Michael Townsend Williams - Mindful eating

How to live well

Health, wealth and happiness on our stretch of the Thames

When eating, eat

One of Richmond’s favourite brands is Lululemon.

Here one of their Ambassadors,

Michael Townsend Williams, writes about how to eat well, stress less and build resilience.

Eat, then work. Work, then eat

 

Always eat breakfast at home before leaving for work. Yes, that means at home. Not while you walk. Not while you take the train or tube. Not while you’re in the lift. A good breakfast will help you think more clearly and give you the energy to cope with the unexpected.

 

Stop every hour for a glass of water. If you haven’t recently, stop now. There’s no time like the present. Literally.

 

Leave the office at lunchtime. For at least an hour. Get some fresh air, even in the rain. Your mind and body need a break. Sit down and eat mindfully concentrating on the quality and quantity of what you consume. Before and after you can walk, read and do whatever you need to do to feel you’ve had a break from work.

 

Stop mid-morning and mid-afternoon for at least 15 minutes for a cup of tea or a piece of fruit. Build healthy habits of taking regular breaks. A planned one is better that the many unplanned ones you will take if you don’t.

 

Eating well will help you work well. Just don’t do them at the same time!

 

Stress less

 

Stress makes it harder to control your actions and urges. So if you are falling into bad eating habits I would look at 2 important considerations:

 

If you are stressed ask yourself how much of that stress is self-inflicted? Can you say no? Can you ask for more time? Can you have a break? Can you stop and go outside for some fresh air?

 

What is the root cause? Ask yourself ‘why am I doing this?’ a number of times to reveal the true urge behind it. Then think of how you can replace your bad habit with a more positive one. The trigger will always be there but maybe you can respond skilfully rather than react unconsciously?

 

Adapt

 

The key to eating well is to be open to what is best for you in any given moment. Be flexible and adapt to life as it appears in front of you.

 

Do you need time alone?

Or are you craving company?

Have you been inside all day?

Do you need to feel some outside space?

Or are you in need of some comfort and warmth inside?

 

Mindful Eating Checklist

 

Here’s my ritual:

 

1. Sit down to eat. Stop what you’re doing. Take some time. If you’re outside, find a bench or sit on the grass in a park.

 

2. Take one deep breath. From the belly, through the nose, counting to 4 as you breathe in and 6 as you breathe out. Being more relaxed, you will digest your food better.

 

3. Don’t drink whilst eating or 15 mins before or after you eat. Again you will digest your food better as you won’t be diluting your digestive juices.

 

4. Don’t read, listen or speak. Bring all your attention to your food. Who grew it? Who cooked it? How did it get on your plate? What does it look like? How does it smell? And yes, how does it taste? Really explore the full range of texture and taste.

 

5. Be thankful. Show some gratitude. Appreciate your food. Savour each mouthful. Never take it for granted.

 

Why don’t you make your own rules for eating mindfully? How about making a little card to carry round in your wallet or purse to remind you?

©RiverTribe Magazine 2017