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The Mindful Way to Eat

6 Tips for developing healthy food habits

Practicing mindfulness at mealtimes supports healthy eating habits and enhances the pleasures food has to offer. Following these 6 tips will nurture the development of mindful awareness of your relationship with food.

1. Pay attention: bring focus and mindful awareness to “what is” Notice habits just as they are, without judgment

2. Be thankful: before each meal or snack take a moment to breathe. Think about the food, where it comes from and the nourishment it offers

3. Eat with the five senses: look at the food, its colors and textures. Smell the aroma, feel its texture and the sensation as it moves into your body

4. Look beneath the craving: sit with “wanting” for a moment. Notice the emotions and feelings you’re having. Watch the craving rise and ease in intensity ~ is it possible to extend this pause time?

5. Choose acceptance: if you do overeat, don’t punish yourself by starving the next day. Bring focus to the body and forgiveness to the heart. As best, accept the experience and ask: “What may I learn from this? What was occurring before I overate? What could have been a healthier

6. Be flexible: healthful eating is like the practice of yoga: each day is different. Allow yourself to eat what nourishes you each day rather than sticking to a rigid routine of eating habits. Stepping away, little by little, from a planned agenda for eating allows the beginnings of “intuitive eating” to blossom ~ letting our bodies inform us of hunger and how much to eat at the time. When you are ready to release yourself from repetitive dieting or overeating, these tips will guide you through the process of identifying, respecting and satisfying your hunger as well as re-learning to honor yourself and trust your own word.

Now you are ready for healthy and supportive practices for implementing mindfulness in personal nourishment. For more information, check out part two: Guidelines for Eating Mindfully.

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