Posts Tagged ‘mindful eating’

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http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/08/dining/mindful-eating-as-food-for-thought.html?pagewanted=all

I wanted to write about Mindful Eating and ran into the article in The New York Times that says so much to me and thought I would share…

 

So what is “mindful eating”? It is a zen/buddhist or like zen practice of being fully away of eat bite of food you eat. Chewing slowly, savoring the bite and having little distractions while you do so(except soft music or maybe a light conversation).

Anyways, it has been on my mind for about a few months to write on this topic. I have been in a lifelong struggle with good eating habits. I am not alone as it seems like there are more books out there on diets than there are on topics like this that support maintenance and healthy nutritional eating habits.

 

In the old days and when I relapse into bad behaviors and choices, this is one that rears its head for me. (Watching TV and eating dinner or any other meal for that matter. Ever sit in front of the TV munching away and are not even aware of how much you have eaten? Me too, or used to be me…)

When I sit down at the table, eat slowly and taste things with relish as opposed to gulping it down in a hurry because I am on the run or worse, because I have waited to long to eat and “feel” like I am starving, I overeat. Always always make bad choices. When I savor the food, actually chew it, enjoy it and relish it for its taste and nutritional beauty as nourishment for my body, I do much better with weight loss and weight maintenance. I was often not aware of what I ate, how it tasted or how MUCH I ate because I barely even chewed it.

I am down 109 pounds now, that’s a lot and this is one of those things that made me NOT feel like I was starving. When I grab something on the go, shove it down my throat as quickly as possible while talking on the phone, or driving or 100 thousand other things, especially television, am I indeed nourishing ALL my senses and feeding my being? No, I am not and suspect if you are reading this and nodding your head (and trying to find inspiration on how NOT to regain weight, how to be successful and to not feel like you are deprived), this is probably and issue with you too.

I want to add something for GREAT TIPS  I read on Huffington Post written by Jenni Grover at the  Mother Nature Network. The link is here http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/12/mindful-eating-tips_n_3941528.html and this is a great excerpt from that article on Five Tips to Eat Mindfully:

Here are some of my favorite tips to introduce mindfulness to mealtimes in an easy, accessible fashion.

Eat slower
Eating slowly doesn’t have to mean taking it to extremes. Still, it’s a good idea to remind yourself, and your family, that eating is not a race. Taking the time to savor and enjoy your food is one of the healthiest things you can do. You are more likely to notice when you are full, you’ll chew your food more and hence digest it more easily, and you’ll probably find yourself noticing flavors you might otherwise have missed. If you have young children, why not try making a game of it — who can chew their food the longest? Or you could introduce eating with chopsticks as a fun way to slow things down.

Savor the silence
Yes, eating in complete silence may be impossible for a family with children, but you might still encourage some quiet time and reflection. Again, try introducing the idea as a game — “let’s see if we can eat for two minutes without talking” — or suggesting that one meal a week be enjoyed in relative silence. If the family mealtime is too important an opportunity for conversation to pass up, then consider introducing a quiet meal or snack time into your day when you can enjoy it alone. The NYT article, for example, noted that one dietitian simply savors a few sips of tea in complete silence when she is too busy for a complete mindful meal.

Silence the phone. Shut off the TV.
Our daily lives are full of distractions, and it’s not uncommon for families to eat with the TV blaring or one family member or other fiddling with their iPhone. Consider making family mealtime, which should, of course, be eaten together, an electronics-free zone. I’m not saying you should never eat pizza in front of the TV, but that too should be a conscious choice that marks the exception, not the norm.

Pay attention to flavor
The tanginess of a lemon, the spicyness of arugula, the crunch of a pizza crust — paying attention to the details of our food can be a great way to start eating mindfully. After all, when you eat on the go or wolf down your meals in five minutes, it can be hard to notice what you are even eating, let alone truly savor all the different sensations of eating it. If you are trying to introduce mindful eating to your family, consider talking more about the flavors and textures of food. Ask your kids what the avocado tastes like, or how the hummus feels. And be sure to share your own observations and opinions too. (Yes, this goes against the eating in silence piece, but you don’t have to do everything at once.)

Know your food
Mindfulness is really about rekindling a relationship with our food. From planting a veggie garden through baking bread to visiting a farmers market, many of the things we locavores have been preaching about for years are not just ways to cut our carbon foodprint, but also connect with the story behind our food. Even when you have no idea where the food you are eating has come from, try asking yourself some questions about the possibilities: Who grew this? How? Where did it come from? How did it get here? Chances are, you’ll not only gain a deeper appreciation for your food, but you’ll find your shopping habits changing in the process too.

Like I say, mindful eating does not have to be an exercise in super-human concentration, but rather a simple commitment to appreciating, respecting and, above all, enjoying the food you eat every day. It can be practiced with salad or ice cream, donuts or tofu, and you can introduce it at home, at work, or even as you snack on the go (though you may find yourself doing this less often).

And while the focus becomes how you eat, not what you eat, you may find your notions of what you want to eat shifting dramatically for the better too.

Thought I would share this today and to remind ME when I need it, what worked for me……

 

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