What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a practice based on Buddhist tradition in which our attention is focused on sensations in the present moment, without judgement, as a technique to quiet the mind.

Practicing mindfulness is simple:

  • Sit in a comfortable position with your back upright
  • Relax
  • Notice the natural rhythm of your breathing
  • Focus on your bodily sensations without judgment or control
  • Observe your thoughts and feelings

Mindfulness involves allowing yourself to be where you already are, to become more familiar with your own experience moment by moment. — Dr. Kabat-zinn

Principles of Conscious Eating

  • Chew, Chew, Chew. Each mouthful 35 times. Releases digestive enzymes, improves digestion and assimilation and satiety.
  • Eat only when hungry. Do you really need a snack? Or is it a walk, a tall glass of water, or a rest that you truly require?
  • Eat simple, whole foods. If it won’t rot, don’t eat it. Enough said!
  • Drink Water. Chronic dehydration can cause fluid retention and bloating. You wouldn’t wash your floors with milk or juice, would you? Water is the universal cleanser.
  • Breathe, Relax, Feel. Use mealtime to connect with your body.
  • Practice Gratitude. When we consciously and deeply acknowledge what we receive, we assimilate the benefits and open ourselves to the sense of abundance that we crave.
  • Keep a food journal. Observe your body’s responses to food and learn the truth of what works for you. Your needs may change with the seasons, stress levels and aging.
  • Exercise every day. Whether it’s yoga, walking, aerobics or swimming, daily exercise creates a healthy appetite. It also tones all our muscles and organs, oxygenates our brain and creates feel good hormones. It is essential to good health.

Mindful Eating

Mindful eating is a way of connecting with and appreciating food as nourishment.

Try this:

  • Eat in silence.
  • Focus on the sight, the taste and the smell of the food before putting it into your mouth.
  • Once in your mouth, notice the texture, the flavor, and any thoughts you are having as you chew.
  • Consider the food’s journey: from seed, to harvest, to market, to skillet, and so on.
  • After you finish, note any sensations, such as satiety, wanting more, or digestive discomfort, etc.
  • Remember to breathe throughout this exercise!

Benefits of Mindfulness

Why practice mindfulness?

Studies indicate that this technique can:

  • Relieve stress
  • Reduce anxiety
  • Lift depression
  • Improve attention
  • Reduce insomnia
  • Decrease hot flashes
  • Manage chronic pain
  • Soothe cravings

So…by focusing attention on our relationship with our bodies, we can become more aware of our emotions, less re-active to stressors, and more mindful in our responses.