EnJOY Eating - Mindfulness eating for your better health begins with you!
Enjoy eating every delicious bite all the time is mindful eating, and very simply delightful for your mind, body, and soul. Foods are more nourishing with the perception, we eat to live and not live to eat. From carving out some space for consumption of your foods to chewing your food well, and from your increased awareness of your senses to you learning more about what enters your mouth, are some key areas of mindful eating.
“Eat to live not live to eat!”
Time to nourish. Now let us carve up some space to eat.
Leave everything else in the wooden cupboard that does not fit with focusing on just eating for the enjoyment of eating nourishing foods to live well. Walk through the door or threshold into the eating space and leave the work and/or worries behind in the other space. Better yet, get those worries checked out. Feel your hungry body deeply relax while sitting in your comfy made for eating chair and once seated comfortably take three slow deep breaths.
“Take three slow deep breaths!”
Time for your exercises. Let us move on to chewing shall we. Chewing has these two key benefits, among others. One benefit is that it is less work for your stomach and digestive system. If large pieces of food land in your stomach, your stomach is required to produce more acid to break down some of the food, specifically the proteins. If foods sit in the stomach too long then indigestion is a possibility with acid reflux a close second. This slows down the entire digestive process. Instead use your precious energy wisely for chewing your food rather than for additional burdensome digestive functions.
The other key benefit is to exercise the strongest muscle in your body – as they say, use it or lose it! Oh, there are much more benefits in doing this simple act of chewing. (‘All Guts All Glory – The digestive system on stage’ by Millett)
When presenting, I ask this question “What four letter word is very healthy for you, it is free, easy to do, and you can do it anywhere anytime?” When I divulge the answer CHEW, the next question is usually “How many times should we chew our food Cheryl?” At which time, I say “It is not about the number. Drink your food and chew your liquid.” This does not include water but absolutely whole food smoothies and juices so that your stomach has been appropriately alerted.
“The jaw is the strongest muscle in the body!”
Time to enjoy. Let us explore our senses to heighten our awareness.
Awareness is the beginning of exploring and expanding your consciousness. A lot can be packed into this subject. Let us keep it simple and on point with eating. With every bite, take note of what you are putting into your mouth. Look at it. Size it up. Check out the colours. Be the ultimate observer. Take a moment to smell the food on your plate, on your fork. Is it spicy? Does it smell just like mama use to make? Once in your mouth and while you are chewing well, take stock of the flavours rolling around on your tongue and over your taste buds. Listen to see if there is a crunch. Another sense is how you are feeling. Take note of this too.
What did you just put into your mouth?
Learning is enjoyable so let us keep it simple. Ask yourself if you have any health goals. Health goals can be easier if you know what you are eating. Should you wish to keep a journal it helps people like me, a holistic nutritionist and counsellor, to learn what you are consuming which goes a long with why you eat what you eat and how you are feeling both mental and physical. Nutrition is eating and eating is nutrition so it is a key part of your health puzzle.
The next time you decide you are hungry, remember the above four things. Cheat sheets are allowed. These notes will remind you until such time it becomes second nature to enjoy your food healthfully and wholeheartedly. Routines are to set up a practice to be mindful of your ‘day to day’ activities which in this case includes EATING.
May your day go your way for learning and expanding while eating one bite at a time.