The Mindful Kitchen

By | June 06, 2018
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Illustration by Kristen Solecki

We may love certain foods, but do these foods love us back?

Even though food can never give us any emotions in return, our body’s response to certain foods tells us what kind of relationship we naturally have with what we eat. Some foods make us feel energized, satisfied, light and vital.

Some foods make us feel heavy, bloated, sleepy and even depressed. Some foods are more neutral and don’t seem to impact us physically or emotionally: They simply fuel us and keep us satiated.

Some people have a more sensitive bodily system that will react negatively to certain foods. For instance, people who have tree nut allergies could experience anything from mild irritation in the throat to anaphylactic shock, a life-threatening condition, if they ingest anything in the tree nut category. Lactose-intolerant individuals will experience digestive upset symptoms, again, some more severe than others. There are individuals who experience insomnia or anxiety if they consume caffeine or alcohol too late, or any time, in the day.

People can have food sensitivities without knowing it because they have endured the symptoms for a long time, or they associated the symptoms with other factors in their life. A good example of this would be people with chronic headaches or chronic constipation. Both of these symptoms might derive from sensitivity to gluten, dairy or sugar.

Why don’t we just stop eating foods that don’t serve us? Because change is required.

But eating foods that we “love” even if they don’t serve our body can result in greater discomfort in the long run. Not only do we suffer physical symptoms from these foods, we can also experience longterm physical and emotional discomfort (weight gain, emotional pain from chronic health issues, etc).

The question each of us should ask is: What kind of life do I want to live and how do I want my food choices to support my life?

When we start paying more attention to what we eat and how it makes us feel, we become a conscious eater. Being a conscious eater will allow us to feed our body what it truly needs, both physically and emotionally.

Feed the body what it loves. Pay attention to why you choose what you eat by: 

● Being present while eating
● Eating without any distractions
● Chewing each bite mindfully
● Noticing how you feel physically while eating, and after you have finished

Then ask yourself these questions:

● What is your body feeling?
● How energized or tired are you after eating certain foods or meals?
● How is your digestion, elimination six to 12 hours after your meal?
● Are you satisfied after you eat?
● What emotions came up once the food was finished?

Article from Edible Columbus at http://ediblecolumbus.ediblecommunities.com/eat/mindful-kitchen
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