According to Susan Albers of Washington and Lee University “Mindful eating is eating that fully engages our senses and attention--the exact opposite of the way most of us eat. Because so many of us feel rushed to accomplish the tasks of the day, eating is something that we often do while we're on the run--in the car, on the way to class, while we're reading or surfing the internet. However, eating in this manner increases the likelihood of weight gain, since we are not fully able to notice when we are full, and reduces the likelihood that we will enjoy our food and the act of nourishing our bodies.”
Yes ladies this week we will be eating mindfully! To earn our daily challenge points we will:
1. Sit down every time you eat and no your car does not count. Sit at a table or a bar area designed for eating. No TV tray or lap eating. Yes you must sit down even to enjoy a snack.
2. Take a moment to be thankful. If praying is part of your faith life offer a prayer of gratitude for the variety and bounty we enjoy.
3. Present your food beautifully. Put your water in a glass (or goblet) your food on a pretty plate or in a bowl. (Note if you must eat fast food eat it at a table or in a booth-NOT DRIVING. Remove the tray from the table. Set the napkin to the side of your food. Do the best you can to make it a lovely setting.) Eating all of your food from a plate is also a good way to insure ALL of your food is measured or weighed. No eating chips out of the bag or crackers out of the box. This makes it too easy to lose count. Instead prepare and present a meal or snack on a pretty plate. Arrange things as attractively as possible.
4. Set aside time for eating-don’t rush! Notice the color, texture, shape and variety of your food. Take time to look at your food and then taste your food and thoroughly chew it.
5. Eat slowly. Between bites set your silverware down to better pace your eating.
6. Notice your thoughts while eating and if you find yourself experiencing negative thoughts or feelings about eating (e.g., this is going to make me fat, I can't believe how out of control I am), try to replace these thoughts with positive ones (I am learning to enjoy food, I need food to nourish myself).
7• Notice when you no longer feel hungry and stop eating. Do not feel obligated to clean your plate or eat past the point of enjoyment just because the food is in front of you.
8• Focus on your own plate. What the person sitting across from you has on their plate may not be what's right for you. Eat according to your own needs.
So for every day you do your best to follow these guidelines and eat every bite of food from a plate and while sitting down you earn the 5 daily challenge points.
*Note: I think this is a challenge you may dread but will end up enjoying. I can remember on a past, similar challenge I began cutting my breakfast protein bar into tiny bites and eating it with chopsticks every morning from a pretty white plate. Honestly it was much more enjoyable and satisfying