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Health Coaching

Health Coaching involves a mentor and wellness practitioner that supports and helps individuals reach their optimal health and feel their best through a customized food and lifestyle program that meets their unique needs and goals.

Health coaching does not focus on one diet or way of living.

Integrative Nutrition Coaching focuses on:

  • Bio-individuality meaning we’re all different and are unique
  • Diet
  • Lifestyle
  • Emotional needs
  • Physical needs

It emphasizes health beyond the plate and wellness through primary food. However, at the core is the idea that there are areas that impact health just as much as food. This means that:

  • Relationships
  • Career
  • Spirituality
  • Physical activity

All contribute to overall well-being.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to health and wellness.

These professionals work with clients and teach them how to:

  • Detox their bodies
  • Fuel their bodies
  • Maintain their bodies

This leads to individuals becoming the:

  • Healthiest
  • Happiest

That they can be!

Health Coaching offers services in private one-on-one sessions and group coaching.

When The Body Craves Salt: El Paso Back Clinic

When The Body Craves Salt: El Paso Back Clinic

Although salt is satisfying to the palate and necessary for survival, when the body craves salt, it can be a symptom of a health condition/s. The body needs sodium, but many foods contain more than the body needs. Most individuals’ sodium intake comes from packaged foods, pizza, burgers, and soups. The body craves salty foods for various reasons, often related to a sodium imbalance. To help curb cravings and limit consumption, incorporate seasoning blends, spices, and vegetables into a nutritional plan. Injury Medical Chiropractic and Functional Medicine Clinic can provide expert diet recommendations and health coaching to develop a personalized nutrition plan.

When The Body Craves Salt: EP Functional Chiropractic Team

When The Body Craves Salt

According to the American Heart Association:

  • The body needs 500 milligrams (mg) of sodium daily for optimal functioning.
  • That’s less than one-fourth of a teaspoon (tsp).
  • But because most individuals take in around 3,400 mg every day, the American Heart Association recommends that adults reduce consumption to 1,500-2,300 mg of salt daily.
  • Individuals who crave salt often shouldn’t ignore this as cravings could signal a health condition.
  • It is recommended to seek a healthcare provider’s advice to evaluate nutrition and lifestyle.



Craving salt could mean the body needs hydration. A sodium deficiency triggers systems that generate cravings for sodium, and the body feels rewarded after consuming salty foods. Individuals that find themselves dehydrated often should consider following these tips to maintain healthy body hydration:

  • Carry a water bottle throughout the day, take frequent sips, and try to refill two or more times.
  • Add fruit or fresh herbs to the water for flavor.
  • Freeze water bottles to have ice-cold water readily available.
  • Ask for water alongside other beverages when dining out.

Electrolyte Imbalance

  • When electrolytes are out of balance, the body can crave salty foods.
  • Electrolytes are minerals in the body with an electric charge.
  • Electrolytes are in the blood, urine, and tissues, and levels can spike or plummet.
  • This occurs when the amount of water taken does not equal the amount lost because of excessive sweating, sickness, and/or frequent urination.
  • Electrolytes are important because:
  • They help balance the body’s water equilibrium and pH levels
  • Move nutrients and waste into and out of the cells
  • Ensure the nerves, muscles, and brain are at optimal function.


  • Eating behavior can quickly be disrupted when experiencing stressful situations.
  • A stressed body can feel better after eating the foods it is used to, especially for individuals that consume a lot of salty foods when things are normal, and there is no stress.


  • Eating because of boredom is an emotional eating behavior similar to stress eating.
  • This response to negative emotions can happen to anyone.
  • Individuals are recommended to work through their negative thoughts with stress reduction strategies that include:
  • Mindful eating.
  • Exercise.
  • Meditation.
  • Spending time in green spaces like a garden, park, etc.
  • Visits with friends and family.



  • Experiencing various types of cravings during pregnancy is different for all women that naturally occurs.
  • However, cravings for salty foods often occur in the later stages of pregnancy.

