I know I’ve been posting a lot about food lately, so today I want to focus on HOW we are eating. We live in a world were eating is part of our daily routines, and every day that passes, we become more conscious of what we put in our temples/bodies. Our culture is food-abundant, which means we have too much, meaning we often find ourselves being careless about what we consume. The idea of mindful eating is basically applying the fundamentals of mindfulness* when we eat. It means being conscious of what we have in front of us with the intention of caring for our bodies and our health. It is also being fully invested in the moment. Taking the time to savor each bite and being aware of our entire eating process.
This process begins when we recognize our hunger or non-hunger/emotional cues for eating, and ends with how the food we eat becomes the fuel that lets us live the amazing life we desire. Eating mindfully can help us develop a better relationship with food, thus, becoming healthier and more satisfied with our lives.
Given that this is a hard process, I’ll share a few steps that can help you become a more mindful eater.
- Start by eating a plant-based diet. Incorporate legumes, high-fat whole foods (avocados, nuts, oats, soy, etc.), leafy green vegetables, fruits, whole grains and vegetables into your diet.
- Become aware of your grocery shopping experience. Take your time reviewing each product, make lists before you get there and evaluate whether what your buying will respond to your body’s hunger or your emotional hunger.
- Don’t skip meals. Skipping meals makes it harder to be mindful when eating, because when hunger finally strikes, we’ll try to eat whatever is closest or easiest to get. You can plan ahead, buy your ingredients ahead or prepare all your meals at the beginning of each week.
- Chew thoroughly. They recommend chewing each bite from 20-40 times. It helps you taste the food better and avoids choking.
- Avoid overeating. Eating mindfully also means eating slower, which means you will not likely overeat, given that you’ll be able to give your stomach time to send your brain signals that it is already full. When you overeat, you’re typically eating way faster, which doesn’t let food set in your stomach and send the signal to your brain to stop.
- Food can be nourishing as it can be pleasurable, so be sure to focus on your meal to enjoy the experience of eating.
- My dad gave me the best advice ever when it comes to eating less. It has worked for him and it has worked for me too. Drink water before eating, this tricks the body as it calms hunger and helps us not put on as many calories as we would if we didn’t.
- Use all your senses when you eat. Observe your food, enjoy the smells, the textures, the sounds. Don’t rely on just taste alone.
- Honor the food. Think of food as gifts of the universe, be grateful for them and feel worthy of receiving them. Be aware of greed and learn to eat with moderation. Be compassionate and reduce the suffering of living beings in order to preserve our planet.
Hope you enjoy this post and that you begin your journey towards mindful eating.
It’s never too late to start over. If you weren’t happy with yesterday, try something different today. Don’t stay stuck. Do better.
Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment. Mindfulness also involves acceptance, meaning that we pay attention to our thoughts and feelings without judging them—without believing, for instance, that there’s a “right” or “wrong” way to think or feel in a given moment. When we practice mindfulness, our thoughts tune into what we’re sensing in the present moment rather than rehashing the past or imagining the future.