The art of mindfulness can transform our struggles with food—and renew our sense of pleasure, appreciation, and satisfaction with eating. They say presentation is everything!
The raisin experience is a wonderful example of what mindful eating can be, with its intention to focus on various aspects of the moment-by-moment experience. The focus on the sensual experiences of sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste brings about the full awareness of the food in the moment.
Mindful eating is an approach that involves bringing one's full attention to the process of eating—to all the tastes, smells, thoughts, and feelings that arise during a meal. Whether you are overweight, suffer from an eating disorder, or just want to get more out of life, being mindful of what you eat and the presentation makes a remarkable difference.
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There is a strong connection between mind and gut. A series of hormonal signals connect our gut and central nervous system during the digestion process. During this time, the brain requires almost 20 minutes to understand the process of filling our stomach. Fast eating often results in overeating and may cause metabolic disorders such as obesity, diabetes, asthma, certain types of cancers and other related ailments. Several identified factors like serving size, visual cues, involvement in a social gathering, or any other situation where our attention is drawn from noticing our satiety cues can be termed as unmindful eating.
Unmindful eating is one of the primary reasons for overeating and obesity. People often engage themselves in browsing online while eating or watching television. Even cognitive stress during exam preparation can sometimes trigger overeating. Intermittent snacking has gained popularity but the unmindful eating of these snacks contributes to consumption of high sugar, salt, and fatty diets when snacking on processed foods. Nutritionists encourage mindful eating and eating healthy foods to maintain glycemic control and overall well-being.
It involves conscious food selection, alertness of physical versus psychological hunger, consciousness of satiety cues, and the allocation of sufficient time for eating. In other words, an application of attentive awareness while eating a snack or a meal.
Mindful eating can be considered a type of weight loss diet, but it emphasizes the process of eating rather than shrinkage of food quantity. It is a step-wise process of practicing awareness of both the physical and emotional aspects of eating.
Mindful eating is a novel intervention to improve overall health. Researchers found that mindful eating has the capacity to ameliorate depression, anxiety, faulty eating habits, food cravings, eating disorders and weight management. Apart from these particular health issues, mindful eating is effective to control some chronic health conditions like type 2 diabetes. Mindful eating combined with a smart selection of food comes under the self-management in diabetic care. A clinical trial has been conducted for a period of 3 months to evaluate the benefits of mindful eating on type 2 diabetic patients. The study result showed improvement in glycemic control and dietary intake along with modest weight loss. These factors are important in reducing diabetes-related morbidity. Adherence to mindful eating habits with a smart selection of food items can significantly reduce hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) value. These health benefits can surely be helpful for type 2 diabetic patients.
Mindful eating can significantly reduce overeating habits, which directly relate to obesity. It is expected that practicing mindful eating will also improve behavioral flexibility, increase self-compassion and reduce stress levels.
To close: “how you do one thing, is how you do everything!”
Presentation is everything. Make it fun. Being mindful of serving deliciously is just a DIVINE way of healthy living and conscious eating.
Healthy eating !
While some extreme diets may suggest otherwise, we all need a balance of protein, fat, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals in our diets to sustain a healthy body. You don’t need to eliminate certain categories of food from your diet, but rather select the healthiest options from each category.
Protein gives you the energy to get up and go—and keep going—while also supporting mood and cognitive function. Too much protein can be harmful to people with kidney disease, but the latest research suggests that many of us need more high-quality protein, especially as we age. That doesn’t mean you have to eat more animal products—a variety of plant-based sources of protein each day can ensure your body gets all the essential protein it needs. Learn more »
Fat. Not all fat is the same. While bad fats can wreck your diet and increase your risk of certain diseases, good fats protect your brain and heart. In fact, healthy fats—such as omega-3s—are vital to your physical and emotional health. Including more healthy fat in your diet can help improve your mood, boost your well-being, and even trim your waistline. Learn more »
Fiber. Eating foods high in dietary fiber (grains, fruit, vegetables, nuts, and beans) can help you stay regular and lower your risk for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. It can also improve your skin and even help you to lose weight. Learn more »
Calcium. As well as leading to osteoporosis, not getting enough calcium in your diet can also contribute to anxiety, depression, and sleep difficulties. Whatever your age or gender, it’s vital to include calcium-rich foods in your diet, limit those that deplete calcium, and get enough magnesium and vitamins D and K to help calcium do its job. Learn more »
Carbohydrates are one of your body’s main sources of energy. But most should come from complex, unrefined carbs (vegetables, whole grains, fruit) rather than sugars and refined carbs. Cutting back on white bread, pastries, starches, and sugar can prevent rapid spikes in blood sugar, fluctuations in mood and energy, and a build-up of fat, especially around your waistline. Learn more »
Switching to a healthy diet doesn’t have to be an all or nothing proposition. You don’t have to be perfect, you don’t have to completely eliminate foods you enjoy, and you don’t have to change everything all at once—that usually only leads to cheating or giving up on your new eating plan.
A better approach is to make a few small changes at a time. Keeping your goals modest can help you achieve more in the long term without feeling deprived or overwhelmed by a major diet overhaul. Think of planning a healthy diet as a number of small, manageable steps—like adding a salad to your diet once a day. As your small changes become habit, you can continue to add more healthy choices.
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