January is often a time of year when we take a second look at what we're eating. We may have weight loss goals, we may try a cleanse, we might be trying to include healthy new foods into our diet. Whatever your goals are, remember that how we eat is just as important as what we eat.
5 Tips for Eating Well
- Before eating, stop to take a few deep breaths. Leave your pile of work behind and turn off any screens. Begin to relax and slow your breath down. When we're stressed, our body isn't focused on digesting, it's sending blood to our feet in case we need to run away! By lowering our stress before we begin eating, we help to ensure that our body is ready to take in food.
- Smell, touch, see! Take the time to notice food, to smell it and savour the tastes and textures. By thinking about and noticing food before we dive in, we give the body time to prepare for digestion.
- Chew, chew, chew! Chew your food until it's a paste. Most of us don't chew our food enough. The more we chew, the less work our digestive system needs to do to break food down. When we chew well, we help ensure that we will assimilate the nutrients from our food and prevent indigestion.
- Eat until you feel satiated. Overeating can lead to indigestion and weakens our digestive system over time. We've all had the post-huge meal slump, instead eat until you feel just-right.
- Stay with the experience of your meal. Notice how the foods you've eaten make you feel in the hours after eating them. We often finish our meals and don't give digestion another thought until our next meal. By staying with the experience we might begin to notice which foods give us more energy, better moods, headaches or bloating. This can help us make better choices the next time we fill our plate.
By changing how we eat, we can improve our digestion, foster a deeper connection to our body and learn how to choose the foods that work best for us. Bon appetite!