How To Create A Mindful Meal
The many health benefits from fostering mindfulness practices in our life are now countless and growing. When we are present with our food, it can be that much easier to hear our body’s hunger and fullness cues. Honoring these messages from our body can foster a deeper connection with ourselves and support us in cultivating awareness of when our physical hungers are satisfied and when our emotional hungers need attention. When we are engaging in another act while eating, distracted, and rushing, we can miss the messages our body is sending us throughout our eating experiences. So how do we create a mindful meal?
Put away technology. Turn off the television/netflix/podcasts, hide your phone, put away your ipad and computer. I completely understand how difficult this may be at first. We live in a culture that prides itself on multitasking. Mealtimes are just as important of a task that deserve our full attention. Put on music, set up a pleasant environment, plate your food creatively are ways that we can experiment with making our eating experiences more pleasurable and interesting, without technology present.
Chew, chew, chew. When we chew our food fully, we can notice the different tastes and textures of our food. Chewing can provide the opportunity to learn more about our body and it’s likes and dislikes. As we chew, our body will be sending us messages from stomach gurgles, to shifts in our energy, and changes in our mental clarity. These messages can be a guide toward what supports us in feeling energized and vibrant after our meals and what does not.
Breathe. Deep belly breaths can support in slowing us down to come into the present moment. Focusing on our breathe can guide our attention to the now where we can experience our meal in a new way. Tastes and textures can become more pronounced as we slow down and become more aware of our food. Deep breathing can also foster a relaxation response in our body where optimal digestion can occur. You can start your next meal by taking 3-4 deep belly breaths to prepare your body for the nourishment coming in.
These simple acts at any meal can facilitate the creation of a mindful eating experience. When you foster a mindful meal, what do you notice in how you feel after your meal is over?