parties. By using mindfulness and incorporating light exercise, maintaining weight and enjoying the parties will be possible!
How can I eat mindfully?
  1. Remain in the Moment: Sit down and put away or turn off electronics
  2. Use Nonjudgment: Notice when you feel guilty and interrupt negative thoughts with positive self-talk
  3. Be Aware: Taste what you are chewing
  4. Savor: Identify the texture and flavor of foods, such as sweet, spicy, smooth, or crunchy
  5. Observe: Recognize what your body is telling you. Are you full? Satisfied? Stressed? Rumbling stomach?
Other helpful tips!
  • Look at all the food options and choose your favorite
  • Choose a smaller plate
  • Take smaller portions (you can always go back for more!
  • Put down your utensil(s) between bites
  • Resign from the "clean plate club)
  • Eat until you feel satisfied--your body will thank you later
  • Skipping meals before a party may cause you to overeat

Healthy Holiday alternatives you’ve got to try!
Instead of sweet potato casserole, try roasted sweet potatoes!

Roasted Sweet Potatoes
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Thoroughly scrub potatoes before cutting into cubes.
  3.  Add sweet potatoes to a mixing bowl and combine with remaining ingredients.
  4. Lay sweet potatoes in a single layer on a lightly greased baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until fork tender.
Instead of green bean casserole, try oven-roasted green beans!

Oven Roasted Green Beans
  • 1 pound fresh or frozen green beans
  • 2-4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper, ground
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and prepare baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients and toss until blended. Spread beans onto baking sheet.
  3. Roast for 30 minutes. At 15 minutes, remove to stir. Serve immediately.
For more information about nutrition and the nutrition services provided by the Health Education Resource Center, please visit http://www.eiu.edu/herc/nutrition.php or contact the Nutrition Promotion Coordinator at herc-nutritioned@eiu.edu or (217) 581-7786.

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