Life tip #21: Eat mindfully
Happy Monday and week to all of you! Lately I’ve been thinking about eating mindfully on a daily basis, about midway through each meal. I first heard about mindful eating in an article on Care2 (I’m betting it was one of these great articles: How to Become an Intuitive Eater, Mindful Eating and Tuning Into Your Uniqueness, 8 Mindful Eating Practices) and had one of those “how did I not know/think about this?!” moments. It seems like such an obvious thing to do, but for some reason it’s not taught in schools or shown anywhere in shows, movies, etc. Instead we see kids and adults alike shoving food down their mouths almost as quick as possible and speed eating competitions are glorified.
Today while eating my soup I realized that I wasn’t eating mindfully (I find it more difficult to eat soup mindfully since it’s mostly liquid) and knew I needed to share this life tip today and have it up as a constant reminder for myself. We’ve all heard that we should chew our food ___ number of times, but by doing that you’re paying attention to the number of chews rather than what you’re chewing. Food is our main source of energy and should be seen as a pleasure rather than a chore. If you’d rather not mindfully eat the meal in front of you, chances are you probably don’t want to be eating it at all.
Mindful eating is about truly paying attention to what you’re eating and how it affects your body. It makes eating more pleasant and gives you time to realize when you are full so that you don’t overeat. If you haven’t ever done this, I highly recommend that you mindfully eat your next meal (and hopefully most of the meals in your future).
The next meal that you eat, think about how it got to your plate (garden, farm, factory, transportation, preparation, etc.). Really look at what you’re eating. Smell it (I hope it smells good!). Take a bite and chew. Taste it, feel it in your mouth, and listen to the sound it makes as you chew. I know it sounds weird, but thinking of these five basic steps while eating really does make your meal more enjoyable. A great tip on eating mindfully to get the hang of it and to know how long you should chew between each bite is to put your fork/spoon down and wait the time that you’d normally take a drink from a cup and then pick your utensil back up. All done slowly, of course!
Have any of you ever eaten mindfully? Do you have any tips for others who’ve never tried it? Have you ever really paid attention to how you eat?