Who doesn't know these everyday situations: quickly grabbing a bite on the way to work before starting the day with a completely empty stomach. Or we eat even though our stomach doesn't signal hunger at all. And then there is the question: "What is the "right" food for me and my body?
One approach to taking a closer look at one's eating habits is the principle of mindful eating, which becomes important for all those who want to eat in a more relaxed and enjoyable way. Mindful eating is particularly advisable for all those who constantly feel hungry. Also for all "emotional eaters" who, for example, eat driven by a feeling, such as stress, sadness, boredom, or those who want to pursue a specific goal through focused eating (to lose or gain weight, for example).
In our Farmers' Five, we reveal 5 tips for mindful eating, why this eating principle is more than "just eating healthy", how eating right balances your eating habits and what you can do with the inner conflict of unwanted, unhealthy or unlovable eating habits.
#1 Eat slowly and chew
Eating slowly and chewing more favours the connection of mind and body and increases awareness of what we like or even need as food. This is important to protect us from over-satiating. The feeling of satiety usually sets in after about 20 minutes. When we eat quickly, the body signals cannot be sent to our brain as quickly. Specifically, instead of eating a complete meal in just 5 minutes, focus on chewing slowly and chew at least 15-20 times per bite. Putting the fork down after each bite also helps to reduce the speed of eating, to bring the body and brain into harmony, to avoid a bloated belly and thus to avoid an unnecessary feeling of fullness.
#2 Body vs. emotions
From "I have to eat" to "I can't eat", we all know these voices in our head. To eliminate these voices, ask yourself before each meal whether you are eating out of an emotional feeling - like stress or anger - or out of habit, or because your body actually needs a meal and you feel hungry. So before you prepare your next meal, stop for a moment and listen to yourself. Do you really need a meal at that moment or are you eating out of habit because you have been doing it for 5 years at exactly the same time out of routine? Emotions are important when it comes to your meals, listen more to your body and inner voice!
#3 Time for pleasure
Multitasking is not a good recipe for listening to our body's needs! It's very easy to turn your meals into little #metime islands in your everyday life. First things first: put your smartphone away. Turn off the TV and laptop. And put on some relaxing music instead! To eat consciously and enjoyably, sit down at a table (not slouched on the sofa) and concentrate on your meal. 20 to 30 minutes should be worth it to consciously do something good for yourself and your body. The advantage: not only do you become more aware of your food, your feeling of satiety slowly sets in, but you can now enjoy your meal even more consciously.
#4 Eating is a social act
You eat less alone together. You may be familiar with the following situation: you are standing in front of your fridge and before the food has even found its place on the plate, it has already disappeared into your mouth. However, uncontrolled eating in between meals is a pleasure and "mindfulness killer". Instead of eating alone while standing up, try to eat together at the table with friends or family. This encourages slow eating, you feel pleasure and associate the meal with a nice event in your mind. It is especially good if eating is ritualised among friends/family.
#5 Appreciation and variety
Appreciate your food! Do you know where your food comes from? Do you know what colour it was when it was raw? How the individual ingredients smell and taste? And do you know which ingredients trigger which feeling in you (are you happy, energetic, balanced)?
Becoming aware of these questions can support a conscious approach to your eating behaviour. In addition to a varied diet, we can also actively think about the energy content of our body and bring our body and mind into balance through a permanently healthy and balanced diet. So at least once a week, include a dish in your diet that you have not prepared or eaten before.
For some people, mindful eating is associated with effort, little time and mumbo-jumbo. But that doesn't have to be the case! The fact is: we are in a fast-paced world. Some people have more, others less time to practise mindful eating at every meal. So try it the other way round! Regular, conscious and enjoyable eating can help you to escape from the hectic everyday life. With the Farmers' Five, we've shown you some simple ways to balance your body, mind and hunger.
Still looking for inspiration for healthy recipes? Then take a look at our Blue Kitchen and get inspired by simple, fresh and healthy recipes.