Eating Mindfully

Health & Lifestyle

Presented by Jason Wrobel with Commune

Glossary

photo of vegetable salad in bowls
Photo by Ella Olsson
  • Macronutrients – a class of chemical compounds which humans consume in the largest quantities; carbohydrates, protein, lipids.
  • Fletcherizing – a term introduced by Horace Fletcher, also known as “The Great Masticator,” in which one thoroughly, and slowly, chews their food making it easier to digest, as chewing creates more amylase in the mouth, which is the primary carbohydrate-digestive enzyme.
  • Amylase – the primary carbohydrate-digestive enzyme found in saliva and pancreatic fluid, that converts starch and glycogen into simple sugars.
  • Digestive enzymes – substances produced by our bodies that help us to digest the foods we eat. These enzymes are secreted by various parts of our digestive system and helps to break down food components such as proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. 

What is a Food Journal?

  • Taking inventory of what you’re eating each day
  • Recognizing diversity is important when it comes to nutrition (“eating the rainbow”: as many colours in each meal; vitamins, nutrients, phytonutrients)
  • An awareness to what you’re eating and why
    •  Is it for nourishment and fuel or emotional comfort?
    • Recognizing what emotional states are motivating food choices (when feeling happy, sad, stressed, etc.)
    • Paying attention to the body and how you feel 30-50 mins after each meal

How to Keep a Food Journal

acai bowl on a wooden tray
Photo by Taryn Elliott
  1. List what you ate
  2. List ingredients in a meal
  3. Calculate range of calories, proteins, macronutrients
  4. Identify feelings before, during and after a meal
  • Example:
    • Before: Ate a chocolate bar because was feeling lonely
    • Look for consistent patterns (e.g., always eating chocolate when lonely)
    • During: Distracted on phone, forgot the taste of meal, not present; ate too fast
    • After: Bloated from almond milk; gluten sensitivity (bloated, sluggish)

5. Set intentions, changes, and goals for next meals:

  • Will go for dark chocolate or an alternative snack when feeling lonely 
  • Will be more present, eliminate distractions 
  • Will slow down, savour more
  • Will try a different type of milk; will go gluten-free

Why Keep a Food Journal?

  • Gives you a snapshot of what you’re feeling (before, during and after a meal)
  • Allows you to make necessary goals or changes for your next meals
  • Helps you to determine your relationship with food (e.g., eating based on emotions)
  • The aim is to create a positive, loving relationship, being as present as possible

Fletcherizing – Horace Fletcher

  • The more you chewed your food, the easier it is to digest
  •  Chewing creates amylase in mouth
  • For optimal nutrient absorption of food over the course of digestion, it must be reduced to tiny particles and blended evenly with saliva

Benefits of Keeping a Food Journal

brown ceramic cup beside notebook and pen
Photo by Madison Inouye
  • Keeps track of what you’re eating daily
    • Helps to see if there are opportunities to create more diversity in what you’re eating
    • Develops a better understanding of how you’re feeling when you eat foods
    • To see if you’re present or not to what you’re eating
  • The journal can be created in your own way
  • Establishes a practice of being more present at every meal
    • To enjoy feasting with your eyes first, by taking in the food before you consume it (e.g., close your eyes even before your first bite)
    • To take in the smell, relax, breath, and sink into the experience
    • Allows yourself to be undistracted
    • Unlocks gratitude and appreciation for the meal
    • Allows you to eat slower, chew mindfully, allowing for more nutrients absorption (helps to pre-digest the food)
    • Allows for a deeper connected experience to what you’re eating by being more grateful to the fact that you’re nourishing yourself with amazing food every single day!

More from Jason Worbel

WEBSITE DISCLAIMER

This website is provided only for informational purposes and not intended to be used to replace professional advice, treatment or professional care. Always speak to your physician, healthcare provider or pediatrician if you have concerns about your own health or the health of a child.

