Mindfulness is an essential part of Ramzaan. Fasting is a tradition of many faiths and goes back eons – the idea of fasting spiritually is supposed to heighten our awareness and cleanse the mind, body and soul. As with everything, the food industry has found a way to monopolize on Ramzaan by creating high processed foods that pump our bodies full of crap. After not eating from sunrise still sundown the human body is in need of some serious TLC and it’s important to make sure that first meal doesn’t wreck havoc on your insides.
Eating with mindfulness made easy
For me eating with mindfulness is giving my body what it needs. Basically eating with our guts. Sometimes that will be a green juice and at other times that will be chocolate chip cookies, it’s neither depravation nor gluttony. Sure I want a chocolate chip cookie EVERYDAY but on a deeper level I know that I don’t need to eat a chocolate chip cookie everyday (even the pseudo healthy versions). Likewise, there’s no need to avoid pakoras and chocolate chip cookies for my entire existence on this planet, because guys, CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES (especially from Portland Variety.)
I recently did an unintentional experiment in mindfulness and committed to the Whole 30 for a month. In a nutshell I began to realize what it was that I loved most about my favourite foods. Take sushi for example, turns out it’s the taste of seaweed that tickles my taste buds.
As the month passed by, I also began to crave these amazing organic tortilla chips from my local grocery shop, after reflecting on what I had been eating and I realized there was nothing crunchy on the menu (enter kale chips). Crunchiness is my jam; there aren’t many foods that offer the distinctive crunch that belongs to a chip but it is good know it’s a certain type of texture and not food that floats my boat.
More amazingly though the only thing I really wanted at the end of the month was Greek yoghurt. The funny thing is, I don’t even eat Greek yoghurt but my guess is that as the clutter was being cleared from my mind and body – my gut was able to get a clearer idea of what it wanted and it was crying out for some probiotics and good bacteria.
In some ways fasting is a good way to understand what it is your body really wants. You essentially have a clean palette and it’s the best moment to take out some time and find out what you need to put in your body! Think about the kind of food that energises you and the kind of food that makes you feel meh.
Knowledge is power
A few months back the hubz said thinking about food in so much depth gets overwhelming, that our parents don’t eat the way we do. He is absolutely right, our parents never thought this much about food and there’s a reason for that. We recently watched Cooked together and he began to realize why I read ingredients in what we buy in grocery shops. The food industry doesn’t cook the way we do.
Even though wheat isn’t my best friend, it’s certainly not the enemy! I’m all for a slice of bread but bread is supposed to be a handful of ingredients (mainly flour and water) not the twenty other ingredients in mass produced loaves of bread. My parents grew up in Pakistan and would always pick up fresh loaves from their local bakery, which I’m pretty certain were made with only a handful of ingredients. I make sure to read the labels on products and if there is an ingredient I can’t pronounce, I Google it. This knowledge is power, knowing what goes into foods helps me to make the informed choices in the first place. Check out the ingredients in what you buy, it’s eye opening!
There is a lot of misinformation out there but you don’t need scientific research to help you figure out what to eat. Start listening to your body if eating or drinking a certain type of food group makes you feel icky it’s time to find an alternative.
Would you keep training for a marathon with your comfiest sneakers even though in this instance they aren’t the most suitable choice of footwear? Probably not! You’d buy some new trainers that support what you are doing, in the beginning they would feel strange but eventually it would help with your goals and you’d keep wearing your comfy sneakers at other times.
It’s kind of the same thing, if certain foods give your gut grief then constantly eating and drinking probably isn’t the best idea in the long run. Avoiding those foods may feel strange in the beginning but you’ll adapt and continue to enjoy them when the occasion arises.
After fasting all day the first thing that goes into our body needs to love everything up and whole foods cooked from scratch at home have a knack for doing that and processed food with hidden sugars not so much – they are like Internet trolls.
Let’s eat with mindfulness this Ramzaan by:
- Reading ingredients in our products
- Looking out for hidden sugars
- Cooking more from scratch
- Eating chocolate chip cookies