Mindful Eating

We often eat without awareness of what we are eating and how our food tastes.  We eat quickly, frequently working on another task while eating.  This deprives us of a basic pleasure – consuming nourishing food, and prevents our body from deriving the full benefit of the food we eat!

Here are some tips to slow down and get the most from your food!

  • Eat three meals a day – limit snacks.
  • Learn to recognize true hunger.  If you’ve eaten a good meal, you shouldn’t experience actual hunger between meals.  Digestion begins in your brain – even thinking about food can make you sense hunger and begin salivation. 
  • If you have a craving, or think you are experiencing hunger, try these things: 
  • Wait for 20 minutes to see if you are really hungry
  • Get busy with a project - you may forget about the craving
  • Drink a warm beverage - this may dull your sense of perceived hunger
  • Eat slowly.  Chew thoroughly.  Put your fork down between bites.  Some experts recommend actually counting your bites – 20 to 30 times per bite!
  • Enjoy your food.  Really s-a-v-o-r  it.  Use your senses:  how does the food feel – in your hand, in your mouth? How does it taste? How does it smell?
  • Eat your food in a proper setting.  Sit at a table, or on a blanket in the sunshine!  Try not to eat at a desk, in your car, or while standing at your sink.  Honor the food you’ve prepared or purchased!

Some people use the practice of saying grace to help themselves prepare to eat a meal.  The practice of recognizing the gift of food and allowing the brain to prepare for the nourishment has historically been part of the eating process. This is an individual choice, but at the very least, pause a moment before eating, take a deep breath to allow the body to calm and settle and get ready for the task ahead!

If you DO eat something less than healthy for you, analyze the food while eating it. Why are you eating it?

  • Think about its texture – is it rough, smooth, gooey and/or chewy? 
  • Is it sweet, salty, or bland? 
  • How does it feel in your mouth, and how does it feel going down your esophagus into your stomach? 
  • Once you’ve eaten it, how does it feel in your stomach?  Do you have a ball of food or did it settle nicely?
  • What are your bathroom habits like after the food is digested?  Diarrhea?  Constipation, Smelly?  Loose?  This sounds gross but can be a map to whether or not the food is good for you.

Sometimes evaluating the food and why you chose it can help you make a better, more healthy choice the next time!

I discuss these tips and more at my next in-person wellness presentation at Slutak Chiropractic on Tuesday, June 22 from 6:00 – 6:30 pm.  Join us!  It’s free!  Just call the office at 717-558-3500 to register.  I hope to see you!

To Your Vitality!

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