Mindful eating stems from the broader philosophy of mindfulness, a widespread, centuries-old practice used in many religions. Mindfulness is an intentional focus on one’s thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations in the present moment. Mindfulness targets becoming more aware of, rather than reacting to, one’s situation and choices.
Eating mindfully means that you are using all your physical and emotional senses to experience and enjoy the food choices you make.
Mindful eating helps individuals to appreciate food more and make a better connection with it. Some studies also suggested that mindful eating might help support emotional eating and binge eating, promoting a healthier relationship with food, regulate appetite, aid digestion, and make eating an enjoyable and pleasurable experience.
Mindful eating isn’t about restricting yourself, it is about enjoying and appreciating food.
- Slow down when eating: Chew your food well and take time to pause while you’re eating by putting your cutlery
down between each mouthful. It may help you feel more relaxed and help you enjoy your eating experience. Slowing eating can allow your body to recognise when it is full.
- Avoid distractions: Avoid eating while you’re on your laptop, phone, reading or watching TV so that you can relax and enjoy your food in the moment.
- Reflect on your thoughts and feelings: Recognise when you are eating for reasons other than physical hunger. Sometimes emotions can trigger hunger and have a negative eating experience.
- Plan and stick to regular mealtimes: A meal planner helps to eliminate the stress around grocery shopping and meal preparation. Also, consider eating at regular times throughout the day. This helps to regulate your levels of hunger which could impact positively on your eating behaviours and food choices.
- Enjoy each mouthful: Food is more than just fuel. Take time to enjoy the aromas, the texture, and the flavours of your meal.
- Avoid empty calories: Choose nutritious foods that are satisfying to you, give you energy and are nourishing to your body.
- Avoid labelling foods: There aren’t ‘good’ or ‘bad’ foods, all can be part of a healthy diet if, we aim for variety and do not exceed our portion sizes.
Adopting healthier and better habits related to mental, physical, and social wellebing is shown to have a positive impact to an individual’s’ mood.
Moreover, individuals who choose to track their happiness status are more likely to be motivated to keep up with the habit and to improve their happiness because of it.
Download the OCS August Calendar and colour your days.
A pet can be a great source of comfort and motivation. In many ways, pets can help us to live mentally healthier lives.
Caring for a pet can help our mental health in many ways, including:
- Increasing your physical activity as pets need regular walking or playing.
- People who exercise regularly have better mental health and emotional wellbeing, and lower rates of mental illness.
- Providing companionship.
- Pets can give you a sense of security and someone to share the day with. Caring for them can help you feel wanted and needed. This can be especially valuable for older people or those who live alone.
- Reducing anxiety.
- The companionship of a pet can help to ease your anxiety.
- Boosting self-confidence.
- Pets can be great listeners, offer unconditional love and won’t criticise you. This can help your self-confidence, especially if you feel isolated or misunderstood.
- Helping you meet new people.
- Dog owners often stop and chat with each other on walks. But other pets can be a way to meet people too in pet shops, training classes or online groups.
- Adding structure to your day.
- Feeding, exercising, and caring for a pet can help you keep to a daily routine, which can help you feel more grounded and focused. It can give your day purpose and a sense of achievement.
Having a pet is a serious commitment.
You'll need to have the time, money, and energy for a pet, as well as a calm home environment with routine and consistency.
Fostering a pet or helping a friend with theirs can help you see whether having your own is right for you.
If you cannot get your own pet but would like to experience all the health benefits a pet can offer you may do so through volunteerism to local shelters.
Bloating is very common and can be caused after consuming certain foods and drinks, or by swallowing air when we eat. It can also be a result of digestion issues like constipation, food intolerance, coeliac disease, and irritable bowel syndrome.
The good news is that we can avoid or ease bloating and relevant symptoms by changing certain eating and lifestyle habits.
- Not eating too much at a time as being too full can make your tummy feel uncomfortable.
- Chewing your food more. This can make it easier for you to break down food and make it go through your body more easily. Chewing more means you don’t swallow so much air. Also, it makes you eat more slower which can stop you from eating too much in one go.
- Eating 5-6 smaller meals/ snacks per day, so you don’t get too full at any one time.
