Written by Jessica Bennett
MS, RD, CDN is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
Jessica Bennett, MS, RD, CDN is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who helps individuals and groups manage weight, health, food sensitivities, and other nutrition concerns. She believes that food is our first medicine and our health and sleep can be drastically affected by what we eat. Learn more about Jessica here!
Happy 2020! Wait, is that right? Why does every year sound so futuristic and every January I find myself saying “I can’t believe it’s [insert current year here] already and where has all that time gone?” I still remember worrying about Y2K and memorizing all of the lyrics to R.E.M.’s “It’s the End of the World” so I could sing it if the world really ended. It doesn’t seem possible that I’ve known those lyrics for 20 years now (and luckily still haven’t had occasion to bust them out amongst the flames of an apocalypse, but they HAVE come in handy singing with my band). With time flying by so fast, it’s even more important to be mindful and appreciate the moment.
Mindfulness is HUGE when it comes to nutrition. How many times have we sat down with a meal in front of us and before we knew it, the plate was empty and we didn’t even remember eating? Every patient to whom I’ve described this scenario can relate – heck, I’M guilty of it myself! We live in a world so full of distractions. During that meal I just mentioned, we were probably eating on auto-pilot while we browsed our smartphone, were engrossed in a TV show, or thought about our to-do list.Picture you’re paying $2000 for the most wonderful, elaborate spa day you could imagine. A massage, facial, sauna, mani/pedi – the works. You knew it was crazy expensive, but it would be worth it to spend a day doing something you really enjoyed. You would make sure you soaked in and fully experienced every. last. second. of that day. After all, you’re paying for it.
Now pretend calories are dollars. You’re probably spending anywhere between 1500-3000 or more calories a day – don’t you want to get everything you can out of them? You wouldn’t be texting from the massage table you’re spending $100+ dollars to relax on for an hour, would you? So whether you’re sitting down to a meal or especially if you’re having a treat (which tend to cost more in calories!) make sure you’re really present!
Mindful eating allows us to tune into our bodies, recognize when we’re hungry, what we’re hungry for, when we’re full, and most importantly, ENJOY our food. When we truly experience eating, notice all the scents, textures, and flavors, we take more joy in eating, and ultimately, find less quantity of better quality food more satisfying. Give it a whirl. Start with a great meal, quiet your mind and electronics, and focus on the moment. I can’t guarantee it’ll slow time, but maybe after a year of mindfulness, you’ll be ringing in 2021 reflecting on all the fantastic things you enjoyed eating in 2020 and possibly even the few pounds that got left behind in the process.
Need more help with mindful eating or just want more personal nutrition counseling? Check out www.wellRD.com to make an appointment. I’d love to see you!
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