I love the brightness and vibrancy a smoothie bowl has to offer from being packed with nutritious and colourful ingredients. It’s like an instant mood booster! There’s something about an aesthetically pleasing meal that uplifts my spirits and makes me want to slow down, become present, and really enjoy it. What about you? Do you become more present with your food and slow down when it looks aesthetically pleasing? I want to talk a bit today about mindful nutrition, and of course I’ll be sharing a delicious tropical smoothie bowl recipe I’ve had on repeat lately down below! I partnered up with Botanica Health this month for their #MindfulNutrition Challenge, and I’m super excited about this challenge! I’m taking part in week 2 of the challenge (which is this week) and it focuses on mindful approaches to HOW we eat our food. You can download the full 4 week document here to use and refer to at any time! It’s a great health tool to have as a reminder and guide for becoming more mindful around the food we eat; what we eat, how we eat, why we eat, and where we eat it.
It’s easy to become disconnected with ourselves in today’s fast paced world. Take a moment to think about it, do you truly feel connected through your day? Are you present in each moment or are you just going through the motions? When we function disconnected our mind and body ultimately lose connection and cannot catch up to each other. The mind and body are very powerful and complex, when we aren’t present with ourselves we miss out on how they are trying to signal each other and communicate. This can lead to things like missed hunger cues, digestive upsets, and pain going unnoticed.
Would you agree that sometimes we become so used to routine that we are just trying to get through the day? I’m guilty of having days like this. Sitting down and having a meal can feel inconvenient for some people. It’s important to create space for connection in our day, especially during meals, but also with our relationships and with ourselves. It’s a healthy habit I believe everyone should integrate into their life. I challenge you to be intentional about getting connected with yourself throughout your day, it’s a great way to start making a habit out of it. Become present and aware of yourself and your environment, as opposed to just going through the motions of your day.
3 easy ways to practice getting connected:
1. Wake up and check in
For a lot of us, the first thing we look at is our phone in the morning (yup, even me). This habit causes an instant disconnection with ourselves. Maybe you missed your alarm, or hit snooze too many times and feel rushed to get out the door. This also causes a disconnection and puts your body into instant stress mode.
Try waking up and focusing on your breath. Pay attention to how your body is feeling, do you feel rested? Are you in any pain? How does your energy feel? If you’re rushing, make it a goal to give yourself more time in the morning to wake up and check in.
Do workouts that make you feel connected with yourself; whether it be yoga, running, weight-lifting, spin class, walking, hiking, etc. Whatever forms of exercise make you feel good are the ones you should be doing. If you’re performing an exercise that you’re not enjoying and are just trying to get through, you lose that mind body connection with yourself. Explore forms of exercise that will make you feel energized and connected.
If you’re not sure what workouts you enjoy the most, try a variety of different styles of exercise and see which ones make you feel the best. Pop by your nearest yoga studio, try beginners spin, get outside for a hike with someone you enjoy spending your time with, join a group class, get out in nature for a walk, ask about a trial at your nearby gym, or try running.
3. Sit down and eat
This is a great way to feel more connection in your day. Our eating habits, nutrition, and digestion become compromised when we aren’t fully present with our food and how we eat it. Sitting down to eat your food in a place where you can really enjoy it is a great way to get connected and understand your body’s needs.
Make a point of sitting down with your food without distractions. Chew your food fully so your body can digest, absorb, and utilize it properly. Be conscious of your food choices and fill your plate with colourful food and a variety of healthy nutrients that will leave you feeling nourished, energized, and satisfied.
Why mindful nutrition? Food and nutrition are vital to our overall health. It gives us life! Every single thing we put in our mouth has effect on our body. Food doesn’t just go through us, our body has to break it down, process it, and “deal with it” (to say the least). When you become mindful around food it can help your body break it down more efficiently and properly. In addition, adapting the habit of becoming mindful helps make you aware of changes in your appetite, which helps you control your portions. When you eat out of habit or unconsciously it can interfere with the foods you choose to eat, the way you digest your food, and can cause you to over or under eat. The practice of becoming mindful with your food can help you get in touch with yourself and what your body is really needing and saying. It ultimately helps us shift back to our base biological needs and allows us to excel in life as healthy, strong, and rooted individuals.
