As the founder of Splendid Spoon, Nicole Centeno knows a thing or two about wellness. The gluten-free, GMO-free brand offers a variety of healthy, nourishing and plant-based smoothies, soups and cleanses. Nicole wanted her company to be dedicated to helping consumers change their relationship with food by integrating small changes into your daily food routine will make a big impact on your health and establish long term, better-for-you habits.

Today, she shares four suggestions to implement into your daily life that will change your perspective AND help you lead a healthier life: 

  1. Delete the self criticism “App”. I was talking to a mentor recently about how self critical I am, and how critical I can be of others. He said “how’s that working for you?” And I laughed! It’s not working at all – it makes me feel terrible, I said. So he told me to think about behaviors like apps. If one is not working for you: delete it. Every time my inner critic creeps in I actually visualize deleting this behavior, and I move forward feeling a lot lighter.

  2. Honor the solo meal. I love enjoying meals with friends and loved ones but the reality is that most of my eating is done on the go or on my own at work. I have a tendency to rush through my solo meals and snacks because I judge them as less enjoyable or I judge my to-do list as more important. At least once a day – it could be that 11am banana or my 2pm soup – I sit down and really appreciate what I’m eating. Slowing down while you eat also moves your body from the stressed out sympathetic “fight or flight” state and into the peaceful parasympathetic state which is the ideal state for your body to digest and retain nutrients.

  3. The ten second pause. When stressed the body releases adrenaline which then causes high levels of the neurotransmitters neuropenephrine and dopamine in the brain. This effectively deactivates the prefrontal cortex — our brain’s center of higher thought and reasoning — and inhibits our ability to use logic. Our fight or flight instincts kick in and often the quickest route to self-soothe is with food, usually the junk food variety. (I used to grab chocolate out of my freezer every time the kids threw tantrums!) Counting slowly to 10 is a really easy way to de-escalate that initial stress response, and help you stay in contact with your brain’s logic center.

  4. Fresh herbs, especially cilantro. Green herbs are my favorite way to add flavor without extra salt or hot sauce (most have added sugar in them!) Cilantro gets major bonus points for clearing excess estrogen from the liver which in turn keeps skin clear if breakouts.