Addison’s Disease

  • Addison’s disease is when the adrenal glands do not produce enough of a certain hormone, like cortisol/the stress hormone.
  • Individuals with this condition could be recommended to consume a high-sodium diet.
  • A nutritional healthcare professional can recommend what sodium sources and how much sodium are best.

Prevent Salt Cravings

Individuals can replace sodium with salt-free substitutes that do not help maintain flavor. Options include the following:


  • Using fresh citrus juice can brighten up dishes with acid.
  • When a dish tastes flat, a little acid from lemon juice can help make the food more palatable.


  • Vinegar can brighten the flavor of foods because of its acidic content and serve as a substitute.
  • Vinegar varieties include champagne, rice wine, or white balsamic.


No-Salt Seasoning

  • Salt-free seasoning blends are sold online and in grocery stores.
  • Individuals can make a no-salt seasoning mix using cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and cayenne pepper.


  • Instead of one teaspoon of iodized salt, one teaspoon of fresh garlic can eliminate up to 2,360 mg of sodium and offers an intense flavor.

Reduce Salt Consumption

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says that reducing the amount of sodium can gradually lower cravings. Taking these steps can help:

  • Limit consumption of packaged foods, especially those with the word instant in the name. These often contain a significant amount of sodium.
  • If possible, prepare lunch to take to work or school.
  • Read nutrition labels to ensure the products contain at least less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium.
  • Stick to fresh, frozen vegetables with no seasoning added or no-salt canned vegetables.
  • Split meals when eating out or cut the meal in half and take the rest home to avoid the high amounts of sodium in restaurant food.
  • Use none or low-sodium salad dressings or place them on the side.

Learning About Food Substitutions


Bell, Victoria, et al. “One Health, Fermented Foods, and Gut Microbiota.” Foods (Basel, Switzerland) vol. 7,12 195. 3 Dec. 2018, doi:10.3390/foods7120195

Husebye, Eystein S et al. “Adrenal insufficiency.” Lancet (London, England) vol. 397,10274 (2021): 613-629. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(21)00136-7

Morris, Michael J et al. “Salt craving: the psychobiology of pathogenic sodium intake.” Physiology & behavior vol. 94,5 (2008): 709-21. doi:10.1016/j.physbeh.2008.04.008

Orloff, Natalia C, and Julia M Hormes. “Pickles and ice cream! Food cravings in pregnancy: hypotheses, preliminary evidence, and directions for future research.” Frontiers in psychology vol. 5 1076. 23 Sep. 2014, doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01076

Souza, Luciana Bronzi de et al. “Do Food Intake and Food Cravings Change during the Menstrual Cycle of Young Women?.” “A ingestão de alimentos e os desejos por comida mudam durante o ciclo menstrual das mulheres jovens?.” Revista brasileira de ginecologia e obstetricia : revista da Federacao Brasileira das Sociedades de Ginecologia e Obstetricia vol. 40,11 (2018): 686-692. doi:10.1055/s-0038-1675831

Healthy Breads: El Paso Back Clinic

Healthy Breads: El Paso Back Clinic

The right kind of bread can be an extremely healthful food. Eating more whole grains is associated with lower weight and reduced health problems, heart disease, and cancer risk. Keeping bread in a healthy diet begins with choosing varieties with the best nutrition. Certain types are naturally high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Others are made from refined grains with added vitamins and minerals. Nutritional experts evaluate healthy breads based on researched health benefits and fiber, protein, micronutrient content, and total calories.

