Below is an article from the Third Quarter of 2017 issue of SkyLines.
Eat Mindfully, Not Mindlessly
by Lauren Grogan & Andrea Tortorella of Silman
Consider this familiar scenario:
After working late the night before, you finally get some sleep. You snooze through your alarm and realize that there’s no time for breakfast at home so you grab something on your way to
the office in a rush. At your desk while checking emails, you nosh on the food when a co-worker comes by your desk and interrupts your “meal.”
Then, at 11 am you attend a meeting which, as usual, runs through lunch. This now forces you to skip another meal or, if you can, eat something at your desk. At the end of the day, you go home exhausted and starving and grab the first food
item you see in your house (maybe a bag of chips, carton of cookies or a frozen meal) and plop yourself in front of the TV to chow it down.
Does this scenario sound familiar? Everyone has days where “mealtime” seems like a luxury, but over time this type of mindless eating can have negative consequences, potentially leading to digestive disorders, overeating, cravings, lack of focus, fatigue and decreased productivity.
All too often, nourishing ourselves seems last on the list of our daily priorities. But, what if we shifted our thinking? What if we actually took the time to eat away from our desks and while not working? What benefits and results could we enjoy, both personally and professionally?
Proper nourishment is a huge piece in being a productive and valued employee. Scheduling regular mealtimes can help you remain focused and stay calm. When you rush through meals, you’re never truly satisfied because your body doesn’t realize it’s being fed. Slowing down and enjoying a meal helps the body release a hormone that actually communicates to the brain that the belly is full and satisfied so overeating is avoided.
Eating mindfully increases absorption of nutrients, making your mind and body function more efficiently. It can help avoid mood swings and exhaustion brought on by unbalanced blood sugar, thereby helping to create better relationships at work and at home.
So, what can you do to eat mindfully and not mindlessly?
- Declare mealtime as a time to just eat. Avoid multitasking while eating and schedule time for regular meals just as you schedule time for appointments.
- Slow down. When you sit down to your meal, take three deep breaths to help bring you into the moment. Pause to look down at your plate noticing the colors, textures and smells of your food before you dig in.
- Chew each bite of food at least 20-30 times before you swallow. This takes practice and mindfulness. Chewing brings out flavor in your food making it more enjoyable and satisfying. Also, digestion actually begins in the mouth where saliva breaks down food for easier absorption in the intestine, helping to avoid digestive issues.
So the next time you eat on the go, at your desk, or in front of your TV, mindfully ask yourself: Do I deserve to make a change