- Try not to miss any meals or eat late at night.
- Eating less fat. Fatty foods can take longer to go through your body and means your stomach is full for longer, and this can cause bloating. Ways to have less fat include:
- eating less fried or creamy foods.
- taking fat that you can see off meat before you cook it.
- grill or oven bake foods rather than frying them.
- Hot drinks can help food to go through your body more easily, but drinks such as too much coffee can make bloating and stomach problems worse. Try to only have 2-3 cups a day of drinks with caffeine in them. Instead try mint or fruit teas or decaffeinated tea and coffees.
- Cutting down on what alcohol you have as this can also make stomach problems worse.
- Certain foods can make you have more wind (gas). If this wind stays in your stomach (and it doesn’t pass through your body and come out as wind) it can make you feel uncomfortable and bloated. There are some foods which might give you more wind, so try to cut down on foods such as:
- beans and pulses;
- vegetables such as brussels sprouts, cauliflower, garlic, onions, cabbage, leeks, mushrooms;
- fruit such as apples, cherries;
- some artificial sweeteners such as xylitol, sorbitol and mannitol which are commonly added to sugar-free products like fruit squashes, mints or chewing gum. If you cut down these foods, but it doesn’t help your bloating, you can start eating them again.
- Eating more soluble fibre. You could eat more oats or oat bran (such as oat-based breakfast cereal or porridge) or try adding linseeds or flaxseeds (starting with ½ tablespoon a day and building to 1 tablespoon twice a day as required). Make sure you drink an additional 200ml water with each tablespoon of seeds that you add so that you don’t get constipated.
- Add pro and prebiotics to your diet plan
- Foods rich in Probiotics: yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, tempeh, kimchi, miso, kombucha, pickles, traditional buttermilk, natto, some types of cheese
- Foods rich in Prebiotics:
- In some people, stress slows down how food goes through your body, which can cause bloating, pain and constipation or it can cause an upset stomach and diarrhoea. Stress can make you not feel like eating, or it can make you gulp air. It can be difficult to avoid all stress but having ways to help you manage the stress can be useful. For example, when you are tense, practise slow breathing or mindfulness exercises. If you are feeling very anxious, stressed, or unhappy then it may help to try and calm yourself before eating. Try to keep mealtimes happy and relaxed and put off any difficult conversations until after a meal.
- Wear clothes that are not too tight around your waist, as these can increase the pressure on your stomach and make it harder for wind to pass along normally.
- Having a warm bath, and spend time soaking, and relaxing. The heat of the bath can help a sore tummy. Doing this and finding other ways to relax can help you feel less stressed, and this helps your stomach.
- Consider counselling to talk about the things that you are finding difficult or stressful. There may be things about your critical illness that you are upset about and need support with.
- Exercise and massage.
Physical health that depends to our diet, exercise, and sleep, are closely related and affected by our mental health wellbeing.
Each May that is observed as the Mental Health Awareness Month, is an opportunity to refocus on self-care, improve our relationships with others, adopt healthier eating and exercise habits, improve our sleep hygiene and seek for professional support if need.
Take the first step and Download our Mental Health Calendar - May 2023 to find 31 ways to a Healthier You.
On March 12th, 2023 at the Columbia Plaza, in the frame of its Corporate Wellbeing Services, OneCare Solutions is organizing an event dedicated to women’s health under the title Menopause at Work.
15:00 - 15:40 - The Menopause Project by Dr. Maro Petrou Ob/Gyn
15:40 - 16:00 - Q&A Session
16:00 - 16:40 - Osteoporosis during menopause Dr. Stella Kaouri (Στέλλα Καουρή) Endocrinologist
16:40 - 17:00 - Q&A Session
17:00 - 17:40 - Sexual and mental health in menopause by Katerina Mavrommati Psychiatrist/ Psychotherapist
15:45 - 16:00 - Menopause and diet by Stella Kakouri, Nutritionist
16:45 - 17:00 - Menopause at Work by Dr. Maro Petrou, Ob/Gyn
17:45 - 18:00 - Exercise through menopause, by Kristen Shiaelis Menopause exercise specialist Kristen's Studio
Entrance is Free and you are all welcome.