Mindful Eating

When you eat mindfully, you live a mindful life. Almost as important as what you put into your body is the environment that you eat it in! If we are centered and calm, create a peaceful environment to eat in, and pay attention to the food, the digestive process is very different than if we are upset, depressed, angry, stressed or even just absorbed in another activity while eating. The same meal eaten in a peaceful, calm environment will be digested and assimilated differently than one that is eaten “on the run.”

With the stress of the current state of our economy and with the holiday season approaching, it is especially important to take time to be grateful for what we have, and be mindful not only in our eating but in our everyday life.

Here are my “Ten Commandments of Mindful Eating:”

#1 Eat only when you are hungry.
Do not eat when you are “supposed” to eat or just because food is placed before you. Ask yourself before you eat, “am I truly hungry?” If the answer is no, put your fork down, go for a walk or call a friend. Don’t eat.

#2 Stop eating when you feel satisfied (not full!)
Many of us eat so quickly while we are on the run or scarf down lunch at our desks. At your next meal, slow down and be in tune with your body. Notice when your body feels satiated and stop eating before you are full.

#3 Create a positive atmosphere in which to eat.
Do not eat in a place that is dirty or chaotic. Set a beautiful table, put on some nice music and have nice conversation. By all means, turn off the tv! If you have children and dinnertime is crazy, have a glass of hot tea, a cup of yogurt or a bowl of fruit to tide you over until you eat later once your kids are in bed! Clutching onto Norman Rockwell moments while you are experiencing indigestion is not good for anyone!

#4 Sit down and never, ever eat while on the run.
You owe it to yourself to give yourself that one moment of calm during your day! When we eat on the run, our bodies have no time to digest food properly and this may result in weight gain, indigestion, overeating, cravings for unhealthy foods, bad food choices- this list could go on!

#5 Chew food thoroughly.
It is essential to chew, chew and chew! When we chew our food, our body is able to digest that food properly and assimilate the maximum nutrients from it. When we do not chew our food properly, we may experience nutritional deficiencies, digestive issues and weight gain.

#6 Take time to set a beautiful place at the table
This goes hand in hand with #3, but I thought it important enough to mention. If you are eating alone, take time to appreciate the meal before you. Put some nice music on or just have nice conversation with family. This even works wonders for calming down “wild” children.

#7 Do not discuss anything stressful or that will create anger or anxiety.
This is not the time to lambast your husband about not remembering something you ask him to do or to interrogate your son about his homework! Obviously, it is important to talk about current affairs at the table. And, right now with the economy the way it is it is an important topic of discussion but don’t do so in an angry or highly-charged way.

#8 Focus your full attention on what you are eating.
This also refers back to #3. Turn off the television and put aside your books and newspapers and give full attention to what you are eating. Not only will you be more in tune with your body and note when you are full and eat less, but you will also enjoy your meal more!

#9 Recognize when you are eating for emotional reasons.
Don’t eat when you are upset or bored. If you find yourself doing so, stop! Take a walk, go read a book, call a friend or meditate instead until you feel in a calmer state.

#10 Get rid of guilt and operate on the 90/10% system.
Eat healthily most of the time yet recognize there will be times when you want a double chocolate cake or that big bowl of pasta. When you make the decision to splurge, do so with pleasure! Guilty eating gets us nowhere so embrace the choices you make.

1 Comment

  • Duane
    July 31st, 2014 at 2:50 pm



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