Be Great and Full!
Written by Janice Messino of Create Health
In the past several years I have become in harmony with my inner life and the mind, body connection. Part of becoming more aware of my surroundings is realizing that I was eating unconsciously and barely tasting my food. After a loss in my life I became aware of honoring myself by creating attractive and healthy food. Setting a beautiful table and intuitively knowing to be grateful for the food. This is not the way things always were. I am not saying that changing was easy. I had always read while eating alone and this was a hard habit to break. It took determination to realize the benefits of eating mindfully, this is part of living mindfully. In addition, I started noticing that as I naturally slowed my eating and became attentive to the flavors, this gave my body time to give me clues, weight started dropping off and I finally had a realization, that eating mindfully allowed my body to balance itself in its own wisdom. Now I understand that learning to show love for myself is eating well, by myself.
Mindless eating happens most often when we eat because of clues other than true hunger, addictive eating, which can be because of triggers to a situation, when the clock strikes 12:00, walking in the door, grocery shopping day. Or because we are busy, distracted, stressed, in a hurry, sad, angry, impatient, lonely, or happy. Part of learning to eat mindfully is learning to notice the signals you are receiving that make you want to eat; is it true physical hunger? Your mind is looking for pleasure, our body is looking for nourishment.
Mindful eating on the other hand, helps you to include awareness of the foods selected while preparing a meal. Having inner thoughts of why you are eating, what and how much you are eating, how delicious or not the food tastes. When quietly eating our brain becomes more sensitive to the fusion of taste and smell, this will allow you to choose foods that are at the same nutritious and delightful to your senses. In addition to having a more pleasurable experience every time you sit down to eat, mindful eating can re-energize you, so you can fully show up for your life.
Being grateful for your food allows you to be more conscious of the earth, plants, and animals. When you take a moment to say, “thank you” we begin to reflect on what we’re doing more consciously. Be grateful for the sun, rain, the farmer and that you have access to these nourishing foods. Be grateful for our body that works in amazing ways every time you eat and for and the energy it gives.
Before you start cooking, take a couple of deep breaths, breathe in to the count of four, and then breathe out to the count of six. This will help you to clear your mind and make you more conscious of what you are doing. When you are concentrating on something like your breath or your meal, your body is unable to have stressful thoughts, this is caused by the parasympathetic response. As in any mindful practice, what you practice grows stronger, this is known through neuro-plasticity, repeated experiences shape your brains. What do you want to grow?