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The 8 Most Mindful Foods

Monday, January 18, 2016

The 8 Most Mindful Foods

Eating mindfully allows us to enjoy ANY and ALL foods while maintaining a healthy size and realizing a stress-free relationship with food.  You're thinking "sign me up!" right?  Me too!  What is mindful eating exactly?  While we often think of mindful eating as simply eating without distraction, it's a little more involved.   Michelle May shares her in-depth work on mindful eating on her website, which is where you will find this well-thought out definition.

Mindful eating is eating with intention and attention:

•Eating with the intention of caring for yourself
•Eating with the attention necessary for noticing and enjoying your food and its effects on your body
•Awareness of your physical and emotional cues
•Recognition of your non-hunger triggers for eating
•Learning to meet your other needs in more effective ways than eating
•Choosing food for both enjoyment and nourishment
•Eating for optimal satisfaction and satiety
•Using the fuel you’ve consumed to live the vibrant life you crave

While in theory, mindful eating is simple, our fast-paced world makes eating with intention and attention next to impossible.  It takes time and training to shift your eating patterns.  So, as you're shifting, we can help provide you with some tools.  One is this list of  mindful foods; foods that require more attention and intention to eat naturally.  Perhaps you can come up with a few more.  Consider using these foods as you practice eating more mindfully. 

1.  Pomegranates
A whole pomegranate may be THE most mindful food I can think of.  Pomegranates demand one's full attention and eating them is somewhat of an art form.  How do you do you open a pomegranate?   I love hearing different ways people find to separate the arils and seeds from the membrane.  If you're curious, here's one popular method courtesy of Martha Stewart.   Next time you're peeling, cutting or soaking your pomegranate, think about where it came from and its meaning.  In Buddhism, pomegranates are among the three blessed fruits and specifically represent the patron goddess of children.  In ancient Greece, the pomegranate is a fertility symbol, strongly associated with Aphrodite, the goddess of love and Dionysus the goddess of wine, pleasure and merriment.  In ancient Rome and in Judaism, the pomegranate has been a symbol of fertility both of the body and of the mind (wisdom).  Not to mention pomegranates are one of the most antioxidant-rich fruits, great for your immunity.  Ponder this as you open and attend to your sweet, juicy fruit.
 
2.  Pistachios
Pistachios and other shelled nuts require a little (or a lot of) work.  It's nearly impossible to multi-task while shelling a pistachio.  Each nut must be de-shelled and placed deliberately into the mouth, slowing down the process of eating and thus lending to mindfulness.  Think about how different this is from reaching into a bowl of mixed nuts while chatting at a cocktail party.  Next time you open a pistachio, look at it and think about where it came from.  Pistachios grow on small trees originating in Central Asia and the Middle East.  Although most of those we eat now in the US come from California.  They have a characteristic green color and distinct flavor.  Nuts are a great source of protein and fiber and research shows, eating nuts daily may help with weight management.  If you're accustomed to getting roasted or salted nuts, for the purpose of this eating exercise, try the naked, unadulterated variety.  Place the pistachio on your tongue, notice the texture, taste and mouth feel.  Now, start chewing slowly.  What do you notice?  

3.  Artichokes
While artichoke hearts from a can or jar make for great dips and salad additions, for a more mindful experience, I encourage you to try a whole artichoke.  Artichokes are typically boiled or steamed until the leaves are tender. A cooked, unseasoned artichoke has a delicate flavor, reminiscent of fried egg white.  The core of the stem tastes similar to the artichoke heart, and is edible.  Once cooked, artichokes can be served whole.  The leaves are often removed one at a time, and the fleshy base eaten, with hollandaise, vinegar, butter, mayonnaise, aioli, lemon juice, or other sauces.  The fibrous upper part of each leaf is usually discarded.  The heart is eaten when the inedible choke has been peeled away from the base and discarded. The thin leaves covering the choke are also edible. Artichokes are rich in fiber, potassium, iron, vitamin C, folate. thiamin and B6.  This nutrient profile makes them excellent for cardiac health and metabolism.  Artichokes are also a beautiful, flowery addition to any plate.
 
