It’s amazing to me the number of people who have completely given up eating at a popular fast food restaurant based purely on a principle that has nothing to do with food.
Whether or not your opinions on gay marriage line up with Dan Cathy’s is totally up to you, of course, but personally I’d like to see more people deciding what to eat based on whether or not the food lines up with what the body needs.
It can be easy to make mindless choices when it comes to eating when the rhythm of daily life seems to demand it. You can become zombified, mindlessely shoveling in food ordered through a window. You’ve got places to go, things to do.
Since food is what fuels the body and mind, you’ll soon have no place to go at all if you aren’t more mindful about how and what you eat. Reckless bingeing followed by disastrous dieting has led to copious amounts of obesity and a real lack of nutrients that healthy bodies need to succeed.
Mindful eating involves slowing down and checking in with yourself before diving in. Does your body actually need fuel right now or are you just bored, sad, or angry? Making sure that you are eating for the right reasons is the first step to mindful eating.
If you have checked in with yourself and have decided that your craving for food is due to a mind/body need, the next step is to make mindful choices about what type of fuel you put in your engine. Make thoughtful decisions so that you eat a variety of foods every day, including fruits, vegetables and plenty of protein. If your check-in shows that you’re regularly craving sugar or fat, you’ll have to look into the reasons or factors for that and make some life changes accordingly.
Lastly, once you have made a wise food choice, spend extra time enjoying it. Eat slowly, and really contemplate the flavors, textures, and spices that exist in your food. Eating mindfully involves turning off outside distractions. Don’t eat in front of the TV or computer – the distractions keep you from knowing when you are adequately full. Eating in relative silence is actually the best idea. It allows you to focus only on the task at hand, and when your body is properly fueled, you will be able to recognize it.
Chew slowly while you eat, and spend time tasting each bite. Try to really appreciate the taste and sensation of each morsel before swallowing. Avoid having the next bite ready and waiting on your fork. Enjoy a bite fully, contemplate it, and then take another thoughtful taste. I have to tell you – as research for this article, I began mindfully eating this past weekend. It was absolutely mindblowing. I have never enjoyed a meal so much, and I stopped with half of my plate still full. Amazing!
You don’t have to have an hour-long silent meal every day of the week – that’s just not practical for most people, but you can aim for a once-weekly mindful meal and begin making better overall choices before stuffing your belly. Only this time, make your choices based on the issue at hand – your health.
As a Thank You to all of our loyal readers, this week we will be doing our first ever FREE GIVEAWAY! To be eligible, you must be subscribed to DailyPath, and you can do that by clicking the sign up box on our Home Page. There will never be a cost to you and we will never try to sell you anything (unless we write a book, of course.) :)
The winner will be mailed a brand new copy of the book Mindful Eating: A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food by Jan Chozen Bays. It’s a fantastic book and we wanted to be able to share it with a lucky reader. We’ll be drawing the random winner next Monday morning and the results will be announced here on the blog. Good luck and thanks for reading. We’re all in this together!