The rush, Instagram, traveling and being a freelancer and, therefore, being connected 24 hours a day… We have to admit, sometimes, sitting quietly and enjoying your food is a pipe-dream. We eat looking at our WhatsApp or refreshing our Outlook over and over again… it’s tremendously addictive, we won’t deny it… we’re tied to our phones and that won’t change, but we do believe that for our mind, and our health’s sake, our day requires some mindful eating. Don’t you think so?
Knowing what we eat, knowing what helps us and enjoying each bite are some of the key factors of mindful eating.
Mindful eating is practiced by millions of people around the world, and is related to a very concrete lifestyle where other mental, visual and self-knowledge techniques play an important role. It isn’t a new fashion, even though it may seem so, it’s only applying common sense to the way in which we relate to our food every day.
How many times have doctors insisted on the benefits of a balanced diet that is rich in vegetables, fruits, seeds or whole grains? And… do we listen to them? Yes, but only when we already have a chronic, usually gastrointestinal, disease.
Each body is different, and we need to listen to it, be alert to the signs it often sends us, in case we feel anxious, stressed, lonely, frustrated or pained. Mindful eating simply teaches us to recognize these signs and interpret them, to then act to achieve control over what we ingest, and therefore, over our weight, health and state of mind.
Drink water, my love! It’s very important to drink a glass of water before each meal, as a clear indicator of the action of eating, which we should consider more as a ritual to which we need to devote our full attention, than a mere daily routine.
Look for nutrients. The concept of mindful eating is based on an optimal diet in which all nutrients are essential, and which includes no empty calories as these don’t contribute to anything, and therefore, don’t help us in our healthy and conscious life purpose. In this case, we recommend some dishes from our daily healthy book: a cream made out of seasonal products, hummus with pita bread and crudités; quinoa salad; spinach with tomato, orange, cilantro and lime vinaigrette, etc.
Practice Hara Hachi Bu. Or, eat less to live longer. This Japanese ritual considers that we shouldn’t get full on every meal, that it should be frugal, varied and ingested calmly and in moderation, based on quantities marked on the famous oryoki, special bowls that measure food and which are the fundamental basis for rural populations such as Okinawa, the place where the world’s longest-lived population is found, many of them centenarians.
You look better sitting down. Don’t eat laying down in bed while you watch a series on Netflix or standing and in a rush. We should always do it calmly and sitting down, with our back at a right angle, thus helping our breathing and easing digestion.
Cultivate mindfulness. To do this, some experts recommend holding your food in your hand, noting its texture, appearance, shape, color, smell … Mindful eating is about observing your emotions and thoughts.
Chew and drool. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 …. It’s vital to chew your food up to 20 times for each bite, as half of our digestion is done in our mouth, drooling, savoring and mixing the foods correctly, that way we’ll avoid problems such as flatulence, heavy digestion or bloating.
No more dog-like hunger, in which you eat an entire plate without noticing what you just engulfed! Mindful Eating, my friend!