How Mindful Eating Can Boost Your Self-Care Routine
It’s not about right or wrong when it comes to eating. It’s simply about nurturing your relationship with food in a way that’ll help you eat healthier – without restrictions, food anxiety, or fad dieting.
Allow Your Body & Brain to Find Harmony
I bet you’ve experienced this one-too-many times...
You’re scarfing down lunch (maybe even while standing up or in the front seat of your car). It’s as if you’ve suddenly morphed into James Bond and the safety of the country rests in your ability to chow down as quickly as humanly possible. If this were an action movie, it’d be applaud-worthy. But...sigh...it’s not.
When you eat rapidly (even without consciously realizing it), it doesn’t allow your body enough time to send a signal to your brain that says, “Hey! I’m full.” Funny enough, adopting mindful eating philosophies, such as slowing down your pace when consuming food, has been incredibly transformative for me.
By pumping the brakes while you eat, it’ll provide your mind and body with the space needed to properly communicate. The satiation signal from the body is delayed approximately 20 minutes – causing us to unconsciously overeat. There are simple ways to relax your pace, such as sitting down to eat, setting your fork down between bites, and even making an effort to chew each bite 20+ times.
What’s Encouraging You to Eat?
Practicing mindfulness requires you to recognize and remain cognizant of how your body signals it’s hungry. When we take cues from our brains instead of dialing into bodily signs, we can mistake emotion, such as anxiety, frustration, stress, boredom, or sadness, for genuine hunger.
Shift your mindset and ask yourself: Am I feeling a bit lightheaded? Did my stomach really just growl 5 times during that 10-minute meeting? Does my energy feel like it’s running on low? These indicators from your body are what you should be tuning into.
Be Intentional When You Eat
Are you mindlessly rifling through your kitchen cabinets, or eating at random times throughout the day? Being intentional with food means you invest time in proactively planning for your meals and snacks. Without doing so, you’ll inadvertently hardwire your brain to adopt unhealthy environmental cues for when, what, and how much to eat. Think about it: do you really want snacking in your car to become an ingrained habit?
Let me be clear: it’s okay to snack. And it’s certainly okay to treat yourself to that slice of pizza. However, when it comes to our daily self-care routine, you’ll effectively bolster the health of both your body and mind (including enhancing your mood and sleep schedule) by keeping a consistent eating schedule. And, yes, I am encouraging you to sit down (at a REAL table)!
It’s also important to fill your kitchen with foods that supply you with both mental and physical satisfaction. Nourishing foods are not only tasty, but they have a corresponding positive impact on how we feel.
Eating According to Our Circadian Rhythms
Another eating habit that has been extremely beneficial for me is eating in sync with my body’s internal clock. To help you envision what this looks like, it essentially requires you to eat within a window of 12 hours or less (during daylight hours) and then fast the remainder of the day.
Typically, I’ll reserve larger meals for the beginning of the day and have a lighter, smaller meal towards the end of the day. Following this type of schedule has been scientifically proven to yield a number of benefits, including improved gut function, weight loss, improved sleep, decreased hunger, enhanced energy, and better overall wellness.
Five of my Favorite (Easy to Make) Recipes
1 | Sweet Potato Chickpea Buddha Bowl
According to the write-up on the recipe: “What started off as a mission to make a chickpea breakfast skillet turned into a sweet and savory dish that would satisfy vegans and meat-eaters alike. Plus, it’s simple – requiring just 30 minutes. And it’s ridiculously healthy – loaded with four kinds of vegetables, fiber- and protein-rich chickpeas, and a maple-tahini sauce that’s so good you’ll want to put it on everything.”
Get the Recipe Here: Courtesy of Minimalist Baker
2 | Anti-Inflammatory Ginger Carrot Soup for Dinner
Not only is this a cozy and comforting dinnertime meal, but it’s packed with flavor, nutrients, and digestion-aiding properties. This recipe comes from Alyssa Rimmer, a certified Holistic Nutritionist, yoga-lover, dog mom, and founder of Simply Quinoa.
Get the Recipe Here: Courtesy of Simply Quinoa
3 | Smashed Avocado Toast with Soft Boiled Egg
Perfect for breakfast or lunch, this dish is packed with nutrition and it’s delicious.
Get the Recipe Here: Courtesy of Joyful Happy Eats
4 | Oat Milk Matcha Latte
Not only is matcha known for its antioxidant-rich characteristics, but it’s also praised for enhancing concentration and energy, as well as boosting metabolism. Plus, it’s delicious, so it’s definitely a win in my book!
Get the Recipe Here: Courtesy of The Bakers Almanac
5 | Easy One Pot Pasta Dish
Great for hectic schedules or busy weekends, this scrumptious dish is packed with nutrients and only takes about 35 minutes to make. And because I’m such a huge pasta buff, I thought I’d include my favorite sauce to give your tastebuds a little motivation. You can grab it on Amazon here: Rao’s Homemade All Natural Marinara Sauce
Get the Recipe Here: Courtesy of Erin Lives Whole
To truly achieve your health and wellness goals, it’s important to couple mindful eating habits with an effective workout program to maximize your results.
Looking for a simple, sustainable way to move your body and improve your health? With my short and impactful 10 Day Pilates and Self-Care Challenge, you’ll discover a renewed sense of joy and vitality. And the best part? It’s enjoyable (no dreaded exercise here)!
CLICK HERE to sign up for a free trial to get started!
Open to all levels, no equipment is needed, cancel anytime.