You gotta eat, so why not take the time to bring some calmness and harmony into your life? I find mindful eating best not as an every meal thing but as an every-so-often practice to center yourself on a hectic day. The food you choose to eat during this practice can be anything, although ideally you want to be eating something that is both good for you and the environment. Vegetarian, locally sourced and sustainably grown foods will be most effective when practicing mindful eating. Give yourself an uninterrupted chunk of time to follow these 3 easy guidelines.
1. BE the food… sort of
Okay I say this half in jest because most people think of meditation practices as hokey and superstitious. Now I do not mean lie down on the floor and pretend to be a carrot, which is actually a thing for many Google users. Rather, imagine the journey your food took before reaching your plate. Was it grown on a farm nearby? Think about how it traveled to your area and how your food was prepared. Sustainable food made by a loving chef tends to be most satisfying.
2. Feel the moment
Think about the different textures, temperatures and flavors in your mouth. Concentrate on the food alone, your current mouthful and not the next bite. You may choose to put down your fork as you do this, close your eyes and reflect. Count the number of times you chew your food and mull over the experience. The food on our plates is a gift that we must remember to appreciate!
The idea is to be present. So NO TALKING.
It should be pretty evident that you can’t be fully in the moment of mindful eating if you’re in a conversation. Mindful eating can be enhanced in a group setting though, so teach your friends and see if they’re up for the challenge, or seek out meditation groups or specific monasteries that practice mindful eating.
3. Nourish yo’ self
Food is nourishment. Think of the nutrients and the good you are bringing into your body. It’s a positive experience. An energy source for you to carry on your daily activities. Pay attention to your satiety levels. Feel and appreciate the goodness and positivity that you receive from the foods you eat.