Oh no. Summer is coming to an end. (NOT YET THOUGH.) School starts for many, vacation time is over, and life kicks back into gear. Oh the circle of life, year in and year out.
Living in the northeast, an enormous part of why I LOVE the summer is the fresh food availability. From farmers markets to …. other markets. The fresh vegetables and fruits are a true treat and delight. Summer is the best time to eat!
However, we now return to our regularly scheduled program of packed lunches and family dinners and grabbing food on the go. We also delve back into our errands and appointments and all the lovely details of running a family. Lets face it. Transition to back to school can be stressful. And what do we do when we are stressed? WE EAT.
We have to eat to survive. We need to eat to keep our bodies fueled and healthy. However I’m not referring to the neighbors fresh grown tomatoes or the grilled fish tacos or the homemade guacamole. I’m referring to the mac and cheese and other highly convenient, high cal, easy to grab snack foods.
Permit me to be your little conscience speaking. Don’t. Don’t eat because you are stressed, bored, overwhelmed, out of sorts, tired, or sad. Don’t eat because you made too much food, don’t want to waste food, oh my g-d is anyone going to appreciate this food?!, I spent so much money on this food, etcetera. Don’t eat because the clock says its time or because its WAY past the appropriate time. Don’t eat because you are celebrating another promotion, new baby, family gathering, 1/2 birthday, sports win, home coming, or another event where food you don’t even like or recognize is being served. Don’t eat if you are not hungry. Don’t eat if you are not hungry. Don’t eat if you are not hungry.
That little feeling inside of you during times of schedule changes or major yearly transition? It’s not hunger. It may be any of the above mentioned moments or something entirely different. But please, try and recognize what that feeling is and what you really DO need at that moment. Some water? A walk? Fresh air? Calling your friend? Balancing your check book? Returning the phone call you’ve needed to? Emptying the dishwasher? Recognize what is eating at YOU in the moment so that you don’t start eating IT.
When you are mindful of your actions and behaviors around food, the propensity of overeating goes away. And I promise, your dinner or snack will taste just as good and even MUCH BETTER when you ARE hungry for it.
As our schedules shift and our time gets packed, please continue to stay MINDFUL when eating this time of year.
PS – If you are having a difficult time with this, try this: Use a spare notebook and write down the date, time and feeling of when you mindlessly go to grab food. After a few days or a week you may notice a trend in your eating behavior. Feel free to comment to this post!