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The Mindful Lunch: How 1 minute a day can change your life

Updated: Feb 7, 2022

If you tend to eat quickly, skip lunch or find yourself regularly getting hangry (that's hungry and angry for those who haven't heard the term), keep reading. You are not alone. Is the pressure to push through the lunch hour by quickly shoving something in your face or skipping your midday meal altogether negatively impacting your relationship with food?

A study published in 2019 found that 2 out of 3 millennials skip lunch in order to get ahead at work. According to the study, "more than half of Americans don't think about what they're going to eat for lunch until they realize they're hungry. This lack of routine can often lead to poor lunchtime choices, with only 27% of people choosing to eat foods that give them energy to power through the day."

"...spend time with your food; every minute of your meal should be happy. Not many people have the opportunity to sit down and enjoy a meal like that. We are very fortunate." - Thich Nhat Hanh, How to Eat

With so much pressure on what we eat, often it seems that we take an all or nothing approach that can lead to end of day hunger pangs that result in overconsumption. And let's get back to that whole hangry thing. Deprivation often leads to aggravation. Ever had an argument about nothing with someone you love because you were starving and agitated? Uh huh, we feel you.

At NOCK Collaborative we are big on taking a solutions based approach to the obstacles that come between you and your well-being. What we often hear from people like you is that they really don't know where to begin.

We recommend tackling the lunch debacle, starting with how you eat rather than stressing about what is on your plate.

A great place to begin is with the practice of Mindful Eating, a nonjudgmental awareness of physical and emotional sensations associated with eating.

The practice of Mindful Eating stems from the broader mindfulness philosophy rooted in Buddhist teachings and religions of the world. In the book, How to Eat by Thich Nhat Hanh, the Zen Master who recently passed writes, "...spend time with your food; every minute of your meal should be happy. Not many people have the opportunity to sit down and enjoy a meal like that. We are very fortunate." Today, Mindful Eating is presented in various ways through secular principles and practices that help people put the focus on how they approach the meal rather than the hyper focus on what. This is important, for example, allowing yourself a bowl of cereal, when you don't have the perfect salad to reach for, could make a positive difference by establishing consistency in your routine, less judgment, and more satisfaction in your days.

At NOCK Collaborative we know that everything is connected so let's explore 5 life-changing benefits that can come from taking space to enjoy your lunch more mindfully.

- Establishing a midday routine. Everyone is talking about the power of a supportive morning and evening routine but we encourage you not to leave the middle of the day behind. Create a marker in your day by sitting down to nourish your mind and body at lunch.

- Lower stress and anxiety. Stepping away from work, social media, and all of the noise of the day to focus on what's in front of you can help ease the tension you might be feeling. Relax into it and take a breath between bites.

- Listening to your body. You listen to everyone else all day, why not hit pause and hear what your body has to say? Tuning into physical sensations in the body and hunger cues can assist in managing portion sizes and energy levels to help you as you move through your day.

- Improve your sleep. When you stop to eat lunch, you will lower the risk of binging later in the evening, allowing your body to rest and digest during the sleep cycle. Paying attention and taking a few deep breaths at the table will help you pay attention to fullness levels and avoid the late afternoon crash.

- Strengthen your relationships. By taking the first step to lunch more mindfully, you will build a practice that helps you learn the power of being more present with others. Start with yourself and soon you will expand your practice into social dining situations and family meals.

We are currently offering The Mindful Lunch online nutrition experience, included in the $15 NOCK Begins monthly subscription as an easy way to help you discover the difference that one minute of mindful eating can make. We recommend approaching the course, Monday through Friday.

Included are 5, pre-lunch meditations that take you through some of the key steps of mindful eating, helping you visualize your lunch experience.

In addition, will also receive a course workbook, hunger scale worksheets, access to our monthly wellness forums and community. We encourage you to begin by taking 1 minute with your meal in a quiet space that is free from work or your phone. We help you take small and manageable steps that you can revisit at any time.

We are hosting The Mindful Lunch in-person nutrition experience at Flower Child Restaurant in Santa Monica, California. Sit down at the table with our Founder and Certified Nutritionist, Stephanie Fee and Erin McIntyre, MS and Wellness Coach to discover the benefits that come with lunching more mindfully.

We use the practice of mindful eating in The NOCK Life Program. Check it out and choose between Sustainable Weight Loss and Stress Management. Our practitioners are certified professionals with a passion for helping you establish a personalized methodology for your unique mind and body.

At NOCK Collaborative, we offer a proprietary method that places personalization at the forefront, connection how you think, consume and move with 8 elements of your lifestyle. Our work is designed to offer people a sustainable and fun pathway to overall well-being, helping them leave diets and the quick-fix mindset behind. At NOCK, everything is connected.

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* Methodology: the California Walnut Board & Commission conducted an online consumer study of 1,000 respondents across the U.S from January 29 – February 5, 2019.

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