Edmonds Healthy Eating: Develop a taste for moderation and mindfulness this holiday season

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Deborah Binder Formal PortraitWe are entering the season of “robust” eating, overindulgence and busy schedules. Many folks stock up on candy for Halloween trick-or-treaters and the cupboards stay full of goodies right through New Year’s Eve. This can be hard on the waistline….as well as for those at risk for diabetes, heart disease or any other condition where overindulging jeopardizes your health. Once in a while indulgences work, but it’s the every day until Jan. 1 that becomes the problem. Moderation and mindful eating can be the key.

Do you find yourself eating on the run or grabbing something quick to eat while you are driving or working at your desk? We’re trying to fit everything in….work, shopping, cooking, exercise, family time, socializing with friends, entertainment, volunteering….the list goes on and it gets exhausting, One of the first things out the window is food and nutrition.

I know I am guilty of “quick is better” behavior at times. In fact, yesterday I was about to take my bowl of lunch with me in the car. I stopped myself at the door and sat down to eat at the table. Yes, it took some extra time but it was worth it. Slow down, take smaller bites and chew food slowly. Sounds easy, but in execution it can be challenging. By eating slowly you will probably improve what and how much you eat because you are taking the time to enjoy your food–noticing the smell, taste and colors of the food on your plate. This practice is great for any time you eat—whether it’s that soothing bowl of warm oatmeal in the morning or an afternoon snack. Take the time to savor whatever it is you are eating. Think of all the foods that you put into your mouth as a “treat.” A lovely piece of chocolate can have the same value as a beautiful carrot. Eating without judging, the food will enable you to feel nourished.

I invite you to practice eating without judging yourself, starting this weekend. You are staring at a bowl of leftover Halloween Candy on Sunday, Nov. 1. Admit it…you bought an extra bag or two because you wanted leftovers. Don’t punish yourself. Eat and savor one. Then move on to the next activity. You do not have to eat the whole bag. But if you are the person that feels you just have to eat it all in one sitting….then maybe give it away, take it to the office or drop it off at your local coffee shop for the folks behind the counter. The important thing is to develop a simple habit that works toward maintaining or improving your attitude about food. Food nourishes us, it shouldn’t be killing us. Develop a taste for a new type of “M & M”: Moderation & Mindfulness

— By Deborah Binder

Deborah Binder lives in Edmonds with her family. She is “dancing with N.E.D.” (no evidence of disease) after being diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer in 2009. She is a foodie who loves to cook from scratch and share here experiments with her family. She attended culinary school on the East Coast and currently chef assists at PCC Cooks and NuCulinary Cooking School. Her current interest in food is learning to eat for health and wellness, while at the same time enjoying the pleasures of the table. As Julia Child once said, “Everything in moderation including butter.” Deborah can be contacted at jaideborah@yahoo.com.

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