Looking for Tips From Free Diet Programs? Try Mindful Eating For Creating Healthier Choices
If you are like many people who search the web for free diet tips and programs offering quick weight loss ideas, you just may appreciate the wisdom and insight in the following article.
By Toria Betson
I’m on a diet for people like me, who think eating is one of the greatest pleasures of life. I call it the Mindful Eating Diet. No, it isn’t the latest free diet program that promises you will lose a gazillion pounds in a week but it can change your life.
Mindful eating isn’t a new concept. It’s been around for centuries. Most of us do it, unknowingly, every time we sample a rich and decadent desert, trying to savor each and every rich, smooth, chocolaty bite, as if it were the only thing in the universe.
Mindful eating has no rules about what you can or can’t eat. It’s about turning off the TV, and putting down the magazine, so you can focus on your meal. Mindful eating is about awareness. It’s about keeping your mind full with what you are doing.
I started mindful eating as another way to, to quote Ram Dass, “Be here now.” What I discovered for myself, and the reason I claim to be on it as a ‘diet’, is that it has painlessly helped me make healthier choices, and be completely satisfied with less.
When we slow down to focus on what we are eating, we are aiding our digestive systems. Take time to enjoy the sweet aroma of a juicy, locally grown peach, and you will begin to salivate before you’ve even taken your first bite. Chewing thoroughly and slowly helps break down the food further, so the stomach and digestive juices have less work. So many of us put another forkful of food in our mouths, before we’ve finished chewing and swallowing the last. The stomach sends a signal to the brain when we are full. By eating slowly, we give the brain time to get the message, so we feel full sooner, and eat less.
Focus on the pleasure of eating. This will aid digestion much more than if your mind is in a state of worry about weight loss.
When we eat mindfully our senses become heightened. We notice the color of our orange is more intense on the side that was facing the sun. A fine, barely perceptible, spray of sparkling juice escapes as we peel it. We smell tartness, and sweetness. We see the segments radiating outward like a star. We feel and hear the tension between segments as we coax them apart. When we bite into one, the flavor explodes, almost overwhelming our mouths. Inside each segment are countless tiny cells, and we feel each one of them, smooth, as we roll them around on our tongues. We chew, and their tender membranes break open with sweet cool refreshing wetness.
With mindful eating, healthy food starts to taste better. Vegetables taste sweet, fresh, natural, and alive. On the other hand, highly refined foods begin to taste like something is missing. We may notice an after-taste from the containers they were packaged in, or worse, taste chemicals and other artificial ingredients.
Try to use a smaller plate, so it will give the impression there is an abundance of food. Arrange the food in a beautiful way, even if you are eating alone. Along with fresh herbs, I grow edible flowers to use as garnishes. Bright orange and red nasturtiums are stunning in a green salad. Blue borage flowers are lovely floating atop a sea of cold summer soup. Take the time to fold a napkin, and lay out your silverware. A few short minutes can make every meal an event.
Eat with gratitude. The foods we eat are gifts from life that can nourish our souls as well as our bodies. Energies from the food we eat, become absorbed into our bodies. That juicy peach still contains energy from the sun. Salmon, I thank you for your life. Please gift me with your determination to move forward through struggles and difficulties. I tried explaining this concept to my son. He said, Yeah Mom. Easy if it’s a salmon, but what are you getting from a carrot! I replied, that along with giving us the obvious vitamin A, beta-carotene and fiber, a carrot teaches us to look deeply, below the surface. There always is more than first meets the eye.
I always wanted life to imitate art. With mindful eating, life becomes art.