7 Simple Ways to Practice Mindful Eating

This will take some adjusting but it will contribute to a better you and a better world!

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Everybody eats. We love the way our food looks and tastes. That’s why so much of our lives revolve around food. We watch the Cooking Show, we look up recipes online and we all love to try new cafes or restaurants. 

But for some of us, we don’t always take the time to eat healthy because we are too busy to cook proper meals so we grab and go or we multitask and eat our desks. We are not actually concentrating on what or how much we are eating.This kind of mindless eating could be contributing to numerous health issues according to Harvard Health. It doesn’t nourish our bodies or our souls. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Changing this mindset is the key to better health, better living, and a better planet. We have to begin to eat mindfully by being truly present in the moment as well as being aware of our thoughts, feelings, and our bodies. Mindful eating takes some adjusting in the way we choose the foods we eat – things like organic, fair trade, locally grown, or free range— and the way we eat. Here's how:

Plan ahead

Plan your meals ahead of time. Making a list before you go to the supermarket will help you buy food for healthy meals like fresh produce and whole grains. You can usually find supermarket flyers online so check out the sales. When you have a grocery list you are shopping for specific healthy items like fresh produce and not making impulse buys. Here's a hint; do not shop when you are really hungry or you will fill your cart with things you want and may not need like processed foods and junk food. 

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Come to the table hungry but not starving

Eat when you are hungry, your stomach may gowl or you may feel your blood sugar going down, and stop eating when you feel full. If you skip meals and are raveneously hungry you may wolf down your food and overeat. No one really wants to feel stuffed and bloated from overeating. If you listen to your body's cues, you will feel better and really enjoy your food.

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Take smaller portions

Take a smaller helping of food than what you are used to eating, you can always take seconds if you are not full. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, If you fill your plate, you will probably finish it. That's because this is something we were taught to do as children. Try eating with a smaller plate. Order lunch sized portions in restaurants. Never supersize your meal. And, when you are cooking at home, use the appropriate serving sizes.

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Say thanks

Give thanks for your food. If it is your tradition, pray before a meal or after. Compliment the person who cooked the meal and express your gratitude for the food and for the people you are eating with. Giving thanks can make you happier, enhances self esteem, and improves your health according to Psychology Today.

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Use all five senses when you eat

Use all your senses when you eat and learn to appreciate food like a master chef. Diners club suggests you can do this by deconstructing your food and paying attention to all the ingredients of a dish. Concentrate on the colors, textures, smells, and even how the food sounds – like the crunch of a carrot – of the  foods you eat. Focus on the taste of the food, is it sweet, sour, salty, or bitter? All of this will enhance your appreciation of the food.

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Eat smaller bites and chew, chew, chew

You can really enjoy all of your meal if you take smaller bites. According to nutritionalists this is much healthier for you because you will have better digestion, better hydration, and are more likely to eat only the amount you need. When you eat slower, you feel more satisfied. Chewing your food thoroughly is also more mindful. Harvard Health says that chewing your food 20 to 40 times will allow you to taste the essence of the food and allow all of the flavors to be released.

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Slow down and enjoy the produce!

By the time you get to this point, you have already mastered taking smaller bites and chewing your food thoroughly. Mindful eating is good for your body and good for your soul. So before you start to chat or reach for your smartphone, take a few minutes to fully appreciate your food. People are usually told to slow down and smell the roses, now you should slow down and really taste the fresh fruits and vegetables that mother nature has provided. Bon apetit!

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