AT applied to mindful eating

In an effort to reduce stress, I have stopped watching the news. I skim the homepage of the Guardian and the NY Times to keep current, but otherwise, I rarely watch news on TV or online.

Instead, I watch British films and TV, comedies and crime dramas, home improvement shows and I am a huge fan of the Great British Baking Show.


Today, I went to the Food Channel site online, and started streaming an episode of Incredible Edible America. The show featured LA specialty eateries, including a sandwich made of a large hero roll with 5 cheeseburgers, each topped with a fried egg, french fries, chicken fingers, onion rings, bacon, and on and on... then a pair of deep fried waffles filled with white chocolate and hazelnut sauce, crumbled oreo cookies and blue cookie dough ice cream, and then a sandwich made of pressed spaghetti for the bread and filled with meatballs, and smothered in tomato sauce.

As I watched each eatery make their signature recipe, I felt mildly sick to my stomach. The thought of eating even a single bite of any of the items held no appeal to me whatsoever.

People are always surprised that watching these shows doesn’t trigger cravings for me. As I get older (?) or as perhaps as I live more mindfully, I am more and more likely to choose real foods, that are cleaner and far less processed than I used to. I wondered how this happened…

Part of it is a desire to maintain my health, to feel energetic and present, having become more aware of how what I eat affects my overall state, including my emotional well being, and watching the long term health benefits or harm of lifestyle choices of my friends and family.

One of the strategies I developed when deciding what to order off a menu or put together dinner is to imagine how I will feel after I eat it. I remember one evening my husband and I were going over our options for take out. After taking time to fast forward to how I would feel after finishing the food, I opted for a greek salad over chines, pizza or Japanese. I felt very satisfied afterwards, my taste buds were happy and I didn’t feel heavy or full from the meal.

Try it and let me know how it goes!