Enjoying Food (Mindful Eating)

If you do not give yourself permission to enjoy the food you are eating, you are going to set yourself up for problems! Enjoying food and eating mindfully includes savoring the tastes, smells textures and even appearance of a variety of foods that nourish your body, while being sure to eat consistently throughout the day to satisfy your body's needs!

Signs of Not Eating Enough Throughout the Day:
• Cold hands/feet and overall body temperature.
• Headaches and migraines.
• Irritable and upset from the smallest of complications, even compliments.
• Lack of purpose, direction and optimism
• Lack of focus
• Unable to sleep or stay asleep (waking up between 1-4 am, sometimes sweaty, heart racing)

Cravings come from not eating the foods that we enjoy and nourishing our body to fuel its basic needs and activities. Those cravings usually come with an over indulgence of quick and convenient foods; prepackaged store bought or fast foods which one might rationalize by saying something like "I haven’t had a tasty treat in over two months and these fries, donuts, chocolates taste amazing, I deserve it" (often binging on large quantities followed by a sense of nausea and guilt.)

When we force ourselves to eat "healthy" foods (whatever that means) from the start of a new health goal, and we do not enjoy the foods we are consuming, this sets us up for failure. We find ourselves unable to stick with this plan long term (ultimately sabotaging our health and fitness goals.) Food should be thoroughly enjoyed and something that we look forward to having!

First and foremost, internalize the idea that food should not be a source of stress! Aim to eat nutrient rich foods that taste great to you. You shouldn’t be judging yourself harshly for your meals – even if it is a nutrient poor, less than optimal meal. You should want to make ideal choices because they make you feel good and help achieve the goals you have set for yourself. You can eat delicious and tasty food and still look and feel good. Do not get caught up in a cycle of stress and guilt! It’s a vicious self perpetuating cycle.

In closing, we need to get back to enjoying our food again! Prioritize making time to sit down and eat, instead of rushing and engulfing your food in five minutes or less because of constantly being on the go. Eat well, take your time, and enjoy your food!

1. Learn more about sugar cravings
2. Low Blood Sugar Basics
3. Raymond Peat, PhD on Low Blood Sugar and Stress Reaction