With the Holidays approaching, we know this also means that we are soon to be faced with endless amounts of parties, food, and celebrations. This time of year can be hectic and stressful, resulting in some people becoming less in tune with what they are putting in their bodies. While it is important to enjoy the wonderful food and company of loved ones, this time of year does not have to be any different than the rest of the year and your healthful eating.
This is where the concept of Mindful Eating (similar to intuitive eating) comes in. Mindful eating is especially important to remember when life gets chaotic and I challenge you to practice your Mindful Eating skills this holiday season. “Mindful Eating is allowing yourself to become aware of the positive and nurturing opportunities that are available through food selection and preparation by respecting your own inner wisdom. By using all your senses in choosing to eat food that is both satisfying to you and nourishing to your body, acknowledging your responses to food (likes, dislikes, or neutral) without judgment, and becoming aware of physical hunger and satiety cues to guide your decisions to begin and end eating you can change your relationship to food.”
Principles of Mindful Eating
- Mindfulness is deliberately paying attention, non-judgmentally
- Mindfulness encompasses both internal processes and external environments
- Mindfulness is being aware of what is present for you mentally, emotionally and physically in each moment
- With practice, mindfulness cultivates the possibility of freeing yourself of reactive, habitual patterns of thinking, feeling and acting
- Mindfulness promotes balance, choice, wisdom, and acceptance of what is
Mindful Eating Is…
- Allowing yourself to become aware of the positive and nurturing opportunities that are available through food preparation and consumption by respecting your own inner wisdom.
- Choosing to eat food that is both pleasing to you and nourishing to your body by using all your senses to explore, savor and taste.
- Acknowledging responses to food (likes, neutral or dislikes) without judgment.
- Learning to be aware of physical hunger and satiety cues to guide your decision to begin eating and to stop eating
- Acknowledges that there is no right or wrong way to eat but varying degrees of awareness surrounding the experience of food.
- Accepts that his/her eating experiences are unique.
- Is an individual who by choice, directs his/her awareness to all aspects of food and eating on a moment-by-moment basis.
- Is an individual who looks at the immediate choices and direct experiences associated with food and eating: not to the distant health outcome of that choice.
- Is aware of and reflects on the effects caused by unmindful eating.
- Experiences insight about how he/she can act to achieve specific health goals as he/she becomes more attuned to the direct experience of eating and feelings of health.
- Becomes aware of the interconnection of earth, living beings, and cultural practices and the impact of his/ her food choices has on those systems
The information from this post is from The Center for Mindful Eating. Check out their website for more information & resources.