Mindful eating allows us to slow down and appreciate the food in front of us, and also thank the many forms of life that came together to provide us nourishment.
Below is a simple mindful eating practice to try.
Sit in a comfortable position, feet on the floor, spine straight. Center yourself through deep breathing. As you take a few breaths, exhale loudly to release any tension you’re holding. Next, inhale letting your belly fill. Then when you exhale, really release and sink into yourself. Do that one more time. Take a moment for gratitude; feel that appreciation for connection. Really savor the fact that the food is here to nourish you.
Open your eyes if they aren’t already. Take a moment and look at the food in front of you. Let your eyes soak it up, observe its color and shape. Reach out, pick it up, and feel its texture. Move it around in your hand and let the sensation be picked up by your skin. Then slowly bring it to your nose and smell. Does it have an odor? Is it subtle or strong?
Now bring that food to your lips. Close your eyes if you feel comfortable doing so. Take a bite and start to bring your awareness into your mouth. What does it feel like on your tongue, the taste, the texture? Is it soft, crunchy, or sharp? Savor and relish the experience as you chew it.
Take a moment to pause and pay attention to other sensations that arise in your body. Do you feel tension, calmness? Just notice these feelings and let them float away.
When you swallow, visualize the food moving down your throat, imagine the food being digested, all its nutrients going to support the cells, tissues, and organs of your body.
Take another breath. Bring your awareness more fully into the moment. Conclude with three breaths and some gratitude. Take a moment to realize how that experience affected you. Do you feel differently now than you did before the practice? What can you take away from that?