How To Eat “Mindfully”
September is national yoga awareness month, which is very interesting to me since the whole point of yoga is to increase awareness internally, right?
In yoga, we pay attention to our breathing, body alignment, progress and physical limitations. Learning and practicing this kind of mindfulness on the mat for an hour or so can have a huge impact on the rest of our lives.
What if we applied the same mindful attention to the way we eat?
For most of my clients (and me too), most of the poor food choices we make are an unconscious attempt to assuage uncomfortable emotions such as stress, anxiety, sadness, anger or guilt. We try to fill our emotional hunger with food, and it doesn’t work. Instead, it feeds a cycle of negative emotions. We feel bad about our poor food choice on top of whatever was bothering us to begin with, then make another poor choice as the result of that emotion. Food will never quench emotional hunger, only physical hunger. By tuning into our natural hunger and satiety cues, we can make better choices for what and how much we eat.
What is mindful eating?
-Learning to recognize physical hunger so that we can eat only when we are hungry and stop when we are full.
-Eliminating distractions and focus on your food. Set aside mealtimes to unplug from TV, computer, and all those other devices, so that you can pay attention to your body and your food.
-Enjoying all aspects of food. It has been said that food is the only art form that appeals to all five senses. When we slow down and pay attention, we can appreciate the flavor, aroma and texture of our food, and truly enjoy it.
-Imagining the food nourishing the body. Most people have a general sense of which foods promote good health. When you eat healthy foods, imagine the nutrients integrating into your body and making it healthy and strong. When you eat foods that aren’t as healthy, take the time to enjoy every bite, then make your next meal better.
Sounds great, doesn’t it? But who has the time?
With so much vying for our attention these days, slowing down to eat mindfully might seem a bit daunting.
Just like anything else, it takes practice. One meal per day or per week is a great place to start. To help you out, Good Measure Meals has a fantastic lineup of new recipes to debut in our Fall/Winter menu. It’s so nice to come home to a delicious healthy meal already prepared for you! It makes it that much easier to relax and enjoy it!
We’d love to hear from you about your favorite items on the new menu when it launches next week. I hope you like it as much as I do.
I wish you a happy, healthy and mindful autumn. Namaste.
Today’s post was contributed by GMM Registered Dietitian, Joy Goetz.