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28 Days of Mindfulness


DAY 5

How to develop healthy, mindful eating habits

Before letting emotions guide your decisions about food, stop and ask yourself these three questions.

If you feel like you’re digging into the chips and cookies more often than usual, you’re not alone.

It’s well-documented that stress and boredom can cause people to overeat, and with a change in most people’s regular routines, it may be even harder to resist those snack cravings while working from home.

An article published in 2013 by the American Psychological Association found that 38% of American adults said they had overeaten in the last month due to stress. Meanwhile, a study of UK doctors published last year, found that those who were distressed and burned out because of work experienced higher rates of binge-eating.

So what can you do about it?

Lisa Bermas, a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, offers her tips for developing healthier eating habits in quarantine.

“The first thing to understand is that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to managing emotional or stress eating,” Lisa says. “It really comes down to you as an individual, but here are some questions to consider.”

3 questions to ask yourself

  • Which foods in particular are you drawn to?
  • When do you find you’re craving such foods?
  • Why? Is your urge to eat in response to a certain emotion, like boredom, stress, out of habit, or some other emotional reason?

You may be driven to choose the foods you do because of an actual nutrient deficiency, hormone or healthy gut flora imbalance, Lisa says.

A common way to manage emotional or stress eating is to increase your intake of blood sugar regulators.

4 ways to change your eating habits

  • Add fibre
    This is an important blood sugar regulator that’s also vital for detoxifying pathways as it binds to toxins. Fibrous foods leave you feeling fuller for longer because they’re digested more slowly, releasing sugar gradually. Simple fibre add-ons include: ground flaxseeds, hemp hearts, chia seeds and leafy greens.
  • Add protein
    This is another major blood sugar regulator. Similar to fibre, protein slows down the speed at which the stomach empties into the intestines. If you’re a vegetarian, make sure you’re getting complete proteins, such as by pairing whole grain brown rice with legumes.
  • Add a dusting of Cinnamon
    This simple and tasty add-on can assist with blood sugar regulation. It is proven that polyphenols in cinnamon can boost insulin sensitivity.
  • Apply mindfulness
    Take time to chew your food. We live in a fast-paced, grab-and-go world where we neglect our bodies without even realizing it. Chewing your food adds less stress on your digestive system, and it also has a positive cascading effect on the rest of your body.

Healthy snacks to fuel your life— and your workouts

“I’m a huge believer in keeping things quick and unprocessed. Some of my go-to pre- and post-workout snacks include: a raw nut and goji berry mixture; fresh fruit; hummus with vegetables; fruit with yogurt; nut butters/tuna/eggs with rice cakes; quinoa; a smoothie with hemp hearts and/or protein powder; avocado with hemp hearts and sea salt.”

“Here’s another snack that I love: Blend 1 mashed banana with raw peanut butter/nut butter and add 1 tbsp. of hemp hearts. Spread over rice cakes and enjoy!”

3 recipe picks from Lisa

Blissful Blueberry Baked Oatmeal
The Best Green Smoothie
Caramelized Banana Oat Muffins

Challenge edition

Share your food recipes and snacking tips with us @Merrithew! Tag #MerrithewWorkout #MerrithewConnect #Merrithew28Days.

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