4.  Coconuts
I will never forget injuring myself as a young teen while attempting to cut open a coconut with a butter knife, the sharpest object I could find in our hotel room.  While I never did get to eat THAT coconut, I did learn how to enjoy eating a whole coconut.  AND, you can learn as well by watching this quick video quick video.  Coconut has gotten a lot of good press lately - coconut oil, coconut water and coconut flesh all offer great nutritional benefits.  This article in Eating Well magazine does a great job highlighting these benefits.  

5.  Oranges
Oranges, tangerines, clementines, you pick!  There's no better way to ground yourself than to peel a piece of citrus.  The vibrant smell, the zest and the texture feel in your hands and mouth all lend to a mindful moment.  Notice how all the foods on this list require you to slow down and simply focus on the eating process.  Next time you're needing to slow down and recharge, peel or cut an orange and take a deep breath.  Inhale it's invigorating scent.  Think about how you're providing your body with 100% of it's vitamin C requirements by eating this one, simple delicious fruit.

6.  Grapefruits
Similar to the orange, grapefruit has a powerful energizing and grounding scent.  Whenever I eat grapefruit I think of my grandmother who had these special grapefruit spoons with prongs on the end to help cut through the flesh of the fruit.  She would always cut the grapefruit in half and then segment each triangle section with a knife so that they would easily come out.  I've tried for years to recreate her work but often find I don't have the patience.  Nonetheless, I find it's still a great mindfulness practice to both prepare and eat grapefruit.   

7.  Edamame (in pods)
Edamame is simply fun to eat.  The only way I know to eat these is to steam them, dip them in soy sauce and squeeze them out of the pod and into my mouth using my teeth.  This is such a fun and satisfying experience, I encourage all of you to try it!  And know that while your popping these pods, you're also popping in a good amount of protein, fiber and omega-3s. 

8.  Dates
If only ALL dates were as sweet as the edible ones!  Hee hee.  These little gems are naturally flavorful and offer a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth in a nutritionally-rich way.  Because of their chewy texture and pit, dates offer a sensory-rich experience.  Whenever we stimulate our senses, particularly more than one simultaneously, it helps bring us into the moment.  On the nutrition front, dates are a powerhouse of potassium, the mineral that protects the heart by keeping sodium levels in check and prevents high blood pressure.  A 1-cup serving of dates contains up to three times as much potassium as a 1-cup serving of bananas. They are also an excellent source of dietary fiber, which supports the digestive system and provides a sense of fullness. Dates are also plentiful in B-complex vitamins, and minerals like magnesium and iron. Try mindfully eating a date after your next meal and see how satisfying it is. 

For more guidance on mindful eating including in-session coaching, contact us to set up an appointment today at info@metrowestnutrition.com

Losing Weight. To Resolve or Not to Resolve?

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Guess what?  Losing weight is the #1 new years resolution this year.  Shocking right?  It's also probably not shocking that less than 4% of people maintain this resolution 3 weeks into the new year.  Don't feel bad if you're one of the 38% of people who made a weight-related resolution.  We live in a culture that encourages and normalizes this. 

It makes perfect sense.  After holiday celebrations, the letdown sets in.  For many, this letdown is shrouded in guilt over indulging in bad foods.  You ate the fudge your neighbor gave you... made a meal out of baked brie, meatballs and artichoke dip, tried each variety of cookie from your cookie swap tray, finished the last of the egg nog.... and now it's time pay!  Well, not now... tomorrow.  Right?

It's natural to want a pick me up this time of year given how your body may be feeling after all the holiday cheer, late nights, lack of exercise, sub-optimal sleeping quarters and as my sister pointed out, "not having eaten a vegetable in weeks".  You're craving renewal... or perhaps a new body.  Let's face it, what you really want (what we all really want) is to feel happy, feel well and be proud of our bodies.  There's nothing wrong with that.  The problem is how we go about it; by resolving to lose weight. 

Weight loss is an outcome, an outcome we have a lot less control over than we care to think.  When you resolve to lose weight, you are resolving to get to a certain number on the scale.  Then what?  For most, the changes put in place to lose the weight aren't sustainable.  You are much more likely to succeed with resolutions around behavior change.  When you resolve to change behaviors, you are more likely to create realistic goals and actually stick to them.  Perhaps weight loss will follow, perhaps it won't but you will be healthier either way.  AND, if weight loss does result, you are more likely to maintain the loss.   

