Thursday, June 17, 2010

Slow Food

So I was recently reading the Vogue April 2010 Issue and it addressed eating are some highlights...

"How hungry are you?

I realize how rarely I take hunger into account before I eat.

'It's important to tune into your hunger before you eat.' [Ronna Kabatznick (Ph.D., social psychologist)] explains. 'It can help you decide how much food you need, rather than how much you want--and understand why you're eating in the first place. Are you stressed? Happy? Tired? Worries? Is it just because it's lunchtime? Or are you really, truly hungry?"

Try to savor every bite, notice all the sensations.

I could stand to lose five pounds, but I hate diets. On a deeper level, I want to eat when I'm hungry, instead of when I'm anxious or bored, and stop when I'm full, not engorged. I want to feel satisfied.

In our yoga-crazed, om-chanting culture, the idea of applying mindfulness to diet was, perhaps, inevitable.  People who practice yoga regularly have a lower body-mass index than regular walkers and gym goers. [This is] because they eat mindfully; they eat when they're hungry and stop when they're full. Mindfulness has also been shown to help binge eaters.

I resolve  to follow Kabatznick's program: Asses my hunger; take a reasonable amount of food; appreciate the flavors and sensations; stop when I'm full. The approach appeals to me because, unlike most diets, it doesn't dictate what you eat; instead, it attempts to change how you eat. I revive my...routine of meditating for ten minutes every day, in hopes that getting into the habit of observing my impulses in all aspects of my life will help me rein them in.

'Pausing for a few moments to refocus on the experience of eating and your sense of satiety.' Jean Kristeller (Ph.D., professor at Indiana State University and creator of the Mindfulness-Based Eating Awareness Training program) says. Bite, bite, pause, reflect. It [gives] me the opportunity to think about how much I'm eating [and] also stretches out the meal, giving my stomach--and brain--time to register the sensation of fullness, a physiological process that can take up to 20 minutes.

I aslo begin to notice the emotional triggers--not only stress but also fatigue, fear, and even joy--that make me crave chocolate-chip cookies. And I discover that sometimes when I think I'm hungry, I'm actually thirsty, so I can drink a glass of water and be satisfied.

The biggest challenge is eating out with other people. Kabatzncik said, 'When you lose your focus or overeat, just begin again. Every bite, every meal is a chance to start over."


Eating goals: slower when hungry
....stop when full

"You just have to make the decision to go forward and never look back--and then move slowly and steadily toward your goal."

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