Everyone's talking about mindfulness and all the mental benefits that come with it. It turns out that practicing mindful drinking and mindful eating exercises can lead to several physical benefits, including a healthier body and weight loss.
Just what is mindfulness anyway? And what does it have to do with eating?
Mindfulness is the practice of living in the present and taking the time to be aware of each moment. It's an exercise for the mind that makes your life and your wine more enjoyable.
Read on to learn ten ways you can start implementing mindful drinking and eating to begin experiencing its health and wellness benefits.
Prepare a Mindful Environment
The first step to doing anything mindfully is to prepare a mindful environment. This can mean changing your physical environment or simply preparing your mind. The goal is to be aware of where you are.
You can create your mindful environment by taking a comfortable seat, preparing a clean table, and committing to putting the phone down for a few minutes. If you're with friends or family, try to be mindful of your experience and the pleasure of their company.
Consider All 5 Senses
One of the best mindful eating exercises is to think about what each of your senses is experiencing. Taste is the obvious one, but sight, smell, touch, and even sound can contribute to the enjoyment of the moment.
Think about what the drink or container looks like. What does it smell like? How does it feel to hold the cup in your hands? Is it warm and soothing or cold and refreshing as it travels from your mouth to your stomach? If the drink has bubbles, can you hear them?
Asking yourself these questions and paying attention to what you're consuming and how you're consuming it makes the process more enjoyable and increases your satisfaction in the present moment.
Consider the Origin
You can also enhance your experience by thinking about where your food and drink came from. Envision the farmland or the rolling hills of a vineyard with each sip of wine. Talk about relaxing!
For many, thinking about what your food went through to get there may encourage a vegan or organic diet. If you make these changes, you might be surprised at some of the food products that contain animal products, such as wine. Fortunately, there are substitutes like chemical-free, vegan wine that can make your mindful consumption more pleasant.
Enjoy Each Sip and Bite
When you get hungry, you probably shove food into your mouth without thinking. Even when you're not starving, you're likely eating without thought. Don't feel bad - everyone does it.
The thing is, eating more slowly and savoring each bite can actually lead to weight loss. This is because eating slowly gives your body's natural signaling process time to communicate that it's full, so you end up eating less. Who wouldn't want to experience less bloating and enjoy their food more? It's a win-win.
When eating mindfully, it's best to put your food on a plate instead of eating out of a bag or box. You should also pour your drinks into a glass instead of drinking straight from the bottle or can.
This health tip allows you to see your food. Remember exercise 2? Seeing your food means you're able to be more mindful of your eating experience and enjoy it more.
Don't Skip Meals
If you skip a meal, it'll be difficult to practice mindful eating exercises when you do eat. You'll be too hungry and desperate to eat, that you probably won't think about what you're eating or how you're eating it. Not being mindful of eating times is also not good for the wellness of your body.
If you're dieting, make sure you follow healthy diets that allow you to eat regularly, like the keto and paleo diets. If you practice intermittent fasting, be sure to do it at predetermined intervals, not just whenever you "forget to eat".
Breathe Between Bites
Taking a second to breathe between each bite is another great mindfulness tip that also helps you slow down your consumption. It's all too easy to prepare that next bite of food before you're even done chewing the one in your mouth - especially when it's delicious.
But then it's gone before you realize it.
Take a moment to enjoy each bite, chew for a little longer, and experience the food. You'll feel less inclined to grab seconds, and you'll have enjoyed the meal all the more.
You just finished a meal - now what?
Ask yourself how you feel both emotionally and physically. Think about why you feel that way, and if the food or drink contributed. This kind of mindful reflection allows you to learn about yourself and your eating habits.
If drinking wine makes you feel terrible the next day, for example, then you should switch to a low alcohol, low-sugar wine like SmartVine, made to mitigate bloat and hangovers.
Your body gives you cues throughout the day to tell you how to boost your health and how you feel, but they're easy to ignore when you're not listening. It's hard to make a change when you're unaware that you need a change in the first place.
Practice Intuitive Consumption
Intuitive consumption is different from mindfulness, but it can be used as a part of your mindful drinking and eating.
A big part of intuitive eating means listening to your body and respecting your states of hunger and fullness. It means thinking about how your body feels and listening to those feelings, instead of counting calories. When you do this, you're more likely to eat healthily naturally and enjoy doing it.
Before and after each meal, take a second to be thankful for the food or drink you have and the environment you're consuming them in.
Are you sharing a bottle of wine with your friends? Appreciate the people you're with. Enjoying a quiet dinner at home? Be thankful for your home, your kitchen and your food.
Taking a moment to be thankful will bring even more joy.
Try These Mindful Eating Exercises Today
Mindfulness can be difficult to maintain and hard to remember to do. Even so, each little attempt is a new moment of awareness you wouldn't have otherwise had.
Bringing mindfulness into your life, including mealtimes and downtime, can boost your physical and mental health.
If you're looking for a way to unwind without undoing, practice mindful drinking and try our selection of organic paleo, keto, and vegan-friendly wines today.
We suggest our brand new Malbec red. You can find it in our wine store!