What Is Mindful Eating?
Mindful eating is when you’re mindful, and pay close attention, to the feelings happening inside your body that trigger you to eat. And when you are eating, you maintain awareness of the process.
In my view, eating with mindfulness involves really tasting your food and knowing why you’re eating something.
Have you ever been at the cash register somewhere and grab the nearest baked good?
You know this sweet treat is not good for your body and it’s loaded with sugar, and indulging in it will go against your weight loss goals, but you do it anyways?
If you bought that baked good, without awareness, than that would be the opposite of mindful eating.
However, if you set out to visit the bakery to pick-up some goods for a diner party, you’ll likely be indulging in the finer realm of mindful eating.
In This Episode, I Discuss:
- How I hold the opinion that eating in such a way gets you one-step closer to health, and significantly enhances your sense of wellbeing.
- My graduate work on food security, and how I became engulfed in the work of Michael Pollan. (For those unaware of Michael Pollan, he’s an author, journalist, and activist). .
- The 3 Questions Michael Pollan asks in his book In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto. .
- My big agenda with you…which is to motivate you to explore what it means to be healthy and bring pleasure back to eating.
- And my 6 Super Easy Steps To Eating With More Mindfulness.
Read Podcast Transcript:
In my graduate work on food security, I became engulfed in the work of Michael Pollan.
For those unaware of Michael Pollan, he’s an author, journalist, and activist. In his book, In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto. Michael Pollan challenges the reader to reassess our conceptions about food in relation to personal health.
Along the lines of this post, he suggests we eat according to these seven simple but liberating words: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”
This book is worth reading if you’re trying to make more thoughtful food choices that will enrich your life instead of allowing food to weigh you down. The book is also a great reminder of how much control you can have over your diet and food choices.
Being a mindfulness coach & life strategist, my agenda is to motivate you to explore what it means to be healthy and bring pleasure back to eating.
In this spirit, I’d like to reiterate a few questions Pollan posed throughout this book:
“Why do we eat certain foods and avoid others?”
“What exactly can be classified as food? and “
“What is the ultimate purpose of eating?”
These questions have become the basis for my own ongoing level of inquiry about food which is why I aim to fast weekly, from Sunday night till Tuesday morning.
Sometimes the fasts are really tough and I absolutely want to eat diner on Monday, but I’m challenged to grow every time! I’m challenged to question the purpose of my eating (and breaking the fast), and what I’m craving.
Indeed, I’m faced with the dilemma of pushing aside my pleasure for food in order to give my body a break. Ok..that’s me and fasting in a nut-shell.
6 Super Easy Steps To Eating With More Mindfulness
- Learn to read nutrition labels…or kicking labels entirely. If you’re not already looking at packaging for you & your family, this is a good place to trim down the ingredients of foods coming from a factory. Try to avoid the top 10 toxic food ingredients that have cancer-causing agents in them. And most definitely look for the GMO-Free Project label, which will help you avoid harmful GMOs like soy, canola and corn.
- Grocery shop with total awareness of what you’re putting in your basket. Be honest with yourself here. Are you putting a boxed pizza in your basket? If you are, can you switch it up and buy a fresh dough made in the bakery section, and get creative with making your own pizzas at home? If you need to buy hotdogs, can you buy ones that have fewer ingredients with good quality buns?
- Create lists of what you plan on buying according to balanced nutritional value & stick to the list. Here, I’d like to push you to look at how much wheat you’re eating, compared to veggies and plant-based foods. Sugar is also making its way into every food group unless you’re buying more whole foods, that are non-processed.
- Create weekly menus that are rich & delightful. I love the app KitchenStories! Omg! And there’s always the joy of pulling out a fine cook book (my biggest kitchen fetish!!). Remember to include really awesome Wednesday & Thursday night diners in there too.
- Be aware of how you want your food to look, taste & feel. When you’re prepping your food, be mindful of how you want to experience your food; in your mouth, your body, and how the food feels and even imagine that first bite. Food is a sensory experience so start to engage your senses.
- While eating, chew and taste your food. Really be present & talk to others who are eating with you about the food. This one is really important, especially if you eat in front of the TV or you allow your kids to eat with a video on.
I’ll be writing alot more about this over the summer as I fall madly in love with our many local Farmer’s Markets.
But these super duper easy tips are just the tip of the iceberg of what’s written about eating with more mindfulness. I think any literature on the topic is better than none. And each tip is of equal importance on its own!!!!
Each step can also become a very advanced system for you to kick start your own mindfulness routine, and rock your day from the start.
We all need a system and anytime you include food as a part of your mindfulness system, your weight management system will feel more attainable.
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