This post may as well be written to myself from myself, because even though what I eat is generally really healthy, the ‘how’ of eating mindfully is not something that I’m particularly good at.
Do any of these sound familiar? Eating on the go, eating in a rush, eating while scrolling through the news or Instagram on our phones, eating without thinking about it, eating for the sake of it and not necessarily because we’re hungry, eating for want and not need, emotional eating tied to boredom or stress… the list is pretty much endless. BUT I want to be better, so I’ve been doing some reading and research and thought I’d share my findings.
Firstly, why should you care?
A growing body of research suggests that changing our attitudes and practices around meals and mealtime rituals may be every bit as important as obsessing over what it is we actually put in our mouths.
Eating more consciously and with greater awareness can not only reduce the amount that we eat, but also our enjoyment of food, and it can help to bring focus to the murky grey waters of the why we might sometimes be eating in the first place – such as habit, comfort, boredom, or actual real hunger?
5 Easy steps to get you started:
1. Sit Down – at a table, so that you can take your time and focus on your food.
2. Phone-Free (and TV-free) – yip, get rid of it so that you can focus on chewing your food and enjoying your meal.
3. Chew Your Food – I am terrible at this, I’m generally in a rush and while I love my food I am also really task-orientated and often focusing on the next thing that I need to get done, instead of what is on my plate. Chewing our food more thoroughly makes it easier to digest, and also gives our body a chance to let us know when we are full, which means we will end up eating only what we need.
4. Appreciate – think about where your food has come from, the nutrients it is bringing your body, the flavours.
5. Drink More Water – sometimes a big glass of water is really all our body needs and not that snack from the fridge. If you feel peckish, start with a big drink of water to allow yourself time to think about why you want a snack, and then see how you go.
Sarah Graham is an award-winning South African food writer and TV cook and loves to prepare simple, honest, good-for-you food. Follow Sarah’s food journey via her blog, Instagram or Facebook.
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