Getting snowed in for a few days has me thinking a lot about mindful eating. Right now, I am sitting at my desk and starting to think about lunch. My tummy is rumbling, and I can tell I am starting to get hungry. I close my eyes and try to really imagine what my body is asking for. When I open my eyes, I can almost taste the hot bowl of soup that I will now warm up for lunch. My body clearly wants comfort food.
I wasn’t always a mindful eater. On snowy days in years past, I would have probably grazed all day in the kitchen. By the end of a storm, I would feel sluggish and tired. Now that mindful eating is part of my day to day, I feel more present and in control of what I eat.
The Center for Mindful Eating has declared Thursday, January 28, 2016, the first ever Mindful Eating Day. In honor of this occasion, I wanted to share the top three tips that have helped me on my path to mindful eating.
1. I do a check-in. When I want to eat at non-meal time, I ask myself, “Am I hungry, or is there another reason I want to eat?” Sometimes I need to get up and move, and sometimes I just need a cup of hot tea. If I am truly hungry, I reach for a healthy snack.
2. I chew my food. I never realized that I inhaled food before I began to learn more about mindful eating. Now, I focus on chewing and enjoying every bite.
3. I plan ahead. It is impossible to be successful with mindful eating if nutritious food isn’t ready to eat. I make double batches of soups, main dishes and snacks and fill my freezer whenever I have the chance. This allows me to always have food on hand to defrost and enjoy.
I have been inspired by the classes I have taken as a member of the Center for Mindful Eating, and I encourage you to check them out at www.thecenterformindfuleating.org.