We all have such busy lifestyles and eating on the go is no exception. Enter one mindful meal. It’s a way to incorporate mindful eating for one meal a day. I’ll share about the power of mindful eating and why it’s so important, along with how to make one mindful meal a part of your weekly routine. Learn how!
Mindful eating is not a new concept. And it’s not even a new concept to me.
But you know how when you know you are supposed to do something… and maybe you even do it once in awhile… but not always…
And then something hits you like this huge AH-HA moment. And then you are like… OHHHHH YEAHHHHH.
THAT is what I’m talking about.
Enter one mindful meal.
I try to say grace before every meal. It’s a habit, but I still forget sometimes. I’m not a perfect Christian. Just keeping it real. Somewhere along the way, it turned into a quick blessing before dinner without any kind of attachment. Put a pin in that concept and I’ll come back to it.
My One Mindful Meal Ah-Ha Moment
We have very dear friends who live a few hours away and out in the country. Their house overlooks a lake on one side and farmland on the other. As a country girl myself who is stuck in the burbs for the foreseeable future, I love to visit. My pug Hannibal (follow on Insta he is the cutest!) loves to play with their two pugs. This makes it officially a grumble, but I digress.
Anyhoo… one time I was up at the country house dog/house-sitting for a few days. While it was a great workcation getaway to get a lot of work done in between puppy potty breaks, I felt guilty about not enjoying my time there and taking full advantage of the serene surroundings.
Normally, breakfast is a huge bowl of berries while I work. My country getaway was no different. Except before I started up to my room, I looked out at the lake and paused. My body turned and I sat down at the table. It was just me, my berries, and a gorgeous view of the lake. Well, and three crazy dogs but that is beside the point.
I wasn’t on my laptop or phone while I ate. I was connecting with nature. I let my mind wander. I ate slowly. I enjoyed my tea. It was seriously life-changing.
I made a commitment from that point on, I would try and eat “One Mindful Meal” a day. Every day. Has it happened every day since then? Um… hello… did you miss the mention above about not being perfect?
Case in point, I’m writing this article from the same location, albeit a different trip a few months later. I had my bowl of berries, a cup of tea, and my gorgeous lake view and I sat down for breakfast. ALL I COULD THINK ABOUT WAS GETTING BACK TO WRITING THIS ARTICLE.
God really has me as a big ole work in progress. Sigh.
I think I’m currently at 3-4 days a week. I’ll take it. I will enjoy my mindful meals, and not beat myself up if I forget. Are you with me?
What Exactly is Mindful Eating?
So what exactly is mindful eating and what are the benefits of mindful eating? I can share stories all day long, but I’m leaving this one up to the experts.
According to The Center for Mindful Eating, Mindful Eating is:
- Allowing yourself to become aware of the positive and nurturing opportunities that are available through food selection and preparation by respecting your own inner wisdom.
- Using all your senses in choosing to eat food that is both satisfying to you and nourishing to your body.
- Acknowledging responses to food (likes, dislikes or neutral) without judgment.
- Becoming aware of physical hunger and satiety cues to guide your decisions to begin and end eating.
Some of the benefits of mindful eating may include:
- Learning to eat only when hungry
- Ending a meal when you are full
- Minimize or stop binge eating
- Lose weight
- Reduce stress.
You don’t have to enjoy your meal in any special kind of environment or with a gorgeous view. All you need is yourself, your meal, and a little patience, especially if you are an impatient person like I am.
It’s important to begin your mindful meal with a moment of appreciation. This can be in the form of a prayer, blessing, gratitude, or any other way you wish to take that moment to pause and reflect and be grateful for your meal.
BONUS – practicing mindful eating and the concept of one mindful meal is a perfect complement to your gratitude practice!
10 Ways to Enjoy a Mindful Meal
The majority of us aren’t blessed to live in a house that is lakefront. Myself included – we just have awesome friends! So what are some ways to enjoy a mindful meal? Here are 10 ways to start:
- Take a moment to show appreciation for your meal via prayer, blessing, and/or gratitude.
- Remove all electronics and eat without distractions. Send gratitude to being present.
- Eat healthy, whole foods. Send gratitude to the farmers who grow your produce.
- As you eat, think about the vitamins and nutrients going into your body to keep yourself healthy. Send gratitude to nutrient-dense food and for your body being a healthy vessel.
- Activate your senses – color, texture, aroma. Send gratitude to the rainbow of colors on your plate.
- Take small bites. Send gratitude to the flavors you are enjoying.
- Chew thoroughly. Send more gratitude to the food that is nourishing your body.
- Put your spoon and fork down in between bites.
- Eat slowly. Send gratitude to the events of your day.
- Listen to your body and the satiety queues. Send gratitude to being more mindful.
But What About My Crazy Family?
This all sounds great, Holly, but have you met my crazy family? I have teenagers on the go 24/7. I have a toddler throwing food all over the kitchen. I have a spouse who is grumpy from their workday. Not to mention all the things I have to get done! UGH!
And I’m supposed to slow down and be mindful when I eat? Seriously?
I hear you. My mindful eating is much easier when it’s just me. But don’t let the craziness of life get in the way. Start with what is easy or easier such as:
- House rule no phones at the table.
- Saying grace or a blessing before eating.
- Putting your fork down and chewing slowly.
- Send gratitude to your crazy family.
Can you start there? Take it one step at a time, my friend. You’ve got this!
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Love, hugs, and being more mindful one bite at a time.
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