Mindful Eating Tips For Holidays


Winter in Australia, means Summer in other countries, and is often a time when many of us do some travelling. 

Visiting new places is a fantastic opportunity to try new and different foods, and with a bit of mindfulness we can enjoy these new food experiences without feeling bloated and overfull. Here are my mindful eating tips for your next holiday, tried and tested by myself on our recent holiday to Fiji.  

Give yourself permission to eat whatever you feel like. When we give ourselves unconditional permission to eat whatever takes our fancy, different foods lose their power over us and binging or over eating the ‘off limit’ foods tends to subside. I have a goal with my food choices, and I want to leave a meal feeling better that when I started. With sticking to this goal I make appropriate food choices for how I am feeling and am less likely to over eat because A. I can eat the food again when I next feel like it and B. It wouldn’t leave me feeling better than when I started the meal.   

Check in with how you are feeling. Making the best decision for a meal means you first need to check in with how you are feeling. This can take some practice but it is certainly something that you will get better at with experience. When I am checking in with how I am feeling I will take into account my hunger level, what sort of food will leave me feeling most satisfied (hot, cold, crunchy, smooth etc.), when my next opportunity to eat will be and how much energy do I need for the activities I will be doing, eg. if we are planning on going for a hike I will make sure I eat a bit of extra carbohydrates, or if it’s a morning of reading by the pool a lighter breakfast will be fine. 

It’s also helpful to check in with how your body is feeling during the meal. Are you continuing to eat because you are still hungry or really enjoying the food, or is it just to finish what’s on your plate? Is this bite as delicious as the first? It’s ok to stop eating when you are satisfied, even if there is still food on your plate. You can save this food for when you are next hungry, it doesn’t have to be wasted. Eating when you are no longer hungry, is a waste, stopping when you are satisfied is not.

But, just because you can doesn’t always mean that will be the best decision for you. Just because you’re on holidays and you ‘can’ have multiple trips to the buffet for pastries for breakfast, doesn’t mean that will leave you feeling the best after eating. By thinking about what you actually want to eat, and which food and in what quantity will leave you feeling the best after eating, you can make a choice that will satisfy your hunger and leave you feeling great after your meal to get on with the other activities that your holiday might offer. 

Stop what you are doing and enjoy the meal. When you are eating try to enjoy the food and your company, and switch off from other distractions eg. watching T.V. or looking at your phone. Enjoying the meal and your company will leave you feeling a lot more satisfied, than when your watching T.V. and wonder where your meal has gone. Get the most out of your holiday by being present with what you are doing, starting with eating your meals.   

I find that eating mindfully, while also staying well hydrated and keeping most meals balanced ensures that I feel my best while also enjoying local delicacies. I may eat past my comfort level on occasion, and that’s ok, I’m human, but the majority of the time I am able to check in with my body and make the right decision for me at that moment, and eat to a comfortable level of satisfaction. 

Do you have any tips for mindful eating on holidays? I’d love to hear about them in the comments section below.    

These tips are general in nature, if you are looking to improve your relationship with food, and are looking for a Canberra Dietitian to assist you in achieving your nutrition related health goals, click here to book in for a consultation.   

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Sunday morning vibes, including coffee in bed and a sunny morning. Absolute  #perfection 📷 by @jasminedowling

Do you have a holiday coming up?? Lucky you! And you might be interested in my new blog about mindful eating on holidays, the link is in my bio x

I love #soupweather this beauty has a whole heap of veggies (onion, garlic, carrot, pumpkin, cauliflower, tomato and kale) along with pork and fennel sausages from the @crfarmersmarket  and it’s a winner! ~20 mins of prep (then cooking time) and I have soup for days!

Time to recharge. What are you getting up to this weekend? 📷 by @thedailyguru

Porridge is something that I enjoy, but when I eat it i get really full then hungry again about an hour later, so it’s not an ideal breakfast option for me most of the time. 
What I like to do is pack it with fibre and include some protein to ensure it is more balanced and keeps me going for longer. 
Here we have carrot cake style porridge - chia, flax seeds, grated carrot, cinnamon, nutmeg and milk added to the rolled oats, then topped with some seeds, maple syrup and a big dollop of Greek yoghurt after the photo was taken. 
Filled with heart healthy fats, gut loving fibre and low GI carbs for slow release energy.

There is a delicious new recipe up on the website, perfect for lazy Sunday afternoon cooking. It’s packed with goodness and tastes divine, it’s just dhal-ing.

Getting creative in the kitchen this morning and feeling good. So thankful to have a roof over my head, food to eat, lovely people in my life and good health. 📷 by @thedailyguru

Flashback to this delicious veggie filled brunch a few weeks ago. I’m looking forward to the @crfarmersmarket tomorrow morning to restock my fridge. 
Often I hear how expensive the markets are but I think you just need to shop around, this big bunch of kale only cost me $2 how’s that for a bargain? 
#healthynothard #veggies #farmersmarket

I'm Casuarina, an Accredited Practising Dietitian from Canberra. I'm passionate about food and nutrition, and love sharing straight forward advice related to healthy eating and nutrition at the blog attached to my website Casuarina Forsyth Dietitian.

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