“Food reveals our connection with the earth. Each bite contains life of the sun and the earth. We can see and taste the whole universe in a piece of bread! Contemplating our food for just a few seconds before eating and eating with mindfulness, can bring us much happiness.”
~Thich Nhat Hanh
We’ve all done it. We eat on the run. We eat behind the wheel. We eat behind a screen. We scarf down what’s within reach without thought from whence it came or how it would or would not nourish our bodies. We eat when we are nervous. We eat when we are bored, sad, or happy. We rarely slow down long enough to recognize hunger or take the moments required to determine why we are munching. We may graze mindlessly through our day or numb ourselves with too much food at each meal. Eating this way, is it a wonder that we often find ourselves unsatisfied at the end of a meal, feeling unwell, and perhaps, un-nourished? Of course not. And if you find that this is your reality more often than not with food, you will find great benefit from learning to become a more mindful eater.
When you begin to eat more mindfully, you will likely find that you:
1) Consume less and are satisfied with less because you take the time to notice and experience each bite.
2) Enjoy more fully the experience of eating.
3) Consume better foods because you are more conscious of the quality of each bite and the effect foods have on your wellness.
4) Have better digestion because you are slowing down, reducing stress, and taking the time to chew your food.
5) Become more aware of hunger and satiety cues.
6) As you cultivate mindful eating, you will become more aware of “enough” and eat/order/shop accordingly. Less food will be wasted.
So, what habits should you develop to become a more mindful eater? Well, as you will hear often from us in the next several months, “It’s simple but it’s not easy.” Practice is the only way. Here are some suggestions for getting started.
1) When you are eating, only eat. Do not attempt to multitask with the exception of sharing the experience with those you love.
2) Always eat at a table. This will eliminate your tendency to mindlessly graze. Even a snack will be etched into your consciousness if your rule is to sit down at a table to eat it.
3) Practice gratitude for the abundance in front of you. Appreciate the appearance, the origin of the food, and the preparation.
4) If you have prepared the food yourself be also mindful in its preparation. Think of it as a gift you give yourself and those you love rather than as a chore.
5) Take it one bite at a time. Notice your sensations as you eat. Chew each bite thoroughly.
6) Take the time to consider the interconnectedness between all living things, our planet and its peoples, as well as the impact our food choices have on each.
We invite you to join Simplicity and Spunky Avocado on our Less is More journey. If you’d like to join our private Facebook Group, Less is More, which we hope will bring you inspiration, confidence and motivation to get out there and live more while consuming less plus monthly giveaways, email us.