As the New Year begins, being mindful, and in the moment, is a hot topic of conversation. Being mindful can apply to eating too. It includes accepting, without judgment, the food that you are eating; taking time to experience eating; noticing how your body feels; and thinking about the feelings and emotions associated with eating.
Accepting, Without Judgment
No judgement? We so frequently judge food or ourselves as good or bad based on our food choices, it can be hard to be set aside judgement, but it is possible. Negative self-talk, that little nagging voice in our head, rarely advances the goal of eating foods that fuel WODs and healthful lives. There is a wide range of foods and several eating opportunities each week to eat the food needed to be healthy and strong, so tell that little voice to take a break in 2018.
In reality, sometimes eating is just a task that needs to get done so life’s other activities can occur. However, are there times when it is possible to slow down when eating, think about the colors, shapes, textures, and flavors of food? If so, grab the moment and reflect as you eat.
Ever have a feeling that something is just off in your digestive system? Perhaps the organisms that live in your gut are trying to send you a message. Eating quickly, not thoroughly chewing, and consuming foods that are high in sugar and low in fiber and nutrients can leave your gut feeling out of sorts.
Feelings and Emotions
Sometimes emotional situations (e.g., stress, celebrations) can lead to food choices or eating in response to those situations. Recording your eating and the events around it can be helpful to identify if there are situations or triggers for certain eating habits. Knowing these habits and why they occur can ultimately lead to changing the eating behavior.
Acceptance and non-judgment can be difficult concepts to practice anytime, much less when thinking about food and eating. However, given how much time is spent thinking about food, it seems that applying mindfulness to eating could be time well spent.
Happy and healthful eating in the New Year,
Donna G. Pertel, MEd, RD, LDN
Nutrition challenge ahead in February 2018! Contact me ([email protected]). Let’s do this!