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Eating Mindfully

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

This is the second blog in my New Year Resolutions/Goals. More time has lapsed than I first intended after posting my "Don't Worry, Be Happy" blog. My second Resolution/Goal to Eat Mindfully is much harder than I realized. I suppose I've been somewhat reluctant to blog about it since I'm still wrapping my mind around it.

Eating mindfully is mre difficult to nail down than I thought at first blush. My original intention was to merely monitor my food intake with more care than I have been doing in the past many weeks and months. However, there are many aspects to eating mindfully. If one just googles this phrase, more than 54 million articles pop up in a mere 6.3 seconds.

One aspect of mindful eating that I really love is taking a moment to appreciate the many hands that touched this food before mine. I read about this practice many years ago in a book I bought after seeing the author on the Oprah show. I have looked for the book, but believe I loaned it out. I still remember the author holding up an apple and thanking the person who planted the tree, the workers who nurtured the orchard, the person who picked the apple, the people who transported it from orchard to wholesale to retail. In truth, it is a particular kind of blessing over one's food. All my life I've heard people pray blessings on "the hands that prepared this food." We always think of the cook who put it on the table or serving line, but mindful eating goes back to the origin of the food. So there's that.

As I plan to practice that once again, albeit silently as I view my plate, my intention was to eat more carefully, to run the soon to be inhaled food through my internal scanner and filter, a sort of sifting the wheat from the chaff. When I take the grands to the McDonald's play place, my mindful self should choose the yogurt parfait over the fudge and caramel drenched ice cream sundae. So there's that one.

Yet another thing popped into my mind. I have many recipes that have been handed down from my mother and grandmother. When I cook those things, my mind reels with memories from the smells alone of my grandmother's baked lemon pudding or the taste of my mother's Dixie pie, oozing with chocolate chips, nuts and a creamy brown sugar and butter base. Yes, it does explain the phrase "whistling Dixie". So there's another kind of mindful eating, but often these family recipes are way too rich or downright ridiculous to put into my tracker, which nearly explodes while my AppleWatch puts a big old red stoplight on my calorie counter. Halt! In the name of all reason! Go ye to the celery cell and contemplate your ever-expanding navel.

Last of the many mindful thoughts that I will share (knowing that many are yet untouched in this blog) is the concept of mindful eating that comes directly from writings in Zen literature:
"Simply put, [the] approach to mindful eating is learning to pay attention. Instead of eating mindlessly, putting food into your mouth almost unconsciously, not really tasting the food you're eating … you notice your thoughts, feelings, and sensations. ... The look, smell, taste, feel of the food you're eating." (from Zen Habits, a blog) To this I would add utilitizing the best food I can process using sensible guidelines to provide weight loss and naturally occurring maintenance. As I recall the Chinese saying that "a journey of a thousand miles begins with just one step," I will keep in mind that my journey to my best body begins with just one healthy bite.

Thanks for reading this lengthy attempt to ingrain my new year 2019 goals into my life.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Your family recipes sound really yummy. Maybe you could make them over with smart substitutions?

    emoticon for your blog! emoticon
    273 days ago
    It's easy to eat without thinking - to OVER-eat without thinking.
    This is a good reminder to avoid that when possible.
    599 days ago
    610 days ago
  • GLORYB83
    Oh my, that is a lot of thinking to do before we eat what's on our plate, Jane! Food for thought - good blog.
    Thank you for sharing.
    611 days ago
    There are many article about mindful eating. There are many step to eating a meal using mindfulness. Maybe this is the answer. We are so busy contemplating the food that we lose our desire to eat.

    Looking forward to your next post. emoticon emoticon

    612 days ago
    This is fabulous! You take mindful eating to another level . . . and that's a good thing. OH I had to just LOL @ your phrase to get ye to the celery cell and contemplae your ever-expanding navel! YES, sometimes we just need to do that. It can open one's eyes, for sure!
    612 days ago
    There is a LOT to mindful eating . . . and gotta say, if I got mindful about the meat foods (mostly chicken and fish) that I eat, I probably wouldn't eat any of them . . .
    612 days ago
    For me, mindful eating is savoring the food I'm eating and staying in the present while I'm eating it. It's about me being aware of what I feed my body and when I feed my body, not just stuffing my face. (I'm guilty of stuffing food into my mouth when I'm way too hungry or very upset.) Sigh! I'm a work in progress.
    612 days ago
  • no profile photo CHAYOR73
    VERY emoticon
    612 days ago
    Wise words!
    612 days ago
    More comments.

    Sometimes to get to mindful eating I've sat by myself with no screens at the kitchen table sometimes complete with place mat and cloth napkin and candle. That is one way to avoid almost all distractions and magnify the pleasure of eating. Sometimes I get up extra early so I can savor my breakfast before anyone distracts me.

    But most of the time I must admit I eat with the TV on, or more rarely, talking to Gary, and sometimes I'm entering my nutrition data into SP right in the middle of my meal. Not recommended but we can make it work.

    I find I can eat pretty much mindfully even in chaos, like having the grandkids giggling or complaining or just being active all around the counter or table. So even when it is hectic I try to think about changing my focus to my spoon or fork as it comes to my mouth and experience the food as I unhurriedly chew. Even if I go back to giggling or joking or getting more drinks or seconds for someone until that next bite of food comes toward my lips!!
    612 days ago
    Love this blog, Jane!

    Here's to mindful eating for all of us. The many blessings of mindful eating include increased gratitude and therefore happiness, better digestion, more time to chew well, time to make the best decisions on portions.

    I wasn't sure that sugary McDonald's yogurt parfait is better than the ice cream sundae, but you are right. 150 vs. 380 calories. Did you know that one Kiddie Cone is only 45 calories?? Enjoy!
    612 days ago
    612 days ago
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