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I don’t diet, I practice healthy mindful eating! Yup! That is the honest truth I do not diet. I love food! I am a big foodie. I love to try new things and enjoy the taste and textures of certain food. But I also know I need my body to work with me and not against me. I have to be conscious of what I am putting in my body. Our bodies need to be cherished and treated with respect, after all, it is the only place we will live in forever.
What is mindful eating? To me mindful eating is trusting myself to know the difference between what is healthy to eat and what I should say no to. Mindful eating is a lifestyle , a way that allows me to accept my condition and still find satisfaction in food. Food should not be treated like an enemy. I know there are certain foods I can no longer enjoy, because it just doesn’t process the same in my system. But I am also aware of foods I can enjoy and that help boost my immune system.
You have to know your body. Realize what your body can handle. I do not like using the word “Diet”. People ask me all the time “due to your MS is there a specific diet you follow?”. Granted many people after certain diagnoses they choose vegan or paleo diets, and it has indeed done wonders for people. I have read many success stories. But a decision like that has to be made by you. I wrote a post about how you can prepare your body mentally and physically for transformation.
For me it has been a smooth transition to be mindful of what I am eating versus forcing myself to diet and restrictions. I started with cutting out liquor all together. It just wasn’t an enjoyable feeling anymore. So it was pretty easy for me to say no to it. I then decided to cut out red meat, this was just making me sick. I stood with chicken and fish for some time, but eventually just decided to cut out all meat. My fiancé is a vegan, he does not do any animal products. But I am working on the cheese, I promise! That one ingredient has me hooked.
This healthy eating lifestyle allows me to keep an open mind about food. The last thing you need to do is deprive yourself from food, having that mindset only temps you to binge or want it more. I rather have a mindset of satisfaction and acceptance, instead of deprivation. There are certain foods I had to sit down and mindfully think of alternatives to. I love cheese, tacos and burgers. I accepted the fact that my body really wasn’t responding well to meat, so instead of avoiding dishes I LOVE, I found a way to still enjoy them in a different way. I also enjoy shakes. Protein shakes became a great way to implement and replace one meal, I usually replace breakfast with a protein shake.
I come from a culture of spices, seasonings, sauces, and many other tasty ingredients. I decided if I can still use my seasonings and tasty sauces, why wouldn’t I get the satisfaction I crave? Beans has become a big part of all my dishes, especially black beans, also known as frijoles. Black beans have a tasty thick texture, almost like meat. Making it an easy transition, I just made sure I seasoned my beans with all the onions, garlic, peppers, salt, cilantro and other seasonings I normally used to season meat and…Viola! A tasty homemade healthy filling finger licking plate of food.
The top three plates that my entire family enjoys are:
Black Bean Tacos
Black Bean Burgers
Lentils with brown/white rice and avocado
If you want to become a mindful healthy eater you must follow three simple steps. Accept what you can and should not eat, make healthy food accessible, and be present when your eating. You should be able to enjoy every bite and look forward to what you about to eat, eat in a good mood. Do not rush, do not multitask, turn off any distractions, and eat only when your hungry. Mindful eating will allow you to control what and how you are consuming food. If you have failed at diets before, this should defiantly be something you should try.