We have all heard the phrase, “mindful eating,” but what exactly does it mean? Mindful eating can be a multitude of things, but today we are focusing on five ways to be more mindful when it comes to food when we are: shopping, cooking, eating, thinking, and being.
Be mindful when shopping for food.
When grocery shopping, be sure to read your labels. Stick to the outer perimeter of the market where real, whole foods are kept. If you purchase food with a label, make sure you know the ingredients listed.
Be mindful in the kitchen.
Be mindful when preparing your food. When it comes to cooking and baking, think of how you can make each meal healthier. There are plenty of healthy swaps you can incorporate: use olive oil instead of vegetable oil, throw some veggies in your morning smoothie or add fresh fruit to your bowl of granola. Fresh berries from the local farmers market is one of our favorites!
Be mindful when you eat.
When you eat, focus on the food. That means put down the phone, turn off the TV, and avoid your inbox. Slow doooooown and savor each and every bite. Try placing your fork down in between each bite of your meal, and be sure to finish chewing your current bite before grabbing another. Be grateful for the meal in front of you and take note of the sight, the smell, and the taste of your meal.
Be mindful of your mind.
Ditch the negative self talk. Abandon the worry, shame and guilt that surrounds food. Remove the mental restrictions of “good food” or “bad food” and try to think of food in a different way altogether. Ask yourself, “Will this food help me reach my overall health and fitness goals, or will it not?” You will always have a relationship with food, so why not try and make it a healthy, positive one!
If you choose to indulge or overeat (which will happen from time to time; we’re all human!), do not guilt yourself afterwards. The goal of mindful eating is to embrace and own your food choices. If your favorite cookie sounds really good in the moment and you want to eat, then go ahead and enjoy it! You do not need permission from anyone. Savor each and every bite and be pleased with your decision. Do not guilt yourself into a trip to the gym just because of the cookie. Simply sit with the idea you gave your body what it wanted and move on!
Be mindful of your body.
Get familiar with your hunger and satiety. It takes serious inner wisdom and the silencing of your mind’s chatter to tune in to your body’s natural cues, but listen to your body’s signals to learn when you are hungry or full.
Let’s get sciencey for a second. Ghrelin is the hunger hormone that tells you when your body needs food for fuel. Leptin is the hormone that signals satiety. It let’s you know when your body is full and when you should stop eating. It takes time for these hormones to do their job, which is why slowing down when eating is so crucial.
Mindful eating is all about listening to your body. We believe food should bring both your body and your mind to a better state. This is why we only use good-for-you ingredients in our granola. Think almonds, walnuts, coconut, honey, vanilla, cherries, blueberries, and pecans. If that sounds good, grab a bag here!
Mindful eating may be a new concept to you, so be patient with yourself and take it one meal at a time.
Try it out! Pick one meal this week and eat it mindfully. Report back here and let us know how it goes or tag us on Instagram @paleoscavenger so we can see those mindful meals!