“Eating is an inherently sacred activity; we take something from outside of our bodies and make it part of ourselves” ~ Jenna Hollenstein
What is the feeling you get when you enjoy a really good meal? Do you inhale your food, or do you savor every bite? Sometimes, we forget to slow down, and before we know it, every last bit of food is gone! When you eat mindfully rather than mindlessly, you are able to not only savor your food and notice your body’s cues, but you are also able to learn how to enjoy the present moment. Instead of combining your mealtimes with other activities, like TV watching, learn ways to surround the sacred act of eating with mindfulness. Approach food in a way that makes you more mindful and aware. Practicing mindfulness around eating is something that will help your body, mind and soul. Here are some steps to take during your mealtime to start eating more mindfully:
- Eliminate all distractions. When sitting down to eat, make sure your environment is distraction-free. That means no television playing in the same room. No mindlessly scrolling through your phone while you are eating, either. And especially no reading at the table. These distractions make it very difficult to connect with your food, because your brain is too focused on other things. Do not try to multitask while you eat. Just sit there and focus on the task at hand–eating!
- Look at your food with curiosity. When eating, be more curious about what is on your plate. What colors do you see? Look at them like you have never seen them before. Also, notice the scent. What flavors and ingredients do you smell? Smelling your food is an important part of the mindful eating experience. Additionally, feeling the texture of your food as you chew and tasting every ingredient is a great way to experience the act of eating.
- Pause/take a deep breath. After every bite, pause and take a deep breath. Put your silverware down, and listen to your body for cues as to where you’re at in your eating.
For more information, check out this youtube video I created on the topic of mindful eating. If you find this inspiring and want to take awareness around eating to a whole new level, check out Jenna Hollenstein’s book Eat to Love . I found it to be mind-expanding; and I thought I was aware of all the social messages we get around body image and relationships with food- nope! Like most things, I learned that there is always more and more room to grow. She gives powerful tools to help you become more mindful and transform your relationship with food. For more insightful wisdom, checkout Shortcuts to Zen with Jen!