When you resolve to lose weight tomorrow, you give yourself permission to eat with reckless abandon today, something often referred to as the "last supper".  Then, let's face it, when tomorrow comes, you're not going to feel any more like dieting then than you do today.  And no wonder... dieting is simply a form of punishment; the price you pay for having eaten the foods you love.  The whole notion of adopting a diet is that it is temporary, at some point it ends.  In fact, most diets last less than a month.  Interestingly, dieting by it's name is on a downward trend - a Fortune magazine article reports a 13% decrease in women reporting dieting in the past 2 years along with decreased revenue for companies such as Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem, etc.  However, 77% of people report trying to "eating healthier".  Healthy eating is  a subjective term, a more socially acceptable term in our current culture.  Let's not be fooled though because a diet by any other name is still a diet. Whether you're "eating clean", removing whole food groups from your diet in effort to lose weight or just "leaning out", any rigid rules you apply to your eating sets the stage for your inevitable demise in the long run.  Deprivation leads to overeating and bingeing.  "When you give yourself permission to eat, you can give yourself permission to stop" - Ellyn Satter.

Read this article in US News on more reasons why you shouldn't resolve to lose weight this year.

So, instead of resolving to lose weight, consider one of these resolutions.  Notice how different it feels. 

1.  I resolve to cherish my body

2.  I resolve to move my body in ways that make me feel joyful and alive

3.  I resolve to be kinder to myself and my body this year

4.  I resolve to eat until I'm full

5.  I resolve to connect more with others

6.  I resolve to drink more water

7.  I resolve to feed my body food that feels good in it

8.  I resolve to listen to the cues my body provides and act accordingly

9.  I resolve to eat what I want, when I want and to truly get enough of it

10.  I resolve to set boundaries around my body - to make choices I feel are in it's best interest

These are just a few suggestions, think of some that are pertinent to you and the relationship you currently have with your body.  Here are a few helpful books you make consider picking up if you're looking to shift your relationship with food and your body this year.

Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch

Eating Mindfully by Susan Albers

Body Respect by Linda Bacon

Set up an appointment with one of our nutritionists today to start working on your 2016 health goals!  Contact us here.

 (See more 2015 New Years resolution statistics here.) 

 

Register for Groups Here!

Sunday, November 08, 2015

We have 2 great groups starting soon.  This Tuesday is first day or our Meal Support Group with Jaimie Winkler.  There's still room, so please complete the registration form below if you would like to participate.  The group meets weekly and includes a check-in, a meal with light conversation and post-meal check-in.  This is a great adjunct to outpatient eating disorder treatment. 

Meal Support Group 

Dates:   Tuesdays 11:30-1pm  11/10-12/08 (5 weeks)

Cost:  $295 for all session

Location:  1400 Centre Street, Newton, MA 

 

Parent Group - Your Child's Weight; How To Help Without Harming

Join Amy Gardner for this monthly group for parents looking to explore helpful ways to steer their children towards a healthy relationship with food and their bodies.  The group will meet in Newton on the 1st Wed of the month from 7-8pm and Framingham on the 1st Thurs of the month from 7-8pm.

Newton

Dates: 1st Wednesday of the month Dec-Mar

Location:  1400 Centre Street, Newton, MA

 

Framingham

Dates: 1st Thursday of the month Dec-Mar

Location: 661 Franklin Street, Framingham, MA

 

REGISTER HERE 

Register for either group using the attached registration form of contact Amy Gardner at amy@metrowestnutrition.com or 617-332-2282.  We look forward to seeing you there!

 

 

Partnership with The Wellness Room

Friday, October 30, 2015

Metrowest Nutrition is happy to welcome The Wellness Room as a partner.  The Wellness Room is a growing group of therapists that provides mental health counseling for children, adolescents, adults, couples and families coping with life's difficulties and hardships.  We feel that Metrowest Nutrition and The Wellness Room will be a great team.  We encourage you to visit their at http://www.thewellnessroomnewton.com and Facebook Page.

Meal Support Group Starting Soon!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

 

 

Group Details

This group will provide weekly meal supervision guided by an experienced eating disorder dietitian. It will serve as an additional tool for those in recovery from an eating disorder and function as a checkpoint for both provider and client.  Individuals will benefit from accountability and peer support; knowing there is a meal once per week where there is a firm expectation may help him/her stay on track with meals the rest of the week. Supervision also may help providers and clients assess where an individual is in treatment, providing information to support continued outpatient treatment versus higher level of care. 

