Happy Monday! I hope you all had a nice weekend?! It's hard to believe the last two months of 2015 are fast approaching. When this year started, I really had no idea what was going to happen in my life aside from one certainty: getting married. I was about halfway through nutrition school and did not even have additional certifications on my radar. It's incredible for me to think that I'm now both a Weight Loss Specialist and a Certified Personal Trainer via the National Academy of Sports Medicine! It's been a supremely educational year, that's for sure, and I'm excited to continue carving out my own path in the wellness world.

Today I wanted to share the most important health lesson my mom ever taught me. I actually got to thinking about this on our flight to Miami for our wedding three weeks ago. We were fortunate enough to fly first class, and we had a hot meal served to us in-flight. "Lunch" was served promptly at 11am. I don't eat lunch much before 1pm most days, and we'd already eaten egg sandwiches at the airport that had kept me full. 

{typical weekday lunch for me: eggs, lean protein + fruit}

I knew once we got to Miami we were going to head to the courthouse to get our marriage license before running other errands, and we probably wouldn't get around to a proper meal until dinnertime. Still, I don't like to eat just to eat. I watched everyone else around me dig into their food. I was studying for the CPT exam and continued with my text book and practice tests, ignoring my lunch.

We had a very sassy male flight attendant who kept making comments every time he came to attend to Ben and me and noticed that I hadn't yet touched my food. Around 11:45 I began the arduous task of chopping up my chicken (not sarcasm - I'm a notoriously slow cutter and airplane knives are very dull) and I began to eat around noon. At one point our steward said to Ben, "I hope you know what you're getting into! Your wife-to-be sure is a slow eater!"

{incredible seafood pasta at Salt - savored one noodle at a time}

Last I checked, eating in a leisurely manner isn't a crime, but you'd be surprised how many people give me shit about my quirky eating habits (of which I admittedly have many). My mom taught me many, many things in our 29 years as mother and daughter, but bar none the most important health lesson she taught me is to eat slowly. I have a very vivid memory of being at a restaurant as a kid, scarfing down my meal, and her telling me not to eat so fast. "You'll get sick!" she said. "Eat slower. Take your time." My mom taught me so much - way more than she ever knew - but this is one of the pearls of wisdom for which I am most grateful. 

In this day and age of "busy" and blurred lines between professional and personal lives, it has become far too easy to resort to eating quickly as a means to get back to tending to the rest of your life. However, hurried eating has many consequences. Aside from causing your digestive system to work overtime, your brain does not have time to receive the "I'M FULL" memo from your stomach if you rush through meals. This leads to overeating, weight gain and oftentimes much worse.

{the most stunning and delicious almond-rose tart at The Four Seasons Restaurant}

Five years ago, I made the decision to become a more mindful eater. I can still hear my mom's voice in my head, "SLOW DOWN!" Eating slower has spawned so many other food behaviors that have ultimately allowed me to shed 15+ unwanted, unnecessary pounds from my figure. There is so much value in truly zoning in and paying attention to every meal, every snack, every bite. 

I know many of you also have deceased parents, and I know everyone has different ways of dealing with loss. It's helpful for me to continually remind myself how much my mom's words, actions and values continue to have an effect on my life every single day - and always will. Thanks for listening to my rambling today! Sometimes it's nice to be able to honor my mom here without getting too deep...

What's the most important health lesson your parent(s) ever taught you? Are you a slow eater or a fast eater? Thank you for reading! I'll see you on Wednesday with a giveaway!