You know that age-old saying “you are what you eat”?1 Well, it turns out it’s a popular phrase for a reason. What you eat influences your health in profound ways,2 from reducing your risk for disease,3 helping to boost your energy levels,4 and lifting your mood. Studies show that, specifically, your microbiome5 (the bacteria, viruses, and fungi your body is filled with)6 impacts everything from digestion to hormonal balance to mental health, which is why having a diverse microbiome is so good for your gut.7 (This includes consuming probiotic foods like kimchi, COCOYO Living Coconut Yogurt, sauerkraut, SYNERGY Raw Kombucha, and more.)8
While deciding to improve your eating habits is great, dieting is not the way to get there. Despite claims promoting fad diets, research shows that restrictive dieting does not create lasting results.9 What works instead is to focus on mindful practices that help nourish our bodies, like eating food that will make us feel good – and that we can feel good about. After all, food is medicine needed to help us live healthier, happier lives.
So, if mindful eating (an awareness of what you eat) is the answer, how can we pay attention to hunger cues and incorporate it into our lives?10 With this question in mind, we’ve put together five tips on how to eat with intention so you can feel your best all the time.
Listen to your body and pay attention to how certain foods make you feel.
This is one of the main tenets of mindful eating.11 Just like your intuition often has the answers you need when making difficult decisions, your body is in tune with what it needs, physically, too. When we pay attention to how we feel after we eat, it signals to our minds what we should or shouldn’t be eating in the first place. Do you notice a mucus buildup in your nose every time you eat sugar;12 bloating or fatigue whenever you have gluten?13 That’s probably not a coincidence. Notice the kind of foods you’re craving, too. Got a hankering for spinach and beets? You may need calcium.14 Beans?15 You might be low in iron. Once you’ve figured out which foods you need, or need to avoid, you can adjust your diet accordingly.
Include beverages as part of your mindful “eating” practice.
Mindful eating isn’t limited to food; it includes drinks, as well. Staying satiated in between meals helps you avoid overeating or mindless snacking. SYNERGY Raw Kombucha, fermented tea, has over 9 billion living probiotics and natural ingredients for an effervescent boost of clarity and health benefits. The probiotics it contains have been found to reduce anxiety and improve mood.16 And it’s a great source of vitamin B12, which is known to increase energy levels.17 People immediately feel a difference after drinking it, and it’s not hard to see why.
Set goals unrelated to weight loss.
When eating mindfully, losing weight isn’t a metric of success. While it may be a result as you become more attentive and invested in how you fuel your body, the goal should be to feel better and more in tune with your body’s natural rhythms and needs.18 Some goals outside of weight loss that can benefit your body and soul can be including more plant-forward foods in your diet, making it a priority to cook more instead of eating out, and aiming to get adequate amounts of sleep. After all, there are so many other things we can set goals around that can help us reach our full potential.
Be present while eating and preparing foods.
Removing all distractions gives full attention to the experience of preparing the food – meaning, no phones or TV, even in the background. Allow yourself o deepen your relationship to the meal you’re making and food you’re about to savor. Plus, when you really focus on cooking, it can be a relaxing and meditative practice. Bringing this same presence to eating allows you to feel how full you are and parse the difference between true and emotional hunger.19 20
Are you often the first one at the table to finish eating a meal? Do you ever drink so quickly that you immediately get the hiccups? If you’ve answered yes to either or both questions, you can probably stand to slow things down a bit. Chew your food thoroughly and slowly, between 20 and 40 times. This exercise helps with digestion and allows you to better appreciate the taste of what you’re eating.21 The same goes for drinking. Our preferred beverage is always SYNERGY Raw Kombucha for its immunity-boosting prebiotics, probiotics, postbiotics, live cultures, and dynamic flavors. Drinking it is a daily ritual where you can slowly take in the benefits and savor each restorative sip.
In short, mindful eating can help us appreciate and savor our food more, allowing us to eat, and live, more intentionally. It can change our eating habits to better reflect our needs and promote better digestion. GT’s Living Foods makes this journey that much easier for us with so many amazing products to consume and enjoy slowly and intentionally, of course.
GT’s Living Foods is known for its SYNERGY Raw Kombucha, but it offers many amazing products to choose from that support mindful eating. For instance, COCOYO Living Coconut Yogurt, which is raw, fermented, and dairy-free; AGUA DE KEFIR, a naturally flavored Cultured Tonic of Mexico with electrolytes and non-dairy kefir crystals; and ALIVE Ancient Mushroom Elixir, an adaptogenic drink made with healing mushrooms for clean caffeine.
GT’s Living Foods believes that food should be your medicine, and what better place to start than with a collection of live, functional formulas and diverse, natural flavors that nourish the mind, body, and soul?