Gut Health 101

Health & Lifestyle

Presented by Rhiannon Lytle, RHN with Organika (source)

Photo by Needpix

Gut Microbiome

  • Gut: everything from the mouth to rectum 
  • Microbiome: bacteria, viruses that live on and in the body
    • Everything has a microbiome (even the skin)
  • Gut microbiome is like a “little rainforest” in your body that is made up of cells and organisms
    • Everything works in conjunction (you need good and bad; problems can arise when off balance)
    • Medication or illness can disrupt microbiome and cause an imbalance 

Dysbiosis

  • An imbalance of too much bad or not enough good organisms composed in the gut
    • Candida (yeast overgrowth) 
    • Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)
    • Irritable Bowel Syndrome/Disease (IBS/IBD)
  • Indicators: uncontrollable sugar cravings, bloating after meals, constipation 

Leaky Gut

  • Formally known as Intestinal Permeability 
  • Our intestinal wall has small gaps (called tight junctions) to let water and nutrients that our body needs daily to pass through 
  • Due to inflammatory factors (e.g., foods, medication, illness), small gaps can grow larger in the lining of our gut, allowing toxins and undigested food particles through 

Gut Disruptors

  • Refined sugar intake
    • Processed foods, white sugar; can lead to candida (yeast overgrowth)
  • Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
    • Advil
  • Excessive alcohol
    • Depletes good bacteria 
  • Nutrient deficiencies
    • Vitamin A, E, Zinc
  • Inflammation
    • Leaky gut causing irritation/dysbiosis
  • Stress
    • Causes hormone imbalances
  • Antibiotics
    • Pulls out good gut bacteria
    • Taking probiotics after or alongside antibiotics helps create good bacteria
  • Certain medication

Gut-Brain Connection 

Photo by Pixabay
  • There are 500 million neurons in our gut that connect to our brain
  • The gut (also referred to as our “second brain”) communicates with our actual brain through our nervous system, hormones and immune system
  • Is also known as our “gut-brain axis”
  • The vagus nerve is a major nerve connecting our gut and brain
    • Critical for digestion, heart rate, blood, sleep
    • Important to rest and digestion; slowing down breathing supports digestion and nutrient absorption (engages stomach acid preparing us to eat)
  • Our gut is a hub for neurotransmitter production of:
    • Serotonin: the happy hormone
      • Impacts our mood and how we digest food
    • Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA): controls fear and anxiety
  • How we feel impacts gut; gut can impact how we feel

Gut-Immunity Connection 

  • Gut consists of  70% of the cells that make up our immune system
  • Intestinal lining is our first line of defense in our immune health
    • If our lining isn’t working optimally, our immune system may jump in to support
  • Poor gut health can lead to increased inflammation 

Foods to Consume 👍

close up shot of delicious kimchi on white ceramic plate
Photo of kimchi by makafood
  • Foods to reduce inflammation:
    • Fatty fish
    • Leafy greens
    • Nuts
  • Foods high in probiotics:
    • Sauerkraut 
    • Kimchi
    • Kombucha
    • Kefir
    • Tempeh
  • Foods high in fibre:
    • Fruits & vegetables 
    • Oats
    • Quinoa
    • Beans
  • Foods that increase neurotransmitters:
    • Tryptophan (an amino acid that is important for the production of serotonin)-rich foods like poultry, eggs, spinach, seeds
    • GABA-increasing foods like bone broth, whole grains, fermented foods, oolong tea

Foods to (consider) Avoiding 🙅

  • Refined sugars
  • Alcohol 
  • Dairy
  • Gluten 
  • Caffeine

Organika Recipes


More from Organika
More from Rhiannon Lytle, RHN

WEBSITE DISCLAIMER

This website is provided only for informational purposes and not intended to be used to replace professional advice, treatment or professional care. Always speak to your physician, healthcare provider or pediatrician if you have concerns about your own health or the health of a child.

Self-Care is Never Selfish

Health & Lifestyle

“When you put your needs last, you’re like a plant without water that’s worried about providing enough shade for others.”

– Alexis Jones (activist and motivational speaker)

I’m sure we’ve all heard these words before: “You can’t pour from an empty cup”. In other words, if you aren’t taking good care of yourself, you can’t effectively take care of others. It’s so important that you find the time for self-care and attention.

Here are 7 ways you can practice self-care:

Stay Nourished 🥗

They say you are what you eat. Care for your body by fueling it with healthy and nourishing meals and snacks. Be mindful of certain foods that don’t make you feel good and consider eliminating them from your diet. Especially during warmer weather, remember to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water throughout the day and everyday.