Healthy Breads: EP's Functional Chiropractic Clinic Team

Healthy Breads

100% Whole Wheat

  • 100% whole wheat bread contains abundant fiber and nutrients and is one of the most nutritious varieties.
  • A slice of bread made with all whole wheat flour provides 80 calories, 5 grams of protein, 0 grams of fat, 20 grams of carbohydrates, and 3 grams of fiber.
  • One hundred percent whole wheat bread also contains essential minerals like calcium, selenium, manganese, phosphorus, and thiamin.
  • Increasing whole grains has been shown to reduce the risk of multiple chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
  • Studies have demonstrated the positive effects of whole grains on weight control.
  • Many breads advertise themselves as whole wheat and might not contain 100% whole, unrefined grains.
  • Read labels to determine if store-bought bread was made with only whole wheat flour.
  • A 100% whole wheat bread will either be labeled as such or have whole wheat flour as its first ingredient and does not list other flours like wheat flour or enriched bleached flour.


  • Whole grains like oats, buckwheat, barley, amaranth, and millet can be included in multigrain breads for increased fiber, protein, and micronutrients.
  • Adding a variety of whole grains like these can help reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases.
  • Navigating to healthy multigrain bread can be misleading.
  • Breads labeled as multigrain can be difficult to tell whether the grains used to make the bread were whole or refined.
  • It’s recommended to look for a multigrain bread label that has 100% whole grain.


  • Oats are whole grains that can supplement whole wheat in healthy store-bought and homemade breads.
  • Oats contain a special fiber called beta-glucan, with benefits that include lowering bad cholesterol, regulating blood sugar, and lowering blood pressure.
  • Oats are high in soluble fiber, which helps reduce constipation.
  • Read the labels and look for brands that list oats and whole wheat flour as the first ingredients with minimal added sugars.

Flax Seed

  • Flaxseeds are not grains, but they aren’t packed with nutrients.
  • These seeds are high in fiber and polyunsaturated fats.
  • Adding flaxseed might help protect against certain cancers and improve heart health.
  • Because the seeds are naturally gluten-free, flax seed bread can be an option for individuals with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.
  • Some commercially prepared breads combine flax with wheat, but individuals may have to make their own for a loaf made entirely with flaxseed.


  • Sourdough bread is made through fermentation, which adds healthy probiotics to the finished product.
  • A diet rich in probiotics from fermented foods has been linked with positive health outcomes.
  • Benefits include the bread’s natural probiotics, improved digestion, immune system function, extra fiber, protein, and minerals.
  • For the healthiest, choose a variety made with whole wheat flour.

Benefits of a Healthy Diet and Chiropractic


Aune, Dagfinn, et al. “Whole grain consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and all-cause and cause-specific mortality: a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies.” BMJ (Clinical research ed.) vol. 353 i2716. 14 Jun. 2016, doi:10.1136/bmj.i2716

El Khoury, D et al. “Beta glucan: health benefits in obesity and metabolic syndrome.” Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism vol. 2012 (2012): 851362. doi:10.1155/2012/851362

Freitas, Daniela, et al. “Lemon juice, but not tea, reduces the glycemic response to bread in healthy volunteers: a randomized crossover trial.” European Journal of Nutrition vol. 60,1 (2021): 113-122. doi:10.1007/s00394-020-02228-x

“Healthy Bread.” Hall’s Journal of Health vol. 3,7 (1856): 144-146.

Kikuchi, Yosuke, et al. “Effects of Whole Grain Wheat Bread on Visceral Fat Obesity in Japanese Subjects: A Randomized Double-Blind Study.” Plant foods for human nutrition (Dordrecht, Netherlands) vol. 73,3 (2018): 161-165. doi:10.1007/s11130-018-0666-1

Menezes, Leidiane A A, et al. “Effects of Sourdough on FODMAPs in Bread and Potential Outcomes on Irritable Bowel Syndrome Patients and Healthy Subjects.” Frontiers in microbiology vol. 9 1972. 21 Aug. 2018, doi:10.3389/fmicb.2018.01972

Parikh, Mihir, et al. “Flaxseed: its bioactive components and their cardiovascular benefits.” American Journal of Physiology. Heart and circulatory physiology vol. 314,2 (2018): H146-H159. doi:10.1152/ajpheart.00400.2017

