DISCLAIMER: This information provides benefits and uses of essential oils based on personal experiences and/or information detailed in medical/academic journals or other publications.  This information is not to be interpreted as medical advice meant for diagnosing illness or injured condition of the body or for prescriptive purposes and is in no way intended as a substitute for personal judgment or medical counseling.  Statements and ideas contained herein have not been evaluated or approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Anyone with a disease, illness, injury or medical condition should consult a qualified health care professional.  Readers are encouraged to consult their health care provider prior to beginning any cleanse, diet, detoxification program, or any supplement regiment.

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-Assess Your Hunger
Take a minute to reflect on what’s going on in your body.  We eat for a myriad of reasons other than hunger, so it's helpful to just check in and become aware of what you are feeling. 

Is your stomach grumbling to indicate that you are really hungry or are you somewhat full and just feeling a bit bored?  Are you anxious and just looking to soothe yourself?  Are you overtired and eating to rev yourself up?

Just notice what you’re feeling in this moment and then decide if eating is what would most nourish you.  Could it be that a mini meditation would help stave off anxiety better than a bag of chips?

-Make time to eat
Remember when we used to take lunch hours?  So often in today’s hectic world we find ourselves eating in the car, at our computers, or in a meeting.  Scheduling time to eat allows your brain to pay attention to your food choices.  It’s also a nice brain break that helps your prefrontal cortex refuel.  It doesn't have to be a full hour.  Try starting with a 15-minute fully unplugged and present lunch break and notice how you feel afterwards.

-Give thanks
Take a moment to think about all of the hands that went into putting this food in front of you.  Give thanks to the people who drove the trucks from the farms to the grocery store, give thanks to the people who grew the food and packaged it.  Give thanks to the animals, the earth, the chef, the cashier, the server and anyone you're dining with.  Stress and gratitude can't really co-exist, so take a moment to make your meal more meaningful. 

-Be a scientist
Observe your food as if you were a scientist making a new discovery.  Pay attention to the delicious smells, notice the color and presentation.  This simple act cues your mind to pay attention to what you are about to eat.


-Taste it! 
Sounds obvious, but how often do you find yourself half-way through a meal without even having tasted your food?  Be intentional about noticing the flavors, textures, and temperature of each bite.


-Put the fork down

Put the fork down between each bite.  This is a simple trick that slows the eating process. It takes our stomach time to signal our brain that we are full, and often we fill that time by eating a whole bunch more food that our body does not need.


-Put your electronics away

Try to avoid multi-tasking while you eat.  Put aside your work, computer, phone, and turn off the TV.  Paying attention to the act of eating without distraction helps bring awareness to the present moment and also helps us notice when we are full so we don’t overeat.


If this all sounds too tedious, just work on taking one mindful bite at the beginning of each meal. When we give ourselves the opportunity to experience the pleasure of a bite, we are less likely to continue eating mindlessly.

Credit to Mindful Life Today Blog

Eating is a pleasurable experience, yet, most of us don't take even take a moment to fully enjoy or pay attention to our meals.  We mindlessly inhale whatever food is in front of us. 

-The Hunger Hormone
When we rush through our meals, we not only miss out on opportunities to be fully present, we also miss out on cues from our hormones that we are full.  Distracted eating can lead to overeating.

Research suggests that the hormone Leptin interacts with other hormones to signal to our brain that we are full.  Leptin also interacts with the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain to produce a feeling of pleasure after eating.

When we eat too quickly we don’t give this intricate hormonal cross-talk system enough time to work, we keep eating because we have not allowed our brain time to receive the signals that we are full.  

When we try to use our meal times to multi-task on our devices, we miss out on the opportunity to refuel not only our belly, but also our prefrontal cortex.  Our prefrontal cortex is like a gas guzzler and needs quality downtime to rest and recover.  
Taking time to be fully present for your meal not only saves calories, but can recharge your brain as well.

Whether you’re out for a fancy dinner or just re-fueling in the middle of your work day, there are simple ways in which you can practice mindful eating.

Mindful Eating

Mindful eating, or intuitive eating, refers to the principle of being present — fully in the moment — and using all of your senses while you eat. 

Mindful eating is being aware of the taste, texture, aroma, and presentation of what you eat, and your body’s hunger and fullness cues. Getting to know your hunger and fullness is a secret to help with choosing healthy foods and losing weight.

Practicing mindful eating can help to bring back an appreciation and enjoyment of food. Mindful eating is eating with intention (caring for yourself) and attention (noticing and enjoying your food and its effects on the body). It is a simple-to-learn life skill which can lead people to enjoy a satisfying, healthy and enjoyable relationship with food.  We have powerful minds, and with practice we can relearn how to eat with mindfulness.

Mindful eating is not a diet – it is about the way we eat, not what we eat.  Mindful eating can help manage weight, control food cravings, improve eating habits, and allow us to enjoy our food more.