Mindful Eating Challenge Day 8: Balancing the Elements and the Whole

22 Day Virtual Mindful Eating Challenge with Spe

Day 8: Balancing the Elements and the Whole 

Congratulations on completing your first week!  The key to making life-long changes is consistency which results in new habits.  When we keep coming back to our practice, we are setting ourselves up for success. We all lose balance once in a while, remember it’s not about being perfect, especially when it comes to what we eat. 


“I will practice coming back to the present moment…not letting regrets and sorrow drag me back into the past or letting anxieties, fears, or cravings pull me out…” ― Thich Nhat Hanh “Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life” 

Finding Balance:

As we move through our mindful eating practice and overcome obstacles, it can be easy to fall back on old habits.  Similar to our physical yoga practice, it is often when we want to come out of the pose, but instead we breathe through this moment that the practice of yoga truly begins. If we do our asana practice in preparing to  sit quietly and find peace in meditation. What happens if we approach eating with the same intention?

The beauty of eating a diet centered on whole plant foods is that it connects us to the source of life: water, sunlight (energy), and nutrients in a balanced way.  All whole plant foods contain the essential building blocks of life, but it’s important to eat a variety of foods to ensure we get a balance of nutrients.  A bit of preparation and planning is key, but there are ways to simplify and make it easy.  We can leverage the knowledge and traditions that come from healthy societies, cultures that have not just persisted but thrive. What is common to their diets? A balanced plate of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans/legumes, nuts and seeds!

Practice of the Day: Plan for Essential Nutrients.

Plan your meals for the next few days, using the chart below as a visual guide. Adjust to what makes you feel most balanced.  If you are missing something from a meal, try to add it to the next.  By stocking your kitchen with a variety of whole foods from different groups, you’ll have an easier time balancing your plate, and in turn be better prepared to find balance in life. 

*Source: Plant Based Diets: A Physician’s Guide  Food group recommended servings per day* 

Food group 

Recommended servings per day 

Vegetables, all types, including starchy 

Ad libitum, with a variety of colors represented  

Fruits, all types, 

2-4 servings (1 serving = 1 medium piece or 1/2 cup) 
Whole grains (eg, quinoa, brown rice, oats) 6-11 servings (1 serving = 1/2 cup cooked or 1 slice whole grain bread) 
Legumes (beans, peas, lentils, soy foods) 2-3 servings (1 serving = 1/2 cup cooked) 
Leafy green vegetables (eg, kale, lettuce, broccoli) At least 2-3 servings (1 serving = 1 cup raw or 1/2 cup cooked) 
Nuts (eg, walnuts, almonds, pistachios) 1-2 ounces (or about a small handful) 
Seeds (eg, chia, hemp, and flax seeds) 1-3 tablespoons 
Fortified plant milks (eg, soy, almond, cashew) Optional, 2-3 cups 
Fresh herbs and spices Optional, ad libitum 


Today’s Recipe Suggestions: 

Mac and Not Cheese (Add extra greens like chopped spinach or kale) 

Quick and Easy Tortilla Pizza 

Spiced-Chickpeas & Sweet Potatoes Over Brown Rice 



Dana Toff
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