Becoming a (Mindful) Superfoodie of the Future
As soon as I found out that Avazera was one of the vendors at our fall Retail Therapy event, I knew I had to connect and get the scoop on how to eat superfoods without feeling like you’re stripping the earth of its precious ingredients! There’s got to be a way to eat like the one per cent (hello bougie spirulina smoothies!) without degrading the earth for other 99 per cent — right?!
It turns out that elevating your diet and protecting the environment can go hand-in-hand. Read on to get all the goodies on fuelling up for the sake of your health — and the planet — in my Q&A with Avazera co-founder Shiva Burnett.
Q: How can you enjoy foreign superfoods/herbs in a way that's sustainable?
A: You can enjoy superfoods that are handled with care and ethical sourcing. Superfoods that come from distant geographic locations (despite their distance) can emit lower emissions then locally sourced produce depending on how they were produced- we mention more about this later on in the blog!
Be on the lookout for organic products that support sustainable means of development to help minimize their carbon footprint.
Q: What does "mindful eating" mean to you, and how can we make more mindful choices around how we nourish ourselves?
A: At Avazera, we believe that mindful eating is a powerful tool to gain a conscious understanding of your eating habits/patterns. It’s not a diet, but an approach to learning how to pay attention and understand the difference between the needs and wants of your body at the present moment, as well as how you may feel later on. Your body is always telling you how to treat it, telling you what it likes and doesn’t, but only if you listen and adjust accordingly!
Instead of eating mindlessly and overindulging you can make practice mindful eating by:
Reflecting on your emotions before, during and/after your meals. This can be very important to those who are emotional eaters. Are you upset, angry, looking for comfort or simply bored?
Develop a healthy eating environment. Take the time to find a place for you to eat (and yes, that means not eating while multitasking over your keyboard) along with using the proper utensils and presentation of food (because eating out of the container also doesn’t count!)
Take your time. Mindful eating requires you to slow down and chew your food properly! As the saying goes “Drink your food, chew your water!” By doing so, you’re syncing up your mind and digestion and providing your brain with the opportunity to learn to stop eating at the right moment. Not too early, not too late.
Q: What’s the most underrated superfood?
A: Even though gaining in popularity, organic Spirulina, an alkalizing super green can still be underrated. We’re thinking it’s the green colour and the natural smell that may make people think about incorporating it into their wellness routines. However, this blue-green algae is an amazing source of digestible plant-based protein and iron and contains a high in an assortment of minerals and vitamins.
Did you know: spirulina was given to NASA astronauts as a rich supplement for their space flight food. And the UN World Health Organization and called spirulina "the best food of the future.”
Q: What are some ways our diets can be more mindful of the environment?
A: Every change made has the potential to make a huge difference. An eco-friendly diet is possible to help better ourselves and our planet:
• Reduce consumption of meat. Meat that has been industrially farmed requires a lot of energy and a lot of resources. By transitioning to a vegan or low-meat lifestyle you can help to reduce your carbon footprint. To start you can commit to one plant-based meal a day —you can choose breakfast, lunch or dinner and switch it up every day!
• Understand “local”. Understanding how local your food is very important to keep in mind. Some locally produced products can emit more emissions (depending on the manner they were produced and grown ie: fossil-fuel heated greenhouses) than products transported a longer distance (which could have been organically grown in fields.) Local and shorter transport doesn’t always equal better. So the next time you go to your local farmers market, talk to the farmers and ask what steps they take to produce in an eco-friendly manner.
• Reduce waste with at-home recipes or visiting restaurants that make a conscious effort to incorporate every bit of food so nothing goes to waste. The fun part is an endless amount of creativity!
Q: What does "retail therapy" mean to you?
A: Retail therapy is usually viewed as a poor coping strategy to improve the buyer’s mood, but at Avazera we believe retail therapy can be done in healthy non-remorseful way. Events like, the Mindful Collective’s Retail Therapy proves just that! Conscious consumption should be integrated into retail therapy to provide healthier and longer-lasting happiness.
Shiva Burnett, Avazera Co-Founder
Shiva is Avazera's co-founder and a health advocate who shares her passion for holistic wellness! Avazera blossomed due to Shiva's personal experience that health is not a "one-size fits all" journey. Her dedication to finding alternative sources of nutrition has created the vision for Avazera to become a global resource that inspires, enriches and facilitates communities on their journey to inner and outer well-being.
By: Kiki Athanas, Wellness Expert & Educator @ MEbyKiki.com