Learn more: Brain-Gut Connection / 7 Ways to Practice Mindful Eating

Sleep Well 💤

This is not only about how many hours of sleep you get, but also about the quality of your sleep. You work hard throughout the day, so take the time needed to restore. While it’s ideal to get at least 7-9 hours of sleep, make sure you feel comfortable while you are and that you’re waking up feeling well-rested.

Learn more: Sleep & Stress Management / How to Sleep for Peak Mental Performance

Get and Stay Active 💪

Physical activity is great for your body and mind. Your brain releases endorphins, a feel-good brain chemical that helps to reduce stress. You deserve to feel good! Plus, it boosts your energy, immune system and improves sleep. So, strap on your running shoes. A nice 30-minute walk is all it takes.

Connect with Others 📞

Whether it’s a family member, friend or colleague, connect and spend time with people you know and trust. Know when to ask for help when you need it. That is a form of self-care.

Take a Pause

Stop, slow down, and make time for pause. Listen to calming music, journal, pray, meditate, go for a walk in nature, take a few deep breaths or stretch. Taking a pause is a great way to pace yourself and reset.

Learn more: Meditation Tools & Tips

Be Kind to Yourself 🥰

Never be so hard on yourself! Embrace yourself fully – all your mistakes and accomplishments. We are human after all. Know that you are doing the best you can. Try this: Look in the mirror and say something kind to yourself each day.

Stay Committed 📆

Build a self-care routine and try your very best to stay committed to it. Without a doubt, the demands of life can be stressful. Now more than ever, remember to first fill up your own cup. Find what feels good to you, stick to it, and keep going!

Learn more: Your Mental Health Matters: Extra Brain-Love During Times of Stress

What are other ways you practice self-care? Share them in the comments section! 👇


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WEBSITE DISCLAIMER

This website is provided only for informational purposes and not intended to be used to replace professional advice, treatment or professional care. Always speak to your physician, healthcare provider or pediatrician if you have concerns about your own health or the health of a child.

5 Ways to Boost Your Immune System

Health & Lifestyle

Here are 5 simple things you can start today to boost your immune system!

  1. Reduce Stress

Stress and our immune system do not get along. When we are under stress, our immune system is weakened, making us more vulnerable and likely of getting sick. For example, it is common to get sick around the time of travel. Whether it’s the stress of preparing or the climate change, our immune system might take a hit. Reduce stress by finding time to take care of yourself, such as any of the following ways below.

Photo by Pexels
  1. Socialize (while practicing social distancing)

Humans are social beings. Plus, strong emotions such as fear and loneliness are stressful, especially during these times. As mentioned above, stress weakens the immune system. So, find joy in talking and connecting with your loved ones – your family, friends and even pets! Check in on colleagues and see how they’re doing.

  1. Sleep

Sleep is the time when our body repairs itself. We spend so many hours of the day awake and moving about that we need to give our brain and body the time it requires for rest. Not clocking in enough hours leaves us at a greater risk of getting sick because our vital organs are not recovering. According to the Chinese Body Clock, there are certain hours of the day that our vital organs are at peak functionality. For example, our liver cleanses and recovers between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m. However, this can vary by person.

  1. Exercise

When we exercise, we release a “feel good” chemical in the brain called endorphins. Endorphins boost our mood and in return reduces stress. In addition, it increases alertness, focus and concentration. Working out or going for a short walk is all it takes!

  1. Eat Healthy

Our body responds to everything we eat. When we eat well, we feel good, and when we don’t, we tend to feel sluggish and tired. It’s important to ensure you’re getting the vitamins, nutrients and even antioxidants that help to build and sustain a well-functioning immune system. Consuming foods high in Vitamin A, Bs, C, E & Zinc such as fruits, vegetables, eggs and seeds contribute to strengthening the immune system.


WEBSITE DISCLAIMER

This website is provided only for informational purposes and not intended to be used to replace professional advice, treatment or professional care. Always speak to your physician, healthcare provider or pediatrician if you have concerns about your own health or the health of a child.

