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My Blog

Mindful Eating

A Piece of Toast Is a Piece of Toast- or is it?


Do you tend to think of something as “good” or “bad” when
you are eating it?   Who assigns these labels?  You!
Think of where you may have learned these labels and why they have stuck with you.  Remember, a piece of toast is only a piece of toast until you label it as something else.
Try this for today:  notice how often one of these labels comes up when you are eating.   Try and remind yourself that the food item is just the food item, nothing else.   It is when we use these labels that guilt and shame may enter the equation.  
So try and ditch the labels, see what happens.



Evening snacker?

Are you prone to snacking shortly after dinner when you are not even that hungry but you don't know why?  

Here's a tip:

STOP for a moment when you go to that pantry or kitchen shelve to grab the item.

THINK and CHECK IN:  "Am I really hungry?"  "Am I bored?"  "Am I eating because something stressful that happened today at home or at work?"

If it has been a couple hours since dinner, then you might really be hungry.  Notice how your stomach feels.  Is it empty and in need of food or are you just feeding a feeling you have?

It can be helpful to have a notebook nearby to track some of these thoughts.  

Try going into another room, away from the kitchen.  Start getting ready for bed, practice an instrument, listen to music, read, brush your teeth, etc.  If you are still thinking about hunger in about 20 minutes, you are probably hungry.  If you are so engaged in what you are doing that you forgot, you probably didn't need it anyway!

If you are truly hungry and decide to have a snack, portion it out into a small bowl.  Then sit down, eat slow, and really taste it.  Usually with mindless eating we are barely even aware that we have just eaten something, it can happen so fast.  Sitting down and being mindful can help you to taste the food, and send messages to your brain that you are eating and you are enjoying it, and to stop when nearly full. 


Week 8 of 12 Steps to a Healthier Lifestyle

Hi everyone!  Thanks for reading!  This is week 8 of 12 steps to a healthier lifestyle!

I still want to continue with the subject of  emotional eating.  For this week, try and work on not making food comments to anyone – including your family and friends.    What do I mean? How?

 Let’s start with the Division of Responsibility, created by dietitian, social worker, and author, Ellyn Satter.  You are responsible for what you put on the table,  a meal for your family.  All family members are responsible for WHAT  they eat and HOW MUCH.    Please remember this :  children are still learning to get in touch with their hunger and fullness signals.  This starts as soon as they are a baby.  

The more you try and intervene (and I know, best intentions) the less the children will learn to trust themselves and their body.    For instance, if your child takes too much food and cannot finish it, you will need to accept the losses (wrap it and save it) and know that when they say they are done, their body is telling them they are done.  If a parent intervenes and states, “Can’t you eat a little more” or “you took all that food, now finish it”  fullness signals get ignored.   

Ways to resolve this? (I know, not easy to not make these comments- but it is all a work in progress- do your best!).  Serve everyone family-style.  Let children learn to trust how much they may eat (gentle reminders are ok- “don’t take more than you think you can eat”…etc. )   That way they can get used to how much they will eat.  It won’t be perfect every time.  From time to time, everyone takes too much!  At least there is such thing as leftovers! 

Remember no one is perfect.  As a parent, we are all tired after a busy day and can say things about eating that we may regret.  The important thing is that you develop an awareness to these comments.  You can work to improve.  Not every meal will go smoothy but some of my tips should certainly help!

 On the same note, try and not make food comments to other family members and friends.  It is not your job or responsibility to monitor what they put in their bodies (i.e., “You’re really going to eat all that?”  Or “why don’t you eat more food- you are so tiny! “ “I can’t believe how much you can eat”.  All these comments do is upset the other person so please try your best to refrain from making inappropriate food comments .  This can give you an opportunity to be mindful with your own eating and trust your own hunger/fullness signals.  

The takeaway for today?   Remember food is meant to be enjoyed by everyone!  The best conversation you can have is about everyone’s day at school, at work, at home, etc.        


Week 7 of 12 Steps to Healthier Lifestyle! Mindful Eating!


Hi everyone!  Week  7 here!  If you have been following this program every week, great!  If not, you can start now!  

 This week I am going to talk about something called Mindfulness and Mindful Eating.    What does this mean?  It means being present in what you are doing.  If you are eating and watching tv or doing work and eating you are not practicing mindfulness.  In fact, you might even eat more because you are not paying attention to the fact that you are eating!  

 “How do I eat mindfully”, you ask?  Here is my advice.  In order to eat mindfully,  you must first always ask yourself before eating, “Am I hungry right now?”  Pay attention to how  your body feels.  Are you emotionally hungry, or hungry for a meal?    If you are truly hungry, sit down and eat your meal.  Portion your meal out on a plate.  Enjoy every bite of what you are eating.  Try and eat slowly.   Stop halfway through your meal and check in with yourself, "do I feel satisfied now"?  Stop eating before you are stuffed.  It will still take your stomach about 20 minutes to feel full.    Notice how you feel after your meal. 

I advise you to check in with yourself every time before you eat.  Ask yourself if you are truly experiencing regular hunger or emotional hunger.  If you just ate a big meal and go into the pantry to snack shortly after the meal you are probably emotionally hungry. 

Tip:   Start journaling and recording your feelings.  Remember to eat slow, portion out your foods, notice what you are eating, and stop before you are stuffed. You can use the hunger scale to determine your level of fullness.  1 is extreme hunger, 7 is eating to satisfaction, 10 is overstuffed (can’t keep pants buttoned- you don’t want to go there!)  Try and stop at a 7. Journal any thoughts and feelings that come up related to food.   

And most importantly, ENJOY your food!

What About Food Enjoyment?


Just a little 2 cents here.  I would sometimes like to hear more about the enjoyment of food and less about obesity and avoiding this food and that food.  Food is meant to be eaten slow and ENJOYED.  Once we can learn to master that hopefully food won't be used to feed other emotions.  I am not saying this is easy at all.  It takes work.  But it can be done.  

Try and put different food groups on your plate.  Try and make it colorful, and look appealing.  Try and eat at the table, not anywhere else when possible.  If you are eating with others, listen and enjoy the conversation also.  

My thought for today is think about what you are eating, where you are eating, why you are eating.  Are you fully enjoying what is being eaten?  

Tip of The Day

Hi Everyone!  My quick tip for the day is to try and practice Mindful Eating today.  What is this, you ask?  Pay attention to everything you eat.  Focus on what you are eating.   This means not reading while eating, not walking around, no multitasking.  Just notice what you are eating, and enjoy what you are eating.  

Ever notice how you sometimes think, wow, how did I just eat that whole bag?  With mindful eating, you sit down, eat slow and notice every bite.  Then you won't have those questions!


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