CW: This episode has references to personal experiences with disordered eating and calorie and food restriction, and includes us eating (no sounds!) and responding to food.
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In this episode, we talk about our own hangups with food consumption and explore how mindfulness could help us bring our Love Deeply ethos into meal time.
Mindfulness is defined as the act of focusing attention on present-moment experiences. Mindful Eating would then be: focusing the whole of your attention on the details of your food/eating experience.
Leslie initially hates this idea, but Laura explains it a bit and he adjusts. Laura talks about how she's discovered that instagramming her food has become the way she prays before a meal, and how that in itself is an act of mindfulness and intentional gratitude.
Laura briefly goes over the emerging scientific evidence of mindfulness being an important health practice, and mindful eating sharing some of those benefits. She reminds us that Zen Buddhism has been teaching this for thousands of years and that it can be a good thing without Western scientists telling us "why." Leslie admits his love of Western medicine-backed empirical evidence.
Then we do a little mindful eating practice with actual food. Here are the questions we ask each other as we partake. We were both surprised by some of our responses!
- What if food is an expression of love - for each other and our bodies?
- What if we saw each bite was a gift to our bodies?
- What if we gave ourselves permission to just enjoy what we eat when we eat it, instead of thinking about how we can rid our bodies of its calories later?
- What if we loved our bodies enough to listen to their needs: what food they wanted when they wanted it and when to stop
If you try eating mindfully after listening, or are a veteran of mindful eating yourself, we would love to hear about your experience!Support Glimmering Podcast
- What are the benefits of mindfulness? — This article offers an overview of the research on mindfulness and discusses its implications for practice, research and training.
- Mindful eating - Harvard Health — This article includes a list of tips to help you get started eating slower and more mindfully.
- Does the Mindfulness Diet Work? | Time.com — Surprisingly, people who used the diary lost just as much weight as those on a meditation program. Three months later, they even surpassed the meditation group in maintaining their weight loss. Best of all, people did not even have to write in their answers to reap the benefits. Another experiment found that just considering the questions in the diary, without putting pen to paper, resulted in a more mindful meal.
- Effects of changes in eating speed on obesity in patients with diabetes: a secondary analysis of longitudinal health check-up data | BMJ Open — "Eating quickly is associated with impaired glucose tolerance and insulin resistance, and is a known risk factor for diabetes through increases in body weight. Other studies have also reported associations between eating quickly and increased BMI, indicating that eating speed is a contributing factor for obesity. A possible reason for this association is that fast eaters may continue to eat until they feel full despite having already consumed an adequate amount of calories, and the combined effect of eating quickly and overeating may contribute to weight gain. In contrast, eating slowly may help to increase feelings of satiety before an excessive amount of food is ingested."
- Eating attentively: a systematic review and meta-analysis of the effect of food intake memory and awareness on eating — Evidence indicated that eating when distracted produced a moderate increase in immediate intake but increased later intake to a greater extent.
- Mindful Eating and Weight Loss, Results from a Randomized Trial — Results indicated that [Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less] participants lost more weight than participants in the waitlist control group...Study results suggest that there is a beneficial association between mindful eating and weight loss.
- Body and Mind: Mindfulness Helps Consumers to Compensate for Prior Food Intake by Enhancing the Responsiveness to Physiological Cues — Consumers who are chronically high in mindfulness or who receive a short mindfulness training that focuses attention on the body compensate more for previous food intake in their subsequent consumption.
- Thrive Tribe Paleo Bites- Cacao Nib Snack Clusters — The little snacky things we ate on the show.
- Beginner's Body Scan Meditation - Mindful — A hilarious essay on how your first body scan session will probably go. ;) ________ During the first few “body scans” I mostly thought about lunch and how my butt compares to other butts anywhere on the planet. Every so often I would notice a sensation in my body. When I did, I immediately became alarmed or bored or my mind just wandered off to Taco Bell.
- A 3-Minute Body Scan Meditation to Cultivate Mindfulness - Mindful — A VERY brief mindfulness meditation practice to relax your body and focus your mind - a good one to try directly before a meal. (There's audio to guide you, and also a script to read, so you know what you're getting into.)
- Why Mindfulness And Trauma-Informed Teaching Don't Always Go Together | MindShift | KQED News — We are adding this article as an acknowledgement that mindfulness is not always helpful and certainly not a one-size-fits-all solution to every problem. If you find a mindfulness practice triggering to you, please stop and take care of yourself in ways that work for you.