Food is information that nourishes our appetite, soul, and overall wellbeing. For ages, it has brought people together over company, conversation, and entertainment. When it comes to sharing meals there is a sense of kinship formed over the table that can cast bonds and everlasting friendships. In short, food has an immense power that imprints itself into our being and into the fields of others. When we are mindful of the foods we eat and how we eat them, we form new relationships with the act of being fully immersed in a moment. How often are you tuned in to what your body needs? Mindful eating is the act of listening to our deepest needs in a way that can trickle out into other everyday habits.
Start with A Simple Question
Mindful eating starts way before any food hits our tongue. A great step toward mindful eating is to check in with a simple question, “What does my body need right now?” Take a few deep breaths as you focus on this question. You’ll be surprised to see where your body might say it needs a vegetable wrap when the mind thought it needed a salad. Our bodies are always speaking to us and the more we listen, the better we can implement mindful eating in every meal.
Eat With Everything But Your Mouth
Before taking your first bite, allow yourself to ingest your meal through the senses. Look at all of the colors on your plate. Smell the delicious spices and herbs that arise from the heat. Breathe into its warmth and feel the food engulf you first.
Offer Gratitude & Blessings
The food in front of you has traveled many distances to get to your table. Someone grew and tended those seeds to grow ready for harvest. Another person had a big part in transporting it to markets and restaurants. You also have a part in this from either being the person who grows their own food or working to have the funds to purchase groceries. There are so many details in between that went into bringing abundance to your plate. Practicing an expression of gratitude before each meal is a great way to enhance abundance and implement mindful eating tactics. If this feels foreign, you can also take this moment to focus on anything you are grateful for—it doesn’t always have to be food-related. One of my favorite ways to offer blessings is with reiki energy. This is something I can expand on in another post.
Close Your Eyes and Enjoy the Ride
Now that you have introduced your meal to your senses, close your eyes and take the first bite. You’ll notice the flavors are at such intensity from all of the attention given to them prior. Chew and savor each bite with a slowness that keeps you begging for more while also allowing your body time to digest. Not only does eating slow allow you to fully appreciate the taste, but it also provides your mind with enough time to compute when your body is full. This keeps your body happy and nourished without feeling bloated.
Meals are a great time to come to stillness. Remember, these are just some tips and suggestions. If they work for you, let us know! If you have other practices you like to use, do share. Another favorite practice of mine is keeping my phone out of distance. While the occasional food picture is fun to share to inspire others, I find that eating without my phone present allows me to feel more complete and less anxious.
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