Eat Mindfully

Mindful eating for the Change 3 Challenge means setting aside a time for meals, turning off distractions such as TV, social media, newspapers, homework, etc. Be fully present for the food before you and the family or friends at the table with you. A mindful eater eats when hungry and tries to not graze, multitask, skip meals, ignore body cues, eat when they’re full, eat because it’s there or just because it is good (uh hu – hide your cookie jars and candy bowls out of site out of mind!). Being mindful means knowing exactly how your body feels at all times. Be extremely conscious of chewing, tasting and enjoying your food. By doing this you will find that you may not eat as much. See the 80% rule below.

According to the Blue Zones, life expectancy of an American born today averages 78.2 years. But this year, over 70,000 Americans have reached their 100th birthday. What are they doing that the average American isn’t (or won’t?) To answer that question, Dan Butner  teamed up with National Geographic to find the world’s longest-lived people and study them.  They worked with a team of demographers to find pockets of people around the world with the highest life expectancy. They identified 5 areas across the world to study. They then assembled a team of medical researchers, anthropologists, demographers, and epidemiologists to search for evidence-based common denominators among all places.  They found commonality on two eating habits:

  1. 80% Rule
  “Hara hachi bu”  – the Okinawan, 2500-year old Confucian mantra said before meals reminds them to stop eating when their stomachs are 80 percent full. The 20% gap between not being hungry and feeling full could be the difference between losing weight or gaining it. People in the Blue Zones eat their smallest meal in the late afternoon or early evening and then they don’t eat any more the rest of the day.
  2. Plant Slant
  Beans, including fava, black, soy and lentils, are the cornerstone of most centenarian diets. Meat—mostly pork—is eaten on average only five times per month.  Serving sizes are 3-4 oz., about the size of deck or cards.

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