26 Jan Mindful Eating Day 2018
That’s right, there’s a day for everything — including acknowledging MINDFUL EATING PRACTICE!
January 25 marks the 3rd annual Mindful Eating Day, an initiative from The Centre for Mindful Eating. (It also marks my birthday… coincidence, I think not!).
From the mindful eating & living events I host in the community for all ages – tots to elderly, fitness studios to transitional housing for former homeless – to private therapy sessions with individuals/couples/families, I’m often asked what mindful eating is. This is a question I always answer with an explanation of what is IS & IS NOT.
MINDFUL EATING IS:
- AN ACTIVITY FOR ALL AGES. Babies are naturally intuitive eaters: squishing, sniffing, poking, listening, tasting every morsel of food set in front of them. We can re-learn mindful eating if we feel we’ve adopted a restrictive eating mindset with age.
- A PRACTICE THAT EXPLORES 9 TYPES OF HUNGER. You read right — 9! I’ll be posting about the different hunger types in the coming weeks, stay tuned! You’re likely most familiar with stomach hunger — the hunger pangs that often drive us to eat. But there’s also heart hunger — sometimes we crave comfort which we fill with food when our stomach may in actuality be full already. Lots of self soothing tips & tricks you can try!
- ABOUT BUILDING A JOYFUL RELATIONSHIP WITH FOOD! A consistent mindful eating practice can renew a pleasurable relationship with food, rather than one filled with guilt, shame, questioning oneself, resolutions, etc.
- AS SIMPLE AS TAPPING INTO THE SENSES. What does your food smell like? Taste like? Sound like? Look life? Feel like?
- A PRACTICE THAT CAN PROVIDE INSIGHT INTO OUR HABIT LOOP. I have recently trained with a neuroscientist in the field of smoking cessation & mindful eating, & I’m so excited to bring his researched & peer-reviewed practices to the community & clients!
MINDFUL EATING IS NOT:
- A DIET. Yes it’s been shown to reduce craving related eating, boost joy in eating behaviour, help some with weight management, but it is NOT a diet based on restricting calories or food types.
- GOAL ORIENTED. Together we talk about intentions, current relationship with food & your body, what you want more of & less of in that relationship. & what can help you on that path to building mindful eating practices for you &/or your family or coworkers.
- ABOUT JUDGING FOOD AS GOOD/BAD. A major tenant of mindfulness practice is non-judgement or non-criticism. We don’t label foods as good or bad, superfood, & the like. We of course attend to what causes GI distress & allergies, but the practice is about removing these labels from food. Mind hunger — the mental chatter we have around food based on recent research (i.e. Butter is good! Butter is bad! Chocolate is good! Chocolate is bad!), social media/blogger suggestions on what to eat, & others who shape food trends. In mindful eating we work towards a place of listening to what the body wants to eat, how much, when, & where.
So happy Mindful Eating Day to you all! Never hesitate to reach out for resources, or one-on-one support for you & your relationship with food & body.