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What I've learned in my mindful eating experiment.

 

What is mindful eating? There are many definitions.

Most describe it as devoting all your senses to eating; namely see, smell, taste, touch and hear(snap, crackle, pop).

Being grateful for the food and how it arrived to your table.

Noticing how you feel before, during and after you eat.

Lastly, we give our undivided attention to consuming our food (and beverages).

 

So I decided to give it a test run before rolling it out the our Prana Vibe community and here's what I discovered...

 

1. I noticed how I wanted to grab the remote, the cell, or a book to read. I was antsy to do something else while eating. It was difficult to resist.

2. When I just sat there and ate with no distractions, I noticed the different notes of the food. The squash had a bit of a nutty taste to them. I had to chew the food longer to masticate it properly.

3. I got satiated much quicker since I ate slower. I noticed how the food felt in my mouth and swallowing before taking another bite. 

4. I took a moment to breathe and thank the food. I appreciated every soul and process involved to get this food to me.

5. Eating in social settings was much tougher for me. I found that I ate more because I enjoyed the company and it correlated to a higher intake volume.

6. When something upset me, I noticed that I wanted to put something in my mouth right away. It's like I needed validation and wanted to feel good and avoid feeling bad in that very moment.

7. When I allowed the bad feelings to just exist with me, then the urge to make poor food choices subsided. It cleared up a great deal when I did get to better food options and enjoyed the small victory.

8. I learned that I sometimes ate out of boredom. It kept me entertained, didn't argue with me and is always there. When I chose to just be bored, eventually the urge to grab something to stuff in my face subsided.

 

I learned a lot about myself through this experiment. I have full intention to continue with mindful eating as much as possible. Our awareness around food can transform our mood, how we feel about ourselves and live a more balanced and fruitful life (pun intended). 

 

Join us on this journey of conscious food consumption. Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comment section below!


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Starving

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FOOD. SEX. SHOPPING. BOOZE. PARTYING. DRUGS. SOCIAL MEDIA. LIKES. FOLLOWERS. You name it. While none of these things are bad in and of itself, our intention behind it can be both self-destructive and/or hurt those around us.

Here's my theory. We're S.T.A.R.V.I.N.G.

What are we trying to fill? What are we in search of? Why don't we feel whole? Heck, even working out every single day or absolutely having to hit the mat every.single.day or counting every last gram on your food scale 365 days a year...we need to ask ourselves and be truthful. What's the driver?

My latest and greatest...food cravings. Coming back from the Amazon jungle at a mere 124lbs, I was alarmed that I had lost so much weight. Within 6 weeks, I gained 6lbs but not in a way that I should. I indulged in pizza (like on a first name basis with the pizza shop owner), donuts (or cronuts rather), mac n' cheese, crackers, chips, spicy big bites from 7-11, and of course chocolate. Although I had an iron clad formula to eat whateva' if I make the macros fit, I didn't care to adhere to it. 

I had to question myself, what was I feeding? Why did I feel like I was deprived? Starving? I never felt good afterwards. In fact, I felt guilty and shitty (literally). What void was I trying to fill?

Then it came to me. Giving into these cravings gave me comfort. It kept me entertained, it was good company and dependable even for a brief while. It was distracting me from what I needed to do, what I knew was good for me. And ultimately, what I wanted out of life. It's fucking hard work! It gave me an outlet to fill this hole I found within me, this vast space of nothingness. I needed my reward neurons to fire constantly to feel worthy and valid. It's easy to say this now. But, facing this truth was a tough pill to swallow. 

I gave ALL my love out and saved none for myself. Heck, I help people for a living. But this is so typical of the women in my fam. Put myself last. Geez, I wasn't even in queue. Sure, I took care of my body. But, as we all know, that's a vessel in this physical world. What good is a beautiful boat, however, if there's no captain on board, no one home?

Being in solitude for a portion of my time in the jungle allowed me to be completely alone devoid of distractions (iphone, media, company, games, food, etc). NOTHING. Oh, I'd rather stab myself with a serrated knife. Just kill me already. 

It's been a roller coaster ride coming back home. Same yet different. One thing I'm present to is that we are all good and bad, light and dark, joy and sadness, jealous and compassionate, confident and insecure, supportive and "I don't give two fucks". What triggers our dark? What brings out the bad wolf in us? 

If you have the courage, if you want to seek the truth, if you want to live...look inward. The answers are there. You will NOT find it in that next conquest. You will NOT find it in another person. You will NOT find it in that perfectly chiseled body of yours. You may actually find it in a Cracker Jack box though. They've been known to have cool prizes (joking of course). 

How do we look inward? For starters, sit still. Meditate. Remove your distractions. Be bored. That's it. The thing is, most of us won't do this. It's not that we're afraid to fail, but that we have infinite potential to be great without anyone else to validate us. It takes a lot of trial and error. Be willing to fuck up. Be willing to grow from it. It'll only make you stronger. Our triggers are teachers. It reveals something deeply embedded within us. Knowing this, I've become more forgiving and accepting. I'm not trigger-free and I still have my moments where I'm passive-aggressive. But hey, I'm human and I'm a work in progress...always.

Start learning how to love yourself. Hug yourself. Tell yourself why you love you. Every morning, before you day begins in a fervent frenzy. Do it. Make it a habit. And, this is ironically how we really show up for others. Truth is a bitch but it will always set you free.

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us." - Marianne Williamson


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