We sustain ourselves through eating, drinking water, breathing, and sleeping.
However, in today’s busy world, these basic needs can seem like an after-thought. There are fewer and fewer people focused on gathering, preparing, and eating foods.
Jon Kabat Zinn, psychologist and mindfulness instructor explains, “for the most part, we eat with great automaticity and little insight into its critical importance for us in sustaining life and also in sustaining health.”
Our food preferences and choices are now influenced more by food companies and the media. This influence leads many to become dis-connected from our sources of nourishment. As Michael Pollan says, “stop letting corporations cook for you.”
If we begin to pay attention to how specific foods impact our body, we can start to make better choices about what foods to buy and eat. In addition, if we pay attention to our food as we eat it, we are likely to eat less and to better digest what we eat.
Susan Albers, author of Eating Mindfully, suggests that in our fast-paced world, attentiveness to the things you “have to do takes on a greater priority than what is going on internally.” “Slowing down” she says, “is a foreign concept to busy individuals. Doing several things simultaneously is considered a more efficient way of doing things.”
Here is a suggestion to slow down, enjoy your food, eat mindfully, reduce stress, and digest better.
Dr. Albers recommends starting with one mealtime: breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
- Choose a specific location to eat, such as your table or the lunchroom at work.
- Sit quietly. Don’t get up, and don’t answer the phone.
- Have all the food you intend to eat on the table in front of you before starting.
- To be mindful you must give your full attention to your eating. You must focus on the process of eating and enjoying your meal.
Most of all, enjoy your food without judgement. Every meal is a new opportunity to practice mindful eating.