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Mindful Eating: What is it and why is it important?

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In our crazy, stressed out and busy world, we eat for convenience rather than for nutrition. We focus more on instant gratification, rather than long term nutrition. Have you ever had the experience of eating 6 doughnuts knowing very well how bad they are for you, but doing it anyway because they taste so good? This is instant gratification.

There is a way of eating (which we should be doing) where you actually can experience what food really tastes like, rather than just shoving all the food into your mouth when you are in a hurry.

Food is medicine, and we should be treating it that way! Food nourishes our whole system from the inside out, so it’s time to start really thinking about HOW we eat, not just what we eat.

So what is mindful eating?

Mindful eating means taking the time to honor your food and your body by choosing high quality, organic food, preparing it with care, eating it slowly and mindfully using your five senses to really enjoy it.

Have you ever timed how long it takes you to eat dinner? Usually it’s about 5-7 minutes. We hardly chew our food, we don’t actually notice the texture, and we definitely aren’t using all 5 of our senses!

Mindful eating means taking time to plan the preparation for meals so you can really enjoy it without rushing. It makes a huge difference in your day if you can actually plan for your meals, sit down and take time to eat.

Mindful eating is respecting your body enough to be mindful of what you are putting into it and the way you are eating.

Mindful eating can be compared to meditation. You are totally present with your food, yourself and others around you.

Taking time to eat has many benefits, including:

–          Knowing when you are full (not so stuffed that you feel sick)

–          More satisfaction with eating

–          Helping develop a better relationship with the food we are choosing to put in our body

–          Less gas and bloating (YES!)

–          More energy after eating

How do I eat mindfully?

–          Take longer to eat a meal (aim for 20 minutes)

–          Actually chew your food

–          Plan what/when you are eating so you can work it into your schedule

–          Put down the technology when eating

–          Notice how you feel after eating (are you tired, bloated, irritable?)

–          Listen to the messages your body is sending you

 

Mindful eating can not only help you enjoy the process of eating, it can also help you lose weight, have more energy and me more present in everyday life. In a society that is so overwhelmed by technology, being truly present is the best gift you can give yourself!

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