By Lena Lewis
In today’s busy world, we too often forget to eat healthily. Food is one of the few areas where it seems like you can safely cut out some of that time you spend, so we opt for fast food and frozen convenience foods instead of cooking from scratch. You might find yourself shoveling in food while you’re taking a work break or before you rush off to an extracurricular activity. Mindful eating changes everything, and transforms your health for the better forever.
Don’t eat an option just because it’s there.
Today’s grocery stores, caterers, and restaurants are beginning to cater to more diets than ever before. If you eat a raw or vegan diet, you may notice that it’s becoming easier to find something to eat while you’re on the go. This is a great sign, but it can also lead to overindulgence if you aren’t careful. You may find yourself ordering every vegan dish on the menu or every raw smoothie throughout the course of a day in order to support their effort to offer raw foods. This trap can work against those mindful eating habits you’ve been working so hard to establish.
Use smaller table settings to eat less.
You will be more mindful of your meal if you use smaller utensils and plates. A gigantic fork means you can finish off your meal much faster, but you won’t be thinking about it at all. Similarly, a big plate means you’re more likely to eat more food – or at least put food on your plate that you didn’t need. If you waste food this way, you’re wasting money and your own mental energy.
Feel grateful every time you take a bite.
While you don’t need to say a prayer after every bite when you’re hungry and short of time, take a moment to breathe in and breathe out after taking a bite. This will help reduce acid reflux and heartburn caused by eating too quickly and it will make you far more mindful of what you’re eating. Then, try feeling consciously grateful for your food each time you take a bite. You won’t always remember, but when you do, feeling thankful will lift your spirits.
Make it easy to eat healthily.
Rather than making it a struggle to reach past the chips, try making it easy to choose healthy options. For example, if you’re doing a 3 day juice cleanse, sign up for a service that delivers juices to your front door. If you’re trying to eat raw, make a list of raw snacks and make sure you always have at least a few options at hand. Get rid of the unhealthy staples in your diet by replacing them, not just cutting them out.
If you want to begin mindful eating, start by eating thoughtfully no matter what time of the day it is. You might be in a rush to get out the door after eating breakfast, but make sure that you have good options at hand so you don’t have to fight the urge to have an unhealthy toasted treat instead of that bowl of oatmeal. Taking a moment to feel grateful will help transform your outlook on life as well as your health!
– Lena Lewis is a mom of four with weight loss success, having lost nearly 60 pounds in the past year or so. She now enjoys helping others meet their fitness goals by being a personal trainer, as well as an avid health and nutrition blogger. She recommends a 3 day juice cleanse by the use of raw juices for those looking to get in shape by replacing their meals with juice for a couple of days.