Hot to eat mindfully in a fast-paced, often chaotic environment can be challenging. For me, I had forgotten how powerful it could be and lost the practice. After a trip on my own (without kids and away from emails) I was pleasantly reminded of the wonderful benefits of mindful eating. There are both mental and physiological benefits to eating mindfully and I want to help you (and me) return to this practice… even WHEN our life is chaotic.
I spend more time refereeing at family dinners than I do tasting my food.
My attention is on my email (instead of my lunch) when I take my lunch “break”.
Today’s episode includes 3 quick, easy tips that you can practice today to build your mindful eating skills. You can do them in the car, during your lunch “break” as you answer emails, or as you wrangle the kiddos at dinner time. Practice one or all three and I know you will feel the benefits and enjoy your food even more!
Eat Mindfully Tip #1
Check-in with your hunger level before you start eating. This is one of the first steps we go through in the Empowered Eating Method. There are two things happening here. Number one, we have the opportunity to decide how much food our body physiologically needs based on that hunger level. The other thing this is doing is that it pauses our brain and provides a prompt for us to get into our bodies and allow us to be present for a minute.
Eat Mindfully Tip #2
Chew your food to an applesauce consistency. How often do you swallow food before it’s chewed all the way? There are a few things happening when we do this. First and foremost, it slows us down so that our body and stomach can keep up with the food that we are taking in. Secondly, it is allowing the entire digestive process to take place.
Often, we think of digestion as something that only happens in our gut. Contrarily, digestion begins in our mouth. We have enzymes in our mouths that begin to break down carbohydrates. When we allow those enzymes to begin their enzymatic work we have already started that digestive process right so that when the food goes down or esophagus into our stomach, if in the form it needs to be for the rest of our body to take it from there.
Eat Mindfully Top #3
Pause halfway through the meal and smell your food. The food smell is such a huge component of the eating experience. Some studies show that smell accounts for up to 80% of taste. This explains why when we are sick and lose this layer of our senses, we tend to enjoy food less. Smelling your food halfway through the meal keeps you connected to the present moment so that you can remain mindful.
There’s also some biology happening here when we smell the food. It creates space for us to slow down and we trigger that olfactory process that connects to the brain and amplifies the eating experience. This allows our hormones to balance out the way they need to naturally
If you can try one or all three I know these tips will impact your eating experience. I know for me it has been a game changer since I came back from my trip. I’ve noticed even in the middle of my chaotic, refereeing at family dinner I am able to practice these three things!
For more info on identifying your hunger and building your empowered eating skills, don’t forget to check out my signature program teaching the Empowered Eating Method.
Until next time…
Cheers and happy (mindful) eating!