Kid-friendly Superfoods for that Sweet Tooth (SMOOV Superfood Blends)

Early Childhood, Health & Lifestyle

Contemplating SMOOV Superfood Blends Healthy Kids Bundle? Well look no further – here’s everything you need to know about why they’ve selected these blends for this bundle and the health benefits for kids behind their ingredients!

Let’s face it – just like us, kids have a sweet tooth, too! I’ll admit I have one.

Made with 6 powerful superfoods that are loaded with nutrients, the Euphoric Blend is a feel–good way to satisfy those cravings and boost your little one’s mood, the healthy way! 

SMOOV euphoric blend

This blend contains the following Certified Organic ingredients:

Cacao – a natural mood elevator and a healthy way to satisfy sweet cravings. Loaded with antioxidants, calcium, iron and magnesium.
Carob – tastes similar to cacao, but much sweeter. Is rich in calcium, fiber and antioxidants that help protect your body from the toxic effects of free radicals (which can include smoke, pesticides and pollution that can damage parts of cells in the body).
Mesquite – a natural energizer and helps in the restoration of the intestinal flora. Is high in protein, magnesium, iron, zinc, potassium and soluble fiber.
Maca – a powerful adaptogen (which helps the body adapt to stress) that can improve energy levels, stamina, emotional health and focus.
Lucuma – a natural, low–glycemic sweetener that also helps regulate blood sugar levels, containing vitamin B3, beta–carotene, calcium, iron and zinc.
Coconut – contains healthy saturated fats, lots of fiber, and promotes healthy blood sugar levels. 

Did you know? Kids have stress too, and their little bodies are learning each day how to manage it, thanks to the love and support of the people in their life – like you!

Made with 8 powerful superfoods loaded with antioxidants, the Berry Exotic Blend helps to fight against stress to the body from free radicals, from the inside out.  

SMOOV berry exotic blend

This blend contains the following Certified Organic ingredients:

Acai Berry – loaded with antioxidants which help neutralize the damaging effects of free radicals throughout the body.
Maqui Berry – loaded with antioxidants that can help protect the body from the toxic effects of free radicals.
Camu Camu Berry – rich in vitamin C among other nutrients. Serves as a powerful antioxidant in your body and improves the health of your skin and immune system.
Goji Berry – helps to maintain good immune function, boost energy and improve mood. A great source of vitamins A, C, fiber, iron, zinc and contain all the essential amino acids.
Black Goji Berry – exceptionally high in antioxidants. Helps to boost the immune system and improve circulation.
Blackberry – beneficial for skin healing and improving brain function. Is high in fiber and packed with vitamins and minerals such as C, K and manganese.
Blueberry – a great source of fiber, vitamins C and K, manganese and antioxidants– known to boost heart health, repair and maintain skin, and improve brain function.
Lucuma– a natural, low–glycemic sweetener that also helps regulate blood sugar levels, containing vitamin B3, beta–carotene, calcium, iron and zinc.

What better way to healthily and heartily satisfy that little one’s sweet tooth than chocolate and berries!


This article was written for SMOOV Superfood Blends.

Are you looking for an easy way to get your greens in, boost your immunity, energy or mood? SMOOV Superfood Blends is a Canadian-based company that carries a variety of healthy, organic and all-natural superfood blends powder. Visit SMOOV today!


WEBSITE DISCLAIMER

This website is provided only for informational purposes and not intended to be used to replace professional advice, treatment or professional care. Always speak to your physician, healthcare provider or pediatrician if you have concerns about your own health or the health of a child.

Kid-friendly Superfoods for Health and Immunity (SMOOV Superfood Blends)

Early Childhood, Health & Lifestyle

Contemplating SMOOV Superfood Blends Immunity Bundle? Well look no further – here’s everything you need to know about why they’ve selected these blends for this bundle and the health benefits for kids behind their ingredients!

SMOOV green blend

Have you already attempted the first 6 of the 7 Ways to try to Get Kids to Eat Veggies and you’re still having trouble getting your kids to eat them?

Then grab hold of the Green Blend in this bundle. Made with 9 powerful superfoods, this blend is packed with ALL your essential nutrients and is the easiest and most delicious way to get those greens in and help your kids stay clear of toxins building up in their body and slowing them down!

