Gourmet Wellness: Detox and Mindful Eating

12 Jul 2013
By Ahlanlive.com

Our healthy living expert Kelly Montoya explains why this is the best time to detox, and shares her top tips for mindful eating

Be Mindful
Ramadan presents the perfect opportunity to start new healthy habits. The best trick to stay healthy is to be MINDFUL. When breaking fast or eating in general it’s important to be conscious. So often we eat mindlessly; with busy schedules we tend to divide our attention between several different tasks. The pleasure of eating lies in slowing down and fully experiencing all the elements of food. Calming the mind before eating will help to eat slower, chew more, improve digestion, enhance the taste, assert portion control and much more.

Time to Detox
Give the body a break from digestion so that it can put the energy into healing and rejuvenating its cells. Detoxification removes all that stands in your way of a clear body, mind, and soul. When allow substances into your body that do not belong there (created by an unfit diet-lifestyle), you relinquish your inner power. When you detoxify (remove these harmful substances), you’ll find yourself feeling clean and energetic. Whether you’re fasting or not during the Holy Month, try eating unprocessed natural foods.
Start by making salad the start of the meal. Have a large organic bed of greens with lots of fresh veggies and topped with homemade dressing. Opt for whole grain versions of the staples such as brown rice, quinoa, couscous, barley or millet. Consume only good fats (avocado, coconut, almonds, cashews and so on) and oils (olive, grape seed, coconut, sesame). Use natural sweeteners like honey, agave, stevia, and maple syrup. Minimise animal protein and dairy consumption and avoid artificial additives, refined sugar, and carbohydrates like white rice, pasta and bread. And give coffee and nicotine a miss!

The Swap: White Rice for Brown Rice
Refined rice is nutritionally deficient; grains are refined solely to extend the shelf life of the product. Up to 90 per cent of the elements for good health in the grain are eliminated in the refining process. The rice is stripped from its bran and germ where all its natural fibre, oil, vitamins and minerals are found, leaving the starchy white centre, which is a carbohydrate that the body digests as sugar. Excess of sugar in the body is ultimately transformed and stored as fat. Switch to brown rice and get all the nutritional benefits of this wonderful food. The body digests wholegrain rice much slower, so you will not feel hungry, and you will have more energy for longer.

Top Tip: Good Chewing
Eating begins with the simple act of chewing. Chewing leads to smooth digestion and greater assimilation of nutrients. Here’s how to do it properly…
1 Place a bite of food in your mouth
2 Put your utensil down and place your hands together while chewing
3 Begin chewing and deep breathing
4 Concentrate on what you’re doing
5 Look at your food or something attractive, or close your eyes