Mind your Meals: Part One
What have you had to eat today? Can you remember what it tasted like? Were you busy while you were eating? A USDA report on the eating habits of Americans found that Americans over the age of 18 spend a little over 2.5 hours a day eating. Half of the time we spend eating, we’re also focusing on another activities like driving, watching television, or playing on our phones. New studies on mindful eating suggest that individuals engaging in mindfulness practices during mealtimes are learning to renegotiate their relationship with food, leading some to weight loss and reduced risk of obesity and associated illnesses.
Shopping with Purpose
Your grocery list is your blueprint for meals each week. Before you even sit down to the table, spend some time thinking about the food you want to see on your place. Plan meals starting with the entrée and building around it from there. If you want to start eating healthier, model your plate look like the USDA MyPlate guidelines or Harvard's alternative plating plan. If you need a comfort meal, that’s ok too. The important part is to be aware of the purpose of the meal.
Eating from Need and Eating for Fun
When as the last time you heard you stomach growl from hunger or felt light-headed from low blood sugar? Before you grab a bag of chips out from the counter, or a soda from the fridge, think about whether you need or want to eat. Having a treat for fun or as a reward is perfectly healthy, but it’s important to practice awareness of hunger. By cultivating this awareness, you can learn to avoid eating empty calories mindlessly snacking.
About The Author Michael Cole
Michael is a Registered Dietitian that works with others to help them form a healthier and happier relationship with food and themselves. For Michael, nutritious meals and snacks are an important part of the recovery process, providing the nutrients needed to heal and balance the mind and body. He believes that the best meal, is the one that is shared with friends and family.