This blend contains the following certified organic ingredients:

Alfalfa Grass – supports blood, bone, eye and immune system health.
Barley Grass – helps to improve blood volume, prevents anemia and fatigue.
Oat Grass – known to help regulate blood sugar levels and protect against heart disease.
Wheat Grass – contains lots of vitamins, is rich in amino acids (which helps build protein) and aids the body in detoxification.
Spirulina – loaded with B vitamins, iron, copper and is a complete protein source. Possibly one of the most nutritious foods on the planet.
Chlorella – rich in protein, vitamins B & C, iron, and omega–3 which supports brain, eye and heart health.
Moringa – supports eye health, boosts energy, improves immunity, and aids with detoxification.
Kale – an absolute powerhouse of vitamin A which supports eye, skin health and fights infections, vitamin C which supports the immune system, gums and teeth, and vitamin K which supports blood and bones.
Lucuma – a natural, low–glycemic sweetener that also helps regulate blood sugar levels, containing vitamin B3, beta–carotene, calcium, iron and zinc. 

The cold and flu season can be hard on us all, especially the little ones. Boost their immune system, beat those symptoms and add the Golden Blend to some water or juice.

Made with 5 powerful superfoods that are packed with nutrients, this blend is the best way to boost overall health and support the immune system.

SMOOV golden blend

This blend contains the following Certified Organic ingredients:

Camu Camu Berry – rich in vitamin C among other nutrients that benefits the immune system.
Goji Berry – helps to maintain good immune function, boost energy and improve mood.
Maca – a powerful adaptogen which helps the body adapt to stress.
Lucuma – see benefits listed above.
Carrot – a great source of vitamins A, B, K and potassium. Most commonly associated with improved vision, they also boost heart health, improve digestion. 


This article was written for SMOOV Superfood Blends.

Are you looking for an easy way to get your greens in, boost your immunity, energy or mood? SMOOV Superfood Blends is a Canadian-based company that carries a variety of healthy, organic and all-natural superfood blends powder. Visit SMOOV today!


WEBSITE DISCLAIMER

This website is provided only for informational purposes and not intended to be used to replace professional advice, treatment or professional care. Always speak to your physician, healthcare provider or pediatrician if you have concerns about your own health or the health of a child.

9 Different Kinds of Hunger

Health & Lifestyle
woman in black and white polka dot shirt
Photo by Anna Shvets

A topic I’ve been enjoying learning about is mindfulness. I recently began reading a book called Mindful Eating: A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food by Jan Chozen Bays, MD. I want to share with you what she calls the 9 Kinds of Hunger which are: eye, touch, ear, nose, mouth, stomach, cellular, mind and heart hunger. Referencing this book, I’ve explained what they are below and applied them to SMOOV Superfood Blends.  

1. Eye Hunger: The way food is made to look appealing and appetizing such as in food advertisements and photography. Our eyes send signals to the mind and can override signals from the stomach and body that we are full. The colours and shape of food satisfy our eye hunger. Even reading words such as savory, sweet, moist, rich, creamy, chewy or crunchy in a cookbook that is accompanied by a delicious image can elicit eye hunger. Practice mindful eye hunger by looking at food with awareness; connect with your food; use mindful eyes and see the beauty in food.

Satisfying Eye Hunger with SMOOV: Notice the different colour associated with each blend. Notice how this corresponds with the colourful packaging designs. What do your eyes like, notice or make you feel about the colours and unique designs of each of the blends? 

2. Touch Hunger: Touch is essential to human thriving, and our lips and tongue are sensitive to the various textures of foods. Did you know that in some cultures that eat with their hands, utensils are considered like attacking the food with weapons? Eating with your hands helps you to slow down and connect to what you are eating. For example, you cannot eat with hands while using your phone, right? Also, allowing babies to feed themselves helps to promote self-regulation of food intake.

Satisfying Touch Hunger with SMOOV: Open a pouch of one of these superfood blends. Scoop a bit of the blend into your hand. What do your fingers notice about the texture and feel of the blend?  

