Savor the flavor of eating right by eating mindfully with these 5 easy tips.
Every March the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and registered dietitian nutritionists across the world celebrate National Nutrition Month® (NNM). I absolutely love this year’s theme, Savor the Flavor of Eating Right – after all, Nutritioulicious is all about enjoying the combination of nutritious and delicious food – can’t forget the delicious!!
In honor of NNM, all month long my friend and colleague Jill Weisenberger has been sharing tips on her blog from registered dietitian nutritionists, and I was lucky enough to be one of the RDNs she included. Head on over to Jill’s site to read my guest post about how meal planning can help you Savor the Flavor of Eating Right!
Another way to think about savoring the flavor of your food is by eating mindfully. To help you learn how to eat more mindfully, Tiana Yom, MPH, is here with her tips.
Mindful eating (also known as intuitive eating) aims to reconnect us more with the experience of eating and enjoying our food. Mindful eating places more focus on the varying degrees of consciousness about what and why we are eating, rather than what is right or wrong to eat.
Here are my 5 Quick Mindful Eating Tips:
- Eat More Slowly. Taking the time to savor and enjoy your food is one of the healthiest things that anyone can do. You are more likely to notice when you are full, you’ll chew your food more thoroughly thereby digesting it more easily, and you’ll probably find yourself noticing flavors you might otherwise have missed (thereby savoring the flavor – see the theme?!). With family, friends and children, try making a game of it — who can eat the slowest? Or you could introduce eating with chopsticks as a fun way to slow things down.
- Embrace Silence. Eating in complete silence may be impossible for a family with children, but try to encourage some quiet time and reflection. Try introducing the idea as a game — “let’s see if we can eat for two minutes without talking.” Practice adding a quiet meal or snack time into your day when you can enjoy it alone and can really focus on the delicious flavors and the aesthetics of the food.
- Remove White Noise. Our daily lives are filled with distractions: telephones, TVs, radios, iPads – the list goes on. Consider making family meals an electronics-free zone. The focus will now be redirected to the food and being with your family and away from the white noise.
- Use Your Senses. We tend to eat on the go or scarf down our meals in minutes. It’s hard to notice what we are really eating, let alone savor all the different sensations of eating it. Pay attention and appreciate the flavor, texture, and sounds of the food you’re eating: the tanginess of yogurt, the sweetness of butter lettuce, the crunch of nuts. Eating with your senses is an important component of eating mindfully.
- Be Familiar with Your Food. Because of our demanding schedules, we are not left with much time to stop and think about where our food comes from. Mindfulness is really about rekindling a relationship with our food. Try asking questions like: Who grew this? How? Where did it come from? How did it get here? This is a great conversation to have at the dinner table. You’ll be surprised with the answers that will be shared!
Mindful eating will improve your overall eating experience and help you gain a deeper appreciation for your food. Learn more about mindful eating at The Center for Mindful Eating and for more information about different ways to celebrate this year’s National Nutrition Month, visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ National Nutrition Month® homepage.
How will you Savor the Flavor of Eating Right?