“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.” Jon Kabat-Zinn, meditation teacher
Have you paused lately to notice how different it feels when you eat slowly, and take some time to enjoy the flavours and texture of your meal? One of my favourite meals is breakfast- I enjoy chowing down on granola, fruit, yogurt, and protein-packed smoothies first thing in the day. There is something delightful about beginning the day in slowness, and with appreciation for how I’m being nourished.
Gratitude and self-care
Eating consciously can foster gratitude and brilliant self-care, and has also been proven to help the body digest more easily. Check out this link on mindful eating, which says: ‘Overall, mindful eating can be an effective strategy for eating less, enjoying food more, and even reducing stress in the whole process’. http://stress.about.com/od/dietandsuppliments/a/mindful_eating.htm
Eating mindfully is an act of self-care, in the process of non-judgmentally noticing the foods you enjoy, and by allowing yourself a few moments of simple pleasure. Being conscious of the way you eat can also include paying closer attention to your hunger signals- and eating when your body truly needs it. Here is a thoughtful and FUN chocolate meditation that I invite you to try, either alone or with a good friend. You might even write about your experience in a journal, and start your own experiential food diary. http://mymeditativemoments.com/mindful-eating-a-piece-of-chocolate/
From The Daily Relaxer by Matthew McKay and Patrick Fanning, here is an invitation to conscious eating:
‘Eating delicious, nutritious food in a calm, unhurried atmosphere can be profoundly relaxing. On the other hand, gobbling junk food on the run can add to stress rather than relieve it. Eating while driving, watching TV, talking, or reading can also undermine the naturally calming effect of good food consumed consciously in peace.
The solution is to try to eat one healthy meal or at least one nutritious item a day, taking your time, and concentrating on the food rather than the TV or your schedule’.
Caregivers, whether you are most often eating by yourself or with family and friends, consider this: How can you care for self by eating in a more nourishing way?
Happy mealtimes to you!