Take a moment to think about your absolute favorite food. Close your eyes and imagine you are eating it. Okay, open your eyes now so you can read this blog, lol.
I bet you can taste it in your mind, right? Now think about the texture of the food. Is it creamy? Crunchy? Now imagine feeling peaceful after eating it. You are totally satisfied because you ate exactly what your body needed.
Was that difficult to do? Imagine if we actually did that while eating our food. If we slowed down and really savored the taste of our food. If we paid attention to what our body is telling us and stopped when we feel satisfied. If after we eat, we felt grateful for the food instead of guilty for eating it.
What I just described is what experts call, Mindful Eating.
Mindful Eating is certainly not a new trend. Before Fast Food restaurants and TV dinners, I’m sure it was much easier to sit down, slow down, and savor our food (hey, the “3 S’s!).
Now is the time where I may start to lose some people. You may be thinking, “yeah right…this is the real world. I can’t always slow down with my food.” Or, “I am not sure that I would even know when I am ready to stop eating.”
Those are both valid points. To which I would say, it just takes PRACTICE. Like with anything, if we condition our body and mind to think/behave a certain way, it’s not going to change over night. Just like with exercising to increase strength, we need to “exercise” our mind by forming a new ritual, so to speak.
Before I go on, let me clarify what Mindful Eating Is and what it is NOT.
Mindful Eating Is:
1. A way of life
2. For every one- even kids!
3. Dependent on your own body wisdom (not the latest diet guru)
4. About providing a PLEASURABLE experience with food
Mindful Eating is NOT:
1. A typical “diet”
2. only for Buddhists
3. an excuse to eat whatever the heck you want all the time
4. a weight loss plan (though some have used it to aid in weight loss)
So what are some quick tips for busy moms (and anyone really!) to incorporate Mindful Eating into their lives?
1. Sit down and eat with your family as often as possible (I know, sports events make it hard. Start off with even just 2 or 3 times during the week)
2. Take 3 deep breaths before eating.
3. Even if you are not the praying type, it helps to say a word of gratitude toward the food you will be eating.
4. Pause to take deep breaths BETWEEN bites.
5. Half way through your meal, pause and ask yourself how full you are from a scale of 0 to 5, with 0 being stuffed and 5 being ravenous. The aim is to stop at a 1, 2, or 3, depending on what our body needs. Will you always be using a rating system the rest of your life? No, of course not, but this is a good tool to get you into the habit of paying attention to your body.
The bonus? This is a good example for your KIDS to follow as well! In fact, I wrote an article about teaching mindful eating to kids (last year) click HERE to read that one.
Still feeling overwhelmed? As a Holistic Health Coach, I can personally guide you and give you the tools to be able to start paying better attention to your body, so you can find a peaceful relationship with food. Click here to learn more and to sign up for a Breakthrough Session! ($37).