As we come to the end of the first month in 2012, I felt this would be a good time for a refresher on Mindful Eating. It seems to have come up a lot this month in our sessions so I hope this helps solidify further what we have talked about in our meetings this month:
The 5th Key in Creating Peace with Food
The last of the 5 Keys to Creating Peace with Food is Mindful Eating. I’m sure you’ve heard of it during the health segments on your local news station or read about it in one of the many popular books (such as Brian Wansink’s Mindless Eating (http://www.mindlesseating.org/).
To me, Mindful Eating can be defined as:
Honor meal times :
Set meal times for yourself every 3 hours. Plan to eat at those times by making the necessary adjustments in your schedule. Eating isn’t an option-we have to eat to survive. So make it a priority.
Acknowledge hunger levels and taking action on what your body is telling you:
Rate how hungry you are on a scale of 1-10. (See scale below.) If you are feeling physical hunger, eat-no matter where you are, who you are with, what you are doing. Stop and eat something. When you are no longer feeling hungry, stop eating and wait 20 minutes before deciding if you would like more.
Seek joy in your food:
Ellyn Satter says, “When the joy goes out of eating, nutrition suffers.” And I couldn’t agree more! To illustrate the point imagine this: you are at a local farmer’s market and it is the first week for fresh peaches. A vendor hands you a slice. The smell of the fruit fills your nose as the juices run down your hand. The soft ripe flesh is giving under your pinch as you place the slice on your tongue. It is cool and sweet in your mouth and evokes memories of your childhood. This is seeking joy in your food.
Make providing nourishing food to yourself a priority:
All things eat to survive. For such an important survival tool, we take it for granted and often undervalue the art of providing ourselves with life giving food. Don’t fall victim to society’s de-valuation. Take ownership of your right to eat. Plan your meals, have emergency back-ups ready when plans change unexpectedly, and choose your foods wisely. Using the meal planning process can be very helpful in achieving this.
Weekly Challenge: Choose two of the 4 mindful eating strategies above to put into practice this week.