Mindfulness and Your Gut—There’s a Connection
Mindfulness. What is it? Most of the time it refers to meditation or simply being ‘mindful’ of your world, emotions, and surroundings. And, it happens to be a beneficial practice for the health-conscious individual as it applies to all aspects of life!
Our days are centered around several major bodily functions: sleep, hydration, cleanliness, waste elimination, and of course, fuel. Food is a necessity, and in many cases can be a luxury. We’ve taken our basic needs and turned them into “food luxuries” like fresh arugula drizzled with truffle oil and goat cheese with two lovely soft poached eggs on the top or back strap venison steak covered in fresh morel mushrooms with a side of mashed potatoes. Just the thought of meals like these can make your mouth water.
But these aren’t the only definitions of luxurious. Luxurious and delicious can be both simple and healthy as well! It’s all about perception and mindfulness. As a matter of fact, being mindful of the food you put in your body and the attention you give it can make almost any meal luxurious.
So, what exactly is mindful eating and why is it important?
Simply put, it’s being mindful of our meals and what we are putting in our bodies. It’s paying attention to what we eat, when we eat, and mostly how we eat. Everything we put in and on our bodies has an effect on our overall health. It can either contribute to a healthy body or do just the opposite.
Food is meant to be enjoyed and savored. It’s meant to nourish our bodies and contribute to a healthy life. Eating mindfully allows us to experience food as we should. So, how do we do it? What are the requirements for eating mindfully so we can nourish both the body and mind? Glad you asked. Here are six tips to get started with mindful eating.
- Listen to your body. Your body is smart and is constantly communicating with you. When it comes time to eat, listen to your body’s cues. Eat when your body tells you to and stop before you are full.
- Be present. As hard as it may be, take time to just eat. Let go of distractions like technology, work, and your to-do list when eating. Allow yourself to just be present with your food.
- Savor the taste. Food is meant to be both delicious and nutritious. Enjoy all that your food brings including aromas, textures, and taste.
- Cook and eat while in a good mood. Many of us are prone to “stress eating” or “emotional eating”. When your emotions or stress send you to the pantry or vending machine, pause and ask yourself what you can do to help ease these feelings because chances are food is not the answer. If you are truly hungry, enjoy your meal without judging your emotions.
- Don’t hurry. Yes, there are a million things to do but fueling your body and mind is just as important as everything else on your to-do list. Carve out time to enjoy your meal. Take your time and eat slowly.
- Respect your body and your health. Remember, everything we put in or on our bodies impacts our wellness and overall health. Respect your body by feeding it the nutrients it craves and deserves. When you do, it will thrive for you.
When incorporated daily, these small practices can make a huge difference in the way you view your food and yourself. Paired with healthy recipes and dishes, mindful eating is the bridge from your body to your mind.
As you know, creating and sticking with new wellness habits can be difficult. For this reason, and many more, we created the 30 Day Gut Reboot, a family of techniques designed to support a healthy gut and a healthy mind. Surrounded by a community of like-minded people who are on their own health journey, paired with a clear roadmap and expert interviews, the 30 Day Gut Reboot can help support you on your wellness journey.