Slow Down and Enjoy Life
Greetings, all! I’m so happy to be back on this journey of health and wellness and I thank you for joining me. After taking a month or so off of HLbyV, I realize that writing this blog really does keep my own habits in check and I’m so excited to find my focus with you again. Now that we’ve all settled back into our daily routine, many of us are also trying out new approaches to reach new goals. As I struggle to find time to evaluate my own aspirations and new methods to reach them, it occurs to me that in order to be successful, the pace at which we go about our everyday life is a huge factor.
Here’s the thing—we pretty much already have the tools we need to make significant changes towards a healthy lifestyle. We know what we’re supposed to do and we certainly know the basic factors that can help us be successful—so what’s holding us back? I would say that for many of us, our busy lifestyles allow for our days to get away from us and we continue to go, go, go through the motions without appreciating or being mindful of the present. As a result, we make the excuse that we don’t have time for healthy habits or we continue to act as though we don’t know any better. If we don’t slow down and learn to make mindful decisions we are guaranteed that our current state of physical, mental and emotional health will remain just as it is.
To start, our nutritional habits are something we can all focus on right away. Every day and every time we eat, we have the opportunity to choose mindfully and eat much more slowly than we do and it could make all the difference in our overall lifestyle. Too many of us let convenience and time constraints dictate the way we choose our snacks and meals as well as how fast we consume them. Unfortunately, we’ve become a society that prefers quick and easy over quality and nutritional value and very few can appreciate a meal long enough to have it last more than 15 – 20 minutes. Eating habits like these easily set us up for an unhealthy foundation on which to build upon anything else we want to achieve.
Start the process of satisfying your hunger by first being more thoughtful of your choices and prepare your meals and snacks in advance. In our house, grocery shopping includes plenty of fresh produce, various sources of whole grain and lean protein but we also plan for meals I can make in larger quantities on the weekend so they last us throughout the week. This helps us prepare for several days of healthy eating even when we’re on the go or too tired to prepare something new.
Secondly, when you do take time to eat, also take time to enjoy it! For those of us (myself included!) who tend to eat while working, cleaning, or standing in general so as to move on quickly to the next to-do, we lose so much of the wonderful experience of eating good quality food. Junk food is meant to be eaten quickly because there simply is no substance to truly taste or enjoy, so when you learn to choose food worth savoring learn to really look, smell and taste each bite and chew it slowly. Taking the time to slow down and really develop these habits while nourishing your body will create a new appreciation for good nutrition and what it can do for us. Soon your newfound awareness will show you that your body, mind and spirit really do reflect the quality of your choices.
Here’s to healthy eating!