Hello Readers! I hope that everyone had a fabulous week! I know I did but that might have something to do with the fact that I spent it in Jamaica on my honeymoon… Not bragging… ok I am. Both Adam and I had the best time ever in Montego Bay and were able to spend some quality time resting and relaxing and enjoying each other’s company. Ok, as much as I know you would all love to hear more about my honeymoon, I’ll get on with today’s post!
I talked last time about some easy ways that you could start to eat more mindfully. Even if you incorporate one or two of those techniques into your eating habits, you can start to reap the benefits of mindful eating. But what exactly are the benefits to mindful eating? Why should you care about the way you eat? Glad you asked and happy to answer! Now keep in mind, this is the way that I personally have benefited from mindful eating. While it will probably be similar, you may experience different results. That is totally cool, because we are all different!
1) More aware of the food that I eat By slowing myself down and really taking the time to consider the food that I am about to eat I have noticed that I am able to really see how different foods affect me. For example, over the past few months I have noticed that whenever I eat wheat I feel bloated and my skin tends to break out. Or when I have an egg and some type of nut butter for breakfast I am able to feel fuller for longer. Mindful eating has really allowed me to hone my diet so that I can feel and look as good as possible. The practice of slowing down and savoring every bit of my food has also helped to train me to tap into what my body is trying to tell me.
2) New appreciation for food Now that I try to use all of my senses while eating, I have really come to love different aspects of food. For instance, I have come to love the sound of garlic sizzling in a cast iron skillet. I love the smell of sweet potatoes roasting in the oven with Italian spices. I really like the look of roasted beats next to a pile of broccoli. While it might seem silly to feel this way about food, this has allowed me to really appreciate all the ways that healthy food nourishes my body, not just with nutrients but also with sounds, smells, and visuals.
3) Allows me to know when I’m full Before I started to eat mindfully, I could finish a meal in about 5 to 10 minutes flat if I had to. The problem with that (besides indigestion) was that I never knew when I was truly full and would end up eating way more than my body needed in that short time frame. Now that I take at LEAST 20 minutes to eat a meal (most of the time, longer than that) I can feel when I am approaching full. Let me tell you, it takes a lot less food than you would think to fill you up. Plus because I am savoring every bite, I feel much more satisfied after I am done eating.
4) Helped me to connect with others around me While this might not seem like a health benefit at first glance, it really is. Taking the time to sit down and turn off all distractions has allowed me to connect and bond with whomever I am sharing a meal with. Adam and I try to at least eat one meal together and sitting at the kitchen table and it has really opened up a new way to connect. We talk about each other’s day, interesting things we read, or movies/books we are looking forward too. Some of my best memories are family meals where we all would take the time to prepare delicious foods, turn off our phones, and sit at the table and chat. Mindful eating not only is good for the body, it is good for the relationships around you.
These are just a few of the bigger impacts that mindful eating has had on my eating habits. There are others, such as an excitement/eagerness to create new dishes just to experience a new sensation food-wise. Or just the simple fact that I know that I am doing something really healthy for my body and that is always a good thing!
If you have any questions or comments about mindful eating, I would really love to hear from you! Let me know how it has helped you or if you have any questions as how to get started, give me a shout! Also, check out this website for more tips and history on mindful eating. Next week, I want to talk about how our bodies are really great at letting us know exactly what we need nutrition wise. So have a fantastic week and I’ll see you soon!