11 Ways To Eat Away Stress

Mind­ful eating can re­duce stress and boost per­for­mance. But what ex­actly is it?

Runner's World (UK) - - IN THIS ISSUE -

The art of mind­ful eating

process, from chop­ping and slic­ing, to cook­ing and clean­ing up, is worth the ex­tra ef­fort, even for time­pressed run­ners bal­anc­ing many miles and a busy life. Mind­ful eating re­duces stress and makes din­ing more sat­is­fy­ing, says Sally Powis-camp­bell, a psy­chol­o­gist and run­ner. And this prac­tice can also trans­late to bet­ter per­for­mances. ‘Once you see the ben­e­fits on the plate, mind­ful­ness spills over into other as­pects of life,’ says Powis-camp­bell. Here’s how to prac­tise it in yours. Block out time to shop for and pre­pare your meals just as you would plan your train­ing. Dou­ble your recipes and store left­overs, or ded­i­cate a few hours on Sun­day to pre­par­ing in­gre­di­ents for the week ahead. ‘Th­ese sim­ple time­savers will make cook­ing more con­ducive even within an in­tense run­ning sched­ule,’ says Mered­ith Klein, a chef and mind­ful­cook­ing teacher.

Keep your kitchen clut­ter-free and stocked with tools to make cook­ing easy and com­fort­able. ‘Run­ners will tell you it’s not about hav­ing the most ex­pen­sive shoes, but those that work for you,’ says Klein. ‘You don’t need the prici­est knife, just one that re­ally feels good in your hands.’ Ac­cep­tance and tol­er­ance are key com­po­nents of mind­ful­ness. Jessyca Arthur-came­selle, a sports psy­chol­ogy pro­fes­sor who stud­ies mind­ful eating, ad­vises against la­belling foods as ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Too many car­rots can make you ill, while a few bites of dark choco­late can give your heart (and your mood) a boost.

Leave your smart­phone, lap­top and other de­vices in another room so you are not dis­tracted. ‘Use cook­ing – like run­ning – as a time to press pause on anx­i­eties and plans,’ says Klein. As you peel, grate and chop, be aware of your body in space, says Klein. Feel your feet press­ing into the floor, your grip on the knife, the slip­per­i­ness of the let­tuce. Bring your mind back to th­ese con­crete sen­sa­tions if you start drift­ing. Of course, it’s tempt­ing to check so­cial me­dia while the fish cooks, but use this time to clean up. ‘You’ll en­joy the food more know­ing you don’t have to wash pots and pans after­wards,’ says Klein.

‘Get­ting your part­ner or fam­ily into the kitchen with you is a great way to spend time

Grilled stuffed trout (see p53 for all recipes) Green salad with fruit salsa Eating fish – a great source of omega- 3s – may re­duce the risk of Alzheimer’s dis­ease, ac­cord­ing to a study in the Jour­nal of the Amer­i­can Med­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion.

Be­fore dig­ging in, snap a photo of your meal. Post it when you’ve fin­ished eating to re­mind your­self what qual­ity time in the kitchen looks like.

Frozen dark choco­late mousse

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