Namaste, all are welcome here.
My name is Sarah and Mindful Eats is where I share recipes and talk about mindful eating. All the recipes you will find here are vegetarian, most are completely plant-based, and there are many gluten-free and refined sugar-free options. My journey is one of reconnection with food, and through food, and I’ll be sharing insights from that journey here.
I do hope you’ll join me for the ride!
So, you may find yourself asking, what is mindful eating?
For me, mindful eating is a way-of-life, a lifestyle that I choose to live to protect our planet, to stay fit and healthy, and to extend my mindfulness practice into food and eating.
I don’t prescribe or subscribe to any dietary labels, however I do care where my food comes from and the methods used to produce it, and if any being suffered. In these times, having awareness of this kind of information can be increasingly difficult; our food often comes washed, chopped, wrapped and ready to cook, from a brightly lit supermarket shelf, or conveniently delivered to us from an online store, at any hour we choose.
Bringing mindfulness to where and how our food originates is just one piece of the puzzle, how and why we eat it is another.
How we eat
I spend so much time thinking about food. Always planning what to have for my next meal or snack, remembering what I’ve got in the fridge and how I can make use of it, drooling over cookbooks, foodie blogs and Pinterest. After a long day I don’t even sit down, there’s nothing I like more than to start chopping veggies for dinner; cooking is one of my greatest joys!
However, when it comes to eating, I’ve been known to wolf the whole lot down without even noticing it, often distracted by TV or the internet, and definitely not appreciating and really enjoying it.
I first touched the surface of mindful eating in 2012, during a meditation retreat at a Buddhist monastery in the mountains in Thailand. The schedule was quite tough; we rose each morning at 5am, had breakfast at 7am, and our last meal of the day was at midday. In between there were lectures from the monks and lots of meditation self-practice. I found that I could cope with the early starts, the silence, the boredom, and no talking or reading or writing or music or tv or internet of any kind. What I found most difficult to adjust to was the change in eating habits. Each mealtime we would sit around the table, in silence and with no distraction, and eat our meal of plant-based Thai food.
Mindful eating doesn’t come naturally to me, and I doubt any mindfulness practice comes naturally to any human. However, since 2012 I’ve been discovering mindfulness and seeing how I can bring it into my daily life. And through consistency and practice of mindful eating, I’ve found it’s possible to greatly enhance my enjoyment and appreciation of food, and also manage how much I eat.
Why we eat
There have been countless times in my life where I have eaten something, not because I was hungry, but because I had a craving for it. That craving often so intense I didn’t, couldn’t, take the time to investigate why it existed in the first place. It’s been through mindfulness that I’ve begun to recognise my emotional eating habits.
Anger, fear, frustration, shame, you name it! Often my response to feeling negative emotions was to eat, and not just eat, but eat mindlessly. Then the guilt would set in and I’d give myself a hard time for having done so.
It’s taken time, and effort, to begin to get to grips with my emotional eating, and as always, they journey is ongoing.
With love and gratitude for you x