Have you ever wondered what all the fuss is about lately? Mindfulness, you hear about it everywhere. It seems to be the new buzz word. Yet how many of us can claim to be “mindful” of anything? We rush around, getting through our daily routines, hurrying through our workdays so we can come home and hurry through supper, to hurry to some activity, to hurry to get to bed, so we can wake up and do it all over again. In this lifestyle, one of the first things that we lose is mindfulness. I mean, do we really know what being mindful is?
The dictionary defines Mindful as:
When we are being mindful in all aspects of our lives, things stop being so stressful. We start to gain focus on the important things and slow down a little bit.
One of the first places we lose mindfulness is in our eating habits. How many of you have grabbed a couple of cookies, a handful of cheesies, or driven through the fast food drive thru just to grab food, not being mindful of what it is or what it is doing for our bodies. All we are trying to do is make the hunger pang disappear so we can continue our busy day with a minimum of interruption. Well I am going to focus on Mindful eating for this blog.
Using the BASICS of Mindfulness is helpful for both shedding unwanted pounds and keeping them off in the future. Lynn Rossy, a health Psychologist at the University of Missouri, has come up with these six basics for mindful eating (that form the acronym BASICS)
Breathe (or Belly):
Check for hunger and satiety before you eat. Check to make sure you aren’t hungry for something else, like non-food stimulation. Guiding rule: Eat when you’re hungry; don’t eat when you’re not hungry.
Assess your food:
Notice your food, what it smells and looks like, to be sure it’s what you really need.
This can help you enjoy your food more and notice when you’re full.
Investigate your hunger and satiety throughout the meal:
Since you’ll be distracted during meals, bring your attention back to eating and tasting, being alert to your hunger or satiety throughout the meal.
Chew your food thoroughly:
This helps you slow down and allows better digestion of the food’s nutrients. Chewing thoroughly also helps you to realize when you have eaten enough.
Savour your food:
Honour your taste buds and body. Don’t grab the nearest food at hand. “If you can’t savour it, why eat it?” she writes on her blog. She is also quoted in the following Globe and Mail report on Eating to combat stress.
It takes time to develop mindfulness. I would encourage everyone to start with one small thing and keep going. Start with the BASICS and then see where it takes you.