Healthy Living Day 12: Practice Conscious Eating

This is Day 12 of the 14-Day Healthy Living Challenge where hundreds of participants around the world work together to improve on their diet and fitness in January 2015. The challenge is now over, but you can do the tasks in your own time. Visit the overview page for all tasks and posts.

Healthy Living Challenge

Hi everyone!! 😀 It’s now Day 11 of our 14-Day Healthy Living Challenge. Only three days left before our challenge ends! Let’s go!

Challenge Tasks to Date

My Day 11 in Pictures

Here’s a recap of my Day 11 in pictures:

QQ Rice and Orange juice

First meal, same combi as my dinners on Day 4 and 6): QQ Rice and freshly squeezed orange juice! My QQ Rice ingredients this time: wheatgerm rice with pickled vegetables, mushoom, vegetable floss, braised peanuts, and vegetarian duck. (Yes, I do eat the same things each time and I love it!!)

Banana and Grapes

Mid-day snack: Banana and grapes

Porridge and Chee Cheong fun

Supper: Same as yesterday — Century egg porridge and chee cheong fun

So yesterday (Day 11) was kinda funny — you may have noticed that I only have three food pictures above. That’s because I ended crashing out! I had barely slept the past 36 hours (three hours at most) because I was busy working (preparing for the Passive Income course, writing the challenge posts, posting comments, editing a new Ask Celes video, editing my old articles) and we had house visitors in the day. So while I had planned to exercise and have a salad before posting Day 12’s post and call it a night, I fell into a deep sleep after crawling into bed for a short rest!

My priority for next month, after the challenge ends, is to normalize my sleeping hours (and once this is done, to meditate more regularly). My focus when the year started with 14HLC is to upgrade my diet and also incorporate exercise, and now that these have been kicked into gear and are going well, I’m excited to work on other parts of my lifestyle.

So yesterday (Day 11) I had meant to do a workout video with Ken like I shared in my Day 10 post. But then he was busy the whole day (literally, from morning to almost midnight) so we couldn’t even do it together. Then I realized this would often happen to our couple workout sessions — like we used to jog together, but then he got a knee injury (which is still there) since three months ago and ever since then we couldn’t jog together, and so this then made me stall on my jogging sessions. Until 14HLC started which was when I kicked back into jogging gear.

It’s not his fault of course and for me I realized I need to make my workout sessions more independent, so that they fit my schedule better and don’t get disrupted. So for now, I’ll just stick to my two-to-three-times-a-week jogging routine for predictability and regularity in my routine. It can be difficult to introduce too many variables into a routine activity (in this case, the variable is his ability and availability to exercise) and I found that when it comes to a routine activity like diet and exercising, an important ingredient for success is to make it as idiot-proof, simple, and easy to execute as possible. So in my case, simply having a fixed time slot every other day where I just put on my jogging gear, plug in my earphones, head down and jog and come back 30–40 minutes later.

Reviewing my 14HLC goals, they are

  1. Exercise at least three times a week – Exercise session got thwarted, but not to fret as I’ll instead jog later today. Then my third exercise for the week will be at the end of the week on Day 14, yeah!
  2. Cut out deep fried / oily food from my diet – Check!
  3. Eat salads more regularly, ideally once a day if I can – I think this is the only day in the challenge so far where I didn’t have a salad! And it was because I crashed out. I’ll be having a salad later today (2012)!

Check out other participants’ amazing food logs and progress updates in Day 11’s comments section!

With that, let’s move to Day 12’s task, which is…

Day 12: Practice Conscious Eating


How do you usually eat your food? Are you aware and present whenever you’re eating, with every single bite you take? Or do you usually chomp down your food, fill your mind with thoughts about work and other stuff in between bites, or even eat while doing (and only while) other activities?

