Vim & Vigor - Fall 2021 - 14

14
How to Eat
Mindfully
Paying careful attention to our
senses and experiences as we
eat is a healthy relationship we
can have with food. The practice,
called mindful eating, should be
" on purpose, moment by moment,
without judgment, " researcher
Joseph Nelson wrote in the journal
Diabetes Spectrum.
This awareness can help you
make better choices with meals and
snacks. " Mindful eating can reduce
those loss-of-control feelings and
tendencies to overeat, because
we're more in tune with what we're
doing and how our body feels, " says
Alyssa Booth, a licensed professional
counselor who specializes in
eating disorders and trauma.
Booth offers the following
suggestions to incorporate mindful
eating.
Ditch the electronics. Distracting
activities, such as looking at
phones, watching television or playing
video games, should be avoided
when eating because " they take you
out of the present moment, " Booth
says. " When we eat, it's ideal to
engage in the experience of food.
We are less likely to undereat or
overeat, and we are better in tune
with what really tastes good. "
Be curious. Ask yourself questions
as you determine what and
when to eat. " Am I meal hungry or
just snack hungry? What sounds
good? What would feel good? "
Booth says. When you're in tune
with your body, you can make more
thoughtful decisions about food.
You might even realize that you
aren't really hungry but simply
bored and need something fun or
productive to do.
Enjoy the experience. " Often, we
are caught up in calories, dieting or
how a food will affect our body, and
we forget that food is also meant to
be pleasurable. When we are more
mindful, we are more attuned to
these ideas, " Booth says. " Maybe
I've made myself avocado toast with
everything-bagel seasoning, and
I'm just looking at it, smelling those
crunchy, toasted seeds and getting
excited as I anticipate eating it. "
FALL 2021 VIM & VIGOR
ATTITUDE CHECK
You must eat
everything on
your plate.
devour them quickly-which isn't a
healthy habit.
" Th e fear is that when we
keep these so-called junk foods
in the house, we're going to overindulge
all the time, " Booth says.
" But the reality is, having those
foods in the house helps kids and
parents. Since they know they
can have it whenever they want
it, it no longer becomes a source
of indulgence, because we aren't
deprived of it. "
ENCOURAGE
FAMILY MEALS
Try to plan times when everyone
can sit down together to eat and
talk. " Th is way, kids can feel they
are part of a group. Th ey can talk
about their day, practice social skills
and really enjoy the taste of their
food, " Walfi sh says.
She suggests parents do their
best to limit arguing at the dinner
table. " Increased anxiety and easy
access to food is a cocktail for
PHOTOS BY GETTY IMAGES

Vim & Vigor - Fall 2021

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