My wife made some of the best cookies last week. Chocolate mint truffle mmmmm! She made them by crumbling oreos, mixing them with cream cheese, mint extract, and drizzled with melted chocolate. I’m pretty certain there are little pieces of rainbow mixed in too, I mean they are that delicious.
Seriously, I had 5 of them and now my mouth is watering. You see, sweets are a bit of a hang up for me. I’ve had a hard time finding anything loaded with sugar that I don’t like. Admittedly I probably eat a few more sweets than I should (especially this time of year), but I do it fully knowing that it may not support my goals. As a result I carry a bit more body fat than I want, but that comes with the territory.
The moral of that little story is that I was mindful about the number of cookies I ate. I knowingly overate, and I fully accept the consequences of such actions.
A lot of people though are under the misguided assumption that this little cheat here and that little cheat there doesn’t matter. Worse yet, they may not realize how much they are actually eating during those times, yet continue to be disappointed when they aren’t achieving the goals they want for themselves.
Being mindful is slowing down, being conscious about the food decisions we make, and being present when we are eating. If we are constantly in a rush getting little Johnny to Boy Scouts, then we may think it’s normal to rush through a drive thru to grab something while en route.
When in fact it only serves to promote distracted eating, the opposite of mindful eating. While it may not kill you immediately, the culmination of years of distracted eating can have a pretty detrimental effect on your health and longevity.
It is only natural that we are short on time occasionally and make less than desirable food decisions. However, if we can limit that to about 20% or less of the time you should still be able to reach your goals.
We are all busy and have a lot going on, I get it, but that doesn’t mean we should give up on reaching the goals we’ve set for ourselves. Evenings are often times overloaded so much so that we leave ourselves little time to make a good healthy meal. Hopefully these tips can help you be more mindful.
- Scheduled Meal Time With Family/Friends- If you have a family, on the nights you don’t have activities, be sure and have a dedicated meal together. Not only can you make more mindful selections, but you get the benefit of talking about and modeling healthy behaviors for your kids or others at the dinner table. If you don’t have an open night or two each week then you may have some other issues of balance that need to be addressed.
- Don’t Eat in the Car– I mean this is pretty self explanatory, but eating while driving is not only dangerous, but about the worst form of distracted eating I can think of. I’ve done it, you’ve done it, we’ve all done it, but it should be something that is a rarity, if ever.
- Write a Menu/Grocery List– Having a plan each week is invaluable, as is the grocery list. You may change the menu, but having that preset meal and the ingredients in your fridge is great on busy nights. Double score if it’s already prepared, which leads me to my next point.
- Prepared Meals- Not like the ones you buy in the grocery, but ones you have actually prepared ahead of time. When nights are jammed, if you have a quick option that you can microwave that supports your goals that’s a big win. It does take a bit of prior planning and blocking the time to prepare these though.
- Be Intentional- Take a minute or two to pray or meditate before you eat. During that time you can look at your meal think about ways to improve it or add healthier options for the next time. Just taking that quick second to relax before we chow can be helpful.
Add one or a few of these to your week and your awesomeness quotient will go up 76%, or you’ll at least feel a little less rushed and a little more mindful.