Life is busy and it usually has our attention divided in multiple places. Nutrition is something you want to focus on because you know it can have such an impact on your health, your energy and how you feel. Yet you’re not sure where to begin and you have tried a few things in the past, but the habit wasn’t formed.
As with any habit you are trying to build, making one change at a time is really the best way to go. Otherwise, when we try to change too many things at once we can feel overwhelmed or disappointed in ourselves if we have to stop for any reason.
So let’s focus on just one tip for this post because the world is a little much right now, right? 2020 has been a doozie.
What I mean by mindfully eating is to just take the time and be with your food. Whether your food is something you made or something you ordered-just be with your food.
Here are some ways you can create space for mindfully eating.
Give yourself Time
If you are preparing food, try to plan a little ahead so that you don’t feel rushed while making it. When we rush we are generally thinking in the future and not in the present.
Same with ordering food. Try to plan ahead so you’re not so ravenous that when your food arrives you inhale it.
We’ve all been there for sure, and it generally doesn’t feel pleasant later.
Mindful eating happens slowly. Chewing more of the bit that is in our mouth means we can enjoy the flavors of the meal more.
To help facilitate eating more slowly, put down the fork between bites. You could also try having a little water between bites to slow the process down.
Set the Mood
This can be for while you’re preparing your food, while you’re eating or both. Set the mood with some music. Pick something you like. Something that brings a smile to your face. This will also get you in a good mood which is a great way to enjoy food.
When there is joy and love put into making the food not only is it a great experience for the preparer, but the food itself just seems that much more yummy!!
Other than maybe some music that is bringing you joy, remove any other distractions. Put down the phone. Close the laptop. Turn off the t.v. and just be with your food. If you are dinning with someone else or others be with them while you’re eating. Unless of course you are having food with someone/someones via virtual means, then keep the screen on.
To be honest this one is the hardest for me and I am still working on it. It’s a process remember.
Removing distractions can mean really connecting with the person or persons you are eating with about their day and yours. It can also mean really tasting your food and maybe even tasting your food on a deeper level.
Eat at a Table
Eating at a table in your kitchen/dinning area generally means there are less of those screen distractions. Eating at a table can also help separate the eating of your food with other activities, which means you’ll be more present and mindful with your meal.
Eat your favorite food last
Whether it’s the last bite of the meal and you save a bite of your favorite part for last or you finish off the meal with a treat. This way you get to finish on a high note.
Respecting your body and your health
Speaking of finishing up your meal, eating mindfully generally ends up meaning you didn’t eat to that overly full feeling, that uncomfortably full feeling.
Eating mindfully means your body will have time to process when you are starting to feel satisfied or the right amount of fullness. This in turn will mean no over stuffed feeling and respecting your body when it was ready to be finished with the meal.
As stated above, as with any new habit, pick one thing you feel very confident you can do and focus on that before you add another. Choose one from the list above as a way of practicing more mindfully eating. Once you feel confident that this new thing is a ritual you now do, pick a new habit to focus on adding.
In a year that has been really over the top with the crap it’s thrown at us, we all could us a little quiet time. Taking the time to be with our food and truly smell it, taste and feel it can go along way, not only for our mental health, but for our nutritional health.
And if you have any questions or are looking for guidance, hit us up.