What do you think of when you hear the words “Memorial Day?” Do you think of barbecues, road trips and the excitement of summer? Does the holiday make you think of and remember all those who have given their lives while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces? Reflection and mindfulness are important parts of the holiday. In that spirit, applying mindful eating techniques can also help you achieve your health goals in your daily routine as well as during routine-busting events like holidays.
Mindful Memorial Day Eats
You can practice mindful eating whether you are attending a large cookout or just simply kickin’ it on the couch. To practice mindful eating, it’s important to pay close attention to the difference between feelings of hunger vs. feelings of fullness. What’s key here is to take things slow and savor what you are eating regardless of whether it’s cake, salad, BBQ, or chips and dip. Being able to call it quits when you are satisfied rather than when you are feeling “stuffed” will also help you practice mindful eating.
Looking for an example of how to put this practice in to place? It’s probably safe to say that there will be a potluck or two going on this Memorial Day weekend and throughout the summer. As an adventurous foodie, I think these buffets are basically heaven. Over time, I recognized that it’s a great place for me to put mindful eating into practice.
I tend to load up my plate with everything and not really pay attention to how much food ends up there. By taking a mindful approach to the potluck line, I have learned to fill my plate with about half of the food I’d normally pile on my plate and focus on the things I really want to try and enjoy. I have also been able to take this practice one step further and allow myself to go back for seconds on the foods I really enjoyed. This extension of the mindful potluck approach reins in my overeating tendencies, but I am still able to enjoy some holiday splurges and treats.
Taking a mindful approach to Memorial Day will help us stay on track with our nutrition and health goals, while also taking time out for a mindful appreciation of the significance and meaning of Memorial Day. So let’s make this holiday and summer ones to remember by emphasizing a mindful Memorial Day!