Mindful eating for a better mood

Lift your mood by paying attention to what you eat today.

* * * * * * *

If I were to ask you to estimate what percentage of the population are vegetarians, I wonder what your answer might be?

In fact, although it varies from country to country, a recent study by the US-based Vegetarian Times indicates that around 3.2% of Americans eat a completely meat-free diet. And a figure of 3% is reasonably typical for other countries too.

Italy is a notable exception, though. While I think I’d have said that Italy is a country in which it wouldn’t be easy to be a vegetarian, the truth is that a whopping 10% of Italians eat no meat. Sorprendente!

Now I must confess that although I do like the idea of vegetarianism, I’m a bit too fond of meat to go across to the other side completely. One principle of vegetarianism that I find fascinating, though, is that I’m pretty sure it would lead you to being much more mindful about what you eat.

As an omnivore, I tend to reach for whatever food is closest when I’m hungry – whether or not it’s healthy. In fact one definition of an omnivore is “an opportunistic eater”, which reminds me – amusingly – of Homer Simpson, and – embarrassedly – of myself, at times.

It’s easy to forget how much our bodies are affected by what we feed them. Of course it’s not surprising that your physical wellbeing is closely linked to the food you eat.

A healthy diet is a healthy body.

But maybe now and then we all need a reminder that emotional wellbeing is also influenced by your food and drink intake.

A healthy diet is a healthy mind.

What can you do about this today? If you’re not already paying closer attention to what you eat because you’re a vegetarian, or have some other dietary focus, I’d simply suggest asking one simple question before you consume anything today:

Is this going to be good for me?

Even if the answer is No and you still go ahead and munch, at least you’ll be encouraging yourself to become more aware of what you eat.

Taking care of yourself means taking (more) care about your diet.

Homer Simpson, are you listening?

4 thoughts on “Mindful eating for a better mood

  1. Hi, As a long standing vegetarian I easily reach for whatever veg food is at hand, bearing in mind that is all that is in my home. However 2 years ago a friend gave a book by Gabriel Cousins on living life depression free by being mindful of my diet. I have been far more aware of eating for nutrition with the right balance of amino acids etc. This has completely turned my life around. I feel I have a chance of keeping my mood positive.

  2. What a fortuitous post, Jon, as I have been wrestling with reducing weight and eating healthily for the last nine months now, with excellent results, and can confirm that “you are what you eat”. It is hard to give up entirely on all the bad eating habits i used to have…too much fat and sugar and salt and processed food…. But at least now i have developed better eating habits and feel able to stick to them…..with the occasional lapse. I feel so much better and my head is clearer. Win- win.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *