“The how, when, why, and where we eat are just as important as what we eat,” says Mary Brown, a Clinical Metabolic Dietitian at the LiVe Well Center. “’Savor the Flavor’ reminds us that eating healthy should be a pleasurable, positive experience.”
The trick to healthy eating is preparation. Knowing not only how to tastefully prepare food – especially vegetables, but also by having a preparation plan. With a little forethought, and a few herbs and spices, eating healthy is achievable.
“People tend towards whatever is easiest,” Brown says. “Having some kind of a plan for dinner will eliminate picking up something on the way home. The plan can be as extensive as complete menu planning for the week or as simple as a list of family favorites stuck to the fridge. Remember that having the ingredients on hand is also an important part of the preparation plan.”
Try and stick to the plan. Even if the list of meals is scribbled on a sticky note, it will serve as a visual reminder of healthy goals. Let family members choose healthy favorites each week. Eating and preparing food together as a family at home is the ideal. Food can help establish traditions and love within a family. This is how positive relationships with food and family are built. Trying new healthy foods together can be a rewarding experience.
“Part of what makes food enjoyable is trying something new,” Brown suggests. “A great way to do that is to find healthy recipes that can be prepared in 30 minutes or less.”
Trying new foods also introduces ‘mindful eating’ patterns. Mindful eating means being aware and enjoying food. It means slowing down and really thinking about how the food tastes. Because eating is a necessary part of life, it can become routine and rushed. Mindful eating means taking time to focus on the flavor. Slowing down also allows time for the stomach to signal the brain that it is full. Food can thus be enjoyed more fully without becoming over-full.
“A dietitian’s job is to help people have a healthy relationship with food,” emphasizes Brown. “Sometimes people need a mental reinforcement that food is good – that eating is a positive thing. This prevents eating disorders and encourages eating right. To be healthy long-term, it is necessary to have a healthy relationship with food and a dietitian can help make that possible.”
Many people have personal challenges with food. Visiting with a dietitian can help individuals and families discover what healthy eating patterns and plans will work best for them. A dietitian also acts as a support person or cheerleader to those that are trying to change habits, make new plans, and eat right.
“A support person or team is crucial when trying to eat right,” says Brown. “That’s why I love working at the LiVe Well Center. The LiVe Well Center supports and encourages individuals and families on their journey towards health and wellness.”
Try and “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right” this year and enjoy building positive, healthy relationships with family and friends, while making positive, healthy food choices.