For many, choosing what to eat to stay healthy can be one of the most difficult choices of the day.

Ascension Via Christi hospital in Manhattan is focusing on March and National Nutrition Month. Brittney Petty, Clinical Dietitian, says one of their main focuses is mindful eating.

“It focuses on using all of your senses- smell, taste, touch-to really be aware of the food regardless of the type of food that it is,” Petty says. “So, it doesn’t focus on carbs, proteins, fats, it just lets you enjoy your food.”

Petty says the idea of mindful eating has many benefits for people and can be much more beneficial than a fad diet.

“It’s more realistic for a lot of people. It’s doable. It’s not restrictive, so there’s not any foods that aren’t allowed to be had. And it really helps to hopefully, reduce emotional eating and really develop a healthier relationship with food.”

In America, much of our day is centered around food, and while it can be a scary thought for many, it shouldn’t be. Petty says it’s important to practice mindful eating, but adds that it’s okay to allow yourself to enjoy a dessert. She says along with that it’s important to be aware of what your surroundings are during a meal.

“What are you doing at dinner while you are eating? Is everybody standing up running around and doing other things, or is the TV on, or, you know, you have the iPad on the table? It’s really about focusing on that time for eating and allowing you to enjoy your food. If you are distracted by five other things, you’re not thinking about what you are eating, you aren’t enjoying it and then there’s more tendencies to over-eat or eat foods that aren’t as healthful for you,” Petty says.

Petty tells KMAN sitting down where its quiet and enjoying your food can help you to quit overeating and to eat more nutrition foods.

For more information about mindful eating visit

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