P, Nirmala Prasadi V, and Iris J Joye. “Dietary Fibre from Whole Grains and Their Benefits on Metabolic Health.” Nutrients vol. 12,10 3045. 5 Oct. 2020, doi:10.3390/nu12103045

Tosh, Susan M, and Nicolas Bordenave. “Emerging science on benefits of whole grain oat and barley and their soluble dietary fibers for heart health, glycemic response, and gut microbiota.” Nutrition Reviews vol. 78, Suppl 1 (2020): 13-20. doi:10.1093/nutrit/nuz085

What Happens To The Body After Eating Healthy: Back Clinic

What Happens To The Body After Eating Healthy: Back Clinic

What happens to the body after eating healthy? Individuals report the effects of healthy eating, feeling mentally clearer and more focused, increased energy levels, experiencing decreased junk food cravings and hunger pangs, improved sleep, and the benefits of strong bones, cardiovascular health, and disease prevention. The Injury Medical Chiropractic and Functional Medicine Clinic Team can assist individuals working on making healthy lifestyle adjustments to make the transition easier and with professional support to streamline the process, allowing the individual to focus on getting healthy.

What Happens To The Body After Eating Healthy: EP Chiropractic

What Happens To The Body After Eating Healthy

It can take a little while for the body to adjust to a new nutrition plan. A healthy diet includes nutrient-dense foods from all the major food groups, including lean proteins, whole grains, healthy fats, and fruits and vegetables of various colors.


The benefits of healthy eating include the following.

  • Longer life.
  • Maintains digestive health and system function.
  • Maintains whole body health.
  • Strengthens muscles.
  • Strengthens bones.
  • Increases immunity.
  • Promotes healthy pregnancy and breastfeeding.
  • Decreases the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers.
  • Helps achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

One Week

  • Experience decreased food cravings throughout the day.
  • Junk food cravings decrease.
  • The body begins shedding all the excess water from a high sodium intake and processed foods.
  • Hunger starts to stabilize.
  • Experience decreased hunger pains, making losing weight a little easier.
  • Improved sleep.
  • Improved control over food choices.
  • Higher mental focus and clarity – brain fog or low concentration symptoms begin to clear.
  • Energy levels are higher, making completing daily activities and exercise easier.
  • The body will become regular with a lower amount of bloating and discomfort.
  • Moods become stable with fewer ups and downs throughout the day.

One Month

  • Improved skin health.
  • A steady rate of weight loss, depending on the approach and starting point.
  • Clothing begins to feel looser.
  • Pre-existing health problems like migraines, joint pain, irritable bowel issues, etc., may begin to clear up.
  • Eating right starts to become more habitual.
  • Making healthy choices starts to become second nature.
  • Improved physical performance.
  • Feel stronger and notice that the body recovers much faster.
  • Improved metabolism.
  • Can eat more without gaining body weight.

Six Months

  • A decrease in overall cholesterol levels if they were high before.
  • Blood pressure improvement, lowering the risk of heart disease and stroke.
  • Strengthened skeletal system reducing the risk of stress fractures and breaks.
  • Improved blood glucose levels, reduced blood sugar fluctuations, and lowered risk factors for diabetes or symptoms are easier to manage.

All the positive changes will lead to staying naturally motivated, where eating healthy is just something you do, and you have learned to indulge wisely. All the benefits will persist for as long as you eat healthily. Target goals can be achieved with a body weight that makes you feel healthy, strong, and confident.

