Central Oregon Activities

What is Mindful Eating?

Last night, we hosted the first of our Health and Wellness series taking place this year. Natasha Dempsey (no relation ;)), Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, came to Coldwell Banker Morris and spoke about nutrition, how we fuel our bodies, myths and takeaways.

If you couldn’t make it, here’s what you missed.

Mindful/Intuitive Eating

Natasha’s philosophy on eating well is “every food in moderation while trusting your body and listening to it.” Instead of approaching food as something you need to be nervous about, Natasha advocates for listening to what your body needs and giving it what it deserves.

That means eating an apple when you feel like eating an apple, and eating a cupcake when one sounds delicious. It doesn’t mean restricting yourself to specific kinds of foods, but being aware of how your body is feeling and what it needs in each moment.

Fad Diets

Another topic addressed was fad diets. You’ve heard of these. Your Paleo Diet, Ketogenic Diet, Whole 30, Weight Watchers and The Zone.

The problem with fad diets is that they give you temporary results, but no long term solutions. They might make you feel good for a month or even a few months, but after a while you’re going to get trapped in the diet cycle and ultimately your body will gain more weight and you won’t feel good. Mindful eating allows you to fuel yourself appropriately without restriction.

We want to avoid this cycle and instead commit to treating our bodies with respect all the time.

So How Do We Do That?

Real Food with a Plant Based Focus

The way Natasha suggests eating is a plant based, mediterranean style diet. This means aiming for five to seven servings of fruits and vegetables a day, choosing whole grains, limiting processed foods, getting those Omega 3 rich foods, and adequate hydration. That’s it. That’s all there is to it. Fueling your body in an appropriate and healthy way.

The Principles of Intuitive Eating

  • Reject the diet mentality.
  • Honor your hunger.
  • Challenge the food police.
  • Make peace with food.
  • Respect your fullness.
  • Discover the satisfaction factor.
  • Honor your feelings without using food.
  • Respect your body.
  • Exercise and feel the difference.
  • Honor your health.

Another way to think of it:

  • Consider your food options.
  • Enjoy food with others.
  • Savor your food.
  • Eat slowly.
  • Breathe.

Instead of:

  • Eating “just because.”
  • Boredom.
  • Clean plate club.
  • Distraction.

What Should We Drink?

What liquids we put in our bodies plays a huge role in addition to our foods. Natasha suggests 64 ounces or more of fluids per day. That means water, coffee, tea, milk, etc. And alcohol in moderation.

In a Nutshell 

Eat more plants. If you’re hungry, eat. Try not to skip meals. Stay hydrated. Don’t follow fad diets. Practice mindful eating.

Consider eating breakfast, measuring success without the scale, decreasing your screen time and adding joyful movement to your routine. Natasha describes joyful movement as a way to move your body that you enjoy and makes you happy.

One thought on “What is Mindful Eating?

  1. Judith Regan

    A way to help one focus on whole foods is trying to reduce the amount of plastic brought home from the grocery store. Use the bulk bins and bring one’s own mesh bags (available at some stores but also on-line) for those items and the fresh fruits and vegetables.

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