Every moment presents the opportunity for making a different choice.

Changing eating patterns or maintaining a clean eathing lifestyle does not have to be an overwhelming, time consuming part of your life.  Small changes can create new habits which become the platform for a next stage of small changes. Before you know it, your relationship to food may develop into a great friendship.

Bring simplicity into your gastronomical life.  The health benefits are a big deal.

  1. Take a hour each week to plan your meals for the week — this means time for mindfulness.  In particular, create a plan for those times when you will be challenged by a hectic schedule and pay attention to creating proper nutrition for your physical workouts.  Take pleasure and pride in your attentiveness to this aspect of your wellbeing.
  2. Fully enjoy the marketing required to adequately stock your pantry.  Visit outdoor markets, farmers markets, on-the-farm vendors.  Shop local as much as possible and spend time getting to know and enjoy the people who produce the food you eat.  If you are in a larger supermarket, take note of the colourful displays of fresh fruits and vegetables, offer a kind word and a smile to the cashier, allow someone to go ahead of you in line, check out the artisan cheeses and ask about the source of the fresh fish.
  3. Shop from a list to help prevent impulse buys.  Oh, and don’t step foot in that store when you are hungry.
  4. Break that soda pop habit.  The diet stuff is no better for you than the full sugar option.  In fact, the American Dietetic Association has found that diet soft drinks can increase your risk of being overweight by 65%, and artificial sweeteners can stimulate your appetite!  If you can’t envision life without a soft drink, try sparkling water with a bit of lime for flavour.
  5. Drink two 8 ounce glasses of water when you wake up in the morning.  Do this before you put anything else in your mouth.
  6. Green your Tea.  Green tea is a great addition to your healthy daily intake.  Green tea can be bitter, but it is easy to find a wide variety of fruit infused options.  These are great hot or cold.
  7. Salsa-fy your condiment choices.  A great topper for veggies, chicken and fish, salsa use is limited only by your imagination.  It provides interest and flavour and visual appeal to your meals.
  8. Shop around – around the outer edge of your supermarket that is.  The centre aisles are filled with overprocessed, high sugar, high fat food options. Fresh produce, seafood and dairy products will be found around the perimeter — this is where you need to spend your time.
  9. Have a meaningful relationship with your food in the preparation stage.  Precut, individual/family serving sized bags of veggies, salad fixings and fruit, complete with dipping sauces and/or dressings, are marketed to seemingly simply our life.  Really, they serve to disconnect us from the chain of life where the energy of the sun is converted into nourishment for our bodies. Cultures which have maintained the love-infused rich traditions of food preparation are healthier than our quick fix society.  Additionally, precut and packaged fruits and vegetables are more susceptible to contanimation than whole foods which we prepare fresh.
  10. Keep your glass half full.  People with an optimistic outlook are more likely to eat clean and less likely to be overweight.  Wow.  And people who believe they will live long, healthy lives are more likely to live long, healthy lives.  Meditation, exercise, a strong social network, meaningful actions can decrease negativity and increase your wellbeing.
  11. Fight white.  When it comes to grains, refined and processed white foods are not the best option.  Add whole grains into your day where white might normally lurk.  Brown rice, whole wheat pasta, whole grain breads.
  12. Make time for your meals.  Turn off the television, step away from the computer screen, drop your blackberry into a vat of green tea, and sit down at the table.  Revel in your amazing food and your great fortune.  Sharing your meals with family and friends is even a better way to healthy eating.  Stepping off the spinning turntable you call your obligations and attending to what is truly important can lead to you to rediscovering a bounty.  That bounty is your life.

There is food in the bowl, and more often than not, because of what honesty I have, there is nourishment in the heart, to feed the wilder, more insistent hungers.  We must eat.  If, in the face of that dread fact, we can find other nourishment, and tolerance and compassion for it, we’ll be no less full of human dignity.  ~ MFK Fisher

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