Tips for Mindful Eating

With work, academic responsibilities, and additional commitments it can be exceptionally hard to really think about what we are putting into our bodies. An early morning class, full day of work, or extensive list of assignments and subjects to study can result in grabbing or making quick, unhealthy choices. Buying a bagel and cream cheese on a rushed trip to the library or dinner at a food establishment on campus often fails to provide us with the energy we need to feel and perform our best. Below are a few tips to help you eat mindfully and fuel yourself with wholesome, healthy foods in order to live each day to its full capacity.

1. Meal Plan
One of the most important ways to ensure success in eating healthy meals and snacks throughout the day is to plan what exactly you want to eat for the next week or two. After writing down your plan in a notebook, jot down the ingredients you don't have on hand and head to the grocery store. Not only does this eliminate excess stress (especially if you're a busy college student juggling multiple classes, orgs, and a job like me), but it also makes it easy to avoid the hungry snacking that sometimes occurs when trying to decide what to make for lunch or dinner.

If deciding what to eat (even in the meal planning process) is a problem for you, take the time to browse Pinterest or healthy eating blogs for some fresh ideas.

Some of my favorite meals include:
Breakfast: Gluten free oatmeal with almond butter and fruit (pictured above), a smoothie/smoothie bowl, or peanut butter overnight oats (see this recipe from the Minimalist Baker)
Lunch: Salad with strawberries and orange slices or Heather's Eat Well Veggie Burger and potato wedges
Dinner: Kale and lemon pasta (recipe here, although I eat mine without cheese) or a vegan buddha bowl (recipe here)

2. Pack Meals and Snacks for the Day
If you're going to be out and about during the day (at school away from your apartment or dorm, at work, running errands, etc...), be sure to pack your lunch (dinner as well if you'll be gone for that long) and snacks the morning of. This way it's easy to eat healthy on the go and avoid wasting time or losing that perfect study spot.

3. Listen to Your Body
Stop eating when you begin to feel full and pay attention to what foods make you feel energized as well as what foods make you feel lethargic. You may find that some foods or ingredients make you feel sick or tired and if that is the case, it's important to either cut out or eat less of those items. I, personally, have chosen to cut out dairy, processed foods, and foods that include a lot of sugar (besides the natural sugar found in fruit, etc...) in order to feel my best.


4. Put Your Phone Away While You Eat
In all honesty, this is one of the hardest things for me to do as I often find myself wanting to scroll through my Instagram feed while enjoying my morning bowl of oatmeal. However, undistracted eating is the best way to pay attention to how your body feels and also provides time for thoughtful reflection.

Mindful eating is a great way to improve your well-being and taking the time to follow these steps can create a much more fulfilling relationship with food.

The Perfect Summer Skirt

As I surveyed my wardrobe at the beginning of this summer, I quickly realized that my options for the warm weather were slim. I only had a few pairs of shorts and a simple black skirt to pair with my tops. After a brief panic, I set out on an extensive search for a few more pieces that would work to accentuate my style and keep me cool enough during the warmer months. At last, after quite a bit of frustrating online searching that made me realize how much of a perfectionist I really am, I came across this adorable vegan leather skirt from Free People. Paired with the right top, such as this one from Anthropologie, it makes the perfect stand out piece and I love its ability to be either dressed up or down.

What I'm Wearing: Top: Anthropologie, Skirt: Free People

Lyon Street Café: A Grand Rapids Favorite

There is something very calming about being back in Grand Rapids. In a way, returning to all of my old favorite spots makes me feel as though I never left. Almost instantly after unpacking all of the bags and boxes that traveled home with me from Ann Arbor, I made a visit to Lyon Street Café for a cup of coffee and some conversation with my best friend, Emily. 

Lyon Street is relatively new to the Grand Rapids coffee sphere (opening just last year), but has earned its place as one of my absolute favorites. Not only is the coffee delicious and the baristas exceptionally friendly, but the café hosts a very appealing variety of dessert options (many of which are gluten free and vegan). As someone who is currently vegan and considering the possibility of making the permanent lifestyle shift, I find these offerings to be very refreshing. 

Next time you're looking for a place to catch up with a friend or get some work done, be sure to settle in at Lyon Street with a mocha and a cupcake. You definitely won't be disappointed.