Zen and the Art of Eating Wisely

With more and more of us rushing around and being distracted throughout the day with jobs, errands and the general pressures of today’s society we are putting less attention in what and how we eat. This is something I am sure we are all guilty of, do you remember the last time you had a meal on your own without reading something while eating or watching TV in between bites or even engulfing in chatter with a friend or colleague? Its a rare occurrence that’s for sure…..

There is nothing wrong with the occasional mindless meal but I feel we need to be able to enjoy our food more without distractions, enjoy the process of cooking, laying the table and serving the food, exploring flavors and savoring every bite. After all the gift of taste is something amazing and our lives would be bland without it.

Spend More on Food Less on Health Care – Imagine this; In 1960 the average american spent 17.6 percent of their income on food and just 5 percent on healthcare. Recently though those numbers have had a reversal spending on food has dropped to just 10 percent and healthcare has more than tripled to 16 percent. That’s a pretty extraordinary statistic, do you not think spending a little more on quality meat, fruit and vegetables would help get these figures back to a healthy level?

Re-Script Your Dinner – Next time you eat with family try these tips: firstly try to be the last person on the table to start eating. Next pace yourself with the slowest eater. Avoid the subconscious need for ‘one more helping’. You will find that by following these tips you will be forced to savour each bite and taste each flavor, you may even find you eat less than you think you need….

Stop Meal Multitasking – Anything that distracts you from focusing on what we are eating makes us likely to overeat unnecessarily. Did you know 91 percent of people claim to regularly eat while watching TV and 35 percent regularly eat at their desk while working. Try for one meal a day to sit down without distractions and focus on your food. The flavors, textures and variety should all be savored. At first it will feel weird as we are pre-programmed to be distracted while eating but the long term benefits will be amazing, resulting in improved digestion as well as general enjoyment of food increasing….

Pay Attention to Food – Ever been to a cocktail party where the guests are mindlessly attacking the snacks? Throwing handful upon handful of nuts and cheese down while sipping on champagne. I have been guilty of this and still am if not careful, the reason is that when we have any level of anxiety food and the process of eating can act as a powerful calming tool. Anyhow use these events as a reminder to pay attention to the food you eat rather than snacking while sipping on a drink and talking to someone. Whatever you do deserves your full attention. If we learn to become aware of each thing we do and do one thing at a time it will multiply enjoyment.

Remove Food from Sight – We tend to eat more than anything if its on view all the time, the simple sight of food stimulates hunger. One tip I find helpful is to keep food you don’t want to binge on out of sight instead keep healthy fresh food at your desk or counter top. A good tip is to keep only a bowl of fresh fruit and a jar of raw nuts on your counter top. This will encourage healthy snacking for yourself and those around you.

Eat Salad First – Each night at dinner I start the meal with a large salad. I really make a meal of it so to speak adding everything from avocado, onions, carrots, cucumber, nuts and seeds making it a really tasty start to the meal. It was originally an idea I came up with when reading how god it is for digestion to start meals with some raw food. Not only did it improve my digestion but it made me enjoy the whole process of eating more, I now savour the salad and tend to eat less of the heavy stuff just eating a small piece of meat with some cooked vegetables after (always size according to appetite). Its definitely something to try, make a mega salad and savour it before your main course. I am sure your general eating experience will improve.

Don’t Eat From a Bag – Eating from a bag is dangerous for two reasons; Firstly their is no way to gauge how much your eating and its easy to overeat when eating anything from a bag. The other and main reason is that bagged foods are normally hazardous to your health as they tend to be processed junk like chips and sugary snacks. Steer clear of bagged food when you can, your body will thank you…

Eating wisely can also save the planet. Nearly 20 percent of the nations energy is spent growing and delivering food to the average american who consumes 2,200 pounds of food a year amounting to nearly 3,500 calories a day! How can we help? well its pretty simple; either go one day a week without meat or dairy or just eat less for one day a week. A great opportunity to practice Intermittent Fasting and save the planet!

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