Mindful Eating: How to Have a Healthy Relationship with Your Food

Mindful Eating: How to Have a Healthy Relationship with Your Food

 

Let me be the first to say that I am not always fully present in the moment when I eat.  Yet here I am writing to you about mindful eating.  Now that I have blown some portion of credibility, I invite you to talk this talk and walk this walk with me.  If you don’t mind.

Mindful Eating is based on several factors:

1) Why we eat

2) What we eat

3) When we eat

4) How we eat

5) Where we eat

 

Why we eat is plain and simple.  Food is one of life’s most basic necessities.  We eat to sustain life.  Mind you, the quality of life we sustain is directly affected by #2 “what we eat.”  Read on.

 

What we eat contributes to our overall health, good and bad, and the ways in which our bodies tell us what it needs.  Do we listen or not?  One of my core philosophies is that food is fuel for our bodies.  Are you mindful of how you feel when you eat in a healthy manner versus eating junk food?  The day I put a surplus of greasy food in my system is the day I feel like garbage.

 

When we eat derives from our everyday schedule of life.  We’re accustomed to the model of breakfast, lunch, and dinner, possibly a snack or two in between.  Are you skipping meals?  Are you caving in to ice cream binges at midnight?  We’ve all heard about emotional eating, too, which signifies other issues at stake for consideration of all of these “Mindful Eating” factors.

 

How we eat relates to the amount of time we spend eating.  Did you actually taste that food or were you inhaling it so you could get back to work or onto the next task?  What do you remember about your last meal?  This article evaluates sensory triggers that create positive associations with how we experience our meals and the quality of satisfaction we gain from that experience.

 

Finally, we transition to the final “Mindful Eating” factor that addresses the Where we eat.  Are you mindful of setting a designated time every night to gather at the kitchen table with your loved one(s) to share in your mealtime experience?  Does mealtime involve TVs or cars or sneaking a bag of chips in your bedroom?  You can still eat mindfully in a restaurant as long as the quality of experience is there in your conversation and tasting experience.

 

All considered, it is through the combination of each of these factors that we gain a greater awareness of our food and sense of presence during each eating experience.  Your tastebuds (and body) will thank you for slowing your pace, choosing healthy food, savoring your meals, and even sharing that opportunity with a friend or family member.

 

Peace, love, and joyous cooking!

~Chef Laura

 

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