Blog Post By Chef Lisa of Free Flowing Health
As a Personal Chef, Coach and Yoga Teacher, I work hands-on with clients daily to help them make dietary and lifestyle changes that ultimately lead to greater levels of health, happiness and harmony. I incorporate mindfulness into my life and my sessions with other people in a multitude of ways, including when I prepare meals or teach a class. Mindfulness, simply put, is a state of becoming fully aware of what is happening in the current moment without judgment. Food is an essential part of life and is responsible for fueling our bodies from the inside out. Preparing and sharing a meal with loved ones can be an intimate experience that allows for great conversation, deeper connection and more joy. How we eat is just as important as what we eat. Slowing things down and eating mindfully with intention allows us to get the most out of each meal and will extend into other areas of our life as well. Below are 5 tips on how to eat with intention.
1. Show Gratitude
Before taking a bite off your plate, express gratitude for the meal in front of you and bless the food you are about to eat. Close your eyes and thank the earth and anyone involved in the harvesting, preparation and creation of the ingredients on your plate out loud or to your self. Take a moment to acknowledge all of the hard work and labor that went into the creation of the food you are about to consume. The simple act of expressing gratitude for the food on our plate can help us cultivate more gratitude in other areas of our life as well.
2. Eat Slowly with intention
Let eating become a ritual that is both nourishing and enjoyable. Before even even picking up your fork, set an intention that the meal you are about to consume will nourish your body to the fullest. Take the food in with all of your senses, noticing any colors, textures, smells or visceral sensations. Slow down the process of eating by chewing for longer periods of time. Try to chew 30 times per bite. Slowing things down will enable you to cultivate greater awareness around determining when you are almost full and satiated so overeating does not occur in addition to promoting better digestion. Take a deep breath and find a pause before picking up your fork and in between bites. Place your fork down on the table while you breath deeply into your belly, taking a moment to reflect on how you are feeling. Stay present and enjoy each bite.
3. Eat sitting down without distractions
Although we live busy and at times, stressful lives, it is a great practice to eat your meals in a quiet place, free of distractions. Dedicate a specific amount of time to eating and try not to multi-task. Shut off your phone, TV or any other electronics and set up your environment so that you can eat in peace sitting down with a clear mind. This will allow you the awareness to fully focus on what and how you are eating.
4. Choose a smaller plate
Contrary to popular belief, in this modern world, bigger isn’t always better. With bigger plates and greater portion sizes, there is a natural tendency for many people to unconsciously overeat. Choosing a smaller plate will help with portion control and to prevent overeating.
5. Stop eating before you are full
We are often taught as kids to finish every ounce of food on our plate, even if we are full. To avoid overeating, stop eating when you are about 80% full even if that means food is still left on your plate and wait at least 20 minutes to see if you are still hungry.
Visit www.freeflowinghealth to learn more about Chef Lisa Brown.