How to Practise Conscious Eating.
One of the greatest journeys you can embark on, is the journey to find your happy place when it comes to your mind, body and spirit. The place where the foods you eat make you feel nourished, light, and give you energy; where you feel a connection to the food; and where you feel an ultimate sense of wellbeing.
What is conscious eating?
Deliberate and intentional consumption of foods, whilst being absolutely aware of the impact that these foods have had on the environment, the people involved in the production of these foods, how the foods are packaged and the positive or negative effect these foods may have on your own health.
Making more conscious choices points to the idea that you are choosing foods with a lower environmental impact, made by people that have been treated fairly in the workplace, intentionally avoiding foods that come from animals and trying to obtain locally-grown, chemical-free produce.
Here are a few ideas of how you could eat more consciously.
Starting your day right
Hot water and a squeeze of lemon.
The steps you take at the start of the day often determine the outcomes of the day. By make a conscious choice when you first wake up, you are setting yourself up for success.
This will not only alkalise your body but will also help promote the secretion of stomach acids before you eat you first meal of the day.
Make sure you drink at least 8 glasses of water during the day. Often thirst is felt as hunger and so we reach for food, when in fact we are just thirsty. Stay hydrated and you will feel less hungry throughout the day. Drinking water just before or just after eating dilutes stomach acids which will make digestion slower and less efficient, so try and drink your water away from mealtimes.
Eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full
Intermittent fasting is a great way to find out when you are actually hungry. Hunger is very beneficial to developing a healthy relationship with food. It is difficult in today’s world where food is available everywhere you go. The retail stores, restaurants, gas stations and sidewalk cafes contain a plethora of foods and drinks designed to keep you coming back for more. This is where willpower and planning are crucial – both easily learned skills. We often eat when we aren’t hungry – boredom, stress, thirst, emotions and social occasions wreak havoc with our food consumption. Never expose yourself to temptation when you are hungry, so keep some healthy snacks in your bag or car for moments like these.
Dinner Table Sanctuary
I know for busy families that this can be really tough to get right but eating around the table is really important to conscious eating. Connecting with your family, friends and fur family is vital to generating the positive emotions you need to feel while eating. Try making your dinner table a tech-free zone – no TV, no mobile phones, no headphones. Eliminate distractions. If it cannot be done every day, set aside certain times where it is mandatory for the family to eat together around a table.
Consider where your food comes from
Supermarkets have disconnected us from the source of our food and the biome of the food. Food with almost no resemblance of what it is made of or where it comes from. Buy from ethical companies and make sure you research the company values too. If possible, always buy local, organic produce and get out into nature to breathe in the biome of where this food is grown. By doing this you build your gut bacteria, which in turn will better digest the food and build an almost “spiritual connection” with the food you consume. Feeling connected to the brand or the food will in some way make you feel more gratitude for the hands that made the food, picked the food or grew the food.
Consider how your food is packaged
It would be almost impossible to only buy foods with no packaging at all, especially if you have a family. However, if we all make an effort to reduce the number of garbage bags we send to the landfill each week, we can make a difference. Try composting at home or purchasing a simple worm farm for all your compostable waste.
Consider your gut
Our gut is the one barrier we have between the outside world and our bodies. If we damage the gut, we damage the barrier and we trigger many health problems. Right behind the gut is the immune system. Once the gut is damaged, allowing toxins and pesticides from our food to pass through, the immune system kicks into overdrive to protect us and remove the harmful substances. Hello gluten intolerance, food allergies, hypersensitivities and eventually chronic lifestyle disease as the immune system is constantly overwhelmed and unable to do the job it was designed to do.
Practise Self Love
The more you love and accept yourself, the less likely you are to binge on unhealthy foods. Treat your body as your temple and your food choices will start aligning with your belief system. If you do fall off the wagon from time to time, don’t stress, your body is clever enough to burn more calories and reduce your appetite the next day. It is designed to regulate your weight, by adjusting your appetite and hormones, you just need to trust and listen to it!
A few points to remember:
Sit down to eat
Breathe before you eat
Take small bites
Eat when you are hungry
Stop eating when you feel satisfied
Be grateful for the nourishment
Eat with friends or family and a dog at your feet
Prepare foods that are good for you
Do not be distracted
Practise self love
Try to reduce stress
Implementing one or two of these ideas will start you on your journey to a greater level of consciousness and awareness. You might just catch yourself smiling a little bit more too! 🙂