A NUTRITIONIST EXPLAINS: IT’S NOT WHAT YOU EAT, BUT HOW YOU EAT THAT MATTERS…April 20, 2016 1:58 pm
Introducing our new fabulous contributor Tracy Land, who became a Nutritional Therapist after being personally convinced of the power that food has on our health. She works with clients with a wide range of different health conditions – and the most common include weight gain, IBS and a range of gut problems, low energy (including chronic fatigue syndrome), mood and sleep problems, excess stress and anxiety.
She has a particular interest in mindfulness – applied both generally and its therapeutic benefits when applied to food and nutrition.
Over the coming articles, Tracy will be sharing the knowledge she has gained through out her journey and hopes to inspire our Filmorites to be the healthiest, happiest versions of themselves!
Take it away, Tracy…
As a Nutritional Therapist clients often say to me “I know we are what we eat” – and that is true – to a certain extent. There’s no doubt that basing a diet on food that is ‘pure, natural and wholesome’ is essential if we want to enjoy optimal health. This is a core principle of Filmore and Union, and why I love what they do so much. But actually how we eat (and when we eat, which I’ll look at next time) also makes a big difference to whether we can breakdown, absorb and then utilise the wonderful nutrients in our food.
Mindfulness as a concept has become almost mainstream in various areas of life over recent times, with good reason. Its application to food and eating can really help our bodies make optimal use of the food we eat. All ‘eating mindfully’ means is to pay full attention in this moment (bring our mind and all our senses) to the process of eating. This is easier said than done in a world where we are constantly encouraged to ‘multi-task’ and are connected to our electronic devices around the clock. So when you eat, just eat! Sit down at the table and focus on the appearance of the food, its smell, texture and taste. Various studies have shown that simply by eating mindfully significantly reduces people’s food intake and stops overeating, because it reconnects people with the body’s hormonal signals which are designed to tell us when we’re full and to stop eating. In one study, participants reduced their average calorific intake by 100 calories per meal, with significant consequential weight loss. No other changes to their diet were involved – just eating with full awareness.
Chewing is something I frequently talk to my clients about too. Life is so fast that many of us feel there’s not enough time to chew our food properly. We eat on the run. This means partially broken down proteins and carbohydrates sit in out gut and ferment – making us bloat and windy and setting the stage for digestive problems and serious health issues. So at your next meal:
- stop what you’re doing
- sit down at the table
- take a few deep breaths to calm your system down (which enables your body to produce your digestive ‘juices’ or enzymes)
- appreciate the food that you’re about to eat and all that has gone into it arriving on your plate
- fully focus on what you’re eating and
- chew your food to a pulp before swallowing.
That way you’re much more likely to absorb and utilise the nutrients in your food. You’ll also enjoy your food a whole lot more. And meal times become a welcome break in our overly hectic days.
In my next post I’ll be considering how when we eat matters too. Until then Filmorites, wishing you the very best of health and happiness!
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