Write down what you think mindful eating is. Write down what you think mindless eating is. Identify these behaviors in your own eating. What are you doing that is mindful? What are you doing that is mindless?
In the mornings, I slog through breakfast. I pour some milk and cereal and scroll through my phone until the bowl is empty. I pop on my coat and I’m out the door.
Half the time, I can’t even remember what I ate. It’s purely functional. I forget to pause and savor the moment. Even with a simple little breakfast, there’s time to be present and taste all of the flavors. Eating slowly, without distraction, focusing on each element of my food is mindful eating. Appreciating the combination of tastes, textures, and temperatures. Listening to my body when it says it wants more, or less. All of that is mindful.
Slogging through a meal in front of the computer or phone. Eating while distracted. Eating non-stop, especially when I’m full. Not remembering what I ate. Eating too fast. Not eating enough to feel satisfied. All are parts of mindless eating.
Being mindful means focusing solely on my meal — whether that’s just the flavors and taste, or whether that includes the people with whom I’m sharing my meal. Mindfulness is bringing an element of meditation to the act of nourishing myself. It’s being present in the moment so I can appreciate the food before me. It allows me to build a healthier relationship with my food, as I learn how to embrace all that it does for me, my body, and my health.
Black Iron Nutrition is offering a 30 Day Mindful Eating Challenge that includes journal prompts and tasks to help bring more mindfulness to our relationships with food. And I’m in! This post is in response to today’s prompt to keep myself accountable and get the most out of my participation. If you’re interested in joining the free challenge, sign up at Black Iron Nutrition’s website here.