Make Your Environment Mindful
Yesterday, we learned how our senses affect the taste of our food. Today, we will look at how we may change our behaviors and environment so it’ll be easier to become mindful.
Below is a comprehensive list of all the activities you can implement in your life. Copy and paste the ones you want to try, and print them out as a checklist.
In your house or at work:
☐ Change your crockery so it’s all smaller. Smaller bowls and plates mean less space to fill with food.
☐ Use blue or green plates. We tend to serve more vegetables on this color.
☐ Put tempting foods out of sight or hard to reach. Use containers that are opaque so you can’t see the food inside. Put unhealthy food/leftovers in the freezer, or wrap them in aluminium foil so they are less visible.
☐ Put fruit and vegetables in eyesight so it’s more likely you will eat them. Have a fruit bowl filled with a variety of fresh fruit in easy reach. Make sure there is no other food visible on the counter.
☐ Pre-cut fruit and vegetables so it’s easier for snacking.
☐ Keep a large bottle of cold water, soda water, or cold herbal tea in the fridge to sip on.
During your meal:
☐ Put everything on your plate before you eat (you will eat around 14% less than if you go back for seconds and thirds).
☐ Make it harder to go back for seconds by putting leftovers straight into the freezer
☐ Put away all distractions—no phone, books, or TV.
☐ Instead of eating directly out of a package or box, put your snack in a separate dish and leave the box in the kitchen. You will eat less.
☐ If drinking alcohol, keep the empty wine bottles in sight and pour refills into fresh glasses without clearing the others. Seeing the amount you have drunk can kick you into a more mindful mindset.
☐ Eat meals at a table.
☐ Dish out 20% less than you think you might want before you start to eat. You probably won’t even notice the “missing” food once you have enjoyed your meal
☐ Always drink a glass of water before meals
☐ Eat snacks that take work: pistachios, prawns, etc. This will help you focus on how much you are eating
☐ If you are eating unhealthy treats, keep empty wrappers in sight as a reminder of how much you have had.
Creating new habits and making changes can be difficult, so aim to try only one or two activities per week—it’ll be easier to sustain, and in just a few months, you will have made substantial progress toward becoming a mindful eater.
Tomorrow: In the next lesson, we’ll explore a mindful meal, step by step.
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