Basal Metabolism


Bradbury, Kathryn E et al. “Fruit, vegetable, and fiber intake in relation to cancer risk: findings from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC).” The American journal of clinical nutrition vol. 100 Suppl 1 (2014): 394S-8S. doi:10.3945/ajcn.113.071357

Carlson, Justin L et al. “Health Effects and Sources of Prebiotic Dietary Fiber.” Current developments in nutrition vol. 2,3 nzy005. 29 Jan. 2018, doi:10.1093/cdn/nzy005

Hills, Ronald D Jr, et al. “Gut Microbiome: Profound Implications for Diet and Disease.” Nutrients vol. 11,7 1613. 16 Jul. 2019, doi:10.3390/nu11071613

Zohoori, F Vida. “Chapter 1: Nutrition and Diet.” Monographs in oral science vol. 28 (2020): 1-13. doi:10.1159/000455365

Monk Fruit Sugar Alternative: El Paso Back Clinic

Monk Fruit Sugar Alternative: El Paso Back Clinic

As individuals try to avoid sugar as best as possible, alternative sweeteners are becoming more popular. A new addition is monk fruit sweetener, also called monk fruit extract. Monk fruit is a small, round fruit native to southern China. Unlike some chemically based sugar alternatives, monk fruit extract is considered natural. The sweetener has been around for decades but has become more available in the United States. The zero-calorie extract can be used as a standalone sweetener in foods and drinks and as a flavor enhancer.

Monk Fruit Sugar Alternative: EP Functional Chiropractic Team

Monk Fruit Sugar Alternative

Manufacturers remove the seeds and skin, crush the fruit, and extract the juice, which is then dried into a concentrated powder. Unlike most fruits, the natural sugars in monk fruit are not what gives it its sweetness. Instead, the intense sweetness comes from antioxidants (commonly found in plant foods, antioxidants fight off free radicals that can cause health problems like cancer and heart disease) called mogrosides. The mogroside is the sweetest part of the fruit, with a taste over 100 times sweeter than sugar and no calories.

Safe For Consumption

Monk fruit has the generally recognized as safe -GRAS label from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration with no reported side effects. However, it is advised to read the ingredients label before buying this sweetener. Some of the cheaper products combine other sweeteners with monk fruit extract. Some contain erythritol, a sugar alcohol that can cause stomach bloating or upset stomach.


It has been found to be a healthy option for lowering overall sugar intake. However, consuming monk fruit or any sweetener should be done in moderation and with a healthy nutrition plan. It comes in powder or liquid form. As a natural alternative, it can be used:

  • As s sugar substitute for favorite baking, cooking, soup, sauce recipes, etc.
  • For drinks like coffee, tea, lemonade, smoothies, etc.
  • Added on breakfast dishes like oatmeal or yogurt.
  • Whipped into frosting or a mousse.

The ultra-sweetness means that little is required as it goes a long way. It is recommended to drink regular water or tea and eat foods without the sweetener because, over time, the taste buds adjust and do not need the sweetener as much. Consult a doctor, dietician, or nutritionist to determine if this sugar alternative is right for you and the benefits.

What Is It?


Chen, W J et al. “The antioxidant activities of natural sweeteners, mogrosides, from fruits of Siraitia grosvenori.” International journal of food sciences and nutrition vol. 58,7 (2007): 548-56. doi:10.1080/09637480701336360

EFSA Panel on Food Additives and Flavourings (FAF) et al. “Safety of use of Monk fruit extract as a food additive in different food categories.” EFSA journal. European Food Safety Authority vol. 17,12 e05921. 11 Dec. 2019, doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2019.5921

Lobo, V et al. “Free radicals, antioxidants, and functional foods: Impact on human health.” Pharmacognosy reviews vol. 4,8 (2010): 118-26. doi:10.4103/0973-7847.70902

Pawar, Rahul S et al. “Sweeteners from plants–with emphasis on Stevia rebaudiana (Bertoni) and Siraitia grosvenorii (Swingle).” Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry vol. 405,13 (2013): 4397-407. doi:10.1007/s00216-012-6693-0

Trail Mix Health: El Paso Back Clinic

Trail Mix Health: El Paso Back Clinic

Trail mix is a favorite snack for many individuals. A typical mix combines granola, dried fruits, nuts, seeds, cereals, and pretzels. The mix was originally developed as a portable snack/meal for hikers that was lightweight, could be stored in a backpack, and provided plenty of protein and energy. Prepackaged trail mix is available at many grocery stores and online retailers. It’s an excellent choice for traveling or going on a road trip because of its energy and nutritional content. However, not all types are considered equal in terms of nutrition. Some can consist of ingredients loaded with sugar and salt. Added consumption could cause weight gain and contribute to conditions like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and liver problems. Here we look at choosing healthy mixes.

