rental car skated across snow-packed roads after a winter
storm dumped a foot of Christmas cheer onto my route back to
the Denver airport. Mindful that I did not want to skid out of
control, I concluded that this would not a good time to post a
picture of my adventure on Facebook.
stopped for gas in Pine Bluffs, Wyo., I told the cashier I was
heading home a day late because of the snow storm.
was pretty bad here," she said. "But not as bad as
they had in western Nebraska."
where I was, I told her.
— being present in the moment — not only helps us through
bad weather. It can help us improve eating habits, according
to an article by Cheryl Harris, MPH, RD, in Today’s
Dietitian. And who doesn’t need that this time of year? Here
are some expert ideas to become a more mindful eater:
to what you are doing. "Many of the habits that drive us
to overeat are unconscious behaviors that people have repeated
for years," says Michelle May, MD, author of "Eat
What you Love, Love what you Eat" and founder of "Am
I Hungry?" mindful-eating workshops. And we can’t
change until we become aware of what we need to change, she
realized, for example, that my trusty mug of hot coffee as I
maneuvered across the icy plains not only kept me alert but
was a true comfort as I watched the outside temperature
plummet to 7 degrees. And I totally justified other provisions
my daughter had packed — a high fiber granola bar, a liter
of bottled water, and a high-energy concoction she calls
how and where you eat. Once at the airport, I grabbed a quick
meal and checked my phone messages…totally oblivious to what
I was eating. Safe and sound back home, however, I enjoyed a
relaxed meal with a friend. No rushing. No distractions. Big
say experts, means paying attention — in the present moment
and without judgment — to what we do. Research shows that
when we become more mindful about how and what we eat, our
weight and stress levels often normalize.
yourself, "Am I hungry?" Ultimately, this is the
question to ask ourselves through this entire season, says
May. When I stop to consider my hunger, it puts a pause
between the urge to eat and eating.
will be mindful, yet gentle, with myself, as I sip eggnog with
my family after church on Christmas Eve. And as we share
meals, I will realize this is how we foster healthy
relationships with others as well as with food.