Mindful Eating

I would like to think I have a relatively healthy relationship with food.  I eat vegan, mostly local, at least 60% raw, whole and unprocessed foods. I eat when I’m hungry, and don’t when I’m not. But I have an issue with not paying attention while consuming the food I have thought so deeply about before purchasing. And I often eat too fast without taking time to fully enjoy what I eat.

I have done a great deal of research about mindful eating lately, because it is something important to me that I feel is crucial in developing an overall healthy lifestyle. Please join me in my mission to eat and live more mindfully!

Nowadays we are taking eating for granted and don’t pay much attention on what we are eating, why we are eating and where the food comes from and how it is made. Our body is our temple and we should always treat it with the respect and that starts with what we are putting in our body and how we prepare and eat it. It is necessary to appreciate the food we are eating and take the time to prepare and enjoy it properly. We should eat to live not the other way around. Only things that go into our body should be good and nourishing foods, not just quick and easy pleasure traps. Food should always be totally guilt free and enjoyable.

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the practice of being completely aware of your actions, thoughts, and feelings. We are all guilty of going through our days on autopilot, absorbed in our minds and letting our ego control our actions. Mindfulness steps away from all that and concentrates on only this moment.

Why Eat Mindfully?

You wont overeat– Watching television or working (playing) on the computer while eating is proven to cause you to consume more than you typically would if you were paying attention. Eating quickly also has the same effect, as it takes a bit for your stomach to send “full” signals to your brain. By the time you are done eating, the food hasn’t even properly settled in your stomach yet!

You will think about the origins of your food – Taking time out to mindfully consider what you are doing changes your perspective on a lot of things. When you mindfully eat, you start to think about what it is that your eating, and what that means to you and the rest of the world.

You wont get bloated/gassy/gross – If you chew your food thoroughly and completely, and take your time to swallow you will solve a lot of your digestion issues. Your saliva will help break down your food and lessen the work that your digestive system has to do. You will swallow less air which will result in less gassy unpleasantness.

You will enjoy your food so much more – I don’t know about you but I LOVE FOOD. I love exploring new flavors and dishes.  When I stop to enjoy my food, and concentrate on it wholly and completely, I enjoy it tenfold. It is seriously almost orgasmic.

You will develop your palate – When you take the time out to notice flavors hidden in the depths of your food, you will be able to appreciate daring flavor combinations or even develop your own. You will start to appreciate subtle things about foods you never noticed.

How to eat mindfully

Prepare with love – If you are eating your food at home the best way to prepare yourself for mindful eating is to start with some mindful preparing. Devote a good chunk of time to concentrate and enjoy the process of cooking or preparing.

Turn off distractions – Will you really die without technology for an hour? Odds are, it will be good for you either way. Sit comfortably, just you and your food and maybe some good company – nothing else!

Eat healthy – if you eat unhealthy. Mindful eating will quickly get you into the habit of eating nourishing foods.

Think about where your food came from – Before you start to munch, take a good look at your food. Where did it come from and how did it get to be in the form that it is at this moment? Did it come from a nearby farm or a greenhouse? Do you think there are chemicals in your food? Do you know anything about the processing your food went through to get into the state it is in? Do you know what all of the ingredients are?  If you are eating meat – did it suffer to get on your plate? Was it injected with hormones and antibiotics? All of these questions are very important. Food is what keeps us alive and healthy! It is the very essence of our being!

Take small bites – Start with really small bites. The longer it takes you to eat the better. At first this will be excruciating (“but there is soo much to do!”) but soon it will be incredibly enjoyable. Think about the entire process, from picking it up with your fork to the act of swallowing.

Have a mouth party – take note of the texture, taste and consistency of your food. Be mindful of these things, but don’t judge or develop opinions. Just love this moment!

Mindful Eating is…
• Deliberately paying attention to food in a non-judgmental, non-blaming way.
• A means of promoting balance, choice, wisdom and acceptance around meals, body, and eating.
• Awareness of physical hunger and satiety cues to guide the decision of when to begin or stop eating.
• Accepting that there is no right or wrong way to eat, but varying degrees of awareness surrounding the experience.
• A set of skills that anyone can learn
• An increased awareness of one’s stress level, hunger and satiety, and eating habits.
• The ability to observe eating in a more open and non-judging way that lets one find balance with food and eating.
• Not a diet, but a lifelong way of eating with awareness and informed choice
Helps individuals create:
1) a better fit with their inner environment:
Experiences in the body (hunger, emotions, cravings, and stress arousal)
Experiences in the mind (negative rumination, perfectionist thinking, self-critical thoughts, and distorted beliefs)
2) a better fit and better boundaries with their outer environment:
Cultural and family belief systems and messages (regarding beauty, weight, and food) Stress resulting from overwork, overstimulation, and technology overload.

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