Do you ever find yourself truly enjoying the food you eat? Or is eating just something you do to stop your tummy rumbling while driving, watching TV, or talking to a friend?
With food being so readily available in supermarkets, we rarely give our eating habits the attention as they deserve. In this episode, Lianne & Corey explore the relationship between mindfulness and food, asking the question 'why do you eat what you eat'?
You won't find any criticism or push towards a particular diet here, just thought-provoking questions as our hosts share personal stories about learning to foster healthy gut flora, consider the financial cost of a healthier diet and ponder the motives behind the mass-produced food industry.
In a friendly interview, Health Psychologist Dr. Lynn Rossy sheds light on the connection between food and emotions, explaining why we crave foods that make us feel better in the short term. According to Dr. Rossy, the food we place in our mouth says a lot about how awake and conscious we are and about the love and kindness, we show to ourselves. By incorporating mindfulness, we can discover what our bodies are really saying about the foods they need, and discover a richer eating experience.
Listen in to discover how you can develop a healthier relationship with food.
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Get To The Point
0:49 What to Expect Summary of episode 9
2:04 Quick Quote By Charles M. Schulz
2:40 Focus On… Food & nutrition. What does it mean to our hosts?
4:52 Gut Flora How to foster good bacteria in your gut
6:56 Dig Deeper Hard-hitting facts about the mass-produced food industry
9:00 Money vs Health Is a healthier diet really more expensive?
10:27 Interesting Interview Dr. Lynn Rossy on how to develop a healthy relationship with food
45:03 Interview Digestion Key takeaways from the interview
46:12 Hot Tips with Lianne 6 food items to swap for a healthier kitchen
47:28 Meat & Dairy Alternatives Tips for going plant-based, while still biting into a cheeseburger
48:49 Take it Further Recommended books, films & resources
With food being so readily available in supermarkets, we don't give our eating habits as much attention as we should. We need to be more mindful not just about what we eat, but also how we eat, from the amount of time we spend chewing to multi-tasking at the dinner table.
Gut flora: Bacteria and other organisms that live inside the intestines. They help digest food. Vitamins such as biotin and vitamin K are made by gut flora.
Imagine your stomach is like a garden and certain foods are like a sprinkle of water on the flowers which helps them grow. Other foods feed the bad bacteria, making the ratio of bad to good higher. To feed the good bacteria, incorporate foods that contain probiotics, like sauerkraut.
Genetically Modified (GM) crops: Genetic engineering methods to modify the DNA of plants to do a function that does not naturally occur, like resistance to diseases and pests or reduction of spoilage.
GM crops are banned in 36 countries due to concerns over environmental damage. There are concerns over limited testing on the effect of GM foods on humans. Even if we don't eat GM crops, the animals we eat do, and still pass the effects onto us.
We are led to believe we can't financially afford a healthier diet, but a Harvard study shows a healthier diet only costs around US$1.50 more per day. When you consider the cost of medical problems associated with a diet high in sugar, fat, and processed foods, you might actually save money.
Be aware of corruption in governing bodies promoting certain food groups as "nutritious" when they really aren't.
For honest, research-backed health information, visit Dr. Michael Gregor's website, nutritionfacts.org. Dr. Gregor features in the eye-opening documentary, What the Health, the film health organizations don't want you to see. What the Health is available on Netflix and YouTube and has an accompanying book with plant-based recipes.
Another recommended resource is Dr. Caroline Leaf's book Think & Eat Yourself Smart, which explores the relationship between thinking and eating, explaining that every individual has unique nutritional needs.
Key Interview Takeaways
- People get stuck in behaviors that maybe aren't in their own best interest. One of the biggest reasons for this is being hijacked by emotions like stress, anger, loneliness, or overwhelm which activates the fight-or-flight response.
- We often eat foods that make us feel better in the short term, when in the long term they may make us feel sluggish or even sick.
- Mindfulness is the pause between a thing activating habitual behavior, like drinking a glass of wine at 5 o'clock and making an informed decision. The more information we can gather, the easier it is to change bad habits.
- Become a "conscious connoisseur" by being curious about what, why, and how you are eating to increase awareness of your food choices.
- Research shows when people become more mindful eaters, they begin to desire healthier, less processed foods, not because somebody told them to, but because they want to.
- Many people aren't really tasting their food because they aren't paying attention. By being present while you eat, you can discover more flavors in your food.
- Mindfulness skills can be developed through techniques like meditation and yoga, even if the focus is to develop mindfulness about eating.
- Mindful eating and healthy eating are not the same things. Healthy eating implies that some eating is good and another eating is bad. Mindful eating is about paying attention to taste, hunger, fullness, deliciousness, energy, fatigue, and desire in relation to eating, without judgment. You can still eat an apple pie with ice-cream mindfully.
- To start mindful eating practice, read Dr. Rossy's book, take her online class, or visit her website which includes free meditations and yoga videos. You can also visit the Center for Mindful Eating for useful webinars (small fee).
Connect With Dr. Lynn Rossy
Dr. Lynn Rossy, is a health psychologist, author, researcher, and Kripalu yoga teacher specializing in mindfulness-based interventions for eating, stress, and workplace wellness. She developed a mindful eating program called Eat for Life that helps participants create a better relationship with their food and body. Dr. Rossy is also the President of The Center for Mindful Eating and Executive Director of Tasting Mindfulness.