Mindful

Many people think that mindful eating is about eating slowly or about chewing your food for a long time because they don’t really know what mindful eating is.

I would like to share with you one of the principles of mindful eating, guidelines that help individuals and professional become clear on what mindful eating really is. The Principles of Mindful Eating were created by The Center for Mindful Eating and are available free on our website. Reading the principles of mindful eating can deepen your understanding of this concept. I suggest that people print them out and circle the words that seem to resonate within them. I have done this activity at least 20 times and each time, something new seems to touch my heart.

Mindful Eating is:

  • Allowing yourself to become aware of the positive and nurturing opportunities that are available through food selection and preparation by respecting your own inner wisdom.
  • Using all your senses in choosing to eat food that is both satisfying to you and nourishing to your body.
  • Acknowledging responses to food (likes, dislikes, or neutral) without judgment.
  • Becoming aware of physical hunger and satiety cues to guide your decisions to begin and end eating.

Someone Who Eats Mindfully:

  • Acknowledges that there is no right or wrong way to eat but varying degrees of awareness surrounding the experience of food.
  • Accepts that their eating experiences are unique.
  • Is an individual who by choice, directs their attention to eating on a moment-by-moment basis.
  • Gains awareness of how they can make choices that support health and well-being.
  • Becomes aware of the interconnection of earth, living beings, and cultural practices, and the impact of their food choices on those systems.

You can experiment with mindful eating by practicing with “MEME” (Mindful Eating, Mindfulness Exercise). Before you eat anything, think of how this food or choice will help you, allowing yourself to become aware of the positive and nurturing opportunities that are available through food selection and preparation by respecting your own inner wisdom.

To make this more formal, consider before a meal, writing down two or three of these positive aspects of a meal or food choice.

If you would like to make this into a practice, consider saving your writings for a week, to see the many ways you are nurturing your body

Megrette Fletcher

Megrette Fletcher, cofounder of The Center for Mindful Eating and past president, is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator. She is a public speaker and author of many books including her most recent publication, The Core Concepts of Mindful Eating: Professional Edition. To learn more about Megrette, visit www.megrette.com.

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