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Precision Nutrition Coaching: Habit #2

This is just a life update I wanted to share with the world.

So I’ve been given the privilege of being a part of a Precision Nutrition coaching group.

It’s a one year program geared towards consistent behavioral change, and practicing these behavioral changes as it relates to nutrition and lifestyle. Long story short: It’s effective and impossible to fail if you give it the time of day.

Every few weeks you get ONE habit. One habit to master. The first one was “making time” to simply read the lessons, which take about 5 minutes.

(More info at http://www.precisionnutrition.com/)

Long story short, my second habit is “Eating Slowly”. So, naturally I take the challenge on head first as a cocky fitness professional.

The goal is to add 5 minutes to your meals, and eat with ZERO distractions. No phone. No laptops. No television. Initially, not even conversation if it interferes with your awareness and mindfulness of what you are doing: eating slowly. Savoring every bite.

It’s ridiculously challenging for me. I ate 7 scrambled eggs, 6 sausage links and drank 2 cup of coffee in 6 minutes. The goal over time is 20-30 minutes per meal. Savoring EVERY BITE.

I realized my time allotment to eating reflects accurately the way in which I eat: typically 2-3 breaths per meal, whilst checking e-mail and watching “This is us” with my beautiful fiance.

One lesson that will make you understand just how interesting, and highly valuable this platform is, would be an exercise in patience and awareness from my recent lesson plan which you will find below:

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“Eat a raisin… really, really slowly

At some point in the next few days, grab a handful of raisins. (If you hate raisins, try dried cranberries, fresh berries, or a few chunks of fresh fruit.)

Book 15 minutes with no interruptions or distractions to complete the following task.

(If you can’t find 15 quiet minutes alone, then either you’re a father of a newborn, you’re in a trench in a war zone, or you may want to re-evaluate some things in your life.)

Set your raisins out in front of you and look at them. Pick one up and inspect it closely. Notice how each raisin is unique.

Sniff the raisin. Does it smell like anything? If yes, what? Can you identify the scent?

Pop the raisin into your mouth. Roll it around a bit, feeling the texture.

Bite into it. Notice what happens to your taste buds. Chew it slowly. Does the taste change as you chew? Chew the raisin 15 times.

Then swallow the raisin and repeat with the rest of the raisins.

Observe carefully

After doing this exercise, ask yourself:

What did I notice?
What did I experience?
Don’t worry — we aren’t going to make you eat all your meals like this!

This exercise simply shows you how much more you can experience and enjoy your food when you slow down, pay attention, and eat mindfully.”

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It’s incredible. I did this with a salad from Panera Bread. I took 22 minutes. Probably the longest single course meal I have ever had in my adult life. Those salads typically don’t satisfy me, and this time I was completely content following a mindful eating protocol.

It’s a very simple way to not over eat, and actually pay attention to what you are eating. If I successfully eat like this, I never find myself wanting second plates, or even dessert. Try it and I am sure you won’t either.

It makes sense. My body has time to recognize that I am eating, rather than me shoveling 3 plates of food in to my mouth before it even reaches my stomach. (Read more about the process of digestion here)

Do it and think about every bite you take. Every time you chew. The flavors. The textures. How delicious (or maybe disgusting) your meal is.

Just try it. An easy quote from my current lesson to summarize this is: “Eat slowly and deliberately without distraction”.

I’ll be back with another update at some point. Until then, my habit is to eat my food more like a koala, and less like a vacuum cleaner.

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