March 13, 2015

Whole Food + Mindfulness = Health


Food For Thought



Much of the body's total digestive response to any meal starts with the mind. If we are distracted before we begin to eat, and if we are not fully aware of what and when we are eating, we are not stimulating the full beneficial digestive response.

On the contrary, mindful eating requires being fully present with our food. It's a meditation practice that brings our thoughts to the food and our experience of the food.

In Eating Mindfully, Susan Albers describes:
"Eating a mindful meal means completely focusing your mind on the 'process' of eating. You take it moment by moment and focus on the here and now. You begin by looking at the food, noting the different colors and shapes. You really see what is in front of you. You also become aware of the manner in which you reach for the spoon and fork. Food doesn't automatically end up in your mouth. Your entire body is involved in getting it there... from ingredients to atmosphere, whether appealing or appalling, both the psychological mood and the physical accessories that surround you when you eat may influence the way in which you metabolize food and in turn your health and well-being."

You can cook and eat whole food, as close to the source as possible, to reduce your risk of illnesses from the common cold to cancer. Many doctors maintain that food is the best way to prevent and treat obesity, diabetes, arthritis, metabolic syndrome, heart disease and depression.

Choose one food to be your health ally this spring. I am choosing black pepper. What about you?

Black pepper: although it’s known for making you sneeze, black pepper can actually help to ward off the sniffles. Black peppercorns are high in piperine, a compound with anti-inflammatory qualities that can reduce swelling in joints. Piperine also helps you absorb the benefits of other spices.Try for 2 teaspoons of both black pepper per week to boost your immunity.

By including your healthy food ally in your diet each week, you can contribute to your own long-term well-being. Remember that it takes time a commitment to notice these changes. Be patient.

Most of all, enjoy your meal!

Here is my favorite black pepper recipe.

Healthy Stir-Fried Vegetables



You will need:
2 Tablespoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 inch fresh ginger root, chopped
3 carrots, rinsed and chopped into matchsticks
1 large head broccoli, chopped
2 zucchini, rinsed and chopped into matchsticks
1 small purple cabbage, rinsed and chopped
1 hanful snap peas (optional)

1 teaspoon soy sauce or tamari (low sodium)
1 teaspoon each: turmeric, cumin, and coriander
1/2 teaspoon each: fenugreek and cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

Juice of half a lime

Heat oil in a skillet.
Add ginger and garlic. Stir well.
Add vinegar.
Sauté on medium heat, with the lid on, for 5 minutes. Add water if anything is sticking.
Add carrots, zucchini, broccoli and cabbage in layers with carrots on the bottom, then zucchini, then cabbage on top.

Add ½ cup water, soy sauce, and spices. Do not stir. Reduce heat to medium-low.
Cook with lid on for 5 minutes.
Add snap peas if you have them.
Stir, increase heat to medium, and cook for 5 more minutes, or until carrots are just tender.

Squeeze lime juice over the top and mix well to incorporate.


Serve over rice with chopped hard-boiled eggs or enjoy with rice flatbread.

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