Why Mindful Eating is Essential

Why Mindful Eating is Essential

Why Mindful Eating is Essential

Why Mindful Eating is Essential 

Because of a lack of awareness, many of us go about our eating on a kind of autopilot, unaware of the nutritional and health consequences of what we eat. In a fast-paced world filled with distractions, it's easy to fall into the habit of mindless eating that defaults to a path of least resistance for foods that are cheap, convenient and tasty. In 21st Century America, giant processed food and fast-food companies - collectively known as Big Food - have largely transformed cheap and convenient foods into unhealthy and addictive choices. These companies employed various strategies to maximize profits, often at the expense of public health. One key method is the heavy reliance on additives such as artificial flavors, preservatives, and excessive amounts of sugar, salt, and fat. Such additives enhance taste and extend shelf life, but they also contribute to chronic health problems like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease as well as stimulate the pleasure centers in our brains, making us crave more. As a result, the consumption of such foods has skyrocketed, leading to an obesity and health crisis in the U.S. Thus, it is more important than ever to be mindful about when, what and how much we eat to avoid defaulting to unhealthy food choices and outcomes.

The 1500 years old practice of Zen mindful eating encourages individuals to bring awareness and intention to their eating habits, fostering a deeper connection with food and promoting good health. By embracing mindful eating, one can cultivate a positive relationship with food, free from judgment and full of nourishment. We will explore mindful eating, its numerous benefits, and how drinking ZenGolden Tea supports the practice.

How to Eat Mindfully

At ZenGolden, we modify Zen mindful eating methods that have worked for centuries and apply it to a modern lifestyle. There are three components to ZenGolden mindful eating – 1) Intention 2) Non-judgment 3) Attentiveness.

Mindful eating starts with creating and stating specific intention(s) before you eat, such as better health, nourishment and/or enjoyment, in order of importance. This helps you decide when, what and how much you want to eat. Then follow through your intentions and eat with no judgment on yourself or what you eat.

Track What You Usually Eat

Humans are creatures of habit. We often mindlessly repeat eating the same things over and over again for no good reason. Therefore, mindful eating involves understanding why you eat something. Write down the foods you eat regularly and consider whether these foods align with your eating intentions.

For example, here are some of the foods and beverages that I consume regularly and the reason I eat or drink these – categorized under health, nourishment and/or enjoyment:

ZenGolden Tea for health, nourishment and enjoyment

Nigiri sushi for health, nourishment and enjoyment

Sauteed vegetables for health and nourishment

Steak for nourishment and enjoyment

ZenGolden Tea Fruit Smoothie (apple, banana, pine apple, chia seeds, ZenGolden Tea) for health, nourishment and enjoyment 

Fried chicken for enjoyment

Curry chicken for health, nourishment and enjoyment

Extra virgin olive oil: Health, nourishment and enjoyment

It’s okay to eat anything but understand why you eat what you eat and whether or not eating that food aligns with your intentions. For instance, because my main intention is eating for health and nourishment, I try to eat more of foods that fit all three categories and reduce intake of foods that only fit under enjoyment. If you find yourself eating food that is not nourishing, healthy or enjoyable, eliminate it from your regular diet.

Eat silently and slowly

Start at least one meal a day eating in silence for five minutes and do it slowly. Focus on your food, savor each bite, chew food thoroughly, and pay attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of your food. This deliberate approach to eating allows the body to prepare for digestion more effectively, leading to improved nutrient absorption. By slowing down and giving our bodies the time they need to process food, we can prevent common digestive issues like bloating and indigestion. Moreover, mindful eating encourages us to be more attuned to our body's signals of hunger and fullness, helping us maintain a healthy weight and prevent overeating.

Reduces Emotional Eating

Mindless eating often arises as a response to emotions, leading to unhealthy eating patterns. However, mindful eating promotes a heightened awareness of the connection between emotions and eating. By recognizing emotional triggers and understanding the difference between physical and emotional hunger, individuals can develop healthier coping mechanisms. Mindful eating encourages individuals to address emotional needs directly, rather than resorting to food as a means of comfort. The non-judgmental aspect of mindful eating reduces negative emotional attachment with food. This approach can greatly reduce emotional eating and promote a healthier relationship with food.

Cultivates a Positive Body Image

Mindful eating emphasizes self-acceptance and self-compassion, promoting a positive body image. Instead of focusing on restrictive diets or body ideals, mindful eating redirects attention to the present moment and the nourishment food provides. By appreciating the body's unique needs and treating it with kindness, individuals can foster a deeper sense of self-worth and reduce negative self-judgment. This shift in mindset can lead to better mental health and a more positive relationship with one's body.

Encourages Conscious Food Choices

With mindful eating, individuals become more conscious of the impact their food choices have on their well-being and the environment. By paying attention to the origin and quality of food, individuals can make informed decisions that align with their values and health goals. Mindful eating encourages a non-judgmental approach, allowing individuals to navigate food choices without guilt or shame. This approach empowers individuals to develop a sustainable and balanced approach to nutrition, considering both personal health and the greater good.

ZenGolden Tea

For 1500 years, daily tea drinking and mindful eating have been synergistic mainstays of a Zen lifestyle. Drinking ZenGolden tea can be a beneficial practice for cultivating mindful eating habits. ZenGolden Tea contains the amino acid L-theanine, which has been found to promote relaxation and focus. By incorporating ZenGolden tea into mealtime rituals, individuals can enhance their ability to be present and fully engaged in the act of eating. The process of brewing and sipping tea encourages a slower pace, allowing for a more mindful approach to food consumption. The calming effects of L-theanine can also help reduce stress and anxiety, which are often triggers for mindless eating. Furthermore, the simple act of holding a warm cup of tea can serve as a sensory reminder to slow down, savor each bite, and pay attention to the flavors and textures of the food. Drinking ZenGolden tea every day before and after meals can create a mindful eating experience that promotes awareness, enjoyment, and a healthier relationship with food for you.

Just Eat Mindfully

Mindful eating offers a transformative approach to nourishing the body, fostering good health, and promoting overall well-being. By bringing awareness and intention to our eating habits, we can enhance digestion, reduce emotional eating, cultivate a positive body image, and make conscious food choices. Mindful eating encourages us to savor each bite, listen to our bodies, and appreciate the nourishment food provides. By embracing mindful eating practices, drinking ZenGolden Tea regularly and letting go of judgment, we can establish a healthier relationship with food and ourselves, ultimately leading to a more fulfilling and balanced life.