I just returned from a much-needed vacation. Wow, there’s nothing like five full days of sun, beaches, and blue water to give you a new perspective on life. I’ll share more details about my trip soon (because, we definitely need to talk about taking more vacations), but until then let’s talk about the food side of things.
For last week’s Weekly Wellness Intention, I decided to focus on Mindful Eating. My vacation was split between spending time in Miami and then on a cruise ship so I knew that access to healthy food would be limited. However, since I was on vacation, I did also want to take the chance to indulge in foods I wouldn’t normally enjoy.
How’d it go? When I was in Miami I found the most adorable sidewalk café where I would sit for hours and read, write, and blog. It was definitely one of the highlights of my trip. The cafe didn’t have many healthy options on the menu, but I quickly discovered my own favorite: order a hamburger, ditch the bun, wrap the patty in extra lettuce , and pair it with a giant house salad. My body felt nourished and my tastebuds were pretty happy.
One of my favorite things about South Beach is the atmosphere – there’s a really chill vibe by the beach and it’s completely normal to sit for hours at a café table. The waitstaff didn’t rush me along, and if anything, I had to try really hard to flag someone down for my check when I wanted to leave. This extra time allowed me the opportunity to dive into the practice of mindful eating: slowing down, chewing thoroughly, and not rushing.
Much to my own embarrassment, I can be a bit of a bulldozer when it comes to food and will sometimes plow right through my meals. I know this habit isn’t good for my digestion so I try to be conscious of it and slooow down. (Of course, it’s much easier to do this on vacation when your schedule is free and open.) One of my hopes is to continue this practice in my daily life and keep taking the time for long meals and actual chewing.
After three days in South Beach I embarked on a cruise ship where I realized one of my greatest fears: being trapped on a boat in the middle of the ocean where the only green food in sight is iceburg lettuce. Erghmigod.
Okay, I didn’t exactly expect the cruise ship to have a “kale salad of the day,” but not even broccoli or spinach at the salad bar? Come on, people… you gotta work with me here a little bit.
Since I didn’t have many (if any) healthy options while on the ship, I decided to embrace it and practice another aspect of mindful eating: enjoying every. single. bite. I mean, if you’re going to eat dessert (okay fine, two desserts!) then you just really have to enjoy it. At least, that’s my motto.
One night I couldn’t decide between all of the decadent dessert options they placed before me, so I asked for two. I ate the desserts slowly, savoring every bite, and I actually left about half of both of them on the plate because my tastebuds and my body was done.
The beautiful thing about practicing mindful eating is that I was aware enough to recognize when my body wanted me to stop – and I was able to listen.
And, much to my amazement, I somehow survived without kale, bok choy, chard, and every other green vegetable for three days, although my body is definitely happy to be back home in Seattle drinking my green juice. Since I’m back from vacation and am feeling really rested, I decided to use this as inspiration for this week’s Weekly Wellness Intention. This week we are gonna get more sleep!
Here are my goals for the week:
- Institute a 10 pm curfew to make sure I get to bed on time.
- Develop a consistent bedtime routine that includes reading a physical book instead of reading on an iPad or watching something on Hulu.
- Get my cats on a consistent play and eat schedule before I go to bed so they can sleep through the night as much as possible. (And since I live in a studio, this piece is pretty much crucial for the success of my own sleep plan.)
- Make my bed daily so it always looks inviting and makes me want to sleep in it.
We all know how important sleep is to our health and I think my body will be very grateful for the extra rest – especially during this stressful and dark time of year.
Now it’s your turn! What worked well and/or what challenges did you face with last week’s intention to practice mindful eating? What are you going to do in order to get more sleep? Leave a comment below!