Intentional Eating

Intentional eating is a concept that I have begun to dive into more recently. There are a few different ways to interpret this term and I am going to break these down. I hope that this will open up your mind when thinking about eating your next meal.

Intentional Eating-Spending

When the term intentional eating is interpreted this way, the topic becomes mostly about organic vs non-organic and trying to limit waste. Being intentional with your spending is the most important part. Becoming an informed consumer of the products that you are purchasing and making the choice that is right for your situation. If you are looking to save as much money as possible, organic may not be the method to achieve this. Organic foods tend to be more expensive than their non-organic counterparts. If you feel strongly about buying organic, then please, buy organic. If you are looking to save money, buy whatever is cheaper. Just make sure you know what and why you are purchasing that specific item.

This does not have to be an all or nothing decision. There are plenty of items with an “organic” label on them that are highly processed. This many not matter to you if you have organic or not. I typically spend the money on produce and meats but you can spend as you desire.

The next topic to consider when being intentional with your spending would be to consider how much you are going to consume and limiting your waste. If you can think about throwing money out every time you toss a bag of spinach into the trash, this may help you buy less than you typically would. You should not be throwing ANYTHING into the trash. I personally would rather take the trip to the store multiple times in a week over throwing food into the garbage. Being intentional with your grocery spending will help limit waste and limit money being thrown into the trash.

Intentional Eating-When to eat

Being intentional about when to eat during the day is a new concept for me. This is something that I struggle with. In society, we eat breakfast, lunch and dinner, all around the same times (8am, noon and 6pm). I will tend to plan my day around these times and eat no matter what at these times. Take stock into your feelings at these times when you would eat. Are you hungry? Or are you just eating because its “what you do at this time”? If you’re not hungry, don’t eat. If you are hungry, eat. Seems simple right? For some of us (mostly me!) this concept is a daily struggle. Just take a moment before you eat to ask yourself am I really hungry?

Intentional Eating-How much to eat

This is another struggle for me. We all remember our parents telling us to “clean our plates” before we could leave the dinner table. Even if we were not hungry, the goal was always to eat everything that was put in front of us. Changing this mindset can be a difficult habit to break. You should not eat until you are so full that you can’t possibly eat another bite. You should eat until satisfied. Usually rated at a 7 or 8 out of 10. You should feel content, but not bursting at the seams. If you wait 10-15 minutes and the hunger returns, eat some more.

The next step for this is one that is hardest for those prepping multiple meals at a time. Having “seconds” (or thirds) available will keep you eating even when you are not hungry. Making just enough for you to feel satisfied is an art form that I have not mastered. I tend to make much more than is necessary and this will make me more likely to graze while I am cleaning up. Putting leftovers into their containers immediately and putting them out of sight may be the best method to “batch cook” but not eat more than is necessary.

I hope these topics help you become more intentional with your eating. If it is money saving or calorie saving that you are looking for, start with being intentional with the way you look at consuming foods. As always, lets continue the conversation on Instagram @moneyandimage.