Originally published August 17 2012
The art of mindful eating - Transform your life in a positive way through better eating habits
by Jonathan Benson, staff writer
(NaturalNews) In today's fast-paced world, many people, whether they realize it or not, routinely sacrifice the beauty and wonder of a meal well eaten for a quick morsel scarfed down in between their rush from point A to point B. But the only way to truly achieve vibrant health is to practice the art of mindful eating, which involves devoting special time for meals, eating meals slowly and appreciatively, and of course eating meals that agree with your body's nutritional profile and needs.
The ultimate goal of eating is not simply to get "full" as quickly as possible in order to move on to the next task. Nourishing your body with the proper foods is a unique and special time during which you have the opportunity to truly relax, converse with others, enjoy a plethora of interesting flavors and textures, and refuel and rejuvenate your body. It is a sacred time, really, and one that plays a critical role in reducing stress, which can lead to chronic health conditions, as well as promoting wellness.
Making mealtime a special timeSo what does eating mindfully entail? First, it involves setting aside specific time to eat. Something as simple as sitting down at a table, either alone or with friends and family, and savoring a meal in peace is a great way to encourage mindful eating. Grabbing a fast food meal and devouring it in the car on the way back to work, on the other hand, does not facilitate mindful eating.
Choosing foods that are healthy, nutritious, and beneficial for your digestive system is another way to eat mindfully, as such foods will boost your energy levels, promote clear thinking, help you avoid fatigue, and improve your mood. Again, picking up some greasy "comfort" food at the fast food drive-thru and gorging on it, though instantly pleasing for some, will rob your body of energy, and promote feelings of lethargy rather than vibrancy.
"Mindfulness is the attentive awareness of the present moment," says the blog Stop and Breathe about eating mindfully. "By focusing your attention on the here and now, you can more easily disengage from habitual, unsatisfying and negative behaviors. Mindful eating uses mindfulness practices in the preparation and consumption of food, allowing you to enjoy the positive and nurturing opportunities that food provides."
Other methods by which to eat mindfully include acknowledging and being thankful for your food, considering where it came from and how it was produced, chewing each bite thoroughly, and using all five of your senses to enjoy your food. You will find that when you engage in these practices and make them part of your normal routine, you will quickly lose a taste for junk food as you realize what it actually is, and what it is doing to your body.
Be sure to check out Stop and Breathe's full list of recommended guidelines for mindful eating:
Body Ecology has also prepared a helpful write-up with suggestions on how to transform your health and life, one bite at a time: http://bodyecology.com/articles/mindful-eating#.UC1XHkRpyKw
Sources for this article include:
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