Eating mindfully is a subject that has gained momentum in recent years due to the fact that people in general are losing touch with their bodies and environment, combined with the availability of very unhealthy foods. Only 50 years ago it was rare that one would eat anything processed, and if it was it was nowhere near the low-quality foods so widely available today. It is easy to scarf down a large bag of potato chips, a huge bucket of oil-drenched popcorn, a king size candy bar or thousand-calorie smoothie. Going back to eating fresh, whole foods is one way to help rest our bodies and minds with food, but some of us need a little more help. Eating mindfully will help you to be satisfied with less, crave fresh, in season produce and appreciate every bite.
5 Be Grateful to Nature
Being grateful to nature is at the heart of our connection to the food we eat. By thanking nature for bringing beautiful produce to us from a seed with little intervention from us, we are letting go of our feeling of being ‘owed’ the food we want. A poor season can bring a bad harvest, so be grateful to nature for the abundance it has offered us so far, and get closer to your food through making the journey from seed to plate as small as possible.
4 Think of What It Took for the Food to Get to You
Thinking of the fields where your food grew, the chickens that laid your eggs, the workers that harvested the food and its journey to get to you will most likely have you feeling the need to go to farmers’ markets, eat more locally and in season, organically and may even have you wanting to grow your own food to delight in the complete circle of your efforts from seed to plate. Enjoying the journey of real food will allow you to appreciate all that goes into feeding your body, and once again making higher quality choices.
3 Pay Attention to Flavors and Textures
The world doesn’t have to stop when you eat, but paying attention to the flavors and textures of your food helps you to slow down and be satisfied with less, as you won’t look down surprised to see an empty plate without having savored anything. When one plows through a meal, generally they want to keep plowing until they literally cannot fit another bite in, because haven’t connected to anything that has gone into their body. Allow yourself to mentally connect while you eat to the wonderful quality food you are taking in and you will find yourself put off by low quality and tasteless foods that you might have otherwise been used to.
2 Center Yourself Before Eating
Centering yourself before eating is an excellent way to prevent emotional eating which can lead to low-quality choices as well as overeating. Be sure to take a moment before lunch or dinner to sit with your thoughts, take a few breaths, refocus on what is going well in your life and what you are grateful and look forward to. It doesn’t have to take forever, just until you redirect your feelings down a positive path.
1 Eat When You Are Hungry
If you eat when you are hungry you will automatically appreciate your meal more. Be sure to really appreciate each bite as it satisfies your hunger and keep tabs on when your stomach is satisfied, not stuffed. If you eat when you are hungry and don’t eat when you are not you will eventually re-set your body to understand how to actually want to eat only when your body requires it.
Eating mindfully will be your best friend to help you lose weight, get healthier, stop supporting factories and refineries, and ultimately bring a better world to fruition the more people that do it. Spread the word with your mindfulness as well – share your excitement over a fresh-picked blackberry, and point out to friends the flavorlessness of pesticide-ridden, out of season strawberries. Make fresh, whole food meals with the inspiration that lies on thousands of food blogs online and get to that farmers market close by! You won’t regret it.