It is that time of year, the mornings and evenings are cooler, the days are getting shorter and the beautiful colour of Fall are emerging all around us bringing a craving for warmth and coziness. It is a time when one can reflect and be thankful for things we have; the bounty of healthy food we have accessible to us and the ability to enjoy it with loved ones. The next best way to enjoy all of this is with gratitude, awareness and mindfulness.
So what is mindful eating anyways?
Looking at food as nourishment is a really good place to start. Our human tendency is to full our plates and then transfer this plateful to our body, without breath or much consideration as to the amount and the quality we are fuelling with….that is until it is too late. Before we know it we are filled with guilt, regret, fatigue, to the point where we need to let out another notch in the belt or can’t wait to go home and put on our stretchy pants.
Thanksgiving is a time for giving thanks, so lets start here. Gratitude. Not just for the abundance of healthy food that we have harvested over the summer months, but for abundance……period. Think of the abundance that you have in you life and take a moment to breathe this in. Bee grateful for all of this before you full your plate. I assure you that instilling this feeling of gratitude will fill you so much that you will no longer feel an empty void to try and satisfy with food. Love is so nourishing.
Awareness and mindfulness tend to go hand in hand…..just like turkey and cranberry sauce, mmmmmm. Bring awareness to the quality of food that you are eating. Could you do more to support local farmers? There are generally Fall and Winter Farmers markets in most cities, where food has been grown and cultivated with heart, picked from the plant with the pure intention of nourishing the community. Dod you know that produce that comes from far away lands is picked prematurely, and sometimes even sprayed with chemical preservatives (not to mention pesticides and fertilizers from non-organic stock) to keep it ripe during travel just to make it to the grocery store? When food is harvested before it is ripe its nutrient content is bar far lower, therefor offering less nourishment to our bodies. Bring awareness to where your food is coming from, support your local community of farmers, and nourish your body with food bursting with nutrients.
From this we can cultivate manfulness. The simple acts of gratitude and awareness offers time to pause, to breathe, and to think about what we are fuelling up with. We all know the feeling of the morning after too much wine, or the crash after to much sugar; a direct effect of fuelling our bodies with poor quality gas. These foods of course do not only make us feel crappy and leave us under nourished, they leave us with nutrient debt. When we are fully fuelled with premium gas we have the vitality, energy and stamina to cary on! When we use poor quality fuel this can actually rob the nutrients stored in our bodies in order to compensate. The net result is low energy, fatigue, poor mood, more notches in the belt, even disease…..and the tendency to crave more of these quick fix stimulants spinning us into a downward spiral, all easily avoided by sticking to the nutrients in quality foods.
This holiday season let these 3 things be in the forefront of your mind and I assure you, your new years resolutions can be focused on continued health and success rather than repairing the distraction. In fact they may even be unnecessary.
Peas and love,
Andrea Bath R.H.N.