By Myles Hopper and Giles Humphries, authors of the Mindful Chef cookbook.
Our lives are moving at a faster pace than ever. Technology surrounds us from all angles and our minds are constantly being stimulated by phones, computers and what’s on TV. It’s very rare we have moments of time where we redress the balance and can actually relax our mind and body. Eating is the perfect time to be fully present and pay attention to the food you are eating and the whole process. If you can do this not only will you improve digestion but you’ll also help regulate your appetite. This will lead to better food choices and help you look and feel better both inside and out.
1. Prepare the food you’re going to eat and cook yourself
Cooking should be relaxing and fun. As you prep all of the ingredients you are able to appreciate the textures, colours, sounds and smells of food. Chopping and preparing ingredients along with the actual cooking part is really important in preparing your body for eating. Appetite signals start with your senses – seeing and smelling the food you are cooking. If your mouth starts watering it’s a good sign as digestion actually starts in the mouth.
2. Sit down to eat
Lots of us are eating on the move. Whether that be in between meetings, on our way back from the gym or as we grab a takeaway on the way home. If you can sit down and eat your meal you are much more likely to be in the present and appreciate the food you are eating. There are lots of people in the world less fortunate who aren’t in a position to choose what they eat and have to make do with the bare minimum. If you are lucky enough to put food on your table every night, take time to appreciate the different flavours and textures available to you. This will also help you gain a better understanding of food and flavour combinations and what your body likes eating and what it doesn’t.
3. Turn off your TV and put your phone away
If you’re eating on your own use this as a time to reflect on your day and just enjoy the food you are eating. If you are eating with others use it as a time to strengthen those relationships, ask them about their day and how they are. Use it as an opportunity to spend time together. Eating away from the TV and taking more time over your food is really important for improving digestion and helping you understand your body.
4. Stop eating at your desk
We have all been guilty of eating our lunch quickly at our desks. In a bid to shovel food down quickly we are actually affecting our body’s ability to digest food properly and skewing our hunger cues. Breaks are helpful and we should all be able to take time to eat during the day without feeling rushed. Give yourself a break and allow your mind and body to recharge. You’ll find yourself being far more productive as a result.
5. Take your time
It can take up to 20-30 minutes for your brain to signal that you are full. Most of us eat too quickly or eat ultra-processed foods, both of which can actually skew our hunger cues. If you take more time over your meals you will become more aware of how you feel. As you get better at this you won’t actually stop eating when you have finished what’s on your plate but more so when you feel full and no longer need to eat.
Mindful Chef recipe boxes are a great way to ensure you eat mindfully. We make healthy eating easy by delivering all the ingredients you need to create delicious, gluten-free recipes with no refined carbs. For more information about Mindful Chef boxes, visit mindfulchef.com.