www.racheltuggle.com-When I started my journey to a simpler life, I first started to eat more slowly and mindfully. I was shocked at how the lessons learned from slow eating changed me. They can change you too.
Simplify Your Life

Lessons Learned from Slow Eating

Happy Friday everyone!! On Monday, I wrote about my beginning a journey to a simpler life, and my first assignment for myself was to eat more slowly and mindfully. I was shocked at what a difference eating more slowly made in my overall day! So, here is a bit of an explanation on why I wanted to focus on eating more slowly, and lessons learned from slow eating. Bon appetit!

Why focus on food?

To get started, I decided to focus on slow eating because it seemed like an easy first step. I also have to eat every day (at least three times!), so I could not forget about my goal.  I know myself, and if I am not frequently reminded of goals I set for myself, I will forget to work on them. But, I never forget to eat (I tend to get hangry!!).

www.racheltuggle.com-When I started my journey to a simpler life, I first started to eat more slowly and mindfully. I was shocked at how the lessons learned from slow eating changed me. They can change you too.

My “Rules”

I created a set of rules to follow so that I could measurably determine if I ate slowly throughout the day or not. Here are the rules I came up with:

  1. Eat sitting down. This seems obvious, but I have a bit of a habit of eating while doing other things. So, I may be moving around and coming back to my plate to grab some food before doing something else.
  2. Do nothing but eat and converse with others. This means no cell phones!! Or books!!
  3. Have a drink with your meal. This may seem odd, but I am so bad about not drinking anything when I eat. I just forget because I’m scarfing down my meal to get onto the next task on my to do list!!
  4. If possible, cook more than a frozen meal. I am so guilty of doing this all the time, and the sodium of frozen food can just be sky high! This was more out of a desire to be healthier than anything else.
  5. Eat two slow meals per day.

How I Did

This challenge ended up being more difficult than I expected, especially because some different activities cropped up that have made me more busy than normal. I did eat slowly most days, but I slacked off here and there when I wanted to “chill” by being on social media or reading a book. Oops! Oh well, I didn’t expect myself to be perfect. I’ll get better as I go on!

One thing that I didn’t really follow through with is the frozen meals rule. I don’t eat lunch until after I get off work at one in the afternoon, which makes for a really late meal. So, I’ve been eating some frozen breakfasts to keep me full until then. I’m totally fine with that (because of the hangry thing).

Lessons Learned from Slow Eating

I have four main lessons learned from slow eating so far. They were not what I expected, but they were what I needed.

  1. Mealtime became a big stress-reliever for me. I may have a massive to do list or have various things going wrong, but, when I sit down to eat, I lay all of that aside for a little while. I could relax and chat with family or friends without worrying about work or social media or waiting emails or text messages. In the past I have had a bit of a problem with being a doer, so this gave me the opportunity to work on that aspect of myself and be content with sitting and not doing anything “productive.”
  2. The day passes more slowly when you pause to eat. This was so strange to me. I felt like I had extra hours in my day when I paused to eat!! Slow eating meant that I had at least two mandatory breaks in my day. These breaks allowed me to slow down and rest. That rest in turn made me more productive for the rest of the day!! When I missed these breaks, I felt like I had no control over my day, and it just flew by.
  3. I am way, way healthier when I eat more slowly. This is because I tend to eat less when I am focused on what I am eating, which is good for my health, and I pay more attention to what is on my plate and try to pick healthier options. Also, food just seems to taste better!
  4. I don’t mind eating alone. Like most “young folks” these days, I am never far from technology (especially because I work online!!). So, there are few times in the day when I am just alone with my thoughts. Eating alone gave me that time, and I truly enjoyed it. I ended up having a lot of new ideas for work, this blog, and about my life in general. I started keeping a notepad on hand so I could write down what I was coming up with as I ate!

Is slow eating a part of your life? How has it helped you slow down? What do meal times look like for you?

 

14 Comments

  1. Great post with fabulous advice! I think so many of us strive to really enjoy and appreciate our lives more instead of just rushing through from one task to the next.
    Elizabeth Ashley Ramsey recently posted…OOTD: Summer Solstice EditionMy Profile

    1. rctuggle

      Absolutely and that can be so difficult to do as bloggers because the tasks just never end!!

  2. Great post! I tend to eat on the go now that I work so much. I will start using your advice of eating sitting down and with family and friends. My husband and I eat out a lot due to my very busy schedule. I am creating a few recipes to put in the crockpot that are healthy and good for you. I have been wanting to do this for quite sometime.
    Sherry recently posted…How to Setup a Family Calendar System that WorksMy Profile

    1. rctuggle

      Thank you so much!

  3. Mae

    I can totally agree with the “hangry” situation! I am like that too. I have not embarked on the slow eating as a daily lifestyle. I have 3 little ones and 2 companies, I am starting up, needless to say life is a bit fast pace right now, but I know it won’t be this way forever. When am eating I will think of this post and try to eat slowly and savor the moment with family. : Thank you for sharing your experience. I look forward to your posts.

    1. rctuggle

      Wow!!I’m so impressed you get a chance to eat at all! Thank you so much for stopping by!!

  4. I might start to focus on slow eating to cut back on what I eat, and just eat more frequently. My issue is always that I wait until I’m really hungry to eat and then I eat really quickly so I end up eating everything in sight!

    1. rctuggle

      I’ve heard that the best time to eat is when you feel slightly hungry because you are more likely to eat the amount of food your body needs.

  5. I love the idea of eating without any distractions. I eat alone most of the time so I always have my
    phone, laptop or the tv nearby to occupy me. I’ve never thought of meal time as a time to get alone with my thoughts. I may try to implement this into my meal times!

    1. rctuggle

      Let me know how it goes!!

  6. Joy

    Rachel –
    I thought your reading prohibition was interesting! One of my favorite “slow” things to do, especially if I’m up before the family, is to break out a magazine or journal just for that purpose and enjoy one article. I’m a graduate student and I work full time, so even though I love to read, reading is usually something that I *need* to do. I have a stack of research journals and magazines that I never get to just explore. So that special alone time, I reward myself by choosing one article from a non-electronic source.

    1. rctuggle

      I’m a student as well, so I totally understand! I tend to reach for fiction though if I have the opportunity!!

      1. Joy

        Me too…but I find it hard to put down and lose track of time, so going for something shorter works better :).
        Joy recently posted…Study SmarterMy Profile

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