There are two ways to look at this eating consciously thing. From a personal (digestive) view and from an ecological view. I will discuss both here as in my own little world one is just as important as the other and they do overlap quite a bit! Let's begin.
First, I find it so important to be be aware of what I am eating, best thing is to eat it as close to nature gave it me. I am unaware of what a pringles bush, or wheat thins vine looks like so I figure they are not my best choices for what to eat today (notice I said today). Wheat Thins, have you ever read the ingredients on the box? High fructose corn Syrup not to mention lots of other stuff... you would think because it says 'wheat' it would be good for you. Think again, I do my best keep those sorts of food to a minimum if I eat them at all. Non sweetened dehydrated veggies and fruits are a better option for that crunchy taste, or maybe even some good old fashioned popcorn. (leave the microwave off)
I figure it this way, if I can't pronounce the ingredient and I have no idea what it is then I have no business eating it! Period! (This is not encouragement to go learn the 3000 plus additives we put in our foods) Occasionally, I do eat things I shouldn't it is rare, and the goal is to leave it alone and find natural foods to take the place. For me awareness starts at the store, I try to go shopping and buy as little processed foods as I can. What I do buy that's packaged, I am VERY careful about reading labels, mostly the ingredient list. I don't care what they say on the front of the box, cause organic white flour still has no nutritional value even if it is organic, it's just bad for you without the pesticides. Whole grain wheat bread that is filled with high fructose corn syrup and a myriad of other additives is still not good for me. There are foods many out there that are healthy and I have found some.
I have become very aware of my health and what goes in my body. Eating this way is good for me, and good for OUR environment! Do we really need to eat food that makes so much pollution, waste from manufacturing and waste after the sale in the form of mass packaging. I have found that if I choose to buy goldfish crackers for my kids, I can buy the wholesale club large container. My kids can happily take their fish in a reusable container and I know that they won't be in therapy because I didn't buy the prepackage kind. What I do know is that I am saving the environment and money at the same time! My kids have never once lost a container! (that will probably happen today since I just said this!)
The other part of conscious eating is internal and digestive. When I eat, I do my best to slow down and give my food the attention it deserves. I spent time purchasing or growing it and preparing it, so I should really sit down and enjoy it, every bite! I enjoy the colors, smell, taste and texture. I know that I am more satisfied when I do this. Food is my fuel, my life force, preventitive medicine and beyond. Unfortunately, most of the time it doesn't get the respect it's worthly of. Our family dinner time is more valuable to me than most times of the day, even if it only lasts for 15 minutes, there is a meal on the table and we all come together!
The digestive part, I chew my food and chew it well. I find that I have less problems down the road if I do my part of the digestive process. Did you know that if you eat while stressed it can cause your digestive system to function improperly? I know I have been guilty of this in the past. I really have to take the time to pay attention to how I am feeling while and after eating. Do certain foods really agree with me? Do I know why I am eating when I do, hungry, bored etc? Food is my energy, and if I want it I must be aware of what's going in. If I buy crappy gas for my car, it will run poorly and get bad mileage. Same with my body.
Awareness for me is key, balancing out my needs with my wants. Truthfully, when my body and mind are in balance I don't have cravings for things I don't need or shouldn't have. I can easily stay away from the crinkley bags and boxes at the grocery store. It benefits me and Earth.