Mindful Eating – by Tania Logan (Dietitian and Diabetes Educator)

Christina ReynoldsDietetics & Diabetes Education, Mindfulness Meditation

Our relationship with food is integral to our health and wellbeing. Interestingly, it also reflects our attitudes to our self and our environment. In today’s society, an unhealthy relationship with food is very common for many people. How healthy is your relationship with food?
• Do you ever make food choices based around a set of rules rather than what you would find physically and emotionally satisfying?
• Do you feel guilty about eating?
• Do you often eat without being hungry?
• Do you eat to help yourself feel better emotionally?
• Do you feel physically uncomfortable when you have finished a meal?
• Do you regularly eat while doing other tasks, like watching television or working at the   computer?

If any of these statements resonate with you, then you may be disconnected from the food you are eating and could benefit from developing a healthier relationship with food. One way that may help you achieve this is through the practice of Mindful Eating.

Mindfulness is the gentle effort to be completely in touch with, and aware of, the present moment. It encourages us not to evaluate or judge our inner experiences. When mindfulness is applied to our food and eating behaviours, it can increase our awareness to the process of eating and our interactions with food. In the fast paced world in which we live, and with the busy lives we lead, it can be very easy to allow our food choices to become reactive and automatic, and our meal times to be rushed, distracted occasions. Mindful eating gives us the opportunity to re establish a connection with the food we are eating and choose foods that are both nourishing and satisfying. It also allows us to become aware of the physical hunger and satiety cues to guide our decisions to start and stop eating.

Mindful eating is not a new diet or set of food rules. Someone who eats mindfully gives themselves permission to eat, acknowledges that there is no right or wrong way to eat, and accepts that their eating experiences are unique. They are also able to gain an awareness of how to make choices that support their health and wellbeing, as well as a greater awareness of the interconnection with food and the environment.

There are many benefits of mindful eating. Reducing the reactive, habitual response to food and letting go of a set of diet rules can be incredibly empowering. Mindful eating also:
• Helps increase awareness of the thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations related to eating
• Offers freedom from the deprivation of dieting
• Creates opportunities to make more healthful choices
• Helps contribute to the wellbeing of the environment
• Helps bring acceptance and balance to life
• Promotes an understanding of true needs

If you would like more information on mindful eating, or how it may be of benefit to you, please contact me. You can find my contact details and how to book an appointment on our website at www.zestinfusion.com.au. You will also find information on our website about our exciting new Mindful Eating Workshop series.

Find here also a link to Tania’s Mindful Beetroot soup.

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