I started eating mindfully and it has completely reshaped how I view mealtime. I wouldn’t categorize myself as a fast/quick eater before last week, but after completing a full week of mindful eating I now know I have been scarfing down food hand over fist since Ive been old enough to feed myself.
Why do we quick eat?
There are a lot of situations that can produce a behavior of quick eating; from growing up in a large family down to lunch time in school we have all experienced situations that have conditioned us to eat fast. Even as an adult I have experienced “30 min” lunches or visiting restaurants who are basically ushering you out before you have even taken your first bite. Each and every meal, or at least for me has been conditioned to be done in a hurry all with the exception of Sunday dinner. Sunday dinners are meant to be indulged + enjoyed, but I digress.
What is Mindful eating + Why
Mindful eating similar to mindful living in general is taking a mindful approach to everyday things such as eating. Eating not only is a time to refuel but it should be an EXPERIENCE. Like why bother seasoning + cooking if you arent actually enjoying it right? Outside of enjoying the actual food there are huge benefits behind being thoughtful when it comes to HOW we fuel our bodies AND the manner in which we do it. Think of it this way, nothing works at its best when its stuffed to the brim, right? Taking a mindful approach to eating can improve digestion drastically. When our body is able to break down nutrients proficiently, we are able to absorbed nutrients better.
Mindful eating can be achieved in a few different ways, the main goal is to really take notice of what you are eating, allow yourself to enjoy your food all while taking notice of how you feel while eating.
Why did I start mindful eating?
With all the extra cooking I have been doing lately I started to notice that my digestion was SUFFERING. I would spend a huge amount of time cooking these amazing meals (cooking is how I show love), and completely devour the whole thing in 15-20 min flat. I wasnt even giving myself the courtesy to enjoy the very meal I poured so much love into. So I decided to take a week to practice mindful eating to get my digestion back on track while reminding myself it is ok to slow down during meal time. Now while there are many ways to being thoughtful when it comes to meal time, here are the things that I personally did.
- Looked at my plate as a whole before I began to eat, noticing the colors, textures + smells
- Took only 1 spoon/forkful of food in my mouth at a time
- After each bite, I set my spoon/fork down to chew
- I chewed until there was nothing left
- Took 1 sip of water before taking a new spoon/forkful
The Results + What I noticed
After just one week of mindful eating I noticed a drastic change in my digestion and not always having that icky “full” feeling. I was less bloated throughout the day. And because I was taking my time to eat, I felt satisfied sooner during mealtime which basically reduced the amount of food I ate overall.
The most important aspect I noticed is, I ENJOYED. I could taste the seasonings + could feel the textures. Family dinner conversations lasted much longer. I even learned new things about myself. Foods I thought I liked, I actually didnt. Once I was given the opportunity to really sit + “experience” certain foods, the truth was out!
I truly enjoyed the benefits that showed almost instantly after just 1 week of mindful eating. My mindset around meals has been shifted and I can even say there has been a reduction in anxiousness of feeling the need to always “hurry”. Now will I continue with the same steps for each meal? Honestly No. But being aware is truly half the battle. I will continue to take my time when eating to truly enjoy my food.