Hey everyone! I am back again and this week I am talking all things mindfulness and food. Relaxation and food, doesn’t that sound like a dream combination? I thought so too! In 2017, I learnt a lot about myself and the food I eat. I connected with my body internally and externally through various exercises and therapies, I learnt the importance of relaxation and I also made it my top priority for 2018.
After studying full-time for a degree and working, I convinced myself that there was no time for ‘time off’. I had a fast-paced life, I was in a long-term relationship and I was juggling lots of tasks… Career, love life and social life, my blog, my job and much more. Don’t get me wrong, this was exciting and having a busy life is extremely rewarding. However, having balance and being mindful of your life is extremely important to ensure you’re working at your optimal level. Of course, choose the life that works for you.
Last year I had a tough time too, my life turned upside down and I began a whole new journey of discovery, alone. 2017 was a year of intense growth for me and I learnt so much about myself and other people. After experiencing depression and severe anxiety, I knew that I had to incorporate mindfulness and meditation into my daily life. However, my excuse was ‘I don’t have time to sit around and breathe slowly’, ‘this is time-wasting! I have work to get done’ and I would also become frustrated because I found it increasingly difficult to switch-off from my to-do list. I like to be productive and I like to constantly push myself towards my goals. However, switching off for 10-15 minutes helped me a lot.
You may have experienced guided meditation and yoga before… The image of a Zen-like guru in a full lotus position or doing the downward dog, incense burning in the room and everyone bending in ways you’ve never seen before. However, sometimes 60 minutes can be a little too long and it can be difficult for some to incorporate this into their daily schedule. Over the past year, I have fallen in and out of love with meditation because of the time constraints. However, now I have created bitesize sessions!
Our routines have to adapt continually to meet the ever-changing demands of our very real life commitments, and it is natural to not attend the gym one day or let our hour-long meditation slip. Whether you decide to relax for 5 minutes or 30, don’t be governed by what the current trend calls for. Meditation allows you to cultivate a better understanding of who you are in the NOW. You can relax, switch off from your problems and breathe the worries away. Meditation keeps us in the present, the only place we can ever truly be. Meditation, just like many things, is catered to you, do what works for you…
The world is extremely fast-paced and our schedules are often tough, long and draining. It was with this thought in mind that I started to consider relaxing practices I could carry out wherever I was to allow myself to feel connected and relaxed. This is when I discovered mindful eating.
The total awareness of mind and body and observing life and food as it actually happens. Going with the flow, appreciating everything and being ‘in the current moment’. Sounds easy? No, it isn’t that easy. We constantly spend the majority of our time worrying about events that haven’t even happened, or we worry about a past action that can’t be changed. When we become mindful, we begin to notice our lives unfold and we realise how magical the world is.
One enjoyable way of incorporating mindfulness into your daily routine is through food. Eating is something we do on a daily basis and sometimes we don’t always take our time to appreciate the food we are eating. How often do we take the time out to actually think about the food we are eating? We rush through breakfast or skip it, eat lunch at our desk and we rush dinner because we are starving after the long working day. The only time we enjoy food is when we are dining out with friends. Being mindful towards your food will help you appreciate the ingredients and will also make you feel exciting towards cooking! Food brings true pleasure to our lives; I am a true foodie!
When eating mindfully, you will notice more easily when you are full, so you are far less likely to overeat and binge. Being mindful of your food will allow you to take greater control over your eating habits and you may even crave the good stuff too!
I am not a nutritionist or a fitness professional, I am only speaking from experience and sharing my opinions. Before you incorporate any exercise or method into your lifestyle, you should be mindful as to whether it will suit you. Remember, professional advice is always great too!
Mindful Eating – Try It
Take a moment to observe your food – what does it look like? What ingredients are in it? What textures are there? What does it smell like? On a busy day, this never even crosses our mind.
- Chew slowly and appreciate every mouthful. Identify the spices and herbs used, notice the textures you enjoy and be aware of what the food is doing to your body. Do you feel good? Are you still hungry?
- When you have finished, notice how you feel… Are you feeling energised and has your mood improved?
- At the end of your meal, embrace gratitude and be grateful for the food you have just consumed. When you are concentrating on your food, you are less likely to worry about the problems in your life so much, be pre-occupied and embrace eating, relax, enjoy the food and embrace the current moment. This act of mindfulness can be carried out every time you eat! Wherever you are.
Snacking with Intention
My idea for this blog post came from my recent delivery from Mindful Bites. A snack company that focus on snacking with intention, feeding the body and soul and nourishing every aspect of the human body, inside and out.
At Mindful Bites, we don’t just believe snacking is good for you, we believe the right snacks hold the key to improved wellbeing. It’s all down to our eating behaviours. Not only is mindful eating important for wellbeing and to appreciate our food, the food we are eating is increasingly important too. This is reinforced by Mindful Bites, they suggest that snacking mindfully, with an intention on nutritionally rich snacks will ensure that we are feeling energised and ready to tackle our to-do list. After eating well, your concentration will improve alongside your focus and your drive to complete a task. Honestly, give it a go and you’ll be surprised!
That’s where Mindful Bites come in.
Inspired by mindfulness and the powerful effect it has on modifying behaviour, we’ve taken inspiration from the latest behavioural and nutritional scientific research to create an entirely new type of snack. Our snacks deliver the vital nutrients your body needs every day, with a texture that slows down the rate at which you eat, for greater awareness with every bite. In other words, our snacks are optimised for everyday living, engineered for you.
Check out their ‘Mindful Eating’ page for more information on this topic.
As shown above, in the image, they have launched their new diverse range of snacks that are perfect for on-the-go. A nutrient-dense snack with a touch of indulgence! The perfect combination for a burst of energy. Crunchy Bites have a crisp outer shell made from ancient grains, and once you’ve bitten through the outer layer, the inside reveals the most indulgent filling, their very own premium nut butter. Creamy, satisfying and sweet. A powerhouse of health with explosive taste! Dip this into your green tea, it’s awesome. With 4 flavours to choose from, you’re spoilt for choice! Sugar-free gluten & dairy free.
Appreciate the food you eat, have a greater appreciation for the ingredients you use and always embrace the current moment. One small step at a time. You could begin by trying this exercise at the time of the day where you have a little more time, this way you can fully embrace the practice of mindful eating.
I hope you liked this weeks blog post and it wouldn’t be a true PJW post without a little foodie mention! I adore the Mindful Bites snacks and nut butter and I wouldn’t promote them if I didn’t love them. This isn’t a sponsored post, thank you Mindful Bites for the post inspo!