Chew on this
Make mindful eating your new daily meditation
How many times have you found yourself quietly crunching at your desk as you respond to emails or crossed things off your to-do list. If you said every day, you aren’t alone, less than 35% of people actually take a lunch break, and it’s starting to take a toll on our bodies. When you unconsciously eat, you often take in too many or too few calories, and for the most part they aren’t necessarily nutritious. Research shows that when we are stressed and eating, the body craves SUGAR and carbs like the bug on Men in Black, only we can’t process it as well.
Mindful eating is about focusing on the sensations of eating, all the smelling, tasting, chewing, and swallowing that goes into fuelling the body. Once you start to bring more attention to the act of eating, all of a sudden your unconscious eating habits become much more obvious. Eating too fast, eating to abate stress or boredom etc. When you are mindfully eating you are way more aware of the body’s hunger and fullness signals, and the “this is the food I really need” (or don’t need) signals.
How to do it:
Take a small piece of food, we advocate for dark chocolate (someone somewhere mentioned that dark chocolate was good for you right?)
Focus on the scent of the food. What do you notice? As you smell do you notice an increase in saliva production? Are any of you other senses heightened.
Then take your first bite. Chew slowly, noticing the actual sensory experience of chewing and tasting. You don’t need to think about your food to experience it.
Close your eyes for a moment to focus on the sensations of chewing, tasting, and finally swallowing.
Notice if the intensity of the food’s flavour changes or if the flavours shift and morph.
Then take your second and final bites, following the same directions.
Check in with your body. Is it sending signals of hunger, or of fullness? What does the body (not your mind) have to say about the food you ate?
For a more in-depth look at stress and eating book our Stress and Decompress lunch and learn. We bring the smoothies and the mindfulness training, you bring yourself!