Meal Prepping Archives - Wellness Cooking Academy
Mindful Eating and Portion Control

Mindful Eating and Portion Control

Did you ever sit down with a bag of popcorn at the movies only to discover it empty before the feature presentation has even begun? Let’s face it, those previews do last forever, but that’s not really the point is it? Chances are, you didn’t even realize that you were eating the popcorn and may not even remember tasting it! This is a great example of mindless eating.

When we eat mindlessly, without paying attention, we tend to eat too much and usually well past the point of satiety.

In fact, you may feel pretty lousy when you realize what’s happened, but by then, it’s too late. This is one of the easiest ways to sabotage your weight loss goals and to pack on added and unwanted pounds – possibly without even being aware of your actions. Eating too much of a good thing can still be bad for you. It may not even occur to you until the scale screams “OMG”!

Paying attention to what you eat and how much you eat is crucial to any successful weight loss or weight management program.

Mindful eating means being aware and conscious of what you are eating, when you are eating it and why you are eating it. Portion control goes hand in hand with mindful eating.

Take nuts for example. Both nuts and seeds are an excellent source of protein and are also the perfect way to get your Omega-3 fats along with other essential vitamins and minerals. But, it’s so easy to eat too many nuts and seeds. If you think of a portion-size serving of nuts as 1 oz., you will have a better idea of how easy it is to overdo it. A portion of nuts does not mean eating handfuls at a time, or even picking at them one by one while sipping a drink or talking on the phone. Instead, according to the Cleveland Clinic, “the following equal a one-ounce serving: 24 almonds, 18 medium cashews, 12 hazelnuts or filberts, 8 medium Brazil nuts, 12 macadamia nuts, 35 peanuts, 15 pecan halves and 14 English walnut halves. All it takes is one, one-ounce serving a day or five ounces per week of a variety of nuts to reap the heart-disease fighting benefits found in the research presented above.”

Making the conscious decision to pre-portion serving sizes of certain foods makes it possible to enjoy them without the danger of adding unnecessary calories to your diet.

While I don’t advocate counting calories while following a clean, whole food diet; at the same time, certain healthy foods still have a high calorie count. For this reason, it may be necessary to dole out portions to prevent yourself from eating too much. By preparing snacks like nuts in small, single-serving bags can help keep the servings under control.

portion control for nuts is also important

In order to give my clients a better idea of how to understand portion control without feeling deprived I offer the following suggestions:

  • Plan ahead. Knowing what you plan to eat helps you decide in advance how much you need to feel satiated – that is satisfied – not full.
  • Track your food. Writing down what you eat and how you feel when you’re eating it is very helpful in keeping you mindful of your behavior.
  • Know your triggers. Foods such as nuts and seeds may be good for you, but if you can’t stop eating them, then perhaps you shouldn’t eat them, or should at least eat them in a “safer”, more controlled environment.  For instance, eating them on the go instead of while watching TV may provide a more controlled environment.
  • Prepare your own food. When you cook, you can control how much you make and, therefore, how much each serving size will be, including what you will have left over.
  • Slow down and enjoy your food. Chewing and eating slowly allow your body the opportunity to digest the food more thoroughly so that you recognize that you’re full. It also ensures that you’re aware of that feeling before eating past that point.

When you eat in a more mindful manner, you will find yourself enjoying your food more. You will also appreciate the texture and flavors of your food. You will be less likely to feel deprived, because while you may enjoy the food, you will learn that there is more where that came from, and that you don’t have to eat it all at once. Sometimes all you need is a taste to satisfy your taste buds.

Yours In Good Health,


debbie janoff - portion control expert

Debbie Janoff

Contributed by: Debbie Janoff


Business: Wholey Fit Nutrition, LLC



9 Tips to Healthy Grocery Shopping

9 Tips to Healthy Grocery Shopping

We all know that meal prepping begins with buying our groceries, but it can sometimes seem intimidating! Here, you’ll find some of our tried and true tips for healthy grocery shopping.  Are we missing anything?  Feel free to comment with your favorite tips below!

The most common mistakes to avoid:

1. Don’t get lured into the next latest and greatest marketing campaign. If it says “healthy” or “natural,” that means nothing. Do not be fooled by the face of the product, you still need to read the ingredients. They are listed in order of highest quantity to least amount in the product. Labels are for marketing, which is meant to grab your attention to get you to buy it.

2. Trying to save money is being, “penny wise, dollar foolish,” or should I say, health foolish. Do not make the mistake of buying products on sale or with coupons that you would not normally buy. You may be enticed by a sale when you don’t actually need that product. I’m not saying to avoid a sale; I am simply saying that you should only buy it if it was your original intention.

3. Don’t buy something out of the healthy or organic section of a store without reading the ingredients. You just can’t trust the section itself; or the entire store for that matter. You must still read the label. The rule of thumb is to not buy food that you cannot pronounce the ingredients. Simple natural food is always best. Just because it’s at a health food store doesn’t mean it is healthy. You still need to be mindful of processed foods and how many organic cookies you ingest. A cookie is still a cookie. By the way, I’m not saying you can’t have an occasional treat, it’s just that the word “occasional” is sometimes mistreated.

4. You also must buy good quality meat, fish, and dairy, if using at all. The chemicals are more condensed in these products. Don’t try to save here. You’re looking for meats that are free from antibiotics, hormones and factory farming. How the animal is raised and slaughtered is important because it transfers to your body. What you eat becomes your cells. I would also suggest that you treat meat as a condiment, meaning eat very little.

5. Shop the perimeter of the store. That is where the fresh food is. All of the living food is always along the outer edges of the store. The processed food that has a longer shelf life is found in the aisles. I recommend that you go to the store with a shopping list and only visit the aisles with your list.

6. Don’t impulse buy unless you are in the produce aisle. Never impulse buy at the register. Those items are there for a reason. While standing in line waiting, you may just get lured by that candy bar or sugar-coated peanuts. If you must pass the time, pick up a magazine instead, or ask someone near you how their day is and share a smile.

7. Don’t shop hungry. You may end up breaking all of these rules just because hunger clouds your better judgment.  This is one of my favorite tips for healthy grocery shopping!

8. Plan your meals on a weekly meal calendar. This will save you money and keep you organized.

9. Shop with a list. Shopping with a list puts the intention of what you’re going to buy in writing, making it more difficult to impulse buy or buy things that are not healthy.

tips for healthy grocery shopping

For further help, email me at

Need a meal plan? Check out my 12 Week Cookbook, The Cookin’ Yogi’s, More Energy, Less Waist on Amazon.

Bon Healthy Appetite!  – Sherri Mraz

Don’t fall prey to marketing. Companies have experts working on how to lure you into buying their products. You must have a line of defense. Knowledge has power.

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