Of course, primarily, we need to eat to stay alive, but food can serve many other purposes: to ground us, to connect us to others, to occupy or distract a troubled mind, offer feelings of reward and comfort when our needs are not being met elsewhere. In other words, eating can be a very emotional business! And right now, things are pretty weird and our emotions, mood and energy levels might be less stable than usual.
So let’s switch on our eating awareness radar, make conscious choices and prevent our waistlines from expanding!
Make sure each meal is balanced and sustaining
When food is truly satisfying, we tend to snack less and can allow the digestive system to rest between meals.
- Eat complex carbs to stabilise blood sugar levels and iron out spikes and dips in energy through out the day such as quinoa, sweet potatoes, beans, lentils, millet, brown rice, oats, buckwheat.
- Eat a little protein with every meal to help you feel fuller for longer and slows the release of glucose from carbohydrates. Nuts, dairy, tofu and green leafy vegetables. Here’s a fabulous tofu recipe.
Adopt an attitude of conscious cooking and eating
- Play mantras and uplifting music while you cook. Pouring love and creativity into your food, will always make it taste better and be more satisfying. My children used to tell me that even toast tasted better when I buttered it!
- This is a great time to awaken your taste buds by getting experimental in the kitchen. Challenge yourself to use up everything that’s open or lurking unexplored in the dark recesses of your cupboard. Here’s a delicious recipe for dal makhani.
- Take a moment when you notice yourself reaching for a snack and take 3 long deep breaths and then check in with yourself to see if you still do need to eat something, or maybe you are just thirsty or are avoiding doing something else!
- How about pinning your favourite mantra to the fridge door and chanting it 3 times before you open the fridge!
Make your snacks count!
If you really do feel the need to eat between meals, then avoid reaching for sugary, processed foods, which are nutrition poor and calorie rich and play havoc with your energy levels. Challenge yourself to always include a vegetable of fruit as part of your snack, such as:
- Cottage cheese and grapes
- Apple and peanut butter
- Carrot sticks and hummus
- Banana and oatcakes
- Apple and walnuts
- Red pepper and guacamole
- Yoghurt and berries
- Celery and cream cheese