Unfortunately, most people in the modern society today do not eat consciously. Conscious eating means to eat with full attention and awareness of your food, to be cognizant of what you’re putting in your body, and to appreciate and savor your food as you’re eating it. Most people don’t; they take big bites, shove their food down the throat, and think about all kinds of things while they’re eating. Some stuff their meals in the middle of work/TV; so they literally chomp down their food while working away on their laptop, while watching the big colors and words flash on their TV screenwhile reading the newspaper on their dining table, while fiddling around with their smartphone. And then there is a large chunk of the society who mix eating with socialization: they only eat when there’s someone with them; they eat while talking; they talk while eating; and while eating they don’t concentrate or stay cognizant of their food, but rather are busy thinking of the next conversational topic and what to respond.

The very bad thing about unconscious eating is that (as I mentioned in How to Stop Emotional Eating, A Crucial Guide, Part 2: Rebuilding a Healthy Relationship with Food) we don’t know we are full until we have eaten way more than we should. When we’re eat unconsciously, “it makes us numb to the sensations in our stomach, which then results in erratic eating habits thereafter, because we confuse emotional eating triggers with hunger cues.”


When you eat consciously, it helps you to (a) be more in tune with your hunger cues, so you don’t overeat, and (b) be more conscious of the role of eating / food in your life, which supports you in building a healthy relationship with food. This is why conscious eating is also my fourth tip to rebuild a healthy relationship with food.

Today, your task is to eat consciously! Here are my tips (from How to Stop Emotional Eating, A Crucial Guide, Part 2: Rebuilding a Healthy Relationship with Food):

  1. Don’t mix eating with other activities. Before you eat, put everything aside, including your laptop and mobile phone. Concentrate on eating and eating only.
  2. Know what you’re eating. Examine the ingredients. Look at the nutritional content. Educate yourself on what you’re feeding your body.
  3. Before you eat, feel the sensation (of hunger) in your stomach.
  4. Examine the food you are about to eat. Look at the colors. Look at the composition of ingredients. Smell it if you desire.
  5. Be grateful for this food that you’re about to eat. Think about all the work that went into the creation of this food — the harvesting, the procurement, the delivery, the preparation, the cooking (if the meal was cooked), etc. Be thankful for each and every person who was involved in the creation of this food.
  6. Now as you eat, do so one bite at a time. With each bite, chew very slowly and deliberately. Relish the taste of food in your mouth. Feel the texture.
  7. At the same time, be aware of how your stomach feels. Feel the sensation of hunger fade away slowly with each bite. Feel your stomach being filled up as you eat.
  8. Then, stop when you feel halfway full or you have consumed enough calories for the meal.

Even if you’re eating with friend(s) today, you can still eat consciously. Don’t chew and talk at the same time. Every time you take a bite, focus your attention on your food, and concentrate on chewing, savoring the taste, and digesting the food. When you are done with the bite, put your attention back to your friend(s). Listen to what he/she has to say. Say what you want to say. Do that in turns and you’ll be fine.

Next, Follow Your Plan for Day 12 (Take Pictures Too!)

What tasks have you set for Day 12 of your 14-Day Healthy Living Plan? Do them today!

Take pictures of your healthy meals — breakfast, lunch, dinner, and mid-day snacks if any — and share them in the comments section. 😀 After all, a picture tells a thousand words, and when you share photos of your healthy meals, it inspires others to eat healthily and gives them ideas on what healthy food they can have too!

Post your initial comment sharing your results for today’s challenge task, then add on throughout the day as you have your breakfast, lunch, dinner, and/or if you’re doing any workouts. Attach photos of your meals by clicking the image icon on the bottom left of every comment box. As you add on to your comment thread, be sure to click on the reply button directly below your original comment so that you reply to your own thread (as opposed to starting a new thread).

Share Your Results (and Photos!)

Share in the comments section!

  1. Your experience eating consciously today
  2. Your progress with your healthy living plan today
  3. Pictures of your meals
  4. Pictures of your workout (if any)

Do check out the other participants’ comments too and share a word of encouragement or two. We’re all in this together, so let’s support each other as a group! 🙂

Stay tuned for Day 13’s task tomorrow! 😀 Just two days left everyone!!

Image: Women runningApricot

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