The How of Eating
Mindfulness at Mealtimes
It is not only what you eat, but how you eat that has a profound effect on your health and wellness. Much of our modern lives revolve around convenience and the pressure for personal productivity, leading to unhealthy eating habits. I invite you to consider how incredibly important it is to take time out to leisurely enjoy one of life’s greatest necessities and potential pleasures--eating.
Stressful eating constricts blood flow to your stomach and therefore greatly impedes digestion. When digestion is not working properly, bloating, gas, constipation, low energy and ultimately weight gain ensue. As the obesity epidemic is dangerously on the rise, becoming a slow eater is a simple, no-cost part of the solution.
Identify your eating style. Are you a fast eater? A slow eater? A stand-over-the-kitchen-counter eater? An eat-in-the-car eater? Perhaps you take most of your daily meals at the computer and wonder how your food disappeared so quickly, because you can’t even remember eating it. Mindful eating lets you use all of your senses. Notice the color, smell, taste and texture of each bite. Try a few of these simple tips for mindful eating:
- Sit silently for one minute before you begin eating. Take a few deep breaths. Give gratitude for your meal.
- Eat at a nicely-set table without the distractions of television, computers, books or magazines. Enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of a delicious meal.
- Do not eat when you are upset.
- Eat until you are three-quarters full.
After you finish, notice how the food makes you feel. Sit or lie down for a few minutes after you finish eating, talk with a friend or take a light stroll.
These concepts are simple, yet powerful tools toward living a less stressful life. You will be amazed at how your relationship with food changes and improves, and at how much more peaceful and energetic you feel. Breathe deep and enjoy!
Clinical Nutritionist, Holistic Health Counselor
Recommended Read: Nourishing Wisdom: A Mind-Body Approach to Nutrition and Well-Being by Marc David
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