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How to Be Mindful While Eating Chocolate

Mindful Eating

Mindful Eating

Mindful eating is a mini-meditation that pulls us away from our distractions and multi-tasking to intentionally focus on something that we would want to relish.

Eating with intention, awareness and attention is called mindful eating. Eating what we love, like chocolate, can be made infinitely better by giving it one’s full attention.

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How to Be Mindful While Eating Chocolate

How to Be Mindful While Eating Chocolate

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/14/well/mind/how-to-be-mindful-while-eating-chocolate.html

nytimes.com

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Key Ideas

Mindful Eating

Mindful eating is a mini-meditation that pulls us away from our distractions and multi-tasking to intentionally focus on something that we would want to relish.

Eating with intention, awareness and attention is called mindful eating. Eating what we love, like chocolate, can be made infinitely better by giving it one’s full attention.

How To Eat Mindfully

A piece of chocolate, eaten mindfully:

  1. Select the piece of chocolate keeping in mind your craving.
  2. Set aside any guilt or distractions and be fully present, sitting down to savour the experience.
  3. Unwrap the chocolate paying attention to the aroma and the sound.
  4. Pause a while after taking the first bite, feeling the texture and flavour inside your mouth.
  5. Chew the chocolate noticing the change in the flavour and the arising feeling of pleasure.
  6. Pause and let the taste linger after swallowing.
  7. Repeat slowly until your treat is consumed.

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Mindful Eating
  • Breathe before eating. 
  • Listen to your body and measure your hunger.
  • Eat according to your hunger. You can more mindfully choose what to eat, when to eat, and how much to eat. 
  • Practice peaceful eating. It’s not easy to digest or savor your food if you aren’t relaxed.
  • If you don’t love it, don’t eat it. Make a mindful choice about what to eat based on what you really enjoy.
Mindful Pause
  • Trip over what you want to do. If you intend to do some yoga or to meditate, put your yoga mat or your meditation cushion in the middle of your floor.
  • Refresh your triggers regularly - add variety or make them funny so they stick with you longer.
  • Create new patterns. You could try a series of “If this, then that” messages to create easy reminders to shift into slow brain.

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As you unpack your stuff, use this golden chance to keep only the essential stuff and completely declutter your new home. Don’t hold stuff that keeps you tied to the past.

Do not be overwhelmed with the piled up work. Practice deep breathing, reflecting on the present moment and gratitude.

Eating Distract from Emotions

We often associate eating with relief or even excitement, and it’s only natural that we’d reach for those same feelings when we’re worried or sad.

Why we choose comfort food

Comfort foods don’t tend to be healthy. We want cake or pasta or chips when we’re emotionally eating. We have emotional memories around certain foods, which are more likely to involve your grandma’s lasagna than a salad. 

But after we eat for emotional reasons, we’re replacing our original feelings with the emotions that arise out of eating.

Comfort food

We associate comfort food with positive memories.

Think about all the happy and comforting memories you have involving food. Maybe your family used to celebrate occasions with a trip to the ice cream shop, or maybe your mom or dad used to soften the blow of a bad day with macaroni and cheese. When you’re feeling rejected or anxious today, eating one of those foods is an instant connection to that soothing time.

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Reject the diet mentality

Dieting isn’t sustainable. Quick-fix plans cannot deliver lasting results.
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Honor your hunger

Eat a sufficient amount of calories and carbohydrates to keep your body “fed” and satiated. Once you learn to recognize these signals in your own body, it becomes much easier to trust your instincts and repair unhealthy relationships with food.

Make peace with food

Give yourself “unconditional permission to eat.”

People realize they don’t really want that food that was forbidden before; they just got caught up in society telling them they couldn’t have it.

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Really see each other

Making eye contact with someone can relieve stress and create a deeper sense of connection. 

Even making eye contact with a stranger can soften your heart.

Listen with all of your senses

When you talk with someone in person, notice the posture and body language of the other person. Focus on the tone in their voice. Consider the meaning of their words.

Reach out and touch someone

Touch is a way we communicate and essential to our development. Touch makes us feel safe and encourage trust, love, and compassion.

Reach out to your loved ones and see if you notice a difference.

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Food preferences are learned

All the foods that you regularly eat are ones that you learned to eat.  Everyone starts life drinking milk. After that, it’s all up for grabs. 

But in today’s food culture, many people seem to have acquired uncannily homogenous tastes: food companies push foods high in sugar, fat and salt, which means we are innately incapable of resisting them but that the more frequently we eat them, especially in childhood, the more they train us to expect all food to taste this way.

0.3% of young women are anorexic

... and another 1% are bulimic, with rising numbers of men joining them.

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  • The industrial chocolates include several ingredients like vegetable oils, corn syrup, and artificial vanilla.
Bean-To-Bar

Authentic chocolate makers are like fine chefs and are obsessed about the texture, character and ethical origins of their beans.

Mainstream industrial chocolate makers buy all the beans, good or bad, in bulk, as they are mixing it with so many other ingredients and flavors, that the consumer won't get to know the difference of the beans.

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Eating to Relieve Emotional Discomfort

Eating can be an emotional activity, with deep connections on how our brains and bodies work. Emotional overeaters are:

  • Having a feeling of resentment after neglecting one's own needs to appease others.
  • Feeling undeserving of their success, with a fear of being shamed.
  • Being a perfectionist and being constantly anxious about the possible mistakes.
  • Suppressing of all negative emotions.

Overeaters tend to have an 'all-or-nothing' approach oscillating between an all-good diet or an outright unhealthy one, depending on the particular underlying emotion.

Being in Control

To be in control does not mean restraining. A person who is in control should have the capacity and freedom to self-govern.

Rather than fighting with your body, provide it with an autonomous control by allowing all kinds of foods back in your life, yet eating consciously, paying attention to your meals, savoring them fully. Being mindful can maximize your pleasure and minimize your eating.

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Understanding Stress
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With stress, the mind and the body are intrinsically linked. You can view stress as something that is wreaking havoc on your body (and it can) or as something that is giving you the strength and energy to overcome adversity.

Exposure to Stress

Regular exposure to stress in small quantities can prepare us to handle a big stressful event in our lives. Prepare yourself for stress by self-education about the stressful event, by doing some physically stressful activities like completing a marathon, or something you dread, like giving a speech.

Repeated exposure to mildly stressful conditions can alter your body’s biological response to stress, making you manage stress in a better way.

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Incorporate meditation in your life
  • Walking meditation. “We weren’t meant to sit in cubicles all day and when we disconnect from nature, we suffer a lot of stress.”
  • Red light meditation. While stopped at a red light, turn off your radio and focus on deep breaths.
  • Running/cycling meditation. If you run or bike, leave your headphones at home and focus on the experience.
  • Eating/drinking meditation. As you eat or drink, focus on the various flavors, textures, and sensations of the particular food or drink.
  • Waiting meditation. While in line, observe your breath or surroundings.
  • Task-related meditation. For example, washing your hands, folding laundry, taking a shower, washing dishes, or brushing your teeth can serve as mini-meditations if you focus on the experience and stop your mind from wandering.