How to Make Mindful Choices

June 18, 2018

Do you ever hear a piece of news and feel good about it?  Recently, I saw something on one of my nutrition news feeds and want to share it with you.  Just confirms something that I have seen and also experienced myself.  We tend to surround ourselves with food, not always the best choices and overindulge especially if it is free.

Research presented at the American Society for Nutrition’s annual meeting found workers add an average of 1,300 calories to their diet each week by eating foods obtained at work, with more than 70% of those calories coming from free food. According to the U.S. News, using information from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Acquisition and Purchasing survey, the study revealed most of the additional calories were from food sources that contained high amounts of sodium and refined grains, with little whole grains and fruits.  These foods were also high in “empty” calories. 

The message is to make sure there are healthy choices available. Aren’t you glad you don’t work with me!  Many of my fellow co-workers run from me when they see me coming through the cafeteria or at one our internal events.  The message is to think about the choices we make because they all add up eventually and it catches up with us!

Try this easy recipe which has an extra serving to take with you to work the next day.  You will be full and less tempted to overindulge with the goodies you might be exposed to at work.

Black Bean Burrito Bowl



  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 1/1/4 c long grain brown rice
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • 3 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro


  • ½ c fresh or frozen corn
  • 2 tbsp. chopped red onion
  • 1 ½ tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • 1 small fresh jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro


  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2/3 c chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 scallions chopped
  • 2 tbsp. chopped red bell pepper
  • 3 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans 1 bay leaf
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp kosher slat
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. For the rice: in a pot of salted boiling water, cook the rice according to package directions Transfer the rice to a large bowl and add the olive oil; lime juice and cilantro.  Toss well and set aside.
  2. For the salsa:  Cook the corn in a small pan of boiling water for 5 minutes.  Drain and set aside to cool.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the red onion lime juice and the salt. Let sit for 5 minutes.  Add the cooled corn, tomato, jalapeño, garlic and cilantro.
  4. For the beans: heat a medium pot over medium heat.  Add the olive oil, onion, garlic, scallions, bell pepper and cilantro cook, stirring until the vegetables are soft, 3 to 5 minutes.  Add ½ cup water, the vinegar, beans, bay leaf, cumin, oregano, salt and black pepper to taste.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.  Remove the bay leaf.
  5. For the toppings: To serve, dividing eh rice equally among  5 bowls,   Tope each bowl with ½ c black beans, 2 tbsp. shredded cheese, ¼ cup salsa, avocado slices and romaine lettuce.

Nutrition Information: 395 calories, 11 gm fat, 10 mg cholesterol, 17 g protein, 245 mg sodium

(Recipe adapted from


This is another in a weekly series of healthy recipes from Kay MacInnis, registered dietitian at Providence Health in Columbia, S.C.

Kay promotes health and wellness, helping cardiac and diabetes patients eat their way to healthier lives. She works in consultation with the trained chefs at Providence, combining her nutrition knowledge with their food prep know-how to create delicious, healthy dishes for patients and the public. She also conducts a number of health and wellness events for the public, including the monthly Providence Cooks! classes.