3M Campaign: Mindful Meals

I’ve tried them all.

Paleo.

Intermittent Fasting.

Atkins.

Keto.

Vegan.

Gluten-free.

Zone.

IIFYM.

South Beach.

Dr. Shintani.

Macrobiotic.

Does this cotton candy fit my macros??

Yes, I have tried them all.

 

And then, there are the apps and programs.

 

My Fitness Pal.

Renaissance Periodization.

Avatar.

Eat to Perform.

Transform by Heidi and Chris.

I’ve seen a number of nutritionists and dietitians.  I’ve talked with doctors and coaches and fellow gym-goers and CrossFitters and weightlifters and yogis.  I always wanted to know what was THE BEST diet for me, the diet that would keep me healthy and strong and able to enjoy all that life has to offer.

And you know what I found?

 

That diet does not exist.

 

Food is fluid.  Food needs change just like how bodies change.  What I ate as a teenager will differ from what I now eat at thirty-eight years old.

Acai is good whether you’re eight or eighty-years-old.

So how does this revelation connect to the 3M Campaign?  Part of the 3M Campaign asks participants to partake in mindful meals three times a week for three months.  Here is the connection:  Much like how individual nutrition needs change as a person ages, what is “mindful” to one person may not be “mindful” to another.  For this campaign, there is no strict food rule to adhere to.  YOU get to make your own Mindful Meals goal.

Here is an example of what I mean:

Participant A frequents McDonald’s for breakfast, Taco Bell for lunch, and heats a frozen pizza for dinner.

Participant B skips breakfast, drinks coffee throughout the day, eats a bagel with cream cheese for lunch, goes to the gym after work, then has a plate lunch with ice cream for dinner.

Participant C meal preps on Sunday.  He eats his regimented chicken-broccoli-brown rice concoction at 6am and 8:30am.  He takes his pre-workout and trains mid-morning and follows his lifting routine with a whey and creatine (with BCAAs) shake.  The rest of the day is filled with Tupperwares of sweet potato, tilapia, and asparagus.

Food is always good.

Obviously, the goals for each of these participants will not be the same.

Being “mindful” for A may mean trading one of the fast food items (the McDonald’s hash brown) for a whole food (banana).  And as the weeks progress, the 2 sausage biscuits may change to an Egg White McMuffin.  And then that may then change to making his own bagel sandwich in the morning.  Baby steps towards healthier eating habits.

Being “mindful” for B may mean adding some protein and veggies to the bagel and cream cheese at lunch.  Or even eating one scoop of the rice in the plate lunch and substituting the other scoop with a green salad.  Baby steps towards healthier eating habits.

Being “mindful” for C may mean more flexibility and really thinking “Why?”  Is Participant C prepping for a bodybuilding show?  Great.  If not, why the rigidity?  Can meals be more flexible in content (say, steak or tofu instead of tilapia?  Or even salmon or ahi?) and veggies more varied?  What about fruit and healthy fats?  Baby steps towards healthier eating habits.

 

And then there are some of you who are probably thinking your eating is spectacular and great and you don’t need to enlist any changes.  If so, I applaud you.  Even after researching and learning and getting certifications in health and wellness, I still see my own nutritional journey as fluid, malleable, and always changing.  As my body changes as I age, I see how my nutrition also needs to follow suit.

And don’t forget about the preparing and eating of said food.  I grew up having breakfast and dinner at the kitchen table with my family.  No TV.  No phones (we had a rotary phone, by the way).  No distractions. Just conversation.  Breaking bread together. Communing together.  Now, let me ask you this:  how often do you sit with your family for a meal?  Or for that matter, how often do you actually eat a good lunch while not multi-tasking?  Have you ever dined out by yourself without your phone and just enjoyed the peace and serenity that comes with mindfully eating?  If not, maybe you could incorporate one of those ideas into this upcoming 3M Campaign.

Food with family and friends is always more fun.

Similarly, I know I fall short of buying local produce and products because to get to the Farmer’s Market is sometimes inconvenient and crowded and hot and overwhelming with two young children in tow.  But isn’t it better to help out the local economy and grab a bag of kale, tomatoes, and apple bananas from the farmer down the road versus buying it at the grocery store where said produce may have been flown in from halfway around the world and as a result are not as fresh (and in actuality, is more harmful to the environment and economy)?  One of my current goals is to be mindful in where I purchase my food–could that goal be yours as well?

 

This 3M Campaign is meant for all people–whether one is starting out on his fitness/wellness journey or is already a seasoned veteran in the kitchen, the name of the game is growth and change.  Life is never stagnant, so why should our goals be?

The 3M Campaign starts July 1, and the deadline to register is June 25.  The fee for all three months is $50, and included in that price is access to an online community of campaigners, weekly information about movement, meals, and meditation, three free yoga/fitness classes, and the chance to win some great prizes!  I can also provide additional individualized guidance in any of the three areas of movement, meals, and meditation.

Before our dogs started eating our plants…my husband grew these!

In my next post, I’ll tell more about the meditation component, an overlooked aspect of true health and wellness.  So, are you ready for the campaign?  Email me at lauren@zentaihealthandwellness.com to sign up or for more information!

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