I say skip a meal!
We live in a busy, tight-schedule always-in-a-rush society at least 5 days out of 7. Meetings, deadlines, family responsibilities, errands, and social life stretch the capacities of our calendars and our physical and mental ones, as well.
During the last 2 days my boyfriend and I were moving into a new apartment. There were boxes to pack and unpack, clothes to sort through, cable and Internet to set up, clean both an old and a new apartment and on top of that to take care of a sick dog… Long days to say the least.
Often when the day gets super busy we end up eating without taking a break from all the ‘important’ tasks on hand. Whether we can’t get away from the computer while mindlessly picking at a salad, or quickly shove in a deli sandwich in between the meetings, eating in a rush sucks! There is no way to eat mindfully while multitasking. When eating in a rush we get the calories but no real nourishment that our body and soul need. The lack of nourishment can show up as cravings for sweet foods, lack of enthusiasm and motivation, and a general feeling of dissatisfaction. On a physical level, eating on the go has some detrimental health effects, as well. It adversely effects digestion since you might not have enough time to chew food. Having been swallowed without proper chewing, the food falls to the stomach as a heavy rock, making us feel bloated and tired in the afternoon.
The alternative to not eating in a rush is a little scary – skip a meal. At first, it might seem outrageous. Some might fear that skipping meals is unhealthy, others that they will get belly-aches, dizziness, and fatigue, or worse that they will drop dead from missing one meal!
In reality, staying without food for more than 5 hours is not that scary, especially if you are busy. I am not trying to talk you into fasting when you are hungry, though. Quite the opposite, if you are hungry and it is a true physical hunger, eat! On the other hand, when we are under a lot of pressure and stress, the hunger can be less than normal. It happens because our body is trying to keep all the energy for the to-do-list and has very little energy left to digest food. Eating at this time simply would be not efficient.
For example, during the last two days I didn’t feel hungry while running non-stop with boxes and making sure that our new place looks like home. On the first day my body asked for food only around 3pm after the move was coming to an end. On the second day I didn’t feel like eating until the whole apartment was set up and cleaned. When everything was done and I could finally breathe normally, it was such a pleasure to cook and eat a warm nourishing meal with full awareness!
There are 2 ways to go about eating when you are stressed and not too hungry: (do a short meditation to check in with your body and see if you are hungry or not. If you have a strong physical hunger, eat!)
– If your must-get-accomplished tasks are very pressing but they won’t last more than a day, it is ok to skip a meal, if not hungry. You might even notice that you have more clarity and energy if you don’t eat anything at all rather then giving your body an extra task of digesting food. It is very personal and might not happen if you are a very Vata-predominant individual.
– If you are in a perpetual high-stress mode than try easy-to-digest liquid-based meals. Your goal should be to nourish your body without overtaxing it. It means having light foods full of easily available nutrients during high-stress times. Liquid-based foods provide an easier to access source of nutrition. Try warm almond milk with dates or a room temperature smoothie. Cold smoothies might be hard on the stomach and give a bloated feeling. Add maca, hemp, chia, sunflower seeds, goji berries, buckwheat, or coconut for a long-sustaining energy boost. If you like juicing, add some aloe vera for better absorption. Keep it light and nourishing. Your biggest meal should be when you are less tired and not as busy.
Help your body to deal with stress by reducing energy-draining heavy foods. Your body will thank you!
Do you feel hungry when you are stressed out and have an urgent dead line? Have you tried skipping meals or do you prefer sticking to a normal eating schedule?
Always listen to your body!
- Cures for a Bloated Belly (spinachandyoga.com)