Proper-Eating-HabitsWhen it comes to a healthful, happy well-being, sure taking vitamins will enhance our healthfulness, but how we eat the foods we eat is also important to our health as much as a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle is. Proper eating habits are the key to well-being as much as eating healthy foods is. This article will shed some light on the part of our dietary intake that is about more than just taking quality vitamins.

I first started to take interest in this topic when a good friend of mine returned from France where he enjoyed a great vacation. But when I inquired about the food, the restaurants, the ambiance of romance and a good bottle of wine, he replied. “Oh, I ate a ton of food”. This remark was abandoned without being joined by a following remark that I though would go something like this “and I savored every bit of these culinary delights along with an amazingly lengthy meal”.

Okay, so maybe that is a bit dramatic, but do we really enjoy the foods we are eating? No, I am not referring to your ability to wolf down that burger you snagged at the drive through on your lunch hour either. But are we enjoying our meals? Are we eating in a manner that only consists of speed? Other than stuffing what we think “tastes good” into our mouth and gulping, are we truly practicing the proper way to eat? In the US, it seems we are not. Eating too fast and “on the go” is all part of the connection between health issues such as indigestion, heart burn, obesity and even long term health issues you may not even realize that are linked to by fostering improper eating habits. How we eat is just as valuable to us as what we are eating.

Once we adapt our personal way of consuming foods and our pace of life to incorporate the simple pleasures of slowly enjoying whole, fresh foods, perhaps many of our health and obesity problems, not to mention stress, will subside. Proper eating habits are more than just proper manners.

Yes we need food to fuel our everyday ability to function, but fast eating does not equate to fast, quality work and the ability to get all the things we must accomplish on a given day. Eating a proper meal in an appropriate amount of time is possible. Even during your work week.

I also refer to my friend’s trip to France because this particular trip was to a region, like Italy, where a meal is meant to be enjoyed at a leisurely pace at any time of the week. In my opinion, we have a lot to learn about health and happiness from our European counterparts.

A few of you reading this may take vitamins daily thinking they will simply cover for all the bad eating habits you may have. That is entirely incorrect. Substituting a lengthy, healthful meal with a quick meal on the go and a multivitamin is not going to work in the long run and certainly not for your overall well-being.

Instead let’s focus on eating habits that relate to taking the time to enjoy the foods we eat, and eat the foods that are most beneficial tour health. Do not associate healthful foods with poor taste, if you take the time to enjoy the actually flavors of healthful foods you will be pleasantly surprised. In fact, healthy foods than already contain the natural vitamins and minerals our body requires to thrive on will keep you feeling full longer.

When we take the proper amount of time to eat, we also tend to socialize more while eating. Being relaxed and social directly impacts your stress level, blood pressure and we all know vitamins and mineral absorb much better into a system that is free of stress.

While it is completely understandable that we cannot eat every meal at the leisure pace we should, making a conscious effort to do so will instantly create a calming effect and your well-being will be much more in line with proper vitamin and mineral absorption and an improved health.

Here a few tips that are related to eating right and how to actually take pleasure in the process:

– Choose the freshest foods you can. Locally grown ingredients are fun to shop for because doing so usually means a farm visit, frequenting a farm stand, or farmer’s market. When you choose your foods straight from the source, you are more likely to take pride in preparing the foods and it is social.

– Spend quality time with your friends and family during meals. While this is typically a weekend venture, try a weeknight. Break up the work week a bit by hosting friends and family.

– Don’t shrug of the nice coworker who asks you to lunch. It is social and as long as the topic discussed during lunch is NOT work you will be more likely to relax and enjoy, taking more time because there is conversation taking place. Eating alone can be super convenient, but you are more likely to eat way to fast.

– Make a beautiful dinner once or twice a week and plan on having a slow, languishing meal with no other commitments for the evening.

Once we adapt to proper eating habits, change our way of eating, and reduce our pace to incorporate the simple pleasures of slowly enjoying the meals we eat, taking our eating habits into consideration with good social camaraderie, indeed many of our health and obesity problems will reduce. Now that you have read this, what’s for dinner? Hopefully not a multivitamin and a burger.