I have always considered myself to be a pretty healthy eater, only giving in to the ‘bad foods’ whenever cravings arise that just can’t be controlled by any other measure. I read all the nutrition labels for the foods I eat each day, especially while grocery shopping and choosing foods that I’m going to cook with for my boys. I’ve always tried to be on top of new food research, findings, and protocols, because I feel that as a mother it is important for me to be on top of what my family is putting into their bodies.
In some of my recent research, I keep running across the words ‘mindful eating,’ so I decided to do a bit of research and share my thoughts with you lovely Mamas.
According to The Center for Mindful Eating, this process essentially revolves around making yourself more aware and ‘mindful’ of what you are putting into your body. Being aware of what we put into our bodies on a daily basis, we will then be able to better satisfy hunger, know when to stop eating, make better choices, and free ourselves of bad eating habits. Meditation practices are also encouraged to go along with this healthier lifestyle. The meditation role is to help you accept, remain whole and balanced, while being conscious of your well being. The connection between mindful eating and the meditation will help you feel more complete and well rounded.
Therefore, this new process has left me thinking: have I been looking at food and nutrition all wrong my entire life?
I have always felt strongly about looking beyond the nutrition label, but now I feel like I am left with the quandary of looking beyond the food item as a whole. After all, it’s the nutrients in the food that keep us “on the go Mamas” filled with energy all day! (Or maybe it’s the coffee?!) Either way, I think it’s time that I focus on that infamous pause before I eat something that is usually filled with thoughts like “Should I be eating this?” or “Is this going to expand my waistline?” and instead read a little bit more deeply into it.
In reference to the meditation portion, I have never really been a calm enough person to jump on the meditation train due to the fact that I struggle with quieting my active mind. But, I do think that its highly important to make some quiet time to at least try to silence your thoughts and focus on on balancing your mind, body, and spirit.
After putting some mindful eating habits into action, here is what I found about myself:
- I don’t always have time to be mindful. I know this may sound awful, but between work, activities, and a three year old, sometimes food is about convenience.
- I judge myself. Mindful eating is about not judging yourself, but I do the complete opposite. If I have a meal (or drink) that I know is filled with empty calories, I scold myself. The good thing is that I try my hardest to get back on track the very next meal. I think that its alright to splurge from time to time (on food as well as clothes!).
- In general, I make healthy choices based on what will give me essential energy and nutrients. I really do strive to make every meal count and am conscious about what I am putting into my body and where it came from.
- Food is important to me. In addition to needing it for energy and all, I really do love to eat and cook with things I know are delicious and wholesome and good for me and my family. And, a good mealtime experience with my family moves well beyond the food and into a chance that we can be together while sharing our gifts. Therefore, my goal for myself in the future is to shop more locally and visit the Union Square Market at least once a month. And try to keep mealtime a happy experience.
So, my lovely Mamas, I challenge you to do the same! I want to hear what your findings were, so please comment below!