Mindful eating is a practice of savouring every bite of your meal, in the same way you cherish every day if you live by the carpe diem maxim.
In an era when there are so many overweight people, it might be a good idea to focus on what you are eating, instead of watching TV or reading at the same time. Because we think we are multitasking, whereas in practice we dissolve our energy and do not even notice what we are eating, which can lead us to actually eat more than our body needs. If we practice this for a prolonged time, that can lead to some additional kilograms… Why put so much stress on ourselves? Wouldn’t cherishing every bite in silence bring us better results? After all, it would be nice to have a break in our tight schedule, to enjoy the moment and slow down for a minute.
As Zen master Thich Nhat Hahn puts it,
When we can slow down and really enjoy our food, our life and our health, we take on a much deeper quality.
So, I suggest you do the following next time you have lunch, dinner, or any other meal. It can also apply for snacks, fruit, and tea:
– find a comfortable place to eat
– place your food in front of you and look at it for a couple of seconds, enjoying its texture, colour, shape, temperature, vapour over a hot tea, or anything else you find special about what you are consuming. Settle into this moment
– breathe in and out
– slow down your thinking and focus on your breath
– take the first bite/sip. Focus on the texture of it in your mouth, on the flavour and on the feeling of eating/drinking. This is the only thing that interests you now. Feel the sensation of swallowing each piece/sip and how it makes you warm inside
– keep eating/drinking like this. If you get distracted by other thoughts, that’s ok. In this case, come back to your flavour and cherish it once more
– when you’re done, take a few deep breaths and acknowledge the experience, how relaxing it was
– you can now come back to your duties and enjoy the day 🙂
I hope that helps. It’s a lovely practice of being here and now. I am mindfully eating pieces of Green & Black’s Organic chocolate while resting my eyes from the screen, and it is a truly pleasant experience. You can do it too.
If you would like to get to know more about it, there is a book called Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Living by Thich Nhat Hahn.