Benefits of mindful eating:
- You become more aware of your own eating habits
- You recognize your eating patterns
- You are conscious of your hunger level
- You are aware of your mood and emotions
- You take control of your health
- You become more connected with your body, relax, and release tension
- Helps with weight management
- Helps eliminate fluctuating eating habits (too much or too little)
- You feel more satisfaction from your food
- You begin to see food as nutrition as opposed to restriction
4 ways you can practice mindful approaches to how you eat your food:
Note- think of your typical breakfast, lunch, dinner, and any snacks, and consider your overall digestion, energy, mental focus as you ponder these questions…
1. Chew, chew, chew
For some people eating is a chore to get done quickly and efficiently in order to get on with the rest of life. For others it is a time to slow down and smell the seasonings. Sometimes it’s the quality of the food that determines the speed at which we eat – wolfing down what we don’t enjoy and lingering over every molecule of a favourite food. Sometimes it’s the pace of life that interferes with this early step in digestion.
Action: Be conscious about chewing your food until it is completely smooth. Consider the Ayurvedic advice to “drink your food and chew your drink”, meaning that solids should be liquids before they are swallowed and liquids should be sipped and mixed with saliva before being swallowed. What do you notice when you chew completely? Do new flavours arise from your food? Do you notice the shift in textures? Do you enjoy your food more or less when you chew it well? Does that enjoyment vary with the quality of the food being eaten?
2. Find a table
Where do you eat? Standing up, sitting down, in the car, on the bus, while walking… With whom do you eat? Family, colleagues, roommates, pets, strangers in a food court, alone… Is meal-time something to which you look forward, or something to just “get done”? What do you do while eating?
Action: Aim to eat every meal at a table – ideally one that is aesthetically set and in a calm environment. Pull out the tablecloth and candles at home and set the table beautifully, bring a nice plate mat to work and choose a communal area with conversation, go out to a restaurant with an old friend or a new acquaintance, play pleasant music BUT avoid all screens, pages, stress and work demands.
3. Breathe before you eat
To help the shift from busy fight-or-flight mode in which digestion is a low priority, to a more supportive rest-and-digest state.
Action: take three deep breaths before your meal, relax your shoulders, and smile before picking up your knife and fork.
4. End-of-week reflection
Does your productivity after meals change when eating more mindfully and focusing on eating socially, consciously, and with increased chewing and sensory involvement? Does your digestion feel different? Did your energy pattern stay the same or shift?
Okay, it’s time to share the deets on this smoothie bowl I’ve had on repeat! When you try the recipe out I want you to really enjoy it and pay attention to HOW you are eating it; make it, sit down with it, taste the bursting flavours, notice the textures, and let it nourish your body. It’s packed with amazing nutrition your body will love you for!
Features: Flavour bursting, tropical, vibrant, uplifting, energizing, satisfying, plant powered, nutrient rich, and high in plant protein, fiber, and healthy fats.
This smoothie bowl is one you could whip up at any time. I personally enjoy a smoothie bowl for breakfast; it’s pretty, bright, nutrient-rich, and uplifting. It’s the perfect bowl to sit down and get connected with and the perfect way kick-start your digestion in the morning. Feel free to enjoy this recipe at any time you’re in need of a delicious, energizing, nutrient rich meal to satisfy your hunger cues!
THE PERFECT TROPICAL SMOOTHIE BOWL
Boost your day with this nourishing smoothie bowl bursting with flavour and nutritious ingredients. Dairy free, gluten free, and vegan friendly. High in plant protein, healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatories.
- 1 + 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
- 1/2 an avocado
- 1 scoop botanica health organic perfect protein powder, vanilla
- 1 scoop botanica health organic perfect greens powder
- 1/2 cup frozen pineapple
- 1/2 cup frozen raspberries
- 1 tbsp ground flax seed Toppings (optional but recommended):
- 1/2 banana, sliced
- 2 tbsp botanica health goji berries
- 1 tbsp hemp hearts
- Add the base ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Add more almond milk as needed for desired level of consistency. If your base is too runny, add more frozen fruit.
- With a spatula transfer the base into a bowl, add your toppings, and enjoy!
Is mindful nutrition something you think about? I would love to hear from you! Comment below any approaches you find helpful when it comes to mindfulness and getting connected with yourself, or any thoughts you have about today’s post. Thank you for visiting and reading today’s post, have an amazing day!
Photos by @madsthesedays