21 Days to Break the Habit! Part 1 of 3
A 3-week path to more mindful eating habits
We’ve all heard it before, “chew your food until its liquid”, “don’t watch television while you eat”, and “put your fork down in between bites”; don’t eat fried foods, blah, blah, blah…
These are all well and good as far as a theory goes, but when the fork meets the fudge, what is actually going on in our heads? Stress and hurriedness is a big part of our modern life, and it is most likely here to stay. So instead of trying to resist what persists why not just go around it for a moment or two? What I mean by this is that even though life is busy and we have lots to do every day, we can still carve out a few precious moments to ourselves, and mealtime might just be one of those perfect moments.
You don’t need to start by thinking that each meal has to be the perfect mindful meal, or that you can never watch TV or read a magazine while eating, because that is just unrealistic. What you can do though is take even one part of that meal (perhaps the first 5 minutes) to check in, breathe and be grateful. For the next seven days in this 21 day journey, practice the 4 Bs of mindfulness around eating:
- Be curious: Am I hungry? This is a good question to ask before you go looking for something to eat. Especially if it is a snack vs. a meal. Sometimes though, even meals can be eaten mindlessly and not out of true hunger just because it’s mealtime. So before loading your plate or picking up your fork ask 3 simple words: “Am I hungry?”
- Breathe: This leads to my second principle. You may decide, even though you are not hungry, and even though you think it might not be the healthiest choice, instead of saying “I know I shouldn’t be eating this but…” Take a moment to stop thinking any negative thought and take a deep breath (or 3). A long, slow breath. If possible just close your eyes for 1-2 seconds (try it now). That’s it! Now your heart may be beating just a bit slower and you may be a little more present before taking that first slooow bite. Enjoy it!
- Be grateful: Take a moment to say thank you (silently or shared with your family or friends) to the abundance that you are about to enjoy. Who grew your food? Who picked your food? Who drove your food to the store? Who prepared your food? How are you able to afford to buy this food? Just take a moment to say thank you to just one person who contributed to your meal.
- Begin Again: I love the words of Esther Hicks (Abraham-hicks.com) “I can begin again.” If you forgot where you are or what you are doing and you find yourself half way into a container of ice cream with no idea how you got there. STOP! Start at step 1 and begin again.
“Life can be found only in the present moment. The past is gone, the future is not yet here, and if we do not go back to ourselves in the present moment, we cannot be in touch with life.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh
Bringing Pure Joy and Gourmet Bliss to the Planet,
Elaina Love is the Owner/Director of PureJoyPlanet.com and is also a professional Chef, Instructor, and Detox Counselor at Pure Joy Culinary Academy. She is a Lifestyle Counselor, co-owner of Pure Joy Academy.