healthy eating Jul 29, 2020

Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations.

I like this definition when talking about mindful eating because we can think of all these things while chewing our food.  There are many other things going on while we eat most of the time.  Talking, driving, and watching TV are the top three.  I went to a yoga retreat once where we had to eat all meals in silence.  It was eye opening and so cool!  Many of the things in this article were ah-ha moments from that experience.     

Three aspects of mindfulness.

Intention - 

What do you hope to get from practicing mindful eating?  I hope you will find a new way of putting food in your body.  Basically a slower way.  

Attention - 

to your inner or outer experiences.  This is where the magic happens.  Bringing our attention to each specific taste and bite of food reveals new truths.  You may find you don't need as much salt or sugar on things as you are in the habit of using.  You may find you really don't like a food you've been eating for years!


such as curiosity, acceptance and kindness.  Many Americans have unhealthy beliefs around food usually as a product of their childhood.  Society places a high correlation on how we look to how much we eat.  Show yourself some compassion when you eat too much of something you try to stay away from.  Accept that you strayed from your plan and show yourself kindness as you refocus for the next day.  Become curious about new foods or new ways to prepare food.   

Make eating a production.

Use real dishes, silverware, place mats, sit down, and take your time. Notice the colors on the plate. Fill the plate once with each part of the meal. Look at the plate and food before you eat it. Breathe.  Say a prayer or acknowledge the animals who’s lives will give you nourishment. Think of the water, sun and time it took the vegetables to grow.  Notice the smells and textures as you eat the first bite of food.  Chew each bite of food 20 times.  Well, 20 times is hard for some bites but the idea is to chew much more than you are used to.  The meal should take you more than the average 10 minutes  of most American meals.  You may want to try eating with chop sticks to help slow the meal down.  Don't get up from the table during the meal.  Eliminate all distractions.  Focus on one thing, eating.  Sit at the table after the food is gone.  Breathe.  Notice how full you are.  Are you comfortably full, or stuffed feeling?  A goal with mindful eating is to notice when you are full and stop eating.  Most meals we are too distracted with other things and eat beyond satiety.  When you can notice the difference between the no longer hungry feeling and full feeling, you've got mindful eating down. 


Common mindful eating mistakes.

  • Eating while driving
  • Eating in front of TV
  • Eating too fast
  • Eating during food preparation
  • Cell phone use while eating
Many of our habits around eating are driven by time or lack there of.  Habits become ingrained and it takes effort to break into new ways of thinking.  Slowing down our intake of food not only prevents things like indigestion and weight gain but it allows us to notice when we are full and stop eating sooner.  Try mindful eating for 7 days and you may like it so much you stick with it!
Until next time.
Be Fit, Eat Slow, 

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