Are You *Really* What you Eat?

I don’t remember the first time I heard someone use the phrase “You are what you eat.”

It always seemed so cliche to me.

It wasn’t until a few years ago that I started really listening and understanding those five words.

I started to realize that the impact of what I put into my body has more to do with how my body functions and less to do with what I feel like eating.

It’s less and less to do with “eating” itself and more and more about how my body will be able to get itself through the day at work, at play, during a workout and even into how well I sleep.

I always encourage my clients to be mindful of how they eat.

I also encourage them to be mindful of WHAT they eat.

It is so much easier said than done and not just because of the wide variety of foods available to us.

It’s hard because our bodies need and crave certain foods at different stages in our lives as well as in different seasons or even different days of the year.

It’s like someone says, “let’s take a really hard puzzle and make it harder.  Instead of the pieces only fitting together one way, let’s make it so that they can also fit 3 other ways, just as perfectly.”

This is where the word “mindfulness” comes into play.

Mindfulness is not just about paying attention while you eat.  It goes into the shopping and purchasing process.  It goes into the preparation and cooking process as well.

Let’s cover the shopping process today.

We were all given our 5 senses for a very specific purpose.  All animals were given their particular senses so that they can find and eat the foods that are appropriate for them and avoid the ones that aren’t and will make them sick.

My best- and favorite- example, my dog Sally.  Sally, like every other dog I’ve met, will sniff everything.  It doesn’t matter if it’s edible or not, she will sniff it.  It could also be highly inappropriate, but she will still sniff everything.  If it passes the sniff test, she licks it.

It if passes the sniff and then the lick test, then she puts it in her mouth and finds out very quickly if she can eat it.

Simple animal behavior, right?  

(Some of you are shaking your heads right now because you know humans who do the same testing to their own food at lunchtime…)  : )

Since we are animals- no mincing words, right?- how many of us use all or any of our senses when we purchase our food?

Not many, right?  

I’m guilty of this as well, but sometimes I can’t help it.  I check out the prices or sale items first before I check out the quality of the food itself.

But now I drive my Mom crazy!  I’m always looking at the quality first!  I’m always reading the labels, especially the ingredients!

This was best shown in our little disagreement over what brand of Omega Fatty Acid supplement to buy.  Coupon or not, I won!

Quality is key.

I might be so bold as to say that we should all strive to be like my dog Sally- sniff everything!

Use all of your senses when choosing food.






Use all of your senses when choosing your food.  Be mindful of what you are choosing in the supermarket, at a farmer’s market and even in your own personal garden or farm.

It pays many times over to be aware of what you are putting into your body now so that your future will be happier but most of all, healthier.

Are you really what you eat?


Simple Action Steps Towards Mindfulness While Food Shopping

1. Look at your food, or the food you’re looking to purchase.  Ask yourself- how does it look?  Clean?  Fresh?  Is there any discoloration?

2. If you can and feel brave enough, how does it smell?  Strong scent?  Odor?  Fresh?  Sweet?  Rancid?

3.  Use your hands to touch the food, again if possible.  If it’s supposed to be firm or soft, is it?  Is the weight of it appropriate?

4.  Listen to it.  Melons are the best example of this.  Thump your fruit.  Is it a watery food and is there a hollow sound as you thump it?  Does it sound firm or unripe?

5. My favorite!  Taste it.  There are currently more and more places that offer samples.  Take advantage of them.  You can either find the next great thing or save your money!
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