How to Eat More Mindfully
What is mindful eating, anyways?
Mindful eating is maintaining awareness of mealtime in the moment. The goal is to observe how food makes you feel and the signals your body sends about taste, satisfaction, and fullness.
Bring awareness to your physical body (rumbling stomach, low energy, stressed out, satisfied, full, empty). Do a quick body scan and just notice the different sensations currently occurring within.
STAY IN THE MOMENT
Avoid multi-tasking during meal times. Aim to sit down and eat without distractions such as the television or computer. Turn off the TV. Sit down. When you eat, just eat.
Take a deep breath or a moment to apply gratitude before eating. Acknowledge the gift of food and the effort that went into growing and preparing your meal.
Notice the texture, aroma, and flavor (is it crunchy, sweet, salty, smooth, spicy?). Allow enough time to eat, and chew 15-20 times per bite, appreciating the flavors and textures of each bite.
Speak mindfully and compassionately to yourself. Take note of the internal dialogue occurring. Notice when “shoulds,” and/or rigid rules and guilt pop into your mind.
A MINDFUL EATING EXERCISE - THE RAISIN
NOTE: this can be performed with any small item of food
HOLD + SEE
Hold + see: Take a raisin and hold it in the palm of your hand or between your finger and thumb. Gaze at the raisin with care and full attention.
TOUCH + SMELL
Turn the raisin over between your fingers, exploring its texture. With each inhalation, take in any smell, aroma, or fragrance that may arise.
TASTE + SWALLOW
Notice the sensations of taste and texture in your mouth and how these may change over time. See if you can first detect the intention to swallow as it comes up, so that it’s a conscious effort.
See if you can feel what is left of the raisin moving down into your stomach, and sense how your body as a whole is feeling after you have completed this exercise.