Focusing on mindfulness is an important component of any yoga practice and it can also be helpful when it comes to fueling our bodies with nutritious foods. This practice is often called "mindful eating" and is defined as a way to learn to hear what our bodies are telling us about hunger and satiety. Throughout a busy work week, it is easy to forget that we as humans should eat when we are hungry and stop when we are full or satiated. The clock strikes noon and it's lunch time! Are we hungry at this time? Does our body need more energy right now? The answer can very well be "yes" but if it's not, let's begin to consider some of the principles of mindful eating. The Center for Mindful Eating describes the principles of mindful eating as follows:
- "Allowing yourself to become aware of the positive and nurturing opportunities that are available through food selection and preparation by respecting your own inner wisdom.
- Using all your senses in choosing to eat food that is both satisfying to you and nourishing to your body.
- Acknowledging responses to food (likes, dislikes or neutral) without judgment.
- Becoming aware of physical hunger and satiety cues to guide your decisions to begin and end eating."
Begin following these principles and we can start to understand our bodies better and foster a healthy relationship with food. A great first step is by eating diet majorly focused on whole, nutritious foods like lean proteins, whole grains and fruits and vegetables; it's easier for our body to recognize hunger and satiety when our bodies and being nourished with foods that have not been ultra processed.
Keeping a food log or journal is a great way to start becoming more aware and mindful of your daily food choices. Try it out and see what you learn about your own eating habits!