Simple Habits for Mindful Eating

“Food reveals our connection with the earth. Each bite contains life of the sun and the earth. We can see and taste the whole universe in a piece of bread! Contemplating our food for just a few seconds before eating and eating with mindfulness, can bring us much happiness.”

~Thich Nhat Hanh

SimpleHabits

We’ve all done it. We eat on the run.  We eat behind the wheel.  We eat behind a screen. We scarf down what’s within reach without thought from whence it came or how it would or would not nourish our bodies.  We eat when we are nervous. We eat when we are bored, sad, or happy.  We rarely slow down long enough to recognize hunger or take the moments required to determine why we are munching.  We may graze mindlessly through our day or numb ourselves with too much food at each meal. Eating this way, is it a wonder that we often find ourselves unsatisfied at the end of a meal, feeling unwell, and perhaps, un-nourished?  Of course not. And if you find that this is your reality more often than not with food, you will find great benefit from learning to become a more mindful eater.

When you begin to eat more mindfully, you will likely find that you:

1)    Consume less and are satisfied with less because you take the time to notice and experience each bite.

2)    Enjoy more fully the experience of eating.

3)    Consume better foods because you are more conscious of the quality of each bite and the effect foods have on your wellness.

4)    Have better digestion because you are slowing down, reducing stress, and taking the time to chew your food.

5)    Become more aware of hunger and satiety cues.

6)    As you cultivate mindful eating, you will become more aware of “enough” and eat/order/shop accordingly.  Less food will be wasted.

So, what habits should you develop to become a more mindful eater?  Well, as you will hear often from us in the next several months, “It’s simple but it’s not easy.”  Practice is the only way.  Here are some suggestions for getting started.

1)    When you are eating, only eat. Do not attempt to multitask with the exception of sharing the experience with those you love.

2)    Always eat at a table. This will eliminate your tendency to mindlessly graze.  Even a snack will be etched into your consciousness if your rule is to sit down at a table to eat it.

3)    Practice gratitude for the abundance in front of you.  Appreciate the appearance, the origin of the food, and the preparation.

4)    If you have prepared the food yourself be also mindful in its preparation.  Think of it as a gift you give yourself and those you love rather than as a chore.

5)    Take it one bite at a time.  Notice your sensations as you eat.  Chew each bite thoroughly.

6)    Take the time to consider the interconnectedness between all living things, our planet and its peoples, as well as the impact our food choices have on each.

We invite you to join Simplicity and Spunky Avocado on our Less is More journey. If you’d like to join our private Facebook Group, Less is More, which we hope will bring you inspiration, confidence and motivation to get out there and live more while consuming less plus monthly giveaways, email us.

 

Sources: Psychology Today, Eating Mindfully, Huffington Post

 


The Playroom: Where Fun Meets Function

Less is More.  This is a good lesson for children to learn early in life.  And toys are a great place to start.

Playroom

An organized play space is a functional and attractive alternative to the chaos that reigns in many homes.  If a dedicated playroom isn’t available, a corner of the family room, bedroom or kitchen can be a good substitute. For toddlers and young preschoolers, the more visible and central the location, the better.

Regardless of where playthings call home, avoid having more toys than space permits.  If you’ve already exceeded your limit, purge now, before the birthday party or holiday gift-giving season approaches.  If you’re at comfortable capacity, adopt the “one in-one out” rule to avoid overload.  Make sure your child has in mind which toy from home is going to leave before a new one is purchased.

Weed out age inappropriate toys.  For toys your child has outgrown, contain and label for younger/future siblings, share with friends, or donate to charity. Overly advanced games and toys will be frustrating. Store them until the appropriate time – and if that time is years away, consider letting them go.  Purge anything that is broken or missing pieces or that your child no longer enjoys.  If you have the luxury of additional storage space in your home, consider a toy rotation.  Keep only a portion of the age appropriate toys in circulation at one time.  Every few weeks, stash a portion of what’s in play, and substitute a few items from storage.  Make sure the toys that are being stored are clearly labeled and are very accessible.  This is almost as good as a trip to the toy store!

