When everything around you, including your wardrobe and your lifestyle, is leaning towards being ‘conscious’, why not dive into the concept with your eating habits too? What is conscious eating, you might ask. Well, let’s find out. A lot of people believe that eating consciously is all about veganism; and while that is a great choice of lifestyle, there are various layers to being a conscious eater—and you can start modifying your meals as per your convenience.
Nutritionist Tripti Gupta, our go-to diet expert truly believes that conscious eating is all about the quality of the food you eat, the detailing that goes into planning your meals and the balance in your lifestyle that connects your body, mind and the environment. For instance, think about your last meal. Ask yourself a few questions about it, and you’ll understand the concept of conscious eating better. Did you eat organically sourced produce? Did you even know where your food was sourced from or grown? Did you continue eating even after you were full? Were you hungry when you ate, or was your meal driven by your emotions – stress, boredom, loneliness? Was your meal comforting rather than nutritious? Did you add a course (mostly a dessert) even though you were full, just because you wanted to indulge? If you have positive and/or healthy answers to each of these questions, we worship you just as you worship your own body.
For the others, we have a few wonderfully easy steps to induct yourself into the world of conscious eating.
Trust us when we say this: you will feel a hundred times better about yourself once you start.
Commence With A Kitchen Shopping List
Read the back: consider this your shopping mantra. First priority goes to the freshness of the food, so check the date. Also, check where your food was grown or raised, if it’s truly organic, and is approved. Next, check if you can recycle, discard or reuse the packaging.
Stick to brands you know follow conscious and ethical practises. Also, if such brands are too expensive for you, we’d suggest buying your fresh groceries locally from street vendors. Take your cloth bags with you and avoid all plastic. Voila! You’re already helping the environment.
Make Your Own Condiments
As per nutritionist Tripti Gupta, one of the most sensible thing to do is invest some time and create delicious condiments at home. For instance, you can easily make homemade pickles, ketchup, sauces and chutneys instead of buying high-sodium packaged foods.
Homemade condiments assure that you’re not absorbing any harmful preservatives or toxins. Plus, there’s the added bonus of always having a bottle of jam or pesto at home for snack time instead of chomping on over-salty and cheesy packeted chips and other unhealthy snacks.
Do NOT Multitask – Only Eat While Eating
The easiest way to do this – eat at your table and relieve yourself from all screens. So, no TV, no phones, not even a book while you eat. In fact, make your meal time more experiential. Light a candle, talk to your family and enjoy every taste, sense every pleasure of your food.
This will make you appreciate your meals a lot more, and you will be grateful for each bite. You will also be more conscious of the amount of food you’re eating, avoiding all chances of over-bingeing.
Cut Down On The Unnecessities
Sugar. That’s your worst enemy. You can get addicted to it very soon, it adds zero nutritional value and only aids in weight gain. Swap it with unprocessed jaggery, fruits, unsweetened yogurt and fresh juices to fulfil your cravings.
Also avoid processed food. Not only do they harm your body with preservatives, trans fatty acids etc., but their manufacturing processes use up a lot of water and chemicals, and packaging involves a lot of plastic. You can also say goodbye to junk food, over-fried food such as fries and chips, and soda-based drinks. P.S. all these are the highest producers of plastic-based packaging.
Be Mindful Of The Portions – Don’t Waste
Keep your plates small, and only serve smaller portions. According to Tripti Gupta, portion control is the most important factor in losing weight. We tend to finish what’s in front of us, hence if your plate and portions are smaller than usual, you can avoid overeating. Also, there’s nothing wrong in eating day-old leftovers. Please do not throw away food that is not spoilt.
If unable to finish cooked meals, you can always give them away, feed strays around you or even use it for home-made compost manure. Create some rules about storing and stocking food. PS: Buy only for a week, so everything stays fresh.