Fast & Frenzied Eating

Typical Lunch: Greek Inspired Salad
w/ olives, feta, peppers & maybe some chicken or beans w/ balsamic and olive oil.

Each and everyday I eat my lunch at my desk in front of a computer screen.   Each and everyday I eat my lunch alone and in about 10 minutesEach and everyday I eat my lunch and I get interruptedSounds nice, right?  Well, not only is it a very pleasant experience, but it is NOT healthy.  Let me use myself as an example of what not to do when you eat your lunch, or any meal for that matter. 

I would imagine that a lot of "nine to fivers" eat in a similar manner to the one described above. Tisk! Tisk!  Today Americans eat their food on the go -- in their cars, at their desks, over the sink, even on the subway platform and in trains.  To eat is to multi-task and it is sad that the experience of eating has become less of a priority and more of an afterthought.  Where are the days when people would gather around the table to enjoy good food, company and conversation??

When I find myself slipping into a tailspin of hurried eating (like my lunch of most recent), I step back, breath and slooooow down.  Here are some tips on how to recover from the fast and frenzied eating patterns and slip back into a relaxed and healthy routine.  

1) Eat when you are hungry.  Easy...Need I say more? 

2) Get rid of distractions.  Turn off the tv, computer, cell phone and focus on the food (if you are alone) and also your company (if you are with company).

3) Eat in good company.  If you are eating with people enjoy the situation and the conversation. Try your hardest to make the experience a pleasurable one.

4) Chew slowly, eat slowly.  The more you chew your food, the easier it will be for your body to digest it. It will also force you to eat more slowly.  The slower you eat, the more time your tummy will have to recognize when it is full, which means in all likelyhood you will eat less.  One trick you may have heard is to put your fork down in between bites.  Once you are done chewing and swallowing, grab your fork and have another bite.  This will help you to eat slowly. 

5) Savor the taste.  Relish the first few bites of your food.  These early bites are going to taste the best so you might as well enjoy them while you can.  After several forkfuls the food will lose some taste as our taste buds adjust. Begin to notice when you are no longer eating for enjoyment and satiation, but rather just for the sake of eating -- this is when you want to put your fork down. 

6) Relax.  The state of your emotions when you eat a meal will affect how it is digested.  If you are angry/agitated, food will move through your stomach quickly and vice versa if you are sad/depressed. 

7) Eat until 80% full.  It is better for your digestive tract when you leave some room for the enzymes to do their job.  It allows for efficient digestion and reduces negative side effects like heart burn, indigestion and gas.   Start to practice by not eating everything in front of you.  Leave some food on your plate.

8) Save room....for dessert that is.  If you know you will be eating dessert, save room! It will be more enjoyable and you won't be a stuffed muffin when you leave the table.

Today's dessert!
Carob Mint Creme Cup
Ohhh....Averie of Love Veggies and Yoga, if you are listening do you think it's possible to create a yummy homemade chocolate cup like this?? That would be awesome!!

What are your dining habits and at what pace do you eat your food?  What eating habits do you want to change?


Katie said...

I made a chocolate mint creme cup before christmas that I bet you could easily modify. Do you not eat chocolate at all or are you looking to keep out dairy? The ones I made were with unsweetened bakers chocolate as a coating, which is dairy free.

Christine said...

Hi Katie!
I definitely do eat I would love the recipe :) Thank you!!!
When I get the chance I am always testing out healthy versions of this and that...and those Carob Creme Cups are REALLY GOOD!!

Katie ♥ said...

that chocolate creme cup looks like it would be amazing!! I love mint!! Oh Averie Im sure can whip up a recipe for that! She rocks!!!

PB2 is really good, you can order sample packets real cheap, check the site out!

Have a great day girl! xoxo

Alyson said...

Great post! Not focusing or being completely mindful with each meal is definitely something I'm guilty of. 9 times out of 10 I eat in front of the computer. Partially I think it's our multi-tasking generation. Focusing on one thing at once has become dull.. but when it comes to nutrition, I need to force this change!

About Me

New York City
Welcome! My name is Christine and I have landed here to share my love of healthy living and eating. I live in NYC where I am currently enrolled in the School of Integrative Nutrition. I am already certified as a holistic health coach and I have started seeing clients to help them reach their wellness goals. I started hot mama health to share the idea that it is fun to be healthy! Health is an adventure with endless foods to taste, exercises to explore, and challenges to meet! If you do not already feel this way, I hope that I can bring you into the light or at least stir a little inspiration here and there.
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