Do you only eat when you are hungry, stop when you're full and watch your portion size? Very few of us do. We kick off a three part series on heart health with a trip to the grocery store and what you can do to be a more mindful eater.
Laurie Nelson-Moe is working hard to be a more mindful eater. It's something that doesn't come easily and that's why she's enlisted the help of Nikki Ver Steeg who is a Certified Wellness Coach and Registered Dietitian at the Avera Heart Hospital. Nikki says mindful eating starts with knowing exactly what you are putting on your plate in the first place. Laurie and Nikki chose Meadowsweet Market to do their shopping because the shelves are stocked with better choices for your heart's health, but Nikki warns even healthy food has to be portion appropriate.
Nikki says, "When you eat mindfully it helps you watch your portions because you are paying more attention. This helps you prevent extra weight gain. We know when people are carrying around extra weight around it can significantly increase your risk of heart disease especially weight around your middle section which is usually the result of either too large of portions, not paying attention to how you full you are or inappropriate things like all those processed carbohydrates."
Nikki also says don't ever sit down on the couch with a bag of anything because you will undoubtedly end up eating way more that you intended to. She says that is mindless eating at its worst.
Laurie says, "I've been learning what foods make me more energized after I eat them vs. eating a big plate of something and feeling really tired."
Nikki doesn't believe in excluding all things delicious. She just strongly suggests watching how much we eat of those indulgences. Let's take ice cream for example. She says chose a small bowl because the bigger the bowl, the bigger our tendency is to fill it up.
Nikki says, "Take the opportunity to look at your meal and enjoy it. Identify who is around you, look at your surroundings and enjoy the people with you."
Laurie admits she is a work in progress when it comes to being a mindful eater, but at least it's always on her mind. She says she always thinks twice before any food hits her lips because she knows it will eventually impact her heart.