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Mindful eating, mindful living

Updated: Jul 18, 2022

Did you know there are just a couple of very simple habits that could make a big difference in your digestion and how you feel after eating? The simple act of chewing slowly and making sure your food is thoroughly chewed before swallowing can help your digestion system dramatically! Carbohydrates begin digesting in the mouth with saliva and by chewing which takes some of the load off of your stomach as it breaks down the food.

Another helpful habit is to prepare your own food, "think" about your food before you eat, and have a moment of gratitude prior to the start of each meal. Believe it or not, those steps trigger your brain to release the chemicals for digestion. You've heard the expression "my mouth was watering when I smelled that food", well it's actually true! The smell triggered your brain to make saliva which helps digest the food. That's why smelling the food as you cook, thinking about how good it will taste and then taking a moment to be grateful for it, all help your body work with its divine wisdom to process the nutrients it needs to survive.

Honoring your food choices, being happy and proud of yourself when you choose healthy fruit, veggies and proteins is a mindful practice that can contribute to your overall health. Imagine two scenarios as you shop for groceries. The first scenario is that shopping is a chore you don't enjoy, you are in a hurry and you want it over as soon as possible! You throw food into your cart that is easy to cook, may not be the healthiest for you but who has time with life these days? You check out and get home as soon as you can and throw the frozen pizza you bought in the oven (because who has time to cook a meal after spending all that time shopping!). Scenario two is you have planned a few healthy meals for the week by listing the ingredients you need to buy as you head out the door. Even though you have a busy life, eating healthy food is important to you and you value this time of preparing for the week. You choose the most healthful version of the foods you need, take your time to pick out the best fruit and veggies and feel grateful that you have access to healthy foods. When you get home you feel satisfied knowing that your week will be filled with foods you love and your body needs. Scenario two is an example of mindful living. Which one represents you today?

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