The Eating Guidelines: #2 Eat In a Calm Environment

In honour of this new “home” for the blog, I am doing a series based on The Eating Guidelines as developed by Geneen Roth (author of “Women, Food, and God” and many other books I highly recommend).

Guideline #2: Eat sitting down in a calm environment. This does not include the car.

The second guideline on the list is eat sitting down in a calm environment. This one can be particularly difficult when you are on the move; however, it is an important one, especially when you are in the early stages of learning to eat intuitively. Yes, life gets busy and sometimes we can’t help ourselves and we really do just need to “eat on the fly”; however, it is important to give ourselves time each day (especially during meals) to be able to enjoy the food we are eating.

Why do we need to be “sitting down”?

When I first read this guideline I wasn’t sure why sitting down was so significant. However, I quickly realized most of my bingeing and compulsive eating existed not while I was sitting, but while I was standing in the kitchen, traveling from cupboard to cupboard foraging for food. By sitting down to eat not only are you preventing the easy, constant fridge dives, you are also telling your mind and body “we are eating now” and we are eating what is in front of us, not everything within arm’s reach.

Why doesn’t the car count?

Here’s the thing, when eating in the car you are not making the meal the focus; instead, the meal is simply something squished in between point A and point B. However, I believe you can make the car work; if you have no other option, and you are out and in a hurry and you feel the hunger pangs, by all means, take a minute to yourself, grab a snack (tip: have a variety stored in your car/purse) and enjoy. The key is to not eat and drive. First, because this is dangerous, second because that is definitely not a “calm environment.”

Final Tip:

We don’t always get to choose exactly where we eat; the key is to do the best with what we have. Whether you are at work, school, or at home, find a place you consider relaxing and plan to eat your snacks or meals there. And whatever you do, avoid the standing in the kitchen trap – it will get you every time!


I hope you found this post helpful – I will be back next week with Guideline #3: Eat without distractions. Happy eating!

Read last week’s post “#1Eat when you are hungry.”


Twitter: @lauren_b_sag

New posts go up every Monday, stay tuned!

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My name is Lauren Bersaglio and I am the Founder and Editor of Libero Magazine. I am a writer, speaker, and dedicated mental health advocate based in Vancouver, BC. I love writing, makeup artistry, strategy board games, and going for runs with my Goldendoodle Zoey.

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