How to Organize Your Kitchen to Encourage Mindful Eating

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Posted By Alex Perez - Mental Health Writer, B.A.

Guest Post by Beth Rush

A well-kept kitchen is a healthy kitchen. Many of the basics of mindful eating take place here, so it’s best to prepare the area that houses all your food so your transition into mindful eating is easier and you don’t face as many temptations. The power of a mindful kitchen is that it can help you through your journey to eating well and listening to your cues. Organize it right and you’ll reap the benefits right away.

Mindful Eating Starts in the Kitchen

1. Clean Out Your Refrigerator

The power of a mindful kitchen lies in having everything available to anyone who may enter. It might be time to see what’s been sitting in the back of your refrigerator. An organized fridge where everything has a drawer or container is particularly nice, as it enables people to find things more easily. They might reach for a healthier snack instead of an unhealthy one if they can see it in the fridge.

People tend to eat healthier foods over salty, processed snacks if they’re easily accessible. You just have to help your household see that healthy food is available. Organizing your fridge will help you and anyone else who opens it see all available options and choose the best ones according to what your brain and stomach are telling you.

2. Drink Enough Water

mindful eating

Mindful eating lets you be more knowledgeable of your body’s cues. Sometimes you may think you’re hungry when you’re actually thirsty. People often need to hydrate much more than they think they do.

Many people adhere to the “eight cups of water a day” rule, but the amount each person should have varies depending on their size and activity level. Find out how much water you should drink daily and plan to stay adequately hydrated. You may learn how to read your body’s cues better.

3. Pay Attention While Cooking

One of the basics of mindful eating is paying attention to where your food comes from, how you store it, and how you cook it. For example, preparing lobster for your meals takes much concentration. You must know how to properly seal and freeze the lobster in case you want to save it for later. You should also know the best ways to cook it so you may serve creative, delicious dishes.

Any complex food preparation should have you paying attention through every step, so make sure to appreciate every moment — which will also help you avoid accidents in the kitchen.

Measure out how much oil and sauces you use. Many people create their recipes “to taste” and do not know how much of a single ingredient they’re using. You can keep measuring tools in a drawer close to the counter you prep your meals on. That way, you can always reach for what you need in a pinch.

4. Keep Your Counters Clear

Mindful eating
Kitchen table with slices of bread, meat with herbs, and fruit. Original public domain image from Wikimedia Commons

You have more room to prepare your meals without clutter on your counters. You won’t feel like you have to clean up before making a meal. Clean countertops can also help you avoid the temptation of snacking. Put all snacks in the fridge or pantry so they’ll be out of sight, and you won’t be tempted to reach for something every time you walk into your kitchen.

You can always dress bare counters up with decorations. Just make sure to keep your food in its appropriate places.

5. Complete Chores All At Once

Clean up while you’re making dinner. If you have downtime during a recipe, start putting away the things you don’t need anymore. This way, it won’t be as hard to tidy the kitchen after making a meal. Similarly, you should wash the dishes or load the dishwasher before your family leaves the kitchen. You’ll have everything done so you may not have to return unless necessary. That way, you can avoid any tempting treats you know you don’t need to eat.

6. Plate Your Food Nicely

Though it may take some time, make sure to build a plate that will feast your eyes as well as please your stomach. The time you spend arranging food can help you understand just how much you should eat. Smaller dishes can also lead to reduced portion sizes, which can help someone new at mindful eating determine if they need more food or could be satisfied with the portion they received.

Wash your dishes frequently so they’re more readily available for anyone in your household who wants to plate their meal accordingly. Stay away from paper or plastic versions. Even though they may be handy, they’re worse for the environment and won’t be as pleasing to your eyes. Furthermore, if you always have the table set, you can help your household feel more comfortable using a dish rather than whatever they may find in the cabinet.

7. Make Dinnertime Special

Mindful eating

The art of eating mindfully involves knowing your body and getting into a routine with your eating. You may not always feel hungry at the same time, but if you make dinner a special occasion, you might be able to train your stomach to expect food then. That way, you can enjoy your dinner without snacking beforehand.

Also, be sure to enjoy your meals without your phone or any other distractions. Pay attention to your conversations with others and any cues your body may send you, no matter how small.

See the Power of a Mindful Kitchen

The power of a mindful kitchen lies in the way you organize it. It can make or break your eating experience. If you find it difficult to avoid snacking, hide your snacks in the pantry so you don’t see them whenever you walk into the kitchen. Once you have your kitchen set up the way you like it, the basics of mindful eating will come easy.

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