What could this one simple thing be? It is something we have lost touch with in this fast-paced, go go go world. It is, being mindful and present while you eat.
We put in so much work to prepare a meal or spend so much money on buying it, so we might as well learn to be more mindful and appreciative while it eating right? There are 10 key points to highlight to eating mindfully. Before you begin, start with a beginner’s mind and pretend you are a food critique. Each bite is so important to analyze all the flavours, texture and temperature.
First, we start with sight, notice the colours, shapes, presentation. Next smell, bring your food up to your nose and take a deep breath, describe what you’re smelling. Once your eyes and nose got a taste, you should start to have a physiological response. Meaning you might start producing more saliva, or your stomach might start grumbling. This is very important as your body prepares all the digestive enzymes needed to help break down your food. When you take a bite, notice the touch, how does your food feel? And how does it taste? Try and describe the flavours, is it sweet, savoury, salty, buttery, sour? While you are taking this action of hand to spoon and spoon to mouth, be mindful and appreciative of the motion and movement happening. Notice this mind-body connection as your mind moves your hand, your lips, mouth, tongue and teeth. Your mouth and teeth also play a bring role in breaking down your food and when this happens, notice the texture change. Before swallowing, be sure your food was chewed completely making it easier to digest. Take your time in between bites, put down your fork and take a moment to breathe. Too often do we swallow too quickly and may cause indigestion, bloating or gas. Taking time in between bites may also help you feel satiated (full). Finally, eat in silence or conversation with those around you. Doing this allows you to be present with your food, not mindlessly.
Each action you take will have a dramatic change on the way you think and feel about food; your appreciation towards it and nourishing your body. Like learning to meditate, this may take time, but meditation is to do what you do all the time except with directed attention, moment to moment without judgement. Give it a try you’ve got nothing to lose.
Integrative Nutrition Health Coach