Trail Mix Health: EP's Chiropractic Functional Team

Trail Mix

The nutritional power comes from the high amounts of fiber and antioxidants.


Protein and Healthy Fats

Protein is essential for tissue repair, immune health, and muscle development.

  • Nuts and seeds make up the largest portion.
  • A healthy source of protein, allowing individuals to snack on the go and not become hungry.
  • One of the greatest benefits of eating these is that they are full of heart-healthy fats.
  • These healthy fats help decrease unhealthy LDL cholesterol levels and reduce inflammation.


  • The fiber in the seeds and granola helps keep the gut healthy and regular.
  • It also helps control appetite, aids in digestion, and keeps the body fuller longer.


  • Dried fruits and granola consist of healthy sugars.
  • Healthy sugars help stabilize blood sugar levels, providing the body with a consistent energy source.

Antioxidants, Vitamins, and Minerals

  • Dried fruit maintains a majority of its nutritional value.
  • The nuts and seeds are also packed with nutrients and antioxidants.

Choosing Healthy

Check the nutrition label and avoid varieties high in added sugar or sodium.

  • Look for products containing nutrient-dense ingredients like nuts, seeds, dried fruits, and limited amounts of candy or chocolate chips, if any.
  • Healthy ingredients include almonds, pumpkin seeds, cashews, sunflower seeds, dried fruit, popcorn, and dark chocolate.
  • Making trail mix at home allows control of its contents and maximizes its potential health benefits.
  • It is important to keep an eye on portion control.
  • A recommended serving is about a fourth of a cup.


Nutritional consultation can improve an individual’s quality of life, health, and well-being. A nutritionist can help individuals with precision or personalized nutrition that focuses on the individual. Nutritionists can create meal plans for their clients and provide education and knowledge on appropriate food choices.



Devitt, A A et al. “Appetitive and Dietary Effects of Consuming an Energy-Dense Food (Peanuts) with or between Meals by Snackers and Nonsnackers.” Journal of nutrition and metabolism vol. 2011 (2011): 928352. doi:10.1155/2011/928352

Grillo, Andrea et al. “Sodium Intake and Hypertension.” Nutrients vol. 11,9 1970. 21 Aug. 2019, doi:10.3390/nu11091970

Mehlhose, Clara, et al. “PACE Labels on Healthy and Unhealthy Snack Products in a Laboratory Shopping Setting: Perception, Visual Attention, and Product Choice.” Foods (Basel, Switzerland) vol. 10,4 904. 20 Apr. 2021, doi:10.3390/foods10040904

Vreman, Rick A et al. “Health and economic benefits of reducing sugar intake in the USA, including effects via non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: a microsimulation model.” BMJ open vol. 7,8 e013543. 3 Aug. 2017, doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2016-013543

Training Oneself To Enjoy Vegetables: El Paso Back Clinic

Training Oneself To Enjoy Vegetables: El Paso Back Clinic

It is difficult for individuals to achieve health and fitness goals when they don’t like to eat vegetables. Intermittent fasting, Paleo, vegan, Mediterranean, or New Nordic, almost all healthy nutrition plans require vegetable consumption to achieve optimal health. However, it is never too late to learn to enjoy vegetables. Injury Medical Chiropractic and Functional Medicine Clinic can recommend ways not just to eat vegetables because they are healthy but to truly enjoy them.Training Oneself To Enjoy Vegetables: Functional Chiropractor

Training Oneself To Enjoy Vegetables

Everyone’s taste preferences are different.

