So here we go. Let’s give this a try…
It’s about time I challenged myself to something (other than the challenges 2020 has already provided).
I want to start mindfully eating.
Sure, it sounds a little silly but it helps you appreciate what you eat and how you are eating. My usual go-to eating environment is in front of my tv (I’m a little ashamed to admit), which is typically me focused on a YouTube video or Netflix episode over my actual meal, while also scrolling Instagram on my phone with the hand I’m not using to eat…
I want to try something new.
This form of eating, similar to intuitive eating, interests me as it’s not a particular eating pattern or diet to follow, but rather an approach that allows us to look at other factors that could impact our eating behaviors (e.g., emotional reactions, environment, availability, etc.). I appreciate this approach over typical diet plans because it gives you room for creative freedom with meal and food choices, and helps you view eating in a whole new healthy (and mindful) way.
Mindful eating is almost an awakening experience! You get to appreciate your meals, the food on your plate and the location of your meals. And also, you get to learn how your body responds to the food you eat, and how you ultimately feel before, after and during a meal. Did it upset your stomach? Are you feeling comfortably full? Did you enjoy the flavors of the dish? You also get to learn your body’s response to hunger and fullness, which is a good thing to know for anyone interested in how this way of eating could help with weight loss.
But, as we all know, habits take time to form and require both patience and practice. That’s why I want to challenge myself to this 5 Day Mindful Eating Challenge, and document the journey. I’ll be taking notes the entire week in a notebook on my daily challenges, what I eat, my meal ideas and how I felt about the day overall.
But before I sign off with this week’s post, I just want to do a quick introduction to the 5 day mindful eating challenge.
5 Day Mindful Eating Challenge
Day no. 1: Eliminate distractions
Eat without screens. Full stop.
This is something I grew up with. We always had a tv on in the background of our meals. And while it’s nice to have sound in the background, it can distract you from your plate.
Eat somewhere where you are comfortable and where you can focus entirely on the meal itself. Leave your phone in another room. If you feel into it, turn on some easy listening background music. Relax and enjoy every bite. Focus on the food!
Day no. 2: Really feel it
This is about checking in with yourself and asking, “How am I feeling, and is this feeling the reason that I am eating?” Maybe because you’re stressed, upset, tired or bored and that is why you are choosing to eat.
The goal is to check-in without judgement, and to gain a better understanding of the emotions or situations that draw us to certain foods. It also helps you get a sense of how you feel AFTER you eat. Did your feelings change? Improve? Worsen? Think about how each ingredient or meal impacted your body and mind overall, and if it’s really helping or hindering you.
Day no. 3: Slow down
Savor every single bite. Appreciate the flavors, the textures, the combinations of colors and smells. This gets you to really zone in on your meal (and learn to notice the signs that your body is full on food, before you overeat).
A few challenges for this day to pick from: Take one minute breaks every five minutes of eating, or chew each bite five times. So, you have some options.
Day no. 4: Meditate
This could be in the morning, before your meal, after your meal, or before bed. Meditate and reflect on everything you appreciate. Give gratitude to what you are putting in your body, and connect your stomach to your mind.
Day no. 5: Get to know your stomach
Put on your data collection scientific hat because we are going to do some rating scales. For this day, you must rate your hunger and fullness per meal (on a scale of 1-10 with 1=starving, 5=satisfied [nor hungry or full] and 10=full to the point of feeling sick.)
It will help you better understand your body’s natural rhythm and appetite/fullness peaks, so you’re able to know for the future if you are eating for the sake of being hungry or for other reasons.
This week’s post is a little shorter, but a follow up post about this challenge is coming! Also, if you’d like to learn more about mindful eating, or this 5 day mindful eating challenge, check out Samantha Shuflin’s blog post.
If you took the time to read this blog post, my heart is full. I hope this post inspired you to consider taking on a challenge you’ve been interested in doing! What’s one challenge you’re interested in taking on? Why that particular challenge, and how do you typically approach challenges in general? (Asking for a friend).
Let’s continue the discussion (perhaps with a nice cup of coffee, heh.)
And reader, I want to thank you for reading up to this point in the post. Writing is an outlet I am passionate about, but hardly allow myself to do. I hope you enjoyed reading this post, and look forward to reading future blog posts on this site. I will be posting content every Saturday — so mark it on your calendar or even better, subscribe to my blog below so you get alerted when the next post goes live. Also, look out for future blog/vlog videos, exclusive content and just more positive energy to float your way.
Chat again next Saturday!