However you are feeling today, be it full, tired, bloated, guilty, rested, unhealthy, reticent or raring to go, just know that this feeling with pass in its own time and be replaced by some another feeling. One of the wonders of being human.
Maybe you’re not feeling great about how you’ve looked after yourself over last few weeks. Maybe you’re full of vim and vigour to eat healthily and exercise in 2014. Whichever it is, this is just how you’re feeling now. So no need to be critical or embark on a strict regime of cabbages or lemons. Come next week, all will feel different again.
Lucy, one half of the most excellent Honest Kitchen writes about all that chopping, the resentment we sometimes feel when faced with a huge pile of vegetables to chop before we can settle down with a healthy, balanced meal. So many good strategies in there from acceptance, loud music and chopping as a mindfulness practice.
The Guardian Word of Mouth Blog on Flexible Meal Times - Who says when it's OK to eat breakfast, on the pleasures and benefits of being flexible about what you eat when. Breaking from the social norm of three meals a day with toast or cereal for breakfast can really support eating in tune with our appetite and bringing some nutritional balance to the day.
"it feels like a reprieve. I calm down, slow down and take a long time over every mouthful" A favourite part for me of a one-day mindfulness retreat is the companionable quiet of a shared, silent lunch. Many of workshop participants say that this is their favourite part of the day - time set aside just to eat, without phones, email, books or talk. Another Guardian article, this time on the trend of artists and restaurants organising silent meals.
I'm delighted to be collaborating with mindfulness teacher Alicia Loreto-Gardner for a one-day mindfulness workshop in Oxford
Details of the workshop are as follows:
Introducing mindfulness, a whole day workshop in Oxford, September 14th 2013
Mindfulness can help us to manage stress and anxiety in a positive way, to cope with the pace and demands of modern life and to feel happier and healthier. The practices are simple to learn and can become part of every day activities such as eating and breathing. The workshop will be a gentle introduction to the practice of mindfulness in a relaxed and friendly environment during which you will have the opportunity to:
- Stop the 'doing' and rushing of daily life and give yourself permission to just 'be' mindfully, in a tranquil, friendly and supportive environment
- Explore the concept of Mindfulness from an experiential approach as well as some of its principles and benefits.
- Learn some simple skills to take away and use after the workshop
- Find out about future opportunities to further and deepen what you have experienced and practiced during the workshop.
Behind the scenes at Google's cafeteria - fascinating insight into how Google balance unlimited free food with an environment cleverly designed to generate healthy choices
Everything can be done mindfully, including mindful dishwashing
Some come to mindfulness and mindful eating with a goal of eliminating comfort eating from their lives. It doesn't take a big leap to see how making a really rigid goal out of this intention can become another form of punishment and a target for rumination and regret. It’s completely normal human behaviour to sometimes turn to food to see if it will lighten an unpleasant mood. What can be a problem is when eating is our only and overused strategy for making ourself feel better .
What our alternative strategies might be is a whole topic for another day, but there is another factor that we can bring into play. We can experiment with, and really pay attention to how the foods we choose for comfort make us feel.
We might habitually turn to something sweet, crunchy or creamy to do the job, but one some days might we be better served by something warm and brothy, or bland and chewy?