Mindful Living is a set of rules I try to apply to my life and the way I’m living my life. I’m thinking out loud about food as part of exploring living in a more mindful manner.
I’m very confused with all these new food rules. I really don’t understand the thinking behind quitting entire food groups.
I can see the point of cutting down refined sugar but quitting sugar entirely meaning that you no longer eat fruit? Maybe I’m just really old school, but that just doesn’t make sense to me.
I’ve got a few simple food rules. I frequently break them but it’s with knowledge and awareness. I don’t beat myself up about it – I just make sure the next meal is more mindful and balanced.
What is it with quitting entire food groups like dairy, wheat, gluten and yes, sugar, if you’re not a medically diagnosed coeliac or have allergies? Why can’t we just eat “food”?
My Food Rules
- Eat mostly stuff that has been grown on a farm or in a garden.
- Choose organic, free range and natural animal products. It is more expensive but it tastes so much better, plus the benefit for me is that I feel better about eating something that had a happy life before it landed on my plate. I will never, ever eat rabbit though. Ever.
- If the list of ingredients is mostly numbers and words you don’t understand, don’t eat it.
- Eat a proper breakfast with protein and carbs and fibre and healthy oils and dairy.
- Your dinner and lunch plate should be half full of vegetables and fruit, with the emphasis on the vegetables. One quarter whole grains and one quarter protein.
- A healthy serving of protein is about the size and width of your palm. Red meat is yummy but don’t forget to serve fish, eggs, tofu, chicken, lean pork and dairy.
- Refined is a good thing when it comes to manners. Not so much when it comes to food. Refined food means processed.
- Potatoes do not count as vegetables. Vegetables and fruits of all colours should be included.
- Fat isn’t the enemy. Your body needs oil – healthy oils.
- If you were brought up to clean your plate, and you can’t break the habit, then use a smaller plate!
- You don’t need to eat as much as your boyfriend, husband, man in your life either. They’re bigger, they eat more. Unless you want to be bigger too, eat a smaller-sized portion.
- Don’t eat in front of the TV or screen. Concentrate on the food and how it makes you feel.
- Eat mindfully and slowly. Savour the taste of the food and enjoy the company of eating with friends and family.
- Stop when you’re full. It makes sense, yeah?
- When you’re craving something, ask yourself if you’re thirsty or bored instead. Are you actually hungry at all?
- Give in to cravings occasionally. You have probably earned a treat or two. Instead of scarfing a packet of sweets without thinking about it, choose a square of two or really good quality dark chocolate. It will release endorphins and give you that dopamine hit you’re actually craving.
- Food isn’t bad or evil. It isn’t just fuel either. It’s one of life’s great pleasures and should be respected.
Those are my rules and because I’m aware of how to eat properly, I also know what I’m doing wrong every time I break my own rules. This isn’t a diet plan or a lose weight plan. I’m not interested in anything that is die with a T!
What I am interested in is being healthy and happy. I know with a few minor changes, mainly involving decreasing portion size and amping up the exercise, I could easily drop a size. But I’m in this for the long haul. Although I’m the biggest I’ve ever been (except when I was pregnant and when I was first dealing with chronic illness that left me unable to walk more than short distances), I love being a curvaceous size 12 hourglass.
Eating mindfully is about giving me strength and stamina and equipping me to be here for a long time … and a good time!
These are my thoughts but I’d love to hear your thoughts. Have you “quit” a food group?
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- Photographs copyright Kim-Marie Williams
- Healthy Eating Plate image source Harvard School of Public Health
- Images edited by Kim-Marie Williams using PicMonkey
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