How mindful eating can transform your health

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Scrubs welcomes our latest contributor, Tracy Martins, who will give nurses pointers on getting in shape over the course of the Wellness Challenge. If you don’t know Tracy, maybe you’ve heard of the television show he works on…The Biggest Loser!

I do something that I refer to as “mindful eating,” and I believe everyone improving their health should try this methodology. It only takes a second, but it is the most crucial second of the day.

Just think before you eat.

On a daily basis, people approach me with their concerns about food, and my answer is usually quite simple: You are an adult; take a moment and think about what you eat. You’ll most likely change your meal choices because, in the end, you already know that candy bars and diet sodas from the vending machine during your NOC shift are not a good choice. You are just not being mindful about what you consume….even though it’s quick and convenient for a nurse on the go.

Let’s be simple this week: All you need to do is incorporate a large, dark green salad into your day. A salad without any dressing. If you absolutely need something (dressing-wise), I suggest some balsamic vinegar or maybe some salsa. Kale would be wonderful for your salad–its dark leaves are full of vitamins! Try to stay away from iceberg lettuce; the darker the green of the leaves, the better. Add some color to your salad with tomatoes, cucumber, bell peppers, etc.

We need to learn to eat for fuel and not for pleasure. Make no mistake about it, eating for pleasure is great, but it’s just not great all the time.

I also challenge you to take this war into the kitchen and start to prepare your meals for the week. If you have it all prepared ahead of time, you’re much less likely to stray at lunch in the hospital cafeteria than you would if your food was not made in advance.

Also, please be careful about what you say about your body, because your body is listening to every word you say, and negative words breeds negative bodies. I won’t allow the word “fat” to be used in my studio or my home; it’s derogatory, it’s ugly and it’s downright condescending. Don’t speak about yourself or your body type in that way, ever. It’s just not nice. We all have some weight to lose, we all look in the mirror and think “I wanna change this or I wanna change that,” but saying “I wanna lose 10 pounds of fat” is just mean to your body.

Win the war in the kitchen and it will be easy to love your body. Plus, it will love you back!

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