Jaimie Winkler, MS, RD worked as Senior Dietitian at the Klarman Eating Disorder Center for 8 years where she facilitated meal supervision for individuals recovering from eating disorders.  She is able to provide the necessary support and structure for this group while maintaining appropriate boundaries within the group and collaborating with the multidisciplinary team.  Please visit this link to learn more about her here.

Requirements for participation:  Individuals under consideration for the group should be screened by outside provider(s) prior to recommendation to group. Individuals will need to have a referring provider who will help coordinate care and the client process information from the group.

The following are exclusion criteria:
• Weight below 85% of ideal
• Inability to consume solid foods or complete meals
• Cognitive dysfunction and/or disrupting social behavior
• Requires one-on-one attention to complete meal
• Refuses food regularly
• Requires supervision following a meal to prevent purging

Group expectations and structure will be outlined for individuals during the screening process.  Please contact Jaimie Winkler directly to set up a screening.  617-332-2282 or jaimie@metrowestnutrition.com.

Space is limited.  To secure your spot, make a payment here and contact Jaimie to set up your screening. 

NEW groups starting soon!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

We're excited to announce two new groups starting soon.

Meal Supervision Group

This group led by experienced eating disorder dietitian, Jaimie Winkler, MS, RD will provide meal support for those in recovery from an eating disorder. 

Details:

Dates:  TBD

Time:  Tuesdays from 11:30-1pm. 

Location:  Our Newton office at 1400 Centre Street, Suite 207

Structure:  Brief check-in, group meal, post-meal journaling and check-in

Purpose:  Weekly meal supervision can function as a checkpoint for both provider and client. Supervision may help client with accountability, knowing there is a meal once per week where there is a firm expectation can help them stay on track with meals throughout the week. Supervision may help providers and clients assess where a person is in treatment, giving data to support continued outpatient treatment versus questions about a higher level of care. 

Cost:  $295 for the full 5 week program

Space is limited to 6

To learn more or to see if you or your client is appropriate for this group, please contact Jaimie Winkler at 617-332-2282x3 or Jaimie@metrowestnutrition.com.

 

Post Gastric Bypass Support Group

Are you 3 months or more into your recovery from gastric bypass surgery?  Join registered dietitian, Sue Miller for support and guidance through this next stage.  Sue brings over 18 years of experience working with this population to the group. Topics that will be covered include meal planning, portion sizing, managing social situations, fluid and nutrient needs and exercise. 

Details:

Dates:  Oct 6th, 13th, 20th and 27th

Time:  6-7pm

Location:  Our Newton office at 1400 Centre Street, Suite 207

Cost:  $120 for the 4 weeks

To learn more about this group, contact Sue Miller at 617-332-2282x5 or sue@metrowestnutrition.com

 

Additional services offered:

-Individual nutrition counseling

-Individual meal support

-Professional supervision

-Wellness programming for schools and companies

-Onsite seminars and nutrition counseling

-Institutional menu review and approval

-Kitchen assessment and recommendations

-Grocery shopping guidance and support

-In-home cooking tutorial (individual or group)

 

Contact Amy Gardner to learn more at 617-332-2282 or amy@metrowestnutrition.com

NEW Gastric Bypass Support Group - Fall 2015

Monday, August 24, 2015

Have you recently undergone gastric bypass?  Are you 3 months or more post-surgery?  Worried about staying on track?  Let us help.  This is a tough journey and you don't have to go it alone.  Sue Miller, RD, LDN, CSSD has 18 years of experience working with gastric bypass patients and looks forward to helping you work towards you personal goals. 

  

                   

Join Sue for a 4-week nutrition series.  The group will meet on 4 Tuesdays from 6-7pm starting October 6th.  Topics addressed will include portions, meal planning, energy goals, managing physical activity, hydration and whatever feels pertinent to the group as a whole.  Cost is $120 for the 4 weeks.  Space is limited so make sure to sign up to reserve your spot. 

Contact Sue for more information at 617-332-2282 x5 or sue@metrowestnutrition.com or pay here to secure your spot.

   

Welcome to Anne and Jaimie!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

We are so excited to welcome Anne Godina and Jaimie Winkler to our practice! 

