Be Merry with Mindful Eating

Take this opportunity to celebrate the  holiday season with mindful eating. First, if you are having a buffet, try designing your plate by paying attention to the colors of the food. Dr. Maoshing Ni explains in his book, Secrets of Longevity: Hundreds of Ways to Live to Be 100, “…there are five elemental energies in our universe as well as within our bodies. These energies are represented by wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. Each of these symbols also corresponds to a color. Wood corresponds to green, fire to red, earth to yellow and orange, metal to white, and water to black, blue and purple.” The colors of fruits and vegetables also correspond to the specific antioxidants that each one offers. Keeping this in mind as you choose your food, you will create a plate that is vibrant and rich in color and nutrition.

The texture of food is also important, as each texture represents a primary food group. Lean animal protein, grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds, oils, herbs and spices are the food groups in a healthy meal. Appreciate the food groups that offer nutritional value essential to your well-being such as plants, grains, and legumes. If available, include sweet potatoes and yams for a sweet, nourishing taste with high nutritional value.

The third factor in your plate design is proportion. Each primary food group should be properly represented, and the quantity should be just the right amount to provide optimum nourishment. Overwhelming the digestive system with overeating can weaken it.

Take a moment to enjoy the blend of aromas coming from your food. When you eat, be fully present and savor every flavor. Chew your food well as chewing is pleasurable and healthy. Chewing around thirty times before swallowing allows you to predigest your food which results in the optimum absorption of nutrients.

At the end of the meal, allow yourself to be nourished and satisfied. Be aware of the stretch receptors of the stomach as they tell your mind that you have consumed enough. Enjoy this feeling. Finally, take the opportunity to be thankful for those who prepared the food and for the friends and family who joined the feast to celebrate the holiday season.