Mindful Eating And It's Affect On Your Health
Mindful eating isn’t just a trend, it’s a way of life that is life altering. Keeping up with a healthy lifestyle, especially in a city like New York, with thousands of food options at our doorstep, can be a challenge. Oftentimes, and particularly during times of high stress, we can push our own health aside. That is where learning how to eat mindfully and regulating your food intake comes into play. At Between The Bread, we try to make that process as easy as possible. We offer only the freshest, highest quality ingredients to our clients, and that’s what sets us apart from your average “fast food” service establishments. We provide you with high quality meals, quickly and efficiently. We choose our food selection with intention and a healthful mindset, with your well being in mind.
What is mindful eating? Mindful eating is eating with intention, ingesting foods that will nourish your body so that is can function at its best. A variety of factors go into mindful eating but the first we will address is how you eat.
If you are finding it difficult to stick to a mindful eating practice, here are some tips from “The Yoga Journal” to keep your eating habits in check.
1. Eat in a settled atmosphere
2. Try not to eat when upset or angry
3. Always sit down to eat
4. Eat only when hungry (oftentimes we confuse thirst for hunger so be sure to stay hydrated)
5. Eat at a moderate pace
6. Chew your food thoroughly
7. Digest one meal before eating the next
8. Leave one-third to one-quarter of your stomach empty
9. Sit quietly for a few minutes after your meal
10. Try not to eat while distracted, i.e consume your food with attention and intention
11. Try to eat in silence if possible
12. As much as possible, eat higher vibrational foods—vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds
We know during a hectic rush hour, it may be hard to follow many of these guidelines, but the first step to eating mindfully is making sure you know what you are eating and your are ingesting the healthiest possible ingredients. It’s all about balance. Protein, fruits, veggies, you know the drill; you’ve heard is a thousand times before. At Between The Bread, we literally offer you the chance to select from all of these food groups by choosing 1 protein and 2 side salads for every lunch.
Good health starts in our gut, as the saying goes, “You are what you eat.” Therefore, paying attention to the foods we consume and how our body is interacting with them is of vital importance. Have you ever taken to time to notice that when you eat certain “low vibrational foods,” i.e overly processed, greasy, junky, foods you will tend to feel more sluggish? Maybe you will get an upset stomach, even anxiety or difficulty sleeping? The same goes for when you choose to eat “high vibrational foods” i.e lighter meals, more vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, lean proteins, etc. You may notice you feel more alert, clear, and energized. This is not a coincidence. Your gut can tell the difference between the foods you put in your body and your body’s response to those foods directly correlates to their health quotient.
Here are some signs, according to Healthline.com, that are indicators of poor gut health.
1. Upset stomach
Stomach disturbances like gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and heartburn can all be signs of an unhealthy gut. A balanced gut will have less difficulty processing food and eliminating waste.
2. A high-sugar diet
A diet high inprocessed foodsand added sugars can decrease the amount of good bacteria in your gut. This imbalance can cause increased sugar cravings, which can damage your gut still further. High amounts of refined sugars, particularly high-fructose corn syrup, have beenlinkedto increased inflammation in the body.Inflammationcan be the precursor to a number of diseases and even cancers.
3. Unintentional weight changes
Gaining or losing weight without making changes to your diet or exercise habits may be a sign of an unhealthy gut. An imbalanced gut can impair your body’s ability to absorb nutrients, regulate blood sugar, and store fat. Weight loss may be caused by small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), while weight gain may be caused byinsulin resistanceor the urge to overeat due to decreased nutrient absorption.
4. Sleep disturbances or constant fatigue
An unhealthy gut may contribute to sleep disturbances such as insomnia or poor sleep, and therefore lead to chronic fatigue. The majority of the body’sserotonin, a hormone that affects mood and sleep, is produced in the gut. So gut damage can impair your ability to sleep well. Some sleep disturbances have also been linked to risk forfibromyalgia.
5. Skin irritation
Skin conditions likeeczemamay be related to a damaged gut. Inflammation in the gut caused by a poor diet or food allergies may cause increased “leaking” of certain proteins out into the body, which can in turn irritate the skin and cause conditions such as eczema.
6. Autoimmune conditions
Medical researchers are continually findingnew evidence of the impact of the gut on the immune systemTrusted Source. It’s thought that an unhealthy gut may increase systemic inflammation and alter the proper functioning of the immune system. This can lead toautoimmune diseases, where the body attacks itself rather than harmful invaders.
7. Food intolerances
Food intolerancesare the result of difficulty digesting certain foods (this is different than afood allergy, which is caused by an immune system reaction to certain foods). It’s thought that food intolerances may be caused by poor quality of bacteria in the gut. This can lead to difficulty digesting the trigger foods and unpleasant symptoms such as bloating, gas, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and nausea. There is some evidence thatfood allergies may also be relatedto gut health.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, where is the first place to look? The foods you are consuming! There is a good chance that your diet is not aligned with the nutrients your body needs. Perhaps you have food sensitivities you are unaware of. If that is the case, the best way to uncover what is causing an imbalance in your gut is to start cutting out the foods that you may consider to be harmful, are sensitive to, or are more difficult for you to digest. This process is often described as “intuitive” and may simply involve carving out the time to pay attention.
Another mindful eating tip is to start writing a Food Journal, where you record which food items you are consuming most frequently and how you feel afterward (be it physically, emotionally, mentally or all of the above). Statistics would suggest these lower vibrational foods tend fall into the categories of; processed sugar, red meats, dairy products, or gluten, but they could extend to oats, nuts, or even fish. The key here is patience, and trust us, once you have incorporated mindful eating into your daily life, your body will thapnk you for looking after it. You will feel the benefits of eating with intention physically, emotionally, and mentally. The more you practice mindful eating, the easier it gets. The more aware you body and attention you pay to how your body reacts to certain foods, the easier it is to feed it the nourishment it craves to function at optimal capacity.