For the last several months I have been studying the concept of mindful eating. Recently, I was a guest blogger for a mindful eating website (www.eatq.com) so I have created a series of articles from my experience and offer these mindful eating tips for you.
Have you ever considered the fact that our dining companions having a significant impact on how we eat? It’s important to be conscious of the way others change the way we eat. Let me illustrate:
Sundays are always a difficult day for me; everyone is home, relaxing, and often munching mindlessly. I really think eating is contagious. We see others grab a snack, and automatically we reach for one too. I try to keep junk out of our house, to help all of us make better choices. If we have a “treat” like soda, cookies, etc. I try to keep it off the counter and out of sight. On the other hand, I try to promote healthy snacking by keeping a fruit bowl brimming with fresh fruit (this time of year – crisp Michigan apples – red and yellow – yum!). I also make time to clean, chop, and prepare my vegetables when I get home from the store. Fresh, ready-to-eat options stored in clear containers greet us when we open the refrigerator.
I remember a specific Sunday last Fall when we were under serious storm watches for much of the day (high wind warnings, tornadoes, hail, sleet, thunderstorms, etc.) so the stress of watching the weather reports had me wishing for a snack. I watched my husband grab crackers and a granola bar. Then he made coffee with flavored white chocolate mocha creamer, which almost sent me out of this world for an indulgence. Very often, if I feel I can’t trust myself to make good food decisions, I will take a Sunday afternoon nap. My logic? While I’m not burning calories, I’m not eating calories either! Besides, it’s a perfect opportunity to rest and recharge for the week ahead. It’s been an effective tactic for years so I headed to the couch, cuddled with Piper (my poo-chi terrier mix), and zonked out while the Lions football game droned in the background.
Typically on Sunday evenings, I lay out a spread of finger foods and we “graze” on things like veggies and dip, apple slices and peanut butter, chips and salsa, crackers and cheese, popcorn, lettuce salad, etc. This is the one night a week when we fill our plates and watch television. The kids like choosing what they want to eat and I like the simplicity of the meal with minimal clean-up.
Take action this week by remaining mindful of your activity choices, your dining companions, and your food options. And remember, bad eating could be as contagious as good eating!
Sara Wolfsen is a Certified Health Coach who specializes in helping people make their own healthy changes by providing private health coaching, nutrition education and wellness classes, and gentle weight-loss guidance and support. Get more exciting tips, recipes and resources on her Facebook page and schedule your complimentary coaching session and learn more online at www.sarawolfsen.com.