3. Ear Hunger: The words used to describe food can lead us to image the way it tastes in our minds. Similar to eye hunger, hearing words such as savory, sweet, moist, rich or creamy can elicit our ear hunger. When eating certain foods such as chips and carrots, we expect to hear noises, compared to eating foods like pudding and cake that we don’t. Even the sound of opening a bag of snacks or the sound of eggs sizzling on a pan can elicit our ear hunger.

Satisfying Ear Hunger with SMOOV: Take in the sound of freshness as you open one of the pouches. Listen to the sound your blender makes as it creates one of your favourite smoothie blends! 

4. Nose Hunger: Smells can affect our subconscious mind. This can be due to our olfactory nerves being short outgrowths from the brain or because sense of smell was important to our ancestors for survival, such as smelling whether food was good to eat or had spoiled. Did you know that the taste or flavours we associate with food is entirely due to our sense of smell? Try pinching your nose while eating something. Notice how the taste and flavour returns when you stop pinching your nose.

Satisfying Nose Hunger with SMOOV: Open one of the pouches and notice the unique aroma it has. Do you notice how the green blend kind of smells like matcha? Have you noticed the smell of ginger and cinnamon in the wave blend or the cacao in the euphoric blend? Yum! 

5. Mouth Hunger: The taste, flavours and textures of food is what satisfies our mouth hunger. Our mouth hunger can be associated with our genetics – having an acquired taste to certain foods possibly due to our genes, family food habits such as always having spaghetti made with meatballs, cultural traditions that have conditioned and trained the mouth through repeated exposure, and both pleasant or unpleasant experiences with food.

Satisfying Mouth Hunger with SMOOV: Practice mindfulness while consuming one of these blends. Open your awareness to the sensations from the various types of hunger such as eye, nose and mouth hunger. You’ll begin to notice unique differences from each experience!  

6. Stomach Hunger: The right amount and types of food is what satisfies stomach hunger. It is our routines that conditions our stomachs to feel hungry. For example, if you eat breakfast every morning, you’ll experience hunger around that time. But if you don’t, your stomach knows not to feel hungry or expect food then. The stomach’s main concern is the amount of food it needs to feel comfortably satisfied. The stomach does not like be feel overfilled and in pain. An empty stomach is what helps it to restore. Anxiety can sometimes be mistaken for stomach hunger, leading us to eat when we may not actually be hungry.

Satisfying Stomach Hunger with SMOOV: The balance of fruits, vegetables and superfoods found in these blends will surely satisfy your stomach hunger!

7. Cellular Hunger: This is a primary skill of mindful eating. It’s a signal, wisdom or instinctive awareness from our body that tell us when to eat and when to stop. Our cellular hunger gets lost as we get older from inner and outer voices that tell us how we should eat such as from our parents, friends, advertisements, diets, movies or mirrors. They lead to confusion, desires, impulses, and aversions in the foods we choose to eat. By turning our awareness inward, we can create a healthy balanced relationship with food. The cells in our bodies alert us to certain nutrients it needs such as water, salt, potassium, iron, zinc, protein, vitamins, minerals, calcium, magnesium or Omega-3. Symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, irritability, light-headedness, or loss of energy can indicate that our bodies are missing essential elements that satisfy our cellular hunger.

Satisfying Cellular Hunger with SMOOV: Each of the Smoov blends consist of loads of nutrients that our bodies need and can benefit from. Calcium, iron and magnesium can be found in the cacao from the euphoric blend. Rich vitamin C from the goji berries and camu camu berries in the golden blend, while protein, vitamins B, C, iron and Omega-3 can be found from the chlorella in the green blend.  

8. Mind Hunger: This is influenced by our thoughts from the information or criticism we hear, leading us to look at food as good vs. bad, to eat or not to eat because of this, that and the other. Foods that are considered good for you one year by researchers, scientists and doctors are deemed bad for you the next. Mind hunger is very powerful and requires you to quiet your mind. Here is where you can tap into mindfulness when it comes to the way you interpret and the thoughts you have about what to eat. Each body is different. That’s why the choices we make about what we should or should not eat should be based on our own specific needs. You can learn more about how your brain is connected to your gut here.

Satisfying Mind Hunger with SMOOV: Take a second to quiet your mind. Think about what your body needs overall or throughout your day. Do you need an immunity boost to get you through those cold Canadian winter months? Grab the golden blend. Maybe you could use more energy and focus to get through your day. Look to the fuel blend to give you just that. 

