My Journey With Mindful Eating
I have always been interested in the concept of mindfulness as it can open up so many opportunities to understand the way your mind and body works. Lately, I have been working with so many people who have lost touch with their body. I realised that I too have slipped into the distracted eating trap. I noticed that most of the opportunities for eating I wasn't REALLY tasting my food at all!
Mindful eating is a really useful tool to reconnect with your eating. The reason I use the word tool is because it is not intended to be used simply to reduce the amount of food you eat. Instead, it allows you to be in the moment and notice what the food tastes like, how it makes you feel and whether the food satisfies you.
It has become common place where food is the last thing on our minds when we are actually eating. It used to be really common for me to be eating while catching up on emails, talking on the phone or even just watching TV. Since I have made the decision to limit the number of distractions I have been amazed how tasty some of the foods I eat are! Now I will completely honest, this is not a possibility for me all the time. When do I take some time out I really notice the difference.
It has become a rarity that we use all of our senses when eating. Mindful eating involves tuning in to these senses and eating with curiosity. Think of the best restaurant you have eaten at. Now think of the way that you ate your food. From my previous dining experiences I have really noticed that my taste buds are alive. I am smelling the food more and I start to notice what different combinations of food taste like. All of these aspects are a part of mindful eating.
So here is my challenge for you. Next time you have some time out for a snack, open up your mind and be curious about what you are eating.
What the food looks like
What is the texture like
What does it smell like
When you take a bite, notice what happens in your mouth
Slowly chew the food and take notice of the taste, the texture
Reflect on the experiences. What did you like or dislike about the food? Did you find it satisfying? etc
This type of eating is obviously something that would be impossible to do with every mouthful of food. It is useful tool to start to teach you how you are eating. You can take some of the skills from this exercise and use this when eating meals. It might be a way to slow down your eating. Try checking in and ask yourself "am I still really tasting my food?"