Hi everybody and welcome to the second week of our mindful eating blog. How did you get on with your mindful eating last week? Remember to join me via my Facebook live at 12 today for our #MindfulMondayMunch.
Today we are going to go a step further and look at the techniques associated with mindful eating. Whenever I think of mindful eating, I think of the Disney film, Ratatouille. Now, if you’ve not seen this movie, then I suggest that you watch it as it’s a pretty fun film. The premise of the movie is based around a rat called ‘Remy‘ who becomes a chef. Remy is the only member known to the rat community who enjoys preparing, cooking and eating food. His other family members eat mindlessly. They are scavengers. They eat to survive and that’s it. Remy on the other hand appreciates his food. He knows that good food is hard to come by and therefore appreciates it more when he finally gets it. He searches for the finest ingredients, and his senses are so involved when he prepares and cooks and finally eats the food. And once he finishes his food, you can see he is content and satisfied! His rat family don’t understand his passion for food at first, they think he’s a bit of a weirdo. But eventually, they get used to it and also appreciate food too.
I think ‘Ratatouille’ is quite clever. It draws parallels to our world. We often eat mindlessly and can be somewhat like scavengers, gobbling our food, just for survival, whilst we are rushing to get to our next meeting! I was certainly like this when I was working in London. I would often grab fast food in between meetings, usually in a taxi, whilst rushing to be on time for my next meeting. When I look back on my pictures from then I realise how unhealthy those habits were – I look unhealthy in my old pictures and that’s because of how I mindlessly ate my food!
Check out this scene from ‘Ratatouille’:
I absolutely love this scene. This is how our relationship with food should be and here are the ways you can achieve the mindful yet fun and exciting emotions that Remy experiences – you never know, it might be your best meal yet! People around you may find it strange at first but perhaps you could show them this blog so they understand what mindful eating is about.
Why do we eat mindlessly?
A lot of us may not be aware that we mindlessly eat. This is due to ingrained habits that we have learnt overtime. Here are some examples of mindlessly eating:
– Confusing hunger and thirst
– Emotionally eating
– Eating because we are bored or tired
– Not truly recognising whether we are actually hungry
– Allowing ourselves to get too hungry
– Eating too quickly
It is important for us to learn to break the ingrained, negative habits that were mentioned above if we truly want to embrace mindful eating. I would rather break those habits than constantly yo-yo dieting and allowing myself to have an unhealthy relationship with food. I don’t want to be cutting a lot out of my diet. This means eating everything in moderation and being as prepared as I can with the food that I would like to eat.
1. Preparing meal plans in advance
2. Eating little and often to keep our blood sugar levels in check
3. Questioning whether we are actually hungry when we think we need to eat. You could be dehydrated
4. Ensuring that you eat in a calm environment- e.g. Finding a park to go to in your lunch break
5. Paying full attention to your food – like Remy – this involves looking at your food, noticing the sound of it, noticing the smell, eating slowly and noticing the flavours in your mouth.
6. Chewing your food properly, until it has a smooth consistency and putting down cutlery between each mouthful
7. Stopping eating before you become too full. If you still feel hungry 20 minutes later then eat some more
8. Enjoying your food. Like Remy, we should experience satisfaction and joy whilst we eat!
Some people like to carry a journal with them when practicing mindful eating so that they can note down their thoughts and feelings pre, during or post practice. This is what I’m doing and will reflect my journaling through my blog next week!
We recognise that it can be difficult to start this habit so you could give yourself the target of at least trying one mindful mouthful for each meal and then increasing this as time goes on. Whatever you choose to do, I hope you enjoy every moment.
Thank you for reading today’s post.
Have an amazing week.
Until next time,