I’m in training, not for a marathon or anything spectacular. I’m in training to eat mindfully. Ever since I was a child, I have inhaled my food (except when it was liver and smash at school – bleugh). My older brother used to nab my roast potatoes and chips, so I had to clear my plate quick sharp. This habit has stuck with me, and I have a ferocious appetite so by the time I eat I’m always starving. I’ve also developed some naughty lunchtime habits, such as eating while scrolling through Twitter or replying to emails.
I had lunch recently with Mary Van Der Westhuizen, Nutritional Therapist and super mum of four, and I asked her how I can learn to eat mindfully. She gave me some good advice:
Put your knife and fork down between mouthfuls (instead of spearing the next lot of food ready to shovel in, which is what I do).
Aim to chew ten times (which is nine times more than I chew) and then gradually build up to thirty times. Matt Damon chews his food thirty times, probably why he has such a strong jawline!
Mary explained the benefits of eating mindfully. They include better digestion because from the outset there is more time for digestive enzymes in saliva to start work. There is also increased surface area of food (because food has been broken down properly by lots of chewing) for stomach acid to act. This means enhanced absorption of nutrients (so you get more out of the food you’re eating) and better portion control. You eat slowly, so you notice what you eat and feel more satisfied. Your brain also has time to get the message you’ve eaten.
Other experts say you should look at your plate of food before you start. Think about where each ingredient has come from. Imagine the farmer that raised the chicken, imagine he was called Bert (the farmer, not the chicken), think about the journey from live chicken to your plate and so on.
I’m trying out the Max Lowery 2-meal-a-day plan, which mainly involved skipping breakfast and eating in an 8-hour window. Eating healthy, nutritious food obviously. I’m a big breakfast person, I always wake up starving. I get up at 5:45, so by 1 o clock I could eat a horse. Being that hungry and trying to eat mindfully really is a challenge, but boy do you enjoy your food!
Another lovely friend and collaborator of Bare Biology, Palma Michel, has done a brilliant mindful eating podcast for Scentered. All you need is to find a relaxed seated posture and a raisin, then click the link below. Eating mindfully could be the one simple change to your lifestyle that reaps the most rewards, and it doesn’t involve going to the gym.
We are also giving Scentered readers a wonderful 20% off on full-size products (it won’t work on the bundle packs or the week travel pots). Simply enter the code Scentered20 at the checkout at www.barebiology.com