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Summer Reading

Summer is a great time to pick up some fun reading material. It’s also a great time to challenge ourselves to take on some new healthy habits. This summer, why not challenge yourself to take on a more mindful approach to eating. Mindful eating forces us to slow down, savor the flavors of the season, and increase appreciation for the foods only available this time of year (i.e. fresh produce, wild Alaskan salmon, etc.). Here are two of my favorite books to help get you started in thinking more mindfully about food. Bonus, mindful eating can also lead to increased metabolism, increased energy, and in most cases, weight loss.

Mindless Eating – Brian Wansink

“The best diet is the one you don’t know you’re on.”

Deprivation diets don’t work. True and sustainable weight-loss happens through life-style changes. Re-engineering your food life, can allow you to take control of your “mindless margin.” Reducing you caloric intake by 100-200 calories per day can lead to weight loss of about 10 pounds per year for most people. Our bodies need fuel to keep our metabolic furnaces burning. If we deprived our furnaces of fuel, our bodies go into conservation/starvation mode. During conservation, our bodies store food in fear that a period of famine will follow. This leads to unwanted pounds. Nutrient restriction also acts as a stressor on our bodies. When our bodies are physiologically stressed, hormones such as cortisol rise in a “flight or fight” response. Cortisol caused blood sugar to rise in order to provide energy to combat the stress. However, if there is no way to burn off this additional energy, the blood sugar will be stored usually in the form of fat. Again, more unwanted pounds.

Needless to say, restrictions lead to cravings. In other words, “the foods we don’t bite, can come back to bite us,” causing weight gain when we overindulge after feeling so deprived of food. Pick up a copy of Wansink’s book to learn even more on how to take control of your “mindless margin” and how to eat more mindfully without even trying!

Nourishing Wisdom – Marc David

Food provides nourishment on multiple levels. Physiologically, food provides nutrients for growth, repair, and in some cases even prevents illness. Psychologically, food conjured up memories of fresh homemade ice-cream with fresh fruit on a hot summer afternoon. Food provides comfort when we’re feeling blue. Spiritually food can connect us to our cultural past or bring us back to the basic principle that earth, sun, and water together provide food to sustain us. By focusing on how food fulfills our lives in each of these realms, we can become completely nourished – beyond just decreasing hunger pains.

Check out David’s book for more ideas on how food can nourish us on a deeper level and how this increase appreciation can decrease mental/emotional stress around the foods we eat.

Amanda Bullat

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