Week 2, Day 2: Eat Better

Hope you enjoyed yesterdays task and made a plan to deliver the letter to your special person. It is one of my favourites and even thinking about it should give you a warm feeling. Today is a bit more about your body, and how you eat, so you just need a bit more time than usual when you have your dinner so relax and enjoy your day until then!

Mindful eating

As we have previously discussed, meal times can be one of the most stressful times of the day, and that is before you sit down to eat! What with there never being enough time in the day and having to sort others out before you can feed yourself it is easy to see why most of us are rushing around and not taking time with our food. Eating too quickly or eating in a negative emotional state can cause several problems.

Firstly the fullness signal may not arrive until you've already overeaten so you can quickly be eating too much at every meal, never feeling satisfied in turn causing your metabolism to slow down. Secondly, the way our bodies react while we eat when we are stressed is as follows: there is a decrease in the digestive system's overall blood flow. When you are stressed, your blood flow is redirected to the brain and the limbs, as the body perceives you are under attack. You need the blood directed to those parts of your body for quick thinking and fighting or fleeing. Food travelling through your gut needs a specific amount of time to be correctly digested, vitamins and nutrients need to be absorbed, and the waste needs to be ummmm…. eliminated!

If the body does not have the tools it needs to process this correctly, it can lead to stomach pain, bloating, constipation and even weight gain. Some bodies go the other way and eliminate everything far too quickly - this means that it does not have time to take out the good stuff from what you've eaten.

Long-term stress can cause many problems for your gut, leading to fatigue, sleep disorders, abdominal weight gain, and food sensitivities, to name but a few.

What can you do to avoid this happening in your body? You can't overnight eliminate stress from your life, but you can slow down. So tonight's challenge is simply to enjoy, taste and chew your food properly! Sound simple, maybe not as much as you think…

When you lift each forkful up to your mouth pause. Take a nice deep inhale and relax as you exhale. Smell the food and think about what it reminds you of, what flavours you can identify and just think about it. Then as you put it in your mouth, think about the texture, the temperature, what flavours do you taste first, do these change with time? Put down your cutlery between mouthfuls and chew the food slowly and thoughtfully. Concentrate on keeping the body relaxed and take a few deep breaths if you start getting stressed. This might take five or even ten minutes longer than usual, but you need to get into a more relaxed eating mindset and the best way to break the habit it to start really slow. You might have a million things to be getting on with but your good health is undoubtedly worth delaying anything for a few minutes!

Keep up with the sleep time yoga positions and your diary, and I wish you a beautiful nights sleep. xxx

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