Mindful eating and your immune system with Dr Joanna McMillan 

Mindful eating is important for all the families health, Dr Joanna McMillan explains her top tips for helping your families immunity and overall health.


What are your top daily habits for wellbeing?

I try to make sure I do some sort of exercise every day. It might be walking my dog for an hour, going to yoga or the gym. But I try to do something active every day. It’s a rare day I miss that.
On the food front, I eat greens every day and use the Dr Joanna plate model at most meals. I feel off kilter if I don’t get enough vegies.

I give priority to family and friends. Sometimes work has to take priority and there’s nothing you can do about that. But in the overall scheme of things, I don’t feel guilty if I’m standing on the soccer pitch cheering on my son’s soccer team instead of being at my desk meeting a deadline. Sometimes we get so caught up in work that we forget about stepping back and looking at the big picture. And I know that I’m much more effective at my desk if I’ve taken the time out to see a friend or spend time with family. So that balance between work and play is really important.


What role does mindfulness play for you?

I talk about mindfulness in relation to the way that we eat. It is really important to start becoming more in tune with your internal cues, your body telling you when you’ve had enough, when you’re satisfied with the meal rather than being responsive to external cues, seeing someone else eat something and wanting what they’re eating. Eating mindlessly in front of the television and you’re not even aware of what you’re eating.

You just have to look at the size of dinner plates to see how much bigger our portions have become. Drinks and coffees are getting bigger. Even healthy foods, which you can still overeat. Food should be an incredibly enjoyable part of life. And it’s not for some people because they get stressed about weight and health.


How do you ensure to keep your kids immunity levels high this winter so they get less sick?

When I cook for my family, it is always with health and TASTE in mind! I have two boys so if it’s too healthy without flavour, they won’t eat it. I will be demonstrating three tried and tested recipes this Saturday in the Blackmores Wellbeing Centre in Bondi Junction that exemplify this approach. I try as best I can to use food as medicine together with mindful eating to support good health for the whole family - particularly in winter where our immune system requires support.


Do you have a tip on how to include veggies and fruits on our kids’ daily plate?

An easy way to add some fruits and veggies into your kid plate is to make a smoothie or juice. My go to smoothie this winter includes 1 peeled mandarin, 1 tbs Blueberry Wild Blueberry Blend, small knob of peeled ginger, ½ cups of fresh or frozen pineapple chunks, handful of mint leaves and ½ slice of lemon and a handful of cashews. Simply place everything into the blender and blitz until smooth. This can be a fun activity to keep your kids healthy as well as entertained! This recipe is also packed with Vitamin C from the citrus fruit, blueberries, pineapple and mint, zinc from the cashews, and has anti-bacterial and anti-viral qualities from the ginger.


Mindful eating to support your Immune System with Dr Joanna McMillan - Dietitian, Nutritionist, Author and Media Personality

Date: Saturday, 23rd July

Time: 15 min cooking demo’s from 12pm - 2pm

Where: Blackmores Wellbeing Centre, Level 5 (next to Target), Westfield Bondi Junction