  • Many individuals grew up in homes where vegetables were prepared in unappetizing ways.
  • Over boiling and steaming are common preparation methods that many had experience with, including broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, and Brussels sprouts, which made them flavorless, mushy and is where many decided they were not going to eat these foods.
  • Many don’t like vegetables because many have chemical compounds that make them taste bitter.
  • If food intake is more packaged and less fresh, an individual’s palate will be more conditioned to seek out processed food’s fatty, sweet flavors.
  • Some individuals may be genetically inclined to dislike vegetables.

Vegetable Purpose

Vegetables are full of nutrients that are very beneficial to the body.

  • Vegetables contain antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytonutrients.
  • These nutrients help keep the mind and body healthy and avoid deficiencies.
  • Vegetables add fiber that provides a feeling of fullness by giving volume to fill the stomach without added calories.
  • This controls energy balance/calories in vs. calories out, which helps shed body fat without feeling hungry and maintain body weight.
  • Vegetables feed the intestinal bacteria that help the digestive tract.
  • Vegetables provide hydration that helps the fiber eliminate waste products.
  • Vegetables add variety to help maintain healthy nutrition.

Branching Out

The key is to branch out incrementally. Most individuals will have a vegetable or two that they can tolerate. This could be a starting point by expanding on new variations on those tolerable vegetables that will lead to broadened taste preferences. This can be done through different cooking methods that include:

Regardless of where you’re starting, there are simple ways to make the vegetable bitterness less intense, more palatable, and more enjoyable that consists of:

  • Vegetable Challenge
  • Vegetable Complement
  • Vegetable Cushion

Vegetable Challenge

  • Pick a vegetable that you would not normally eat that requires effort to try.
  • Motivate yourself to try it – health reasons, children, family, friends, etc.
  • Take a small bite; you may hate it, like it, or it has no effect.
  • You at least tried it.
  • Research suggests that individuals may need to try new foods many times (prepared differently) before tolerating or liking them.

Vegetable Complement

  • Build on flavor perception
  • Well-developed recipes have flavor harmony.
  • It means pairing food with a vegetable to activate various tastes and flavors pleasing to the palate simultaneously.

Vegetable Cushion

  • On the tongue are a variety of receptors that bind to the chemicals in food.
  • When these receptors are activated, they send a chemical signal to the brain about the taste.
  • Variations in the number and type of receptors help develop flavor preferences.
  • Basic tastes – sweet, sour, spicy, salty, bitter, and umami.
  • Pairing bitterness with other distinct flavors, like sweet and spicy, can develop and change the brain’s perception of bland or bitter vegetables to tasty and delicious.
  • Cushions for bitterness include honey, real maple syrup, sour cream, Mexican crema, hot sauce, oils, almonds, and butter used in balance to enhance and bring out flavors.

The objective is to start small and work your way to becoming more comfortable with experimenting and combining more flavors. Consultation with a professional nutritionist can help individuals get on a healthy nutrition plan that they can enjoy.

Tip From A Dietitian


Christoph, Mary J et al. “Intuitive Eating is Associated With Higher Fruit and Vegetable Intake Among Adults.” Journal of nutrition education and behavior vol. 53,3 (2021): 240-245. doi:10.1016/j.jneb.2020.11.015

Melis M, Yousaf NY, Mattes MZ, Cabras T, Messana I, Crnjar R, Tomassini Barbarossa I, Tepper BJ. Sensory perception of salivary protein response to astringency as a function of the 6-n-propylthioural (PROP) bitter-taste phenotype. Physiol Behav. 2017 Jan 24;173:163-173.

Mennella JA. Development of food preferences: Lessons learned from longitudinal and experimental studies. Food Qual Prefer. 2006 Oct;17(7-8):635-637.

