March 12th, 2013 by Digestive Detective
Guest Blog: Elizabeth "Coach" Scala with Living Sublime Wellness
So being that this is the Digestive Detective (I love that name, by the way!) blog- I wanted to post something related to nutrition. That being said, I know that Jason is a scientific wizard full of resources and information pertaining to what we actually eat… so I’m not going to attempt to write about that!
However there is more that goes into healthy intake than just the foods we eat- much, much more in fact. And I would bet that at least 75% of us do NOT partake in a mindful lunch. And why is that number so high?
We’re all so busy!
We have no time to eat. And quite frankly, food marketers have made it easy for us to live this way. There are vending machines, drive-thrus, and coffee stands all over the place that we enable us to grab-and-go. I see it all the time: nurses bring lunch to meetings, miss lunch, or eat on-the-go. My own boss says to me, “Let me just have a bite of this sandwich and we can head off to that meeting…” leaving the rest to finish off later.
So let’s just pretend for a moment that you do have enough time to eat… how can we create healthier experiences around our mealtimes? One answer quite simply: mindful eating.
What does it look like? How does one do it? What all goes into it? Well, I have created a quick video that I created which you can check out on mindful eating- but I also want to share with you the aspects that go into it here today:
- Eat in quiet. Turn off the radio, the TV, the internet. Cut off the distractions. Eat your meal in a quiet, calm, and peaceful space.
- Slow down. As you eat, make sure you are breathing. Put down the utensil. It is not a shovel. Chew your food completely. Between bites and swallows- take breaks. Allow the oxygen to help you with the digestion process.
- Use your senses. Smell, see, feel, and experience the food. Don’t just inhale it. Do you even know what you just ate? I learned in my Integrative Nutrition coaching program that a lot of the problems with “weight control” are that people are eating so fast they are missing the meal. When they miss the meal they are not satisfied. And since they are still hungry they have to go back later and eat more.
- Bless the food. And I don’t just mean before you eat. As you are eating thank each nutrient for what it is helping to nourish inside of your body. We really do become what we eat. Our food is broken down, metabolized, and made into our cells. Thank those green leafy veggies for nourishing your liver. Appreciate the carrots for catering to the eyes.
These are just some of my suggestions. You may even come up with more of your own. The point is to minimize- as best you can- the eating in the car, on-the-go, standing up, or between meetings type of lifestyle. Be present for the eating experience. Enjoy and taste the food.
Elizabeth “Coach” Scala, MSN/MBA, RN is passionate about helping healthcare professionals, nurses in particular, to embody holistic living and embrace self-care.
Through her business, Living Sublime Wellness, she writes regularly on the topic of self-care, conducts a free, monthly wellness workshop, and offers both in person and online seminars for busy nurses. Elizabeth is a Certified Health and Wellness Coach and holds Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and Master’s degrees in both Business and Nursing. Originally from Carmel, NY, she now lives in Baltimore, MD with her husband and two dogs.