The benefits of eating mindfully

June 23, 2017

Eating  Mindfully

I have to practise this ALL the time. In fact my husband holds me accountable for this always reminding me slash reprimanding me for my ability to shove food down my throat at an unsavoury pace never stopping to chew, masticate or actually even breathe sometimes. It was one mouthful even before finishing the last. I have no idea where I got this habit from. I think it may have been at school when the quicker we ate the quicker we could leave and get to the playground or in my teens being desperado to escape for a cigarette behind the bike shed being the rebel I was back then. In any case this practise left me more often than not with a sore bloated tummy and indigestion. Not a good combo. My weight would often fluctuate too and my portion control was non existent. So that is what not to do!

What you should do and I have been mindfully practising is the complete opposite of this. Chewing every morsal, enjoying every bite and stopping between each bite. This makes a huge difference, not only does my body tell me I’m full in time for me to not overeat but the process of eating food has become a much more present and pleasant experience. I am consuming less food and feeling much more energetic after eating as opposed to slow and food coma ready. Your dining experience also lasts longer which can only be a plus right. Any excuse to slow down and switch off from work or other distractions will pay back in kind later. When you go back to what you are doing you will actually feel like you have taken a break and feel refreshed to go back to your tasks with increased vigour.

Practise being with your food and making it the focus of your attention, it will increase your sense of gratitude for all you have on your plate. Leave your phone away from the table if you can especially if you have company. There’s nothing worse than dining with someone that seems to find their phone much more interesting than you. We get so much more from people when we are present with them, making eye contact and really engaging. We miss so much when we are distracted. Real life happens when you put your phone down after all. 

Gabrielle Bernstein often speaks of setting an intention right before you eat, intending for the food you eat to nourish and energise you. With this intention set forth you are more likely to make healthy choices on food that will support you in these endeavours. Another way to be mindful when you eat is to bless the food that is in front of you and be thankful for it. If you are anything like me more often than not you sit down to eat with no real notion of how the food got there, you just hoover it up. Even if you made it yourself you disregard the fact that effort went into preparing it. We are so incredibly lucky to have so much choice in what we eat nowadays and we should remember that there are a huge amount of people and resources that go into delivering the food that we have on our plate whether that be from the supermarket or if you are eating out. There are many people in the world who have little to no choice in what they eat. When we feel grateful for our food we can have a much more heart expansive and fulfilled experience of it. When we eat from this space we will be less likely to be wasteful or overeat as I believe when we slow down we can hear our bodies signals more acutely for what it requires to be satisfied. When we are in tune with our bodies which will happen as a result of eating mindfully, you will find you will be inclined towards eating foods in alignment with your cells highest good. For example over the last year or two I have been drawn to eating a a natural diet, high in natural fats and very little animal products. This is no effort for me as it is in harmony with what my body is calling for. These choices have manifested in the improvement of both my physical and mental health and my immune system has never been as strong as it is now.

Being mindful when we eat can add so much value to our lives so let’s milk all the joy that we can from our meal times. 

xx

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