Ever found yourself standing in your kitchen, munching away on a couple of rice crackers, only to find you’ve demolished the entire pack without blinking an eye?
Emotional eating. A phrase previously thought best suited to those drowning their sorrows in a big bag of potato chips, watching tragic love stories. As a Health and Wellness Coach I considered myself immune to such styles of eating. But it seems, no matter how healthy one may be, most of us have fallen victim to mindless eating at some point or another. And hence, I came to coin the term, The Mindless Munch.
The Mindless Munch can occur any time of the day. The lunch that disappears as you replied to an endless barrage of emails. Late at night, hunger barely enters the picture as you search for solace, somewhere in the back of your pantry.
Often these are the very things holding us back from taking charge of our health. So how do you turn The Mindless Munch Mindful? Here are my 5 tips to get you started, along with a recipe for a Cinnamon & Turmeric Latte, guaranteed to soothe the most restless minds.
- Chew your food. To feel satiety, your body needs to register what it’s eaten. And for the stomach to send that message to your brain, you must have chewed your food properly. Aim to chew your food 20 times. You’d be amazed how many people barely chew their food at all. This sets off a cascade of negative events, such as digestive issues and bloating. Chewing your food actually stimulates acid production in your gut, a substance paramount for optimal digestion.
- Keep a Food Diary. Contrary to popular belief, a food diary is more than the sum of what you have eaten. It’s the emotions surrounding what you eat that reveal the most. Before reaching for that late night snack, take heed, is it just a nagging, needy feeling, or are you legitimately hungry? Could you be craving comfort or companionship? Try a warm bath, soothing hot tea, a cuddle with your lover, or a phone call to a friend. Sometimes discovering what’s lacking can empower us to make wiser choices.
- Plate Up. Perception is king. Try placing all of the bits and pieces you are about to unwittingly inhale onto a small serving plate. Rather than Mindlessly Munching, it can be useful to have a visual of exactly what you’re consuming. As a result, you’re way more likely to feel satiety sooner. This is especially useful whilst prepping kids dinners, when the need to munch tends to peek.
- The Power of Choice. Though the need for comfort food may at times feel compelling, the types of foods we choose are entirely up to us. Try having some raw, crunchy veggies on hand during meal prep or between meals. If you’re really hungry, try topping brown rice crackers with avocado and sauerkraut or grated carrots and beets. Late at night, berries are your best bet, but if you’re heading for the chocolate stash, make it dark, at least 70% cocoa. Nourishing choices your body will thank you for.
- Try this Cinnamon & Turmeric Late. Besides cinnamon aiding digestion and Turmeric being a powerful anti-inflammatory agent, the practice of making tea itself can be soothing. Try a few mindful breaths along the way, and allow your heart and mind to tune in to how your body is feeling.
Soothing Cinnamon & Turmeric Latte
Recipe by Shelley Kamil
1 thumb size piece of turmeric 1tsp cinnamon
1cup boiling water
1cup coconut milk (from a carton) 2tsp raw honey (or stevia)
- In a medium sized saucepan, boil 1cup water. In the mean time, grate fresh turmeric. Add grated turmeric to the pot and stir slowly. Take 5 slow, mindful breaths. In through the nose, out through the mouth. Lips pursed, tip of your tongue resting behind your top front teeth, lightly touching the roof of your mouth.
- Add the coconut milk and cinnamon to the pot and stir together slowly. Take another 5 very slow, mindful breaths.
- Add the honey, stir together once again and remove from the heat. The tea should be nice and warm, as well as a rich shade of yellow.
- To serve, pour into a teapot with an internal strainer. Pour into tiny teacups and enjoy.
A Health and Wellness Coach, passionate recipe developer and wellness writer, Shelley Kamil is a mother of two who works with clients to reach their optimal visions of health and wellness, creating healthy habits to last a lifetime. An ex-stylist and fashion boutique owner, Shelley’s life long love of healthy living grew into a career after studying Holistic Nutrition.
An avid reader, and having studied hundreds of dietary theories, she is forever discovering new research on the latest dietary trends. As a guide on the side, Shelley believes in tailoring nutrition to the individual and teaching clients to truly listen to their own bodies. With an unwavering belief that healthy eating should be joyful and achievable, Shelley introduces clients to a wide variety of fresh, wholesome recipes tailored to their dietary needs. Through individualised, nutritional and lifestyle steps she gently guides clients towards their ultimate Health and Wellness gaols. Helping clients with weight loss, increased energy and vitality, reducing stress and learning to thrive within the realms of dietary requirements.
Driven by her desire to share with the world just how delicious, easy and rewarding clean eating can be, Shelley develops nutrient dense, whole food recipes. Working with clients to establish lasting, healthy, sustainable patterns to continue long into their journey. Her ultimate belief is that when you nourish the body with real, fresh, whole food, it will naturally find it’s way back to its optimal form. Her goal is to see clients find their glow and become their most amazing selves, developing simple strategies to leave clients feeling radiant, well and better than ever.