Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Mindful eating to enjoy your food more

Lately I have been reading and hearing a lot about "mindful eating."  The concept is something that almost everyone is familiar with -- eating slowly and enjoying your food.  However, mindful eating, incorporates a lot more than just eating slowly.  It has roots in Buddhist teachings and encourages the eater to focus all of their attention on the food at hand.  The scent, the flavor, the feel of each bite in your mouth and the satisfaction of each and every swallow.  This practice is supposed to help you to pay more attention to how each bite is feeding your body and your soul, where so you will get more satisfaction from your food and also be more in tune to when your body is full or what it actually needs.

I myself have challenged with this for a long time.  I am a very fast eater and have always fought with myself to eat slower.  The concept of "mindful eating" is something I am going to try to practice more in the next few weeks.  The New York Times posted an article a few weeks back called "Mindful Eating as Food for Thought" which said,

"For many people, eating fast means eating more. Mindful eating is meant to nudge us beyond what we’re craving so that we wake up to why we’re craving it and what factors might be stoking the habit of belly-stuffing."

As I get into mindful eating, I will be trying to use some of the advice recommended by Summer Tomato's "9 Simple Tricks to Eat More Mindfully."  Some are tips that will forcefully slow down your eating -- such as using chopsticks or eating with your non-dominant hand.  Others just urge you to be more in touch with your senses -- such as eating in silence or taking your first bites with your eyes closed.  This could be interesting if eating at a restaurant :)

Does anybody else practice mindful eating?  What are your thoughts?

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