Farm to Fork: Four Mindful Steps to Better Holistic Nutrition

Updated: Jan 30, 2020


The wait is over. You are off of work and ready to go home and relax. You want to eat a healthy dinner, but you forgot to go shopping. Don’t beat yourself up! It happens to all of us. Consider the following choices:

Option #1: A convenient but unhealthy drive thru meal (you will be eating sooner, but may feel less satisfied after).

Option #2: A mindfully prepared meal, cooked slowly and calmly, made from fresh local, organic ingredients (time consuming, but super-satisfying).

You are probably thinking that you would ideally pick option #2, but realistically, #1 hits home more.

You can make option #2 your NATURAL response, though. Using mindfulness, it’s possible to re-condition your brain and how you think about food. Holistic nutrition consists of a series of mindful choices which all add up to healthy eating habits.

Mindfulness is defined as paying close attention to the present moment, without judgment. Mindfulness is the foundation for a better relationship with food. Removing judgment and guilt around food choices is a huge step towards healthy eating.

This article will discuss how to apply mindfulness techniques to the following areas:

  • meal-planning

  • grocery shopping

  • food preparation

  • consumption

Following these steps can help you improve your health and wellness! It’s time to get mindful. For more tips on how to use mindfulness in your everyday life visit www.mindfulwaystowellness.com.

Planning

The first mindful step to holistic nutrition is in the planning. Having a plan is the key to successful food shopping! Before you even get to the store, there are opportunities to make mindful choices.

Let’s say, for example, that you want to plan to cook one meal mindfully. Pick a healthy meal, any meal you like. Hooray! You made your first mindful choice by simply choosing what you would LIKE to cook. Now ask yourself some questions about this meal. What ingredients will you need? What is in season? What can you get for cheap, locally? Asking these questions means you are paying attention closely to your habits of meal-planning. Perhaps up until now your habit has been “buy food when I am hungry.” That does not have to be your NATURAL response. Having a plan leads to a more successful outcome!

Set aside fifteen minutes for this exercise: Try writing out the days of the week and putting down a general idea of meals. (If planning a week ahead is too much for you, try just planning the next three days). Now that you have some meal ideas, pull a list of ingredients out of those.

As you create your list, think about what meals you eat regularly. You can easily make a weekly meal plan using the foods and meals you are already comfortable with. You can develop the habit of planning using the exact foods you already buy. Just write it down! Be mindful of the process. Make a list. Hold yourself accountable.

Now that you have a solid list, consider the health value of every item you added. Remember you want to fill most of your cart in the perimeter sections of the store - fruits and veggies, fresh-baked bread, meat and seafood, and dairy - and avoid the center aisles of the store, particularly the heavily-processed foods. Making mindful choices BEFORE you enter the store will help you stick to a nutrition-guided shopping trip and not a craving-driven one.