Conscious Eating Words
Sabra Y. Seligman
As baby’s we cry to let our mothers know we are hungry and ready to be fed. Since day one, we are born into existence with a unique intuitive eating system that creates our reality for the rest of our lives. This intimate connection with food allows us to be the only animals on earth that can be mindful of what we eat and hence create the healthiest of relationships with our beloved food.
As time goes by we develop unhealthy food habits and uneducated nutrition choices that reflect our fast-paced life and unconscious relationship with food. We sit in our office and have our lunch sandwich while we type away at the computer; we have dinner in a rush and then jump on the couch to have more food as its “common” to have snacks while watching TV. We eat when we are stressed, when were depressed and when we are bored too. We are so accustomed to eating, that we take it for granted, not ever stopping to think of why we are eating and how this affects our bodies. Are you eating to fill in a cavity, emptiness or something else that you may feel may be missing in your life? Are you eating to nourish your body? Or eating to survive?
Conscious eating is listening to your body and paying full attention to the experience of enjoying your food in all of its essence. Eating and drinking while fully embracing the colors of the ingredients, the aromas of the spices, the textures in grains, the mix of global flavors, the varieties in temperatures and listening to how your body feels after it savors every meal is really what mindful eating is about. Conscious eating helps us learn to hear what our body is telling us about hunger and satisfaction. It is based on the freedom of eating, not the habits of eating and it focuses on the present moment to help create change, which in the long term leads to permanent food freedom.
The next time you sit down to eat, think about where the produce and the ingredients in your plate came from, the earth it grew in, the water and light it received to flourish. Sit down and before even taking a bite repeat this “Thank you Lord for this meal; may it be used to nourish my mind, strengthen my body and spirit and feed all of those that do not have”, this way you start by putting an intention into your meal and sharing it with others even before tasting the food. This will bring you much joy, compassion and feelings of gratefulness; understanding not everyone has the opportunity to eat a meal every day.
When you take your first bite, think about the nourishment this food is providing your body, the properties you are eating and how receptive your body is to the ingredients in front of you.
Are you excited about your dish? Or just eating to fill in that “lunch” hour of the day? Did you prepare your food or did someone else? During your meal, remember to be present and eat slow, enjoying the explosion of flavors in your mouth, looking into what feels good in your body and what maybe doesn’t. When you're finished, take time to sit and breath for at least 5 to 10 min and always eat until you're 80% full, not 100% full, this way allowing space for digestion and assimilation. When you eat wholesome, nutrient dense foods, you can afford to eat less as you're activating your body with extra doses of nutrients that will hold you through. Since eating is a biological natural pleasure we want to choose and incorporate the most non- processed and delicious ingredients into our mindful eating practice. In my experience, these top healing foods come from plant based sources.
Plant foods are balancing for the body, alkalizing, purifying, energizing and packed with phytonutrients that are full of fiber, and contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties which provide significant benefits to our bodies for optimal health. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes/beans, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices. Most phytonutrients serve as the pigment that gives foods their deep hues of color. This is also why you can identify many of these nutrient dense plant foods by looking for powerful colorful foods when you go to the grocery or farmers market.
Mindful eating combined with a plant based diet allows our bodies to regain strength and become healthier in a quick upward spiralizing manner. Your choice of diet and how aware you are when you consume it is a unique key to increasing your longevity, vitality and overall well-being. Take your first bit, then your second bite and remember, food and intention are energy at a cellular level. What kind of energy do you want to live with?
Lasting change takes time, the sooner we start our efforts to eat with intention and embrace the benefits of consuming wholesome plant based foods, the quicker we direct our body for top performance, radiant energy and long-lasting health. It's never too late to start to embrace conscious , mindful eating as if
you were a child.