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A Guide to Mindful Eating

Updated: Mar 30, 2021

By Inder Gharial, CNP, NNCP

When beginning a nutrition plan, having a meal plan is a great way to start but holistically it is not enough to create good eating habits and achieve the goals you have set out for yourself. You could have a terrific meal plan no doubt, but where are you eating your meals, how are you feeling emotionally when you eat, who are you eating with? These factors and so many more play a role in how the digestive system processes and absorbs the food you eat. I am going to share with you some of the most important mindful things to consider when sitting down for a meal.

Choose Nutrient Dense Foods vs. Calorie Dense

Nutrient dense foods mean that the food has a high vitamin and mineral content in relation to its weight. Choose vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, legumes, organic animal produce, nuts and seeds etc.

Work with a Nutritionist to Determine your Nutritional Needs

Determining which foods may be causing symptoms and work to eliminate those foods for a short period of time to achieve healing this can help to ensure nutrient absorption and good energy.

Lemon Water

Have a glass of lemon water 20-miutes before you eat to begin the activation of your digestive cascade, which includes: stomach acid, enzymes, and bile. Even just thinking about eating a lemon can turn on the salivary glands.

Stress Management

Make sure you are not having difficult conversations, sitting at your work desk, driving, rushing or angry when you eat. Being in the stress response sends all the resources to your extremities to initiate the fight/flight stress response to deal with the stress but that can slow down or inhibit digestion. Take 3 deep breaths and say gratitude before you begin eating.

Create an Ambiance

This one is my favorites! Creating an ambiance similar to that of a restaurant or a any type of situation where you feel calm and happy when eating helps to ensure your digestive process works more efficient.

Here are some ideas:

  1. Have a picnic with family or friends

  2. Light some candles

  3. Use your favorite dishes

  4. Set up your plate as you see in restaurants or on television

  5. Put on light music

  6. Eat with people you enjoy being around

  7. Set the table with your favorite tablecloth, linens, napkins, flowers etc.

  8. Serve food in your favorite dishes – you do not only have to do this when someone comes over, you can celebrate and use beautiful things for yourself too!

Some other Quick Tips:

  1. Chew until your food is at a peanut butter consistency before swallowing to liberate surface area so that enzymes can do their work

  2. Notice if a food is causing discomfort

  3. Do not use devices or watch television while you are eating

  4. Pay attention to the cues of hunger and satisfaction

  5. Journal what you have eaten throughout the day to keep yourself accountable

What’s Next?

Are you interested in nutritional counseling? Inder Gharial would be happy to answer your questions! Contact us to book a complimentary meet and greet 15 minute consultation.


Please note that content on this website is intended for informational purposes only, and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional, nor is it meant to diagnose or treat a health problem, symptom or disease. Always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional supplement, or using any treatment for a health problem. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your health care provider promptly. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking professional advice because of something you have read on this website. Information provided on this website DOES NOT create a doctor-patient relationship between you and any doctor affiliated with our website.

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