Sitting with a new client today, she questioned me about the holidays. She’s just starting her new lifestyle, just been presented with her course of action for the next six months. Christmas is in a month, just as she’ll be settling into a solid practice of her new habits.
“What about Christmas?” she asked.
“What about it?” I responded.
“Christmas cookies? Can I have them?” She looked at me hopefully.
“Can you?” I asked her.
We had just discovered via a blood test that she’s sensitive to wheat products, cow’s milk and eggs. I make it a point to let her know that she’s in control here, no foods are “good” or “bad” and that I am not restricting what she eats.
We discuss mindful eating. It’s a practice of mindfulness, a Buddhist concept; a form of meditation that helps you recognize and cope with your emotions and physical sensations.
Mindful eating is about using mindfulness to reach a state of attention to your experiences, cravings and physical cues. It involves eating slowly and without distraction, listening to your body and eating when hungry and only until you’re full, learning when you’re truly hungry or just emotional, engaging your senses by noticing colors, smells, textures, and flavors and noticing and appreciating the effects food has on your feelings.
This allows you to replace automatic thoughts and reactions with more conscious, healthier responses and choices.
With my client and what we know about her, cookies will most definitely cause an undesirable response in her body. I advise her to think about this before she grabs a cookie. Hold the treat in her hand ask herself a few questions before she makes the decision.
Does this food serve me? Will it nourish and/or heal my body? How will I feel after I eat it? Do I want to feel that way? Does this get me closer to my goals?
This allows us to make conscious decisions about how we want to look and feel, it’s quite empowering but takes practice.
Emily lead an experiential lunch at the 2020 Well BEing Workshop. Participants had the opportunity to learn about nutrient density, positive food choices and rid themselves of guilt and anxiety associated with those choices. Mindful eating can be a life-long practice that can serve you and your goals.