Kick Start Your New Year – Day 5 –

2 min

Chef pulling healthy eating sign
Chef pulling healthy eating sign

It’s not only what you eat that matters, but when you eat. Today’s focus is mindful eating. 

Consistent meal timing makes a meal an inevitable occurrence. When a meal occurs, the body is fully satisfied and not looking for something else to eat. It has recognized that what you have just eaten was a meal and it is sated. But there’s more to know.

Don’t Skip Meals

When a meal is skipped or skimped, there is no meal recognition and snacking occurs. When snacking becomes grazing, there are no real meals.

Make The Best Food Choices

Meal planning begins when your hunger level is minimal … say, a 1-2 on a scale of 10. This is ideally when you start looking for something to eat, and when you’ve surrounded yourself with high quality, high energy foods, it’s inevitable that you will eat something that nourishes your body. On day 4, you started paying attention to the chemicals that are in foods, and started choosing foods based on the shortest list of ingredients. Since your pantry is now stocked with foods that are natural and high energy, you’ve made it inevitable that your next meal will be gratifying.

Why Breakfast Matters

“If I wake up ~ I will eat breakfast” is your agreement with your body at the start of each day. Breakfast “breaks the fast” of slumber and serves to energize you for the movement that will follow. Breakfast can look like any number of things … cereal, eggs, a smoothie, pancakes, oatmeal, yogurt, fruit … but it should look like something every day.

Mindful Eating Matters

Sit down and give yourself 20 minutes to enjoy your breakfast, without multitasking through it! No emailing, rifling through mail, budgeting, watching TV, reading or getting anything else ‘done’ during breakfast. No eating in the car either!  The mind cannot focus on two things at once; you are either eating breakfast or you are driving. Both cannot take up the same space, one of them must become mindless since the other is mindful.

Did You Know Digestion Is Connected?

The brain sends signals to the gut to initiate digestion; in the case of driving, these signals are halted and then sent to the arms and legs and the parts of the brain dedicated to paying attention. You will not be digesting anything while you are driving because digestion is turned OFF at this time.

The brain recognizes the importance of paying attention while you are driving and the blood is shunted to the extremities to enable survival. Meanwhile, the food you just consumed in the car is sitting in the gut waiting to be digested. In the stomach, the Helicobacter pylori bacteria have been interrupted and the gases which result cause bloating. The food is literally sitting in the stomach waiting for your full attention.

You Eat To Live, So Love To Eat

Remember, you want your body to recognize that you have just eaten a meal … so be mindful while you eat it! Savor the flavors and texture, chew slowly, sip, put your fork down between bites and be present to what you are doing in the moment. Take on mindful eating at each meal.

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Elizabeth Viszt
Elizabeth is a certified Educational Specialist and Success Coach. She has a BA, MS in biology with a concentration in ethology (animal behavior), is an EAGALA Equine Specialist in equine assisted learning and personal development, and has extensive personal leadership skills. She spent much of her career in education at the high school, college and correctional facility levels teaching biology & chemistry and acting in the capacity of a success coach. Elizabeth presents workshops and seminars which address communication issues as they manifest in personal relationships. She uses writing as both a creative and cathartic outlet, especially after losing both of her parents to cancer in 2015. She lives in upstate NY, on a farm that bears the name of her motto: Be Unreasonable! She's invested in empowering others in moving their pieces forward in the world.

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