mindful eating

The Mindful Eating Challenge

Mindfulness… It’s a total buzz word as of late but what does it even mean?

Mindfulness is bringing our awareness to the here and now. It’s about being fully aware of our surroundings in that particular moment in time. Here are some examples of questions you may ask yourself to become present: How deep is my breathing? What are the sounds around me? Can I release any tension I am holding onto in my bodies? 

Mindful Eating

This leads us to the topic of mindful eating. Mindful eating is about using our senses before, while, and after eating our food. For example, we can ask questions like what does the food smell like, what does it look like, what is the taste and finally what is the texture in our mouth? It’s about being aware of our hunger cues, doesn’t mean that just because its 12 noon, and we usually eat every day at 12 noon, we have to eat then. Or just because I usually practice intermittent fasting and don’t begin eating my first meal until 10 am, that I need to wait until 10 am to eat. What if our body is telling us we are hungry earlier, or later than 10 am? It’s about tuning into our body to figure what what it’s telling us, what it needs and in turn, what type of fuel we should feed it.

In the culture we currently live in, it’s totally normal to eat almost unconsciously. Most people eat at their desk while working, or eat while watching TV at home. I myself have a bad habit of eating while responding to emails. But the issue with that is we don’t get to actually enjoy the beautiful food in front of us. We don’t get to appreciate that it’s nourishing our bodies and giving us brain fuel to make it through the day. We just chew & swallow to finish the task and be able to move on to the next item on our to-do list. I mean, let’s face it, who else has finished a whole bag of popcorn or chips and thought, “oops, I wasn’t even hungry..” I know I have!

Breaking these mindless eating habits actually requires some motivation, self-compassion and practice. That’s why I have set up a quick 6-step plan on how we can steer away from these mindless eating habits and begin adopting some mindful eating habits! For the next 2 weeks, we are going to try to enjoy each meal mindfully. Here’s how:

  • Step 1: Decide if you’re actually hungry. Take a moment to figure out if emotions have triggered you to begin eating (such as feeling sad, bored or lonely). 

  • Step 2: Serve your food.

  • Step 3: Smell - Take a few deep breaths in and out before you begin eating. Smell the food and get excited about the flavors about to happen!

  • Step 4: Sight - What does the food look like? What is the most gorgeous part of the presentation? Anything in particular you’re excited to taste?

  • Step 5: Taste - Take your first bite of food, chew it for quite some time. Set your fork down. Now try to extract all of the flavors and textures. What does it actually taste like?

  • Step 6: While you enjoy the rest of your meal, think about where your food is coming from, and who may have grown your food. Think about what it’s doing for your body. For example, certain fresh organic vegetables can provide our bodies with vitamins and minerals to keep our skin glowing and our digestive system working properly.

I have created a kale and pink grapefruit salad recipe for you below. It is actually a great recipe to start with because you’ll have so many different flavors and textures to examine. I love using Natures Greens because they are pre-washed and ready to consume, making it easier for me to have some more time to practice mindful eating!

Challenge

Let’s start by applying this 6-step process of mindful eating to one meal a day, yup, just one meal (I totally get it can be overwhelming to change our habits overnight). Pick whichever meal you feel it can be the most practical to start with, and give yourself a challenge of doing it every day for 14 days. Whenever you are mindfully eating, tag me your social media posts @recipes4health & I will re-share! So who’s in?

Kale & Pink Grapefruit Salad

Serves: 2

Prep Time: 10 minutes

DIRECTIONS

Salad:

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  • 6-8 cups of Natures Green Organic Kale Greens (pre-chopped & pre washed)

  • 1 large grapefruit

  • 1 ripe avocado

  • 1/4 cup roasted pecans

  • 1/4 cup feta cheese crumbles

  • 2 tbsp dried cranberries

Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil + 1 tbsp 

  • 1-2 tbsp grapefruit juice

  • 1 tbsp ACV

  • 1 tsp dijon mustard

  • 1/2 tsp maple syrup 

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Using a sharp knife, chop the kale into fine pieces and add them into a large bowl.

  2. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil to the kale and use your hands to massage all throughout the leaves. Doing this will help break down the coarseness of the kale and help it be easier to digest.

  3. Next use a sharp knife to cut and peel the grapefruit, then discard. Working over a small bowl, cut between the membranes to release the segments into a bowl. Leave the juice aside to use for the dressing. Add the grapefruit segments into the bowl of kale.

  4. Slice an avocado in half, remove the seed carefully with a knife. Slice the inside of the avocado with a knife, then scoop out the insides with a spoon. Add it to the bowl of kale.

  5. Add the pecans, feta cheese and cranberries into the bowl too. 

  6. For the dressing, add all of the ingredients into a mason jar and shake well. 

  7. Add the dressing to the bowl and toss well.