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Mindful eating

By Sonia Salfity , Family Flavours - Sep 05,2023 - Last updated at Sep 05,2023

Photos courtesy of Family Flavours magazine

By Sonia Salfity
Desperate Dieter


It’s too easy to be taken in by diet crazes that seem to sprout up as fast as weeds in a garden.

But it’s not quite as easy to filter through them to decide which ones are safe to even try.

Part of what makes it more difficult is our constant access to technology. Even something as basic as television programming during our childhood was never bombarded with commercials the way they are today. These seemingly innocent interruptions, whether on television, computers or smartphones, cause havoc to our mental focus.

Weeds that grow a million times faster They are like weeds that grow a million times faster than the ones our forefathers endured. 

They have even made it harder for all of us to be able to focus our attention for long periods of time. Sadly, it’s becomethe norm to see young children, teens and adults of all ages all hunched over, desperately trying to catch up ontheir devices.

I cannot tell you how annoying it is when a group of us are sitting together engaging in great discussions when suddenly people start checking their notificationson their phone or taking non-emergency calls withouteven excusing themselves.

Disrespecting people’s time This type of behaviour is very disrespectful to the people you’re sitting with because it shows them that you don’t value their time enough to give it priority.

I’ll confess that I’ve been on both sides of this fence because when I have to get a phone call I’ve been waiting for, I’ve had to step away to take care of pressing issues.

The problem is we have become accustomed to treating everything in our lives as a ‘pressing issue’. We fail to recognise what an actual emergency is from what can wait to be addressed at a later time.

You might wonder what all this has to do with desperate dieters. Here’s why this is essential to our wellbeing. When we fail to be fully present in the moment, we effectively set our brains up to be absent during mealtimes. In other words, we become absent even with our own selves. It’s almost impossible to be aware of your actions, thoughts and emotions when you’re checked out mentally.

This means we aren’t paying attention to the quantity or quality of the food we’re ingesting, nor are we even enjoying eating it when we’re on auto pilot.

An unhealthy relationship with food This causes us to spiral into an unhealthy relationship with our food. Not to mention the long-term effects on every aspect of our lives. This is not how our grandparents ate. They sat down for every meal; they engaged in conversations. They were intentional and present mentally.

They made eye contact. They didn’t have the hightech distractions we have but they were also healthier because of it. They were only hunched over due to old age and not when they were stooping to check their ‘not so smart’ phones like we do. We also had a less

obese population. Last but not least, they always ate at home since there were no fast-food restaurants and fewer options for restaurants to choose from. 

Add to that the fact that they had to cook from scratch, so they didn’t have access to all the processed foods we eat that are extremely high in sodium, fat and sugars. 

They actually ate the real foods that were naturally organic before modernity even decided to charge people triple fororganic food in a grocery store.

Learning from our elders Join me as we learn from our older generations and start adopting their healthier habits by putting our phones in another room during mealtimes. Let’s give priority to relationships and community that are physically present and face-to-face and not on some device that gives you the illusion that you are fully connected.

Let’s aim to have less take-out food and more homemade meals from scratch even though they take more time. There are no shortcuts to being healthy because you either have to take the time on the front end or you’ll have to pay with more time on the back end when you’re sick and unable to perform your dayto- day functions.

It’s as simple as that. We were designed by God to be smarter than any smartphone that could ever be invented.

Let’s act that way and outsmart the devices that the world keeps selling us to line their pockets. 

Let’s train ourselves to live in moderation not just with food, but with our gadgets and everything else that uses up our precious time and threatens to distract us from our life goals.


Reprinted with permission from Family Flavours magazine

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