Can eating your favorite foods be a type of self-care? While we are aware that some foods are “bad” for us, eating our favorite comfort foods can still make us feel better. This doesn’t mean eating the entire carton of ice cream will cure your seasonal depression, but it does mean that we don’t need to deny ourselves fatty foods all the time. In fact, restricting foods in our diet can actually make us want them even more. What we are looking for is a balance of healthy eating without guilt or shame when we indulge in comfort foods.
There will always be some emotional connection to certain foods, and mindful eating can help us become aware of those connections.
“When our eating becomes internally regulated, which we call mindful eating, our eating patterns shift in such a way that we are neither over- nor under-eating,…The orchestra of neurotransmitters and hormones that connect the brain and gut, and body, can all interact and guide us toward eating according to our biological and even, yes, our psychological needs.” (2 Ways That Food Fixations Can Endanger Mental Health)
Mindful eating can help us develop a healthy relationship to food that supports and nourishes our mind and body.
- Next time you reach for a snack, pause and check in with how you are feeling. How are you feeling in your body and in your mind?
- As you indulge in a comfort food be present with the sensations.
- Eat slowly and notice the color, the texture, the smell, and the taste. When you have finished eating, pay attention to how you feel.
- You may want to keep a food journal to help you figure out which foods make you feel the best and which foods make you feel worse.
- Being aware of the connection between our emotions and certain foods can help us with mindful eating.
The C.A.R.E. Program team would love to connect with you!
- Register for one of our Caregivers classes
- Join the conversation in our Facebook group