DO YOU GIVE YOUR FOOD THE ATTENTION IT DESERVES?
Everything is made up of vibrational energy. Close your eyes. Breath slowly. Can you feel it? Maybe even hear it?
It’s no surprise then to say we are constantly absorbing the energy around- from people, our electronic equipment, nature and right down to the food we eat.
The other day I was chatting to a friend on the phone who ended the phone call because her food had arrived and she wanted to ‘give it her full attention’. Oh, you mean the food that is going to fuel you, nourish you, sustain you? You want to focus on that… well, how absurd! (A big heap of sarcasm there in case you couldn’t detect it!)
Mindful eating is something I emphasise during many of my 1-2-1 coaching sessions, but I realised I hadn’t shared it here, on this blog.
To me, mindful eating is made up of two distinct elements:
Now, on the chewing front I am the first to admit this is something I have had to work at. I am a slow eater – you’ll usually find me the last to finish a meal, but I tend to chew and swallow very quickly (maybe I am talking too much?) I don’t do this as much anymore thanks to the sometimes painful yet persistent training from my mother. No word of a lie, I can clearly remember her saying “Claire, slow down! Chew more… I will count, 1, 2, 3…25”
Annoying right? A-huh!
But, (always, there is a but). She was spot on, as mothers are. Years later when visiting a naturopath, complaining of severe digestion problems, we discovered that by not masticating and breaking down my food properly my overworked, over-sensitive tummy was struggling to finish the job off. Fair enough.
Digestion begins in the mouth. Not only that, but you tend to eat less when you slow down. You brain can catch up with your stomach.
Secondly, mindful eating taps into the experience. Recently at an event called Soul Celebrations, we (as a group) had come together to experience a higher vibration. Right down to our food. We stood together, hold hands as we offered up prayers of gratitude to our meal (the chefs, the earth that provided and our mouths!) To finish it off, we chanting YUuuuuUUUUMM! As loud and as mighty as we could. Each mouthful was very consciously eaten, I can tell you that.
Now, I’m not about to tell you to bust out an Ooomm every time you eat (seriously, you can if you want to), but I will encourage you to try a mindful eating meditation, even if it’s just once! Take the time to focus into your food and switch off from every other task that distracts you.
Here are a few easy ways you can do so.
- After preparing/buying your food sit somewhere comfortable. No phone, no book, nothing to distract you at all.
- Look at your food – become aware of what’s in it, where it came from, how it was prepared
- Smell your food – use this sense consciously. What can you detect?
- Explore your food – once it’s in your mouth notice every quality about it. The texture, the various tastes, the way it moves. Savour it.
- Chew your food – slowly, deliberately, consciously. Don’t just impatiently swallow and shove the next mouthful in.
- Place your fork/spoon down – take a moment, breath and then you can continue.
This is just like meditation because you are training one-pointed-focus. It’s not an easy thing to do, but I promise you will experience a meal in a way you never have.
It’s not something we can do every meal and everyday. I don’t have the time for that! You can instead just set aside time to leave your desk, step away from your task and just give your food the attention it deserves, which in turn gives your body space to do it’s job properly!
Tell me, how do you fair on the chewing and mindful eating front? Have you polished off your dinner before your friends have taken their second mouthful? I’m eager to hear your comments below. I can’t be the only fast-chewer, right?!
Saha to you,