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Try New Recipes

Try New Recipes

Mindful eating isn’t the type of eating regime where you must eat certain foods and only small quantities of those. In fact, it isn’t a regime at all. It’s a way to lose weight and get all the nutrition you need by simply changing recipes to make them healthier and cooking in new and innovative ways.

You’ll never get bored with this type of eating because there’s always something new to learn. And, it’s incredibly easy to use mindful eating techniques to revamp old recipes and make them more nutritious and less caloric.


Most of us fixate on certain meals – especially when on diets – and never venture out to try other cuisine. There is an abundance of ethnic cuisines which are both healthy and would probably be new to your palate.


Using mindful eating techniques, you can let your experimentation into new foods run wild. You’ll use a different combination of spices and herbs and try new ways of cooking such as using yogurt rather than sour cream or stir-frying rather than deep-fat frying.


One thing is for sure – you’ll never get bored when using mindful eating techniques if you use them properly and with enthusiasm. This chapter contains ways you can spiff up your recipes and eating habits in healthier ways.


Mindful Eating – the Mediterranean Way


No diet or plan of eating has ever come along that is better for you and offers more of a variety of foods than Mediterranean-style dining. It’s the ultimate mindful eating experience.


Countries around the Mediterranean Sea have long-produced a population which is healthier and more robust than the rest of the world. The lush and delicious bounty that the climate and soil produce provides a healthy abundance that keeps the surrounding people in a health class all their own.


Today, it’s possible to have all the benefits of the Mediterranean way of life without actually living there. Transportation methods and the way we grow food provides much of the rest of the world with all the ingredients it needs to live a healthy lifestyle and enjoy food in a mindful manner.


The Mediterranean way of eating and living isn’t simply a diet – it’s a lifestyle. It combines healthy foods with activities and enjoying meals with family and friends rather than alone in front of the television or on the run.


Wine is also a part of the Mediterranean lifestyle, but it’s imbibed in moderation. Scientists have long studied the Mediterranean lifestyle and have unequivocally dubbed it as the “healthiest in the world.”


When you think of a table spread with an abundance of Mediterranean style food, think of such items as whole-grain pasta with veggies, Couscous, Greek salads filled with cheeses, greens, nuts and grains, Hummus, served with warm, whole-grain Pita and perhaps Spinach, sautéed with a hint of lemon juice.


Rather than eating on the run, a Mediterranean style meal can last for hours and each morsel of food is carefully and lovingly prepared and served. You may not be able to replicate all of the Mediterranean lifestyle in your own home, but you can bring in elements which can help you succeed with mindful eating and weight loss.


The Mediterranean diet plan is based on a pyramid which serves as a visual, universal guide (named the “gold standard”) for eating a diet promoting good health for a lifetime. Health professionals and educators use this pyramid to help implement mindful eating habits with their patients.


The pyramid advocates consuming an abundance of food from plants, including grains, beans, fruits, nuts, vegetables and seed. Use olive oil as the principal source of fat, mostly replacing others such as margarine and fat.


Low-fat and non-fat cheeses and yogurt should be consumed moderately and fish and poultry eaten about twice per week. Lean, red can be eaten in moderation about once per month and red wine can be consumed daily with meals (2 glasses per day for men and 1 glass for women).


This pyramid has been tested, both epidemiologically and nutritionally for the past 50 years and has remained the main reason for the Mediterranean region enjoying the lowest rates of chronic diseases and a life expectancy far above most of the rest of the world.


It would be in your best interest, if you want to live a long and healthy life, to study the Mediterranean lifestyle and see how some of it can be adapted to your own life. Recipes and suggestions about how to shop are abundant both online and in books and magazines.


Other Healthy Ethnic Cuisines


Besides the Mediterranean-style cuisine and way of life, there are other ethnic cuisines you may want to try to get the most out of mindful eating techniques. Many of these recipes are full of health-restoring nutrients and are low in calories.


Traditional Japanese cuisine is one rich in fruits and vegetables which have been proven to fight cancer. Bok choy and mushrooms (shitake variety) are light and nutritious and can add interest to any meal.


On the island of Okinawa, the dietary practices are believed to be the reason why people tend to live over 100 years of age. The Okinawan diet is rich in cancer-fighting foods such as vegetables and fruit and they’re prepared in a stir-fry or using steam.


Miso Soup, tofu, tempeh, soybean cake (using fermented soybeans), edamame and seafood are typical at a Japanese/Okinawan meal. Most everything they consume are sources of zinc, folate, iron and potassium.


Indian cuisine is full of the aromatic spices that adds to the distinctive flavors of a diet rich in cancer-fighting and healing properties. Turmeric, curry’s main ingredient is said to contain healing properties and powerful anti-inflammatory benefits.


Rates of the memory-robbing Alzheimer’s disease are many times lower in India than in America. The rates are attributed to the fact that Indians consume at least 100 to 200 milligrams of curry on a daily basis. The benefits of turmeric are now being studied in many universities.


Other ingredients in a healthy Indian diet include lentils (folate and magnesium) and yogurt. Dal is a dish which is made from lentils, mixed with a combination of delicious Indian spices and often served as a side dish or snack.


