At the beginning of each yoga session I guide, I invite yogis to set an intention. This offers them time to consider what brought them to the mat, what they'd like to experience in their practice, and what they might be craving in that moment. By setting an intention, yogis take ownership of the practice.

But a yoga mat is not the only place where setting an intention can lead to heightened awareness. When you do this for your eating, you take ownership of your dietary habits, which in turn provides the time and space to develop healthier habits.

At the dinner table

Your meal is hot and ready, but before grabbing a fork and plunging ahead, take a few moments. Close your eyes, breathe deeply, and set an intention for that meal. Be positive and non-judgmental; be honest. 

During this meal, I will:
  1. Chew my food more slowly.
  2. Turn off the television and talk with my dining companion.
  3. Be aware of the body’s triggers when it’s full.
  4. Eat my vegetables first.
  5. Savor each French fry I eat.
  6. Drink more water.
While planning a meal

When you open the fridge to pull out some ingredients, or look up a new recipe, you have another opportunity to create an intention. 

As I decide what I want to eat, I will:
  1. Try a new spice.
  2. Incorporate more seasonal vegetables.
  3. Create comfort food.
  4. Acknowledge my cravings.
  5. Be mindful of my dining companion’s tastes.
  6. Recreate a restaurant meal.
While grocery shopping

We've all been warned against grocery shopping while we're hungry, as it leads to impulse buys. Setting an intention before entering the store brings us to a heightened level of awareness and provides you with an opportunity to create new eating habits, if that's something you desire.  

As I shop, I will:
  1. Read all ingredients to understand what’s in my food.
  2. Swap processed foods for natural foods.
  3. Buy organic fruits and vegetables whenever appropriate. 
  4. Incorporate more seafood into my diet.
  5. Stick to my grocery list.
  6. Avoid high fructose corn syrup.

 

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

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