Your eating habits are key to your health and well-being. Approaching food like an art form makes sense because you can use your creative talents while doing something great for yourself. It’s like owning a home in that its the only investment you actually can live in! Basic principles such as eating fresh ingredients are the key to the art of eating. Processed foods created to be able to extend expiration dates is what you want to avoid. There are many approaches out there and here are some best practices to use:

Fruits & Vegetables are the core of your entire diet and should be consumed throughout the day. Juicing and smoothies is a way to get a lot of both in your diet. Juicing is best for micronutrients and a wide range of ingredients and smoothies best for fewer ingredients and more fiber. You can add protein and soy to smoothies as a part of your dietary mix.

No Picking – my biggest downfall is potato chips and any snack food that can be mindlessly eaten out of a bag. Potato chips, in particular, are known to be one of the worst foods for your metabolism. Foods out of a bag are typically not the most natural and should be eaten in moderation.

Measuring is key to help with foods that you can mindlessly eat. So if the bag of cashews is there take out 12 and put on a napkin and be done with it.

Choose a place for eating. Eating in front of the TV and in the kitchen creates a mindless habit where you hypnotically can over eat. To make eating an art form have a specific and sacred place like your dining room table where you devote time to eating. Add classical music and dim lighting.

Slow it down – many of us eat way too fast so taking the time to allow your body to digest is important. One method of counting how many times you chew is to consciously change your fast eating patterns. Spirituality can come into play here. Before you eat you pray and give thanks. Or simply take 1 minute to reflect on what you are about to eat.

Be kind do your digestive system by not binging or eating too many varieties of different foods. There are times when I can count 7-10 totally different and random foods that I’ve binged on. This really taxes your digestive system and adding fast eating will out the all out assault on your own body. There is no art form in this approach to eating. Tennis star Novak Djokovic says food is information and “listening” carefully to how your body responds to food is key in aiding your digestive system.

Late night eating is not recommended and also will put undue pressure on your digestive system. More importantly, do not overeat at night and make sure to stop just before you feel full. Over time you will notice this habit makes eating less easy to do and you won’t miss being totally full especially when it comes to eating late at night. Better to go to bed a little hungry than a lot full!

The color is your friend when it comes to the art of eating. Because your diet is based on fruits and vegetables it’s easy to have 5 or more colors.

Becoming a mixologist can be very rewarding because it plays into the art of eating with juicing and smoothies. It’s important to also indulge when you want alcohol and using fresh and varied ingredients can make social drinking a rewarding experience.

Rebooting by doing a juice cleanse will not only help your body but will get you back on track eating clean and healthy. After a 3 day cleanses looking at a can of soda or processed foods will look much less appealing.

Tracking what you eat is a valuable way to assess your patterns, how much food you are intaking and what the mix of foods are. Are you eating 75% fruits and vegetables? How much sugar do you consume? The act of journaling your every food intake will create awareness and ultimately discipline in your food choices. There are many apps that you can use that are very effective.

Sugar is known as one of the most detrimental foods we can eat. It is the leading cause of cancer and obesity. Reducing sugar is critical as it’s both bad for your health and bad for your energy.

Coffee is part of mixology and becoming a master at making great coffee is a delight to your senses. Keep in mind that our body produces the chemicals needed int he morning to give us a boost so it’s most effective to have coffee after 9:30a

Green Tea is one of the best things you can give your body for digestion and cancer prevention. Again mixology and tea making is a true art form. I recommend brewing fresh tea leaves

Preparing your plate like you were eating out honors your food and makes for an impressive display for you and family members to appreciate. The selection of foods is done just the way you want making it even better than eating out! This also helps with portion control and while its always nice to indulge at home remember that when you eat out it’s not like they will fill your plate again with food. The chef has prepared the plate for presentations and your eating experience.

Keeping an imagery book of foods is a great way to be creative with how you view eating. There are many tools such as Flipboard where you can keep a catalog of beautiful photographs of foods with vibrant colors. These images will implant in your brain an approach to eating that is artful and help stimulate ideas for creating your own plates of food filled with colors.

Reducing Gluten and Carbs is a tricky practice as many gluten free foods are heavy with starch and sugars. Unless you have a gluten sensitivity choosing fresh baked bread and certain gluten free choices your overall feeling of heaviness from carbs and gluten will diminish. GMO’s and wheat are highly processed foods so again you want to stay away from things wrapped in plastic that can stay on the shelves for weeks! Bread should go bad in a day or two!

Resources:
Novak Djokovic
GMO Information
Apps to track eating

Ascent Today Habit: Keep track of what you eat using an app you like or better yet use a journal using the principles of the Art of Eating to stay on course.