We’re getting ready to roll out our habit-based nutrition program: Smart Nutrition! Smart Nutrition is a 6-month program that uses a research-proven framework and small habits to help people rebuild their eating behaviors AND vet their own “perfect” diet. The net result is a rebuilt relationship with food and the behaviors around food. Slow and steady progress!
To give you a taste of the program, here’s one of the lessons that you’ll receive each and every day on the program. Small actions lead to big, sustainable results.
Here’s the Game: All you need is one single almond
This week we’ve been looking at the importance of not only slowing down our eating but our approach to life. If other aspects of your life are go-go-go, then it’s going to be really hard to slow down your eating. If we can see how our behaviors are encouraging a speedy approach to life, then we can also start to see other aspects of our environment that nudge us to continue said behavior. That is, behavior and environment are intertwined.
To illustrate, here’s an exercise.
Eat an almond… really slowly
Right now, grab a handful of almonds (or dried fruit, or other nuts, just small). Basically, something that you’d otherwise eat the whole handful of in one go. Book 15 minutes with no interruptions or distractions for this task. If you can’t find 15 quiet minutes alone, you may want to reevaluate some things in your life. Or you have a newborn, in which case I understand.
- Set your almonds out in front of you. Look at them.
Pick one up and inspect it closely. Notice how they’re all unique little snowflakes. “Almonds” actually come in different shapes, sizes, and colors.
- Sniff the almond.
Does it smell like anything? If yes, what? Can you identify the scent? No bonus points for saying “almond.” Really smell them. Go ahead and get fussy with your explanations.
- Put the almond in your mouth but DON’T bite it.
If you’re like me, almonds are bit apart before they’re felt. Feel them. Roll it around in your mouth. Taste it BEFORE you bite it. See if it is different than you expect.
- Now you can eat it.
Notice what happens to your taste buds. Chew it slowly. Does the taste change as you chew? Chew the almond 15 times (or more, if you really want to).
- Swallow and repeat.
Self-reflection time. After doing this exercise, ask yourself:
- What did I notice?
- What did I experience?
Are you worried I’m going to make you eat all of your meals this way? Don’t be! This exercise simply shows you how much you can experience and enjoy of your food when you slow down and eat mindfully. What’s more, it shines a light on how fast you’re probably eating and how, if you could slow down just a little bit, you’d find more pleasure from food, and require a little bit less of it.
It doesn’t matter what you eat today or this weekend, do your habit: Eat slowly.
Remember yesterday’s lesson: It’s fine to go slow. Consistency is what really matters, so go with the process. You’ll get there. Just keep showing up!
After the reading, you would normally have a set of tasks to review to match your lesson or a question to answer in our private Facebook group. Next up, I’ll tell you a little bit more about what makes the Smart Nutrition program different from many diets you’ve likely been on. Stay tuned!