If what you are eating has you feeling resentful, deprived, or guilty, how beneficial do you think it is for your body? How about if you eat over the sink, in your car, or if you gobble it down trying to get to the next task as quickly as possible?
It’s easy to get caught up in the swirl of the day so that eating just becomes one more thing we check off our to-do list. And when we aren’t taking the time to really taste and enjoy our food, we can overeat before our stomach signals that we are done—or we can overeat trying to get the flavor and satisfaction out of the food that we might get if we slowed down and really focused on the meal.
Scientists even tell us how much more nutrition our bodies get if we just slow down and take the time to chew our food thoroughly.
Wolfing down my food became a habit during my days as a newspaper reporter. Facing a daily deadline made me feel like I had no time for anything else. And it’s still a habit I have to continually monitor.
What works for me is to keep myself from getting too hungry between meals, as that seems to be a trigger for inhaling my food. Sitting down at a table instead of standing over the sink or eating in front of my computer also helps remind me to slow down enough to taste and enjoy my food, and gives my stomach time to register that I have eaten a meal.
Other tricks I have heard people use is putting their fork a certain way on their place mats, or using unusual napkin rings to remind themselves to be present and eat their food more slowly.
I would love to hear how you remind yourself to be conscious and appreciative of everything that you eat.
Together we can do it!
For me, joining a CSA has helped with that. Getting the paper every week telling me where my food came from –what farm and what town–has made me more appreciative of the farmers who grew it for me. (Plus it’s just fresher and tastier when it came from 20 miles away as opposed to 200 or 2000!).