The quick answer to this burning question is to learn how to love it through mindful eating. What is mindful eating?
Mindful eating includes being present in the moment, indicating awareness of all elements of the eating process. This type of metaphysical consciousness is gaining attention, as many believe it promotes health, wellness, and a positive relationship with food. Eating conscientiously begins with mindful preparation. Start by allowing yourself one day per week to consider a healthy and delicious meal to make. It doesn’t need to be a five course meal or include a complicated recipe. Simple is best. Spend time taking pleasure in the preparation. Pour yourself a cup of tea or glass of wine and ask Alexa to switch on your favorite music.
Tune in to the cool temperature of the water as you rinse your fruits and vegetables. Listen to the sound of the knife on the wooden board as you chop. Notice the vibrant colors of the fruits, vegetables, and sauces.
Smell the herbs and spices before adding them and observe the fine mist of citrus as you squeeze a lemon.
Feel the stickiness of the chopped garlic and listen to the sounds of boiling water and the sizzle in the pan.
Imagine that you have just prepared a small, but perfectly cooked dish of ravioli with browned butter, pesto, and sage.
Plate your meal, place a bite-sized piece of pasta onto your fork, place the bite into your mouth and put your fork down. Taste the bite. I mean, really taste it. Is the texture smooth? Is the sage crispy? Do you taste the savory umami from the browned butter? Is there any sweetness from the pasta? Contemplate the warmth, spice, saltiness and tenderness. Take time to enjoy each and every morsel and consider how you feel as you are eating. Are you satisfied?
You’ve heard the phrase, “eat to live, don’t live to eat”. I don’t care for that phrase. I don’t want to eat fish, salad and quinoa for breakfast, lunch, and dinner because it provides a thoughtless and nonetheless boring, lean, and healthy meal. Along the same lines, scarfing down a plate of food so that we may carry on as quickly as possible leads to wanting something more. Food should be enjoyed! How often have you taken a second or third helping, afterward regretting the decision, feeling uncomfortable and guilty? How many bites of food did you find gratifying?
I believe our bodies were created to eat with all of our senses. Think of it; does your mouth water when you smell a cast iron skillet of piping hot fajitas being delivered to someone else’s table?
What about the smell of freshly baked bread? When you see the display of specialty cakes at the market, do you not delight in the beautiful decorations and wonder which you would pick? What about the crispy, sticky texture of a roasted cube of butternut squash
or the feel of a pastry as it crumbles?
Many experts believe that mindful eating creates a barrier to overeating. As you practice, you may find the ability to separate satisfaction from fullness. You may discover that cravings come not from wanting the actual food, but from somewhere else. Isabel Duke, a health coach with a degree in sociology and the creator of StopFightingFood.com said, “If you can’t enjoy your food, it will never lose its grip on you”.
Where do you start? Begin asking yourself why am I eating,what am I eating, when am I eating andwhere am I eating? Ask yourself if your food is creating an experience. If your answer is no, maybe the answers to why, what, when and where are right under your nose.