Have you found yourself eating mindlessly and only after you’ve eaten the meal, stopped to think about what you’ve just had? I know I used to do that, a lot. I was always too busy to stop and think about the choices I was making before I made them. And this lead me to struggle a lot with my diet, energy management and of course, the feelings of contentment.
To make matters worse, most of that time, I also suffered with IBS. It’s a condition that needs to be managed with diet and lifestyle changes, being present in your own body and listening to your body’s signals. Understanding the necessity of being present and listening to one’s body when you have IBS was my turning point.
Food is a source of fuel, satisfaction and even remorse – but it should also be a conscious choice. Being present when choosing your next meal, preparing or at least, when you’re having it goes a long way towards bringing the consciousness to the table. Before I started studying nutrition and answered my calling to help others, I had started my own, slow journey to being more conscious about eating and being true to myself and my body.
Tackling the mindfulness topic is a multifaceted matter that impacts all things in life, it’s not only a food related matter and the solution shouldn’t be focused on diet alone. Becoming more mindful about ourselves evolves around the subject; “living in the moment and sensing what is happening with all our senses”.
Going out into nature is a way to focus on how you are feeling and what the world around you looks like. Personally, I’ve always found that to be a safe haven, a place to calm down and focus on the important things. It’s important to find a little bit of nature near you, knowing that there is a place where you can go strolling in or just lie down on the grass and look up to the sky – there’s no better place to zoom in and be present in that moment.
This piece of nature doesn’t have to be a vast common or forest, but you can find this peace in a small park within a bustling city, just get close to trees and grass and look up. And whenever you feel like things are getting out of hand, revisit that peaceful state of mind where you’ve been totally Zen.
You can even incorporate some technology into this, to find your quiet moment in nature, when you don't have a chance to actually step out. Have a look at Walk in Finland!
When it comes to diet choices and making ad hoc decisions while out and about, you will not always have a good option, but try to make the best of every situation. When I’ve been stressed out, running on a tight schedule and in need of some fuel in between sessions, I’ve gone out to the shop, stood there and evaluated how I feel – when was the last time I ate, what did I eat and how much – this all helps with understanding the urges and cravings that you might have at a certain point.
For example with myself, I now know that if I haven’t had something balanced to eat for 3 hours, I’m bound to make a bad choice – meaning something quick and unhealthy – unless I stop and think about WHY I’m craving that certain food item. This is not always easy to do and requires lots of practice, but by practising it every chance you get; you are doing yourself a big, healthy favour in the long run. It's one you're not going to regret spending time on!