Mindful Eating

These days everyone is rushing around. We all have endless to-do lists and it seems like there are never enough hours in the day. Most of us tend to scarf down our food without paying much attention to how it tastes, and most importantly, how it makes us feel.   Do you ever find yourself… Eating while… driving, watching TV, reading a book, or on the computer? Standing in front of the fridge and just grabbing food, even when you’re not hungry? Rushing to finish your meal on your 5-minute lunch break? Binging on way too much food after work because you starved yourself all day?   It’s time to slow down, become conscious, and evaluate your food choices based on how you feel and what your body needs. To do this you must practice mindful eating, here’s why and how:   Curb Cravings. Cravings can come from an abundance of reasons. One of them is that we don’t prioritize nourishment. We rush, eat under stress, while driving, or watching TV. We aren’t being truly nourished… which in turn causes cravings. Nourishment isn’t just the nutritional value in the food. It’s the taste, the process of eating, the ambiance of the room, the TLC put into the cooking, and the joy of the eating experience. Shut down. Turn the TV off. Put the phone, laptop, and all distractions aside. Sit down at a table, and just focus on your food. Breathe in the delicious aroma. Appreciate what is about to nourish you. Stop Overeating. As Marc David says, “Overeating happens when our meals are deficient in relaxation, time, pleasure, awareness and good food.” When you eat mindfully, the need to binge will subside. Have better digestion. Digestion starts with being mindful. It starts in the head. 30-40% of the digestion is due to how we smell, taste, and feel about our food. Then digestion moves into the mouth, with chewing. When you chew your food thoroughly, you begin to mechanically break it down into smaller particles. Chewing secretes salvia, which produces enzymes to begin the digestion process. So… Slow Down and Chew.  Take it easy. Eating is not something to be rushed, no matter how busy you are. You can not be properly nourished if you chow everything down in 2 minutes. After each bite, put your utensil down and chew. Chew until you can’t chew anymore. Then swallow, and decide if you are still hungry. If yes, pick your utensil up and begin again until you are satisfied. When you slow down and focus on chewing, you’ll find you become full quicker, and you won’t eat to the point of feeling “stuffed”.   For the next week, make yourself 2 goals related to mindful eating; whether they be slowing down, chewing, limiting distractions, or simply preparing your food in advance so you actually have time to eat it mindfully. Let me know how it goes. XO Amanda 

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