Today is officially Mindful Eating Day! However, any day can be mindful eating day.
To get you started here are some things to keep in mind to help you eat more mindfully.
From the Center for Mindful Eating:
Nourish Mindful Eating – Mindful Eating Day 2017
Heal your relationship with food
Mindfulness provides us with opportunities to notice our experience and respond with kindness. It is in these moments that we are in a position to nourish ourselves with foods that best meet our needs at that time. How would you describe your relationship with your body, food and eating? Mindful eating can give us tools and support to discover an ally within each moment.
Compassionate curiosity helps you be more present
When we’re able to ask “what’s going on here?,” we allow ourselves to view our experience from a place of non-judgment and observation, rather than criticism.This opens up opportunities to evaluate our choices. Are you able to imagine what compassionate curiosity might sound and feel like? Let’s open the door a little to our experience with food. Can you be a little kinder? A little more curious? A little less critical? A little less harsh? What might be one small step you can take? The ability to pause and become aware of your direct experience with feelings, thoughts, and physical sensations helps you to discover new options and choices.
Respectful care in the present moment
When we’re able to nourish ourselves from a place of respect and care, we’re much more likely to be able to tune into what we need at any one time and acknowledge that our needs change over time. Even when the present moment isn’t delightful, did you know that pausing and acknowledging what is present gives you the information you need to change?
Nourish mindful eating with joy
When joy goes out of eating, nutrition suffers.” ~Ellyn Satter
Joyful eating is prioritizing the inclusion of foods you enjoy. It helps you to feel good. Many people ask, “Will I lose weight eating more mindfully?” Mindful Eating isn’t a diet or a way to lose weight, but a foundation for you to develop a healthy relationship with food and eating, one marked by both joy and pleasure.
Take our mindful eating day challenge. Eat one meal today mindfully. Here’s how:
- Stop multi-tasking. This meal is the only thing for you to focus on right now. Put down the cell phone (silence it), the paper or book, turn off, put down, or close any potential distractions.
- Notice how you are feeling right now. There could be thoughts or emotions flooding your consciousness. Take a few deep breaths and turn your focus to the food. You’re not ignoring feelings or thoughts, but noting them and letting them go.
- Before ordering or preparing a meal, take the time to choose wisely what you will put in to your body. It doesn’t have to be celery and tofu, unless of course, that’s what turns you on. Choose something that you would enjoy eating and is what you think would be a good choice for you at this particular time.
- When it has been prepared and is sitting before you take the time to notice the sight and smell of the food.
- Before taking a bite – notice how your hands move to grab a utensil, or the food itself. Is your mouth watering with anticipation?
- Notice the action of bringing the food to your mouth, and finally take a bite. Notice how your mouth chews and your tongue moves the food around. What flavors do you notice? Chew slowly and completely before swallowing.
- Put your utensil down between bites and savor the food that is in your mouth before reaching for another bite. Take your time.
- Pay attention to how your stomach is feeling. Are you becoming full? Never mind if there is food left on the plate – if you’re full, put the fork down. You may just need to pause for a few minutes before anything registers. If you still feel that you’re hungry, eat one bite more and wait, then another if needed and so on until you’re done.
- Notice how you feel having eaten your meal mindfully. What did you become aware of?
I’d like to hear about your experience. Tell us by posting a comment below.
And if you would like to learn more about eating mindfully, join the Haelan House Mindful Eating Program, Eat Right Now. The group sessions start on February 1 in downtown Ogden, UT. You can learn more and register here.