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Practice gratitude for your body, and see what it can do!

From our experts: Jessi Holden is a registered dietitian/nutritionist at Mary Free Bed.

At the beginning of each year, we focus on setting new goals or practicing new healthy behaviors. One thing we may not think a lot about is practicing gratitude. Research shows that those who practice gratitude are thriving psychologically, spiritually, physically and cognitively. It also shows that practicing gratitude builds “resilience in the face of difficulties while learning.”1

How can we practice gratitude? There are lots of ways! We can thank our body for being able to digest the food we’re about to eat. We can focus on what our body can do instead of comparing it to a standard from our past. Changing the way we think about our body may lower stress, improve mood and help us enjoy our food more.

Slow Cooker Chicken Taco SoupGive it a try! What are you grateful for? Give it some thought while you make my ridiculously easy and delicious Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Soup.

Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Soup

Ingredients:
• 2 chicken breasts
• 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed (low sodium or no salt added)
• 1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed (low sodium or no salt added)
• 2 cups broth (chicken, garlic, bone or vegetable)
• 1 can corn, drained and rinsed (low sodium or no salt added)
• 1 can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
• 1 cup salsa (heat to your liking)
• Taco seasonings
o 3 tbsp. chili powder
o 1 tbsp. cumin
o ½ tsp. garlic powder
o ½ tsp. paprika

Optional toppings:
• Plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
• Freshly squeezed lime juice
• Crushed tortilla chips
• Guacamole or avocado slices
• Cilantro

Directions:
1. Place all ingredients into your crock pot.
2. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8.
3. Remove chicken, shred and place back in the crockpot.
4. Stir and enjoy!

Nutrition information: Yields 10 cups
1 cup is 142 calories, 1.4 g fat, 19 g carbohydrate, 10.5 g protein

Before the next time you eat, try thinking of things you’re grateful for. See if it helps you slow down, eat mindfully and if it improves your resilience this winter.

Need more help? Mary Free Bed offers outpatient Nutrition Services with registered dietitians available to help you build sustainable, doable and individualized goals. Contact us for one-on-one nutrition therapy or if you’re interested in our Weight Management Program. The next virtual Foundation class begins at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 19. For more information or to register, call 616.840.8908 or email mfbweightmanagement@maryfreebed.com.

Reference
1. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, Vol. 16, No. 4, August 2016, pp.1-13. doi: 10.14434/josotl.v16i4.19998

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