As I’ve been working my way through Proverbs, there have been many recurring themes, each one orbiting around the idea of wisdom versus foolishness. For example, working hard is wise while laziness is foolish, listening to instruction is wise while ignoring it is foolish, etc.
One theme that I found especially convicting was that of MINDFUL EATING. This verse from Proverbs 27 really stood out to me:
When we OVER eat, we don’t appreciate the good & delicious foods that we have. We may eat to fill our boredom or to thoughtlessly satisfy a craving. When we eat MINDFULLY, we savor each bite, appreciate good ingredients, & use our food to fuel our bodies.
This is not to say that you need to feel guilt when you stop for a DQ Blizzard. Making a MINDFUL CHOICE is important, regardless of what it is you’re choosing. After a softball game in the summer, there isn’t much I enjoy more than making the conscience choice to enjoy some ice cream!
Also, please show yourself grace because BAD DAYS HAPPEN. That means emotional eating or mindless snacking might happen sometimes… but tomorrow is a new day & a fresh start. Each day you can CHOOSE to be aware of what you put into your body, what portions you choose, & what treats you savor!
If you find that food is losing its flavor, you aren’t tasting/enjoying what you eat, or your stomach hurts after eating, it might be time to reassess your eating habits.
Here are a few practical actions you can try to help you eat MINDFULLY:
- Don’t eat while you watch TV (I don’t personally follow this, but some people swear by always sitting at the dinner table)
- Chew a certain number of times (It can be anything from 2-20 chews, a number that helps you focus on your food, even if only for 1 meal!)
- Talk about your food (This might sound silly, but talking about what you enjoy or what you would improve can help you be more aware of the experience)
- Start with small portions (Intentionally starting with less than you usually would is a great way to be mindful about your portions, plus you can always go back for seconds!)
- Be confident in your decisions (Do you want dessert & feel it is a positive choice? Do you feel vegetarianism, eating only organic, or even vegan is the best choice for you? Then stand by that decision & don’t let anyone make you feel guilty, it’s really none of their business)
- Be aware of your struggles & come up with an action plan (Do you struggle with mindlessly eating chips? Then throw them out! Don’t buy them! Do you struggle with portion sizes? Try using smaller plates. Do you have a “need” to snack when you watch TV? Then set a rule, no eating on the couch! ASSESS yourself & be PROACTIVE)
- Bring your awareness to taste & texture (when you get distracted, gently move your awareness back to your experience. Take time to enjoy the work you put in to prepare your meal)
- Prepare meals or snacks ahead of time (Check out Prepear as a great resource for finding, saving, & planning your recipes. Try to set aside time in your week to plan & prep)
- Pray about it! (Your daily diet may not seem like a big deal… But it’s in Scripture which shows that God cares! He’ll listen & give wisdom if you bring it to Him)
Happy (MINDFUL) eating!