What was the last thing you ate? Why did you eat it – because you were hungry? Bored? A protein bar or bag of chips was just sitting there? A coworker brought cookies or donuts to the breakroom? Or maybe you started your day with breakfast like you always do. Whatever it was, whenever it was, did you think about what you were putting in your body and why? In this episode of My Healthy Life, get ready to shift your perspective on food as we discuss how to eat more mindfully and intentionally for our hearts and overall health.
This episode’s subject matter expert encourages us to shift how we perceive food and eating. “We have to think about each meal as really an opportunity to make a better choice,” Yaron Fridman, MD, explains. “There are many times I want to mindlessly eat,” even Dr. Fridman admits (especially after a 30-hour shift). But when you take a minute to think about what you’re eating, putting in your body and even where it came from, you can help create a shift in your overall health.
“We can make small choices and those small choices make a big difference.” Do you ever find yourself eating just to eat? (Us too.) But what if every time you ate, you thought if it as an opportunity to empower your heart and take charge of your own wellbeing? Dr. Fridman says this is “better than any medicine he can prescribe.”
Young at Heart – My Healthy Life Podcast: Episode 14
Did you know you can actually change the way food tastes? Our bodies were created to not only consume and digest raw foods, but actually enjoy them. If you slowly cut out artificial sweets or processed foods and replace them with more natural sugars from foods like fruits, they will start to taste sweeter. If you ever wondered how some people consider fruit “dessert,” to some it may taste the way that fudge brownie or chocolate mousse does to others.
But your taste buds won’t change overnight.
Like breaking any bad habit or developing a better one, it takes patience and effort. “Think of something you’re really good at. You didn’t get there overnight,” Dr. Fridman explains. Not sure where to start? Try meal prepping. Benefits include more mindful and intentional eating throughout the week, saving money, saving your mental energy and saving calories. Once you get the hang of it, you can become more creative and you may even find that you enjoy something that once seemed like a chore.
We asked Dr. Fridman how a heart-healthy focus on food and eating shows up in his life. “I think it’s very important that when you give advice you practice what you preach,” Dr. Fridman says. “I whole-heartedly try to take the same tips and tricks that I give my patients and use them in my daily life.” He does that by taking a minute to think about what he’s putting in his body before he eats, drinking water, guidance from a cookbook called Forks Over Knives  and meal prepping with support from his wife, as they try to help their kids develop good habits early that become a part of their daily life as they grow up.
About Dr. Yaron Fridman
“I’m still relatively young and I’m young at heart, but I want to prevent heart disease.” Meet our passionate subject matter expert, Yaron Fridman, MD. A general cardiologist at Asheville Cardiology Associates, an affiliate of Mission Health, he treats aspects of heart disease from preventative to advanced cardiac care. He specializes in advanced cardiac imaging and has an expertise in cardiac MRI. Dr. Fridman and his family are enjoying life in the mountains after happily coming to Asheville from Pittsburgh nearly a year ago. Dr. Fridman says he learns from his patients every day and he hopes he teaches them something, too.
For more than 40 years, Mission Heart has been a regional leader in cardiothoracic surgery and heart care. Mission Heart has been recognized by Truven Health Analytics (a leading authority on clinical quality) as a Top 50 Cardiovascular Hospital for the twelfth time. Mission Heart is one of only two hospitals in the Carolinas to receive this recognition. Only five hospitals in the United States have been named to the Top 50 Cardiovascular Hospital list more times than Mission Heart.