Did you enjoy your morning fix of caffeine this morning?
What were you doing while sipping your beverage?
Most of us read newspaper, check our phone or rush from activity to another while drinking morning tea or coffee. That is the lifestyle for most of us living in big cities.
Mindful eating or drinking is a practise that allows us to tune in to the body’s needs and be thoughtful about how we nourish ourselves. This is done by fully appreciating the food’s flavours and textures and being in the moment while eating. You can think of it as meditation in motion.When we present ourselves fully to an action, we open ourselves up to a deeper level of enjoyment and nourishment. There is no special ceremony to perform to do a mindful eating meditation. In fact, in the book, Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life, well-known Vietnamese Buddhist teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh, explains how we can use a simple apple to practise a mindful eating meditation. He suggests sitting quietly, without any distractions such as browsing the Internet or watching the TV. We should give our complete attention to the apple, because by “…being focused and slowing down [it] will allow you to truly savour all the qualities the apple offers: its sweetness, aroma, freshness, juiciness, and crispness.”
It allows us to fully enjoy each part of the eating experience. It is a technique that requires us to be completely aware of the movements and sensations we experience when we eat or drink.You can also use the technique where you use the acronym STOP to help you through moments of fear and weakness. “S” stands for simply that: stop. “T” stands for “take three deep breaths.” “O” stands for “observe.” “P” stands for “proceed,” in a way that supports you and those around you. You’ll use this acronym to understand where the craving is coming from and what it means. What thoughts are going through your head right now? What is your craving telling you? What do you imagine will happen if you act on the craving? Breathe deeply and allow yourself to discover what you truly need. To begin with start with one tea time or even better one meal and see how you feel. Take a moment, to just look at your food, savour and smell. Become fascinated by it and enjoy the sensations it creates in your body. Enjoy the curiosity of the child and be grateful for all the efforts gone in to getting this food on your plate.
Tips for mindful eating:
- Eat/Drink more slowly and don’t rush your meals.
- Chew thoroughly.
- Eliminate distractions by turning off the TV and putting down your phone.
- Eat in silence.
- Focus on how the food makes you feel.
- Stop eating when you feel a little full.
- Ask yourself why you’re eating. Are you actually hungry? Is it healthy? Is it emotional?
Observe and enjoy every aspect, serve each other Let’s be present one bite at a time.