As a Culinary Nutritionist, I am often asked about various health related things in a day, whether it be my opinion on foods to eat, beauty products to buy, or even supplements to take. In my experience, it all comes down to one thing. We intuitively know what we need in each waking moment of the day. We just have to tune into this intuition and listen to it!
I generally start with the idea that you know, deep down inside what works with your body and what does not work. Over the years some of us have silenced this voice. We have pushed it deep down inside of us (intentionally) and given it a new home. I believe that now is the time to stop, take a breath and really, really listen to see what our body asks of us. This does require you to put down your phone, turn off your TV (and cell phone notifications!), close your fridge and your eyes and just be in YOUR body. Take 5 deeps breaths and ask yourself the following:
- Am I really hungry? Or am I just thirsty? If I am hungry can I eat an apple? If not, you simply are not hungry according to Michael Pollan’s Food Rules – Eat when you are hungry, not when you are bored. If you’re not hungry enough to eat an apple, then you’re not hungry.
- Am I looking for a change in state by eating this ______? Maybe fresh air or a short walk could do the same?
- Am I thankful and grateful for the meal that I am about to eat?
- Does this meal agree with my body? How does it make me feel after I eat it?
- Am I eating with distractions? How can I fully focus on my food?
I find by asking myself AT LEAST 3 of 5 of these items gets me really present with my food.
Some Nutritionist’s even recommend setting the table and lighting candles (even if you are eating alone) to set the mood. Meghan and Josh Telpner say three things that they are grateful for before each meal, as well as taking multiple deep grounding breaths to change the state of their parasympathetic nervous system – to rest and digest. This way the body is ready to accept and digest the food that you are about to nourish it with.
Check out Meghan’s piece on 14 Tips and Recipes To Keep You Healthy During the Holidays here. And especially focus on number 8 which is super fitting for Christmas that is coming up!
Please, try these tips at home and let me know how it goes in the comments below! Thanks for listening, always!