Pelham seniors get tips for healthy eating

Published 12:26 pm Thursday, March 21, 2013

By AMY JONES / Associate Editor

PELHAM — Healthy eating and healthy living is a life-long process, as a group of Pelham seniors proved March 21 as they gathered to hear guest lecturer Donna Shanklin speak on “mindful eating.”

“We all know what we’re, quote, supposed to eat,” Shanklin said. “But sometimes we forget how to eat.”

Shanklin advised the seniors to follow some simple rules: Eat when they are hungry, eat what they want, pay attention while they’re eating and stop when they’re full.

She said correct portion sizes are essential for healthy eating.

Some of the attendees shared their own tips for eating well. One woman said she believes in eating breakfast daily, which Shanklin said is a smart move.

“I’m sure you’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. One reason it’s called breakfast is that you are breaking the fast,” she said.

Shanklin said it’s easier to make a successful diet change if people listen to their bodies instead of trying to follow a prefabricated diet plan.

“The idea of eating mindfully is that you’re allowed to choose, but you really need to take the time to look at your body and figure out what your body wants,” she said.

Shanklin said when eating, the food should be the focus, and eating should be done slowly.

According to her presentation, those trying to eat better should avoid eating to combat other problems, such as boredom, fatigue or stress. Eating should only be done to combat hunger, she said.

Shanklin also urged attendees to accept their hunger, their bodies and their genetics, saying that people are naturally different sizes. She recommended that those trying to make a healthy change in their lives start to journal about their efforts, including recording their hunger levels, challenges, goals and successes.

“The idea is that you’re going to live a different lifestyle, where you’re making healthy choices,” she said.