9. Heart Hunger: This is the moods and emotions evoked by food associated with pleasant or unpleasant memories and experiences. Food can bring back moments filled with warmth and happiness or times of sadness and loneliness. Heart hunger can often be eating to fill emotional needs. I’m sure you may be familiar with the act of eating an entire tub ice cream after a break-up. However, food could never fill a heartache. Talking and opening up to someone you trust can. We feed our hearts when we take care in preparing food for ourselves as we would our guests.

Satisfying Heart Hunger with SMOOV: My hope is that one or more of these blends evoke positive feelings both within your heart and body as they do for me. Take the time to enjoy and share these blends with the people who matter to you most. Let Smoov be apart of filling and satisfying your heart hunger 😊  

Bays, Jan Chozen. Mindful Eating: A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food. Shambhala, 2017. 


This article was written for SMOOV Superfood Blends.

Are you’re looking for an easy way to get your greens in, boost your immunity, energy or mood? SMOOV Superfood Blends is a Canadian-based company that carries a variety of healthy, organic and all-natural superfood blends powder. Visit SMOOV today!


WEBSITE DISCLAIMER

This website is provided only for informational purposes and not intended to be used to replace professional advice, treatment or professional care. Always speak to your physician, healthcare provider or pediatrician if you have concerns about your own health or the health of a child.

7 Ways to Encourage Kids to Eat their Veggies

Early Childhood, Health & Lifestyle
a child eating strawberry beside her father
Photo by PNW Production

Working with young children, I know just how hard it can sometimes be to get them to try and hopefully jump at the thought of eating vegetables at snack and mealtimes. I can only imagine how hard it may be to do this at home. So, if you’re struggling in this area, here is a list of 7 ways you could try to get your kids to eat those veggies: 

1. Begin as early as possible: As soon as your little one is ready to begin eating solid foods is a great time to introduce vegetables. Depending on their age, cut them up small pieces or puree them. Because we all know just how good vegetables are for us! Plus, there is so much that can be taught to kids about healthy eating at a young age when they are interested in every single thing.

2. Explore with all senses and make it fun: Don’t expect them to love vegetables right away or rush the process. If there’s some hesitation, begin by simply touching, smelling, and tasting (or licking) them. Slowly work their way up to (hopefully) eventually eating them. Talk about the crunch carrots make when you bite into them or the squishiness of tomatoes.

Photo by Liza Summer

3. Use them in dishes and invite kids into the kitchen: There are so many different meals that can be made with vegetables! Try making a vegetable stir-fry, tomato soup or cauliflower rice. The flavour added from a little salt or pepper can help to mask the taste that some kids just don’t seem to like. Get them to help out with the cooking process, even if it’s with washing the vegetables or sprinkling the seasoning. 

4. Keep trying!: It takes time to acquire a liking to something new. Don’t give up after the first try. Introduce the broccoli or cucumber more than once with a variety of meals, such as with rice one day and then pasta on another occasion. 

5. Set an example and limits: Kids, especially at a young age like to imitate the actions and behaviours of the adults in their lives. If they see you eating them, there’s a chance they’ll be willing to give them a try. If they see something else more appealing advertised on TV, they’ll probably want that instead. So keep that in mind too! 

6. Talk with them: Kids understand everything that goes on around them and learn quickly. Spend time having conversations with them about healthy eating habits and what hungry and satiety feel like. Take pauses at mealtimes for conversations and to slow the process of eating down in order to enjoy the food and the time spent together.

7. Smoothies: We saved the best for last! Smoothies are a great way for kids to get the most fruits and veggies in the shortest amount of time. Not only are smoothies tasty and colourful, they are healthy, fun and super easy to make! Throw in some baby spinach along with blueberries and a banana and voilà! But maybe those fruits and vegetables don’t even last a week in your house before they go bad. Or, maybe you want to top up on your kids already existing vegetable intake. Well, you’ve come to the right place. Add SMOOV Superfood Blends’ Healthy Kids Bundle to your cart and just make sure you have some water or milk at home for when our bundle arrives to you. You can even add their superfood blends to that Spinach Blueberry Banana smoothie. That’s simply all you need to get those veggies in, plus your kids and you will enjoy it! Don’t forget to always make it fun: talk about the loud sound the blender makes! 


