Summer has finally hit as we find ourselves in the throws of Christmas festivities here in Melbourne. According to Chinese Medicine, it is not only what you eat but how you eat that affects your health. Here are some tips on mindful eating this silly season.
Tips for Mindful Eating:
Love your food
If you are going to eat it, enjoy it. Guilt is the number one most damaging emotion for your gut. Appreciate and enjoy your food, even if you deem it not to be good for you. Worrying about it will just tie your stomach in knots and do more damage.
Choose foods that nourishes your body and soul
Choose food that nourishes YOU. There is so many schools of thought out there when it comes to what to eat. From paleo to vegan, gluten free, dairy free, sugar free or FODMAPS it can be hard to know what the right thing to do is. While this is several blog posts in itself at the end of the day food is what nourishes us. Choose food that you know your body can digest and that gives you the energy you need to get you through your day. Ideally include a small portion of protein and complex carbohydrate every meal to keep you blood sugars stable and your emotions grounded.
Create a calming environment
Chinese medicine believes that the Spleen Qi is responsible for both digesting our food and mental function.
When we eat on the go or working at our desk or focus on other things we do neither particularly well… Wait, where did my sandwich go?
Sitting, ideally in a calm environment, focusing on the food in-front of us allows our body to accept it and digest it to the best of its ability. It also helps us a keeps track of portion sizes!
Slow down to aid digestion
Take a moment to check in with yourself before you start eating. How hungry am I? How tense is my stomach? Take a breath and allow your body to be completely open to receive nourishment. Mindfully chewing your food and really tasting it not only increases the enjoyment you receive but starts the digestive process taking the strain off your stomach. Listening in to your stomachs ‘I’m getting full’ signals and not over eating will also help take the strain off the stomach and reduce that bloated uncomfortable feeling. If you have over eaten a gentle 10min walk can do wonders, as can a dose of our Hair of the Dog tincture!
This is such a big topic we dedicated a whole article to it, you can check it out here Eating with the Chinese Body clock Basically skipping meals or not eating when you are hungry will leave our bodies running on empty. This weakens the Spleen Qi, our digestive capacity, and causes us to dip into our Kidney Qi, adrenals, for energy. You can read why our Kidney Qi is so important in our post about burnout. If you’re not hungry on waking we suggest kick-starting the metabolism with a glass of warm water and a squeeze of lemon juice, or a tsp of apple cider vinegar. Try and spread your meals out over the day and eat no later than 7pm. This will give you a full 12hours of fasting time if you eat breakfast at 7am and allow your body to do its all important rest and repair at night. And most of all enjoy your festive season!