How to Eat Mindfully and Improve Your Physical, Mental & Spiritual Health & Wellbeing
There are a number of good reasons why we should try and eat mindfully.
Many of us are always in a rush or trying to multitask and this is often no more obvious when we are eating.
Do you watch TV, look at your phone, read a newspaper when eating? If you are, this means that you are not concentrating on your food – which is a real shame. It means you are not getting the most from your meal, nutritionally, mentally and spiritually.
From a nutritional perspective we need to chew our food properly.
This breaks it down into small easy to digest pieces, aiding good digestion and allowing better nutrient absorption. When we are distracted we tend to only chew a few times and swallow.
Eating mindfully helps address this by encouraging us to chew our food thoroughly.
From a mental perspective, a meal should be seen to be a bit of ‘you’ time.
Giving you a break from your daily tasks. A time to relax and enjoy. If you are unable to take much time for yourself during the day, this should be the place, where 3 times a day you can relax without distraction.
If you have a family this may be difficult, but try and find at least one meal a day which you can dedicate to yourself!
Spiritually we should take time to think about what we are eating, where it has come from and be grateful for everything that has gone into our meal.
From the bees who have pollinated the vegetables, to the farmers who have cared for the plants through to the person who has prepared the meal (which may well be you!).
Take a moment each meal to think about this and be grateful for what you are about to eat.
Here are some simple pointers to help you eat mindfully everyday:
Eat when hungry – so that the previous meal is digested fully.
Make your food attractive – eat with your eyes as well as your mouth!
Remove distractions – put your phone out of reach. Turn the TV off.
Enjoy the taste of your food – take time to really taste your food and enjoy it’s flavour. This will encourage you to chew more too!
Chew chew chew! As I said above we all need to chew our food more. I was told to chew every mouthful 20 times. Personally I found that a little hard, but we all need to chew more!
Eat when you are calm and in a calm environment – try and declutter your eating space and focus on your food. Maybe look out of the window into the garden or trees, or at a calm green space you have within your home.
Try and keep to a fixed schedule and make lunch the main meal – this will allow you time to digest it properly before bed.
Be aware of what you eat – use your 5 senses – hearing, sight, smell, touch & taste to enjoy your food properly.
Stop when three quarters full – stop eating at the first burp! Check in with your body and do not overeat. Your body often lets you know when you are done by making us burp slightly. Watch out for this and stop when you are done! Next time try and regulate your portion size so you don’t waste food.
Be thankful for your food and offer gratitude to those who helped in its journey to your table.