CORTLANDT MANOR, N.Y. -- We are a nation of eaters who obsess over the calories, salt levels, and fat content of every bite we put in our mouths.
But we don’t tend to think of the relationship between food and our moods and behaviors, says Cortlandt Manor holistic health and nutrition coach Karen Mayo.
Mayo, who recently published her first book, “Mindful Eating: Thirty Days to a Whole New You,” says that making that connection -- and eating appropriately -- can not only reduce stress, but can help us avoid chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity, cancer, and asthma.
The eight behaviors that put people most at risk are, Mayo says: poor diet, excessive alcohol consumption, too little sleep, physical inactivity, poor self-care, poor stress management, smoking, and a lack of regular health screenings.
In “Mindful Eating,” Mayo says mood can be affected by some of the vegetables and fruits we eat on a regular basis, inflammatory-fighting spices, herbs and teas, and other factors.
“Mindful eating means eating with awareness,” says Mayo. “So often many of us mindlessly stuff food into our mouths while we are sitting in front of the television or computer, driving or running out of the house.”
“Eating what you love, enjoying it completely and fully experiencing the elements of good food -- that’s what it’s all about,” she adds.
The book includes a 30-day eating plan, healthy recipes, meal plans, daily tips, and a shopping list of recommended foods.