Mindful nutrition uses a mindful approach to food to encourage a more positive attitude towards food and improve food-based relationships and habits. It involves awareness of internal and external factors, such as where and how food is sourced, how it is prepared, how different foods make you feel, and so forth. The best part is, it’s easier to incorporate than you think! Here are a few tips to get started:
Know what’s in season - have a chat to your local grocer or farmer about what fruit and veg is in season. Not only can it help you understand what’s available and where produce comes from, but it can help save some $$$ too!
Cook to reduce waste - how many different ways can you use your fruit and veg? Most of our parents, grandparents and I’m sure great grandparents (like most) were masters of minimising wastage and making a meal last. Old fruit can be stewed up or used in baking, turn veges into a nourishing soup or vegetable scraps into stock, turn stale bread into breadcrumbs, the possibilities are endless! A little creativity can go a long way, so dig out nan’s recipe book and see what you come up with!
Keep a journal - journalling is a wonderful mindfulness tool and can be used to help foster a more meaningful relationship with food and your body. To read more about the basics of keeping a food journal, CLICK HERE. If you don't have the time or patience (or memory) to write in a journal, take a mental note of how you are feeling around mealtimes, what you are eating or craving, and any other factors that may be influencing right now (are you tired? stressed? time poor? etc)
Start a culinary garden - personally, I live for gardening. A culinary garden doesn't have to be a full orchard or vegetable layout. It could be a few pots with some of your favourite herbs or veg. What I love about this approach is that it helps to foster a connection with food source, it's cost effective (once you get into it) and convenient. It also gives you a reason to look into composting and recycling kitchen waste, which helps to reduce the environmental footprint and promote sustainability.
Eat to nourish your body - because you're worth it! Oh so often many of us feel the guilt that follows a mindless binge on certain convenient or comfort foods. When we adopt a more mindful approach to our food, we start looking at the reasons as to why we are hungry, the source of our food and the way certain foods contribute to how we feel. We start to incorporate food practices that align with our perspective of health and wellness, not just 'because it is time to eat'. Making time to cook healthy and nourishing food is a must to foster awareness of each ingredient, to bring each ingredient together with love and intention, and to create meals that are nurturing and nourishing, that make us feel good inside and out!