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Claudann Jones Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Claudann Jones Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

Is your mind constantly wandering? Do you have a hard time concentrating? I know this happens to me all too often. Adopting a mindfulness practice into our everyday living might just be what the doctor ordered. Mindfulness is a way of living and a method intended to pave the path for a complete awakening. We will take a closer look into Mindful Living in this next series of articles.

This week we will focus on healthy eating, which can be described as making intentional choices of what and how much we are eating; and being aware of what is motivating us to eat now.

We know that even a modest reduction in body weight has been shown to reduce risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes; so becoming more aware of our food intake as well as what motivates us to eat can help us achieve better health.

Several things like emotions and environment can cause us to eat and overeat. We often eat simply because food is around. Mindful eating can be just realizing that a bowl of oatmeal, for example, is made with oats, milk, water and sugar. For added knowledge, you can look on the package and you will be able to see exactly how much fat, carbohydrate and protein each serving has. Remember to check your serving size because the information on Nutrition Facts Labels is for just one serving.

Perhaps our most challenging times to remain mindful is when we are not preparing our own food, like when eating out. Follow these three simple tips:

• Choose a restaurant with healthy options

• Look at the menu and decide what you want to eat beforehand.

• Say no to bread or chips at the table.

Practicing mindfulness does not wipe out life’s problems. Instead, you are training and preparing your mind to stay focused on those healthy choices. For more information, contact me, Claudann Jones, Smith County Extension Agent for Family and Community Health at 903-590-2980 or email at cmjones@ag.tamu.edu. Like our Facebook page: Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Smith County. Stay well and stay safe.

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