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Health

Have a Look on Your Plate: Mindful Eating

There is a lot of discussion about what to eat. If you google “healthy eating,” you will be bombarded by whole-grains, vegetables, low-fat meat, Mediterranean diet, and so on.

That is advice on ‘what’ we eat. How about the ‘way’ we eat?

‘Distracted eating’ is not good. The perfect example of the worst habit to indulge in “while you are eating” is having a screen in front of you – whether it is a television, tablet, or smart phone. This is ‘bad’, mindless eating. We underappreciate the food we eat and we also do not ‘hear’ our body calling out when we are full. We usually overeat.

On the other hand, there is mindful eating: Focus on your eating experience, the body-related sensations and your conscious feelings about the food.

It is a matter of awareness of what you are doing and why, what you are feeling, how you eat, and how much.

Eating in this way usually includes attention to the food you choose, with the goal of promoting an enjoyable meal experience. From Zen Buddhist gurus to monks on Mt. Athos, the goal and process for mindful eating are the same:

• Honor the food: Gratitude for the food ingredients and the efforts of those who prepared the meal

• Eat on time, slowly: Acknowledge the needs of the body through respect for the food

• Plant-based diet: Reflect on the impact of produce and food-related materials on the environment

• Modest portions: Understand how much you eat

• Awareness of the ingredients and food preparation: From field to fork

• Engage all senses: food is not about feeling full, but about being joy-full

Even if ‘mindful eating’ becomes a term embedded in our language, our complex daily life reality rebels against it. After the pandemic, however, we hope that many habits will change and emerge – and that awareness of the eating experience will be one of them!

* The above is not medical advice but mere suggestions for improving your diet. Before reach herbal use you should consult your doctor, especially those who have health issues, are pregnant or are under the age of 6.
Evropi-Sofia Dalampira holds a PhD in Agricultural Economics and an MSc in Botany-Biology.

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