Food for Mood: Eat Pretty x FP, Week 4

This is the final post in a series about food and mindfulness by Jolene Hart.

The goal of mindful eating is to be present, relish the amazing, delicious, nourishing food you’re eating, and optimize the way your body receives those nutrients with a goal of building your most beautiful self. This week, be present with your plate by exciting your senses. So often we reflect on a meal and realize that the first bite was the only one we truly tasted. A few bites in, once the novelty and excitement of a new flavor has worn off, it’s easy to polish off the rest of a dish without thinking. Without a mindful connection to your food, your digestive powers are weakened, your ability to gauge hunger and satiation is dulled, and the joy that comes from eating a nourishing meal is often lost.

One way to increase the mindfulness and pleasure (not to mention beauty benefits) you derive from every meal is to build a plate that lets you see, smell and taste your food in a way that draws in your entire focus. Assemble your next meal or snack plate with qualities that excite your senses — visually appealing natural colors; aromatic herbs and spices; varied textures; and sour, bitter, sweet or pungent flavors that wake up your palate. An easy example of a snack that encourages mindfulness is a rainbow-hued crudité or antipasto plate. Customize your selection of vegetables, olives, pickles, dressings, meats or cheeses to your personal preferences and your body’s nutritional needs. Think outside the box. While you’re at it, put some extra special details into your plate — a garnish here, a dusting of coarse salt or a drizzle of dressing there — that turns this plate into a special experience, even if you’re only serving yourself.

Once you’re ready to dive in, check back in with post 1 in this series and walk yourself through the sensory experience found in each bite. While you’re at it, express gratitude for the multifaceted plate sitting in front of you, since both mindfulness and gratitude encourage lower stress, greater satisfaction with life — and even better beauty sleep.

Crudite Plate 2

Suggestions for your Eat Pretty summer crudité plate:

Cucumbers: This water-rich veggie is ultra-hydrating and reduces water retention.

Olives: They’re rich in healthy fats that benefit the skin and help you absorb fat-soluble nutrients.

Roasted Beets: Beets support the waste-removing lymphatic system in the body, as well as liver health— key for glowing skin.

Tomatoes: Pile on cute bite-sized cherry tomatoes, which help block the skin from UV damage like their larger relatives.

Peppers: Choose colorful versions for sweetness and a mega-dose of collagen-building vitamin C.

Radishes: Detoxifying and rich in silicon, these are a must for healthy hair and nails.

Chickpeas: Eat them for a vegan protein source that’s rich in fiber and zinc for clear skin.

Asparagus: These are supportive of liver detox and overall youth and beauty.

Blueberries: Anthocyanins in their skins support skin elasticity; their concentrated antioxidants are all-around anti-agers.

Zucchini: This detoxifying veggie contains magnesium, the mineral that helps you chill out.

Fresh basil leaves: Basil contains flavonoids that protect your cells from aging damage.

Text, images and recipes © Jolene Hart. All rights reserved.

Jolene Hart, CHC, AADP is a Philadelphia-based health coach and founder of Beauty Is Wellness, a natural beauty and health coaching practice. Her coaching and Eat Pretty book series teaches women to use nutrition and lifestyle choices to look and feel their best from the inside out.


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