Category Archives: mindful eating

Motherhood and Mindful Eating: A Conundrum

  1. a confusing and difficult problem or question.
  2. a question asked for amusement, typically one with a pun in its answer; a riddle.

I was looking over a list of 10 Mindful Eating Questions asked by Susan Albers, PsyD (

  1. Do I tend to stop eating when I am full?
  2. Eat when I am hungry, rather than emotional?
  3. Not “pick” at my food?
  4. Taste each bite before reaching for the next?
  5. Think about how nourishing food is for my body?
  6. Be nonjudgemental of myself when I accidentally overeat?
  7. Not multitask when I eat: when I eat, just eat?
  8. Be able to leave some food on my plate if I don’t want it?
  9. Eat slowly, chewing each bite?
  10. Recognize when I slip into mindless eating (zoned out, popping food into my mouth)?

How did you do? Ummmmmmm, if you are like me, motherhood has slipped your “yes” answers from 10 to 3!mom and chocolate

The good news is that we can always come back to mindfulness. That is why mindfulness is a practice! And the gift of being an imperfect mother that chooses to continue to grow and become/stay conscious, again and again, is that we model this for our children! So if we eat emotionally (Um- are there any mothers out there that haven’t had a piece of birthday cake or goldfish crackers? That would be, by definition, emotional because the nutritional content would be nil), then we can notice this, and choose to be kind to ourselves. Notice I didn’t say stop doing this. All food has some emotional content. And saying to yourself Stop doing that is just another version of the Overdeveloped-Superego-for-Mommy guilt.

Here is my revised-for-moms list of 5 questions for Mindful Eating:

  1. Do I attempt to provide a variety (colors, textures, food groups) of foods for myself as well as my family without making any foods “bad”?
  2. Can I allow myself to sit down and eat with my children/family (rather than serving everyone but myself)?
  3. Would I consider forgiving myself if I eat something emotionally because I am tired, frustrated, or lonely?
  4. How about if I lower the bar and dedicate 1 bite of the meal to mindfulness (notice the texture, taste, savor it)?
  5. Can I model good boundaries by protecting my plate of food as mine and not allowing toddler crumbs to be thrown on it?

I threw that last one in as a conundrum 🙂


IMG_1360(I’m guest blogging this month for a fabulous downtown group of psychotherapists)

1. All feelings are allowed.

At my child’s preschool, they have a saying: You have to get the bad feelings out to let the good feelings in. In therapy, we know there are no “bad” feelings. However, feelings such as anger, sadness and hurt don’t feel good, and they need expression. To express your true feelings within the context of a safe attachment relationship is a deep form of wellness.

“When children [and adults] experience an attuned connection from a responsive empathic adult they feel good about themselves because their emotions have been given resonance and reflection.” 1

If the bad feelings don’t come out, they stay in, which can show up later as…(To read the full article, click:

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