Become Mindful for Your Health
Author: be well™ with Big Y® Registered Dietitian Team
Living your best life with mindfulness as your guiding light.
Learn more about Mindful Eating from Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Carrie Taylor.
What is Mindfulness?
In simple terms, mindfulness is the act of being present in the now—mentally, physically and emotionally—without judgment. It is also referred to as mindful meditation. Think of what this means—no more living in the past by replaying events in your mind; no more jumping ahead with angst for what is to come; and no more critiquing yourself for being “good” or “bad.”
How Can Being Mindful Impact Your Health?
Like most types of meditation, mindfulness has been associated with reducing one’s sense of stress. Thereby, individuals are able to reduce their risk for certain conditions by being mindful such as lowering blood pressure¹. Additionally, research indicates being mindful may also improve the region of the brain impacting “memory, awareness of self and compassion²."
What is Mindful Eating?
According to The Center for Mindful Eating, it is not only consuming food for nourishment but also for pleasure while engaging all your five senses; experiencing food free of judgment; connecting to, and following, your internal cues of satiety (e.g.: fullness) and hunger; and becoming aware of opportunities for positive food preparation and consumption³.
How Does One Eat Mindfully?
Although The Center acknowledges a number of different attributes, the top two for our dietitian team are eating without judging food as being good or bad and preventing mindless eating (e.g.: eating while working, watching television, driving, etc.). Becoming mindful while you eat, and about what you eat, may very well be the one and only change you need to get your nutrition, waistline and overall health back in check.
No need to focus on a number, but rather enjoy what you eat. Now that’s a change we can all enjoy working toward!
For more information and tips on mindful eating, check out the Food for Thought blog from The Center for Mindful Eating at https://blog.thecenterformindfuleating.org/.
¹Palta, P, et al. Evaluation of a Mindfulness-Based Intervention Program to Decrease Blood Pressure in Low-Income African-American Older Adults. J Urban Health. 2012 April; 89(2): 308–316.
²Harvard Women’s Health Watch. In the journals: Mindfulness meditation practice changes the brain. April 2011. http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletters/Harvard_Womens_Health_Watch/2011/April/mindfulness-meditation-practice-changes-the-brain. Accessed July 6, 2023.
³The Center for Mindful Eating. Introduction to mindful eating. https://www.thecenterformindfuleating.org/page-1863947. Accessed July 6, 2023.