Are You A Mindful or Mindless Eater?
Are you a Mindful or Mindless Eater?
We often hear the word mindfulness being tossed around but what does it really mean? Mindfulness is being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different.
So how can we apply this to eating? We can contrast mindless to mindful eating as such:
Eating until your stuffed and ignoring your body’s cues
Listening to your body and eating until your full
Eating cued by emotions (bored, nervous, lonely, sad, depressed)
Eating signaled by your body (low energy, stomach growling)
Eating and multi-tasking (watching t.v., computer work, driving)
Simply eating at the table without distractions
Eating alone at unscheduled times or places, grazing and nibbling on food throughout the day
Eating at a schedule time and place with others
How to cultivate mindful eating
Eating should be viewed as a sacred habit. Think about that for a minute. Our ancestors looked forward to sharing meals together as a time of bonding and time to nourish the body for the day’s task and a reward for a day of physical activity.
Create a special environment at the kitchen table with beautiful colorful plates, flowers, candles and special drinking glass to celebrate food as medicine for the body.
Sit at the kitchen table without electronics. Did you notice I did not mention anything about sitting in front of the television or computer? Cell phones, computer, hand held games are often accompanied with today’s meals.
Take a bite and chew slowly, while putting down your fork after each bite. As one of my colleagues would say “make love to your food.”
Pray before each meal and ask for a blessing upon the food, and for nourishment of the mind, body and spirit. Prayer helps to put us in a parasympathetic state, which allows for digestion to occur by initiating the production of hydrochloric acid from the stomach, which impacts the pancreas, liver and gallbladder all-important for healthy digestion. When we are stressed our body will not initiate the digestion process.
Practicing mindfulness in all areas of our life will create a cascade of positive effects on the body and a more balanced life. Think of other ways you can practice mindfulness in your life.