Establish activity centers. While the floor is great for blocks, Legos, and train sets, you’ll need a table and chairs for puzzles, crafts, and doll tea parties.  Don’t skimp on containers or chaos will be back in spades. Open shelves and lidded clear plastic containers are a good choice.  Ziplock bags work well for individual puzzles or games with many small pieces.  Avoid large baskets and bins, which quickly become catch-alls for unrelated toys.

If your children are old enough, allow them to be involved in the process.  Label containers or shelves so everyone will know what belongs where.  Printed word labels are appropriate for older children, while picture labels for younger ones will facilitate cleanup. If your child is learning another language, bilingual labeling is a good way to reinforce foreign vocabulary.

To summarize:

Designate a play space with several activity centers.

Ensure toys are age and space-appropriate.

Contain and label.

Fun meets function!

Looking for inspiration to declutter and serve the community?

This year, Simplicity Organizers are teaming up with Augustine Literacy Project and Freedom School Partners, to host their annual book drive in the month of May. We are encouraging the community to donate gently used children’s books (Grades K-5) to the Read a Book, Give a Book celebration. This year we will donate the books to Montclair and Rama Road Elementary schools in hopes that every single student will be able to take home several books to read over the summer! Please email us to find drop off location in your area.

Charity sites that accept toys and school supplies:


The Luxury of Enough

Examples abound of the idea that not only is enough, enough, but just enough is an incredible luxury. Less is more! At Simplicity, this is our reason for being and sharing this concept with our clients is just as important as the hands-on organizing.

Contentment arises when we feel gratitude for what we have, not angst for what we don’t.  Happiness comes from the simple pleasures of home and hearth, not from acquiring ever more things and riches.

Simplifying your life requires a good deal of introspection and honesty. Living with less makes space for what matters most: Less is more.

Consider these possible paths from The Simple Home by Sarah Nettleton:

1. Simple is Enough. Needs and wants are not the same.

2. Simple is Flexible. There are many paths to achieving your goal.  Be creative.  Share ideas.  Ask for help.

3. Simple is Thrifty and Sustainable.

4. Simple is- well, Simple. Are you overwhelmed, overscheduled and over “stuffed”?  Streamlining your home and your life might be just the ticket to reducing hassle, stress and chaos.

We invite you to join Simplicity and Spunky Avocado on this journey toward less for a more fulfilling life. If you’d like to join our private Facebook Group, Less is More, which we hope will bring you inspiration, confidence and motivation to get out there and live more while consuming less, email us.

Spunky Simplicity Less is More


From a Client’s Perspective

We take confidentiality very seriously in this company, however one of our clients, Cindy, has offered to share her experience of working with Simplicity.   We think you will benefit from her candid perspective of why she chose to contact Simplicity and why she has entrusted us to help her this year.

CindyMills

From a client’s perspective…

I am very grateful for your investment in me and my family. I was transparent and vulnerable because you created a safe place for me to be those things.

As the saying goes, “you sought to understand before being understood.”  And for that, I am thankful this morning.  This will be a journey, I know. But I trust where we are going even if I am a bit sweaty this morning at the notion of learning all of this and realizing how much I have to learn.  But as with life, it will make the destination sweeter.  I also reflected on the fact that through those lean years the Lord created a tender, empathetic heart in you so that you would not only have a thriving business but also be able to help others sort through the chaos to find a simpler life. Nothing ever wasted.

Yesterday, with your recommendation, I bought two open mesh file containers to put under the cabinet so that I can see and access them quickly.  I bought the file sorter you pointed out online as well as two paper trays to serve as my inbox and Ken’s.  I think

Ken has never been happier!!!  His mail is in one place and it is only Friday!!

I am committed to doing my tasks and believing I have to find JOY in the process and enjoy what lies ahead with life resembling a well-designed, well-maintained machine that operates efficiently producing “good works”. Then I will be prepared for what lies ahead as best I can at this stage in my life. This morning it occurred to me that it may prove helpful to journal this journey in case it will encourage someone else down the road. Getting back in the saddle this morning.

Looking forward to all that awaits this year!

Cindy