11 Ways To Eat Away Stress
Mindful eating can reduce stress and boost performance. But what exactly is it?
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