We all need to be more mindful in our lives. Many of us eat our emotions, when we’re bored, or we are dis-engaged from our food. Eating mindfully is a way to connect more with the practice of eating, re-enforce a healthy relationship with food and it allows you to be fully present while eating. Here are five simple ways to eat more mindfully:
1. Take time to eat. Regardless of how often throughout the day you choose to eat, you need to appoint the time to eat. Even 10-15 minutes dedicated solely to eating will help you to slow down, and commit yourself to making eating mindfully a priority.
2. Set aside a designated place to eat. Eating at the table is a great option, but wherever you decide to eat is fine as long as you know that when you go there you are there to eat.
3. Stop multitasking. Multitasking is a myth. Focus on doing nothing else while you eat except eating. Being able to be mindful means giving something your full attention.
4. Eat with your non-dominant hand. This forces us to stop and take each bite slowly, rather than just inhaling our food. It will also require smaller amounts of food to be put on our utensils as the balance and dexterity won’t likely be as good on your opposite hand.
5. Put your utensils down. Between each and every bite, set your utensils down out of your hands. This will again slow down your mealtime and will give you the time needed to focus on the taste of your food and taking time to enjoy it. You can also close your eyes if you want to focus more on how the food feels and tastes in your mouth.
These tips aren’t meant to be a legalistic mandate for eating, rather, they’re guidelines and principles that you can incorporate into your mealtimes to help you be more mindful. At the end of the day food is for nourishing, not only our bodies but our relationships and our souls. Some of us have a broken relationship with food and by getting back to basics and focusing on eating, we can restore a healthy relationship with food and begin to enjoy it again. Even if you don’t have any problems around food, modelling healthy eating is important for our children and mealtimes can be a great way to bring people together. You can also check this great post by Leo Babauta. Bon Appetite!
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