Hello again! Thanks for joining me on my week long challenge to bring some mindful calm into my life – so far I’m finding it hugely motivating.
In case you missed it, this week is all about Onken’s Embrace Spoonfulness initiative, and you can catch up by reading the first steps I took on Day 1 and how I started to tackle bringing mindfulness into my work on Day 2.
Today, Day 3, is all about mindful eating.
What is mindful eating?
We all know we need to eat to live, but in this modern, busy world, our reasons for eating are typically much more complex than just providing enough energy and nutrition to keep us going.
Often, we’ll eat for cognitive or emotional reasons, such as a reward when we’ve worked hard, a comfort when we’re tired and craving sugar, or we might even do the opposite and skip a meal at times of stress.
And we’ll often eat while distracted, for example while working at our desk or while watching television.
Mindful eating means eating with intention and attention. It means putting away distractions, focussing on the moment and eating as a natural, healthy, and pleasurable activity to satisfying hunger.
With mindful eating, you can take time to recognise the feeling of hunger and any thoughts you have relating to this sensation. You can appreciate the flavour, smell, temperature and texture of your food. You can learn to pause between bites, and reflect on how your body feels – are you full?
Given my passion for food, it’s incredibly fitting that I take time to savour and appreciate food properly, so I’m committed to working harder on that, but I also recognise that our interaction with food usually begins not with the first mouthful, but right back when we decide what to prepare.
Planning is already a pretty natural activity for me, since I blog my recipes, but I’m as guilty as the next person of grabbing something out the fridge or even ordering a takeaway when I’m busy because I feel that I haven’t got the time or the inclination to give my next meal any proper thought.
Cooking mindfully is the same as any mindful activity in that it involves giving your focus properly to that activity, to recognising any thoughts or motivations that are influencing what you feel you need to eat, and making a calm, focussed decision.
I think it’s pretty clear how easily this sort of approach could result in a healthier diet, but I’m not looking for any particular outcome at this stage, I’m just looking to be more mindful.
A tropical granola recipe
For today’s challenge, I’m also happy to share this tropical granola recipe. I think it’s fitting because it’s an opportunity to be mindful both in the making and in the eating. I hope you enjoy it.
Mindful eating (and a recipe for tropical granola)
- 250 g 9 oz jumbo oats
- 50 g 2 oz banana chips, roughly broken into 1-2cm pieces
- 50 g 1 oz dried coconut chunks
- 50 g 1 oz dried pineapple chunks
- 6 tbsp runny honey
- 2 tbsp olive oil coconut oil or sunflower oil (plus a little for greasing)
- A few spoonfuls Onken Mango & Passionfruit yoghurt to serve
- A sprinkling of pomegranate seeds or blueberries to serve
- Preheat the oven to 180C (160C fan assisted).
- Mix all the ingredients (except the toppings) in a greased tray.
- Bake for 15-20 until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Store in an airtight container to keep it fresh.
- To serve, top with the yoghurt and a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds
Come back tomorrow, when I’ll be looking at how I’m embracing spoonfulness through mindful breathing.
This post is sponsored by Onken. For more tips on how to live a more Spoonful life, tasty recipes and to view the full range visit www.onken.co.uk