Nine Mindful Eating tips for the Holidays

Mindful eating is deliberately paying full attention to what you are eating or drinking, without criticism or judgment.”

Jan Chozen Bays

Mindful eating isn’t about making a list of rules. It is not about judging ourselves for what we consume, nor is it about following a certain ‘healthy’ diet. Instead, consider these simple tips for mindful eating this holiday season:

1. Savor the flavors.

Be fully present to the wonder of your tastebuds. Let the attentive mind join in on the festivities as you note the sweet, salty, spicy, bitter, sour, and pungent notes in the foods you consume.

4. Practice gratitude.

Cultivate thankfulness by offering gratitude for your food. Note all that there is to be thankful for on your plate: the food itself, the seeds, the soil, and the hands that helped along the way from farm to fork.

5. Practice self-compassion.

Over the holidays, many of us indulge a little more than we normally do. This can stir thoughts of guilt and self-judgment. Notice where you might be judging yourself and see if you can tend to yourself with loving-kindness instead. Consider mindfulness exercises for self-compassion to help you  Here’s a great meditation to honor our changing rhythms and cycles from Insight Timer.

6. Be mindful of your needs.

It’s equally important to be mindful of our needs. What foods don’t sit well with us? How do different holiday beverages impact our sense of wellbeing? Become mindful of what nourishes you, and what distresses you. Use this awareness to guide your choices.

2. Play with all your senses.

Beyond savoring the flavors, you can tune into the food you eat with the other senses. What does the food look like? What does it smell like? What does it feel like? The full spectrum of your senses brings a richness to your eating habits.

3. Eat slowly.

When in doubt, slow it down. Take your time to really savor this wonderful meal that has found its way to your plate.

7. Be mindful of your mood.

Mood and food are inextricably linked. Since the holidays can stir a range of feelings such as anxiety and frustration, mindfulness of our emotions can help us to address these moods most optimally. Note how different foods affect your mood.

8. Notice your hunger and fullness cues.

Often, we let our mind dictate our eating habits rather than listening to our bodies. So, it can be helpful to consider: What does it feel like to be hungry? What sensations tell me when I have had enough? When it comes to feelings of fullness, eating slowly can support our ability to notice these cues.

9. Observe your body – and don’t forget to breathe.

During the holidays, our digestion needs extra support. One of the best ways we can do this is to notice where we are stressed or contracted. Coming back to the breath through mindful breathing help. Here’s a quick breathing meditation from insight timer.

Source: Sean Fargo, Mindfulness Exercises

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Thanks all and have a happy, safe and healthy holiday season! Tina

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