First of all: what does it mean EATING WITH INTENTION? In a few words, it’s related to the idea of being truly aware of the entire process of eating and don’t only mindless getting some fuel for your body.
You have probably noticed that the ideas of mindful eating and eating with intention are named pretty much everywhere lately. I absolutely love this kind of approach, but as soon as they became trends, it also started to be difficult to have a clear idea of how to apply them in the best way in your everyday life.
During the last years, I had the chance to apply the mindfulness-based approach to myself and I have found it pretty useful, both for general life issues and for the food-related ones. But I have tried to get a bigger view of it. When I talk with my clients about this kind of approach, I often refer to it in terms like “eating with intention”, “being present”, “being conscious of your relationship with food” – I use what I have learned during my holistic studies (I hold a diploma as massage therapist, and I have started practicing yoga in 2009), paired with science, to improve their relationship with food and with themselves.
Today, I’d like to drive your attention to the idea of bringing more awareness to the entire process of eating. First, let’s change that eating with nourishing – makes much more sense in relation to what we are talking about! Then, you may want to ask me: what’s included in that process?
- your relationship with food
- your relationship with yourself (your health, well-being, mind, and body)
- what you choose to eat
- your approach to grocery shopping
- your approach to cooking
- how you prepare your food
- what you choose to put on your table
- how you eat
- your approach to the different meals
- your relationship with dieting or ideal perfection guidelines or detox, etc…
- your idea of healthy eating
- how stress or a busy life affect your relationship with food
- eating well seen as a form of self-respect
- any food-related issue
Let’s get practical with an example.
WHY WHEN YOU’RE STRESSED YOU COOK AND EAT AN ENTIRE CAKE ALL BY YOURSELF?
Eating well is a form of SELF-RESPECT. But ALSO understand the real reason why when you’re stressed you cook and eat an entire cake all by yourself is a form of self-respect. I could stay here every day telling you that eating an entire cake all at once is not healthy, how much sugar there is inside it, what happens in your body, etc… BUT if you don’t start to be more AWARE, things will remain the same.
I have always been the kind of person who puts all her energy and focus on what she does and I truly don’t think that this will ever change. But I have learned how to manage it better and how to take care of myself since I have seen on myself how much is difficult to stop before burning out. Now, I am definitely more aware of my body and its needs. BUT I also accept that sometimes I won’t be 100% connected with my body and that’s fine. I know that I’M TRYING TO DO MY BEST.
Something changes inside you when you decide to RESPECT yourself and your body.
ONE SIMPLE CHANGE that can help you on this pathway: start to bring more AWARENESS into your everyday activities. When we start to be more PRESENT, many things suddenly become much more clear. For example:
- you stop making everything so hard for you
- you want to know the real reason why when you’re stressed you cook and eat an entire cake all by yourself
- you want to understand better why you are choosing to eat a specific food over another one
When you cook, eat, pack your lunch for the office, decide what to prepare for dinner, go for grocery shopping… really BE THERE. Connect with your food – really taste, smell, savour and appreciate it.
… remember: to get the best results, keep your mind open and allow changes to happen!