Mindful eating- Are you doing it?

think before you eat

Mindful Eating Made Easy

Mindful eating is one of the world’s latest hot topics and for very good reason. Being more careful about how you eat and not just what you eat, can have a huge impact on almost every factor of your life. From putting an end to emotional eating to reducing your consumption of alcohol or reducing stress levels, mindful eating is very effective for many people, both men and women alike. But mindful eating will only work for you if you can effectively make it compatible with your current lifestyle. Here are some of my useful tips to easily introduce mindfulness to your mealtimes.

Prepare your own food

Digestion starts with a thought…..What will I have for dinner? This thought and the following sequence of events such as selecting, seeing, feeling, smelling, cooking your food, activates the Vegus nerve (zafra 2006), which in turn stimulates a cascade of hormones, digestive enzymes, stomach acid and more. This encourages good digestion and the absorption of essential nutrients. Many people often skip some or all of these events by selecting pre-prepared, packaged foods, which could compromise good digestion.

 Eat slower

We aren’t talking about eating so slowly that dinner starts to run into the next day’s breakfast. We are saying that eating is not a race and that by taking the time to taste your food, you will enjoy it more and become more mindful of what you are putting into your body. Chewing your food might seem obvious, but this is the first physical stage of digestions. Many people skip this vital stage by gulping their food down as quickly as possible!

Savour the quiet

Don’t just savour your food, enjoy the quiet that you could have at mealtimes. If you have children, encourage calm conversation that could instill good habits for their future. Switch of electronic gadgets, phones, tablets; including the T.V.  After a while, this method will take effect and your mealtimes will be less stressful, promoting better digestion.

Pay attention

By paying attention to the flavours, textures and colours of your food, mindfulness will begin to become second nature and you just might taste things in a whole new light. Paying attention will also enable you to feel the sensations of being hungry and being full, reducing the potential for overeating and emotional eating. Try slowing down and really pay attention to your food, you will be amazed at the difference it can make in your mindfulness campaign.

 Know your food

Getting to know your food is much more than just cooking it and eating it. Purchasing your groceries from a local farm stand will give you a much stronger relationship with your food that goes well beyond just tasting it, including reducing your carbon footprint. Even growing your own food is not only better for your mindful way of life, it’s also good for the environment and it tastes better too! Organic is great, but if that is a stretch for the purse strings check out the dirty dozen and the clean thirteen.

Mindful eating doesn’t have to be a chore and you don’t have to make the switch right away. It can be days or weeks for one to become fully mindful of their eating habits before they can even begin to apply the above approaches. With practice and dedication, you can do it and you will feel much better for it.