Being involved in a regular yoga practice, along with the readings I have done on Buddhism, mindfulness is a constant theme repeated. We should be mindful of the words we speak, the effect our mood has on others, and (an often overlooked area to be mindful of) the FOOD we eat.
This past week I decided to make a conscious effort in being aware of every bite of food I consumed, and noting all the times I would have normally grabbed a quick snack out of habit, boredom, or hunger. I consider myself a very healthy eater, and even though all the “extra” snacks I consumed were healthy options, the point is that they were still extras I didn’t actually NEED. Whether it was grabbing a handful of mixed nuts while cooking supper, putting a little more peanut butter on my toast (admittedly my vice), or having a second bed time snack because I thought I needed it….all of those snacks added up! It was pretty surprising when I sat back and recognized all the additional calories I was consuming just because I was not being mindful of my eating.
Instead, I spent the week focusing on having quality, balanced meals, and eating for my needs not my wants. Instead of rushing through my evening snack, I allowed myself only one, and (tried) to eat it slower, savoring each bite and how it tasted. Not going to lie…it is/was difficult! Not only did I see how often I sat in front of my pantry looking for something to munch on, but I could tell that my mood and energy affected those habits also. It reminded me of this post I saw a while ago:
Look or sound familiar? Many times when people are tired/cranky/sad/etc, food becomes something of pleasure and not necessarily something of nourishment. Be good to your body, be good to your mind, and adapt mindfulness in every area of your life.
This is going to be my challenge for the month: eating with mindfulness and making sure my nutritional needs are met each day without all the extras. With one week down I feel more confident that this is something I can carry on for the month, and will re-evaluate other areas of my life to apply mindfulness as well. Nobody is perfect, and we all slip up, but if you can bring your awareness to those moments and work at recognizing them and adjusting your habits, positive changes will follow!
Are you a mindful eater? Do you see room for improvement? Challenge yourself this same way and see how you benefit….good luck!!