Mindful eating: You really are what you eat!
Everyone knows that eating is vital for life and it can have a profound effect on your health. Making healthy food choices is one of the most important steps you can take to nurture your body. Poor diet can contribute to chronic health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and even depression and anxiety. And in turn, stress can slow down digestion and the absorption of nutrients.
Nutrition and mindful eating are ways that you can nurture body and soul. Because eating is something we do every day, we often are not aware of it. Many people go on “autopilot” after the first two or three bites of food and no longer are consciously aware of what it tastes like. But by becoming aware of you eating patterns and your thoughts and feelings about food, you can begin to make new choices about what and how you eat. Even small changes can have profound effects.
So, what exactly is mindful eating? It is simply giving your full attention to the experience of eating. That means no TV, reading, driving, or eating while on a Zoom call or while walking down the street. Mindful eating is rewarding because for those few minutes, you are fully present with yourself. Mindful eating means eating slowly and meditatively. It means becoming more aware of how, why and what you are choosing to digest. It means being aware of not just the taste, but the texture, the smell and the color of the food.
When you commit to a mindful eating practice, you may find your food choices changes. You may find that your taste buds change, and you are beginning to have more appreciation for healthy and nutritious foods. You are more aware of what foods give you energy or which ones are problematic for you. You may find yourself appreciating ‘real’ food more than potato chips and ice cream! After all, the chemicals in junk food cannot compete with the gifts that nature can provide. You may find yourself satisfied sooner, and you may reduce your portion size because you are now aware of when you are actually full. However, in order to see the full results of mindful eating, it takes practice and commitment to regularly attend to it.
Here is to your health and your mindful eating. Bon appetit!