How To Eat Mindfully Over The Festive Season

Did you come across this hot topic in the past year: ‘being in the present moment’, or ‘mindfulness’?festive occasion There are many tasks, processes and actions which you perform without being mindful. Generally these are hardwired actions, for example driving a car. Think about this: When you first learned how to drive a car you focused your thoughts, actions and feelings until you became skilled at the entire process. Now you find that you drive to or from work and don’t even remember the journey. You don’t remember using your brakes or indicator lights, you don’t remember stopping at traffic lights but you get home safely! Through repetition your skill has become second nature, or hardwired, and you have been able to gradually reduce that focused and intense level of concentration that you needed during your driving lessons and first few years of driving. Now, when in your car, you know you are driving, but there’s space in your mind for hundreds of thoughts to come and go. You might even be making a phone call (hands free of course), or reading your GPS! If you’re like many others, your actions and thoughts around food and eating have become second nature, or hardwired:

  • reaching for food, simply because it is offered to you,
  • eating everything on your plate, even if you’re not hungry,
  • eating when stressed, particularly chocolate and other sweet foods, and
  • eating when bored, eating when faced with a problem, going through some other emotion.

And there’s no greater test for this than when festivities are in full swing and you’re eating Paleo. Here you are, in the middle of Christmas and New Year partying and you’re under pressure to attend every family and other social function, eat and drink until you’re ‘in a food coma’ (my nephew’s phrase), and look like you are enjoying yourself! From the website ‘What is Mindfulness': “Mindfulness is about training yourself to pay attention in a specific way. When a person is mindful, they:

  • focus on the present moment
  • try not to think about anything that went on in the past or that might be coming up in future
  • purposefully concentrate on what’s happening around them
  • try not to be judgemental about anything they notice, or label things as ‘good’ or ‘bad.’

When it comes to celebrating your festive occasions this season and food is at hand, ask yourself: ‘Am I hungry?’ If yes, and depending on your circumstances, choose the best of offerings which meet your Paleo desires. Appreciate the range of colours and shapes of the food on your plate.
Breathe in the tantalising aromas.
Eat slowly, tasting each flavour as your taste buds light up.
Feel the different textures as food passes between your tongue and teeth.
In this mindful state, you will find your food tasty and satisfying.
When you notice your mind drift off, bring your thoughts back to the delicious food in front of you.

Be thankful for family and friends, the festivities and the food! Wishing you a happy and relaxing time for Christmas and for your New Year celebrations.

Simply enjoy!

Simply Paleo Rescue

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