#mindfulmonday: Mindfulness in eating

Like water, food is a necessity for survival. Some people love food and enjoy it, even to the brink of overindulgence. Others, on the other hand, view it as only a requirement to fill the tummy for continued sustenance.

Of course, caring for your family and what they eat every day is important, but what you put into your own body is equally important. Before we can care for others, we must ensure that we ourselves are strong, hale and hearty, so that we can carry out our tasks and responsibilities to the best of our abilities. If we fall sick, who is going to take care of us and our family?

Chicken Breasts with Cherry Tomatoes
Chicken breasts with cherry tomatoes


Be mindful of what you eat

“The path to healthy body, and happy soul is based upon self-study, mindfulness, love and awareness.”

Natasa Pantovic Nuit

Being mindful is not only about what we think. It also includes what we do and what we put into our bodies. Yes, food is fuel, but what kind of fuel we choose to put into our bodies to keep it running smoothly makes a difference.

There are many kinds of eaters out there. Some people are instinctively drawn to fresh, natural food such as fresh vegetables and fruits, and other fresh ingredients. They are satisfied with the natural flavours and textures of the fresh produce, hence they add minimal seasoning.

Roasted pumpkin
Roasted pumpkin wedges seasoned with nutmeg, cinnamon and olive oil

At the other extreme, there are people who prioritise convenience. These are busy people who work late and have no time for activities like cooking, so they buy and eat processed food of the frozen, canned and instant varieties. Anything that can be cooked in a microwave in a few minutes, or boiled in a pot in 5 mins are ideal. However, these types of convenience foods have a lot of seasoning, additives and preservatives. What is lacking in natural nutrients is made up for in artificial flavours and additives.

What is in processed food?

“We do food every single day! Conscious eating is a big step toward conscious living. Quality and quantity of food is directly related to our health and state of mind.”

Natasa Pantovic Nuit

Processed food is usually (mashed up) foodstuff shaped into something that looks appealing to consumers. If it does not look good enough, colouring is added to increase its attractiveness. If the flavour is not appetising enough, flavouring is added.

For example, a bag of chicken nuggets bought from the frozen food section in a supermarket is made up of minced chicken meat mixed with leftovers from the chicken processing industry. A paper published in the American Journal of Medicine by Drs. Richard D. deShazo and Steven Bigler, and Leigh Baldwin Skipworth, B.A., who bought and analysed nuggets from two rival fast food restaurants, revealed that one nugget was 50 per cent chicken muscle – the part of the chicken that we generally refer to as ‘meat’. The other one was just 40 per cent meat. What about the rest of the nugget? The 50 per cent nugget contained a lot of added fat, blood vessels, nerves, glands and skin. As for the 40 percent nugget, it also contained a lot of fat, bone and tendon.

Giving foods with notorious reputations a healthy makeover

“Understanding our relationship to eating cultivates a lot of insights and help us start living our highest potential.”

Natasa Pantovic Nuit

A nugget is a nugget is a nugget, right? Well… not all nuggets are created equal. We can actually make our own healthy nuggets at home with 100% lean chicken breast meat. Each nugget is a whole chunk of chicken breast meat, and not minced meat.

Just search the Internet, and a multitude of healthy chicken nugget recipes appear in the search results. Here are some recipes you can try:

1. Herbed chicken nuggets
2. Healthy baked chicken nuggets
3. Healthy homemade chicken nuggets and chips

I plan on trying them real soon, and I hope you do too! 🙂

Hamburger patties sold in the frozen section of supermarkets have an equally bad reputation. However, we can make healthy versions of burger patties too. All we need to start is to buy ground-up lean chicken, beef or mutton from the market. Then we can add herbs and spices of our choice to the mix, including finely chopped garlic and onions. I experimented with a healthy chicken and carrot burger patty not long ago and it came out well. The recipe is on my other blog, which is all about food. 😀  These hamburger patties can be made in advance and separated using grease proof paper or cling wrap, packed neatly in containers, then stored in the freezer for future cooking. I think of it as homemade frozen food.

Cooling on kitchen towels to help soak up excess oil
Chicken and carrot burger patties

I hope you will take the time to try out healthier alternatives to processed food. It does not have to be complicated, but it is important to find something that works for you.

Happy experimenting! 🙂


Further reading

  1. Mindfulness: From the garden to the table
  2. What’s your flavour? Mindful food preparation
  3. What’s inside chicken nuggets? Far less chicken than you’d think




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