The Need For Mindful Eating

I am on the last day of my juice cleanse.  It hasn’t been easy, I won’t lie.  But it has reminded me that I need to be more thoughtful about what I eat.  Yes, I eat a doughnut a day and no – that isn’t going to change any time soon.  But beyond that, I also snack on sugar-laden treats all day long.  And I eat what my kids don’t eat – in addition to my own dinner/lunch/what-have-you.

The truth is, achieving a healthy body is only 20% exercise and 80% diet.  While I love the detox to retox idea it won’t get you far.  Some tricks are easy – shopping the perimeter of the grocery store and avoiding the aisles is one.  This will keep you in the fruits, vegetables, meats and dairy sections and away from things like cereal and pasta.  Cereal is a big one for me – bring a box home and I will plow through it in four sittings.  Often spread out over no more than two days.

Some big things that this has cleanse bought about are an adjustment to my taste-buds, a change in my concept of how much food I need to be satisfied and the size of my stomach.  The truth is, the more you eat, the more you need to feel full.  A week of nothing but juice has reduced this for me.  I can’t imagine I will eat the portions I did before (not that I have ever been one to gorge myself).  While ingesting less than the suggested calorie intake isn’t sustainable, it has taught me that I really can stay within 1,800 calories/day and be more than fine.

As for my taste-buds, I am almost afraid to put anything artificial in my mouth.  One of my friends who is doing the cleanse with me said she took a sip of coffee because she was convinced she needed the caffeine and almost spit it out.  When I first started dating my now husband, he ate like crap.  Slowly I introduced whole, real foods to him.  Now he complains when a charcuterie plate isn’t up to his standards.  While it may cost a little more, I am certainly going to try to eat higher quality foods than I have in the past.

At the end of the day, I need to just take that extra moment to be mindful of what it is that I am about to eat.  Am I really hungry?  Because I know I am guilty of eating out of boredom or routine.  Is it possible I am just thirsty?  Is there something I could eat that is a healthier alternative?  Can I eat less of this thing?  Maybe add in a fruit or vegetable.

For now, I’m just looking forward to chewing something.

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