Enjoy Food More and Eat Less with MINDFUL EATING

Food

Sep 11,2018

I was attending a yoga workshop over the past weekend, and during one of our lunch breaks, I was introduced to a concept called “Mindful Eating” by one of the Dahn Masters. The premise is basically this:

When we are really hungry, most of us tend to just blindly stuff the food that is on our plate quickly into our mouths before chewing and swallowing as quickly as we can. We then move on to the next bite and the next bite after that, also as quickly as we can, in an effort to satiate our hunger. Or perhaps we might be in the company of friends or family, so we get all caught up in the interesting conversation with that person sitting next to us that we become almost totally unaware of what we’re eating, how quickly, and how much. The act of eating itself has now shifted into a type of “auto pilot” mode for us.

Or maybe we’re eating by ourselves, but our eyes and our brain are so focused on our cellphone in one hand, scrolling through a social media app such as Facebook or Instagram while semi-consciously stuffing food down with our other hand. Who knows what I’m talking about? Of course, we have all been guilty of this at one time or another, or perhaps this is something that you’ve been doing at every single meal that you’ve ever had.

So instead of this habit of mindless eating, what if we just slowed down a bit and simply use all FIVE of our senses to fully enjoy every aspect of the food we’re eating?

Begin first with the mindful appreciation of the food that you’ve been blessed to have on your table. Then proceed to using your sense of SIGHT to observe the beautiful blend of colors that is on your plate, and how your food has been neatly arranged for your consumption. Then use your sense of SMELL to take in the full aroma of every different type of food that is on your plate or table. Close your eyes to heighten your awareness of this sensation. As you then proceed toward picking up your food with a fork or spoon or perhaps try to slice into it with your knife, notice the firmness or softness of the texture of the food. Or depending on the type of food, you might even start to use your sense of HEARING to observe any crackling or crunching or other wonderful types of noises at this point.

And finally, as you slowly, slowly proceed toward placing the food into your mouth, be sure to close your eyes and let your sense of TASTE fully take over. Feel the texture and the richness of the food that is in your mouth first, then the sweetness or saltiness or perhaps even the wonderful richness or blandness of it all. Then as you chew and bite down on it for the first time, continue to use all five senses to just appreciate and enjoy the wonderful gifts that Mother Earth has given to us.

Simply delight in the fact that you are blessed and healthy enough right now, in this very moment, to fully enjoy the food that you’ve been blessed with. Just be fully present. For me, it was almost a spiritual experience as I was able to enjoy my lunch that day in a way that I’ve never been able to before.

I invite you to do the same at your next meal. And don’t just swallow the food. Keep your full awareness of each bite of food as it moves down the trail of your digestive system, from your stomach all the way into your small and large intestines. Breathe in and out slowly and take it all in before moving on to your next bite.

Not surprisingly, I found that I was able to eat less, enjoy my food more, and gained so much more satisfaction using this mindful eating concept than I had ever done before. The next time you sit down for a meal, I encourage you to try this method of eating for yourself. Comment below and let me know what your experience was like! Bon Appetit! 

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