I could tell you how chewing your food improves your IBS symptoms, or how you could lose weight if you stopped watching TV or your iPhone during meals. Instead, I would like to share with you my top tips on how to eat mindfully so you can enjoy food, have plenty of it and live in peace with yourself.
1. Take the time to eat
I was recently visiting Paris and noticed a habit that I lost touch with after living in NYC or London. Busy Parisians were outside and taking the time to have lunch in cafés, restaurants and brasseries, enjoying not only their food but also their friends or colleagues. Sharing a meal with others might not be the best way to focus on chewing your food or monitoring what you eat, yet it is a great way to nourish your soul on a deeper level.
2. Enjoy cooking
I rediscovered this summer the pleasure of cooking. Having the time to cook and “écosser” (shell) my green peas felt like a luxury. Who would imagine I would enjoy this type of pleasure! Going to the market, checking out the tomatoes, courgettes and aubergines, discovering that the season of greengages was just around the corner, imagining what my husband and I could cook for lunch or dinner, and sharing meals with family or friends gave me so much joy.
3. Slow down
To eat mindfully and digest properly requires lowering your adrenaline and cortisol levels, which are produced when you are in a state of physiological or mental stress. You can then turn on a more restful state instead. Your nervous system literally goes from a state of “fight and flight” to a state of “rest and digest”. You can do this in many ways: walk in nature, read a book, meditate, or just breathe… My personal favourite is yoga. I have practiced mindfulness with yoga and learned how to focus on the moment. I have become more conscious of my constant flow of my thoughts, which tend to be more often on the negative side than the positive! “Rome wasn’t been built in one day”. Practice is key.
4. Respect your nature
LETTING STRESS GO AND TAKING THE TIME TO LIVE AT A SLOWER PACE IS ONE OF THE BEST WAYS TO NOURISH YOUR SOUL Our world is moving so fast and we are not genetically engineered to be be productive 24 hours per day. In the past 50 years, modernisation has sped up the intensity of our lives while our genetic hasn’t adapted yet. Respect your natural circadian rhythm to improve the quality of your sleep by removing all electronic devices at least 2 hours before bedtime.
5. Live guilt free
Although you might argue that guilt is a certain form of “necessary” conscience, it is also one of the biggest barriers we encounter within ourselves. I used to feel guilty every 5 minutes for not being on top of the ball 100% of the time, eating junk food deliberately, feeling tired or depressed. Acknowledge your feelings or emotions, whether it is guilt or joy and move on. Be kind to yourself, accept the way you are, even if you find it deeply frustrating, to create peace within yourself and the way you eat.