Leisurely meals are often enjoyed in Italian tradition, with foods that aid digestion. The stars of this cuisine are tomatoes, garlic, basil, parsley, oregano and olive oil. High in lycopene, tomatoes are believed to prevent and protect women from breast cancer.


Cooked tomatoes such as tomato paste contain more than 20 milligrams in only a half-cup. Vitamins A and C are abundant in garlic and Italian herbs and olive oil is a power-food which assists in lowering cholesterol, preventing heart disease and burning unwanted fat cells.


Vietnamese dining means you’ll be consuming vegetables and seafood cooked in water or broth rather than oil. Herbs are used extensively in cooking rather than heavy and unhealthy sauces. Mint, cilantro, red chili and Thai basil can help to aid digestion and have many anti-inflammatory qualities.


The fact that Vietnamese food is mostly cooked in water rather than frying in oils makes it lower in calories. Pho (pronounced “fuh”) is one of the healthiest Vietnamese dishes and is made from broth and noodles, plus many highly antioxidant spices.


You may think of Mexican cuisine as high in calories and fat because of the offerings at most Mexican food restaurants. But authentic Mexican food can slim you down and make you healthier.


Mexican soups, sauces based on tomato, beans and corn can protect women from breast cancer as well as Type 2 diabetes. If you’re thinking of trying Mexican cuisine, stay away from the queso and chips.


You don’t have to live on the West Coast of the United State to have the benefits of California cuisine. It’s fresh and tasty and simply prepared – with plenty of low calorie, nutrient and mineral rich fruits and vegetables.


Local farmers’ markets do a booming business and foods there taste better and are healthier for you than their processed counterparts. But, you likely have seasonal farmers’ markets near your own home where you can purchase many wonderful items, including freshly baked, whole-grain bread.


Food from Spain can also whet your appetite for the healthy and unusual. Just avoid the sausages, laden with fat, fried foods which are popular tapas in Spain and stick with fresh seafood, olive oil and vegetables.


Dishes that are especially healthy from Spain include gazpacho (with lycopene and antioxidants) and paella (a rich mixture of rice, vegetables and seafood. Tapas are small offerings of food, where you get to sample a variety of deliciously prepared foods.


Thai cuisine is a growing trend in the West. Soups such as Tom Yung Gung may be helpful to fight cancer. It’s a combination of shrimp, lemongrass, coriander and other tasty spices and herbs and has been scientifically found to contain properties which are 100 times more effective in fighting cancer tumor growth than other foods containing antioxidants.


Ginger, a main ingredient in Thai recipes, aids in digestion while lemongrass helps relieve cold and stomach symptom. If you’re experimenting with Thai recipes, avoid those with coconut milk which is high in calories and saturated fat.


Mindful Snacking Tips


Everyone has cravings and times when you’ve just got to have a snack to keep going – usually in the middle of the afternoon. Children crave after school snacks to keep their energy up until dinner time. But snacking is an area where too many calories may be consumed if you’re not mindful about your choices.


The worst thing you could do is grab a snack from a vending machine which is usually filled with cookies, chips and candy bars. They’re usually loaded with unhealthy fats and sodium, high in sugar content and low in important nutrients such as fiber. You can make much healthier choices.


Snacks can add as much as between 500 and 600 calories to your daily food intake and lead to weight gain and difficulty in controlling your blood glucose levels, which can lead to diabetes.


But, a healthy snack can provide you with extra nutrients and prevent hunger which may lead to binging and overeating. Some healthy snacks include nuts, vegetables, fruit and whole grains. Be sure to watch your portion size as many of these healthy snacks are relatively high in calories.


When you just can’t resist grabbing a snack, try being mindful and rather than choosing a candy bar, grab a ¼ cup of roasted nuts or half a frozen banana or 15 grapes rather than an ice cream bar.


Other suggestions include plain Greek yogurt with berries mixed in or baked tortilla chips with a small serving of guacamole rather than the fried tortilla chips with highly processed nacho cheese.


Mindful snack choices also include a piece of light string cheese with a piece of fruit, peanut butter dipped with celery and carrots or freshly cut veggies with Hummus or light Ranch dressing for dipping.


South American food is diverse, but most all countries in South America use fresh vegetables and fruits combined with quinoa – a high protein grain. They typically consume a meal of rice and beans which combine to make a perfect protein.


Many of the above cuisines have been “Westernized” and don’t contain the health benefits that they were originally designed to have. You can adapt healthy recipes in your repertoire to become classic ethnic dishes and give yourself and your family a change from the usual dinner fare.


Super Foods You Can Add to Any Recipe


You may already be aware of the recent trend of adding super healthy foods such as kale, quinoa and Greek yogurt. Others you may not know about include Chia seeds which contain as much protein as many nuts and also provide alpha-linolenic acid, the plant-based fat (omega-3) and other benefits like fiber and protein.


Toss the Chia seeds into pancake mix, oatmeal and sprinkle over cereal to give your meal a crunch and a big dose of healthy to your body. Chia seeds are becoming a mega-food fad, but have been around since the days of the Aztecs.


Explore the benefits of other super-healthy ingredients such as coconut flour (full of fiber and gluten-free) and Skyr (Icelandic yogurt) you can add to your mindful eating recipes and reap all the benefits they offer – plus help with the weight loss you desire.

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