Mindful Eating Moment #2
The way we “do” food and eating is often a reflection of the way we “do” life.
If we are always rushing around, stressing, wound up, anxious, busy and flustered, this is likely how we will sit down to a meal.
Why does this matter?
Because who we are as eaters determines how we digest, assimilate and utilise the foods we eat. So if we are stressed, busy or multi-tasking, our body will NOT be sending out hormones and enzymes which help us to digest our food. Instead, it will be focusing on how stressed we are, and what it can do to “fix” this situation.
This makes for a pretty ordinary eating experience! Most importantly, eating in this way doesn’t encourage a pleasurable, healthy relationship with food. Eating becomes a chore and a drag, or a way to “numb out” from life. Unwanted eating behaviours, digestive upset, and nutrient deficiencies will often become the end result.
This week then, let’s practice CONSCIOUSLY slowing down with food. Here are some ideas for how we can do this (TIP: It involves a lot more than just chewing slowly!):
– Set the table / use nice crockery and cutlery.
– Light some candles / use mood lighting.
– Play some relaxing music.
– Avoid multi-tasking or having your phone with you during meals.
– Incorporate a gratitude practice into your meals (e.g. saying thanks for the meal, being conscious of where and how it was prepared etc…)
– Take a few deep breaths before, during and after the meal.
– Put your cutlery down between mouthfuls.
– NOTICE the food – play with the texture, smell and different tastes of it in your mouth and on your tongue. Feel it going down your throat and notice any bodily sensations during the meal.
– Give yourself a little more time to eat – even if you extend your breakfast from 2 minutes while you run out the door, to 4 minutes while you sit – that is a great start!
WARNING!!!! This can be really difficult if you are a fast eater (which most of us are) – so take your time and give it a go – it is a PRACTICE.