This article was written for SMOOV Superfood Blends.

Are you’re looking for an easy way to get your greens in, boost your immunity, energy or mood? SMOOV Superfood Blends is a Canadian-based company that carries a variety of healthy, organic and all-natural superfood blends powder. Visit SMOOV today!


WEBSITE DISCLAIMER

This website is provided only for informational purposes and not intended to be used to replace professional advice, treatment or professional care. Always speak to your physician, healthcare provider or pediatrician if you have concerns about your own health or the health of a child.

7 Ways to Practice Mindful Eating

Health & Lifestyle
Photo by Lisa Fotios

Caught up in our day-to-day, we’ve forgotten how to slow down, be present and what that even feels like.

Mindfulness is simply defined as attending (through awareness) to the here and now, to what you’re doing and why. Today, mindfulness has become a popular topic. So much so that it has led to discussions around Mindful Eating; something I’m sure many believe they don’t have time for.

According to Jan Chozen Bays, MD, author of Mindful Eating: A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food, the mind has two distinct functions which is thinking and awareness1. When we are caught up with thinking, awareness (a fundamental part of mindfulness) goes down.

Coming from personal experience, I myself have realized that when I’m not fully present when and with what I’m eating, I tend not to feel truly full. Ultimately, I have lost a sense of connection and true enjoyment of eating, especially when half of the time I’m scoffing down snacks and lunch, 5 days of the week! 

Sadly, we’ve become a generation that takes food for granted. Mindful eating allows us to restore that balance and sense of satisfaction in food and eating. Below is a list of 7 ways you can practice mindful eating, as well as with your kids:   

1. Eat and serve nutritionally healthy food options
When shopping for food, select from a wide and diverse range of healthy food options such as fruits & berries, vegetables, nuts & seeds, whole-grains & legumes and organic options. Serve these wholesome options for kid’s snacks, lunches and dinners.

2. Try different types of foods 
Learn, explore and try various types, flavours and textures of foods. Did you know, babies begin to learn about foods from before they are born. While in the womb, babies taste what the mother eats, resulting in a preference for certain foods and flavours after they are born. As well, research has suggested that it takes many tries before a child accepts a new food, so be mindful of this. 

3. Focus only on eating
Slow down, eliminate distractions, enhance your awareness and explore eating with all your senses.

4. Enjoy meals with others, at specific times and places
Allocate specific time for family meals, even if it’s 3 times a week. Focus on the present and presence of each other. Limit distractions such as from electronics and enjoy one another’s company. Learn together. Talk about the process that it took for the food to get to your plate. How is a tomato or rice grown?

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

5. Think and discuss where your food comes from & explore gardening at home
Whether in the grocery store or sitting down for dinner, take some time to talk with your kids about the different parts of the world food comes from. You can sometimes find this on the sticker of fruits or on the back of food packaging. Take a shot at growing your own fruits and vegetables and explore with kids the process from beginning (planting the seed) to end (when it reaches the dinner table).

6. Learn to eat based on your body’s signal of hunger and satiety
Become familiar with the signs your body gives you when you are hungry and when you are full. Trust in your child’s ability in learning how to tell when they are hungry or full as well. Serve appropriate portions and allow them the opportunity to request for more. 

 7. Be mindful of the relationship that is established with food 
Foster your own and your child’s healthy relationship with food by making eating an enjoyable experience from the start. By recognizing and respecting the cues and signs your body gives you will prevent overeating, frustration and builds positive eating habits. Building a child’s healthy relationship with food is fundamental to lifelong development that all begins with You!  

1 Bays, Jan Chozen. Mindful Eating: A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food. Shambhala, 2017. 

Interested in more mindful eating tips?

Check out 7 Tips for How to Practice Mindful Eating by Choosing Therapy


WEBSITE DISCLAIMER

This website is provided only for informational purposes and not intended to be used to replace professional advice, treatment or professional care. Always speak to your physician, healthcare provider or pediatrician if you have concerns about your own health or the health of a child.