finding holiday equilibrium
With the feasting season upon us we wanted to share some tips on how you can eat your with your bento to help balance your appetite given the many treats and festive meals coming up.
kinsho is the self-knowledge and intuition gleaned from our many food experiences. We access these insights by paying attention to ourselves around food. Eating with bento boxes supports this insight and helps us take helpful action.
Pay Attention – make it a practice to take a seat and undistract when eating lunch. Prompt your attention to your meal by pausing and LOOKING at your food before the first bite. Your bento box has everything nicely arranged to make this a pleasure. Take a couple deep inhales and complete exhales to transition from whatever busyness came beforehand to deepen your attention. Researchers are finding that paying mindful attention to what you eat will actually help you experience more flavor and even eat less.
Put your Mind in your Belly- our appetites can get a bit out of whack with extra rich and filling holiday meals and snacks. So before your lunch (and ideally whenever you think you want to eat) do a hunger check. Simply put your awarenes in your belly and feel if it is hungry. Can you sense what you are truly hungry for?
If you do not perceive physical hunger, ask yourself what hunger you are experiencing. There are actually nine types of hunger – read this to understand them. Try using the act of opening your bento box as the prompt to check in with your hunger for each meal.
Savor the 1st and Last Bites – savoring is a great way to deeply enjoy our food as well as slow down the eating process to help us feel our hunger diminish. But sometimes its hard to chew slowly and pay attention to the evolving flavor and texture of every single bite. So try to consciously savor the 1st bite to start the meal on a mindful note and the last bite as an act of appreciation and applause for the tasty nourishment you just gave your body. Want to help your kids savor their food? Check out this fun game.
Use the Compartments as Stop Signs – the divided compartments in our bento boxes can act as mini prompts to slow down between bites, Perhaps try to chew a bit more – researchers found that people got more nutrition from chewing almonds 15+ times compared with under 10.
Plan for Crunch – crunchy whole foods such as fruits, veggies, grains, and seeds/nuts provide fiber to fill you up and nutrients to help your health. Researchers also find that when we hear the crunch of our food we feel more satisfied with less. So fill at least one of your bento compartments with a crunchy item – or sprinkle crunchy bits on top of other food to perk them up. Here is a cute example.
Eat your Water – what you think is hunger may actually be thirst, especially if you’ve been enjoying more salty food than usual. Food high in water content quenches this desire and helps our digestive process as well. See this post for fun ideas. And you can trust our leakproof compartments help your juicy foods stay where they belong. 😉
Mind your Portions – understanding the size you are serving of different foods can help you balance to a healthy equilibrium. Perhaps if you’ve had some hearty dinners you choose smaller veggie-based food for lunch. Or if you want to stave off hunger before a late afternoon get together you plan for more protein and healthy fats. Go here to understand the portion sizes of our Classic, Medium and MINI bento boxes and how they can work for your needs.
Embrace the Season – we are proponents of moderation and like to use the smaller portioned compartments to include a taste of the season in our lunches. Foods will vary from savory to sweet, but including small amounts and embracing the flavors that come seasonally is fun and then we feel less interested in overindulging at other times.
Balance over Time – while it may be tempting to skip meals after a heavy feast, this may be too extreme in the opposite direction and not help you get back to your equilibrium (especially if you end up snacking later anyway). Rather, plan to stay satisfied with smaller portions of nutrient dense food. You will be surprised how sated you can be with placing the right combination of ingredients in our MINI bento. Hummus or guacamole or almond butter with veggies and crackers is one of our favorites. Experiment with your own preferred food.
Replace Guilt with Appreciation – our internal narrative around food will color our experience of eating it. Feeling guilty while eating the “pie” (fill in your food here “____”) takes away from the flavor and fun of the moment. While it takes time and practice to evolve our overall relationship with food, a simple shift that has worked for us is to replace unhelpful thoughts with conscious appreciation for all facets of what we are consuming. This approach gets us focused on paying more attention to experiencing the full flavor/texture/aroma/beauty of the food and realizing how many hands were part of bringing it to us.
Use the act of snapping shut the latches your bento box at the end of your meal as a reminder to appreciate the nourishment you just gave yourself. Moving our focus to be mindfully in the moment never fails to deepen our relationship with our food, and ourselves.
We know Black Friday is a crowded shopping day so we have started discounts on all our products already. Check out the savings on Amazon and support your balanced eating throughout the holidays! ?