What is Mindfulness?
It is being present in every single moment. Mindfulness helps to reduce stress and anxiety as most people live in a fight or flight state of mind throughout the day. Most of us eat on the go, we eat on our desks at work, we eat in our car, we eat watching the TV, and we eat looking at our phones or emails.
Truth is, eating can become somewhat problematic. People don’t have the patience or the time to spend eating the proper way. Some people have even choked while eating. How many times have you eaten when you’re angry? You see, when we rush our food and don’t take the time to chew it properly, our food does not get digested well. Our digestive system shuts down and the food do not get broken down into smaller pieces for our body to absorb the nutrients. In fact, not chewing properly have been known to cause gut problems such as constipation, acid reflux, indigestion and upset stomach.
You see, food is something that sustains and nourishes us and improve our health.
Remember to use the 5 elements of your senses to become more aware about mindful eating: sight, smell, taste, feel, and touch. Let’s explore some of them…
When you’re ready to eat, take a comfortable sit. Put your feet down on the floor. Refrain from walking or standing while eating. Take 3 deep breaths. Let’s practice that now.
Now, explore the food with all your senses. Your eyes. What do you see? As you bring the food closer to your nose, what do you smell? Can you hear the crunchiness as you bite down and chew the food? Now, think of all the hard work that goes into making the food. Think of the soil and the harvesting and the cooking.
Eat more mindfully by taking the time and the effort to chew well and be sure to chew to liquid 20 to 30 times before swallowing. This can help with weight management especially when you stop eating when you’re 80% full. When you overeat, your metabolism slows down, you age faster, and your digestion becomes harder.
Try this: Imagine your favorite food right in front of you. Place a forkful of food in your mouth, let’s say it’s that first nibble from this hot, perfectly cooked rice and bean with mixed vegetables.
Now comes the hard part. Put the fork down. This could be a lot more challenging than you imagine, because that first bite was so good and you’re so hungry that your stomach rumbles and grumbles and your mouth immediately beckons for more.
Become aware of that reflexive urge to plow through your meal like a Cookie Monster on a shortbread. Resist the urge!
Put the fork on the table. Chew slowly. Stop talking. Turn your full attention in to the texture of the food, the flavor and the bright color of the mixed vegetables in your plate and take time to watch the aroma of the rising steam.
Continue this way throughout the course of the meal, and you’ll experience the third-eye opening pleasures and frustrations of a practice known as mindful eating.
Here’s more tips to bring mindfulness into your routine especially at mealtimes:
- Give thanks before meals. Say a prayer: “Thank you Lord for this food and the hands that prepared it”.
- Take 3 deep breaths
- Use all your senses
- Going to the refrigerator again? Are you really hungry? Make the right choice.
- Show up 100% for the meal every time. Have a relationship with your meal.
- Eat together with your family and take away all distractions like the phone or the laptop.
Find time every day to be present and “just be”. Enjoy every seconds of the day. May we never choke on our food.
- PS: PLUS, whenever you’re ready, here are 3 ways I can help you!
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- About the Author:
Dr. Christina Wachuku is the Founder/Owner of MediFixx Health, LLC. She’s a Board-Certified Functional Medicine Pharmacist, and places strong emphasis on Medication Therapy Management services as the ultimate preventive healthcare practice.