Take an account of what your typical meal time looks like on a daily basis. Do you eat standing up? Do you eat on the go? Do you eat distracted? What do you think these habits are doing for your goals and feelings towards food?
Thanks to my training, and maybe elementary school nutrition, I generally plan my meals around macronutrients. Proteins, carbs, and fats. Depending on how hungry I feel, I may up my fats. Depending on how sluggish or how intense my training, rely more on carbs. It’s a goal to eat veggies with every meal, but sometimes I fail due to laziness. Lately, I’ve been trying to pre-cook roasted greens so it’s easier to incorporate them.
9 times out of 10, I eat fast. I take something pre-made or quasi-cooked and finish it up in just a few minutes. I don’t like to spend a lot of time on cooking. (I also rely a disturbing amount on protein bars because they’re sweet but make me feel full from the extra protein, which I don’t normally get as much of from my food unless I’m very focused on it.)
Almost 100% of the time, I eat while watching TV, working on the computer, or zoning out on my phone. On days with less screen time, I may eat and read at the same time. I’m never quite sure if I put reading in the same category as the others. Nevertheless, it’s rare for me to focus completely on my food while eating.
On the one hand, I think it’s healthier for me to not focus too much on food. Having a history of disordered eating, it’s disturbingly easy for me to fall into extremes: eating too healthy, eating nothing but junk, eating way too little, eating way too much. Yet eating while distracted always leaves me feeling unsatisfied, which is also not helpful for my history. I spent so much time as a teenager being perpetually unsatisfied by food that even the inkling of it now drives me crazy. (I always have snacks on hand for this reason.)
Rather than being distracted 100% of the time, focusing on more quality meals with fewer distractions more frequently would help me build a better sense of nourishment and satisfaction. Nothing should ever be 100%, but I’d love to move in that direction.
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.