By Kristi Von Ruden, RDN, LD
It’s easy to get caught up in the desire for instant gratification. It’s the kind of world we live in. You might be running errands or driving to work and have a sudden craving for a delicious coffee drink. It’s just a quick stop right on the way! Craving something deliciously sweet to go along with it? That’s easy to find, too! After all your hard work, you deserve a reward, right?
We usually don’t have to go far or work very hard to satisfy a craving, so much so, that eating can become automatic if we let it. Whether we’re on the latest fad diet and trying to lose weight or just desiring to eat better for overall health, eating well can be incredibly challenging in our instant gratification society. We live in a world that is full of readily available, inexpensive, calorically dense, hyperpalatable foods.
So, what can we do? Mindful eating to the rescue! Mindfulness is awareness. When we eat mindfully, we make conscious choices. We can decide. Do we pass by that candy dish at work, grab a handful, and eat it in seconds while walking back to our desk? Or do we decide to skip it in lieu of a more mindful, nourishing snack that fuels our bodies for strength and energy? We have the power to choose what to eat, how much to eat, when to eat, and how quickly or slowly we eat.
So, next time Aunt Emma says “but, I made it just for you!” or you think “I’m powerless over ice cream” (or chocolate or potato chips), remember, by choosing mindfully you have the power. The more we practice the power of making healthy choices and practice measures for changing our thinking and environment in ways that are supportive of health, the more likely our healthy choices will become healthy habits. Now, that’s empowerment. And you deserve it!