As you may have noticed, my blog has recently changed from The Running Carrot to Mindful Meals! Mindful Meals encompasses what I want to share with you on this space and future projects - useful nutrition information, practical tips for real-life, and steps to create a nourishing relationship with food and your body.
Eating mindfully is one of my favorite ways to do this. Nourishing your body means taking time to appreciate the food you are eating. It means eating with awareness and savoring each bite and flavor you take in. It means removing food rules, labels, and “good” and “bad” categories and instead looking at food as food and nourishment for your body.
To get this Mindful Meals party started, I want to share a tip to begin eating mindfully. These tips are meant to be practiced over time, so print them out or save them on your computer. Re-read and practice them. Reflect on the experiences. Mindful eating is not a goal to reach. It’s a journey, and these tips can be added to your toolbox along the way.
Mindful Meals Tip #1: Sit Down to Eat.
I’ll be the first one to confess that I occasionally eat on the run. It’s so easy to head to the fridge and nibble on whatever looks good with the fridge door open. We live in a rushed society, and scarfing down a protein bar on your walk from the car to your office may be commonplace.
Sitting down to eat prepares your body for eating and digestion. You will be in a much more relaxed state when you are sitting rather than running around in between tasks.
Proper digestion of your food requires you to be relaxed in a “rest and digest” state. Being in a stressed state of mind may cause digestive distress like bloating, abdominal pain or cramping, constipation, or diarrhea. It also forces you to set the intention to eat rather than eating mindlessly out of boredom.
If you want to have a snack or meal, you’ll have to take the time to prepare it, place it on a table, and eat. When you sit down to eat, choose to eat at a cleared-off table. Instead, of sitting and eating at your desk or in your car, choose a separate space to eat
At work, you can look for a shared kitchen-space with a table or a bench and table outside. At home, use a dining room or kitchen table. Clear space off the table for you to eat comfortably. You may need to remove papers or other clutter.
When you are hungry or feel the urge to eat, prepare your meal or snack, and sit down at the table to eat. This will slow you down from eating mindlessly throughout the door or when you are bored.
Find a space at work and home for you to eat. When you head to eat lunch or dinner today, clear off the space, sit down, and eat. This week, when you find yourself heading to the fridge or pantry for a snack, pause, prepare it, and sit down.