Melissa Burchardt, RD, CD

It’s all the buzz this 2020: Mindful Eating. What exactly is that and why is it essential, especially as we age? As we’re celebrating American Heart Month, now is a great time to explore this emerging health concept further.

First off, mindful eating involves paying attention to the food that you eat. But it’s a busy world. You likely may be busy managing family, a career, or hobbies that keep your mind churning. It isn’t very easy to be mindful with our food, but here are a few tips that can help you along the way:

  • Commit to being present at your meals. In this crazy busy world, our eating is often rushed, we eat quickly and on the go. Food can be viewed as an inconvenience that keeps us from more important things. Unfortunately, you can’t accomplish anything of much importance without a well-nourished body and mind.
  • Mindful eating involves sitting down, slowing down and savoring each bite.
  • Use all five senses, making mealtime an experience, not a sprint.
  • Tune into your body. Learn to eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full. It sounds more straightforward than it is, but it’s worth the time to explore what that means for you.

As a dietitian, my role is more than teaching people what to eat, it’s also about introducing them to how to eat. And sometimes the “how” can be more impactful than the “what.”

This month and moving forward, remember: Date your food! Commit to minimizing distractions when you eat. Put your cell phone away, turn off your tablet or the TV, and just eat.

I want to leave you with this Swedish Proverb. Savor it, and let it resonate in your heart:

Fear less, Hope more

Eat less, Chew more

Whine less, Breathe more

Talk less, Say more

Hate less, Love more

And all good things will be yours

~ Melissa Burchardt, RD, CD, has been our clinical dietitian here at Shorehaven for 20 years. She has a passion for disease prevention through eating whole, real foods. She loves to show that eating healthy does not been to be expensive or confusing (and is among the few of us who actually enjoys grocery shopping. When she is not cooking up a new recipe, she loves spending time with her husband and two teenage sons-who still would choose a cookie over a carrot, no matter how hard she tries! And she’s happy to answer your nutrition-related questions. Feel free to call here at Shorehaven at 262-567-8341. ~