Seven Habits of Mindful Eating

January 6, 2014

Which of these two scenarios would you like to experience?

You are on your way to a meeting, which starts in fifteen minutes. You're hungry and the McDonalds Golden Arches appears in the distance. The drive-thru beckons and three minutes later you are devouring a burger and fries.

“He sees a bottle of red wine and two glasses, a plate of cheese, a basket of bread, a saucer of olives and cornichons, a bowl of sliced apples and pears. Every item of food looks perfect—or perhaps Jeremy is seeing the food as it should be seen, presented almost as a celebration of itself.”  French Lessons by Ellen Sussman

Which scenario comes closest to your reality? For most of us, we are probably hovering somewhere between these two extremes but the fact is that as a society, we are moving faster, talking faster, eating faster and enjoying life less. Harvard nutritionist Dr. Lillian Cheung has been studying how we eat and has developed a list of seven things we should do to foster habits for mindful eating.

  • Honour your food; take time to engage all your senses (touch, texture, sound, color, etc.)
  • Be mindful of your portion; start with a modest amount on a 9 inch plate.
  • Chew your food well; the enzymes and saliva aid in digestion.
  • Eat slowly; it will taste better and you will eat less (even if it is a  lowly McDonalds hamburger)
  • Don’t skip meals; people who skip meals tend to eat more at one sitting than people who eat smaller amounts more often that are spread throughout the day.
  • Eat a plant based diet; there is less likelihood of getting colon cancer.


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