There have been times when I would mindlessly shove chocolate in my face or eat a bag of chips without even thinking twice about it only to be followed by a “food hangover”. There have been times when I have over indulged at restaurants and had that piece of cheesecake for dessert and definitely regretted it later as I lay there with an aching belly.
There have been many times when I have let my emotions and mind rule and not listened to my body and mindlessly eaten without an off switch.
We are all human and life is about the journey and for me food has been an interesting one. If I look back to past years there has been so much growth with regards to my eating and the food choices I now make as I have learnt to listen to my body. In the past I was none the wiser that I didn’t do well on gluten or cow’s milk products or even corn. I just kept ignoring the symptoms hoping it was just something I was going through and that it would get better. It was only until I learnt what foods worked well for me that my symptoms started to decrease.
Sure, sometimes I will let go a little and taste a bit of completely wheat-filled, dairy-laden buttercream frosted carrot cake, which I totally did this weekend, but I know the consequences and the fact that I am aware of the choice I have made is awesome. Being mindful around food allows you to make the choices and not to be “unconscious” when eating, it creates the connection between your body and food and allows you to become in tune with what works for your body and what doesn’t.
Plus when you eat foods that work for you you wake up feeling fresh, clear minded and ready to tackle the day head on..!
Some tips on how to listen to your body
- Keep a food diary and note how you feel after eating - are you bloated, breathless or do you have a headache?
- Make a note of what emotions you are feeling when you crave certain foods - If you are just hungry you’ll eat anything but if you are eating to suppress an emotion you will crave a certain food group, usually carbs, sugar or fats which create a "comforted" feeling
- Be present when eating by taking 3 deep breaths before each meal and being grateful for your food. I recommend eating at the table, away from electronic devices
- Ask yourself what your body really wants – Is your body deficient in a certain nutrient so it is trying to compensate by eating the entire contents of your fridge or are you craving foods high in protein or essential fats. I have been through a few phases of eating some weird food combinations as my body was trying to get the necessary nutrients in- one such example would be Marmite and raw button mushrooms - both rich in B vitamins. Recently, I have also been craving butter which is high in Vit A and D
- Are you feeling tired or super stressed? You may think the solution to the 3 pm crash is eating sugary or carb loaded foods when actually a 2 minute meditation or a power nap may be the answer
Our body's are always sending us messages through feelings, moods, emotions, symptoms, signals and thoughts. When you are mindful about what your body is telling you, you can make better choices and begin nourishing yourself. Your body shows up for you every day and it's up to you to take care of it. Your body is your vessel which allows you to move, do and experience life so honour it with eating good, tasty wholesome and nutritious foods.