Saturday, February 28, 2015

5 Tips to Eat Mindfully...and Spinach Breakfast Cookies!

This healthy cookie recipe is absolutely delicious!  I encourage you to try it for an easy snack or treat, but more than that, today I encourage you to practice mindful eating.

What is mindful eating?  It is what it sounds like! Eating with a presence of mind, savoring the flavors of your dish and eating without distraction.

Here's some tips to keep you mindful as you eat to avoid overindulging and only consuming what your body needs:

1.  Sit down to eat.  (So don't hover over the sink or munch as you drive if you can!)  Sit down in a regular eating spot such as a kitchen table, and let it just be you and your plate.  No distractions--no magazines, books, tv or computer!  Or smartphone--you know that counts.  Focus on eat bite and savor the flavors slowly.

2.  Take a moment to appreciate what you are eating--the ingredients, where they came from, the work you or someone else put into preparing that food.  Pause.  Taste.  Think.

3.  Did I say savor?  Savor.  Taste each spice, each flavor.  Try to distinguish the different textures and tastes culminating in that food.  Look at it.  Notice smells.  Appreciate it for the nourishment it is providing your body.

4.  Listen to your body.  Eat slowly and when you begin to satisfy your hunger, ask yourself if you actually need more, or are still hungry.  Identify what food makes your body feel best and most energized, and try to eat that way as much as you can.  What does your body seem to perform the best on?  What foods make you feel and look your healthiest/sleekest/happiest self?

5.  Be grateful.  Be grateful for the food and for your health.  Whether through prayer or a moment of quiet, acknowledge the great gift it is to have access to healthy food, and to be able to make healthy food choices.  Thank your body.  Be proud of yourself, and don't be too hard on yourself!  Allow yourself the occasional treat and when you've overindulged, take a deep breath, drink water, and set an intention to be more mindful at the next meal.

These are just a few of many ways you can practice mindful eating.  Make eating a pleasurable experience--not a hurried scarf-fest of whatever is quickest/easiest.  Make an effort to plan and prepare meals ahead of time if you often find yourself in a rush.

There are so many quick, easy meals to make that will nourish your body!  Here is a simple breakfast cookies that is good to enjoy as breakfast, snack or treat anytime.  Enjoy, and remember--eat mindfully!

Spinach Breakfast Cookies

Often in the mornings I want to start with something sweet.  More specifically, the sweetness of fruit.  And though fruit is a great dessert substitute or snack, it's not exactly a complete meal.  Even though I come in the door from a run almost always fantasizing about a crisp apple from the icebox, there is usually a little voice in my head whispering "protein might be a great idea right about now." So with these little breakfast cookies, snack, or fueling light meal, I created the ultimate runner's treat: Spinach Breakfast Cookies.

They quite are delicious despite the obvious vibrant green bits of spinach.  You can't actually taste the spinach, which is awesome because with these cookies, you're packing in extra nutrients without even noticing.

For a more uniform/hidden spinach appearance, you can use your food processor for this recipe.  I was in a hurry (post-run craving to eat. food. now), so I opted for a simple one-bowl method.  It's fast, easy and amazing.  Nondairy mini chocolate chips are totally optional; obviously it'll be a tad healthier without.  But if you're allowing yourself a treat and have nondairy chocolate chips on hand, you may want a sprinkling. Or omit them for a much cleaner version!

Banana Spinach Cookies
yields about 10 little cookies


1 cup spinach, ripped into shreds and "massaged" to break them up a little
1/2 cup gluten-free oats
1/2 teaspoon Red Ape cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
3 egg whites
1 banana, mashed
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
optional: 1/4 cup mini nondairy chocolate chips


1. Rip and squeeze spinach until it's pretty wilted.  Throw all ingredients into a bowl, making sure banana is mashed well.

2.  Spritz a cookie sheet with nonstick spray (I use olive or coconut oil) or spoon batter onto a nonstick baking mat.
3.  Bake for about 8-10 minutes or until cookies are set and slightly golden, with darker edges.  Let cool a minute or two and enjoy!

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