Anne Godina comes to us from Chicago where she worked at Timberline Knolls in their residential eating disorders and substance abuse program.  She also works with the New York Clinical Recovery Specialists in supporting individuals with individual meal support, exposure to challenge foods and helping to decrease anxiety around food and food-related activities. 

Jaimie Winkler is well-known in the eating disorder community here in Boston having worked for many years in the Klarman Eating Disorder Center.  We are so fortunate to have her extensive eating disorder knowledge and program development experience in our practice. 

You can read more about these two clinicians in their bios here:

Anne's Bio

anne@metrowestnutrition.com 

 

Jaimie's Bio

Jaimie@metrowestnutrition.com

 

Welcome ladies!  We are looking forward to great things to come as our team expands.  Please feel free to reach out to either Anne or Jaimie to ask them about their practice or contact us to set up an appointment today at 617-332-2282 or info@metrowestnutrition.com.

 

10 Reasons to Eat Local

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Eating locally.  We hear about it all the time but why is it important?  Eating locally means choosing foods that are raised, crafted or grown nearby.  Where do you find these foods?  At your local farmers market, farm stands, Community Shared Agriculture programs (CSAs) or even in your grocery store.  Some local restaurants even source local ingredients for their dishes.  A hint for finding locally grown foods at your supermarket is to read the sign or label on the food.  Of course, you could also just ask! 

Here are 10 great reasons to eat local

1.  Help your local economy.  It makes sense, right?  Buying from local farmers puts money right in their pocket.  Money in their pocket helps feed other local businesses. 

2.  Fresher produce.  Local produce comes right from the farm to you with very little to no travel time.  Less handling and travel time mean less chance of bruising or acquiring parasites.  There is also less likelihood that the nutrient content has decreased over this time.

3.  Taste.  Local food simply tastes better.  This directly relates to the prior reason - it's fresher.  Have you ever eaten a strawberry or blueberry right off the vine?  Enough said!

4.  Longer time to ripen.  Local farmers can wait longer to pick their produce because it's not going far.  It doesn't have to be rugged enough to endure the handling and travel time and has a longer time to absorb powerful nutrients. 

5.  Less environmental impact.  There's less gas, energy and resources spent in transporting food.

6.  Promotes food safety.  Local food is less likely to become contaminated by food-born pathogens or bacteria due to less time in storage, transport and less overall handling.

7.  Helps enhance mindful eating.  One of the first steps to mindful eating is selecting your food and asking yourself, "where did this come from?".  When you talk to the farmer who grew the food, you not only know the answer to this but have and wonderful story behind it; this can really enhance the overall eating experience.

8.  Helps preserve green space and farmland.  Supporting local, small farmers preserves our natural green space and farmland.  This is great for air and water quality and also makes for a bucolic living area.  Plus, farms offer a great opportunity to teach children about food and where it comes from which increases the likelihood of them eating it!

9.  Promotes variety.  Farmers who run Commmunity Supported Agriculture programs (CSAs), sell at local farmers markets and to local restaurants, have greater demand and this allows them to raise a wider variety of crops and livestock.

10.  Helps create a sense of community.  Knowing where your food comes from connects you to those who grow it.  Instead of having a single, more detached relationship with your grocery store, you have numerous intimate connections with your local farmers, growers and artisans.

Looking for a farmers market?  Check out this site for a list of farmers markets throughout Massachusetts.  Are you a commuter?  If you travel on I-90, make sure to check out the MassDOT farmers markets located at 18 state service plazas. 

Gastric Bypass Support Group

Monday, June 08, 2015

Have you recently undergone gastric bypass?  Worried about staying on track this summer?  Let us help.  This is a tough journey and you don't have to go it alone.  Sue Miller, RD, LDN, CSSD has 18 years of experience working with gastric bypass patients and looks forward to helping you work towards you personal goals. 

  

                   

Join Sue for a 4-week nutrition series.  The group will meet on Wednesdays from 5:30-6:30pm starting Wednesday, June 24th.  Topics addressed will include portions, meal planning, energy goals, managing summer activities, hydration and whatever feels pertinent to the group as a whole.  Cost is $120 for the 4 weeks.  Space is limited.

Contact Sue for more information at 617-332-2282 x5 or sue@metrowestnutrition.com or pay here to secure your spot.

   



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