Mindful eating is learning to pay attention to what you’re putting into your mouth and body while you eat. It really simply means not being distracted while eating and not mindlessly eating. To often, we just scoff our food down, grab something quick and eat it on the go, watch TV while eating or even work while eating! Mindful Eating centers around the notion that you spend time looking at, smelling and really tasting your food, and spending some time chewing it and savouring it. You’ll learn to notice your thoughts, feelings and sensations – and you will start to undertsand what certain foods do to your body.
It will take practice to implement mindful eating into your life. It isn’t something you’ll learn overnight – nor should you ever feel pressure to! This is a skill you’ll learn over time, with tender loving care for yourself and your body. Some days will be better than others, and some meals will be totally mindful, and some will be totally mindless. This isn’t a test – this isn’t to make you feel anything but growth. This is a practice and this should be fun and exciting, not stressful. In fact, it will significantly reduce stress!
What will you learn when you practice Mindful Eating?
- you’ll learn to distinguish between boredom eating, emotinal eating or actual hunger
- that eating is not only necesary biologically, but spiritually
- to pay attention to your feelings while you eat
- to pay attention to WHY you get certain cravings
- you’ll understand the emotions behind your cravings and it will get easier to eat healthier foods
- how full you are while eating, so you’ll automatically know when to stop, or if you truly want more food
- to stop using food as a means of comfort
- where your food comes from, what is in your food and the effect it has on your body, mind, soul
- the effects your food has on the planet – how much it is processed, if it was grown organically, if it is filled with ingredients your body doesnt recognize, how much it suffered before it was killed, etc
- how food makes you FEEL
All in all, mindful eating will help you make BETTER choices. If you can focus not only on mindful eating but mindful COOKING, this is even better. When you actually buy, prepare and cook your food before eating it, you have more of a relationship with it and you know what exactly is in it. By combining mindfully cooking AND mindfully eating, you will learn to make healthier choices for yourself and the planet.
What are the benefits of mindful eating?
- You’ll learn to eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full
- you’ll learn which foods react best inside your body
- you’ll banish cravings for the most part, because you know the after-effects it has on your body
- you’ll stop wanting processed & packaged foods, because you’ll notice it doesn’t give you energy and doesn’t make your body perform optimally
- naturally, your body will begin to shed uneeded body fat and this will resuly in weight loss or balance within your body
- your hormones will stabalize, giving you vibrant health
- your skin, hair and nails will begin to get healthier
- you will be mindful when you’re out socially and you will have less of a tendency to over-eat just because the food is in front of you
- it will be easier for you to pass on dishes made by friends and family and you will understand this will not hurt their feelings as much as it will hurt your body if you eat it
- you will learn to love to grocery shop and cook!
- You will notice increased happiness, joy and mindfulness in your every day life!
- You will learn which foods are best for exercise and recovery!
- You will want to share your knowledge with others!
HOW TO EAT MINDFULLY – step by step
- For best results, grocery shop for the food on your own, and cook the meals yourself. Spend time in the kitchen with your food. Turn off distractions while cooking and focus.
- Plate your meal with care. Make it look appealing to your eyes. Use a nice plate and don’t over-crowd the plate with food – leave the outer rim clear. You can always go back for seconds if you wish.
- Turn off the TV, close your laptop, put the book away and stop working.
- Wash your hands and sit down at the table (if you can set the table or at least clear it, do so!)
- First, close your eyes and say a little gratitude over your food (I like, “thank you, earth, for providing this meal for me, and thank you for all the abundance this world has to offer”, whatever feels right for you)
- Next, with your eyes still closed, feel your insides – explore what is going on in your body, in your tummy, in your head. Really FEEL your emotions and body. Take note of it (you might even want to write it down)
- Next, with your eyes still closed, sniff and smell your food. Let the delicious smells overcome you, smile and let your mouth salivate. Saliva is the first step of proper digestion and normally, we don’t allow enough saliva to generate in the mouth. This will help if you suffer from indigestion or gas.
- Open your eyes and really look at your food! Get excited for it! Eat it with your eyes!
- Pick up your fork or spoon, and take a small bite. Chew a few times, close your eyes, let the tastes overtake you! What is your mind thinking? What is your body saying? How does it taste? What is your mouth feeling? Just really be aware of all sensations!
- Keep going this way and put the fork down in between bites to remain mindful and aware while eating, smile, think, FEEL, love the food. Don’t scoff it down.
- When your plate is done, place down your fork and allow a few minutes to feel whats going on inside. Does it feel good? Do you feel satiated/full? If after a few minutes, you notice you want more, ask yourself – am I emotionally filling up a hole with this food? Or am I actually hungry?
This might seem like a lot, but it takes much less time than you think! Even just a few meals of mindful eating and you’ll start to notice the benefits! You can spend as much or as little time doing this as you want. You can journal, you can speak the words and feelings aloud, whatever floats your boat! I can promise you that mindful eating will change the game for you and you will experience the benefits, and have a more spiritual relationship with food. And that’s what you wanted, isn’t it?
See you & talk to you soon, boo!
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