Sunday, August 15, 2010

Mindful Eating

In our busy lives, we often shovel down food without thinking about it, our minds busy with the next thing we need to do, or say, or even eat.

Mindful eating draws substantially on the use of mindfulness meditation.

If you've never tried meditation, try 5 minutes sitting still, eyes closed, just observing the thoughts that pass through your mind.

Don't worry if you feel like your not doing it "right", just persist for 5 whole minutes and notice what you notice.

Mindful eating involves many components such as:
  • learning to make choices in beginning or ending a meal based on awareness of hunger and satiety cues.
  • learning to identify personal triggers for mindless eating, such as emotions, social pressures or certain foods.
  • valuing quality over quantity of what you're eating.
  • appreciating the sensual, as well as the nourishing, capacity of food
  • feeling deep gratitude that may come from appreciating and experiencing food
Mindfulness helps focus our attention and awareness in the present moment, which in turn helps us disengage from habitual, unsatisfying and unskillful habits and behaviours.

Engaging in mindful eating meditation practices on a regular basis can help us discover a far more satisfying relationship with food and eating than we ever imagined before.

A different kind of nourishment often emerges, the kind that offers satisfaction on a very deep emotional level.

I encourage you to make your next meal a mindful meal, whether you're alone or with your family. Consciously think about what you are eating, rest your fork or spoon between mouthfuls, and check in with yourself to see if you are still hungry before taking any more food.

Notice how you feel while you do this and how it feels different to your usual way of eating; I think you'll be surprised at your results.

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