Main Menu

May’s Tiny Change: Sit Down to Eat

by Elise Museles

SittingDownAvoFIf you’re just joining us, this post is part of my year-long #12tinychanges challenge. Each month, we’re implementing one super small, super doable change – over a year, it really adds up! You can read about it here and share your progress on Instagram with the hashtag #12tinychanges. (Did I mention that there are lots of theme-related GIVEAWAYS each month?! Read on!)

If you’ve tried one of my #12tinychanges already, you’ve heard me say this before (but I really mean it this time!): May’s tiny change is simple and doable! In fact, it’s as easy as sitting down.

This month, we’re going to sit down to eat, as often as possible.

We’re not aiming for a tablecloth and two different types of forks.
We’re not trying to make every meal a three-course marathon.
We’re not even shooting for a 100% success rate.

We’re just trying to make rushed, mindless eating the exception instead of the rule.

Who among us hasn’t been there – eating over the sink, picking the kids’ leftovers off their plates, standing in front of the fridge while scrolling through Instagram? (My hand is raised!) It can happen to all of us, and it’s unhealthy for all of us.

If you need more convincing, here are my top reasons why we should all eat sitting down:

Sitting = Knowing

When we eat on the go (slugging smoothies as we drive or distractedly nibbling pb & j energy bars  as we answer emails) our bodies sometimes don’t even realize that what just happened was a meal. Oftentimes, when we indulge in mindless snacking and full meals, we eat more than we need – and don’t really enjoy any of it.

Stop Moving, Stop Stress

Shoving food into our mouths isn’t relaxing. Trying to eat a collard wrap while navigating rush hour is not a calming (or satisfying!) experience. Eating while we multitask can actually be quite stressful, and stressful situations can lead to the release of cortisol. Excess cortisol can lower metabolism, decrease immunity, and cause gastrointestinal problems. We can avoid all that if we just spend a few extra minutes eating veggie soup at a table instead of drinking it in a mug in the car!

Connecting > Consuming

Dozens of hours go into growing, harvesting, transporting, and preparing the food we eat. Water, sunshine, fossil fuels, and elbow grease make it possible. You yourself put time and effort into preparing each dish! So why rush through the best part: eating it?

Something that really helps me connect to my food: I take five deep breaths before I eat. It centers me, clears my mind, and turns my attention to the delicious meal in front of me.

May's Tiny Change

Meals Create Community

Of course, we can’t eat every meal surrounded by friends and family, but sharing food is one of the best ways to connect and bond with others. Eating together is an opportunity to decompress and catch up on our lives. We tell stories, laugh, support each other, and make new memories.

When we cook together or prepare family recipes, we reconnect with our past and our heritage. Grandma’s famous mashed potatoes don’t have the same calming, healing properties if we eat them out of the mixing bowl, standing over the counter, as they do when we pass them down the table and each take a scoop onto our plates.

So how do we find the time to eat sitting down?

Often, it’s as simple as making the commitment and realizing that, yes, we do have the few extra minutes to sit down if we make it a priority. Think of all the energy that goes into cooking food. We want to appreciate our efforts and not just shove it into our mouths without tasting it!

Let’s be honest about another mealtime distraction: messing around on social media or flipping through TV channels! If we can scroll through Instagram, we can sit down and eat that blueberry bliss smoothie bowl or quinoa & black bean salad.

If you really do need a little extra time in your jam-packed day, what if you set your alarm clock 15 minutes earlier? Or do some meal prep on Sundays? With a little bit of foresight, sitting down to eat is possible!

To help make this change more interesting and doable, I’ve teamed up with some incredible partners for awesome giveaways every week this month on Instagram. (Think: matcha tea sipped at a table with intention, organic fragrant and healing spices to create meals that are meant to be savored, activities to help with stillness…and more.) Follow along on Instagram for updates!

Now I want to hear from you! How often do you sit down to eat your meals and snacks? If it’s something you struggle with, what stops you from making it part of your day? Let’s inspire one another to make eating more enjoyable and meaningful.

5 Things to Know About Bloating {Giveaway}

Bloating is an epidemic that, for many of us, has no identifiable cause and is a source of chronic discomfort. Who hasn’t been plagued with that uncomfortable weighed-down feeling and wondered why? Understanding what’s behind that suffering is the key to deflating for good. After all, let’s be honest: we all want to have a […]

April’s Tiny Change: Eat More Color

If you’re just joining us, this post is part of my year-long #12tinychanges challenge. Each month, we’re implementing one super small, super doable change – over a year, it really adds up! You can read about it here and share your progress on Instagram with the hashtag #12tinychanges. (Did I mention that there are lots of theme-related […]

Kids + Food: How to Have Conversations About Healthy Habits

Nothing makes me happier than seeing my boys in the kitchen preparing platters of veggies, whipping up their own smoothies, enjoying homemade versions of protein bars…and even cooking dinner for the family willingly. But it wasn’t always this way. There were many years of complaints about too many Brussels sprouts and not enough “white” pasta…and […]

March’s Tiny Change: Notice Your Subconscious Thoughts About Food

If you’re just joining us, this post is part of my year-long #12tinychanges challenge. Each month, we’re implementing one super small, super doable change—and over a year, it really adds up! You can read about all the #12tinychanges here and share your progress on Instagram with the hashtag #12tinychanges. (Did I mention that there are lots of […]

How to Stop Feeling Guilty About What We Eat

Tell me if this has ever happened to you: It’s a special dinner—Thanksgiving, your birthday, or any celebratory occasion—and you’re surrounded by your favorite, most loved people. The house is cozy, and the air is thick with the smell of a delicious meal that is about to take place. You sit down to a table […]

February’s Tiny Change: Eat More Plants

If you’re just joining us, this post is part of the year-long #12tinychanges challenge. Each month we’re implementing one super small, super doable change—over a year it really adds up! You can read about it here and share your progress on Instagram with the hashtag #12tinychanges. (Did I mention that there are lots of theme-related […]

7 Things I Want for My Birthday That Aren’t Things

It’s my birthday! While January birthdays can sometimes get lost in the winter holiday shuffle and end up feeling like an afterthought, I’m making sure to set aside a little time to celebrate with my family and acknowledge my gratitude for what’s passed and excitement for what’s to come. Sure, my inner 10-year-old is looking […]

January’s 12 Tiny Change: Do It Yourself

If you’re just joining us, this post is part of the year-long #12tinychanges challenge. Each month we’re implementing one super small, super doable change—over a year it really adds up! You can read about it here and share your progress on Instagram with the hashtag #12tinychanges. (Did I mention that there are lots of theme-related […]

Want to Maintain Your Busy Lifestyle and Eat Right? My New Book Will Show You How.

Happy 2016! I hope you’re celebrating the beginning of a brand new year by making exciting plans and pondering the endless possibilities of a blissfully blank slate. And I’m right here with you – nothing like cracking open a fresh calendar to fill your soul with hope and your mind with motivation. But today, I’m […]

Pop-up-Salad-v5

You have Successfully Subscribed!