Although we don’t always have the time to cook every night, trying to fit in a few days a week to cook from scratch can really help you to connect with the food you eat. Did you know that digestion actually starts the moment you start preparing your meal, this is called the cephalic phase, it’s when we start to chop the food, taste the food, our senses are engaged and our saliva glands are stimulated which is starts the digestion process! This connection with our food is vital for not only digestion but also to stimulate our hunger hormones. It’s also enables us to not overeat.
When we eat pre made meals, we eliminate this important phase entirely and we often lose that connection with our food. This can lead to over eating, slower digestion and slower release of the hormone that makes us feel full, ghrelin.
Being mindful of what you eat can have a huge impact on our health! Ask yourself “Are you eating the rainbow” “is the food your eating nourishing for your body” “Will the food your about to eat make you feel great long term or cause a dip in energy later!”
This is especially important at times when we have our afternoon energy slump or the sweet cravings kick in, be prepared with snacks that will help to curb those cravings such as homemade trail mix of nuts, seeds and dried fruit or fresh fruit, or some dark chocolate and won’t cause that horrible energy dip later on.
Cooking and preparing foods from scratch is a wonderful way to connect with the foods you eat, using natural whole foods, creating something that will nourish you from the inside out!
Remember there will be days when you have no time at all to prepare foods for the day ahead and if you need to eat on the go, look at the food your about to eat, is it colourful? does it have vegetables? wholegrains? good protein source? healthy fats? if the answer is no, then its unlikely that it will support you and your energy levels through the rest of the day.
Do you often eat in front of the TV or scroll through your phone while eating?
This is another example of what we should be avoiding when we are eating a meal and even a snack!
Have you found yourself scrolling through your phone and not even realising that you have finished your food and are still hungry, or your rushing around abs you eat a snack but feel completely unsatisfied, this is where the mind-food connection plays it’s part!
By being present with each meal, allows our body to give us signals that we are full, or satisfied! Allows our body to digest the food and to enjoy what we eat! Visual stimulation from colourful food has been shown to have a profound effect on our moods and this is often lost when we eat lunch working at our desk or watching the chase on TV during dinner!
Take that time to slow down, enjoy the food your eat, connect with the meal your about to eat, eat slowly, chew well and make the time to eat mindfully.
It’s all about balance and finding ways to incorporate cooking from scratch, connecting with the food we eat, eating mindfully so we enjoy the food we eat and of course providing your body with nourishing foods will help to make you feel great, set your mood, boost your energy levels and even help you to sleep well.