One simple and easily overlooked piece of the optimal health puzzle is: HOW we eat is as important as WHAT we eat!
If you feel like you could benefit from improved digestion, less stressful meals, and a healthier relationship with food...it all begins at mealtime.
Our food choices at each meal are often the result of not-so-nourishing physical and emotional triggers, for example:
our minds deliberating what we “should” eat from endless marketing campaigns or body image judgements
blood sugar crashes from a diet high in refined or sugary foods causing ravenous cravings for more junk food and overeating
our mental or emotional state seeking reward for an achievement or comfort in response to stress and other difficult circumstances
But, what if you could tune in & listen to the intelligence of your body instead?
You can with a little practice! :)
The body operates from a place of ancestral wisdom and intuition to satisfy our innate biology and unique body composition, not our mind and emotions. What a wonderful way to honor ourselves by allowing our body to guide us toward more nourishing, healthful choices.
How does tuning in work?
Just take a mental pause to ask the question, “what does my body need in this moment?”, and then listen for the inner guidance. Your body might tell you that you need something warm to eat today for lunch instead of a salad, like you always have. It might want two apples instead of one because one won’t satisfy your sweet tooth craving today and it knows cookies will just make things worse, or it might tell you to take a bath instead of having a glass of wine and popcorn after work to decompress.
If this concept feels foreign to you, I highly recommend you start with a mindfulness meditation practice to begin tuning into your intuitive body. Body intelligence is deeper than your 5 senses, more subtle, and susceptible to being overpowered by the everyday distractions of modern life. So you’ll need to build your mindful muscles for maximum benefit.
What is Mindful & Intuitive Eating?
Mindful Eating: the intentional non-judgmental awareness of our thoughts, emotional state, and physical sensations before, during, and after eating
Intuitive Eating: listening to your “body talk” - the inner guidance system that silently tells you what would be most nourishing, satisfying, or health-promoting for you in any given moment, and it also may not be food!
So how do we go from Mindless to Mindful Eating?
What does Mind-less Eating Look and Feel Like? We’ve all been there…
Eating while distracted in front of the t.v., computer, while driving, or working
Shoveling forkfuls into our mouths & not chewing well before swallowing
Ravenous (over)eating in response to a blood sugar crash
Eating when you’re not even hungry or emotional eating (bored, sad, or stressed): the feeling that no amount of food will satisfy you
Feeling physically sick or tired after a meal
Feeling negative emotions, e.g., guilt or shame before, during, or after a meal
What does Mindful Eating Look and Feel like?
Plan your meals ahead of time to curb cravings and prevent low blood sugar from sabotaging you into a mindless feeding frenzy.
Take a break from multitasking, turn off technology distractions, and simply eat while you are eating.