Mindful eating is pure bliss. Connecting the sensual taste buds with the electric mind creates absolute fireworks with dedicated focus. Though pleasurable, mindful eating is also practical. Incorporating mindful eating practices can avoid very common eating habits that can be hard to break; for example, eating when bored, eating too much, and more.
- Choose your food by energy: Have you ever had a nagging craving for a particular snack or dish? Only to realize, once you are in front of it, that you really don’t need that food? When an overwhelming desire for a specific food hits you, meditate on the energy it brings you. Are you filling a different need with this snack? Is it good for your overall energy or current state? See what feels right, right now, before deciding on what is going to feel right in one more moment. Changing your attachment to the present will help you stay right in the flow of it.
- Stop and consider how much you’re hungry for: We’ve all had those “I could eat the whole store” moments, when we only need what is going to be sufficient. Until we make an honest evaluation, we are at risk for buying too much, cooking too much, and eating too much. Take a moment to just notice your hunger and decide how much you really need to eat. Maybe it’s the whole store. Likely, it’s at least a little bit less.
- Be grateful for your plate: It is easy to disregard the privilege we have in accessing, affording, and consuming food. Millions of people around the world sit in starvation everyday. Even in America there are entire counties who have to travel a long distance just to find a real grocery store. Gratitude is always the right attitude. Before diving in, offer gratitude. It’s almost guaranteed to make the dish more delicious.
- Say thank you to the journey your food has taken: Not every restaurant is going to be farm to table. We aren’t always made aware of how our food was raised, who raised it, and where. It is easy to forget that food doesn’t magically appear on grocery store shelves. Like all of us in life, food takes a journey. From its conception (be it a seed in the ground or a product in factory) to its consumption.
- Just like focusing on the breath, chew deliberately and notice: Have you ever really paid attention to how you eat? Some food gets mushed, some gets slurped, some gets chewed. Focusing on the breath, the way it enters our nostrils cold and exists warm, makes the breath deliberate. When eating, notice how a food breaks down, if the taste changes, what happens in your mouth. Great things come from mindful breathing– imagine what can happen with mindful eating!
- Don’t eat holding your fork: Research shows that when you put your fork down in between bites, you are less likely to overeat. This can be compared to listening without thinking about what you’ll say next. Focus on the present bite, and you’ll chew it more thoroughly, making it easier to digest.
- Let go of attachment to finishing your plate: Some people grow up in a household where the authority figure demands every piece of food on a plate gets finished. Don’t feel pressured to eat everything on your plate. One great practice is serving yourself less than you might consider eating (you don’t have to cover the whole plate either). If you need or want more, you can certainly have more. This way, you neither overeat nor waste any food.
- Digest and wait: Before you go for seconds, give your stomach a few moments to digest. Often, we feel the need to satisfy the feeling of being “full”. Usually, we are already full, but our slow digestion makes it feel like we have lots more room.
Our goal is to motivate the individuals in our program to become the best version of themselves and live lives of authenticity and integrity. For more information on the treatment programs at Refuge Recovery call (323) 207-0276