Tordoff, Michael G, and Mari A Sandell. “Vegetable bitterness is related to calcium content.” Appetite vol. 52,2 (2009): 498-504. doi:10.1016/j.appet.2009.01.002

Wallace, Taylor C et al. “Fruits, vegetables, and health: A comprehensive narrative, umbrella review of the science and recommendations for enhanced public policy to improve intake.” Critical reviews in food science and nutrition vol. 60,13 (2020): 2174-2211. doi:10.1080/10408398.2019.1632258

Wieczorek, Martyna N et al. “Bitter taste of Brassica vegetables: The role of genetic factors, receptors, isothiocyanates, glucosinolates, and flavor context.” Critical reviews in food science and nutrition vol. 58,18 (2018): 3130-3140. doi:10.1080/10408398.2017.1353478

Mindful Eating Healthy Food Connection: Back Clinic

Mindful Eating Healthy Food Connection: Back Clinic

Mindful eating involves paying attention to what and how individuals eat, helping to become more aware of the body’s natural hunger and satisfaction cues. The process can help individuals become aware of the reasons behind their hunger and help to reduce cravings, control portion sizes, and develop long-term healthy eating habits.Mindful Eating Healthy Food Connection

Mindful Eating

It’s easy to rush through meals and snacks without pausing to enjoy the experience while refueling the body. Like meditation, individuals focus on what they are eating, how it smells, tastes, and the bodily sensations experienced. It is a way of checking in with the mind and body throughout a meal or snack. Mindful eating puts the individual in touch:


Individuals do not have to go all-in but can adopt some principles of slowing down and tuning into the body to improve health. Benefits include:

Better Digestion

  • Slowing down and chewing food properly makes it easier to digest.

Improved Nutrition

  • Fast foods can cause a feeling of sluggishness and bloating.
  • Eating nutrient-packed meals provides more energy.
  • Improved nutrition means improved immune system health.
  • The awareness reinforces making healthier choices.

Satisfaction After Meals

  • Rushing to finish a meal means not enjoying the flavors and texture factors that can generate a sense of fullness and satisfaction.
  • Training the mind and body to be truly satisfied with meals and snacks leads to less stress and less craving.

Healthier Food Relationship

  • The body needs food physiologically for fuel and nourishment.
  • Individuals also develop emotional attachments to food associated with experiences and memories.
  • Addressing all aspects and influences in food relationships allows individuals to become more aware of their learned behaviors, perceptions, emotions, and mindsets.
  • Identifies behaviors that are not beneficial so the individual can work to improve them.

Improved Cardiometabolic Health

Mindful or intuitive eating has been shown to improve:

  • Blood sugar levels in pregnant women.
  • Inflammatory markers in postmenopausal women.
  • Lipid and blood pressure in overweight adults.

Food Consumption Health

  • Put away electronics and set aside time and space for eating only.
  • Eat in a setting where you are relaxed.
  • Eating in the car, in front of a computer while working, or on the phone doesn’t give full attention to the eating process and, as a result, can cause the individual to eat more or eat foods that are not healthy.
  • Sit down and take a few deep breaths before starting the meal.
  • If emotions are running high and are geared towards eating, see if you can acknowledge and express those emotions rather than eat through them.
  • This will help the digestive process and get the most out of the meal.
  • Eat a palette of colors, sample various salty, sweet, spicy, and umami/savory flavors, and take in the food with all the senses.
  • Not eating a variety of flavors at a meal can cause a feeling of missing something that can lead to unhealthy cravings.
  • Eat with others, as sharing food can enrich everyone involved and help focus on the experience, not the amount of food consumed.
  • Chew thoroughly, as digestion begins in the mouth, where enzymes are secreted in saliva to break down food.
  • Not properly chewing and making the food smaller can cause indigestion and other digestive problems.
  • Listen to your body and recognize when you have had enough or want more.
  • Waiting five minutes before getting another serving can help the body become more attuned to hunger and fullness cues.

Eat Mindfully


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