Mindful eating for busy families.
Mindfulness is the current buzzword that is the supposed answer to everything but what does it mean?
My definition includes thoughtful eating that bears in mind all the things we want our food to nourish. This includes nourishing our bodies, giving and experiencing pleasure, being sociable and even calming our souls.
It includes the blessings of gratitude in being so fortunate to have such abundance.
Above all else it is paying attention to the experience of eating. Tasting, chewing and swallowing food is an experience to be savoured.
We do this best by sitting down, choosing good food, switching off all distractions and ignoring everything that beeps, rings and disturbs our awareness.
Unfortunately we can’t switch off the children, so we need to teach them to pay attention too. Set time for regular meals, put everything you need on the table and sit down. Imaginary glue sticking you to the chair means you do not move from the table for anything short of medical emergencies!
For mums who eat left overs remember you have eaten your meal so step back from the leavings on others plates. They are not yours.
Before you eat check out how hungry you are, repeat this question before you reach for seconds.
Family meals where mother is up and down like a jack in the box or when meals are rushed increases your adrenal stress and leads to poor digestive function with too much stomach acid and speedy digestion with poor assimilation of nutrients (symptoms common with Irritable Bowel Syndrome).
Pay attention to the quality of the food, the welfare of animals you eat, the chemicals in the food chain and added chemicals in processed food and make the best choices you can within family budget constraints.
Include 7 fruit and vegetable portions per day on a regular basis and oily fish, a few nuts and seeds and avocado for Essential Fatty Acids (link to the leaflet on my website if you like)
The benefits of eating mindfully include more satisfaction, quality family time, better behaved children and a calmer household.
Herbs for calm and happy digestion include Chamomile, Fennel, marshmallow, Meadowsweet and Peppermint. These are in the Digestion Blend of Tea available online.
Open access , online series of talks including herbs for digestion and stress available via the website healthandherbs.ie
Clinics in Dublin, Sligo and Galway.