Picture the last meal you ate. Can you recall the fragrance? The colours? The textures? Perhaps you can recall what it felt like taking that first bite, or what it felt like when it crossed your lips. Chances are, you can recall the general details, but I’m suggesting you focus deeper. Mindful eating means slowing down the pace, expressing gratitude for the food we are eating (or about to eat), being satisfied with food, and paying attention to why we eat.
Instead of eating mindlessly, putting food into your mouth almost unconsciously, not really tasting the food you’re eating.
You notice your thoughts, feelings, and sensations.
The look, smell, taste, feel of the food you’re eating.
Eating should be a natural, healthy, and pleasurable activity for satisfying hunger. However, in our food-abundant, diet-obsessed culture, eating is often mindless. It can be time consuming, and guilt-inducing instead. Mindful eating is a traditional, mindfulness practice with profound modern implications for resolving this troubled love-hate relationship we often find ourselves in with food.
Mindful eating should encompass these practices …
If this is a new concept to you, it might feel strange – sort of like that first day of yoga, maybe the poses made you giggle even. But the good news is, these practices (like yoga), get easier over time.
One of the primary goals when it comes to mindful eating, is not only giving thanks and enjoying the eating process – but it allows you to help uncover the triggers, outside of hunger, in which we eat. Because, unfortunately, there are a variety of reasons other than hunger we look to food. These could range from emotional eating, boredom, social eating, and so on.
There are a variety of approaches to mindful eating, some rooted in Zen and other forms of Buddhism, others tied to yoga.
It is important to note that this is a skill, a form of meditation to some degree that you don’t just learn overnight. It takes practice, and there will be times when you forget to eat mindfully, and there will be starts and stops – Like life. But with practice and attention, you can become very good at this and your mind and body, will thank you.
As an additional note, mindful eating can also help you lose and/or manage weight as well. Simply because they are causing you to become more aware. You will likely, find yourself making better food choices as well.
The biggest change I made when it came to mindful eating; I learned to pay attention. Paid attention to what I ate, the textures and flavours, how it made me feel during and after eating. I paid attention to my eating urges, to the emotions that triggered the eating. Being mindful is not a new age of thinking – in fact it has existed for thousands of years, now mindful eating on the other hand is finally, in my opinion making its way to western culture more publicly.
Our hope is that mindful eating becomes a practice you look forward to.
Thank you so much for visiting! I hope you have found some valuable information, if so, I’d love to hear about it! Please feel free to share this post with anyone who might benefit, and comments are always welcomed and appreciated.
I look forward to connecting with you next time!
From our kitchen to yours,
Love + Peace