Are you a "conscious" eater? I noticed this growing trend of what is called "conscious eating" and was intrigued. Actually, what it boils down to is being mindful of our food, as we prepare it, and as we eat it. It seems that a lot of us get caught up in the fast-food lane, or eat on the run, or else eat while doing something else. We forget to enjoy the experience of eating and giving time and space for ourselves just to eat.
Eating while in a hurry or anxious or distracted actually sends a signal to our bodies to go into survival mode – the old "fight or flight" response. Your heart rate speeds up, and the adrenals activate. Instead of digesting, your body is on the alert and defensive. Eating this way can cause heartburn, gas, bloating, or other digestive upsets.
On top of this, because the body needs some quick energy to deal with the stress, it will start to burn carbohydrates instead of fat. Well, I think we'd all rather be burning fat than carbohydrate – because burning fat means burning pounds. These are all good reasons to be a more conscious eater. So I've gathered a few tips to help you on the road to conscious eating.
1) Take a few seconds before you start to eat. Appreciate the look and aroma of your food. Feel how your body is reacting to your hunger and then start to eat.
2) What are you thinking about as you eat? Put aside any problems or worries currently on your mind, and bring your attention to your food.
3) Chew your food well before you take the next bite. This will help break it down so your stomach can more easily digest it.
Really enjoy and notice the different flavors in what you are eating. And take your time!
Conscious eating brings us back to a state where we can actually enjoy and savor our food, and feel that we are renewing our energy and truly nourishing ourselves -- body, mind, and spirit.