How often do we eat just to chat and keep up the conversation? Feeling no real hunger? Without thinking about the chain of transformations that our food goes through from the bowels of the earth to our stomach? Without thinking about what is really important?
Concentrating on food while eating, as well as knowing how it makes its way to your plate, is also called mindful eating. The roots of mindful eating go deep into Buddhism. Many experts at Harvard Health School, TV presenter Oprah Winfrey, and even Google employees are actively studying this area of uXNUMXbuXNUMXbnutrition. Mindful eating is not a diet, but rather a way of interacting with a particular food in a particular place, it is a form of meditation and consciousness expansion. To eat like this means to stop and take the time to pay attention and appreciate all aspects of food: taste, smell, sensation, sound and its components.
1. Start small
Start with small goals, like being mindful while eating once a week. Try eating a little slower every day, and you’ll soon become a master of mindful eating. Mindful eating is not what you eat. Even if your food is not very healthy, you can still eat it mindfully and even find benefits in it. Enjoy the process of eating every bite.
2. Just eat
Turn off the TV, phone and computer. Set aside newspapers, books, and daily mail. Multitasking is good, but not while eating. Let only food be on your table, do not be distracted.
3. Be quiet
Pause before eating, take a deep breath and sit in silence. Pay attention to how your food looks and smells. How does your body react to it? Does your stomach growl? Does saliva come out? After a few minutes, in silence, take a small bite and chew it thoroughly, enjoying the food and, if possible, using all the senses.
4. Try growing your own food
It’s pretty hard not to be conscious when you’ve grown your own food from a seed. Working with the land, growing, harvesting, as well as cooking is an important step on the path to awareness. You can start with a home mini-garden with greenery on the windowsill.
5. Decorate food
Make an effort to make your food look appetizing and beautiful. Set the table, use the dishes and tablecloth you like, light the candles, and take your time just to eat. Cook with as much love as possible, even if it’s potato chips from a bag and you just have to dump them onto a plate. Do it with love! Before you start your meal, bless your food and thank the higher powers for having all this on your table today.
6. Slower, even slower
Perhaps when you are very hungry, you want to instantly throw a bowl of pasta into yourself and feel immediate satisfaction … But try to slow down. Studies show that the reaction from the brain to the secretion of gastric juice takes some time. Also, the stomach does not immediately send a signal to the brain about full saturation. So start chewing your food more slowly. Chinese researchers confirm that those who chew each piece of food 40 times consume 12% fewer calories than those who chew less. In addition, those who chew more thoroughly lower levels of ghrelin, a hormone produced in the stomach that signals satiety to the brain. Train yourself to put your fork down until you have chewed each bite of food 40 times.
7. Check if it’s hunger?
Before you open the refrigerator, ask yourself: “Am I really hungry?”. Rate your hunger on a scale of 1 to 9. Are you really hungry enough to eat anything, like kale leaves, or do you really need a pack of potato chips? Learn to distinguish between a real feeling of hunger (by the way … kale is quite tasty!) From a simple desire to chew something. Perhaps you snack when you want to take your mind off tasks you’re trying to avoid, or because you’re bored or frustrated? Set a timer and give yourself some time to think, analyze your feelings, evaluate your true desires.
Beware: mindful eating expands consciousness, be prepared for the fact that by doing this practice, you will become more conscious in other areas of life!